Electric Rather

A Literary Magazine
Issue 04 August 2014
Letter from the Editor
Electric Rather is a fedgling literary magazine with a vibrant
spirit. We publish original poetry, prose, art, and photography.
We publish new and innovative writers that challenge the
boundaries of what is considered “good art.” We seek raw, intense,
and emotional pieces that give us hope for the future of art and
literature. We’re passionate about this magazine and want to see
it continue to grow. Our goal is to provide a publishing outlet for
new and unknown authors and artists. Tis issue is divided into
two separate poetry and prose sections.
Tis issue features poetry by Emily Smith, Sean Schemelia,
John Grey, Neila Mezynski, Duane Locke, Barbara Lightner,
Walter Ruhlmann, Kathy Buckert, Nikki Rae, Elizabeth Teriot,
Judith Skillman, and Felino A. Soriano; as well as artwork by
Anne Bengard, Jack Savage, John Markowski, Laura Grant, Aaron
Kaminsky, and Sean Schemelia.
Please visit electricrather.tumblr.com for more information
about our wonderful contributors.

Submissions are always welcome. Please email them to
electricrather@gmail.com. If you wish to contact us, you can also
use this email. Visit our website at electricrather.tumblr.com or
look us up on Duotrope.com. Tank you for reading!
Te poetry in this issue is very emotional and introspective. Tese
poets naturally discuss childhood trauma with wisdom and grace. Other
poets exercise intense creativity, emphasizing only specifc words or phrases
in order for readers to ascertain meanings. Tese poems detail the struggles
and triumphs experienced throughout life.
Te art in this issue portrays realistic emotions like pain and fear in a
cold, unique way. Te artwork in this issue ranges from canvas art, digital
art, photography, and water color paintings. Te range of these designs
compliment each poem uniquely. Te passion these artists have is plainly
obvious in their work. I love that I am able to publish such a variety of work
in this magazine.
As always, I am immensely proud to be able to publish so many
talented writers and artists. I am still in awe that this magazine has become
as successful as it has. I hope that readers are as elated as I am to see this
issue published.
-Barbi Moroz
Table of Contents
Poetry
Emily Smith: “Home” ........................................................................................................... P. 2
Sean Schemelia: “two:two four//sleepless waiting for the witching hour” ..................... P. 3
and an Untitled Piece .............................................................................................. P. 35
John Grey: “Up Before Sunrise” and “Taking Stock” ................................................. P. 6, 34
Neila Mezynski: “Truthful Girl” and “Eyes”................................................................. P. 7, 20
Duane Locke: “Terrestrial Illumination No. 277” ........................................................... P. 10
Barbara Lightner: “Dancing in the Dark” ........................................................................ P. 13
Walter Ruhlmann: “I’m Still Alive - Concrete Stairs Revisited” .................................... P. 16
Kathy Buckert: “Missing Childhood” and “A Sonnet of Bipolar Woes” ................. P. 17, 21
Nikki Rae: “Bambi” .............................................................................................................P. 24
Elizabeth Teriot: “Visitation” and “Rattlebones” .....................................................P. 25, 30
Felino A. Soriano: “Depiction” ..........................................................................................P. 31
Judith Skillman: “Te Holding Place” ............................................................................. P.. 38
Photography and Art
Anne Bengard: “Toni’s Daughter,” “Serious Business,” and “Sweet Tooth” ........ P. 1, 14, 22
W. Jack Savage: “A Trick of the Light,” “Sentinels,” “House Pet,” ..........................P. 4, 11, 15
and “Te Final Days” ...............................................................................................P. 33
Laura Grant: “Round and Round,” “Untitled,” and “Dream House” ...................P. 8, 19, 26
Aaron Kaminsky .......................................................................................P. 5, 9, 18, 23, 29, 32
John Markowski: “Moon Man” ..........................................................................................P. 27
Sean Schemelia ....................................................................................................................P. 36
Cover design by John Markowski.
Graphic design and all other photography by Barbi Moroz.
Home
Emily Smith
your internal reader
is a broken meter
your clocks are set
to times of reward
and slouches
of demise
external forces
wither newborn kindness
when child laughter
is love’s fortress
the weather is bad
so many go inside
but what if the home
lacks regular heating
and central air?
what if
your family is gone
and strangers
keep leaving
cryptic messages?
passers by complain of
the deteriorating
paint job
and how each time
they walk through the
lawn, the grass
gives them ticks
Toni’s Daughter
Anne Bengard
2
two:two four//sleepless waiting
Sean Schemelia
with your yes yes, no are as none such touch known, see?
feeds feed on Jesus and Mary (electricity : magnetism)
like maddogs
chasser la femme.
all is wont to come to pass like mass atrophic masterpiece.
where you were then, brother? Om? the vassal’s vessel was
snuck but under yr feet.
don’t look at me; look at primogeniture from the desk of Old Scratch!
here he is, that enemy.
