Although I’m sure in some sick
Way they’re just robots the way we will have
One day used to have just been robots—
You looked at me like it was okay to be powerless
You looked at me like you were dreaming of me telling you the sky was blue
But I was really just alone
In front of a grocery
Gum ball machine at
3am It wasn’t novel for us to be together it wasn't based off of another true crime
We were perfect—
All dictatorships and “democracies” were dissolved in benevolence
Our flower’s fist shot us straight through— to the sky!—
Our crowds which were nothing more than our very own owners realized that the moon
was a fallacy after all a waste of remorse over national debt and let us walk clean
Because I can’t just turn back!
Because I wish I could turn back!
Because I shall never, alas, return
to the rolling fields!
Words that are both enormous and inadequate,
Words that are both slipping and spilling us out,
This is why we use images! This is why sounds hold us!
The lungs are those bags.
My mouth is that hole.
TO SAY THAT MISERY AND BEAUTY GO HAND IN HAND IS TO SIDE WITH THE POLICE STATE
I’ve tried to make sure that my blood quantum is up to speed, up to par. I’ve tried to make sure that I’ve kept up on all my shots, HPV in three installations, tetanus, the iodine.
I’ve studied, nay, sat outside the apartment waiting for months on end of the man who first invented stockings.
If you return, you better know the line we draw.
But if not, I’ll tell you now why she loved turtles more than any other animal. Come here. Wait.
Just as well until we change the padlocks for good, before we wash anything off in this tub.
But we know your methods. And, we know that before long, before you’re done, you’ll be burning the wrong songbook.
The day is wasted again,
I am that good.
But haven’t you seen it,
the way the night hangs,
and the mind does that amber floating thing?
Because why not miss,
and a little dead face helps
with these clearances we come to,
which is to say,
I ate the free raw bar
at happy hour yesterday.
Retail space available
I hear you
There are feelings
I can’t access
The rest comes in pixels
The narrative writes itself
And looking out a window
It’s pure fuzz
One of those life moments
Attenuated in the real world supply of Monday
That entire messy prayer
To turn jealousy into fascination
So as to think like glitter
Or sometimes conquer
When what I want is
The choices of this world
Skate or die
It cost so much money to be alone
And even if my eyes are rolled
Of course I have heard
The ache of my possessions
It seems so obvious
Like the absurdity of being
Or cheating on your PLU
At the grocery store
Who am I kidding
Life starts at the point of purchase
Now it mews blunted affect
The sky in the wind
Where is my head today?
Something I will never understand
Giving space a tint of artifice
I’m talking about living expenses
Those times of purpled candor
When longing bursts
If I laugh out loud
Maybe the world is just
And isn’t that excuse enough
For the rest of it
daylight begins to feel
like this secret place
where it’s possible
to get lost
a glassy florescent surface
where the gold hits
and so I’ve
it’s just that
if only real life
Serrah Russell was born in 1986 and has lived in Washington state for as long as she can remember. Russell earned a BFA in Photography from the University of Washington and currently makes her work and home in Seattle. Russell's work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the Pacific Northwest and in Vancouver, British Columbia; Melbourne, Australia; London, England; Athens, Greece, Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY.
Valerie Hsiung is the author of three full-length poetry collections, most recently e f g (Action Books). Her latest work can be found or is forthcoming in Cloud Rodeo, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Fanzine, Flapperhouse, Foundry Journal, The Nation, No Dear, Pinwheel, Prelude, Tammy, and Yes Poetry. She has performed at Casa Libre en la Solana, Common Area Maintenance, Leon Gallery, Milk Run, Poetic Research Bureau, Rhizome, and Treefort Music Festival. She serves as an editor for Poor Claudia.
When André Pixley isn’t editing, writing, and doing creative direction for art/lifestyle magazine FTD Magazine he can be found throughout Seattle taking portraits and candid photos of the city.
Jon Ruseski is the poet laureate of heavy metal, and author of the chapbook Neon Clouds. Recent works appears or are forthcoming in Fence, Reality Beach, Hobart, and Dream Pop Press, among others. He lives in Western Massachusetts where he is a Deputy Editor for Factory Hollow Press.