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Illustrated by Farr Q. Daufeen. Site design by Simona Blat. All thanks to Michael Seidenberg. Copyright 2014.

December 29, 2017

need

Written & Read by Dan Chung

good at fulfilling

needs but do they fulfill you?

options as duties

separation's ruse:

tender sweetness to return

home to our us-ness

time apart relished

precious precursor to join

reunited joy

jealousy: a fear

how can you lose what's not yours?

possess paradox

desire and loss

aversion to discomfort

risk all to gain all

trying is futile

cannot keep together what

doesn't want to stay

allow yourself truth

courage sprouts in that plowed field

tilled by acceptance

feel you are worthy

of love freedom happiness

despite what you think

Shadow Love

Written & Read by Rebecca Geiger

Come swim with me.
Under the full moon,
Under the bright stars above. 
I love you.
Your hands on mine,
Your strong back over me.
I will draw you, then everyone will see
Your naked beauty.
Only now I see you, now I don’t
So quiet, like the wind, 
You’re a whisper
Or white, a ghost
Only don’t go
Stay with me.
 

November 30, 2017

Leon Trotsky is now on Facebook

Written & read by Elana Seplow-Jolley

 

Comrade, you have memories to look back on today with Stalin
Would you like to share them on Facebook?

He’s scrubbed me from the photographs                                                                                                                                                   and to the right of Lenin there is always only a smudge—
a shadow shrugging off a shadow coat
a blur standing tall and proud
a patch of shade sitting beside brethren
Malkov, Rahja, Tomsky, Lashevich…

Before he learned to disappear my face
b...

November 14, 2017

Collide Escape

Written by Derrick C Brown & read by David Trudo

Whatever you dropped in the dark

can be recovered in the morning.

We will find the turquoise ring

that clutched the mud and grass

as I ripped your costly jeans,

down to your soft calves.

The night rain, beading upon your skinny spine.

If you were drunk, I didn’t know.

You didn’t say anything stupid.

Your tongue was blossoming,

pronouncing your kiss, cleanly.

I was glad your breath was hot enough

to melt the night resin off of me.

I read my hands down your simple gospel

and I no longer need 34th Street miracles.

Are you sure you want this mess?

I am a submarine

full of gasoline

and you’re waterproof matches.

I am suspended in the cinema of that moment

next to the house

collapsing in the dirt

where I needed you.

Fathoms under fathoms,

that’s how heavy I laid upon you.

What are you to me?

You are more than on my side,

you are the weapon on my side.

Safety off.

Rest under the shadow of my gut.

Unsentimental kissi...

November 3, 2017

The Philosopher

Written by Edna St. Vincent Malay & read by Skye Cleary

And what are you that, wanting you,
I should be kept awake
As many nights as there are days
With weeping for your sake?

And what are you that, missing you,
As many days as crawl
I should be listening to the wind
And looking at the wall?

I know a man that's a braver man
And twenty men as kind,
And what are you, that you should be
The one man in my mind?

Yet women's ways are witless ways,
As any sage will tell,—
And what am I, that I should love
So wisely and so well? 

No.

Written & read by Elana Seplow-Jolley 

And then I take all the pieces, the loose ones coming apart off the fray

I sift them slow between my fingers and the table

small fractals of glass coming off to lodge

in the grooves of the wood where I have 

placed my hands before.

And I lay my hands there over the pieces and I begin—

I slide them back and forth, back and

forth with no mind to the sting

until the faces are smo...

October 18, 2017

XXXVIII
Written by Tullia d'Aragona & read by Skye Cleary
 

I thought, fleeing my beloved Sun,

to diminish (O misery!) this constant fire

by seeking clear rivers and staying in the shadows

in the most leafy, the most lonely woods;

but the further away extend his shining rays
the stronger, hour by hour, grows my flame.

Who would believe that this flame 
increases with distance from the sun?

And yet the further extends this divine ray,

the more it redoubles its fire.

It does me no good to haunt fountain or wood;

worthless in my pain are breezes, waves, and shade.

I no longer seek fresh breezes, waves, or shade,

for my blazing and fierce flame cannot be quenched in stream of wood;

always will I follow my beloved Sun,

for as a salamander lives anew in fire,

I love in joy, thanks to his divine ray.

Then why does it not illuminate me, the living ray,

wherever I go, in sunlight or in shadow?

With pleasure would I suffer such a sweet fire

and die content from its great...

April 17, 2017

We are starting a new feature here at Brazenhead – Book of the Mouth Club.  A place to recommend books, not new ones, although the titles may be new to some.  I have long been obsessed with neglected and forgotten work, but these days it seems books get forgotten at a much quicker pace than ever before.  Some disappear before they’ve had their fifteen minutes or even found a parking spot in the overcrowded to be read pile that lives in the backsides of our brains.

The first book I’d like to bring to your attention is ‘Mating' by Norman Rush, which, although it won The National Book Award for fiction in 1991, has still managed to slip away, and certainly not garnered the readership a masterpiece like this deserves.

Rush writes as if from a different era in a style we are not generally accustomed to, and the sense of displacement from time that results suits the story. A story that deals with the questions of how we live our lives....

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