You are on page 1of 40

The Pulchritudinous Review

Spring 2011

Edited by Renee Zepeda

Mount Pocono, PA

The Pulchritudinous Review Copyright © 2011, The Pulchritudinous Press Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania Cover Design: Brandi Strickland and Robert Bentley Special Thanks: Brandi Strickland and Robert Bentley for their help with the cover; Chris Weige and Chiai Matsumoto for support and encouragement; Ken Mikolowski; Maureen and Frank Tatu for much needed funding and care; Phil and Claire Zepeda; Andrea Zepeda; Hillary Keel for divinations and for letting me use her sleeping bag one night on New York’s lower East side. Many images come from The PR on Tumblr: thepr.tumblr.com. All rights revert to individual authors, artists, and photographers upon publication. For submission, ordering, and subscription information please email: PulchritudinousReview@gmail.com or visit reneezepeda.posterous.com.

Contents
Alice Notley / 63 Amiri Baraka / 54 Elizabeth Robinson / 44 Hillary Keel / Jack Collom / 48 Renee Zepeda / Chris Weige / 27 Demosthenes Agrafiotis / John Sakkis / Angelos Sakkis / 31 Travis MacDonald / JenMarie Davis / 42 Renee Zepeda / Ariella Goldberg / 28 Renee Zepeda / 24 Damian Rogers / 11 Kateri Lemmens / 16 Lina Scheynius / 15. 30. 37 Brandi Strickland / 51, 56, 58 Somaruha / 8 Megan DiBello / 9 Nehal El-Hadi / 14 Jesse Treece / 22 Laura Goldstein / 23 Meghan Schardt / 35-36 Hillary Keel / Karin Seidner / 50 LaVonne Natasha Caesar / 52 Denise Powell / 57 Lucy Simpson / 59 Anthony J. Rapino / 23 Kelly Riggle Hower / 29 Eric Ashford / 60

Megan DiBello
X 8 in the wallet ~X no economic strata X&~X ~X & ~ ~ X

penny heads up dial on 99.3 two face a 5 a.m. Mimicking of the extra terrestrial market exchange

scully has a baby

a dollar bill has a uterus

abducted pirate ship on the coast of denver

green ink on medias static continuum

bald eagle

a magnifying opaque of egypts tombs

a lincoln like a lions head a implanted accounts of mother's formaldehyde because it has fingers

a round rectangle

a sperm caught inside maslows hierarchy

a swiss army knife to turn on a bystander against a street the light of friction lamp coincides with a safety deposit box

a touch of the abyss

discovers phallic as prehistorical condition of feminine virginity

and what is it to have while the bermuda triangle in pleasure of courage inside a new york is owned by vault nuclear weapons

and a mammogram is a curad b7 a pungent repellent

our natives are but vikings

columbus is an effect and not a manifestation of man

a wife is a pancake

please don't give 200 dollars not in love with the sound of and thus an idle glaucoma in cash static in the values of tunnel vision

this is the interdependence

earthquakes jam on language inauguration of treading a masturbatory civilians

census doesn't account for the ethics of accelerators on the pupils of guns for pens paints and pianos

Sakura by Somaruha 8 9

Damian Rogers

My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.
John Lennon (via lyron on Tumblr)

POEM FOR DEATH “Politicians, in my eyes, ruin our best chances of making this work,” said the man running for mayor. We continue to catalogue the species that have left the building. A long time ago, the men gathered to ask themselves, “Where do we go from here?” And here is where we went. “If I start freaking out over this spill, I’ll never stop,” said the oil can. “I want to get back to my wife.” “You’re a prisoner,” said the snow leopard to the bank teller. “You’ll be the last of our kind to be free.” “Let the world turn,” the witch whispered, “as if it would do so without you.” “That felt amazing,” said the rock’n’roll victim, as he bled from his head. “Do it again.” What can I say? I can’t wait to meet the future beasts that keep on knocking from the other side of that big red door.

