Category: Issue 12

March Saturated

At a thought’s
margin, phrases
splinter, litter breath.
Mudscape—

a given metaphor—
assembles the unsaid.

Ashen, angular
patches of ice
jut into so much
swamped geometry.

Let the day cohere

in the day’s breakage
and mimic spring.

Gauzy sunburst
striping the thaw.

***

Joseph Massey is the author of Illocality (Wave Books) and At the Point (Omnidawn), as well as many other books and chapbooks. He lives and writes in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts.

Home Economics

-after Kara Candito

 

I.

Consequences are lifeless until people

make them breathe.

 

II.

Landlords often die of heart attacks

and in the confusion the rent check they lost

will be deposited and, logically,

overdraw your account.

 

III.

You must understand, a bank is a business and they cannot

give away things for free. They know your card was declined

at the grocery store. It is due to four overdraft fees

totaling $140.

 

IV.

For Purposes of subparagraph (A), the term “actual direct compensatory damages” does not include—

(i) punitive or exemplary damages;

(ii) damages for lost profits or opportunity; or

(iii) damages for pain and suffering.

 

V.

Make sure you keep an accurate check book register. It will be essential

for the teller to point out why the bank is not responsible

for your overdraft.

 

VI.

Empathy has no place in banking. Salaries

are paid with their bad math—do your part.

 

VII.

Henceforth, “You” shall refer to each person who is a signer of the document as well as those legally connected to and/or responsible for the signer.

 

VIII.

The fourth of five landlords we paid to live

on E. Shore Drive told us we could stay until spring

or when my father died

(whichever comes first).

 

IX.

You see, he wasn’t interested in being

a landlord in the first place—just needs a place

for his boat to winter in safety; have you seen the cost

of dry boat storage?

 

X.

In February he’ll say, “you know, this is working out

after all. I see your dad has died but you can keep paying

rent here if you want.”

 

XI.

I don’t.

 

XII.

When you are 22 and each home

you’ve lived in has been forcibly taken away

from you, the only logical choice is to buy

the house your new landlord put up for sale.

 

XIII.

In the current market a home is a good investment;

The Fed has lowered interest rates to historic levels

 

XIV.

in an attempt to stave off economic collapse.

 

XV.

Buy now, add a patio, and you’ll make ten grand in 5 years.

 

XVI.

Don’t worry about your credit card debt

or that you only work part-time. Lenders don’t look

too closely at DTI ratios these days.

 

XVII.

Closing Costs, which shall include, but not be limited to: origination fee, discount points fee, appraisal fee, credit report fee, EPA endorsement fee, home inspection fee, legal fees, documentation preparation/compliance fees, escrow fee, recording fee, survey fee;

 

XVIII.

“The neighborhood is borderline. See.

No gang tags. And there,

just on the other side of that razor-wire

fence is the very desirable

Westnedge Hill Neighborhood. See how close?”

 

XIX.

You ask, “will my son go to that elementary

when he is old enough?”

 

XX.

“No,” you hear. “Wrong

tax base,” he says.

 

XXI.

You won’t worry. This is only a starter home;

 

XXII.

we’ll move out of here before long.

 

XXIII.

Your mortgage lender will miscalculate the numbers

a little to get you to $600 a month. They can’t afford to lose

the sale due to something as silly

 

XXIV.

as a $1,000 annual error. You’ll be able

to pay that with a 30 day notice at the end of the year.

 

XXV.

The proper identification of new account holders is essential not only for the safety

of other customers and the reputation of the bank but is fundamental to preventing

the spread of terrorism. Obtain new account holder permission

 

XXVI.

to pull credit so that additional loans can be put through in the process.

 

XXVII.

You will learn the meaning of 2008.

 

XXVIII.

Gunshots or fireworks is a fun summertime game

in this neighborhood. If only you can ignore the dead

13 year old draining into his sheets at 11am on a Sunday.

 

XXIX.

You’ll ask for help to get out.

 

XXX.

“There’s nothing we can do,” the realtor will say. “Real Estate is a gamble

and a lot of people have lost. Take me, for instance. I had to sell

two of my rentals since 2008. Took a loss on them

both. Thank goodness my home is paid off.

