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Sylvia Plath Reading from Ariel

by Janea Wilson



Today is Sylvia Plath’s birthday. She would have been 82 years old. I guess I never grew out of my Sylvia phase. How could I? Her poetry is perfect. It reads so beautiful. Clean. Precise.

Sylvia is queen of the metaphor. The rhythm is explosive. Have you heard her Sylvia Plath reading her poetry before? Apparently you can listen to her reading on Spotify. I usually spend afternoons listening to her on YouTube. Someone uploaded her reading from Ariel, a recording from October 30, 1962. Three days after her birthday and just four months before her death. One of her most famous poems, “Daddy,” is the last on this video:

1. The Rabbit Catcher; 2. A Birthday Present; 3. A Secret; 4. The Applicant; 5. Daddy

While some may sit around making their “oven” cracks, I’ll be celebrating her poetry and her life by having a cupcake. I guess that’s an unintentional baking joke. Nevertheless, happy birthday Sylvia.

1. Medusa; 2. Stopped Dead; 3. Fever 103°; 4. Amnesiac; 5. Cut

Who Do I Think You Are: A Review of Gone Girl

by Julia Gibson

img via: the film stage

img via: the film stage

A few Sundays ago, my roommate and I were enjoying a lazy day around the house in our pajamas when a preview for David Fincher’s Gone Girl came on the TV. “Oh, I want to see this!” my roommate said, and turned up the volume. When it was over, she leaned back onto the couch and thought for a moment before saying, “Ben Affleck makes a perfect Scott Peterson, just less bloated.” That sums up the expectations I had going into the theater the following Friday. I had not read the book, and I thought that what I was about to see was a movie that mirrored the infamous disappearance of Laci Peterson and her murder at the hands of her husband. I had no idea what I was in for.

Director David Fincher has delivered a thoughtful, mesmerizing, and disturbing film, another in a long line of pivotal movies including The Social Network, Fight Club, and one of my favorites Zodiac. His distinctive murky chiaroscuro is the perfect style for the story of a marriage that unfolds into a horrific mess. Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor’s chilling score complements Fincher’s visual direction, and they use their musical talent to spur moments of intense anxiety and add to the overwhelming sense of dread in the film. (more…)

DAILY GLITZ: Anthropocene

selected by Janea



Team of scientists to decide if Earth has entered a new human-influenced epoch of history.


by Chase Eversole


It goes a little something like this: It was when you’d still managed to get out of bed and walk the two miles to work at Applebee’s on days when I had class and Cait said she was at work or over at a friend’s place or at church. She skipped church a lot when we all lived there. You didn’t notice how much. I’d tap on her bedroom door and push it forward to a smirk disappearing under her teeth. We would sit on her bed and talk about The X-Files and how she’s going to be the next Tina Fey until one day I decided I wanted to see how comfortable her mattress and her pillows and her blankets were and she said I could only stretch back if I could make the rest of her disappear, too. Her sheets were thick and warm and didn’t budge when she rocked her hips and pressed down on my belly as I slid my hands up and down her frame that was nothing like yours. Before the move-in I talked about how I didn’t like tall girls but I didn’t know then what I know now. I’d ask her to keep her Chucks on. When she climbed on top of me she cast a shadow on the wall that curved onto the ceiling. Afterwards I’d recite your horrible jokes and there was something about your words being spoken that made it all feel like a victory. She came home from her runs hot and shaky, pining for a shower, and since you hardly came into our bedroom when I was awake I cranked the TV and pulled the door shut and I would massage conditioner into her hair and whisper all manner of things until the water went from hot to cold to hot again and we lost the feeling in everything. We’d walk into the living room afterwards and you wouldn’t have moved. On the sultriest days of summer when you were asleep during the day I’d turn the AC off in her room and when she asked why I said I wanted to see her shine. She asked about what you’d think and her words made me harder and I looked up to her face and gripped her thighs tighter until my knuckles were white like wool and it was loud and bright and red with marks all over and when we both came I thought of you but I couldn’t remember your name.