10

11

POEM FOR LOVE Good morning, Wolfe Island. You set the scene with little cakes, coffee pot, and fruit plate. No one loves a bummer in the summer. I chose to go-go-go in the town square. A lost crop of kids waited behind the club for the Good Humor Man. He sees everything they need and it’s his good business to sell it. I look up from my breakfast spread to see a fiery spider hanging in front of my face. He’s happy to live and let live if I am. A would-be despot knows that the mountain will never be fooled but maybe the people will be. The times are always open to interpretation. He dreams of a red telephone that will only ring for him. If we’re lucky, he’ll die an old man in a garden guarded by a cheap cherub watching out from the water treatment. Welcome to the daily planet, says the spider, finding no frame upon which to hitch his home. On the highway, a hawk circles the van and the shoulder gravel gives way to road flowers: Purple Paintbrush, Dry River Rushes, Exploding White Allergen. And more and more and more again. A house is not a hotel, which is what makes staying at a B&B so awkward. By the ferry, children chased their dog around a decorative anchor. As we drove away, we felt alone again. Or we didn’t.

Flatline A.,M. on Flickr.

12

13

Nehal El-Hadi

Organ Donor I confess… and then, you take my heart and place it in your chest. anti[em]bodied.

Lina Scheynius , 2009

14

15

Kateri Lemmens

Big Morongo Canyon nous nous tenons droits crucifiés dans le vent et la terre, comme si elle branlait au milieu des Joshua Trees flambés ce faux sommet du monde d’où l’on pourrait tout voir dans la lumière du jour je ne pense qu’à ton sexe qu’à ma bouche qu’au goût de ton amour sur mes lèvres quand tu le donnes — et ce n’est pas la montagne mais la mer filet bleu d’impossible je ne pense qu’aux genévriers qui ne repoussent jamais après l’incendie je pense déjà à toutes les formules de la perte que d’autres ont inventées avant moi

Tahquitz pins jaunes découpent le ciel en petits lambeaux pins de Coulter passent encore sur mon visage confettis d’ombres chênes massifs, frêles, cielesques – un cerf hémione d’un surgissement, presque furieux devant la voiture son sang, en moi, battement chaud tu m’entends crier quand il se heurte contre la clôture avide de forêt le corps aux mailles; lacérations, fers-collets tu dis – il ne s’en sortira pas si je ne pars pas quand je le vois qui s’échappe un morceau d’âme entre les dents je murmure – ne pars jamais

ne pars jamais

16

17

Santa Ana chiens de vents à mordre mon soleil étoile galeuse tu détournes les regards c’est terminé le ciel c’est terminé e bleu tout se macule — on ne meurt plus d’amour on ne meurt pas en jouissant dans les bras l’un de l’autre en sauvant a suite du monde — et s’il fallait — mais dans ma famille d’amour on s’étourdit à l’arsenic pour dératiser les nids de sentiments de nos poumons dans ma famille d’amour

18

Laura Goldstein

Star Particles As temperature approaches absolute zero, the entropy of a system fades to a constant minimum ~ Third Law of Thermodynamics In the past we were wet beads twinkling where bodies rose from warm gulf streams, leaving trails of gleaming steam in the black air, streaks of saliva left where we greedily kissed our lovers’ backs. Here, we needed oxygen, needed to breathe wisteria and gasoline, sweat and cardboard cut-outs of trees. We ploughed through the drifting debris, slashed our fingers as we tried to extract the broken glass from our tongues. Once again we delight in the way we settle into a carcass, position our mouths around ear canals to suck pulp from skulls. What use has the clam or snail for teeth, for sight, thriving on swallowed light? Here, content in darkness, we shape pearls from bitten fingernails, divulge our hands to dreams. Free to take our time, we are only aware of our own scent, floating in clouds of prescriptions, dollar bills, and letters to the editor, rising as sea foam to the surface.

Collage by Jesse Treece

20

21

Anthony J. Rapino

The Appointment She would not look at him. The sterile, white room was blinding. He blinked, said, “Only for you.” She would not look at him. The Hunt Three men hold guns to Jack’s head. Concentrating, Jack closes his eyes. When he opens them, the men are twitching on the ground. Lost and Found Jill removes the plain, white envelope from her mailbox. No return address, just like he’d said. Shaking, she tears the envelope in half and runs.

