“Chthonic Cinema” by Gregory Rapp (September Web Feature)

I know you’re busy with studying and jerkin’ off to the stuff you found on 4Chan, but I’ve got somethin’ for you, bro. It’s a real sweet place few people know about. I’m tellin’ you because you’re a friend. That’s what friends’re for. You interested? Of course you are, so hear me out.

It’s about the closest thing to entertainment in this little town on the Llano Estacado. I heard about it from a guy I know. He was in my British lit class I took last summer. The guy wasn’t much of a reader, but he knew a thing or two about film. He’s a film major—I guess that explains things. Put a camera in his hand and watch ‘im make goddamn magic.

Anyways, it’s the talk of the campus but only a few people know where it’s located. True cinephiles know that it’s located in the basement of the Rough Rider Student Success Center (formerly the Rough Rider Library). Don’t believe me? Fine. But I’ve seen it. How would you know? You’re too busy jerkin’ off. It’s a goddamn beaut, man.

The person who runs the place is a forty-something grad student who refuses to graduate before she comes up with a unifying, all-encompassing theory of film. Ain’t that shit crazy? Anyways, she calls it the Chthonic Cinema. No one else calls it that. I don’t think half of the people on campus can say, “Chthonic.” Apparently the “Ch” is silent. Who knew? Everyone I know calls it the Basement Theater, the Underground Cinema, or the Place. Call it what you like. It doesn’t really matter to me—or to anyone, for that matter.

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The Well by Jenni Baros (El Portal’s March Web Feature)

Be sure to check out Jenni Baros’ “The Well.” April’s web feature will include excerpts from El Portal‘s Spring 2015 issue.

If you have any questions about El Portal‘s web features, consider dropping us a line at el.portal@enmu.edu.

Marlboro Marlboro (Poem by Alexandra Itzi)

Marlboro Marlboro

Where are you hiding tonight my curled fingers

Search out feeling like briny brackish seaweed

The nightstand with its crumpled dollar bill the

Offering

Pay the tithe

Urging urging the tickle in the back of my throat like too much

Too much candy maybe how it was growing up the corner store

Those nickel and dime candies make your mouth dry like

Sawdust around the edges of your feet dad those big feet poking beneath

The lip of the bed where I hid from you I’m

Sorry it came out of me possessed was I those words not my own

I Didn’t Mean It.

Marlboro

Marlboro

where are you hiding it’s time

It’s

Time.

ItNothing (Poem by Alexandra Itzi)

“No.”

“But I—“

“I said no.”

There was a slam,

a bang,

and then a sigh.

 

That’s how the story started,

and also how it ended.

 

She looked down at his body,

at the crooked bend of his neck.

She peeked into the crater of flesh,

at the bored-out hole in his skull.

She sniffed the air,

the gunpowder and smell of

shitty

shitty

death.

 

“Fuck,” she breathed.

His old motorcycle jacket

went around her shoulders.

She dropped the gun into

the big triangle shaped pocket,

and then patted the lump of it three times for good luck.

 

Opened the front door.

Locked it carefully for

No reason at all.

She kicked over their lawn-gnome,

Stumpy,

on her way down the cracked foot path.

He smiled sideways at her through

a tangle

of overgrown weeds.

 

“I had to do it,”

She told herself,

On the bus-ride to Toledo.

 

“He was ruining me,”

She sniffed,

During a thunderstorm in Vegas.

 

“It was me or him,”

She bleated,

To her mother is Southern California—

To the queen of Cacti and martini’s,

Of silk scarves and old men with mustaches.

 

Where she patted the gun three times

For luck,

Her mother patted her

Yves Saint Laurent ROUGE PUR COUTURE

 

Within a garden,

Of purple desert flowers

And black lacquered chaises.

She told her mother.

 

And her mother,

Sunglasses perched near the place

Where her nose was

Before she cut it off;

Her mother,

Smiled her peroxide smile,

And said

Nothing.