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ALTPOETICS MAY 2015

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Terrible Animals by Chris D’Errico

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Terrible Animals

by

Chris D’Errico

Terrible Animals by C.DERRICO

Bio: Chris D’Errico has worked as a short order cook, a doorman, a neon sign-maker’s helper, and an exterminator, among other vocational adventures. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, he lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife Tracy, and a small clouder of house cats. For more, visit www.clderrico.com.”

SOURCE TEXT: “A Field Guide To Critical Thinking” by James W. Lett, from the book “The Hundredth Monkey And Other Paradigms of the Paranormal”… Filtered through insomnia  and nervous impulse. Inspired by Salvador Dalí’s description of his paranoiac-critical method: “a spontaneous method of irrational knowledge based on the critical and systematic objectivity of the associations and interpretations of delirious phenomena.”

Faded by Matina L. Stamatakis (with KJP Garcia)

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Faded

by

Matina L. Stamatakis

(with KJP Garcia)

plancelled

– kept aside

while sweeping from cell

dispersions

driven back to center

-clarified edges exposed

as indefatigable limitations

* * *

envelope disorderliness

of infinite spaces

─ghost automatons

                                rapt in lush circuitry

─synapse

a refuge

                            in the tumult

* * *

for every longing

overdue

evolution             /              sin          /              violence

purity + deeds

(s)wearing

circumspect technology’s

                                introverted shame

* * *

                                                ─rising

through darkness

                                                                                                                                                 [a doomed conception]

of alien sentience ─

throat                                             spilling-out accursed

ejectamenta                        (im)pulse,  a quiver

* * *

                                over(t)ly

(e)motion

:all – foreign to imminent

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             choke down

of thrust              –              throb                     –                              set

aside with missteps

of speech yet to attain (a)trophied silence

* * *

                                                incommunicable language ─ exasperating

shape of open

mouths─ illusion’s desperate

trigonometry //  a priori: as tongue,      refracted

by  birth’s
origin
[un]wavering crux, thus Being

* * *

humble rivets – know trivial confusion for slack of steel

.  time bends light with/in gravity’s tru(e)st

– accord.

stains are false brands stubborn – undisturbed by wash and play

= only age (befri)ends ultimate options

faded beyond

e                             +/-                          legibility

* * *
the mind’s errata,

                                cognition: a synaptic labyrinth                                    ─disappears between

oceans of membrane                                   [un]familiar portals  in a dream

mechanized & extraterrestrial

expresses incomprehensible
know/ledge

only exists            in/complete

* * *

nothing(ness) posesses an indisputable perfection

corridors are heavens between disconnective voids – space unto space

of emptiness is resemblance – in likeness is always an image cast

to describe is to steal details from abstract almosts

equal = equal – alone

all + one

together is own make up of parts formed from (a)maze[me(a)nt] to be

  * * *

     synthesis──  needs flesh                          expect no answer    ──depend on distances/instances
breathing tomorrow    comes knowledge

& question                     rearranging patterns   of usual places

displaced                               in con/text                   +    elements + soft texture
obscured [by]  teeth

sensors behind senses
sense[less] // structures                                                           set  up to collapse
* * *

what detach meant was to say – give it time.  and it is standing in for what?

it detache(s/d) from meaning, past occurrence, infinitives, speech

.  in future’s tutorials examples, systems, and designs are ennobled unseen gases kept under bell jars filling in for(eign) core responses of familiarity disjointed                                                                                                                                                                                                observed

insistent upon bonds                                                                                                                                                                                                  broken                                                                                                                 in death and half-life

* * *

a dimming beacon, this half-life, a cling to           improbable senses       wavelengths       bodies
endless exploration of dire conditions─                           volition, non-present  & all the wilder, studying it
through liquid air, its immortality                only a mortal mark on blue matter──dissolution, suddenly
emblazons it──aether disperses             corporeal space, the observed half-life radiates a permanent
dystopia,   detach//collapse:             organs     wild flowers      malfunctioning   & uncertain── wet
as nothing, nihil in its skin              calls to speech through the bell jar, hollowed-out ghost-air
abyssal  [ as endless]                 algorithms
* * *

inches                                                   gamed                                  –                                gained

askew – a slant measured in available degrees

–              misfired on demand                                                                         – on target                         insides out        –

by want – need – have – control is bought borrowed sold

echoes in chamber push other voices to sleep

phantoms sacrifice death in total for glimpse = mired in local conditions of

staying housed/coursed where curving bells contain deviations derived from models

(A portion of this poem originally appeared in Barzakh)

Excerpt from 47 Venezuela

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Excerpt from 47 Venezuela

by 

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.

