The farm is dry again. The Pawling girls took the water from their magic cistern, bucket-by-bucket, down to Doylestown or Sellersville or somewhere and now the old cairns are visible again. Those cairns fill the same space with the same intensity as the water did—gay men still rendezvous in the swamps and the newspaper still writes about it. If the farm is dry, what does that mean for Washington? What if his colonial ghost-self needs a hearty drink? He’ll have to go to forest and main in Ambler or the speak-easy in Northwales behind the warehouse near the train tracks.
By Matt Leece
bubbles reach the surface, we are
the same mind,
thinking of all the blood rushing, lay
down beside me, “the only thing
left to do is let her buy a strap-on,”
I was afraid I’d moan and wake
up his roommates—
The tent was humid, but the sun was
going down, I had a dress on that
I stole from school. He was wearing a purple flannel and acting
weird. It was a weird day. To wake up at the festival and
be around the people and the music, and then to fall asleep
We had sex on the inflatable mattress I brought. A year later, the corn field at a party. I told him my Mom hates him and doesn’t want him in our house. Bubbles reach the surface and you role a joint. Be a spoon in custard, feel the strange skeleton of June, breathing baking powder into fire sticks.
It’s not presumptuous or optimistic to say it’s going to happen, just to say when. I used to lecture my poor parents every time I learned something new and amazing about Marijuana—which was often (everything about Marijuana is amazing), so it nearly brings me to tears to see all of the progress the movement has and is making. When I look at my life and all of the places I’ve been, interests I’ve had, people I’ve loved, I can contextualize each event with enough constants to count on two hands. That is to say, I’ve done many things, but committed myself to few. One commitment I made, albeit not consciously at first, is to Marijuana. I have now been alive long enough to start seeing lines of best fit, and almost every day I am compelled more and more by my own history. I have a sincere relationship with Marijuana, and I’ve been involved in the movement long enough to see that we’re past the petty accomplishments and we are now moving forward in earnest. This is a big deal, and it’s super exciting to be a part of this global event.
Virago, Eugene, Phil, Matt, Dallas
If only we lived as bravely as our mortality implores us to live,
As a thousand permutations of our hearts would allow.
I'd love to share it all with you every night, forever.
Love is not a bomb shelter; it's a purse with a sword in it,
A tumbling stack of textbooks light as a feather, bottomless and infinite.
If only all of you were a plane ticket away.
Some opportunities are lost forever.
Why doesn't everyone just kiss when they have the chance?
How can you argue over how your time is spent?
The seconds melt away like nazi faces at the movies,
and I wish I had billions more to share with you.
Knowing everyone stops moving makes the mission more desperate and imperative, so wear your heart on your sleeve and wipe your tears on mine.
by Brad Allen
Oh god, oh open the door, the door needs to be opened by someone, open the door quickly and look, look at the open door, loving itself on its own bed, the opened door loves itself, pubic mountain but never in that first memory I wrote about, oh god, the memory sings to me sometimes, it’s seeped, and it is open, loving itself, bells, anchor, steps, step on a brick and come drenched, but whole to the door.
Once the door is open. When the door is open. When it’s open there will be a list, look at the list, saliva is at the top of the list, saliva. SALIVA. SALIVA. SALIVAVULVA. AVULVASYLLABLE. SALIVAVILAS! In that first memory, think about the color of a plastic doll. A crazy looking one, not a normal one, crazy color, like latex bread in a wrapper. When the door is open, just think about the list.
I wrote about god. I never want to blaspheme. I want to be good. I don’t want to create anything without joy. Open the door, the door needs to be opened by someone, open the door quickly and look. I will never tell anyone what’s at the bottom of the list, I won’t ever tell anyone about my dreams, my lists don’t mean I’m self-realized, when is time going to change, the boy said I’m ready, drums.
Open the door to my outside, someone open me up by my door, I’m ready, drums. I’m ready to speed up, my speed breaking—all of it is glass. Why will you open my door and find my life is just flowers, I’m ready, drums, colorful, it was when I was a baby and I could almost walk, I made lists and I put objects in a row. I’m ready.
"Go watch cartoons—" to
you on the phone,
when I write my love to you
it’s what I discover
that writes to
you—I do nothing.
Stretching stoned on the rocks
by the lagoon—
that wasn’t nothing.
You’re nothing’s are all
I see you writing essays on
elephant ears and sending them
down the river.
What aren’t you to me?
I once carved a poem you
gave me into a square of linoleum
and propped it up to look at.
We will all fall down and die
before the singing linoleum—
By Matt Leece
There are better ways to start kid.
But this is what I want.
Are you sure you won’t
regret this later? (but his tongue already
on my clavicle like a serpent)
Yeah I’m fucked up and I feel good right now.
