quarter after Issue no. 3
Copyright © quarter after 2012 All Rights Reserved Cover art by Fabio Sassi Copyright © Fabio Sassi 2012 All Rights Reserved
quarter after A Place for Art and its Reasons Issue no. 3
http://quarterafter.org/ Founding Editor: Calvin Pennix
4 William Allegrezza purpose the words rotten, an upturning of colder water that brings debris. if accurate, they would line like banks with images of banks. they are not intended for a person, and thus they spill out around us all.
5 robot life wires robot current is strong “we wanted your trace to disappear in our dancing” do not stop the silver shine from her metallic crown is distracting though you may be alone guard yourself electric stiffness “we wanted to work through your night, but we were not welcome” the new rhythms have been studied to produce a reaction.
6 to answer is to change the story we pile the implements high weâ€™re not burning the record or arming anyone just imagining possibilities and waiting for what comes.
7 to end am partial in trying this state to be this state what state is this but continuing motion in stillness when the one am i who wants to stop_ with no functioning to see again break the lights_ not continue to replace traveled have i in search of other voices_ stillness everwhere_ illogical but is, knowing but is_ stillness_ lights_ end no end_ over time walking mostly have i discovered that speed is better in a still space of others with not even signs_ the lights always on with my clock never having quite rearranged itself to the rhythm i find darkness in built spaces am i of things a compilation seen in this mausoleum-walls, cities, trails, words_ have i tried through others to live tracing through words and pictures their relationships but without life_ am wandering i story to story from hoping to catch on a way out_ with the loneliness at times overwhelmed am i growing numb with time (though has disappeared time)_
8 Natasha Ganes Pathetic Fallacy Because it rained on that day and the wind tried to stop me from hearing those little moans they kept making, and the mud made me worry I might slide down the hill and slip into your grave, embarrassing everyone and making a mockery of your day, it kept me distracted and Iâ€™ve often wondered: had the sun shined bright and the air stayed still, had the light grown warmer and the rain gone away, would it all have been less true.
9 When they ask me what happened I play with different ways to tell your story, but this isn’t a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure. All of your superficial lines led to a dead end. I try my luck with sympathy, shock, scorn, even heroes need glossy decorations, but my denials of “I didn’t know” sound as if I did. You could have left me better material to work with. It’s too hard to create anything original out of this. I’m not clever enough to rewrite your mistakes.
10 Smack(ed) Upside the Head Large quantities of low-grade following a period of abstinence. A dime’s worth of death mainlined by another Judas junkie who couldn’t keep clean. Mr. Ex-Bouncer-Cop-In-TrainingCoach-Of-Girls-Soccer-In-His-Spare-Time. I have to hand it to you— what words to send me staggering. If you were going for shock value, congratulations. You succeeded. Clever you, to hide from me, to twist our truth, to not know that I too kept secrets. I remembered every one of those kisses, I just pretended to forget them all. I gave you the want-to-be-friends speech because anything else would have killed us. Charming you, to rise above, to stick around, to become the one I could rely on. Every day I remember. I can’t regret my decision, it’s only too bad we died in spite of it.
11 White H-O-R-S-E Call it, don’t ride it, no one plays for free. Eyes closed, follow your friend: trick skills, lucky nets, made to make ‘em miss. Simple swish or off the back, tip one in you’re bound to win, sink a shot score. Do I gotta spell it out for ya? H is for hit hit hit it again. Or one more time over the moon. Rush rhymes with hush, that don’t mean much. S and E, collectively: skin popping, slam dropping, inevitable end of euphoria. Grab enough of those letters and you’re liable to lose. C’mon buddy, didn’t anyone ever tell ya the goal of the game?
12 you don’t have to go home man, but you can’t stay here Another day: someone pays for words I want them to read while you do whatever you’re designed to do, I haven’t decided what that is yet– we never really got there, too stuck digging darts out of the wall. Right now: I spin silver saucers of orange grease that spill over the sides onto my clean apron while you tap your toes at the bar waiting for the end of a shift that just started, sucking strawberry margaritas through a straw. Soon: a company will pay for words I could care less about writing, but what the hell it’s a good job–a start– only you will never congratulate me because you didn’t hear the oh-so-original manager when he shouted: last call,
13 Fred Pollack Recycle
On a table, on the deck of a nondescript house I pass on my walk, someone left bottles, glasses, cups, a pitcher, plates with crumbs and rinds. Now it’s afternoon the following day. If they sit out any more, life will bear off the crumbs, and time like plaster fill the empty bottles. So I’ll redeem them. We drank, ate, and talked. I was brilliant – so were the others. In love with each other’s brilliance and fame. Our faces seemed to multiply as dusk erased features. Or else our candle drew qualified others from the neighborhood, where no car passed, no light was as brilliant as ours. How lucky we are, someone said, to have each other, not having to explain our learned jokes and allusions and be rewarded with doubtful looks. Night concealed our disdain, fostered
14 grand mysterious plans, and encouraged confessions. One woman described how, after brief and dispiriting sex with a narcissist, she herself drew his sleeping arm around her.
