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Issue 3

Welcome to the Third Issue of Siren!


CollecteA kiss by Grant Palmerd here is the work of unique artists who all share a similar conceptual interest in what is new, edgy,  and experimental in their chosen mediums. These are artists who are making their own paths, guided by voices and visions and the passion to create, to explore, and to discover.

In this issue, we offer a wide range of poetry, prose, photography, music, and video. Please continue to scroll through the entire issue to see the work of these artists who are trying new things and approaching their creative pursuits in different ways.

Thank you for reading, listening, and viewing the collective work of the writers and artists featured in our third issue. You can also click on the links below or on the side panel to view the artists’ individual pages and to find out more info about their work. We thank you all for your support. ~ Michelle Augello-Page, Editor


Siren Zine


Issue 3, Summer 2013


A Dash of Blue by Sheri White

Early Late Early Sweat by Roger Leatherwood

Second Law of Silence by Alex Stolis

Elide/Veils by Bunny Punch

American Walnuts by Laura Madeline Wiseman

Standing on this Flat Earth by Esteban Colon

A-spire by William Hicks

Sucker Punch by Alan King

Colorful Shoes by Sheri White

certain or the impromptu captures it by Felino A. Soriano

9 to 5 by Diztrict Allstarz

Death Row by Laura Madeline Wiseman

The Corpse by Beth Couture

Underbelly by Sheri White

Isolationism by Jay Sizemore

Snow Tree by William Hicks

I Inhale You Like the Stars On a Cold Winter Night Seem Closer by Ned Rain

The Call of the Loon by Peter Baltensperger


Sheri White

A Dash of Blue by Sheri White

Early Late Early Sweat

Roger Leatherwood


I like your hair a little red
I like that twinkle in your eye
The light through the curtain blinded you too
Your butt a little too big for your thong
I like your thighs apart just so

I like the smell of Cuervo on your breath
Your panties around your ankles
The phone stopped ringing at noon
I like to see the tears in your bra
The line of spittle down your face
With thriftstore lust

Your fingers on the side of your lips
The blood spots that aren’t yours
I like my hands clenched in the sheets
The wisp of hair, unshaven at the crease
I like the look in your eyes
As you turn me over

I like it when my breath catches
And you push
like that



Second Law of Silence

Alex Stolis


Entropy always increases or remains constant in a silent system


Why do we have to go through this again? I’m not saying I’m right but goddamn
it every time we have these wordless arguments I leave and you remain, cloister
yourself in martyrdom [not out of a higher love; you are more stubborn than me]
For some reason [the death of your mother; father; the husband who doesn’t really
love you?] you do not seem to believe. You want to live life like there are no laws
or physics; you would defy [deny] them for the sake of love, poetry, art [because
that is what matters you say]. We have been around the block, you should know
how it works by now. There are rules and regs [it is what it is baby; I know how it
pisses you off when I say that] And yet you respond with silence [You see, since
silence can be modeled as a closed system; silence is considered to be entropic –
that is, running down.] You write me notes; post-its on the fridge; legal pad letters
under my door; scratch paper questions on the nightstand [always your side, never
mine; I wonder what that says about us] then there are the perfumed letters scattered
randomly [those seem to appear mostly after makeup sex] Then there was Plan B:
you cut your hair [in my bathroom] all Patti Smith; chop chop chop; to look hip/
edgy/sexy/cool [and damn you surely did. But really,] all I ever wanted was to be
your scarecrow man, black feathers falling at my feet; a lit match, your nothing
that you carry in your back pocket; the thing that takes the edge off a sonic boom.



Bunny Punch



American Walnuts

Laura Madeline Wiseman


Consider the way they proliferate in ditches,
along bike path, edge of forest, abandoned lines,

the way their leaves fan the shuttered shadows
of overgrowth, oscillating their full parasols,

their saw-toothed leaflets muffling the sounds,
whatever we whisper in these desolate places—

greenish flowers, yellow fall leaves, broad
and lanced—the way they were once abundant

but prized as material for furniture, gunstock,
and veneer, coveted as native wood and stolen,

they way their hard green husks tumble
to the ground and are pried open by squirrels

and forgers consuming their offering
in the way we do not gather what grows

in land soaked in creosote—railroad tie, telephone pole,
bridge strut—the way apples and tomatoes die

near their mature presence, their fruit
edible and sweet in irregular chambers,

the way we buy them prepackaged in plastic,
unable to trust our green fields.



Standing on this Flat Earth

Esteban Colon


the edges aren’t always as far as you think
nostalgia display screens grind hope from strangers who have powdered the things of dreams
scream on street corners of a track mark Jesus Christ hotel room obituary

the edges aren’t always as far as you think

we are prodigal in our existence

Nephilism walk past downcast eyes like a dark brilliance too large for irises and
every day we try to capture light like pictures held between thumb and forefinger, pray for rain like
dollops of liquid infinity, sniffing lines of reality so hard our noses bleed, I’m sniffing lines of reality so hard my nose bleeds, the edges aren’t always as far as you think – spirals of coils never seen, like artificial intestines hugging.

gears of war wrap arms around me, veins grind rust pushing orange dust out every cut, till
spotted grease black hands builds skin
the size of wills and egos
skin chapped leather on human bones
the edges aren’t always as far as you think
the edges aren’t always as far as you think



William Hicks

A-spire by William Hicks

Sucker Punch

Alan King


Two cars smashed together—
a silver Chrysler 300 and blue Taurus.
Grills locked like bucks collided
in a highway game of chicken.

All around them: police cruisers, a fire truck,
the EMTs carting away a small body.
You’re heading home on a two-lane highway
to surprise your wife with the gluten-free
hazel nut cake and vanilla ice cream.

But the centipede of brake lights, rippling
pass the guard rail glowing from pink flares,
says you won’t get home before dessert
puddles in the Styrofoam.

The Chrysler driver is a teen the troubled
airwaves paint as some punk too cool
for the 50 mile speed limit. You’ve known desire
to be as reckless when your heart was
an unlocked Camry with keys in the ignition.

That’s how Kim had every dude in high school.
Her wild cherry-glazed lips, t-shirt awning her
flat tummy, and her booty in onion skin jeans
made the toughest brothas grin and wave
when she called their names.

And there you were, a coupe idling
with its door ajar. You were a joyride
she’d enjoy before bouncing
to another set of wheels.

You were her lunch time ATM
before the promise of being straddled
by her strong thighs had you
zipping your dad’s car across town.

That’s when impulse, desire’s engine,
roared inside you, the way it rumbled inside
the young driver—punching the gas
to overtake the limping Caravan
before the Taurus slammed him.


Sheri White
Colorful Shoes by Sheri White

certain or the impromptu captures it

Felino A. Soriano

certain or the impromptu captures it by felino a. soriano

Diztrict Allstarz




Death Row

Laura Madeline Wiseman


Sometimes, in the spring humidity, there’s a rustling,
a small susurration and it’s them, a whiffle

as breath moves between them way up there.
Or in the fall when it hasn’t rained and we hear

a ticking, like the flicker of ribbons
tied to an oscillating fan and think it’s a party

for a birthday girl, but it’s them, another way
they seek our attention without clear intention.

Now, the shush-shush of kids walking
in the street in their red-gold offering, the whoosh

of wind between the last full canopy,
and as the storm approaches, the whine

of branches straining in the gusts—
these are their words, tussled and calling.

When you wrap your arms around me,
the power flickers, and the trees gutter

like candles as what pushes and pulls at them, the thing
we cannot really see, and limbs crack and drop

their magnificent weight to the ground,
that is their prison bars rattling

and hands reaching out to grasp at nothing. I know this.
I have seen trunks twisted against reason

on mountains. I have touched those bent bodies
and unable to change the direction of time

I have whispered into the crook of their neck
the small nothings.



The Corpse

Beth Couture


Molly’s talking to a corpse, and it’s not talking back. The body lies there on the table like leavings from breakfast, and it’s not saying a word but Molly keeps talking. She doesn’t expect it to talk back, really—this isn’t that show where the dead follow the living around and tell them things they never said when they were alive and everyone’s pretty and lives in LA and is fucked up but not too fucked up and is lovable in their own way (which is what makes it a TV show and not real life). This isn’t television. Molly lives this now, takes fluids out of dead bodies and puts fluids back in. She puts makeup on them and tries to make them look like real people again. She went to school for this. And she talks to the corpses because there’s no one else down here to talk to. Sometimes she imagines them talking back to her, sitting up on the table and crying, or laughing, and telling her their life stories. She knows their names, and she imagines Shelby Jenkins or Mildred Edson or Billy LeBlanc talking about their prom or first kiss or favorite dead pet. She makes up stories about them in her head as she applies foundation and fixes their hair just right. But they don’t talk back. Of course they don’t. And when she’s done with them, she gets Vince to help her put them in their casket and moves on to the next. And she forgets them.

This one’s different, though. She’s young, younger than Molly. Nineteen, maybe twenty. She could be her little sister, the one Molly hasn’t heard from since she started college and learned how to drink. And all people are better looking as corpses than they were when they were alive, but this girl is beautiful. She may be the most beautiful girl Molly has ever seen. It doesn’t matter now, but she must have been a heartbreaker. And so Molly starts by asking her questions about boyfriends, or maybe girlfriends, glides powder over her face and tells her she likes the tiny red scorpion tattoo on her left shoulder. Usually Molly doesn’t talk much about herself, but this time she does. It starts out small—where she lives and why she decided to work at the funeral home and where she does her grocery shopping. She says she’s always wanted a tattoo but she’s afraid she’d get it done and it would look stupid or be misspelled. She laughs. But she keeps talking and it gets heavier, and scarier, and she can’t stop. Her brother, dead for three years. The scars on the backs of her legs from where he cut her in the “game” he liked to play with her. His best friend. Going to sleep and knowing how they’ll wake her. The words flow over her tongue and teeth, and they surprise her. She doesn’t even know what she’s going to say until it’s out of her mouth, but when it’s out of her mouth it hangs in the air like a smell. She’s talking to a corpse and she can’t stop. And what’s funny about it all—not ha-ha funny, but strange—what’s funny is that it’s the best conversation she’s had in years. Donna, the corpse, just lies there with her shiny black hair and her peacefully shut almond-shaped eyes, and Molly puts pale pink lipstick on her small, perfect mouth and talks. Fifteen years in her parents’ house with her brother. Eight years of the game. One night he threatened to cut out her tongue if she said anything to anyone, and she never did. He died in a car accident a month after he moved out of the house, and when she heard the news she cried until she couldn’t breathe. She has never told anyone, but she tells Donna, and Donna lies there with her hands resting at her sides, her perfect lips in a faint smile.

And when Molly lies down on the table next to Donna, when she puts her head on her chest and tells her everything, she looks into her face with its pale skin covered in the lightest, softest down and its eyebrows gently arched. It is no longer just a beautiful face, but also a familiar one. Then she presses her own face into the cool of Donna’s neck and she keeps talking. She lies there with Donna and talks and talks until she has nothing left to say anymore, until she’s done. She looks into Donna’s perfect face, and when the lips part and begin to move, Molly listens.


Sheri White

Underbelly by Sheri White


Jay Sizemore


I’m building my house.
I’m building my house
and soon it will be complete,
soon it will be perfect.

I’m building my house,
my castle, my fortress of solitude.
I’m building my tower of Babel,
my cabin in the woods.

I’m holing myself in
like a rat in a wall,
sealing myself off
from the world, from the noise.

You won’t find me,
you won’t see me,
you won’t reach me,
you won’t need me.

My world will be the sounds
of keys typing, of keys wriggling
into the locks, dangling from the rings
of cell guards, protectors of the secrets

and the science of keeping.
This is my nest, where I seal my thoughts
like young into the honeycomb chambers
of saliva and sugar, fructose extracted

from the guts of roses. I surround myself
inside a cloud of monotonous voices,
blended like winds of a hurricane
into the guttural growl of some unknown ghost,

the throaty whisper of forgotten years
a distant wind chime down some mildewed hall,
so many televisions, streaming so many
talking heads, streaming so much loss of intellect

into one pipeline like crude oil and pancake syrup
made from the dead, the walls of my house
built up into layers of zeros and ones,
walls of iPods, of LCD screens, of anti-virus

software and privacy protection. I paste my face
into the frames of every stranger, me me me,
it’s only me, and my voice, and my words,
my time, and my everlasting gobstopper

that no top-hat wearing schmuck could ever pluck
from the trees of commonality. I hope you are praying
for me while I die of cancer, because I will never
acknowledge the existence of music

I didn’t hear for myself, and while your voices
blend into that same hurricane I already built up
shutters to protect against, I’ll be playing my guitar
as I’m lowered into the grave.


William Hicks

Snow Tree by William Hicks

I Inhale You Like the Stars On a Cold Winter Night Seem Closer

Ned Rain


When I first

the first time
I touched your back

I could not believe how soft you were
the rest of you full of steel and ink
sealing your mouth

your mouth sealed with thin steel
& by your own hand
I saw that

saw you paint with your own
&  I
asked you if it hurt
you said


but there my hand was
and the warm soft of
was incredible

I inhale you

I still have that empty
of your scent
the one you used
for all those years you
couldn’t bathe &
peed in bottles
I remember
your thin mustache
in the sun
(it made you more feminine somehow)

that broken heart you gave me
as a warning

your heart
riven through
with steel

how could your back
– so soft and warm –
how could it be so soft?



The Call of the Loon

Peter Baltensperger


Four o’clock. All is well. Four o’clock does that to the world, even though time doesn’t exist, dripping from nothingness into nothingness as it does, puddles at the bottom of a bottomless abyss. It’s a lazy afternoon, a hot summer afternoon in July, the fourteenth of July, perhaps, or the twenty-second, depending on the circumstances. Dates always depend on circumstances, hence the dripping of the droplets of time. The afternoon is hot enough for swimming, hot enough for the skin to roast.

The lake, for instance, surrounded by ancient forests, expanses of grass here and there reaching in among the trees, like tongues, like snakes. A light breeze ruffles the surface of the lake. The late afternoon sun burns down on the water at an angle, slanting off the ripples, transforming the surface of the lake into a spectacular explosion of shimmering light.

A man and a woman stand in the water, their bodies glistening, melting into the brilliance. There should always be a man and a woman in the water, their skin glistening in the sun, to complete the tableau, maintain the equilibrium between what is and what is, between what has been and what still could become. Forest sounds surround the man and the woman at the centre of the panorama: the twittering of birds, the croaking of frogs, the chirping of cicadas, the haunting call of a loon.

The man has his feet anchored firmly in the soft bottom of the lake, maintaining the balance among the sounds and the glittering water, juggling a pair of luscious breasts in his hands. He lifts the breasts out of the water to let the sun slant on the droplets running down over the smooth slopes, their soft curves sparkling in the heat, blending into the tableau. He knows the importance of breasts gleaming, silvery fireworks dancing all around them, the loon calling plaintively in the distance.

The woman loves having her gleaming breasts lifted out of the water. It makes her feel proud, seeing them in his hands. She is balancing herself against the man, leaning back to leave him room for fondling her breasts. Her arms are wrapped around his neck, her legs around his waist, a vise holding them together, holding everything in place in the greater scheme of things, in the primordial depth of the lake.

She has impaled herself on the man’s penis, her flexible muscles sucking at his erection, rocking slowly, bobbing up and down to the rhythm of her soul. She knows how to complete herself in a panorama, how to become herself, how to meld into a universe where only she and the man exist, where only his penis in her grip and her breasts in his hands are of any immediate consequence.

As the afternoon progresses in its own mysterious ways, she starts to bob up and down more forcefully, with increasing determination. The man starts to thrust against her, squeezing her glittering breasts, squeezing her nipples strutting proudly from the surface of her globes. The lake shudders as they thrust against each other more and more frantically, churning the water into waves, drowning out the forest sounds with their moans and groans, their cries of excitement, their lust.

The man lets go of her breasts, flings his arms around her in frenzied excitation, their bodies a single mold in the lake, their pelvises pounding against each other, the sun already moving closer to the tops of the trees. They push each other up the ultimate climb, mountaineers rushing to claim the apex of their quest, then shiver and tremble in the churned-up water as their orgasms pulsate rhythmically through the fulfillment of their desperate selves.

Currents of satisfaction saturate their minds, flood their souls as they rock together through the culmination of their orchestration, kettledrums rolling, cymbals crashing, the director frenetic on his dais, his arms a flurry of final directions. Their end of the lake turns into a confusion of glittering waves, their orgasmic screams saturating the late afternoon, the panorama completing itself in the throes of their passion. They finally separate and stagger through the water hand in hand to collapse in one of the tongues of grass. The sun disappears behind the trees. The lake returns to its quiet self and the initial balance is restored, the afternoon complete.

Later, the breast of a half moon drifts over the treetops into the darkening sky, bathing their landscape in a quietly soft sheen. The woman is sprawled out in the grass, her arms flung wide, her fingers digging into the earth for support, her eyes drinking the moon. The man has his head buried between her splayed thighs, sucking her abundant juices from her luxurious well. She tastes of the lake and the grass, her plentiful emanations intermingling with the droplets of water running down over her lake-wet sex, his tongue darting in and out of her luscious folds, his mind drowning in the richness of her sensuous femininity.

She moans jubilantly in rhythm with his lingual exploration, her body a luscious conglomeration of bristling desires, her mind floating somewhere in the moonlit landscape of her dreams, her fingers clawing at the earth. She knows all about excitement and arousal, wallowing in the snaking of his tongue at the entrance to her cave as he drinks from her cornucopia of delights, stills his hunger at the smorgasbord of her delicious pleasures.

The moon is climbing higher in the sky, and the night darkens around them as the man bears down on her swollen lips, focuses on her protruding clit, licks her to euphoric distraction between groans of excitement and utter satisfaction. He grabs the inside of her thighs, presses her legs further apart, and dives into her delectable landscape with all the eagerness and enthusiasm of a determined seeker on his quest for selfhood and complete fulfillment.

The woman bucks against him, grabs at the dew-wet grass with her hands, and lets the currents of excitement build up at the core of her being, at the centre of her soul. Before long, he sucks her over the top and she cries out with the exuberance of her orgasm, her voice gritty from saturating their tableau with her screams. She rocks against him to let her orgasms rush through her body, fill every cell of her being. Her breasts, her pussy are on fire, her world an immense expanse of total satisfaction.

When her body relaxes from the intensity of her release, the man climbs on top of her, grabs her moist breasts, and plunges into her with his own passion, his own desperate need to climb the final peak and bring relief for his pent-up arousal. She moans gratefully when he squeezes her breasts and rubs her nipples and gushes into her with forceful determination, completing his own part in the panorama, finding his own destination to his quest.

The lake has long restored its smooth surface, the noises in the forest around them have changed to night voices moving in and out among the trees, and the tableau is complete, saturated with the power and the jubilation of their fusions. The after images of their presence will linger at the secluded lake long after they leave, the impressions of their bodies imprinted on the water and on the grass.

High above them, the stars are breaking through the darkness to populate the sky. The loon adds a final plaintiff cry to the nocturnal chorus, and the night folds in upon itself.


Siren Zine

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