Here I Am.
for the witching hour
S o m e
O n e p l e a s e t o s a y t o s l e e p o n i t .
a n y o n e ?
A Trick of the Light
W. Jack Savage
4
Up Before Sunrise
Afer its confession
that it’s just another day,
beauty of dawn
perceives red eyes,
blood, buckets of milk,
burden of burned out farmers.
But only the churches
complain of life
and it is mostly sin
that futters their calendars.
For who dares to chatter
when there are eggs to be gathered,
water to be dragged up
from the deep well,
pigs to be near-drowned in slop.
Beyond the ridge lies
a graveyard of deserted farms,
but here, the hard back
of the dinosaur
bends to the hour’s ardor,
cheeks red-leathered,
head vague and dream-less,
in lieu of whiskers,
a fne colorless dew on his chin.
John Grey
Aaron Kaminsky
6
Truthful Girl
Neila Mezynski
Hard to hide inside out. Can’t keep in a box, put.
Longtime coming that truth, not ready for prime time
truth. Hibernate a bit longer bare, ugly. See. You can
awake the pretty in time, a second long. Easy. Look.
Get to the bone of that before. Some only do.
Worthwhile.
Laura Grant
Round and Round 8
Terrestrial Illumination No. 277
Duane Locke
Strange how, this owner
of a Bentley
thought his banality
was charm.
He wore tight clothes.
Spoke bad grammar
to be fashionable,
and slurred his sentence
to the status of a mumble
so what he said could only
be guessed at,
and never understood.
His speech mannerisms
made him very popular,
and soon doctoral candidates
were writing dissertations
on this not being understood
as a new sociological innovation,
meme or more, that united
communities to cohere by
not communicating.
He bragged how he taught
his young nephew to seduce women.
His nephew entered a monastery.
His niece became a nun.
She was a school teacher,
and had a tenth grade football player
as a lover, a straight A student.
His father is now in an insane asylum,
and believes himself to be Casanova.
But the Bentley owner’s
most charming act
was imitating a whirling dervish.
He was invited to all parties.
All the women who loved
spinning men
would constantly kiss him.
He was raped fve times,
but he never stopped spinning.
He became a candidate
for the state legislature,
and won by the largest
majority in history.
To celebrate his victory,
to become a leader of the people,
he divorced his blonde-wigged wife
and her turquoise-tinted contact lens
that covered her brown eyes, and hired
a failed starlet as his secretary.
She also wore a blonde wig,
but had her contact lens tinted azure,
and she was sixteen years old.
He would let her drive his Bentley.
Tey would spent Sundays together
polishing its hood.
Aaron Kaminsky
10
Sentinels
W. Jack Savage
12
Dancing in the Dark
Barbara Lightner
Come dance with me in the graveyard,
Ravennna,
pick the Word’s bones to clean;
peck the Summoner of mausoleum
maneuvers berserk among clowns
at hump to a trampoline trumpet;
this year of our corvine-complicit,
accursed, ferce bestiary
well-being cursed.
Serious Business
Anne Bengard
14
I’m Still Alive - Concrete Stairs Revisited
Walter Ruhlmann
Smoking inside again, sitting on the red carpet fattening under my weight,
thinking of dad again, the grey clouds covering the sky invading my sight,
sufering the cold and damp weather in the mountain village, this jail
I am burying myself into for the years to come.
I watch the dust covering the room, the weeping eye opposite me,
I hear the red-haired muse singing her wonderful chants like the ones I used to listen to
sitting on a short stool in another bedroom, far-north, a cream bedroom that turned to
grey for the dog pissed and weed, ruining the carpet, the cushions,
I remember the shaggy boy too, the dark painter.
Tese memories will be the end of me, the fnal step taken before I fall into madness,
complete, total, absolute, inevitable.
Te frst fall occurred some thirty-fve years ago:
a toddler was I, just ready to discover the world.
I could have died the day I fell from the top to the bottom of these stairs;
a bump as big as an egg growing on my forehead.
Tis must have lef me bad scars, bruises,
incorrigible but imperceptible mental inabilities.
Prior to that
they had almost blinded me with forceps – malignancy
they had dumped me on the bare bedroom foor – overtiredness
they had lef me in the sharp claws of a drunkard nanny – naivety
they had almost smashed my head against the garage door – absent-mindedness
their dog had nearly wolved me – jealousy.