15 Course of Years
I drove by night for various reasons, and over a course of years, from San Diego to LA, Redwood City and points north, or east across the desert. Once in a leaky Chevy Vega without highbeams, once with no radio. On the hundred-mile-straight stretch of 5, sleep played with me like a truck. The smell of the cattle-yard midway on that route roused me. Hills between highways, silhouetted by the moon, seemed another world, silently crashing into ours. At the gas islands, diners, 7/11s, I often stopped just for non-radio voices, light, the instantaneous failed speculation of a woman behind a counter that I might save her. There were things in those hills: coyote/dog hybrids in developments, failed and dark decades before the Downturn. And along 101, the sea, lit by the moon, distant towns, or the San Onofre Nuclear Plant on its coastal fault. Looking back, brittle-boned, needing sleep, reluctant to move, I see that, quite apart from where or why I was driving, death was there always, its oncoming headlights slightly angled. And am faced with a choice: to cower in retroactive terror â€“ I have
16 so much of that; or to think, It’s superb what you did – all that driving – quite apart from why or where. It’s like one of those unscenic desert crossroads.
The Mob returns, elegiacally maintaining, amidst pole-dancers, the sequins and boas of the Copa. Part of the theme-park. Like some Fifties Fords and Chevies left as limos among rickshaws. When their doors are opened, whores of the highest – white – class perfect the art of swinging their legs out. Russians also return, thick cologne over what was once called “the grease of the bear.” Sportive rival death-squads hunt each other after dark. A doctor on call to patch them up – he pays thus for his habit of treating the poor – has visions. (He’s often hungry; he can’t eat sugar.) One is a room whose long walls hold Fidel’s collected speeches. To read every word, perhaps in a prolonged dengue fever, is to read the supreme fiction. And sometimes a mausoleum rises, dwarfing the one in Moscow that housed the embalmed corpse of the man of action.
… so stupid, waking, that awareness of having showered, dressed, and of being, still, more or less organic doesn’t register until we’re within a mile (in this traffic an hour) of work. The bus is cheaper, certainly, and cleaner, fueled by our own exhaust; but the pipes chafe on turns and on braking. It’s time to unfold the paper slightly, careful of the personal space of one’s seatmate. Who, texting, plugged in, or illiterate, gets his news from what he impassively views: moaning chimeras on corners, skewed streetlamps, the dawn shift of streetwalkers, thousands strong, the roadkill the city collects and distributes. When the last newspaper folds, we too will stare, but now we read about our seatmate: the plague, petrifaction, layoff to which he is fated. It’s a good thing he never looks over our shoulder; his name is right there. Should our eyes meet, we readers, we bare our neglected teeth. Would fall on each other with lust, violence, or tears but don’t dare. It’s my stop,
19 a melting but functional tower that bears the usual motto: Me, too, eternal love created.
20 The Inner Life
Morning. The phone rings, but Caller ID, installed some time back, reveals no desired party. The surviving assistant, now called VP, looks at the boss, who sits unmoving as the phone rings itself to death. The secretary – i.e., the girl who answers phones – comes late. She had pills, adult diapers, some attempt at breakfast, and the one surviving schoolbus to deal with, no doubt. Her arrival seems to set the place on a firmer footing. The boss goes to lunch. Which means, since the one local restaurant closed, to drive to a nearby scenic overlook and look into his glovebox at his gun. He leaves work early, which is a boss’s prerogative. The VP, using his, lets the girl go at three. She’s so grateful she cries, as could he; they even fuck on a desk, even talk. He stays till the end, as he has decided he will, and that doing so is loyal, noble, even a choice. Above the parking lot and the wide, still-flashing sign, sunset astounds, like the bare hills and distance that earlier seemed
21 a mistake, a mere separation of towns. Itâ€™s hard to think, he thinks, at the end of days like this. Hard even to breathe; something else is breathing.
