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PV MAG ISSUE 1

Molt

(v) to shed, drop, change, become anew, and/or otherwise make room for new growth

I.  lorem ipsum……………………….……....Cory Willingham

II.  Scented Memories…..…...………..Ann Christine Tabaka

III.  Him...………………………….…………….....Emily Kamminga

IV.  you look different….………...…………….Cory Willingham

V.  The Skin I’m In…………………..…………….....Lynn White

VI.  molt with me.................................................R. Bremner

VII.  We Grew Up Together…………...……………..…Melissa Riss

VIII.  On the Run...……………………...………….......….Sergio Oritz

IX.  Teenage Girls Become Heathens……….Samantha Walsh

X.  Dreams in Blue…………………….……..…..Diana Elizondo

XI.  I’m Somewhat Certain…………..…….…….…..Sergio Oritz

XII.  Constantly painting with oceans……...Thomas Fucaloro

XIII.  Have I Missed It?................................Mahendra Waghela

XIV.  Twisted Roots…………………………....…….…….Melissa Riss

XV.  Once………………………………….......……….……Lynn White

XVI.  Circa………………………………......………...Marianna Boncek

XVII.  Blue Lights in Belgium….………….David-Matthew Barnes

 

 

i.  Antlers………………………………………………Kate Miller

ii.  Metanoia……………………………………….Andréa Acker

iii.  Dew………………………..………………………...Kate Miller

 

Cover Art.  Blanket, 2018…………………………….Eva Dominelli

I

 

lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

loremipsum dolor sit amet

loremipsum dolorsit amet

loremipsum dolorsitamet

loremipsumdolorsitamet
loremipsmmdolorsitdmet
loremipsmmdolorsitdmet
loremipsmmdollrsitdmet
loremipsmmdollrsitduet
goremipsmmdollrsitduet
goredipsmmdollrsitduet
gorndipsmmdollisitduet
gorndipsmmdoulisitduet
grrndinsmmdoulisitduet
grrndinsmmdoulisioduet
grrndinsmmdoulistoduet
grrndinsmydoulistoduet
grrndinsmysoulistoduet
grrndinsmysoulintoduet
grrndinsmysoulintodust
grindinsmysoulintodust

grindingmy soulintodust

grindingmy soul intodust

grinding my soul intodust

grinding my soul into dust

 

II

 

Scented memories waft through the air.

Expectations widen the eyes of hope,

brushing away cobwebs from

the lost corners of time.

 

Synapses fire off as muted sounds

of distant voices manifest themselves

among the garbled words of blank faces.

 

History in reverse, snippets resurfacing,

if only for a moment.

That old chair seems familiar,

was it always there?

 

Grocery lists piled up on the table,

mixed in with last week’s mail.

Forgotten love letters reaching back

into the bottom drawers of an old credenza,

threadbare and finger worn.

 

Recollections play lost and found

in the recesses of shadowed dreams;

while the aromas of another time

make it all seem so close and real again,

if only for a short time.

The sweet memory of scent.


 

III

 

He says he’s empty but he forgets about the butterflies fluttering in his stomach. The rush of freedom in his veins. Freckles on his face blossoming by the dozen. Roads and roads of wrinkles and crease that even to the softest eyes it pleases. Each and every life system inside him rhythmically working to keep him vibrant and full of liveliness.


 

IV

 

"you look different

without your glasses on"

she frowned,

        tilted her head
 

i wonder what she saw.
?
the clear eyes of a poet?

(goldflecked greenblue like a fractal)
?
or the dullraw bloodspecked disks

of a rabbithearted waif

who, confronted by sorrow,

scribbles it away?

.

the frown is gone.

my eyes again covered

by wireframes and lenses.

 

still i wonder:

was it me that she saw?

            what is it to be me?
 

    and is a poet the same as a rabbit?


 

"that's better." she smiles.

 

oh.

i see.

V

 

Am I still the same person

under the skin?

Are you?

I think I am.

The outside has changed.

But inside my skin

I am intact.

Myself as before.

I think.

 

Not quite so comfortable, though.

It doesn't fit me too well.

Doesn't always represent me.

Doesn't look like I still feel.

Like I still am?

 

What about you?

Are you still that person

in your new skin?

I'm not sure now

 

If it is only on the outside,

that we have changed together

 

 

VI

 

molt with me

beyond the scars

that line our bellies;

 

molt in the silent chance

of our lost promise

behind the woodshed

of our imaginations;

 

molt with me

as we lose the skins

of our sadness

of our shame

of our inhibitions

and strike out

for a new trail

into the wilderness

of you and me


 

VII

 

You and I grew up together.

