Paramanu Pentaquark

Angella Aliaga

Angella Aliaga is a BFA in visual arts graduate from Florida International University. She currently specializes in painting portraits, abstracting and distorting the figure by creating thick layers of acrylic paint mixed with other mediums like modeling paste or her own homemade mix. By distorting the features of the figure with the palette knife, she hopes to evoke a sense of frantic horror and mystery.

Lucy E. Allan

The winter brings it around again. It’s quiet in the dimming afternoon of the classroom, nothing here to make it worse, nothing here to soothe it. Of its own accord, my hand goes to the meat of my stomach, resting below my diaphragm where the guilt is worsening, as if I can massage it away like a stomach cramp. It’ll be gone again after tomorrow: briefly unbearable then pacified, like popping a dislocated limb into place.

A knock on the door whips my hand away.

‘Come in.’

The little girl moves in a half- bounce, half-shuffle: apprehensive, but trying not to seem so, coming to a halt uncomfortably in front of my desk. She isn’t quite still, scuffing from foot to foot in a tentative little dance, throwing herself out of rhythm by sporadically picking at the pink hair band doubled around her wrist.

And I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to answer her questions.

‘…Miss?’ This is said too loudly, of course, to feign confidence.

I manage a smile, and a ‘What’s worrying you, Isobel?’

Isobel takes a moment, winding her finger in her hairband so it pulls tight around her wrist like a tourniquet. Isobel isn’t a child’s name. It’s a name for grand, middle aged ladies who have time to waste on three syllables.

‘You know tomorrow?’

‘I know of it.’ She reddens. I had used to hate the sarcastic teacher before I became one. I had never wanted to be the sarcastic teacher, it had just sort of happened, the way it must happen to everyone. There’s a thrill in it that I’m not proud of, bringing a small child down to size. I try again, kinder this time ‘Are you worried about the test?’

She clears her throat. ‘You know how –‘ She stops herself, learning from her previous mistake. ‘Rachel McInnes in 6B told me that her mum says that, um…’ She picks at the hairband on her wrist again.

‘What does Rachel McInnes’ mum say?’

Her eyes are fixed on the hairband. ‘She said that there was one year when everyone failed. Everyone in the year took the test and nobody passed.’

‘Listen, Isobel,’ I begin, trying to ignore the sudden feeling of coldness spreading in my gut.

‘Is it true, though?’

‘Well, yes. Yes it’s true that happened one year. But it’s only ever happened once, hasn’t it? Think about all of those times that everyone passed. That happened last year, didn’t it? And do you know what I think? I think it’s going to happen again this year.’

‘Do you actually think so? Or are you just saying?’

‘I honestly believe you’re all going to pass this year.’ I give her a big maternal smile so she believes me.

‘That’s why Alison was crying yesterday, wasn’t it? Cause she was so worried about taking the test.’

‘She’d gotten herself a bit worked up about it, yes.’

‘Did she get to go home?’

‘No, we just let her sit on the chairs outside the nurse’s office until hometime. She was very upset.’

‘What was she saying?’

Oh, the usual stuff. Don’t make me go in there. I don’t want to die. ‘You don’t need to worry about her. She just got worked up, as I said. I’ll tell you the same thing I told her: you just need to focus on being ready for tomorrow. As long as you’re prepared, you’ve got nothing to worry about.’

Isobel nods distractedly, and stands chewing her thumb nail for a moment, staring at nothing. I wonder how she can’t be terrified. It baffles me. It almost scares me.

An entire year. I didn’t need reminded of that. When would that have been,’95? ’96? Or was it more recently? Before my time as a teacher, anyway. It strikes me for the first time that I must have colleagues who were there to witness that day. What must it been like, having to come back to work something like that?  I can’t help but picture it: the teachers stood in wait outside the examination building, trying not to listen to the sounds from within, checking their watches at shorter and shorter intervals as the evening progresses, beginning to exchange glances as they start to realise that something is terribly, terribly wrong. Not that it’s the sort of thing that ever goes terribly right.

‘Okay.’ Isobel’s moment of thought comes to an end, jolting me out of mine. ‘Thanks miss.’

‘I’ll see you tomorrow. Best of luck, Isobel.’

‘Thanks, miss. See you tomorrow.’

And she’s off, lighter on her feet than she was before.   I look up to watch her go and my breath catches in my mouth.

For a moment, the image is exactly as it should be. For a precious, alien moment, I see nothing in front of me but a small girl in a gingham schooldress, bouncing out of a classroom on sandshoes: a classroom that matches to every detail her optimism and vitality. Half-sized chairs that are worn and playfully defaced, anarchic watercolours pinned to the wall, the light pouring in, mottled and colourful from the tissue paper stained glass in the windows: it is a place that children have made. Despite everything, they’ve made it hopeful. And I cling on to this hopeful moment, I cling to it with everything I have, not moving, not letting my eyes shift, willing everything they’re seeing to stay exactly as it is.

And then the vertical blinds shift, and the moment is dead. The blinds move just a little in the breeze from the half-open window and an angry, corroding blotch of turpentine is spilt on the painting: the optimism is stripped away and the rottenness beneath is bared. It’s barely even visible in the corner of my eye, but it’s enough, and it’s all a ruin once again.

In the corner of the window, no longer obscured by the blind, I catch a looming glimpse of the white stone monolith that is the examination building. So cold and blank and otherworldly, calmly indifferent to the thought of everyone it’s ever swallowed. I was inside that building once. I will never be inside it again.

For most of the time it’s a dream, the way that awful things have to be remembered as dreams, put in a different place in your mind reserved for things too terrible to belong to reality. And however much I hurt, I know that I’m not hurting on behalf of this year’s children, not really. It’s me that I’m hurting for: the child I once was who had to pass the same test, and the woman I am now who has to relive it winter after winter.

I try and find comfort by telling myself it’s better that I care. It’s better that I can’t sleep for thinking about it, that I’m yet to find  a medication strong enough to quieten my mind in the empty dark where there’s nothing else to occupy my mind. It’s better that my Friday nights are spent downing glass after glass of cardboard-carton wine until my brain can’t string thoughts together, that Saturday mornings find me crumpled and fully clothed on the floor, until I’m dragged up again to kneel over the toilet in the harshness of the morning light. At least I can’t live with myself. At least I haven’t yet grown cold and indifferent to it, like the old stone-hewn scoolmistresses who will guide them like sheep into the examination building tomorrow, without a single line on their faces shifting. Perhaps it comes with age: perhaps they’re so old now that the wounds left by their own initiation have turned to harmless scar tissue.

Maybe it does fade. Maybe the afterimages of red-soaked corridors won’t always be the filter through which I see the world, maybe my life won’t always be scored to the beat of desperate hammering and scratching against doors. But they still ring in my eardrums; the screams of the children that never made it out, and worse, even worse than that, the unspeakable cacophony of those things I heard but never saw. Perhaps it comes to everyone, a time when the horror becomes commonplace. Perhaps that’s as much a rite of passage as the test itself.

The sun’s all but gone down now. I watch its last rays struggle through the tissue paper stained glass. I’ll need to start getting ready for tomorrow soon. I can’t, though; not just yet.

I wonder if they’re awake already, the things I never saw, the things the lucky ones never see. But part of me knows, even as I wonder this, that they’re always awake. They always have been awake; patient, hungry and forever in that great white stone building: a lurking inevitability for the winter to bring round again.

Lucy E. Allan is a Scottish-born writer and illustrator currently living in Ireland, where she is studying for a Master's in Creative Writing at Trinity College Dublin. She is the author a number of short stories and graphic works that combine realism with elements of horror and fantasy, and is currently working on her first novel. More of her work can be found at

Sam Alper
Adventure Time Episode #155

My lemon hope is: I will be playing my harp
while you scream in the rain
faster and faster, until I arrive at the Escher staircase
- cupid wings akimbo -
cautiously advance
to peer into a hole nearby, emerging from
a hole across the frame
when they offer me 'my place' back,
I'm already walking out the door, saying:

"I mostly came back so I could
stop thinking about y'all the time."

I blame thirty-two years in the desert with limes
limes only
picture skin peeling and gumming
imagine citric acid building
of course I'm not forthcoming
I came out changed, whatever I stayed the same
I look up, in my dream and see myself puppeteering me
I'm - little me - standing on an endless, level, matte black surface
then waking up and posing on the railing of the cloud-ship
fire arcing, compositionally, from behind my forehead
I'm making a face like: I'm seven and 'pretending to be retarded'
In a thousand years I'll be tired of 'being free'
I'll be right back where you started

Sam Alper is a writer living in Los Angeles. His poetry can be found in: The Susquehanna Review, Gambling the Aisle, Poemeleon, IthacaLit, Glasschord, Toad and The Writing Disorder. Currently he is collaborating with Koryn Wicks on her UC Irvine MFA in dance thesis production, an immersive performance focusing on nostalgia.

Ali Alsohagy

I'm a music composer, kanoun player (an Egyptian instrument), lyrics writer, audio engineer & video editor. Hobbies: Creating new samples & new sound effects - reading - writing lyrics for bands - watching movies - traveling.

Bracha Bdil

May our Lord Remember
Read before performing the music:

Where I stand before you, I do not stand alone. With me here, at this time, 6 million accusers. But they cannot rise to point an accusing finger at the glass booth and shout at one sitting there, I blame. The ashes piled high on the hills of Auschwitz and were scattered in the fields of Treblinka, have been washed away by the rivers of Poland and the graves scattered across the length and breadth of Europe. Their blood cries out, but their voice is not heard. Therefore I am here and speak on their behalf the terrible indictment."

May our Lord Remember,
)From the words of Gideon Hausner at the Eichmann trial(

This work depicts the Second World War, the significance that led the aristocratic European-Viennese to the Jewish nation. The work is always relevant, because each one of us should remember the horrifying history and understand the power of the humanity. We must learn from the past so that the present and future will be better.

