Every Connection is a Missed Connection by Sean Kilpatrick

If you cherish someone with enough anachronistic tenor, and stay unwavering in your devotion, they will be driven to torture you, unwittingly, unconditionally, by contrast. A relationship runs on whatever benign conditional ordinance established it, then coasts itself dead into a smitten lap. Substantiated or anonymous at its declamatory ground zero, the love coo functions as fact, then fiction, and registers between recipients ambidextrously, regardless, the countersign of an ideal human connection based on frequency alone, an abstruse pattern extracted from (the rest is turbulence) the pitch of whoever drew your chemicals on, both culprits problem solving their groins into an equation, the tuft of pubic tendency for which there is no pill to quell. Thankfully, the worst potential reality is always what just happened. Neurochemicals spur our collective matrimony fetish through a libidinous recycling of partners at least once a decade. Any spectacle of profound exclusivity between lovers is one-hundred percent façade, a damp gamble of who your pheromones strand you with, beneficial for the antique purpose of disgorging microbes by the brood. Wedlock monomania self-anoints its fraud, leaves us the compounded passenger of our perseverance, isolated inside procedural marriages, economized on a seesaw of laundry, the placeholder for an unnecessary amount of DNA: that stuff they’ll take off of you in samples when I’m done. No atrocity I bake up during the following treatise will match this territory’s vanilla dimensions. Whoever I defile is part of the same seductive pulp, mutilated until there is no practical amount of blood to fawn over, sprinkling till we part.

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VISUAL IMAGE TEST by Matt Lee

Concentrate on the three red dots. Do not look away. Your family paid handsomely for this exam. Their future—as well as your own—depends on the outcome. We have administered thousands of these tests. The failure rate is high, an unfortunate statistic we typically attribute to an applicant’s lack of conviction. You must believe in the red dots in order to truly see them. Please hold your questions until after we have finished with the instructions. Focus on the three red dots. Count slowly to thirty-five. We expect you will be aroused at this point. Resist the urge to perform indecent acts on the three red dots. Take a step back. Look up at the ceiling. A man in a brown suit will be standing there. Under no circumstances should you make eye contact. Study the man’s tie. You will find a map stitched into the fabric. Following the path correctly will lead you to a library. Go to the reference aisle. Notice the burlap sack. The voice inside will be familiar. Whatever pleas emanate from within you are not to open the sack. Carry this load down a set of stairs into the basement. Careful on the steps, they are uneven. You will come upon a hole in the flooring. Do not look down the hole. Push the sack over the edge. Count to one hundred. Return to the ground level and sit at the desk. We will provide pliers to aid in the following task. Stick out your tongue. Pull until your tongue is stretched long enough as to be visible before your eyes. Concentrate on the three red dots. Release your tongue. Swallow the three red dots. You are permitted but not required to request a glass of water. We have observed higher ratios of success from those who do not drink. Take the elevator to the roof. There will be a telescope near the ledge. Study the skyline. Find your house. Peep through the windows, your parents’ bedroom, your room, the kitchen. Sitting around the dinner table will be three red dots. Observe they are bound to their chairs. When the blue dot appears the red dots will become distressed. What the blue dot is armed with varies from test to test, though you can expect the weapon to be blunt and/or sharp. After the blue dot finishes with the three red dots, you will sense someone is watching you and this feeling will not be without warrant. Through the lens of the telescope you will catch the blue dot staring right at you. Expect the blue dot to begin its pursuit. Where the ensuing confrontation takes place depends on the applicant’s decisions. The most common location tends to be the rose garden, which does provide a lovely backdrop. The blue dot will attempt violence against you. Pinpoint his weakness and the attack is not difficult to survive. We will be straightforward: the test ends here for more than half our applicants. Rigorous study results in success. Sadly our data suggests most people who register are ill prepared come exam day. Those who do advance have only a single remaining task. The final portion of the test determines whether you pass. Concentrate on the three red dots. Move your gaze to a blank surface. What do you see?

