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Claire Phelan | Electric Cereal

Author: Claire Phelan

Claire Phelan lives in New York. Her work has been published in The Newer York, Keep This Bag Away From Children, Left Bank Magazine, What Weekly, and Danke. She can also be found on Twitter and Tumblr. The first issue of her zine, “MEAT STORIES” is currently in print and available at Etsy.


i am a swell and heave. oceans. fuck. water is never the right word. i am a fierce and angry. i am an oh. i will bring you to the brink with moan. hear me through the walls and floor and press yourself against the unseen. hail that hurts. a battered back and the undersides of

i am unto, into


remembering, filling with blood. growing. moving up into a tree. a sky. a fuck-all cut open. screaming from

we will all become agonies, leaving our floors behind. our legs and feet will go numb.

i will cry with both eyes and a mouth open. in this

we will all become unreal.

i know you can see me and hear me through the window. when it was over, yesterday and in the just-morning (mourning), you raised yourself against the glass and pressed up a hand. i almost saw your mouth move through the two panes and the air in-between.

i forget each time i am not alone. i forget each time i am alone. i have found the meaning and roll into and around it. i am a tongue around lips, i am

a special kind of curl, a hardly forced


there is nothing ever as low as the fall then, after.

there is nothing ever like a woman in the sea.

this is dark water that turns almost to dust.

this is a coming into

Getting Good/bye

The wind outside sounds like the ocean. I am a sodden mess of bed sheets those hours later. I am you:

(always) the hypothetical self-harmer seeping between mind rivers, a husk, a cold and empty shell- a hand tracing the line between doubt and death. A skull of blood, a glass of juice. Making love to the self since birth, recharging with a stream, swimming in self, sensibility.

An organ worth throbbing for.

Men on the street tell me they want to eat me. This no longer cripples me in the moment- but I am still taken down trying to buy clothes, I am crying about our bodies then, in a mall dressing-room. I am rending wrists into ecstasy that explodes us into searing pain, a light worth breaking bone for, the jagged openings between shadows on an empty beach, the

swearing into of new skin.
I am growing into a hugeness that overcomes itself into a wet and careful deepness. My brain swells against the sun as I am being watched.

I am thirsty for god and so I drive to McDonald’s. It turns out Salt is not enough.


Life is not either.

The World Finds Nothing (Sacred)

our eyelids are turning grey.

weeks ago, I peeled away the top translucent layer of each eyeball, leaving them
slickly finished like cheap wood varnish, like the tacky ring
from a soda can sitting too long in a cup holder. this as if beneath a slow and 
sun, dipping down and down into us all. a slow motion stutter.

(we were each other’s eyes in a gunshot of light and it seared us into wounds.
that history once rhymed remains a rumor, a ghost long-smothered by new
religions, narcissism and narcolepsy.

elbow grease and the fear of a hell which damns each to live uncelebrated.)

perhaps, it was only ever morning in fantasy? even after we prised open each of our
eyelids, fingers moving like secret breathing kept thrilling like a crime low to the
ground. like onions picked too young, fragile and wound in a million veins, of soft
and crisping skins, becoming slowly pieces as the light left us behind.

for blindness comes over us in the winter like a numbing. it is dark in the human heart.

we reduce ourselves to urges, our hands and mouths turn us into vehicles 
and starting like machines, gruff and growl, a twanged tongue lapping 
at a pool of
gasoline. we feel our way around this horticulture of suffering, a forest thick with
alterations and self-preserving meditations we have built to keep out
strangers whom we have never known but do not let be like ourselves.

fatigue is a creature unbecoming to compassion. the news morphs even into that
same slickness, a tabloid of toxicity that feeds us gently into the dark.

it is nothing really.

it is dreams where we have filled our sockets, each to his own.

it is the skin stretched over a willow tree that bends and bows, pockmarked ugly
with acute yearning- a sensation born a suicide that has become a fable.

and for this, we swallow. and of this, we smile.