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quill puddle 3 & 4 | April 2013 | white print inc Rights to the work printed in quill puddle belong to the authors Submissions: Should be emailed to whiteprintinc@gmail.com in one document | Any time of year | See website for more information Subscriptions: Can be purchased at whiteprintinc.org | 20 dollars

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quill puddle. 3 & 4


Faruq Z Bey Tryone Williams Mike Sikkema JodiAnn Stevenson Rob Lipton Matvei Yankelvich Julie Patton Richard Modiano Barbara Henning


quill puddle. 3


Faruq Z Bey


AN UNVARNISHED VINGNETTE (FOR DETROIT HORN PLAYERS)

A CUTTING SESSION ON A PLANETARY SCALE @ THESE ARBITERS WHOSE ASSERTION. IS A CLEANLY STYLED INFINITE RUN ON A TERM THAT AVOIDS SYLLOGISM OR CONCLUSION II DOMAINS, HABITS CAUGHT… IN MID STRIDE THAT TALLISH TENOR SAXOPHONE STRUT THAT ACEY DUECY FOOT COCKED AT AN UNSEEMLY ANGLE THAT GLANCED, NUANCED GHETTO FACED CAUGHT… BETWEEN A SMILE AND A SNARL AS HE DRIFTED WITHOUT WILL ALONG LINES OF CONVECTION CURRENTS INTO THE ECHO LADEN CHANNELS OF CONCRETE CANYONS TO CONFRONT THAT DJINN IST GLIMPSED IN “CRUPT COMIC”

FARUQ Z BEY


…TO AVOID AN INCIDENTAL BOMBING OF THE GENERAL

HIP-HOP GOT TO FIND THE RUH OF HERU AS IT WAFTS ABOVE THE BLOODIED CORPSE OF SCARFACE WHILE SEARCHING FOR THE ENFOLDED KINKS OF DIMENSION SECRETED IN WHORLS OF SUPER SYMMETRIES IN OCCULTED DOMAINS OF DARK MATTERGEY THE ETHEREAL THUGS OF HIP-HOP LOOKIN FOR A DRIVEBY A DEMISE COMMITTING SIDEWAYS …BY BIG DRAMA WHEREAS…. ….AM I THE PROTAGONIST? IS THIS A TALE THATS ALL ABOUT ME?

FARUQ Z BEY


OTHER WORLDS, OTHER KNOWINGS

WHEN THE NAME…SOUNDING THE VERBAL NOUN OF BEINGNESS SPOKE WITH THE ‘MUS’ CHILD IN THE HILLS OF SINAI ABOUT THE SUBTLTIES OF “AM” ING HE SPOKE OF MORE THAN THE GREGORIAN PLAINSONG…OF PREDICATES MORE ESSENTIAL THAN THE PLAGAL CADENCE A PSALM, A PSALM A SONG A SONG AND GOD DON’T SPEAK IN “TIN PAN ALLEY” HU SPEAKS THE TRUEST ‘STRAIGHT AHEAD’ ‘THAT!” …AT THE RAZORS EDGE ‘THAT!”…BEYOND WAGNERIAN SONG FORM HU SPEAKS THE TRUEST ‘STRAIGHT AHEAD’ THAT SAYS “NO ONE DIED FOR YOUR SINES” YOUR CONCERNED WAVES OF INVOLUTION SHOWN AT THE FRUIT OF INVERSE EVOLUTION WHEN THE REDUCTIONIST DOLTS UNSEEMLY MINIMALIST LIKE TRANE AND ‘NETTE SUGGESTED UNSNARCED ANTHEMS HUMBLING HINTS @ CLARITY WITH ALIENATION @ AN EXISTENTIAL CRUCLBLE WITH IBLIS @ YOUR CONFIRMATION

FARUQ Z BEY


DREAMT SEQUENCE

CARNAL CONTRADICTALS AT LAST POETS POST-MODERN POETS OF THIS… THE HOME ZONES ANALOGS..OF REDBONES AND HIGH YELLAS IN A POST DEPRESSION KANSAS CITY ANA-OTHER NILE RIVER MYTH …HABI…IN THESE STRAITS CONSTRUCTS A CHANNEL FOR MOTION @THE WALKING DREAM IN THE “BLAQUE AUDIOGENICS PREDICATES ASSN.” THE AUDIO DJINNS RAISE A CLAMOOR PROTESTING THE EXCLUSION OF AUDI-OGENICS THE GREEK THE DJINN TILE FROM AN ALREADY EXCLUSIVIST PRAYER CIRCLE …BUT… “HE DEDUCED HISSELF” WE PROTESTED

FARUQ Z BEY


Tyrone Williams


Automotive Writing

for James Hart, III

Not that no one, so today, lives to speak of the dishwasher-bank teller complex. Not that the long-played out grooves sing off-tread the paved-over key. Anyone-cum-thing but. Still, late capitulation accumulates as errata as letters of a disingenuous spirit slipped between reading boom read bust.

TYRONE WILLIAMS


Reading Ohio

A former border town now a township stamped upon a tall glass of speed trap poured roll through a pentaSTOP— she’s gone— insipid lyric with a little English on it— backspin to the finished basement on Burns St. where I brushed against a still wet

TYRONE WILLIAMS


Tapeworm

I am listing on indivisible seas…

I can taste the sirens in the background…

TYRONE WILLIAMS


Mike Sikkema


from: Lake Effects

At the pipe line one fake gun is safer than any others. Clear so cold. We make due with oblong long odds and make for a soft target audience all caught up in a smile everyone thought was a barn owl.

MIKE SIKKEMA


from: Lake Effects

Day caught day’s snow black rounds wide white white. “Bait bullets booze” and bird salad shine is fine. So I’ll take the quick trip to johnny cash register, thanks. There’s this form where I’m forgetting.

MIKE SIKKEMA


from: Lake Effects

Hay wagon radicals think shit’s money are right about both but can’t carry over violin bird-chase effects for shit. From the first some animals: the fiddle-head rat, three-legged ground cloud, the blade, and star-nosed mole. Say the uncle in the truck and all the missing facts pretty in a row. You can just look at a child and point in any direction.

MIKE SIKKEMA


from: Lake Effects

Let’s hope for some resonant snag or drain pipe flute. I’ve been practicing both my hither hither and stare/sneer breakdown just for you because this story is thinking linkage and blood’s an amplifier to all the signals already there. Wonder grunt logic. All syllables all syllables all all the the way way down down.

MIKE SIKKEMA


from: Lake Effects

This story is the stories don’t hold the stories together. The truth is mostly vowels and push. Oh. Uh. Huh. Ah. So, honey covered and bee sounds round clit and nipples a good Saturday morning. Hornbeam Maple. Go a tangle to a nest in our daylight savings account. This end is whiskey nice

MIKE SIKKEMA


JodiAnn Stevenson


He Will Bring Her Tiger Lilies for Mother’s Day

She will have a baby. She will paint the kitchen bridal rose and brazil nut with him in the middle of the night. He will bring her a tiger lily the morning after their first one-night stand which took place in a field of tiger lillies. He will be the one to catch the baby as it slips from her. She will have a baby. He will shake awkwardly when he proposes to her She won’t know if this is due to cold or fear. He will call her to say he couldn’t wait to call her. These things won’t necessarily happen in this order. She will not be able to stand herself. She will have a baby. He will send her pornographic audio so they can mutually masturbate while 2000 miles apart. They will decide that day to end it. He will make her strawberry smoothies for breakfast. She will have another baby. He will cry on the telephone actually begging her not to end it. They will both cry when they find out about the pregnancy. They will not know if this is due to happiness or fear. She will have the baby and the second baby and he will sing those babies to sleep.

