Oct 16 2017

Prose Republik-Shelley Marlow

It is fitting that Shelley Marlow should be the inaugural writer for Prose Republik for a number of reasons, a) she’s an outstanding writer, and, b) as we rapidly approach the twin specters of Halloween and El Dia de los Muertos, it is right and proper that this author is a witch. So here’s to all you seekers and wanderers in realms not within our philosophy. If you’d like to share a story, a poem, or a calavera here outside the bounds of this dream within a dream, please do, if not, please enjoy…

The Wind Blew Through Like a Chorus of Ghosts

by Shelley Marlow (new work in progress)

Chapter One. In Brooklyn, 2013

Pilar and Sylvie were both 55 and married to each other. A shaman friend pronounced them married one late night, and a jeweler in Ravello pronounced them one and the same. Sylvie was not female or male, had never fit into binary ideas of gender and is more what is now called, gender-nonconforming. Pilar, who was very organized, presented more clearly as female and was due for a vacation from her job.

They hadn’t been to Italy since 2009, to see Charles in Fondi, Gore on the Amalfi Coast, Simone in Roma, and Annalisa in Bologna.

Sylvie thought of their friend Wendy who had moved to England 30 years ago. Wendy was one of the sensitive, unusual people they had met in 1983 at art school. They were fond of each other. Wendy had boyfriends and Sylvie pursued feminine folk.

Wendy had sent warm letters to Sylvie about her family life in Devonshire. Sylvie never wrote back and they lost touch. Every time she thought of visiting Wendy over the years, an inexplicable wall of fear appeared in their head. Sylvie searched online for Wendy for days until they found her.

In their email exchange, Wendy asked when was Sylvie going to visit her? And to please do so soon.

Sylvie heard the wheels in their head skid loudly from the idea of travels in lovely Italy to switch tracks to travel to the UK. There were many reasons to switch: A witch exhibition in Edinburgh; Pilar has friends to visit in Fife, Scotland; take a bath in Bath; Sacred Avebury; Ease of English, ease of understanding English-English, because of Doctor Who. Sylvie understood much of Italian, but possibly because of telepathy and also because of the particularly emotional delivery.

After they bought tickets to the UK, Sylvie woke with dreams-full of fear and trepidation about the trip.

Sylvie asked a channeler friend to look into why they had so much anxiety about traveling to the UK. The channeler told Sylvie that they had a past life in the UK as a young witch, who was executed at 19, in the year, 1619.

Sylvie wept and grieved their short past life as a witch.



Thin pale blue green light bled through the early morning curtains. Sylvie woke up early, tossed covers off and quietly as to not wake Pilar, rolled out of bed. Sylvie tiptoed through the archives room, up to the front room to paint. A kestrel looked in through the front window. At their desk, the sun reflected off of the new building across the street that blocked the view of the sunrise, and broke into four smaller star globes of yellow, peach, orange, and red lights. They were thankful that the sunlight still got in. Good day sunshine.

Sylvie dipped a pointed brush in black ink then dragged the ink across a sheet of rice paper and made a perfect arced line. They stared at the line and waited to decide to what other lines were implied on the page, what another line could build. They looked around the sunny room. The aloe grew out of its pot, and reached up ecstatically, the dragon plant’s branches grew to the ceiling then curved down and looped up again, one set of fronds burst up and joined the aloe in an ecstatic prayer, and the Portulaca dipped down below it’s planter edge, and then looped up, too, in sexy praise, with tiny white blooms, each petal the size of a pin head. The basil plant was bushy, and the baby rosemary plant, stood thin and shy.

She thought, before a long trip I always fall in love with my studio, the warmth of the morning light, the plants and my pillow that I can’t take with me.

Their eyes stung in the sunlight, so she headed back into the darkened bedroom, and dove back into bed next to Pilar, under the covers. Pilar got out bed to check in remotely to her work after taking a piss.

Sylvie drifted back to sleep on their left side, their right arm framed their oval face, their nose in their armpit toward the hairs under their short sleeve.

A cell phone buzzed. They thought they’d turned off all notifications, but poked a hand out from under the covers, and looked on the phone’s bright screen. In the quiet of morning, everyone’s words in letters float loudly from the screen. Sylvie turned it off without reading a thing. The letters dissolved in silence.

Silence was welcome and broke only by a distant siren that morphed into a dog’s bark. The cheap clock tick ticked. The old refrigerator sighed. The air cleaner hissed nearby. Pilar coughed from the front room. Sylvie closed her eyes and saw 8 point stars on a Persian rug that floated in blackness.

