Three Poems by KJP Garcia

Posted on

Three Poems

by

KJP Garcia

Stop By

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.

 

Afford

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

-expire-

afford a balance to repair’s value.

 

Which Side

Which side of the Hudson is for Verlaine

And which for Rimbaud after the break-up?

Not world enough / strong enough

to open petals

lay out

lyricism

illuminations

the way New York

can

with all the best pharmaceutical grade . . .

And two rivers and upstate to run to and Jersey

ready to back pocket

the written

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 /

unwanted?

 

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 by Arthur Turfa

Posted on Updated on

The Metropolitan of Wallace Street

by

Arthur Turfa

 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.

3 Sonnets from 555 by John Lowther

Posted on

Lowther for AltPoetics

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) by Jared Schickling

Posted on

THAT GUY (STANDING ON BROKEN LEGS)

by

Jared Schickling

 

Dear Dick:

 

if there were power enough to do so

but who believes there is

someone—yes—someone

would use it

apes

a good ape

a bad ape

perhaps human

though probably not

(a poem)

us—where we were

some chief proponent—un elected

(un assailed) assistant

(to the) boss

of nothing special—

already—

a motherboard’s groan

too loud

hears a fan going

the way of heat

I no you do—

 

were there power enough to do so

yet you believe there is

someone—yes—someone

would take it

chance

a chance

the despicable and heinous

practice of printing

practice of printing

torture reports

cuz—cause the many

be many

un shocked

only disgusted—

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

there are)—[redacted

redacted] forced

[redacted]

is like something that would that

could

have been—properly utilized much

to wish for—

 

We’re here—

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.