The heart has four chambers; everyone seems to be aware of that.Read More
Mothers cannot teach you everything. For some things, she can simply open the door and pray that you take the initiative to walk through. For my mother and me, spirituality is the doorway through which I have just poked my foot.Read More
...maybe this playlist is a small gift I can give that helps, that heals.Read More
In the end, I helped renovate that house, top to bottom and no one ever moved into it. It’s the perfect metaphor for the grief and shock: A house we all built together that no one ever lived in.Read More
Lauren Spinabelli is a writer from Pittsburgh, currently living in Brooklyn, New York. My work has been published in Elite Daily, Luna Luna, Strangelet Journal, and Bop Dead City.Read More
Sailor Moon defends this way of life—that of balance and equilibrium. The value of joy is only as strong as the weight of pain.Read More
I stare at his photographs sometimes and I try to find where it is: In his beard, his wrinkles, or his shining eyes. Where does it live, Whitman? This thing you call a wound, this love you carry? And why does it live within me too?Read More
Sappho called roses the lightening of beauty. Rumi wrote that the rose’s rarest essence lives in its thorns. Picasso once lamented you can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.Read More
BY ANDI TALARICO
Happy 29th birthday in prison.
I write this to you on your 29th birthday, which you’ll spend in prison.
Happy Birthday, little brother, in prison.
I meant half-brother. It matters.
I don’t know how to write this letter. I don’t know how to do it.
I hate you.
Her life mattered too.
She was 23. She was 23 and you gunned her down over $60 worth of shit heroin. You did that.
I hate you.
I hate you for making this family the wrong kind of poor. A snarl of statistics on rural poverty, a tragedy so common, so small, you’re not even a footnote in the 10 page New Yorker article on the opioid epidemic. I read it on the train to work. I read a clinical article on the pharmaceutical industry on the train to work in New York City. In my ears, airpods scanned the highs and lows of Chet Baker. The most distant mirror.
I read about your world at arm’s length. I thought of you saying-
“Fuck you, Andrea, and your perfect fucking life.”
“Give me 20 bucks, Andrea. I know you got it.”
“You’re not better than me.”
I watch your arrest on the news. They show a picture of the dead girl on the bottom right corner of the screen. The reporter asks you what you have to say for yourself. You snarl,
“Get out of my face.”
I know you’re no broken branch on a perfect family tree. Not even a tree, really, a snarl of a thorny bush, really, a tangle of blighted limbs, really. To call anything that happens here cyclical is to bestow too much order upon it. Really.
We have different fathers. Yours was not a great man. Let’s say that. Let’s remember that when his chemicals crested or cratered, the wrong pill, say, the wrong smoke, the wrong spike, the wrong sniff, it usually ended badly for our mother. You’re too young to remember her broken arm. You’re too young to remember when he still drank. I watched him pour a beer over her head during an argument. I watched her hurl a glass ashtray at his face and almost blind him.
I was seven when you were born, barely not a baby myself. I learned how to love a new human through you, your bright brown eyes reflecting everything you saw around you, new and holy through you. You, on my hip. You, taking the bottle in my hand. You, a small version of me. You, making a big sister of me. You. You named me DeeDee. I named you Young King. I wanted to give the world to you. You.
Our mother joked that she named you for Jesse James. She always liked the bad boys best.
Your father was one of the worst.
I know it was right after he died that you spent your first bout in Juvie. What were you, twelve? Thirteen?
I know that you chose violence over grief, or violence through grief, or violence as grief, or that maybe violence is a grief, or that maybe grief is a violence in that it can murder the person bearing the weight of it.
It is not lost on me that your drug of choice is a pain-killer.
I love you.
I hate you.
That poor woman. I grieve for her life.
You poor child. I grieve for yours as well.
The letter I send will say just this,
Try to have a happy birthday. You know I’m here if you need books. Love you, little brother.”
Andi Talarico is a Brooklyn-based writer and reader. She’s the curator and host of At the Inkwell NYC, an international reading series whose New York branch meets at KGB Bar. She's taught poetry in classrooms as a rostered artist, and acted as coach and judge for Poetry Out Loud. In 2003, Paperkite Press published her chapbook, Spinning with the Tornado, and Swandive Publishing included her in the 2014 anthology, Everyday Escape Poems. She also penned a literary arts column for Electric City magazine for several years. When she’s not working with stationery company Baron Fig, she can be found reading tarot cards, supporting independent bookstores, and searching for the best oyster Happy Hour in NYC.
In a strange way, she has become my pregnancy muse.Read More
Part of growing up with someone is learning how to grow apart too. When we started high school we drifted a little. Our senior year we had anatomy together and became friends again. We spent every morning together in the commons area eating breakfast. Our friend, Emily, dubbed us "The Breakfast Club" and decided which characters from the film we were. The night we graduated we all rode together to the local movie theater still in our graduation regalia and we watched back to back movies before going home. My own family had pizza and gathered together, but we went out together instead. I still think about it a lot: the way friends become family.Read More
When we hand over the responsibility of discerning the true from the false, we lose our ability to identify it ourselves.Read More
I have discovered a pretty well known podcast called My Favorite Murder. Two women, Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff, host the show. It’s considered a comedy podcast. Most people wonder: Where’s the humor in murder? Most would also argue that there is none. However, the humor comes from somewhere else. It’s part of this idea that in order to understand something better we have to get close it. In order to understand why people like Dennis Rader kill we have to pay attention and get closer. So, the humor then, it comes from a place of trying to conquer fear and come to a point of understanding.Read More
BY LISA MARIE BASILE
We really didn't want to do a "best of" list because it can feel reductive (and we love all of our content and all of our writers)—but we did want to do a roundup of some of the reads favorited and widely-read by our readers, along with those pieces that deeply resonated with our team of editors. There is no way that this list is comprehensive or representative of the many incredible pieces we've published over the past year, though!
