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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Alexandra Isacson’s “Narcotic Silks”

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Cathedral

For Raymond Carver

Exhausted beyond dusk’s edge, she rushes into the smoke shop.
Patchouli smoke laces, washing into inks of green & violet tattoos.
Hendrix music floats, & neon light spikes windows of mouth
blown pipes, feathered clips, & amulets. People lounge on pillows,
centering a huffing hookah & shuffling tarot. She asks about
boxes. A man exhales the ocean’s breath, waving her slowly to the
back. Beyond goddess palettes & flickering cinematic clips, she
finds empty stacks: Cubaos, Trinidads, Romeo y Juliets, & others.
How much, she asks. Just take them all, he says. No charge.
Purses, altered books, & student art supplies’sift into fine colored
sand granules; layering her consciousness.

This selection comes from Alexandra Isacson’s Narcotic Silks, available from Dancing Girl Press. Purchase your copy here!

Alexandra Isacson is an Arizona State graduate who lives and teaches in the urban Phoenix area. Her poetry chapbook, Narcotic Silks, is recently published by Dancing Girl Press. She is also the author of Poetic Anthropologies, a tribute to the visual arts & humanities, published by Medulla Press (2011). Her poetry & prose appears in PANKNew World Writing (formerly The Mississippi Review), Blink Ink, FRiGG, & elsewhere. She is a Pushcart (2012, 2010) & Best of the Net Anthology (2009) nominee.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Alexandra Isacson’s “Narcotic Silks”

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Salem, Mass.

I almost killed a man a year ago in Bostonhe
lugged my trunk up three flights of stairs.

In the vintage boudoir of rose wine & chocolates,

breathless, he rested beside a voluptuous
canopy iron-framed bed. I poured him a drink,

& his spirits lifted. He touched his forehead
with a cotton cloth, making small talk & asked.

I had packed my whole Lower East Side summer in there.

This selection comes from Alexandra Isacson’s Narcotic Silks, available from Dancing Girl Press. Purchase your copy here!

Alexandra Isacson is an Arizona State graduate who lives and teaches in the urban Phoenix area. Her poetry chapbook, Narcotic Silks, is recently published by Dancing Girl Press. She is also the author of Poetic Anthropologies, a tribute to the visual arts & humanities, published by Medulla Press (2011). Her poetry & prose appears in PANKNew World Writing (formerly The Mississippi Review), Blink Ink, FRiGG, & elsewhere. She is a Pushcart (2012, 2010) & Best of the Net Anthology (2009) nominee.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Alexandra Isacson’s “Narcotic Silks”

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Wind Floozies

Petal turbans unfurl,
wet- winged in sibilant
laced lips of hushed pinks.

Buoyant calyxes, wind floozies,
gather in the flounce
of ribbon party dressesdrowsed
chiffons nod & drift off:
blowsy drunk with Bordeaux,
canapés, & raspberry truffles.

Bacchanal bees shimmer dizzy,
wing in dusted navel rings,
airbrush with pollinated feet
in sweet stings of stamen frenzies.

This selection comes from Alexandra Isacson’s Narcotic Silks, available from Dancing Girl Press. Purchase your copy here!

Alexandra Isacson is an Arizona State graduate who lives and teaches in the urban Phoenix area. Her poetry chapbook, Narcotic Silks, is recently published by Dancing Girl Press. She is also the author of Poetic Anthropologies, a tribute to the visual arts & humanities, published by Medulla Press (2011). Her poetry & prose appears in PANKNew World Writing (formerly The Mississippi Review), Blink Ink, FRiGG, & elsewhere. She is a Pushcart (2012, 2010) & Best of the Net Anthology (2009) nominee.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Alexandra Isacson’s “Narcotic Silks”

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Silk Hexes

1. Sea Mysteries

In the equestrian season of sea tide & sand swept anemone, he
shared his sky glass. Beneath the curve of his raven wing, he
dazzled her breathless with the many mirrors of the earth.
Sometimes, it was the birth of stars in the nebula of Orion, & other
times, the four Galilean moons of Jupiter. By flowing silk mane of
horseback, they spiraled into the Milky Way, & he offered her the
rings of Saturn. Despite his alchemies, her poetries vexed him,
tying his mind in knots. Once he got lost in the tangle of her words
& hair & could not find the Northern Star, Polaris, without her
direction. Together, in the tether of leather reins, & thigh grasp of
horseback, she shone like Venus to his naked eye.

