Adam Fieled (editor, Philadelphia, USA): "On A Marriage"

I.

Fish, fish tank ricocheted through my skull
    as I lay on the thin, tough-skinned, scrappy
grey couch. What was in the next room stank, unhappy
    yokels knowing I’d trespassed past the full
load I’d dumped on them. They wouldn’t let us
    sleep together; Jen slept in a room with her sister,
       as I tossed, poison-brained, through several blistering
nights in the Harrisburg ‘burbs— cornfields, husks
     staring fish-eyed at the bizarre married couple.
        She was hollowed out around corn, body doubled.
 
If I only I knew what to ask her then: “Jen,
    I need to know if this is real. I need to know, also,
if there’s something in you I do not or cannot know,
    if you’re really my wife (whom I love), trusted friend?”
But I flailed away in Liverpool’s darkness, silence-tied,
     & I hadn’t seen or known the inside of a trailer before,
           Jennifer had known little else, & I hadn’t known this war,
but force in our bodies engendered a tornado’d sky,
     force in our souls lay dormant. Grandfather clock shone five.
        Window showed black husks thrust upwards, moon alive.
 
About the doubling of Jen’s body, I knew nothing.
    About the way she’d trotted out before me, emerging
from a kind of mist, lean, tow-headed, urgent
     about preserving roots I hadn’t seen, something
lascivious branded us blackly, gradually, as though
     I should know all there was to know, like this
        trailer— scarecrow fronted, ragged, just drips
from the shower spout, Jen a trailer princess, no
    way to see beneath arable land’s surface,
       no scheme to pull back a secret temple’s curtains.
    
II.

Five floors up on the elevator: I was too
    thin, almost collapsed from humidity outside,
but Jennifer, the knowledge of her insides,
     held me up, with luggage we carried through.
Why the compulsion was there, prodded us
     into instant betrayal, I cannot say or know now—
         clothes got piled sloppily, hotly, on a rug, brown
as always at the Atherton Hilton, clean, fussed
      for breaking, entering, conventioneers, academics,
           now two incredibly horny, moody adolescents.

 
Soon, the room was a desert island, the bed a sand-dune.
     We were washed ashore after fucking, over & over.
 No one in history had been so marooned with a lover.
      Every time I touched her, I risked rousing a monsoon.
Wave after wave broke, entered. We didn’t exist
      except as pistons in a tropical engine. Glasses of water,
          occasional baths, a little TV, body-boundaries slaughtered,
so that when we hit the Arts Fest, it didn’t resist.
     My brain had spokes spinning the wrong way, but
         she took the Pandora’s Box & nailed it shut.
 
What was backed up for her: everything, nothing.
    I had no yen for anything but to survive. Nights there
were like days. We never had leave to figure out where
     we were. Tunnels spiraled down & up: something
heaved, out in the world. Someone under the bed
     seemed to be nudging us; maybe how we’d been
         reduced to carnage. Being in her: what I was in
was sheets rumpled, no maid, dementia in the head.
      We ate nothing: crackers, occasional food on College Ave.
          Once I spun to McLanahan’s: lines crazy, bodies mad.
 
What kind of marriage could be born from this?
    Justice of the Peace be damned, only two kids on fire
for each other, from a place not without depth, kissed
    by strange fate into each other, hard-wired
to memorize only two-in-one harmony, could know
    or see, as we wrestled only to fall deeper into space
        held together not at all, spiraling into boundlessness—
fragile, evanescent, bloody-minded into callousness
       against the loveless, timid hordes, not ready to face
           anything but this— we could only be there, then go—
 
 

© Adam Fieled 2021

 

 

 

Susan Wallack (Philadelphia, USA): "The Stranger"

Consider life's billion anxious
gulps of oxygen, smog porridge
sucked ad nauseam. If a wily

Camus invites us to agree
that Sisyphus is happy, I'm
satisfied to dream Camus'

Algeria: super-heated sands
hemming the Mediterranean,
and a raucous newborn

gleaming with slime, a just-plucked
shell held high into the sun. Her
nomad-father's rutted palms

obliterate all light, his desert-
dimmed eyes squinting to find
stripes, moles, stigma, signs—

imperfections to justify
a drowning. No surprise. Just too few
dried figs, no gods or fires

driving them forward, into the sea,
ancient terrors, shallow waters
heaving salt, fish, history.

originally published in The Brownstone Review No. 5

© Susan Wallack

P.F.S. Post Anthology (USA, UK, Australia, Canada) and more

This archive anthology of P.F.S. Post includes everything published on the site, straight from October 2005 to March 2021. Over fifteen years worth of material.

