the blue collection 8: Twin Peaks
(Winter 2017 / 17.13)
A Blue Rose Case … in Eighteen Parts
Ivy Alvarez Kevin Carrier Spencer Chou
Leonora Desar Satch Dobrey Andrea Eaker
Karen Head Dianna Henning
Moira J Collin Kelley Benjamin Kinney
Gretchen Seaver Lee Matthew David Perez
Meghan Phillips Jeanne Marie Spicuzza Kailey Tedesco
Pamela Murray Winters
“And now, an ending. Where there was once one, there are now two. Or were
there always two? What is a reflection? A chance to see two? When there are
chances for reflections, there can always be two – or more. Only when we are
everywhere will there be just one. It has been a pleasure speaking to you.”
– Margaret Lanterman, intro, episode 29
From episode 1, season 1, spring of 1990 – Twin Peaks: “Northwest Passage” – with its familiar yet surreal landscape, drenched in a soundtrack by Angelo Badalemnti, a world entered me, and has rumbled through my life ever since – poking out its head on occasion.
Television, at least for me, would never be the same. David Lynch and Mark Frost took something old and made it fresh, original, singular. The story continues to morph.
A new language, new way of thinking:
Red Room, Black Lodge, Log Lady, Roadhouse, Another Place, the Double R, Audrey’s dance, Laura’s secret diary, Room 315, Bob, The Arm, little man, two Chalfonts, one fireman, tulpa, Jowday, doppelgänger, white horse, garmonbozia, electricity, wind in the trees, owls… “Got a light?”
Mysteries inside of mysteries, dreams within dreams, spirits within bodies – but always a good slice of cherry pie, a hot cup of coffee, and an ending never really finding itself. And that’s the beauty.
Hope you enjoy these works – reflections of/inspired by the strange, hypnotic dimension that is Twin Peaks.
“Through the darkness of future past,
the magician longs to see.
One chants out between two worlds…
‘Fire… walk with me’”
– Mike/Phillip Gerard
It often takes me a long time to sort out my feelings for any David Lynch work. With Twin Peaks: The Return, it will be no different. There is a surfeit to absorb from its 18 episodes. Still, in the midst of watching it, even before it’s over, one already longs for it to come again, a feeling I’ve started to think of as avant-nostalgia, one that Lynch/Frost (that dynamic duo) expertly awakens in their audiences.
Twinning and cloning. Duality and mirroring. Inversions, reversals and subversions. Bifurcations. Doppelgängers and tulpas. Twin Peaks. The idea of the double is a foundational theme in this multi-decade work.
After watching The Return, two scenes continue to haunt me for their sharpness in contrast: an innocent Dougie-good Cooper joyfully bouncing his arms while his wife sits astride him; and a Dale Cooper-of-ambiguous-moral-provenance, who is with Diane in a desperate motel bedroom, placed in a similar position, as she tries to cover his face with her hands.
Twin Peaks is a parallel world, a waking surreality, where everything is suspect and very little can be found to be trustworthy. As Collin Kelley writes it, “…we are living inside a dream” (‘Another Monica Bellucci Dream’).
In the creative non-fiction and fiction of Karen Head, Andrea Eaker, Dianna Henning, Satch Dobrey, Matthew David Perez, Benjamin Kinney, and in the poetry of Gretchen Seaver Lee, Moira J, Meghan Phillips, Kevin Carrier, Jeanne Marie Spicuzza, Kailey Tedesco, and Pamela Murray Winters, what reverberates through Sam Rasnake and Michelle Elvy’s selection finds its echo in the trapped expression on Diane’s face, where every work becomes a Minotaur, parting open and slipping through curtains, trying to find a way out of the Black Lodge maze. Spencer Chou’s art, in particular, points to emotionally familiar landmarks in what is often strange territory.
Even then, perhaps the Twin Peaks audience enjoys this duality of feeling-caught-and-needing-to-escape, craves it even. As Leonora Desar writes in ‘Mania’, “We don’t know if we want the Bang Bang or the Black Lodge, if we want Julee Cruise on stereo or the voices in our head. The voices tell us to save it up. To write it down.”