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Wind Melted Future by Gabriel Wainio-Théberge

AERIA GLORIS

letting prayers go they float up effortlessly
(something pulls on them the moment
you get careless something viscous) /
they get stuck in grilles of catwalks, picked up
by passersby        who imagine the beauty
and terror of their initiation to godhood

vehicles of popular feeling, historical transfers
cross the sky like airplanes, like reflections in a glass
tilted to stir the last centimetre of water to a waltz

cyberpunk could have been the real “steampunk” if steam
filled streets and alleys the way it fills skies /
you don’t have to operate or integrate machines
just live in spaces        where they move like shadows /
fifty thousand feet above the canopy
focus on: a      single     glazed teacup

psilocybin divides the domed sky
classical geometry in insurrectionary confusion
the hexagon’s obtuse angles hide nothing around the corner
out on these unfinished rails there’s a wind

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3 Poems by Will Ballard

THE SELF-DEFEATING

switchbacks rising or one degree’s traveling

bicycle rut sloping down to his mother’s

sofa before the keys are wrenched from its dregs

again reminding us him rather we dangle from strings

reversed loops cradled swing roundéd yoyo

regard oneself in the mirror dispatch an assassin

sword-falling among his other sagging self-piercings.

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Mannequin Room by Tomo Takino

Let me draw you a diagram of where I’ve been living.

Every day at the same exact time, I descend from my room down the long staircase right in the center of it, hidden behind a trap door. The stairs form a spiral, a screw that bores itself through the darkness of a space so vast & resonant my voice splatters, becoming a whisper that charms the serpentine steps, the foundations rattle & hiss – empty space begs to be filled, so I shout from the top, listening to myself degrade ‘tween the sounds of pattering footsteps. By the first hour down the stairs, I already feel a pressing weight in my chest, my legs dragging behind me like a bag of dead fish. At the start, my anxiety was so strong I kept away from the edges unburdened by handrails – now on the way down I’ll take little breaks; I let my legs hang from the stairs, kicking, floating in the black, feeling the concrete under my fingers.

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Bonding 𝑏𝑦 Maggie Siebert

“Wake up.” 

No light shone through the bedroom windows. When the police would come, later, the mid-morning sun would bore itself deep behind his eyes, heating the folds of his brain until they were sticky with dew. Now, a matte darkness shrouded him, but not so wholly that he couldn’t see the wet silhouette of his father standing in the doorway.

He arose. He knew this day was coming, had known for years. He didn’t know when, and neither did his father. But the knowledge sat with them constantly, a fourth family member at the dinner table. At baseball games, school plays, birthdays, heart-to-heart conversations, it was always present, the gnawing dread of knowing what needed to be done.

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Cherchez L’Homme: Travel Log by GABA analogue girl

Lying in the sun feels like an opiate. Warmth consumes you. Either are incredibly helpful in some circumstances, but over-exposure carries fatal consequences. The sun was so close that light bled through sunglasses and shut eyes, painting my vision with pale, puffy bursts of colors: lots of peach, some queasy green. A streak of teal would appear, glimmering like the inside of an oyster shell, only for a moment. The veins within the thin skin of the backs of my eyelids looked like a redwood forest.

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(Dis)integration and ‘Nanette’ by Zechariah

I had the misfortune of watching Ms. Gadsby’s ‘comedy’ special, although watching is a strong word, for in between sips of still Pabst and Pure Lacroix, submerged limp in oriental cushions, I forgot my environs, sometimes projecting onto the astral plain where I’d beg the spirits to kill me and to free me from the tortures of this aeon, and nonetheless, for you and for you alone I endured, and I must say that the moments I did let my eyes collect moved me, for here in this story of being gay, and a woman, and a disabled (Australian), I noticed that she was actually talking about something boomer-dad Nick Land is rather concerned with: (dis)integration.

The (dis)integration Gadsby is concerned with is much more personal than cosmological, although it is nonetheless still reflective of dying stars, like light in a mirror, or sands in the hourglass. Her main move in her special special is to announce that, although she’s done with jokes, she’s down with stories.

“Stories, unlike Jokes, need three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. Jokes are two parts: a beginning, and a middle. And what I’ve done with that comedy show about coming out, is that I’ve froze that incredibly formative experience at its trauma point, and I sealed it off into jokes” (Hannah Gadsby).

