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no.7

ISSUE #8 FALL 2012

the

AUTUMN SHIFT issue

A SPECIAL PHOTOGRAPHY & POETRY EDITION


cOCK no. 7

WELCOME


cOCK no. 7

the

AUTUMN SHIFT issue ISSUE #8 FALL 2012

Editor: Angel Ito Cover Design and Issue Layout: A. Ito Published by Cock No. 7. Photography unless noted by Angel Ito

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cOCK no. 7

the shadows dancing in my head are amber, rouged, and pale greenand they are whispering into the wind, winding up the clocks, and stretching the sky across my eyes. Mesmerized, I look onas they say their goodbyes to summer. A. Ito


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th

AUTU SHI iss

ISSU FALL

CONTRIB ALAN C SMITH ANDRA SIMONS S JOAO TRINDADE JEAN LU


he

UMN IFT sue

UE #8 2012

BUTORS SOPHIE MAYER MATTHEW PLUMB UC URBANSKI ANGEL ITO


Nothing Gold Can Stay Robert Frost (1923) Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.


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WHEN SUMMER LEAVES JOAO TRINDADE

Images by Joao Trindade Layout design by A. Ito Check out more of Joao’s workhttp://www.joaotrindade.com/


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Everywhere I go I find that a p


poet has been there before me. Sigmund Freud

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ALAN C SMITH 3 uji breaths

these days when you go cold and absent I breathe a few uji breaths and sink a few sun salutations in seated forward bends I meet my knees hug my feet and feel closer to my mind closer to clarity closer to the unfettered prize of me yes I feel myself I listen too but have not yet learned to heed that first mind of mine he’s almost always rigid right becoming more flexible gradually these days when you go incommunicado I breathe into that sore spot you leave vacated relax the tightness of your absence I fill the void left by your wordlessness with silence and meditation I visualize I plan a garden in the same rich red ground where you uprooted us again

Image: golden shifter by Alan C. Smith

Read more of Alan’s work at his website http://acsmithart.wordpress.com/


ALAN C SMITH

silver-fingered 1: virtual enigma

silver-fingered 2: island elemental

your profile from retrospective perspective looks not unlike mine but with panels secreting pain in locked cedar boxes

silver-fingered words all the things that I want to be kind of chilly just beneath your tips your lips seal a cold front or two to play between your icicles where I would venture in a searching kiss to greet the winter there blow into you a subtropical breeze lightly sea salted to thaw you from the inside I would not be a tourist trap if my clear slurping waters did not beckon if my name were not musical or the melody infectious I am most home to those who sing and whistle me incessantly without fear of the spirit those utterances unleash

silver-fingered you under your keystrokes I feel somewhat discovered entranced by the enigmatic multidimensional missing words chosen meticulously this poem is writing itself slowly there is a bit of a knot there tied expertly with those dexterous silver fingers I gather noose or tether

what to tie down

we are virtual you a construct I have assembled from words kept in line and reserved when entered with bursts of enthrallingly disturbing pain passion and longing instant messaged manically what wonders I wonder what delicious dark chocolate endorphin seeped secrets will I gently pry from those metallic fingers clenched protectively gnarled around gifts that my tongue teases round?

or strangle out?

silver-fingered 3: the fluid snowman when we kissed I did find the air there brittle but your body warm pristine animal shaped like some benevolent incubus searching and conforming to the shape of mine fur coat-like unhurried by need coaxing out the warmest want in me I saw us from all vantage points gorgeous and grandiose in the white crispness of your winter room the space we did not inhabit as much a part of the motion of the art we created and I had to keep it mostly locked in the celebration song because the cold always makes me quiet


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A Healing Felt the raw soreness of wounds caused by too long rubbing against the same hard surface then the bubbling and the splitting of the skin then the ringing stinging of stripped flesh smooched by the winds always a delicate boy under sensitive skin salves and ointments never worked on me the wonders of a swim but it was past the season for a dip the cold gnarled fingers of late autumn already chalked my lips and I walked past that beach daily to the din of my body’s complaining just to gaze into the glazed glassy sea and begin to enter but then always refraining till one day azure especially becoming beckoned me cautiously I disrobed obediently and entered found your waters warmer than expected on my feet my skins and knees I ventured further trudging that exaggerated waterlogged strut till your waters caressed upper legs then hips and waist then the generous swell of my winter gut and still I soldiered on with the arousing weight of the water on my marching thighs the contoured press on my belly and the wet sips on my nipples and my pleasured sighs at the medicinal relief and the ease I was feeling the water slurping round the troubled spots the pulsing subtle rhythmic healing and I submerged completely then headed back in water dripping on the sand gooseflesh pricking senses drawing on relishing the sea within