- - - - - - - - - -

Bracha Bdil (1988) has her Master's degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, led by Professor Andre Hajdu, o.b.m.

Bracha won first prize in a competition for composition in memory of Yardena Alotin, Bar-Ilan University, 2016. Her repertoire includes orchestral music, chamber, vocal, electronic and music for dance and theater.

Over the past four years her musical compositions and edited works have been performed around the world, including: Saint-Petersburg, Saratov, Nebraska, Canada, New York, Melbourne, Athens and more. In Israel her works are broadcast on the Israel Radio Voice of Music program and are performed at various events, including: Israel Festival, Piano Festival, the Jerusalem Theater, a series of Excellence - the future generation, and a series of Singing with the Sinfonietta.

Bracha Bdil is a member of the Israel Composers' League and her works are published by the Israel Music Institute. Bracha is also a lecturer at the Levinsky College of Music Education, the Jerusalem College and at the Ron Shulamit Conservatory.

Morgan Chandler
Same Time Tomorrow
Same Time Tomorrow

Morgan Chandler is studying Fine Art at Florida International University. She works in many different dry mediums, as well as ink and acrylic paint. Most of her inspiration is found through travel, favoring the less shiny places for their character and mood. As a result, many subjects from alley ways to portraits have a tinge of melancholy and mystery.

John Dorhauer

John Dorhauer ( is a composer, educator, and performer from Chicago. Honors for Dorhauer's writing include first prizes in International Contemporary Ensemble's "The Listening Room" Contest, Young Composer Competitions from Fifth House Ensemble and Orion Ensemble, and also consecutive years for Chicago College of Performing Arts' Wind Ensemble Composition Contest. A three-time recipient of ASCAP Plus Awards, John's music has been recorded/performed by Fifth House Ensemble, Chicago Composers Orchestra, Latitude 49, members of eighth blackbird and International Contemporary Ensemble, and his own composers' jazz big band, Heisenberg Uncertainty Players ( HUP currently holds a monthly residency at Wicker Park's Phyllis' Musical Inn, has produced videos with the rap collective Hitmakuzz Productions, and premiered John's We Tear Down Our Coliseums – a nine-movement suite inspired by demolished baseball stadiums – this spring at Elmhurst College.

Rae Howell
Powderhorn Lake

Rae Howell is an acclaimed Australian composer and multi-instrumentalist. She is founding director of Sunwrae: a touring ensemble, label and sheet music publisher, and works across a range of genres in collaboration with performing and visual artists, in film, theatre, dance, concert hall, and multimedia productions. Rae's fellowships include Musician in Residence programs in the USA, Canada, Europe, Palestine, West Africa, Vietnam, Australia, and South America, including a UNESCO Aschberg Bursary for the Instituto Sacatar in Brazil, and she graduated with a BMus (Hons) from Melbourne University, and an MMus from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. Published work includes numerous Sunwrae Ensemble recordings, a double volume solo album and sheet music anthology, collaborative recordings including her electronic duo Rabbitsss (USA), and she has appeared as a guest artist on countless other releases. Rae has performed at festivals and concerts worldwide including Australia House in London for the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip and Sir David Attenborough, the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House in Vietnam, SxSW, Golden Plains, Brisbane Festival, The Famous Spiegeltent and has worked on productions with Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Puppets with Guts (UK), and One Off Makery (AUS). More info: and

Alcy Leyva
I Got a Clown for my Fourteenth Birthday

I got a clown for my fourteenth birthday.

A little old to be getting a clown, trust me I know, but my mother never had a grasp on age appropriate activities. Or what the Internet is for. Or why man landed on the moon. Okay so aside from raising me, she had a hard time grasping most things. Honestly. I have one of those mothers that believes, even now, that her spit is a viable (and cheap) replacement for Purell.

Aside from the age thing, I personally didn't want a clown. I don't trust the things, never have. And yet on that chilly September Sunday, in a rented hall filled with vibrating salsa music and people trying to shout over said salsa music-- in the clown walked.

It smiled at everyone and everyone smiled back, but I knew that this thing had been sent by Lucifer himself; a creature so foul and detestable that hell had expelled it for bad behavior. A beast so insanely twisted that it tripped nuns on the sidewalk as a hobby and drank the bloodcurdling screams of babies on hot days during the summer like Capri-Suns.

This clown-- this clown in particular-- was a horrid thing: dripping white face paint smeared over its scaly flesh; five bony fingers on each of its gloved hands; a single white eye, the other was just a clawed hole in its skull which it had filled with pink cotton candy. The red smile etched onto its face wasn't makeup, it was a creaking 3rd degree burn mark made by a hot iron. It had no nose to speak of, just a deep puncture wound in the middle of its face that swallowed up air, lined in swollen blisters.

It waddled in and immediately started performing tricks like:

Juggling the bones of dead animals

... and ...

Gutting a pig and making fancy poodles out of the entrails.

