A 7-Step Guide to Be Beautiful

Author: Mel A. Riverwood

1. Wake up joyful and refreshed

we rise and we walk.
no need to wake up when we haven’t slept.

we wander in the dark that we know,
without seeing,
to light the one candle we need.

a flame inhabited by our own ghost.

now the ghost in the lighthouse says
‘it’s stupid o’clock again.’
he sees a wreckage going out at sea.

a corpse rotten to the bone,
which unearthed itself alone;
somehow, it remembers how to stand.

flesh hanging from frame,
all organs exposed.
six times they buried us,
seven times we rose.

2. Have yourself a healthy breakfast, baby <3

they don’t expect us to eat.
to eat is to live, to live is to think.
they think we don’t think, and therefore we don’t eat.

but the longer the sleep, the bigger the hunger;
we’ll show them we can devour as much as they did.

come now, lovelies, prepare the feast.
feed the fire and warm the pot,
gnash your teeth and unleash your beast,
tie the roast with a delicate knot.

bring the loveliest ones to the front.
vultures don’t expect a decaying corpse to rise again and hunt.

3. Shower time :)

‘here’s the wreckage again,’ says the ghost in the lighthouse.
‘it’s coming to port, afloat, adrift,
it will sink. it’s torn by a rift.

what storms has it seen, what maelstroms, what tides?
what warmth has it lacked to stand silent and slack
in the falls?
does it wish it weren’t cold?

well, it still hasn’t sunk, gotta keep a cool head.
after all, it’s not drunk yet, nor is it dead.

it’s high tide, the waves flow over the corpse.
come low tide, it rises and walks.’

4. The BEST skincare routine ever, you will be glowing after this

stretch your new skin dress over your broken bones
to hide the strange angles;
stitch up all the wounds that were caused by their stones
at the single light of your candle.

then look at it, stare at it, count the imperfections
think, think again, about all the corrections.
strangle the words, your lips are sealed over.
you hear your reflection scream bloody murder.

the smoother the better, each flaw makes it worse;
but the blessed today will choose to be cursed.
they want us brighter, six windows of shame,
but we want it darker; we kill the flame.

5. Time for makeup! you’re bold and beautiful and I love you

they don’t want to see it, only we’re supposed to know,
our perfect must be invisible, the everyday normal.
be the pearl, but god forbid you be the one to shine;
they will be the first to see you’re stepping out of line.

we refuse to be the grace
to their self-sufficient decadence;
if they deserve our beauty, then we deserve our truth:
they will see, soon; we are ugly too.

they sew the wind, it will be our pleasure to see them reap the storm.
play the role, control the shape so that we fit their form,
sing, ensiren, ensnare, enchant, unhinge the jaw, go for the throat,
strike, drown them in their own sea and sail on their own boats.

6. Walk out there and SLAY my darling

angels now are worshipped; but at first they were feared.
we got the shame, we took the blame, our name was rhymed with villain,
so be it. if we are evil, if we are vile,
why do they still want us down the aisle?

they drew blood first. smile; let’s bare our teeth
and bite the hand that held us beneath.

we polished our anger, we made it a knife
and now we will use it to walk safely at night.
we cannot sing until we tear their hands from our necks.
we will unlearn the art of staying dead.

7. Don’t forget self-care!

tie yourself to your pyre, to that kitchen chair
break your throne, your pride, your hands, cut your hair
and from your bleeding lips, draw the broken, the scarred, the whole, the monstrous

be the tear falling in heaven,
the laughter in the storm;
and when we will have triumphed,
we will all walk home.

find your voice again. use it to the extreme
you were born a whole being; one ready to scream.

Bonus: a playlist for my witches to fill the silence while you do all this

  1. Waking Up (Acoustic) –– PVRIS
  2. Blood in the Wine –– AURORA
  3. Silk –– Wolf Alice
  4. You Want It Darker –– Anita Lester (Leonard Cohen cover)
  5. 25 –– The Pretty Reckless
  6. Dream Girl Evil –– Florence + the Machine
  7. Amen –– Halestorm

Potassium Chlorate

Author: JJ

What about a match burns?
What about a match catches?

Keepsakes in backpack pockets left there to
Crack spines and crumble skulls,
levigated reds cling to surrounding cottons.
Open hands damaged by powdered glass;
Omitted is their visible scarring. Chemicals never to
Oxidize; never to fulfil. Render me purposeless.