Don’t Look Now Geyhead, geyhead, geyhead. Jus’ once more and I’ll endgha. Turn anlook. Go aheadghya fuck. Lemme. See. Dem. Eyes. I dare ya.

22

23

Renee Zepeda

Mirage I can almost see it shimmering in the future over an expanse of snow the opposite of a desert mirage it sparkles out there a vision flickering into being a real unicorn in an imaginary poem and if I can see it I can have it contentment in a meadow the greening fibers of grass purple croci meek as penitents and whispering daisies which the children weave into their hair as I weave this vision together gentle memory of what is I remember the future beyond our present predicaments a gathering, a meeting in the middle we’re going to middle-way ourselves through this recession; maybe a picnic, maybe a baby paint it, collage it, I have to see this rippling, undulant hush of what is to come.

24

25

Renee Zepeda / Chris Weige

Report --Killer whales love the Charleston and Texas Two-Step. --Really? Do killer whales dance often? --Killer whales love bubble baths with bubbly men in chicken soup. --Killer whales like mating in the springtime... --Killer whales know all about the Kama Sutra. --What do killer whales know about the Kama Sutra? --Um, pinching. Killer whales know about pinching. --Killer whales like to receive tuck-in phonecalls before their early bedtimes too! Tuck-in birthday phonecalls... around 9 p.m. killerwhaletime.

Collage by Chris Weige

26

27

Renee Zepeda / Ariella Goldberg

Kelly Riggle Hower

After Reading The Body by Jenny Boully We arrived in the town1 in the early afternoon. The sun was bright, as we have been told it is most days of the year. Walking down from the plane there were no people to greet us—we didn’t know anyone, not a soul2 who lived here. We were, however, greeted by a pack of wild dogs. They circled us, sniffed our shoes and our ankles. As the dogs surrounded us, we noticed the waterfall coming down the center of the mountains.3 The speed of the falling water4 got faster, moving over land, in between the cottages, reaching us in small waves. The dogs became scared of the approaching water and ran into the woods behind us.5 The tide of the waterfall was inching in and getting deeper. We both jumped up onto the picnic table, already a foot underwater, and stood in the center of the table, staring out blankly at the mountains drowning underwater.6

___________________________________________
1 2

O. See. Sudden as an act of nature, I am flowering wildly, my breasts blown roses, my nipples rosebuds, little rosettes arching up to be tasted, touched. My belly is milk, the swell and curve of cream settling in its rounded bowl. My back a path of smoothed stones leading down to my crack, my bottom ready as a big split peach. I swell with my fruition, smell of warm orchards, open pink lilies on pond water. My daughter is fresh, I am ripe. My own moveable feast. Taste me now in my right season. Eat me. Yes. O.

My dream a white tree; I dream the code of the West. I dreamt of him the other night—the burial ground was radiant with sun and he was standing among his family saying a eulogy for his dead sister. Later we were lying in sleeping bags along a main drag in the city of my birth and longing for him flooded my body. The darknesse surrounds us in dreams; our bodies float vulnerably in the night sea air. “Precisely what is a dream?” Dreams are my sisters, they are everything now. “Dreams themselves are footnotes.” -William S. Burroughs

3 4 5 6

28

29

Demosthenes Agrafiotis

From Now 1/3 Demosthenes Agrafiotis translated by John Sakkis and Angelos Sakkis 6.13 “old chef for all kinds of home crises” time to destination 0:20 “I’m crazy for artificial jewelry the loose change of illusion” local time speed altitude Zürich

“the distant cousins” I have nothing to write Terminal Atlantic Ocean, Copenhagen, Moscow, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Stuttgart, Milan, Barcelona, Luzern, Berne, Bonn, Karlsruhe, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Altdorf, Alpes, Rome, Athens, Cairo, Teheran language bloated on flat screen “…they are lost useless life” the greatest, the median amounts

