Submission Guidelines

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Kyle Hemmings

 Mannequin Envy: Sartorial Totem

If you drove a whole basement of illegal immigrant dress makers to hate their own clothes, to discard thimbles and swallow safety pins, to want only the darkness contained by walls of any kind.  If you wasted years exiled to the deepest fold of your brain shaped like a florescent vagina [white matter vs. grey matter, why be so superficial?] If you reduced your father to a cold vegetative state by refusing to wrap him in his own handmade linen and snug  lies....then you must kneel before the mannequin that has your mother's closed-lip smile, barely one at all, the mother who became so brittle from years of pulling you from chemically-induced sleep, the mother/mannequin with one stump for an arm, and beg forgiveness. And wait. And wait.


Mannequin Envy: The Mannequin Euro-Trance Rag

I tried to talk to her but she wouldn't speak.
I called her Gretchen in three languages.
She still wouldn't respond.
I tried to tango with her.
She was submissive
but her drag was all wrong.
I finally threw her against
the gurgling radiator,
opened her up with a knife
and several clumsy cuts.
I reached inside her
felt the burn of melting candles
the echo of a little girl's voice
the one I had rescued
from a Russian soldier in Potsdam
only to give her away to a childless old man on a bridge.
I  withdrew a swelling hand.
I bled everything out in warm thick drops.
I became too light to hold anything down.


Mannequin Envy: Bad Orthopedics

In a low bed, one mannequin spoons the other: joint to crevice,  peeling hand to perfect-lady jaw. Speculations: neo-plastic noir, fiberglass concubine with missing crotch,  Mad Man and Audrey Hepburn look-a-like not articulated enough for anal retentiveness and high gloss repent. The night is heavily erect but sad in the dim neon glows.  Perhaps the world is a window, we can never quite see through. At 45 degree angles, the mannequins could be mistaken for drowning victims or dolls in a desert never resuscitated by an ironic mist of love/unknowable essence. They can both bend to the will of egoistic gods who never project ideal sex without unwanted children.  They are too worn to be for sale. Their mute de Chirico despair is a lasting thing of beauty. At the very least, even to an untrained eye, they will not leave stains on the sheets. 

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