Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. oh my

acting, isms

Women are rarely asked about their favorite trees though you should

ask me just that I always have an answer to everything

my mouth is linked directly to my brain somehow

I know this is anatomically incorrect and also makes no sense

because the words are also formed with tongue, cheek, lips and throat but before that

tiny milliseconds earlier the left hemisphere (I never mix them up, scratch that, I always mix them up so what, I know how to use the internet) has already fired neurons at synapses and look here it is

my answer I already know what you will reply: this conversation is sixty years old and I am only 31. In another 30 years I might feel wiser or maybe reversed, my insides are 74 right now because I have seen some things and missed most, my eyes are sometimes slow and I’ve spent too many hours applying mascara in the rear view mirror.

Somebody could have warned me I would feel that rage come 13 and that it wouldn’t stop, I might have prepared somehow.

I will write a scathing review for them

about how it burrows into the folds of my skin it

wasn’t exactly where I wanted you to lodge.

Sometimes I know too well how to spell activisms.  


Congratulations to April’s contributors, tminstral, lizletsgo, unfeignedheart, futureancestor, wordsbyjake, theartmedley, thespiritcodes, deeplystained, octobermoe, materialmirage, lovedly, rakuli, theincrediblemeeow, and silentmanjh! aliterationmag:

Congratulations to April’s contributors, tminstral, lizletsgo, unfeignedheart, futureancestor, wordsbyjake, theartmedley, thespiritcodes, deeplystained, octobermoe, materialmirage, lovedly, rakuli, theincrediblemeeow, and silentmanjh! aliterationmag:

Congratulations to April’s contributors, tminstral, lizletsgo, unfeignedheart, futureancestor, wordsbyjake, theartmedley, thespiritcodes, deeplystained, octobermoe, materialmirage, lovedly, rakuli, theincrediblemeeow, and silentmanjh!

Congrats, Marcus! Incidentally, the blog is not what comes up first when I google you, But at least the first hits are, in fact, about you. So that is something. 

Everyone, true story: I first emailed Marcus because I had read a story of his that I liked and I told him so. Now I cannot remember which story it was, or I would link to it. I can’t find evidence in my email that this ever happened. But it did. 


THE HOUSE OF ZABKA turned 2 today!

Friday night

Your windows are vast and spill candle light reflections back at me. The opposite of clinical, your living room, where I began dissecting each shadow movement a few months ago. The dark couch my operating table for removing all these splinters and itches. Hold still, I tell myself, count to three Mississippi, then leave the room under the pretense to get some more water. Water, water, everywhere some spillage where I opened you up too briskly. Somebody else once looked after me as I left rooms to get more water. Across an ocean and a forest somebody is always looking at somebody else’s back and ass and shoulders and wonders what to do with their hands now.

This is the one lesson we’ll need to teach a child, to look up and wash her hands clean in disinfectant after brain surgery. More clean hands for more sullen minds. More compromises in the professional business of grinding your heel into aspirations as you spin and delete chat histories.

How one could eat potatoes on the floor, cooked and tenderly wrapped in melted cream cheese; I’d thought we’d get on the ground for one act only.

Conceptualize your lighthouse

this is where you fought them with the key between your teeth and a fierce growl inside your throat. All the ways a body signals discontent: liquid, sounds, neurons firing, keeping core temperatures from plummeting. Catching an off-shore break:

Sssh, I am prepping for the grand deception.


A red balloon pops up in the sky in front of you and its color splashes against the blue and white, and you might want to take a photo but the wind tears it away too quickly so you just breathe.
You eat all the cake, all the mousse, all the chocolate until your stomach and belly extend and you finally have a reason to raise your voice, to berate your beastly body, until you can love it again.
You and your body sit in an empty pathology lecture hall, on the blackboard you write one hundred times all the ways your body is betraying you. Then you both start crying and hug and promise to be better, the sobs echo up to the last rows, but you sober up and repeat that you will love more, care more, breathe more. On the table they sometimes put corpses and cut them open under a microscope. Write everything one hundred times.


The way they jump up and down on the dance floor, with bottles of beer and glasses of clear liquors, one in each hand: it seems as if they are maybe ten minutes old. Just last week pushed out of their mothers’ uteri, so fresh and plump. Sweet dancing babies. It will be so easy to find flaws with you: each eyelash glued on too thickly, each pair of hands so free of callouses. Such few scars. Such greedy throats and booming voices screaming for more of these precious experiences hugging strangers and licking somebody’s teeth under the disco ball light. Sweet tiny, hungry babies falling on top of each other as the final take-home song blasts rhythmically into the night: the shapes you create of things I have never even heard of.  

A preliminary excerpt from the Capsule Hotel

“I am always right behind you” he breathed into the space between us. The words were hardly audible, yet I caught the threat clearly. That grin with those immaculate teeth. His hand seemed to grow the closer it moved toward my face: in a capsule close is all you know. A sharp, yellow pain shot into my brain, and as I closed my eyes something exploded inside. Two breaths. I opened my eyes. His hand lay on my left breast.

Now there were several ways this could have gone. Me pushing his head against the plastic TV and pressing both hands onto his Kehlkopf was not the most pleasing option. His eyes rolled back into his head. The lips quivering. It makes no sense that I was this strong. How was he so quiet while dying? Capsules have no real walls, thin plastic and a roll-down curtain in the front. Everybody should have heard. His skin grew grey and then he stopped breathing. I stopped, too. His body sunk against the thin mattress. How did we even fit into the tiny square? A body to deal with. I listened intently to the chatter surrounding us. I could decipher a few Japanese words, the sounds familiar on my tongue. “Shinu means to die,” I whispered into his left ear, the other one down on the pillow as if arranged.  


The body bears everything. Storm surges whipping ice particles into her skin. Cracked lips. -10°C vortex of air and water.
A slow-moving trail of sweat meandering down her lower back. Flushed cheeks. The mind moves slowly now, in 90°C of dry heat. Retreat. Expand.

The devil’s game

After a long day in late January, at the end of the seemingly never-ending shift, Helen stepped out from the cow shed. Her boots made soft noises on the muddy ground. She shivered and drew her apron closer around her torso. The pale moonlight suggested the naked oak trees. In the distance the piercing cry of an owl. Helen’s foot hit a stone and she cursed noisily. Fucking forest paths! And this apron did not keep her warm either.

Suddenly, something tugged on her arm. “What the…” Helen yelled and tried breaking away. A deep, guttural, angry growl was uttered in response, something grabbing Helen’s leg. She pulled away but the shadow seemed to have five, six arms, hands, and wet breath on her neck gave her goosebumps. The horrific growling continued. The realization came like a bolt out of the blue: THE FARMER ZOMBIE!! Helen screamed and kicked into the darkness, boxed against shadows, fearing for her life. Something it her in the face and she felt warm fluid running down her lips. The fear. This paralyzing fear was the enemy, too, she had to fight, to break free, and Helen bit down into the nothingness, into the dark growl with all her might. As the grip on her thighs, around her shoulders weakened for a second, she pulled away and ran, ran until she could no longer run. And then she ran even further.

Deep, dirty mud sucked her boots in, and when she could finally see Farmer Jones’ barn lights through the bushes, Helen fell onto the cold ground. Shaking and exhausted. She spit out blood from her nose and throat and coughed. Everything hurt. Breath.

One thing was clear, though: not many people had encountered the FARMER ZOMBIE and lived to tell the tale. And: somebody had to put a stop to the devil’s game. Helen pushed herself out of the slush. She knew exactly whose job this was going to be.