Issue Two Cover November 2014MAYHEM - Issue Two

Editorial - Tracey Slaughter

Sometimes the page is a mess. The sentences won’t hold their weight. The characters stiffen and hide their faces, or stand at centrestage and shriek. The plot takes corners you can’t follow, a dark figure with back turned, distant steps. The set is a series of shadows, or postcards of overused plastic towns. The voice sounds lifted from an answering machine – or an emergency room. The mood floods, or flatlines. The words tick, bloodless, from left to right. Or animals appear in the alphabet, things with raw faces that make shapes of pain and bare their teeth. The page goes into spasm. The page goes into stasis. You spend days staring down the vanishing point of the mess.   > full editorial

Contents

1. Boris Cookson

Alexander The Great
…I cough up the meaning of family/It tastes like salt…

2. Adele McKelvie

Your Life, My Rules
…I’ll serve you a cup of green tea, and lead you to my deserted flatmate’s room…

3. Kristy Lagarto

Shark Teeth
…the headlights of cars/are tiny fish…

Thigh Gap
…I want you to drink/soup out of my collar bones…

Fixers
…I set fire to photographs/of a little blonde girl/in a green dress…

4. Helena Dow

Disclosed
…with the dead sheep by the fire, and a single light bulb over the bed…

5. Hannah Dewhurst

Just Like Dad
…scales flake away like weird glitter, sticking to his arms…

6. Renée Boyer-Willisson

Peach
…a drop of my/juice makes a bid for/freedom but you/stem the flow…

The Far Part Of Us
…the far part of us, not so far now, fades and glows…

7. Robert Taylor

fuhck
…ichthys. Rasta. Big fat belly…

Shibuya
…each citizen – a single strand of mane – can slip like an eyelash onto the pupil…

8. Loren Thomas

Mechanics
…rub gasoline/Behind your ears…

Normal
…she’s the girl who removes her cloth shell each night…

Strokes
…the strokes are spreading/My left wrist…

9. Viv Aitken

Moonflower
…parading multi-coloured selves /To heat and light and insect tongues

10. Chris Lee

Happiness
…drought's coming again and me and mine are going to need a good memory or two…

Wasted
…I watched you sleep deep for a while then I whispered I'd take you pig huntin next time I took the dogs out…

11. Jessica Tuakeu

Photograph of My Mother
…that brilliant, soft, early 60’s blue that feels like a hug when you’re looking at it…

12. Melody Wilkinson

Seasoning
…falling asleep to meetings in the living room; the way the prayers crept under the door…

Musings of an Aging Mind
…can we be dressed feminists or do we all have to be naked?…

13. Faith Wilson

Bag o' Bones
…you’re so tired from a long day/birthing, I place you in your cradle…

Wunderkind
…they gave me Cordelia but/I wasn’t white enough…

The Virgins Chewing the Kava Leaves
…watch the virgins smoke the tobacco leaves/behind their fathers’ backs…

14. Onyx Lily

The confession you will never hear
…it’s not the kind of stuff that’s easy to say over and over. So yeah. It’s a bit about the sex…

15. Erin Doyle

Bottles
…drum-grade /Ethanol that chills through/Gloved fingers…

PCR Idol
…with your Japanese styled cuteness,/Bristled in darkened spikes…

I used my own tips
…the black lines on the unbroken autoclave tape prove that my tips are sterile…

16. Vicky Curtin

4 Tributes to Sappho
…the first embrace/saddled me;/saw me home/in old stars…

I Played with Kylie
…diabetic thumb straight/hitching for/the memory…

3 Garden Songs
…words, now, I have pared to the seed/exposed eye…

17. Brittany Rose

Strip
…lace on the floor, with twisted straps,/frayed nylon and curling elastic…

Four AM
…when you’re Jess, you sit and chain smoke. You sit and breathe in the health warnings…

18. essa ranapiri

School Playground circa 1999
…a circus performer/Holding on to emptiness…

Negative One of One
…the black paths have no love for tyre marks…

19. Tyla Bidois

Styx
…the roughness of a shared joint on the bonnet of an old car…

From Two Things
…your cheeks coated in cold velvet/flesh stiff like wax…

20. R.P. Wood

Autobiography
…I am the smallest bone you ever broke…

21. K-t Harrison

Where do you go to my lovely (from Corina Goes to Wellington)
…honkey doll from Tawa dressed in Abercrombie and Fitch…

22. Stephen Henderson

Sorry for doing something right
…the concrete slabs underneath our carpet start to distort…

Yacht Club
…a Christian pendulum, a gift from mother, 24 carats…

23. C. M. Perry

Do you remember the chip shop?
…road signs /come to meet us,/from up above the fever…

Last Words
…wet laces and hangovers,/at 7am,/searching for an earring in the frost…

24. Shannon Newlands

Personality Test
…bad TV shows call your name…

25. Gaia Church

Eight ways to look at a fat little girl
…paint her body/into the backdrop/and disappear…

Five sets
…mess of golden string/Kicked under the bed…

26. Mary Wood

Father
…I find the red-coloured Ravel,/Beneath the empty green bottle of sweet, ginger wine…

27. Mike Bilodeau

The morning after
…the flower-petal words I pumped into you last night were nothing but purpose driven pieces of rehearsed bullshit…

28. Karl Guethert

8 Simple Rules
…people often ask how I became such a successful author. I laugh, and tell them it was inevitable…

29. Jessica Howatson

Clichés
…the tears/that tricked their way/into battle/like so many Trojan horses…

30. Tanya Botha

Withering Bones
…you started noticing the teeth marks on their necks and the burst blood vessels covering collarbones…

31. Rachael Elliott

Kali goes to Christmas Dinner
…lotus flower candle holder/‘Grow Your Own Boyfriend’/just add water…

Kali Looks at Facebook Photos of Her Friend's New Baby
…baby lives in a letter/sealed with spit/pink booties remove her hands…

Kali gets a text message from her ex-boyfriend
…bait glowing/before the open sex of your mouth…

32. D.A. Taylor

Untitled, or: Quaesīvī
…there are consonants/on the table/and a bottle of vowels /in the fridge…

Bounty
…red strawberries/bursting on the palate…

Write
…write to save the Mataī shavings your grandfather brushes from the bench…