Lina Scheynius, 2011

30

31

6.14 the shadow of a tree the geometry with red bricks the strength of Chinese paper Breugel friend, guide blind under a barrage of images healing of wounds? during some awkward days the animated drawings are a verisimilitude a devaluation, guileless gesture the lies (solitary people) worse than those of new-money he admitted that cynicism never left him vol, vol, vol Genova, Rapallo, Firenze the disappointment from the pompous recitation of Ezra Pound luckily hillsides and villages float in the air and Carrarra produces excellent marble. 12/19/1996 (Zürich-Athens) and as the fuses were blown the hotel interior darkens outside (by now) everything brighter the only reaction, taking stock old books in bags impulses gears erosion identities nobody looks at the alterations and twice as many flags the air, the maturity may they pass through the cracks and depart along with the waiting “mita copiers” the time has passed subtraction and addition. 01/26/1997 (Brussels)

32

Demosthenes Agrafiotis

Meghan Schardt

6.15 boring alternation as the neon lights blink (light cosmetics) in the old hotels traces, of traces signals peripheral resistances deeds anxieties meetings it does not exist or does it? weak links from half finished mornings at the Hotel Palace neither inglorious nor indifferent. 01/27/1997 (Brussels)

sacredmusic (all is) man has not made red rocks that hold a few thousand fathers & mothers who carry mexican print wool picnic coolers rock faces where distant city pollution & stage mechanics flash while we dance we dance under winds full of salmon sparks to this beat of woodpeckers or horses stir of arid earth this beat that tugs hip pointers or shoulders of taurus with tails of rattlers & pine cone grenade music makers

battles

34

35

vishudha or end of my retrograde (for the time) or taurus talk blue throat sore some times when i grip tight to express— a sense like paper cut vulnerability

but i have melaluca oil to aid

to heal &

mars to balance

Lina Scheynius, 2010 36 37

Travis MacDonald / JenMarie Davis

Their Eyes Were Wide and White A single staple shuts surprises for a girl, browned and pink by the sun’s blank stare photogenic surfaces exposed, caesura salmon. Colored caesuras captured in black and white explosion. Nets containing liquid contradiction: the silver fish of meaning slivered. You can bone a body, microwave it until the eyes are wide and white dilated by artificial fears of animatronic ghosts. Close, not near. Close every nocturnal tonic and all the closets full of rusted luggage.

The Car We Came To This Party In There is no evidence to suggest dinosaurs ate mushrooms made from generic, non-toxic play “dough” Mycologist’s language, like clay, is made for ages 2 and up and covered with a hot pink lid. The id isn’t the car we came to this party in but the contents of our pockets can’t lie: whose keys are these? To keep molds in good condition, clean out your pockets. Give up the “dough.” Not knowing where you are isn’t the same thing as getting lost. The way home is always less than west and always closer than the time it takes to mold magic art in china, closer than Chesapeake, VA. These distances don’t differentiate between modes of thought or transportation.

38

39

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman (via reluctantbuddha on Tumblr)

Every Light is Lengthened The place you want to set your eye is concave and suitable for the refraction of speech in a plastic prism, containing every possible outcome and its requisite heart and…heart again, but smaller. Broken apart and small. All the little lights of heaven heave and leave the eye via seizing apertures. The eye can never touch a picture without stinging. There is no state of relief, each bee is born of cells sloughed off in hexagons. Every wasp is washed with light and every light is lengthened by water drops dried. In perfect parallelograms.

40

41

Mirrors Don’t Play Make-Believe Dull diamonds don’t catch light quite like your toenails, but close enough. to be wrong. I was wrong to think everything came out pink and cylindrical. Begin again from within the surface of your observation. Wrap it around one small finger staying still, reflecting revelation. Mirrors don’t play make-believe but reality is never held in two dimensions unless captured on legal documents. Do you wring your right or left hand when asked questions? Every correct answer is formed from one hundred thousand wrong ones.
Image via SARAH LEE on Tumblr

42

43

Elizabeth Robinson

Hovenweep You are not now what you were meant to be. And this is why mirages are without irony. So hurry: the precipate falls hard onto forgetful dirt. The external, like rain, jars you. There are stretches of miles, of the unexpected; they menace and recant. You prefer that the haste drop you off like a passenger, into tedium. You are in brambles that annoy but do not scratch. A cartoonish body waits outside yours, whistling and smirking. The precipitous falls sodden-to-itself, to shoulders like yours, piggyback. Hard. Finally, hurtful: this patience. The trees named for Joshua pick up their arms, plainly out of obedience. The ornamentation on the desert falls away, ashamed. Animals pare the infrared light as light made invisible to them. Why would any flock leave these blemishes— here— whereas the light will shrug, give admittance, lay reddened sod carpet over the barrier, a cattle guard when single phrases lining the grammar are stilted, self-conscious The group which makes them drifts across the site so difficult to disparage. Light untied and undone. The herd, and all excess rubbed out.

