April 25, 2018


Filth – Holly Traffas

Sunday coins in palm
Tithing for the broken man
Despair stains my glove

Filth – Hilary Tellesen

Her perfect square heart
poked every edge of her gut,
filling the toilet bowl
with each break and tear.

To make a fine point of it:
She was always a mess

Filth – Lauren Kennedy

A fantasy:
freaks out
And their nervous system (the neon skeleton)
Leaps to care for them.

Over here, those neon beasts just chew on their own legs.

Over here, I'm dumping out a plastic pot full of hazardous chemotherapy shit, hoping none will splash on my face. It's my mother's, and I know the smell.

Later I will pick up something gross, like comments about women on the internet, or public opinion on homelessness, where the majestic human reveals over and over that it feels like poisonous shit with no hands coming to carry it away.

Squeeze — Angus McDuffy

I have you
where liquid courage
and our lips meet.
I taste your
Marlboro lights,
the dark rum on your tongue.
Your love is like the tide
bathed in moonlight
depraved and made to swoon
by midnight
I'm sinking in filthy shots
drinking in the killing moon.
We are built for sweeter sins.
So I tear into your skin
like I'm signing my name
across the softness
of your stomach,
mapping the edges
of the world
along the small of your back.
We pen our desire
for misery and bruises,
reckless abandon
and makeout music.
You tell me
"If we carry on
we'll never sleep"
And I catch you
weaving your wrists
with a black ribbon
and tying the knot with your teeth.

OCD – Lizanne Sandbach Fowler

The rats
have gnawed a hole
in the eaves and
found the bathroom cabinet
full of crackers and chips
she will never eat.

The droppings pile up.

Once, she had an intact family
who kept the clutter at bay.
Here is a bedroom filled
with crusty tin cans,
and the ghost
of her third child,
now long gone.

In the dust underfoot
is a towel stamped
"Twin Pines,"
where she stayed
as a young mother
sixty years past.
She doesn't remember
the electric shock therapy.

She limps down a dim hallway
carved into the piles
of newspapers and magazines
she has ordered
in the names of strangers.
Crawls to the old saggy bed
she once shared.

She takes a handful of pills
and goes to sleep in her
mausoleum of detritus.

Filth – Mim

Mired in it
Consumed by it
Covered in it
The dirt
The waste
The decomposing

The appeal of the repulsion
A repudiation of cleanliness
An utter rejection of beauty
The attraction is raw, base
Manifest in tactile potential
The threat of contamination
Looming possibilities of the abject

Like a trip through a haunted house
Like a fascination with zombies
Like those secret forays into visual stimulation,
     resulting in immediate branding into mind's eye

All of this and a curl of the lip
When someone says the word "Filth"

Hall Filla Falafel No skilla tussle delicatessen. – David Lyon

Sordid candle eager to requite, relight. Pursed lips candle. The charred wick insinuates its brilliance as the moments before a sunrise, or sunset. Some sunruse or another, both poignantly transitory. Marble dawndusk. Apprehensive, spurring. I reflect on my feet. Often adorning matching soles to look a part or bemuse extended travel. While bare, adjusting instantly to the terrain in a twitching unconscious somatic whip. Derivative acceleration. The rainbows that hide. In a birds lofty stride. ne’er existent in time. But an instant. Divine. Forever to ride. That infrequent tide. Persistent. Its thine. Insistent to shine. Reminiscent. Wine dark soul. You’d reach for me like a pen and I’d answer ‘forever’. Plot-able on however many axis you’d desire with error bars. Whats in my heart but to tell you pleasing lovely things. Escape your paradigm swiftly. Are you adhered to your story? bemuse me again, so many new words this time. The wheels whir away dizzying daydreams wonderful repose in perfect harmony. And the hands fold across the lap of legs, also folded, on the cards. Furled. Why not. Look around. See you room for language? Or room and board preparing tomb? I long for my poison oak, bug bite, scraped elbow vaccination. ‘around the corner’. No more words, they’ve opened and dispersed like so much maple blossom pollen. No more black and white attempts to recreate orchid and tulip. This I submit willingly hoping to fodder up the gallery like ‘white-mans-foot-print’ plantain. Like chickweed. Now the radiance of the five petal yellows and whites dawn the meadow. Bespangled. I pledge every idle hour grace that empty space. For that.

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