Posted in 2018-2019, Issue 02, Poetry

The World is Ending and I Take Her With Open Arms

by Aevin Mayman

The world is ending.
The sun slides across the sky,
a smudge like a sick child wiping their hand across the blue behind it as it goes.

The ground pulls, now.
The grass is a wet carpet of quicksand
that yawns wide like a starved child

reaching for food.
A moss covers everything, a sickly green thing
like a tired bar sign, promising only despair and endings and decay.

The world is ending.
When the sun rises it is a fight, like a mangled bird pulling itself away from the road,
the trail of its heartbeats a smear in its wake.

The forests scream, now.
and they echo around the buildings still standing,
a tidal force of primal fear slamming against the crumbling bricks.

The world is ending but so am I.
I can feel myself dragging along with the sun,
leaving behind a bloody, tired trail like leaves ground against pavement

I can feel the suffering of the Earth,
of that tired sun,
of that yawning ground,
and I spread my arms the doors of a funeral parlor and say
come here, don’t worry, I’ve got you.”

Posted in 2018-2019, Fiction, Issue 02

What to Remember When Exploring Abandoned Places

by Aevin Mayman

  1. If you see figures in the distance, only wave if you see more than one darkening the horizon. They will take it as a slight against them if you do not. If you see a solitary figure, do not wave. Do not pay it any attention. It is lonely, and will think you want to spend time with it. You do not.
  2. Close every gate or door that you open. Even if you’re alone. Even if you think you’re alone. It’s the only way to know if something is following you. Or someone.
  3. And things will follow you. But you don’t have to worry about most of them.
  4. If you come across anyone else, give them a fake name. Never tell them who you really are. Never tell them. Remember, your name is all you have. Never give it out.
  5. Do not take anything. Even if the flowers are pretty, and even if you really like the quartz sparkle of that rock and even if just one wouldn’t hurt, would it? Don’t. This is not your land. It never was.
  6. If/when your pictures don’t come out the way they should, do not attempt to clean them up. Leave them blurry or delete them. You don’t want to see what’s been hidden.
  7. Don’t swim in any lakes you might find. Don’t let your friends swim in any lakes you might find. Of course, everyone will know that it’s not safe to go in unfamiliar water. It could be deep. You should beware of leeches or snakes. Nevertheless, you see people swimming. You should watch out for them, too.
  8. Bring everything you need to stay for an emergency. Water, rations, bedding, rope, iron, salt, a satellite phone. You never know how long you might be staying.
  9. If you enter a building, make sure you are always by a window, never mind out dusty or age-clouded it may be. Watch the sun and its shadows as you explore. Time isn’t always linear on the inside.
  10. Do not explore the forests, or the trees that have ways of sending you in circles. Survival guides say to break small branches in order to be certain of where you’ve been. I dare you to try it. See what comes to meet you.
  11. When your electronics stop working, when the sky is hazy, when your flashlight catches the oddly viscous eyes of something – you don’t know what, and you don’t want to know – when the sun is red and the ground is dry and you can make out the music that can’t possibly be coming from where you think it’s coming from but you’re sure, you’ve only just begun.
Posted in 2018-2019, November 2018, Poetry

Petrichor

By Aevin Mayman

A word that describes the smell of rain.
But what about before? Could there be some
collection of sound and thought to mirror
this primordial energy that sings through the air?
A term to describe the buzz of lightning right
before it strikes; of ground that craves the touch
of absent water drops; a sky that sits,
tense. I would imagine that it would be less
of a sound, and more like the rush of
electric raindrops dancing on skin.
It might feel like imagined wind gusts pounding
against spread arms, against a smiling face.
This word could feel like jumping from the crash
of thunder, close enough to raise the hairs
along your neck. It’d feel like unrestrained
primal energy that courses through
veins. If you would dare to utter such
a word, your blood would turn to rain, your voice
to wind, your thoughts to thunder. You would be
the very thing the ground is hoping for.