So while it might take me years to figure out what I think of Lynch/Frost’s recent addition to the Twin Peaks’ story, I am left with feeling a mixture of relief and gratitude to the poets, writers and artists selected for Blue Fifth Review’s Twin Peaks issue for being, in this context, our first responders, by offering us 18 works to experience and navigate. Their words and their art capture thoughts as inexplicable as the ringing bells in a jackpot machine, as sublime as the sweep of a woman’s arm on an empty dance floor.
“Just let it happen”
Gretchen Seaver Lee
My Log Has Something to Tell You
A cento in pantoum
Behind all things there are reasons
Big, majestic, Douglas Firs
Deliver the message
My log has something to tell you
Big, majestic, Douglas Firs
Every day, once a day, give yourself a present
My log has something to tell you
Don’t plan for it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen
Every day, once a day, give yourself a present
This cherry pie is a miracle
Don’t plan for it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen
One day, the sadness will end
This cherry pie is a miracle
Behind all things, there are reasons
One day, the sadness will end
Deliver the message
“The night is slow now”
Where A Yellow Light Still Means Slow Down, Not Go Faster
Sister was a saint drug up from the river,
her limbs malleable like rubbernecked trauma,
did you see her bend into rooms of curtained conversations?
Did you see her spit upon the neck who watered the orchids?
I have lived too many lives here, some of which
were in the caves, trampled by hauntings of
someone else’s doing, rather than by the Sister, or
my own. An unblinking mug by the sink
holds many secrets, slipped from lips
sipping at its edges, it told me of the man with a missing arm
baptizing twin ghosts, even as one still held its
flesh tightly. The night is slow now, and I am tired of watching
sad, lost boys wait for red lights to turn, their problems
too small against backdrops of carnage, of violence
from a possessed father. A pale horse waited to saddle Sister
back to her new room, and we stopped wondering how
many bodies would be dispatched to
a midnight lodge where frequent visitors asked
for dances, and a man ran and ran
around a waiting room as endless coffee was served. But Sister
looks so wide when she smiles now, creamed corn
spilling from her hands as she buys me a nice
dress, draped red and full of familiar inhabitants.
“Two slices please”
Matthew David Perez
A young woman waits alone at a booth in a diner. Her name is Olivia Grace. She looks around at the open windows and turns a cup of black coffee counterclockwise. In the diner an old man in blue jeans, a flannel shirt, and a navy blue bubble vest sits at the counter and asks the young woman in a paper hat behind the counter for a Reuben and French fries to go with his coffee.
Sure thing, hon.
The young woman in the paper hat disappears into the kitchen behind a swinging door.
Olivia Grace turns her coffee a quarter turn.
Can I get you anything to eat?
The young woman in the paper hat smiles at Olivia Grace.
We have really good marionberry pie today. Best time of the year for marionberries.
Olivia smiles at her.
My mother’s name was Marion. Like Maid Marion. From those Robin Hood stories.
You sure you don’t want any pie? It’s fresh.
No thanks. I’m waiting for someone.
The young woman in the paper hat walks away and Olivia Grace turns her coffee again a quarter turn. Then a bell rings. Olivia Grace looks up at the door to the diner but nobody is there. The young woman in the paper hat takes a plate from the warming shelf and takes it to the man in the bubble vest and sets it before him on the counter.
Another bell rings. This time it’s the door to the diner. A young man pushes the door open with his left elbow. He keeps his hands in his coat pockets. He looks at the line of booths to his right. All of them are empty. He looks at the counter and sees the old man eating his sandwich and the young woman in the paper hat behind the counter. She takes out a plastic tray of steaming mugs and plates from the dishwasher and sets them on the counter.
The young man with his hands in his coat pockets looks to his left and sees Olivia Grace seated alone at a booth. She turns her coffee another quarter turn and looks at the young man from across the room.
He walks to her booth. He keeps his hands in his coat pockets. He sits down facing Olivia Grace. The young woman in the paper hat returns.
What can I get you?
The young man looks up.
Sure thing. You okay, hon?
Olivia Grace does not look away from the young man with his hands in his coat pockets.
More coffee. A new cup. This one’s cold.
The young woman in the paper hat turns the young man’s coffee mug upright on the saucer and walks away. The young man stares at Olivia Grace. His hands stay in his coat pockets. On the other side of the diner near the bathrooms the young woman in the paper hat pushes a button on the jukebox. A song plays. She dances alone.
So. Are you going to kill me?
