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Yes, Poetry


Yes, Poetry Vol. 3, Issue 10/11: October & November 2012 Editor-in-Chief Joanna C. Valente Assistant Editor Stephanie Valente Cover Image: Joanna C. Valente

Yes, Poetry


Contents 4 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 22

Charles Byrne Virginie Colline Robert Klein Engler Amy Nawrocki Mark J. Mitchell Stuart Kurtz M.J. Iuppa Tony Paese Matthew Lynn Fred Chandler Lee Giesecke Jessica Latham Timothy Nelson Contributor's Notes Editor Biographies Submission Guidelines

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CHARLES BYRNE The Streets of New York Walking to work on 34th Street, outside the Empire State Building, watching the way people possess the properties of gasses when walking down the sidewalks, filling whatever available space. The way when you are least in the mood people try to talk to you, but when you need them, they make you work for it. The eye contact being no true contact at all. The feeling you get when you think someone is looking at you and you realize she is looking at someone near you. How the people spill onto the streets and the bicycles spill onto the sidewalks and the cars bump along like molecules until the whole thing is a rush hour of amalgamation. The legs little, tall, the faces like so many cells, like so many colors of the forest, like so many gaps of sunlight through tree branches. The way I had let my leg rest against the leg of the woman next to me on the train, and how it made me drowsy and want to put my head on her lap. How, out of the blue, someone will say hi or what’s up on the sidewalks Yes, Poetry

5 of New York, as though there were no one on the whole of the island but you and he, and the flora of old. The sidewalk with its grime built of the imperceptible grimeof millions of shoes, grime from every nation, soot from the air, droppings of pigeons, cells from skin, sediment from the ocean. The dropping of a contact lens and a man stoops down before me to find it amid the river’s rush of people, getting down on his hands and knees and seeing it suddenly as the magnifying glass that he would hold to the ground as a child in the yard, the lens magnifying this one tiny sphere of ground down at the foot of the caverns of New York, seeing the microscopic cracks, the rivulets, the mountains of dirt, valleys of crevices, trembling from the traffic, coursed by ants and the populace of the ground.

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VIRGINIE COLLINE Four Haiku a snow of silence in the ashtray of the man his den speaks volumes

daggers in his eyes dry mud on his boot toe caps he blows the smoke out

Jekyll-and-Hyde love a dose of his own poison in her medicine

a smell of burning she enters the danger zone too late to turn back

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ROBERT KLEIN ENGLER Featherweight People here say the guy in the shopping center parking with the bib overalls is "slow"— Just because he talks to shopping carts. Down South we'd say, "Bless his little heart." See how he stands there as if in a trance to watch the gulls peck at some garbage. The birds take off and circle, then fly away into the billowed clouds that drift away. He'd like to touch those clouds but can't release the weight that pulls him down— the lifelong tug inside. Oh, yeah, he's slow, but a wish for arms like wings, that he knows.

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AMY NAWROCKI The Thinker as Poet: Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens —after Martin Heidegger How like a whisper the wind engaging the cup of my ear. How like a shout these echoing passages filter northwest to southeast. How like a growl the rustling leaves request channel from shadows to true existence. How like a thought disappearing into thin air these pages ruffling beneath my pen beneath a passing sun beneath the loud, enchanting chimes of a Sunday in spring.

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MARK J. MITCHELL Portrait of the Artist I keep the mirror across my room For sentimental reasons. It reminds Me that you are watching. I like Reflected smoke, distorted pictures. It is very important That I watch myself.: A cigarette balanced unnaturally, My fingers trembling, I press My hands to my forehead. The cigarette stands long As an ivory horn. An ash falls on me, I brush it away and think of you. I think of card games on trains, Of letters never mailed. I think of how you broke me Into syllables and reflections. I pretend to pray. The mirror, dusty, relentless, Keeps its opinions to itself. But at night, when I can’t sleep For sweating, I hear it through the wall, Chuckling.

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STUART KURTZ Lake Turkana The salt stings their skin The air weighs down on them arid and acrid The Lake teases them with watery licks against the edges of itself Funny how some day others would call this the "Jade Sea" ...Rock Crystal Sea would more suffice Warblers and wagtails fly by on their way to somewhere better A foreshadowing meant to teach these other strange creatures? Can't be...Man doesn't know symbolic thought yet... Or that he has a name - Homo Erectus - to know himself by Sad they can't recall family before them: Like "Lucy," "the African Eve" who puts that other Eve to shame With sheer weight of years And the burden of going it alone Since God found the lava erupting from Mount Sibiloi too scary even for Him And the petrified forest froze Him so much that He scrapped Eden for another Two million years No incling they have of the rich line from which they descend The long blue-blood portrait gallery of pedigree that they could claim were they yet smart enough How their grandfather - too many times great to count - was Homo Habilis The toolmaker, the first "Handy Man" A term of pride when concert pianist or cabinet maker are not yet a dream Nor do they know this lake, Turkana, is "The Cradle of Mankind" They only know hunger Crocodiles bear snaggle-toothed jaws waiting for another meal But they wait longer these days Kudus and hartebeests, and topis once ran the express train so regular That Man could pick his cut of meat on a given day Now he picks the rare meat down to the bone

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11 The stints and the skimmer birds from Central Island would do for now Would dinner not float off with Man footfalls So that he'll have to make do eating crow And here and there more bones - not kudu, only more Hominids unburied Like some perverse souvenir shop Some day eons hence Leaky will honor these remains But now they only serve up no meat at all Man now walks upright, but he might as well prostrate himself before the lava flows And let his skin leather like the cracked earth He bands together though to take Turkana's licks Except one: Turkana Boy Always was something different about that one In the drought he could sometimes find water vesseled in a tiny succulent Or show them where the mussels hide He seems to beckon us that way Up the shore of the lake Why? Is there something there that is not here? What force wants him to take them from here? Can't argue like a biologist or a lawyer Reason hasn't been invented yet Erectus can't offer rebuttal either And, looking down at the family tree now scattered below his feet, He may now be mastering foreshadowing two million years before fire So that some place better than this MUST be out there And now they follow Turkana Boy, this Akhenaton of the lake Up the shore and dropping down along The Great Rift Valley Forward into the continent, and some day Europe and Asia and Across the Bering Straight Towards the unknown

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M.J. IUPPA Before Seeing My Mother Round the Corner, We heard her, dragging the green garden hose to wash clumps of sand off our feet. Hydrangea & honeysuckle bushes shook when she twisted the stiff faucet open & a spray of cold water surprised us all–including her– her head tipped back–Oh, she’d say and we’d see her smile & caught in her short brown hair an elaborate cobweb sparkling with a thousand points of light.

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TONY PAESE Windmills sitting up on boeckmann’s hobby farm hill we watched pieces of windmills shipping off to fields one county over, gigantic in their proximity. we would buy huge bags of golf balls dirt cheap, the ones chewed up by lawn mowers and from the hilltop with clubs and bats and racquets and war cries send them flying as far as we could. and into those busted bits of plastic we smashed hopes and dreams and never really had to aim, just scattered them across alfalfa fields below us and waited for the windmills to grow.

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MATTHEW LYNN Potosi Potosi unwed, unveiled black shroud falls to the ground into the black water and yellow scrub grass that surrounds everything The stone churches loom over the city like a gothic masterpiece waiting for resilience and piety and return Renaissance can be seen in the stone streets and stone churches, growing slowly out like weeds inside of everybody When looking into her fiery eyes and cold, narrow streets one cannot but think of religion and resurrection And cold silver coins and vases for kings taken out of the red triangle hill that waits patiently in the background of the city; this is el Cerro Rico When the lights go out for the last time during an interminably frigid night you can’t see anyone’s eyes They sit there in the darkness and sit sit sit shouting at the starry, Milky Way streaked sky The cars are silent in the morning light and everyone dashes for a salteùa and a ray of warmish light Contemplation and mediation deep in their souls on the bounty and beauty lost across oceans of brutality and history I will hold you close to my heart, close to my chest and try not to scream in agony as we look at you together This mess and this blood and these cold underground devils that control the city from below; they are rarely seen and always felt O! it rains Mother to all, I can touch and smell your fat bosom whose milk poured down on the world and left nothing for herself Money and power seem gone, vanished from this place, this dark corner of the earth; yet this is where they were born In a fire of hammers and devils and bearded, diseased grubs; fainting from the altitude and the shimmer in their bloody eyes When they first saw the Indians and the silver side-by-side, a revelation, a no-turning-backnow glance at one another That glance that beady-eyed, burly-toothed glance, ended history forever above the sky, above the Andes, in that hill and in these homes Stones now piled up in neat mounds, each of them broken in hopes they contained even a small shred of the silver The life-blood, the flowing rivers of underground death and destruction

