Photo and Poems by Drea Kato

Morbid Poems

I miss her bone structure, those
jagged beautiful edges, those rows
of perfect white teeth, that gaping
smile, so open and red it almost looks

like a wound. I miss the crazy words
spilling from her, thoughts about the
afterlife, what stupid mess she was
going to make that night. It is

difficult writing this without breaking
down into what looks more like a pile of
clothes on the floor rather than a human
being; it is difficult writing these

morbid poems, watching them turn into
ghosts in front of me, and then they
take turns haunting me for weeks. These
morbid poems are draining me, they are

coffin-sized mosquitoes sucking the blood
straight from my veins, then tearing me
to shreds, dancing and laughing at me
and my glowing toxic organs. At times

they are only pillows made of syringes
that do not hurt that much because they
instantly put you to sleep. I miss her
voice, often tinged with strange feelings

that gnaw away at the soul, or the feeling
that reminds you that love and beauty
could still kill you or make you weak
at the knees. The way it pleaded like

a puppy at the universe, so lost.

Razorblade Wings

It feels like I could put all the details
of my entire life into poem after poem
about you. And I keep telling myself

that these doctors will make me stronger
and that everyone else does everything so
that must mean I can handle it all too

but then I somehow always find myself
alone on a bathroom floor, wildly crying
the night away. Somehow I always find myself

alone on a bathroom floor with butterflies
with razor blade wings, a completely red toilet.
Somehow I find myself in bed watching the weeks

glide away like clouds, wondering why I so
dislike everything, and, why, can’t I get up
anymore? Poison is something delicate and slow

like a violin played with a razor blade bow.


The subconscious knows a lot more
than you would guess, it can predict
the future, from the age you liked to

climb walnut trees. That is why my
10-year-old subconscious fed me dreams
of my mother sinking with the Titanic

and me holding her empty guitar case
over her grave on a sunny day and
crying. I knew this would fall apart

considering I watched my sole caretaker
drink and pop to escape her little ones,
considering the first time I got in trouble

with the cops and first got rimmed was
age five. From when you lost your job at
the Guitar Center for having a shot or two

during lunch to help ease some pain in
your teeth, and when you almost killed me
in San Francisco, when I saw you let that

black man kiss your white hands, from when
you ran to New Orleans with no money, just
a wooden boat paddle in your hands with the

American flag sticker. I would like to think
of you as sea foam, mother, drinking on an
eternal wave, gladly absorbing the sunlight

for the rest of your days. I know that you
were a drug addict and an alcoholic, but I
would like to think of you as having been an

artist, an astronaut, a scientist. From the
time I was sixteen and watched you get so
high I thought you were going to die, I knew

would watch you dissolve slowly, but I
would like to think of you as a starry woman
with blood red antlers, a peaceful prayer for

the world, sparkling foam upon the waves,
a beautiful little girl chasing bubbles who
wants to save the world when she grows up




Art by Eleanor Leonne Bennett

pressed between a leaf

sho t down

Art by Russell Bittner

collaboration by Nicolette Westfall and Jeff Crouch




The Larger-than-Life Structure:

Did God create humans, or did humans create God? On a practical level –who created religion? It’s quite obvious that religion was created by humans. The need for a large framework, full of principles, laws, myths and restrictions has always been attractive to mankind. Anything that is greater than you may appear trustworthy, like a parent to a mindless child. Therefore, religion was invented, containing many social principles that mankind can live by. Being blind to the true essence of the divine, people look for answers outside. And so – out of respect and apprehension, the business with god was left in the hands of the clergy, to mediate between the almighty and the simple man.

The painting “The Creation of God” depicts a group of people cultivating a huge impressive structure which they consider as heavenly. They look at the external reflection of divinity, not understanding that they are an essential part of the divine. The truth exists in the immanency of things. To see more, visit The Magnificent Art of Orna Ben-Shoshan.

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