Anyway, yes, your home

 

XXXI.

Is underwater now. Almost 50k. Sorry for your luck.

 

XXXII.

Optimistic reports show that housing prices are on the rise in states other than Michigan.

 

XXXIII.

“You see,” the realtor will say, “if I were to sell this house

for you, here, today, I would put it on the market for fifty

and be happy to get forty. That’s on the high end

of the comps I’ve pulled in the area.”

 

XXXIV

At some point, you will realize the correlation between

the phrase “your mortgage is underwater,” and the undertow

of the neighborhood.

 

XXXV.

This realization will make you stop paying your mortgage.

 

XXXVI.

In general.— No provision of this paragraph shall be construed as limiting the right

of the corporation as receiver to assign the contract described in subparagraph (A)

and sell the property.

 

XXXVII.

You will receive letters that explain

how to remain in your home if you are having trouble

paying your mortgage. The letters cannot help

if you want to move out.

 

XXXVIII.

When your son sees your foreclosed home

he will shout, “my home!”

 

XXXIX.

Try to find a way to explain the concept of foreclosure

to a two year old.

 

XL.

See: IV; subparagraph (A), section (i)

 

XLI.

Ignore phone calls from the following states: Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Florida. If they leave a message,

 

XLII.

delete it after they say the bank’s name. You will become

very well practiced at this.

 

XLIII.

Give up the glitter of fresh snow

for the sun bathed pale tan of Kansas.

 

XLIV.

Signers agree that by applying for a loan with the lender, signers accept as “satisfactory”

the lender, lender’s loan terms, interest rate, discount points and conditions,

and that the financing contingency shall be utilized only if the lender disapproves

the loan due to financial circumstances.

XLV.

Your foreclosure will be published

in industry magazines so expect to receive

letters which attempt to talk you into bankruptcy.

They cannot help you if you want to get out.

 

XLVI.

Try your best to explain the concept of distance to your son.

 

XLVII.

He will say, “Where Miss-cha-shin?” You reply, “far away.”

“Oh. Where Boppa? With Gamma?” Don’t let him see you answer,

 

XLVIII.

“far away.”

 

XLIX.

See: IV; subparagraph (A), section (iii)

 

L.

If collections agencies cannot contact you, they will call

your parents, neighbors, and old friends. Their propaganda

campaign starts early in the foreclosure process.

 

LI.

If the property is considered vacant the lender may take action

to take possession of and sell the home 30 days.

 

LII.

See: IV; subparagraph (A), section (i)

 

LIII

Think about the slide you built

in your front yard for your son.

You had to leave it behind. It won’t fit

in an apartment.

 

LIV.

Once the bank takes your home they will sell

it at sheriff’s auction.

 

LV.

A collections agent

will be in contact so you can

pay the balance unpaid

by the final auction price.

 

LVI.

Your son will try to find the courage

to go down City Park’s covered slide—its darkness

only broken by the sun-glow of your ankles.

 

LVII.

As you wait for him you feel your phone hum

with collection agents. It tries to tell you that

only credit scores die during foreclosure.

[IS]LAND

Into a yellowing spring. I now see

Eleven years into my adulthood

I am a woman who will empty herself

Of resistance upon encounter of light,

Of any color.

