writing

3 Sonnets from 555 by John Lowther

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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.

 

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.”

Two Poems by Vimeesh Maniyur

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Two Poems

by

Vimeesh Maniyur

Lip

Long back

He was called for making Thajmahal

A good, dirty man with talents

He Went.

One day he saw the Emperor

Heard an unknown toungue

May be he was the first in kerala

Who heard that…

It is stone not a white sun

There were no friends

In work they spoke one

They were one lettered humans

kept stone  like his letters

That day he spoke to the king

In dream… in his stone realm..

The man of palaces didnt get his stone-lip

Beheaded that kingdom

Never cameback.

Saw his rustic speech in its silence

True, It is fear not whiteness

The white geometry

As always

I looked into my android

There came a white geometry

 

Here and there roads

Here and there malls

Here and there talkies,

Hospitals, banks, A T M,

Railway station, hotels, pubs,

Café, bars, bus stand…..

Nothing but a white – haunted piece

Of barren world.

Where is this one, the road?

Hospital? Schools? army camp? Small teashops?

Loitering goats and many more….

Are they too big to map?

 

I looked again

Where I am?

 

Bio:  is an established bi-lingual poet, novelist and translator from kerala, in India. He has two volumes of poetry and a children’s novel in his credit. He has also penned stories and dramas. He has bagged for many prestigious awards such as Culcutta Malayali Samajam Endownment, Madras Kerala Samajam, Muttathu Varkki Katha Puraskaram etc. for young writers in kerala.

Three Poems by Wayne Mason

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Three Poems

by

Wayne Mason

wayne

Bio: Wayne Mason is a writer and sound artist from Central Florida. His words have appeared across the small press in magazines both print and online. He is the author of five chapbooks. and is the former poetry editor for Side Of Grits, and The Tampa Bay Muse. Wayne Mason has also been active in experimental music for nearly twenty years. He records ambient, experimental and noise sounds, formerly under the name of Zilbread, and is also a founding member of the experimental/noise project Stickfigure and electronic duo Blk/Mas. http://brokenzen.wordpress.com/

Poetic Statement:When I was much younger I aspired to change the world. Now years later, my work stems from a desire to change myself by exploring my own internalterrain. In the end the strangest, most profound journey is not the one outward, but the one inward through my own psychic landscapes.

The Parisians by AJ Kaufmann

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The Parisians

A Chapbook 

by AJ Kaufmann

Bio: I am a Polish poet and songwriter. I have been around the small-press poetry scene since 2008. “Siva in Rags” is my most recognized piece of work when it comes to English-language poetry, I think. I have been published in the USA (Kendra Steiner Editions mostly) and UK. My work has been also translated into Bulgarian, and I recorded and released 2 solo albums with self-penned songs. I also have a band.
Here are some links, where information about me can be found.

Three Poems by Michael David Saunders Hall

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Three Poems 

by

Michael David Saunders Hall

Analog Soul: Ode To The Ark of History

 “History is never silent, it reminds us again and again and again, that we live its presence in every part of our life every day.”

–Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky)

 

#1) In the Fountain of Now

 

in the beginning

of the end, in the fountain

of now, where youth

is the eternal exuberance

of expression

choreographed

to the sound

of breaks

extended on

phonographs

I once telegraphed rhythms

purposely

abrupt

cutting in, out—

between scenes

of sound

& silence,

ambition

& ambivalence…

sermonizing

the psalms

of drums

in the cadence of heartbeats

with rhythmic instinctions

transcending the trek

of life. it’s all a mystic brew

of rhythms spun from

constant conjures cooking

in the cauldron

of old record

crates

creating concertos

of the crossfader

with coaxing

diminuendo…counterpoint

…& crescendo, making

music from noise wandering

amidst the voices

in the margins, lingering

& loitering

like echoes, refined

by time.

