Sea Psalm by Becca Liu

By Becca Liu Where evening meets a shell-shocked lover is a distortion of light on water. The shell-mottled sidelines are a construct of winter, contouring a melody nestled in return. We hear the clip of persistence, pearly presence of this gargling world. Gulls plummet in circles and low clouds swagger in. I carve the beach to bring you to water, to forge you a one-winged bird in shallower pits. In the low country, winters are not enough. Heaving seabeds dry to salt. Slowly you peel the skins off a grapefruit, fingers clinging to the cottony pith.

Fruits 8th Grade, Freshly Emigrated from Mexico by Paco Marquez

By Paco Marquez sandias are watermelons melones are melons limones are limes limas are lemons crucifixion of blood fruits teenager baffled by a new language resting on gestures speaking in tongues throat driven down hallways wood shield as smile little body asphyxiating on delicately cut prunes elegant phrases eaten not this pinprick not that whistle minute words asphalt affection backs turned mini flesh never mind hot luck re turn sit this eat hi oh! o

Poems by Ladan Osman

by Ladan Osman That Which Scatters and Breaks Apart Everywhere they turn, the walls ask, why, why not. From every space someone calls a question and there echoes so many answers, it’s impossible to hear. Save me, he calls. Open me, she calls. Divorce me. Their despair is a bird in an abandoned nest, its brother has jumped out and died, its sister is dying beside it and still it perches: Do I fly? Can I fly? You’re here because you said, I hate you instead of, I’m sorry. You’re here because you couldn’t forgive but kept on making stews and hand-washing his good socks, blowing curses into hot water. “Knives All Over”, 2013 by Alison Kuo. Digital Photograph Trouble I have a chill in my womb. I have a child in my wound. Everything is massed up. The sea doesn’t blow. The wind rivers the sea in the wrong direction. How will I get along with this man wolfing me? How will I get alone? He herd me. It never bordered me before, what I got as a regard. We used the hardest language. We cast threats. We’ll born in hell. Some of us fall by the waistside and...
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thread by Victoria Matsui

By Victoria Matsui the person who threads my eyebrows tells me “my husband loves long hair, so i cut mine short.” we can’t stop laughing, she’s already bent over, i’m already lying down: two asian american women. for years, she has taken care of me, her labor physical and emotional. capitalism tries to dictate the terms of our relationship; we obey and struggle to be ourselves within it. i close my eyes, she looks close, she chooses which hairs to pluck. she shapes my expressions. we ask questions, we listen, we slowly reveal ourselves; the space between her face and mine is for trust. before i can romanticize it all, capitalism reminds me to show my gratitude with a big, crass tip. then we hug goodbye. “love and exploitation are not mutually exclusive” and strategies of resistance are everywhere.     “Thread”, 2014 by Jess X. Chen. Goauche on Paper, 8” x 10”

Benton, Revisited by Koa Beck

By Koa Beck Benton had been named for the uncle he’d never met. Growing up there’d only been one photo of him, the uncle: a single ghostly face in the oval frame where the two walls met in the dining room, removed and set away from the mantel of family portraits that served as the crux of the house. His nose, downturned with the shadow of the camera, bore a faint resemblance to that of Benton’s mother. Benton had been informed of his namesake at four years old, while following his mother around in perpetual memorization of the family tree. He had just begun holding wooden blocks in his hand, assigning them an identity and placement. The red “R” was his father; the blue “L” his mother. But his mother was one of three blue blocks that also included Aunt Lorrie, his mother’s sister. “You have one of those,” his mother knelt down and picked up one of the blues. “You have a sister too.” She had explained that she and Lorrie had been children together, just like he and Isa, and that they came from the same parents too. “Your grandparents,” she fluffed his hair. “But who is this...
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Featured Artist: Eliza Swann

Eliza Swann “A Bright Hand in Darkness”, 2014. HD Video Still, 6:16 from Gently Ai Goes Home   “A Bright Hand in Darkness”, 2014. HD Video Still, 6:16, “Light is the left hand of darkness…”   “A Bright Hand in Darkness”, 2014. HD Video Still, 6:16, The Blizzard   “A Bright Hand in Darkness”, 2014. HD Video Still, 6:16, “I am an exile—you for my sake and I for yours.”   “A Bright Hand in Darkness”, 2014. HD Video Still, 6:16, Why “Men” are Not Men   “A Bright Hand in Darkness”, 2014. HD Video Still, 6:16, “In the beginning there was ice and sun…”

