half mystic

Half Mystic Radio, Season I, Episode VIII: Without the Lead of Sunlight

Welcome to Episode VIII 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! This is the final episode of Season I of Half Mystic Radio, so we want to hear your voice as we think about whether & how to potentially record a second season.

If you prefer to listen in here, Episode VIII: Without the Lead of Sunlight is out now—

This episode features Alvin Pang’s poems “Untitled”, “What It Is Like to Go Blind Slowly”, & “Humming (For Pooja)”, & Daniel Gallie’s song “Coming Home”.

Alvin Pang is an internationally active poet and editor from Singapore. Featured in the Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry in English and the Penguin Book of the Prose Poem, he has been published in more than twenty languages, including Swedish and Croatian. His latest book is WHAT HAPPENED: Poems 1997-2017.

Daniel Gallie listens for the melody that lies within the heart of every good poem, the voice in music that moves the heart, and the harmony of their union when they dance as one. With morning comes the gift of the day in which each moment opens itself to be mined fully, to gift its meaning, its pleasure, and its love as blessings for us to love in return for all that has been received and all that has yet to be given. The dawn is metaphor for the coming spring, the entry into life, and the renewed commitment to make this world a welcoming one to those who wish to come home to the person they were always meant to be.

If you’ve enjoyed the snippets of light we’ve shared without you throughout Season I of Half Mystic Radio, don’t go yet! Please do share your thoughts on Episode VIII with us using the hashtag #halfmysticspeaks. Or, you can @ us directly on social media—@wearehalfmystic on all platforms.

Thank you for listening throughout this season, dear friends. I & Half Mystic love you always & always.

Untitled 

Words are waves, how the deep speaks 
from one shore to its other, and hunger too 
is a song of the road, its keening. He tells
 the raucous mynahs to carry his freight. 
The sun to send grass, from whose susurrations 
he learnt the language of caress. He remembers 
the pumafold of your back, the fleeting emberscar 
of your breath on his cheeks. Left on his lips
the promise of sea, the scent reached for 
on every coastline, you both so, shy of storm
 quickened at the prospect of rain, listening for bells 
with fingers on mute, wet glass.

What It Is Like to Go Blind Slowly

Even black holes let glimmers out: like the ghosts 
of signal, fugacious, dubitable. They're calling a name 

at the nurse's station: is it yours?  That's just the brain 
dreaming it is whole. Sometimes the switches snap from use. 

Sometimes the damp gets in, or rats (ha!) chew up the circuitry 
and before you know it you've gone and ruined someone

else's retirement.  The stew a little less salty, every time. Sea 
stinging a little less, becoming more horizontal, more cloud. 

I did not notice the edge of the glass, it was suddenly there
like bad news in the mail. Like a phone call after midnight.  

A faint tea scent, like distant lips.  The sun with a headcold 
come to collect. Not enough to take home in a bag: finish it here 

or get some help. Nobody is going to stop being happy just because 
you broke your eggs. It gets night earlier and stays there. 

Muffled laughter, but with photons. The pillowy underneaths 
of blankets. Tree bark scraped off so the sap dries out. 

Did you touch me or did the feather of a crow?  Speaking louder 
or more slowly doesn't help, you know. Be thankful for the rest 

of the cutlery drawer. The stench of roses. 
Get your garden ready before the gate closes. 

Humming (For Pooja)

“The hummingbirds hover in mid air desperate with agitation and blue hysteria” —Pooja Nansi, “Dear Alvin”

I want to slow down the framerate to see the chopchopchop of their pinions, their lesson that living is movement. To see what all too swiftly progresses. Too many things will soon be this grey blur as they pass me by. The heart, too, races for the cliffs, has learnt from cartoons this is how to take flight, that the fall only resets the game. All too often you hear birds before you see them, overhead, the hiphop of a hundred daily battles to mate and feed and fend. I want to know it is alright to let go of knowing. To steep, below the green canvas, in blind listening. Just as the flock of our breaths follows the long river within us home without the lead of sunlight. In the night that will soon become my day, drums roost, strings nest, words play, colourless, untethered, aloft.



Half Mystic Radio, Season I, Episode VII: When Angels Dress For Senior Prom

Welcome to Episode VII 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! This is the second to last episode of Season I of Half Mystic Radio, so we want to hear your voice as we think about whether & how to potentially record a second season.

