Welcome to the inaugural issue of Exist Otherwise
Issue 1 is also available as a PDF.
Simply click the image below.
“At present I exist otherwise.”
Claude Cahun, self-portrait
Here it is. Honestly, I didn’t give myself the time I should have between announcing and launching, but we did it. I’m going be brief because it’s about…
What Face Will You Wear?
Which face will you wear, today
and what will be exposed?
The present moment is heavy
Stomp pink silk cursive into the dirt with your steel-toe boots and scrawl your new name in all-caps black Sharpie over the left pocket of your Carhartt jacket….
What cannot make up a body? It was
sophomore year and we were sculpting a replica of the
Acropolis for our history class…
This morning the world is turned upside down. You should not have been born. As usual, the turtle-doves have come to eat on the balcony, you have put…
There is nothing to give, and there is nothing to take. There is desire and then regret. Desire again and again regret. Always it starts again. We want,…
Scene: Autumn 1963. HELENA, age 12, dressed in school clothes, peels carrots at the kitchen sink. MOM, 34, stands next to HELENA washing lettuce. Light pools around them,…
Sor Juana Eats Apples in Front of Men, And Laughs
Have you ever seen a bee
burst with orchard lust?
It’s funny how they wobble,
ass backwards away
from their sex food…
When I say “I long to be Damaged” I mean, way out of the Ordinary
I command this body to lose luster,
for me to be tainted with wrath.
punishment that I am— dismantling empathy in vows, to harbor a lesser pain…
Yet you call all my Poems by the name Grief
when boys who attempted at joy, turned dust on earth’s lips.
the rumbling as we know here isn’t starvation.
just the belly of a toddler thundering in quiet war…
Mirror, mirror before my eyes,
What are all the lies
I have told myself?
I see you…
Convincing myself of epigenetics
is not my mother
because she is not
i jumped off a pier into lake superior
it was cold and my eyeliner ran into
ink stains at the top of the water. the trees
faded and my body crowned itself in algae…
Little details, the least distressing ones maybe, I could utter, would, if my soul quit crumbling, gathering like icicles at the soft of my throat. Circumstantial or by…
In This Poem, Everything Is Up In Flames
The early morning clouds witness as I orchestrate my body into a cottage of flames
for what is proof of a man’s valor if he doesn’t know the taste of fire. I sit in the…
Let Me Die Writing
Let me die writing, Mother
When you come to take me home
May you find me flowing ink
May you find me impassioned…
Fantasy No. 3,484
They divorced long ago. Because they never
taught me self-amputation, I cannot deny
parts of them: Freddie wouldn’t tolerate…
On Not Speaking My Own Native Language
I have questions,
questions in the only spoken language I speak,
and so the questions are themselves perversions,
To merit a crisis, we stomach a foreign object,
tide our tongue with grace.
my ribs, lodged into a vessel.
the slow river of my vomit, kayaking…
Signed, Your PanBi Seagull
When I say love, I say maybe
& body & mind & smile.
I say hands & laugh & rounded mouths…
Litany of the Once-Perfect Child
How perfect we were/ at birth/ doted on/ Tabula rasa/ grazing on our soft newborn skulls/ Madami akong pangarap para sa’yo/ God forbid/ we learn to be/ own persons…
In the Blood
Jenny grows up watching her mother
create magic out of fabric,
a quilt to commemorate every wedding and birth
in their extended family and beyond…
Conversation flows with the rapid ease of three people who have known each other for a very, very long time, and are used to interrupting each other’s stories…
the literary equivalent to ikebana
picking thoughts like flowers
prepping my bouquet
wondering is this all
—a poem really is…
if eyes are our spirit’s windowpane
what is writing?
so revealing & confessional
an endless endeavor…