44

45

Now the face got washed away, acequia. Frontispiece or channel, it was called “And.” The monks, the brothers, all of us drank strong coffee thickened with sugar. We studied the face. Collision with, that is. The frontispiece. A building nclined to melt. Here was a channel by the name of “And” who was filled quickly by a fierce cohort of poplars, shaking intensely. Then they went away. And no one knows what became of this face, an off-hand loss, ike a book gone, half-way through the reading of it. The brothers. The gouge in the flatness of things. And swept through with kinship.

i

l

46

47

Hillary Keel / Jack Collom

Poems at Dot’s Diner by Hillary Keel and Jack Collom Open the cup of salt and pour on the floor aber wart! First muß man Zeitungen lesen und zerreissen, inky fingers smudge auf den Boden. And then a deep, slow Ahhhh! a deep snow of salt, I skate across on meinen Enten Füßen, singing and yodeling salzige Lieder, salziges Spielen in Wellen. “Well,” said the Boss, “This is unmöglich, this is impractical, aber total salzig, witzig heute ist mein Geburtstag!” Two white bluebirds fliegen durch fluffy Dr. Suess birthday songs and the floor only smiles ........ covered in salt it licks its lips, sagt, “Schmatzig!” and slowly everything sinks in Ewigkeit hinein.

if Du falls ja can sagen the truth in Wien the pancakes grinsen wie krantige Kellner diner food und Deiner? Dienstag door geschlossen – duh indubitably, Alice invincibly augemented Herrenkleiderfabrik, einfach ach, ja?

red sky dort drüben this means red sky

how do gold things explode into silver light?

was jetzt? I dunno go-go doe-doe bye-bye, Birdie

seven towers sixteen cases of Löwenbräu loves lions

48

49

Hillary Keel / Karin Seidner

two poems from our collaborative poetry project, Ausgesetztheit/Exposure white walk walking through snow – only who cares now? mein blick gleitet über weiß weiß weiß weiß nicht was ich weiß, who cares? but who knows who caresses? careless snow i care less now, snow! less snow now – i care less – let it, snow! let snow caress my eyelids, kiss my lashes kiss my careless weiß nicht was küß die farbe weiß, the white of caring less, the white of colorless carelessness küß das unvorsichtige ohne sicht, küß das reine weiß des weiß ich nicht

walking through snow – only who cares now? my gaze glides across white white white don’t know what I know, who cares? but who knows who caresses? careless snow i care less now, snow! less snow now – i care less – let it, snow! let snow caress my eyelids, kiss my lashes kiss my careless who-knows-what kiss the color white, the white of caring less, the white of colorless carelessness kiss the careless, without ness, kiss the pure white of i-know-less

50

LaVonne Natasha Caesar

- from “Paper(s) / “since the accident”

ONE. La Muerte is all around me, or, my tiny fist: (i raise it, till it burns a flame)

TWO. The Death of La Death (me encierra) O tengo, todavía, en mi boca el sabor de mi piel, que se está quemando que se está quemando que se está que

deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathideathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath deathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeathdeath
52

MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE i MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE MUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTEMUERTE
53

Amiri Baraka

Because we have been Slaves Nothing Is Too good For us Because we have almost Escaped it Everything Will be in favor Of us So now our eyes and ears Are as valuable As our Hearts! 4/25/09

54

Denise Powell

Unraveled A line is drawn in the sand leading toward a mud hut on the left side of the compound. I enter the octagonal room strewn with second-hand rag dolls, wooden blocks, and a toy piano. Courage lies motionless on a hand-woven mat chestnut eyes fixed on the cone-shaped ceiling. Legs fold into his body like an accordion snapped shut. Fingers glisten with saliva hand-to-mouth. The shea butter melting in my hands smells like the west African coast after the rainy season. Hand under knee, I begin to uncoil the seven-year-old from his cocoon stretching and kneading atrophied body in succinct rhythm with the low hum of crickets the corners of his lips tilting gently up.

