You are on page 1of 25

ORCHID CHILDREN

:
THIS ONE'S FOR MY FRIENDS

ORCHID CHILDREN: THIS ONE'S FOR MY FRIENDS
IS A ZINE ABOUT BEING WEIRD AND ALIVE AND MISUNDERSTOOD
ORCHIDS HAVE AROUND 23,000 DIFFERENT SPECIES. SOME KILL THINGS. SOME HAVE ROOTS IN THE
SKY. SOME ARE EVEN MAGIC. ALL OF THEM ARE IMPORTANT AND NONE OF THEM GIVE A SHIT WHAT
YOU THINK.
CHILDREN ARE GENIUSES WHO HAVE NOT GIVEN UP ON THEMSELVES YET. THEY HAVE FANGS AND
RAINBOW WINGS AND LAUNCH ROCKETS OFF TRAMPOLINES AND ANYTHING ELSE THEY DECIDE
BECOMES REALITY BECAUSE THAT'S HOW IT WORKS WHEN YOU'RE A CHILD.
FRIENDS ARE WHAT KEEP YOU ALIVE WHEN YOU FORGET HOW TO BREATHE. THEY ARE SMALL VERY
NUTRITIOUS TV DINNERS YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO PAY FOR.
THE ORCHID CHILDREN AND FRIENDS ARE:
MADDY MENEFEE (cover art)
CONOR HARRIS
CAM HORVATH
JORDI KLEIN
JO SCHUMACHER
MEGHAN MILSTEAD
KATHERINE OSBORNE
ROSE WOLF
DANNY CANHAM
DOUGLAS CONOR KOPEC
KATE MONICA
MARK ANDERSON
SOLANGE
CAMERON BLANDFORD
LAUREN GILMORE
KATE LANGE

Movement
germ
the new battlecry is /break/
up /break/ dirt /break/ pressure
the ceiling is not see-through
it is rotting wood and green dyed cotton
and it is cracking
push
crowd /break/ your city-slums
set fire to the road maps /break/
burn the intersection
where hate-harvested mephitic
doubt is sprinkled in potting soil
and nobody notices the screaming
the silent roiling earth
bloom
flick middle finger ring petal to the blushing sky
stretch hairy stems and walk fresh, fresh 'til I die;
we are not here to be pruned /break/
we are growing shoots to the moon
fire-thrive case your way up
/break/ crack concrete and put soil
on your fingertips when you kiss each other
we are orchid children
we are stainless water freckled sunlight children
we are making out at your bullet-proof garden pot vests

and we got older
Jordi Klein
2 am in a deserted taco bell parking lot, camera in hand
beneath that fluorescent yellow light that should not
under any circumstances be mistaken for warmth
and i smile and they smile
and everyone smiles and the flash bursts
a supernova in front of our eyelids,
the leftover dark spot dominating our vision like
it’s trying to make us remember
(it’s trying to make us remember)
after everything seems
a little too far away, a little out of sync
so we pause, rewind, play
hoping the problem will fix itself
hoping the problem will fix itself
pause, rewind, play
over and over
until the tape unwinds in my shaking hands
ribbon unspooling its way across the hall like intestines
because someone cut our mobius strip in two
and everything seems so small

invincible
Jo Schumacher
The sun is eating the belly of the sky and if you hadn't spit all those pills out
last August you wouldn't be here to see it
You are only five foot two but every time you stand up straight I swear you can break mountains with your spine
The day you stained the bathroom floor with blood you lay there waiting for the ceiling fan to stop
You told yourself if you lived you'd do things differently
The only thing you let yourself remember about that day is the boy who came to save you, and you don't know what's more
painful: the fact that you lost him or that you almost lost yourself
Now you are almost eighteen and you still haven't bought a plot at the cemetery.

in defense of river kids
Megan Milstead
i used to run away to this river behind my house.
i used to skype with a boy in a horse mask.
i used to not have dandruff but now all my clothes are black
with white flecks of permeated skin cells on them
and plus all my underwear is red.
i dyed all of my underwear red.
i used to run away from home to this river behind my house
where kids would smoke in secret but i still
dont know how to light a bowl.
ce n’est pas un whatever the fuck.
i used to send sext messages before i knew what i was talking about.
i used to not know what an irl dick looked like
but now i cant get the taste out of my mouth
and now i drink 24 ounces of Tecate
between sips of grocery store red wine
at this dick’s house and now i go to bed early.
these facts are important.
i used to live in a swamp
now i just am one.

