Archived featured poets and rooms from Pink Plastic House A Tiny Journal:
August 7th, 2019
Waltz / Ingrid M. Calderon-Collins
it is with an open hand
that I eat from your forehead.
small sedatives live on your brow
a sullen landscape that invigorates
i am nothing.
what you are;
and my wonder is full
—a car ride of stolen goods
that we’ll eventually set free
a corpse of powder
the ignition is idle.
push your foot in, make a beast of it
send currents to its cylinders.
consider hands on leather
and picture your smallness swelling.
i am the pump and romance
a deck of cards reversed
where’s the pressure?
where’s the insane?
a thorn kiss in the middle of howls
will you swallow my broken?
will it make us mute?
will our bellies rip with our slang?
our vernacular in cadence with the breathing of trees
a circuit gland that kindles into spines
egg droppings like berry blood on beaks
etched on tar and lime.
alabaster veil I crack.
with chisel and awl.
sew you back/
annexed to a cooling dive
where pearls and abyssal hills
resemble your heave
breath held like wings in full speed
come to me
I’ll sigh at your gate.
Ingrid M. Calderon-Collins is an immigrant from El Salvador. She studied journalism at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA. but failed to finish because she found a job that provided her with good steady income and an apartment with a view of Downtown L.A.
Her work has been featured in Drunk Monkeys, Rabid Oak, Rhythm & Bones Lit, Pussy Magic, Punch Drunk Press, South Broadway Ghost Society, Mojave He[art] Review, Moonchild Magazine, FIVE:2:ONE amid others.
She is also the author of 4 volumes of poetry, ‘Things Outside,’ ‘Wayward,’ ‘Zenith,’ & ‘Ablution.’ Ingrid M. Calderon-Collins lives in Historic Filipinotown, CA with her husband, painter and poet John Collins. For poetry and rants follow her blog at http://notesofadirtyyoungwoman.com and on Instagram @Brujapoetry & Twitter @BrujaLamatepec
August 1st, 2019
Vantalisse / Marisa Silva-Dunbar
Tonight you are trying to forget;
I don’t need to know how.
I wish I were there to hold you—
trace your face with my fingertips,
kiss the center of your forehead,
bite your bicep while trying
to make you laugh.
It’s been two weeks since I’ve seen you;
I would’ve stayed longer if I knew
weather and time would keep us apart.
I miss: your hand over mine—
falling asleep with my feet between
your calves, my head on your chest—
cafuné calms me. I am safe
when I’m with you; vulnerable nerves—
I am armor to protect you. Let me soothe
you and this craving.
Marisa Silva-Dunbar is a New Mexican poet. Her work has been published in work to a calm poetry zine, Amaryllis, Manzano Mountain Review, Bone & Ink Press, and Midnight-Lane Boutique. She graduated from the University of East Anglia with her MA in poetry. Marisa is a contributing writer at Pussy Magic. She has work forthcoming in Dark Marrow, The Charles River Journal, Dear Reader, and Marias At Sampaguitas . Marisa is the founder and EIC of Neon Mariposa Magazine.
July 24th, 2019
A Study in Handpressed Orange Juice / Carly Maria Hubbard
The orange is not a metaphor. It is a fruit in your palm. Slide a cutting board beneath it on the countertop. Your palm knows what it is doing. Poised. Cup as verb as last night scented muscle memory. The knife slips and now there is red and your hiss. Now your tongue slips out, stretches awake, reaches for a drop of coppered tang. Tease. There are so many ways to release, and they are all the same. Say there is no knife. Say your arm extends into metal hook. You trace its skilled tip over the rise of rind in remembrance of my spine. You grow new nerves. Feel me breathe in the citrus of sweat on your neck. The morning that traces the rift and rise of your chest. Prone. Your shirt: a premeditated casualty. You part pith with scrape. Then the squeeze. With the unbloodied fist, though it’s all ichor. Your palm still knows what it’s doing. The tug to your kitchen, to sunlit table, to morning low and bright on your sill. To light the bits of skin tasted sight unseen. The juice isn’t what matters. No. Yes. I lied about the metaphor. You bring me a glass worth bleeding for,
Carly Maria Hubbard earned her BA in Creative Writing from DePaul University. Her poetry has appeared in Crook & Folly, Pentimento, and Hooligan Magazine and her flash fiction in formercactus and Flash Fiction Magazine. She is an accidental one-time winner of the Uptown Poetry Slam and often suspects that the spirit of Lucille Clifton is trying to contact her. Currently, Carly is a poetry reader for Homology Lit. Come play with her on twitter @carly_maria
April 11th, 2019
All Gone / Ricky Rivers, Jr.