2. The Atlas Moth

She stole away clothed in cool moon glow. During entrancing
walks, she visited the liquid fields of the Atlas Moth. She reflected
in the triangulated windows of his wings. He exhaled silk threads
from the underbelly of his soul. In the split spectrum of alembics,
she spun herself into the skin of dancing veils.

This selection comes from Alexandra Isacson’s Narcotic Silks, available from Dancing Girl Press. Purchase your copy here!

Alexandra Isacson is an Arizona State graduate who lives and teaches in the urban Phoenix area. Her poetry chapbook, Narcotic Silks, is recently published by Dancing Girl Press. She is also the author of Poetic Anthropologies, a tribute to the visual arts & humanities, published by Medulla Press (2011). Her poetry & prose appears in PANKNew World Writing (formerly The Mississippi Review), Blink Ink, FRiGG, & elsewhere. She is a Pushcart (2012, 2010) & Best of the Net Anthology (2009) nominee.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Alexandra Isacson’s “Narcotic Silks”

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Naked Chardonnay

Before she slips off her silk
kimono, with paint- stained hands
he holds a wintered Russian sable
brush & slowly strokes her cheek
down to her throat.

Her body tenses & softens into
a winged opera of evening light.

His touch was like the supple brush
of a mink a lover had warmed her
with during a snow flurried walk
from The Lincoln Center to catch
a cab for dinner, drinks, & a hotel.

Now, sharing chardonnay,
she kisses his mouth & dark
stippled face. Casting off herself,
she disappears into canvases
charcoaled & crayoned in winter’s
dusk & other subdued nudes.

This selection comes from Alexandra Isacson’s Narcotic Silks, available from Dancing Girl Press. Purchase your copy here!

Alexandra Isacson is an Arizona State graduate who lives and teaches in the urban Phoenix area. Her poetry chapbook, Narcotic Silks, is recently published by Dancing Girl Press. She is also the author of Poetic Anthropologies, a tribute to the visual arts & humanities, published by Medulla Press (2011). Her poetry & prose appears in PANKNew World Writing (formerly The Mississippi Review), Blink Ink, FRiGG, & elsewhere. She is a Pushcart (2012, 2010) & Best of the Net Anthology (2009) nominee.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Lisa Cheby’s “Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

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Love Lesson #24 from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

all this world’s an open

grave

as love is

open for fallage in by

my unchosen one:

I am God’s promise,

but what of your promise of love?

We toil against gravity all day.

I do not want to wait
to fall
in line

I claw out of the gravity
of your promise

and engrave my own
in earth:     do not surrender

to gravity:

though you lie open

as a grave

sooner or later
that excuse

just stops
working

promises Xander
descended from the Greek
to defend men

who have not fallen in

place: alias: love

is my gravity

keeps me gravely moving graveward
to the hellmouthy gravity of my unreality

(and by grave I mean you)

(and by unreality I mean :

I am the open one
waiting for someone
unwilling to fall.)

This selection comes from Lisa Cheby’s Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, available from Dancing Girl Press. Purchase your copy here!

Lisa Cheby is a writer and a librarian in a public high school in Los Angeles, CA. She earned an MFA from Antioch, is an MLIS candidate at San Jose State University, and is the poetry editor for Annotation Nation.   Her poems and reviews have appeared in various journals including The Rumpus, Eclipse, The Mom Egg, The Citron Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, Tidal Basin Review and A cappella Zoo and in the anthologies Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Book and The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss. Her first book, Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is available from Dancing Girl Press.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Lisa Cheby’s “Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

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Love Lesson # 2014 from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

This message is not for me:

“Just thinking of you and hope
things will go smoother
for you and love
you.”

A slayer with family and friends wasn’t in the brochure:

“sorry, off by one digit,
please delete me”

Without a slayer, you are just pretty much watching

And without a spinster and Halloween cats,
the matchmakers are pretty much on

a rant, no room for logic:

on New Year’s Eve
someone’s mother called me

by mistake

I remembered my mother
is dead

when there was no one to make me tea
or bury me in the crypt of his body

“You can’t keep trying to make everything work
               with one big gesture

or by publishing a book of poems to distract from this: “

“Thanks,

but who is this?

Tragedy?

I am no longer in love
                                  with you.”                                      You no longer turn me on

this old mattress —

all I need:
an unbudger of support                                       I’m five by five

and know the soul is not

all about moonbeams and penny whistles: it’s about self-
                                                                                                                        loathing.