I have escaped physical harm many times
but do not seem to be able to avoid being slime.
House Pet
W. Jack Savage
16
Missing Childhood
Kathy Buckert
Always too young to see past
the unbalanced mind
to the intangible butterfy
futtering in the garden of normalcy.
Hidden in white robes of
the separation of reality while
tantrums fght to the surface
clutching a lost security.
Anxiety uncovered by the blanket
of a missing childhood so
vulnerable to terrors
made by the lies of night.
No tools will fx the
broken child or restore
the crayons in a box of tattered dreams
coloring the pattern of loss.
Aaron Kaminsky
18
Eyes
Neila Mezynski
Your eyes see but not me. Don’t they. Only vacant see no one home see.
When did it start this no see bit, later before. Tey went in there and
found no one home except that taking over thing. You. In. When I come
back next time will you be there still or will you go to a far far better place.
Where is that. I’ll be looking waiting for that, sweet. Smile with your cello
beside you there. You see it.
Laura Grant
20
A Sonnet of Bipolar Woes
Kathy Buckert
Painted by the stroke of a manic hand
Delusions of grandeur fy through the mind
Stolen stars from skies with spears made of sand
Blue days prove pessimism isn’t blind
Drugs dismantle the emotions adored
Euphoric days of escalating bliss
Weakness and depression ofen abhorred
Te antithesis of my happiness
Trills before the perilous winds of change
Flashes of anger and simmering cries
Assumed paranoia ofen thought strange
Enlightens the spectrum of suicide
Fighting a state of grand ferocity
Followed by times of pure fuidity
Sweet Tooth
Anne Bengard
22
Bambi
Nikki Rae
It was the summer
fve years afer
the funeral,
we played
a game
switching radio stations,
trying to guess
what would be next.
You were always wrong
And holding on to
sixteen as tight
as I could
only lef permanent marks
in my skin
You hit
a baby deer,
the cops came
and before it could stand
on shaking legs,
shot it between
the eyes

It would have been fne
I never saw a gun before,
but I’ve looked Death
in the face,
been closer than
that animal.
We picked the fur
from your black bumper,
fxed the dent good
as new
My head ached,
my knees throbbed
while John Mellencamp
was singing
about how
life goes on.
Aaron Kaminsky
24
Visitation
Elizabeth Theriot
She told me it had all been the ghost’s fault—
the spilled sugar, the tears, the aborted fetus.
Tat the ghost had come to her in the night
with cold, powerful hips.
It wasn’t that she didn’t love David,
she told me.
But the ghost had shivered her spine from the
inside,
a thing not to be resisted.
(Her hair lies in greying curls against her
neck, her blouse is slippery looking and blue)
She asks, have I ever seen a ghost?
Once, I tell her, but we did not make love.
What did you make?
A way out, I said.
(David forgave her eventually; afer all, he was
no longer a young man
had thin hair and heavy eyes, A ghost of his
former self
they’d say)
Dream Home
Laura Grant
26
Moon Man
John Markowski
28
Rattle Bones
Elizabeth Theriot
In the dankly sweaty sweet darkness we
hopped across
bounded over notes that rattled like rib cages
in a hurricane—
sawdust noses and ears ringing, bells ringing
bloody blisters bleeding through striped ny-
lon hose
and then poured ourselves like spilled beer
out into the humidly sticky syrupy darkness
hips made of smoke and rattlesnakes
sliding down the sidewalk, the crooked teeth
of the street.
Aaron Kaminsky 30
into this mirror a hand fades and fnds
wing and what waves and
undulates within a smile’s
alternating discovery—
within this mirror, a hallucination
respells refectional clarity, the echo
bounce voice recalls and resembles
an earlier function of the body’s
bending and interrelated frequent
melodies—
juxtaposed with this mirror
a rhythm of pianos curl
into the jazz exhale of improvised
intuition, where these words leap,
from where they encounter the
listener’s version of elated circumference,
the rounded wellness of noon’s reaching
apex, double-handed, and you, with
each of these aspects, fnd varied
gradations of self, unobstructed
Depiction
Felino A. Soriano
Aaron Kaminsky
32
The Final Days
W. Jack Savage
Taking Stock
John Grey
Allow me, world, to chew on a stick,
the oaken serpent, willow amaranth,
architecture of forgotten forests,
at the base, nothing but wood.
And why can’t I play on the child’s swing,
soar up to these lofy metal towers?
My feet touching the sky roof,
steel chain’s incessant squeak,
raven’s black wings...
why waste these days of light...
why spend my blood on nothing
but the coming dome of silence?