We took flight in the middle of the night.

Drove Southbound with two backpacks

that held our dreams.

 

My arms wrapped tight around the tower

that held my heart.

We hit the black pavement,

Running.

Our steps gliding, slipping

into lost places.

 

Fearless and sometimes reckless,

We moved from place to place.

Navigating

Directing

Always ready for a surprise.

 

We lived life.

Life did not live us.

i

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIII

Little by little I lose my star.

I, the orphan of something that dies,

open the capsule to the most virginal silence,

evidence the light and word that impede me.

I am the perfume of the disinherited rose.

The orphanhood of beauty freezes me.

The full moon man and the human oblivion dump

are extinguished inside me. My voice sinks

and collapses like the language building

where God’s seamless epicenter resides.

There is no doubt, I leave for balsam

and sleep. The alive desire of the sonatina

with which I call “my man” to the party

has been ambushed. It's without earth wind

 or the diphthong of my lyrical moan.

 

IX

 

I was woken in a field of dew,
daybreak cracking its old egg

over a foggy horizon,
and here I was told
to shed my horns and come home

 

to untether my ties to the nighttime
to wash away my earthy rust
to bathe in the waters of Christ

to unearth those old-world secrets
to eat in the temple of the righteous

 

and so I ran -

 

ran back to the moon’s gentle shadow
bathed in the fairy’s moonpool
scrubbed my skin clean of their worship
held my secrets in the witchlight
and destroyed their temple of righteousness

 

before them, I raised hell in my quiet fury
and laid myself to rest

 

ii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

Clouds covered the black sky

and street lights stained the darkness

when I tried to find blue roses

in my search for the perfect rest.

 

The air was thick with lavender

and burnt blood as I strolled

under the bridge and through the cold.

 

I looked over my shoulder to see

floating shadows with shining eyes

going past me and down the roads

as I spat my own teeth at them.

XI

 

I don’t know for sure, but I suppose

that two men can one day love each other,

if they’re left alone little by little,

something in their hearts tells them

that they are alone,

alone on earth they pierce each other,

they kill each other.

Everything is done in silence.

As light amasses inside their eyes.

Love unites bodies.

In silence they fill each other.

They wake up in each other’s arms;

Then they know everything.

They're naked and they know everything.

(I don’t know for sure, but I suppose.)

 

XII

 

Sometimes it's not about

 

Reinventing the wheel

 

But the driver

XIII

 

     I am not a book person but my bus is not due yet. Reluctantly, I check with the roadside hawker of old, musty books. A tattered book with faded cover catches my eye. 

     "How much?" I ask. 

     “Fifty rupees, each and every one of them. Good for time-pass,” the hawker answers, barely looking at me.

     “Thirty-five?” I taunt with no intention to buy.

     “Forty, or you can walk off!” 

     Forty bucks, that is less than what one spends on nail polish these days. I make an impulsive decision and pay the hawker. I climb into my waiting bus and open the threadbare book, ready to start reading. The bus lurches forward as I notice that some words on the first page are underlined with a faint pencil. Intrigued, I make the first sentence from the underlined words. ‘You’ is the first word. ‘Are’ is second. ‘A’ is third. Followed by ‘Moron’. The period is circled too. 

     YOU ARE A MORON.

     Am I a moron? It should irritate me if I take it personally but I smile. Thankfully no one in the bus is looking at me. I start looking for the next set of underlined words and count them. There are twelve of them. Clearly they are not in a linear order, unlike the first sentence. That was easy, but these? I look hard at the challenge: 

     Into-That-like-why-you-sucked.-this-are-is-something-

     I try to construct a proper sentence from the above mentioned words and the period but it takes an awful lot of time till I get them right. Almost fifteen minutes!

     THAT IS WHY YOU ARE SUCKED INTO SOMETHING LIKE THIS.

     Next one is short and easier to arrange.

     YOU ARE NOT ALONE. 

     The following set of words is complicated and it agonizes me for a good thirty minutes.

I arrange and rearrange the words, this way and that way, but it gets more and more confusing. I write them down in the margin of the book for a better feel but no result!

     I look out of the window, I look at other passengers, I check my nails; but the puzzle comes back to me and taunts me again. I am about to give up when the sentence forms itself like magic.

     THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS LIKE YOU, MERELY PASSING THROUGH, WITH NO SENSE OF PURPOSE OR DIRECTION.

     The next sentence is again easy:

     NOW STOP THIS NONSENSE. 