At Night

Author: RK

[Content Warning: Suicide]

At night
When you listen to the moon breathe
When your life is worth throwing into the fire
And your veins are worth being sliced open to see the light of stars
Honour them

Honour those who walk dead, still fighting to live
Those with gold in their eyes
Those who died and were absorbed by the soil
Those who live inside your mind
Those you killed to become who you are

Honour those whose tears never reached the ground
Honour those who fell
Into crying arms of a never opened heart

For everything that is and all that will be
Honour them

Take it all in
the tears, the absurdity
the loyals, the sad ones
the lost enemies
the friends
the brothers
the Love
the eternal

Feel it all
in every bone and breath.
It takes more than life to kill you

The Bee’s Thorn

Image by edmondlaphoto from Pixabay

Image: © edmondlafoto, Pixabay, source.

Author: Lyra Willows

The bee’s thorn stings me
Like the Rose’s on the Nightingale’s bosom
And my song, once melodious,
Has spiraled into a dreadful scream
As my shrinking throat
Feels as though it were scraped
By a razor blade.

Golden Willow Trees


Image: © Lenka Sevcikova, Pixabay, source.

Author: Lyra Willows

The fireworks gracefully fall in the shape
Of golden weeping willow trees.
Funny, I thought
For I have a willow weeping in my heart
Like the young girl in the myth my grandmother once told me long ago.

A Piece of Me


Image: © Engin Akyurt, Pixabay, source.

Author: Lyra Willows

In twelve weeks, please take a piece of me in your pocket
And carry me around wherever you go.
I want to be a part of every new experience and sensation.
I want to see all the new places you will see
I want to meet all the new people you will meet
I want to smell all the new smells you will encounter.
Take a piece of me with you before you go,
And let the rest remaining behind perish for a year
A whole year, before you come back and revive it.
Let that piece breathe the air you will breathe
And let it hear every sound and silence you will stumble upon.
Oh please, I beg of you, take a piece of me with you.
Take it and keep it close to your heart.
To keep you company if you ever get lonely.
Take a piece of me to make you feel safe whenever you are anxious.
Take a piece of me, to melt in your chest and always keep you warm.
Take a piece of me to remind you of how much I love you, and therefore,
How much of a wonderful human being you are.
Take a piece of me, to feel every laughter of yours explode inside my chest back home.
Take a piece of me to feel every tear run down your cheek,
For me to know when to contact you to check if you’re okay.
Take a piece of me, and hold it tight in your hand
As if you were afraid to let it go.
Take a piece of me, and when you come back in a year,
Give it back to me
And enrich me with all your new and mesmerizing memories.
Take a piece of me
And fill it up with all the love and care you can every time you think of me
And give it back to me
Give it back
To restore
Happiness and peace
Within me.

Extinction Gardening, Vol. 1

Author: Manuel Ferrazzo

i overdosed on 21st century

[Content Warning: Substance use, brutality, vulgarity, and sexual violence]

i snorted a skyscraper today.
i let its inhabitants flow in my civilised-white-ash nostrils and
i felt the rush of productivity,
the euphoria of paid slavery,
the lights of steel cogs and fire.

i remembered the first minutes of this millennium,
when the savages attacked other savages,
(which is which?)
and all their lands of god responded by violence.

astral bodies became our new gods,
pushing their product to gather new herds
all around the world.
i remember when they wanted to
crucify christ on live tv,
thinking people would pay to see it.
they would. of course they fucking would.

we raped our planet
and blamed her
because she just couldn’t shut her legs.
i mean, mother nature is a whore.
hunger? what for, hunger doesn’t exist.

i remembered when we handed our power
to hatred, or cowardice,
self-righteousness on all ends,
venomous rats fighting over details,
blindly fighting the other
because they’re other,
because they’re stupid,
because they’re savages,
because they’re black, white, believers, apostates,

the announcers feeding on fear on one end,
and on the other,
the tin-foiled hats started to talk.
governments are nothing. they mean nothing, in our western world,
they have no power without corporations.
government and corporation:
the king and queen
of our game of chess.

i remembered how we liked to push the weak around,
just for the fuck of it.
is idiocy malignancy? can they live without one another?
who knows? maybe the little birds
singing and screaming
through the cage of light
can explain it to us.
when does stupidity become consciousness
“i’ve never been more awake”
said the dreamer to imaginary nightmares.
truth is relative, baby.
“i’m an ally, he said. just let me fuck you.”

