Category Archives: Curated By Sophia Katz

The Moon Io // On Being an Angel

You are an insurgent in a dream, you haven’t died yet
but you know you will between coffees
in cups smiling into themselves creamy leers in
your hands and the slaps of light on the water above you, everything
lambent, clicking like a night of insects
that sets a dream orchard blinking.
How you age and break things. Io
makes an effort to communicate: her mouth, gnawing the air.
She releases a black glassy bile—Io in your dream—the hole
of her mouth cannot be filled—she heaves
and you cup your hands over her mouth,
spilling it back into her she is hungry what will fill
her again, you are in a dream,
look in the mirror
what are you seeing is it
you wake up look the dream
in its face that’s your mirror as though
you had been calling out in a dark night,
how your search party pictured you, what
machine makes a noise makes a party
change course. Io gurgles in estrus.
The moon, the horned
virgin. You are in a dream and you are losing little battles,
gone the arborous boulevards, the trees working
discreetly in the medium of air.
The gray matter eats itself the white matter
convexes like a pale stomach breaching from a chemical bath,
the pressure of its possible depths crushing someone like you—you are
tired
of revolution, gurneys with their tendency to veer,
the bathrooms dysfunctional in unspecified ways,
clean but unusable, light-filled. You keep aging but you haven’t died yet
how should you know about an ending you’ll know an end
when you live the last of something, gone the paper
hats and the sobriquets. You look
in the mirror and an old friend dies.
Io wears a mask of your face, you look at her
and adjust. You pull angels
from the bathtub, from the chemical bath,
from Jenny Lake, fistfuls of duckweed. You are sick
of a purge that proves nothing, conclusions minus clues. The amygdala
curls inward like a fern.
You are losing. You are in a dream
foreseeing a spotlight on the ocean floor.
Viscous things like faith
loop through themselves, single cells, its nauseous.
Io is scarred such that to look at her
is to look through a scratched lens.
Craters spindle out, turn ashy at their hundred tails.
Her surface belies the watery expanse some believe exists
beneath. Everything for a while was strange.
You had just been procured,
dumped into time how were you supposed to know what was dangerous,
your lower lip comically large, your baby teeth
serrated at the tips, a feminine lack
of calcium. You evolved, you came
into focus into applause like the click of a plague.
How couldn’t you fear something with so many names—
a bull, a swan, a fist
of glitter sticky as pollen.
Io is sick of the open fields,
the open hands. Their eyes closed.
Your eyes closed,
maybe. You don’t remember, it’s hard to talk about.
You remember baby teeth. In the dark
room you pull yourself from the tub, in the dark expanding
like the eyes of a slug, you imagine sea things
grow legs and lungs. The room its own cell.
Walk up to someone, anyone, say
This is my dream and I’m dreaming you; they just shrug.
Age and break things. We are made from little sparks. Io
autochthonic. How could you be safe
when you are verbose but sinister, shy. Io fatherless, farther.
Are you friends with planets? With anyone?
Are you tired? You’re the last
face of revolution. Gone everyone. Blood
spreads from holes darkly: a field of black eyed susans.
You walk slowly, squinting.
A moth beats itself against the blink of a smoke detector.
You are here. How you know that’s how it will
end because that’s how it began, the moon
spherical, virginalized, ancient and cold.
You have anodynes and a machine
that produces the sound of waves.
You are dreaming, I am wearing a mask.
I’m in a search party and in the distance I hear your voice.

The TV is playing car races and all i

The tv is playing car races and all I feel is a drill inside my skull

Thinktweet: does anyone else feel the same way?

That’s all we’re ever tweeting

I get synesthetic sometimes

The sink smells like bleach so much tonight

It’s blinding me but I have to drown my face

I just made this poem up how good am I

The anxiety of holding all the lines in while you’re doing X

Save my most brilliant ones for later

Like holding out on the climax or if theyre into that sort of thing, the One

Zeroes

Knew a friends friend who drank bleach and listened to senses fail

I did on the bus too but

Kind of wished I was balls enough

Gained a lot of weight since landing in point “b”

Not sure which bullet were on

I get self conscious when i want to share everything but who wants to hear it

i say sorry to them in my head and delete the idea

am i alt lit enough

i am also not clear on the intellectual prop rights of tweets and that scares me

what better being a private owner or being a kibbutz

when does this poem ever end how do i know

This juice I made up in my head that im holding tastes like guar gum distilled

T/F it’s healthy for me to “do a cleanse”

I’m already thinking of my next tweet while I write this

Science please explain to me the meta

has anyone favorited my “everybody likes me” post yet

What will that mean

Am I a sensation yet or will I have to see once I’m dead

Once my hard drives and multidirectional scrawl brawls are deciphered

itll be less embarassing then

Have one and a half paintings due in ten days

Kilo lol

^wrote “lololol” but my phone knows better than i do

Can’t decide whether I work better under pressure

Can’t decide if I am properly using “whether” or whether an “or not” or explication of the other hand is appropriate

