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Dilemma If I tell my son his mouse is dying I may as well tell him the rest: her shallow breath means her lungs are deflating, causing the rest of her organs to slowly betray her. If he asks me if it’s painful, well. What can hide him from that truth? Her cage is littered with her loss of strength: untouched water bottle, food pellets staling in the pink plastic bowl. If I tell him she’s dying I may as well tell him the worst of it, that his father and I knew exactly what we were doing when we encouraged him to choose her, the fastest mouse of the dozens of albinos in the pet store’s glass aquarium, yes, we brought her home to die and hoped that in [...]

Cassetsy Notebooks is a micro-press of sorts; founded and run by native Brooklynites, it produces small notebooks, crafted by hand from paper, old cassette tapes from your favorite '80s and '90s bands, and the album art and liner notes they came packaged in. As part of the mission of TheThe's Infoxicated Corner is to promote indie art of all kinds (and to emphasize the confluence among literature, creative writing, and other types of art and creativity), I asked Andrew Jung, one of the co-founders of this small arts business to tell us a little bit about the genesis of their press and the creation of their handbound notebooks. This is my Cassetsy notebook, which I love. I told them to surprise me with whatever album they thought best, and they [...]

Hear the audio version of this poem here.           Hear the audio version of this poem here.       Hear the audio version of this poem here.       Meg Cowen writes, paints on canvas and builds furniture in her old New Hampshire farmhouse. Some of her recent work appears in PANK, Whiskey Island, Passages North and interrupture. She edits Pith, a journal of experimental writing, and lives online at www.megcowen.com.      

True Ugliness: Cate Marvin's Oracle by KT Billey People are fucked up and funny, and so is the world. This is a fact that Oracle (Norton, 2015), Cate Marvin’s third and most recent collection of poems, bestows upon us, and it’s clear from the get-go that anyone looking for soothsaying better look elsewhere. Or consider what soothsaying means. The very first line throws us into a sharp, observant speaker who sees and understands being seen:   As the leering boss poised by a photocopier…   There is no false advertising in this book’s truth-promise title, nor are these poems riddles. “On the Ineptitude of Certain Hurricanes,” the introductory poem, sets a scene for many readers—likely the east coast, a couple years ago, but if not in a particular time and place, surely [...]

Portrait of Thumbelina As A Poet Like ducks, she moves in circles: old tattered lamentations, same fears to excavate, this eternal wait for fingers other than her own to hold open the book. A loss of faith in what the city knows. The scent of the rickety lemons on the sidewalk, the rains from under the streetlights,the palimpsests of the potholed sidewalks. Assurance of scripted disobedience, the maroon ruptures in the city's maps. She writes the names of her other lovers on her wrists, her palms-- places from which her husband won't be able to avert his eyes. In this city where poems flow like snot, where poets infest both homes and gutters like mosquitoes, she is just another housewife striving to be a poet. Unable to tear apart her [...]

Letter One Dear Continuum: I got an issue of Poets and Writers in the mail yesterday. I enjoyed what I read, but it was not inspiring at all. It was realistic. It was honest about the uphill battle it is to get a book seen. I know the work of this all too well. But this letter is not about books, this is about voice and the love and armor you will need to have yours heard. When I think about being a writer in 2015, being a writer with a Black woman’s voice— as Lucille Clifton said, “I am a black woman poet...and I sound like one”—with no agent, no powerful mentor opening doors, no financial support, no salary, no benefits, then I realize that this really is a [...]

I asked the poet Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie to talk with me a little bit about the genesis and refinement of her new book, Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation, which is excerpted today at TheThe Poetry Blog. (And please see the end of the Q&A for a brief note from her publisher about his grassroots micropress, Grand Concourse!) Fox Frazier-Foley: I really loved this book, and I'm so excited to talk with you about your process in creating it. Can you tell me a little bit about how you started the project? How did you come up with the character, the name, the gender or lack thereof? Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie: Only the first letter was my idea. I wrote it because I was angry about things I was [...]