This clown was talented, I'll give it that. But I knew that sooner or later, it was going to come for me. So I took the knife my mother was going to use for the ultra thick (and triple sweetened) Dominican cake and, when it wasn't looking, I plunged it into its back.There was a razzy whoopee cushion sound as the knife sunk in and down to the hilt. And then damned thing turned its mangled face towards me and laughed. It just laughed. Its teeth had black crust around the edges and the tongue it held inside was sprouting hairs and even more teeth like its throat was giving birth to something from another planet.

I ran, right out of my party, right out of that small hall. But that clowny bastard followed, its shoes honking and squeaking after me, getting closer. I crossed blindly against the traffic and barely made it across. But the clown got hit head-on by a Lincoln Town Car. Its mangled body flopped and rolled and ended up folded around a stop sign post.

Not one to let a little thing like total physical disfigurement slow it down, the clown kept coming. Its torso tore from its lower half and it set its balance on its knuckles. Tiny trinkets and bobbles mixed with lollipops and sweet smelling intestines, cascaded out as if it were a rotting pinata. It used its arms to gallop after me.

It was on me in a heartbeat, pinning me down, setting its teeth into my legs. With each swallow and bite, my skin and clothes flew up like confetti as the bones beneath broke one by one. Ankle, shin, kneecap, thigh. My legs were sliding out of the bottom of the severed body, but they oozed out like tenderized meat. Now up to my neck, I caught a waft of its exposed bowels and, oddly, freshly popped popcorn...

And then I woke up.

Drenched in sweat, shaking. I passed my hands over my face, my shoulders, my skin, trying to keep the floating strands of my sanity together. In the bathroom, I flicked on the light and the bulb crashed like a symbol against my senses. Splashing water onto my face, I felt the cold jet keeping me rooted in the familiar space around me. I stood like this for a long time, staring at my pale face in the mirror, watching silently as the drops skimmed softly over the purple marks of exhaustion swelling beneath my eyes.

My fourteenth birthday was two days away and it was going to be right there, right in my own home, I reminded myself. Not in some hall, not with any ... surprise guests. Nothing else. Nothing else.

Shaking, I flicked the light switch off.

The nightmare had me looking over at dark corners and feeling like I would never want to sleep again, so I didn't even try. I sat up that night, pressing random channels on the TV remote, trying my best to forget the honking shoes, the rubbery intestine animals, the smell of the makeup and blood which reeked of hot licorice.

My mother walked into the living room, squinting against the glow of TV. She asked what I was doing up at three in the morning. I didn't want to say that I had a nightmare, that I still believed in monsters, so instead I just told her that I couldn't sleep thinking about my birthday party in a few days. She regarded me, her distraught youngest son, for a long while before leaving a kiss on my forehead.

The next day, worried that I was stressing myself to death about my birthday party, she made a few phone calls. And one day later...

I got a clown for my fourteenth birthday

Alcy Leyva is a Bronx-born writer, teacher, and pizza enthusiast. He enjoys writing personal essays, poetry, short fiction, book reviews, and film analysis, but is also content with practicing standing so still that he will someday slip through time and space. Alcy's first book AND THEN THERE WERE CROWS is slated to be published by Blackspot Books Summer 2018. Follow him @SmilingDarkly.

Eyal Margalit
Would You Know My Name If I Saw You?

Eyal received his bachelor in composition from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in 2015, studying with Prof. Vladimir Scolnic, Prof. Menachem Wiesenberg and Prof. Amnon Wolman. Currenty he is studying at the master program of classical composition in Codarts, The Netherlands. Through participating in different kinds of projects he gained a varied experience in different styles and different musical fields. All of these elements influenced his approach towards composition and helped him developing a unique personal style.

He had the privilege to work as an arranger/composer with some of the best ensembles/orchestras in Israel, as well as in Europe. During his Bachelor he received twice the "America Israel Cultural Foundation Prize". During his master he received the "Holland Scholarship for Composition", the Margarete und Walther Lichtenstein-Stiftung scholarship and participated in the international electro-acoustic music festival, MA/IN 2016 in Matera, Italy, as well as Breaking The 4th Wall, Indiana, USA.

Layla Meillier
Flower Shops are the Business Satan, Himself, Started Here on Earth

I had such high hopes; but one always does when fulfilling a childhood dream. To live among the white painted wood, knick knacks, and crystal glass...along with the daisies and the palms, for just an afternoon! I had become a character from one of my favorite womanly films: Steel Magnolias, Practical Magic, Home is Where the Heart Is, and so forth. I even started calling everywoman ‘Miss Firstname’. Very cute. Very proper. It felt so good like saying, ‘no’ to a lover with the intention of a ‘yes’. Why do we women do this to ourselves?

Even I, an English major and Gender studies minor, fell victim. No one is safe from the temptation of working with a cohort of horrible women, lining items with bows. Oh, how they love to find a junkie bow. There must be no such feeling greater, than in the privacy of the backroom, snatching a perfectly good bow off of another woman’s plant and then conveniently leaving it near her workstation,

“Oh! Miss Barbara! I meant to take care of that dreadful bow by just replacing it for you, but it seems the wire attached to my sweater and it followed me back onto the sales floor! Dear, me!?