And: an online, library edition of the 2009 print anthology The & Now Awards: The Best Innovative Writing, which includes myself and three others published here: Gabriel Gudding, Simone Muench, and Matina Stamatakis.  

Vlad Pogorelov (San Francisco, USA): "No. 32"

"You're an enigma," she said
You're an enigma
I know all about you
At least more than the other girls
Her kiss was sweet and warm
Alcohol and perfume
I couldn't look in her eyes
              "Yea....Yea," I said
              "I don't want to be exposed
                             It's not good for you"
               "For me?" she asked
               "It's O.K. for me," she repeated
               "You talk gibberish," I said
We kissed some more
Then she went to the bathroom
To snort
Ha! She liked cocaine
"God damn enigma," I thought
While drinking some lager
And when I lighted a cigarette
A black man came up to me
And asked me if I was queer. 



Interviews with the Editor (New Orleans, USA, London, UK)

A few notable interviews done with me over the years as editor of P.F.S. Post: 

For a graduate (M.F.A.) project at the University of New Orleans, poet Anny Ballardini interviewed me (and several other web editors) about life as a web-editor in 2006. The interview appeared on poet Bill Lavender's site Lavender Ink.

The Argotist Online did a feature in 2008 about editors and current publishing issues, many of which are still with us today. An interview with me and others was part of the feature


© Lavender Ink, The Argotist Online, 2006, 2008


Susan Wallack (Philadelphia, USA): "A Shoe Box Theory of the Universe"

At times God seems
Like a scientist to me,
Patient & persistent,
Experiments still pending
Stashed in a shoe box
On Heaven's marble floor.
And from time to time,
Say once in an aeon,
He lifts the corner
Gingerly, as if not
To disturb us,
Checking on progress,
Then lowers the lid
And inscribes
The statistics.

© Susan Wallack 2021

Jeremy Eric Tenenbaum (Philadelphia, USA): "dear gr"

dear gr
etchen. hellos. i was
just now mentioning
to Pietyr of Left
Bank fame, you
know; it is 12:46 &
                            the play re
                            sumed with Lolita
                            in the role of Carl
                            Orf sans the uncome
                            ly goatee & it
is seven of march ninetee
n ninety-six is 12:47 or so
Europeans write; i am
so sorry I didn’t call yr
 
dance di
tracted me, desdom
ona shrt of brth in blue tights & fal
setto applause to thine own self. hellos. de
ar gretchen it is t
ime for a       new style this
                                                   one is tight!
                                                   at the cuffs yr
                                                   mother agrees w
                                                   ith me & the last act of “
                                                   Carmen but Pietyr
dear Gretchen: pietyr dis
sents he          says to thine o
wn self is a but much Oh
                                   the dress-ups! the autumn black ties bowing
                                   over the varnisht parquee & fire-
                                   flies wilde! on the hem & mown lawn, ja! an
                                   ev’nin tea; it
                                   is 12:57 mail
                                   will come at noo
                                   n or one
                                   p.m., wearing a leather jerkin, &
                                   the letter will read:
dear gretchen & dear not unkindly, vast, holy. hellos. i will b
e at the Concessions where Milly of La Rue St. Jean sells cig
arettes/ bubble gums/ ta
piocca pies & she loves me! & I love her! we h
ave never met ‘formal’ but the wedding’s in June Oh
spangld garlnd or bougainvillea, orchid, the padre presides
: will you, sin
cerely, the ai
sle dance/ with a skit of blue orchids, yr beautiful two-step fire-
fly thine-own-Self? dear  
 
 
© 1999

originally published in CPR 12