Emily Siegenthaler: hollywood comfort shoes

Laura-Marie Marciano: Two Poems

For Peggy

In Monterosso plenty of Italians float in neon tubes
And it was me who said buy those fifty-dollar red-lensed
Sunglasses near statuary of long dead deities, chest full
Like the name Ionata which is a family name but also
What we called our sister to mean of the mountain
And I am crying for here we are again in bed with
The working class, literally, screaming out pre-Valentine’s Day
That she will buy him whatever Nikes he wants as long as
Tight rubs against flaccid dicks cause an anointing O over
Tired wrought tradition- if sticks and stones break bones,
Cement carries on irreversible damage of slum fantasies
In the American imagination and all I have now is to tell
These interns to turn up and twerk and comb through
Brain cells to make something beautiful for the man who
Is still a man and we weep sideways finally after lunch
On a Saturday at Segue my working class man has
Played a video game through the entirety of a poet’s
Reading which I will admit was boring and someone
Is going to say kill the rich for causing such tension
But maybe my tastes are changing again like summer
Changes and misses me when it is Fall or like a
Man who tells you that your hands taste like
Lemon-pepper vodka and canned salmon and then
That he’d love you like a love song, baby, and then
He leaves- I am sure being a beta or alpha had
Nothing to do with my last will and testament to
Selena Gomez, I’d have given her my kidney too
As a child I remember pool toys allowed in all the salt
Waters I could dream up but then lawlessness
Went out of fashion so fast and the cowboys were gone
I was shocked by prohibition so many times, shocked
By plastic rafts in the Mediterranean on my last vacation
In the dark midnight office of Buffalo I am on a winter
Road-trip and no longer peeping Samantha’s tears
On a beach in Cinque Terre, crying for her mother,
Whom by February would be dead from cancer --
All of us in a car now driving to the funeral
Even though that rocky shore swallowed our
Friendships whole and left us like feral kittens
Along the marbled roads of our ancestries
Screeching out to St. Teresa Avila who came
In peach ecstacy for Jesus when she prayed
We are living in the strangest times and because
Of this I am becoming a “flat-earther” and writing
To no audience but the flesh touched by inflatables

Palmer House

The filmmaker asks what Monica and I
Wish to capture and I say a porn because
The flirtation of platonic bonds imploding
Still excited a boy like him- all neon energy
When we pretend to watch the Super Bowl
After eating Pad-Thai near Google headquarters
The body is the silver lining of nothing sent across
Wavelengths, science, class, politics- or I am
Most delicate when caught suddenly in your gaze
The male-gaze, the filmmaker gaze
the slow touch past the Judeo-Christian cart
In midtown and we all laugh or
Just Whatsapp about it afterwards
Weather grows warm, and I am obsessed with data
The days post discard are hardest and then hoover-
E-mailing me and the tension escalated to full stop
I did not think you looked as hot when you begged
But now ten days after no contact I remember how
Sexy you are and how I have become unsexed
Spending days speaking with Angie Atkinson
In Michigan, a life-coach, about the emotive abuse
Someone is going to tell me that they never thought
A woman so intelligent could be so common as if
To still be playing the childhood game fuck/marry/kill
I want to be your life; there is a difference
The leisure and pleasure of poetry is minimal
Take for instance the bag that incriminates me
When I walk by your new place of work on a Tuesday
Light blue and faux fur and at the same time the ocean
Somewhere in California just touched a spot of skin
On a body, on salt, on the marina and coral reefs
I masturbated at work for the first time today and
Thought of stocks and bonds and Katy who asked me
if the freak president suffered from NPD like you do
And I love you anyway, write love letters to you
This entropy of womanhood, of fat bodies, and
Chubby girl porn you searched on my brother's computer
And the anger of separation like how much can I love you
I think of your sister, and I want to ask her If she knows
What you are like, if you showed signs while growing up
If your mother is longing for you and the other Laura
And Emily and Jenny and Katie
Until we all combust into shattering glass as common victims
Of your perfect, Turbo-Tax, Nike.com, E-Trade
Wifey Wakes to Creampie addicted to boyhood body
Not like the filmmaker, but not dissimilar either
The tired hetero metaphor is crossed with debility
I bring out misogyny in even the most woke of men
In my tight thing near the restaurant, in my wet bottoms
And I am getting FOMO that my girlfriends
Are having an orgy in Detroit without me
The pierce of nothing in ear is a real sound and I can prove it

