(parenthetical): issue nine september 2015

 

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Issue nine of the bi-monthly literary magazine from words(on)pages, (parenthetical). Featuring poetry from, fiction from, a comic-poem by Mark Laliberte, and non-fiction by William Kemp

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(parenthetical) issue nine september two thousand and fifteen

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contents - issue nine Note from the Editors Skip This One if You Have a Dick poetry by E. Kristin Anderson The Underside of the Alphabet (A Dream Abecedary) poetry by Natalie Morrill The environmental impact of Ontario’s strawberry farms poetry by Terry Abrahams #5 from Maman fiction by Alana I. Capria The Drink poetry by Laura MacDonald paraglyph vi poetry by tyson john atkings procession poetry by joeseph ianni Leopold and Margarita poetry by Margaryta Golovchenko Lewis and Clark did it before Montana was Montana poetry by Jason Paradiso In the Space Where the Spare Tire is Kept poetry by Christina M. Rau Stranded poetry by Clay Everest non-fiction— A dysfunctional relationship with honesty by William Kemp w

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Skip This One if You Have a Dick I’m not sorry that I bled on the sheets again. I’m not. There are other things keeping me up tonight—the Bermuda Triangle has found a way to hover over Texas and I look up at the sky and watch Cassiopeia sit rigid in her chair. Girl, I think, get the fuck down. Bleed with the rest of us and curse the bleeding because it feels like poison inside you. Here is how we are the same: stuck. Stuck in that is this real? feeling of overdue bills, broken dishwashers, and hotdogs for dinner. Stuck, watching the same goddamned satellites gaze upon you and whisper to cable TV and NASA and that jackass Putin. (Put on a shirt. We don’t bleed for you.) Cass, you bled for children and I bleed for hope. I bleed for my own personal Bermuda curse. My belly swells with imagined rot and so I imagine arms around me, soothing the ache, reaching for the tears and saying every time, every time, every time, you must believe in value. And I will say, this makes me sick, and strong, and more. E. Kristin Anderson q

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The The Underside Underside of of the the Alphabet Alphabet A, en-dessous: Silent with umlaut. In Seville, we see it grafted onto the names of classical composers killed in bullfights. B, en-dessous: Unpronounceable disaster of a letter. On the tongue it should feel like a lozenge of packed peat. Clot the ink and let it blot the paper: thus, this letter. C, en-dessous: In the form of two freckled wrists reaching down through water, and written in cream-coloured ink, necessarily. Derived from the Synesthesian wamb, the flavour of drowning. D, en-dessous: Often used to denote the sound of children bathing; cloven in two pieces, one at either end of a line of text. Each piece resembles, in profile, the face of a person the writer remembered unexpectedly. E, en-dessous: If written on crêpe, it should be pronounced “-yg” (partly choked); if written on stone, it is not a letter, but an accident of glaciation, and pronounced “öhj.” In either case it is framed to the left and to the right by quiet breathing.

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(A Dream Abecedary) F, en-dessous: Twist the lips into a canoe and pronounce by whistling through the teeth. Inscribe this letter with a heavy hand: inaudible if erased and re-written. Z, en-dessous: Traditionally added to any word the speaker pronounces while drunk; written with a dull pencil, slant-wise. Often crossed out, in which case it should be voiced (whether jovial or tragic) with a hiccup. H, en-dessous: Controversial. Linguists point to its application in Flemish chorales and propose that it be pronounced liltingly, as if by a flute; others, noting its form, argue that it be classed as pornographic marginalia, and erased. I, en-dessous: Like a trout darting among reeds through angled light: the beautiful letter, spoken in an unconscious flicker of the eyes. K, en-dessous: An anti-letter. To write, dribble water over printed text. Pronounced in scalloped paper, rings of ink.

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L, en-dessous: An inversion of the throated “ng”; requires that the speaker have a full set of teeth. Written, the letter is more forgiving, and resembles a reiterated Ω. M, en-dessous: This letter has no known use apart from its inscription on parcels, the delivery of which it seems to expedite. N, en-dessous: Once, having just returned from a trip through China, by the end of which I hardly knew myself, and with the city honeyed by afternoon glow, I passed my brother’s apartment on the 44 bus and it seemed appropriate that I should pull the cord, push through the rear door and run up to his buzzer which I’d press, and he’d answer, and we’d boil spaghetti and enjoy each other’s adult voices, but instead I stayed in my seat; I went home and didn’t speak to him that week, or again at all until his birthday – this letter reminds me of that time. P, en-dessous: Voiced in C sharp; if flat, the letter becomes a vowel. Some say its form mimics the borders of the ancient Carthaginian Republic while, in truth, the Republic apes the letter, which has atrophied over centuries of use – some doubt that it survives at all. S, en-dessous: In season April through June, during which time it lends a sweet lime flavour to any word that takes it. Out of season, the reader finds herself wearied on seeing it; she closes her book without thinking; she turns to look outside and pronounces this letter in thin, hungered sighs. Natalie Morrill

