Cat on the Ginger Carpet with Playmobil

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By Gavin Shepherdson

Shepherdson is a designer and artist from Lanchester, Durham.

His paintings aim to capture memories and moments from his everyday life as a way of documenting the little parts he might otherwise forget. The paintings so far are mostly of his cat and looking for cars with his son.

His artwork has recently featured in print in Porridge Magazine Issue 2 and Penny Thoughts Issue 9.

Passage

By Fanis Papageorgiou

The day A she hung her smile from the sill
and he inhabited the door
the day A she touched him with such a waste
and he dissolved before getting in the grater
the day A she showed him the white of her eyes
and he lost the thread that was consolidating him
the day B he looked at her sleeping
and she got into necrophany
the day B he chirred up
while listening to the knocks of her feet inside the skirt
and she filled the space

 

If life
had found them
they would likely get into

Cherry Sundea

By K. Carlton Johnson

K. Carlton Johnson is a visual artist living on the shores of Lake Superior. Her work has appeared in Connecticut Review, Barley South and Muzzle, to name a few. She has been a visiting artist to the American Academy in Rome and a fellow at the Anderson Ranch Art Center in Red Wing, Minnesota.  


persephone

By Raisa Tolchinsky

why is it that i did not know my no
until i had already said so many quiet yesses

and why now, in a small room, does the woman
ask: where are you still carrying it

when she means, i think,
did you barter away your collarbone for some quiet?

there is never a secret passageway
there is never a quick way into the light

so let me try again.

when stars appeared in a city-bleached sky
i was sure it had to be a sign—

of something, anything, being right.
but if there hadn’t been stars, i would have found a reason

in the rain. if not the rain, then— a stray mosquito, or the glass in your hand.
to exist in an ending for so long is to see only the signs to continue.

my eyes at half-mast, there were so many of you in the
world to keep loving. but smoke is not the same as weather.

to be able to withstand both the beginnings, and the endings,
is how someone once described love to me.

what type of thing is worth more when it is damaged,
flattened by grief?

let me try once more.

i crouched in the grasses,
i set a penny on the tracks.

Blythe

By Gregg Emery

The works and the world of Gregg Emery are inherently imperfect: purposefully paradoxical marriages between simplicity and complexity, clarity and confusion. Emery uses each of his works to complicate his two recurring forms: the circle and the rectangle. He uses sheer physicality to drag his paint into these two shapes, allowing the colors and individual marks of each bristle to interact with one another on his muslin base in ways that are both entirely intentional, yet also left slightly to chance. Each of Emery's pieces contains a unique, yet often limited, color palette, often inspired by unexpected sources. Derived from his everyday life, a movie scene, sunset, food or even a rusted dumpster.
 
Through his powerful color selections and movements, Emery awakens something primal within his viewers. He triggers associations both intended and unexpected, allowing the viewer to continuously enjoy the works with their own, ever-evolving interpretations. 
 
The past couple of years have been particularly strong for Emery as he has received critical acclaim for his exhibits around the globe.  From Brussels to Beijing and back again.  This past year alone Emery was commissioned and completed an 8,000 sq ft mural around a pool on Roosevelt Island that was featured in Time Out NY, the Gothamist and was listed by The New York Post as one of the top instragrammable places of the summer.  He was selected to exhibit in the 10th Annual Governors Island Art Fair, dubbed by the New York Times as the Art Fair of the 99%. From there it was off to Brussels and the Cube Art Fair, where Emery’s paintings could be viewed alongside the work of Chuck Close and other American greats.
 
 

3:30 AM

By Yasuaki Okamoto

Yasuaki Okamoto was born in Japan and lived in England, Spain and Canada before settle down in New York who is working on oil, watercolor, mixed media and recently printmaking especially lithograph.

His paintings perform a kind of surrealist that incorporates animals, plants and everyday objects as an icon of a death, life, and/or nature. The artwork is metaphorically based and inspired by his interest in the ecology of animals/insects and travels.

The Lights Go Down at the Angelika

By Donna Masini

and you press into the dark, imagine
the stranger two rows back, that fragile
chance you’ll forget in the second trailer.

Now it’s quiet, still
this burden of being watcher and screen
and what floats across it–light pouring out

its time and necklines and train wrecks.
What a relief to yield to the EXIT
sign red “I” blinking like a candle.