     I turn the page and make a list of the underlined words.

     Labyrinth - Coaxing - At – Frozen - Imparting - Surmised -Somber - Zephyr - Ghost - Seamier - Churn - Turnstile -Pluto - Craggy - Hoax - Jar - Duffer - Layers - Buttons - Dingbat 

     This set of words is apparently a random mess; nothing like clear nouns or verbs. No connecting words like 'and', 'or', 'than', or 'which' to help me in anyway. After half an hour of struggle, I conclude that this bunch doesn't make any sense at all and there is no period to suggest the end. There is no logic here, no pattern to speak of. Some words like ‘surmise’, ‘zephyr’, ‘dingbat’ and ‘turnstile’ are totally alien to me. I have never come across them, let alone use them knowingly.
     I feel thoroughly pissed and try to read the book. It is boring. I look out of the window. Still more stops to go. Irritated beyond limit, I ruffle the pages, from beginning till the end. Almost all pages have words underlined with a pencil. To hell with it, I am not a moron, I mumble and go straight to the last page. There are more underlined words indeed! That last set on the final page is easy to crack because it is mercifully short: it has a ‘YOU’ to begin with, and an exclamation mark to get a sense of the ending.

     YOU HAVE MISSED YOUR STOP!

     If this is not enough, there is a final handwritten word, to rub the salt in: IDIOT.

     I snap the book shut and look around in panic. The bus is speeding like a bullet. Everything outside the window is a crazy blur; there are no passengers, there is nobody in the driver's seat. There is no telling whether I am well past my stop or way ahead of it. 

     Out of options now, I start reading the book the way I have never read before: one word at a time, one sentence after the other, one paragraph followed by the next, one page after another…

XIV

 

Twisted roots in my veins push

                           through the cold hard surface

                                                       that weigh on my soul.

                                                                        Secrets try to remain

                                                                              as the ground begins to break,

                                                                                             My feet begin to shake,

                                                                                                    I have no foothold!

                                                                                                      No voice!

                                                                                                No emotion,

                                                                                        in the crevasse that

                                                                   continue to expand itself

                                                         in my wilderness.

                                            Territory that was once protected

                                         with barriers of lies,

                                           dead dreams,

                                            and dark days resurface and uproot.

                                                My voice!

                                                    My anger!

                                                       My fear!

                                                         My pain!

                                                            Died on those dark days.

                                                               My roots are twisted,

                                                               and

                                                have always run beneath the surface of my face.


 

iii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XV

 

Once I breathed

air.

Once I walked.

I spoke,

I smiled,

I looked sad.

Yes,

once I had feelings.

And then,

my sadness was selected.

Chosen

and frozen in its beauty.

And then,

the rest of me decayed,

vanished,

returned to dust.

And now

even the effigy is broken,

the marble decaying.

Only sadness remains.

And soon,

even that

will join me

in the dust.

 

XVI

    Nothing bad ever happens in a small town. But nothing good ever happens in a small town, either. So, when Marcus Andrews looked her in the eye and made her heart flutter she believed she was experiencing a real live miracle.

    One day, after school, he showed up at her house unannounced. He was relying on the surprise factor to get him in that front door. The way I imagine it is when he knocked on that door and she pulled the curtain aside to see who it was, her adrenaline rushed to her chest. Out of all the girls at the Playland Arcade, he had chosen her. She willingly pulled the bolt open and let him in. Her mother, returning home from work, found her bloodied body in the family bathtub.

    The day after the murder, Marcus stopped in and ask me out on that date. We agreed on Saturday night. Saturday morning, a co-worker lifted the newspaper toward me, indicating the headline. “Isn’t that your date for tonight?” A picture showed Andrews, handcuffed, being escorted to a police car. Later that afternoon, a state trooper visited me at work. Items that possibly belonged to me, one of them a “lost” work name tag, had been found in Andrews’ home.

    The thought that terrifies me, the one that still unnerves me, is the fact that if Marcus Andrews had knocked at my door, I too, would have let him in.

 

XVII

 

From the back window of a car with no driver,

I see blue lights in Belgium sweep across the night.

They sober my soul with the heat of God.

I am blessed by their splendor, my ugly past

strobes in my throat. I shiver, certain

I have a purpose, saviors. I’ve been blinded

by parents, abusers, government, men.

I rebirth myself in the backseat,

douse my skin with the electric sharp

razor flashes of freedom glowing blue

against black. They are proof, those lights are. Love

swirls and shoots, explodes across the sinful

face of the forgiving sky.