Welcome to the third issue of Meta Mag [the zine within a zine]...because every zine should have even more zine; because Charleston's creativity should be flaunted...creatively. Every month. One theme. Writing. Art. Photography. The talent of Charleston in one collective.
So this month, our theme is... spirituality! But with each different monthly theme, be prepared to brave the dark, the bold, the delightful, the decadent, the strange.
Submissions open to anyone in Charleston or the surrounding sprawl: poetry, prose, lyrics, short stories, excerpts, digital art, mixed media, photoshopped photography, analog photography (both are hip now, anyways, right?), anything you can argue/haggle that fits into the categories of writing, art, and photography.
Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org and become super famous now.
The theme of the next issue will be: Money! [if it pi$$es you off or you love it... if you think society needs it or is above it, tell us and submit it!]
"Healer" by Allen Andrews (Cpt. Awol)
She sings to me at night before I sleep the softest lullabies of tragic self acceptance, carving stones with which she lays an indestructible foundation for her temple step pyramid of magic transmutation. Evolution, she climbs faster through the clouds, extended finger in the face of highest heavens because she refuses to forget the beauty of the deepest oceans. Giant squid, she coils tentacles of warm embrace around my my raging spirit to guide me through the inked out depths of these uncharted waters. Navigating with light that bursts forth from her tongue, her melody reminding me of secret conduits to the birthplace of my soul, a world i casted into the sea with bitter wrath like some lost continent. But now I know it’s soil still reaps the sweetest fruits of all, because she bear shares the ripest spoils from her wild adventures there. And we learn the ancient languages still etched inside it’s trees. She teaches me to sing the words I’d forgotten how to speak, and brings a love that frees my spirit from the confines of my own dreams.
artwork by Cpt. Awol
"High Spirits" by Lee Davis
An Invisible war on your senses
His spirit animal is the microbial
Every morning waking up nawing
Lacking any sense of direction
Left to clean up the days spent
It keeps him inside by the flickering light
Shaking from the lack there of
Volunteering to be a good person
Envious of those that find it easy
Running in circles with scissors
Yearning to fall from time to time
Relishing in the nostalgic
Everybody needs the past more than future
All in is your best bet
Learning to live with him is your only option
"Astral Projection" by Allen Andrews (Cpt. Awol)
Floating above the bed watching us sleep,
I take a Ghost walk downtown
Nocturnal animal full of mischief,
Chasing lights and shadows
Somewhere between rooms and windows.
can't remember where I left my skeleton
graciously guided back to
Crack the door and find us fucking.
Sinking slowly, down deep, returning
to my body just in time to cum,
but it's the wrong one.
artwork by Rebecca Jane
Poem by Tessa Thomas
when spirituality ascends words wrote on books, when an entity represents an entire perception of God, heaven, hell that is our sadness...
a trial of religion vs insanity
Fairies, Cocoons, my mother knew but couldn't stand it
My mother never told me that the leather seats in a psychiatrists office would hurt more than her hands against my face.
(Now I wear chokers to remind myself I am in control of who kills me)
My first girlfriend never told me to look at her instead of the mirror, validation for my face i could not see haunted me like the ghost she came to be.
(Now I stare at old men who tell me I’m sane even when I tell them
I can see the future, into stars, I can feel energy from anyone who dares to step into my environment, I am a fairy)
“Tessa, what does being a fairy mean to you”
(His face is so ugly now that he is sputtering these ill equipped and ill managed words..)
Doctor a fairy cannot explain a fairy. And no, I cannot explain my sexuality.
And no, doctor, I cannot fly but fuck my words can and so can my eyes I have flown into countless abyss letting those black holes of people suck me in and try to eat me alive, begging for my magic.
I sound crazy to everyone else. I cry about it all the time.
“I don’t want them to hate me!”
(But in my cocoon three years ago I realized I could not understand hatred.)
My mother never told me that I would become a chrysalis or a cocoon. Instead she would say things
(denial denial I can’t face it)
But what is most important; what she really should have remembered to remind me was that I was not the slimy worm she could step on and cut in half and know wouldn’t die, I was the fucking butterfly. She hated me for that.
I want to know if there are any more fairies out there and if you can read me, hear me, or feel me
Reach out! Touch me! Tell me I am not alone. I have been trying to destroy myself and only loving those who I know were not of my kind because I was too afraid of being alone in my magic.
(It is dark inside a cocoon. It is dark inside a lonely room.)
artwork by Rebecca Jane
"A Definition of Religion" by Brandon Mark Carpenter
Religion [ri-lij-uh n]:
1.) is the attempt of the governing authorities (of whatever time period they happen to arise in with their particular philosophy), to control an individual or a societies spiritual direction/outlook/experience to meet up with a codified and filtered example of another persons (who is considered to be a prophet, savior, saint, or the like) reinterpreted experience and to embrace that alone as the only acceptable form of "spirituality". Reliance on ones own personal spiritual experience, understanding, or connection with all that is or that which happens to be, is generally discouraged unless it meets up with the "acceptable" doctrine of that particular time and philosophy. Through this process of codification religious institutions form a "culturally acceptable" Ideal and along with it its antithesis. When the antithesis is formed by the Ideal then the possibility for "heresy" (the deviance from that Ideal) arises, which is then taught to be feared. Why is it taught to be feared? Because of guilt, fear of ostracism from the community, and death. The imposed Ideal needs the response mechanisms of guilt and the fear of punishment and/or death to receive its power and to maintain its ability to control the minds of the individual, congregation, or culture.