Soon the enormous figures moving
across rooms, the emphatic narrative
arcs. (There’s the thrum of the subway,

its engine of extras.) Here now
the beginning of trivia tests. Warning puppets
with brown-bag faces and fringy hair.

You’re almost here. But what you want
is the after. How yourself you are now
walking into the night, full moon over Houston Street,

at the bright fruit stand touching the yellow
mums. Here you are: Woman with Cilantro
listening to the rattle of the wrap,

the paper sound paper makes after you
have heard movie paper. Apples are more apples.
Paper more paper. Cilantro, its sweaty green self.

 

 Donna Masini 4:30 Movie.  WW Norton and Co. 2018

speak a straight word

By Afieya Kipp

I am a violently beating heart / in the hand of a pauper / swallowing my sadness / to stay alive for my family because we haven’t got enough money for a funeral / America has taught me / that to be soft is my virtue / and that womyn need access / more than protection / and in the wake of a new / dawning / fiery world order / brought on by the change in seasons / humans have created / with their stiff garbage / is the courage to call things / what they are in your native tongue.

Monastic Living

By Jamie Jonathan Ball

Oil on canvas
7x8 in
2018

'Monastic living' is part of a large on-going group of works entitled 'The Chaos State', which studies a form of dystopia based on the idea that Western society is now so deeply embedded in its own infinitely complex histories that a downward spiral has been set in motion which cannot be reversed. This situation has elapsed, and is elapsing, over such an immense time-frame that an overview seems almost impossible. The painting itself focuses on the psychological condition brought about by isolation.

nightmare

By Niuniu Zhao

the night
intoxicated via new album & smoky light you are definitely out of your mind
gastronomic explosion of inner raspberry ice cream world and obscenities in different languages except your own and dance! dance more & body electric &
pop beats that pop and bob and throb and flow and glow and throw

utter exhaustion from the cloudy rhymeless day but there are beautiful poisonous stories that fall on silky bedsheets and spongy mattresses cool to the touch soft to the drop

the demon in your dreams says take a walk with me into carbohydrate heaven the banana bread is quite vegan
indeed vegan-er than your skinny jeans priced at a little crumpled man’s kidney
ketchup or mayonnaise with your potato fries Why I must have ketchup and loads of it
Are bathing suits or birthday cakes more frightening O you are a woman that is frightening “in a thousand years there will be no men and women” so the movie says but you don’t believe in feminism because they don’t sell it on the streets

the angel says try everything carpe diem! carpe diem! car---pe---di---em---!
and the boy dies with grape juice in his mouth.

experience, accumulate your experience is good for jobs are good for life but don’t smoke don’t do drugs don’t fuck around not all experience is equal not all animals are equal not all of us are equal an egalitarian is always somehow found out to own slaves
“I don’t care about the individual” he says and he loves you so you have to love him although you do care about the individual you say you gotta go right at the heart of politics the machinery so that you have the capital to be secretly against it all but O it’s hard to opt in harder to opt out once you join you can only be against it all secretly because you have no better alternative.

I am a communist in a private girls’ school in a liberal western country on first nations soil

Father, I confess to atheism perfectionism and the cult of avocado the girl has an ego O but an id and superego too no bigotry all one and whole the body is the soul the high is the low

mind is physical love is physical like the sun is physical
Aren’t you ashamed that you have so much money
Aren’t you ashamed that you have so little money
Aren’t you ashamed you can’t even figure out what to be ashamed for

when you remember you might die
you remember you might die the next day but you still try to lose weight and save money
When you wake up
the world is your sandy salty slippery fat oyster

the world is an oyster which means when it closes in on you you are shelled and the bombardment has a rhythm at least better than the droning and droning and droning of lunch table conversations
climb into the shell
get towers of power and showers of flowers
pay everything its due price
and the community will remember your sacrifice.

 

Hemlock

By Amy LeBlanc

the space between her hips
is furnished with dandelion
seedlings and mud.

wisteria scales the walls
curling its vines around her torso.
to aid her recovery
it pricks her fingertips,
then makes a holding space.

With rye in her pockets,
she stretches her vanishing point
far beyond the birch tree
and the rope.

she abandons her half formed
footprints in the snow
and sways.