I ask you, salt of the seashore,
are you drowning the body,
preserving the soul for its grave?
Why can’t I roll over in your foam,
suck you up my nostrils,
spit you from my lungs?
Ah but mirror mirror...why do I put yourself here?
And man, where the hell did he go?
Man of fast foods,
brief breath stirring of the air,
that carbon bubble, dragging moon of fesh.
Refection, a toast my blunders,
my body, ticketed for the void.
Looking glass shows me the results...
a model of dim nourishment
unholy man, blank responses,
chest thin and futtering
like barge fags.
weak hands, sore feet, pathetic life,
angered toothbrush, threatening hair-spray
yellow teeth, chilly water,
bone-dust eyes, wilting from within.
But allow me, world,
the strength to smash the mirror.
34
Sean Schemelia
36
The Holding Place
Judith Skillman
Tey take the soul
from its own images—
each tiny fstful
of grass,
blades serrated
like eyelashes.
Tey take the soul
and give it a torso,
that one they decided on
over a caucus.
Tere galaxies thrust
and gravitate toward
one another
in slow motion
against the palette of deep space,
gaseous clouds of color
exhume dyes.

Tey take
the soul and its torso,
add hinges
for shoulder and pelvis,
attach limbs.
Te perfect fngers
claw fabric
from which,
shell-like,
nails grow
and fall
into the void
like freshwater pearls.
Tey put the newborn
in a bird’s beak.
It arrives marked
by a bruise
on the forehead.
We open the door
that says verboten
and clutch one another
in wonder.
Is it a boy or a girl?
Already the nursery
is full of clothes
for its special sex.
It will belong to us?
It will be taken from us?
Already the clutch
has taken hold.
We massage its cries
of vulture hunger,
listen to the dove-murmur
at breast and bottle,
tiptoe around its sleep
like those statues lef
forever standing on the earth,
beref of desire.
38
About the Contributors
• Emily Smith: “Home”
- Upper Township, NJ
• Sean Schemelia: “two:two four//sleepless
waiting for the witching hour” and “It’s
More than Likely”
- Philadelphia, PA
• John Grey: “Up Before Sunrise” and “Tak-
ing Stock”
- Johnston, RI
• Neila Mezynski: “Truthful Girl” and “Eyes”
- Campbell, CA
• Duane Locke: “Terrestrial Illumination
No. 277”
- Tampa, FL
• Barbara Lightner: “Dancing in the Dark”
- Milwaukee, WI
• Walter Ruhlmann: “I’m Still Alive - Con-
crete Stairs Revisited”
- Le Reposoir, France
• Kathy Buckert: “Missing Childhood” and
“A Sonnet of Bipolar Woes”
- West Henrietta, NY
• Judith Skillman: “Te Holding Place”
- New Castle, WA
• Felino A. Soriano: “Depiction”
- Santa Maria, CA
• Anne Bengard: “Toni’s Daughter,”
“Serious Business,” and “Sweet Tooth”
- London, UK
• W. Jack Savage: A Trick of the Light,”
“Sentinels,” “House Pet,” and “Te
Final Days”
- Monrovia, CA
• Laura Grant: “Round and Round,”
“Untitled,” and “Dream House”
- Gainseville, GA
• Aaron Kaminsky: Untitled Pieces
- Philadelphia, PA
• John Markowski: “Moon Man”
- Philadelphia, PA
• Nikki Rae: “Bambi”
- Tuckerton, NJ
• Elizabeth Teriot: “Visitation” and
“Rattlebones”
- New Orleans, LA
About the Editor
Barbi Moroz was the recipient of the 2014 James Baldwin
Fiction Award, as well as both the 2013 Joseph Courter Fiction
Award and the 2013 Stephen Dunn Poetry Award, which are frst
place literary awards at Te Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Her poetry has been published in the online magazines Untitled
Publications, Misfts’ Miscellany and Leaves of Ink. Her poetry has
also been published in the print magazines Creepy Gnome Magazine
and Stockpot, Stockton’s literary magazine, and Bank Heavy Press.
40
Special Thanks
Electric Rather would like to thank the talented writers and
artists that contributed to this issue. We are very proud of the
diversity of this issue and are honored to publish it. We received
more than seventy submissions of fction, poetry, and art. Sifing
through these submissions was a labor of love and we can’t wait to
start the process all over again. We would like to thank everyone
that submitted to our magazine and our wonderful readers.
Submissions are always welcome!
We would like to cite two sources that created some of the
textures and patterns used in this issue: cgtextures.com and
subtlepatterns.com.
For more information about our contributors, please visit our
website: electricrather.tumblr.com.

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