Issue 03

Alphabet of Torment

By NORMAN LOCK

Fluent in the languages of unnatural death, Luis Boscán set down on thick paper the confessions of the Spanish damned while, outside the cruel chamber furnished ingeniously with instruments of torment, the fountains of Seville produced liquid acanthus leaves to the sound of castanets.

Julia PikeAlphabet of Torment
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Alphabet of Scratches

By NORMAN LOCK

 

from Alphabets of Desire & Sorrow: A Book of Imaginary Colophons

 

At St. Mary Bethlehem (which the world calls Bedlam), Jeremy Watt, shut up for insanity, discovered in a maze of scratches scribed by others’ lunatic hands an alphabet with which he might invoke things not apparent to the eye.

Julia PikeAlphabet of Scratches
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My Parrot Has Died

By MIGUEL-ANGEL ZAPATA

 

My parrot has died in a clinic in Huntington. His life was a miracle
He was the envy of all the birds in the neighborhood. For five
years he sang a piece by Boccherini and knew a couple Mexican
pop songs by heart. When he got excited he whistled at the girls who
passed by my house.

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The Window

By MIGUEL-ANGEL ZAPATA

 

I’m going to build a window in the middle of the street in order to not feel lonely. I will plant a tree in the middle of the street, and it will grow to the astonishment of the passersby. I’ll raise birds that will never flit to other trees, and they will remain perched and chirping to the surrounding noise and general disinterest. I’ll grow an ocean framed within the window.

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Dear Johnny, In Your Last Letter

By ANGELA VERONICA WONG 

 

Dear Johnny,
In your last letter, you requested
. Take my photograph down, you wrote. Disremember.
Yesterday M started talking. All at once, as if inside, she had alphabets that ached to break
out. We were                                 and relieved. We               it would never happen. Johnny, the
tomato plant takes water as if in love, and a map upside down is still a map. The arrows,
,              . I’ve
.                placed Europe above the         .      It hangs like our                   .
Every morning, I
. I trace where you could be: Newbury, Canterbury,                 ,
Maidstone, Kent.         will bring you to another place: Merville, Pas de Calais, Caen,
. You are pushing through fields. In          , one cloud like an apology. I
think the word verdant, and it brings me closer to             . I       the word tomorrow. It
a falling body.                                                     . Johnny, I am busy          history.
We were climbing a hill in                   . The ice soaked through our mittens. I
. You                        . Johnny, the ocean has salt
enough without your blood. I feel your hurried fear, tendoned and tight. You make your
body small. We split at what seems              . We
.   Johnny,                                        .
There are so many spaces my body needs filled.                   Love, your dark-haired
doll.

Julia PikeDear Johnny, In Your Last Letter
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