Ed Skoog: One Poem

Timothy McVeigh at the Dreamland Motel

You must tear yourself up entering room 25,
the way children were torn apart
blasted in the daycare, and it seems I must say it
over and over to myself, that he intended to,
that he intended to kill the children
and not see the killing, and took pains
to avoid being hurt, himself, who was once
a child, & got away, as one survivor tells
how pinned beneath concrete so tight
she couldn’t spit out her gum, she held
an unseen hand that had been disconnected
and although the detail is grotesque
she said it was still part of the real
person and I am holding your hand
into the smoke to be changed by events,
holding my own child’s hand at crosswalks,
in parking lots, in public places where danger
is disorder, a break in the pattern
that conceals us like a snail in its shell,
which delicacy is strongest, slug or snail,
a metal slug is a round bullet, it spins
like a planet, in, bringing the morning
Timothy McVeigh rose and slept,
just like you and me, and if there is a soul,
had a soul, and if there is no soul, had no soul,
and so it is with you, who doesn’t want
to be reading about Timothy McV
any more than I want to be writing
about him, but here he is, striding
towards the getaway car the moment
there is a blast, and don’t you feel
waves pushed at you in that sunlight,
how it cleaved the day? He got only
so far without license plates, pulled
over for the infraction, and caught,
when enthusiasts talk about freedom
of the road, that distance is part of it,
the highway miles he was nobody,
like the midnight roads the murderer
of my grandfather rode before turning
himself in to the police. You may be
allowed to tear yourself up like a ticket
entering into the world of bombers,
the explosive avenues and rigged doors
and want to turn for peace to beauty
as a badge, that you might be known
for your goodness. Bless the dead. He
registered for the room as “Bob Kling”
but tore it up and put his real name,
he talked the manager down to twenty
bucks a night instead of twenty-eight,
the Ryder van may or may not have been
parked there, still it is uncertain what
happened, in what order, as often
the case is when the sluggish estuary
of language washes into memory’s
current. My real name is Ed Skoog
but I dreamed a secret name which is
a window, with a window inside it,
and a ladder, and a ball, and two arms
reaching, and because I drew it once
and tore it up, and threw it in the fire
I tear myself up when entering a room
with a poem in it, because a poem is
meaning, and whenever you pay your
twenty dollars and step into the twenty
fifth room there is a poem on the table
which is too horrible to read and read it,
the one hundred and sixty-eight names,
the words for their lives, I have seen them,
their photos on a grid, but in the room
I lie down on the carpet and dream them
also, they are dreaming and wake up,
shower their bodies which certain traditions
say are just the vessels for the soul,
and they brush their teeth with assorted
toothbrush styles, the toothpaste brands
they have come to prefer, they shave,
they comb, they protest the comb,
they go downstairs and have breakfast,
they run to the bus without breakfast,
their lunches are packed, they are planning
to go to lunch. They are government
workers, they work for the government.
They are the children of workers. The
children are learning new words each day.
In Junction City the voices are waking too,
the clerks and the neighbors, the owner’s
son who tells the driver of the yellow bomb
he can’t park it by the swimming pool,
only by the sign, the taxi driver who said
he didn’t give him a ride, and then ok
he did. The bomber peeled back the plastic
of his ID and burned the paper, and the next
day showed it to arresting officers. He ate
a fruit pie. He is throwing the wrapper
straight on the ground. They are weighing
buckets of nitromethane on a bathroom scale
out by the lake, they are slitting open
the ammonium nitrate, they are pouring
fuel into barrels, I am mixing the racing fuel,
white fertilizer pellets turning bright pink,
and seal them up, affix the blasting cap,
connect the long fuse. I do this every day,
I wash my face, I brush my teeth, I wash
my hair with anti-dandruff shampoo,
I cleanse myself before stepping into day
and coax my son down to breakfast,
I am pouring cereal, I am pouring milk.
We talk about what dreams we had.
The Dreamland Motel’s been razed,
its iconic sign installed at the museum
in Oklahoma City, brought inside
to light a room with its neon star,
its Vegas lettering. The movable letters
read welcome. The bombing fell at Easter.
He was executed a little after Lent
with intravenous drugs, then
one part became president
and one the fight against it,
the same as day that covers the memorial
bright from lack, semipolar,
uncovered and bludgeoned,
bloodless and bowed. It was bull
shit that drove him to do it
and the same nobility he claimed
to feel is inside the language now
I am using, this sentence has a fuse,
you must tear up a poem that you
enter, and the sound of the tearing
rhymes with allowance and defeat,
he had a poem read at his killing,
one that has given comfort to many,
he was comforted by a poem. Torn
and burned, drowned, thrown far,
the bombing victims worked for the
government of the United States,
they died working for it, and nowadays
half the time I want to give
up and say deal's off, the thick mire
slog to be is too slabbed to brain,
asleep in room 25, the highway loud
and the bombing practice at the fort
nearby tender in lullaby thunder,
the pillow thin and spring’s menthol
drifts in the open window, prairie
insects legging the screen, lacewing,
blister beetle, medicine moth, flesh
fly, bombardier beetle, and the false
bombardier beetle, which has no bomb,
and when I wake I may still be there,
the terrible truck outside, and even then
and this is what facing the ghost tells
the dreamer, what the false bomber sings
to its cousin, I may walk into the hour
keyless, into the last minute may step
toward the beautiful cowardice of love.

Cynthia Alfonso: Four Drawings

Weekly Gramma

Emily Siegenthaler is a Los Angeles based writer and artist.

Laura Marie Marciano is the author of Mall Brat (CCM, 2016). Interested in the relationship between art and commodity, she promotes intertextual poetry through her media collective gemstone readings and co-curates a multi-disciplined, experiential poetry exhibition series at Artbook at MoMA PS1 with the design partnership LAMM. She has performed at A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Brown University, Silent Barn, and elsewhere. After earning an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Art at Brooklyn College, she pursued her PhD in creative writing at the University of Rhode Island, where she serves as a managing editor for Barrow Street.

Ed Skoog is the author of three books of poems, most recently Run the Red Lights (Copper Canyon Press, 2016)

(Cynthia Alfonso)[http://zynvaites.tumblr.com/], (1988, artist) studied fine arts in Galicia, Spain. She currently works in Rapapawn (an animation studio with Óscar Raña) and in the publishing house Elvira as art director and layout designer. Her first large comic, Behind is late was published by Cold Cube Press in 2018. She is currently working on her next comic with Fosfatina.


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