I do not hesitate to drive, or even walk,

In the direction of deep shades

Of zodiacal darkening. Of the hot

Pink electronic emptiness

Released in any neighbor’s window. What is worse is when

An area

Unexpectedly unlocks,  whitens and blinds.  I

Am unlikely to open my own mail. Unbound,

I like to live

Lightly,  in love with loosed earth,  unlimited

To dirt, demarcated not by roots or the limbs

Of other’s trees, but by fallen leaves, the wash

Off graves. I know I sound like a little ghoul

Girl but too often I want to stand at a platform, a sub

Way structure ajar into winter and not wish for other

Seasons or times, of course I have lived all these

Years under and I am committed to understanding

The intent of animals with eyes not opened

Up all the way. Moles, little rock babies, unhaired

Fatty mammals don’t differentiate between

Dream and day, do not invent a thing like

A curtain. What is furniture except another

Apparatus

A way to insist on eating inside a human house? I

Try harder & I try higher to send sounds through

The tubes & tunnels that access womanish words, I

Pull closed the shower door, I cover my nails beds

With lacquer and shine and in another effort at imposs

Ible peopling, I speak and sound like ideas. Red, pink

Plastic carnations, photos, other fancy trash

Flooded out from the uppermost monuments

Fence the edges of the memory garden. Far

Away a flying thing rings itself with its own

Feathers, it takes hours and it takes hours and

It happens everyday and as I approach the season

Of the extension of the light

I try also

To enter the circlet, to be not only surrounded    but touched

***

Candice Wuehle is the author of the chapbooks curse words: a guide in 19 steps for aspiring transmographs (Dancing Girl Press, 2014) and EARTH*AIR*FIRE*WATER*ÆTHER (Grey Books Press, 2015). Her work can be found in Tarpaulin Sky, The Volta, The Colorado Review, SPORK, and PRELUDE, among others. She is originally from Iowa City, Iowa and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Candice currently resides in Lawrence, Kansas where she is a Chancellor’s Fellow at The University of Kansas as well as Poetry Editor for Beecher’s Magazine.

A New Photo for Agee

In abandoned factories gather abandoned people

who no longer do anything with abandon.

 

Look!  An assembly worker without a thing to build

like a sharecropper without soil to turn.

 

The massive conveyor system of steady employment

has broken, the machinery of work has ground

 

to a halt, the rope unravels that leads to hope.

Wealth begets wealth.  Only poverty

 

gets redistributed among the poor.

See?  A rich person is unlike any other, distinguishable,

 

but a poor person is like all others, extinguishable.

The large man in the photo crouching

 

in the dimly lit corner, he could be a street orphan,

or turned another way, a single mom.

 

***

 

Jeff Burt has works in manufacturing.  He has work in Thrice Fiction, Mobius:  A Journal for Social Change, Star 82 Review, Storm Cellar, and Word Soup.  He won the 2011 SuRaa short fiction award.

 

 

Chaosmosis Engine

“Financial Black Hole and the Vanishing World”

 

When crisis seems more crisis

than economics                the collapse

 

of dangers is replaced

in the machine by awakening

 

hidden nights of rage in English

suburbs. Algorithmic spells

 

of cognitive labor, intellect

dispossessed of the erotic.

 

Automatism of the human

swarm . The happy ending

 

is hypercomplex interfaces

trapped in inescapable

 

patterns. Invasion of the possible.

Financial obligation is a swarm.

 

Your rebellion is irrelevant,

is a swarm provoked by debt

 

of the symbolic family. Privatization

of dependence means more

 

information means less meaning.

The escape of the word

 

into financial formats.

Parthogenesis:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Semio-Inflation”

 

Signs

without

flesh

realized

through

search

engines.

 

A sphere of hyperinclusion.

The magic

of value without muscular

work dissolving products

into motors.

Voice reactivation.

 

Abandonment of the emotional.

The desiring force reduced

to protocols.

The voice is reemergence

of recombinability.

 

Sensuousness exploding.

An infinite slippage of sensuousness.

The monstruous singularity

cannot be compassionate,

 

open to becoming

other. A desert enunciation.

Poison of daily life. The oil

 

of eviction.  Perturbation in response

to perturbation.               Autonomy:

 

the ability to escape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Future Exhaustion and Happy Frugality”

 

 

Chaosmosis is the network,         polysemy of mimickry.

 

 

Scriptural machines and their avatars exchange voice

 

 

for submission.                                 An umbilical of extrinsic

 

 

coordinates at the junction of ambiguity and standardization.

 

 

Enunciation is the rhizome.         The disaster of subjectivity.

 

 

The subjectivity                of disaster           An acceleration of loneliness.

 

 

Extinction is finite.           Desire, infinite.                The sensitive

 

 

organism is the threshold.           We cannot think. We cannot

 

 

say.        What we cannot say is the world.             The world

 

 

resides in language.        Digital finance is a closed reality.

 

 

A new barbarism.                            The violence  of finitude.

 

 

The ironic act traversing the logic of excess.         The game

 

 

to create,            to play,                                to shuffle, a mechanism

 

 

to disentangle   age and act                         from the limits of debt.

