psychic meatloaf journal of contemporary poetry
psychic meatloaf journal of contemporary poetry
psychic meatloaf - journal of contemporary poetry
I would like to thank all poets and artists who contributed their brilliant poetry and artwork to Issue 1 of Psychic Meatloaf.
All authors within reserve all rights to their respective works. Published with permission of authors. No material from this publication may be reused in any way without the written consent of the author or artist.
Cover Photos: "Bull" by Nancy Ryan Keeling (bottom photo) / "Bull's Head" sculpture by Pablo Picasso - photographer unknown (top photo) Editor: George McKim Graphic Design: George McKim Cover Design: George McKim
Please visit our website http://www.psychicmeatloaf.com for more information, or to submit your own work.
Copyright ÂŠ 2010 Psychic Meatloaf.
Table of Contents
Felino A. Soriano - Approbations 453 —after Don Cherry’s Just For You ................ Gillian Prew - the inadequate glass, sun trap .......................................................... Philip Dacey - CREPUSCULE FOR JOAN ............................................................... Maria Bennett - what more can the rain do................................................................ David McLean - rectitude, electric silence................................................................. Sam Schild - Engraulidae ......................................................................................... Amylia Grace - Reasons for Early Winter.................................................................. Robert Lietz - FLAVORS AFTERWARD, BEGINNING SEASON ............................. Bill Wolak - DEEP INTO THE ERASURES OF NIGHT, CHARTING THE NYMPHOLEPTIC CONSTELLATIONS ................................................. William Doreski - Black and White, Silence, Exile, and Cunning ............................. P.A.Levy - wrong side of town ................................................................................... Michael Salcman - MYSELF, NEARSIGHTEDNESS, PARENTS DAY AT CAMP, ONE ASLEEP, ONE NOT ............................................... Amy Spraque - Vapor, Where the Wallpaper Rips .................................................... Howie Good - ON FIRST LOOKING INTO NERUDA’S "TWENTY LOVE POEMS", MULTIPLE CHOICE, ON A COUNTRY ROAD .................. brianprince - teenager .............................................................................................. Jory Mickelson - Carbonite Dream #1, Carbonite Dream #2 ................................... Heather Cox - This is how you'll find me ................................................................... Steve Mitchell - Open Well ....................................................................................... Serena M. Tome - Linen Sheets - for JS ................................................................... J. P. Dancing Bear - Tempt, Scarecrow..................................................................... Mark DeCarteret - Ode: Tiara, Book Dump ............................................................... Martha Clarkson - Baptism, of a sort, Deceptions .................................................... Michael McAloran - Only, Linger .............................................................................. Mira Martin-Parker - Cheers ..................................................................................... justin wade thompson - Heat................................................................................... Chuck Augello - Incident Report #2315.................................................................... Helen White - soluble colony 3 .................................................................................. John Swain - Totem Rock, The Courtesy of Address, Peeling Madras .................. Ashley Bovan - Procession / No Sun, No Magic ..................................................... Rob Spiegel - My Ears and No Lies ........................................................................ Flower Conroy - to enter this house of everlasting .................................................. Nicole Dahlke - parrot ............................................................................................... Erik Hill - Solitude, Tomorrow .................................................................................. James Duncan - Heart-shaped rocks ...................................................................... Gale Acuff - Believe in Me......................................................................................... Monique Roussel - Fate ........................................................................................... James W. Hritz - Drink in anticipation, rather than when thirsty ............................... Tobi Cogswell - Distilled ........................................................................................... Jeffrey Alfier - The Woman in the Dark Sweater ......................................................
4 5-6 7-8 9 10 - 11 12 13 - 14 15 - 17 18 - 20 21 - 23 24 - 27 28 - 30 31 - 32 33 - 34 35 36 37 - 38 39 40 - 41 42 - 43 44 - 45 46 - 47 48 - 52 53 54 - 55 56 57 58 - 59 60 - 61 62 63 - 64 65 66 - 67 68 - 69 70 - 71 72 - 73 74 - 75 76 77
Felino A. Soriano
Approbations 453 —after Don Cherry’s Just For You
Sea bruise blue breathy breeze Saturday accolade. In -dentation: body, pressed into the circular moth woven shadow assisting mine and the you of inherent classic hankering aspects of the precise perfect symbol of elongated rhythms.
Felino A. Soriano (b. 1974), is a case manager and advocate for developmentally and physically disabled adults. He has authored 29 collections of poetry, including “Construed Implications” (erbacce-press, 2009) and “Delineated Functions of Congregated Constructs” (Calliope Nerve Media, 2010). His poems have appeared at Calliope Nerve, Unlikely 2.0, BlazeVOX, Metazen, Otoliths, and elsewhere. He edits & publishes Counterexample Poetics, an online journal of experimental artistry, and Differentia Press, dedicated to publishing echapbooks of experimental poetry. In 2010, he was chosen for the Gertrude Stein "rose" prize for creativity in poetry from Wilderness House Literary Review. Philosophical studies collocated with his connection to classic and avant-garde jazz explains motivation for poetic occurrences. His website explains further: www.felinoasoriano.info. email@example.com www.felinoasoriano.info www.counterexamplepoetics.com www.differentiapress.com twitter.com/felinoasoriano www.facebook.com/felinoasoriano Contributing editor, Sugar Mule www.sugarmule.com Consulting editor, Post: A Journal of Thought and Feeling www.postjournalofthoughtandfeeling.com
the inadequate glass
What, but a querulous stain, a numb couvade? Reflection revealing nothing more than a sign, a movement through atrophy. I (flesh) a stale irrelevance; poor music a drone searching for a cadenza. Born into summer - a hot stone, a breathless paralysis. Looking back at too many nights; too much violence. Glass, summary of my condition, failing to deliver more than intransigent surface. Unravelling through time, an amnesiac child, a passive certainty to age. This life (my life) lapsing running with it to the dust.
World, damned hieroglyph, your skin is not mine nor do your fuchsias bend like bells for me. It is hot today. I meet the sun alone more intimate than being born. Too hot for human reason, yet ants bear colossi round my feet.
Currently living in Argyll, Scotland with her partner, two children and a cat, Gillian Prew ditched philosophy in favour of poetry even though the former still haunts her. She has three collections of poems and has been published at Full of Crow, Carcinogenic Poetry, Gutter Eloquence, Gloom Cupboard, Fragile Arts Quarterly, 'ditch', and The Glasgow Review among others. She also recently became a 'Featured Artist' at Counterexample Poetics. Her blog, proud spots and solitudes, can be found at http://gillianprew.blogspot.com/
CREPUSCULE FOR JOAN That my sister, upon entering the convent more than fifty years ago, took her name not from the saints but from my brother and me to become Sister Owen Philip returns to surprise me with a force increased by that gestureâ€™s long diaspora, its wandering forgotten in the desert of the universe, a gesture that seems from this perspective --my sister an early dropout from the religious order and dead many years now from drink and cigarettes, my brother himself battling cancer-so frail an act, like a match lit in a gale, that I think of all such gestures swamped by the whirlwinds of time and circumstances, no less buffeted about than Danteâ€™s souls but blessed with a chance of redemption by means of memory, although the greater the act's sweetness the greater the pain of imagining now that the actâ€™s little light is under seige and all but out --is there a separate universe where my sister, her novitiate completed, her veil in place, never abandoned her new name?-and think, too, how she, as middle child already snug between her brothers, meant to draw us even closer--she becoming us, we becoming her, our names to accompany and define her on her difficult journey of solitude and renunciation-not knowing her gesture would embed itself finally in a poem as frail as her decision to take the name Owen Philip, the embedding no more effectual than if a drowning man were to seek refuge in water.
Philip Dacey's eleventh book, Mosquito Operas: New and Selected Short Poems (Rain Mountain, 2010) will appear this summer. Winner of three Pushcart Prizes, he's written entire books of poems about Thomas Eakins, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and New York City. His work has appeared in Paris Review, Partisan Review, Poetry, The Nation, Hudson Review, Esquire, American Poetry Review, and many other periodicals.
what more can the rain do
what more can the rain do to me now that it has slipped its gray hands under my door ripped it from its hinges and battered all that remains inside shuddering unable to push back i can only offer empty arms open to this cruel and epileptic spring
Maria Bennett teaches creative writing at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York, where she has been an Assistant Professor of English for twenty-seven years. Her original work and her translations of the poets Nancy Morejon, Ernesto Cardenal, and Cintio Vitier have appeared in Nexus, Crab Creek Review, and Esprit magazines, and she is currently completing the translation of the works of the Spanish poet Carlos Edmundo de Ory.
rectitude because it is sunset the city is shrouded in monastic rectitude humble as a mushroom. the city is not visible from here, it is seen once and forever inside the eye because of time. there are pigeons there, their stomachs eat buildings backwards as they fell. Bildung is so seldom. because of sunset and summer coming, silent cities lie shrouded inside me as i sleep razor night. (here ghouls eat time alive.)
electric silence electric silence is the breath of panting animals in winter, maybe an obvious wraith floating temporary sketches of heaven over a lake; when it freezes smoke rises tiny explosions in the cold, the world floating her nowhere stolid as a cow crucified against night's intolerant sky. silence alive.
David McLean is Welsh but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He lives there on an island in a large lake called M채laren, very near to Stockholm, with many cats and kittens, and also a couple of dogs. He has a BA in History from Balliol, Oxford, and an MA in philosophy, taken much later and much more seriously studied for, from Stockholm. Up to date details of many zine publications and several available books and chapbooks, including three print full lengths, a few print chapbooks, and a free electronic chapbook, are at his blog at http://mourningabortion.blogspot.com. The latest full length laughing at funerals is available via Small Press Distribution http://www.spdbooks.org/Producte/9780981184456/laughing-atfunerals.aspx?rf=1
Engraulidae filtering plankton gill rakers for aging seas deep en shallow nights. aggregate safer seem sonarly larger cept‘m cans, impending purse seine will filter close to surface life as cheap one bite proteins, easy to preserve food and oil sources, falling through food web base cracks, the attached fabrics by meticulous seamster made sea are drafty. collapsible populations must be tendered musn’t be too much tendered or many larger feedings won’t. each weighing less ounce and thousands encircled in tethering, the winch tightens the bottom hole closes to prevent sounding and schools clustered displacing water between slated to feed hundreds outside sea. this eating web precariously it seems its seams are these swimming clustered proteins. see, Halibut, Rockfish, Yellowtail, Sharks, Chinook, Salmon, Pelican, and Ferns making sea quiver from internal echoes. can they eat plankton? because populations re upted without tiny mouths open swimming to feed by forked tails collecting particanimals holding to system sheets. these seams of sea’s sweater protect its fragile skin, larger can’t eat signs seines dragging too many to fish sauce, getting colder with sweater holes, the fabric floats away as binders bound in seines end of balance.
Sam Schild is a poet and social activist who currently resides near Chicago, Illinois. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in EOAGH, Upstairs At Duroc, Unlikely 2.0, BlazeVOX, Otoliths, Alice Blue, There, Pinstripe Fedora, Anything Anymore Anywhere, Moria, and Poets for Living Waters. As of August 1st he will be a creative writing master's student and teaching assistant at Temple University.
Reasons for Early Winter An acquiesce not a yes a push a tear: her little swollen spaces weak after. * Thin fingers stiff sticks split shell: her body in stasis: furtive heralding winter.
Amylia Grace lives along the shoes of Lake Michigan and will complete her M.F.A. in Creative Writing this summer. A young poet, teacher and health blogger, she begins doctoral studies in English this fall at The University of Texas. Her poems have been published in various journals worldwide such as WordRiot, Poetry Conversations Quarterly (U.K.), The GNU, Facets Literary Magazine, and tinfoildresses poetry journal. Find her at amyliagrace.blogspot.com.
It's all you can do to sign the papers, check ahead, when shame like your own embarrasses, a part of the places where, of the afternoons you practiced into lifetimes, recalling how sky pools matched street fights below, when limbs, like daffodils and moth parts, petal by wing by petal and wing were pulled away, and the dark, empurpling, nothing so much as flavors afterward, would entertain, insinuate and curry, until no one's unblamed, and nobody's rescued, rescuing, despite the candles lit and the candles darkening, where two cling, two climb in their agreeing, leaving behind the sticks and beers, like empty preludes, when nothing dramatic demonstrates.
BEGINNING SEASON I turn over now, to protect the knee that gave me fits two summers, not worth repeating say, as I fall back to dreams, and to some auctioned off or bargained piece of daylight, it's part in this light sleep, when shoulder, hip, elbow or ankle, over-logged, go on complaining, remembering the grill, deck chairs, deck stones, and chiminea repositioned for spring fires, how one of us climbed, one steadied the mulch-rooted telescoping Swedish ladder for the climber, who powered the hose-water down, while one crossed the winter-flattened greening, to check where the trenched spout showed itself again, and their successes, and reasons to realign the gutter helmets for three seasons, to re-tape the open end, where the starling built for the young starlings to be flooded, our small gesture, if you will, to frustrate the spring urges, the habit or no, or variations on desire, but no way to say with certainty, and that metallic cry, to balance intimations, a jay's, I suppose, getting used to presences, and, after a winter now, no longer so quick to imagine perishing intentions, tasks that could keep two close, into another Monday's dreaming, recalling the finger-thin, bicep-thick cuts of windfall latticed over light-yellowed weeks-old Sunday papers, and the fire again, about begun, beginning season.
Nearly 700 of Robert Lietz's poems have appeared in more than one hundred journals in the U.S. and Canada, in Sweden and U.K, including Agni Review, Antioch Review, Carolina Quarterly, Epoch, The Georgia Review, Mid-American Review, The Missouri Review, The North American Review, The Ontario Review, Poetry, and Shenandoah. Seven collections of poems have been published, including Running in Place (L’Epervier Press,). At Park and East Division ( L’Epervier Press,) The Lindbergh Half-century (L’Epervier Press,) The Inheritance (Sandhills Press,) and Storm Service (Basfal Books). Basfal also published After Business in the West: New and Selected Poems . Robert has completed several print and hypertext (hypermedia) collections of poems for publication, including Character in the Works: Twentieth-Century Lives, West of Luna Pier, Spooking in the Ruins, Keeping Touch, and Eating Asiago & Drinking Beer. Besides the print publications poems have appeared in several webzines, including: Quasar Review, The Salt River Review, 2River Review, Terrain, The Alsop Review, Dominion Review, Eclectica, Gravity, The Alsop Review, The Art Bin, Olympus, The Black Swan Review, EWG Presents, Kimera, 2River, Pif, Istanbul Literature Review, The Pittsburgh Quarterly Online, Interpoetry, lily and Valparaiso Literary Review
DEEP INTO THE ERASURES OF NIGHT
Other hands will touch this warmth where nothing is deeper than willing flesh. Your kiss, open as water, dissolves into mine and somehow secret maps are exchanged in our nakedness. Now loving makes a ladder out of flesh and its scars, and we climb deep into the erasures of night. Other hands will touch this warmth when before surrendering to sleep a caress still stalks beyond exhaustion the enticing pinks in which rain sleeps after lovemaking.
CHARTING THE NYMPHOLEPTIC CONSTELLATIONS
Because you urge a keyhole of my sperm to follow you deeper than fire smiling at wood into the shifting densities of an embrace, only your flesh can warm up this night which is disappearing into its own scars. While you are sleeping, your eyes rise out of your body and become eggs dreaming inside a bird as it flies. Awake, you cut the oceans out of all my maps to quench my insatiable thirst of sand that has never been wet. Tomorrow all the darkness that stars erase your absence will return to me.
Bill Wolak is a poet whose work has appeared in many literary magazines and has published one collection of poetry, Pale As An Explosion. He has translated Joyce Mansour, Stuart Merrill, and Francis Vielé-Griffin. His most recent translation, Your Lover’s Beloved: Fifty-one Ghazals of Hafez with Mahmood Karimi-Hakak will be published by Cross-Cultural Communications early in 2009. Mr. Wolak has been awarded several National Endowment for the Humanities scholarships and two Fulbright-Hays scholarships to study and travel in India. Mr. Wolak has traveled throughout Asia including trips to Tibet, Nepal, Thailand, Japan, and China. In 2007, he was selected to participate in a Friendship Delegation to Iran sponsored by the Fellowship Of Reconciliation, the nation’s largest and oldest interfaith peace and justice organization. This summer he has been awarded a grant to do field work in China and Japan by the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia. He has been an adjunct professor in the English Department at William Paterson University for over twenty years. Mr. Wolak’s critical work, which specializes in writing about international as well as American writers, has appeared in Notre Dame Review, Southern Humanities Review, Paterson Literary Review, and Persian Heritage Magazine.
Black and White In weeds behind Grandma's roses I discover a scrambled drawing, a tangle of lines too distraught to have been scribbled by a child. The paper's crisp as a dollar. The scumble of fine black lines drawn in the densest India ink suggests the windswept hairdo of a favorite movie star. As I formulate that metaphor the paper rustles in my grip and the lines rearrange themselves slightly, almost making a shape. I try to discipline the mind with tenets of freemasonry, the Cartesian paradox, the Aquinas proof that God remembers all our birthdays. Laid flat and smooth on my desk the drawing heaves like a fever. Tiny feet, a child's patent shoes, and slowly the hourglass of a flimsy cotton dress dyed cornflower blue. No color, of course, only the outline of a definite cornflower blue. The child lacks arms and a head so I leave, closing the blinds, and let the geometry ripen in the dim afternoon. At dusk a storm crawls across the hills, groaning and weeping, an effort I respect. The drawing, I find, has almost completed itself. It smiles. I touch it. Lightning sneers at the window. A hiss of electrons passes from me to the child and she rises full-sized from the tiny page and embraces me so thoroughly the simple black-and-white of me explodes the illusion of flesh.
Silence, Exile, and Cunning Boletus, your favorite mushroom, thrives in spongy tepid light. As I prowl the wooded borders of my property I catch in the early calm the howling of your favorite lover, his blood lust satisfied. Manhattan lies two hundred miles away but I feel his pulse more firmly than my own. You should tell him you're not his victim or his prey, tell him your carcass isn't an object to study with gas chromatography or a cloud chamber as large as a nuclear submarine. I resent the pitch of his cry, which mocks the trills of Chopin I love more than flesh loves itself. I resent being forced to hear over such a tremulous distance the crowing of an adolescent forty years after his prime. These perfectly formed boletus conform only to the laws of genetic self-expression. If you followed their example
you'd more resemble Stephen Dedalus, embrace his program of silence, exile, and cunning. Self-exile, that is, resisting the outrage the body imposes on itself, forcing your lover to confess his vampire desires as publicly as he declares his pseudo-sexual conquests. I kneel and harvest the mushrooms gently, without bragging about it; and later when I've sautĂŠed them in Kate's Homemade Butter I'll eat with a heartless innocence as green and clear as the sea's.
William Doreski's work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently Waiting for the Angel (Pygmy Forest Press, 2009).
wrong side of town
night knows no difference the city overgrown with lights dramas never quiet rustle of old news fast food litter feast clatter cans rolling drunk sirens blue flash red flash blue tail glow rubber skid high screech tarmac scars windscreen wipers waltz back and forth and back and forth thumped car horns fume carbon monoxide CO air brakes pavement cracks STRESS frac//tures broken hearts sit in bus shelters tagged castaways drudge occupations
heavy air drizzle expressions splash puddles twirling umbrellas girl waits checks watch he’s late there’ll be WORDS she paces her heels morse tapping SOS shadows inhale breathe HER she’s prey soft target lamb and bad scum city story they want cards jewels phone cash SNATCH she feels their skag dead eyes licking the tops of her thighs and hears the following whispers and dark footsteps
she turns back towards bus stop WITH prayers in her mascara shared wrap spoon fed flick blade HAS stainless things to say screams frantic back street filth grime hand over lipstick muffles panic grab handfuls golden curls dragged into alley twinkles broken glass all that glitters is not treasure glint flash slices her knicker elastic NOT true blonde shy mousey
she struggles covering breast ripped from her blouse nipple lick instincts kick cat claws swipe scratch flick blade penetrates and penetrates and penetrates she sobs and begs gasps ejects breath wilted flower <<police tape>> crime scene DO NOT cross
Born East London but now residing amongst the hedge mumblers of rural Suffolk, P.A.Levy has been published in many magazines, both on line and in print, from ‘A cappella Zoo’ to ‘Zygote In My Coffee’ and many stations in-between. He is also a founding member of the Clueless Collective and can be found loitering on page corners and wearing hoodies at www.cluelesscollective.co.uk
ONE ASLEEP, ONE NOT With each breath a curlicue of hair slowly descends around your ear and bends to reach my palm; half-asleep, I enter your dream taking care not to watch the seam between our bodies too intently.
MYSELF Metropolitan, urban but not the grandee of an eastern church I write at the end of history of what has gone to earth of what is hidden like a bomb in the subway, of afterbirth.
PARENTS DAY AT CAMP Opposite the front lawns of neighborhood houses headstones decorate the road, spilling into sight like a garden of severed thumbs. In Maineâ€™s green water, I watch my daughter do her first backstroke launching into life like a newly caulked boat. Her smile bobs up and down, bright as a tin butterfly enameled on a barn we passed today. And hay bails rolled into cylinders on New England farms left scattered like spent cartridges on the ground and the bronze statue of a Union soldier standing in Bethel with his back to the North as if still settling an ancient score. Beneath this wide sky, the first frost hangs invisible and good neighbors, I hear, keep their powder dry.
NEARSIGHTEDNESS Thirty summers ago time moved more slowly, my son was young, my station neither lowly nor exalted. Each year after, a trace of nearsightedness grew in me, small ambition versus grace. Today I barely see the rime corner my eyes, the changes rung by time, the stubble that escapes my razor. Perhaps it’s time’s gift going blind slowly, thinking the soft web of lines in your face, if not brushstrokes and paint the lineaments of a saint.
Michael Salcman is a physician, brain scientist and art critic. He was chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland and president of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore. Recent poems appear in Alaska Quarterly Review, Harvard Review, The Hopkins Review, New Letters, Ontario Review, and New York Quarterly. He has published four chapbooks, the most recent of which is Stones In Our Pockets (Parallel Press). His collection, The Clock Made of Confetti (Orchises Press), was nominated for The Poets’ Prize in 2009 and was a Finalist for The Towson University Prize in Literature. His next collection, The Enemy of Good Is Better, is forthcoming from Orchises in 2011. His web site is www.salcman.com.
Vapor This body’s breath caught sharp and held I hold it and like water it escapes my fingers and spills over my toes when I am thirsty asking too much from my body when I am not enough I give it tea and fruit and poisons I exhale the fumes of vices herbal or smoky and fine licking at these wet fingers that let a pen scratch let a word be plucked from a curl of steam this body’s breath will learn it can’t hold what is borrowed and maybe then stop cupping and drinking hold and take nothing it’s enough just to breathe let the vices unthread from the seams of the spine into origami wings taking flight in paper vees and leave me in the water enough
Where the Wallpaper Rips
There was the seed into me that sprouted an old chaos in the brain, burning my sheets and leaving me in a panic-fixed-manic state where I race and pace to chase away the tracing patterns–crumpled, transparent paper I hold up to my eyes and see between the lines–I see a woman in the white space who has no hands, looking around herself so fast, waiting for a world of fact and substance and material. But she sees noise creep across the floor sometimes–I read it in her lines–and lovely poetry burns into a naked stash she wades through to get to the doctor’s office, to get her prescriptions and the brilliance of a tired psychiatrist. This is what aftermath lays down to. Arrival, and then, where? Where to go in such space? I am the cracked egg finally a breaking shell I am helpless liquid with a sharp eye floating.
Amy Spraque's blogs: http://amyjosprague.wordpress.com
ON A COUNTRY ROAD Head full of annoying pops of static I come around the curve by the scummy farm pond where someone once drowned and startle what’s squatting over a stain of road kill a turkey buzzard that spreads obscene wings and with a ludicrous swirl of its tattered black cape cumbersomely rises the devil and his angels passing through the airport scanner in their dark glasses no problem
ON FIRST LOOKING INTO NERUDA’S *TWENTY LOVE POEMS* I was only 14 and didn’t know what you meant. You meant how it blooms hatless and in all shades of green and without ever saying please.
MULTIPLE CHOICE A. the languor of confined songbirds B. also called the hypothalamus C. Hitlerâ€™s moustache D. a hole where the moon belonged E. all of the above
Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of 19 print and digital poetry chapbooks, including most recently Half-Life and Other Poems from Ronin Press. His full-length collection of poetry, Lovesick (2009), was published in 2009 by Press Americana. His second full-length collection, Heart With a Dirty Windshield, will be published by BeWrite Books.
brianprince believes it's much better to see things rather than have things.
Jory M. Mickelson
Carbonite Dream #1 I am dreaming of a woman on a celluloid screen. The projector weaves particles of dust and light like faded nylons. The woman on the reel, she is turning down a long hallway of blue doors. And because this is a dream loop, she repeats herself. Turns and turns and turns her feet against the worn green rug. The sleep camera tightens its frame to her black patent heels which shush forever on the rug. A moth flapping its wings.
Carbonite Dream #2 Itâ€™s the only birch on the Eastside. Every leaf reflects the halogen stars. Daphne in a strapless dress that winds about her breasts and hips like an asp in an apple tree. The bark unspools (a hula-hoop) in strips and pools at her feet. A man pulls down ivy from the rigging of a white house. A pocketknife crosshatches the letters that spell out your shape. Yellow icing slides down the side of a cake in the radiating heat. HAPP BIRTHD Not a body but a white hand with wet earth under the nails.
Jory M. Mickelson holds a B.A. in English from Western Washington University. His work has appeared in Oranges & Sardines, Collective Fallout, Knockout, New Mexico Poetry Review and Ganymede. He maintains the writing blog Literary Magpie (www.jorymickelson.blogspot.com) and is the nonfiction editor of the literary magazine 5x5 (www.5x5litmag.org).
This is how you’ll find me
rubbing some soft words like sunscreen into your skin rubbing my name into your knuckles onto your shoulders the dip in your neck stretching your skin I find extra holes to hide things in I pour promises into every crevice until they fill and spill onto the floor but there’s room for more and I am kneading space into your elbows, your open palm (you’re staying calmer than I expected) lining the walls of your pores with memories and wishes things dismissed in rushed moments and breadcrumbs, tiny breadcrumbs in case you ever lose me
Heather Cox is a Texas-born, Arkansas-raised writer currently living in Chicago. In 2009, she was the recipient of The Margot Trietel Award for Excellence in Creative Writing. She has most recently published poems in Ceremony and Dark Sky Magazine. When she's not collecting or creating poetry, she can be found staggering through her quest to the find the world's best raspberry margarita.
There were stations of shadow in her upturned face her eyes flashing deep from another time or dream. Hands folding like damp umbrellas she offers me a sentence with the slant of a roof, willing the glance I accomplish; and, once I look into her eyes, I have looked into her eyes and it is only then that I come to understand what manner of loneliness I have chosen.
Steve Mitchell's website: http://www.thisisstevemitchell.com
Serena M. Tome
Linen Sheets -for JS
1. flags descend through guarded whispers pain takes flight in the wind like a handkerchief shape shifting into a dove 2. the sun sets slowly earthâ€™s cheeks
you stand erect like a totem pole as crows nest on your head 3. a flaming collage of Autumn colors burn in the distance surrounded by ashen bark and splayed shadows of limbs and mist stretched out like linen sheets 4. a slight breeze break silence as your eyes unfurl and you begin to awake
Serena M. Tome
Serena Tome writes from the edge of Atlanta, GA. She is the poetry editor for Leaf Garden Press. She has literary work published and/or forthcoming in, Ann Arbor Review, BlazeVox, Word Riot, Calliope Nerve, Word for Word, Moon Milk Review, and many other publications. She is co-editor of Differentia Press. You can find out more about Serena at www.serenatome.blogspot.com.
J.P. Dancing Bear
I was afraid of their tempting rain and the lusting flowers in my heart. I felt an ass most of my life under their craft; always staring at the wrong thingsâ€”lumps in my throat, the backs of my hands beginning to spot with my age. They pull out of me a spirit long-since absent. Ghost haunting a younger night, desireful, restless, burning with a passionfire I have learned to dowse. I say the word love, over again, love, as though it is a turret I call home. I cover my head, my eyes, duck low fearful of the shapes clouds might become.
J.P. Dancing Bear
you bring him plucked wild flowers, singling one out for his tattered lapel. In a gust of wind that only effects his arm, they rise as though offering you a dance. Your shadows have already entwined and here, in the smooth fields of grass where one season embraces another you feel compelled to drop the bouquet and reach for his hand; to let your dress of clouds carry you in an orbiting swirl. Here, time has no offering to interest you. Within the torn fabric of a man, you see remnants of the original color like a dappled sky, over the rolling hills, stitch grass, the patchwork of shadows; and you can feel the motion of the land, till you cannot tell any longer, where cloth ends and the field begins.
J. P. Dancing Bear is the author nine collections of poetry, most recently, Inner Cities of Gulls (2010), and Conflicted Light (2008) both published by Salmon Poetry. His poems have been published in DIAGRAM, No Tell Motel, Third Coast, Natural Bridge, Shenandoah, New Orleans Review, Verse Daily and many other publications. He is editor for the American Poetry Journal and Dream Horse Press. Bear also hosts the weekly hour-long poetry show, Out of Our Minds, on public station, KKUP.
Ode: Tiara When my mind is one of condensed gloom I forgo the twitching arrow of resolve and opt for calisthenics, the bob and collapse of repetition. As I breathe I'm bewitched, imbibing an impeccable fodder, this float between meals. I will take on any table--separating my food into camps before smashing it into squares. We're tethered to air. Loss will throw fits at this discovery. Its mouth is all mumbles. Nostalgic pulp. So go figure: my own commas play tricks on my toe taps. And God knows those steroids haven't helped. But if ancient men's dreams are dismissed on the floor mats like the fallout of scratch cards then mine trigger happenstance-a limbo-like stretch of aquariums and bottled saint corridors where the childish hunt for accessories, shorn of their downy invincibility. How I coveted the con man's valise! His pittance of aftershave. Purple nails. Now, on the wrestling mat of wafer an ant flexes its antennae. And my arm downing shots again, beholden to everything silver, so susceptible to the song that envisioned my grief as some spectacle, hissing and burdened with light. I want to feel what the debutante feels. A past pinned, reorchestrated. Such a waist, such a waist. Yes, there are causes unabbreviated by time. Like the causes that require change of wardrobe. Some western get up? An aerosol doom? The mind is too much for itself, entrenched in its cubicle, the snuggest resistance to the needle's inquisition, its mannerly throb. Not to mention the slo-drip. Here monotony.
Book Dump Sure I’ve experienced raptures but nothing like this. My own personal mantra stitched into a slice of bologna. They’ve launched another franchise into space. So I’m left to loaf some more in the extremely magical forest. I can say what you see but I’m lost on me. Now, exactly how many calories does froth have? Imagine yourself on this beach sans the grizzle. All the light and its offspring, unintelligible space. Wait, I have to take this because I’m important. Well, you’re quite plucky yourself, mister-sir! A new Babel of mattresses, factory-priced. The longer history of tycoons and gigantic rodents. Who’s idea was it to have at my entrails this early? Those there are my “house” demons. They’ll have to stay.
Mark DeCarteret's work has appeared in the anthologies American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon Press), Brevity & Echo: Short Short Stories by Emerson College Alums (Rose Metal Press)New Pony: Collaborations & Responses (Horse Less Press), Thus Spake the Corpse: An Exquisite Corpse Reader (Black Sparrow Press) and Under the Legislature of Stars—62 New Hampshire Poets (Oyster River Press) which he also co-edited.
Baptism, of a sort
Be led by a swish of vestment to blackened passage, walls canting in. An unmapped sanctum, smell of old bibles. Far from worship, your zipper parted like a sea. Young helpless hipbones communed in unsteady canon. Bake hot as hellfire for life. Spend your manhood skewered onto the end of a pitchfork. Lie down alone to cool, if possible, but unable to stay still with your impossibilities. Drive your flaming body to the church parking lot. Kill yourself and leave a note why. Vows will be considered broken.
Deceptions You come home so late I canâ€™t recognize the hour, the economy of your footstep on every other stair as if the odd stairs are all that could wake me. You bring to bed new smell of jasmine expect me to believe you changed air fresheners in the car. When we talk your voice is as sharp as foil in a filling but we talk less than before our lives like library books dusty, overdue.
martha clarkson is the poetry editor for word riot and a fiction writer and poet. she is a commercial interior designer by day.
Where the eyes Have been
I wish never to Have been
Such was the silver Of the absurd
The night dragged like The pulse
The scream erased No
Not erased I haveâ€Ś
Heavenly walls Of bloody
You I That was somewhere When
In the abandoned Room That stench
It was neither of the Two of us
I donâ€™t recall You cannot remember
Either than I As if to mock the Silence
We mistook No Ever looking elsewhere
The shadow mocked The walls And so
There in the night Breathed the Whisper
Arduous marrow Sonorous as a Cadaver
Longing spliced The remains Devoured
Why in the earth Did we linger?
The blood-shot Eye Thickens With Laughter With the nudity of Pulse Yes I will gather The Night like a child Where Fallen to obstruct Only The absence Survives You Not I I am alone
Michael Mc Aloran was Belfast born, (1976). His most recent poetic works have appeared/ are forthcoming at Carcinogenic Poetry, Why Vandalism?, 1000th Monkey, Fashion For Collapse, Danse Macabre, Fragile Arts Quarterly, Gloom Cupboard, and Pratishedhak, Graffiti Kolkata, (India). His art-work has appeared at Calliope Nerve, Bergamot, Fragile Arts Quarterly, Arterialize, and has been used as book covers for several projects at Calliope Nerve Media. In the past year he has the authored seven short collections of poetry: 'In The Black Cadaver Light', (Poetry Monthly Press), 'The Rapacious Night', (Calliope Nerve Media), 'The Gathered Bones', (Calliope Nerve Media), 'The Redundant Pulse', (Back Pack Press), and 'The Death-Streaked Air', (Virgogray Press-forthcoming), 'The Black Vault', (Calliope Nerve Media), & 'Final Fragments', (Calliope Nerve Media-forthcoming)...Other pursuits include cigarettes and alcohol...
Cheers It’s all so funny to you, puking and piercing and playing out your tattoo fantasies. Being homeless and being drunk. Putting on ladies eyelashes and getting sore in places. You like to wear black, and it looks nice on you. It shows off your perfect skin and your brightly colored hair, with its strips of shocking white, scarlet, and harlot. Baby, you’re completely wired. You’ve got your iPod and your G-4, and in the café you like to jack in and travel, throwing around Molotov cocktails online, in defense of the innocent, the angry, and isn’t it funny, seeing whitie fall down like that. "Burn the rich, we’ll use them as kindling during the revolution!" Man it’s all so funny to you. And so clean, really, under all that cleverly constructed filth, all that knowledge of the alternative, those bohemian double cappuccinos, and graduate courses at the New School, and don’t worry about your Milpitas past, your Sunnyvale mama, it’s okay, because you’re cool now, way cool, and isn’t it all funny, so mother fucking funny.
Mira Martin-Parker works behind the counter at Taco Bell. She writes poems on her lunchbreak.
Justin Wade Thompson
Heat. one half of the sky started to fill up with rain clouds an old bearded man walked by belly first with a plate of barb que in his hand GODDAMN FLIES he said.
I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU CAN SIT OUT HERE IN THIS HEAT ALL DAY, WEARING LONG SLEEVES AND ALL. yeah, my wife came home about 7:30 I'd put her computer in the oven, I told her it was done that I was tired of having the thing in my house, all the racket she packed a bag full of things only took a minute and then she walked out to the car I followed her, grabbed the keys
Justin Wade Thompson
that's not YOUR car, I told her. FINE, she said. and she walked out into the rain, eyes red of fire and rage. woman's rage. the worse kind. the rain had kinda cooled things down, blocking out the sun. I was glad for that.
Justin Wade Thompson was born in New Braunfels, Texas and currently lives in the capital city of Austin. He has never pursued a higher education, career, or held a full-time job.
Incident Report #2315 They cut me open found a dark mossy brick behind my ribs, like the black box recovered from a plane crash. It spoke of storm clouds, indecision, fatal errors and faulty wiring a kink in the operating system. They sewed me up, dumped me in a field of switchgrass and wildflowers, the prairie sun baked my skin into rust. Even the crows avoid my sorry ass.
Chuck Augello's fiction and poetry have appeared in decomP, Word Riot, Pindedlyboz, Rattle, Pure Francis, Origami Condom, CircleShow, The Santa Fe Literary Review, and other journals. Stories are upcoming in Hobart, Muse & Stone, Word Riot, and The Dark Comedy Review. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, dog, three cats, and several unnamed birds that inhabit the back yard.
soluble colony 3
Totem Rock Trees rotted the totem markings years ago then passers scraped away rocks and took carvings of crows and turtles as saltpeter crystallized on the wall. Time swallows our dream of being like a river silked in oblivion. At the height of the hill, I could see the leaves catch like sails above the indifferent ferns, I wrapped a stone with a frond and pressed my palms together, the living image remains to fade.
The Courtesy of Address Below the light clouds of rain mixed with the lake, all was white, I could taste the waves of sedation like a bone. Water spilled from your thimble onto the ground, we relinquished the courtesy of address, but I am speaking to disarm myself.
Peeling Madras I lean my head back against the wall of peeling madras. Roses explode and trees burst electric green against the sepia light of a summer thunderstorm. Lavender candles burn for someone else, it doesn't rain inside the arch you are.
John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. His chapbooks, Prominences and Sinking of the Cloth, appeared from Flutter Press and Set Apart Before the World Was Made appeared from Calliope Nerve Media. Full of Crow published his ebook, The Feathered Masks.
Procession Well water and wild blackberries, a smile like the side of a broad bean. From Lammas to November, this quarter, from Solstice to Autumn, curved and rippled discontinuity, stumbling flux. The Laws of Physics need not apply. We danced in A minor, 129 bpm head get you out .jam.packed.tight.cramped. grutching, subterranean. Tonight, drenched atoms hustle, spin, create colour. 2 tracks from the same album. Cherry acoustic songs stray through darkness, through dunes and drift, wood and surf. A morning song, a melody, a hawk hawk from gangs of gulls. Now thereâ€™s sand in the bed.
No Sun, No Magic This present unembroidered nature, is locked to forever, all destiny collected, a constant keynote. Then something tears when I touch your lips; my voice rips mid-breath. They say itâ€™s all in my head but, in truth, you are complicit. By definition: a quality of action distinguished by contrast, whether I observe you or not. Clouds force me to forget I am not fully reborn. Nags undermine me; they suggest a failure of integration.
Ashley Bovan lives in Cardiff and is a masters student. He has been published in many magazines. His website is http://www.ashley-bovan.co.uk
My Ears and No Lies Not my mountains but your breath mattered this afternoon. I miss the way you meant to be with me. The shadow of fingers touching all day long, your bruised lips saying my name into the darkness as though stones could live. I kept seeing your car at the curb by the park weeks after you left – your breath in my ear and no lies. I can’t make your land – rooted way below the heart. Today I whispered your name into nobody’s darkness.
To Enter This Household of Everlasting
Step into this torpedo of light you whom hides face with a scarf of dyed silk. Oversized bloom tucked behind the pincushion of your ear. Oversized eyes wide between lashes. As you drink in this world. As you drink of this world. Parched little animal, thirsty little darling. Kneel beside me upon this polished teakwood pew. Unfix your hair from its chopsticks & ribbons, its opal barrettes. Open your overdone gumdrop lips. This is the wafer. The bread the body. Deliveranceâ€™s & forgivenessâ€™s fortune cookie. Ingest its promise. Imbued with meaning. Enter empty into the nectar & meal of this sterilized light. Accommodating at last. Barbaric at first.
Flower Conroy's poetry has appeared in The American Literary Review, Oberon, and Serving House Journal. Ms. Conroy graduated from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She currently lives in Key West.
Solitude is Breath Solitude is breath and In a message like full lips His always keen smile escalates Very hardly his people endure He saw not and was laughed about Talking he was the also the in the other Haphazardly woven and built Like drawings left lived Or well and deriving dogs who feast Maybe those wise ever steadfast have-nots Much Shrewd about in papers held esteem If they the strange the enduring ones Have work often lazy that is and was reminiscent of built stilts When Illustrations shook heads They bellowed bile full and deep nothings Too these the little attentive bees Act as a stranger the little liked believe The others the always ones Which solitudes master He says is friendly in first person But alone in our Mothers
Tomorrow Principalities expand to muster crimson secretions while Two women whose movements coreless with abundant aspiration Draw their mighty hands like pistols pressed As you I and we unleashed upon dreamscapes Watch their Toiling Oh baby, in isolated tantrums they make themselves manic Pummeling their open wounds with purpose poised or Rolling the strenuous landscape explored by their digits And her two fingers like a nod for then and again She receiving her gifts guided by eyes Whaling her Toiling groaning again in leaked forums beyond day less weeks in turn They imbibe their coughing organic liqueurs While we jam gifts against the crown of their apertures She and her-clammy brow and lowered face I to you and so we Toil And try To taste Tomorrow.
James H Duncan
heart-shaped rocks doused with wine bloodied little stones tossed through the windows one by one by one at the end of the day and the end of the day comes softly delicate as a cat’s sleep without any cause without thought no rhyme or age like the breath of sleep coming across the lake a rocking chair in the breeze no legs no hands no furrowed brow no end no beginning nothing at all but the wind, it calls through the rain begging the cats to open the windows pulling at the shrubs, twisting the knob of the front door, the back, the side any which way to be close to you to sift the hair and slide along the tall shoulders buried now, deep in blue sheets deep in blue skies and even though skies change the moon will wait for us to call out, to walk the many miles to a street corner, unbeknownst to anyone but the pair of echoes getting closer, closer and then we’ll have the proper chapter; be it the last or the first—it will be ours
James H Duncan
James H Duncan is a New York native and the editor of Hobo Camp Review. Being a lifelong student of the road, youâ€™ll find him picking up non-credit courses in local dive bars, all-night cafes, and at train station platforms minding his own damn business. Apt, Red Fez, Reed Magazine, and The Battered Suitcase, among others, have welcomed his poetry and short stories. More at http://jameshduncan.blogspot.com
Believe in Me When Miss Hooker walks from our portable building where we have Sunday School class to her little car in the church parking lot, I watch her from under the apple tree where I meet my dog when we're finished up with God and Jesus and the Holy Ghost for the day. Of course, They should be in my heart and even in my thoughts for the rest of the day, and the other six, too, while we're about it, but sometimes I forget. I wonder if she does, too, and what her life's like the rest of the week. All I know is that I'm in love with her but she's pushing 30, I'd guess, and I'm just ten years old, and it's hopeless--she'll never fall in love with me, and we'll never get married, and there's no way that I can compete with God for all her charms. And maybe she's dating some other guy, I mean a full-grown man. I hope not. I take that back--that's selfish of me and selfishness is a sin and if I'm a sinner I won't stand a chance with her unless she forgives me like God does. I hope He does. He said that He would, or Jesus did, and He's the Son of God and maybe even God Himself--I'm not sure. Maybe I was sick that Sunday. It's all complicated but that's religion for you--God never makes it too easy or maybe it's people who spoil it all. My dog wants to go home--I walk to church --but I'm waiting for Miss Hooker to stop looking at herself in the rearview mirror at her makeup. We're Episcopalians so makeup isn't a sin, except on men,
and maybe not even then. Who knows? She's mighty fetching to be so old and the kind of gal who will be beautiful even when she's as old as my mother and even my grandmother, who's dead, and so is the other one, the one no one likes. Father's mother. At least he liked her --that ought to count for something. She's starting her engine, Miss Hooker is, and backing out. I always wave but she never sees me. Now she's driving out the entrance. Good -bye, I whisper. See you next week, Darling. I turn around and my dog's halfway up the hill. I follow. I feel like Moses. Maybe when I come down the hill again I'll have white hair and carry two headstones the way he does in the movie, and say O Israel, you have sinned a great sin, but Mother says that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I don't know. When I got home last Sunday, Mother asked What did you learn from Miss Hooker today? I just stared at her until she asked, Well? Nothing, I said, when I snapped out of it. And that's why I keep going back for more.
Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, Ohio Journal, Descant, Adirondack Review, Worcester Review, Danse Macabre, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, South Dakota Review, Santa Barbara Review, and many other journals. He has authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse, 2004), The Weight of the World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives (BrickHouse, 2008). Gale has taught university English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank.
Fate I The poet used to climb the ladder up the side of a railcar, his face chalky as if lifted from plaster. We had conversations in the railyard. He became my father, hair tousled like Einstein, afraid of wild beasts in the halls, saying Mother lay coiled in their bed, a python hissing.
II A phantom in a black suit, the poet instructed me that a pervading sense of dread is merely failure, that rejection is only a pale cadaver stretched on a silver table. Its as if youâ€™re lead to a room, they give you a cigarette, and then from one of the drawers they extract the corpse, that sweet, quivery apparition that once lived in your brain, now riveted by the florescent lights, unable to blink.
III The poet told me of women shackled in green, the violent fat of their bodies held prisoner, of men paralized by hunger, turned to stone by the curves of bellies and pelvic bones, transformed to howling dogs in the desert, sniffing for scorpions, terrified by the moon. He told me all the women he found asleep in his bed were veined marble, smooth, not breathing, dead, yet so beautiful, he fell in love.
Monique Roussel is a Producer, writer and sometime radio talk show host on SiriusXM radio and WBAI 99.5 FM. She has been writing since the age of 7 and holds a Masters in Creative Writing/English Literature/Poetry from New York University. Her work is slated to appear in the 2010 issues of The Conclave Literary Journal, The Wilderness House Poetry Review and The Porchlight Review. She is also the winner of 2010 Conclave Literary Journal Award for Poetry.
James W. Hritz
Drink in anticipation, rather than when thirsty
I Fewer chinook thrusting into the mountains Fewer rocky recesses cradle stringy roe Fewer water skeeters inhaled Fewer scales flicking in the autumnal sun Fewer salmon to define the wild II Dehydrated next to the spawning pool The sweet chimes of water slicing through water The generative gelatin does not faze me The spermy industrial persuasion prolongs my patience The batter which both perpetuates and destroys III I have been near water my whole life On beaches with granules of sand Bigger than my eye Bigger than my fist Bigger than my apartment Mountain lakes dive further than I can see into myself Fog will condense on the tongue How else does wild licorice beget its pungency? IV The feral herb remains fertile despite the futile terrain The convulsing chinook filters oxygen amid the muck These same crucibles weigh on me And will continue to bend in the wind and scour My bristled lips
James W. Hritz
James is a graduate of Kent State University and the University of Akron. He writes on the authorial experience for his blog Now Trending at nowtrendingblog.blogspot.com. Previously published fiction can be viewed at Blood Lotus and Southpaw Journal. Born in California, educated (High School and College, at least) in Ohio, he now lives on the edge of the former frontier in Colorado.
Distilled art of becoming undrunk warp and weft rejection “my husband is a percussionist” sound of pencils violins
lips adore cut grass green to glass moth wings in a glass jar human conscience pared
brandy/fumes metronome fragile fabric of eyelids
Tobi Cogswell is a Pushcart nominee and co-recipient of the first annual Lois and Marine Robert Warden Poetry Award from Bellowing Ark. Her work can be read in Willow Review, Rhino, Slab, Blue Earth Review and Askew among others, and is coming in Decanto (UK) and Iodine Poetry Journal. She has three chapbooks and her full-length poetry collection “Poste Restante” is available from Bellowing Ark Press. She is the co-editor of San Pedro River Review (www.sprreview.com).
The Woman in the Dark Sweater Her green bedroll and brown suitcase slumped in a nearby corner. Her hands clutched a heady cup of black coffee. Cool wind and early light riddled the strands of hair loosened about her face. The day had yet to warm. With arms tucked against the chill, she remembered how, winters past, her mother would say, your neckâ€™s so cold. In the cafĂŠ windowpane, her blue eyes came back gray, the cooling cup sunk entirely in light.
Jeffrey Alfier is a 2009 Pushcart prize nominee. His work has appeared recently in Kestrel and Rhino, and is forthcoming in Vallum (Canada). He is author of two chapbooks, Strangers Within the Gate (2005), and Offloading the Wounded (2010), and serves as coeditor of San Pedro River Review.
Published on Aug 23, 2010
Published on Aug 23, 2010
Journal Of Contemporary Poetry, featuring the free verse and experimental poetry of 33 contemporary poets.