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Two Stanzas in Free Verse

By Matthew Dischner

 

I feel it at the back of my brain,
an itch I cannot scratch,
a small splinter palpable only
when one thought rubs another,
brushing the sliver against grey matter.
A spike of intensity –
sharp, swift, gone.

 


A disciple of the experimental humanities, Matthew Dischner’s writings mix his passion for poetry and obsession with the natural world. A graduate of NYU’s recently transformed Draper Program, Matthew currently works for the Smithsonian’s Freer/Sackler Galleries. He can often be found obsessing over Central Asian archaeology or pontificating on the Virginia wine industry. You can read his other works at http://indulgencezine.com and mdischner.wordpress.com.

Two Stanzas in Free Verse2019-01-14T00:01:47+00:00

I Asked for a Sign

By Brandy Clark

I asked for a sign

and I got one in the molded shape
of a man, frayed bottoms
of his khaki shorts
stopping right above
his skinned and scabby knees.
Rough working hands
with rough working fingers
held a wooden stick—
fresh-cut, raw, bleeding sap.

Poster board mounted on stick,
hand drawn on it, finger drawn crooked,
its arc pointing at me,
at everyone who walked by
this campus transplant
and copy of all campus preachers
who came before him

Shaky Sharpie letters
written below the hand

GOD IS ANGRY AT YOU
for ________ (fill in the blank
pick a word, any word)

whores, you’re all whores and sinners,
repent, repent, repent, and go on,
insert other religious clichés here
it’s all the […]

I Asked for a Sign2019-01-14T00:02:13+00:00

THELO NIOUS

By Matthew Dischner

THELO
NIOUS

An off-chord ceramic strike
signals a renaissance:
a mistake made music,
a staccato affogato dim7
slap across the cerebellum,

a reminder of writing poetry
on a bench on Morningside Ave
in the winter
and the sound
the birds made in the snow.

 


A disciple of the experimental humanities, Matthew Dischner’s writings mix his passion for poetry and obsession with the natural world. A graduate of NYU’s recently transformed Draper Program, Matthew currently works for the Smithsonian’s Freer/Sackler Galleries. He can often be found obsessing over Central Asian archaeology or pontificating on the Virginia wine industry. You can read his other works at […]

THELO NIOUS2019-01-14T00:02:28+00:00

The Second Law

By Alexis López Paleo

The bed is nothing more than the culmination of all efforts,
true and dishonest.
The covers on the floor a clear sign of surrender,
the submission to (the lack of) faith and motley bodies.

Here
we understand the impossible flow of heat
up and out your body, into the world of its own accord
and that’s what we’re here for.

The alloyed metal handle gives out, disallows
changing the degree of the windows’ aperture
compelling an attempt to force the desired state:
if I crack them the cry escapes, if I open them too much
it’s followed by the smell signaling your physic[que] in this […]

The Second Law2019-01-14T00:02:56+00:00

Listening to Folk Songs on the Metro

By Benjamin Phillips

A wayfarer
and restless, I stand
lost in my home.

I see mountains
every time I close
my sunken eyes.

The indigo
shade they cast on the
sky in twilight.

My heart longs to
gaze at horizons
so encumbered.

I am haunted
by the serene views
of my childhood.

So, I stand at
odds with the city
I inhabit.

The urban dreams
of one rooted in
Appalachia.

This place still holds
me captivated
with its wonders.

Without equal,
its bright atmosphere
entices all.

It is true that
I remain as a
willing captive.

Because it was
I who pursued this.
Who can blame me?

I feel at home
among the streets, crowds,
and cobblestones.

Why am […]

Listening to Folk Songs on the Metro2019-01-14T00:03:24+00:00

Afro-Puerto Rican Mantra

By Alexandra Rosado-Román

From our unending struggles to our resilient spirit
From our history of oppression to our decolonized imaginaries
From the pain inflicted upon our bodies to our creative and agential embodiment
Our blackness is beautiful and cannot be taken for granted

From the rejection of our features to our empowered aesthetics
From our submission to patriarchy to our combative feminist resilience
From the tamable conscience to our untamable fierceness
Our blackness is beautiful and cannot be taken for granted

From our colonial past to our neocolonial present

Afro-Puerto Rican Mantra2019-01-14T00:04:21+00:00

Seeing Red

By Colin Bredenberg

Nothing suits a critic’s nose better than the smell of fresh meat. True to form, we vultures most prefer the newly deceased. In this article, I have the pleasure of displaying my newest discovery—Olive Haverly—whose story is tragic to the casually acquainted, but hardly worthy of frequent regard. Few have seen her genius, and fewer her raw vindiction—both have driven me continuously since I first discovered her Self Portrait #1, and my redeeming hope, as a member of the critical class, is to be her vindicator.

First, […]

Seeing Red2019-01-13T21:04:56+00:00

Soap

By Ali Geren

When I was 11, I stood in the basement and screamed shit
as loud as I could, because it was the worst thing I could think of.
What I actually said was I’m sick of this shit, but the climax
of the sentence was definitely shit and since I’d never cursed
before, shit rose to the back of my throat, pressed there, resting, waiting
for the beginning of the sentence to bubble out of my mouth, fall […]

Soap2019-01-14T00:04:31+00:00

Editor’s Note – (disenchantment)

Caustic Frolic’s Fall 2017 issue (dis)enchantment began with a call for submissions stemming from the question “What are you enchanted, and subsequently disenchanted by?” With this being my first semester as Editor-in-Chief and the second ever issue of our journal under the newly rebranded title of Caustic Frolic, there were many moments throughout the process of creating this issue that could have easily lent themselves to disenchanting frustrations, whether it be with printing, setting up meetings, or simply, Where do we start?However, somewhere along the line, I must have cashed in a ridiculously huge chunk of my collective karma points […]

Editor’s Note – (disenchantment)2018-05-08T04:42:38+00:00

Landscapes and the Living

By Iván Espinosa

“Passion Flower” (oil on canvas) by John Francis Peters

Last Fall, I attended an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) called “Kelly Reichardt: Powerfully Observant.”  It was a mid-career retrospective highlighting six feature-length productions created by the New York-based independent filmmaker that have, since production, earned critical acclaim. Her intensely perceptive, often slow-paced films have been celebrated for reflecting a tremendous sense of landscape.  Her camera work relies on vast still terrains, capturing rich colors of luscious Oregon greens and Pacific Coast waters. In fact, […]

Landscapes and the Living2019-01-14T00:05:04+00:00