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ANDRA SIMONS

Turtlemen: Canadian Rendezvous My first love was a loon, who thought he was a man, who thought he was a water buffalo. In fact he only dated other water buffalo, who pretended to be men, who I thought were obvious loons. Even though I had told him many times I was a descendant of the ancient tribe of Turtlemen he often confused me for a tortoise. I hadn’t the tenderness to tell him the difference. His thoughts were two-minute songs by blond water nymphs bouncing on television. Of his, I yearned for a singular composed thought. On Saturday afternoons he would splash-dive into a murky lagoon beside the motorway from a cloudless sky. Holding his breath ballooned he’d twist and turn underwater, smear his feathers in grit churned up from a soft bottom. Returning, his head would rear out with a popping bellow, arching proudly his golden bowed horns that were conduits of the divine. After this ritual exhaustive pleading, onto the bankside he would come beside me dripping under a temperate sun and smile as if he had found a chorus, of which he wasn’t allowed to share the melody. Beside the motorway’s eternal din staring up at a fading sun, I knew we were weary. We thought we were sound. Pretending to be wet. Andra Simons by Criativo Joao

Read more of Andra’s fantastic work at http://andrasimons.wordpress.com/


ANDRA SIMONS

SCENE: Two males walk along a path that leads from the tube station at the edge of the Centre of Islington to Highbury Village. On either side of the path are fields. The damp green back of an English Atlas holding up the aspirations of the middle. The compromised class. FATHER: (walking in time. in silence) 13 YEAR OLD: (walking in time. in silence) FATHER: (sighs) 13 YEAR OLD: (looks up at his father. holds tenderly to his father’s elbow) FATHER: (walks out of time. not in silence) 13 YEAR OLD: I always lose count of all the leaves that fall. FATHER: Too many shades. (walking. time.) Silence. 13 YEAR OLD: (as a gentle lover he holds to his fathers elbow. Steps in time.).

The End


cOCK no. 7 SCENE: A late hour on a humid October night. Two figures wander on a sand trail beyond their porch to walk-away supper, the woman opens her black moon mouth to let go of hymns and moths, the boy finds light, silver dew drops on a pink petal. BROWN BABY BOY: When I came out did you cry? YELLA MOMMA: I’m a bottle dahlin’, a soda bottle. BROWN BABY BOY: Did you pop? They giggle. YELLA MOMMA: I fizzed and spilled. Spilled and Fizzed. Filled with sugar water and dye. BROWN BABY BOY: Did I hurt? YELLA MOMMA: You only hurt when I love you this much dahlin’. When I love you this much… Singing frogs drown out her prayer. BROWN BABY BOY: I’m a bottle too momma. Will I break? YELLA MOMMA: Now why would you think that? BROWN BABY BOY: ‘Cuz I feel like crackin’ when you go and filled up when you’re home and empty when I sleep and when you turn your back to cook, I’m forgotten. YELLA MOMMA: One day you’ll be forgotten and empty. But you won’t crack. You won’t crack. You won’t… They both follow the path of scattered stars 1. The End


ANDRA SIMONS

SCENE: Spring has arrived in her blooming red dress; she sits on a damp wooden bench at the edge of the garden. She watches with keen interest two figures that enter the garden with a basket and a bottle. LITTLE BLACK GIRL: My womb has dropt off de tree. BIG BLACK MOMMA: Before it rots, I’ll dry its skin in de oven and make tea of it, I’ll boil its flesh wit sugah an’ make a lovely compote with spoonfuls an’ spoonfuls of clottet cream. LITTLE BLACK GIRL: Can I bring my frien’s over fer some after we done playin’ in de yard? BIG BLACK MOMMA: Na. LITTLE BLACK GIRL: But why? BIG BLACK MOMMA: I promised Unca Buck that he would first taste of dis season’s batch LITTLE BLACK GIRL: But it’s mine. she cries little black tears BIG BLACK MOMMA: My sweet mango chil’, you will learn nothin’ is yours to keep. you watch ev’rythin’ and ev’ryone take root, gorgeous blossom and come almos’ to burst under de sun… an’ if it survives de fall. You leave it fo’them to peel an’ toss de seed. (LITTLE BLACK GIRL looks out at the future just past spring breaking out of the soil) LITTLE BLACK GIRL: who’s dat woman watchin’ us over there? BIG BLACK WOMAN: Take a hard hard look at her. If yer womb don’t plump an’ drop. If de men don’t slice an’ suck from de stone, you grow into her an’ her ain’t wha’ you want to smell like come April. You hear me? LITTLE BLACK GIRL: Yes. I hear hard Momma, I hear hard. The End