Two Poems
Katherine Osborne
1:
your eyes remind me
of the time I leaned on a hostage
and it interrupted her 911 call
2:
My telephone circa 1995
is adoption-blue
no one picnics anymore
we just invent hands at a
drive-in
A broken light bulb
in the crossbeam of
trees is another kind
of code we fall for
It asks us
to surrender the piano
for the radio all night
on a dark hill
the city below is the city
I begin to put back together

JUNGLEHEART FIELD GUIDE
Rose Wolf
maybe you’re rich or high or have woken up with a mug of ashes in your hand
your heart is a jungle that steams in your chest–heap of muscle and vein–smells like bottom of
bathtub
please don’t panic please don’t run too quickly down the hallway of your spine because an organ
might come loose and it’ll be hard to put back in its proper place
i would know: i’ve knocked several from their shelves and they still rattle when i walk
it is uncomfortable
is it a muscle or an organ or a vibrating chunk of meat i must have asked this question four times
i’m so nervous oh god i have a lump in my chest
this is what the little girl said before she realized no one cares what her insides feel like. i wear
red lipstick so you’ll look bloody when we’re done fucking
this is what the little girl said after she realized
maybe you’re being selfish says the woman with the folded arms but you’re already asleep on her
helpful sofa
i told you so
this is what your jungleheart says, but i’ve forgotten what it told me
and i’m losing the subject obviously
repeat yourself
this is what the little girl says when she finally understands that she has no choice
but to live inside the atria of each passing second
until I die.

Tiger Lily Stripes
in memory of Dianna Hanson
Danny Canham
“You have to be drunk to write this.”
So I drink again, feeling tipsy
as the spots I once thought were pollen
explode into a Pollock of the pavement.
“But kitties don’t stop for nothing”
And neither did you.
So neither will I.
This withering, a manifestation of
perennial resistance,
cannot be captured cold:
this season shall pass
and with it the leafless hours of your departure.
“Rawr, go get ‘em,” she says
downing another Peruvian Bear Fucker
I swallow and stand up.
This is what it means to talk to a ghost:
You roar at the moon
and run naked through the woods,
though only bees can see the trail.
Invoke the huntress who
never
slowed
down
because she will paint stripes on your path
and landing strips on your face
before running you through with vibrancy.
“You did good, kid.”

epiphyte
sean saw slenderman once on the staircase
that's why he sleeps with the door closed.
it's not that he can't handle bad air; he lives
with acid-spitting noxious weeds scraping his petals
on a daily basis. sean runs because his roots
are not necessarily in need of soil to keep him happy but
that's not the point- the point is sean doesn't want a point
he wants to find a state of being that doesn't require roots
he's gonna move out when this is over, re-pot himself
plantar fascia off the ground because you can't kill a runner's
heel if it never hits the ground. he'll take root on a tree-branch
and keep moving up and out and up and out to new tropospheres
maybe one day he'll appear in your room while you sleep
with your nightmare under one arm and grind his teeth at it
real quiet-like so the nightmare wakes up and leaves you
for some unrequited ground to scatter little night-mare seeds
and sean will smoke fade slender into your wall
and you'll never know he was there
you'll never know he just wanted you to breathe
easier, because it's easier for him too that way

ROBO AND THE BLANKBLANK BADWORDS
Douglas Conor Kopec
you need to get out more
you need to get out
you need to
eat a fist full of pine needles to
eat an eight month old french fry related grudge
quelled only by a pair of jaded half Japanese
eyebrows
verily, I will medicate with your inky kisses
if I were the keys WHERE THE FUCK WOULD I BE,
if I wasn't stapled to the roof of this house, I'd know exactly
where I'd be
ratty, ragged, and reeling, narrow in every sense of the word,
berated and harassed by the only problem I want to feel like
I have: you and your elephant.
Do you ride? Do you write?
We've been doing both those things over
shoe scuffs and fresca since mammoths manned my marrow and
baby, I'm not quitting anytime soon
I ballooned
into the same purple knuck circle since I cleaned the coca-cola cogs,
but now I stay home
kick it
and break a bone or two
there's not a reason at all to not give a shit
their shins will be your dartboard,
make their cork yellow and rotten like you bitched about
reach
for me; reave and write your feelings on my stubbly face
don't
fake it, fucker
you're wiry but you like it that way
will we ween ourselves off of this wondrous rage
anytime soon?
Make me good at this
and I promise
we'll be the super ghosts and goblins back home,
we'll count the lines that should be on my hands,
even though
we know we're both coming to eleven
every time
I HATE YOU, but I can't
get your lips out of my hair, your boot marks off of my shins,
your knobbly knees are knocking in morse code,
spelling out how you broke up with every tree in the neighborhood