 

#2) In the Tongues of Talking Drums

 

Everyday is the big playback: listening

to ex libris

excerpts & excursions in aural alchemy enjambed

 

& juxtaposed within the soul vibrations

of lingua franca

conjured in incantations of rhythm, connecting

 

us to the continuum of lost & found moments

spliced by

the metronome of memory into the digitized

 

diary of the mind where our analog souls

segue

into the ark of history, rehearsing & conversing

 

In tongues of talking drums

versed in

hieroglyphics & a tapestry of folktales.

 

Words on Fire (or: Destiny…in search of the light)

 inspired by Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale

Are we ever to be old

 

As the destinies or dreams

Of our own decree we seek?

 

Connected by light

We are stars ageless as God

More ancient than Earth

 

In a clockwork of spirits

Born out of our words on fire

 

& loves unbroken by time.

 

Two Views on Love

 1)

What’s this thing called love?

Kisses coming off the tongue

Hearts beating like drums.

 

2)

In the scrupulous scribbles

Of  life painted freehand, love

 

is the serenade

of whispered watercolors

echoing anon

 

& on, dancing in the flesh

never to be forsakened.

BIO: My name is Michael David Saunders Hall. Born February 24, 1970, I am a graduate of University of Illinois at Champaign with a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Arts. I’ve worked as children’s counselor and a laborer for Firestone among many other jobs. Presently, I am employed by Walmart. My love for poetry and the arts has me putting all my passion, energy and zeal into an effort of building up a following and becoming a published poet, going wherever the journey takes me. Presently, as part of the process, I have two blogs I maintain, The Poet Tree Will Be Streamed and Life’s Last Labors of Love. I also head and help run (with the aid of RC deWinter, Chris Flegel, and Uma Venkatraman) a community on Google Plus called Words On Fire and ezine of the same name. By the end of this year (if not earlier), I hope to self-publish a couple ebooks of my own verse: one entitled Haikooley High Harmony: Life, The Duality of Love Vs. Lust & The Sunshine After The Rain (which will be like a chapbook of haiku and tankas), and the other is to be called Like Blue Notes For Poetry.
Poetic Statement: I believe, When you write how you feel, all dimensions of yourself come to light and cannot help but be exposed as genuinely real. For me, writing is truly the balance of “delicious agony” and suite ecstasy, always revealing itself as both the process and the product of catharsis.

 

The Lungfishes by Jesse Mitchell

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The Lungfishes

by

Jesse Mitchell

 

I. And the ice floe became endemic, because the water was cold

    And it was thin

    And it spread everywhere, all around.

    Standing in the backroom of a noisy petshop, waiting to drown,

    Imagining Cocteau, a film (a shimmer) on the storefront window

    Orpheus: Le Sang d’un Poete

    As the rain came down.

    Leaving dirty streaks in the dust, dusty streaks in the dirt.

II. And composition suggests death.

     The boundaries are set and they are smooth.

     The periphery is set and it  is smooth.

     It is a casket-aperture to let in the light,

     Because life needs random.

     Because vitality is chaos.

     And all we see are borders

     Fill them in, fill them in, we fill them in, fill them in.

III. And then it all gets old, it gets old

     And all you have left is bones and soul, bones and soul.

     The cars idling in the streets,

     The roar of engines

      The clouds of smoke.

IV.  “Greetings and welcome to Jaipur.”

      The bathroom smelled like soap, old ratfaced brown towel hung over the railing.

      All the way back to Earth, were lines, full spectrum  bright lines, like sunglare, lines streaking back.

      Trusting the burst behind them, the rushing crushing transfer of light, the blur between them,

      Weaving around them, the dangerous-shaking shapechanging

      building images in my mind, the images my mind will come to commit to memory, outrageous

      namecalling, tracking mud through the room, confused feeble little mind,

      The last second reflection of light (fluorescent) in a passing by mirror, sheen of the glass, corner of

      an eye.

V.   And don’t ever be afraid, there is nothing to fear.

      And don’t ever be ashamed

      Of what it takes to get back home again.

      Busted blind, or deaf and lame,

      All the bended bent outside in, dim lit,

      Rushing rivulets away,

      To get back home again.

