February Prompt: Consumption 

What consumes you? How do you consume the surrounding world? Let’s talk about how we consume art, environmental waste, politics, food – and anything in between. 

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C O N S U M E

Written by Maria Anton

 

chopsticks turn brain
frontal lobe over cerebellum
rolling around skull bone bowl
like those days
indecision swirls noodles
around notsohungry notsurewhattodo
stomach
restless scratching
nails to scalp grating
dried flakes onto
taut shoulders
picking away
stubborn orange
peel that freshly trimmed
fingers cannot slice
thinking that churning
feelings
doubts
decisions
through machinery of mind
will expose
the sweet
icecreamhittinggumlinechill
of resolution

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Created by Sleepyhaze

 

I consume the world mostly through feelings so I’ll remember anything that makes me do a Facebook react in real life, some type of emotional response. My music is entirely based around capturing these moments and turning them into something tangible and audible, like a time capsule, so that every time I listen back to certain tracks I can relive some of those little moments and recreate that feeling that was so specific to me at the time.

 

This track was really cool for me to make because the vocal sample I used is the same one I used in “nostalgia,” a song I made almost a year ago off of dream house EP. Then a couple of the instrumental lines were taken and tweaked from some old beats from the summer that never got finished or released. So the song itself is like a synthesis of moments from the last year like a cute lil photobook archive or something that shows how I saw the world then and how I got here. My music develops as I do, and it’s cool to be able to take shit from the past,use it for good and make something new out of it.

 

“♡” is also part of kinder EP, which will be coming out March 22! I’m super excited and proud of it, the goal is really just to make people feel pleasant and alright and happy when they hear it so that they can project some of those ~good feelings~ on the people around them which.. sounds cheesy I know, but I think sometimes people just need a little reminder in the mornings or whenever to be nicer.


Anyways, hopefully it’ll make you feel good, feel nice, fuzzy, whatever it may be, hopefully it’ll make you feel something.

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Ouroboros Biel

Written by Jack McCoy

 

Peter Biel sits on a tree stump and wonders how hard it would be to burn a large entity into
nothing. When something has mass, can it lose it? Does fire erase something, or only spread it to
be somehow more, even if it’s less? Can anything ever really become nothing? He has a stick in
one hand and a knife in the other. He skins the bark off it, then year upon year of wooden ring.
Soon the stick is little more than a collection of tiny specs littered on the ground and his shoes.

 

He plays with the cold of the blade and lifts his cheek up into a caricatured smile. He
places the knife flat against his arm. He swipes. His arm hair is shredded. He swipes again. A layer
of skin, vanquished. Blood enters his sight and his teeth grow thicker.


Peter decides to swipe, swipe, swipe with his knife until his arm is no longer an arm, rather
simple bones with remnants of muscles somehow maintaining their function. He stands atop the
stump. He takes both of his hands, one of the dead, the other of living, and puts them both into
his mouth. He chomps down, teeth piercing skin and bone like hot knives and butter sticks.
Gurgled blood drips out of his mouth and his eyes drift upwards in involuntary ecstasy.


His jaw grows. It rattles and a tongue bursts out with beautiful verse on its tip, teeth
grabbing more from arms. Ventriloquist pleas erupt from vocal folds, but Peter never listens unless
there’s an audience.


An army of ants spew out of the tree stump, dripped blood interrupting their slumber.They are multitudes of dark specs, they circle his body as his jaw grows even more. Soon his grin is larger than his body, but his appetite is insatiable. Feet enter his smile and the process continues. The ants appraise his skin, a few of valor climb onto him, only to be lost in his stomach’s void.


The Queen flies onto his nose and stares into his eyes.


“Your course is adrift,” she says.


“I’m on my fourth course,” he says.


“Your self-appetite is wrong,” she says.


“Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong… Wronged wrongling is wrong. When wrong, wring wrong.”


The Queen, accepting the futility of voice, flies away, and all the ants scour deeper into the
stump. A baby ant looks at the expanded jaw’s pained laugh and watches as the sun moves from
behind cloud. A ray enlightens the man and the ants are all gone.


They see no purpose in viewing until the finale, that seems cruel. They know how Peter
ends, and Peter does as well. He knew as soon as he started thinking about stumps.

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Talk with Meat

Written by Alexa Rixon, Staff Writer

 

Vibrant red meat of wet markets is something that would always distract me in passing. A magnetic pull I couldn’t resist. One must stop for a moment and take the time to appreciate. The intricacies of detail it contains, I could never fully comprehend. I implore it to absorb me. To allow me to absorb it. Take me! But we never make it all the way. Always giving me a chance to experience more. Always something new, it sustains my interest indefinitely.  
 
What immense gratitude beams for I have the capacity to be possessed.
 
I’ve found the ideal way to consume is a fully focused one. One in which you allow yourself to fully immerse. To be completely captivated. A consumption in which all you’re doing is just that. Noticing the curves, bulges and bumps of the fat; lashes caressing the smooth slab of the fleshy marble red. Heightening all your senses, saturating the experience through focused engagement. Committing to the moment.
 
