A Place for Art and its Reasons Issue no. 2
quarter after http://quarterafter.org/ Founding Editor, Calvin Pennix firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover Art, “speak to another or live in a lonely world,” by Eleanor Bennet Copyright © Eleanor Bennett 2012
Allie Marini Batts breeding, trumpet flowers out of the dead ash a cautious unfurling, petals, these fragile fingers, extended through layers of silt and salt, the battle-blown lands where once a city stood. these vines, they labor furiously, expanding and dividing beneath the dust of nations nightshades in mitosis, their toxins lovely, bright and narrow set against a land destroyed. likewise myself and my skin, a playground for dead things and invasive plants to rise from, a phoenix, in botany.
Disappearing Act I hide scalpels in the pockets of my cheeks, a robber maiden advised this. it’s true; you never know what might happen. I’ve cultivated my palate to the steel. over time it’s come to taste of freedom, like a jawpin. shackled inside burlap sacks, tossed into wedding water: five minutes to unlock the wristicuffs or drown. develop the knack or die. it’s that simple. blades can decidedly break what skill fails to breach. cuts rough like pinking shears through coarse fabrics— illusionists knew the addictions of adrenaline, it is much like love. spider rivers- you dare match your breaststroke against the undertow? they’ll find you bloated down the banks in three days time. only the varnish on your toenails can identify that exquisite corpse. like a tuning fork pressed to your vocal cords the blade lodged in the mud bottomed belly of the beast. you bobbed for a moment, jubilant, before being sucked down. nothing burbled up to mark where you’d gone under. five minutes to compose an underwater elegy. skill or sheer dumb luck. your weapon’s improve the odds, surely, but mostly it’s like russian roulette. in one hollow a bullet; the other means you have to figure out what comes after the click of an empty chamber. daddy longlegs back into the rive and cheat death with your torque wrenches and cheekblades. burlap or silk: it’s all the same underwater. it all strangles like wedding veils and foreign surnames. soft like a shell, doubtless it burns underwater, misfiring bullets out of chambers spun wild like carnival lights. hallucinations are sometimes blessings, much like advice from little robber girls, who, on the eve of their wedding, sleep more soundly with steel clasped against their almost-breasts.
deep head back, expose throat so white, no shades, a full contoureyes, closed, so very deep not to drown, not to dream our last lips touch, then apart forever, didn’t think it was final. like a butterfly, eyelashes lace themselves together, tears, a pupal soup, in the cocoon. it leaks and the butterfly is lost. stiff fingers down, down, breath coming short, a motion locked heaving, then silence. neck, so pulsed, can’t touch again no more my own but lost face not me but behind hidden eyes without feel all pupil no crystal flakes can you see me? i see you not. ditches dig themselves to dam back the overflow too much for just one—can’t let go of a childhood that wasn’t still isn’t. no me to look at in the mirror, but still I beat her back. sleek touch with innuendo mouth spoke too soft to hear the words but knew the unspake speech so familiar. too know, said he, goodbye. voice mute, flushed face she sits stunned, the taste of nothing in her mouth. cocoon eyes, relock love, lines, shades, oh, so stiff down, tight. throats, so very white stiff fingers down, so down, oh! down deep. what see? said he, and hid. oh, oh, oh. soft, so very, very soft. white so very cloud white and perfect quite love, oh love, so still and soft and white. stiff fingers down, in, deep, deep. butterflies emerging, unlacing, overflowing, drown, dream, forever lips, goodbye, deep, soft, oh goodbye.
our last night I lit a candle before I left the room, it burned down while you went to bed, a safety hazard. the kiss, it was an accident. I notice pools of wax on your dresser, brittle as your face is when I wake you up to break your heart.
promises, promises â&#x20AC;ŚI will repeat and recite until you know and believe just as sure, effortless as you know and believe that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll breathe again once you let go of the air held inside as I lean to kiss you as such .
C. L. Bee
The Old Wicker Basket
I burned the old wicker laundry basket today – the one with the worn handles and the split edges. We’d used that basket for as long as I can remember, and it finally broke under the weight of wet laundry en route to the line. How many coal-dusted overalls did it carry, how many berrystained aprons of my ancestors? There is a deep sadness that consumes me equal to the flames that gobbled hungrily at the destruction of this tangible past I fed it. Was it sacrilege to let go of that which sustained those I loved, that which bore the places of where their hands had been? Was something of them still left there on the handles, those finger prints that defined them? I wonder now, in the glow of these orange flames, what it is about the past that entices me to linger, to stop as if sucked in by some undertow of truth. Maybe in my mind the past was a simpler time. I think it really was simpler if for no other reason than the fact that time is stopped there, in the memory. When time is frozen I can take a clear-eyed look at it, stand back and assess without worry that my attentions need be focused on the concerns of the present. Time has a way of filtering out the peripheral, those tags of momentary interest and distraction that clutter the pathway of intent. I see my great grandparents now, both in my photo clicked memory and in the black and white pictures that fill the bottom drawer of my mother’s dresser. Mema and Pepa stand there, not smiling, just looking at the camera as if defying it to capture any truth about them at all – the truth that they gladly raised my mother, that alcoholism stole their meager wages on the way home from the mines, that the reason to listen to “The Baptist Hour” on the radio was for the obituaries. In the picture they stand on the front lawn and do not hold hands, do not extend an arm out to encircle
each other. It’s as if they’re holding their breath to keep who they are, what they believe, from being captured and ensconced in an explanation that did not include their promises. Who were they, really - those people who were more than the relatives of children who would someday look back on a history of bright summer days when the breeze blew across the laboriously cleaned clothes drying on a stretched line in the back yard? Who were those people who weighed their promises against time and bartered their laughter for one more day? I wonder if I summons these memories out of regret that I wasn’t more present to the happenings and urgencies of the time or if I simply, by virtue of being a child at the time, am entitled to these happy recollections. The return to those times of the past is like looking for something lost when I keep revisiting the same places as if that which is missing will suddenly appear, having been overlooked the first dozen times. This, until I let myself realize that the answers from the past will only take me so far into the questions of the present. There’s an aura of privilege that I carry as I proceed through life. The cornerstone has afforded me a competence through no attentions of my own save a good memory. And yet I entertain, even coax, the sadness that comes with this release of the past that falls ashen in the fire pit outside my door. It’s as if the longing keeps those precious memories alive and thus the people whose sweet reminiscence I pocket and let their kindness, their love and admiration, cheer me on, encourage me towards the future. And I throw my misgivings into the abyss of memory as the flames, strong in the present, lick with selfish greed.
Dr. Ernest Willaimson III
In Conversation With My Art
The Waltz of Her Shadow
Too Heavy Metal
march in my town
Elizabeth Kate Switaj ALL HE GAVE HER yellow petals reclaim fire from fall before they fall her cheeks have drained their red from glass that was merlot and
ALL THERE IS wind runs its motor down the carless street nail -polish red rhodie browns on puddle’s edge meters from the bush I was good enough to fuck good enough to drink with good enough to sleep with when you were drunk still good enough to laugh with sober and never good enough to cry with when I can’t stand it’s more than Buckfast, more than silence warming up the wind
FIVE LIVES whale the starfish have dreamed of you for centuries I’d say but dreams don’t live so long in silent weight whale you have given breath to noise and inhaled sunlight in return which fades to indigo down here whale you are sunk whale the stars are raising tips— which end their arms like hands —and dancing over sands whale they will digest you and make your life endoskeletal, pentamerist
Erin Dobosiewicz: This series, entitled Break Free, tries to breaks boundaries for my subject. As a model, bodybuilder and fitness expert she is used to being behind the camera. What happens, though, when focus is shifted and the camera becomes a tool to capture what is inside and not necessarily on the face. Capturing movement and feeling, the subject becomes more than a prop and starts to tell a story of what is happening inside. It is no longer about the body image, but about her feelings on of the image of her body.
Felino A. Soriano from Quartet dialogues Of piano |4| eyes in the closed motif, affirmation esoteric diversions : these: personal freshness, fragility of man then man-woman (married?)? of the new the neoteric composure of then-then sweetened by sometime temporal alleviation concerns self with my listening composition eerie reflectional becoming gave a hurried togetherness as with dusk elongating feeling of gray, ash |5| light architecting trilogy of hopeâ&#x2020;&#x2019;homeâ&#x2020;?shadow holding softness
unlike likened hard-c(ore)url contours of
muscular heat engaging symphony of oscillating feversâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;
visceral voices heard-inward multiplying grief of daylong symptomatic
afterward the hand of these memories enclose circulating harmonies, happenstance casts delegated and contaminative mixings of
|6| trust truth
(or the loving movement\moments in/of which it creates, counts) continuingâ&#x20AC;Ś
reveal enigmatic logic
linguistic the hand of this
ornate divisional procedure| |rhythm polished running etiquette pursuance crescent origin a halo saves its italicized phrasing such the echo aside mention alone the stand singsing mention of elated contemplation |7| in the consolation of these watchers these accumulators of eye-engraving architects
deciphering modal comprehension as tone then achromatic silence engaging mind and modular expressive junctions in the absolute rendition of my perpetuated miracles
freedom to expand reach of fingering concinnities)jazz, jazzjazz |the elated emblem creating isolated similes|(conformities combining an eyeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s closed cooperation with depicting
either motive (preserve, oddment), obsolete
becoming broken excavated balance a symmetry widened or withholding death of extractsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; spectrum of conveyance
Howie Good HEART PROBLEMS 1 I watch for the warning signs – bats and owls taking flight and the light of day wearing a dirty green raincoat. 2 Something knocks twice upon my heart without entering. If this were a movie, the police would ignore me when I told them what I knew or at least suspected. 3 A snow of petals begins to fall from the trees. I wade in up to my waist. There isn’t always that great a difference between a funeral and a carnival. 4 In one instance, I hid the baby under all the debris. Not everybody could tell that I was being ironic. 5 Brown-and-white cows drift toward a red barn. You call it “Arrangement in Gray and Black, No. 1.” Sometimes what look like stars to the naked eye are really only planets. 6 In New York City, even lovers travel underground. Girl with acetylene green eyes, why wait? The going always seems so much longer than the coming back. 7 Night and day seldom start on time. I appear in other people’s dreams, regardless. 8 A dying rocket tumbles into the parking lot behind the diner. On another day, it might have been a poet committing suicide for attention. 9 The leaves are bordered in black. You fuck me so hard that tyrants and martyrs stand in the rain along the funeral route sobbing. 10 I myself enjoy the ungainly spectacle of machines on fire, and when I wake up on the floor, it’s officially summer and next to a big pile of sunglasses.
Iain Britton storm why bend over the cello pluck
the hail pelts down inside your perception of what makes music you straighten up because the chiropractor says so you roll your shoulders like he says so you listen to sounds
acoustics right the wrongs /
dark arenas the storm
flirts noisily you stroke the cello and someone clumps across the roof / a blocked drain becomes a water feature why now at this precise moment do you want me to be with you a forest tears strips off the moon and your music is silenced
spiked yesterday’s globular consumption isn’t lost / will cough it all up
with a bang
as regular as sun up /
as Easter /
as a spiked fish
what’s this intimacy? my head is lifted into a clear space
rubs against my face
of wasted tribes
floods paddocks houses in retreat
it guts itself
on jagged rocks on an island sinking in mud the river uses me as a thoroughfare I feel the squeeze of traffic a cleansing agent a preparation for some kind of upheaval I feel /
the sea is close / is closer/ the sea pounds at shells the sea is a carnivore spiked by barbed-wire a sheep’s afterbirth is laid to rest a dream cast off longevity is measured by a spark
the balcony painted lines criss-cross this universal playboy of the Polynesian world a strange masochism is at work threading hot wires through veins connecting me to him to this epiphany in progress
he compartmentalizes the morning inhabits a caption
written for him
for a picture of his maidservant he explores by touch strips of sunlight
draped over a balcony
heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s neither soldier sailor
but carries a helmet for his journey from the balcony blunted-blue agapanthus choke in numbers
cosmic solitude not so difficult staring into the deep end of a stormwater drain that swirls love’s properties to the estuarial breeding grounds of the white heron something informative crosses over I respect the braids of silence that invisibly wrap this solitary flesh in orbital grease my afternoon is spent in an orchard amongst oranges a cat killing finches a woman fighting with her washing and a wind putting the boot in night’s rug isn’t far off a worker’s spoon concerto attracts a crowd of lamp posts I’m remembering three dreams … a sequential blast of how not to analyse too much of how rapidly the sun and moon can shoot down your hopes with silver-plated neurones can turn your body into a vascular labyrinth of splitting firmaments for a cosmos on the run
Abstract Painting #266
John Pursch Aficionados Rectangles press our loud, sequestered minds, imploding concrete floating grounds, hazing thought patrols with sweater pumice. Flakes flood the purple, backlit ambience, ashy and agoraphobic, given to notions of flight disease, pending till doomsday. Luring nutritious mendicants into churn machines, neon bricklayers line the slushy sidewalks, hemming in the pathless minions, guiding gear heads to gravel dungeons. Smooth-talking generators hum intrepid tunes of free-wheeling border crossers, inciting mass pilgrimage, hatching medial access rituals, changing collage salesmen on the fly. Ointment moochers mint Asian hopscotch erectors, planning pin retraction for colorblind vintners, clashing with weathered porn aficionados. Mixing loose virulence and valued lines of crepe stupor sunsets, the global parakeet runs for oily office, promising to quash all melon herding, implying gross volition. No one can resist the lack of logic; fuel ignites around the urban pyre, splashing lifeblood on already blazing tentacles and tent flap jungles, breathing new life into our senseless struggle for witless slaving. Humor evaporates into acrid electoral oompah band limericks, spilling rhetorical gibberish from countless barrage balloons, crossing enema lines with lyre notes and Cuban cigarillos.
Dying to Dance Moguls preen, stilted and ludicrous, on strobing dance floors, gargling plastic sushi and glycerine cubes, shepherding nobilityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quintessential maze through clear, confusing blasts of second-hand frocks. From cloth to shimmering muslin, royalty bobbles its central bottleneck, fashion-bound, into veiled racks of filial bumbling, over the falls and into the muck, determinism be damned. Plutocrats plant misinformed gorillas in gardens of lighter fluid, asking for extra ounces of manhole detergent, homing in on fluid emergency feats. Wallets opine, secrete engraved motifs, and dive for unsaid cover spores, remanded to herbal easels. Photogs inch through hailstorm holidays, blitzed on queening solutions, ocular messiahs, and leased dirigibles, snapping at turtle unguent. Smiling laces interior waveforms with ample flocks of greased catheters, on the prowl for oscillating gestures, settling for trailer extrusion. Backpack kids lurch rhythmically toward big, bland heaters, guarding youthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gravitational atavism, savoring the birth channel. Warship worship warbles unabated, lighting candles for blood flow, hinting at paragliding townhomes. Bricks collide with foothills, driven by routine, eager to pray; catchers miff the patchy Orwellian duck mechanicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reluctant tunic tender, dying to dance.
Oggieton Phremiot Towpe Archulean shiplems sploon via harfa croizen tumicle, splishant in thore orculan protemous canichon, phrexian and aplunal. Ount umian septinal plotch, till ielders emp doen croutifence paer meit, croxing to das eventim feas, chebbling wharl motanders eth oockie maurise. Ptimen unckey boomie floots perun whingerian olotof cranckal edtch, ambral enther encuplosen pilt. Orjuma, donteinum anchel topsin ageltie barume, aganian raveltie spendulun seilt. Hoice choroidal plemunce creet haltini cabini eedge meerin manuith, kend dorial ooniage, floggal arone, zein ractorum oggieton phremiot towpe.
Slices of Angled Dawn Borderline amulets announce the arrival of vials of snowstorm, ingested with spare tires, iron filings, and a tincture of yoyo string. Outside, spitting images at a heady blip, pubescent neuters can olives for oblivion. Decent incantations revolve slowly through abundant woods, seeking the livery, finding only a car stump. Drench me with slop, channeled furor; exit the down pocket and jettison your hardtack, giblets of mackerel scotched and bleating. Only a needle away from pruned ferocity, smiles motivate a gaggle of pleas, enumerate the scarce, and puff a dragging detective team, satisfying a bleached-bone concoction. Groping and oblivious to the falling temptress, a squalid cardboard chief pines for grunting apple sidecar dealers, hip-checking our germinal gamete into quiet, tidal motion. Hoses crane their gushing, centrifugal cataracts at lost amity, shredding iron flakes of stolen title criers, hoping for crumpets and slices of angled dawn. Whose chimney queried the dusky imminence for nebulous quartz and hedged gear teeth? How shot must the piebald, boring mineshaft of ego's listing tendrils be? None appear to impress or incite the vapid, swollen mutes; hence the wanderer's cloven silence.
The Wholly Riven Moors Rocks aloft and water on land and chippers of ivory, Nubian glee; findings of fraudulent wisps on the gram and pangs of a hidden, infectious release of liquid indenture to parts unbegotten, to plenipotentiary welds, of flaxen and golden, omnivorous oxen and spirochetes heading for holdings of ours, for parts beyond portage and similar rain. Champions of continental flagrancies, simulacra of limpid, viscid dwarves, plenitudes of anabolic amplitudes, sliding with the captain overboard; amniotic underwear and raincoats, painting with a portent of the sheen, members of the sacred, hinted brotherhood, mincing serpentine amidst the wholly riven moors.
Joseph Farley On The Menu A humid year has turned my toes and the soles of my feet into a garden where fungus grows and feeds on parts of me I rarely see, so notice less when creatures nibble flesh away little by little. I wish they all would wait until I was dead for surely then all could be well fed. Worms and beetles will only eat so much. There will be plenty left for a fungal lunch. But these guests won't wait and the weather will not turn dry, so I must soak my feet in a chemical bath and wait for them to die.
The Good Earth The rototiller has gone through the yard. Now you work hard to rake out the clods. Metal prongs make furrows, parallel lines running through brown soil. The moist scent of earth and life and death rises to your nostrils and you breathe deep as muscles work in the sun and sweats beads on brow and back and arms. This will be a year for growing things: tomatoes and cucumbers, pumpkins and corn. Moles and rabbits, groundhogs and deer crows and snails, all will take their portion. You will harvest what is left and be glad that you have gotten that much back from ground that has taken so much. Family pets and dead strays dwell now below seeds and roots. Parents and friends dwell in fields of white stones and green grass. All lives and loves wind up as compost, but you try not to think about that, focusing only on the labor and the hope of new stalks burgeoning into the light.
Scouting For Satori Flames crackle in the camp fire, bugs popping in the logs. Smoke bellows up, curling here and there, forming figurines, incomplete but filled in by the mind. It is easy to believe in spirits or demons seated by an open fire surrounded by darkness and the noises of the forest. In the air fairies dance, phantoms moving through the blue-black, half-seen, half-felt, but never as real as the back of your hand. A song and then lights out. Campers crawl into tents and sleeping bags heads still full of visions, beliefs, hopes that are only smoke. The cold hard ground under nylon and down delays sleep and shortens dreams.
The morning's sun will shine upon ashes and dead coals trapped in a stone circle, and it will take all a good scout's skill and some dry kindling to make flames rise again.
Kevin Heaton Magnum Opus In Blue Pit bull—cat scan sinew pull—muscle tear suture sew—traction sand bear trap skeet shoot abscess boil cyst lance Chagall Renoir Chopin Brain storm—migraine saddle block—hamstring pull epidural—loin cloth flap knee bend toe flex node growth seed wart Levant Van Gogh Gauguin.
Cerebral Kayak My brain, brain wave train roller coaster ride. Consciousness flows counter to mainstream, backwash upstream, downstream. Reverse hole outflow cartwheel side-surf backflow mind illumination. The river currentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s twirling, peaceful minuet. My brain, brain drain gas pain, cranial flatulent flood level strained mobile skull aches boil down river to pour-overs. Gradient increase dropwaterfall head plunge.
Monoliths Nephilim & Fishers A stirring—travail—dilating thunder—lightning spark to tender. Foment, like clenched magma— magnetism, temper & clot. Ebon slabs advent buckling crust. A spiraling cloud rambles in unbridled tongues like primordial portents from pre-storm waters. Primates shrill in pinched crescendos—there are deer & trout. Comes: Artemis, protectress of denizen, cutthroat & fisher, Pherekydes of Patrae: visceral maestro—granter of rhythms—sky lasher tempter of rainbows with silk string & stone fly—filler of net & creel.
Koasati Journey Upper Creeks frocked Alabama with the Coosa-Tallapoosa over to the great Tombigbee birch-bark boats to Sukenatcha while the Occhoy-Alibamu Sukta-Loosa tributary crossing Mississippi waters all the way to Bayou Chicot. Forded Sabine high on horses to the south of Natchitoches forty tics atop the Neches on a trail to Oklahoma.
Spirit and the Buffalo
They crossed the same land bridge: indigenous sojourners, and mighty beasts; blood brothers born by destiny into a pristeen, virgin eden of hope, masters of the prairie kingdom: massive, wandering, nomadic herds, and brave hunters numbered as the stars under which they slept holding sway over all within their purview for centuries; rulers and overseers of lush grasslands unparalleled; th eir source, and sustenance. Majestic, bearded symbols of natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s freedom dwelling at peace with native peoples, and ancient elements in perpetuity. Shaggy gods of thunder rumbling through tallgrass covered valleys as far as naked eyes could see, trailed by billowing clouds of dust. Earth vibrations and the quaking stampede of legions wrought fear and trembling in the hearts of early Eurpoean settlers long before lead alfa-bulls stormed over the horizon. Then came hordes of invaders aboard conestoga wagons, and with them: long guns, iron rails, and greed. Two brothers bound lay down together, by fate, hand in offered up their hand throghosts to the ugh time Great Spirit as o Father, ane, nd were no more.
Kristn Orser Notes from the Dining and Sitting Rooms (reading Karin Boye for four-ish weeks and moving to California) (April 23) As a non object—often looking kiln-fired—there's care towards synchronicity: lip to cheek, thought to feeling, and soften with watch and belt. Mother repeating, "It's the shoes and handbag people look at. They know you come from a good home if you have good shoes." Karin Boye gathers another feather, beats a dead horse with the question of utility and an antler. Mistaken, I type futility, watch my middle finger swell from a spider bite and feel equally haphazard. On the same day in another time, Eleanor Roosevelt is bound for California, papers mention spring, and Karin Boye kills herself. (April 24) When weighing a thought, many develop a toothache. When I talk about ache, I forget to say it's caused by something and the toothache—too—becomes a thing had. A whole consciousness in the cuspids. Timothy McVeigh was born on April 23, but not yesterday nor the day Boye died, and it shouldn't be surprising that Coca Cola changed its recipe on the same date in another time. I'm thankful I took off my watch because the noise wasn't what I expected when I bought it at the store. (April 25) The feeling I'm trying to describe is as clay smells: earthy and metallic. “These were my thoughts—” Boye as quiet envelope admitting, it hurts too. Contexts keep becoming reasons for conditions and conditions keep causing contexts. Because of the chilblains, it hurts to move. Because he looked suspicious, the cops shot him. James, who was only two, called the police pigs and I was worried they'd think I taught him that, think I caused that too.
There's frost inside the window and, far away from here, Boye puffed up her chest, swallowed sleeping pills. (I'm disappointed, but I understand.) Likewise, Greece surrendered to Germany and King George cleared the wine cellar, a bottle of wine to each soldier. At least. There's an opening for sleeping and chance to take a paperclip to my swollen finger, poke the skin and develop an infection. Yes, of course it hurts. (April 26) I'm always in objects, sitting on top of and next to objects. Easy to fill an empty space and still see room for more objects. The collection of ashtrays and matchbooks kept by the wife of a friend makes me feel tangled. The day I see her collection, I meet a woman from Cypress Island who tells me about coming here as a girl, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We came with our shoes. You learn what matters that way.â&#x20AC;? Truth is, my father only had one lamb, some chickens and pigs, and not a whole farm, but he sits at the dinner table and remembers rolling pastures or feeling very tucked away in overalls and poverty. It's my mother who was poor. It's my mother who had to fold herself into bed and hope her parents didn't kill each other. (April 27) A thousand little things: bread, wine, window: keep me fragile enough to buy pistachios in bulk. Yes, California is far from Chicago and further from Buffalo. I identify all the spiders that could have bitten me and collect dead ones in tea cups. I map routes back home. That they come in all sizes and for all occasions makes the practice of pretending to want objects easier. I think about Boye the way I think about my schoolmate who, at thirteen, already felt washed up. (I wish I could remember his name. Asking someone would only point out that he didn't live on in my consciousness either.) (April 28) In a book, a school teacher describes Boye as a round, soft little girl. On my own shelf, matryoshka dolls line up in order of size and the question of shape.
Over stew, Chris says “Danielle met a cow and then it was over” and I recall earlier in the day, when Emily said she wanted to buy a dog, told me her boyfriend called her unattractive. I know how I'm here: as companion to my husband. I'm at this dinner and I'm biting my tongue, wondering if Chris's wife measures her wrists before she goes to sleep or counts her chews. (The doctor mentions I should put on some weight. She seems upset about having to use her hands to find my pulse when the machine couldn't find it. Mostly, it's nice to feel how warm someone else's hands are.) (April 29) The sight of skin is not the sight of agency: I cover with sun hat, walk by open windows, make sure there's always crisp linen for guests. In this way, less wolfish: I make use of lateral space, stretch sideward and twist to new and equalled animacy. No, I 'm not going to buy a cat because I need company. Instead, I buy two white shirts and insist they're different from one another. Begin to resent the words companion, partner, and pet. (April 30) Recently, appendage to someone else and publicly called double—called wife—I car shop, grocery shop, and run errands for things like door knobs and soaps. Always, a thing to be gotten. In a dream, I have nothing else to need and stop to wonder why Giorgione depicted Venus asleep? I'm ashamed of my sleepovers, of Hypnos to Thanatos; my rounded hip near an ant mound making me less approachable for chit chat. “You do not become happy because you reach a certain point—” I reach the summit of a hill and see dead redwoods all around. It's less thrilling than imagined, but the smell is reliable. Reliability and stability, recently, make an equation. The thought lengthens: what is valuable? (May 1) The idea of rot: a glass vase where a trimmed flower tried to re root, dies instead and the glass stained green, brown, and with hay-like strings. Fixed on this loss, there's a romantic investment with plastic flowers, those that don't attract fruit flies, are made already dead.
Chelsea thinks light is valuable. She mentions my low vitamin D, tells me to go outside. Inside, I call her on the phone to talk about Midas, about how boys are fleeing to the woods, building cabins, and taking up instruments. “Do you think they'll all turn donkey?” For something similar, I look around the room: My grandmother's rocking chair isn't made for sitting. Really just a bedroom chair for a pillow, maybe a dress. (May 2) When I move from New York to California, my father worries about the rocking chair. He asks how it's wrapped, how it's protected. It gets a small scratch, which makes my tongue feel like it'll fall out. The next day, I accidently sit in the chair and hear its futility sink under my weight. “That chair's an antique,” my father reminds me. “Take care of it. Is the china still wrapped, is there storage to put it in at the new house?” The pantry feels big enough to fit me and is heavy with dead moths in flour. (May 3) The things become emotional, almost emotive. The things tilt towards death and I become as permeable as ever. (May 4) Is it important to admit feeling tip toed and unlucky? Before I left Chicago for New York, I spent time with Picasso's Woman With Yellow Hair, I spent time with how unfamiliar it felt to sit with a painting like a cup of coffee, even a book. I had empty hands. I wished my skin was made of ocean and, without anything to hold, I could imagine a salt smell and collecting sand in an empty Coca-Cola bottle. Without any object to tether, I'm encrusted with the thought of things. Ocean skin, yellow hair, and the resemblance to a cave painting— (May 5) With water, I moved from the East to the Midwest to the East to the West, where nothing looks familiar. The shapes of the houses, even, are not the same. In the West, I accumulate small bowls with blue flowers, a strange feeling: Housed in a mountain, I feel cabin fever in full sun.
(May 6) There are hummingbirds and ladybugs, a mouse takes residence on the porch and I worry he'll soon come inside. I name him Al and watch coyotes carefully. When he goes missing, I worry. The boys in the woods are grizzly, cannot tell the difference between plants, and I worry about the condition of becoming a man. I worry, more, for how Boye's writing changes from hope to something bordering despair. Light and dust particles in my room and here she is, on the page, asking to be destroyed, asking for mercy. In the woods and with the term man-child, but what is the equivalent? (I'm in the cabin, on the hill, and I don't know how to ride my bike into town.) On the page with an unnamed despair. Is the equivalent related to my ringed finger, the position of moving across the country for someone else? Boye between two women, urging the heart to keep beating. Neighbors talk. (May 7) The things in the house are not so soft with so much sky. The sound of branches knock at the window and I doubt the need to go outdoors. My right hand swells and my father says â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love you muchly.â&#x20AC;? Reading the word mild over and over again because it's on the page in front of me and suddenly, it's not a thing I think I knowâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; I take to collecting perfume bottles, empty glass bottles, wine bottles with the labels peeled off. (May 8) The lineage: Mary gives Walter a tormented liver and Walter holds a knife to my mother's face when she's only a little girl. The empty category, fear, is missing. It happens again, my mother gives Stuart a deep sense of loneliness and Stuart wishes his daughter was a boy. And since I daughter, I buy baseball cards, talk endlessly about good passes and bad calls, tip disappointment. I worry that I lived to close to steel factories, drank too much water from Lake Erie. Is it better to be westward with a face in the sun? For the purpose of going outside, I buy plaster and dip strawberry
containers so that they are sturdy, white things. (May 9) The things break and, sometimes, there are emotions when they break. Other things get lost and there is a frenzy: Keys, especially, induce madness. Somewhat like missing the harvest while we moved from lakes: Erie to Michigan to Cayuga to the Pacific, which isn't a lake at all. In California, I remember a nonverbal moment: My mother in a leotard, carrying purple hand weights. I remember thinking she was sad. The circulation of values: pineapple and cottage cheese diets, a memory of having to stay very quiet when we found out Mom had cancer, found out we couldn't shout or cry to make her feel better. I closed a door on my hand that day and pretended it didn't hurt. In the hospital room, my mother's hair is brushed, her skin is washed and cream is applied. For weeks, she sits and resists the very natural question: Why? This is not at all like when my father has cancer. Not at all the same. (May 10) If I try to locate a family story, any memory of what it was like to be young, my mother's there and she's sad. My father, often, is not in the memory and I'm alone in the basement with dolls. I'm outside for long hours, but I don't know what I'm doing. Memory, this way, is difficult. Pictures are different. In family pictures my father's there and my mother isn't there. Nothing is the same as living. The roof is leaf heavy and storms make the lights go out. There's so much static when I try to call home. In us a multiplicity lives. It fumbles towards unity. It's capturing, gathering burning-glass we were born to be. On the phone, my father says, “Make something of yourself.” My mother asks, “Have you eaten?” (There is an entire box in the house filled with extension chords.) (May 11) I lose track of where I've locked my bike and walk for hours looking. I forget the month, year
too. To find my way, I connect egg shells with strategy from chair to chair. At dinner, the family chews tenderloin. “Have you found what you were looking for?” The demitasse is in my vision and I lack high ambition. I've fallen into things and the language for explaining gratuitous worry is rapidly changing under my tongue. I keep easy answers in my cuffs and slide complaints between fingers, under my nails. “Yes.” And the family nods, happy I found my bicycle. (May 12) When Simone de Beauvoir wrote, “one is not born, but, rather, becomes a woman,” was she referring to the last moment of total physical outburst, the movement inward? To small moments—like when I crumble and buy a butter dish? I want to tell Boye something about this and I wish for time to operate differently. I want to ask my mother why she's afraid of fires and I wish distance operated differently. (May 13) I cut a cucumber and click the stovetop on. Throw the cucumber in a frying pan. My husband comes home at this moment and says, “You're cooking a cucumber?” I can see his doubt, his look of disgust. For a minute I think of saying yes or saying I thought it was a zucchini; though that's not true. (May 14) I've finally gotten around to the purpose of sitting in a shaft of light and reading so much Boye: No narrative prefers the anxiety of feeling like you've bitten into glass. I'm happiest to see the question “Do you think you'll regain / those meadows you lost” asked without a question mark. (May 15) Margot is someone I'd forgotten until now. How did she encounter Apollo, his brilliance to have never seen darkness? (May 16) When I intend to write straight it is a fuzzy and pretend fact. Yes Boye, it's the surrender that seems most real and I wish I'd been able to answer, “Do
you really believe that resignation can be the meaning of my life?â&#x20AC;? But the question wasn't real and no one actually answers questions anyway. Did she even want an answer? In the house, I clean up and put objects into hat boxes arranged by size. I keep quiet in California and wait for the summer I'd anticipated, for the feeling of too much sand and the occasional delusion that I'm capable of saying something real. (May 17) Always, a rising tide and my rib cage moves out, fills. (May 18) Anita. Margot. Karin. Not a succession but an unfolding. All the words pass before my eyes until I'm finished thinking about it all, but it stays somewhere in my wrists and jointed places. Sometimes, I might feel it all again and I'll retreat to one room for more than an hour, avoid the ocean, and contract. Either way, June approaches and it happens that the world reappears and I feel I understand it again. As a non object, I find myself now near Pacific nodding at a collection of wooden birds and metal deer, not quite ready to remove the accumulation. (May 19) At the doctor's, my vein rolls and I know I'll have a hematoidâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;another in a series. It fills empty spaces to move into new apartments every six months and push my grandmother's rocking chair into a soft corner, feel human washing the dishes and washing sand out from between my toes.
Larry O. Dean Avalanche Is Better Than None Is better than halve a can, canners' cant while assembly lined. Is better than lava—can he? (He can, roiling down his volcano, vocal on.) Is better than a naval ache— watery pain, grief-shipped. Is better than each naval officer, petty or not. Is better than a valance—ha! (Dust ruffled, mites hidden.) Is better than an, ah, calve, the literal twoing of a cow? Ow! Is better than each La Van ((Escondido's motor vehicle superstore), a wholly owned subsidiary of subsidiaries such as Ureter Sops (spongy shorts for battered bladders), Repose Rust (you rest, we deoxidize), Spur Stereo (over-the-hill sound systems), Peers Tours (travels with undifferentiated pals), Rupees Sort (Sri Lankan loose change arrangers), Ere Sprouts (pre-mung munches), Terser Opus (sparingly-worded magnum art affirmations),
Rope Surest (the positivest polypropylene), Presto Ruse (snappy subterfuge for subterfugers), Trope Users (figurative figures), Roses Erupt (flowers flare)). Is better than Canal Have, postmalarial Panamanian projection undertaken by an unrough riding Teddy Roosevelt. Is better than A Leach Van, on-the-go percolation of alkali from ashes. Is better than A Clan Have, in kilts or out. Is better than A Lac Haven, asylum of shellac. Is better than Can Veal? Ha! Poor calves.
Dollar Store Nontraditional Sestina The fried chicken he coveted came in a bucket of six pieces. Safe for use around children and pets, the real wax candle glows and flickers without fire. Battery operated, it emits a warm, ambient light without unhealthy smoke byproducts. In the living room, a circling train set went round and round its track, a choking hazard with small parts, toxic paint, smiling and waving animal passengers, its caveat “not for children under three years” cruelly taunting tiny, yearning minds. It was, hastily, and on the cheap, made in China. He and she own so many things made in China: TV, DVD player; pants, socks, shirts; teakettle with six pieces that whistles The Andy Griffith Show theme, but more often, does not. For children under three, “years” is a tricky concept. She looked at her daughter, soon to be four. Battery operated clocks are telling her time, unlike her grandfather’s antique pocket watch, whose springs are suspected to be a choking hazard. Small parts of him admired the force of habit of a circling train, set in its ways; the circling train, setting out to cover a route routinely made. In China, the streets of Hong Kong are littered with choking hazards, and the small parts played by its citizens help keep it safe—he admired that, too. Going home at six, pieces in the evening newspaper motivate millions of commuters to purchase premium batteries, operate on a schedule and whatnot for children under three years, watch more television, save Social Security. If not for children, under three years is all the time it takes to let everything slide. In the old west, circling trains set out for parts unknown circled at night for safety; pioneers didn’t have flashlights, much less batteries, operated horse-drawn carriages and never dreamt what “made in China” would one day suggest. They got by without being stigmatized. She used to know six pieces by Shakespeare by heart, played them beautifully, people said. Choking back tears, hazarding graciousness, ever smaller parts are all she plays now; like a Heimliched actress choking on her lines, the hazard of small parts is once you play them, no one will cast you in leading roles anymore, not even for children. Under three years was all it took to cool her heated dismay. Her husband’s on his way home at six. Pieces of pasta bob in boiling water. There are certain want ads she’s circling: will train, set your own schedule, earn money at home. If they made in China what he makes, things would then be different. Neatly displayed in a battery, operated from the backseat of her car, Tupperware tumbles at each unsuspected speed bump; in a battery, operated on the spot, she parks and promotes her wares. Some contain choking hazards: small parts of kitchen utensils, plastic molded what’s-its, knickknacks and accouterments made in China
expressly for the US market. She wraps her fingers in a knot. Four children under three years old walk toward her unaccompanied, weaving and circling. Train setbacks have delayed his homecoming to half past six. Pieces of jigsaw puzzles made in China displaying pictures of battery operated cartoon characters are down to six; pieces the kids donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see as choking hazards, small parts that might injure them, are not for children under three years. But a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind is a circling train set.
Frequently Asked Frequently Asked Questions Why did the chicken cross the road? Which came first: the chicken or the egg? If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Who's on first? Say what? If I take a left at the light, will I get there any faster? Who's coming to the party? Should I bring something? Why does it hurt when I pee? Wherefore art thou? Does Teflon速 stick to anything? To be, or not to be? Who are you kidding? Can I get a witness? What is this white, blotchy stuff on my chocolate bar? Do I need a passport? Should I buy a helmet? Who's there?
My absent!!!! I am sorry I didn't make it to class today but if you would of seen my face was full of somethings red and it is called allergic I wake up scare my mom seen me and ask me what's wrong I said I don't know. I seen myself in the mirror and I got real scare also I am writing you to let you know that my advisor said to tell my teachers that I am pregnant. I did got to school but late some people from class seen me and they said what happened they told me to not be scare is just an allergic thing. I GOT TO CLASS BUT YOU WERE NOT THERE I WANTED YOU TO SEE ME. I leave an hour and half waway from school I catch the bus on time but it got here real late sorry. Please let me know what yous did in class today and thank you have a great weekend.
Our Father, who art in heaven, or arts in heaven— because he so enjoyed painting on the weekends (seascapes, portraits, still lives)— still lives— in the memories of those who then knew him best: Moose Mulhern, Petey Peters, Ed ((just Ed) who was anything but well-adjusted, if you remember that one Xmas party where he came dressed as an X-rated Saint Nick: Saint Dick (the Gingham sisters practically fainted when he came down the chimney))— guys from the factory, his first shift posse, the punch-me-out-pleasers, retire-in-twenty-teasers, a-pack-a-day-wheezers, his what kids nowadays might say peeps— “in heaven!” as he licked his slaked chops post Thanksgiving, undid his belt and unzipped his fly— “why, we're all family here”— and collapsed snoring on the Lay-Z-Boy, reclining, declining dessert until Aunt Francis delivered it on tiptoe and tray with a knowing wink and a wave of her kindled Virginia Slim while cousins football hurrahed for the same rival teams year after rollicking year —in Florida.
Marley McKenna From “The Newly Born Woman” by Helen Cixous, I engage and critique her argument that is summarized as “tradition of gender representation as an oppositional one in which all that connotes women is portrayed as being secondary to male rationalist principles.” French Feminism itself, and the writing that emerges from this movement, defies traditional male western rationalism which is seen to have repressed a more wholistic, circular analysis and composition of work. In an effort to communicate with and represent Cixous most fully, I write in the feminine writing style. I respond to her list of gender bianaries and her attempt to create a bi-sexuality in both genders through the letter I. I will refer to her theory as capital I and evoke the lower case letter i in my own argument as root i. In this work I imagine a movement out of the capital driven world at large and into the deep and essential pleasures of life. The Boundlessness of Rootedness: a reinvention of I to i Where is she? The where. The landscape. The genderscape. The sexscape. Here is her (Cixous’) list: Activity/passivity Sun/Moon Culture/Nature Day/Night Father/Mother Head/Heart Intelligible/Palpable Logos/Pathos Form, convex, step, advance, semen, progress Matter, concave, ground – where steps are taken, holding- and dumping-ground Man Woman Let me add to that Man Woman a line both to break and to join since only between them is air. Is space. Which cannot be true. So then it is Man Woman That line is the joiner/the separator, which is true of the couple because the couple is always dual. By coupling there is a rejection of all else. And so comes a solidarity but also toward a more complete estrangement. The more you know, the less you know. But then like Wendell Berry states, “ “. And so it is with choosing a home, a scape, a place. That identity settles into and outto the shape of a person. If land is woman and and urban is man (and just by reversing their order – maybe I achieve something?) then the pairing of the two makes something new. New scape.
What kind of environment looks like the break down of Man Woman ? and moves toward something more then its division. Back to roots I say. Each body: each set of hands, each whole and unwhole, each mind and spirit (not each man and each woman) may touch the earth. Let the earth touch them back. Plant and remain passive (which shows that the planter is not always the active). Harvest and enter a kind of beautiful violence with the willing land (which belittles and condemns the violence of body against body). Exit the market of anything at anyprice and enter the priceless. Exit the oppositional list and enter the palpable intelligence of roots. “The dream I find most compelling is one of an androgynous and genderless (though not sexless) society, in which one’s sexual anatomy is irrelevant to who one is, what one does, and with whom one makes love,” says Rubin. We cannot avoid the duality, the integration of the sides of Cixous’ lists into one another. There is more androgyny than we care to see. Activity/passivity? Even in a sexual union these roles are reversed, intermingled. Even in the most passive position, the woman must move to feel pleasure. And there we get at one root of the matter. The Value of Pleasure. There is a division we create, a market we build. Who deserves pleasure? If the rule of provider/receiver stands, then certainly the woman above the man. And yet! we see that is not so. It is the man who is guaranteed the gift of pleasure (though maybe his is less because it is irrevocably about economy – to provide his seed, his production). Pleasure for the dreamy sake of pleasure he cannot find he cannot achieve because there is no “achievement” in it. It is moment. Not economy, not production, not future plans and savings accounts and investments. Only moment. Now woman, though she is not “guaranteed” the pleasure, holds the sweetness of spreading nothing, producing nothing by her lovely climax. On its own, with herself, she wastes nothing, wants nothing. She does not need the product of the marketable man to illuminate her, nor does she spill her own commodity with orgasm. It is only pleasure, awake and aware of its own simplicity. How complex! Move into a world of pleasure. Of roots, of touching of roots. Of laying down in the middle of the day to make love and to eat well and to rest when weary, not for the profit but for the moment –this is a place untraveled. Well, perhaps it can be visited, but always on vacation. Rarely a place of abode. Rarely a home. Oh no, the world we live in – it is difficult, if not impossible in that world. And so instead we clock in and out, we eat quickly and without preparation in our allotted twenty minutes, and we make love in the dark at night when it is expected so that our bodies are covered in (not each other) but darkness. And the masculine and the feminine keep their sides, with steely guns poised, and no one shoots, but no one moves. But this world – the first – above (while it may sound utopic, dream-like, unreal and unattainable) can be lived. Cixous calls to the bisexual, the I. “There is no invention of any other I, no poetry, no fiction without a certain homosexuality (the I/play of bisexuality) acting as a crystallization of my ultrasubjectivities. I is this exuberant, gay, personal matter, masculine, feminine or other where I enchants, I agonizes me.” This I however, in its theoretic solidity, cannot help entrenching itself more heavily into the masculine then the feminine. The I (in its aesthetic and capitalized power) is erect, phallic, and singular. It
cannot penetrate the (bi) of Cixous’ theory in this way. Thus I call for, instead of I –i. With this i (which by the power of technology I am forced to go back and correct each time I write it, engages us in the revision of the normalized. Where I is power through capitalization and centrality, i is subversion, revision, re-vision. To re-see Cixous’ evocative I, her attempt at a complete being, which speaks to the bi and the multiple, the sexual and the coupled couple is to shift the ideas into a letter which makes aesthetic sense, I is agonizing but i is in motion toward peace, toward roots. Look at that line with its small orb above it. It is the animal reaching toward the sun. It is the image of female anatomy and at the same time the image of male and female together. It is the bud and the root. It is the self and the other. It is independence without panic. It is pleasure without capital. So here, a new list must be made, not of the male/female as they are, necessarily, but as their extreme stereotypes set them up to unnecessarily oppose one another. Urban/land Screen/landscape Suffering/pleasure Imposing schedule/natural order Monetary economy/economy of the body Mindless consumption of food/mindful delight in the gift of food Culturally acceptable sexual practice/liberty to make love in true desire However, this list makes obvious the desired shift not from the male to the female but from the “male” to the i. How can this shift occur while one is so fully a part of the latter list? How is it possible to truly change, move toward the i while inhabiting the current world? To begin there must be a space where all is intentionally shifted away from the everyday so that the i can begin to be the everyday. Bakhtin calls to the carnival. “Carnival is the people’s second life, organized on the basis of laughter.” On the basis of laughter. The i is the body, head thrown back in joyful laughter. Is there a space of carnival today? There are suggestions of it but not a full realization. Not that I have seen. There are “official feasts” but no carnival. Music festivals, holiday parties, dances. But all these still fit within the norms of society. A real break is needed, not through hallucination, but through a communal renewal of self and pleasure in self. A laying down of one’s own selfishness to step more full into selfhood. Illuminate us Bakhtin! “The suspension of all hierarchical precedence during carnival time was of particular significance. Rank was especially evident during official feasts; everyone was expected to appear in the full regalia of his calling, rank, and merits and to take the place corresponding to his position. It was a consecration of inequality. On the contrary, all were considered equal during carnival. Here, in the town square, “ (not a new space but a new invention of that space occurs. It is not about leaving and returning but about recreating what is already there) “a special form of free and familiar contact reigned among people who were usually divided by the barriers of caste, property, profession and age. “ (How could this not ripple out into everyday life, if two people of different social planes made love, truly connected with one another? It would inhabit the space of that town square, of those two people even after carnival had ended! Thereby making it part of everyday, part of self, part of new definition.) “Therefore such free, familiar contacts were deeply felt and formed an essential element of the carnival spirit.” (freedom! The spirit is not then bound to one space and time
but circles about the norm, degrading the norm, uplifting the free.) “People were, so to speak reborn for new, purely human relations. These truly human relations were not only fruit of imagination or abstract thought; they were experienced. The utopian ideal and the realistic merged in this carnival experience, unique of its kind.” (The I is the i. The theory enters the experience.) Take up the town square, the main street, the university oval, the courthouse, the city park, make a carnival of it. Not always a wild party, but a new understanding of these spaces outside of the patriarch, the hierarchy, the stoic. Enter movement. Cixous’ movement of the self of woman, “varied entirety, moving and boundless change, a cosmos where eros never stops traveling, vast astral space. She doesn’t revolve around the sun that is more star than the stars.” Boundless change allows for reanalysis. Even the i may become a burden that needs to be shaken off at some point. Don’t all labels? So no one I or i is the solution but rather it is the attempt to shift, to change, to become boundless that is the glorious idea. Otherwise i is solipsism. It is the ultimate sun, blinding the stars with its selfish light. Continue to be multiple. Irigaray muses, “We are luminous. Neither one nor two. I’ve never known how to count. Up to you. In their calculations, we make two. Really, two? Doesn’t that make you laugh? An odd sort of two. And yet not one. Especially not one. Let’s leave one to them…” Must “them” be male and we be female? I think we and them are convoluted, bound up in one another. Even in division, we see each other more clearly and are then within one another through that witnessing. Make “them” those who will not live in freedom, and instead of condemnation, invite them into freedom. Call on Bakhtin and Cixous and Freud and your mother. It is not about the Male Female but rather the fe within the male the male within the fe, the nonnegotiable connection of the two, the root that binds them. “You are the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life”, he says. e.e. cummings who understood his finiteness and greatness and let his name stand small. And when he closes with “I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart” we know clearly that witnessing, that seeing, that the rooting of another in another makes the two one, the one two, the fixed object boundlessly in motion, always seeking a better position, a new definition of Male Female Everyday Carnival Space Place Hierarchy Economy Pleasure Patriarchy Matriarchy Self Other Marriage Independence Sexuality Gender
Rootedness Boundlessness I i
Rich Boucher Click Here to Begin
Go back as far in your life as your mind will allow; hear your mother’s voice above you, before she began to get old because of your existence and then FILL IN THE APPROPRIATE FIELDS. Think back on all the choices you wish you could make changes to now, the kisses you would take back and the punches you would throw with abandon and then ANSWER ALL OF THE QUESTIONS COMPLETELY. Imagine what it would be like to suddenly be rich next week and be able to buy people off and fire people out of your life and then CHOOSE THE BEST ANSWER. When you were a child, you once saw a dog get hit by a car and then limp away unbloodied. You didn’t know if the God your parents told you about would be enough to deal with this. HOW LONG DID YOU WAIT BEFORE PURCHASING THIS PRODUCT? You hurt people once in a while. You don’t mean to, but your words come out wrong. Sometimes you just find yourself on the white beach of self-adoration, and you cannot be bothered to save another’s life. You get that people want you to be nicer to them. You now understand that your reflection isn’t the only person in the world with problems. You are willing to listen to others and learn what you can do to be a better friend. SOMETIMES, RARELY, OR NEVER?
So Damned Packed With Peanuts, Caramel, Nougat and Milk Chocolate, This Candy Bar is Literally and Actually Better than God
Delicious brown confectionate you used your display at the store to let me know you would handle my hunger so that I could handle anything I listened to you, the way my ears listen to the whining seagulls I need to tell you something important, you scrumptious, hot, two point seven ounces of candy listen up the police just came to my house to tell me that my whole family died they died in a terrible train accident this afternoon as they were traveling across the country to come and see me and visit for a while and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even feel like I mind at all because every time I clamp my teeth around you I get completely filled up with your nougat, your nuts, your caramel your milk chocolate itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like I never even had a family to begin with
This is Happenstance
This moment here, when Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m putting potatoes in a bag in the produce section, when I am another soul here with a light above my head looking for the scale and I happen to look over, see you looking at me from behind your far-off shopping cart with a salad mix in your hand, you are leaning down a bit setting your choice into the cart and your blouse a bit open, showing me the color of your skin in the soft light of a glimpse; my mouth opens a bit; all you would have to do now is walk over to me and give me your number on the back of a receipt and we could be sweating the lipstick right off of you, your lips, a blurry little rose in a room we go halfsies on; any number of things could happen if you could only see this moment here in the white business light between us just above the oranges.
Ryan Reynolds Digital War Series - Digital war is the title of a recent group of paintings based on media images of human conflict. The images depict shocking violence of lives being torn apart, seen through the filter of the computer or television screen. The painting is fragmented to suggest the scattered digital image and the mediated version of reality. Subjects are removed and abstracted from the actual experience, losing their sense of reality but gaining a new virtual identity.
Digital War, Blue Tarp
Time Series â&#x20AC;&#x201C; This work explores the intersection between past and present, by integrating historical photographs into a daily record of a site specific location. A painting evolves over time through a series of layers that both merge with and cover up previous observations. By departing from the static image of the traditional landscape, I explore the boundaries between light, space, solid form, and memory- conveying the passage of time and a sense of place. The painting acts as a reflection on the nature of our shared existence, individual perceptions and collective impressions.
Contributors: Felino A. Soriano has authored 51 collections of poetry, including Of oscillating fathoms these nonverbal chants (Argotist Ebooks, 2012), Analyzed Depictions (white sky books, 2012) and Intentions of Aligned Demarcations (Desperanto, 2011). He publishes the online endeavors Counterexample Poetics and Differentia Press. His work finds foundation in philosophical studies and connection to various idioms of jazz music. He lives in California with his wife and family and is a case manager and advocate for adults with developmental and physical disabilities. For further information, please visit www.felinoasoriano.info.
John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Blue & Yellow Dog, Breadcrumb Scabs, Calliope Nerve, Camel Saloon, Carcinogenic Poetry, Clockwise Cat, Counterexample Poetics, experiential-experimental-literature, Four and Twenty, Indigo Rising Magazine, ken*again, Orion headless, Otoliths, Poetry Sz, Puffin Circus, The Rainbow Rose, and vox poetica. You can follow his work at http://twitter.com/johnpursch.
Allie Marini Batts came here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and she’s ALL out of bubblegum. Allie is a New College of Florida alumna, meaning she can explain deconstructionism, but cannot perform simple math. Her work has appeared over forty literary magazines her family hasn’t heard of. Allie calls Tallahassee home because it has great trees to climb. She’s a research writer by day and is pursuing her MFA degree in Creative Writing through Antioch University Los Angeles and oh no! it’s getting away! To read more, visit http://kiddeternity.wordpress.com/
Howie Good a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the new poetry collection, Dreaming in Red, from Right Hand Pointing. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to a crisis center, which you can read about here: https://sites.google.com/site/rhplanding/howie-good-dreaming-in-red. He is also the
author of numerous chapbooks, including most recently The Devil’s Fuzzy Slippers from Flutter Press.
Elizabeth Kate Switaj‘s first poetry collection, Magdalene & the Mermaids, was published in 2009 by Paper Kite Press. She has also published a chapbook, The Broken Sanctuary: Nature Poems, with Ypolita Press. She is currently the Assistant Managing Editor of Irish Pages: A Journal of Contemporary Writing and a doctoral candidate at Queen’s University Belfast. For more information visit www.elizabethkateswitaj.net
Rich Boucher A past member of five national poetry slam teams (Worcester, Mass. (x2), Washington, D.C., Wilmington, Del. and Albuquerque, N.M.), Rich has published four chapbooks of poetry and for seven years hosted an open reading and slam in Newark, Delaware. Since moving to Albuquerque in March of 2008, Rich has been performing and writing steadily in the Duke City, and is a regular contributor/editor at localpoetsguild.wordpress.com. In 2012 Rich was named to the first inaugural Albuquerque Poet Laureate Selection Committee for a two-year term, and his participation helped to select Hakim Bellamy, the City of Albuquerque’s first official Poet Laureate. Rich’s poems have appeared in Adobe Walls: An Anthology of New Mexico Poetry, Brawler, Crack the Spine, Extract(s), Fickle Muses, Grey Sparrow Journal, HyperText, Lyre Lyre, Neon, The Rag, The Malpais Review, Clutching at Straws, Shot Glass Journal, Missive, Mutant Root, Poydras Review, Sparkbright, The Mas Tequila Review, The Yellow Ham, Borderline, 200NewMexicoPoems and The Legendary. Hear some of his poems at richboucher.bandcamp.com
Iain Britton Oystercatcher Press published my 3rd poetry collection in 2009. Kilmog Press my 4th in 2010. The Red Ceilings Press published an ebook “Ten Poems” last year and an Argotist Ebook “songlines” has come online this year. Forthcoming full collection with Lapwing Publications (“druidic approaches”) is due out now, plus a pamphlet from Like This Press in August. Beard of Bees (US) and Greendoor Publishing will be publishing chapbooks soon too.
Kevin Heaton Pushcart Prize nominee Kevin Heaton writes, scuba dives, and runs in South Carolina. His work has appeared in a number of publications including: Raleigh Review, Masonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Road, Foundling Review, The Honey Land Review, and elimae. His fourth chapbook of poetry, Chronicles, has just been released by Finishing Line Press. He is a 2011 Best of the Net nominee.
Larry O. Dean was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. His numerous chapbooks include I Am Spam (2004), abbrev (2011), and About the Author (2011). A full-length collection, Brief Nudity is forthcoming in 2013. He is also an acclaimed songwriter whose most recent CD release is Fun with a Purpose (2009) with The Injured Parties. Dr. Ernest Willaimson III: I am not a multifarious artist by choice. I create because I have to create. With reference to my visual artwork, my approach is a process of spontaneity and deep concentration imbued with a sort of loud silence that calms me. The works of Picasso and Dali humble me and they inspire me on a continual basis. Dali takes what he holds in imagination and puts it on canvas. I admire his ability to do just that. Picasso, forces the viewer to accept and deny conventional perception. I began painting and composing piano music at the age of 19. My visual artwork is a reflection of what is contained in my unconscious mind. Art is not merely emotive; it is a continuous lifeline which nurtures and edifies the soul of the biosphere. My work illustrates the various embodiments of life and the various vessels yearning for the circulation of love as a required mechanism of sustenance and breath. Eleanor Bennett: is a 15 year old photographer and artist who has won contests with National Geographic,The Woodland Trust, The World Photography Organisation, Winstons Wish, Papworth Trust, Mencap, Big Issue, Wrexham science , Fennel and Fern and Natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best Photography.She has had her photographs published in exhibitions and magazines across the world including the Guardian, RSPB Birds , RSPB Bird Life, Dot Dot Dash ,Alabama Coast , Alabama Seaport and NG Kids Magazine (the most popular kids magazine
in the world). She was also the only person from the UK to have her work displayed in the National Geographic and Airbus run See The Bigger Picture global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year Of Biodiversity 2010.Only visual artist published in the Taj Mahal Review June 2011. Youngest artist to be displayed in Charnwood Artâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Vision 09 Exhibition and New Millâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Artlounge Dark Colours Exhibition
bruno neiva Erin Dobosiewicz David Seaman: is a multi-media artist and Lettrist. I have published articles, and a book, Concrete Poetry in France (Ann Arbor: UMI, 1981). Through my long association with Lettrism, I have done a lot of translation and articles on visual poetry. My own work has been exhibited with the Lettrists in Europe, and with the Inisti in Italy. Recent works include two artist books based on readings of the agriculture of the state of Georgia (USA) in hypergraphic style; they were published by the Lettrist imprint, PSI editions, Paris. It is my belief that poetry and visual arts exist on a continuum where different media are called upon at different moments to participate in the work. Works in this intermedia setting may call upon painting, words, and sounds to complete their presentation.
Jim Fuess: works with liquid acrylic paint on canvas. Most of his paintings are abstract, but there are recognizable forms and faces in a number of the abstract paintings. He is striving for grace and fluidity, movement and balance. He likes color and believes that beauty can be an artistic goal. There is whimsy, fear, energy, movement, fun and dread in his abstract paintings. A lot of his abstract paintings are anthropomorphic. The shapes seem familiar. The faces are real. The gestures and movements are recognizable. More of his abstract paintings, both in color and black and white, may be seen at www.jimfuessart.com
Cindy Bee has been published in Bee Culture Magazine and also published a book through the A.I. Root Company. She just recently graduated with an MFA degree in creative writing through Queens University of Charlotte.
Marley McKenna is an adjunct professor and writer in Bozeman, MT whose work deals with place, nature, family and identity formation. Her poetry and prose often interweave familial non-fiction with a sensory experience of the world, which strays into fiction. She is concerned more with writing what is honest on the page than adhering strictly to rules of genre, and her pose, poetry and essays are very much a part of each other. She has published creative and nonfiction work in New West, 40 Below, and Cutbank and is currently working on her first novel.
Kristen Orserâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s nose is running. She is trying her hardest to sit still. She is the author of Folded Into Your Midwestern Thunderstorm (Greying Ghost Press); Squint (Dancing Girl Press); Winter, Another Wall (blossombones); Wilted Things (Scantily Clad Press); and E AT I (Wyrd Tree Press). If you see her, offer her a tissue.