Genelle Chaconas


You wake up inside of the hood it is not only leather on the outside and latex on the inside but dipped in a solid layer of kerosene congealed dried against your skin the burns on your face like the echo of anew skin the mouthpiece forced not between your molars but further back against the glottal the rough countries of the tongue the drool has long ago pooled down against your chin it leaks out the collar tightened not only around against the dip of the trachea but weft against the taut muscles of the throat you can already feel where the bones have begun to bruise where the small breaks threaten to shatter should you jerk your head just so. And yet the air is clean. The slit wide enough by millimeters. Your shoulders spread wrists high above your head split down the pain corridors of the body running from the skull down. They are amputations, severed. That cannot stop thinking. Sometimes you imagine yourself as a series of biological neurosis, hung together by tension. And in the large gaping bag. In the space the size of a panic breath. Designed to strange strangle and struggle yet offer the gift of gasp. The rough white hunger oxygen.  You have made meals of the air, fine wines, thick fat of the thighs. You are somewhere underground, near fire, near ocean. Suffuse by the dry leaves, moth wings, black rot. You a somnus flux lord of the emerald felt chamber soiled to the touch. The recording studios of the mind play matinees. Your zipper open, head nodding, in the back row. Salt water that seeps into your sepsis wounds. Inside the womb of an inverse gravity. Sometimes you imagine yourself squeezed through the narrow sewer trachea. You’re broken in the many directions. Inhale phantasms not into the lungs but deep against the structure. Against the soft organs rubbed raw, peeled like blooms of new harvests. Secrete from the toxin down. From the insight of entrance. The colors vibrant as asphyxiate borealis. If you could move your tongue anymore. You’d name them the rich burns of the palate. Shiver quarantine virulent poison twilight consume. Eels pass through the senses, ooze, slither and fester in the guts, coil the open Edens of the stomach. Penetrate the topsoil of the imagination. Burst with the inhale. Scatter on the exhale. The swarm emerges from your mouth. The grand halo of flies caresses you their orbits frantic. Sometimes you imagine yourself a saint of unknown virtue. Their collisions brilliant like Fourth of July. Once you saw a film of the bomber formations sweeping through the silent white mushroom cloud their bright swoops the sounds of toy engines in the fallout distance. Only you did not see this film but through the sepia window in the brain hospital. You can’t remember what you did there. Only that something was eaten away. Only that the veils of flies grew thicker inside the tenement rooming house, not out.


Genelle Chaconas is genderfluid, queer, feminist, over 30, underemployed, an abuse survivor, and proud. They earned their BA in English with a focus on Creative Writing from CSUS (2009), their MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University (2015). Their first chapbook is Fallout, Saints and Dirty Pictures (little m Press, 2011), with a chapbook pending publication. Their work is published or forthcoming in Primal Urge, NAILED, The New Engagement, A3, Sonora Review, Fjords, WomenArts Quarterly, Jet Fuel Review, Third Wednesday, Burningword Literary Magazine, Milkfist, Menacing Hedge, Image OutWrite, Exposition Review, Bombay Gin and others. They’re a volunteer submission reader at Tule Review, and they hosted Red Night Poetry. They enjoy schlocky gangster flicks, cheap takeout, noise music, lowbrow art, the cut up technique, underwater basket weaving, list making, William S. Burroughs, queer writing, and long walks off short piers.