Protest Spell #2: Ritual of Silence by Christine Green

~to shut the mouths of those who speak evil, hateful rhetoric~


Carve a hole in the base of a black skull-shaped candle.  Fill it with nettles (Urtica dioca) and slippery elm bark (Ulmus rubra) and seal the hole with melted wax.

Baptize the skull with oil (olive oil will suffice) while chanting the name of your sharp-tongued enemy. If so inclined, carve the fiend’s name across the forehead of the skull. The candle is now your enemy.

Light the wick with a wooden match. This is no time for tacky plastic lighters.

Warm stick pins over the candle flame and insert them into the mouth of the skull while reciting the following three times:

“Your vile words are stuck in your throat and your curses no longer wound the innocent.”

Let the candle burn down completely while focusing on your intent. Do not doubt that justice and truth will prevail.

After the candle snuffs itself out, toss any remains on your enemy’s property.  If you do not have access to their property, dispose of it in running water or bury at a crossroads.

 Bathe in saltwater to disperse any negative energy clinging to your aura.


Christine Green is a freelance writer and newspaper columnist. She has been published in various literary journals including aaduna, Germ, The Light Ekphrastic, The Big Brick Review, Laundry, and Brain, Child. She is also a 2016 Pink Door Literary Fellow. In her free time Christine hosts a monthly literary reading, “Words on the Verge”, at A Different Path Art Gallery in Brockport, NY.

Christine is a Californian at heart and dreams of living near the beach as well as finding a decent taco in Rochester. She reps Hufflepuff and Libras everywhere.

Protest Spell #1: When This Spell Fails by Jen Julian

When this spell fails, you must grip your heart at both ends and twist it hard like a dish rag. What seeps out is bitter like poison, but do not throw it away. Store it in a Tupperware. It should not be forgotten. In the meantime, seek your remedies with care—ginger candy for nausea, ginseng for fatigue, cheap wine for heartache. Tie a knot of sage tied around your bedpost to keep the soul from calcifying.

Stop checking the news. For fuck’s sake.

Yarrow balm will help you stop picking at the scab on your knee, the wound you received when you tripped in the street last Tuesday, and which you now think was probably an omen. Not since childhood have you torn a hole in your stockings that way, or seeded the earth with your blood. Now a week has passed and you’re still sucking breath through clenched teeth, your jawbone warm with pain. It is time to open your mouth again. Uncoil the words off your tongue and lay your curse. Lay it hard, like the slap of skin on asphalt.

Jen Julian is a 2016 Clarion alumnus and PhD Fiction student at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She received her MFA from UNC Greensboro, where she acted as editor for The Greensboro Review, in which she was also recently published. Her essays and short stories have also appeared in North Carolina Literary Review, Tahoma Literary Review, Cleaver, New South, and The Chattahoochee Review. She calls rural North Carolina her home.

Found Poems #1: Der Lange Verborgene Freund, by John George Hoffman [1820]

A Precaution against Injuries

Whoever carries the right eye of a wolf fastened inside of his right sleeve, remains free from all injuries. 

Stinging Nettles — Good for Banishing Fears and Fancies, and to Cause Fish to Collect

Whenever you hold this weed in your hand together with Millifolia, you are safe from all fears and fancies that frequently deceive men. If you mix it with a decoction of the hemlock, and rub your hands with it, and put the rest in water that contains fish, you will find the fish to collect around your hands. Whenever you pull your hands out of the water, the fish disappear by returning to their former places.

A Good Remedy for Consumption

Consumption, I order thee out of the bones into the flesh, out of the flesh upon the skin, out of the skin into the wilds of the forest.