JODIANN STEVENSON


Furthermore, I feel, I am not worthy of your compassion

behind the naked bathroom door I sputter erratically / a broken lightbulb hanging over a damp hole in the muddy earth leftover from our son’s careless digging / & you ask a question through my fangs about whether or not you can sit with me to watch the enormous bear crash around in my chest / the blank stare the breath & voice of a drunk slamming against the pavement / & when you go away I’m still alone / heavy bag of garbage swollen with the points of broken things

JODIANN STEVENSON


What It Has to Do With You

for those Americans “unaffected” by Katrina and her aftermath Leaves float downriver, disconnected, downwater disjointed, disinfected, under bones or shapes that look like bones and bits of black earth empty while a strange choir is singing, threatening the landscape with repulsion & equilibrium made by human hands. Things on top of things – things that aren’t very happy and what is the point? Initial repulsion. The nature of power – cellophane bags, radios, contact paper – any of these pieces – would you stop and look? Would you? Tell yourself and turn yourself around. It is your job to police the situation where people are working so hard to hear each other speak the snake impression of other angels, other gods, other times they hated to learn what death has to do with joy – you’re not sure – and aren’t you lucky not to know.

JODIANN STEVENSON


Buzz

weaken me in the knees with all the need of our knowing and know me weak and needy, my knees as soft as elm branches branching out into need under the elms, soft and weak, which we know are just a gift of measured moments we thought we’d mastered in flight where we master our giving and measure our thoughts in just moments when our wings are mastered by the measure of fleeting thoughts such as I am a lively animal who lusts against the lull of this world and the world lusts after such animals living against the lull of the pulse and my pulse is a world of animals, always lulling against lusting for the grass which begins its escape in the great birth of its being while its being begins a great birth and we escape to wake in the grass and as we wake, always beginning in the birth of the grass, we escape our great being. You do. You do make me weak.

JODIANN STEVENSON


A Poem About Sex and the Body

Baby’s got it good for the fire and the lightning against his skin I let him in as much as he wants but don’t even begin to tell me baby got some new way of knowing what I’m about and opening me like some picture of a flower not a flower exactly but what he thinks he wants to see I let him do it because he’s baby and the good fire of his lightning skin says touch but I is only a picture of a flower not the actual flower under the tree in the forest with hanging mossy green to eat up dew and sunlight I is only a painting of that flower not the real flower itself wet and unclipped don’t even know how I supposed to know how to be that real flower when I been told to be the picture and I want to be a good picture because good pictures get good babies but when good baby opens me he opens a picture of me not me myself then his fire good or not is also only a picture of a flame

JODIANN STEVENSON


burning eternally with no setting me on fire.

JODIANN STEVENSON


Rob Lipton


Confirming the kill

After the soldiers fired down the alley, the moon was still full and the girl’s head was resting on her teddy bear backpack the commander of the hidden soldiers walked impatiently toward the girl took out his pistol and shot her twice in the head, then, changing his mind raised his machine gun to his waist and emptied a clip into the body which jumped as if alive obviously just the rebound of the lead hitting the cobble stones we always hear the success stories the sprinter wins a gold medal after a near amputation, the God of our father saves a slave’s bastard son but that’s just a sucker bet, like the casino pictures of slot machine winners the Burts and Floras smiling in bad light God puts up things too, chants and crepuscular sunlight with the distant beauty of a domed mosque, obedient Abraham and his sharp knife school girls giggling home, blood only rising in their cheeks

ROB LIPTON


Study for a 12 year old boy accused of throwing rocks

We marched off the distance from the storefront to where the half-track had stopped, 112 meters, the road was dusty and dug up by tanks, the store owner, as soon as was discreet, washed Adi’s blood off the slate flooring, arterial wounds will allow all the body’s blood to drain in less than 30 seconds, faster for teenagers, they brought him in with a messy half grin and winking eyes, as if he were telling you that he would’ve been back in a minute if it weren’t for the sniper’s tumbling bullet that had rummaged around in his chest like a staggering drunk looking for a hidden bottle. By way of explanation, his throwing hand hung off the stainless steel table, clutching a frog.