If you prefer to listen in here, Episode VII: When Angels Dress For Senior Prom is out now—

This episode features Erin Moran's poems "For Matthew", "When Angels Dress For Senior Prom", & "For Jan", & LYON's song "Le Jardin Zoologique de Nuit".

Erin Moran is a Philadelphia-based poet, freelance journalist, bookstore babe and recent graduate of Temple University. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram.

LYON is the instrumental music project of Andrew Morgan. Modern classical, astral jazz, and experimental works inhabit a space inspired by the imagination of creators like David Axelrod, Alice Coltrane, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Air, and Alexandre Desplat. Collaborators include French author Pierre Ducrozet, poet Candice Wuehle, and Built to Spill cellist John McMahon.

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 VII 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 are also sharing the full text of the poems in each episode from now on. Here we are…

For Matthew

u had hummingbirds flying from yr eyelids
and yr chest was the window that
sent them buzzing away from the second floor
where the wine bottles were piling up. 

pulling the curtains shut, you
silenced them and offered me the kind of
calm i hadn’t known since i stopped singing—
no vibrating against the glass countertop— 

just the train rattling by and the tv on low,
reflecting another city in another time.
i don’t really know what to say about it now,
but i know it changed everything, so

when normandy said she could talk to 
the dead i believed her. she told me i was the first.
neil armstrong?
i was living on the moon before anyone knew his name

when he got there, i told him,
“welcome. the laundry machine’s broken.
i hope you brought quarters,”
but normandy was wrong.

i wasn’t the first, just the first to
write it down. so far ahead i’m
just a few steps from dead last. 
but she said we’re all running in circles anyway,

might as well throw our heads
back and laugh about it.

When Angels Dress For Senior Prom

they check their makeup in crystal glasses and 
kiss each other’s cheeks. They leave lipstick marks 
of pink & blue and smear shimmer on their eyes. 
They climb into each other’s Nissans and leave 
their cameras in the glove compartments. 
They get out of the car. They don’t cry in the bathroom. 
Their dresses don’t get caught in the door, don’t 
tear at the seams like the fabric of space and 
time on early Tuesday mornings and the days after Christmas. 
They don’t stumble in heels, they don’t twist their ankles. 
They don’t let anyone touch them. They tie their hair in 
blue & yellow ribbons and wipe their hands on 
tulle skirts that don’t quite fit on bodies that don’t quite fit— 
they spin and spin and spin but never fall.

For Jan

Just when I think that surely this time I’ve
made myself unlovable,
the sun looks down at me with the
understanding and fury of
a 2 am duet of four eyes that never sleep.
What a special thing to be here and
what a special thing to leave.

Do You Have the Time, Do You Hate Your Life? / Songs for February

February is at once tender & trembling, moving & still. Most of this month has been spent preparing for my upcoming trip to Europe (t-minus one week!)—buying coats & scarves, booking Eurail tickets & AirBnB’s, practising my French. & in the mean time, I’m putting things in order, tending to old scars & softened things, frequenting a small posy of favourite European places in the neighbourhood (cafés, florists, antique stores, restaurants). I’ve been planning & looking forward to this trip for a year now & I can’t wait to see the gorgeous continent in all its brilliant art-brimming winter-stained glory.

Two quick notes: Half Mystic Press’ new book, Cranesong by Rona Wang, comes out February 13th! It’s our very first short story collection, a deeply bright thing that explores the trauma that clutters our bones, the echoes that infuse our language, every dawn that insists on spinning into existence despite it all. At the same time, the book lingers inside wild wind, consumes the cartography of longing, interrogates all the colours piano music can hold. The stories in Cranesong pinwheel from realm to realm—some fantastical, some deeply modern, and some settling in between. Yet there is an ancestral lineage that braids them together. These characters don't exist in the same world, but if they did, perhaps they'd recognise each other. You can preorder the book here.

Also, if you live in Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Venice, Rome, London, Oxford, or Paris, please do give me a shout! I am meeting several readers while I’m in the area & would be so thrilled to go out for coffee or drinks with you.

In the mean time: enjoy February’s mixtape, dear friends! Here’s hoping your month is full of unknowable sweetness & outpaced love.