Literary Flaneurs: Elise Levine


A guest series curated by Jeffrey Condran. Project intro here.


Axioms of Euclid Avenue: herself, by herself

by Elise Levine



My mother in her beaver coat, me in skirts and cut-offs: a swagger never hurts.

The ways of walking never end: or they do: smile, nice ass.




I’m eighteen, crossing Toronto’s Spadina at College on a sweltering August night.

I’ve fought with my mother: earlier that evening, in suburban Willowdale for a visit, having recently moved into the city: a top-floor one-room shared-bath hot-plate no-kitchen on Euclid: twenty bucks a week.

The fight: don’t go, I’m going, so go: who do you think you are you dirty: the ashtray flung: by her, me: no shit: we’ve always fought: always will until her last conscious day, nearly three decades later: the mouth on me, mouth on her. Continue reading

Beautiful Ashes: Elise Levine

Presented by Jen Michalski, for PANK. For a description of this guest series, click here.

“Public Storage Available Now”

Inside the Queen’s Little Queen® — butter, a toy syringe. Her tender tissues burn as if bee-stung. Spread wider — the Queen lofts three Cheerios in the candlelight. Clot of red thread spirited from the Dowager’s tin sewing kit. A darning needle — the Queen’s Little Queen® bites back a gasp — blackened under a match’s sizzle then mon dieu withdrawn at the last second. Her thighs quake. Chub. Big baby at nearly thirteen. La petite ami since forever. All service. Stocked and restocked — a yellow button now for the Queen’s granny in the nuthouse. Errant dad, his newest hot-shit-in-waiting, their squelchy contortions accomplished to great fanfare in a downtown love-pad — why not this jumbo plug of orange-flavored Bonne Bell lip gloss? Holy merde. Above, cut-out mirrors from Versailles flare, camels and albino elephants from National G sway from safety pins affixed to the bed-sheet canopied along the ceiling. Rubies flicker. An armoire’s carvings of toucans and vines dip and swoop, monkeys chatter like teeth, rumors of an interior inlaid with tiny and tinier white ivory drawers, stuffed. La reine’s dominion laid in by the fistful, the pound. In one of those drawers, a Queen’s Little Queen® — all cunt. Continue reading