Three Poems by RC deWinter

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Three Poems

by

RC deWinter

shedding stardust

i am unglued
from the world
freefloating
a bit of cosmic dust
the moorings i fly past
limned with thorns
my hands are still

Madman’s Cathedral

You’ve been here over and over and over again.
This place is so familiar it almost feels like home.
It’s the hell behind your eyes,
the goblin-made cathedral in which you worship –
unwillingly, it’s true, but faithfully nonetheless.
And it’s not even hushed as a cathedral should be.
Screams follow you down the aisle,
echoing endlessly off the arches crowning you in bloody thorns
that tangle in your antlers and slide down your corded neck
to rest against your much-decorated chest,
inside which your heart beats an arrhythmic conquista.
No one awaits you at the altar where the thousand skulls grin,
mercilessly mocking sleep as you kneel unshriven
and know you’ll make this pilgrimage again.

Dorothy Gale, B-Girl: The Real Story

Did I ever tell you about
how I met the Wizard
and how there was nothing
in that black bag for me?
Because there wasn’t any black bag.
You think you know this story
but you don’t.

There I was,
hanging out all innocent
in my farmgirl jumper
and dorky ankle socks.
I kept my hair in the braids
to keep it out of my face
while I was bushwhacking
my way to The Emerald City,
but yeah – I was wearing
those killer red shoes.

I ditched the damn dog
because he just couldn’t seem
to get with the program –
which was
to get the hell out of Dodge
(and never back to Kansas).

Anyway,
the dog was always nervous.
He peed in the basket,
yapped like a springsprung
windup toy,
ate grass and puked it back –
once almost on my shoes –
so I left him with the strawman
and the clinking, clanking,
clattering collection
of calliginous junk.

More on that in a min…

The lion – that pussy! –
had run off ages before,
back to whatever hidey-hole
he inhabited before that lousy
halfhearted attempt at courage.
He was more trouble
than he was worth anyway,
all the time sniveling and shaking
and hiding his eyes behind
that stupid plume on the end
of his tail.

By the time I’d got within
spitting distance of the Wizard
the other two had decided
they’d had enough of
sleeping in the dirt
and talking trees
and pelted apples
and that hag on the broomstick
with her underwater face
always showing up and yelling
about something or another.

They settled in a cottage
on the outskirts of the city,
for all the world like any
old married couple.
Lemme tell ya, though,
somehow i can’t see
either one of them in an apron
and I bet they fight about
who does the dishes.
‘Cause let’s face it –
wet straw is no fun
and neither is rusty tin.

Anyway,
I sashayed alone
through those monster gates.
I never had a problem
with a guard.
I’d smile and flirt
and give ’em a little
of the good old wide-eyed admiration
and boom!
I was wherever I needed to be.

When I’d cleaned up some
and gotten a new dress
and traded those socks for silk
and found a shoemaker
to put some higher heels
on those killer red shoes
i didn’t look half bad.

All that folderol
about the Wizard
and killing the witch?
There was no curtain.
There was no loud
and angry voice.
Pure bunk!

He was a regular guy,
sitting there just bored to death.
He took one look at me
and he was mine.
And funny thing –
I kinda liked him too.
He asked me what I wanted
and all of a sudden
I wasn’t sure.

It’s been a few years now
and I’m still here,
just the Wiz and me,
living it up in this huge
art-deco monstrosity.
We play cards and we dance.
We take bubblebaths
and never have to worry
about bills or housework
or any of the stuff
that eats away
at most people’s lives.

And on Sundays
we take the carriage out,
all decked out in our best.
We ride through the city,
waving and smiling
and getting hit in the face
with flowers tossed by
adoring bumpkins.

I don’t know how
he got these people
to put him in charge
and I don’t care.
I’m sitting pretty, I am –
good food, nice clothes
and no more slopping hogs.

And if I have to listen
to dreary stories about
hot-air balloons
and hocus-pocus hokum
that’s okay – fine by me!
I’m not even sure
where the hell I am,
but I’m the wife
of the most powerful man
ever to rule a country
that doesn’t exist,
and yet is more real
than any place
I’ve ever known.

Poetic Statement: Although the majority of my poetry to this point might be called confessional,
it is important not to conflate the poet with the poem. A germ of truth can blossom into a tree leaved with outrageous fantasy. I find exploring and experimenting with new forms helps keep perspective fresh, and I no more limit myself to one genre in writing than I do in art. Poetry is communication. If I touch one heart or provoke one mind to think through my writing, I have done my job.

 

Bio: RC deWinter is a photographer, digital artist, poet, essayist and singer-songwriter currently living and working in Haddam, Connecticut. She has been shooting photos for over 25 years, using both traditional and digital SLR equipment. Her digital work is created using a variety of software and includes oil paintings, watercolor sketches and drawings.

Her work has appeared in print, notably in the New York Times, chosen for publication in the New York City in 17 Syllables haiku competition, Uno: A Poetry Anthology, Pink Panther Magazine, Arts Creation Magazine, The Sun Magazine, 2River View, Poetry Nook, Garden Tripod and The American Muse as well as in many online publications.
In addition to her personal online portfolios, Ms. deWinter’s art is exhibited on of several internet-based showcases, including Saatchi Online, ARTbracket, The Art for Cancer Gallery, Copperflame Gallery, b-uncut and Artists, Writers and Photographers in the Raw. ABC has licensed several of her paintings to be used as set decor on the television series Desperate Housewives.

Ms. deWinter is honored to be the first digital artist invited to exhibit her work at an October 2011 solo show the Arts of Tolland Gallery in Tolland, Connecticut.

Two Poems by Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia

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Two Poems 

by

Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia

For

. . . it’s tight around here. nothing’s changed. what’s ever been easy to come by other than space and dead hours past memory’s reach to resurrect?

* * *

believe

in

M            I               R             R             O             R             S

W            I               N             D             O             W            S

one        same

in

sight

encompassing

in biggest picture – minor part – but a role – in thought/deed

* * *

feel more

/sense/

* * *

come, be light upon keys

play soft

deliver gentle notes

into air

-correspond-

.

pluck a drop from sky

for drum’s head lonely

-incomplete-

pining

for touch

.

* * *

give it a try. what it? which it? give what to it? give it what? to what? to try. to try it. try it. try what? give.

* * *

this is the best pane of glass in town.                                                      this corner is awake and daydreaming.

* * *

sell the world. two for one. everything’s got to go.

felt on the lake

suede on the pond

velvet eddies in leather streams

silk creaks

cotton inlets

polyester reservoirs

nylon canals

merino wool rivers

rayon fjord

woven ocean

canvas clouds

showroom models

best looks left on hangars

 

Blurred

no promise

in possibility

exists for daydreaming

 

fear clings with its name given

-irreality

 

even as it is

forgotten

and overcome

 

when truth returns

to vision

blurred

 

Bio: 

The author of What Do The Evergreens Know of Pining, Yawning on the Sands, This Sentimental Education and Distilled! and A Northern Elegy was raised in Brooklyn, NY and has a degree Linguistics. Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia was a cook for over a decade and has studied several living and dead languages. Garcia’s work has appeared in BlazeVOX, ditch, Eccolinguistics, Caliban Online, Boog City, Barzakh and many others. Currently, Garcia’s nights are occupied by putting boxes on shelves while days are spent writing, reading and editing kjpgarcia.wordpress.com. You can also follow KJP at @KJPGarcia on twitter.

 

Bear Dance by Wilna Panagos

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Bear Dance

By

Wilna Panagos

[found objects from Modern Mythology by Andrew Lang, 1897 & a message from Jesse S. Mitchell, 2013]

 

sun and moon are spoken of by their unmistakable names

so here is no disease of language
Lettish chants & Mr Max Müller turns to Mordvinian mythology
he is guided by material survivals: ancient arms, implements, and ornaments
he finds his relics of the uncivilised past in agricultural usages, in archaic methods of allotment of land, in odd marriage customs, things rudimentary
one might as well attack the atomic theory where Lucretius left it
both, of course, agree that myths are a product of thought
rivers run, winds blow, fire burns, trees wave as a result of their own will
this mythology is a philosophy of things – early Greek philosophy recognised the stars as living bodies, all things had once seemed living and personal
everything is alive

