ISSUE EIGHT: Melty Slayers | next poem →


Daniel Schwartz

the opening
of doors, of past, of concept
the flood of passengers who
assemble receptive curvature
can we start drinking, already?
a merging of self and desired future
that most of us will hardly notice
until we wake up sore the next morning
still futureless
suspension of descent
curtain drawn by formal attire
death of a stuxnet vampire
is the technocratic allure
given narrative by black lettering
salvage splayed behind the glass that reflects our faces
and the entanglement of hunger and boredom
that we arrange in occasional sarcophagus

we're made of so many artifacts
that it should be like looking into a mirror
when we observe the ruins that
sputter sometimes from rigor mortis
a perilous hum or illumination
a disk drive opens and shuts without warning
commands input automatically on the monitors
the dead language of viral aggression
our museums depend on these extinctions
but what will they do when it's not
our bodies that expire but our witness?
exhibition of the loss of recorded
history through black hole decoder
no mouth but the urge to scream

I never quite slipped into divinity
held onto my skin and clothing like I wouldn't
recognize myself without them
credit goes to the devil
there’s no harm in a little excess
nightmares afforded in the afterglow
new material kept coughing send elevator fortissimo
couldn’t be one of those novelty planting seasons
lately the staff hears nothing but complaints
the meat, for one thing, is grown in a laboratory
nosebleed seats
distractions like a straitjacket
they don’t stop the tremors
they only bind them
miles away
my best guess
the anti-stalker
until the sidewalks that make our economy possible find themselves
becoming enablers for the young, for all the pain they imagine
if only to make their parents proud
or sleep enough
force-quit by another canon

now I'm talking to you
wait, no I'm not
so far it's only an intension
but enough of this meshugas about
imagining yourself a spectator
when we finally speak you tell me
that you think you’ve been kidnapped
aren’t here by choice
haven’t showered in days
might’ve been drugged
it’s another risk for you to accompany me outside
to find something comfortable in the
dwarfed natural complacency
underneath the institution
which I appreciate
from the parking lot you look through the window
at the lingering patrons we’ve left behind
"them is us," you say
"join the club,” I reply and woof woof

eventually we negotiate
my confessions tertiary to an unpredictable
lapse into the borderless—
so says the data collected
months of search and seize your alibi shrapnel wound
turned over to the authorities
on a rainy northeastern night
with enough evidence available

confessions from the innumerable people I’d over the years
sworn at or
spat on or
force-fed or
expelled from class or
sketched formlessly or
forgotten to email or
brought dead animals as trophies or
humiliated or
followed online only to disparage later
during my hours of cannibalism
because I couldn’t help myself
because I’m repetitive when pushed
and I’m a different person when I watch than when I participate
and I never grew into the apology that I offered in my birth

you point to a trail of smoke in the sky
from a thousand-year-old misunderstanding
and start singing as we lie down
I wait for you to stroke my fingertips with yours
and tickle my neck with blades of grass
that you pulled not from our pasture that night
but from the front lawn of a house
in a world on the other side of the universe
if you can teach me how to handle this crisis, then
maybe I’ll know what to do with rest of my life
grow up, stabilize, surface occasionally
love you with frequency
and in affront to maneuvering time
after our plane crashes we can
kneel in the dirt and swing
at a lick of fire with your knife and
somehow cleave the flame in two
what will you look like tomorrow?

Daniel Schwartz co-runs Inpatient Press, a small publisher of poetry and visual art, out of Brooklyn, New York. His writing has appeared in Thin Air Magazine, tNY.Press’s theEEEL, Blunderbuss Magazine, Buzz & Howl, Dead Beats, Sein und Werden, Compass Rose, The Bellow Literary Journal, and elsewhere.

ISSUE EIGHT: Melty Slayers | next poem →

ISSUE Eight: Melty Slayers

Laurin DeChae
   Snakes & Ladders
   It Will Be Alive

Jessie Janeshek
   Future Girls with Bikinis
     beneath Bruce Springsteen Tees

Samantha Duncan

Kenzie Allen
   According to Science

Jessy Randall
   Here comes a poor woman
      from baby-land

   Here comes an old woman,
     nimble namble

Ruben Rodriguez
   Because I’m Bad Ass and
      I Said So

Colleen Coyne

Rob Cook
   Unmarked Neural Pathways

Jon Riccio
   The Area Code for ESP

Jennifer MacBain-Stephens

Roger Williams
   Come Eleven

Matthew Johnstone
   Boatship: Port Layout Gossips

Daniel Schwartz

Amy Carlberg

   Embody the State of the World