Editors' Notes

Maria Damon and Michelle Greenblatt
Jim Leftwich and Michelle Greenblatt
Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt

A Visual Conversation on Michelle Greenblatt's ASHES AND SEEDS with Stephen Harrison, Monika Mori | MOO, Jonathan Penton and Michelle Greenblatt

Letters for Michelle: with work by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Jeffrey Side, Larry Goodell, mark hartenbach, Charles J. Butler, Alexandria Bryan and Brian Kovich

Visual Poetry by Reed Altemus
Poetry by Glen Armstrong
Poetry by Lana Bella
A Eulogic Poem by John M. Bennett
Elegic Poetry by John M. Bennett
Poetry by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
A Eulogy by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Joel Chace
A Spoken Word Poem and Visual Art by K.R. Copeland
A Eulogy by Alan Fyfe
Poetry by Win Harms
Poetry by Carolyn Hembree
Poetry by Cindy Hochman
A Eulogy by Steffen Horstmann
A Eulogic Poem by Dylan Krieger
An Elegic Poem by Dylan Krieger
Visual Art by Donna Kuhn
Poetry by Louise Landes Levi
Poetry by Jim Lineberger
Poetry by Dennis Mahagin
Poetry by Peter Marra
A Eulogy by Frankie Metro
A Song by Alexis Moon and Jonathan Penton
Poetry by Jay Passer
A Eulogy by Jonathan Penton
Visual Poetry by Anne Elezabeth Pluto and Bryson Dean-Gauthier
Visual Art by Marthe Reed
A Eulogy by Gabriel Ricard
Poetry by Alison Ross
A Short Movie by Bernd Sauermann
Poetry by Christopher Shipman
A Spoken Word Poem by Larissa Shmailo
A Eulogic Poem by Jay Sizemore
Elegic Poetry by Jay Sizemore
Poetry by Felino A. Soriano
Visual Art by Jamie Stoneman
Poetry by Ray Succre
Poetry by Yuriy Tarnawsky
A Song by Marc Vincenz

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Sleep Tickles
by Uzodinma Okehi

The delirium of those early nights, not at sea, but adrift in that chorus of giggling, laughing, widely smiling Chinese girls, that seething tableau of shining faces . . . This was Hong Kong, 1995, and that night I was lost as usual. Flailing. Stumbling drunk off a beer and a half, and with every conversation somehow spiraling quickly out of control. Why did I sound so bitter? That's what I asked myself, as the jokes all sputtered out unfunny and any backpedaling I tried just took me over the next ravine. Ching Wren was sandwiched in with the rest of those girls, her thin smile the one unmusical note as the others sighed and fluttered, cooed and snuggled, chortling like a flock of trained showbirds . . .

It was the Lost World club. My wingman was a Chinese pal of mine from college, but I'd already given up on that guy as an entrée to any sort of real excitement. The girls there were a crowd he'd known from high school, in sunglasses at 1 am, cold magpies, over-dressed fashion plates, and so after about an hour we were both being roundly ignored. Other Chinese dudes were already stepping up, sidling down from the dancefloor and I guess I couldn't blame them. By then the talk had turned to Mandarin, or Cantonese, or whatever it was, effectively shutting me out, so I broke off to roam the place . . .

It could have been hours later, and I'd say I was stone sober by the time I kissed Ching Wren. I was down the hallway by the payphones, wide-awake, lying beneath a metal bench with my jacket balled up under my head . . . And this was already full-circle, after I'd been hellbent, felt defeated, then decided there was no choice but to stay loose, keep moving . . . From girl to girl . . . After bouncing, literally, with the music, through the club, room to room . . . Up to one of the waitresses, who made a point not to understand I was asking her what time her shift ended . . . Incredulous, waving her hands: "No, no . . . Then, perched by a doorway that I later realized was the women's restroom, girls lined on either side, single file, one after another, brushing me aside . . . I tried to reset myself with a pull up move at a table full of German girls . . . Just two guys, that's what I figured, girls to spare. "Man, could I use a cigarette!" I said, and why was I shouting? Then I tried to reset myself again, to back up and ask how they liked Hong Kong, but then that also sounded preposterous, moreso since I'd decided to say it with a "Charlie Chan" Chinese accent, that on top of the fact I'd also been there less than three weeks . . .

It was after all this when I was down under that bench, hands folded over my chest. First there'd been two pairs of feet, talking, walking up to use the phones, then giggling, trotting back . . . Then, with a lurch, someone sat down on the floor right next to me, and for a while there was only the sound of us both breathing . . .

The explanation I later gave, to Benoit, to everyone, was that I kissed Ching Wren, not because I was drunk but because that's the sort of thing you're supposed to do in life, to reach out, even if it makes no sense, even if you regret it afterwards. And after what seemed like decades, eons, there was a rustling sound, standing up, crouching down and then Ching Wren's face inches from mine, looking beneath the bench. All Chinese talk sounded like shouting to me, so she was there shouting, something like, "you-go how!" and I just leaned out and mashed my mouth against hers—not even a kiss—just our lips stunned open like fish puckering, and that half a second before she jumped up and padded off down the hall.

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