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O how much electricity goes into each bite between steps, these strawberries costing my teeth their whiteness I know the body burns energy. I know the body produces electricity. I know the soul cannot be seen, but it can be projected. I take a bite, a step, each print left behind in slot of mud or snow distant proof of my passing. how much electricity does it take to pick yellow seeds from between my teeth to remind myself that there are parts with no feeling. how much of the body is already dead and how much electricity would it take to bring it all back again The environmental impact of Ontario’s strawberry farms Terry Abrahams O

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#5 from Maman Alana I. Capria There was a howling behind the walls. It was long and loud and constant. It shook the shutters. It hung from the eaves. It whipped the curtains. It made the beds lumpy. Mother stood in the midst of that howling with her mouth closed. When she breathed, her nostrils flared. The howling grew louder. We clapped our hands to our ears to drown out the sound but it wove its way between our fingers. It pushed into our heads. We begged mother to stop the howling but she barely looked at us. She sat on the floor in front of us, her knees on the floor, and when she finally looked at us, it was with a wide, tight-lipped smile. The howling came again. It dripped from the ceiling and rose up from the floor. It came from each wall. It surrounded us. The howling was deep and piercing. It had metallic undertones, a tinny after-melody. When mother cocked her head to the side, the howling deepened into a yowling. The yowling was just as terrible. The yowling made our stomachs loosen. We were afraid we would wet our pants but we did not. We kept our urine in. Mother stood up. She went to the refrigerator, took out a gallon of milk, and poured us each a glass. The milk foamed into a thin head at the top of each glass. Mother brought the glasses to us. She offered them with the same smile she wore before the yowling. She gestured for us to drink. We were afraid to. She nudged our fists with the glasses. The glass was wet with condensation. The house always had a clammy coldness but the milk was chillier than that. Beads of water dripped down the glass sides and struck the floor. We took the glasses from mother. The yowling was in our ears. It was in our throats. If we opened our mouths, the yowling would come from those deep places we were not supposed to know. We opened our mouths. The yowling increased. The milk was not fresh. We smelled the sourness. The white was off. Yellow bits suspended in the milk. But mother insisted that we drink. She went through all the trouble of pouring r

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the glasses for us. It would be wasteful if we refused to drink what she gave. We placed our lips to the glass rims and sipped slowly, our eyes raised to mother. She nodded her head as we drank. She encouraged the sipping. She mouthed, More, more, more. She made us drink until the glasses were empty. The milk’s sourness was worse in swallowed what was left. We sipped the remaining bubbles. The dairy settled in our stomachs heavily. Mother nodded her head. She took the glasses away. The yowling came again. It swooped and fell. It struck our faces. Our stomachs gurgled with discontentment. Mother crawled forward. She crawled fast, the yowling pursuing her, and her limbs rotated around one another. She pressed an ear to one stomach, then another. She listened to our digestive troubles. The grumbling grew louder. It was almost worse than the yowling which raised in tone until it was again a howling. Mother opened her mouth and blew into our belly buttons. The howling was in the soft breath. She howled into our bodies. She grabbed our hands to her throat and howled into our palms. She howled while looking up at our faces. She howled into our ears. She howled until she fainted upon the floor, pale in the face, limp in the limbs. And still, the howling went on. The howling came from her and from the empty chairs and from the windows. The howling came snaking up from the basement. The our mouths. It was on our gums and teeth. We licked the taste from our lips. We howling was produced in the back of the oven. The howling grew and grew. It was so high-pitched that we thought our ears would bleed. We called to one another but the howling overtook our voices. Even our screams were faint. Then father came home and slammed a door. Then the howling stopped immediately. Then the house was so silent, we were desperate to yell. We took turns in the bathroom, vomiting whatever in our stomach needed to be vomited. q

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The Drink I am marooned; bottles drift in, their notes already read, their red already drunk. The sea sways, crashing slaphappy against the beach, staggeringly vast. The punch-drunk shore cannot tell me the way home. If I could only get three sheets to the wind I might get out of here but I can only bottle the hot sand at my feet, a souvenir, a wish-you-werehere, and send it home on the waves and close my eyes while it sinks. Laura MacDonald

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paraglyph vi \\(spa)rk]* (\i/N))*//th€ >>/N*ght:/(l*t tl3)))) *# blu ! * {f|ashes} oN|\|N|\|\___nn. t*he| | | b|ank et /as+if*--t’w3 re-//blk\\//cat\\//fur\\ \\//\\//\\//\\//\\//\\// | i | | i | || | |i| | tyson john atkings

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