Unraveling By Evan Anderson

Issue 6

Last night I dreamed the Obama administration
held its final congregation in my kitchen. Wolves licked
the window panes. “We don’t need your governance
here,” said they.  “For she is but a wannabe vlogger
made of egg-whites and circa-1999-puns.

The Chief smiled that smile that melts the TV cameras
and whistled down the sink. Jewelers came wriggling out
of the neck of the plumbing and checked my fingers
for diamonds, frowned, then smirked my loneliness.

“I almost married a cricketer once,” I offered too quickly, and
everyone knew.

Everyone knew, because of course the TV cameras
hadn’t actually melted. The Canadian soon-to-be anthropologist
I brought home last night came out and gave Obama
a friendly jab to the ribs, made a joke about agriculture
and was promptly clapped in irons. I looked to the wolves,

but they had become GIFs of bears, and I looked
around the room though no one seemed to notice, but
everyone knew.

Everyone knew that in this moment absolutely everything
was unraveling except for their precious bylines and
I wondered: Would things have been different if I
had brought home a meteorologist?

 

Source: Twitter, first name challenge

Evan Anderson lives and writes in a bowl of a city, surrounded by swamps and brimming with stories and music. He has work published in Gone Lawn, Cleaver Magazine, Cease, Cows, and others. www.evanmichaelanderson.com.

Two Erasures By Glenn Freeman

Issue 6

Artness: A Sonnet

an erasure of Dean Young

Let us suppose the impossible. Let us
forget ourselves. The nagging intention
always intends otherwise. Pay attention
and reconceive the fuel. We should fess up,
forgive ourselves, whisper the names of the dead
like clouds under waves. Desire always becomes
authority, music and incantation: One
fish, two fish:
the words are ahead
of the self’s multiplication, the life-
affirming perversity. We begin
to speak as verbs, a constant flickering.
Evolution doesn’t solve problems; it finds,
fits, makes do. Toto pulls back the curtain:
It is impossible not to make something.

Source Text: Dean Young, The Art of Recklessness (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2010)

Syllabus for a Class on Modernism: An Erasure

When does the modern begin? The poets’
range defined in relation, the same frame
but not until an audience. Tanks and planes
and poison gas: into the unfiltered,
the insurgent throb. Rites and myths come in-
to god: cinema, radio, new drugs;
Planck, Einstein, cityscape, polyglot:
influence is unknowable, golden,
and wholly other. Should art take its place?
The thing: a chiseled classicism?
The drama, a mental dreamscape? Expect him
to indicate the untranslatable:
no finish; dashes rather than prose.
Very well, the rapture selects her focus.

Source Text: Syllabus, ENG 361, Glenn Freeman, Cornell College


Glenn Freeman lives in small town Iowa with his wife and two cats. He teaches writing and American literature at Cornell College. He has published two collections of poems: Keeping the Tigers Behind Us and Traveling Light.

Let Your Yes Mean Yes By Peter Vanderberg

Issue 6

Let Your Yes Mean Yes

God has set before you
fire & water

choose life
& death shall be given

Blessed are they
who seek

We speak a wisdom
not of this age

what eye has entered
the human heart

Let your yes mean yes
& your no mean no

Anything more is from the evil one

 

Source Text: Catholic liturgical readings from the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Peter Vanderberg is the founding editor of Ghostbird Press. He served in the US Navy from 1999 – 2003 and received a MFA from CUNY Queens College. His work has appeared in various literary journals, and his chapbook Crossing Pleasant Lake has recently been published by Red Bird Press.

Grad School Distress By Robert Vogt

Issue 6

I have a strange idea that it’s all out there already like online in little “this is what I did today in class and it worked really well…” And then taking it and putting it in the ‘flow’ mode or ‘zone’… and I’m praying that you’ll see what I put on paper (or NOT see it until you put your stuff up onto another file …) and then compare them and see which one we can pull the wool over their eyes with.

My horse-sense is that you have read it deeper and have a clearer understanding and could help make the book genuinely interesting…

AND THEN we could sort of put our little study in there as an inside side note and add quotes from students we’ve looked at and interviewed (like I said just ask them in a timed writing who their favorite teacher was and why and how they can best learn languages …) and we just categorize what they say [might want to do this while semester’s still going on …] and then we do like I said in chapter 4 or 5 about how to be a better teacher…some suggestions and as we go into it add Language Teaching 101 shit that we can easily find on some Dave’s ESL Café post.

We could say Fred a medical student from Malaysia when forced to memorize 50 medical terms that were totally foreign to him he would create flashcards and play flashcard games in which he placed them upside down and shuffled them around until he could guess which one. Sounds like a language learning strategy but it’s also a way to convince self to get into flow because you’re metacognitively putting the cognitive stress load of learning the words into a game. When we asked Fred why he’d go to all the trouble to make the cards he said that it made his learning more fun and interesting and he’d pretend he was in Vegas at a fancy casino. “When I took the test, I think I was the only one smiling because I had made it fun for myself and the stress [was] gone…”

 

Source text: A thesis advisor’s email.

Robert Vogt worked as a custodian for a number of years until switching to EFL educator after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. His work has appeared in Horror, Sleaze and Trash and Fuck Fiction. His chapbook “Stilnox and Stolichnaya” and his novel “Conceived in Iniquity” are available at Lulu.com.

Letter to a Future Lover By Zach Linge

Issue 6

Dusty winds may exist.
Dangerous winds.
Dust   storms may exist.

Zero visibility possible.
Do not stop in travel lanes.
Use extreme caution.

Silver City: Think Wilderness.
Slower traffic keep right.
Silver City: Think

Colorful.   Care
For your loved one,
Care for yourself. Use

Extreme caution.
Continental divide
fireworks.   Roadwork

Next 10 miles. Left lane.
Left lane closed.
Pedestrians prohibited.

Dead end. Prison facilities
In this area; Notice:
Please do not   pick up

Hitchhikers. Lonesome Road.
Pedestrians. Missile range
Headquarters.

After you die, you will meet
God. Put your money
where the miracles are.

 

Source: This text, excluding the title, is lifted in exactness from roadside signs off Interstate 10 East, from the Salton Sea to San Antonio. Periods denote the end of each sign, billboard, or post. While countless found texts were excised in this poem’s creation, it remains true to the order of the signs as they occur.

Zach Linge is a graduate student at The University of Texas at San Antonio, and a UT Austin alumnus. Previous poems are published in Nimrod International Journal, Permafrost Magazine, and HotHouse Literary Journal, among others. His critical foci include queer and affect theory, the history of witchcraft, and the contemporary novel.

Grieg’s Slätter Fib By PJ Wren

Issue 6

my
kits
are all
gone mad they
cry for bones, they break
the dam, they bite no bark nor brook
the otter’s hold. Hail them all, the pillars of the church!
Hail the broad march, hail the spring dance, hail the telemark, and make the fairy goblins dance!

 

Source: Song titles from Grieg’s Slätter, as performed by Eva Knardahl

PJ Wren is scientist and writer from Kensington, Maryland. Her poems have appeared in The Lake, After the Pause, and Plum Tree Tavern.

Credo By Howie Good

Issue 6

Sun on the horizon
letter from a yellow cherry blossom

I focus on that
which interests me

This world

the concretization
of these things
flying around me

a small largeness
like happiness

Source: Titles of films made by Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase

Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.

Barnaby Tadpole is Just My Pen Name By Derek Owens

Issue 6

Hadley has never succumbed. Why Clayton that’s not true. You have friends up and down the corporate ladder. Come on snookums show us that knowing little smile of the insider.

The items with the little asterisks penciled alongside them are the ones I personally think are great. Evolution’s been good to you Sid.I don’t want any of this soft luggage. Show me some hard luggage.

He is shocked to discover the unavailability of blubber his favorite snack. He claims that at those points in time he was seeing Nicholas Nickleby. Why Austin you put on your happy face.

I for one don’t see how Herman Melville relates to our lifestyle. Pollution has robbed skin of its natural beauty. Thanks but there’s really nothing to do while the meat’s smoking. Let’s see a computer give you a haircut like that.

Well now how’s the old noggin today. Today I became corrupt absolutely. This is Meg everybody. She’s very interested in coal.

Frankly Mr. Dudley I find your wife’s cooking to be quite delicious. That’s one itchy trigger finger.Look all I’m asking is that we let market forces bring a greater degree of efficiency into our marriage. I’m an entirely self-taught nun.

I couldn’t hack it in L. A. I was too decontextualized. Nevermore. And you can quote me.

Do you think my decisions are too Draconian? When did you first notice you were larger than life? Would it disturb you if I sang without pants?

He says his ballads sing of the brotherhood of man with due regard for the stabilizing influence of the nobility. Will the gentleman want the salmon pauché with or without his initials?

Lately I’ve been getting into compassion. A.k.a. the no cholesterol dinner. The views expressed by the mayor do not necessarily reflect those of the inhabitants. I’m filled with acid rain.