ROB LIPTON


Close reading

the wasp god was down to his last thermometer, intolerable during times of plenty, but he would abide it wasn’t as if the span of days allotted were necessary as a reminder or the manner in which his wife would nag him about oral sex sideways comments about “size mattering after all” were a buzz kill, but there was Nancy with her lavish breasts and guttural chug when she would come repeatedly as if she were an action figure in a porno, sometimes one couldn’t tell the damage done by the mercury or the action of preparing a mud nest stuffing paralyzed spiders in amongst the eggs, some little responsibility, not enough for fond memories, but this still confuses laughter with hollow panicked guffaws, the kind that usually greet a banjo player swinging his instrument into the audience section failing to participate in the sing-along, alone, left to the dust and intemperate swags of neurons firing like a platoon of Barney Fifes late to the party, you have time for rummy and mixed doubles, to arrange the oval things into perfect circles

ROB LIPTON


Pin Pricks in the Vault of Heaven

the woman, eyes open on her mechanical bed, looks up at 45 degrees, she whimpers like a kitten when the nurse comes to change her sheets, wrapped in a thermal blanket she is almost a spirit of Christmas past, dark circles around her eyes, deep in her bed, every last tooth removed from her mouth, she waits for news like an astronomer waiting for the solar wind to clear, I come into focus, my periodic visit to her night sky simply noted, I am part of a prediction, the galaxies circling, something will blow up, develop into flamboyant waves of heavy metals and dust, this is the shrinking universe that has everything collect into lumps or burn to a cinder, a tired cooking metaphor that leads back to the woman who breathes in little sips, ears scanning for the sound of exploding suns or her grandson chewing a chocolate chip cookie, I focus on the Yule log resting on her nightstand and watch gravity, as if confused, work its way through her body, flattening secrets to her thickened tongue

ROB LIPTON


Normal Sad Middle Aged memory

They said it was summer not the little white-washed gas chamber not the altar of the glitzy cathedral Christ dying in gold plate and garnet there is the brutal heat that pumps itself into exhaustion at twilight fruit ripening in time lapse easy pickings, the heft and crush of fruit against a tongue tongues, with a hooded wink replacing fruit, you know the drill, eating-fucking, lots of “eating” in summer so, summer gives writers the low-hanging fruit of fruit and it’s always you playing kick-the-can or some convoluted hide-n-seek sucking the last bits of light from the sky, clean sweat and ice cold water the room with the newspaper wrapped father, dark and sepulcher, still with suit and tie a small light pushing back the summer night, crickets in the scrub canyon, a heavy red in the west reluctant to go away, like the kids playing down the street this is not the summer of twin F-16s targeting ROB LIPTON


a slow-moving building bodies stuck in rebar and concrete ripen in the summer heat formerly children playing in the dying light, dying as the air is sucked from lungs, little shrapnel punctures faces blue-gray the smell overpowering as sight leaves and the other senses are left to the rot in the retiring heat

ROB LIPTON


quill puddle. 4


Matvei Yankelevich


excerpt from XXXIII

in the removal of depth of field, much as the stars map endpoints of a chart of lines, and are no more than serifs snapped on tips of invisible letters. Meeting in the eye, these intersections are after all only dots of depth conspiring to drop their own dimensionality to distort the memory of space, mocking transparency as hats deride heads.

MATVEI YANKELEVICH


XXXII

Oh, the many mislaid and best laid. The ones that got away and stayed. The many roads and their crossroads, Legs that carried weightless loads. How time’s hand does to skin, to bark, Flesh of statues in the garden’s dark, Aged urns and vases of perception, Long furs and feathers of sensation. Oh, failure of the five to grasp the depth Of crumbling curb or garden step.

MATVEI YANKELEVICH


XXXV

A lush taxonomy breathes deep in the blue wood. Mowers, harvesters along the perimeter. A crack in the pavement from one side of the road to the other in the shape of lightning. A post, lightened by holes in the metal, lifts a rectangular sign above human heads, slanted in relation to the two yellow lines. Numbers and arrows and letters — twigs of wood. Splotches of green grass amid splotches of dirt and pebbles. Squat iron hydrant, its flattened spouts. The water running free beyond it in the shadow of dark limbs and the unmistakable preciousness of a theory of artifice.