i remembered the neons, on the district,
where red meat finds the mouths of carnivorous rats.
they wear suits and talk about family
and cry for forgiveness when they’re not careful enough.
their victims are called Aileen,
they’re the fairer sex so you think they can’t kill you.
but they don’t eat and they don’t sleep
and they let trauma consume them.

americans love rorschach.
the black and the white are all that they see,
and all blackness is evil, and all whiteness is pure.
they hate when their propaganda use rainbows
to feast on the oppressed,
because they’d rather be brainwashed all alone
rather than sharing their lobotomy.
kill the gays, they cried to god.
kill the muslims,
kill the pigs,
kill them all.

we build the west on the back of the poor,
and otherness is feared as much as familiarity.
look at our shiny towers!
look at our watches, our art, our language!
so perfect.
let us debate all these things in the most secluded place in the world,
with complicated words and caviar
and useless books nobody gives a fuck about,
or let the artists who don’t know
shit about what they’re talking about (like me)
tell you you’re evil and you deserve to die.

like library rats,
they yell about ethics and literature,
fascinated by a useless field
that grows something mostly tasteless,
except when the rain falls on the right leaf,
wherever this leaf came from.
they think themselves as the new thinkers of our world
when their destiny is either to rise amongst the elite
and get infected by their greed,
or die forgotten amongst the useless poor.

you all deserve to die in these gutters.
because misanthropy is cool,
look at me,
i’m not like other boys.
i breathe genocide
and smell of supremacy,
but i don’t even realise it.
nietzsche has never been more popular
amongst self-made men,
even though we all know that,
like the rest of us,
they can’t understand jack shit
of what that nietzsche has written.

who knows who we are.
i mean,
we become another person
[insert reference to the ship of Theseus]

And yet,
while the noise blinds us,
we’re still here.
In the ruins of skyscrapers,
We remain.

Image: © Manuel Ferrazzo

haiku for a nuclear winter

the white ash cracking
all the dead skeleton trees
sing doom with the wind

Image: © Manuel Ferrazzo

The Eye That Escapes (Consume Me)

[Content Warning: Profanity]

This eye won’t see you,
when you look at it.
It will look the other way,
to the sky, to its God,
and towards indifference.

The white blinds you,
and the fine dark lines around them
drive you off the edge of the world.
The irises, kaleidoscopical,
Sing in mine.

The red appeals to taste,
reminds me of innocence lost
and whoring-Mary, mother of Christ.
You would devour the apple,
if there was no God.

The soft silk hides,
leather binds,
you and my eyes.
Flowers pierced with swords,
and toys with holy crosses.

Image: © Manuel Ferrazzo

this world is gone, yet there’s still beauty

This world is gone.

But in its ruins, we find our souls.
When all breaks, we become one again.

Yet with all souls comes the impending doom,
the element of fear that keeps us awake
every single night.

Fear of losing everything,
when we know we have already lost it.
Fear of smiling,
when there’s nothing to smile about anymore.

This fear guides us back to the light,
back to the hope and the happiness we once had,
it nurses us back to health,
keeps us safe from despair,
from the perspective of our nothingness.

Because, even in a broken world,
there is beauty.
Death is just the Hierophant of Life.
And even if Life won’t have us,
it will endure,
it will prevail, without us.

Image: © Manuel Ferrazzo


yearning for the roots,
growing out of the heads of children,
grains of milk-sand
drag the leaves across the night sky.
reaching for the beyond,
abandoning the oneness of all gods,
searching through star-filled nightmares,
lead the lost to find the crescent moon they dream of.

Image: © Manuel Ferrazzo

from The Truth

Image: © by Andres Stadelmann

Author: Andres Stadelmann

It was late August when I realized my Nonno was going to die
He had relapsed heavily
Never left unattended
And although we had not seen him for weeks
It was there, at the beach, that I crawled into my parents’ bed and cried with them
I was 11.
A week later we were back home with him
He barely inched out of his room
Limping towards the bathroom
And I, stuck, watching from the hallway
An image framed from a movie
(I’m still stuck there to this day)
The day he felt better we were told it was time to say goodbye
And we did
But the next day
Standing up on the toilet bowl
(My father had lifted me up
To hug me while he cried)
I started to imagine something special had happened during that last farewell
A final stroke on the cheek
A soft smile

It was only years later
When I saw him holding his own father’s hand
while we each took our turns in that room
He looked at me knowingly while I sobbed
And held the old man while he died
(He didn’t cry at the funeral)
It was there that I realized that it wasn’t a physical sign,
something we could hold on to
But that the dead always call out for us before they’ve died
They know nothing will fill that void
So they just tell us