Chase Eversole’s writing appears or is forthcoming in Thickjam, The Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, The Brazen Review and other places. He can be found online at

Dear 2013,

by AJ Urquidi

I’m thinking about authenticating my birthday in a poem
since I haven’t been this self-indulgent in two Roman years.
Last one was when I was a free agent in New York,
shitty so I can’t even use it anymore. Now I’m in California

where Manhattan geography comes from Subway sandwich wallpaper
and “I’m Waiting for the Man.” I’m through trying now, it’s a big relief.
25       looks solid.
25 one-fourth of the way there and in the right Poe-esque font

with two pressed firmly against five’s back forms a cartoon whale spouting
cloudy dishwater at a low-flying hieroglyph Aztec-angles helicopter
that surveys a cocoa canopy for ziggurat vibrations. All week
I’ve been surveying headlines that report a decade since Elliott Smith

whimpered onto a knife, so his girlfriend says, he’s standing there clutching
his chest in my mind in his mind        finally reached that spider bite
in the small of his back he’s been aiming for since his childhood
tap-danced off the end of Venice Pier and washed up 25 years earlier

in Redondo Beach. Bursting from a decade of departures we commemorate
the morbid. I was looking for you-who-whooo, are you gone gone?
Adam says         Why commemorate the morbid? Says a friend near Echo Park
tended bar in 03 and in shuffles Elliott        seating himself at the eunuch end

to space out and clutch a cluttered lunch pail full of china white and reek
of last week’s urine and track mark tissue in his baggy underpass jacket

like every other dude in Silver Lake. Nobody talks to him just like in his songs.
I’ll be staying down where no one else gonna give me grief. He’s writing new lyrics

in his mind glistening with Johnny Walker Red        lines to serenade himself
later in satin. What the hell happened to Adam? Since he tossed his landline
off Chelsea Pier and smoked his Rolodex feeling sick and dirty,
more dead than alive         he hasn’t spoken to any of his friends. A year on edge

started shaking since they proved to him he was a scoundrel
a grotesque        virile drunk
and a Singapore genius of an Arkansas cracker. Last night at the Chinatown
reading        I dedicated a poem to him as if he would ever hear about it.

I like to think he’s feeling good, gonna work it on out. I never write
about my Kansas cousin of the same name        who in two months
will also go 25          two cobras back to back unsure which direction
to head and achieving more tangle as each moment dies.

His furious parents corrected him with a belt until he corrected them
from his Rolodex. He’s searching for a job where he can handle serpents
which also resemble furious belts. I’m no psychoanalyst but I’d have to say
Your lungs don’t have asthma, your mind does. But Eddie Kaspbrak’s mind

didn’t eat him, IT ate him the monster under Derry that wanted to be
with children and be children like Elliott wanted to be lonely with contentment
and lonely be contentment. Walking home from the parking spot two minutes before
I’m 25         I’m below a Long Beach PD helicopter and each street lamp

quickly hides when I need it the most. I’m below a satellite relaying news
ten years since the Internet killed Elliott and I’m below a jet headed to La Guardia
a 747 like the one that crashes in my dream three hours later and there are body parts
scattered easter eggs in shrubs. Investigators cover them with tarps and won’t let me in

my apartment where the black box fell        where I’m at the same time asleep
on the floor and three hours later eight crows on the balcony bicker interrupting Out—
out are the lights—out all! and in Long Beach I wake up but near La Guardia
Lou Reed doesn’t and I look like cheap orange juice        I give a good shake

but can’t distribute the pulp. It’s Lou Reed Jake made an arugula lemon juice salad for
during the 2012 Super Bowl        ‘twas I who scraped his sticky arugula into the trash
and ran his glass        fork and plate through the dishwasher and business was dead

except for Lou and he cancelled his March show in Monterey with liver issues

and I’d see him        if he rescheduled if not        when and it’s my birthday

it’s Lou Elliott fictional Eddie and for all I know Adam my cousin Jake a bartender
an airplane—how am I        25        shark-bitten humpback guts        voice spark
from a phone underwater        multinational conspiracy child of nightmare prosperity
and half-complacent birthday boy        not supposed to feel somehow responsible?


AJ Urquidi hails from Monterey, California. He received his B.A. in Creative Writing and Film from UCLA, then studied guerrilla poetry for two years in the NYC streets. AJ’s poems have appeared in Westwind, autolycus, L.A. Telephone Book, Bird’s Thumb and CIRCLE. He is currently earning his M.F.A. from CSU Long Beach while editing the journals RipRap and American Mustard.

lipstickparty mag has also published AJ’s poem “Every Creeping Thing That Creepeth Upon the Earth.”

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img via: the film stage
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Sylvia Plath Reading from Ariel
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