Posted in 2017-2018, Poetry

Expired Symbiosis

By Aevin Mayman

Once, I was your
leaf, you were my
stem. I gave you everything;
love, light, time, hope,
and you held me up
to the light and through it
I let myself pour everything
down to
you.

I thought that was how it was going to be.
That we would be locked
in this symbiosis of devotion
until the brilliant end.
But now it has changed.

Always blindly moving forward,
trying not to care as much,
you decided to leave your
exquisite nature in that last
fallacy of a hotel room.

The you I used to know is gone.
It was left behind when you decided
long-term-love wasn’t as exciting
as it once seemed.

Maybe you’re too loose in
your skin to find meaning behind a
kiss.

Do you remember when you used to love me,
or the trip we took to the desert–
before you thought me too uneventful to love?

On the sand you also wore on your skin,
I traced patterns of a life we could have lived.
The life I thought we would.

Greedy waves of air curled in from
outside our window,
plucking away this love of ours
with long, selfish fingers.

The CD spun and called out
to some indifferent God with its song:
together forever.”

Do you remember,
under more of a sky than we had ever seen in our city,
how we verified each other’s existence
with star light?
How we used to be able to read the curves
of each other’s bones
like maps to salvation?

But time has passed.

This Infinity Knot of ours has broken.
We have grown.
We have changed.

I am strong.

Your life is marked with nothing but
zeroes.

Posted in 2017-2018, Poetry

Dissociation and Light of the Wishing Mind

By Aevin Mayman

Heaven in Your Side View Mirror

Raindrops shining in
your side view mirror like hydrogen
balls of fire, like those
damn-near-too-many-to-count stars.

If you could make wishes
on those tiny fireballs maybe for once
you’d feel as there as
the sky that holds them.

Roads of shadow and twisting
trees line the road on either side of you
under polluted skies of light and somber,
is it dawn or just downtown?

The celestial line has been broken,
cracked by the lightning that once formed its arches,
reality is currently less of a concept
and more of a “wish-I-may, wish-I-might.”

Streaks of fluorescent building signs–
neon life choices pass you by–
long roads and too-close clouds;
Heaven in your side view mirror.

——————————

Twilight Delights

Maybe the rain blinds you.
Maybe it blurs your vision, or
maybe it darkens the sky that is held
in the prism of your windshield.

Maybe you can’t see the stars.
Maybe you never could, or
maybe your perception of this world
has been skewed to hide them from sight.

Or maybe it doesn’t.

Maybe it illuminates the world that you’re crying to.
Maybe she is crying too, the sky, or
maybe she is trying to make reality a little more exciting,
to say:

Look, look over there, do you see that?
Over there? On the other side of the highway.
I made Christmas lights for you out of the headlights and the fog,
Do you see them?

Posted in 2017-2018, Poetry

em ▴ pa ▴ thy

By Aevin Mayman

em ▴ pa ▴ thy n. 1. The way I look at you when you smile / The way you never smile, so this is like a blue moon / the real kind 2. Us in your basement, 2am: as in we both need to stop feeling / stop giving 3. Why I know your tears apart from my own: the rain / Your bottle of not-vodka / Under these stars¹ / that neither of us can see 4. Distance / I cannot let you go, / the string that binds our / souls together, / it is not something tangible / Not something that anyone can see. / This star dust / This burning bond 5. Something only I feel burning / Not love / more than friendship 6. The way I want you to come back / how I want to pull you back / like maybe if I think hard enough the wind will bring you here / Back in this basement² / At 2am / Away from 7. The edge

Synonyms: I’m here, tired, trying, not to let go

¹hope.

²safety.

Posted in 2016-2017, Fiction, Issue #03

Goddess of the Moon

By Aevin Mayman

The goddess Selene was born under the sky. The morning of her birth was greeted by the shining light of the clear blue sky that was her mother’s eyes. Theia smiled down at her and Selene saw the expanse above them captured in her mother’s gaze.

As a child, Selene learned to live with a large family. Every holiday was greeted by the arrival of the remaining ten titans coming to join their siblings, her parents, for food. She grew up with booming laughs and communal songs that shook the foundations of her home. Even before learning how to speak, she laughed along with them and sang as loud as her little lungs would let her.  Most of her songs went out of tune, but no one ever cared.

Her days were filled with visits from her grandmother, Gaia. They would take long strolls through the thick forests of her home — the trees always lush and glowing from the sky’s clear light. Many days were spent entirely like this, with her grandmother showing Selene the details of the world around them. In the end, Selene ended up paying more attention to butterflies than things such as the variations in tree bark, but Gaia simply laughed off the distractions and let her play. Having the mother of the Earth as her grandmother gave Selene a deep appreciation for all things under the sky. Gaia would bring forth Selene’s chiming bell laughter with brilliant flowers that grew under her fingertips and the songs that she sang with the birds.

On a day such as this, Selene was walking a forest path with Gaia. With her grandmother’s help, the young Selene named every bird she saw. She trilled along with the chickadees, cawed with the crows. She was so preoccupied with the orchestra of bird song around her that the golden flash from above nearly startled her off the path. She turned her gaze to the sky – the clear blue sky that had once held only her mother’s eyes – and saw a streak of light far above her.

“Grandmother,” she said softly, voice hushed with awe. “What is that?”

Gaia smiled up at the sky and wrapped her arm around Selene. “That, my dear, is your brother. He now rides the Chariot of the Sun, and will journey across the sky with it everyday, and rest every night.” Around her, the broad-leaved plants and blossoming flowers all seemed to glow with this new light. They turned towards the sky where Helios now rode, their faces soaking in all the light he gave them.

Selene pulled on Gaia’s skirt and smiled up at her with a toothy grin. “One day, I want to be in the sky, too! Can I be like my brother?” She asked, bouncing on the balls of her feet.

Gaia smiled warmly down at the small goddess, placing a gentle hand on her hair. “Some day, my child,” she said kindly. “Someday.”

An evening fell many years later, after Helios had returned from his day-long ride and had long been asleep. Selene sat awake in her bed, staring out into the darkness of the world around her. She had been uncomfortable all night and, no matter how hard she tried, could not fall asleep. She huffed a sigh and flopped back down onto her bed. She traced lazy patterns on her ceiling in the darkness and tried once again to calm her mind.

Out of the corner of her eye, a glimmer of light caught Selene’s attention and she bolted upright in her bed. Another faint light shone through the trees for a heartbeat and she leapt out of bed, creeping out into the night. The only guide she had was the wavering ball of light that bobbed distantly before her. The goddess mumbled soft curses under her breath as she tripped over darkness-hidden tree roots, her nightgown tangling in the thick undergrowth.

The light seemed to be glowing brighter, but only slightly. It moved faster away from her as she followed it, and soon she was running through the forest, avoiding brambles and jumping over logs more out of reflexes than sight. When she finally broke out of the thick woods, her legs were scratched and tired, her nightgown torn from tearing through thickets. She burst into a clearing with heaving breaths and leaned against a tree for support. When she raised her head, her breathing caught in her throat. In the center of the clearing stood a gleaming white horse, its long mane glimmering with starlight. She took a careful step forward and the horse kneeled before her, inviting her onto its back.

Selene moved into the clearing and slowly mounted the creature. As soon as both of her feet had left the ground, the horse leapt into the air. She squeaked in surprise and curled her fingers into the horse’s mane, leaning into its neck as it galloped upwards. The stars seemed to swirl around her, getting closer and closer until they brushed through her hair, around her head. The stars began to coalesce around her, forming glittering shapes around her. One by one, the sheets of starlight formed themselves into a chariot around her. The horse beneath her was slowly replaced by the seat of the starlight chariot. The horse moved to the front of the chariot and silver reins formed in her hands. Selene let out a joyous laugh and threw her head back.  The crown of stars gathered at her forehead, casting her face in a rich glow of light.

Far below, Gaia stood by Selene’s mother Theia and the two watched Selene’s chariot form in the sky. Gaia wrapped an arm around her daughter and smiled, gazing up at the goddess of the night. She had finally, after all of these days, made it to the sky.