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Your Cross What if the thing you love is the thing that destroys you What if this is what defines you What if you are without choices What if this love is your epithet

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LEE GIESECKE This Poem I predict that some day Philip Glass will write this poem. Notice, of course, that as the poem gets longer and longer, it’s increasingly less likely that Philip Glass could write it. It’s like a very long password, and I feel your skepticism. Glass doesn’t even write poems, you say. It’s astronomically unlikely — even less likely than your face. But there is an out — one you may have noticed. All he has to do is copy this poem, and I’m right. Or easier still, all he has to do is write “this poem,” and everyone wins.

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JESSICA LATHAM Uncertain Inside the certainty of the gunmetal grey, moderate seventy-two degree building, I watch against the cerulean wall, once lime crusted leaves freely soften into sun-glow yellow uncertain when the next will fall.

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TIMOTHY NELSON Walking in London: A Dark Humor You are walking on cobblestone. Your black coat and black gloves contrast with your pale skin, blond hair. Your smirk-y smile not doing you justice – Is it the weather? Is it my insistence on a photo? Don’t know. A grey London day – everything looks like a medieval tower. And as determined tourists, we’d rather see a procession of knights with one of them carrying a basket of the enemy’s heads, or hear the clopping of their horses on the neatly ordered rows of stone. Inside one of the towers, seeing shackles in stone walls, I think to myself, These tourist traps are more painful than adventurous. So I pretend be fastened to the wall and your smile is now genuine, even sublime.

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Contributor's Notes Charles Byrne is a philosopher, poet, and photographer, who recently transplanted to San Francisco from Illinois. Fred Chandler is the author of two chapbooks, A Flying Frog and X Factor. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, a fellow of the American Film Institute, a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Fred's poems have appeared in The Pink Chameleon, Splizz, Northern Stars, Black Lantern, KCET, Danse Macabre, and The Storyteller, among other publications. His website can be viewed at Virginie Colline is a French translator living in Paris. Her poems have appeared in The Scrambler, The Electronic Monsoon Magazine, Notes from the Gean, Prune Juice, Frostwriting, Spinozablue, Prick of the Spindle, The Orris and StepAway Magazine, among others. Robert Klein Engler lives in Des Plaines, Illinois and sometimes New Orleans. Many of Robert’s poems, stories, paintings and photographs are set in the Crescent City. His long poem, The Accomplishment of Metaphor and the Necessity of Suffering, set partially in New Orleans, is published by Headwaters Press, Medusa, New York, 2004. He has received an Illinois Arts Council award for his "Three Poems for Kabbalah." If you google his name, then you may find his work on the Internet. Link with him at to see examples of his recent paintings and photographs. Some of his books are available at Visit him on the web at Mr. Engler is represented by OnView Gallery, 139 N. Northwest Hgy, Park Ridge, IL, 224.585.0503. Lee Giesecke lives in northern Virginia. He has published approximately 80 poems, 140 haiku, and 1 short story. He tends to go for a mildly ironic tone, but there are occasional hints of humor and sentiment—and sometimes even philosophy. M.J.Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Her most recent poems have appeared in Poetry East, The Chariton Review, Tar River Poetry, Blueline, The Prose Poem Project, and The Centrifugal Eye, among others. Recent chapbook is As the Crows Flies (Foothills Publishing, 2008) and second full length collection, Within Reach, (Cherry Grove Collections, 2010); Forthcoming prose chapbook Between Worlds (Foothills Publishing, October 2012) She is Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor program at St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY. Stuart Kurtz is a non-fiction published free-lance writer whose work appears in 18 languages. His poetry and short drama are now starting to appear. He was the only American to cover Toronto's Scotiabank Nuit blanche in 2009. His teleplay, "The Waltons of Walmart," Yes, Poetry

20 is available for purchase. His blog is and he can be hired at Jessica Latham’s poems have been featured in the 2012 Yuki Teikei Haiku Anthology and the Willow Glen Poetry Project. She has self-published a collection of poetry, Shadows, and forthcoming Conversations with my Brother. She dabbles in creative writing with a women’s writing group in Palo Alto, California. She is also working on the translation of a Spanish author’s collection of poetry from a small Northern town in Spain. Jessica spends her energy writing a blog, Rowdy Prisoners about daring to live with passion. To read her interviews about other rowdy prisoners, please visit Matt Lynn is writer and a wanderer; however he is new to the publishing world. He has been traveling since he could walk and has currently landed in Bolivia, South America, which he has called home for the past seven years. He is inspired daily by the beauty, color and pulsing life of the Andes and the Bolivian people. Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in various periodicals over the last thirty five years, as well as the anthologies Good Poems, American Places,Hunger Enough, and Line Drives. His chapbook, Three Visitors will be published by Negative Capability Press later this year and his novels, The Magic War and Knight Prisoner will be published in the coming months. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and filmmaker Joan Juster. Currently he's seeking gainful employment since poets are born and not paid. Amy Nawrocki teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Bridgeport. She is the author of three chapbooks published by Finishing Line Press, most recently, Lune de Miel. Her prose works include two books coauthored with her husband Eric D. Lehman: A History of Connecticut Wine and A History of Connecticut Food. She lives in Hamden, CT. Timothy Nelson is a writer, editor, teacher, poet, and professional writing coach. His specialties are editing and writing for education and business, cultural analysis, screenwriting, and developing engaging courses for college students. He has also worked as a content editor, assistant editor, and writer for several publications and a literary press. Tim earned a master's degree in professional writing and a bachelor's degree in communication. For the past two summers, he won grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study Landmarks of American History, including the Transcendentalist thinkers (Fuller, Emerson, Thoreau, the Alcotts, etc.) and the legacy of Black Mountain College. His experience includes seven years in film and advertising, eight years in sales and marketing, and ten years in education. He currently teaches freshman-year composition and writing courses at Stevenson University and Towson University. Tony Paese is an undergraduate English major at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. His work has previously appeared in the campus humanities journal Illuminations. When not writing his silly little poems, he can be found on the disc golf course or perhaps (feeling swanky) an actual golf course. Yes, Poetry


Editor Biographies Joanna C. Valente was born in Manhattan, New York. She attends Sarah Lawrence College as a MFA candidate in poetry writing. In 2011, Joanna was the recipient of the Friends of Humanities/American Society of Poet’s Prize. She is also the founder and editor of the magazine, Yes, Poetry. Joanna is a graduate of SUNY Purchase College, where she received a BA in creative writing and a BA in literature. Her work has appeared in La Fovea, The Medulla Review, The Houston Literary Review, Owen Wister Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Uphook Press, among others. In her spare time, she is a mermaid. More can be found at her website: Stephanie Valente lives in New York. One day, she would like to be a silent film star. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from dotdotdash, Nano Fiction, LIES/ISLE, and Uphook Press. She can be found at:

Yes, Poetry


Submission Guidelines -Please send all submissions to -We consider previously unpublished work, although simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Copyrights revert back to writer upon publication. -Submissions are on a rolling basis, so we ask you not to submit more than once per month. -Don't forget to include a third-person author biography with your work. We also encourage you to link us to your website or blog. Poetry: Submit up to seven poems. In the subject line of the email, please write “Your Name_Poetry Submission.” Either copy and paste your work into the body of the email, or attach as a .doc file. We welcome all types of poetry. Photography: Only submit original work; it can be a stand-alone piece or part of an entire collection. Submit up to five photos with an artist's statement. Email us with the subject line “Your Name_Photography Submission.” Music: Please send mp3 or mp4 files only. In the subject line of the email, write “Your Name_Music Submission.” Other: If you are submitting a review or interview, please send in a .doc file. It must not exceed 2,000 words. Email us with the subject line “Your Name_Other Submission.” If you would like to be involved or have any other questions, please direct all emails to

Yes, Poetry

Yes, Poetry  

October/November 2012 issue