2.) Religion is the loss of the original message of any truly inspired philosopher in a maze of guilt, control, and codification, which in of itself will always breed more of the same in a seemingly endless cycle- all in order to maintain a position of authority over the masses.
3.) Religion is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Poem by Rebecca Jane
Awaiting a bloom
My farewell to you
from my hopes at due
A pale mint green
At dusks arising scene
They're all so brightly high
In life with the blooms so shy
But in time still curling down in depth
In gorgeous spheres of meth
For dripping dreams of painted joys
Lingering so thin like plastic parts of toys
The morning rays ashine
The beauty in the lillies to dine ,
With swirls of hope just flashing by
All these emotions bundled together to deny
Each stem a lie
For each dead in dust to cry
With each bloom a vibrant show
Each leaf in wisdom reaching out to know
With dreams sitting on the edge of every petal
In a mixture of colors so subtle
artwork by Rebecca Jane
An Interview with Payton Pavkov—Dorothea Hudson
1. To be or not to be; what are your thoughts on the afterlife as compared to life.
The Afterlife is only a life after death, for death is only a gateway into another world in which you are a part of The Creator.
2. God -- is there one, or not, or some other way of looking at it?
God in essence is the great being, in which everything within it is an atom within it's infrastructure.
3. What is the meaning of life; or does there need to be one?
Life always has reason, and with a reason anything can have meaning. It is within this reason that we find purpose and meaning. The meaning can be anything, and that gives us a choice. This is what makes humans in the image of divinity. We have the ability to choose our meaning, whereas animals or plants cannot choose its own meaning. However, I believe, the very basis of the reason for life is to evolve for the greater good of all. Which in turn brings morals to the table, thus broadening the subject.
4. How have you achieved inner peace, as far as you have?
The things that bring me to inner peace:
First to give thanks and praise, firstly to the unknown creator, and secondly to it's known creations. Second, to help those in need of help and those that are within my ability to be helped. Last to take care of ones Will, Mind, Emotions and Body. Nothing more.
5. How can others achieve inner peace, or is it a personal journey that cannot be prescribed?
Anyone can achieve inner peace through the three steps in answer 4, but enlightenment is another journey my friend.
6. Mind, emotion, spirit, body -- relationships, importance, hierarchy or none?
Our soul consists of 4 parts (Our Will, Emotions, Mind, and Body) the most important of which being the Will. For without our Will we lack the fire to create.
7. What is love?
Love is the one substance that binds all things known and unknown. It is too great to be an emotion or a feeling that is why we can never describe love through our emotions. But we all know the feelings it brings, lol.
"Insect Recognizing it's Fractional Reflection in the Eternal Web of a Black Widow" by Allen Andrews (Cpt. Awol)
Only my soul can ask the Architect
In forgotten dialects
Her bias wrecked the science 'til
my mind could no longer accept
the answers we expected, so i crept
slowly back into the spiders net
to dance with all the other insects
Rejoicing not in regret
but writhing in the limbo of never knowing
how or why the sun will set
I have always been a drift inside
the belly of this beast
Rising in the east and
Beating my chest,
with a thousand eyes wondering
ever closer to the west.
Should I cease to beat my wings
into the setting sun
I'll hit the Earth and run,
Leave my final breath up to
my heart and lungs
And final words not to my shriveled tongue
But infinitely carried
In the war dances of the ripening
artwork by Rebecca Jane
"Mysterium Tremendum" by Dorothea Hudson
The Taoist: The eternal Tao is and is not because it beyond words, existence.
The Agnostic: God is or maybe God isn’t because how can I ever know, it is beyond human knowledge.
The Christian: I have faith because I do not know. I have doubts because I do not know.
The Atheist: Perhaps in moments of true darkness, in the valley of the shadow of death even I may be found whimpering a prayer. Goddammit.
The Buddhist: If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him! [Because, to believe in him, you must not believe in him, but your inner self]
The Acid-Head Hippie: We all believe the same thing, man; it’s all the same fuckin’ day, man.
Me: Maybe I just took too much LSD, but I ain’t no hippie. No matter where you stand, the fact of the matter is: Death is the Great Unknown, as much as what was “before” the inception of the universe, as much as how to rectify this crazy, vast, hysterical, fucked-up world we were thrown into. [See: Pacifism is how you achieve Peace; but how do you achieve total Pacifism?] When it comes down to it, we’re in this together, and we pretty much know jack shit [whether or not we admit it]. But as they say, “the less you know, the more you think you know.” And the mystery is absolutely, ridiculously, sublimely beautiful.