 

 

 

*Sections titles are extracted from Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s “The Uprising. Lines are reconfigurations and erasures from the same text.

 

***

 

Vincent Toro has an MFA in poetry from Rutgers University. He is winner of the 2015 Sawtooth Poetry Prize and is recipient of a Poet’s House Emerging Poets Fellowship and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. His poems have been published in The Buenos Aires Review, The Acentos Review, Codex, The Journal, and in the anthologies CHORUS: A Literary Mixtape, and The Waiting Room Reader 2. He lives and teaches in The Bronx with his wife, writer and scholar Dr. Grisel Acosta. His collection, “Stereo.Island.Mosaic.” is forthcoming in January 2016 from Ahasahta Press.

Bay Area, Figurative Revisited, Joan Brown 2

forrest_bay_area_figurative_revisited_joan_brown_2_ink_oil_pastel_2015

***

Graphic artist and painter Allen Forrest was born in Canada and bred in the U.S. He has created cover art and illustrations for literary publications and books. He is the winner of the Leslie Jacoby Honor for Art at San Jose State University’s Reed Magazine and his Bel Red painting series is part of the Bellevue College Foundation’s permanent art collection. Forrest’s expressive drawing and painting style is a mix of avant-garde expressionism and post-Impressionist elements reminiscent of van Gogh, creating emotion on canvas.

 

Bay Area, Figurative Revisited, Joan Brown 3

forrest_bay_area_figurative_revisited_joan_brown_3_ink_oil_pastel_2015

***

Born in Canada and bred in the U.S., Allen Forrest has worked in many mediums: computer graphics, theater, digital music, film, video, drawing and painting. Allen studied acting in the Columbia Pictures Talent Program in Los Angeles and digital media in art and design at Bellevue College (receiving degrees in Web Multimedia Authoring and Digital Video Production.) He currently works in the Vancouver, Canada, as a graphic artist and painter. He is the winner of the Leslie Jacoby Honor for Art at San Jose State University’s Reed Magazine and his Bel Red painting series is part of the Bellevue College Foundation’s permanent art collection. Forrest’s expressive drawing and painting style is a mix of avant-garde expressionism and post-Impressionist elements reminiscent of van Gogh, creating emotion on canvas.

Modern Masters Revisited – Picasso, Guernica 6

forrest_modern_masters_revisited_picasso_guernica_6_ink_2015

***

Graphic artist and painter Allen Forrest was born in Canada and bred in the U.S. He has created cover art and illustrations for literary publications and books. He is the winner of the Leslie Jacoby Honor for Art at San Jose State University’s Reed Magazine and his Bel Red painting series is part of the Bellevue College Foundation’s permanent art collection. Forrest’s expressive drawing and painting style is a mix of avant-garde expressionism and post-Impressionist elements reminiscent of van Gogh, creating emotion on canvas.

Modern Masters Revisited – Picasso, Guernica 4

forrest_modern_masters_revisited_picasso_guernica_4_ink_oil_pastel_2015

***

Graphic artist and painter Allen Forrest was born in Canada and bred in the U.S. He has created cover art and illustrations for literary publications and books. He is the winner of the Leslie Jacoby Honor for Art at San Jose State University’s Reed Magazine and his Bel Red painting series is part of the Bellevue College Foundation’s permanent art collection. Forrest’s expressive drawing and painting style is a mix of avant-garde expressionism and post-Impressionist elements reminiscent of van Gogh, creating emotion on canvas.

Modern Masters Revisited – Picasso, Guernica 2

forrest_modern_masters_revisited_picasso_guernica_2_ink_oil_pastel_2015

***

Graphic artist and painter Allen Forrest was born in Canada and bred in the U.S. He has created cover art and illustrations for literary publications and books. He is the winner of the Leslie Jacoby Honor for Art at San Jose State University’s Reed Magazine and his Bel Red painting series is part of the Bellevue College Foundation’s permanent art collection. Forrest’s expressive drawing and painting style is a mix of avant-garde expressionism and post-Impressionist elements reminiscent of van Gogh, creating emotion on canvas.