TO THE WEEDKILLERS
FROM THE WILDFLOWERS
Hi this is where I fuck your shit up this is
where the world ends this is where
a stagnant stamen drops dirty pollen
this is not a battle-cry this
is victory
Hi your mouth is not a flower-garden your mouth
is not the place where truth is learned through scents or touch your
mouth is the last place on earth anybody wants to hear from
so I fill it with roots and sweat and if you thought flowers couldn't piss well
Hi the dead parts don't mean we're dead the dead parts don't
mean anything except for new buds to come the dead parts
are universes waiting to be re-banged into existence the dead
universe of your absent longing the
broken spaces that made you a wilted nothing will some day all be filled by mulch
It takes years for one spike to grow it takes years for one
flower to forget it takes years for
the smell of silence to fade it takes years
to turn from helio-dried died dead-eyed broken stem to get right with gravity it takes
myself for myself to keep myself alive
and these colors do not make me noxious, motherfucker;
they make me necessary.

I Can Worship Anything
Kate Monica
January: I went running in the snow in my sneakers
Somehow ended up where the trees spear the sky
organic fence posts I can hear a
whistling
the whole wind is a ghost
I am wondering why the month of new beginnings
sounds so mausoleum
February: I pitch my body off the peak of a mountain
my brothers are made of silver
I am an unlit candle and it feels better
my body thaws so slowly

March: Vodka tastes like broken glass but
I like to get split open
Mom says “what’s it gonna take to make you careful”
every time I inhale my mouth fills with knives
April: I am so aware of your laughter
and other occasional sheets of rain
the moon is silver, looks like someone I don’t love but could someday
I am so close (I am so close)
I am so close
May: I can’t remember a time before I knew you
I tell a boy just because his dad’s a cop
doesn’t mean he’s a good person
June: We are hunchedunder a black tree in the backyard
(no one is listening I promise)
the moon glares on the covers of my bed
I am writing a novel about the sound when it fell
July: I throw you from a kayak into the water
you draw an anchor on myankle I am the face in the
catalogue exceptthis time
I’m not lying
August: It really couldn’t be any other color
Feels like ‘new beginnings’ in a non-ironic way
we are at a concert lying on the lawn
when you talk to me I feel like a good person

September: I am watching Prozac Nation at my desk
all night the window open
I can’t stop noticing the branches
put pressure on my skull

October: Walking home from the gym at 10:00 pm
I feel as lonely as the moon
I want to know the fear again
I want it to mean something after
I want to want everything just a little less like just a tiny little bit less
I am begging not to spend every night carving my initials into rough bark hoping
at least the tree will remember me
November:

December:

the last three nights my dreams involved firearms/explosives
always at night I am peering out a window watching
always the first thing to light up is the lawn
a dark figure lacing the grass with gasoline
the match falls in slow motion
the moon looks so familiar

I shut the door and sink to the floor just to have someplace quiet to be
“it’s only a matter of time”
isn’t of any comfort to me
I am the light in the upstairs window
but the moon doesn’t love me back

I SPENT MY SUMMER NIGHTS ON THE PATIO OF OLD EMPYREAN [154 S. MADISON]
Mark Anderson
because we were young
because being young is stupid
because we do not get a million nights
because age sticks its fingers into the spine
because our story didn't take long to tell
because the years ahead were quicksand
already sucking at our feet
because the train endlessly leaving town
is the spirit animal of every twenty something
year old in this city of bricked up dreams
because when are we going to be famous?
because love is hard like the falling apart
concrete walls of an ancient train trestle
because we fancied ourselves the kings of the place
because we wanted to save rock and roll
we wanted to save poetry
because everyone laughed at us
because some of the people in this story
have already died
because innocence is a lightning bug
fading away in the smog heavy sky
because we were not original, yet
because I didn't realize then that this
would be a time worth telling
because youth is nearly the same thing
as being restless
because we spoke before we listened
correction: we shouted instead of listening
because we could feel the quicksand
at our feet
because childhood ends mid-sentence

because the black-wire tables cast in starlight
spoke to us of freedom
because desperation was our language
ancient as DNA
In this place
we bricked together our stories
never once realizing
what it would come to mean.