22 Sarah Edwards
27 Holly Day Qwerty typewriter burns bright in the corner, tapering flames darken the single sheet of paper still stuck in the dented rubber roller one word burns brighter than the rest taunts “happily” asks “are you happy now”
28 The Rescue my father’s hands parting the water, trying to see past leaves, dead fish, floating branches diving down and finding nothing every time the wind blows the curtains in every shadow that doesn’t belong where is she thirty years later and I’m still waiting for her ghost
29 The New Farm we plant the apple trees in long, straight rows, twist the thin, soft limbs into gang symbols, secret signs chuckle amongst ourselves at the thought of a someday forest of giant hands flash-frozen in “East Side!” “Longhorns!” and “peace.” halfway through the day, we break for lunch, spread picnic blankets on the unturned earth, contemplate the mechanics of crop circles, wonder how many sunflowers we’d have to plant to make a smiley face visible from space.
30 Escalation if I lay still enough long enough on the hard-packed snow, on the frozen mud and ice will my body warm up the ground enough to trick the tiny seeds into thinking that itâ€™s spring? if we lie here together on the same patch of earth will our combined heat wake crocuses, make snowdrops unfurl shake Christmas roses awake convinced that itâ€™s spring? if you make love to me, here, in the snow will our bodies melt enough of this tundra that tulips and daffodils will race up through the mud open bright crowns to herald an early arrival of spring?
31 Shameless my son comes home from my mother’s house and informs me there’s no such thing as Santa Claus and I am crushed, I am devastated, he is five and I got to believe in Santa until I was nine. “Grandma’s senile,” I console him he is being so brave and so grave, it’s all I can think, I want to tell my mom she can never see him again, punish her, make her see how hard this day is for me because no amount of backpedaling will make Christmas the same for us again
32 Jennifer Firestone From BEAR
Mama views a film about a forest scary dark and creeping Mama weeping to the effects the owlâ€™s howl, lights lowering showering Mamaâ€™s skin with sweat and trembling. What is real yet she feels the lens working the shadows pressing pressing her to the shadows an animal a tree a tree waving raking Mama taking no precautions she bounds and the sounds trailing.
A loudspeaker emits: yes Mama but are you an expert is this your TERRITORY? Your forest is built through your eyes but which forest is the “real” forest?
A temporal state the dream of arising before spring fish felt near oneâ€™s toes. Iridescent waves. Oneâ€™s body lighthearted swimmingly smooth. Yet a dark wave harvests anchors a story threads green lives. If I have no mind or a mind that is facile a school of fish, I am required to write for them and many more. Or if I must hide be the cave, the fruit lingering but materially worth less. The fruit of two, shame on you.
A mama is letters pointing to an abstraction we think concrete. A unified reference which is not so. And she the ship sailed. And she mother earth. The apron with the sugar cheeks. And all of you who would like to come in youâ€™re invited. Mamaâ€™s somewhere in the house and she welcomes you.
Running the sun tracks her back running through wind rescinding her thoughts Iâ€™m sorry Iâ€™m thinking the trees blink the sun back a hunter attacks but the trees, the breeze the hunter beware Mama with fear will kill one swoop and then thinking, who thought that.
37 Vinca Andre
38 John Pursch Scrimshaw
Meters prance in clove debentures, billing spleens, soldering framed iguanas to peel the mounds of winded glass. Hasty vassals, fraught with beeping shifts, glut Iberiaâ€™s loose pittance, slaloming in gimpy pressure suites. Laminated, dappled clams form ranchers, hoisting trained siding in sullied emigration fonts, effacing crockeries. Schooners predate flossed vellum, pent in coastal canaries at noon. Filmy estuaries, chiding for stilted clowns, strip in highly powdered lime, prompting grainy cheetahs to skip the fog, bearing whist. Bailing shoals stammer out sandal fumes, frisking wicket archers for foamy dowsers, magnetizing shallow roadsters in bison cleats. Empathic convoys splash a trilling rototiller with specious groupies, implying smothered cerebellar coupes. Salivary undertows ignore a sandbagged homily, cashing in on malted umps. Orchestral stamps hinder pari-mutuel addends, latching Greek semantics under pterodactyl sheen. Slipstream scratchers stimulate immortal clearings, estimate anonymous pores, and ritualize cabalistic steam. Statistical shovers endow atonal hostel clones, miffing shaggy bailiwicks. Putative angora tapers into ember selves, shunting plaid refractors between gauze dignitaries, torching chowder amity with newly limbic mead. Fending off impasse arrays, septic proctors glut recursive diggers with cliquish braggarts, discarding frowsy goalies. Sloughing off emotive trolls, pseudonymous extras clap for scrimshaw in a whirling caryatid, osculating within sensate salt.
