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the milk sea

Blacktar Baby is carried,
deposited like a little Moses
in his feathered swaddling at the shore.

seas bathed in mist; sweet vapor
grassy as mare’s breath.

a small window in the ivory expanse
widens at the horizon…
an antechamber filled with echoes.

the distant alto chorale grows luminous.

a cabal of gold foil.
(vocal polyphony and harpsong)

a white flag somewhere drifts easily in the wind.

heart first… vision closes, softly.
smooth waves of foam wash across his eyelids,
soothing. cleansing.

As a pearl is rent in reverse,
an eon of layered material dissipates
to unveil the beautiful child at the core.

For 3 days Blacktar Baby swims.
As he presses forward through the ocean,
beads of tar peel away and bob on the surface.

day i

scent of coal, wood, petroleum, ammonia.

volatile methanol drifts freely in the tidepools.
taints the skin of the milk-sea with iridescent tar-veins-
black fluids that marbleize and hang in the cream.

volatile tar-liquids at the surface touch oxygen and combust-

Veils of Fire ::
scarlet jets lick the sky for a microsecond and vanish.

Frescos of Smoke ::
images hang in the air and dissipate.

    hear the chimes, did you know
    / that the wind when it blows
    / is older than Rome
    / and all of this sorrow...


Blacktar Baby treads milk.
sweet cream & tar thicken in smoky curds.
old membranes slip away,
disseminate in lactic acid.

Blacktar Baby dreams

of gut flora, sweating;

fungal nodes bursting through pores,
welling up into corpuscular acne.
bulbous mounds of black waste.

cleansing is an unlovely process.

10,000 doves dive along the surface of the sea,
skimming away thick layers of tar & cream.
Around the bend, mist of rosewater.

day iii

what kindness is this
what gentle hands

Blacktar Baby still treads,
slower now- struggling, in a near-solid sea.
curds thicken into thick, creamy butter.

The ring of doves circles, skims the sea. Both milk & tar disperse, and as the last dove skims the last morsel of butter from the child’s eyes, the doves too become still, their wings beating slower
                                                                             slower - -
they hang; statuesque in the air,
forming an arc of white wings.
a colorless rainbow,
like St. Louis or a time-lapse of Pegasus.

The Choreographer
acknowledges him; newly formed.
his cheekbones bright and smooth;
his breastplate strong and fearless.
Freckles skim the surface, clear on clean skin,
and bright eyes gleam like sapphires.

She traces a finger along his cheek,
with certainty, pride of character development.
cradles the nape of his neck, with sure hands.

Their eyes meet softly;
clear of vision, pure of heart.
With a gentle shove, he’s through the arc.

get going, kid.



A+HRRA award summer 2023

The Summer 2023 Arts + Human Rights Research Award will be open to submissions this summer (approx. 14:51 UTC June 21 2023 - 06:50 UTC September 23rd 2023). The topic of the Summer 2023 A+HRRA is AI, Computer Logic, and Human Rights. 


th_Eroses, an arts publication, is awarding $100 for a work of artistic / literary research that addresses or concerns human rights in conjunction with this season's topic, AI, Computer Logic, and Human Rights. The term 'research' here is intended to indicate the process of creation, exploration, and discovery, rather than the compiling of archival facts and/or materials, although the compiling of archival facts and/or materials may be a part of the process of exploration and discovery, or a part of the process of shaping the path or direction of discovery. This is intended to be an open-ended premise, to support the range of work that may occur in artists' and writers' unique processes. 


From the UN: 


"What Are Human Rights? Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination."


Successful submissions may, but are not required to, focus on investigative, process-based exploration and material discovery. Successful submissions may couple rigorous (or subjective) analysis with documentation of investigative, process-based exploration and discovery. Submissions do not need to be factual; forms of literary fiction, subjective expression, abstraction, choreography, and/or non-narrative presentations will be considered as well. Submissions in all languages and media are welcomed. 


The goal of this award is to amplify artistic voices that inquisitively and critically approach the pressing issues of our time, to create a habitat where a unique form of creative journalism can thrive, and to provide th_Eroses readers with artistic / literary insights into key issues.


Please note: If your work is submitted and selected for the award, you consent to the publication of your submitted work by th_Eroses now and in the future. Not all submissions will win the award; there may be one submission chosen, or multiple submissions, or none of the submissions. Selected submissions will receive an email of acceptance and next steps. 


Please submit work to with "Entry: Arts + Human Rights Research Award" in the subject line.

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