Stephanie Barber

Question 1

If John Darnielle’s heart
is an autoclave, sterile,
blood, foam – I’m striving
to learn and autoclave
my mind. I know there
are hydraulic valves in
there, pulsating geogemma
barosii, but I can es em
quu the warrants. Wipe
the continental shelf from
my future, ensure memetic-
free offspring. Kras-act
for a clear encephalon. Would
you find the eternal sunshine,
or live with the moon, no
matter how dark?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

thank you for asking and, yes, this is true.

too true.

you are correct in your assumption that my heat is small.
but as you have surmised this time is delusional when deprived of light.

many is the time i’ve mooned away the legalese in favor of sorry solitude.
no redundant springs promising jazz.
no inverted shadows which bounce from christianity to islam like so many tired wet fingers.
no hope that fulgence doth salvation precede.

– Stephanie Barber

Question 2

I strip the body depressive.
Arsonist vagina
broken penis,
chewed my tongue through,
discarded my speech with the muscle.
I brought myself back twice
and grew wings where my splintered arms fell
to common ground.
Opus die
and knotted veins
from abstinence
and prayer. I’m burdened
with the disease of language –
with all these walls we built.
Yeezus, Jesus, frees us, Frieza.
Pop culture is mutually assured destruction,
Climate change is mutually assured destruction.
You are the charms,
you are the charms,
Dean Young’s repetition is not my ending.
My ending is grandiose
and selfish,
and shipwrecked.
Crystal meth is the new Tamagotchi,
we’re all yearning to be anti-heroes,
to be bastards,
so we’ve forgotten how to not matter.
Your stardom doesn’t matter
when viewed through a telescope –
everybody’s ego ceases to exist eventually.
Opus dei
and swollen plots
from connecting multimedia.
Generally, it’s all too meta to matter.
You aren’t the charms.
1679 zeroes and ones
73 rows,
23 columns,
just to say:
we’re here and while there may be no point to any of this, we’d really like to invite you round for dinner, if you have a moment spare?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

the connectivity of which you speak was precisely my intent.
right you are too of the swollen nature,
so descriptive.
the speech was excessive but in the end i felt i could not leave it on the edit room floor and so,
as one might expect, i surrendered.
i am unable to attend the fete of which you speak but may send round a surrogate should ascension decree.
your kindness is immeasurable and it is to you that i attend

– Stephanie Barber

Question 3

A cat screeches near the window
as Avraham sets fire
to Avraham, dissonant genetics
stamped as ink into skin. Burn
your father, burn your Gods
at the stake. Are you an arsonist
in memory? I live in black and white
flames from some old B movie.

Outside a train approaches
with all the grace of a Tennessee
Williams play performed
by an abusive father. Everything
is phallic now, even my trees
are a representation
of the nights I spent
avoiding the stairs, the

Pikatrapp.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

in the morning the gods boarded the train
kissed they’re half-god, half-mortal children
waved good-bye to the plains
(black and white; silver halides)
and headed west, sorrowful and drunk.

your own murderous departure
was brought into the foreground
for only a moment. like a thin french horn.

– Stephanie Barber