Month: July 2014

Looking to the Edge by Mark Fleury

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Looking to the Edge


Mark Fleury

Looking to the edge

Of the dawn-tinged mountain

Tops’ cliffed flaming skyscape,

The ladder to the brow of the morning

Star leans against the wall between

The night and day of a new year.

I peak over the sky, blue as the part

Of a candle flame that entrances

A child in Easter Sunday’s Grace

Before what’s thanked for is consumed

For weight toward Earth’s center.

And I see it’s the same primordial pool

Of fire and flame and lust that does

Dervish whirls from a screen door

To a backyard. April is draining

Its pain of birth, thaw and rust

As though the hinges

Of soil opened to houses

In the enclosed bark of trees.

Bio: Mark Fleury lives in St. Paul, MN. He has recently had poems published in Vext Magazine, Altered Scale, Clockwise Cat, Counterexample Poetics, Medulla Review, ditch, UFO Gigolo and the Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology. Mark also has a poem forthcoming in the September inaugural issue of Of/ With. Mark has a new 2014 book of poetry entitled The Precious Surreal Door Opened, published by Medulla Review Publishing.


Poetics Statement: My writing invariably goes back to the basement apartment where I lived when I had a nervous breakdown over twenty years ago. The different parts of the apartment symbolize various parts of my psyche; for example, the door leading into the apartment is the location of the pineal gland in the center of my brain. And the window across the room, which is the title of one of my books: The 4D Window, is the sensorium screen where my worldly experiences, including poetry, take place. I consider myself to be a student of Charles Olson’s Projective Verse essay.

Four Poems by Billy Cancel

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Four Poems


Billy Cancel

through the muzzle infused with lag

squawked counterclaims     incorrect
assumption     at bona fide onset
even marauding randoms     were
shard birds     beneath multi-track
sky i ushered in such provocation
spruced up allegiance to white hot
parallel     triggered a languish
harsh negotiations     helter-skelter
into union camouflage
          these sample
impressions spaced like obstinate     yoke
envoy     desire obtain neglect     so many
hybrids barely elbow room     fabrications at
their most copious     urbane sift
through imprudent splatter     deft
vitalization     signing off as
undercooked          throughout splice
influx pandemonium     maintain
rhythm of complaint     so steady
light don’t get     translated as mend



my illuminated zone peers     free thinking
& elongated switch     to neutral background
the question     who amongst us unmodifiable
low pitched entanglement ornamental
conceit profound barrier dismal permutations so
overzealous surveyor lords it     indeterminate
distance     where fools lurk     babble doddle
subnormal framework     their expectations of strange
happenings in meadowlands     meanwhile
imprudent bootlick myriad in active
thrive beneath          alienation     heavy stresses
adventure     protest
sex then     fatigued stalemate     addlebrained sprawl     shit
hole     no trigger     masqueraded humble as
we approached casual metaphor          luminous
glut look
closer am
sagging with

this smear founded upon radiating blotch
skewered rampage     meticulous
abandon     skewered abandon     deferred insipid recontextualised
essential     i floated through convalescence     exemplification
spin     floated through     ballistic moonshine contaminated
blossom     hardly a biscuit trip          at theatre of science
was out of joint     mimetic representation     didn’t know
wind picked up chlorine leak     vagueries pulsed something about
future abundance     remember me i tried to turn off chemical valve
either way turned this room bright oink it is today          undercut
by some uncommitted double     your worm eaten ships coming
apart     so come on all you crazies     ferry leaves in 10          that was luke warm with
ferals vs. imports one of my
favorite artists out of the short lived
cancelburg haze core scene his new
album pitched camp with swine is
out on frost surf & you can catch
him live on the 22nd at
g spot supporting i kind of
do performance

how to outflank the suburbs dvd bonus disk
moon glued top left     wide of dwellings     worked towards
passion circuit reroute     accumulated gaps in the
narrative     bastard flourish synced me up     why
i came     gauze eyelids     detritus swirl     snake
the road          brittle accumulating beneath digital sky
well groomed scrawl     unparalleled     interrogation
did you facilitate mash-up cut ribbons
into shine? or was it based up bemoaning such
disengaged patterns holding a lantern up to pensive
background sweet abundance of
whistleblowers          strained rapport i can see     festooned
with climbing ivy     me with co-workers     team
building at alligator church     each avenue
remorselessly turned towards production          out
of red grey
zag try to
fashion collisions     something
dropped by the hunt hangs on
my wall

Five Sonnets by John Lowther

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Five Sonnets
John Lowther

I never resist temptation, because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.

That will make more sense when we’re actually doing it.

This kind of judgment emanates from a hot emotional space, not from a cool intellectual one.

To whoever tagged this “gonads and strife”: Excellent.

You know, vacuum, dust, mop and help me move the furniture so I can clean behind them as well.

Certain people I imagine naked every time I see them.

Ultimately this is the only thing that interests me.

Yeah, that’s right, I said it.


I’m so over school.

I got my own ideas.

I like to sleep a lot.

The ethic that is never relinquished is that which embraces exploration, experiment and play.

This sentence no verb.

Clean and set this wig.

You change life for me.

If the egg sinks to the bottom, but stands on its point, it’s still good but needs to be used soon.

Nothing is possible.

You left this at mine.

Theoretically, yes.


You have to make retarded podcasts to keep yourself entertained because porn is so boring.

I think it depends on how much you consider humanity to be an invasive species on the earth.

Meditation on scripture is like a cow chewing its cud.

That requires a tank, and something pneumatic to run.

My life is like a glacier.

Fate doesn’t give a fuck.

Any event, once it has occurred, can be made to appear inevitable by a competent historian.

As an unabashed shoe person, I gotta say that I love the blue satin pumps and am meh on the boots.


 Piss off fuck face.

This is not a pipe.

We found a real gem.

I had my face done.

Get over yourselves.

You’ve eaten earwax.

Give him a blow job.

Enjoy the jewelry.

Look at her lips.

Use insecticide.

This is not rain.

A change in enunciative value is produced as a result of the new system of inscription, which because it is organized, has wide-ranging, yet regulated, effects.

Some people, though, simply do not ‘telegraph’ any information about their sexuality.

Here’s the kicker.

You should think of a lesson as a weapon in love.




This is my time.

In both directions at once.

I can only see the dead ends everywhere I look.

There is great disorder under heaven and the situation is excellent.

Blocking relationships are computed for local pairs of parts that are in contact with one another.

It’s a huge myth that unconditional love, or radical acceptance of someone you care about, requires you to accept them for who they are.

That’s the gist.

When in doubt, freak ’em out.

All the road signs have been pulled down.

Russian roulette isn’t the same without a gun.

Note on the Text
555, is a collection of sonnets whose creation is database-driven and relies upon text analytic software.
The frame or measure is quite mechanical. I crunched and analyzed Shakespeare’s sonnets, then divided by how many to arrive at averages for words, syllables and characters (inclusive of punctuation but not spaces). These averages (101 words, 129 syllables, 437 characters)became requirements for three groups of sonnets (185 in each).
Parallel to this I started a database for lines found virtually anywhere (though I tended to avoid poaching from poetry). Values for word, syllable and character are recorded. Typos and grammatical oddities are preserved and the lines cannot be edited, though they can be swapped out for other lines of the same value.
Line selection isn’t rule driven and inevitably reflects my reading, watching, listening and thus my slurs as much as my passions, my amusements and those things that disturb me. I espouse only the sonnets, not any one line. Some irk me, others please. Some are just off somehow. There are also intentional banalities as I think they can be made to resonate as well as horrible statements that I try to break in some fashion through context.
Sonnets are assembled using nonce patterns or number schemes, by ear, or notion, or loose association, by tense or lexis or tone. Every sonnet must match the average exactly.
The completed sonnet count as of this writing is 404. I’ll be done when all 555 make it through editing. So at the level where all this database and text analytic stuff takes place things are pretty frosty and procedural, but line selection is extremely idiosyncratic, and as the implementation is not automated inevitable mistakes creep in (which I correct if I find them). I often think of Pound’s “dance of the intellect among words” but it is less words than sentences (or units punctuated as such) amongst which I move. The dance in question tracing out a knot (rather, a gnot) that holds the lines together for me.
Poetics Statement
I’ve already said too much it seems to me, but here I go (in somewhat didactic form). All Language Is Poetry (that we do not always recognize this is due to “occlusion” otherwise known as “taking language for granted”). ALIP, a lip, All L is P, lisp. Writing from the head, by what is called “inspiration” is all well and good if that is what you desire, but we are all Systems of Low-Level Regularities (Harry Mathews), SLLR, which read upside down with bad glasses is “slurs” which works quite well doesn’t it? Just as the drunken fool tells you the same story thrice, that we are systems of low-level regularities, that we have slurs — poetic habits at the conscious and unconscious levels — requires (if one might wish to outrun these things) that we adopt other measures than inspiration with which inspiration can, perhaps, combine. Having a poetics, like having a “voice”, is something I try to stay one (or more) step ahead of. Something is following me though, I catch sight of it now and then, it means me no good. It speaks.
John Lowther co-founded the Atlanta Poets Group in 1997 and quit in 2012. The University of New Orleans Press published The Lattice Inside: An Atlanta Poets Group Anthology in 2012. Forthcoming from Lavender Ink is John and Dana Lisa Young’s book Held to the Letter. He edits 3rdness Press. He is writing his dissertation on the intersections of Lacanian psychoanalysis and queer theory with issues raised for these by transgender and intersex people. For the moment, he lives in North Carolina.

Excerpt from 47 Venezuela

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Excerpt from 47 Venezuela


Jesse S. Mitchell

There are stars up over the ocean
And I know because I have seen them.
Like words written mutely in the sky
And I know because I have read them.
Tiny sea beacons to guide all who between the waves still malinger,
Little dots shining bright
That the darkest of night
Cannot cleanly obscure.

To read the all of 47 Venezuela, click here.