 

 

Call to Fire

By Isabel Theselius

Medium: Colored Pencil
Size: 24x32 inches
Year: 2018

"Call to Fire" is part of a series that revolves around a diner called The Red Mill, that Theselius' husband's great grandparents used to own in Detroit in the 1950s and 60s. The diner burned down twice under mysterious circumstances, once during the time of the Detroit riots. Through old photographs and postcards of The Red Mill, Theselius has been drawing images of the interior of the diner as the fire begins. These drawings will be part of an installation at a gallery called Detroit located in Stockholm, Sweden, in February 2019.

Her work can also be viewed at the Milk Press Gallery at the 8th Annual New York City Poetry Festival.

Zeus to Semele

By Rob Dennis

unsettling: to admit after all our ifs and I-nevers, after all our singing about lust: certain borders become porous. I’m all amygdala up late extracting patterns from the noise: how a mind stutters, lisps on mania and grandeur and rangy you in your bronze repose.

suppose: before the night does: I can’t rescue you. Time again for yet another costume change? Your eyes: shutter; a full pantheon I become: a horde. Contains me: a knowable universe. It’s not so easy being out of character. A lack of. But you’re one, too: on you

I act out the enormity of my fantasy. A little rage goes a long way, Semele. Out of twelve: one, and you: the loveliest, the better best of Ios and Europas: never did they crowd my head with such amo, amas, etc., with such beating: a like: a than: an as. As if to open

a box or the floorboards splinter, expose the low & dull & quick of it. Inside: only trouble: an ache so loud the neighbors tremble. Rumble of thunder, dark drums, earth tremors: this aching gap, its maniac rhythm, the divine terror of this second heart inside me.

Even spring has nether gloom I climb its roof and check Orion's posture lean over lonely friend my head aches a shoulder

By Danielle Pafunda 

Where you stud your huntsman belt where you carry with you the burden words for celestial bodies exits no nunh I grab / I grasp night air almost a yard of damp fiber ache to braid into rope is lasso is / is the O quite large enough to encompass but tight behold does my O tolerate the stars' loose sword and heat as well I wasn't / kidding I was knowing / I knew a lot about softening to capacity and then / the belief that every day must include pain might sometimes be hypnotized fledgling speckled sand between thirsty junipers fluttering hurt or new hurt or new say it again spell it say it in the careless raked mirror fresh downlike fur pull my daughter's hair so she'll know how not to live

or

crash my body / on some rocks I chill and call my dad / to mind I really love him not because he's a god a lot of people know / he's a god they were there when I was born of woman and also the gold crud that issued from his / joy, I have always made men joyful then disappointed their arms the hilts and the dates of their hilts and jilted nunh I was never so / jilted I made them dislike me capsize me I swam home deep through thick crust layers of home you think it's solid but then you soften and the ground softens to you underground the day under the grave under the meadow that shifts its weight beside the road to the sea that everyone and river ferries avec the island murder wind mountain scree running down my cheeks crumble a slew of things keep going back to stone / get stoned / wonder if anyone loves you like: does anyone love me the way I want to feel it right now the sun doesn't burn this place down and change its name for all the shit we talk about it getting dark now our corner private our sheer greens and aqua travel against the night's buck the harbor's fluttering eyelids don't mean sleep / pick sleep over / pick a tarantula off the low beam where ceiling meets habitat sin ride a little pony all the way to town clasp fur to cheek clasp hands not a clapping no one wants your praise tonight it's a quiet ode for us who got no nurses on duty for the still-white failure skin and bone for a long song I'm singing hardwrong with my hands up up up the back of your shirt buttons taking / I'm not willing to spend time here but neither am I sure where to take you it turns out every party is a sacrifice my tender friends are scared my thighs are shook where empty my cup comes back filled with a bright taste I'm certain I like it in my name is salt my tender friend's name is dusk we come from the center and we sell / destined labor

or

charm them with your stylish magic charm me think about without wanting to how easy to / too easy it would be / to burn yourself among sleepers not care if anyone dreams speak your name into the whorl while a crummy band lights up feeling and your people lay out to either side a channel of how you be and become remembered / remember none of that is here now a cult you member I've got my hands up what looks like prayer might as well reach into the dirt grab my wrist and I'll grab yours back and haul and haul like hell