Written by Gary J. Shipley 
Illustrated by Saba Soleymani
Read by Peter Twal 

Published 3/17/2013

Room Hack

The room promised them things. There’d be windows eventually, and walls and a floor. All they had to do was wait. Be grateful that the sky was hidden. That their sweat glands weren’t leaking bioethanol, that their words weren’t naked flames. And if they could just forget what they thought they knew about drinking-water, and rehydrate as the room demanded. Things, then, would improve. New telephones would ring. There’d be hands they could feel inside the gloves of their bodies,
and they’d ignore the screams in the street. Their faces would grow back again, and the eyes would purr like manmade cats inside their sockets. But first the windows and the walls and the floor. And even before those things, the removal of a dozen heads.


Flak Mouth

I flirt with the dogs without teeth. I don’t run so fast. I walk as fast as that. I masturbate my message across pictures of women I see on the street. Pictures of women whose cone cells are made from pictures of other, different women. Women born folded down the middle. I troll my own disintegrated hunger. Its laser beam’s a gag. The drains are shouting. The airway’s open and empty and polluted that way. I have all the composure of a ballgown stuffed with birds.


Listen to this poem:

Gary J. Shipley is the author of six books of various sizes, the latest of which is a co-authored chapbook of poems forthcoming from Strange Cage. His work has appeared recently in The Black HeraldGargoylenthpositionelimae>kill author3:AM, and others. He lives in the UK. More details can be found here
(Updated Mar. 2013)

Saba Soleymani is an illustrator and a graphic designer. She has illustrated a number of books and magazines in Iran. Her work has appeared in several exhibitions as well as in print and digital publications, including Artist Portfolio Magazine
(Updated Mar. 2013)

Peter Twal is both a writer and electrical engineer. After completing his undergraduate degree, he found himself programming software aboard countless ships, despite being certain that just watching Titanic made him sea sick as a kid. He only sometimes gets dizzy writing poetry these days. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in NAP Magazine, smoking glue gun, and DIG Magazine. His chapbook,Sissyboy Bullshit and All of the Above can be found in plain china. He is currently pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame.
(Updated Feb. 2013)