Introducing Half Mystic Journal's Issue VI: Interlude

It’s been a little while since our last moment of quiet.

You might notice Half Mystic looks rather different in Issue VI: Interlude than in our past five issues, & you would be right. You might think we seem more silent than we have in the past. You’d be right about that, too. & if you asked why, I could tell you it’s been a hard year, or a beautiful one. I could tell you we’ve lost people at Half Mystic who we’ve loved since the beginning of this symphony, or that we’ve begun new projects that stun us whole, lift us up, fill us with a glorious gluttonous light. I could tell you we’ve listened to so many gorgeous songs it’s hard to name a favourite one. & all that would be true, but mostly, it’s just been a little while since our last moment of quiet.

It’s been three & a half years, in fact. Three & a half years of song & the things that come before, song & the things it leaves behind. Three & a half years of falling in love. Of testing the roof of the mouth of silence. Three & a half years of confessionals. Three & a half windchime years, dissonant years, loud loud loud years. Years of breath unlearned, unclenched. Faces tipped towards that curious calling voice, never quite sure whether we were hearing music or noise.

It’s been a little while since our last moment of quiet. Here, then, is the first rest: a tender liminal space. Hand-painted ghosts. The fog sleeveless & warm. Footsteps disappearing off the ground like they were never there. I hope you find a place to linger inside this interlude, dear reader. Could there be a song more beautiful than the absence of one?

Issue VI of Half Mystic Journal, the literary journal I founded & where I now serve as editor-in-chief, is out today. It showcases the theme of interlude: the keystrokes of transitory—the movement in the rest—the inhale before the storm. It features the voices of Devin Kelly, Hana Widerman, Nicholas Bon, Jill Mceldowney, Jenna Kohut, Chelsea Dingman, Donna Vorreyer, Hazem Fahmy, The Woodlands, Gillian Herrin, Margaryta Golovchenko, Mark J. Mitchell, Give Me Motion, Diannely Antigua, myself, David Anthony Sam, Emma Cairns Watson, Dana Alsamsam, Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, Sara Hovda, Elizabeth Ruth Deyro, Ariana D. Den Bleyker, Quinn Lui, Yify Zhang, & Joyanna M.

Order your copy today. I & the HM team are so honoured to share it with you. xx

All Wine & Inkwater / Songs for December

December is always a hard month. I’ve been irrationally sad lately, exhausted for no particular reason, unable to step on cracks, anxious like a fist in my throat. There are many Half Mystic releases this month—new episodes of our podcast, Issue VI: Interlude in three (!!) days—which brings much-needed light to these static-sharp times. Everything morphs into something else: this sadness will pass, but right now it feels I am discovering shades of ache I hadn’t even realised existed.

December’s mix is a haphazard mix of songs; I can’t fathom any recognisable pattern but I hope you find something to love here anyway, even if your days feel far from merry & bright. I am thinking, today, of this Heather Havrilesky quote:

Well, I’m not telling that story anymore. I’m loud because the world is broken. When someone acts like my light is hurting them, I say, “Your story was built to keep you safe from the truth. That’s okay for you. But I’m tired of pretending.”

Thank you for being here, my loves. Enjoy this mix.

Half Mystic Radio, Season I, Episode IV: Love Only In Hurricanes

Welcome to Episode IV of Season I of Half Mystic Radio! I’m thrilled to share that HMR is now available on all of your favourite podcast platforms: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, & Soundcloud. You can subscribe to the podcast for free, & stream all episodes on those platforms now. Please also leave a rating & review if you enjoy Half Mystic’s work, so that we can reach more listeners!

If you prefer to listen in here, Episode IV: Love Only In Hurricanes is out now—

This episode features Wanda Deglane’s poems "Aubade For a Nonexistent Child" & "September", & the Woodlands’ song "Age of Atlas (Mellow Mix)".