Not about what’s appropriate but what’s clear

Are they ever divergent

All you have to do is sit down and bleed

But I write to dissociate

I’m hungry but

I go to the fridge and feel nothing

I’m nauseous a lot now

Starting to get back on the internet

Proceeding with caution or maybe lol

It’s eleven fifty seven but really how can we be so sure

Google as God now

What does IRL stand for

Can’t remember my passwords

Can’t decide whether I remember my birth or just the film I’ve made produced by way of repetition an evolution of the story

Can’t remember if I remember actually emerging with the force of forceps clamping temples and seeing half a neutral blue-green

hospital wall underneath a khaki window half open with bliding sunlight idk

Or maybe that was my brother when I wasn’t in the room i remember saying he looked like a rat

Or maybe I dreamt it

Classic plot twist

Texture of a Twizzler

Am i a sensation yet or just a string of senses constipating sentences

A girl’s guide to adventuring

I never regret because
I’m never wrong; the roads diverged in a wood and
who went where why before is irrelevant
I got my axe and it’s into the thicket,
legs scratched up bloody & nothing but blueberries to eat for months
That’s just how it is:
I didn’t make the rules, and I don’t mind them
You have to start somewhere and I start with “no,”
so it’s heart-first into the forest
And if you come upon a wolf, you go by
And if you come upon an oracle, you go by
And if you come upon a cabin, doors-open, fires-lit, arms-welcoming, eternity up in your nostrils like homecoming and promises and good bread and wine,
you go by
because blueberries aren’t as bad as all that
and I’m never wrong, or lie.

Portrait #12

                 1.

It is always harvest time in Northern Illinois. Northern Illinois has an eye to the autumn all year long. All year long the summer is met with worry. With worry comes the rain. The rain can overstay it’s welcome. It’s welcome in the spring. I have always been the rain.

                 2.

My scars keep strangers at arm’s length, move mothers and children closer together in public. My scars are powerful. I was powerless when I got them. My scars appreciate in value. They were free. They are priceless.

                 3.

My third wife took everything but the scars. She was too generous to take them with her. My second wife gave me everything she had. I gave her a child and an excuse.
I was too selfish to burden myself with them. My first wife passed away fifteen years after we divorced. She was kind enough to let me move on before she died.

                 4.

When I was asked if I had ever been to jail, I tensed tight at the idea of honesty. The look my hesitance caused showed my answer was irrelevant. A new jury pit suddenly popped up in front of me. I was my own bailiff. The cuffs closed slow around my wrists. I could hear the click as clearly as the question. I had been judged as harshly as possible. I shrugged my shoulders and smirked, my finest attempt at being smug, and I never answered. I am ashamed that I was silent. I am always ashamed when I am silent.

                 5.

I let the chaos breathe for me some days. Chaos has perfect, happy lungs. They rise and fall on a controlled regular basis. Order is essential to proper breathing. Chaos delivers breath despite itself. My lungs are chaos.

If my heart skips a few lubs or dubs, no one notices. I am the only one who listens. Doctors say my health is my fault. It is. My heart has only it’s best by me and I have broken it or stopped it too many times to count. My heart beats chaos.

My brain has no regulation, is a free spirited teenager. Naive and swears to know enough to get by. When the real world floods chemtrails across my frontal lobe, I lose time. I forget myself. I am all shook and sway and fall without music or prayer. I am uncontrolled bladders and stiff armed nightmares and record skips. Epilepsy is the devil in a padded room. The sheets strangle dreams, pack twitches behind eyelids half open.

My brain breeds chaos. My body is chaos. My motorcycle boot spine is an unwatched documentary. These stories are written with skin. They fade, but never go blank.

Life Lesson 1280 or
“The Five Things I Learned in an Oklahoma Bar Fight on my 22nd Birthday”

When the glass breaks over your head,
notice the flash of white that takes over the whole world.
The blood will seem like an afterthought,
the afterbirth to your newborn concussion.
Stand up, leave the bar in a bolt of confusion while
the other patrons turn spirits into ghosts.

1.
Never be anywhere with so much hate.

When you get outside, light a KOOL, and smile.
Do not get angry when the tears streak down your face,
curl off your top lip, and snuff out the cigarette mid drag.
When you wipe the tears away and realize it is blood,
thank the cigarette for the warning and the cancer, throw it on the ground.

2.
Never smoke anything laced in blood.

When you notice the police officer
noticing you fall towards your truck,
show him your keys, unlock the door,
show him your keys again, throw the keys
to the other side of the parking lot,
climb into the cab of your truck,
wave to the police officer,
lock the door,
lay down and sleep until sunrise.
When the sunrise does not provide you with sobriety,
go back to sleep.
Sleep until noon.

3.
Never drive while you are bleeding.

When noon re-wakes you and you notice you are still bleeding,
mumble in a way that scares the birds while you look for your keys.
When you find them, smile for the little victory.
Stumble to the hospital, while pedestrians only
gasp at the sight of you, and do nothing to help.

4.
Never go to the hospital unless you have to stumble to get there.

If the woman behind the emergency room desk
does not seem to care about your bleeding head,
or your broken heart,
withhold your disappointment.
Do not blame her,
simply pass out in a sweaty, bloody heap of self-righteousness.
That will show her.