Fine, but do you need money?
Oh, that makes it better, asshole,
you’re not my john.
(I can taste him already)
I meant it more like a dad.
Francis Abagnale Catholic
I am not trying to say that I personally feel shattered right now. I feel okay, though my living situation is unstable (to say the least) and I was in a lot of pain today. Rather, I am trying to regather that spiritual side of me that I used to really believe in. Here is so vacant of heart. It’s so easy to be sarcastic. From every vantage a stunning view, they spoil us to them. All I want is like ten of my friends in underwear under a blanket on a beach at night by the Atlantic ocean, not because I want to fuck them all but because I want their skin against me. I’m serious about ‘a house without touching is a grave.’ Dead serious, in my touchless house. Mercy is the kind of touching I need right now, the kind babies will turn blue for. I keep thinking about how heaven for microbes would be a world exactly like ours, but everything secretes a bit more sugar. Our heaven would be a place like that, where the goddess of infinite mercy wakes you up for your still-difficult life by jumping into your bed like a goddess-sized cat and kissing you awake, saying ‘Wake up, it’s heaven!’
I look beyond my computer screen,
past my heels, my thighs,
I see my feet
upright like cacti, floorboards
beneath run in packs live wolves
My shirt is heavy and moist with
gerunds and pictures of people I want to
meet, I look past my feet and
there’s a wall,
I look into blackness in the corners
of the room, the drugs I took make them swirl—
but only the dark spots
The door is kind and forgiving,
the wall holds the door and is its
When the music was playing
three days ago, I was alone
and I began to think of a friend,
I thought about how young we were
when we were alone together,
and didn’t realize how profound a thing it was
girls looking up each others’ skirts
at a friend’s house, honesty,
clouds of incensed skin, a dim
light on a pool table—
Maybe the drugs we took
made us want
When it all breaks you cry
then you get the pan out of the closet
and the brush. A spider pulls the cord
that parts the curtains and so you hold
the fractures up to the light.
The light clones you in all the fractures
so you cry more, tomato-like
and exposed to your neighbors.
You tell them to fuck a duck,
and they do.
Mercy is not manna on the floor of the desert
it’s getting swallowed by a fucking whale
and somehow not dying.
Merciful crutches carrying me to heaven.
My time was spent alone for many reasons.
Mary my Mother clutched me as a child,
My Godmother told me to pray for patience before I was confirmed.
She held my arm on the large monument in Spain,
it was in bad shape and the railing was not to be trusted.
I’ve now cloned the same plant about a dozen times,
it’s the philodendron from the commons at Bloomsburg.—
Lonely in that windowsill, but having adventures with me through time.
I’ve kept it’s limbs and encouraged roots to grow. Is heaven
like soil, or like a vase?
By Matt Leece
Alcohol is mercy.
I could see the help in her.
All spinning tops, I tumbled
in. Blankets like birds and soft light
and words. I don’t know
why you’re still in that
Merciful crutches carrying me
Lieven van Lathem, illuminator (Flemish, about 1430 - 1493, active 1454 - 1493)
David Aubert, scribe (Flemish, active 1453 - 1479)
A Duel between Gillion de Trazegnies and the Saracen Nobleman, Lucion, for the Hand of Natalie (detail), after 1464, Tempera colors, gold, and ink on parchment
Leaf: 37 x 25.5 cm (14 9/16 x 10 1/16 in.
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 111, fol. 134v
I bought two gemstones at the
blues festival in upper Pennsylvania
Jon was mercy, Harini,
Marco, peace and mercy, peace
was mercy in the woods
magic in the form of gemstones
and orange mushroom stalks erect
in the ground looking for a knob in
one of the trees or humans walking by.
Mercy was morning joy mounted,
Jake, Matt, moving with mercy and joy amazing
more people joking than with confusion and non-mercy—
Eugene remembered it wrong,
there were three others with us on that roof,
I was there with you, and both of our goddesses, and
clusters of clouds and magic in the form of
brotherness and self-reliance.
By Matt Leece
I was touching the goddess of infinite mercy.
Twirling hair in finger,
she said heaven was right here,
or maybe wasn’t but still
we stroked each other’s
souls on the roof, moon above like
the something (or nothing) of heaven.
We sat half-lotus in infinite mercy,
on the roof of heaven, bobbing on the
sea of heaven like seabirds whose
migration is honored by the mercy
of the sea under the moon at night.
I felt so alive, because a grave
is a home without touching.
But O, I am infirm in my adult life.
There is a sickliness
to me that can only be remedied
with play and with mercy. It’s like that bitter grain of
truth in the joke every time
I say something that spares mercy.
So I am he who is infirm,
whose heaven-stay felt too short:
who, in his infirmity, stopped touching,
though she said
this is heaven’