57

Lucy Simpson
From the Queen of Pluto’s Travelog dip my finger in the blue – the sky in a rondelle and in the white cold goo and I become her this Queen of Pluto that most distant frozen world the Milky Way’s cerulean baby 1979 – I visit Planet Earth in my Gibbler Ship When I return home everyone will have died It is the law I float in a cold chamber with windows over this salt soil and sea over the green jagged bits the gray wanton pointings I would show myself to the child below with her gold braid and muddy knees Hello Earthling See my remnant gills how they swish in memory of an oceanic past and the webs between my toes and fingers You like my lace? It was made by Dwarvish Tatters They love space and time down to a nubbin So long little girl I am floating onward in this chamber no bigger than an ice cube over this strange over-sized spheroid
59

Eric Ashford

The Green Man Someone should speak for them someone who stands as a voice for the center of blossoms A man of sorts A twiggy Buddha a windblown messiah Someone to interpret the conferences of frogs the published works of lemurs and voles An advocate is he for the underbelly of a microbial heaven for every kind of creature that must adapt to survive the yowling bodies of straw men A stick figure here to interpret the trails tortoise make beneath their shells the endless spoor of earthy blessings the varicose scripture of leaf and stem He would speak for the bulldozed the despoiled and displaced for all rooted and uprooted things A thin creaky man but greening with hope
60 61

A green manhis brain an auditorium for tendrils and clouds with no room for arrogance He would squeak growl and moo just as humanly and as beastly as God

Alice Notley

from CULTURE OF ONE
EVE LOVE’S PROPHECY I stand in a capital of cobwebs, menaced by shadows achieving meaning / enough to scratch at my contact lenses and say, See us. Grieve, sister, they say. Get out of my song, I’ll grieve when I want. Right now I just want to SEE, without brambles like you in front of me, stressing me out. Oh city when nothing will exist, except burnt tendrils, massive wires, sinews falling out of air. Your towers once grew like wildflowers and now see after the guest hordes will have arrived and be destroyed / by their own / fecklessness and violence. We will burn ourselves up. I remember a friend found out in the desert in lotus position, seared dead but upright. He still sings: The future, emptied of consequences, has resonance. But I can’t explain that / I am that / calling back to you from our tribal silence.

LEROY’S BRAIN It’s September in the codex -- a gold ink month. Snakebite healing he wears a sling, but no one believes he’s been bitten. A fall, a sprain . . . Marie believes him; she sees lots of snakes around . . . But here’s the funny thing. The shock of the bite -- and the trauma of Ruby’s death -- make Leroy tell the truth. Though it sounds more than ever like lies. I talk to her, he says, I see her in heaven. He hasn’t had this experience, has he? What do you think? The brain exists to soothe you, it tells you how to see the right thing. The brain is the big trick: you tell it what your codex is. So you can see that. I talk to her, he says, I see her in the afterlife. Sure you do. And, if you can describe a vision, maybe that’s having it too. I talk to her, I see her in the afterlife. Fuck it, I do.

62

63

SUBSISTING ON SHADES The ancient injunction against sibilance reflects herpetophobia. Marie cuts out four paper snakes and interweaves them, two horizontals over and under two verticals, pasted, painted isn’t it a Mayan glyph? Naw I was playing around -And pastes the whole into the codex -- Now, it’s in my brain. It’s real It’s a meditation on Leroy’s new condition. He doesn’t lie. Earnestness in his brown eyes behind the glasses he’s now a true-born serpent, he’s himself; found his nature does it unreflectingly. I saw her in the afterlife, he says. I asked her, Are you happy? That’s not how I think, she says, You have the manner of one of the living. Ruby’s in his codex, Marie thinks. His invisible codex, his brain, his own. He has the manner of one of the living; Ruby herself has no codex is his meaning. I wonder what she has.