On My Unapologetic Mother by Vanessa Wang
What Being a Caulbearer Means to Me by Kailey Tedesco
Poetry by Leslie Contreras Schwartz
Mexican White Magic by Lucina Stone
Read Tarot With a Simple Deck of Playing Cards by Tiffany Chaney
10 Movies About Witches That Will Terrify and Enchant You by Leza Cantoral
Intersectional Feminism: 5 Things White Women Need to Remember by Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro
Book of Shadows by Tina V. Cabrera
The Only Living Girl in a Rock Opera by Hannah Cohen
Poetry by Dominique Christina
"The blood of black women is unremarkable.
Window dressing, you might call it
For the horror show of lugging around
A body built for a funeral."
A Song for My Voice: A Non-binary Survivor Speaks Up by Chloé Rossetti
A Collaborative Poem by Alexis Bates & Logan February
A Water Ritual For Grief & Trauma by Lisa Marie Basile
How to be A Duplicitous Woman by Lydia A. Cyrus
Three Small Occult Presses You Should Check Out This Month by Trista Edwards
A Spell for Body Love & Appreciation by Laura Delarato
"It’s 2017 and 91% of women in the US are unhappy with their bodies. There is something wrong with this number. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like; we all walk around with an invisible cloud of insecurities based on our distorted view of how we are suppose to look — measured by impossible beauty standards. Advertisements, film and tv representations of women, media criticisms of bodies: they don’t care if you can wake up every morning as a person who love themselves. They want you to buy their product."
Poetry by Stephanie Valente
9 Reasons Why the Canadian Horror Film "Curtains" Deserves a Remake by Tiffany Sciacca
7 Doable, Inexpensive & Meaningful Ways to Practice Witchcraft by Archita Mittra
Valerie Hsiung In Conversation With Vi Khi Nao by Vi Khi Nao
"I am also drawn to the idea of poetry as thrown dice, poetry as a ritual effort (ie: climbing up a mile-long set of <stone> stairs only to encounter the Oracle--you know what I’m talking about, disembodied as It may be, who then takes over your body and voice and dictates to you yet ever so tenderly what to do. In this case, what poem to write)."
Every Single Reason You Should Brag Your Pushcart Nominations by Lisa Marie Basile
Theresa Duncan, My East Village Ghost by Patricia Grisafi
How to Create an Altar for Self-Care & Intention Setting by Lisa Marie Basile
What Self-Care & Beauty Rituals Mean for Trans & Non-Binary People by Joanna Valente
"I've really struggled with beauty stuff being genderqueer/transmasculine, but lately I got my eyebrows done and started wearing bright red lipstick as a way of claiming beauty rituals for myself."
Poetry by Diannely Antigua
Is It OK To Make Fun Of Instagram Poets? by Lisa Marie Basile
Whisper, with Blonde Hair: Mi Vida Loca's New Gangster Queen by Monique Quintana
Poetry by Kristin Chang
The Car Goes On: On My Father's Death by Fraylie Nord
Poetry by Tim Lynch
The Labyrinth of Anti-Aging and Shame by Claire Rudy Foster
The Sensuous, Feminine Power of Drinking Beer by Trista Edwards
The Barbaric Silencing of Transgender & Non-Binary People by Joanna Valente
When Someone Dies By Suicide, Headlines Sensationalize Their Death by Lior Zaltzman
How to Sew A Poppet by Mary Lanham
Poetry by Cooper Wilhelm
"I’d like to ask her if it’s narcissistic to fall
in love with the taste of your own blood,
needing the damage enough to craft a window into yourself
from a cut on the roof of your mouth."
Lisa Marie Basile is the founding editor-in-chief and creative director of Luna Luna Magazine and community. She is the author of a few books of poetry, including a full-length collection, Apocryphal. Her book Nympholepsy (co-authored with Alyssa Morhardt-Goldstein), will be published by Inside the Castle in November 2018 and was a finalist in the 2017 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards. She is also working on her first novella, to be released by Clash Books in 2019. Her first nonfiction book, Light Magic for Dark Times, will be published by Quarto Books in 2018. Lisa Marie's work has appeared in the New York Times, Narratively, Refinery 29, Greatist, Bust, Bustle, Marie Claire, The Establishment, Hello Giggles, Ravishly, Marie Claire, and more. You can catch her on the podcasts Into the Dark, Essie's Hour of Love, and Get Lit With Leza. She recently received two Pushcart nominations—for her work in Narratively and The Account. She received an MFA from The New School in NYC.
Paris was blue – tired, sleepy dawn mushed into
slow sunset folded over a city that is laying itself open yet
hiding every part of it under bricks and light.