The young man with his hands in his coat pockets leans back in the booth and his outstretched leg almost touches Olivia Grace’s legs under the table. The young woman in the paper hat returns with a pot of coffee and a new mug and she pours the coffee into the new mug and into the young man’s mug and sets them both on the table.
Can I get you anything to eat?
The young man with his hands in his coat pockets looks up.
What kind of pie do you have?
All kinds! But we have really good marionberry pie today. Best time of the year for marionberries.
The young man looks at Olivia Grace.
That sounds perfect.
He holds up two fingers.
Two slices please.
Heated up with ice cream?
Is there any other way?
The young woman in the paper hat walks away. Olivia Grace looks back at the young man with his hands in his coat pockets. She takes off her shoes and sets them on the seat next to her in the booth.
If you’re going to do it just hurry up and get it overwith.
The young man with his hands in his coat pockets bends his leg and sets his ankle over his opposite knee.
After the pie.
A bell rings. The young woman in the paper hat goes to the warming shelf and picks up two plates of marionberry pie and brings them to Olivia Grace’s booth. She sets the plates and two clean teaspoons down in front of them.
Wow! Looks great. That’s all for now. Thank you.
You’re welcome. Enjoy.
The young woman in the paper hat walks to the jukebox and dances.
Don’t you love it when the ice cream melts on the warm plate? Look. You can see all the vanilla beans in there.
The young man with his hands in his coat pockets takes a deep breath through his nose. He leans forward in his seat. His hands stay in his coat pockets.
Do you mind?
Olivia Grace picks up a teaspoon and breaks into the marionberry pie and into the bottom crust.
Ah. Don’t forget the ice cream.
She takes the spoon full of marionberry pie and scoops up ice cream. She picks it up slowly and leans forward. She holds it steady and brings it to his lips. He bites the whole thing and leans back and chews.
Mmm. Mmm. Damn good pie. Mmm. Quick, quick. Coffee. Quick. Mmm.
Olivia Grace puts the teaspoon down on the plate and picks up the young man’s coffee mug. He leans forward again. She brings the hot mug to his lips. She tilts it forward and the young man with his hands in his coat pockets slurps.
He laughs. The young woman in the paper hat goes back to the jukebox. She dances alone. He laughs.
“What was built into the walls remained”
was woven with sweet cedar; its metal roof pinged in the rain. A wide
field of windows, their window-boxes pulsated with red geraniums. There
were oaks and digger pines. There were coyotes that howled. There was
a pond wide as a lake. There was a sense of other beings. A woman
and a man called their place Little Clear Creek. They planted apple trees
named for their children. Each evening they walked to the pond. Snow
geese spreading black tipped wings, lifted off the water. The man took his wife’s
hand in his. Their eyes said they were eternal. But houses can be astute scholars
that study their people with avid attention. He began to work late at the office.
She grew restless and remote. When the people broke, the house, too. The
couple left separately, the pebble path scattered. Geraniums died. Cedar siding
aged to a dismal gray. Other beings shook their heads in dismay, and never again
entered the abandoned home. But what was built into the walls remained, their
best moments, remnants of laughter, hope; such as when they first met apple picking.
“Everything I needed to learn”
On Being the Only One of My Circle Not to Watch Twin Peaks
Laura Palmer’s death did not haunt me. She lurked only at the edges of my reality, no need for understanding who killed her, or why, or where—the Red Room, the Black Lodge, just places where I know someone else’s evil resides.
Lynch’s world, though, is familiar enough. I’ve accepted a turbulent ride with him down Mulholland—found myself willing to slip into whatever cloak of amnesia I could claim.
I understand what he’s about.
Truth is, most of my friends, feet singed by bright-hot, blue television rays, were eager to share the heat, to tell the tale, over and again—everything I needed to learn about Twin Peaks, swallowed past a lump in my throat, with tequila and slices of cherry pie.
All of us, most of our waking lives, dreamlike, are trying to keep a parallel distance—because the real is always more surreal than the imagined—because some beautiful child is always dead, begging for us to hear her story.
“There is fire where you’re going”
Another Monica Bellucci Dream
– for all the Davids, past, present & future
Last night, I had another Monica Bellucci dream.
I was in London writing a book. Monica called
and asked me to meet her at the White Horse pub.
She said she needed to talk to me.
When we met at the pub, David was there
but I couldn’t see his face.
Monica was very pleasant. She had come alone.
We both had wine.
And then she said: We’re not going to talk about Paris.
That moment has come and gone;
it is an answer with no question.
A very powerful, uneasy feeling came over me.
Monica looked out the window and indicated to me
that something was happening there. I turned and looked.
I saw myself. I saw myself from long ago
standing with David outside Covent Garden tube station.
The first time I ever came to London.
David holds me tightly and then he kisses me,
something he had never done before in public.
He says we are living inside a dream –
that we have become doppelgangers, tulpas.
We will return to the states as different people,
call each other by different names.
Nothing is the same after this.
I feel a pervasive melancholy, not only for things lost,
but of things to come that will also be lost.
I imagine my insides – intestines and stomach – cleaned out,
smooth and gleaming like new pipes
or the tub of a washing machine.
I scrub my flesh until I am a pale version of my former self.
A vestige. A cheap copy.
I go to bed hungry, chewing the inside of my cheek
until I taste blood.
My teeth are a puzzle in my mouth.
I am unrecognizable to myself.
Monica is ready to leave. She kisses me on both cheeks.
Then she asks a strange question: Is it future or is it past?
Now this is really something interesting to think about.
And then she says:
Oh, mio caro amico, there is fire where you’re going.
“Pardon me, is there another entrance”
The Red Room
As you roll down the ladder you are resigned and relieved. It was the only way out. The fact that you did not remember about the ladder is more disconcerting than the fact you were unable to climb it. Once on the wooden floor you don’t even look at the ladder and the gap of sky. It all seems too unreal, too absurd to think they expect you to climb through an opening in the sky to search for rare books. They were through the entry, past the owner and clerk at the checkout desk and behind the next wall in an alcove. You recall the pleasant sense of discovery that was once yours after successfully pulling yourself up through the trap door. Yet, something still does not jive. You begin to wonder why you never before sought out another entrance. Surely there must be another point of entry. You walk back to the main hallway and approach the woman at the hot dog booth.
“Pardon me, is there another entrance to the bookstore besides climbing that old ladder?”
“Well, there’s that staircase over there…that’ll take you to the bookstore. And, of course, they’ve just installed an escalator this year.”
“Escalator? There’s an escalator that goes to the bookstore?”
“Why, yes, they just installed it a few months ago. Its down the hall past the Odd Fellows, to your right.”
You thank her and with a mixture of relief (for your mental state) and elation (for your physical) then first seek out the staircase. She had pointed to a branch off the main hallway across from the path that led to the ladder. It was unlit. It seemed incredible to me that the path to the ladder was well lit but the one to the stairway at the opposing side of the main hallway was completely dark. You walk slowly, not sure of what you might find, but about thirty yards into the darkness you see a faint glimmer of light on a handrail. It was a huge wooden staircase with an ornate carving on the handrail. You touch it and look up to the top landing. A small wattage red light bulb at the top of the door was the only illumination for this corridor.
You quickly walk back to the main hallway looking for the escalator. As you pass the shoeshine chairs, the aged black men exude their all-knowing look. You half smile at them but continue down the hall. As you approach the Odd Fellows Hall, you exchange pleasantries with an old friend from your school days as he enters the Odd Fellows carrying his saxophone case. You get the impression that the two men in suits stationed at the entrance are there to weed out people like you. Although a bit curious, you have no intention of stepping into the Odd Fellow climate.
Foot traffic increased as you went past the IOOF, where you had doubled back on your initial foray. Just about 10 or 15 paces and you are swept up in a mass of people coming from all directions forging into a wide intersection of what now appears to be a great hall of a train station without the trains. You see the escalator to the right and you are elated. Yet, as you rise higher, squinting, your mood deflates. The lights are too bright. Not what you remember. You see the bookstore to the right, or what you think must be the bookstore, but there is no sign, no B O O K S to be found. You see the owner of the bookstore seated between two other men at a long table to your left. You know it’s him, he has the same tuft of thin curly reddish-brown hair on top of his high brow with wiry sideburns and finely trimmed goatee. In your previous visits, he would always be busy behind his desk arranging things or amidst the stacks pulling, preening, stocking. Now, he sat with shoulders slumped, hair thinning and graying at the tips of the burns with a meek expression of resignation. The other two men were both overweight and dressed in frumpy, old suits. As you turn the corner you spot the opening from the sky ladder, but it appears to be in the side of the wall. The room appears tilted on end. In the hallway, there is an aluminum step ladder leaning against a wall next to an emergency exit door. The entrance hallway and the room off to the right are brightly lit from overhead florescent tubes. You almost pass but at the last split-second veer into the open room. The room is empty save for a cushioned patio chair and a fake Christmas Tree in the far corner of the room. You know this room was once filled with translated books but now it is much smaller and seems to be nothing but a catch-all for rejections. The slouching proprietor seemed like an employee rather than owner.
