An international online magazine that publishes Surrealist poetry in English.
She drew a wolf in the window.
Burning madness, her fingers frozen
into a crabapple branch.
I was a boy with a basketball for
Eyes designed for solitary movement,
as though my neck's angle was permanent.
She traced the rise & fall of the family
on illuminated parchment.
Painted my nails black one night
promising I could be Frankenstein's
The bolts in my throat were scabs
from a coat hanger.
We were running away, thinking
of pyramids, a praying mantis.
Again the blue boat's hole
lets in water as fugues of wind
curse the light
making my eyes into glittering nails.
I have stabbed the shadow
monster from the mountain,
watched blood break into rivulets
that turned into shrouded cities.
Have burned the church to build
a bakery, used intricate
systems of classification to make sure
bread found its way to each hand.
Now, a death's-head hawkmoth
amalgamates the sand. Its wings
are a destroyer's music.
Its eyes are caskets of ice
that remind me of a waiter,
once, in Iquitos, who killed flies
using a string of needles.
He wore a white glove
on his head, a crown of thorns,
he smelled of lucuma,
sweat rolled down his skin,
he whispered under his breath
yes, the end, yes, the end.
The object is a wheel
spinning with no chain.
Thick, grey air fills with rain.
Smooth stones are stuck
in a suede jacket's frayed
pocket, next to a yellow
letter burnt from a match.
Each night the rain taps
a fugue on the half-open window.
I close my eyes & taste
the whiskey's slow
burn. Hold a pencil low
between forefinger & thumb.
The tree is disguised
as a mannequin with
a toothy grin pasted on its face.
It wears a stove-pipe hat
flecked with coral. I forgot
what I am telling you.
Smooth stones balance
on a steel wheel. This is the way
coral feels stuck in
a whiskey-burnt throat.
A chain of rain taps
the torn letter. The mannequin
whistles a fugue. Its pockets
fill with rocks, with rain.
Every book in the world is the same.
Charles Kell teaches in Rhode Island. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann's Review, Kestrel, The Pinch, etc. He is the author of Cage of Lit Glass, chosen by Kimiko Hahn for the 2018 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize.