CARTIER STREET REVIEW June 2012
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Cover: Dream, by Ben Heine (partial, full image inside)
Table of Contents Fira by Night, by Ben Heine...............................................6 The Man On The Bremerton Ferry, by Keith Moul...........7 Double Landscape, by Ben Heine.....................................11 John Lennon, by Ben Heine.............................................12 Escape, by Wendy Brown-Báez .......................................13 Two Poems by Mike Finley...............................................17 A Monk at the Door......................................................17 Everything Dies But Nothing Goes Away....................20 The Toy Box of Youth: Mike Finley's Yukon Gold, reviewed by Danny Klecko...............................................25 London, by Ben Heine.....................................................33 The Self Collected: Mike Finley’s Yukon Gold, re...........34 Green and Magenta Lizard, by Nina Kurilof...................42 Two Poems by Christopher Title.....................................43 First Tomato.................................................................43 Taking Samples............................................................44 Featured artist: Ben Heine...............................................45 Brussels by Night, by Ben Heine......................................47 Featured artist: Nina Kuriloff..........................................48 Abstract Rainbow, by Nina Kuriloff................................50 sister of the caves, by Chansonette Buck.........................51 Bicycle Dreams, by Mary Kay Rummel...........................54 Dream, by Ben Heine.......................................................58 4
Muttnik, by Danny Klecko...............................................60 The Assassination of Jimi Hendrix, by T.K.Oâ€™Rourke....63 Mic check mic check, by Dubblex....................................72 Looking Around, by Gerald Solomon..............................76 The Day I Met Tennessee, by B.Z. Niditch .....................78 lean against the letting go, by Christopher Lawrence.....80 Salmon Spawn, by Mary Eliza Crane ..............................82 A Wedding, by Charles Brooks III...................................84 Peace Rainbow, by N. Kuriloff.........................................86 We Are The Ninety-Nine Percent! by Firestone Feinberg ..........................................................................................87 Silence, by Afzal Moolla...................................................89 Buddha on His Throne, photo by Joy Leftow.................90
FIRA BY NIGHT, BY BEN HEINE BEN HEINE
THE MAN ON THE BREMERTON FERRY, BY KEITH MOUL
KEITH MOUL All I miss adds volume to timeâ€™s vacuum. Solitude evokes from me a feeble say. Random events may: check a need for friends; misdirect a stroll to a run for oneâ€™s life; strengthen resolve to rebuild from unmet conditions; surround me with fruitful space; fail me silently; course cosmic lives to intersect on ferries; give voice an object, with time ever running on. So, I am ready today for this man who talks at me as though long absent, well-met, avuncular; as though the ferry lounge were his parlor; as though the red-satin sunset his personal illumination; and I his shy, intimate relative or friend, chosen to register in script his painful tales and collaborate in the loss of his faculties before dark and wet weather settle in.
Although on my way I am not his friend, I am where he needs his friend to be. With his smile, he creates convenience. His eyes, so weakened, obscure justice. I am contrite for whatever is my guilt. And on we go until my silence fills me like a basin with showers overflowing. With his voice always more at ease, I steal anotherâ€™s life, my felony an act of uneasy will. I shake in his reverend air. His blessing offers ample commutation to fit an hour trip. His frankness frightens me. I am more shy. On other occasions, in its glide through Puget Sound the Yakima has calmed my eddy in its wake, has excited fervor for this land of waters. Not this time. 8
When finally I talk, my words inherit voices: a stupid man who mumbles an inane homage to dinner and freedom; the cornered man, agreeable to a fault, anxious for his own release; and a man who shares his heart, as at home, or in the parlor of a friend, freely at ease with age, with hurt, and generous with empathy. When he departs the vessel, the man on the Bremerton ferry, I am changed, liberated to afford a last assumption: warm at home, he relaxes in his chair, grateful having met his old friend at a moment of calm before the evening storm. Returning to Seattle, I am grateful for his error and envy his friendships.
KEITH MOUL is a retired insurance executive, with a PhD in English. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with
his wife of 44 years, Sylvia. His daughter, Ianthe, is an exciting artist, whose website is www.iantheart.com.
Keith has published his poems widely, starting in 1967. His chapbook, The Grammar of Mind, was released in November, 2010 by Blue & Yellow Dog Press. He also
publishes his photos frequently. Also in 2010, a poem
he wrote in response to a photo he took was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He will not be surprised if his readers envy him his pleasant life.
DOUBLE LANDSCAPE, BY BEN HEINE BEN HEINE BEN EINE
JOHN LENNON, BY BEN HEINE BEN HEINE
ESCAPE, BY WENDY BROWN-BÁEZ WENDY BROWN-BÁEZ Everything is possible in a red pick-up truck: even secrets. The sea breeze chilled my hot heart into rest, the sand beneath my feet curved to the shape of my invisibility: no one laughed at my disappearance but you. In red we fled. If they wanted to find us, nothing is bolder than red shining on a dusty Mexican road, the few belongings you grabbed rattled in the back, every bump a jarring reminder of how far we traveled from certainty. Everything is possible in a red truck: even flight. You bought the truck cash down intending to turn wheels into wings so we could find shelter, succor, strength to move through the nightmare of crushed stars like a blaze of cempasúchil flowers to honor what is gone. The road unwound to beach. The tacos tasted like sea bliss and the micheladas of cerveza and hope. I stood with my feet in the waves and a sunset benediction. I opened my arms wide for the first time since my son died. “To you, Madre del Mar.” She answered: 13
â€œEverything is possible: even courage to go on, to live, to journey to the reason you are here bound each to each by the thread of truth and the ribbon of dare.â€? We slept hammocked, we dove into womb water birthing us. I grew mermaid scales along the roots of revival. You looked as though God had kissed you. When I licked the salt from the rim of my glass, I tasted freedom: Everything is possible in a red pick-up truck headed to the sea.
WENDY BROWN-BÁEZ is a writer, teacher, and
performance poet. She has published poetry and prose in numerous literary journals such as The Litchfield
Review, The Chrysalis Reader, Minnetonka Review, and Wising Up Press anthologies, and is the author of
Ceremonies of the Spirit (Plain View Press, ’09) and transparencies of light (Finishing Line Press, ’11).
Wendy has performed her poetry from Minneapolis to Mexico in bars, cabarets, cafés, galleries, bookstores and cultural centers. She is the creator of Writing Circles for Healing and received 2008 and 2009
McKnight grants to teach writing workshops for at risk youth. www.wendybrownbaez.com
TWO POEMS BY MIKE FINLEY A Monk at the Door One summer morning the doorbell woke me. When I opened the door, there was a man in a Tibetan robe, wearing Buddy Holly frames. He was a chaplain from the Minneapolis Police Department. He read from a piece of paper in his hand. He told me that my daughter had been found dead in her room. Then I had to tell my wife. Rachel, a man downstairs â€Ś says Daniele â€Ś has died. This really happened. It was August 18, 2009. Within moments of hearing my daughter was dead, God died, too. I had put put all my trust in his faithfulness. I knew we were on a journey, a journey I could not understand. But I trusted God to see us through. 17
I prayed every day for protection for Daniele, from the dangers that surrounded her life. And so God began to shrink, to collapse to a dot. I could see him disappearing into air. I could hear his tiny voice calling out: goodbye. The day of the funeral, a beautiful hawk perched on our backyard lines. A dozen people looked up as it surveyed us, shrugged, and flew away over the garage. Sometimes in the fall, down by the river bluffs, I see eagles. And herons. And ducks. Always, a curious sensation that they are not just birds, they are messengers somehow. Here I am, they are saying. I am here. I am everywhere. Winter was hard. Rachel went away. Friends stopped calling. They were sick of my stories. I sat and watched the satellite and I drank. Sometimes I was so angry I would argue all day, with the people who no longer called. Behind their backs I told them the truth to their faces. 18
Spring came, the trees leafed out and blossomed. One day I heard a tapping in the dining room. A robin had returned and flown in the back door, and now was leaping over and over again into the same sealed window. The bird was frantic, afraid and exhausted. I fetched a plastic Walmart bag from the pantry and slipped it over the frightened bird. As gently as I could I placed the bag on an open planter in the back yard. The bird sat paralyzed, unblinking, one wing cocked awry. I left the bag and bird alone, and when I returned minutes later, the bag was empty ... the bird was gone. And for the first time I found myself wondering about something â€Ś If God was truly gone ... if nothing mattered and the universe wasn't just a snide joke at the expense of the conscious â€Ś then why was that man on the porch, with the stubbly scalp and the stubbly chin and the stammering affect â€Ś and why was he wearing saffron robes? 19
And why has that color â€Ś the color of the embalmed body, but also the sign of surprise, been everywhere I look?
Everything Dies But Nothing Goes Away In Kotzebue there is no recycling program. No one wants what this small city far away to the north throws away. It's too expensive to go after their shit for the small savings of reprocessing it. A crusher would cost a million plus and everything would still have to be sorted and separated. You think of the melting glaciers and you think of the energy hat went into everything that is visible everywhere. And it's not just the pop cans, it's everything. And so the front yards fill up, with everything people have used â€“ the cars that no longer run, the freezers that stopped freezing, the broken toilets, the ravaged boats, old air conditioners, rusted grills , the splintered plywood ramps used by skateboarders to get lift from the pull of the tundra. bicycles, snow-gos, barrows, storage containers, chainsawed doghouses, 21
shipping containers as big as a house, cement mixers that ground to a halt. I saw industrial equipment I can never identify, great hulking iron things with fans and flanges and levers that once did something powerful but now can only sit In front of a log cabin I saw a broken treadmill labeled "Endurance." I saw four school lockers, leaning side by side against a wall, their yellow paint flaking in the subzero cold. And up on the tar-paper roofs of these caved-in houses, the racks of moose and caribou, skulls still connected, vegetarian teeth bared to the cold, the trophies of long-ago hunts. And sits on their lawns forever, I don't mean lawns, because there is no grass, it sits on their property, it gives away their secrets, it's a 3D photo album, shot to scale, it's the story of their lives standing around doing nothing. no one pays the gas to have it sent to a landfill put on a barge to be chopped up and reused 22
A part of me says how wasteful. A part of me says what a mess. But it teaches us a lesson. it teaches you that everything we make takes up space. We who ship everything off to the dump have convinced ourselves we are tidy people when somewhere a half dozen zip codes away a landfill is groaning from our excesses. And we look at these people of the north and wring our noses like they are the slobs and we are the civilized ones while our shit is packed off to trouble some people in China, in Mexico, or under some mountain in Nevada, Or it leeches into our own water substrate and we wonder why our SAT scores are dropping. It's a filthy-ass world however you shave it so why not keep the bones above ground, to see? And that's what they do, in Kotzebue â€“ the permafrost prevents deep graves, as if the earth is saying. oh no you don't, you can't stick that slop in me, so you lay them atop of it instead, 23
you heap a mound of stones and gravel over the suck-mouth ancestors and the beautiful girls in beaded fur parkas, you strew plastic flowers on the sea-washed stones flowers that fade from the cold and the blinding sun, and say this was our life, we cannot tell a lie, and even if we could, the earth would not allow it. We honor our ancestors because they brought us to this place they set us on this path and even if it is not a path that anyone wants to steal we cling to it because it is ours. These people lived in valor in a hard place and they never complained and their successes are measured day to day by the children they bore, and the children that survived, and they will never be junk to us because though they have passed on they are our hope because they gave us us, and the most beautiful thing is when it snows and the snow comes down and covers everything, 24
and we are all together finally, the way we really are, and the junk disappears under the clean new coat, and the dead sit up in their resting places and smile and holdout their hands to catch the snow, it is proof that things go on it is proof we are grateful and everything mattered in the end
MIKE FINLEY is the layout editor for Cartier Street Review. He is author of over 140 books and nearly a
hundred videos. He is winner of a Pushcart Prize He is the husband of writer Rachel Frazin and father of
Canadian Guitar Festival winner (2011) Jon Finley. Mike lives in Saint Paul.