As you stand there, mesmerized by the bright, red carpet covering what you remember as a hardwood floor, a little painter in white paint smeared overalls enters the room talking into a tiny cell phone.
“Alright Mitch, see if they still got that Panda down there, will ya…I know, you’re just gonna have to pack that stuff up and set it with the rest.”
The painter takes the stepladder and in a high-pitched voice says, “now they want me to paint the men’s lavatory.”
“Excuse me, sir, didn’t this used to be a bookstore?”
“Bookstore? Nah, used to be a clothing store. Can you believe, they want two-tone mauve in the men’s. Everything has to be two-tone.”
“What is this room used for?”
“Appointments. You got one?”
“I guess so.”
You take a seat in the dark red leather chair. You stare at the two-toned pinkish picture frame, waiting for someone to climb through, thinking, this could be your breakthrough.
“A palace of curtains”
H-Bomb Cherry Pie
this dust has already contused
my blueness outwards –
i’m dancing & dancing & dancing & then
they say a ghost can travel
a power line & so, too,
my tulpa lightnings
i am nursing a body
that is only a seed
i am chitting a membrane
sogs golden – i am dying
Judy Garland conjures
a palace of curtains
behind beads / behind Venus de Milo
the oculus black
preens my caul
i’m the swollen glass
bottle of bodies
so knocked over
i’m the back
of a veil
& red –
sheers the sweet tooth
right from my death.
“The Bang Bang or the Black Lodge”
We are a sneaky little cat and then a gazelle prancing through the forest, dancing and climbing trees and making art. We don’t know when we turn into a bear. One minute everything’s peachy and the next thing you know our fur is growing everywhere, in long mangy clumps, clogging up the sink and jamming up the office copier. Our boss tells us to take a personal day. We see our shrink but swing out the back way before the receptionist can call our name, we wink at the cute doorman but he recoils from our bear breath and yellow teeth, from our tail peeking out our skirt. We think, wouldn’t it be nice to go sunbathing topless? To go skinny-dipping in the Hudson? We want to swim forever but there is not enough air or sun or world, we want to throw our meds all down the toilet, we want to go faster and faster, to explode in fire, we want to stamp our feet and go Arrrgh! We paint and paint and paint and the colors are all rivering together, a Jabberwocky of paint. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. We paint it from the rooftops and beat our chest. We max out our credit cards and pick up strange men in bars, and though we don’t have an affair, we have an online relationship with a woman named Henry, an artist from Maine who makes postcards of her lady parts, who calls them the flora and fauna of the ages. We tell our shrink about it but she says we are getting too unruly for her couch, we are leaving nasty little bear droppings all over her nice new Persian rug, we want to tell our husband but he’ll lock us inside a room, he’ll make us captive and maybe it’s a good idea, to play the captive, to wait until the shitstorm blows, and so we wait and sweat it out, we claw the walls and play Chinese checkers and do séances for our lost kindergarten loves. We’ve got to get our shit together. We paint our toenails black and blue and red, like Diane from that show, we pretend we are talking to Agent Cooper and that he is saving us, and then we are not Diane but Laura Palmer, we are Laura Palmer wandering the woods, away from Bobby, and Cooper is coming to whisk us away, to save us from this dimension and ourselves. We don’t know if we are in need of saving. We don’t know if we want the Bang Bang or the Black Lodge, if we want Julee Cruise on stereo or the voices in our head. The voices tell us to save it up. To write it down. To memorize it and carve it on our tongue, to carve it on the walls for when we go back into hibernation. Our husband’s slipping us the cure. The winter is going to be long.
“There was always something rattling”
It Is in Our House Now
There’s no denying that everything has eroded a little in the past few decades.
