1. There is and must be a likeness at the heart of unlikeness, that is, to be like or comparable in
one’s uniqueness; unlikeness as a measurable matter of degree rather than kind. You hear a
woman’s voice and you imagine you can imagine her body from that voice. Dream its conjuring,
even, sleeping selves plotting the wreckage of their conscious hours. In truth, she is cloaked
inside her mouth. A grandmother’s housecoat, pastel and slung, with elephants for pockets. Shall
I record in this log how her voice has traveled so far across a space in which our thoughts, her
and mine, never knew one another but in which I’ve grown accustomed to her? Shall I sing of her
to her? Shall I figure a heavy creaminess, a roll and gulp of upper arms, curves in the interstices,
the intervals between the syllables of footfalls, mist, a summer’s day, a rose, intemperate,
champagne, cello, you, never another? Never another you?
2. Of mixed ancestry; hybridized. The term carries no pejorative connotations, depending, of
course, on one’s views re: the exotic.
As in, “And yet the Ghost of Christmas Present blessed his four-roomed house.”
3. Private, but not so much in the sense of “confined to individual concern” or clandestine.
Rather, private in the sense of untranslatable, that which cannot be circulated or metaphorized
(not that this quality does not discourage attempts at the same). Dispossessed of the capacity to
withstand the rough handling of actual transit. So inherently subjective as to be unknowable; so
personal as to be alienating; so singular as to be uncharacteristic. Shut within the body by the
body’s handiwork, like the hammering cuckoo in his clock, or the daughter-cum-sister within the
As in, “This language also uses the absolute reality of the present pain to secure the truth of
cultural / political position.”
1. A carcass. Flesh left unfinished (i.e., skeletal) by a lazy death. As in, “Look who left you a
2. In contract law, any party who has recently declared bankruptcy.
3. In contract law, the negotiations by which property status is conferred upon insolvent
individuality so that the garments may be divided into lots, and risk openly courted.
1. Like water, or saying nothing.
As in, “Presently, we are hungry with a hunger from someone else’s holy books. It is
unquenchable. It’s a fire that burns without burning and a torrent from the rocks that presses the
cheek to the ground like the heel of a boot, but cannot drown you. Presently, our fascia is velcro
so small it works like water, too.”
1. A transitional word joining two phrases related paradigmatically but separated by great swaths
As in, “Valkyrie once flew overhead, present drones crowd out the sun and stars, exodus their
souls collect in some white tower with those of the dead.
2. In between, but only under circumstances in which two distinct entities (or qualities) cleave to
their likeness; in between-ness when and where there is no room (or capacity) for intrusion,
intervention, the encroachment of an em dash or underscore.
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 http://www.joe-milazzo.com. 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 https://likeoverflowing.com/