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the Museum of Gray Matter consists entirely
of horsehair ladders & Malaysian body wave paneling,
herringbone floors with beaded parts rising
to kiss the meat of my heels. i tiptoe
through the domed exhibits, studying their dehydration.
blackened dandruff falls like ash, swivels, consecrates
the drylands in honor of a foreign god’s rite:
body, diffuse heat and coconut oil. wash out.
the sound my scalp makes when i comb my sideburns,
sometimes dismissive & others grieving.
the rearranging of dark & light into figures
we might know & call by name, rat-tails
weaving orange through a thicket of knotted curls,
appraising the graves where those headstones sit, parietal.
enclosed in this fist, a fallen braid unfurls
in bloom. would that it were a painting, a textbook
for a child who will one day bury itself.
something beautiful for it to make into science.
i passed Judas in one of the many halls,
watched him carry his father on his shoulders.
he told me this: “brown is the color
of my new flesh. brown is the color of all
self-respecting apostles.” & maybe

in a cleaner world i would have believed him,
but we stood like brothers on opposite sides
of the same fogged glass & spoke His name
in unitalicized whispers. he wanted to kill me,
& i did too, but i kept walking, am still walking.
in every doorway someone new is screaming
treat the church like your wife, so i repeat it
until i am martyred, writhing until riven,
until pulp, chewed & swallowed. my mirror-self
Lacans into a thousand tears; balder than
i was yesterday, & everyone knows it.
just look at yourself, he says. your hair is falling out.

Lyrik Courtney (ca. 1999) is a Floridian who sits at the cultural intersection of African-American and nonbinary gender. Their work has been featured in/is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, Blueshift Journal, and Liminality Magazine, as well as other places, but you can always find them tweeting at @lyrik_c.
Current Issue
27 Nov 2023

you no longer have image. in photos your cheek² sharpens, vectors.
That cis-tem is now only a speck.
Mushrooms didn’t exactly sweep sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, but much like their real-world inspiration they persisted, growing in the damp, dark crevices of the creative minds of every generation. They were a template for the anxieties of each age, seasoned with the fears of the era.
Stories of extensive evil, in which the threat is not a single villain, nor even a man-made pollution monster, but systemic structures of harm in which we are all complicit, offer tools to think through real-life problems, which are rarely fixed by defeating one villain.
My most hearty and luxurious greetings fam, hope all are doing well. Friends, I feel like I often start this column by saying I can’t remember what happened in the previous episode. Today, I honestly cannot remember a single thing that happened last time. Fam, so many things happened lately and my brain has been all over the place. I had to move! I am getting too old for this kind of lifestyle and now I’m not going to unpack anything because I will just have to repack and move again at some point. I don’t know if that is
Writing While Disabled 
Well, when people say writing every day, I think some people take it too literally. I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about writing every day. People use the term dailyness to mean consistency. Write Consistently. Time-wise, write consistently. You build a practice. Because remember what I said earlier, a writer is someone who writes. It's about being in the present. Writing has to be a present practice for you. That's all it means.
Issue 20 Nov 2023
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Issue 18 Sep 2023
Issue 11 Sep 2023
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