She said, “Think of me every time you sleep in your bed.”
I hated that, so I threw the bed out.
Then, I considered the other rooms,
The kitchen floor, the bathroom sink, the couch.
It was time to remodel.
Out went everything with her smell on it,
everything with dead skin and her hair on it,
everything that used to have her underwear on it.
After some time, finally she was gone,
all of her.
I was safe and sound.
At least, I thought as much.
A bit of her lingered,
because of course I hadn’t considered my tongue.
Rickey Rivers Jr was born and raised in Mobile Alabama. He is a writer and cancer survivor. He likes a lot of stuff. You don’t care about the details. He has been previously published in Fabula Argentea, ARTPOST magazine, the anthology Chronos, Enchanted Conversations Magazine, (among other publications). Check out some stuff from him here, https://storiesyoumightlike.wordpress.com/. You may or may not find something you like there and that’s a promise. Twitter.com/storiesyoumight
July 18th, 2019
the wounded deer / Justin Karcher
I know this girl
who owns one of Frida Kahlo’s
in the air:
thou shalt not grow false wings
thou shalt not be a capitalist
thou shalt always be avant-garde
growing out of your body
ghostly roots pulling you apart
she’s always telling me
that if a sunflower
stares at you long enough
you’ll get skin cancer
but not the bad kind
that frightens softness
but the kind
that turns your heart
into a wounded deer
running through the woods
running through the fire
running across the moon
your truest body
running toward the buzz
honeybee biceps glistening in the sun
leaving your fists
because the rage is gone
Justin Karcher is a Pushcart-nominated poet and playwright born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He is the author of several books, including Tailgating at the Gates of Hell(Ghost City Press, 2015). He is also the editor of Ghost City Review and co-editor of the anthology My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry(BlazeVOX [books], 2017). He tweets @Justin_Karcher.
Room: Swimming Pool
June 20th, 2019
/ Sara Matson
homage to my royal
accomplice of restraint +
impeccable plumbago blue
below a meadow of soft
gingerbread botanical china
neatly stacked like a
nightmare of provincial rooms
+ licked knuckles
spreading wide to
fabled humble grand
gardens at dusk
unforgiving moon flowers
fragrant against a
reflecting pool w/
yellowed water +
overwhelming licorice scent
(ever pragmatic like
a gleeful cistern)
decadent disease flourished
amongst her imperfections
like an enclosed
basketweave (elegant handiwork)
the cusp of legendary
she ate chips to play
(as if she couldn’t afford it)
her tips for illusiveness :
remain effusively enthusiastic
pretend to be denim
occasionally climb the trellis of the
fragrant herb garden (handmade + flourishing!)
indulge a sequestered life
w/ dedicated suite +
linens that have been languishing
use vintage glamour
as syrupy hope
as beauty dead + dying
a respectful imprint
as eternal holiday
sara matson’s writing can be found or is forthcoming in The Journal Petra, Dying Dahlia Review, Meow Meow Pow Pow, Rabid Oak, Mannequin Haus, Awkward Mermaid, Soft Cartel, Dream Pop Press, and elsewhere. her chapbook, electric grandma is available for publication. sara lives in Chicago with her rad husband + cats, and tweets as @skeletorwrites
May 30th, 2019
Vintage Barbie Chest of Drawers Not sure about age think it’s about 20 years old / Matthew Haigh
What I love about videogames with poor graphics is the bitty-ness of them.
I like reality rendered through a diorama, a plywood façade, the dryly domestic reflected in pink plastic.
This is why I preferred playing with Barbie as a boy – her assortment of accessories in miniature: PVC handbags, clamshell compacts, sun hats & cycling helmets.
My grandparents thought it meant I would turn out funny.
But it’s difficult for a 6 year old to articulate how few things are as satisfying as the click of a tiny drawer in a tiny cabinet.
Matthew Haigh lives and works in Cardiff. His first pamphlet, Black Jam, is due from Broken Sleep Books in 2019. The same year will also see the release of his debut full length collection, Death Magazine, published with Salt.
