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From Chris Urquhart:

October 11, 2017

After all, burners have an insatiable thirst for fire. Burners constantly burn shit. At night, neon-lit school buses slouch down the dusty streets shooting fireworks. Huge flamethrowers sit atop six-foot-tall moving structures. There is a replica of New York’s Wall Street, which will eventually burn to the ground, black smoke billowing. People are burnt, broken, and some die. That evening, standing on a tall scaffold, blasting a flamethrower forward into the Nevada night, I feel very comfortable. People here live outwardly, honestly. I’m drawn to the extremity, the open chaos, the wild flame. Wearing a top hat, I traverse the playa on foot, shoes coated in a thick layer of sludge.

Dirty Kids



From Rumi:

October 3, 2017

But that shadow has been serving
you. What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is

your candle. Your boundaries are your quest.
I could explain this, but it will break the

glass cover on your heart, and there’s no
fixing that. You must have shadow and light

source both. Listen, and lay your head under
the tree of awe.


From Gabriel Garcia Marquez:

October 1, 2017

I took leave of my brother, crossed the veranda where the cats were sleeping curled up among the tulips, and opened the bedroom door without knocking. The lights were out, but as soon as I went in I caught the smell of a warm woman and I saw the eyes of an insomniac leopard in the darkness, and then I didn’t know anything else about myself until the bells began to ring.

– Chronicle of a Death Foretold



peyote vision, cameron

From Traci Brimhall:

September 28, 2017

When the cat
your ex-wife gave you died, I was grateful.
I’d never seen a man grieve like that
for an animal. I held you like a victory,
embarrassed and relieved that this was how
you loved. To the bone of you. To the meat.
And we want the stricken pleasure of intimacy,
so we risk it. We do.



From Linda Bierds:

September 26, 2017

From pine tree resin, amber.
From fury, hail.
From acacia’s sap, the bond.
From raindrops, frogs.
From clay, yellow ochre.
From dust, fleas.
From the beetle, carmine.
From mud, the beetle.
From the murex snail, violet.
From sea foam, the anchovy.
From the lamb, parchment.
From the bull, the bee.
From the mouth of a slaughtered bull,
cloaked in thyme and serpyllium,
the bee.

Metamorphosis: 1680


From Shireen Madon:

September 22, 2017

They pull roses

from your mouth,

thorns intact.

You wear a beautiful


You mistook a ghost

for a deity,

lost count of your wars,

and now you are gone, too.

– from Poem after Zinaida Serebriakova’s Young Woman in Profile, Marrakesh, 1932, from Asian American Writers’ Workshop


From Gemma Wong (age 8)

September 19, 2017

The sleeping lion
The living bones
The paper world
The matchstick bag
The book of secrets
Life and death.

The Secret of Life, from Rattle’s Young Poetry Anthology 2017


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