VI. Lungfishes

      Lungfishes

      Amphibian reptilian paraphyly

      Air-filled-lungs, expanding gills, words falling out of ash like scales off of eyes.

      Plague, pulque, fire, flood, and gramophone.

VII. and we sat in schools, in little classrooms, bounded in by glass, bounded in by glass.

       And we listened,

       James Fenimore Cooper, Max Planck, the dreadful XYZ affair.

       Have mercy.

       The devils on us that hide in every subject, behind every pause.

       Deconstruct the clause, graph the sentence out.

IIX. Fire-pimps that hide behind the tinder.

       Lightning-skies that hide behind the storm.

       Reckless are the curtains torn, the rattle of the steel.

       The storms behind the clouds

       And this is what the tuhunder says as it begins to pour,

       Rushing rivulets, rivulets away.

IX.  Dans cet abime, abondance.

X.    and the fire became endemic, it was far too hot,

       The blood so warm and the skin so flushed,

        And the rain come spilling out.

       The noise so quiet and the light so bright,

        The visions so blurry, the lines so static, the colors so fade.

        Fill them in, fill them in.

Three Poems by Jessica Chickering

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Three Poems

by

Jessica Chickering

Again & Again

I know your body like I my own, every muscle, tendon, freckle, atom, and before you are near
me I feel you everywhere like the wind, all encompassing.
I knew the sound of your voice before you spoke,
and in the moment our eyes met I knew that I loved you
and could not stop myself from being with you,
and could not stop my hand from reaching for yours,
and could not stop lips from finding yours,
and could not stop myself from knowing you,
as I have always and will always know you, because we are one in this moment.

The moonlight streams though exposing every ounce of your flesh like a gift.
You have been waiting and I have been waiting to find ourselves here, intertwined by a lust old
as time, animalistic and humble.
There are no words, only the beauty of the feeling of my tongue on your tongue as I explore
you again and again, (ever undiscovered and discovered and longing).
You are tuned to me, your hands make music on my body and every note that we discover
makes the birds cry out in jealousy,
And until the earth ceases to spin, and the tide ceases to rise, and the birds cease their cries, until that day we will not be apart.
For as long as I breathe, you must breathe, and as long as your heart beats, my heart must beat.

Blue Raincoat Roadside

Lighthouse limelight shines,
Cedar chest lunchbox
and weathervane wine.

Knife chopping onions,
pink watermelon
shudders in the know.

The porch boards bend and
creak under the weight
of her unleaving.

My face is her face.

Hush – when I am old,
sideways and troubled
I will absorb home,

searching my memories
for a glimpse of that light.

Tasty

Cheiloproclitic at your feet
brush, touch, taste
Cheiloprocilitic at your feet
resuscitate, breath, heat
Cheiloproclitic at your feet
pucker, suck, bite
Cheiloproclitic at your feet
lick, swoon, punch
Cheiloproclitic at your feet

Brief bio: My name is Jessica Chickering. I live in Denver, Colorado. I am 34 years. Getting old is both awesome and terrible. I hate people who say cliché things about aging. I write, (say something self-effacing about my writing followed by something redeeming). I graduated from the University of Colorado – Denver with a BA in writing and an emphasis in poetry – I pay the bills doing something that utilizes little of the talents I crafted. I have cat named Girl Kitty, I call her GK for short. I am happy to be alive.

Poetic Statement: Poetry is amazing and undervalued. This is true for so many things I find important and worthy in the world as it stands at this moment. I long for a place where I feel more at home. I feel at home in poetry.

 

Three Poems by Frankie Metro

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Three Poems

by

Frankie Metro

 

-Real Pagans Drink Blood-

Pianos made for dragons are pushed
into the crevices of their hearts,
in places where music doesn’t exist,
bare, prone and pungent
like a piss-stained mattress on
the best friend’s floor.

