New Prose Poem: “Washi Tales,” by Ilona Martonfi


The views expressed in the texts do not necessarily represent the views of the artist.


No one in the village will tell her. The repossessed house. Her childhood home. The rotting wood. Four rooms. Iron stove. A table. A mother and a father. Two sisters, little brother. Grandmother. Sand dunes, grasslands, reed-lined backwaters, tiny white farms. Disassembled.

Poïesis clangour. Percussive bowing. Scavenging emptiness. Improvisation, nomadic process. Obsessive. The marginal and maimed. That which is cast out. A place of no place. Into the nothing. Riffing off these lines. Her mother reporting the bad news. Or retelling old bad news. Keeping track of shapeless, violent births; confessions and letters; the omen unfolding in real life. Shuffling. Slurring. Inept.

A purple iris. Faceless, carrying her. Name folded into another name. Put black paint back to its unblemishedness. Unbruised.


Wading in warm mud. A womb. Tales of sexual predation. Cruel loneliness.


these words by Ilona Martonfi were inspired by the art of Sonia Alins Miguel

On Mental Health: “Fight or Flight”


It was an invisible voice, driving him onward.


He took comfort in knowing he wasn’t completely alone, but he paused, motionless, for someone else to lead the way.

“Hide,” the voice repeated, this time almost a shout.

Faint rustling, as someone else approached, were muffled through his own heavy breathing as he turned to stare, head on, into yellow evolving eyes. He was face to face with death.

He remained, unmoving, assessing what it would mean to his survival: the choice to fight.

He glanced behind his shoulder, out of options, as the eyes grew less distinct and he was forcefully pushed back into his helpless body, unable to run, no longer in time to hide.

Heart beating wildly, chest rising, yet he felt no air reach his lungs.


He opened his eyes and the room was no longer spinning—chest no longer growling. His stomach felt heavy, a bead of sweat meandered down his right cheek. He swiped at it, halfheartedly, with the back of his hand. There was no forest, no golden eyes staring him down, just a microphone in hand and an audience on looking, an uncomfortable pause between applause and speech, hanging in the air as they waited for him to begin.

“Yes-” he cleared his throat.

“Thank you all for coming out tonight.”

The hairs on his arm still stood on end. A shiver ran through his body. “Keep calm,” the voice now instructed.

He closed his eyes to shake himself of the attack, there was a bottle of Valium waiting for him at home, for now, the task at hand remained.

word by Annie Rubin 

From the author: “The harsh edges, intensely vibrant colours, and the vivid animal-like quality of the artwork inspired an intensity motivated by animalistic instinct. The jagged edges and bright lines were reminiscent of a sense of anxiety, in this case manifested in the form of a panic attack. Such an episode takes place as the body’s natural “fight or flight” instinct to combat present danger replaces logic. While many people have suffered from panic, our society rewards silence around the issue, perpetuating a stigma around mental health.”

colour by Marina Gonzalez Eme

caught us drifting


Well they caught us drifting through the fingers of trees, wandering in seamless departure from the essence of things. We withdrew and abandoned the impulse to document; to fix what is most fleeting; to brighten the darkest hollows of the mind.

An inhale the sound of a gasp:  to impress upon the skin of a page, we took the impulse of the full moon, drawn up from between the folds and foliage of the mind to smear the light of dawn, the pastels of dusk, refusing to lose the immediate pleasure of the tactile.

To make a mark, gesture upwards, scratch the ceiling of what is possible: We are unbound by flurries of furious distraction to grasp the instrument of our making.

Write it down. Make a joyful stain: etch what is unknown and unknowable until it hits the steady surface. We will not be impeded by what presses bustling against our shoulders and hips, urging us forward, faster, into action without a moment’s pause to ask ourselves, “Is this what we wanted? How many hours remain?”

We settled for hustling, propelled by the urgency of thoughtless expectation, unawake to the voices wailing at us from within our bellies, to create: to return life with life. We died every night in a stupor, tracing well tread neuropathways that brought us comfort and apathy. 

And they shook us at our core and said,

Hello! I am love with you! You are unbearably beautiful and you have so much more to give!

They asked us to document and fix what is most fleeting so that we never lost the tactile. They told us to seek light and a higher plane. They taught us never to settle. They said smear the light of dawn with your mouth, wake up and loosen the binds of your muscles to the bones and burn the sap that adheres to what is familiar. None of this is what you think, and everything you say will be used against you. Dark laughter is a censor that shows us what we hate in ourselves.

They told us to shed what is stale, reach gasping for all that is holy and alive in us.

Listen, they are whispering: know that the depths of the tides move in you as well. Bring them forth in offerance and in the most tender humility, children: you are holy and you are the dawn and you are so much more than this. We love you, and we are also trapped. Slowly, gently unbinding. 

word by Alisha Mascarenhas

colour by Sam Rowe

From the author: “I wrote this in a process of learning to persistently refuse the censors we are surrounded with: the pressures of productivity, the insistent draw to external stimulation that pulls us from our deepest selves, the infiltration of a busy world into the sacred realm of the mind. I wanted to honour the vital creative process, to respond to the struggle of validating this work despite all that tells us it is unimportant. And I wanted also to somehow draw light to those special beings, visible and invisible, who/that compel us to continue and show us the power of our own potential.”