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Monthly Archives: November 2009








K r i s t e n   M i c h e l l e   H å v e t


No matter; in the deepest of darkness
the big train awaits.
She hails a taxi to the edge, where she will weep.
               Earlier she rises and mutters It’s time.
               She can feel it in her bones like the changing of seasons.
               Her body a gauge.
               The grey cat smiles to say he’s heard
               but he resents her rising.
               Her body’s warm like the unremembered mother
               and when cold rushes in his heart will break.
               He smiles regardless
               though all is mere conjecture.
               She moves out of bed
               gracefully one limb and then the other folding
               until all are upright generally.
               This tragic dancer bends towards the kitchen, to make tea.
From that day forward
nothing moved faster
than the train at the break of night.
His voice is fleeting now a whisper
and she catches it now.
Her body is light.
Along the rail
along the weather
the sleet thrown into the sea
this day moves fast
and rains down upon her gown.
She is tossing and dancing
her long limbs flailing
against the train
the ghost train
that frames the sea.
The cold always rushes in too quickly
and sends her back
along rocks that don’t whither
these days that don’t change.











S a l v a t o r e   B u t t a c i

“I Think The World Is Square”

I’ve taken long walks
Where I can see the horizon
Out there like the end
Of a highway
And I know when I get there
I need to be extra careful
Not to slip and plummet
To my death

I’ve seen those phony pictures
Where they show the planets
Like round balls in different colors
And we are led to believe
They’re spinning
Well, I don’t buy it
I think the world
and all that hangs

in galactic skies are square
as a child’s blocks
and all the people in it
are square with their ideas
locked in the space
of square brain pans
behind four square walls
boxed in lonely square cells











L y n n   A l e x a n d e r


squall. the
sudden snow
that hits my skin

is it him?
will he
tonight. late. when I stare at branches scratching at the
wanting my sky to feel as you feel
but you

shifty. irritated

can I lie? where can I be that flatmatte

I paint this white, pinch my skin to flush my blood?
pinch this
clit to feel in love, grab my always empty
passages? A mask, you ask?

the sudden snow
can I melt you on my tongue?











H o w i e   G o o d

“Where I’m From”

I came straight from work
to meet them on the corner,
but, of course,
they had already become
fine particles of smoke.
While I waited, I listened to music
for barbed wire and accordion.
The short days of winter
had sneaked up on us,
the sky like a fogged mirror,
the frozen puddles like pale bruises.
I stood there for what
seemed a lifetime,
naked by then and shivering
and with my hands raised
in the air, an unqualified witness
to an unspecified event.











C a r l a   C r i s c u o l o


Pebbles slip off our tongues,
too small to cause even a ripple
in the silence that constricts us,

each sentence a futile offering,
weighing down on the next,
collapsing whatever lay
injected in our words.
We are paper dolls,
flat and featureless,
cut to perfection. We will throw
our tattered bodies to the wind

and hope the air will carry us.











R o b e r t   C r i s m a n

“To Kim”

I fell so fast and so far
off the edge of that roof
on winged feet of clay
I guess I can’t blame you
for waving goodbye

I hit those indifferent rocks down below
left shards of bone that the rats wouldn’t touch
I relearned to walk
through the Bonneville Salt Flats
It took me 800 years…

A guy told me once:
Junkies beg monkeys
to hop on their backs
and ride like the wind
He said
that’s what love is

I don’t believe him

I remember you, Kim
You were cool to the touch
and under the skin
a roiling green sea
Ivory burnished by rage
with all your tears murdered
and locked in a vault

Your eyes were so calm they stopped breezes
your head cocked just so
seeking the sound of the one hanging note
that made sense
I wanted to see through your eyes

Then, nights and your smile
sharp-edged, a hot buttered knife
You whispered soft slurs in my ear
Our bodies in darkness
sang the old song
through bared teeth
and off-key sometimes…
Yet echoes lapped gently
as you closed your eyes
and then pressed against me
to sleep

Wide awake I would raft through wilds
your storms bathing mine in a light
in a forest
rainswept at the end of the world
a place that I’d never called home
till I met you

Then morning
The yellow sun bled
through the east bedroom window on Redwing
me blinking sleep
you in the mirror re-arming
You were vain as a cat, and so what
Your long stride into the wind
gave courage a name for the day

Our love you said later
was theft winging south
For me
what we had
were remembered echoes of home
The heart’s own deep need


All photography in this issue by Anna Szczekutowicz. See more at:


SPECIAL #1: Kristen Michelle Håvet



disenthralled is produced by Walter Conley and Paul Dutra.  Contact Walter at

ISSUE #3 coming December 15, 2009.

SPECIAL #3: Miss Alister, January 1, 2010.

ISSUE #4, January 15, 2010.

All material ©2009 by respective creators.



Between regular issues of disenthralled, I will be presenting a variety of artwork and written material in special editions. SPECIAL #1 features the story “Arkansas,” by Kristen Michelle Håvet. Kristen is an American-Canadian living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She is the founder and contributing editor of the online literary journal Glossolalia, specializing in flash fiction (and some non-fiction, under 500 words). Links to her journal and personal blog follow the story.