I have this theory. The true novelty of Christianity is the work of Satan. I’m an Atheist, but I have faith in that shit. Religion shouldn’t be so pricey. Because I’m strange, I’d imagine Satan gets a cut from every angel, afro-centric (they really use this term) and white alike, sold. Satan seems like a capitalist kind of guy... nothing against capitalists, just seems like the truth, right?

Anyways, my theory became quite after I examined a standard card catty. There are tiny, clear, flames at the top of each point. What a sick joke sent to every funeral home in the city. How odd it might be though, to find he was a venture capitalist, making millions off of creating the shittiest baskets-I’m not sure how they can pass as actual product-in China. He holds conferences with rich, Chinese businessmen over skype from Hell.

My next question would be: Who is more exploited?

The people making all of this bullshit or the unintelligent, Christian consumer? I never thought I would live to see the day I write an essay, half beating up the market exploiting Jesus-Freaks but perhaps I’m just tired of seeing anyone in this position.

It will never be easy for them to believe that I had tried my best. The rumors ran deep of how I purposely slammed the front door in a customer’s face, or that one time when I offended an important black preacher man with my shaved head-because he asked me if I had cancer and I said ‘no?’-, or even when I asked my coworker, tactfully, not to treat me like a child, let us not forget the time ‘Little Layla’ was on the phone and did not say exactly what ‘I’ would’ve. Oh. What a trip I was. So awkward and honest, apparently too much so to be a flower salesman.

Fuck being made to feel unwelcome over and over again.

Fuck the lack of patience from anyone.

Fuck the stealing of customers.

Fuck the day I was told if I went home-even though I was so dizzy I had no sense of the volume of my voice-I would lose my job.

Fuck being treated like a tiny, fetus woman.

I’ll never forget the time I was on the phone with a customer; taking an order, right? And my coworker is moisturizing me with her gaze until finally, she SLAMS HER HAND ON THE COUNTER as if to get the attention of my cats at fucking home, six blocks away. Bitch, I thought that sound was a goddamn bullet, and so I yelled into the receiver, ‘What is going on?!’

And the person on the other end said, ‘Well, I don’t know…’

Did God start a business here on Earth? I guess not. I don’t blame him, the economy is shit, everyone’s a sell out.

Layla Meillier is a workaholic originally from Flint, Michigan. She recently graduated from Genesee Early College on the University of Michigan-Flint campus and is continuing her education at New York University. She plans to get her undergraduate degree in Cinema Studies at Tisch before pursuing her graduate degree abroad. Right now, she is an angsty barista in Queens.

Mira Milosavljević
Homo Ludens

Mira Milosavljević (Serbia, 1993). Currently student of master studies at the department for composition in Faculty of music, Belgrade in the class of professor Zoran Erić. Her work has been performed at КОМА and Festum in Belgrade, Summer Art school of the University of Arts in Belgrade, Internacional festival of Art Ruid al Sud in Novi Sad, festival held in Gerasimov institut of cinematography in Moscow VGIK, TACT festival in Italy and broadcasted in Great Britain. She wrote music for TV dramas and also for theater, among others Who else eats bread with soup?, which is on repertoar of "Vuk Stefanović Karadzić". She has recived scholarship from Fund for young talents of Republic of Serbia, Dositeja; scholarship for participating in programme Next Generation which was part of contemporary music festival Donaueschinger Musiktage, also scholarship from British music society for participating in workshops of Gaudeamus Muziekweek festival in Utrecht. She attended workshops of Open Music and Contemporary compositional techniques with Rosalie Hirs and Music Theatre with Thanasis Deligiannis. In 2017. she wrote a piece for BRASS AG ensemble from Slovenia.

Rafael Mojica
Yo Soy the Albino

Born in Mexico and resident in the United States, Rafael H. Mojica just retired from the University of Michigan-Flint as an Associate Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages since 1990. Since 1972 and up to 1980 he had been teaching philosophy at the Community College of Denver, Denver, Colorado. He has published poetry both in English and in Spanish, and most recently a novel, Las crónicas de los obispos tropicales (Los Libros de la Iguana, San Juan, Puerto Rico: 2013). Among other things, he has three poetry manuscripts each one available for publication in book format: Oberturas de una mujer frente al mar (Spanish); Los detalles del olvido (Spanish); and, Press Me Dead and Kiss Me Dry on this Page (English), of which Yo soy THE Albino is the centerpiece.

Personally he thinks that exile, both spiritual and geographic, is the élan behind his writing in English as well as in Spanish. He also sees woman, his female side and consort, taking an important role as he was born into the experience of language in his native tongue. As far as he's concerned a poet talks in tongues, and being a Catholic albeit not a good one, the Holy Ghost spoke in the guise of a woman when, for the first time, he underwent the miraculous surge of language in Spanish. It was as an immigrant that language took a turn and gave him the side of the exile.

Jeff Morris
A Treatise on the Æsthetic of Efforte

Jeff Morris creates experiences that engage audiences' minds with their surroundings. He has won awards for making art emerge from unusual situations: music tailored to architecture and cityscapes, performance art for the radio, and serious concert music for toy piano, robot, Sudoku puzzles, and paranormal electronic voice phenomena. He curates the Fresh Minds Festival of audiovisual art from all over the world and Weblogmusic, an internet platform for musicians improvising out of real time, like a musical discussion forum.

Jeff Morris

Jeff Morris creates experiences that engage audiences' minds with their surroundings. He has won awards for making art emerge from unusual situations: music tailored to architecture and cityscapes, performance art for the radio, and serious concert music for toy piano, robot, Sudoku puzzles, and paranormal electronic voice phenomena. He curates the Fresh Minds Festival of audiovisual art from all over the world and Weblogmusic, an internet platform for musicians improvising out of real time, like a musical discussion forum.

Carolyn O'Brien
Ich ruf zu dir

Composer Carolyn O'Brien, a former public school orchestra director, has had works performed by Bent Frequency, ICE, ensemble dal niente, Momenta Quartet, and Trio Phonos with Harry Sparnaay, among others. She was a twice chosen fellow for the MusicX Festival, a fellow at the Composers Conference led by Mario Davidovsky, and a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and Blue Mountain Center. She is regularly commissioned and served as composer in residence for American Composers Forum's 21st Century for the The People in 2007-08. Recent awards include the Charles Ives Composition Scholarship in 2009, the William T Faricy Prize in 2011, and the 2015 Sylvia Glickman Prize. Ms. O'Brien holds degrees in music education, music theory and composition, and a doctorate in music composition from Northwestern University. Her primary composition teachers include Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Yu-Hui Chang, and Lee Hyla.

Find out more at

Nina Peterson

Nina Peterson is an artist and art educator based in Denver, CO. Her work concerns modes of seeing, gender politics, and sexuality. She is interested in the art historical (and often gendered) distinctions between art, craft, and science and how contemporary media such as smartphone photography and digital sharing may be used to subvert or promote this division. Comprised of numerous non-archival ink squiggles that coalesce to create human eyeballs cushioned in the petals of poppy flowers, Peterson's ballpoint pen drawing Poppeyes references Georges Bataille's 1928 novella Story of the Eye and Pre-Raphaelite symbols of sleep and death.

Justice Petty
Gemstone Body

My thoughts of her
are alexandrite, tangled
in her bones, held captive
by her veins, prisoned
in her labradorite ribs

pressured to change
to suit the spessartine
sun or fluorite moon
swirling in her shadow
as I beg for her
to just look, just see,
focus on me.

I would slice a line
down her abdomen,
see her bleed mushy rubies
that stick to my cuticles
and under my nails,

and rip her emerald hear
out of her chest to hear the beat,
the thrum of the miner's song —
pickaxes striking stone,
the spray of water loosening
squelching gold from stony sockets

Her tongue was larimar,
larimar that sang
of seeing

the Red Sea,
Dead Sea,

wanting to watch the canyons dissolve,
shout at the top of her lungs
and laugh as glaciers melted
all for her smile,
her peridot teeth—

peridot teeth that I would
break on my skin,
clusters of cracked scapolite
cavities digging into my flesh.

Her eyes are opals,
dead opals, and finally,
they see me.

Justice Petty is a recent graduate of Central Michigan University and holds a BA in Psychology and a Creative Writing Certificate. She is an alumna of the Phi Mu Sorority. Justice is also mother to two very like-minded cats. Although she is still young, she looks forward to adding more to this bio and, hopefully, more like it.

Osmo Tapio Räihälä

Osmo Tapio Räihälä (b. 1964) is a Finnish composer. Originally a rock musician, he turned into contemporary art music in his early 20's. He has written several works for symphony orchestra, five concertos and chamber music for various line-ups. His music has been performed in around two dozen countries on five continents. As synesthetic, Räihälä often gets inspiration from visual arts, and considers himself a painter and sculptor of musical forms. Although the colour of sound is his main interest, there is a clear pulse in his music, which has influences from impressionism, free atonality and even some progressive rock.

Bambi Redux
Earache and Heartbreak

Bambi Redux is a producer, artist, model and performer, born in Panama City, 1982, and currently residing in the UK (for tax purposes). Self-styled "High Priestess of Lo-Fi", Bambi's music subverts and satirises existing aesthetics of production. "In a bid to break the deadlock of patriarchal technocracy, I aim to make music which is not simply some sort of presentation for the ears, but which obligates bodily, cerebral, spiritual and emotional listening..."
In case you wish to accidentally visit the Bambi Redux YouTube channel

Beatriz Rodriguez
The Rib That I Don't Need
The Rib that I Don't Need

Beatriz Rodriguez is a printmaker and sculptor, whose work presents enigmatic dark narratives. Rodriguez was born in Cuba and at the age of twelve moved to Miami, Florida where she continues to live and work. She received her BFA degree in Printmaking from Florida International University, graduating with honors and shortly after went on to receive her MFA from the University of Miami. While attending the University of Miami, Rodriguez received the Art Printmaking Award for two consecutive years. Her artwork has also been widely exhibited at South Florida art fairs and published in Saw Palm: Florida Literature and Art.

