Alice Sometimes

Sleep-wasted, I shake out dusk. Evening is for solo-exploration, for lying
naked on the fresh made bed. My body is tinsel coat, my body is a blue dress 
punched from sky. Pills make the archetype come easy: cherry Melatonin mixed
with Xanax, bitter blue. Swallow to turn inward. Swallow to skin-shrink like sealed flesh. 
Sometimes I fall between the folds: my cerebellum
labyrinth. Sometimes I disappear entirely.
Down &
                down &
                               down—chemical mouth 
fruit fragrant. Cheek to pillow. Pillow to forest floor.
A peeling occurs. Who I am is the whittling—the collapse into cocoon-stasis.

Elsewhere, passed out
on the lumpy mattress, the cat swats at my visible tuft. My body buried in sheets, my brain
buried under layers of hypnogogia. Life continues:
coffee pot bubbling, televised re-runs, a radio show
piped through distant speakers. Something seeps

in the interstitial: an NPR voice filtering into the dream stream, intoning 
feeling trappedmaze-like office buildings, fluorescent litalmost a warren

There is water here. In it, my reflection is a hundred things collected under one name. 

Words for warren: bedding, burrow, rabbit hole.

 

Kia Alice Groom is founding editor of Quaint Magazine. The recipient of an Academy of American Poets award, the runner-up for the 2014 Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and a pushcart nominee, Kia’s work has been published in Cordite, Going Down Swinging, The Australian Book Review, Westerly, Permafrost and others. Her work has been anthologized in the Hunter Anthology of Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry and is forthcoming in various other collections. She divides her time between New Orleans, Louisiana and wherever she goes when she falls asleep. 

 
 
 

Drawing Lesson #2

My pencil is fixed. Let’s avoid the metaphor where the page is the universe, and I am God, and the graphite to the white page is some explosion. Nothing “new” is going to happen here. At best it hasn’t been heard for a long time. At best everyone’s subconscious will render many different things based on the same model. But here is a pencil ready to flesh a mountain. I draw the pleats of it like vulva, I said pleats because you should see a skirt, those things because all mountains are on the female spectrum — if people are still married to that idea. The virtuosity in the depths and heights are just my idea of where the sun is and isn’t. And since I am a bad artist — light is all over the place like spilled olive oil. The mountain because — insurmountable; the olive oil because — the vulva: I should start testing my metaphors by analyzing how well they operate in reverse. The vulva is a mountain, olive oil is light, skirts are mountains: suddenly some things are not very true. I just want to delineate a space I can walk into and be done. There isn’t really a point in all this drawing, just to fashion an escape hatch into a useful solitude.

 

Jessica Lanay is a poet and short story writer originally from the Florida Keys. She is interested in writing towards the incalculable nature of human emotions, psychology, and metaphysical dilemmas. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh and works at the Center for African American Poetry And Poetics. Her work can be found in Salt Hill Journal, Tahoma Literary Review, Sugar House Review, and others. She is excited to have her work featured in The Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Review, as she has been a fan for quite some time. @jessy_llayne

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About Eckleburg

The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review is a print and digital literary journal. We offer original fiction — short stories, short short stories, hybrid—poetry and nonfiction. We also curate The Eckleburg Gallery — visual artwork and intermedia — as well The Groove including first released, original music by The Size Queens. Our archives include emerging and established writers, poets, artists, musicians and performers such as Rick Moody, Cris Mazza, Eurydice, Steve Almond, Stephen Dixon, Moira Egan, David Wagoner, Zach Galifianakis and many more. We run annual print issues, The Eckleburg Reading Series (DC, Baltimore, Chicago, New York….), as well as, the annual Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction with a first prize of $1000 and print publication.

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The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review was founded in 2010 as an online and print literary and arts journal. We take our title from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and include the full archives of our predecessor Moon Milk Review. Our aesthetic is eclectic, literary mainstream to experimental. We appreciate fusion forms including magical realist, surrealist, meta- realist and realist works with an offbeat spin. We value character-focused storytelling and language and welcome both edge and mainstream with punch aesthetics. We like humor that explores the gritty realities of world and human experiences. Our issues include original content from both emerging and established writers, poets, artists and comedians such as authors, Rick Moody, Cris Mazza, Steve Almond, Stephen Dixon, poets, Moira Egan and David Wagoner and actor/comedian, Zach Galifianakis.

For Jane

i am no bird.

i am no

delicate song-maker,

no fragile feather-clump.

though i may be

little and

plain and

unassuming,

do not assume

that i am

what you want

me to be.

though i would

enjoy the ability

to spread out,

to see the world

and live only

for myself,

that is not

who i am.

see me

not for

what you like,

but for

who i tell you

i am.

i am

a woman—

little and

plain and

unassuming

to be sure,

but i am

no bird:

i am no

metaphor

for you to twist and

shape and

force

into the image

you like.

this is

who i am—

do not

coat me in

feathers

or pretty words

to hide

my flaming spirit

because you will only

succeed

in burning

your fingers.

 

Nicole Hylton is a writer-of-all-trades from Southern Maryland. She writes poetry, short stories, and has completed two novellas, Internet Official and Dropping Her Gloves. Her work has appeared in Aethlon and Avatar. She holds a B.A. in English from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, minor in Sociology & Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

 

Support Our Contributors

Support our Adopt a Contributor Program and donate 60% of your donation to this contributor. To adopt your contributor, first subscribe to our monthly or annual subscription. Then, return to your adopted contributor’s work url and sign the comments section at the bottom. Make sure to include “I’ve adopted “contributor name” in your comment. We’ll send 60% of your first month’s subscription to your contributor via PayPal! If you love fiction, poetry, nonfiction, music and art, join us in supporting our talented writers and artists.

About Eckleburg

The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review is a print and digital literary journal. We offer original fiction — short stories, short short stories, hybrid—poetry and nonfiction. We also curate The Eckleburg Gallery — visual artwork and intermedia — as well The Groove including first released, original music by The Size Queens. Our archives include emerging and established writers, poets, artists, musicians and performers such as Rick Moody, Cris Mazza, Eurydice, Steve Almond, Stephen Dixon, Moira Egan, David Wagoner, Zach Galifianakis and many more. We run annual print issues, The Eckleburg Reading Series (DC, Baltimore, Chicago, New York….), as well as, the annual Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction with a first prize of $1000 and print publication.