the title poem of my chapbook Girl + Muse. Written back in 2009ish, my pre-grad school days, this poem is over 10 years old now. Still love her very much.
Read the full chapbook and download it for free here.
Girl + Muse +
morning. We woke up
and you performed
another extraordinary miracle:
the paper thin skin
taped across your shoulder blades,
your wet spine
glistened through jauntily
angled prisms knotted
to your ribcage
with flayed nerves
and slippery veins.
As you flew around the room
you said: “No. That’s not how
I woke up alone.
Photo by 🇻🇪 Jose G. Ortega Castro 🇲🇽 on Unsplash
The title poem from my chapbook Lupercalia. Written back in Fall/Winter 2010 when I first started at Goddard’s MFA program. That means this poem is almost 10 years old!
Last year the city ran down to the frozen river. She threw her face against the rocks, the tatters of her brain crystallized as they oozed from her broken eyes. When we found her we combed the tangles from her hair, rose quartz stained with a grey sky kept us fed for weeks.
Now, what’s left of her slinks through the night like a wolf and you can only see her out of the corner of your eye.
She has not yet forgiven us for the highway stretching on and on forever, crusted with burnt-sugar kudzu and the bones of lovers who will never return.
This year I eat a salt cake in her honor and burn my tongue in the tiny campfire my mother taught me how to make when she and the city were so very young. I pluck out my eyes with the last of the winter roses and let their thorns curl down my cheeks.
Next year, when my voice returns, I will cut it out again.
Read the full chapbook here.
Photo by salem abu al qumsan on Unsplash.
a Short Story by Jessa Forest
Download your free PDF version of this story here.
Disclaimer: this story contains the death of a child and detailed descriptions of sickness and gore. Please read responsibly.
When I woke it was not from sleep but a dreamless poison. The fog was thick when we stopped and it must have crept in and thickened when we were too weak to stand or notice, too weak to get away; smothering us like an insidious, sentient tide, all cold hunger and keen thirst.
Barrow, lying next to me, did not rise and never would again. Her younger brother, Potter, whimpered softly in the cold crook of her arm.
“Pyre,” Coffin’s choked, coughing voice floated above me like sunshine above a storm. “Can you walk, Pyre?”
Continue reading “The Promise: a grimdark dystopian short story”
a Short Story by Jessa Forest
Download your free PDF version here.
The big table makes you look smaller than you are. Like a little morsel, a macaroon, a petit four alone on a dinner plate. You twitch, fidget. You curl your spine protectively over your phone screen despite the towers of books that surround you. Ponderous tombs of science, philosophy, and madness.
The World Atlas Extraordinaire sits on a stand older than this building next to you, propped open to the Pacific Islands, resplendently corralled by the cartography of the currents, dancing whorls of sacred scarification.
Each time the door slides open your eyes dart around in your skill like scared rabbits. You’re looking toward the door now; the shining glass, the herald of the morning sun. You are waiting for someone.
Continue reading “The Librarian: a dark fantasy short story”
I’m using a pen name now.
-Because I want to make my writing professional and I want to separate professional like A (the writing) from professional life B (the day job).
-My surname is the same as someone famous.
-My pen name fits the genre better.
What is the new name???
Jessa Forest 🙂
It’s my middle name and a variant of my given name. So I still know it’s me and I won’t get confused.
What’s new with my blog?
-I’ve started working with an editor and project manager so hopefully things will get a little less chaotic and random around here. I’ll be able to make news updates more consistently. And more fun stuff for you to read.
What’s new with The Slaughter Chronicles?
-Everything I’ve previously published, all 1 short story and 1 novella, will be re-published in a short fiction collection I’m working on (Pulling Teeth and Other Stories of the Slaughter Chronicles).
-All of my fiction will now be released under the name Jessa Forest.
What’s new with my poetry?
-Girl + Muse and Lupercalia have been re-launched with my new name and are only available for download directly from me on this site. They are still free 🙂
-All previous publications in print and online magazines still carry my real name. They will not be changed.
-All new poetry publications, self-published and published in literary journals, will be under the name Jessa Forest.
I really appreciate y’all sticking with me and being patient while I get things organized.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash