• Mad Gleam Press

The Spaces Between

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

The Spaces Between

I show my house the pictures of you

ask it if it remembers when you lived closer

when you were a frequent guest. I feel the ache and the strain

of a house trying to uproot itself, as if

it were some great, lazy dog trying to find the will to move

twitching its tail in a futile attempt

to attract attention to itself.

I, too, wish I could find some way to reach you

that doesn’t require the enormous effort it takes to get to the airport

or make plans that involve weeks and weeks of my life in advance.

These are fragile excuses, ones

I don’t dare speak aloud. Instead, I tell the house

you’ll be back someday

to sit on my couch and fill these empty rooms

with your stories and your laughter

and it will be so wonderful that it will be as if

you’d never left.

Woman Hiding From Her Husband as He Tries to Fix Her Brakeline

makes a story for the rain,

holds her hands over her ears,

allows her eyes to glaze

as sunlight fades away, she

makes excuses for the

storm, hides her head beneath the

dirt, pretends to sleep, deaf

to the crashing sounds, she

waits, inside, cautious

of the returning storm,

creeps outside, slow at noon,

picks up the beer cans.

These Things

My husband says he hates this house

And its rough edges

And the bad memories

I don’t know what he’s talking about.

At dinner, I give pointed lectures to our daughter

About how you get from life what you put into it

How if you think the world is shit, your world will be shit.

My husband doesn’t seem to know I’m talking to him

And tells our daughter maybe she should smile every once in a while

Not be such a sourpuss.

My husband says he hates this life

Doesn’t know what he did to deserve

A wife like me

A family like ours

A house like this

I tell him he must have really fucked up in his last life

This is the shit-end of karma.

little z

last night I dreamed about your fingers on my flesh

my body too small to take your words anymore,

I am not your handpuppet, mister last night I

screamed myself awake to putrid memories of you

the linoleum pattern of the laundryroom

floor your anticipation festers inside of

me, I am not as fucking stupid as you think


With the precision of a surgeon and the hand of a craftsman, Pole Ka draws bodies, dissects them, flays them, and composes their sharp images. She misleads her strange characters through imaginary landscapes, grotesque scenes. Visions straight out of a cabinet of curiosities take shape; here mix animals, insects, plants, hybrid and monstrous characters, summoning medicine and religion; it is an Encyclopedia of ancient bestiaries, evoking the paintings of Bosch and Cranach, the surreal collages of Ernst or Štyrský and the anonymous illuminations of the Middle Ages.

In addition, Pole Ka works alongside the companions of micr0lab, who are scattered around the world, to publish and peddle deviant fanzines, impossible games, creaky vinyls, and to organize epic evenings of drowning music.

Extravagant anatomies, disappeared pathologies, desolate landscapes: Pole Ka engraves her own history of Woman and her sufferings, draws a taxonomy inhabited by androgynous ghosts with troubled sexuality, and prints the plans of a collapsing world.

Holly Day's poetry has recently apperaed in Asimov's Science Fiction, Grain, and Harvard Review. Her newest poetry collections are Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing), Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), and The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body (Anaphora Literary Press).

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