MATVEI YANKELEVICH


XXVIII

Animals cut into parts, crawling, scurrying along the soil. You pick one up and gesture for us to look closer. In your hand is an organism, you are an organism. Compare these things. What can come of this, for instance, if your arm is a prosthetic device? Your beckoning gesture is a sign, mechanically reproduced, also a drawing in the air, a calligraphy that reads as black on white, a tautology packed in ice, a frozen repetition of ancestral digits. You stick your arm in the toilet by means of a prosthetic brush. You make it new then erase it. You make it new, then do it again. Put your arm through your arm, hand through hand, up to the shoulder, repeat with legs, struggle into a statement, making a loudspeaker out of your head, which hovers uneasily as a geometric sun above abstract planes, the crosses of propellers spinning, wings un-crossed as a swimmer against the air. Where did you go? And where’s the window you left through?

MATVEI YANKELEVICH


Parts I through V of Some Worlds for Dr Vogt

The text from which these poems are excerpted was written ostensibly as a response to a work of visual art: Koo Jeong A’s Dr. Vogt, which consists of 60 individual drawings placed in a room painted in very specific colors at the Dia Foundation’s Dan Flavin Art Institute, a repurposed Baptist Church in Bridgehampton on Long Island. The Dia Foundation commissioned the work to be performed in the exhibition space in the summer of 2011, however my “response” is not ekphrastic in any visible sense, and does not attempt to illustrate the images in the artists’ work. The “you” in the text may be the mysterious Dr. Vogt, or it may be the viewer, but it does not refer to the artist herself, nor any other specific addressee. Some Worlds for Dr. Vogt consists of 38 parts, and is at this point still a work in progress.

MATVEI YANKELEVICH


Julie Patton


telephone advice for james 3

turn the walls into paper and write on them with your forehead

JULIE PATTON


inbox from 216-XXX-XXXX

Hello. Thats most i can squeeze out at chu now. Shout out sum pour black glass ripple as cups ruin overt & verdant Jun 29 5:21 pm

JULIE PATTON


inbox from 216-XXX-XXXX

sorry 4 dlay! i wd call but still on way 2 nyc by car. poetree far roses swindle tongue interstate til libera statue gets torched signal stay he Arty l’il ghost dancing brother & tell the circus city oranges & tom cats will sheer the rind most fruitful Jun 2, 12:45 pm

JULIE PATTON


Richard Modiano


Transcontinental bus trip while reading evolution book

West of Denver fossil rodents appear suddenly fog & snow, superhighway clods of dirt reading Hitching on Evolution the Centarl Electric Supply Co. Watson & Crick, 1953 crystalline spirals of DNA coded info only out to protein molecular “how” of heredity Schnooky’s Cookies wire fence romantic in water vapor Baby cries in seat ahead Precambrium jump from bacteria calnpi..fJ.g phone next right genetic drift in fruit flies black on yellow diamond bicycle RICHARD MODIANO


lovers fight about their children simultaneous unrelated advantageous mutations Clear Creek Canyon Marcel Scbutzenberger scientist “no leaps in nature” Idaho Springs Self serve—no smoking Sun races west, into blue sky 130 million light-sensitive rods and cones exit—Silver Plume system of coordinated variables firewood for sale Continental Divide push here for exit

RICHARD MODIANO


Barbara Henning


Second Avenue Dumisani moves around me putting needles into my wrists, ankles, chest as bodies of earth turn I lie there in the dark, intermittently dreaming about dancing with him, my arms around him, swaying, and then my nose starts to itch on the left side. It itches so much that my eyes start to water and then it moves to the right side, and then it stops and I start dreaming again, thinking about Allen and how much I loved him, and I get teary and my right nostril starts crying out for a scratch. I call out but no one can hear me. I look down at my arm, I don’t have a needle in my elbow, so I bend it carefully, the two needles in my wrist dangling and I touch my nostril with my thumb and it stops, lay it back down again, off into my dance on air whirling as bodies of earth turn Then I cough once and my chest hurts where the needle is. So I relax every muscle in my body. Then Duma turns on the light and takes out the needles. Get those tests to me next week. Ok see you then decamp vamoose skip out On my bike peddling down Second Avenue, I remember him saying, You will watch yourself die. Everyone watches themselves die. Well, some of us have been searching for a suitable and preferable environment for a very long time.

