Resurrection with Punk Rock

I shouldn’t have listened to that Billy Talent Album. Ever since, I awoke a ghost. 

Writing by Featured Writer Shilo Niziolek
Art by Featured Artist Erica Peebus

Resurrection with Punk Rock

I shouldn’t have listened to 

that Billy Talent Album

Ever since, I awoke a ghost. 

On the road back from the pool 

where I float on my back and let 

my brain shut off, I try and conjure 

the ghost voice into the air. 

My brain, a protection spell 

placed, won’t do it, refuses to, 

each time I try, I swallow another 

rock, but I won’t walk out into 

the sea with my belly stone-lined. 

I can conjure the sounds of all the 

others who I ran with, their voices 

rough, luminous, a specific vibration, 

who are dead or in jail or a million 

miles from the person I am now. 

Your ghost sits next to me in the 

passenger seat, throws back his head 

to laugh. It’s in this motion that I know 

it’s still there, your voice, the sounds, 

they’re too deep in me, like my 

autoimmune disorders, inside out. 

This is why we don’t listen to Billy Talent. 

We don’t play Nickelback. Metallica

is usually okay, but Avenged Sevenfold, 

you can forget it. It’s almost October though, 

what better time to wake the dead-to-me? 

I’ve told you, I’ll say it again, I am 

the resurrector. I have many conjuring tools: 

a specific album, a Ziploc bag of freckles 

collected from light-skinned men, one clear 

blue eye, the movie Tristan and Isolde

the book Here on Earth, the movie Spider-Man

which we once fucked to against the bathroom 

mirror, the film playing in the background,

our eyes latched in the reflection, a never letting go. 

I shouldn’t be waking these ghosts. 

I shouldn’t be yelling Billy Talent while 

driving 50 in a 35. I am bad-boned, 

wrong-footed. I am glutinous for the pain.

About the Author

Shilo Niziolek’s (she/her) memoir, FEVER, is out from Querencia Press. Her chapbook, A Thousand Winters In Me, is out from Gasher Press. I Am Not An Erosion: Poems Against Decay, a micro chapbook of collage poetry was part of Ghost City Press’s online summer series 2022. Her work has appeared in Pork Belly Press, Buckman Journal, Juked, The Blood Pudding, Entropy, Oregon Humanities, HerStry, among others, and is forthcoming in West Trade Review, Phoebe Journal, Crab Creek Review, Wishbone Words, Sunday Mornings at the River and Pumpernickel House.  Shilo holds an MFA from New England College and is Associate Faculty at Clackamas Community College. She is the co-founder and editor of Scavengers.

About the Artist

Erica Peebus (b.1982) recently moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana from Portland, Oregon where she received her BFA with an emphasis in painting in 2013 from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Erica’s acrylic paintings can be described as both dark and whimsical. Employing a strong illustrative quality, she mixes realism with graphic details. Her works often represent plants, animals, bones, and the human figure exposing her fascination with life and death as well as her love for the natural and super natural world. Her work is heavily influenced by religious symbolism, renaissance paintings, mythology, folklore, and surrealism.

Leave a Reply

Blog at