Every day that passes I look more like my father
This thing, I have struggled against it a lot
I’ve wanted to tear it away from me
Yet it’s always there
It comes out in spurts
Fierce and without warning
And then it stays
It marks me forever
And this thing consumes me
It erases years
Or rather it adds them
I think of that middle-aged man
Of all that he lived through
Of the sweat he shed
The blood
The semen
But for what?
And for whom?
I feel like I’ve already lived enough to be able to understand it
But not even cigarettes
Or fucking beer
Don’t change the facts
We have the same body
Made to renounce everything
To vent without regard
An anger that makes you sweat
And that child
I erased his name

But it’s always children who know how to speak the truth
Like those clouds suspended in bursts in the blue sky
While the lightning behind thunders in silence

Société Anonyme

Author: Andres Stadelmann

There are many bridges in Paris
Rive gauche
Rive droite
But once you’re on them
On which side do you fall?
Towards the muck and towards the grass
Where they write out your name
Or perhaps to the decks
Where they punch the ground below
And to all those sleepers
Without pillows
Without dreams
Did you spill your old bottle caps
Did you use them as your dirt?

On the river two boats joust
While in the capital their anthem is screamed
And we looked as they streamed
Sometimes blue
Only green
But the little girl watched
As I took down their flag
And her uncles waddled away with their teeth all in flaps
Those old men know not to trust shady cameras
Yet for fame
Yet for glory
We could not keep our coats
But for love

The bridges in Paris cradle cars and lights
From the cold
From the rain
And in a small pint bar
We sit and rehearse
How to stumble and be still
But never to cry

I’m sad again
But that’s ok

The Lines

Author: RKC

Tomorrow I will write the lines
Write the lines that are perfect like a bullet in the afternoon
Lines to feed the air and keep me sane
To burn like a cigarette at the end of the day

Old lines have lost their taste
Been lost in my longings along with my memories

It’s only normal then,
That I should save myself
and pour me whole,
In empty scotch bottles and blank sheets of paper

Read my soul in these old lines
As I find my enemies
In these old bones


Author: RKC

The legs of a woman shouldn’t be pretty
How could they?
With all the burden of immoral and evil acts they have encountered and suffered?
With what they’ve seen and lived?
They shouldn’t have to carry all the weight they do
Their smiles shouldn’t still burn white
They have seen the worst of us and still take us to their heavens
They still believe in us
They shouldn’t make us better
They shouldn’t have to
They shouldn’t

And yet they do,

Roxane’s Poems

Image: ©️ beauty_of_nature – Image modified by Roxane Kokka – Pixabay License. Source.

Author: Roxane Kokka

An eruptive feeling invades my chest
As my head grows feverish
And my cheeks warmer than the sun’s kiss.
My pale skin turns into a scarlet shade
And I can feel the blood pumping twice as fast into my veins
All the way to my fingertips.
My jaws are sore from laughing
And my cheeks from smiling
My eyes are on the brink of tears
And each breath struggles to escape my lips.
How funny this feeling is,
This strange feeling of falling in love.

Woodpecker kisses
It all still feels surreal to me, like a dream
With your face bathing in the dim light’s gleam
And your eyes shimmering between your curls
While all of my senses rejoiced in twirls.
My entire body reminisces
All your electric woodpecker kisses,
While the lasting fragrance of your perfume
Makes my chest and memory feel in bloom.
And I can still taste your lips on my own,
As I can still hear the sound of your moan.
My skin keeps record of every inch
Your fingertips touched; not once did I flinch
For your presence restored much peace in me,
Erased feelings of fear from my memory,
And brought back to me a sense of harmony.

Kiss me
Kiss me ’til I can feel my lips no longer
Kiss me like you’ve kissed none other
Kiss me ’til my whole body is shaking
Kiss me ’til my lips are aching
Kiss me ’til the sun rises
Kiss me in all your disguises
Kiss me as though it were the last time you could
Kiss me the way you would in the deepest, darkest wood
Kiss me ’til my mouth bruises
Kiss me as though you were pulling ruses
Kiss me ’til my southern lips are wet
Kiss me ’til our souls have met.

Bring the Boy Back Home

Image: © Eloïse Wenger

Author: Eloïse Wenger


It’s on the bench seat of a coach that I emerge
Panting and looking around a green and red train
When suddenly I hear the grim sound of a dirge.

I raise my eyes and meet the shape of Kurt Cobain
He turns his head and from my mouth escapes a scream
For a huge hole over his ear displays his brain.