Room: Basement Wet Bar
June 27th, 2019
Grandmothers At Artmore Hotel Bar, Atlanta / Beth Gordon
At the end of the bar, a younger woman speaks
into her phone, a laptop open and buzzing with business, her strawberry
daquiri tells us everything we need to know but if it didn’t, her voice carries over the football game and we learn that she is firing 10 people tomorrow, is coordinating cardboard
boxes to remove their belongings and extra security and Susan could have gotten a larger severance package if that idiot hadn’t hired a lawyer, her blackish eyes
gleaming with the excitement of it all.
We are not drinking white wine, we have transcended
coconut-layered potions with umbrellas, our tongues attuned
to caramel-infused tequila, single malt scotch, overpriced Japanese
whiskey, neat, there is nothing we have not tasted or imagined, knowing that someone
can simply disappear one day, their corpse
found a year later in an abandoned copper mine, knowing that we will be reincarnated as cold
case detectives, knowing that the worse sound we heard was landing
gear, a reminder that we could not stay in flight, we order
another round, knowing absence has a shape, tastes more like bourbon
than gin, it has a name, like a gray-haired
incantation, too dangerous to put onto the page.
Bio: Beth Gordon received her MFA a long time ago and was not heard from again until 2017 when her poems began to appear in numerous journals Her poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize; and her chapbook, Particularly Dangerous Situation, is forthcoming from Clare Songbird Publishing House in 2019. She is also poetry editor of Gone Lawn.
June 13th, 2019
Viscera on my Catholic Schoolgirl Uniform / Trina Young
On Sundays, I take myself out to the street. I plead, but with my teeth
to the curb the words just bleed into the concrete. I leave
a scene for the churchgoers, so when they exit mass they see the mess of my pink
little girl gums and pray for me. I really want to ham it up, so I force stigmata.
I think about charging to let them stick their fingers into the holes
in my hands, but it would ruin the illusion.
They eat it up. Like a stain of Jesus they build a shrine
to me, leave candles, rosaries, flowers around my body
(though at night they think I don’t see them steal my molars for jewelry)
Soon they’ll walk over me, not noticing the squish of my green
flesh beneath their shined shoes. I’ll rot beautifully
into the sidewalk, basking in their unknown blasphemy.
I used to jab the finger at my parents. What if my father had been
there when I was born, to hear my baby vocal cords
tearing as I screeched for him? Maybe I could communicate with more
than just a closed fist. I could smile without my lips
splitting and tonguing the crevice. If my mother didn’t force
feed me halved promises, fattening me up so my skin
would be grafted to the toilet, maybe I could trust myself
to be a better human. They love me though; how else would they
have picked up on my stillborn heart and tried to bring back the beat?
So then it all boils down to me, trying to find ways to be clean.
My next plan involves a cheese grater and a bottle of bleach,
a baptism of sorts, my body a holey Garden, a home to locusts.
Trina Young is a poet in Chicago. She has been published in Afterimage Online’s Inklight Gallery, Superstition Review, Burning House Press and placed third as a Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award Winner in the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition. Her writing themes often include mental illness and the absurdity of life. She can be found screaming and cackling into the void of Twitter @tcyghoul.
April 4th, 2019
Spider in the Bedroom / Kailey Tedesco
drop your candelabra; blaspheme the flames, the heart
in the box behind the wall
of the nightstand. it is the two of us here & i’ve something
to say with cinnamon-breath, language
of drawing your shawl more closely
to the shoulder –
it’s you & not me & we are one walk-in
soul transference. they will say
you are not you after this moment, after
my body with backwards
feet kisses at your forehead. i’ve never seen
a ghost without its cameo, decapitated
to remind you it is the image of something
dead and gone. hold your crucifix
to create a light-prism. i want you to. it is
always snuffing, always shushing,
always walls waving friendly at
your screaming. the bed is
stuck with gazing, sheeted in a cold
molasses. capture me — i’ve needed
to be home for such a long time.
Kailey Tedesco is the author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publishing) and These Ghosts of Mine, Siamese (Dancing Girl Press). She is an associate editor for Luna Luna Magazine and a co-curator of Philly’s A Witch’s Craft reading series. Her manuscript Lizzie,Speak won White Stag Publishing’s full-length poetry prize. You can find her work featured or forthcoming in New South, Fairy Tale Review, fields, Bone Bouquet Journal, and more. For more information, please visit kaileytedesco.com or follow @kaileytedesco.