And hey, thanks for the incandescence. Not your typical burrowing rodents, that’s for sure. Someday all this infrastructure will be yours sugarplum.

Miss Johnson will now pass out the moral blinders. And you call yourself a marsupial. The Second Amendment Gun Shop.

I’m not responsible for what you may or may not have seen on Love Boat ma’am. Of course Barnaby Tadpole is just my pen name.

 

Source: Cartoon captions from a stack of The New Yorker magazines, from the 1980s mostly.

Derek Owens directs the Institute for Writing Studies (New York). Information on his artwork, writing, and teaching can be found at derekowens.net.

*Note from the editors: We’re pleased to also showcase some of Derek’s artwork here on Unlost. Check it out!

The First Episode by Amber Moore

Issue 6

After a moment, slowly pull in.
The commotion is outside. This is
southern charm. Did you get a good
look? We never would have guessed what he was
up to, just moments before.

Head purposefully toward the
deep baritone, the crisp tuxedo with the
collar unfastened, no tie. This is
Richard III, a dog, and a teenage son all
wrapped up in one.

He looks up. He gently approaches us with endless
sympathy in his eyes. He has no patience for useless pain or
zipping up the back of a woman’s elegant evening gown. You too pull
back as the sound fades and cut back to flash a toothy smile and
sing along with the crowd.

We zoom in slowly, filling the frame with moody skies and
dexterous hands. The feeling should be ominous,
just a little, for the announcement. Make me wait.
Patience is a virtue and I’m not feeling very virtuous
tonight. You should wait by the door,
listen in with a bustling bull pen.

Source: Pilot Episode of House of Cards, Script found at: http://www.zen134237.zen.co.uk/House_of_Cards_1x01_-_Pilot.pdf

Amber Moore is a former high school English teacher and current PhD Candidate in literacy education. Her work has been published in numerous journals and magazines including most recently, The Women’s Studies Quarterly, Room Magazine, and The Feathertale Review. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Lifespan Cancelled by Stephanie Ellis

Issue 6

Maybe you’re psychic
But your iron sight
Does not make you invisible

Imprisoned since childhood
You crouch, a lone wolf
In the forge of your shame

The clock is ticking
As locked in a killing frenzy
You create your own boneyard

A dangerous covenant
Of flesh wounds and dead morals
Disguising the zealot spawned

Your thunderstorm tears
From a pool of unlimited life
For you there is no absolution

 

Sources: Inserts from: XBOX 360 Hitman Absolution, XBOX 360 Borderlands2, XBOX 360 Bioshock Infinite, XBOX 360 Halo

Stephanie Ellis is a Teaching Assistant in a Southampton secondary school. Her poetry has been published in local and national press and online. She is a regular contributor to the online poetry sites, Visual Verse and VERStype as well as being a published horror short story writer.

Two Dudes by Daryl Muranaka

Issue 6

I wanna do a great American road trip
Take the car and drive away
Yeah, I got my bag
I’m re-evaluating my life
I don’t know how to get a non-science degree

That’s your fault.
You go in with a clean slate.
You got into a really bad deal.

I have good prospects
I want to sleep
Oh my God!
I’ve had like 3 or 4 cups of coffee
I have a grande chai latte.
I need it today.

What do you call it—
things that make you?
I know I didn’t look.  I didn’t see it.
It’s just that you’re inside

I don’t know, yeah, I feel like
pretty girls in t-shirts. It’s a little feminist.

It’s so stiff
He comes over sometimes
Yeah, yeah, tall white guy
He sued him

This kid was supposed to be my best friend
I’ve never missed a payment in my life

It’s a basic thing–you pay the rent.
Obviously this building looks different
from what we saw half an hour ago
We don’t actually have to go through the building.
You need to be living in some shitty apartment
You owe it.

That’s what I’m pissed about
Besides that, everything is going great
Still in Cambridge
It was about 10 degrees.  10. 10 degrees. 10 degrees.

I just mentioned it.
Chelsea is a dangerous city
It’s a hot bed for drugs
cinco ocho

Hit me up sometime, bro

Okay, thank you so much for calling. Awesome.
Source: cut-up of conversations heard in Cambridge, MA 2015

Daryl Muranaka lives in Boston with his family. In his spare time, he enjoys aikido and taijiquan and exploring his children’s dual heritages. His first book, Hanami, was published by Aldrich Press and his first chapbook, The Minstrel of Belmont, was published Finishing Line Press in 2015.