Shocked, he stares at me with his eyes blue as a stream.
Then jokingly he shrugs saying: ʻCome as you are!ʼ
Horror! It can’t be true! It can’t be but a dream!

ʻWell look at you!ʼ He tells me, taking his guitar.
At this moment, I witness the blood on my chest,
That vanishes ‘til there remains only a scar.

At this sight I cannot help but to feel oppressed.
I try to ask my fellow what all this meant,
But he doesn’t answer, seemingly not impressed.

On this pause the train leaves and we start our descent.


It’s difficult to say how long we’ve been travelling.
The sky’s neither any colour nor truly dark
And he refuses to say where we are going.

But before losing any hope for a landmark,
The quiet wagon slows down and halts at a station
On a sign is written Crystal Palace Park.

Through my window I spot with mortification
On the platform half lying down on the cold ground
An old woman in a state of desperation.

She doesn’t move for it looks like her legs are bound
And as she keeps weeping like a beast you slaughter,
I see iron devouring her legs like a hound.

But now I recognize the face of the monster.
At least my father used to call this witch like this.
Next to me Kurt shouts with a smile: ʻHi, Mrs. Thatcher!ʼ

The train starts up, leaving her shade to the abyss.


ʻIt’s strange to see we can pity someone like herʼ
I stay silent but he keeps talking to me:
ʻAre you afraid of the meaning of “forever”?ʼ

Existential questions are not my cup of tea.
But I can’t think about it for too long
As we stop again at a station called Horley.

After a while, I hear the echo of a song
I turn my head and notice on a bench a dude,
Whose success was a long time ago seen as strong.

But who has now for only listener solitude.
From his mouth I hear: ʻImagine there’s no heaven..ʼ
He is whispering it with such an attitude.

This man who was the voice of peace is now broken.
With his tired hands he cries covering his head
And from his nose his pair of glasses have fallen.

Why is this man there? This question fills me with dread.
I want to ask him so many things. I speak: ʻHey, sir..ʼ
But I feel the wheels beneath me moving ahead.

My wound starts bleeding again as my senses blur.


When I wake up again, my eyes are still bright red.
My fellow musician is looking for my gaze.
However, I prefer to ignore him instead.

The tears inside my mad being continue to raise
When suddenly I notice we have stopped again
Like petrified, I can’t pronounce a single phrase.

I choose to look after having counted to ten.
Haywards Heath… I think I know where we are going.
My thoughts are broken by the vision of two men.

One is holding a skull to which he is talking.
The other one, louder, is praying for mercy
His eyes are filled with terror as he is crying.

He yells: ʻMy God, my God, look not so fierce on me!ʼ
But it’s only when he shouts ʻCome not, Lucifer!ʼ
That the entire atmosphere becomes gloomy.

A second, maybe a year, then a great clamour.


The noise is followed by the grinding of some gears.
Too late to fly, the train turns into a rocket.
Landscapes are running, whistles are drilling my ears.

If it goes on like that, I will need a bucket
Though my companion is not suffering like me,
Dreaming at the window, one hand in his pocket.

But the train eventually stops, setting me free.
The doors open and I violently rush outside
Where I now contemplate the beauty of a sea.

Appeased by the slow movement of the rising tide,
Small tears of joy drop and turn my vision to a blur.
After a while I notice Kurt has reached my side.

We stay still until I’ve wiped away the last tear.
ʻAre you happy with our final destination?ʼ
I nod seeing standing before us my dear Pier.

ʻBrighton..ʼ this word flies from my mouth like salvation.
ʻThe place I was born inʼ, ʻAnd where peace will find you.ʼ
His sentence is followed by new agitation.

ʻThere is so much my friend you still need to go throughʼ
Whistles fill my head again; the ground starts shaking.
ʻSee you Daniel!ʼ… ʻDaniel! Doctor! He made it through!ʼ

I feel the hand of my mum and hear her crying.

Tribute to Daniel McLean

“Grasp” & “Lost”

Author: M.W.


please hold me,
i feel like moonlight, streaming through the gaps in your fingers,
light and glorious and not there at all.
like a figment of a stranger’s imagination,
i cannot grasp at myself.


She is lost
Out there in the fields
That go on forever never yielding
To the forests that used to cover everything.

She starts, she stops,
She walks without knowing
Why her eyes fill with tears
When she hears the larks sing.

About her pretty hair,
About her pretty eyes,
Crowned with thistles
She sings too