Did you ring the doorbell?
This house is your house –
so to speak.
Open so long as you let yourself be heard.
But locks must be engaged, shutters closed
–there are some
that do harm –
Villains are not simply storylines, costumes, secret identities, powers
but will and win if not on guard
Feel free to come by, as (is) possible, you’ve come by before so unknown
So entrance was removed.
Time, this, as always will be different.
If on verge then do well to continue
Ceiling leaks, drops break in.
Mattress steals space from living.
And this teetering persists?
Make a go of it
– rest doesn’t go well
Fall, jump, get pushed
afford a balance to repair’s value.
Which side of the Hudson is for Verlaine
And which for Rimbaud after the break-up?
Not world enough / strong enough
to open petals
the way New York
with all the best pharmaceutical grade . . .
And two rivers and upstate to run to and Jersey
ready to back pocket
on train out of here
to calm down.
So, Seine, which side is for Warhol and which for Basquiat
When done / decorated enough
to have back what is held close /
Poetic Statement: Experience is a plurality of convergences, interruptions, digressions, departures. These occurrences are the fragments which create larger memories and the narratives one attempts to convey to others. The closer one comes to examining the past, the more one notices how the present constantly interferes. The narratives one creates from the keepsakes of yesterday are shattered and forged again with new data – sensations, perceptions, insights, exemptions, the heard-words, the read-words, the thought-words, the dream-words, the images and ideas of having been inserted into a life of disturbances.
Bio: Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia is the author of This Sentimental Education, ROBOT and Yawning on the Sands.
The Metropolitan of Wallace Street
A few Baltic households remained,
Interspersed throughout the barrio:
Bodegas and the Roberto Clemente Center
Between churches built by Russians,
Swedes, and Lithuanians two generations ago.
Re-gentrification rolled slowly from the west
Around the Art Museum, heading
Block by block toward North Broad,
Adding another ingredient to the mix.
In the 1600 block of Wallace Street
Gold-blazoned letters and Slavic cross
Announced the Holy Resurrection Cathedral
Inside the red-brick row house next to the
Vacant lot and music-blaring bodega.
From what once was a living room
The Divine Liturgy was served weekly to
Family and anyone who wandered in.
Metropolitan Trevor, Archbishop of Wallace Street
And renegade non-canonical Orthodox
Held forth with bargain-basement vestments,
A button-festooned miter and minimalistic icons
Late evening, humid or frigid, he walked
The nearby streets, consoling the
Derelict and drugged,
Pressing five dollar bills into hands,
Offering brief words of consolation,
A shooting star over a desperate earth.
During daylight standing with
Those who tried to temper abuse and
Ravages of urban living and
Herding the far-flung cats of
His nebulous jurisdiction.
On my last visit, again pleading with me to
Follow his course in any way I chose,
Standing with him at the altar for
The first and last time
Presiding over a dwindling flock on
A sweltering August morning.
When newsletters and notes no longer to
The Land of Enchantment came
I called to learn why, never expecting to
Hear how cancer short-circuited
Career and family to oblivion.
Halfway-reconciled to all he loved,
And to the God whose light nonetheless
Shone through the fully-human
Yet touched by the divine,
Metropolitan of Wallace Street
Asked for a cigar and soon
Passed from one life to the next.
Bio: Arthur Turfa lives in the South Carolina Midlands, but his poetry contains influences of his native Pennsylvania, California, Germany (where he has also lived), as well as other places. His first book of poetry. “Times and Places, Reflected”, will be released in the Spring of 2015 by eLectio Publishing. Published in theMunyori Literary Journal and South Carolina English Teacher, he also maintains a personal blog, Some Poetry at aturfa.blogspot.com, and is an Owner at Words on Fire on Google+
Poetic Statement: Essentially I think Wordsworth had it right, although I do not always find long-lasting tranquility. Something or someone grabs a hold of me, and lingers until I recapture the moment, the glimpse, or the time from my life. My poetry attempts to include the reader into what I experienced, rather than telling the reader all about it or me. At times I strive for a sense of closure, at others I want to preserve something (more as a Symbolist than an Imagist). Whom do I read; Eliot, Auden, Rilke (in the original), Frost, Updike, Shakespeare, Bukowski, and others.Language that sings is more important that language that rhymes.
Note on text: 555 is a collection of sonnets whose construction is database-driven and relies on text analytic software. I crunched and analyzed Shakespeare’s sonnets to arrive at averages for word, syllable and character (inclusive of punctuation but not spaces). These averages (101 words, 129 syllables, 437 characters) became requirements for three groups of sonnets. I collected lines from anywhere and everywhere in the air or in print in a database. The lines are all found, their arrangement is mine. Values for word, syllable and character were recorded. Typos and grammatical oddities were preserved; only initial capitals and a closing period have been added as needed. The selection of lines isn’t rule-driven and inevitably reflects what I read, watch, and listen to, thus incorporating my slurs and my passions as well as what amuses and disturbs me. These sonnets were assembled using nonce patterns or number schemes; by ear, notion, or loose association; by tense, lexis, tone or alliteration. Every sonnet matches its targeted average exactly. Think of Pound’s “dance of the intellect among words” then sub sentences for words—it is amongst these I move. The dance in question traces out a knot (better yet, a gnot) that holds together what might otherwise fly apart. I espouse only the sonnets, not any one line.
Comment on Poetics: Of late I’ve wondered why the poetry produced under the LGBTQIQA-etc umbrella is so markedly averse to experimentalism, to the avant garde legacy, etc. Why it tends toward the middle waters of the mainstream, poetically speaking. Why shouldn’t Alt-sexualities encompassed by and exceeding those four letters find more common ground with Alt-poetries in common resistance to normativities whether theybe of the hetero- or discursive- sort? That which is ostranenie is also queer, or no?
Bio: You can find out about John Lowther’s work at his poetry blog where there are many links to online poubellications and details about a few of his ongoing projects. Or if you prefer the tangible, pick up one of these anthologies The Lattice Inside: An Atlanta Poets Group Anthology (UNO Press, 2012) or Another South: Experimental Writing in the South (U of Alabama, 2003) or wait for Held to the Letter (co-authored with Dana Lisa Young) due from Lavender Ink in 2015.
THAT GUY (STANDING ON BROKEN LEGS)
if there were power enough to do so
but who believes there is
would use it
a good ape
a bad ape
though probably not
us—where we were
some chief proponent—un elected
(un assailed) assistant
(to the) boss
of nothing special—
a motherboard’s groan
hears a fan going
the way of heat
I no you do—
were there power enough to do so
yet you believe there is
would take it
the despicable and heinous
practice of printing
practice of printing
cuz—cause the many
the transparency and honest
nature found—in such printing
(really made you)
really makes you
shit your pants.
but not really. permanent. did you think
they were coming—that they’re here—
if there were powers
enough (& I believe
is like something that would that
have been—properly utilized much
to wish for—
a documented medical need
Poetic Statement: I began this poem learning of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture during the transnational American war begun in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a test for the poem committing the emotion that would like to see especially those war criminals that look and act like something called us subjected exactly to what they’ve accomplished. To commit the beauty of stone legs made trunkless and the reality of social order. Mechanically this was difficult to achieve, if I have at all. The poem does not bear witness. The poem is romantic, kissing mere instruments.
Bio: Jared Schickling’s recent books include Two Books on the Gas: Above the Shale and Achieved by Kissing (BlazeVOX, 2014), The Paranoid Reader: Essays, 2006-2012 (Furniture Press, 2014), and Prospectus for a Stage (LRL Textile Series, 2013). He co-edits Delete Press and eccolinguistics.