Seams by Migueltzinta Solís

By Migueltzinta Cah Mai Solís Pino Gender, the garment, has been tailored. But does it know the body like spandex? Is it a pair of jeans—machined, carved in that way, its fibers dilating and contracting as demanded? Or possibly the gender garment is a knit tube sock—a strange color, loose in places? A tiny knot in a corner and, otherwise, seamless. Really, a body, a gender, a self-presentation that is seamless is like nothing else. It is owned—yes, with a little help, I made this. Where are the seams? You marvel aloud. Show them to me, highlight them, use this laser pointer, show me where to touch that I may feel with my fingertips where they hid the seams. Make the distinction known between this decision and that moment. When did you know? When did you become…? What was the moment when woman became man, dyke became queen, marimacha became maricón? I’d say the moment was when that man got into his pickup truck, while, broom in my hand, I watched him through one-way glass. That was in late 2010, in rural Oaxaca; the sky blue with rain, but the earth dry and split open in places. A thief, I stole...
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in defense of art by Aimee Herman

By Aimee Herman replace body with round of applause slap deportation of immunized bones draw map of grade nine depression sloppy kiss cartographer for compass brand benefactors & advertisements into forearms non–narrate the spaces of gender utilize humor when categorizing medicinal habits call framework pre–Reconstruction index teeth as artifacts due to lack of care belly is a sanctuary of bent laws how paradoxical is this panic what border are your shoulders crossing hybrid outcasts called lips territories or terrorists problematize the concept of veins mixed–media thighs decolonize wounds what is the occupation of this anatomy invent inventory for what is missing does this morning breath perplex what is the chosen medium can this blood be a contribution gift pulsate sweat into curved signature [it may be possible to] alienate audience enforce live ritual of dramatized history curators will fill in gaps of forced memory record visceral reaction onto comment cards photograph face interrupting art exercise risk through prohibited camera flash embody theory of missed communications or anthropologized dysfunction

Poems by Patrick Rosal

by Patrick Rosal The Halo-Halo Men: An Anthem We are the halo-halo men the mix-mix men the fresh-cut- mango-in-your-mouth men The men who pee-pee in your Coke The joke that yokes the beasts of vinyl and diamond men The bit-of-salt-to-cut-the-ice men The wineskins-without-wine blunt-hilt-of-the-bolo-to-your-head men We are the how-how men the carabao men back-to-ten men Pen-pen men de sarapen de-kutsilyo men de-alamasen The when men Come-again men The middle man and omega men You build fences for we might steal your hen men Kimat and Pang-or men First to suicide in the cypher men We use our inside voices for an outside fight men say three Hail Mary’s and whisper Hallelujah flip the new testament like we do judo men vodou men raw blood and garlic men kilawen men I say ag-yaman ak you say A-   Kundiman: Hung Justice Love, a child dreamt hard of bread and got history instead. Someone dreamt of maggots jeweled in meat and brought out blades in the name of good science, ardor. But who’ll list kinships in English between slaughter and laughter? Who’ll recruit heaven’s splendid refuse, junk, our silent brigades of busted blue-black horns, swordless squadrons, the hum and ruckus of strung-up...
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Poems by JD Scott

by JD Scott Validator [There is going to be a suit you will wear while you read this poem. Please make sure you say your own name aloud at each instance you put on this suit. This it vital. Saying your own name is a prerequisite for feeling validated. Please log into AOL at this time.] WELCOME: in this artificial garden of regressed desire which bird of paradise will come to life and squawk? [HAHAHA] First comment! Such mouthiness! ENTER Spam Paradiso, mâché’d with the debris of language! Which herby tincture will gift the youth? Like totally “alkali earth metal” BBQ rib plunged into Eve not Adam&Steve / Such verbosity! / Sugary XXX / “A pseudo-intellectual twattiness for the 100% f’real patriot” / Which pixel of neon will pop as apple pie, fragma firework, which binary string will verify me? / Upload me / Check my code against yours / Youz youz youz / so 1% / so #1 / so 1.0 / so ephebophile and “50 States Baby Diary Lover” / Legs kicking in the air all BDSM slave:master ratio / handcuffs & super kawaii police brutality & haute couture death penalty / The millionvoice says, “Validate me.” /...
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