BARBARA HENNING


Traverse City

My friend Bea sits across from me, eating a bowl of spaghetti. She looks the same but her hair is almost white now. I met her in 72 and for a number of years we lived with the Cass Corridor community in Detroit. After a while, she married Allen’s close friend, Joe, and they moved up here and Allen and I moved to New York. There’s a drawing of Joe, David, Allen and Tony on my wall in New York City. All those guys are dead now, from too much smack and too much alcohol departed outward bound evacuate Sometimes I weep because I miss them, but today I’m traveling. So I kiss Bea and I’m back on the road. Driving along, I think about 72. If I had not decided to go back to college, and to drive downtown one day, and pick up a South End to start looking at apartments, I wouldn’t have become Shirley’s roommate and Shirley was a close friend of Bea’s. Then I wouldn’t have walked down Willis Avenue and met Allen when he was bartending at Cobb’s. If I hadn’t have met Allen, Bea wouldn’t have met Joe and maybe they’d never have moved to Traverse City. And if Bea didn’t help Shirley get her apartment, I’d have found another roommate on the other side of campus and I wouldn’t have gone into Cobb’s Corner Bar at all. And when Shirley went down to Columbia, she wouldn’t have looked up Emile in prison as a favor to Allen. And maybe Emile would still be sitting there in Bogata just for buying some marijuana. And my children and grandchildren would not be alive, and I wouldn’t be here years later writing these words. It seems as if you are caught in the drift— And yet everything, every act is impregnated with possibility fragility runaround sidestepping It makes me want to crawl inside my tent and just lie still and listen to the rain. *

BARBARA HENNING


The movers took away

almost everything. Now the dogs are gone too and the house is very quiet the clicking of the computer keys I’m upstairs writing and it’s windy outside caressing and addressing a noun I hear a noise and when I look around, I see a moving shadow. Quietly I stand up and edge my way over to the door. The wind is unrolling the toilet paper and it is willowing into the hallway, swaying and creating a shadow dance on the wall.

BARBARA HENNING


Humidity

In a cafe on First Avenue, Julie Patton and I eat gaspacho, and then ramble through the park, standing in the dark under an ancient elm tree. Trees make the best poets. They draw in the sky. See that window with the half curtains and the lights on, I say, that’s where I live for the time being the animal anima alphabet Julie lives around the corner and back and forth to Cleveland for the time being where everything is “see,” “come-here,” “look” Your cough, she says, sounds like my mother’s, and my friend helped her with acupuncture. Not long after, I’m sitting across from him, and unexpectedly I fall under Nina Simone’s spell distant or near the things you do My lungs compressed. I should have loosened my clothes, but now I’m woven with needles. So I ask him, like one yogi would another, if he could unhook it unfasten release the hinges of their wings and put them in a corner He reaches under me, fumbling, and then he says, I’m a little out of practice *

BARBARA HENNING


Tompkins Square

Once a swamp, once a military parade ground, once surrounded by shanties, then six-to-seven story tenements, sweatshops, Eastern European, Puerto Rican, the site of many demonstrations and riots—Charlie Parker lived across the street—heroine culture, chanting love, Hari Krishna, the punks camped on the southwest side, once a tent city where the homeless staked a space, then property values climbed, and so a curfew and a wall of armed police tore the city down desertion égress salida August 6, 1989 and we were sitting in Lucy’s when the police cavalry charged up Avenue A agitate rouse excite The park bench was then redesigned with a bar in the middle. The thinning of trees. Closed after midnight except for the tulips, daisies, pigeons, rats and squirrels the weeds in the cracks get away going along good-bye for now Then birds of prey migrated into the city for easy feeding. At noon, a hawk perches in the giant elm with the bird house in the middle, it’s thick branches snaking over the park. Following the curving iron rails that separate grass from cement, I clasp my hands behind me and hum—Summertime and your mama’s good looking. Words and bird sounds on the breeze . . . The guy across the way is pounding a beat on his hip. All night, all right. A woman on a bike with big speakers on the back greets her friends at the circle where the public stage used to be, electric, the center of, the birds are on, the amps are on, the rain is holding off and we are wearing clown makeup. Anything can happen here into a V again at any moment off we go

BARBARA HENNING


Ted Pearson


TED PEARSON


quill puddle. 3 & 4