THE TOY BOX OF YOUTH: MIKE FINLEY'S
YUKON GOLD, REVIEWED BY DANNY KLECKO
Yukon Gold: Poems de terre, 1970-2010; With a Key to the Mysteries by Mike Finley Kraken Press, St. Paul Downloable free at this link
Reviewer's disclaimer: Mike Finley has been my friend for many years.
Opening Yukon Gold is like is like finding the toy box of your youth on your 50th birthday. This book took 40 years to compile. Forty years denotes an
..entire generation, and when I thought of all the labor, passion and toil that had been put into these 300 poems, I became overwhelmed. I say Mike Finley has the most unique poetry today. This befuddles my colleagues. But to me, my choice makes perfect sense. When I read poems, the topic isn’t as important as the angle the poet views it from. When Finley begins a rant, you can be certain that he will start it from a vantage point that most of us would not have thought of using. When I glanced at the table of contents, not 10 seconds elapsed before my first smile. Who else besides Larry David or Jerry Seinfeld could do a poem about Hitler, and not only “get away with it” but make you glad you invested a glance on it? Yep, Mike Finley can.In “Hitler in the Vestibule” we are treated to a story that Mike heard from a performance artist during a midnight show. When the comedian was a little boy he grew up in Vienna and was at a hotel with his parents. Like most kids, he searched for imaginative ways to entertain himself. One of his better ideas was to hang out in the elevator and push the buttons for every floor, lighting the panel up like a Christmas tree. 27
How was the young boy to know that Hitler, on the very day of Anschluss, was in the lobby waiting to use the lift to take him to an important meeting? Hitler having to wait for a little boy on the day of his triumph! Finley is deliberate in turning the most common people into heroic protagonists. In “Dishwasher” we are given a list of the different jobs in a restaurant from the top down. When the poem concludes, you can see Finley giving a wink of encouragement to us all. But the dishwasher warms his blood at the wrists And it goes to his heart like wonderful liquor Everyone yelling, but he doesn’t hear In “Thank You” Finley shares his gratitude with a motor cycle rider who sports the face of a pirate, leather pants and a beard of steel. When this biker begins to ride slowly down Marshall Avenue, 28
Finley’s son cranes his neck out of a tiny stroller. To see you pass like Jesus entering the Jerusalem gate And you waved But the greatest hero of them all was a barber named Dave. When Mike’s stepfather had finished his chemo treatments (he was dying from a brain tumor) Dave the barber would stop by every week. Even though his client was completely bald, Dave would pull out his clippers and run it across the skull where ghost hairs ran wild. They were unstoppable. This would take place for about an hour, and both men would volley random conversations like “Kids today” or “Open Lots” But the thing that touches Finley most is the phrase he ends with. When Dave was done he carefully brushed the excess off Shook the cloth off on the porch
Let nothing ride away on air These lunch-bucket tributes are a continuing theme in Yukon Gold, and often times its subject matter will force you to 29
slump into comfortable positions on the couch. There is some edgy content that I’m glad I read. If I could forget “Jacob the Crow”, I might be grateful. It is the most controversial poem in the collection, dealing with the famous Minnesota child abduction case of Jacob Wetterling. Like most of Mike’s poems, this one too starts with a natural occurrence. While hiking in the northern woods, Finley thinks he hears a boy’s shrill cry. As his eyes peer across a marsh in hopes of spotting a waving mitten in need of help, Mike then realizes this sound isn’t coming from a child in distress, but a distant crow. Then the poem takes some dark twists and morphs into an outcome I will let you read for yourself. But if you are one of those people who skip over footnotes, you mustn’t here. On the bottom of the page Mike goes into detail as to how even though he wrote this poem for people to have a common focal point for grieving, one person in particular sent a poem in return that was really creepy in a calculated serialkiller kind of way. The FBI got involved. Unless you can handle intense – well, 30
you get the idea. Then of course is the series of The New Yorker poems.
Without a doubt â€œMinnesotan in New Yorkâ€? is my favorite. A couple of years ago I had a cookbook published by the Minnesota Historical Society and the Martha Stewart camp wanted me to come out to Manhattan to discuss it. Before leaving, I was feeling a little apprehensive, and realizing this, Mike sent me this poem in the mail. It may have been one of the kindest gestures anybody has ever shown me. What made this experience special was that in the poem, we Minnesotans basically end up having the upper hand on the natives from the Big Apple since we are less affected by the cold. All along 6th Avenue phalanxes of muggers and murders part Melted from their purpose by sled dog eyes Urgent and cheerful on a cold, cold night. 31
In “Dead Cat for Ray” our author sneaks a peek in his best friends diary, and instead of confessing, Mike simply starts his own diary, where the opening submission is about him peeking at his friends diary. “Meet Me at the Carwash” and “University Avenue” are so epic that when I read them, I could see them in my mind as if they were movies, but not Hollywood movies, they were cooler and full of character like the stuff you see on the Independent Film Channel. “Mini Van” and “Dog of God” were important reads as well. I have to believe that. I could not have a cynic on my Top 10 Poets List. Finley was once described as “America’s angry young poet,” but the poems “Minivan” and “The Dog of God” are proof that he subscribes to hope with a heart of gratitude. Book reviews often look for clever ways to entice their audience to like (or dislike) a particular work. I’m just going to leave you with this. Yukon Gold, at 500+ pages, took me an entire day to read. While I was reading it, I really felt transformed. When I closed the book, I rested in a wonderful glow for over an hour. Then, when I realized that the 32
experience was in my rear view mirror, getting smaller, I got depressed. I didnâ€™t want to leave. This book is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, people. Have fun with it.
DANNY KLECKO is the CEO of the Saint Agnes Baking
Company in Saint Paul. In addition to feeding the Twin Cities daily, he has been able to lecture on baking and business principles throughout Europe and
Asia. Although known as primarily a cookbook writer
for the Minnesota Historical Society Press, he has also completed several poetry books and albums. His most
recent is 30 Foot Pole (Lucky Park Productions). Danny lives with his wife Sue McGleno and four dogs in Highland Park.
LONDON, BY BEN HEINE BY
THE SELF COLLECTED: MIKE FINLEY’S
YUKON GOLD, RE
If she’s good, and a little lucky, the poet arrives at a point in her career when the phone rings and an editor suggests publishing a collected works. This comes after years of scribbling and years of licking envelopes—she has developed a taste for adhesive. She has worked hard, writing and otherwise, and so finds her books on the shelves of every bookstore in town. She is right proud of much of her work, but some she regrets, wonders, How did
A “collected” is a chance to draw from the best of her work and arrange it in such a way as to represent the full breadth and depth of her life’s literary effort. And, I suppose, it is a chance to relegate lesser work to the background. In the end, it is the culmination of her poetical career. Does not this moment trump all other moments, all those rarities of acknowledgment and accolade, every single fleeting frisson experienced as a poet contributing to the field? And it is a vocation for her, a job she has shown up to day after day 35
writing verse and other oddments. Poetry as a job holds such little promise for those who pursue it. Most toil in obscurity motivated by the desire to craft something memorable and plagued by the desire to craft something memorable. If any of the work is published, in some manner, then the total sum of satisfaction is gained, only to be lost immediately in the next lonely study. Yet, to have previously published work re-mastered into a Collected is something, if not memorable. And here she is on the phone with the editor. Yes, of course, she says and sets down the receiver to gaze out the window.
But what if the poet is not so fortunate? What if the poet has worked for years publishing things here or there, or—gasp!— self –publishing? That kind of poet is the most common. He is the kind of poet down at the local open mic, the kind of poet actively contributing to social networks, participating in the community; he’s somewhat of an outsider, iconoclastic and un-lauded. His poetry is good. He works hard. But editors don’t call. That kind of poet is Mike Finley. His Collected, Yukon Gold:
Poemes De Terre 1970-2010 with a Key to the Mysteries, was 36
not solicited by a major publishing house or the imprint of an academic institution. His opus is not found in the catalog of the Library of Congress (yet), it’s free on the web. Any numbskull can locate it, download it, and enjoy. At 534 pages, Finley’s book is no compendium; it refuses to be condensed. Yukon Gold is epic in scope. Stretching over thirty
years worth of work, it includes a wide range of subject matter and varying stylistic techniques. And, get this, it isn’t finished yet. In the preface, Finley describes his book as following in the tradition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and William
Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, “self-made and
self-renewing,” a work that is in a continuous state of revision and re-envisioning. Over 70 of the poems are linked to video versions on the web, audio/visual representations posted on YouTube. The book also contains a plethora of annotations and explanatory notes. As Finley says, “indulgences are sought.” What is perhaps most unusual is the author’s call for feedback by providing a mechanism for comment. This self collected Collected is interactive. 37
Finley is no new-comer to publication, though his work in poetry and prose is mostly published nontraditionally. He claims over 100 published books, which means Finley has been striking out on his own for a good long time. All of it is available and accessible. Thank God for Mike Finley’s Internet. I get the feeling that Walt Whitman would approve. Like Whitman, Finley tilts toward a hyper-expressive, egalitarian view of the cosmos, everyone welcome, every leaf of grass counts for something, and just about every moment of his life as a poet has generated an impulse to versify. The results are, well, surprising. Consider the first movement of “This Poem is a Public Service.” Listen when I talk you little nothings Little zinc-heads in the cupboards By the rattling plates And the nutpicks and the mallets And the napkins and the forks— When it comes it will come As a surprise. This poem is written in homage to d. a. levy, a literary figure of 38
1960’s Cleveland (so says the note) and is a fairly good representation of Finley at work: a speaker finding an audience in cans of soup and the slightly off-kilter, hard music of lines enjambed. Finley says he admires levy’s feisty
irreverence. It shows throughout much of Yukon Gold. But the work is tender, too, as in the middle stanzas of “Cannon Falls.” Rachel reads on the sofa, I sit in the library and pull book after book from the shelves. Baseball books, history, politics, poetry. In one is a poem by Jon Silkin about the death of his child. It is so heartbreaking I read it twice, and the sorrow saws through me. Suddenly, I don’t hate poetry, it is not false or vain or unimportant, it is a way to talk and think 39
about things that matter most. And things do matter to Mike Finley, the poet. Perhaps nothing so much as the life of his daughter Daniele, who committed suicide in 2009. Daniele’s passing manifests within
Yukon Gold in a number of poems. Readers interested may want to read Finley’s Zombie Girl before looking for details
within Yukon Gold. They are unmistakable, as in “Tattoos,” a litany derived from the text of the medical examiner’s list of Daniele’s body markings. Side of her right leg; skull with flowers and a snake Side of her left leg: minotaur skull, with green tentacles Lower back, centered: a spider, a flower, and red flames Upper left back: skull with devil motif Upper right back: skull with angel motif Left shoulder and arm: against a maze-like background a skeleton with a bovine skull and hooves, lifting a bottle in salute Famed American composer Morton Feldman reminds us that, “Where in life we do everything we can to avoid anxiety, in art we must pursue it." Mike Finley’s Yukon Gold has made the 40
pursuit of anxiety—the approach of the big, difficult, unanswerable questions of life—its central aim, as its subtitle seems to suggest. In “God Must Love Crazy People,” Finley moves toward the heavy without burdening the reader with goofy aphorism: When we weep ourselves to sleep because we can’t seem to change and we drive the people we love onto barstools, saying it matters, it is fulfilling, it is the indivisible element, it is the purpose of the entire experiment God must love the crazy people or why would He make us such as these, impossible to put up with unhealable as disease 41
But I shouldn’t put goofiness past Mike Finley because in
many ways Yukon Gold employs the ridiculous to great effect, and I think poking fun into what can be an overly serious
genre is Finley’s raison d’etre. Perhaps the most sublime poem in the whole collection is brief and to the wondering point, but it’s also a gas: The Stink Does not understand it is the problem Brothers, sisters where are you going? Indeed, where are we going? I know Mike Finley is going to keep on writing, keep on revising his Collected, until, as he says, he is no longer able. Let it be so. And also let it be that
Yukon Gold find an audience beyond soup cans and ghosts.
GREEN AND MAGENTA LIZARD, BY NINA KURILOF
TWO POEMS BY CHRISTOPHER TITLE First Tomato I forgot about the Brandywine seeds I planted springtime, the sense of real anticipation, Big Boy fantasies and Early Girl dreams. I even forgot how I staked them out, careful not to crowd their little lifetimes. I think I may have thought about the sun and how it goes. I may have thought that, but I donâ€™t know. Itâ€™s hard to remember all those tiny graces, small gestures that blossom into ripe, vermillion fruit. Memory decays in a vegetal way. When it comes to what grows in tangles of greenery, the amygdala holds sway: her tangy grassiness and faint, miasmal bouquet.
Taking Samples My son squats with a stick in his lap at the river’s mud and pebble edge. He’s found empty a bottle of exceptionally smooth blended liqueur, and he’s taking a sample out of the shallow water. It’s a little American Honey, blended bourbon whiskey, and ample proof he wants to keep of what he loves and would like to have around in the years ahead: an ounce or so of opaque liquid, as at dusk, the soft green color of a Luna Moth’s wing.
CHRISTOPHER TITLE lives and teaches in the
Minneapolis/Saint Paul area where he also produces
Barbaric Yawp, a literary open mic reading series. His work has appeared in Ash Creek Press, Living Out,
Main_Frame, Rock Paper Scissors, Asphalt Sky, Konundrum Engine Literary Review, and Sleet
Magazine. Visit http://barbaric.weebly.com/ for more information or find Barbaric Yawp on Facebook.
FEATURED ARTIST: BEN HEINE
Heine, photo by Kirk Feria
BEN HEINE (born June 12, 1983 in Abidjan, Ivory coast) is a Belgian multidisciplinary visual artist. He is best known for his original series "Pencil Vs Camera", "Digital Circlism" and "Flesh and Acrylic". Ben grew up in Ivory Coast his first 7 years, with his parents and 3 sisters. His father was a commercial
engineer and his mother a Modern Jazz dance teacher. The family returned to Brussels in 1990 to great
change. At boarding school, CollĂ¨ge Saint Vincent, in
Belgium. In 1994 Heine discovered that his energy,
fears, emotions and ideals could be canalized into visual projects, the start of a life-long adventure in drawing and painting. In his teens, Ben wrote poetry daily,
played drums, piano and guitar, and played basketball and ran every day. Eventually Heine realized his greatest love was visual arts. Ben has a degree in Journalism. He began at "Université Libre de Bruxelles" (Belgium) and
completed at "IHECS" (Belgium) & Utrecht University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands. Heine studied
Art History briefly along with Painting and Sculpture at Hastings College of Arts & Technology. Drawing and
photography are self-taught and a continuous process. Ben is fluent in several languages; French, English, Dutch, Polish, Spanish and Russian. Ben loves
languages because it enables him to communicate and interact with many people and he loves people.
Since 2006, his pictorial works have been published in famous Belgian and international newspapers and
magazines (see "Press" for more info) and been seen by millions of people online. Ben Heine’s artworks have been exhibited in Belgium, Great Britain, France,
Canada, USA, Germany, Turkey, Romania, Brazil, South Korea and Spain. Here are some of Heine’s defined techniques. You can read and see more at his websites and flickr account.
http://www. benheine.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/
BRUSSELS BY NIGHT, BY BEN HEINE BEN HEINE
FEATURED ARTIST: NINA KURILOFF
NINA KURILOFF has exhibited her artwork in galleries and colleges throughout the United States. Her work has been selected for exhibition in 25 juried
competitions. One of these exhibitions occurred at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and
another took place at the Heckscher Museum of Art, in Huntington, N.Y. A third occurred in a Small Works exhibition at New York University. The other juried shows took place in art galleries and colleges.
She has also had her art exhibited in many curated
exhibitions, the most recent occurring in 2006, called â€œUltimate Destinationâ€? and curated by Martina Batan (Ronald Feldman Fine Arts). It took place at the DUMBO Arts Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Her artwork has been chosen for cover art for several chapbooks of poetry and online publications. And, her paintings have appeared in catalogs that have accompanied several exhibitions.
Nina is now a self-representing artist, selling her
artwork via the internet to collectors worldwide. She does exhibit her artwork on an occasional basis in curated group shows.
Nina Kuriloff lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She enjoys painting organic forms and is greatly
inspired by phenomena she sees in nature. These phenomena and her vivid imagination inform her artwork.
She is currently a member of the Women's Caucus for Art.
ABSTRACT RAINBOW, BY NINA KURILOFF NINA KURILOFF
SISTER OF THE CAVES, BY CHANSONETTE BUCK
CHANSONETTE BUCK for channie my sister of the caves, surrounded by stone, the dark cities i've watched you run through in dreams, thinking this is not a dream, how the stones weep or bleed, how some nights you stand, trapped, until a voice says rise! and you feel your body lift straight up â€“ but never beyond your ceiling of no-color sky.... dream after dream i've watched you. now i place my galaxy-hand on yours. now our matching palms merge through this opalescent light. now you know i see you carry a fading world. i send you sustenance. you send me truth.
CHANSONETTE BUCK spent her childhood â€œon the roadâ€? as stepdaughter of a Black Mountain poet, living all over the American West, in England, and in Spain. She holds the PhD in English from the University of
California, Berkeley, where she concentrated on 20thcentury poetry and poetics and wrote a dissertation on childhood trauma as the source of William Carlos
Williams's poetic obsessions. She has a BFA in painting
from Massachusetts College of Art, and has won awards for her visual art, her poetry, and her teaching.
Chapters of her memoir Unnecessary Turns: Growing
Up Beat have appeared in Why We Ride: Women
Writers on the Horses in Their Lives (Seal Press, May 2010) and Polarity eMagazine (Fall 2010). Her
chapbook blood oranges was published by NightBallet Press in October, 2011; her chapbook desire lines will be published in January 2012 by Crisis Chronicles
Press; and she will be a featured poet in the journal
tinfoildresses 2012. She lives in Berkeley with her
family, her boa constrictor, and way too many cats and dogs.
FLESH & ACRYLIC
BEN HEINE, FEATURING
BICYCLE DREAMS, BY MARY KAY RUMMEL MARY KAY RUMMEL
1 You slept through his visit— the lover you waited years for. All that’s left, his orange bicycle, odor of his carotty hair— smoke and hay— more forlorn than if he never came. You lean your own bicycle against the wall where he must have rested. Imagine you hear him laughing or scratching his beard. And then it all dissolves like fresh water in salt. 2
You and your magical girl child park your bikes 55
at the State Fair and she slips away from you— a glimpse of brassy hair, a green skirt. You run after her, almost near enough to grasp. Then you lose her for good and the crowd closes in around you. 3 Blackbirds surprised behind a wall, shoot straight into a rain cloud. Scraps of paper from an orange notebook drift out over the bay. 4 She’s back— the sibyl girl you love but there’s a funeral in her eyes—oh her promises even the rusty bricks in the wall know she won’t keep them. 56
I’ll pass this way again, she says, before the dream’s over and you know that’s the last you’ll ever hear of her. 5 So thirsty after riding you fall to your knees in a cloudburst—you open your mouth but the drops all slide on strands of ochreous light home to the clouds they fell from. 6 Wheels of fire, wall of cloud orange the color of trumpet flowers— the tapestry so close, you can’t make any sense of the pattern.
Blue Light Press of San Francisco recently published
MARY KAY RUMMEL’s sixth poetry book, What’s Left
Is The Singing. Other poetry books are Love in the End (Bright Hill Press, 2008) and The Illuminations
(Cherry Grove, 2006). She has poems in the new
anthology, The Wind Blows, The Ice Breaks (Nodin
Press), short fiction in Double Lives (Wising Up Press) and poems in Nimrod, Ekphrasis and Askew. She
teaches at California State University, Channel Islands and divides her time between California and Minnesota. http://marykayrummel.com
DREAM, BY BEN HEINE BEN HEINE
MUTTNIK, BY DANNY KLECKO Laika heard the children laughing
From what appeared to be a distant room The most beautiful sound she ever woke to When Victor brought her home from work last night And took her straight to bed It seemed natural to assume they were alone Fraternizing was considered unprofessional
But this secret would remain safe By this time tomorrow she would be gone Boarded onto a tin can Filled with rocket fuel and no parachutes All the more reason to break protocol This is why the entire science team And the launching crew Held their tongues and looked away While Victor escorted her Off the project site So her last day of freedom Could be spent outdoors Getting bellyrubs From his daughters
THE ASSASSINATION OF JIMI HENDRIX, BY T.K.O’ROURKE
T.K.O’ROURKE 1 I believed Hendrix was set up. Why shouldn’t I believe it? King was killed April 68, Bobby Kennedy that June. It happened to everyone I admired. I saw a pattern to the deaths of heroes. It was like Al Pacino in The Godfather sending emissaries to wipe out all his enemies in one fell swoop while baptizing the grandbaby at the cathedral. Only instead of Pacino it was J. Edgar Hoover, Lyndon Johnson, Nixon, C.I.A, the US State Department, the Military Industrial Complex and Anglo-American corporations. 2 Hendrix had just released the Band of Gypsies, the featured piece an instrumental, 63
“Machine Gun”, dedicated, in Jimi’s words “to those revolutionaries in Chicago.” Dec 4 1969, Fred Hampton, the twenty-one year old leader of the Chicago Black Panther Party was machine-gunned in his sleep by Chicago police. September 1970, Hendrix died in London. Janis Joplin died Oct 1970. July 3 1971 Jim Morrison, OD'd Yeah he was an alcoholic with a drug problem but Jimi like Janis, was our spokesman, world leaders of Western Youth. 3 Dec 10 1968, Thomas Merton, Trappist Monk and antiwar poet, died. His essays argued the US Government’s policies for southeast Asia and Latin America were lifted directly from the Nazis. Thomas Merton died at conference between Catholic and non-Christian monks in Bangkok. Electrocuted while adjusting an electric fan as he stood in his bath. Can you believe that? Who put that fan there? 64
Any thoughtful hit could have set this one up. 4 Considering my arguments about the assassinations of poets as specious, I always remembered that in1970 a friend, a Green Beret back from the war, took ecstasy and wailed wept and confessed he had taken part in Special Forces missions to enter villages and murder only the village headmen, the shamansâ€Ś the poets. During the 1980â€™s contra-invasion of Nicaragua Sandinistas captured a CIA field manual instructing field operatives to apply this same specific tactic my friend had described and I recognized this same pattern throughout the history of colonialism. 5 When leadership is killed off, especially cultural artistic and spiritual leadership, society becomes directionless, identities of individuals within the culture erodes. The deaths of the poet leaders of my generation are consistent with policies of assassination and destabilization of a community 66
that could interfere with the defined missions of our State Department: Empowering community violates the idea of capitalism, and is therefore considered communist, so instead they undermine the Constitution of our government by the people for the people. 6 Things got worse, the woman doctor, who in the late 1960’s, set up the People’s Clinic in Minneapolis, was murdered. A friend’s brother, back from Vietnam, started writing articles for the underground paper, A Thousand Flowers and he bled to death from a knife wound one dark and rainy night as he stood waiting for a bus. And Cortez McKinley, a sixteen-year old I mentored, had become an activist too spending his time in Minneapolis exposing police shakedowns of youths was shot to death in a “drive-by.” Drugs the police said. I knew and mentored Cortez. Practically raised him. He didn’t sell drugs. 7 How about Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, 67
truly a man of the people. Was his pilot threatened with the murders of his family, of his wife and children his grandmothers and aunties, Is that why the pilot willingly crashed the plane into the ground, flying around the airfield once first to get his courage up? Except for Kerouac, an apolitical drunk, every single case of these assassinations, murders, and so-called accidental deaths, seem entirely consistent with the articles of assassination outlined in the CIA manual. 8 Jimmy Hendrixâ€™s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner made him a target. Millions from my generation followed him. And when Hendrix recorded Machine Gun, he publicly aligned himself with the Panthers and the Weather Underground. With Black Panthers hijacking planes to Cuba, the Weathermen blowing up the ROTC building in Madison Hendrix made the top of the governmentâ€™s hit list. 68
And who does the government hire to do its dirty work? The mob? Common criminals? Anyone with a felony hanging over their head? 9. In late 1970’s, I played blues harp and jammed with Buzzy Lindhart. He played with Hendrix and was in London when Jimi died. Buzzy told me that Jimi Hendrix, an experienced drug user, popped a few yellow-jackets so he could sleep. He’d been drinking wine, but not a lot. A few yellow-jackets shouldn’t kill you, he said or knock you out so much that when you puke you drown. But on that particular night the yellow jackets Hendrix swallowed were sleeping pills called Veserax. They look exactly like American yellow-jackets, but are four times stronger. 10. Monika Danneman, whose flat Hendrix died in, told changing stories. In one she claims Jimi was alive when they took him away in the ambulance. 69
Another story: She wasn’t there when he took the pills, nor was she there when he died. So, who gave Hendrix those yellow-jackets? Or, knowing full well he’d take them, who set them out? Who didn’t warn him about the increased potency? Who set him up? What was the role of Monika Danneman, and who was her handler? The US State Department? For Monika, like lady Macbeth, came to a bad end, suicide according to the medical reports, foul play according to her last boyfriend. 11. Is my own trauma such that I project conspiracy and assassination onto the deaths of any good person? Admittedly, my trust began to erode when I was six years old, when the ability to trust is just becoming hardwired in the brain. But I am a sober man, and a thoughtful man. History, personal experience, and common sense tell me my arguments are other than specious. 70
~ T.K.O'ROURKE who also writes as Kevin O'Rourke has won the Scottish International Open Poetry
Competition twice, short listed for the Loft McKnight
award, published poems in Ireland Poetry Review, and a spoken word CD, The Confessions of Saint Jack,
recorded by Willy Murphy. Kevin keeps a backyard
garden, and is also raising two foster children at this time.
MIC CHECK MIC CHECK, BY DUBBLEX DUBBLEX
We are back again I represent the 99 percent
Who resent the one percent who has all the money that is spent They got millions and billons to satisfy the greedy They don’t care to feed the needy We camp out and protest the mess of this so called democratic process We march and demonstrate to try to alter our fate Plastic bullets are fired and still we remain inspired Tear gas is thrown in the crowd panic sweeps through like a jet stream in the fogginess
We wonder where is the freedom where is the justice What crime did we commit? No one is read their rights. It’s not explained why they’re detained Americans young old from all backgrounds and colors dragged with plastic handcuffs on their wrists Thousands arrested when we protest and resist Someone’s forgotten my first amendment rights Someone’s forgotten my right to free assembly Someone has forgotten this is a72democracy
Censorship by Ben Stein
The 99% reach out and rise from a flicker on Wall Street to a flame burning through our countries main streets to around the world north south west and east Hear the sound of marching feet to defeat the elite We protest against the bankersâ€™ bailouts We protest against foreclosed homes Our outrageous student loans Against our working homeless 73
We stand against big money in politics We demand healthcare for the poor who are sick We amass to stand against corporate greed We chant for freedom from poverty for those in need The police come in the dead of night and rip down our protest signs They rip down tents and tarps They trash thousands of library books They herd us with horses to force us to change our marching courses spray us with mace, fence us in with blockades The right wing money controlled media turns a blind eye What is their reply? Will you sit idly by? What is the future for our children in this economy? This country is full of irony We condemn other countries for limiting freedom of speech but canâ€™t see our own hypocrisy Corporations are not people We need a country that is equal So mic check this nation Let the unions take to the streets 74
Demonstrate a strike Let us close down ports in Oakland California New York and Florida Demonstrate in the streets of D.C. Occupy Wall Street close down the stock exchange We are the 99 percent screaming itâ€™s time for a change.
Previously published in Occupy Wall Street Anthology, edited by Stephen Boyer
LOOKING AROUND, BY GERALD SOLOMON GERALD SOLOMO
You said without the right words this useless thing death is not to be considered.
Still, for a time anything helps — sunlight on grass, hard stones. Loveliness has something to do with it, and being scared. Yesterday down by the tennis courts: small ball pushed to and fro, till some blunder make it trickle away, lie still in a corner — ball that is clear, mathematical, unusually true. I don't get things straight... If my mind were a gun its moving target would look much like a gun, pointing at me. (We teachers say such things in school.) This morning found myself watching a blackbird, busy in our muddy garden after rain. Jumped down from a wet shiny crooked branch — springy legs, cocked its eye from side to side.