They dream of a pianist career
w/o fingers,
impossible and daring
a 3rd (& fervently dissociative) party
rattled by the bleak standards of a 2 party system
often find themselves in the company of
those willing to question which endeavor
is higher and best suited,

chase down the avenging spirit?

or

wrestle the diluted dream into submission?

werewolves on the prowl
in darkstar nebulae,
violinists w/ bionic attachments,
eventually a pattern erupts
& it all leads to jungles
in full moon pitch & high strung
engagements w/ Morse enemies
wearing bridal gowns & a ring
of upheaval that holds their full
attention/dedication.

 -Polyester Grift-

 The midnight stumbler

is grifted by locusts in

detective coats/monocles cuz they’re

winged scrutinizers who

can really stomach all the clues.

 

But he’s not too naïve

that he misinterprets their deliberations

for the sound of palmetto bugs

flying in the dark

and even though he can’t really

call this night a win per se

it’s a hard one to chock up to a total loss.

 

The pair of knuckles in

his polyester pants are made

from brass and dragon teeth.

Everything feels justifiable/within bounds

Ideas of self defense leading to Homicide aren’t necessarily unappealing.

A rat lives another quarter of a decade

inside the walls of an AIDS house w/ green energy

powered utilities.

 

The broken glass in the parking lot doesn’t make it

into the heel of his polyester Vans.

It’s not a TOTALOSS.

 

& when the sun comes up,

all the dismay bleeds off like a cherry popsicle

on a hot sidewalk. Everything’s got possibilities to

turnitallaround.

 

He keeps stumbling,

carrying an empty Mason jar of something dark & rich

like virgin punk blood.

A real pagan on holiday, the reaper

Ignoring locust theories &

palmetto songs heard exclusively in notes of pianissimo.

  Basquiat Wannabes w/ I.E.D

winning staredowns w/ Cooper’s Hawks perched on chain-link fences in need of repair just as bad as the park itself,

ripped apart by monsoon storms that soak to bone like baptismal water or motherblood,

running away from unfit challenges & lightning bolts in the eyes of predator,

hand mirror stand offs made square on the

edge of a hairpin inevitably play out between men of similar/unequal understanding.

Stringing all those crypto-maxims together w/ a chip on your shoulder that feels like a bulbous clot and having tunnel vision ahead of mowed grass is convincing enough.

It’s a prominent argument to be self-reliant when you can only see what’s in front of you, that moments where vigilance falters, someone’s ready to cut down your neat,

 

unilateral visions of what is achievable in a codependent world where nothing out-rightly expressed or offered is genuine and w/o consequences.

What a fuct way of coming to some grandiose & ill-formed conclusions about the people around you, the people ‘willing to lend a hand’.

You build mantras and weigh daily affirmations around your exposure to stressful situations, against the fact that Cooper’s hawks aren’t passive aggressive, the monsoon season isn’t passive aggressive,

predators, hand mirrors & hairpins are not passive aggressive. But you’re not an elemental reaction to hot air or a hunter with the nerve.

You’re used to avoiding direct confrontation,

so you relate more with the broken fences, you’re ripped apart on a regular basis, you’re very used to running away from perceptibly insurmountable challenges, shying away from standoffs w/ crypto-delusions in the mirror.

 

Do. Not. Fall victim. To self righteousness, to fear, to apathy as a result of bearing down/trudging through. Slink back into the earth like something coiled w/ venomous teeth when the blood is cold. Be brazen and unassuming in matters of wisdom, stretch yourself against Cooper’s neck and stop fucking running.

 

Let yourself fall prey to being

carried off by a purpose bigger than yourself.

 

Bio: Frankie Metro is 1 slice of the pie and co-founder of Kleft Jaw Press, which celebrates transcendental realism (a fancy way of saying we like to put stuffed baby bears in t-shirts with the sleeves cut off and read poems in front of it.)

Poetic Statement: Transcendental realism is the equivalent of butchering your grandfather’s WW2 notebooks, but throwing a party for him afterwards, which includes every Decepticon you could possibly conceive, wearing baker hats and grilling your sensibilities/conventions with a fire that is only stoked by your capacity to see past moral ambiguity.

Looking to the Edge by Mark Fleury

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Looking to the Edge

by

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.