39 Quan Alphose
Broon ud, skilly loupin, lefted ou sourgoggle, om utuan proot queg luparating doof. Batel dugz bandea efrori loton burriet gron, praps tranouba dariul aungur effa frogational homel krilt orti wo nenetea stume; nart, sepule, etâ€™s parkian et seami-wheaz, es stapeli quan alphose. Whookie beyender sloa tripud, maniblat? Yacanonit, playtee aven truple coth, garvin shelft emorgin whelinks, ponnel effrugian wrop.
Mutants disregard a palm-reading plume, catering to legions of smoldering gas keels. Determinants of yolk fixate on gestation, plowing kettles into karmic sunspot welts, flashing fleshpot tuners with seedy graveyard quotes. Epiphanies roar in feudal hours at crawling onsets, leaching clear attics from passers-by, flooding the trampled windows. Ipso facto, postbellum Rotarian lumber pines for embolisms, blotched in tensile stasis clouds, hashing out dirt soldiers. Half a ton of sunshine peeks at pendulous nebulae, dreaming of organic lust, potential salivary tracts, and frosty pears in sawdust. Tracks are mingled with lion storms, cinching up crowd clover for imported waistband vodka. Lofting to and outa the while, moot ingrates prey off certainties, spelling phyla in proxy choir semaphores. Anhedonic magi flirt with mossy cursor spats, fishing vein wearers from bivouac ferns. Long be for me to chasten the freezing tideâ€™s sweet lullaby, sipping wafted oar strokes on a sandbar made of grease. Ah, yes, the drift of gabbing airlines, surging postulates to shore, to face and counter circled peas. Fetid marksmen, trotting in place for millennial trikes, implode with circumspection, wheezing aloof, settling on ejected bakers. Headlong tipsy underwear, mechanically imbibed, graceful in its average motif, winks at eastern potables, entailing all that stripes can trace from lucid bites of creamy Oreos.
Egrugian filias mentil dajoun, when morian orpils caranian mox, esplantioth hoppie barano gemore, conuvial oper satriamiot gla. Satchtaron inchupio, peramia en cheeth; soutiem ars frutile jaun, swen instimar gareith, sem trouphioct erlentum widemior enfieft. Exabiddle ufdaham, auniephrax hedone; boanametle och turab, eft yumiatric heige, comuchio zuritian tegameline afrage.
42 Amy Ekins
44 J.D. Nelson NOON IONS Outer Earth /// o oo
MX. is everything one sentence
45 Lunkwhat Leatherfoot That same day. yesterdayâ€™s algebra Arvid! cologned blazer Lincolnâ„˘ moon-welding
46 Believed to be the Original //
ace ace acetylene
T O R C H
47 The Sound of Skulls HURT - - - PINK broccoli THINKNOT /// urst H. - - - Norlin Libr. /// that face I make - - /// I am Glard. I sentence woodgood.
48 RUZZLE REP’X : regulaxin’ • • --PIA • Z • ( ) • URKO / ALDO ORKO / ALDA › › › › › ›
1 11 111 1111 11111
49 Fabio Sassi
dropping to nowhere
the money beat
The Oil Mess
53 Mark Young classIQue A home is nothing without a baby Albert Einstein. Won't you consider adding one to your family? The adoption fee is only $275, & you'll get a 20% discount off your next five homedelivered pizzas.
54 A line from Rabindranath Tagore She mistyped the question: meant to put casual; so experts sang along to a different song & used faulty correlation functions to search the world for the causal link between the bondage of the soil & the free porn video called Fun with Knives we've added to our website.
55 3 Acts From a semantic point of view, itâ€™s the law of the excluded middleâ€”my mother putting on her pastel Nihilistic street wear, turning off the virtual atelier, & going to California to become a movie star.
56 Oh no!!! He tried airbrushing it out. The parking lot is closed for the duration of WW2 & the longtime drummer for U.S. wheat futures has quit saying she can no longer stand the aroma of roast malt combined with classic English hops. That promts the Energizer Bunnies to begin dressing provocatively. Some even dream of getting a tattoo.
57 A collection of scalar values Almost as if it were a deliberate antidote to Debussyâ€˜s La Mer, the outer mitochondrial membrane of vegetable broth, with its discomforting skylights & fundamental genetic constraints, emerges as an authentic dimension of machinic virtuality designed to reconfigure any planet.
