"Otherwise" Art by Edward Lee

Duplex Beginning with a Line by Edward Hirsch

At midnight the soul dreams of a small fire,
night balmy but body shivering

in the quivering atmosphere, heat and chill.
A keenness the soul perceives as black ice

sticks and burns in dry ice’s cold clarity,
a lone lucidity—a conflagration

whose biting flare cuts through the fog it creates
in deceptive, devouring radiance.

The soul circles, perceives this fire’s bitter want,
knowing the lie but fluttering, pale winged,

on pain of immolation, knows the lie
but senses an echo of its own hunger,

a mixed resonance of fullness and bareness
which cracks at midnight in sparks from a small fire.

Line 1 taken from “Poor Angels,” in the collection For the Sleepwalkers.

Note-taking While Reading “The Marvel Ciphers of the Gig Economy”

We know what kind of people we are–
musical or allergic,
sclerotic and/or criminal–

based upon the ads we are fed.
In the economy of the hypermobile

we can’t not internalize
what we might be prone to buy
if signaled to.

Last week we were contacted
by radio waves
three hundred billion light years away,

an incident many argued proves
that the desire to bloviate in the
conveyance of mere presence

knows no solar system’s
Meanwhile, a set of

copper wound strings shimmers
in an animated gif
with all that strings suggests:

dark matter, quarks,
celestial windings, an elegant
bridge of spruce and bone.

Ethan Gorham Photography

Notes Toward a Pure Hauntology

History is perched and crooning –
a vulture’s smirk reflected
in fawn’s blood fifty feet below.

Turning cog! Tuning fork! –
imbibe me; strike me as useful and send me
tumbling toward a more delicious reality.

I have found my kin there –
beneath the pungent forest floor.
Beneath the rot of outdated modes,

we lie in wait for the seventh
seal to be broken; we wait on our bellies
for the space between the notes

to once again reign over the
thunderous colosseum of my car payment
is due in ten days, and I make less than

twelve dollars an hour, and I have
a child and why the fuck should this be so hard?

Europe is teething again.

The lightness of our place has become
the most unbearable tickle. While
wholeness peers ‘round corners at us

like a specter of Marx, shalom crawls
convalescent at our heels but
there is now NO TIME TO REAP –

there is time for no new thing
under the sun, and – in a breath – I have understood:
we are petals on the wet, black pavement.

Leith Fae


My mom reconstructed our lives from junk.
Unbleached cardboard Orisha beaded masks,
Glass-shard mosaics of proud Mary’s face,
A twisted crown of bottle caps and barbed wire,
Found relics, littered our tar-paper house,
Each objet d’art, a fetish, meant to stave
The shame of being poor. We ate, each night,
On painted plates of resurrecting suns.
She formed so much what others tossed away.
Now I scrounge through virtu and bric-a-brac,
The scattered trifles of remembrances,
To find her, traceless, gone. My soul sets bare.
Unfit to curate memory, I house
No rags, no cracked cups, no heart, fit for pawn.


The re-racked tops, bottoms, frocks beggared us.
Remember, bodies, once, possessed this cloth,
My mom reminisced. When we took the bus
Past bodegas, the hot-press mill, the swath
of storefront churches, tarpapered shotguns,
A land of corrupting rust, engorged moth,
To purchase, for the next fall, clothes the nuns
Found fitting, we, too, made out like a thief
At night. She dressed me like the rich man’s sons,
And gave herself, yet attained no relief,
Cried out, “Come, Jesus!,” where, then, was the Lord?
Without memory, one can have no grief.
Now, she is dead. My loss, my pain, I hoard
Indulgence even beggars can afford.

Art by Aaron Lelito

Tread Softly

Streetlights reflected off the mist-wet grass.
Like stars, each blade shimmered, as if the sky
Fell, a tapestry, braided with cut glass,
Beneath our feet, silver stich, verdant dye.
“Imagine,” I said, as we lay, our hands
Interlaced, arms twined, backs damp, closed eyes dry, 
“I wove heaven, pulled each weft taut through strands
Of warp, and set it here, for you to rest,
As I hold you tight.” Then you slept. My plans,
Faded like the dew, your head on my chest,
I prayed, silently, so I would not wake
You, you, who kept my words of love, be blessed.
Then night was done. Our day began to break
On us, with dry voice, blurred eye, marrow ache.

Hardened Tears

We’d walk the rails and search for beads of glass—
Jade, amber, puce, lapis— frosted and rough.
You told me they were the tears of trains shed
For passing all the sadness of the world.
Who knew sadness fit in a palm? At home,
In bed, we held those hardened tears to light
And saw, in each, the loss, the pain, the death,
Heard the engines heave, the whistles lament.
I’ve kept one, tucked in my chest, where I save
Those few things I love. On sleepless midnights,
Eyes closed, I roll, like a relic, that stone
Across my cheek, as if it were your touch
Set to calm my blind fear. But you are gone.
I cannot cry. My tears, too, have grown cold.

Erin Laughlin (Erin Elise Artiste Art)

Erin Laughlin Art
“Blossoming” Acrylic on Canvas 30″ x 40″
Fire and Ice
“Polarity” Resin on Wood (Part 1 of Diptych) 36″ x 36″ Fire and Ice Series
Erin Elise Art
“Lucidity” Acrylic, Gold Leaf on Canvas 36″ x 94″
“Mirror, Mirror” Collection, Triptych, Resin on Wood 24″ x 24″
“Mirror, Mirror” Collection Resin on Wood 24″ x 24″
Erin Elise Art
“Aerial Storm Series” Acrylic, Gold Leaf on Canvas 30″ x 40″
“Propel” Resin on Wood 36″ x 36″

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN