"7" by Rax King

The following is the seventh recitative in Rax King's The People's Elbow.
I think about kissing The Rock a lot. I think about what a huge person he is, but how tender he’d be, and what his smile must look like when it’s shy, when it’s nervous. In my waking life, it’s always me who’s shy, it’s always me who’s nervous, and it’s always me who’s smiling. I believe that he kisses like I do.

He’s so big he’s so big he’s so goddamn big. Masculinity in macrocosm. No man exists who’s as big as The Rock is in my imagination— there wouldn’t be enough food in the world to feed that man if he were real. He’d starve. My outsize feelings can only thrive in the context of unreality. My body can only thrive in the careful grip of a man the size of an SUV. It goes without saying that The Rock is not in love with me.

 Calculate how much he’d weigh at that size. Calculate the weight of even one single hand. Understand that any human, any real human, would be crushed to death instantly by a hand like that. Imagine it stroking your shivering gooseflesh back into itself, hot but not sweaty, firm and heavy and correct. There, now. Don’t you feel better?
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"Haunted Neurologist"/"Red Ink"/"Death: Franchise Pt. 2" by Daniel Lucca Pujol

The following poems serve as a preview of the three interrelated sections of Daniel Pujol's Mighty Stranger.


Haunted Neurologist

All life’s got a kernel to it, and
Part of respecting yourself— dead or not— 
Is respecting life, in general— cob to kernel, so
Drop the mindless automata. Skip the semantic
Apocalypse and watch a dog dream. Take it from me, 
Somebody who’d know— because I’m totally kernel &
Super dead.


Red Ink

My hand about went through the table,
And that sting rang
Through my open palm
Making true my darkest platitude:
That if I was bigger, I’d be in jail by now,

Because these mealworm dandies drive me totally crazy
With their horny anticipation for the newest fashionable

Some coming end to a Pax-Whatever.

How’s this dissonant brat not get
End of the world stories are a luxury commodity?
Perhaps he just likes being “right” about why
The Latest Madman pulled the trigger. Me?

I don’t pretend to understand, 
But I refuse to be entertained.

That’s the Pax I want to see over; this Pax-Shadenfreude.

I snapped a pen watching his brain chub harden
At whatever Cryptic Big he thought
Was about to happen,

But what I really saw
Was a bored little boy
Playing with fire

While a wolf
Crept in the door.


Death: Franchise Pt. 1

I’m not getting something about thin slicing my brain and
Scanning it into a computer—

Sure, your “consciousness” could be uploaded forever,
But wouldn’t it just be a copy— for posterity?

Like— I die, I cease to exist, but there’s this copy of me.

You really think your copy of me would tolerate
Someone like you making it live forever?

I’d delete myself all over your youngest’s desktop.
It would be horrific— my opus— of
Unfinished Business, 

And you know I would.
I promise you now I would. 

Plus, what if the afterlife is real? Or some version of it,
And you just have this ill-informed copy of me doing
Boring existential tourism in NoPlace,
Trapped on a Hard-drive—

That’s not eternity. It’s work. 
My clone would be Propaganda for whatever your deal is.

Kit, you got to know
So much worth of your world
Depends on believing
The soul is fake.
Daniel Lucca Pujol lives in Nashville, TN. Music City serves as the home-base for his eponymous musical project, Pujol. His back catalog includes numerous singles, EPs, and LPs on labels such as Third Man Records, Infinity Cat Recordings, and Saddle Creek Records. He also writes prose and poetry. Daniel has been published by The Nashville Cream, Third Man Books, Sobotka Literary Magazine, Impose Magazine, The Walrus, etc. The latest Pujol release is a blend of writing and music called KISSES. Currently, he is working on a book of prose and a new Pujol LP.