POEM: Monologue

BY MELINA MELETAKOS

1.
What’s wrong? Your voice sounds sad. Is it because the person you decided to let into your home and sleep with just came very quickly into a cheap, ill-fitting piece of plastic, and is now making videos of himself as some kind of sleazy, pseudo-intellectual love doctor character?

2.
I feel physically ill. I’m disgusted with myself. That person in the video doesn’t even look like me. It doesn’t look like me, right? I can’t believe I was just able to slip into that character with such ease. Maybe I am actually like that. I feel so sick.

3.
You certainly have a mane of hair. I wonder what it would look like on a man. It would be too much, wouldn’t it? I want to wrap your hair around my dick while I fuck you. You know, that was actually a line in one of my movies. I have a bit of a hair fetish. Come closer, I want to see your hairline.

4.
Are you going to tell people about this when I am famous? Please, don’t. You know, that’s one of my biggest fears. I’m scared that all the irresponsible things I’ve done are going to haunt me when I’m famous.

5.
What do you think of this character? Do you think if I posted a video as him online people would be offended? Because I would want him to come across as more simple-minded than mentally retarded. What do you think? I really think he could teach the world a lot about love.

6.
Is it lonely living here and not being able to speak the language? I love loneliness.

7.
Do you have custard? I want something sweet. Won’t you go get me something from the convenience store?

8.
What? Why are you looking at me like that? You think you can be a creative genius and remain sane? How am I supposed to be a maverick, the voice of a generation?
What did you think of that character?

9.
Looking at myself in those videos really made me sick. I have awful teeth; I should get them capped. And my face is asymmetrical. I need facial reconstructive surgery.

10.
I want custard. Can you get me some? Come on, please?

POEM: The Idea

BY KIRSHIN C. GEORGE

Don’t ponder on it for too long,
don’t let it mature
that’s what steaks are for.
Let it come out of you like a rage,
like a hurricane tearing through
a small city,
like a hungry shark tearing off your limb.
Let it tear you apart
and rebuild yourself
into something more beautiful

POEM: How to heal a wound

BY PORTIA MABASO

You take a bowl of warm water, add a spoonful of sea salt,
dip cotton into the bowl and apply the contents to the wound.
The result is piercing pain and grandmother swears that’s the sign of the medicine working.
Basically, hurt the place that hurts; help the pain run its course for healing to come.
Name these things.
Uncle Joe touched me without consent.
Yes, it’s a blue eye, my boyfriend hit me
And no, I will not put make up on it.
All feeling stays for as long as it must.
This is the same for bad feelings as much as the good ones.

When you are done salting your wound (which is the same as flavoring it), sterilize your room, open the windows, rollup the curtains and let the breeze soothe the wound.
This she says because wounds hidden in bandages rot and take long to heal so free it from all coverings.
This morning I had coals for breakfast and they tasted like dead trees protesting in flames the axe that chopped them, the hand that kindled them and the match that set them ablaze.
In place of full and satisfied, I had sparks dancing in my stomach.
When fire meets fire, and you are the subject in between, pray that you are precious enough to be refined and not burnt alive.
I write with breath in my lungs, the remedy must be working.

POEM: Mathematics

BY JEANNIE WALLACE MCKEOWN

My mathematics is functional.
It can balance a bank account
or divide a lemon meringue pie
into eight (almost) equal slices.

It can’t plot galaxies using radio waves,
or decipher an exploding star.
My maths could never be called telemetry.
It isn’t abstract.

It plods in the everyday; raincoat on,
umbrella to hand, sturdy shoes.
It doesn’t dance or make art
or draw meaning from the night sky.

My maths is proletarian.
It knows its place:
small change and headcounts,
cake recipes and monthly bills.

My mathematics suspects
that other people’s maths is different.
A numbered brick in a prosaic wall,
it dreams of being a window.