‘Nanette’ divides the symbolic operation of jokes from the sign exchange of stories. What is interesting is the confusion of the disintegrative power of jokes with the subsequent integration that happens within the social field. “I sealed it [the trauma] off” and it “fused,” she says. Deterritorialization goes hand in hand with reterritorialization; disjunction leads to conjunction; and Gadsby then extrapolates from this reintegration that the symbolic exchange of the joke, wherein the beginning is reversed by the end, is insufficient.

The poetic destruction of the identity of a symbol in its reversal is not enough, for it must be reintegrated; the schizophrenic condition of the joke, which dissolves the trauma, becomes a threat to her, for the trauma is the identity, and the loss of identity a trauma. Gadsby rather needs to tell her story and to tell it properly. Since the joke, in its reversal and absolute destruction of the premise, reveals death/life as a false distinction and their eternal play as the primary process, the truth is likewise revealed here, in the thanatropic drive; and Gadsby sees this, saying that “through repetition, that joke version fused with my actual memory of what happened.” Yet, Gadsby as a good liberal and a good stand-in for pomo liberalism, must not accept this proposition that the joke makes her, for the orthodoxy of monohumanism establishes integration and fullness as the sufficient condition for heterogeneity (and thus personal identity); therefore, the joke for her hides truth rather than shows it.

For what is her truth but her identity? her unified experience? No wonder the yin-yang of the joke, the eternal flux of the symbolic, is swept away for the Trinitarian formulation of sign exchange found in the story and its promise of an integral subject. In other words, ‘Nanette’ is trash.

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ANNOTATIONS OF COMPOSITION OF SEVENTY-THREE BY ANDREI MONASTYRSKI by Katherine Beaman

  1. first thought: implication of a climb and moment of ease
  2. occupation and tools of labor → work
  3. smallness
  4. separated halves like images from prior work, isolated body parts
  5. whimsical, tender view of life
  6. possessive without object, occupation or hybrid human-object
  7. “box” and “rowboat” are shapes to return to
  8. play on variations of meanings derived from a root word (“dressy, dresses, dresses”), sexual 
  9. shelter, tools of labor, resting place
  10. use of verbs which may also be plural nouns (does this happen in Russian?), actually forms something of a coherent sentence, wordplay of “doers”
  11. brings up coherent imagery of stormy waters
  12. girlish
  13. rhythmic, still coherent groupings of objects
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  15. seems to tell something of a narrative of a sea journey, “pony” stands out as an outlier word or a stand-in
  16. death and war
  17. playful, seemingly with the idea of death
  18. wreckage, something toddler-like
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  20. very disruptive from flow like a rest in sheet music, says as much as a melody does
  21. detritus
  22. boiled-down landscape painting of seascape
  23. creates a rhythm from invented words
  24. mythological–possible allusion here
  25. is the poem moving through the seasons? 
  26. land-oriented, agrarian, seasonal professions
  27. gritty and sinister killing professions
  28. inversion of playfulness of death with the darkness of infancy and birth
  29. (29-1) number system begins to deconstruct; word inventions using root words that have previously been introduced; each “word” is a complete idea in and of itself–this breaks down our notion of the role of words within sentences as fragments of meaning; (29-2) harsh break from preceding cluttered words; nouns made of superlatives; word inventions from combination of previous words; words lose meaning the more they are altered and built-upon; single “word” broken into parts made of actual altered versions of words; (29-3) landscape description becoming increasingly fleshed-out and revised; (29-4) dedication to A. Rabinovich is specific — who was this person? why dedicate only a portion of the poem? de-constructing into seeming nonsense, but we know nothing is truly nonsense for to deem something as nonsense is to find some sort of meaning in it, if only that it is nonsense; unpronounceable, placeholder letter combinations–first Monastyrski deconstructs the word, then the letters within the words; creation of self-contradictory “words”; (29-5) here I give up on annotating and read the words aloud with Hayes and Spencer on the Joe’s Coffee patio
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  73. culmination in exaltation!
Continue Reading ANNOTATIONS OF COMPOSITION OF SEVENTY-THREE BY ANDREI MONASTYRSKI by Katherine Beaman