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Return of the Selkie My last love was found tucked in the pocket of an old Selkie from the bays of Scotland. Every so often he would miss the waters of Dundee and unwrap from under our bed a thrice-folded worn sealskin cloak, he would throw it around his slender shoulders, slide toward the tub and run the Thames through a tap. He’d slap and chuckle and clap his hands, lean to kiss me, tickle my lip with his white wet whiskers. On those evenings I could smell the aged sweet dried salt on his pelt and I’d touch his rolling ribs beneath it and pull him close. One morning with the larks laughter my beast grew thinner. As the sun perched herself on the Highbury shelf for the rising, while I typed poems out of recycled yesterdays, after almost half a century, a flickering light in his eyes heralded him back. He transformed on our kitchen floor with a thousand small tremors. Saturday 3:36pm, fixed with tubes and morphine, I turned my head away from him as a swimmer does reaching for air. Yet, in the immenseness between those light pulsed seconds my old Selkie dived and fiercely trembled free. Within that dark cerulean, the slowing of the hand through the wave, I failed to carry him to the ocean-side, to let him grow accustomed to the cold North Sea again. I wasn’t there to wail ‘swim swim’ to support him from under his belly as he kicked out toward the estuary. I wasn’t there to whisper our secrets into the ebb or whistle. Or whistle. Or whistle.


ANDRA SIMONS

Gossip: Victoria tells Constance tells Patience Dead starlings bizarre, Mrs knight’s seven eyewitnesses heard instinct, Hitchcock’s terrifying blood had beaks. Sunday, the Royal Society birds admitted the oddest things, dozens awaiting results. Starlings. Hardwired hundreds nurse the frightened corpses of 53 year old experts- baffled Somerset beyond sleep. Starlings sky dance. The dead adamant, such coordinated protection flown and curled literally in her front garden structure (3.6 m long). He added: Collide. Fall. Starlings out of the sky, arrived littering the ground.

(Source: found Article- Metro March 11, 2010)


cOCK no. 7

SOPHIE MAYER October

Foxes brought her home. Four at the corners of her coat. Two at the shoulder, two at the knee. Foxes brought her home. Foxes made her bed. Four of them lofting the quilt. Two at the pillow, two at the foot. Foxes made her bed. Foxes lit her fire. Four gnawing logs at the woodpile. Two at the flintstrike, two at the hearth. Foxes lit her fire. Foxes cooked her food. Four it took to catch and to kill. Two at the henhouse, two at the well. Foxes cooked her food. Foxes walked through her dream. Four there were, coppers and red. Two at the window, two at the door. Foxes walking through.

Read more of Sophie’s work at http://www.sophiemayer.net


SOPHIE MAYER

Psalm 30 (Thanksgiving): “The air has that air” The air has that air of brass tacks knocked in trees: lost cat // fabric and trimmings sale posted back to back. As kids we were warned that tacks killed the trees. This disease is your responsibility. AIDS/HIV, the last Yangtze river dolphin. With brass tacks and Playdoh, you halfbaked this world, standing in the kitchen with blobs of it in your hair and your apron-strings trailing, offering up a murky blue-green biscuit as if to say It wasn’t me. I only wanted to please. To please, to please. I have bitten biscuits and unravelling pigtails and a gap-toothed smile that, five years on from this snapshot, an orthodontist will tell me (age ten) is sexy. Thumbsucker, baby elephant, cancer victim. Newsflash: drumtight bellies in the desert and that’s my fault, too, didn’t eat my lunch at school and they all starved, all starved, all starved. That’s the taste of autumn for you: leafscuff and wasp-blown apples. Eat this New Year, rotten to the core (God, but you have a way with metaphor).


cOCK no. 7

Lemniscate The King of Swords has me sleepless again. That trick with a knife. I’m not afraid here, at the point of a pointless blade, of falling, flowing, melting. I’ve been shined before, I’ve been a silver cup all poured into: bowlgirl, tearshape. Been at the stave: against it, fenced and splintering. Saved coins not of this realm; beat them out of swords, bought passage. No light but what I carry. But what you gave me. Oh, how we hurry through each other, paying coin of this and that, round o of the mouth, o of the moon. Not Blake’s ‘I want’ but Stevens: O bright, O bright. Palmed silver kiss, it fills the sleepless night. * The King of Swords unlocks his kiss, lip-bruised, at the last possible instant. Iceburn at the press of the blade. But I’m the turn of the scales, my legs Sheba-haired, tattooed (hey blue). Snow-licked skin could not be paler in this wolf season. Dead grass. Poverty. Pelt and ruff return at a run and free, under our fingers fleshed deep in her fur. Call it Arctic cold or any excuse to get close. Closer. Yes. As a mouthful of each other’s words, breath, yes. What leaves us in a kiss is the kiss and all it says of wonder, windows, eyelids; opening. All the falling. That tumbled lock. And: chorus. * The King of Swords cannot unpierce my heart. Dark of (not) the moon. Naked of my want.


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MATTHEW PLUMB Happiness writes white.

Petal yellow, sunshine groover fluttering a nectar mission, the liquid soft shallows of air, herbage under a dew soother. I love your bugaloo schism, gradient, watery rhythm, the beautiful plight of flowers dedicated aplomb succumb, irrevocable brute powers, epiphany haze of showers, every right belonging to come, those who know binding nerve to numb. Champion provost of pollen protocol, sun spun, sex spun, ardent agent, one freak, gorgeous droplet might be total, so fine, so frail a filament minutely out of egg, body plump, soft as kiss, take, over beg, going loaded chrysalis. No quotient of apathy load my happy. Indifferent, unhurried, life and I slide honeyed.

Check out more of his work http://www.literaturewales.org/writers-of-wales/ i/140223/desc/plumb-matthew/ And his great video-�Life as a Poet� http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BinJDOf3ZCw Matthew Plumb Photographed by Rob Portus


MATTHEW PLUMB

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Hey Lush‌ you look like you sleep a deep one to bliss and my heart feels huge from feeling the spread, going to no sympathy in my bed. Sleep, when it comes, swallows me, the suspense of will you come back or be this difference I sit and watch, tubes, flits (how tears are fed), sometimes struggle, mostly serene, a thread anomaly glinting and gently tense‌ and all my wow faith in all the colours nature throws and throws so sweetly slights me all the writhing insistent savage terms of take to create. We are with flowers our delicacy our humility, our soft open vibrance our shine of yearn.


MATTHEW PLUMB

Laura… Laura, leaning through my window, flawless honey body into summer early. Somewhere else in her nature is Sunday, making me want to find a beach for us, get her back in her element, fearless. She likes wearing air – feline slinky, laying the morning cool all over me, purring pure at me, yum into cosmos. True secrets we keep in little niches – no one goes in your mind – tunes bring them down, quiet places, a flavour, air mystique. Giving sweet as fragrant sun hot peaches, Laura, clear sheen pull of her peachy down, her little ocean she took me in sleep.

Through depths of height. Something about night and honeysuckle, eloping mood sighs of supple verdure, the balm and thrill spill of nature sugar, how right, this time of night, sky is purple – little shimmer before each new sparkle, nature symmetry, nature manufacture. How deep the sea brings black into texture, divine real time and impulses simple. Something about love of moving father mystery gentle, myth in my system fable my action quietly core of core. Sensory harvest of summer nurture, the rhythm, having no real precision, has no after for me, from no before.


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Low water. After water, only air is deeper, winnowing festoons of pinking wild rose. Pull of river her relentless keeper. Surface so cold you think it might shatter opening irresistible to close. After water, only air is deeper. We kept a common watch, no one saw her, a few were sure, her walking by the flow. Pull of river her relentless keeper. Unusually, so close after winter, strange, in a way, the river run so low. After water, only air is deeper. First of the year, in a way, the sweeter; smitten, frail petal she dropped in the tow. Pull of river her relentless keeper. Here, river bide darkly. They deliver. Impossible gifts so hard to let go, after water, only air is deeper. Pull of river, her relentless keeper.

Lulled. We hang in deep moments of history surfacing through lover and family, the motion gently handling us tied and blind fold, the dawn holding our breath. We accept. Let the living guess dying breeze touched of our pleading brothers.


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AUTUMN SHIFT I fell asleep in the lap of the sun but awoke alone to a haze, yearning heart, dusk eyed I searched everywhere for that body that had kept me so warm. But it was the autumn shift now The sun had gone from me but there was no alarm to raise My pleas for just another day were heartfelt but still in vain the time has come for chill and the rain It is the autumn shift now. I hold tight the golden memories tie them to my chest less they wither and grey and leave me alone even more depressed I console myself with the fireworks in the trees For it is the autumn shift now. My sky sailor has departed but I will wait as long as it takes to feel his warmth once again fall across on my face. counting the stars till you return and making love to my dreams Because it is the autumn shift now. Angel Ito


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AUTUMN RECONSTRUCTION/ NIGHT SHIFT Photographs by Jean Luc Urbanski


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sky bridge by Jean Luc Urbanski


Night Tower by Jean Luc Urbanski

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Hari Krishna Dancers Under Waterloo Bridge by Jean Luc Urbanski

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Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry


rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. Rabindranath Tagore


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“In three words I can sum up everythi


ing I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” Robert Frost

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ALAN C. SMITH ANDRA SIMONS SOPHIE MAYER MATTHEW PLUMB JOAO TRINDADE JEAN LUC URBANSKI ANGEL ITO

COCK NO. 7 #8 THE AUTUMN SHIFT ISSUE  

A Photography and Poetry Edition Inspired by the Seasonal Shift. Featuring: Alan C Smith, Andra Simons, Sophie Mayer, Matthew Plumb, Joao...

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