But someone I don’t know loves me.                                 I have a text that says so.

This selection comes from Lisa Cheby’s Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, available from Dancing Girl Press. Purchase your copy here!

Lisa Cheby is a writer and a librarian in a public high school in Los Angeles, CA. She earned an MFA from Antioch, is an MLIS candidate at San Jose State University, and is the poetry editor for Annotation Nation.   Her poems and reviews have appeared in various journals including The Rumpus, Eclipse, The Mom Egg, The Citron Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, Tidal Basin Review and A cappella Zoo and in the anthologies Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Book and The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss. Her first book, Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is available from Dancing Girl Press.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Lisa Cheby’s “Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

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Love Lesson #42 from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

How can water break?
Ask the cracks and potholes in the boneyard.

In the tub my body sinks to the bottom,
filled with water weight.

No matter how many tears are shed
or how much of myself I pour on you,
the memory of your saliva takes up more
than 78% of me.

Stop this Pitypalooza
At least he has a reflection

like the willows, which weep raindrops
that cannot fall, like my body of water

suspended in this body of water where I find
no reflection, just the hot baptism of my skin.

They’ll never know how hard it is to be the one
who isn’t chosen.

In another time and place, I could be a waterfall
to which, through the mist of clouds broken
by the sun, people pilgrimage to cleanse
their unstakeable selves, the self that cannot remain

in one form

like coffee beans, they hope the rush of my water
will brew them out of their shells, transform them into the essence

of something

drinkable, visible, lovable.

This selection comes from Lisa Cheby’s Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, available from Dancing Girl Press. Purchase your copy here!

Lisa Cheby is a writer and a librarian in a public high school in Los Angeles, CA. She earned an MFA from Antioch, is an MLIS candidate at San Jose State University, and is the poetry editor for Annotation Nation.   Her poems and reviews have appeared in various journals including The Rumpus, Eclipse, The Mom Egg, The Citron Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, Tidal Basin Review and A cappella Zoo and in the anthologies Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Book and The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss. Her first book, Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is available from Dancing Girl Press.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Lisa Cheby’s “Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

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Love Lesson #319 from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

If girls unnoticed
can become invisible
assassins

and cheerleaders can take down
the competition with flames

if an angel of death can fall
             in love

and if dreams aren’t prophesies

then I will believe
a werewolf you are not

                                           (Do you know why you’re alive?)

though you only once in a supermoon
make love and sleep-talk to me.

This selection comes from Lisa Cheby’s Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, available from Dancing Girl Press. Purchase your copy here!

Lisa Cheby is a writer and a librarian in a public high school in Los Angeles, CA. She earned an MFA from Antioch, is an MLIS candidate at San Jose State University, and is the poetry editor for Annotation Nation.   Her poems and reviews have appeared in various journals including The Rumpus, Eclipse, The Mom Egg, The Citron Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, Tidal Basin Review and A cappella Zoo and in the anthologies Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Book and The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss. Her first book, Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is available from Dancing Girl Press.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Lisa Cheby’s “Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

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Love Lesson #7 from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The body is an honest animal.
But whose should I believe,

                                yours or mine?

                                                            Want a taste?

The pleasure of eating becomes a sin
when someone fears

                               they’re just sinners,
                               or you are sin:

what marinade of tears and love and joy
          did your thighs and heart, liver and wings
                               wade through
                                        to get to me?

                   What pool has steeped the body of you
                               so that the body of me
                                            craves you inside?

Why can I not want the simple completeness
          of beans and rice or the clarity
                          of chicken soup, the fullness

of sag paneer at Bollywood
         or the comfort of paprikas
                         from my mother’s pot?

And how does evil taste?                             A little bit chalky.

Why can we not be as easy as licks
        of pistachio ice cream churned
                         from rosewater and milk?

This selection comes from Lisa Cheby’s Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, available from Dancing Girl Press. Purchase your copy here!

Lisa Cheby is a writer and a librarian in a public high school in Los Angeles, CA. She earned an MFA from Antioch, is an MLIS candidate at San Jose State University, and is the poetry editor for Annotation Nation.   Her poems and reviews have appeared in various journals including The Rumpus, Eclipse, The Mom Egg, The Citron Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, Tidal Basin Review and A cappella Zoo and in the anthologies Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Book and The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss. Her first book, Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is available from Dancing Girl Press.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

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