Wanda Deglane is a 19-year-old Capricorn from Arizona. She is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants and attends Arizona State University. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming from Rust + Moth, Glass Poetry, L’Ephemere Review, and Former Cactus, among other lovely places. Wanda is the author of Rainlily (2018), as well as three forthcoming chapbooks. The Woodlands are Hannah and Samuel Robertson, a wife and husband singer-songwriter duo. Their songs are crafted of wonder and exploration, both within and faraway—poetic lyrics on ribbons of melody that wander the musings of human emotion. Their songs have been featured in over a hundred TV shows, ads, films and documentaries. The Woodlands have circled back around again to Oregon to continue living a simple and quiet life, waiting to be lured yet again by faraway travel and the writing of more songs.

If you enjoyed this snippet of light & are looking forward to more episodes of Half Mystic Radio: don’t go yet! Please do share your thoughts on Episode IV with us using the hashtag #halfmysticspeaks. Or, you can @ us directly on social media—@wearehalfmystic on all platforms.

Want to get involved? We are now open to submissions from both writers & musicians for inclusion in the podcast! Send us your symphony. We promise we won’t flinch. & if you would like to support Half Mystic financially, the best way to do so is by purchasing one of our books or journal issues, right here.

Thanks to popular demand from listeners, I’m excited to tell you that we’re also sharing the full text of the poems in each episode from now on. Here we are…

Aubade For a Nonexistent Child

i am full of you.
i am full of you.

no longer quietly burning, but now a self-contained    explosion
            wanting to consume the flamed           edges of my world.
think bursting.               think of lemons, fallen to the forgotten earth in july,
            their skin cracking and             bleeding           soft and sour.

oh god, how i love you.           i love you like the sweet-sour
punching blood of pomegranates.                    i love you
like the colors              i don’t yet have names for.
i love you so much,      i need
                        to destroy you.                        
my silence
blooms screaming                    like a bruise beneath my chest.
            my begging howls                    find their way out
when the city is drained of color,                    dawn,
                        and only the tired highways                 hear me,
their legs crumbling beneath them.                  people perish.

i look at my reflection                         for comfort, all ghostly yellow             and
                        violent blue,                but she weeps and tells me,
i’m terrified.                 

my sweet moon offering.         my tiny shadow.
            my flattened juniper, squished like veins,                    crushed like lungs.
my silver and beaming orange.                         my persephone
                        come to steal back the cold.
i pray the hollow of my organs                        squeezes the barely-formed life
            out of you.       the most painless                     of bloodbaths.
i pray you die so quick,            you never get to reach out
                        your new fingers          and find a home in my vermillion.
            that you may only know life                as this microscopic, blurry seed.
that you never drink of this urban honey,                    this smog and desperation.
                                    that you never have to cry out             in a world
            that slowly makes a feast of you.         that you may never
receive             the gifts i have left for you:                      raw, unrefined terror
                                    and the phantoms of dreams.
that you may never have to know                   your grandfather’s fists,
                                                or your mother’s hesitations.

my rose, my apricot,                there is only one thing i know:
                        everything i touch begs for life.
i pray i never live to touch you.


September is another thing for me to carry / that ten-ton grain of mist / sitting comfortable on my back / September is preschool-aged trauma / refusing to let go of my hand / slipping moon-colored glasses over my eyes / flowers become rats become child-sized skeletons / September is heat stewing in its own uncertainty / lingering in the doorway of its own unwant / it’s tiny piranhas / taking bites out of all my night terrors / my organs are studded with diamond / like unnecessary beauty / like there’s something inside me that needs to escape so desperately / it’ll shred everything it touches on its way out / I love only in hurricanes / I’m gripping my rage by the throat / then making her breakfast in the morning / I am crying plateaus into thick-scarred canyons / holding all my potential in my hands / this gift thrumming sure like a pulse / I am accepting that there is something inside me / that needs to ache right now / grape soda cans and bee-crowned honeysuckles / my therapist points out my reflection / says, look at this / look at how crazily, dizzily, drastically you’ve improved / I touch my cheek / I say, jesus fucking christ I’m glowing / the sky sheds its own melancholy / and washes the insides of my rib cages clean