SANDPAPER How can there be a shark in the desert? There isn’t but I know about sharks. So they’re in my culture. How can you be in Paris? That’s where I am, as I evolve my desert Sandpaper use mental sandpaper on this maquette of a Paris infirmary. He was in a hospital one of whose names is La Pitié, to have spinal surgery. The other bed in the room occupied by a young man injured in a car crash: a French kid whose ambition had been, truly, to become a kick boxer: he’d walk now but couldn’t ever be an athlete. Full of self-pity and despair. His mother came to sit with him, calm him, as I was showing a poem to my husband, who said that he found it difficult. You have to hear it I said and read a passage -in English of course. And then the other guy’s mother said, Mais ça, c’est très beau! She got it from its sound. Poetry is la pitié. Everyone was quiet.

64

65

MUSLIN The girls come at dusk wearing red paint on their lips and cheeks, shouting they are Satanists; one has red paste jewels in her hair. Everyone’s such a hack ritualist. I the poet dream of the girls and wake up shaking in Paris. They say they are driven by their fathers to be sexual Satanists; they carry the AIDS virus. They say they have to be like this. Does anyone have to do anything? You can just die . . . I have to do what Daddy says. He makes me real.

CARP SHOALS AND TULES Marie goes down to the river to fish for a carp. She has an old mended net; she stands in the shallows and nets one, in a little backwater from the big current, back here in the ugly shady trees. Once she caught a chuckawalla with a sharp stick, rammed it into its big airy torso. Flat fatty. She roasted it. Everything tastes like chicken -- rattlesnake does, cottontail does. Marie doesn’t own a gun. You can eat caterpillars and grasshoppers Why not? But don’t let the girls see you. Or anyone else. She’s thinking about a daughter, a house on fire -she feels her scars -- But she’s not really thinking; she doesn’t have to think about it, does she? Not like in thinking, you don’t have to face everything. Everytime someone burns down her shack. It’s like they know; but they don’t. Standing in the river cools off the scars. No one sees me You don’t have to get over it. You don’t have to do anything. I’m never going to get over it. I’m never going to think about it. Oh standing in iced sapphires in this heat, catching a fish. Haul it up in the net; and take it home.

66

67

FILL OUT QUESTIONNAIRE FOR GOOD I couldn’t find you in my metrics but I couldn’t change it could I? I couldn’t change my language; I couldn’t change my father or his name. I couldn’t rip the rubies out of my hair; and when I went to her shack to scream whore at her I knew I was that word. But there is no whore. My feelings of discomfort are an argument for eternity -- you don’t know what I mean? But you aren’t here. I mean my feelings may be transitory but are absolute in the moment, I have stayed so long in moments, so deeply in them that I came close to being god. Though I felt like someone who had fallen from unconditional grace: it would love you no matter what, but you might leave it out of curiosity -isn’t this way of being tiresome? If I went to hell would I care, would it really be different from heaven? No I don’t know what I’m saying; these aren’t my answers. I don’t care about being alive -- women don’t care about that, they just care about you. Oh you. Only you.

TIDAL BLACK Ruby says, It’s fussy here. And I can’t find myself yet I’m small and big, both, and I’m not comfortable with that I don’t even know what I look like. It’s black here I’m frightened as if I were going to die but I’m dead. That’s what she said, Leroy says. He’s devastated. He’s even telling his stories to Marie. There’s nothing there but squiggly dreams she says; it’s cold though she doesn’t feel cold. It’s like a cold mind. He says. You can grow to like that, Marie says. Leroy says, I don’t know if you get to like things there. Are you sure you’re not talking to a part of yourself? Marie asks. Oh what’s the difference! he says. There aren’t any differences anywhere. I am her; I was her. This is what she tells me, she’s a small form that’s become too large. Why does she have to be the whole universe? And one small speck of it as well. She’s having a nervous breakdown.

68

69

A NEW WAY TO LIVE A LIFE This is what Marie has been working on. Not communitarily but singly. Everyone doesn’t have to be like her, no one’s like anyone; and she doesn’t want to show them how to do it -- how to be her --she doesn’t know how. There’s got to be another way to live a life . . .

