Cannibals Remixes by Maday and Jones-Pruett

It is my pleasure to share Josh Maday’s beautiful Cannibal’s remix: The Radiant Midnight Pallor of Obsidian,A Text Made (Mostly) from the Text of The Woman Who Lived Amongst the Cannibals by Robert Kloss

And this gorgeous trio of poems by Danielle Jones-Pruett:


I climb the narrow stairs, legs shaking.
My hands too weak to unbutton my dress,

I tug at the bodice, hear the material rip.
My muslin nightgown shudders down

my body, cool cotton rippling my flesh.
I climb into bed, pull the pearl-knotted

blanket to my chin. Light shines through
the thin white curtains mama made me

as a wedding gift. I’m trying to remember
the last time I was in bed during the day.

I wake to the nurse-lamp. My hair has been shorn.
I pass my hand over the prickle of what’s left

before falling back to dreams of too much sea.
Not enough air. How much time has passed

in the voices of my girls? They’re arguing
over whose turn it is to bake the bread, who

has to dirty her dress carrying in the kindling.
The baby’s fussing. Soon she’ll be wanting her milk.

The In-Between

He wakes to no heat in the bed. Dresses in the dark, not bothering to light the lamp. There’s a red squirrel on the branch outside his window. A sweater she’d almost finished slips off the chair-back, bone needles rattling onto the floor. He walks down the narrow staircase, wondering if it’s his body that’s gone crooked, or the house. Outside he looks for firewood, his boots sinking in the mushy yard. The garden has become a swamp. He hears a chirring whistle, moving in and out of time: it makes him miss the house in summer. Or even in snow, when you can see which way your steps have gone. He wants to tell her what it’s like to be alive like this. He doesn’t know what she’d say, but he knows her voice would rise and fall.

The Cannibal’s Wife

He sees far and straight, always marking
the line I’m to travel. It grows thinner
and thinner. When I complain, he binds
my feet with bones.

He knows when it will rain because insects
drop like stones. Knows the hot springs
are fat with fish. Always looks a wild dog
straight in the eye. He thinks of me

as a wild dog, impossible to tame. One night,
picking the meat from his teeth, he tells me
to get the gold in a man’s belly you must be willing
to build a big fire,

and I know he means he’d roast me
for even a glimmer of birds’ wings in my dreams.
I learn not to dream. Not to notice the glare
of water all around us.

I know everything he touches turns to dust: I live
with the taste of silt on my lips. And while he won’t
drink the wine I boil, believing it laced with sleep,
he will allow my songs.

Once he’s snoring, I bring out the dead bits he leaves
behind. Clavicles, knuckles, wish bones. I bathe them,
wrap them in sheepskin, until they’re almost as soft
as the babies I’ve lost to his hunger.

Danielle Jones-Pruett is assistant director of the Writers House at Merrimack College. Her poems have appeared in Best New Poets, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cider Press Review, Memorious, Southern Poetry Review and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award.



A Note

Three and a half years ago I folded a note I had written to myself into my wallet, and there it remained. I told no one about this note. It weathered and wore but it remained. Nearly every day for three and a half years this note proved a reminder to myself. This note read: I will be a writer. A week ago, I removed this note, finally, and burned it.

I had written the note with a certain idea of writer in mind—an official version of writer. I hope now I have finally killed that ambition. I realized, only last week, that I had become a writer, in a very true sense, finally, in my old age.

Writing has never given me greater joy or fulfillment than it does now. Even as a child, what enjoyment I gathered from writing was lost in the sense that a great distance separated my vision and my execution. Now, I feel no anxiety, no pressure, no sense of limitation. I feel no duty to anyone or anything other than to myself, and my desire to create work that is pure.

And I feel very good about the work I am creating. You will probably not agree with me, reader, but I believe it is a great book. Finally, I tell myself, I am creating a great book. This is all I need. This joy. This sense of creation and fulfillment. This process of slow, difficult labor, and the lovely work that I am slowly revealing. Yes, I believe it is a great book, in the truest sense of great.

The business side, then: I now have enough pre-orders to print 100 copies. Now, I am only focused on finishing my revisions and publishing the book. I will most likely only have 100 copies printed– I can see no demand for more than that—and it no longer matters—The old hopes to sell thousands of copies, be reviewed in major publications, and read to crowds…. no, no longer. Reader, there is nothing like the freedom found in failure, in floundering, in giving up the old ambitions and finding again—finally—the purity of the purpose—and in the old purity discovering again a sense of fearlessness and excitement once believed lost.

A Cannibals Remix Mix by Glen Binger

A skull appears in her cave. To this skull she wonders, “Who were you? What did you dream?” Chapter 17 brought her here:

  1. The maid brings you a ribbon tied box containing a gown of your husband’s choosing. He asks you to wear it.
  2. You do so by the tub and he never comes. You perceive only a grayness, a haze, and nothing of your husband words; indeed, you do not even remember his voice.
  3. You wait at the edge of his bed, rubbing your arms for the chill, considering the moment to come. It never does.
  4. And so you return to the room of books.
  5. Outside you wait, and how long the minutes seem, and finally when you knock upon the bathroom door you hear no answer.
  6. The maid brings you a scrawled note directing you to his chambers. He’s not there.
  7. You strain to reconstruct passages from the room of books. You see the ribbon tied box on the backside of your eyelids.
  8. You go back to his chambers. He is there, waiting for you by the tub. You stand before him and in the dim light you see the long suspected dome of his head. It shines like ribbon.
  9. He gathers you into his terrible warmth.
  10. He whispers the name he has given you.
  11. His voice is gray. And your eyes well with tears.
  12. Then you feel yourself change. Your eyes the while, intense and calculating and wild, and perhaps prepared to dart from the room, out a window.
  13. You wish to lie beyond the wall, for there wandered the souls of the dead. They surely must know.
  14. You imagine what theories he would have expounded in his studies.
  15. With your fingers at the ridge of your ribs, you whisper, “A toe first my dear.”
  16. You take the coarse sponge in hand. “Will you let me wash you?” He nods and so do you.
  17. And you drown each other, side-by-side, the grim wings of shoulder bones, cold against the porcelain, the spotless white tiles of the bathroom floor and the thrumming oil lights. The slick glistening oval of his skull, the pale flaps of his breasts, the graying tufts of hair. Your slim pale buttocks. All of it, together, before this skull.
BIO: Glen Binger writes books and helps people learn how to learn. He’s the author of eNJoy: Stories by the Sea and Figment. His other work can be found via Google, along with many answers to the questions haunting your sleep.