Selected Works by E. Rain

Emerson Rain is a poet, artist and graduate student of neuropsychology born in the west of Ireland. She’s lived in many places but has found her home in a Dutch town where she frequently cycles in the countryside and pulls over to pet cats on the side of the road.


To say my faith was lost
Would give it solid worth.
My shoulders came uncrossed
And toes stretched into earth

When Sunday wasn’t time
To kiss a bishop’s ring,
And Moses’ paradigm
Had wilted in the spring.

The Universe unknown,
The naked birds, the birch,
Were hidden under stone
Beneath the painted church.

I set my faith on fire
And stamped the ashes out,
Then preached it to the choir,
And shoved it in their mouths.

And Francis, CEO,
Declared I’ll die alone,
A softer wombed Thoreau
Above a flaming throne.

So come, Eternity.
I’ll shatter and disperse
Beside my rosaries
To ashes now, headfirst.

To Be Feral

The day Danny bit the priest
we’d talked about the early
humans, how they’d wash their backs
with blood and paint their skin
with clay, how they never blessed
their food before they took a bite, raw and feral.

There are a few laws of the feral
nature. First being, “Shit happens” to priests
or otherwise. Second, sometimes the blessed
have the sharpest nails, the kind the early
humans feared when they bound their skin
in hide. Third: Predators never look back.

It happened when the priest turned his back
that Danny’s eyes turned feral
and his teeth squelched into the holy wrinkled skin.
The tattletale ran saying “Danny bit the priest,”
but at 9:30AM, it was too early
for words to be heard or wounds to be blessed.

The priest always took Danny to his office to bless
him, and Danny would come back
red as Christ. It was too early
for us to know then, that in feral
nature, carnivores kill herbivores, and priests
touch kids. To be in danger is to have skin.

Danny’s milk incisor hit an artery. He nearly skinned
the good-god-blessed
predator’s hand. He shook Danny like a rat, probably thinking “Priests
should not get bitten by children, as animals with fleshy backs
and stubby nails do not enjoy the blood of the feral
predators.” That day, Good Friday came early.

The sharp-toothed, long-nailed animals feared the early
humans, saw their shadow running for miles, the first prey with skin
to not need claws to be feral.
When Danny’s front teeth popped out, we blessed
them before they hit the floor as the predator shook him back
and forth for the longest morning some gums and molars have bled out a priest.

When they came to take Blessed Danny, we held him by his back
and spat into the priest’s open skin.
It was early, and we were human, and we remembered what it was like to be feral.

Under the Windowsill

My daughter asked me, “when we die, where do we go?”
with her head on my knee and her hair in a bow.
I said, “nowhere. We just go

to the filth in the ground and turn indigo
then swell up and dry up a rotted albino.”
She asked, “when we die, where do we go?

To the place where your elbow
cracks like an egg and tendons snap like a crossbow?”
I said, “nowhere, we just go

until we’re playing cardiac adagio
next to the worm that ate Cicero.”
She asked me, “when we die where do we go?

To where Christ kills lambs for Van Gogh
on the washed marble floors of a French Chateau?”
I said, “we go nowhere. We just go,

and I’m sorry that’s all I know,
that I made you live just to see you grow.”
My daughter asked me, “when we die, where do we go?”
I said, “nowhere. We just go.”

After Farenheit

So, kelvin’s now the measure of this dust.
There once were fleshy mammals on this heap.
See, water here would make their metal rust
So, kelvin’s now the measure of this dust.
Before they caused their planet to combust,
the creatures dreamt of Neptune when they’d sleep.
So kelvin’s now the measure of this dust.
There once were fleshy mammals on this heap

From the Editor:

We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.

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In Parentheses Magazine (Volume 7, Issue 3) Winter 2022

By In Parentheses in IP Volume 7

32 pages, published 1/15/2022

The Winter 2022 issue of In Parentheses Literary Magazine. Published by In Parentheses (Volume 7, Issue32)

In Parentheses Magazine (Fall 2020)

By In Parentheses in Volume 6

80 pages, published 10/15/2020

The FALL 2020 issue of In Parentheses Literary Magazine. Published by In Parentheses (Volume 6, Issue 2)
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