Stella Corso
Russ Woods
Justin Carter
Caroline Crew
Ashley Farmer
Justin Runge
Carleen Tibbetts
John Mortara
Lindsey Webb
C Dylan Bassett
Rob MacDonald
Nat Sufrin
Nathan Kemp
Dillon J. Welch
Jennifer Pilch
Daniela Olszewska

Carleen Tibbetts

James Dean Transcends the Infinite Lack


"'I didn't ask,' says The Universe, 'to be born.'"-Alice Notley


Natalie Wood is such a bitch

to James Dean
at the Griffith Observatory field trip.

She glances back at him while her
highwaisted-jeans-wearing boyfriend
touches her face.

Their eyes meet in projector starlight
as the docent drones,
"destroyed as we began, in a burst of gas and fire."
Her boyfriend slashes his tires

and they knife-fight in front of a giant telescope.

It's so existential!

A telescope he could look into
yet out from into
the freezing void

the freezing void
sum of all possible interactions,

cold stark lack of everything,
which of course means nothing,
which of course means everything.

She powders her nose.
She climbs onto his fender.
She giggles at drawn blood.
It makes little girls want to be astronauts.

So, let's construct a situation
from our little wormhole mouths.
Let's strangely violate our localities.

We do not have an argument for the smoothness of the interior.
We can choose to ignore the small
force between us or we can address the void.

Reader, I am addressing the boy in the Planetarium,
the one with the gun, the one who died
with mismatched socks and one shoe on,
alone in the cosmos waving a gun asking
whether or not the world would end during the night or at dawn.

Reader, your firewall might kill anything that passes through.
What is felt when falling through the horizon?

Shock waves.
Smooth evaporate.
The very origins.

Stars feel they must go home to die in you.
Reader, please find an elegance.
Please know you are absolved by the sky.
Nobody really knows anyone.



Carleen Tibbetts lives in Iowa City. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Coconut, H_NGM_N, Sink Review, dusie, decomP, inter|rupture, Ilk, DREGINALD, Thrush, The Laurel Review, and other journals.