At sixteen, I worked after high school hours
at a printing plant
that manufactured legal pads:
stacked seven feet high
as I slipped cardboard
between the pages,
then brushed red glue
up and down the stack.
No gloves: fingertips required
for the perfection of paper,
smoothing the exact rectangle.
Sluggish by 9 PM, the hands
would slide along suddenly sharp paper,
and gather slits thinner than the crevices
of the skin, hidden.
Then the glue would sting,
till both palms burned
at the punchclock.
Ten years later, in law school,
I knew that every legal pad
was glued with the sting of hidden cuts,
that every open lawbook
was a pair of hands
upturned and burning.
The language is not Narn, or Human, or Centauri, or Gaim or Minbari
It speaks in the language of hope
It speaks in the language of trust
It speaks in the language of strength and the language of compassion
It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul.
But always it is the same voice
It is the voice of our ancestors, speaking through us,
And the voice of our inheritors, waiting to be born
It is the small, still voice that says
We are one
No matter the blood
No matter the skin
No matter the world
No matter the star:
We are one
No matter the pain
No matter the darkness
No matter the loss
No matter the fear
We are one
Here, gathered together in common cause, we agree to recognize this
singular truth and this singular rule:
That we must be kind to one another
Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us and each voice lost
We are the voice of the Universe, the soul of creation, the fire
that will light the way to a better future.
We are one.
your sternum is a divining rod
for both passion and grief. because the tongue is the body’s
strongest muscle, make it say
joy. make it say I am a factory of splendid things. make it say
the octopus is the smartest animal
in the animal kingdom, and I am an octopus. I am an octopus.
I am happy. my survival
was not an accident, or purposeless.
a mind can travel
and own. Something
human. And when I look into my hands
I do not know
if they are full
or empty. I do not know
if there is enough here
to justify, my
I once told a joke about a straight person.
They came after me in droves.
Each one singing the same:
Don’t fight fire with fire.
What they mean is: Don’t fight fire with anything.
Do not fight fire with water.
Do not fight fire with foam.
Do not evacuate the people.
Do not sound the alarms.
Do not crawl coughing and choking and spluttering to safety.
Do not barricade the door with damp towels.
Do not wave a white flag out of the window.
Do not take the plunge from several storeys up.
Do not shed a tear for your lover trapped behind a wall of flame.
Do not curse the combination of fuel, heat, and oxygen.
Do not ask why the fire fighters are not coming.
When they say: Don’t fight fire with fire.
What they mean is: Stand and burn.
Lauren Zuniga - “Benediction for the Hustlers & the Gardeners”
"You blink with more passion than some people make love with."
A little reminder of how important it is to keep chasing your passion. We’ve been on a bit of a Lauren Zuniga kick lately as we work through old footage in preparation for our next big filming events at CUPSI and WoWPS. We hope you’re enjoying her too.
Hate Letters to Poems
Poetry does MORE than unsettle. Poems are not pretty righteous little things screaming out dirty laundry. Poems are cyclones destroying lives. Brew me a fucking storm ok? ok.
(Sorry if I piss you off)
(You can punch me later if you want)
and for this issue we’re only taking submissions from people whose poetry we have not published before!
(If you’ve submitted to us before that’s fine, just, not if you’ve had po’try in a previous issue)
Guidelines (I know, the upcoming issue info is out of date, we shall change that when Rose…