1. At a great distance. As if by magic.
    As in, “I communicated touch, and it was never enough.” As in, “Our technology operates touch.” As in, “And with that I ascend into the regions of the ice mountains and am lost touch.”
  2. Realer-than-real. Like talking to someone you love when you both have severe headaches.
    As in, “The last five years have been inexplicably touch for me. Like, I finish work and suddenly I’m home, eating dinner, and suddenly I’m waking up again to go to work. There’s lost time, but I can fill in every second in vivid detail, because the moments have been overlaid from day to day in such perfect mesh that the contrast and saturation really jump out. Even the way I peel the skin off my dinner roll and butter it before eating the fluffy, white center. I’m afraid of dying.”
  3. A way to obscure information.
    As in, “In the end we relied on touch, so society will be spared the grim truth.”
  4. A musical form, most commonly associated with peoples coping with not the actual historical consequences of their disenfranchisement, oppression or stigmatization, but rather the lingering consequences of the same, and generally featuring an eight-bar or twelve-bar structure that, using bent tones (typically at the first, fourth and fifth positions), moves from tonic, to the major second, to the minor third, to a fourth (from the tonic), to a fifth (from the minor third), to the major sixth and, finally, to the minor seventh. Or, any musical composition that, not being rooted in the authentic vernacular of the subcultural context described above, imitates this progression.
    As in, “In that musky backwash of vibrato, we couldn’t not know it: touch is responsible for the over-sophistication of our ears. Touch had cadenced our orations of our eyes.”
  5. To placate with words or actions that are known to be untrue or at least hollow.
    As in, “The nation was so tired of being sad that we banded together and touched one another until we could fall asleep.”

Joe Milazzo is the author of the novel Crepuscule W/ Nellie, two volumes of poetry — The Habiliments and Of All Places In This Place Of All Places — and several chapbooks (most recently, @p_roblem_s). His writings have appeared in Black Clock, Black Warrior Review, BOMB, Prelude, Tammy, Texas Review and elsewhere. He is an Associate Editor for Southwest Review and the Founder/Editor-In-Chief of Surveyor Books. Joe lives and works in Dallas, TX, and his virtual location is Here in these definitions in danger are what these words now mean, or might mean, or must mean if they wish to escape the new world incommensurate with the perceptions they’re accustomed to inhabiting.

Eric Lindley is a musician, writer, and artist living in the bay area. His writing has appeared in Fence, Joyland, Tammy, and elsewhere, and other work at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Machine Project, Telic Arts Exchange, The Knitting Factory, and The Smell. With Janice Lee and Joe Milazzo, he co-edited the online interdisciplinary arts journal [out of nothing] from 2009 to 2015. You can find Eric’s work online at