Shelley Briggs felt it in the diner one night, when in the middle of her automated dance of serving customers, she discovered that the customers themselves had changed instantly. Because the new patrons were nice enough, and because it took all her effort to maintain her crisp smile amidst the chaos of her life, she dismissed the chaos of the world and dished up another piece of pie.
And Ella! Unreliable as she is, she insisted that on her way home from the place where she used to serve burgers, she saw a penguin walking down the street in September. She laughs it off when you ask her about it, pretends it was a joke or that she was high at the time, but in the pause afterward is something that itches away at her.
There are too many pauses now in general. Too many dark corners that were once lit, or bare corners that once contained something. The world cares less now about making sense. Were our commutes to work always this long and bland? Were our conversations always this disjointed? Maybe in this house there was always something rattling in the kitchen, always buzzing noises coming from our appliances.
We eat desserts, and we drink coffee, and we drink alcohol, and we try to forget that people are selling their blood and shooting their brains out in the woods. We go to the live music nights at the Roadhouse, where we hum the songs without listening too closely to the words. We crowd next to each other on the dance floor as if there are more of us than there really are. As if our dance matters more than the peanut shells that will get swept up tomorrow. As if after this performance we won’t have to return home.
It has been a goddamn bad story these past twenty-five years—longer than that, says whatever is in the kitchen—and we all look older than we should. Because even if none of our story matters, we still love it, still would have changed so much of it if we had known what was being told.
It is hard to sleep when even the ceiling fan and the wallpaper seem to conspire against us. In the dead of night, a word enters the bedroom like a 50’s radio tune, like an insect flying through an open New Mexico window. The word is meanwhile, and it closes around the years, even as we insist it doesn’t fit.
“The trees that were born here”
In Between Rooms
If we are meant to stay
The trees that were born here,
only when felled,
will give up their secrets
and take us home.
And while good and evil
match their wits
we are meant to wait offstage,
wringing the bloody curtains
between our hands.
“Revelations of the deep unknown”
Pamela Murray Winters
Dr. Jacoby’s Golden Shovel
“Creatures of unknown origin, trapped in time, pinned to a hostile rock…”
You’d think this godseyed bloviator would scare the creatures
in the woods, banging on metal, shouting his revelations of
the deep unknown into a stick and a box and an unknown
number of ears. Used to be a brain pro, his origin
involving delicate tools to extract ships trapped
in glass heads. Now, from this thicket, he’s filling in
the empty spaces, a mind dentist. Seasons and time
haven’t changed his style: hibiscus pinned
to his white heart, schizoid lenses calibrated to
another dimension. The animals love him. They know a
player. He’s a mild thing, his shovels not gold, but golden. One hostile
bear or ticked-off tick, he’d fall radio silent, drop like a rock.
“Because I wanted to be Diane”
Why I Painted My Fingernails Black and White after Watching Part 18
Because I thought Part 17 was the last episode. I thought I would be left with that beach, gorgeously empty.
Because Part 18, the real ending, troubled me. Painting my nails helps me dispel feelings of trouble. It helps me feel like I’m back in control. It covers up what I don’t want to see.
Because I wanted to be Diane. Ever since the first episodes, where she was the anonymous recipient of microcassettes from Cooper. I wanted to get tapes from a man who said snowshoe rabbit with so much wonder. A man who prized my involvement enough to relay every detail, even the time of day and the smells in the air. A man who spoke of me joining him, eating pie and drinking coffee in his wake.
Because of that scream from Odessa Laura. I couldn’t stop thinking about that scream. Haven’t we seen her screaming enough? In the woods with Cooper? With James? As she died? Her mother screamed too, forgotten on the phone learning of her daughter’s death. Then she spent the next 25 years living in that house under those spinning blades. Why couldn’t she take down that horrible fan, that round guillotine in the perpetually-chilly Northwest? Shouldn’t there be a limit to the Palmer pain?
Because I cried when I saw Diane’s expression during that sex scene. There didn’t seem to be any bliss hidden in her pain. I’d waited so long for that scene, wanting to be Diane for ages, and then the buildup of The Return…and that’s what I’m left with? Another twenty-five years of remembering them together, like that? The tortured and the observer?
Because I don’t know which one Bad Cooper raped: the real Diane or the Tulpa. Because it shouldn’t matter which one.
Because I just got a new phone and said, “Bixby, can you explain Part 18 of Twin Peaks, The Return?” “Yes,” said Bixby. “Here’s what I found on the Internet.” My phone displayed a map with directions from my house to a breakfast restaurant a few miles away. Maybe they serve damn good coffee. I don’t know.
Because I was owed a good love scene and I was cheated.
Because when I told my boyfriend how bothered I was by Diane’s face in that scene, he said, “But…I think it’s supposed to look that way.”
Yes, it is supposed to look that way. I know. I also know that it’s just a show, that no real Palmers have been screaming. But that doesn’t mean I can’t wish it was different: wish for an empty beach, wish Dale and Diane unfettered rapture, wish Mrs. Palmer answered the door. All I can do is paint it over. My fingernails will reflect back the light as they dry, smooth and thick-coated, showing nothing but shine.
“It’s a good thing we made
so many sandwiches”
Candie Explains the Plot of Reservoir Dogs
for Bradley & Rodney
We are so lucky there are so many colors to name a man. White & Brown & Blue & Orange & Pink, like my dress, & Blonde, like my hair, like the hair of the girls who stand beside me, like the hair of a dead girl in a picture on a shelf.
We are so lucky we don’t need to steal. We live in a house built on luck & guns we know won’t be turned on us. The men we know can buy diamonds. We don’t need to go into warehouses or drive a car for ourselves.
We are so lucky to have ears on our heads & Pink dresses on our bodies. The men in dark suits keep their guns to themselves & gold hearts in their chests. Yes, one is the Law but he is on our side.
We are so lucky our faces are cooled by air that has been conditioned because tomorrow will be hot & smoggy & even though only one of them gets out, it’s a good thing we made so many sandwiches.
“This is not the beginning”
Jeanne Marie Spicuzza
Day of the Dead
From chalk white bone
to ash black dust,
our veins are the days.
hope and hard work.
Heart beats, I love you.
Our skin, the tissue.
across the sky.
Our nerves are trails of rain.
We live by the sea.
The salt and sand
are the change.
Doubt and trust
ripple out of us.
Our muscles are the waves.
I am with you now.
The air is beyond
I will miss you,
as I always do,
to find you again.
When we die
it tugs and tears
at our ligaments.
The current is
made of blood
It keeps everything,
lets go of everything.
Our souls clench
while our hands
Our body is
of an egg.
that this is not
not the end.
I will see you again
in the flame
when our wings
and condensation bows,
witnessing the birth
of new earth.
“Fire curling from the sky”
It was Laura / It was Eurydice
No place like home has its lights out. Someone who lives there brags about sleeping through anything. Warm milk & ceiling fans hypnotize me pregnant with white horses hoofing my gut. It’s Kantian: someone will always die if it isn’t me first, or else killers come bombing & I rest safe with jade circling my knuckles. Stop dragging me from hell. I’m absolutely covered in panoply. The stars rock me holy like a soap bubble. The stars chose me & there is fire curling from the sky. I will never growl when you need me to. You kill me uphill & still it hurts / it hurts / it hurts.
IVY ALVAREZ is the editor of a series of David Lynch-inspired poetry chapbook anthologies, including A Slice of Cherry Pie, recently re-released by The Private Press. Her most recent poetry collections are The Everyday English Dictionary (Paekakariki Press), Hollywood Starlet (dancing girl press), and Disturbance (Seren Books). Born in the Philippines, she’s lived in Australia, Ireland and Wales, before arriving in New Zealand in 2014. Read more here.
KEVIN CARRIER has previously had work published in Blue Fifth Review and Echoes & Images. He lives in Bristol, Virginia with his husband Chris and their dog Frankie.
SPENCER CHOU is a writer and editor from Nottingham, England. He edits the literary magazine The Nottingham Review, and his writing has been published in various places. In 2016 he was shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award. Recently he has started dabbling in linocut printing. You can follow him on Twitter @spencerchou.
LEONORA DESAR’s writing can be found or is forthcoming in Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, Harpur Palate, Devil’s Lake, Psychology Today, and elsewhere. She received an honorable mention in Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Award, and was a finalist for Black Warrior Review’s flash prose contest and SmokeLong Quarterly’s Kathy Fish fellowship. She holds an MS from the Columbia Journalism School.
SATCH DOBREY has a B.A. in English from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and an M.A. in International Affairs from Washington University in St Louis. Recent poetry appears in Bluestem (EIU), Rampike (Ontario, Canada), Revue Post, Painters and Poets, and Blotterature. Fiction appears in Tribe Magazine out of Plymouth, England. The author currently works as a librarian/freelance writer. Sincerely,
ANDREA EAKER lives in the Seattle area and works as a researcher. She loves fiction, caffeine, and exploring new places. Her stories have appeared in journals including Stratus, Flight Journal, Shooter Literary Magazine, and Every Day Fiction.
KAREN HEAD is the author of five books, and also engages in digital poetry. She teaches at Georgia Tech, and is the editor of Atlanta Review. She really likes cherry pie.
DIANNA HENNING holds an MFA in Writing ’89 from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Published in, in part: Naugatuck River Review, Lullwater Review, The Red Rock Review, The Kentucky Review, The Main Street Rag, Poetry Now, California Quarterly, Poetry International, Fugue, Clackamas Literary Review, South Dakota Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, and The Seattle Review. Henning has taught poetry through California Poets in the Schools. She received several CAC grants and through the William James Association’s Prison Arts Program which gave her the opportunity to teach poetry at Folsom Prison as well as at other CA prisons. Henning’s third poetry chapbook Cathedral of the Hand was published in 2016 by Finishing Line Press.
MOIRA J. is an a-gender, white-coded descendant from the White Mountain band of the Apache nation. Based in Boston, they are a writer of poetry, flash fiction, and creative non-fiction. Moira J.’s work looks to challenge and interrogate narratives about indigeneity, grief, illness, kinships, and sexuality. They have work published with The Shallow Ends, Phoebe Journal, Third Point Press, and more. They have upcoming publications with The Shade Journal, Cosmonauts Avenue, and FIVE:2:ONE Magazine. You can find them on Twitter @moira_j, or at www.moiraj.com.
COLLIN KELLEY is the author of the poetry collections Render and Better To Travel as well as The Venus Trilogy of novels: Conquering Venus, Remain In Light, and Leaving Paris.
BENJAMIN KINNEY lives and writes in St. Petersburg, Florida. He earned an M.A. in English from Northern Michigan University. He has published reviews on the Ploughshares blog and Heavy Feather Review, fiction in Cartridge Lit, and nonfiction in Walloon Writers Review and f(r)iction. He has an infrequently updated blog at benjaminkinney.com.
GRETCHEN SEAVER LEE is a freelance violinist, violist, and fiddler, currently residing in Pennsylvania. Her poetry has appeared in OVS Magazine.
MATTHEW DAVID PEREZ is a Texas-born writer and educator, living in Seattle. His works have appeared in The Upper Mississippi Harvest, Apeiron Review, DIN Magazine, and elsewhere.
MEGHAN PHILLIPS is the fiction editor for Third Point Press and an associate editor for SmokeLong Quarterly. You can find her writing at meghan-phillips.com and her tweets @mcarphil. She lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
JEANNE MARIE SPICUZZA is the founder and CEO of Seasons & a Muse, Inc. An award-winning producer and performance artist, and an award-nominated actress and writer, Jeanne Marie is also motion picture director, model, philosopher, activist, watercolor painter and illustrator, composer and Master Herbalist. She is the author of beautiful terrible & true (poetry), My Italia (poetry travelogue), and For Beautiful Children Like You (children’s book, with illustrations by Spicuzza and Guy Hoffman) – all by Libri Publishers. Spicuzza is the writer and co-director (with Synthian Sharp) of the film The Scarapist (2015).
KAILEY TEDESCO is the author of These Ghosts of Mine, Siamese (Dancing Girl Press) and the forthcoming full-length collection, She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publishing). She is the editor-in-chief of Rag Queen Periodical and a staff writer for Luna Luna Magazine. She also performs in the Poetry Brothel. You can find her work featured or forthcoming in Bellevue Literary Review, Prelude, OCCULUM, Prick of the Spindle, and more. For more, please visit here.
PAMELA MURRAY WINTERS is a recipient of a 2017 Maryland State Arts Council grant for her poetry. Her first book, The Unbeckonable Bird, will be published by FutureCycle Press in summer 2018. Her work has been published in Gargoyle, the Gettysburg Review, Opossum, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and numerous other publications. She lives in Maryland.