58 Contributors: William Allegrezza edits the e-zine Moria and teaches at Indiana University Northwest. He has previously published many poetry books, including In the Weaver’s Valley, Ladders in July, Fragile Replacements, Collective Instant, Aquinas and the Mississippi(with Garin Cycholl), Covering Over, and Densities, Apparitions; two anthologies, The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century and La Alteración del Silencio: Poesía Norteamericana Reciente; seven chapbooks, including Sonoluminescence (co-written with Simone Muench) and Filament Sense (Ypolita Press); and many poetry reviews, articles, and poems. He founded and curated series A, a reading series in Chicago, from 2006-2010. In addition, he occasionally posts his thoughts at P-Ramblings. Natasha Ganes is a graduate of Chapman University in Southern California, where she received her MFA in Creative Writing and MA in English Literature. She is the Public Relations and Media Communications Manager for a national security company, a composition and literature professor at Everest University, and cofounder of Chapman Writers. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Elephant Tree and Muddy River Poetry Review. John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona. His work has appeared in many online literary journals, including The Camel Saloon, Counterexample Poetics, and experiential-experimental-literature. His fiction piece “Watchingstoned, T.V.” was recently nominated for the Sundress Best of the Net 2012 Anthology. His first book,Intunesia, is available in paperback from White Sky Books at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/whiteskybooks . You can follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/johnpursch or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/john.pursch. Fred Pollack is the author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure andHappiness, both published by Story Line Press. Other of his poems and essays have appeared in Hudson Review, Southern Review, Fulcrum, Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, Die Gazette (Munich), The Fish Anthology (Ireland), Representations and elsewhere. Poems have most recently appeared in the print journals Magma (UK), The Hat, Bateau, and Chiron Review. Online, poems have appeared in Big Bridge, Snorkel, Hamilton Stone Review, Diagram, BlazeVox, The New Hampshire Review, Mudlark,etc. Recent Web publications in Gloom Cupboard, Blinking Cursor, Occupoetry, andSeltzer. Pollack is an adjunct professor of creative writing at George Washington University, Washington, DC. Jennifer Firestone is the author of Flashes (forthcoming, Shearsman Books 2012), Holiday (Shearsman Books, 2008), the co-editor of Letters to Poets: Conversations about Poetics, Politics, and Community (Saturnalia Books, 2008), Waves (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2007), from Flashes (Sona Books, 2006) and snapshot (Sona Books, 2004). Her poems have appeared in HOW2, Xcp: Cross Cultural Poetics, LUNGFULL!, Can We Have Our Ball Back, Fourteen Hills, MIPOesias Magazine, Dusie, 580 Split, Saint Elizabeth Street, moria, Feminist Studies, Sidereality, Poetry Salzburg Review, Phoebe, BlazeVOX, So to Speak: Feminist Journal of Language and Art, and others.
59 Jennifer is an Assistant Professor of Literary Studies at the New School’s Eugene Lang College and lives with her family in Brooklyn. J.D. Nelson experiments with words and sound in his subterranean laboratory. More than 1,000 of his bizarre poems and experimental texts have appeared in many small press and underground publications. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including USFL ([free poetry for], 2012), Piso Mojado (Argotist Ebooks, 2012), and When the Sea Dies (NAP, 2011). Visit MadVerse.com for more information and links to his published work. His audio experiments (recorded under the name Owl Brain Atlas) are online at OWLNoise.com. J. D. lives in Colorado, USA. Mark Young has been publishing poetry for over fifty years. His work has been widely anthologized, & his essays & poetry translated into a number of languages. He is the author of more than twenty books, primarily poetry but also including speculative fiction & art history. He is the editor of the ezine Otoliths. He lives on the Tropic of Capricorn in Australia. Amy Ekins is a writer, a project manager for a publishing company, and is about to complete her MRes in Creative Writing at Northumbria University – for which she was awarded their fee-waiver scholarship. Her Kindle is never far from reach, and when she’s not working, reading, writing, or sleeping, you can usually find her on Twitter – https://twitter.com/AmyEWrites Vinca Andre lives in Montreal, Canada for the moment. Since she was a child she has been utterly confused by her surroundings and as she grew up that translated into abstract/experimental images and words that results in visual poetry. For her it is the best way to bring out in physical form what goes in her mind. It makes perfect sense. This work is her pen and ink drawings digitally worked on. She is thankful for all the wonderful journals/magazines/people who have published her work. Sarah Edwards is an experimental photographer living in Montreal. She works with film photography and tries to create surreal/experimental images using just film and camera without retouching digitally. Fabio Sassi has had several experiences in music, photography and writing. He has been a visual artist since 1990 making acrylics using the stenciling technique on canvas, board, old vinyl records and other media. He uses logos, icons, tiny objects, discarded stuff and shades. He often puts a quirky twist to his subjects to give them an unusual perspective. A portfolio of Fabio’s work can be found here: www.fabiosassi.foliohd.com.