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Under the U Heights sign

Assaulted by sun, starlight dims

Kirsten Imani Kasai, publisher of Body Parts Magazine: The Journal of Horror & Erotica
Kirsten Imani Kasai, publisher of Body Parts Magazine: The Journal of Horror & Erotica

i loathe your neighborhood

  • see the ghosts of myself on its streets —
  • there! under the U Heights sign
  • collapsed on grafittied bus stop bench,
  • weeping.
  • lamppost-leaning, sobbing.
  • we shared our first kiss in that dive, corner bar
  • our first fight, too.
  • here is the shop where you braved
  • driving rain to seek
  • ice cream when i was sick, and
  • here are the puddles of sick
  • made upon the eve of your betrayal.
  • there are florals in the eaves —
  • spring blossoms you plucked for my hair.
  • see that bird’s nest there?
  • woven from the hair
  • i snatched from your head when things
  • got too rough and your teasing blows
  • left bruises.
  • i see you grinning, hopeful,
  • your bright-eyed stars
  • winking. twinkling.
  • how could I forget that, when
  • assaulted by sun, starlight dims?

Tiny Poetics

  • 1) There is nothing in you that sees me.
  • 2) It is hard to be concerned with that which does not concern you.
  • 3) Sentiment is the enemy of reason.
  • 4) This light recalls you to me — stormy afternoons, pink-tinged. Sorrow.
  • 5) When you look at me like so, rubbing your hands together,
  • I know that you are the fly, and I am the dead meat.
  • 6) And yet, she knows that deep ocean waves make the earth ring,
  • bell-like, and hum
  • that the conversation of elephants is subsonic
  • that trees can “speak” to each other (chemical signals/tangled roots)
  • that their perfumed breath births clouds and seeds them
  • that we come from the stars — thus we rust, oxidize
  • (what’s called “aging”)
  • that she did not believe in magic until she learned these things.

by degrees: first, second and third

  • i was not trying
  • to be difficult.
  • too this, you moaned. too that.
  • it just … happened.
  • how else could i express
  • to you the brutal, cosmic scope
  • of my love?
  • it was as if i’d held your
  • hand to the naked blue
  • flame and dared you
  • not to flinch.

Kirsten Imani Kasai has published novels, short fiction, poetry, essays, and articles in numerous print and online publications in the U.S., Canada, and Romania. She’s the publisher of Body Parts Magazine: The Journal of Horror & Erotica. Dedicated to guiding writers toward the fullest expression of their voice and work via MagicWordEditingCo., Kasai holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles and is certified in the teaching of creative writing. You can find her reading at the Narrators San Diego or teaching at San Diego Writers Ink. Her fourth novel, The House of Erzulie, will be published in February 2018 by Shade Mountain Press. Fiction, audio, video and more at KirstenImaniKasai.com.

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Kirsten Imani Kasai, publisher of Body Parts Magazine: The Journal of Horror & Erotica
Kirsten Imani Kasai, publisher of Body Parts Magazine: The Journal of Horror & Erotica

i loathe your neighborhood

  • see the ghosts of myself on its streets —
  • there! under the U Heights sign
  • collapsed on grafittied bus stop bench,
  • weeping.
  • lamppost-leaning, sobbing.
  • we shared our first kiss in that dive, corner bar
  • our first fight, too.
  • here is the shop where you braved
  • driving rain to seek
  • ice cream when i was sick, and
  • here are the puddles of sick
  • made upon the eve of your betrayal.
  • there are florals in the eaves —
  • spring blossoms you plucked for my hair.
  • see that bird’s nest there?
  • woven from the hair
  • i snatched from your head when things
  • got too rough and your teasing blows
  • left bruises.
  • i see you grinning, hopeful,
  • your bright-eyed stars
  • winking. twinkling.
  • how could I forget that, when
  • assaulted by sun, starlight dims?

Tiny Poetics

  • 1) There is nothing in you that sees me.
  • 2) It is hard to be concerned with that which does not concern you.
  • 3) Sentiment is the enemy of reason.
  • 4) This light recalls you to me — stormy afternoons, pink-tinged. Sorrow.
  • 5) When you look at me like so, rubbing your hands together,
  • I know that you are the fly, and I am the dead meat.
  • 6) And yet, she knows that deep ocean waves make the earth ring,
  • bell-like, and hum
  • that the conversation of elephants is subsonic
  • that trees can “speak” to each other (chemical signals/tangled roots)
  • that their perfumed breath births clouds and seeds them
  • that we come from the stars — thus we rust, oxidize
  • (what’s called “aging”)
  • that she did not believe in magic until she learned these things.

by degrees: first, second and third

  • i was not trying
  • to be difficult.
  • too this, you moaned. too that.
  • it just … happened.
  • how else could i express
  • to you the brutal, cosmic scope
  • of my love?
  • it was as if i’d held your
  • hand to the naked blue
  • flame and dared you
  • not to flinch.

Kirsten Imani Kasai has published novels, short fiction, poetry, essays, and articles in numerous print and online publications in the U.S., Canada, and Romania. She’s the publisher of Body Parts Magazine: The Journal of Horror & Erotica. Dedicated to guiding writers toward the fullest expression of their voice and work via MagicWordEditingCo., Kasai holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles and is certified in the teaching of creative writing. You can find her reading at the Narrators San Diego or teaching at San Diego Writers Ink. Her fourth novel, The House of Erzulie, will be published in February 2018 by Shade Mountain Press. Fiction, audio, video and more at KirstenImaniKasai.com.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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