JANUARY 2007

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Stages
By Josh K. Stevens, Nov 2, 2006
I don’t even know whose funeral I’m attending. My mind is fried. I don’t know what the hell I did last night, but I can say definitively that it involved alcohol of some sort. I couldn’t even find my car this morning. On the upside, the walk didn’t take me that long and I needed the exercise. I was hoping that my headache would’ve went away, but it only subsided to a dull throbbing. Pair that with the excruciating ache in my neck and I feel awful. I just gotta get through today. I get the feeling it’s gonna be a long one. I see the sign for the funeral home. I stop and look at the red brick building before me. It brings back a flood of memories. My grandfather’s viewing was at this same place. So was my great-grandfather’s. I wish I could recall who was being buried
... (more)

Ghost Kids
By Andrew Davis, Nov 10, 2006

A Review of Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (2003)
By Jason Jordan, Dec 27, 2006
Christopher Boone – the main character and narrator of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Vintage, 2003) – has Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism. As a result, Christopher lacks in social skills but makes up for that particular deficiency by excelling in mathematics. And because I am lazy, here’s the back-of-the-book summary: “Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.” The premise, however, focuses specifically on the death of a neighborhood dog... (more)

Rewriting our novel, word by word
By Jim H Duncan, Nov 5, 2006

I wake up confused and lost now

so often, and I wonder

if I talk in my sleep

I didn’t used to

but I am so

different

when I wake up now

vivid, harrowed

I am in the middle of it

tied down to some weight

when I wake, I wonder

and my heart coughs blood

 

I will reach for my glass

I will reach across the maw

of bed and box to the thin glass

pen and paper reside beneath

and try, try to get it out

remembering a poem

from last night

as I fell asleep it died

and I spend mornings in the ER

bringing the walking dead into a new day

 

I let them die

I never give them a chance

this was a good one too, now muted

something about windows

and how you

of all people

see only me

I think hard

but it is pale

morning again

sickly and white

always

another day to walk with thunder

in my chest

and words leaving my lips

 

I wonder what to say to you


Jim H Duncan is a New York native who currently lives on the road, somewhere between New York City and San Francisco. His works have been published in
Void Magazine and The Culture Star Reader. See more of his work at his website.

 

Stealing The Wedding Dress
By Alison Eastley, Oct 15, 2006

It could have been shiny white
or opalescent cream, nipped in at the waist
or loose with a sash and a trail
 
softly folded, stored in a cardboard box
and left in the shed behind the garage.
It could have been kept next to musty magazines
 
and schoolgirl journals
with every word underlined in manic red ink.
The police could have knocked on doors
 
without laughing
when asking for information about disappearing
bridal wear that hadn't been wrapped in acid  
 
free paper. The Wedding Dress
would have be eaten by vermin and shat
on by moths. The police didn't question why the
 
biggest day some bride's life was stored
with rusty screws and bent nails
in a toolbox full of dust.

Alison Eastley lives in Australia and has been published in Thieves Jargon, The Absinthe Literary Review, Apostrophe, Stylus Poetry Journal, Black Mail Press, and Lily.

 

Devoured in One Bite
By Misti Rainwater-Lites, Oct 7, 2006
you told me i could fly
you lied
plying me with those goddamn bows
and make-up kits
you told me i was an angel
a fairy
you made me believe
i had glittery wings
that would take me over
the provincial rooftops
to places you dreamed of
while listening to Lesley Gore and Rick Nelson
you made me sleep in big wire rollers
you put your lipstick
on my baby lips
you told me i was Snow White
Elizabeth Taylor
Vivien Leigh
the other girls wouldn’t play with me
you told me they were jealous
the boys wouldn’t kiss me
you told me they were intimidated
someday i’d be a star
and they would all be sorry
you made me believe
in the bedtime stories
you told me all it takes to be royalty
is a pretty smile
and the golden rule
you taught me that i would always
be taken care of
i would never have to fend for myself
i was the world’s walking talking baby doll
i wish that you had told me i was ugly
and slow and had a long way to go
because that was much closer
to the truth
you should have taught me how to fight
how to stand my piece of ground
and not apologize
you should have taught me how much
the world despises mute misfits
you should have given me a sword
a basketball
any kind of gun
goddamn you, mother
you sent me into the forest
with a picnic lunch
you sent me pasty and tiny and useless
into the slobbering world
a perfect vanilla cupcake
a snack so easily snatched
and devoured
in one bite

Misti Rainwater-Lites is a poet, collage artist and the editor and publisher of a monthly print poetry zine called Instant Pussy. She has published one novel and four collections of her poetry at lulu.com.

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