GERALD SOLOMON was born in London and studied English Literature at Cambridge University. After a
short spell as sales assistant at a bookshop in London's Charing Cross Road he worked as a producer at the
BBC. Subsequently becoming engaged in education, he helped found General Studies courses at Hornsey
College of Art, and this led eventually to an enjoyable period teaching poetry courses at Middlesex University. He retired early in order to paint and write. His poems
have appeared in numerous magazines in the USA and UK as he prepares his first collection. He is married, with four children, and lives in Manhattan.
THE DAY I MET TENNESSEE, BY B.Z. NIDITCH
B.Z. NIDITCH It was a rainy day of unbearable laughter at a boarding house in New Orleans old men playing black jack the young flirting where gas green lamps lit on a adolescent poet travelling alone from moonstruck miles along the coast over murdered towns filled with auctioned pianos and pawn shopped jewels and reading in the Gazette that Tennessee Wiliams will star off Broadway in his own play "Small Craft Warnings," the young poet with all the metallic and chutzpah grown inside him goes by train 78
to the Big Apple and buys a matinee ticket shoring up courage parades to the dressing room filled with old costumes and oilcloths of fate at the sunset mirror Tennessee calms me down and takes my poem in hand, wrily says, "The muse is with those who hear her voice,and you obviously do, you have the gift now take it," and it has not left me.
B.Z. NIDITCH is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher. His work is widely published in journals and
magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia,
The Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, Hawaii
Review, Le Guepard (France), Prism International,
Jejune (Czech Republic), Leopold Bloom (Budapest),
Antioch Review, and Prairie Schooner, among others. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
LEAN AGAINST THE LETTING GO, BY CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE
CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE like pressed garlic creamy crushed husk blown away, I held her forgetting the argument, forgiveness and playing with that blonde hair thinking of tomorrow
Poem first published in the journal rustytruck. CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE lives in a seaside town in northwest England with his muse and children.
Lawrence has been an avid reader and writer since
early childhood. Writing is now an established way of life for him. His works have been published in a variety of journals and anthologies since 2009. Lawrence is now in the process of developing some of his poems into short films.
SALMON SPAWN, BY MARY ELIZA CRANE MARY ELIZA CRANE Underneath a gray and murky sky in cloudy water silted by the rain, humpback salmon burrow into river rock and drop their seed. Cool breeze broken by a milky sun drifted onto shore the fish decay fragrant, buried into mud or dinner for the ravens calling, circling overhead. Rebellion spawns on cobbled stones in cities everywhere, loving angry youth well up a current through a world in tatters. Open arms and echoes resounding each small voice together one, in every shade and creed, why the river and resistance matter.
MARY ELIZA CRANE grew up in New England and began writing poetry at age fourteen. Poetry remains
the one constant in life to which Mary always returns. In the Adirondacks she fell madly, passionately and
desirously in love with the natural world. A transplant to the Cascade foothills of the Pacific Northwest, her
voice lives in the understory and fog of the Snoqualmie River. A fusion of this one true love and a deep
understanding of what makes us human, she fuses the personal, political and natural world. A regular feature
at poetry venues in the Puget Sound region, she has two volumes of poetry, What I Can Hold In My Hands and At First Light, published by Gazoobi Tales.
A WEDDING, BY CHARLES BROOKS III Laced in yellow rhododendron, the lake scoots around an impromptu parking lot. A trail bent like the tail of a water dragon rolls toward two iron deer. Flanked by these hart guests make awkward conversation. I traveled north today to be burrowed beneath Sharp Topâ€™s shadow. So far Iâ€™m [maybe] not going mad. A hopeful forever-and ever couple is born from pawn shop sparkles. Family meanders in clusters, circling food. 84
CHARLES BROOKS III
Eyes cut at me because I put some of them in jail. I hear joy come from somewhere ahead. Mon cĹ“ur est une pierre.
Congratulations to CHARLES BROOKS III, previously published by CSR now nominated for a Pushcart and a
Pulitzer, plus Georgia Author of the Year. We are proud to announce Brook's first book, The Draw of Broken
Eyes and Whirling Metaphysics, is now available
though Gosslee Press with reviews and the link to purchase here.
PEACE RAINBOW, BY N. KURILOFF N. KURILOFF
WE ARE THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT! BY FIRESTONE FEINBERG
FIRESTONE FEINBERG For corporate castles crowned in greed, There is no way to pay the rent — Except by robbing those in need; We are the ninety-nine percent! In gilded gates that guard the way To hallowed halls — we’ve made no dent — Yet funded them our hard-earned pay; We are the ninety-nine percent! Wake up! wake up! O woeful world! And face the force, the fierce intent — Of they forsake our flag unfurled; We are the ninety-nine percent! For tyranny who’s paid the cost? We live in neither house nor tent — And who the homeless, tempest-tossed? We are the ninety-nine percent! Whose land is this? Whose times have changed? 87
Whose power and glory will be spent To keep the order pre-arranged; We are the ninety-nine percent! Tho’ things are seldom what they seem, Our mission’s clear — our good intent: We are the world — we have a dream — We are the ninety-nine percent!
FIRESTONE FEINBERG is a retired music teacher living his art in the northern tip of Manhattan Island.
Firestone creates sculptures, paints, draws, and writes poetry. He and his wife Susan, live in New York City. They have two grown-up sons.
SILENCE, BY AFZAL MOOLLA Hidden between fragmented shades,
mingling within the folds of thought. Dreams ceaselessly wander on, soaring above the day's tumult. Hope burns the fabric of today, as this afternoon fades.
AFZAL MOOLLA was born in Delhi, India while his
parents were in exile, fleeing Apartheid South Africa. He then travelled wherever his parent's work took them and he still feels that he hasn't stopped travelling.
Afzal works and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa
and shares his literary musings with his most strident critic - his 12-year old cat.
BUDDHA ON HIS THRONE, PHOTO BY JOY LEFTOW PHOTO BY JOY LEFTOW