When you wake up alone in a hospital bed
examine the scenarios that could have
led you to a less stressful evening.

5.
Always rethink your life when you wake up alone in a hospital bed.

Harvest

The blood stains on the barn walls are too scary
to put a third grade halloween party metaphor on.
Dried blood turns dingy yellow first,
then burnt orange, then dark brown.

The amount of churches per state and meth labs per state
have the same regional spike in number.
The closer you live to the center of the Bible Belt
the bigger you think it is.
The closer you live to the center of the Meth Belt
the smaller you think it is.
“Same difference” works as an explanation of
ignorance and acceptance.
‘Round here, a family bible page bent where hills hide behind
the feeling flatlanders find comfort in.
Corn stalks talk swift whispers.
Tassels whiplash, intertwine in an anxious soft conversation.
They have conspiracy theories about combines and farmers
and anhydrous ammonia fumes from across the field.
They won’t talk much to outsiders.
Soybean dust storms swirl,
then fall like a fine snow.
The dry precipitation clogs noses and throats for miles and hours.
It will eventually feed millions.

For now, we all choke.

Twenty six cats living in deplorable conditions in a Pittsburgh woman’s home were confiscated Wednesday by Pennsylvania SPCA officers

The claws pierced her
new green lycra pants, and she winced
but was used to, and honestly, had come
to not at all dislike, not wholly unlike
how some put Tabasco on eggs or slap
during sex, she thought, though she never
appreciated such severities,
the sting. In reality

she was more worried about a snag,
such a pretty spring shade, and being
new, well at least to her, when they were, barely
worn and cleaned up so well as most
things, people too really, mostly, do when used
briefly or carelessly and maybe even irreverently,
tossed aside. “Come if you want”

she called more in courtesy, of which she was always
especially redolent when addressing them,
than in seriousness since they never came, as they are
not really that kind of friends, “I’m just going
down to get our dinner.” Friends. Well,
friends indeed, and indeed each such a grand personality,
and history, and generous nudges and thoughtless
dalliances and every night the ritual,
circling, the sharing and licking,
the softness the purring
of pillow talk. So she was off

because the best chance was closer to 7:00,
and if he was anything Angel was punctual. Angel.
Such a nice man, even with the tattoos and all
that, even though really, she never knew
what he was saying. But still he would
leave the kitchen cans, there, at the bottom
stair, there while he smoked, waiting
for her, gently, before hefting into the dumpster,
for her to finish of course. Angel, and he really was
not hers, but her darlings’, which
is what a real man is after all,
isn’t he,
and the way he looked and nodded, never a smile,
she thought, though she had no reason
to assume, certainly not, only a sense,
that he had been
thrown once, just a feeling really, out
not unlike her.

Yours was tuna on wheat, I put down a pickle

             to listen–I didn’t know
how
 
             hard it was
 
             to tell how
deep inside
 
             you found
space
 
             for me–
 
             like everything
that moment took
 
             everything.

I (am)

I can cajole
and comfort (I)
oh these words
well do come
but to write orate
is not to be
or do (am)

so Descartes be
damned (nothing)

4 Can’t-Miss Lifehacks That Will Change Your Life!

1.
If you want to increase your circle of friends—
              because, honestly?, who doesn’t?—

simply widen your definition of the word “friend”.

Keeeeep going. Widen it all the way. Swallow 

the world in an awesome tidal wave of friendship 

definition. Ravage the continents with

your circumstantial connections, particles

of unrequited love vibrating invisibly across the universe 

like in string theory, which incidentally

was discovered and theorized by a bunch 

of my genius physicist friends, 

those crazy fellas!

2.
If you want to have a building named after you—
              because, again, this appears to be 

              a desirable thing universally—

all you have to do is change your name

to that of a preexisting building. This is advice coming

directly from me, Mr. Space Needle Eiffel Tower,

the most prominent poet-slash-tourist attraction

this side of Robert Frost’s dusty old barn in

Vermont

or where ever it is.

3.
Okay, follow me on this one:
something only exists if you have a word for it.

Logically, it follows that if you mentally replace

negative, hurtful words—
              for example, death, depression, war,

              starvation—
with brighter, more colorful words—
              e.g., rainbows, candy canes, disco balls,

              the October light streaming through a window

              and resting gingerly on your dearest lover’s 

              silken shoulder blades—
then those original concepts stop existing entirely,

becoming like a linguistic blindspot of brilliantly white

ignorance.


This is my own method of coping.


I never feel very candy canes anymore,

and I certainly haven’t noticed anything in the news 

about disco balls in the Middle East.

4.

Now that I think about it,

let’s do away with language altogether.

Syntax and meaning offer no shelter

to the sparrow who takes flight

through the breaking light of October.

There is no pleasure there, 

but likewise, no definable pain.

There are no friends 

and no enemies, no naming

and no subjective comparisons.



There is only song and stimuli,

breathing and reactions,

candy canes and disco balls,

birthday cakes and;;;; emptiness

              the game of rest and time 

                           —            eyes with of this it,

              merry words with           out any

 truth tongue                    going 

happi’’’ness tree               gargle ham ocean
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