Shelley Marlow received an Acker Award for excellence in avant-garde writing in 2017. Marlow “writes with a fluid quality that pulls the reader through… twining the workaday and the trippy together. Marlow makes a strong case for love in the face of all as the truest magic this life has to offer.” (Lambda Literary) Read about the new art edition of Two Augusts In a Row In a Row here: https://publicationstudio.biz/collections/pilot-editions/products/two-augusts-in-a-row-in-a-row-limited-artists-edition-by-shelley-marlow


10 Responses to Prose Republik-Shelley Marlow
  1. J Almada says:

    J Almada

    A girl is driving down the highway, when the truck behind her starts flicking on his high beams periodically. She’s freaked out, but no matter how fast she goes, or which little side road she heads down, this guy keeps following her. Finally, she makes it home, followed by the truck, and jumps out of her car. The truck driver gets out, too, holding a gun… but it turns out he was only flashing his high beams because there was a man with a knife in the back of her car who kept reaching up to slash her.

  2. emorales says:

    Do not stand at my grave and weep.
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glints on the snow.
    I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
    I am the gentle Autumn’s rain.

    When you awaken in the morning hush,
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry:
    I am not there, I did not die.

  3. Rosa Barocio says:

    R Barocio
    One late night, there was a man driving to his house up in North Carolina. While he was driving he stoped since he saw a crying young lady in a pink dress who was hitch hiking for a ride home. As the man tried to calm her down, she informed him that she had just came from her prom and how her date had raped her. He immediately took her home and when he told her parents about what the young lady had said to him the parents just looked down and informed him that their daughter had died 7 years ago. Ever since, every year on prom night, there is always a different man knocking at the door of young lady’s parents house.

  4. Monica Carranza says:

    M Carranza
    There once was an empty road, built on a hill, cars would pass by one by one lonely in the night time. A pregnant woman bleeding would wait on the side of the road. People would pick her up because they noticed she was pregnant. She would hop in but would only sit in the backseat of the car. A couple of minutes would pass by and she wouldn’t talk or answer any questions. The next thing one knew she was gone, vanished without a trace. Turns out she was a ghost, killed in a car accident on that same road and was in search of help.

  5. Zach says:

    Z Scheufele

    Spooky skeleton
    companion of the moonlight
    to give you a fright

    Spooky skeleton
    calavera you are called
    white bony and bald

    Spooky skeleton
    help celebrate Halloween
    and those in between

    Spooky skeleton
    perfect for Halloween night
    moonlight shining bright

    Spooky skeleton
    always smiling with secrets
    ready to be told

    Spooky skeleton
    stay in the closet tonight
    or you will be sold

  6. K. Ruvalcaba says:

    This is a story about a lady with no face

    She walks the streets

    on All Hallows’ Eve

    Traumatizing the lives

    of little kiddies

    She walks with a quick pace

    You’ll never see her coming

    for she has no face

    Shit, it’s too late

    Another soul claimed

    She eats the faces of her victims

    in hopes that one day

    she can see again

    This is a story about a lady with no face

  7. C Carrillo says:


    In your sweet face everything is beautiful
    because I look at death, I’m happy;
    when I contemplate you,
    emotions give me strength
    if I see in your eyes my sparkle.
    Life plays with those
    who die by the lives they live;
    With a dreamy minty gaze
    and I’m starting to consume you by your neck…
    My tongue sweetens if I look at you
    little tasteful skulls of many flavors,
    I feel sorry if I break you, if you shine,
    the sugar brighten my sigh,
    sequins of snow in its glow:
    death is the color that seduces me.

    By: Julie Sopetran

  8. A Ruano says:

    A Ruano

    There once was a little girl whose mother was sick. She was told not to bother her mother and to let her sleep. She went to her mother anyways and there she heard her mother struggling to breathe. She heard a voice tell her alert her father, and she did. Her mother was taken to the hospital, and when asked how she knew she should get help, the little girl said, “Someone told me to,” but only the mother and the little girl were in the room at the time.

  9. T. Gonzalez says:

    T. Gonzalez

    Cars zoomed by and the boy watched them go

    A rainbow of vehicles zoomed in a perfect flow

    His mother warned him of staring from his window

    He felt safe as long as he kept his head low

    One dark car stopped the trance in its tracks

    The car had seen him, as it slowly pulled back

    He shut the shutters and yelled to his mom in danger,

    “Don’t answer any doorbells, for it’s a stranger!”

    His mother ignored him as she headed for the door

    Panicked and afraid, the boy quickly hit the floor!

    He crawled underneath a table as the stranger’s feet stomped on the mat

    The stranger man had with him the deadliest baseball bat

    He knew it was over for him for he had been a bad kid

    But maybe if he hid enough, he would not be caught for what he did

    The man stared down and looked

    Just as the boy’s body froze and shook

    Eye to eye and face to face is when he thought,

    “I should have hidden under a table, that was not a glass top”

  10. Nicholas says:

    N. Villanueva

    “El Cucuy” also knows as the “boogeyman” is a creature who preys on children who have misbehaved their parents. He can show up at any given moment in the night. In your closet. Under your bed. At the foot of your mattress. Always listen to your parents, or the boogeyman will find you.

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