Every night the dream starts with me pushing my body against a door that stretches up into darkness. I hear voices and they’re crying for me to save them, but all I can do is push so hard the door and my skin become one. I wonder for a moment if I am causing the fire; in dreams these things happen. My jaw will come unhinged, one side and then the other. By my own force my face will break.

The heat is real. An Arkansas summer’s morning is gliding in all raunchy like a cat in heat, and I am tired before I’m awake. I touch my face to make sure; it could never stretch that far. Right?

My jaw is killing me. Why do I need to push so hard? Why doesn’t the door just open? I close my eyes and lay back down. An overwhelming desire to bash my head against the wall rises like the violent Arkansas sun – quick, glaring, and distasteful. I don’t want to have these dreams anymore and I don’t want the fire or the fucking heat. But I have to leave soon.

I want to live in a land that has one unchanging winter. You’d have to shield yourself from blizzards so wild and icicles so huge they might decapitate you. It would be that brutal. In Arkansas you have the grand gestures of black willows and honey locust trees, but in the summer they drip and in the winter they break. Their shadows are shifty and uncertain, no matter what time of year.

It just happens to be summer again, and I’m looking for my own place. I have to get away from him. I manage to leave the house on time and drive along Prince Street from Conway, past blocks of ugly, matching houses. I wonder how people can tell which is theirs and then I remember they have Satellite. They are all marked and beamed by the same solitary one. Around and around the planet and there you are.

The colours of the houses and vehicles vary slightly, but not enough for anyone to see the whole spectrum. Then a stretch of land spreads out beyond to trick you into feeling you’ve reached Eden, and just before the river a fistful of houses rises where the green becomes more full. The house I’m moving towards stands solitary with a clear view of the Arkansas River. This river’s a tributary, flowing into something much greater and hungrier than itself.

When I look out at the river and to the south I can see mist coming off the Toad Suck Lock and Dam. I shake my head at the ridiculous name – the bastardized French for such a beautiful location, from back when traders had to wait long nights and longer days for steamboats to take them upriver. They had their way many times, and with language, too. Their flaws still garble our speech and even when we whisper.

“You must be Danika?”

I turn around to see her. This is the woman who lives on the main floor and I can’t quite tell her age. She rents out her upstairs and keeps the rest to herself, the advertisement reads. I notice her hair is dark violet in the sunlight and only at certain angles. She’s got sun-catcher hair, bright green eyes, and looks nothing like other Conway women. She looks nothing like most people.

“Yes, hi,” I say, my voice automatically smaller in these situations. I sound like a child.

She could be Oprah, if Oprah were white. My mind flashes back to five years old and I’m waking up to Oprah belly-laughing on television. Eating Cheerios in front of Oprah, enthralled with the crying women and suffering even then. Cheating husbands, back-stabbing twins – miscommunicated, excommunicated, years gone by, wasted, wasted….And milk dripping down to gather in my bellybutton.

“I’m Lily, hi,” she says in a voice deep like Cate Blanchett’s in that Bob Dylan movie. The contrast of our voices is killing me and for some reason this makes me blush.

“Nice to meet you,” we overlap exactly, and for a moment there’s a gargling hum like Tuvan throat-singing.

I follow Lily up the slope that leads to her house. It’s muddled white and has cracks along the edges to show years our eyes can’t see. This house has stretch marks and birthing scars. There are blood red irises lining the front of questionable lineage. I normally wouldn’t think such a thing but I wonder if they smell like their colour.

My jaw breaks into another one of its god-awful flares and I squint, but I hope it looks like I’m squinting from the sun. It isn’t you, Lily, or your house. Walking without falling is now all I know. Just don’t fall….just stand up.…keep your eyes focused….My thoughts jump and spark like a thousand palpitating hearts. But as the door opens into the front room, my firecracking jaw subsides.

“I hope you don’t mind the stairs. They’re pretty steep and I’ve fallen on them a time or two, but I don’t think you’ll have much trouble,” she eyes my entire body in one go, tilts her hand and motions up, “there’s no door at the top, but there’s the curtain.”

“No it’s fine, I’m fine with it.” I am.

Her green eyes gleam instead of sparkle and her hair is not so violet in here. If I never see the colour again it’s etched in my mind – the colour of swamp violets rising in lack of sun.

“I hope you like the River. The window juts out a foot or two so you have a view like no other,” her arm now out and wing-like.

The view is spectacular as she opens the curtain to show me. I’ve decided yes, of course. The mist rising off the dam is an omen. It’s a little like snow – like a small cluster of snow falling just on that spot and then melting, and falling, and now melting again. A little snow-globe over the waters that I can turn and turn, let fall and sink into itself without end, and even break if I feel like it.

“Yes. It’s perfect.”

Lily’s smile has never ceased and it doesn’t change, just stays steady. Not a huge smile, just a solemn grin-like pose her mouth makes. I decide that if there’s one person I’d die for, it’s Lily. The five year old with milk in her button rises like mist over the dam.

And then recedes.



Kristen Michelle Håvet online:







Introduction by Walter Conley. Special Issue #1 photo by Paul Dutra; author’s photo supplied by Kristen Michelle Håvet. All material ©2009 by respective creators.

Read ISSUE #1 Here.

Read ISSUE #2 Here.

Submit for winter 2009/2010 editions and specials November 15 – November 22. Check afterword of ISSUE #2 for more details.