Deep in a forest in the Northernmost part of Vietnam, in a Vietcong reeducation camp, my father watched to see if the chili peppers would spin in the clear water. If the peppers were still, then the water was not poisonous. Father said the best way to get water was to cut a bamboo tree or a banana tree with a knife. The water in the heart is pure.     Mother When I hug my mother, she feels so fragile as if she would fall apart like petals in my arms, but I know she is much stronger than I am - silk that keeps me cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The soft and gentle thread of worms, tougher than metal.     Praying at [...]

Phantasmagoric Bed Time Story: Otherworldly Shifts Bring Us Back Home In Elizabeth Cantwell’s debut poetry collection, Nights I Let the Tiger Get You (Black Lawrence Press, 2014), we traverse dangers across a tangible universe and seek respite in dream-like interludes; both planes of existence feel familiar. A child pets a fawn. Then a body is pulled out of a bottle drifting in the ocean. Cantwell cannot possibly warn us about all the dangers this universe contains and yet she is continually attempting to warn us. As William Blake wrote his eighteenth century poem, “The Tyger,” What immortal hand or eye Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? so Cantwell attempts to draw her readers through dichotomous worlds. Blake questions, how can the same being that made the lamb create the tiger? Cantwell [...]

I asked Bay Area slam poet B Deep to share some of his amazing spoken-word pieces with us in the Infoxicated Corner. Thrilled to be including some work by STAGE poets as well as all the PAGE poets we've been blessed to host. Enjoy these three performances, below! Something About Dragging Feet Instead of Wonderland: The Looking Glass Ends With Me Lazy River   Brennan/ ‘B Deep’ DeFrisco likes words and the way they move. He is an organizer and performer at the Berkeley Poetry Slam and will represent them in the upcoming 2015 National Poetry Slam. He is co-founder of Lucky Bastard Press and author of Highku: 4 & 20 Poems About Marijuana. His work can be found or is forthcoming in TheThe Poetry’s Infoxicated Corner, Drunk Monkeys, Hermeneutic [...]

I asked poet and tattoo artist Ruth Awad to share some of her favorite pieces she's done with us in our most Infoxicated of internet Corners. The results are so fabulous. Check out these samples of her tattoo work, as well as a poem by her that she says is her current favorite! I couldn't be happier to feature her here. Enjoy!         Lessons in Grief If you’re gone I mean really gone, then whose voice is that veining through the shower drain – no, it's only water, but here I am, half wet and stung with the mercy of living where your robe trailed like a thought across the kitchen floor and my hands are filling with dirt. Or is it water? Tell me a well [...]

Amorak Huey

NOCTURNE IN WHICH WE FAIL YET AGAIN TO HAVE SEX IN YOUR PARENTS’ HOT TUB

Jen Stein

The Size of Things, Decreasing Scale

Sara Biggs Chaney

Letter from the Back Porch

All The Rage: The Fashion in Our Fury is Little More than a Refusal to Engage by Saba Razvi Slate.com features a gallery on its website called “The Year of Outrage,” in which it showcases a breakdown of the trending topic of outrage for each day of the year 2014. Yes, that’s right – each day. There are no date-gaps in the gallery, and it is easy to see that on every single day of the year, someone was outraged about something and took to the Internet to make that rage known by way of action. With so much impeccable anger, one might think that some significant progress may have been made on at least one of those 365 fronts, that beyond a trending melodrama of expression, some change or [...]

The World Is at Stake: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Internet Activism, and Reverberations in the Hyperbolic Chamber by Saumya Arya Haas “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.” (Translation: "Don't let the bastards grind you down.”) - Bad Latin / necessary advice from Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale   As a long-time Science Fiction/Fantasy (SF/F) fan, I’ve been following the controversy over this year’s Hugo Awards. Two activist groups calling themselves the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies feel that, in recent years, this prestigious SF/F award has wrongly honored more “literary” books, often by women and minority writers, which feature liberal social themes over “traditional” writers, styles, and themes. They organized a response. According to Slate: As usual, the [Hugo Award] finalists were determined by ballot; any member of the 2014, 2015, or 2016 WorldCons (that [...]