if the Greek myth arose from a disease of Greek, very little ingenuity is needed to make it indicate one or other aspect of Dawn or Night, of Lightning or Storm, but the myth may be older than the name, say, the story of Zeus, Demeter, and the Ram
but we now study myths in the unrestrained utterances of the people & I did not abstain from the weapons of irony and badinage
regarding bees, for instance, as persons who must be told of a death in the family. Their myths are still not wholly out of concord with their habitual view of a world in which an old woman may become a hare – these men are living in Ovid’s Metamorphoses
even the prevalent anthropological theory of the ghost-origin of religion might, I think, be advanced with caution till we know a little more about ghosts
did a kind of linguistic measles affect all tongues alike?
everybody knows that stories of the growing of plants out of the scattered members of heroes may be found from ancient Egypt to the wigwams of the Algonquins, but these stories seem hardly applicable to Daphne, whose members, as far as I know, were never either severed or scattered.
that was what I had not said. I had observed: As to interchange of shape between men and women and plants, our information is less copious than in the case of stones
in Ovid the river god, Pentheus, changes Daphne into a laurel. In Hyginus she is not changed at all, the earth swallows her, and a laurel fills her place
it leads us to imagine that we have learnt something when we really are as ignorant as before

if then the white kernel had been called Tuna’s brain, we have only to remember that in Mangaia there are two kinds of coconut trees
and we shall then have no difficulty in understanding why these twin coconut trees were said to have sprung from the two halves of Tuna’s brain, one being red in stem, branches, and fruit, whilst the other was of a deep green. In proof of these trees being derived from the head of Tuna, we are told that we have only to break the nut in order to see in the sprouting germ the two eyes and the mouth of Tuna, the great eel, the lover of Ina, and she was the daughter of Kui, the blind
Tuna was an eel, and women may not eat eels and Ina was the moon
on the other hand, the story that marmalade (really marmalet) is so called because Queen Mary found comfort in marmalade when she was sea-sick
Mr. Lang, as usual, has recourse to savages, most useful when they are really wanted. He keeps Tuna in hand but all the authorities are late
in addition, there is this circumstance, which was not mentioned by that gentleman: each of the “passers” carried one or two lemons
real scholars know what Mordvinian divine names mean or that the Dawn is not as great a factor in myth as Mr Max Müller believes himself to have proved it to be

more Mischiefs of Comparison:
My first is a boot, my second is a jack
What is the Rooky One that swallows?

there must be some other explanation

still more Nemesis: Why are the legends about men, beasts, and gods so wildly incredible and revolting?
The Fallacy of Admits:
What is the Dark One That goes over the earth, Swallows water and wood, But is afraid of the wind?
What is the gold spun from one window to another?
Heidrick answers:
what the philological method of mythology needs is to prove that such poetical statements about natural phenomena survived in the popular mouth and were perfectly intelligible except just the one mot d’énigme that says: Dark One
Thy riddle is easy Blind Gest To read!
she says that the conjurer often begins by whirling rapidly before the eyes of the spectators a small polished skull of a monkey, and she is inclined to think that the spectators who look at this are in some way more easily deluded

The Chances of Fancy:
we are then told the old story of Lykâon, the King of Arkadia, who had a beautiful daughter called Kallisto. As Zeus fell in love with her, Hera, from jealousy, changed her into a bear and Artemis killed her with one of her arrows
he next compares the strange Arcadian cannibal rites on Mount Lyceus – a modern student is struck by the cool way in which the ancient poets, geographers, and commentators mention a startling circumstance
they even in archaic ages wore bear-skins
then a great fire was made, which Thangbrandr hallowed, and the Berserkir went into it without fear, and burned his feet
Leaf and Myers, my old friends
‘and’ where I wrote ‘or’
twice only had Europeans been fortunate enough to see the masáwe cooked

Beast Dances:
How odd! The moon, the nocturnal sportswoman, is Artemis, bloodshed, bear and all, nothing could be more natural to a savage, they all do it
men before the moon may be… Bears

Bear Dance:
we have a bear Callisto
we have a mass of nature pictures
we have, we have also the authority of Théodore de Banville
holder of the first footstep! Everyone drinks of the water

everyone has heard of Mount Soracte, white with shining snow, the peak whose distant cold gave zest to the blazing logs on the hearth of Horace
we have wolves came and carried off the entrails of the fire
when the grave of Feronia seemed all on fire, it suddenly grew green again
the Brethren of the Green Wolf select a leader called Green Wolf, there is an ecclesiastical procession, curé and all, a souper maigre, the lighting of the usual St. John’s fire, a dance round the fire, the capture of next year’s Green Wolf, a mimicry of throwing him into the fire, a revel, and next day a loaf of pain bénit above a pile of green leaves

THE ORIGIN OF DEATH:
How did it come?
by somebody dying first
Yama, the first who died, he was the first instance of death
Mr Max Müller, as we said, takes Yama to be a character suggested by the setting sun
the myth of Yama is perfectly intelligible if we trace its roots back to the sun of evening
but let us first establish the fact that death really is regarded as something non-natural and intrusive:
every man who dies what we call a natural death, is really killed by witches, that is his invariable habit, he is really the slave of countless traditions, which forbid him to eat this object or to touch that, or to speak to such and such a person, or to utter this or that word but there are cases, as we shall see, in which death, as a tolerably general law, follows on a mere accident. Someone is accidentally killed, and this gives Death a lead (as they say in the hunting-field) over the fence which had hitherto severed him from the world of living men. It is to be observed in this connection that the first of men who died is usually regarded as the discoverer of a hitherto unknown country, the land beyond the grave, to which all future men must follow him
Yama [together with Bin dir Woor] became the Columbus of the new world of the dead –
men and women had been practically deathless because they cast their old skins at certain intervals, but a grandmother had a favourite grandchild who failed to recognise her when she appeared as a young woman in her new skin. With fatal good-nature the grandmother put on her old skin again, and instantly men lost the art of skin-shifting, and Death finally seized them
in Greek myth men appear to have been free from death before the quarrel between Zeus and Prometheus. In consequence of this quarrel Hephæstus fashioned a woman out of earth and water, and gave her to Epimetheus, the brother of the Titan. Prometheus had forbidden his brother to accept any gift from the gods, but the bride was welcomed nevertheless. She brought her taboo coffer. This was opened and men who, according to Hesiod, had hitherto lived exempt from maladies that bring down Fate were overwhelmed with the diseases that stalk abroad by night and day. Now, in Hesiod (Works and Days, 70-100) there is nothing said about unholy curiosity. Pandora simply opened her casket and scattered its fatal contents.
But Philodemus assures us that it was Epimetheus who opened the forbidden coffer whence came Death
the Bushman story lacks the beginning. The mother of the little Hare was lying dead, but we do not know how she came to die. The Moon then struck the little Hare on the lip, cutting it open, and saying, ‘Cry loudly, for your mother will not return, as I do, but is quite dead.’ In another version the Moon promises that the old Hare shall return to life, but the little Hare is sceptical, and is hit in the mouth as before
the economical results were just what might have been expected. Qat (the maker of things, who was more or less a spider) sent for Mate, that is, Death. Death came and went through the empty forms of a funeral feast for himself. Tangaro the Fool was sent to watch Mate, and to see by what way he returned to Hades, that men might avoid that path in future. Now when Mate fled to his own place, this great fool Tangaro noticed the path, but forgot which it was, and pointed it out to men under the impression that it was the road to the upper, not to the under, world. Ever since that day men have been constrained to follow Mate’s path to Panoi and the dead
A Chinese shopkeeper told me that the man “told fortunes,” but from the circumstance of a gambling-house being close by, I concluded that his customers were getting tips on a system
CONCLUSION:
Here ends this Gentle and Joyous Passage of Arms
with Juggernauts rolling through some Hindu street on a festival dawn crushing skulls and making faithful martyrs
For adversary we must consider Mr Max Müller

Hoping these notes may be of service to you,
I remain,
Yours truly,
STEPHEN PONDER

 

Bio:
Wilna Panagos’ work has appeared in New Contrast Literary Journal, Gone Lawn, Otoliths, Museum Life , Prick of the Spindle, The Undertow Review, Ditch Poetry, Psychopomp Magazine. She wrote and illustrated a few children’s books and is currently writing something which may or may not turn out to be a short, odd novel. She believes in orange and pigeons, has an imaginary dog and lives in Pretoria, South Africa.
Her Facebook alter ego is here: http://www.facebook.com/mariahelena.havisham

Poetic Statement:
I am not trying to explain the world, the world is inexplicable, I simply find fragments of the inexplicable and show it to everybody. The obscure, the insignificant, the unassuming. Unsuspected and incidental, concealed in the profusion, hiding in the dark, these orphans of perception, the small things that whisper with voices you can barely hear: here is beauty. Beauty by accident. Nihilistic oddments, existential morsels without any greater meaning other than its own existence, as Rilke called it: “the little things that hardly anyone sees, inconsiderable things”. Us, if you stand away far enough. And I find solace in these things, our tiny little relatives, and I hope that the reader will find some kind of beauty and consolation in them too, there are so many. I am a hunter-gatherer, a collagist.