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Vol. 1 0 • Feb/201 5

selected literature with illustrations

In Memory of Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

(A found poem based on his last blog post, written the day before he died)

by Josh Medsker

Through articles, books, I admired film. Now, I am the universal film, Some part critic, someA part of a... separate entity. Some 1 967...'77 some now. Now I will be able to be me, or youA or a film, brilliant and transporting. Thank you all, greatly.

My Picture Book Days

by Robert Leeming

You lined up empty metal film canisters, like bullet casings, across the glass dresser top and filled each one with paper scraps ripped from your notebook covered with bits and pieces, patterns of thought, observations of endless fields through train windows, nothing special, nothing particularly revealing, just little written trinkets ready to be given away. After each one was loaded you would pass a dozen to me and keep a dozen for yourself and we would duck below the wooden window ledge of our fourth floor room in the Bristol Hotel and toss the canisters out as gifts to the city. Christ Almighty people don’t half kick up a fuss when confronted with the milk of human kindness, consumed by the unruly nature of the presentation rather than the contents, hammering at the door, summoning porters and night porters who would flee their elevator homes throwing back the cage doors with a flourish calling for explanations and room keys. You were all frowns and vapour in the wardrobe mirror

as I threw you your overcoat and you threw me back an inflatable beach ball and you told me to let it down or leave it behind because we couldn’t move quickly with that and I decided to let it down. In the street I slipped on our own canisters and you cursed me with one of those words you’d picked up while working the zeppelins in that brief period during the twenties when you could make an honest living checking tickets up there. And I seemed to be recognised in the street, you weren’t, but I seemed to be, everyone seemed to be looking at me and I didn’t know why. Perhaps they recognised me from my television days? My radio days? My Kinetoscope days? My picture book days? You waved your hands and gestured towards me to hurry up and I did and then I fell backwards and I slipped away again.



At the foot of Wichita Mountains Where wolves and coyotes and foxes Grew fat from human fleshes and hearts A Savanna’s eye reproduced an enormous Screen of tropical meadow; a face Lit up like gold underneath a bright shadow Fascinated by the comical unborn sigh Or the affection of an equal line: Iodine lips totally visible come to me Dancing in multiple but unusual fingernails Beware! This isn't God I am talking about. It's the Mind. The Beauty of Being Humans! As they turned fastest without faces Less weight than a body with a throne of cloud Detesting the picture filled with Wonders Their hands then hoof along their bodies And shake them with large tongue and cracked heads.

I think they're ghosts or pieces of dead flesh Coming with it! But wait! The finite winter emerged from the emptied holes Of their faces, looking around, as I was asking: "Are you Isis's maiden goddess from Egypt? "We're the Black Cloud...! The Spell!" We are the mutation We are the salutation We are the dilatation. We are the sickened love as tooth-like projections!!!!!! What do they want? Or have they just arrived From vacations to visit the tribe of Azteca: Non-human here nor yellow toque or white Snake who wished to gallop beside me. I'll not allow it. "Oh, no," they said. "We're the possessive snake! The underworld journey and the breathing Grief Eventually it will bind upon you!" And when they kiss my lips (hundreds of them!) these inflaming lips Under the cold water of this fallen afternoon,

In a reverberation wave below my kindling tunic I saw the transparencies of the stone I received all the embraced ashes as an absolute Night shifting into memory... The racing Mind! A memory for a day or so Filled with passion in its possession By the rumble glitter tits Tits of Velvet ants Tits of my own shadows.

from Correspondences by John Lowther

Asking about summer stock and choice cuts of botany. It all started after I decided it was time for a return to the body. Where have all the flowers gone? That's where I think discussions actually operate. It adds invisible exclamation points. I have done nothing but write and translate, and when I finish what I have to do for the day, the last thing I feel like doing is writing or translating. Sense of what, or why, is a different issue. I go at it entirely in the dark. Whitefish and kipper snacks with too much treble on offbalanced headphones. And my friend and I looked at each other and went pale. Please do. Enough, this is not really pertinent, but it's an interesting periphery. Nor am I trying to win. I can sort of see your comment about that taking some of the fun out of it.

Ataraxia Vol. 10  

February 2015 Contributors: Josh Medsker Robert Leeming Chuck Clenney George Zamalea John Lowther

Ataraxia Vol. 10  

February 2015 Contributors: Josh Medsker Robert Leeming Chuck Clenney George Zamalea John Lowther