Covering your nose, shying from the pungent rot. Neck plastered, you can’t seem to break away sight. Oh how you’d very much like to escape. But there’s something sweet to this entrapment. Finally nestling in, embracing acceptance. With time the bind overheats, it melts.
 
Maximizing moments of immersion would be the goal. Selecting just one in a given time. Noticing their laugh, truly listening to what they mean and not just the words they’re saying. Allowing the wind to pass as you wave it along. Fear cannot exist when you’re focused on the beauty of these flowers. Overwhelming ecstasy. A pleasure so great it’s comparable to an excitable buzzing pain. Dread will visit, and you must confront her. That’s the only way to let her through. Welcome her with the best tea you’ve got. You may actually enjoy the dialogue despite the occasional discomfort. Suppressing your experience to numbness will not do you any justice. When you find yourself a glass of lukewarm milk, though, I’d still suggest you swim in it.

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15/31

Created by Ashley Taylor

 

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One Birthmark

Written by Marygrace Schumann, Staff Writer

 

i haven’t been good at math since i’ve been a kid
my hands still smelled like chalk i knew how to tell jokes
not worry if anybody else laughed, but here’s some numbers:

there’s one birthmark on my inner thigh, all the way up,
a lightning bolt, stuck between the grooves of my stretch marks,
three smears on each side
the ones i got when my legs spread more than they should
i needed the wounds to remember
they’re red, my stretch marks, clawed almost to my knee, cages

i have one birthmark on my inner thigh,
my mom knows about it, three doctors,
five girls whose names i can’t remember,
four girls i’ve half loved
one i probably did

every straight man i’ve ever met has watched lesbians fuck on a laptop
hand on their dick, a blur, no pang of guilt
telling him this
isn’t his to devour

when i was a kid, i gave my ken doll away to a friend
braided my barbie’s hair, in a blue sequined dress, “i have no use for him,”
bought another barbie and sat them together in a florescent dream house
cramped in the corner of our basement, purple walls and loud feet
two barbies

of every straight man i’ve ever met, twenty of them have tried to fuck me

fifteen  i’d known for less than a hour, thick smells in crowded bars,
hard laughs at gaudy parties
“i’m gay” but to them that means
girls on their laptop, hands on their dick, a blur

the other five let me call them friends had
lingering fingers trailing down,
spots too intimate and soft voices,
croaking out words i was supposed to be thankful for
“i’m gay” but to them that means
girls on their laptop, hands on their dick, a blur

when i was a kid i closed my eyes at the scary parts of seven scary movies
my mom’s shampoo sweet, arms tans
my bangs were uneven,
she would hold me, so our flesh pressed together and
i’d close my eyes
i sometimes still do

i say no, in too many voices, sometimes too kind, too timid
it doesn’t matter
he’s taken me already, don’t i get it,
he’s consumed me, come one hundred and three times thinking about me,
girls like me—to him i’m women, fucking on his laptop, putting on a show
to make his dick hard

no,
i’m gay, i’ve said, to twenty men
he’ll have me anyways
girls on his laptop, hands on his dick, a blur

when i was a kid i stared at women in
grocery stores, on a magazine covers, walking their dogs
i blushed, i fell in love
i noticed three moles, eighteen dimples, seven scars,
i fell in love

yes,
i’m gay, i’ve said to ten women
they’ll have me, all of me, rib fat, deep voice

the one birthmark on my inner thigh, all the way up,
a lightning bolt, stuck between the grooves of my stretch marks
that no man will ever see

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waist

Created by Alexandria Dravillas

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How Shall I Shed?

Written by Justin Eulalio, Staff Writer

 

Double taking more times than I have ever hoped,
It is only in the dark that time does tick.
Ideas that were always intentions tend to seep onto already textured canvases.
How low do I fall in the force of a bluff?

Do you dance to the narrative I wish to fulfill?

Characters preconceived by someone else’s success,
Convenient can bring me closer than a draft of original color.

In reality I do not possess the motor skills nor the intuition to compete with seagulls.

I cling to titles due to the luxury of associated identity.
Categorized or not, I am still.

Quick to ship the unpolished arcs of the upcoming,
To weave the thoughts into water,
Furthermore,
May churn consequences too bitter to openly swallow.

How shall I shed?

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SLLIP

Written by Baela Tinsley

 

Xanny Zombies

Got me feeling like Blondie

Riding high just to hit the floor

I just don’t want to be the only one to make it out of Studio 54

But I get it

You don’t even sweat it

Cuz that benzo take you straight to the end zone

 

Hydro Heroes

Selling out shows

Selling the velvety sounds

Of the roiling underground

But its all good

Cuz we made it out the hood

 

Vicodin Titans

Wash it down with dirty Sprite and

A little self loathing

But it don’t matter long as you zoning

And these pills and potions

Got you moving slow motion

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Today's Guide to Happiness

Directed by Jack McCoy, Acting by Tony Fragale

 

 

Thanks to all those who submitted for our February prompt! Take a look at our March prompt, Reflections. Send any questions and submissions to shreddedmag@gmail.com by Sunday, Feb. 26.