Azalées Blanches Romaine Brooks

Indolic by Zoe Dzunko

Zoe Dzunko’s has written two poems (Sand Under Nails & Fake Flowers Last Forever) for our first issue; they are gorgeous, rich pieces. Aside from being a doctoral student in creative writing, she is the founder and editor of Powder Keg, an online journal of poetry. It’s definitely worth a look – among other pieces, it has the best prose(ish) poem about (but not about) a dog I’ve ever read. Below is her poem Indolic, which Zoe chose as a good example of her current work. It was originally published in Souvenir.

If we waited long enough
we could witness the body

making new parts, growing
new flesh shapes, hungry

like a goldfish to occupy
negative space. Say, please

grow to the plant you killed,
say please rain to desert

skies; nature’s weird trick
is to force division in the

wrong places. The mould
of wet scabs, the sickening

mass of deadly nightshade,
the vines of veins branching

into new blooms on my
calves. So, you want to talk

about flowers, how knots
of nothing remarkable bust

their way to beautiful; how
skies sweat on them at dusk?

Just their slow centerpiece
death, or that they know when

to die? Talk of how the air
grew ripe at the idea of green,

thick with the rot of sunshine.
The ocean spits up the mess,

leaves it on the shore to dry;
the body of soil, warm enough

to grow explosions. Somehow,
your nose imagined sweetmeat

at the sight of a rose, alone—
some seventeen layers of pink

tongues, licking at the inside
of your computer screen,

the menace of beauty, no violets
to shrink into—I am laying out

for the bees, but they never land
when you want them this much.

– Zoe Dzunko


Image: Azalées Blanches by Romaine Brooks, 1910. Brooks was somewhat ahead of her time: a bohemian who indulged in a great deal of what we might call ‘gender play’, dressing her female sitters as boys and vice versa.

Le Chambre Bleue Susane Valadon Object

Object Study 1, The Bed

Each issue of LYRA contains an object study relating to its theme. Lust presented us with a plethora of possibilities – lingerie, high-heels, masks, sex toys and so on – but, in the end, we decided to go right to the beginning, the source and the base: the bed.

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Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Seven Deadly Sins or the Seven Vices Lechery

Simon Blackburn on lust

Simon Blackburn will be defending our first issue’s central theme: lust.

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Irma Kurtz on the importance of print media

LYRA’s interview with Irma Kurtz will be published in our first issue, but before that we wanted to share her thoughts on print media:

Printed publications are so wonderful because you develop a personal relationship: you become addicted. When you’re without it, when you go away, you have your friends mail it to you, or save it, because you can’t do without it. When you read it, you’re alone with yourself and someone else’s words, meeting someone. This doesn’t happen when you read something online, you lose the physical connection, and the price is too high.

We can’t agree enough.