ORKID
Solange

UNTITLED
Cameron Blandford

A WAY TO BE COOL FROM THE WEATHER
MY EYES WERE OPEN WHEN I WAS BORN
AND A FORCE CAME OUT OF MY BLOODY HURRICANE MOUTH
HAVE YOU EVER SPAT UP YOUR OWN TEETH TO START FIRES
YOU CRETINS CALL IT LIGHTNING I CALL IT MY NIGHTMARES
I WROTE GOD A LOVE POEM ONCE AND HALF THE WORLD DIED
I THINK I GOT HIS ATTENTION
WHEN I DON'T FEEL LIKE TALKING EVEN ROCKS GET THIRSTY
EVEN DOGS STOP SMILING EVEN YOU CAN BELIEVE IN GOD
THE WAY I TOLD YOUR PARENTS TO
BUT OUTSIDE OF MY GREAT BEYOND
THERE'S JUST MORE OF ME
THE WIND IS MADE OF LIGHT
AND YOU CAN'T FIGHT
WHAT BLINDS YOU
IT'S NOT LIKE YOU WOULD EVER FIND THE ANSWER
WITH YOUR NOSE IN MY CHILDREN'S CORPSES
STOP STARING UP BECAUSE I DON'T CARE
ABOUT YOUR HALF-TRUTHS AND HATRED
I'M JUST HERE TO BLOW
I 'M JUST HERE TO SIGN MY NAME
WITH SHRIEKS IN THE SKY

GAS STATION CIGARS
Lauren Gilmore
It is four o'clock in the morning and
Adam's headlights cut through the
heavy curtain of fog as he drives Sam
and me to Sky Prairie park. We pull
into a gas station on the way where
I am too young and have to wait
alone in the car while they buy
a pack of fruit-flavored cigars I
hope will stain the air with colored
smoke. Instead, our exhales, white
with disappointment, linger a few
paces behind us while we run
down the hill, feet disappearing
under each step. They both graduated
from high school last year: Adam is
going off to college in the fall, Sam
just got a job bagging groceries
at Safeway. This summer, through
the fog thick as our indecision, I
can barely see either of them.
The thing about the roads on the
prairie is they don't go anywhere:
looping back into the city, after
only four miles of expansion.
Every path leads away like our
chins, tilted up toward a heavenless
sky, yearning for what can't be tasted
through cheap strawberry tobacco.
We push diamond rings past our
lips between coughs, our voices
curving like those roads. Two months
from now, on a clear September night,
his bags packed in the car behind us,

Adam will walk around to the passenger
side door and ask me to kiss him goodbye,
with only the asphalt as witness.

If I am ever able to have a son I will name him Orange Blossom
Kate Lange
For dinner
an orange the size of a brain/two fists
born of some petals in Florida
a last supper
in remembrance of
my body/my blood
failed flowers.
I cannot apologize enough
to each lover for the rubble of my guts
forsaking my babies before they were born
sowing seeds in futile fields
wishing I had not settled comfortably
into the thinness of my drought
my body is an orchard
trying to bust it’s blooms
in the middle of December
babies gestate like plums
on branches too frail to carry themI imagine
he is a boy with black hair
and strong limbs
and a real heart instead of a blood moon
insisting it is time to blossom
it is time to bear fruitan orange growing on a cherry branch
My body is it’s own natural disaster
and here I am alone for dinner
as if eating fruit
would let me bear it

BREAK THE STARS
Take apart the cars driving on the freeway
tell them they need to spend more time with their children
walk to the corner store pretend
you drink daily
ask about 40oz like
you can handle them
handle them out the door
and into the night
and into the night
and into the night
the night will hold you, dear trash,
dear night rat, dear street lover
road burn rug lit love poem
in tire mark and obliteration curse
shave your head dread
your hair kill your
angels I am not here to love
you just to teach you
about dying
so remember that liquid
forget and pour it
into a funnel and pour it into your atrium
think about how trees take in sunlight
this is how you will swallow the night
because the darkness will save you sometime
when the cars with their lights are searching for you when
the engines are calling your name the darkness will keep you
because sometimes when there is nothing to keep you
the darkness will and your fists will be
filled with tinder and your lungs
are their own source of light
your lungs are burning like your home-town's newspaper
you are filled with crows and sweat
and this is okay because the
darkness keeps you cool,
throws your broke-ass voice into other corners
the darkness is why you like a clear night sky
it's why you drive without headlights
with your eyes closed
it's the gaps between the stars that draw your eye
because you know that's where the planets are
that's where they're falling in love
without you

so I will teach you how
to break the stars
and get to the darkness inside
because light doesn't happen inside stars
it is just born there
a dark womb of crush
and what would be fire if not for the darkness
so sharpen your teeth on guitar-strings
or straighten yourself onto sidewalk curves
or crash your car in the night
and walk out open somewhere
into the night
into the night
into the night
and the stars will open up for you
open the coriolis effect into a straight line
you'll see how stars spin darkness into themselves
to keep their quiet voices alive
and your own silence will add to the chorus
and you will find your fingers are gravity
and the uniform of dark
and skin and shriek and pit
you grew up with will
no longer be necessary
your first true fist
will help you
break the stars
start their engines
open and ride the light
full-thrushed and dreaming
into the night

Related Interests