Boundless and Bare
— a poem by Martina Reisz Newberry

Guess what.  I have survived my own life.  
I was never sure of this outcome, 
but here it is.  Morning is still not
the same as evening though each is just 
a certain distance from what I want 
which is to live forever.  It’s not,
of course, the only thing I want.  I 
want to rewrite Ozymandius 
and Renascence and, for an encore,
put lit matches to the shoe soles of 
all the trendy poets who refuse 
to give my work a glance.  I’ve survived
my own life.  There is still (and always) 
a weight on my shoulders bearing down 
and painful as the books I write that
no one reads.  There is still the body 
I live in that continues to age, 
to fall prey to, to criminate. 

[Ah Jesus!  I’d give up enlightenment 
for a slim young body and tight skin 
anyday]  There are benefits: 
I’ve whited out the faces of those 
who refused my love, placed waterfalls 
where their mouths would be.  I’ve examined
the stylish contours of why certain 
lovers gave me up, why I was so 
easily shelved with hair bands and old
tins of spices.  I’ve worshipped at the 
Basilica of Broken Vouchers, 
shared my perversions with the undressed
and the undeserving.  I’ve survived 
my own life.  The dreams I’ve lived were like 
swimming in syrup, their direction
as black as berries of the same name.  
Some days, I am certain that the 
possibility of resurrection

is scant.  Other times, I see myself 
unafraid of beginnings.  I feel 
the fingers of my life move over
me, rouse me, tickle me.  Brows, bone, lips, 
lashes, tooth, tongue—bear with me—I’ll pay 
later, on the installment plan.

The Poet: Martina Reisz Newberry lives in her beloved city, Los Angeles, CA with her husband and their furbaby, Charlie T. Cat.  Her most recent books is LEARNING BY ROTE; she is the author of eight books of poetry and a memoir of her father.  She has been widely published in hard copy and online literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad.

The Artist: Daniel Ayles is a Portland, Oregon-based artist whose work bridges the gap between the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. If you are interested in exploring his body of work further, you can see examples of his art in the the 2012 August issue of The Horror Zine. You may also view two collaborative pieces he did with Tiffany Luna in the 2012 November issue of The Horror Zine.