Theodore Teichman
I Felt a Funeral, In My Brain

Theodore Teichman is a composer, installation artist, and sound artist. He focuses primarily on the permutation of memory, the passage of time, and the overlooked sounds of the world around us. He works to incorporate eco-art, environmentalism, biohacking, and social practice into musical practice through the lens of neuropsychology. Many of his works utilize context specificity and the creation of physical or virtual "listening spaces" for those experiencing his pieces inside and outside traditional venues. His works have been performed in the Canada, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, the Netherlands, France, California, Utah, Pennsylvania. By emphasizing the beauty and truth of the quotidian, he hopes people may discover a new way of living together and with the natural world symbiotically.

Maggie Wells
Bright Blight

“Welcome to the Ballroom! Step in and emerge! Diseased or cured!”
-- The Divine Host of the Universe

This poem is for birdwatchers
who only see the dead,
feathers all a mess.


I need the waves to stop describing heaven when I'm
busy carving my way to hell.
Stop filling these
holes, I say.


Paint the void
to recreate
the world.
Paint the black last.



Focus on the
emptiness surrounding
The negative space
between droplets of light
and liquid. You are each of
these things.



This tree canopy
is invite only.
Almost all
have been blacklisted.
Go home and plug
yourself back in.



My recreation center
is a dark pool of water.
Petrified bones breathe at the
bottom. I was once Amphibian,
I whisper.



Water swallows
up the earth
and with the stretching
forth of clouds,
takes the heavens
as its own.
I will hold your head
in the river
should you seek God.


On the night of the missing
moon we learn the spirits of
darkness are stronger in the
To drive them away, lights and
fires should be kindled by the
of the dead.
Take             my
matches; I'm sick
of all this, I say.



A goat of many eyes stands with two
hooves on a thick hunk of wood.

In the center of the slab is a
chalice aching for his blood.

We're all having such a nice time.



The neon lights of
Aspen leaves blink: No
Vacancy. No
forest is large enough
to accommodate the sickness
of humankind.

Listen closely,
the bears sound so
cute while shunning



Those nasty
men came
and stabbed
their poles in holes
with waving flags
on top. Then,
so much death.



I am afraid of running
into myself high up
in these mountains.
I am not sure where I am
but these cliffs look familiar
and I can be very
frightening in my silence.

Maggie Wells is the author of Pluto (The Wrath of Dynasty) and co-editor of the anthology Emotion Road (Press Body Press). Her work has been featured in various publications, including Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present, The Cadence of Hooves Anthology, Nailed Magazine, Dick Pig Review, Inquisitive Eater and others. Maggie writes an advice column under a pseudonym and currently lives in Nashville.

Maggie Wells
Upside Down Flag

Not to be brash
but the market crashed
its 10-ton truck

into a roaming horde
of people perpetual monature poemstion
perpetually bloodied not to alarm you

to get us off on the right track
snails are missing shells
taking residence

in ears of god fearing
black fearing
other fearing fear fearing

dangerous slow slimy persistence
excavators of you can guess what
not to beat around the bush

pushed far enough pussies shoot
fireballs like Mario Brothers
not that I'm saying you're on fire

not that your hair smells sick
while burning
not that the whites of your eyes

are charred not that your tires
and walls are melting
not that your gardens are scorched

not that your gardeners
are stop drop & rolling
not that your world will be

the sludge you dump
not to be a total asshole but
not for nothing

I've got an intricate underground
fortress to build
with my bare legs

Maggie Wells is the author of Pluto (The Wrath of Dynasty) and co-editor of the anthology Emotion Road (Press Body Press). Her work has been featured in various publications, including Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present, The Cadence of Hooves Anthology, Nailed Magazine, Dick Pig Review, Inquisitive Eater and others. Maggie writes an advice column under a pseudonym and currently lives in Nashville.

John Wiggins

"I have worked my entire life as film and TV sound designer/mixer. I always had my own studio where I made "experiments" with tape machines, modular synthesizers and early computers. I looked for a connection with sound design and manipulating real sounds. Musique concrete is that connection for me.

I was born in 1951 and live in New York, USA."

Gothic Funk
Paramanu Pentaquark

The Gothic Funk Press opened submissions for the fifth issue of our Paramanu Pentaquark arts journal on January 5th, 2017. We accepted submissions through April, made our editorial decisions through August, and completed the design by the end of December. While we were considering the work of almost a hundred gifted artists, our world was going through its own stormy year. The United States and United Kingdom continued to weather the consequences of their recent electoral contests, the world embraced or rebuffed xenophobia, and the political fiascos and celebrity deaths that had played out through 2016 were replaced by more sobering public assessments on the merits of democracy vs. fascism, and the role of a free press, and whether persons different from oneself merit a dignity inherent to all humanity.

From its inception in the wake of the 2004 U.S. presidential election, the Gothic Funk arts collective has been a self-consciously political movement, but our work has also been conceived as a rebuttal to the pervasive irony of postmodern art, to the relentless aestheticism of the academy, and to the sterile economic algorithms of today's commercial arts, music, and publishing industries. Almost fourteen years ago we imagined an art that would expose its bloody and beating heart for the world to see, but in which such an embrace of emotion and subjectivity would challenge its audience to reflection and action rather than offering the balms of sentimentality and nostalgia.

In 2018, it is clear that this message still resonates. Gothic Funk is relevant and restless in the age of Donald Trump, of travel bans, of nepotism and corruption, of resurgent, racist, sexist nationalism. And, as editors, we have been provoked and challenged by the submissions you will experience in this collection. This was a difficult issue to assemble. We pondered, argued, reconsidered, and built consensus. In addition to questions of artistic merit and tone, we were continuously asking ourselves how to put this issue on the right side of history. Are such questions, in and of themselves, politically indulgent? As editors, were we too preoccupied with how the selections would make us look and not enough with what they would do? What does it mean to reconcile politically meaningful and aesthetically pleasing creative work? What is the play between the assertions of the individual artists represented here and the posture of the issue as a whole?

There are no pat answers to these questions. As artists ourselves we brought our own passions and interests to the table and, like any good committee, the majority vote often came down against a skeptical holdout, sometimes in favor and sometimes against. In the end, we are very proud of this issue in its variety, its many perspectives, its contradictions, and its relevance.

Here you will find 25 Images, Sounds, and Words submitted by artists living in Australia, Egypt, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Serbia, the United Kingdom, and, in the United States, Florida, California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas, and they all evoke the poignance and instability that saturated 2017.

Some of these pieces, like Morgan Chandler's "Same Time Tomorrow," confront us with disturbing ambiguities, stirring beauty and violence in one pot, coterminus but unblurred. Others, like Bracha Bdil's "Sanctified," confront their audience with a fragmented reanimation of past atrocity and past activism. Still others, like Rae Howell's "Powderhorn Lake" conjure an injured romanticism conscious of what has been possessed and enjoyed but also of what might be forever lost. Finally, some, like Maggie Well's "Bright Blight," seek to take in the whole mess of chaos in our lives – personal and civic – before fixing upon vignettes of tragic clarity.

These are not works to be held at arm's length. The whole collection is incredibly varied, taking in the rough and the urbane, the harsh and the gentle, and the direct and the enigmatic, but nothing in this collection is asking to be experienced with dispassionate intellectual detachment. Nothing here shies away from either hope or hopelessness. As we cut the last tethers to 2017 and sail on into the future, we invite you to immerse yourselves in this issue, and to feel fully what it is asking you to feel, before beginning the hard work of answering its questions.

Elisabeth Blair

Elisabeth Blair is a poet and interdisciplinary artist. Her poetry has most recently appeared in Right Hand Pointing and Brickplight, and is forthcoming in Feminist Studies, cream city review, and S/tick. Her chapbook, We He She/It, is available through Dancing Girl Press.

An active feminist, she is on the board of the International Alliance for Women in Music and is the founder and director of Listening to Ladies, a podcast featuring interviews with women composers of contemporary classical music. &

Connor Coyne

Connor Coyne is a writer living and working in Flint, Michigan. He has written two novels — Hungry Rats and Shattering Glass — and Atlas, a collection of short stories. His novel Urbantasm will be published by Valancourt Press in four installments between 2018 and 2022.

Connor's work has also been published in, Belt Magazine, Santa Clara Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Flint's College Cultural Neighborhood (aka the East Village), less than a mile from the house where he grew up. Find out more about his writing at

Skylar Moran

Skylar Moran is an architect (pursuing licensure) in Chicago, an adjunct professor at Illinois Institute of Technology, and a founding member and former steward of the Chicago chapter of The Architecture Lobby, a multi-tendency organization of architectural workers.

Areas of research include culture and infrastructure, in terms of the suitability of conditions for growth; mobility and destabilization of communities; mystery, suspense, and dramatic irony in architecture; pathological, postmodern encroachment by private uses of public space.

His work "Mirage" most recently appeared in The Unsolicited Sideshow, a corollary exhibit to the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial exploring the contemporary condition of otherness.

Skylar's awards include the George Danforth Traveling Fellowship, the Spies Droste Study Abroad Scholarship, & the Illinois Institute of Technology Presidential Scholarship.

See what he is doing now at

Sam Perkins-Harbin

Sam is a visual artist who composes his work with ones and zeros. His work is produced in the visual mediums with pencil, ink or computer mice.

Sam is an author who writes in code. He produces websites, little exploratory pages and programs, and likes to tinker around and see what he can create visually using ones and zeroes.

Sam is a tall ship sailor, and he would prefer to do the above from the beach or on a little schooner somewhere warm.

Sam is a licensed Captain and likes to drive boats for other people. Please tip accordingly!

Sam enjoys steampunk dress, cyberpunk novels, strange music, walkabouts, and circus side shows.

Thanks for reading, you may now don your lifejackets accordingly.