March 21st, 2019
the food I eat in secret / Rebecca Kokitus
the food I eat in secret—
the disgusting dry mouthed fantasies
of being stoned and hungry
like imagining eating a cake
ingredient by ingredient
I don’t tell anyone about the things
I eat late at night, like an owl
swallowing rodents whole—
slimy meat, plastic cheese,
brown sugar in its wet sand chunks
washed down with half-spoiled dairy
sinful film in my mouth like cum,
like tasting my own breastmilk
and forgive me for the cardinal sin—
fast food, eaten alone in my car,
(never in front of others)
silicone and glistening like
childhood toys, like
the burger and french fry magnets
on my old refrigerator
tasting so deliciously false
like a meal in a dream
I lick my fingers, smell my palms
the way I do after a cigarette
reveling in misbehavior
Rebecca Kokitus is a poet residing in the Philadelphia area. She has had poetry and prose published in almost fifty journals and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2018. She is currently a student at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where she studies English with a concentration in Writing. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @rxbxcca_anna, and you can read more of her writing on her website: https://rebeccakokitus.wixsite.com/rebeccakokitus.
March 28th, 2019
Two Different Moons / Justin Evans
When you get lost
You come to the moon in the field.
The moon is small
Not like in your dreams
Where it is swollen and bloat
Like the body you found
When you were twelve, and the
Carnival was in town.
When you get lost
The moon constricts to a
Needle point, stitching itself
Along the seams of constellations.
You will never find your home
So long as you keep looking up.
Justin Evans lives in rural Nevada with his wife and sons. His next book is a collection of epistolary poems written with Jeff Newberry (@flaexile). He teaches at the local high school.
July 11th, 2019
Cat Called / Jane Fleming
Covered in the grease
of your sickly sweet—
exercise of freedom of speech.
As if my dress
The sex that you’re spewing from
that mouth that knows nothing
but the taste of
But words can’t violate,
Words can’t penetrate
and make you scream
Like the cream that you’re offering
Between those whisky fingers.
Dripping Mouth and Bloodshot Eyes,
ask that waitress whose
Ass you’ve been grabbing with
Those empty sockets
If she wants your blue veins
Instead of green cotton to fill her belly today—
Or if the jokes on you
When she frowns like she wants to
And pulls the bills from plastic
Before popping pear hips and watermelon tits
And whispering over that broken table—
Sure I’ll fuck you—
All the way out.
Jane M. Fleming is a Ph.D. student in the Department of English at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Texas at El Paso, where her heart was stolen by the Franklin Mountains. Her poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Drunk Monkeys, Anti-Heroin Chic, Pussy Magic Magazine, and Silver Needle Press, among others. Her chapbook Ocotillo Worship is now available at APEP Publications.
March 14th, 2019
I Wait For Her … Dirty / Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
Seeing her lingering fingers
wading under water
exploring so many
bubbles, softly she scrubs
soaping towards desire
she loves reigniting
every color splashing
her lips of fire. I can tell
she longs for me, to dive
inside her tub, nakedly,
converse in tongues,
feel her mouth, as
I am on your mind
as much as you are
on mine? She shines
dripping above me,
her thighs around my neck,
tickling waves, hurricane
shudders above me, so much
more than splashes, I love
the way my lips keep licking
up feeding rebirth, I crave
tasting her sweetness on
my gasping mouth, feel
her rippling white skin,
lush hairs curling
the filthiest smiles—
reveals the tide that floods
ripples of skin when her
body blushes hallelujah
she watches me turn
on her steaming handles,
feeling her tremble…softly,
pulsating her faucet lips
as she eloquently drips,
billowing deeply, I love
leaving my XO signature,
my lips always stream to
Adrian Ernesto Cepeda is the author of the full-length poetry collection Flashes & Verses… Becoming Attractions from Unsolicited Press and the poetry chapbook So Many Flowers, So Little Time from Red
March 7th, 2019
No One Ever Really Leaves You / Joanna Valente
I am dead.
I meet a woman
who is not a girl.
In the sky, she sees
who has our face.
It looks like us.
All of the birds have died
There are no birds
left in Philly.
Every light has been eaten
by things called demons.
I am not afraid of them.
They shine back as a constellation
an immense stone bath, a reverse vagina
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. They are the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (ELJ Publications, 2016) & Xenos (Agape Editions, 2016), and is the editor of A Shadow Map: Writing by Survivors of Sexual Assault (CCM, 2017). They received their MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Joanna is the founder of Yes, Poetry and the managing editor for Civil Coping Mechanisms and Luna Luna Magazine. Some of their writing has appeared in Prelude, BUST, Spork Press, The Feminist Wire, and elsewhere.