VIOLET MISS Ruby wants to relax or, better, sleep with minimal dreaming: I have things to meditate on in this rest, reasoning pictures. Think. Dreams think. I am now used to the cold. I am a cold dreamer. Crawling there you can catch train number one, slide through tunnel towards the track. I won’t go; it’s too emotional, life, too demeaning to want to live. Ride straight be a little girl on the track in manipulation’s fist Care for me oh my parent, with your firm hand; be my master plan: Disgusting. Let go, Leroy, don’t call me up. I must sleep until I know something.

RABBIT SKIN Write like an angel Marie writes, with a BIC pen, on a piece of rabbit skin. Write like an angel. How do angels write? I lost thee, I the stone head called Dawn, glyph shaped like a double face -- three eyes two noses two mouths. Night’s form a brown-black head, made of cubes, a monumental Olmec sculpture. I mean, just some cubes. Near Marie cigarettes spill out of a pack, twisted or squished; some tobacco shreds leak out of them. A beautiful sight. Marie stares, then paints it too. Is it a sign? What does it say? Barking dog drifts along edge of dump hill. A pocket mirror lies flashing signals to the left: everything’s talking.

70

71

CRAPPER HANDLE Leroy has a vision while flushing the toilet: desert sun strikes the crapper handle dazzling him. I tell you, she sleeps in an extraterrestrial grave, an oblong volume of black air nowhere, but everything’s somewhere, and she can’t unexist. Not if she’s in my brain floating like a space ship, her eyes shut, her mouth telling me things. Talking in her sleep: They set the dead crow at maximum strength so it now, wow, flies -all it ever wanted to do. I am blind in its gloss rushing. All I ever wanted was a form of love, is this it, man? Maybe. The strength of the feather in my hair. Stretching towards Antares. The dead from all planets mingling tresses -- or whatever they have. We are loving each other to pieces . . . You never had to make it . . . There are guys here who never even got to be born, didn’t come close . . .

72

73

Contributors Notes
Eric Ashford is a poet who currently resides in Ohio... If music be the food of life, then poetry is his daily drink. Demosthenes Agrafiotis is a poet and multimedia artist. He lives in Athens, Greece. Amiri Baraka is an American writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays, and music criticism. An often controversial figure, he is the author of numerous books of poetry and has taught at a number of universities, including the State University of New York at Buffalo and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. For further details on LaVonne Natasha Caesar please scan the piece you just read with your iphone (it is a barcode). Thank you for reading. Jack Collom is an American poet, teacher and essayist. His twenty-three books include Blue Heron & IBC, The Fox, Arguing with Something Plato Said, Red Car Goes By: Selected Poems 1955-2000, Exchanges of Earth and Sky and Situation Sings (with Lyn Hejinian). JenMarie Davis edits Fact-Simile Editions and builds books. She is the author of Sometime Soon Ago (Shadow Mountain, 2009) and her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Glitterpony, Court Green, Little Red Leaves, and Gargoyle. Megan DiBello currently resides in New York. She received her MFA from Naropa University in Writing & Poetics. Megan’s first book of poetry is Voyeur Without A Title, her forthcoming book is entitled At The Fair of Meat And Bones. Nehal El-Hadi is a writer, social researcher and media producer. Her work explores the intersections between technology, the body and the city. She is currently studying in the doctoral program in Planning at the University of Toronto, Canada. Laura Goldstein is from Niceville, Florida, and is finishing her M.A. at the University of Southern Mississippi. She lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi with her cat Mari. Kelly Riggle Hower is a poet and a kindergarten/1st grade teacher in the Seattle Public Schools. She is a spy in the world of children, hidden in plain sight from their view, like air and their parents-so given a fresh look at everything. Hillary Keel: has a B.A. in German/English from Mary Washington College and participated at the “Schule für Dichtung” (Vienna Poetry Academy) and the Paris Poetry Workshop with Cecilia Woloch. She is completing her MFA in Creative Writing at Naropa University in spring 2012. Recent books by Travis Macdonald include: The O Mission Repo (Fact-Simile Editions 2008), N7ostradamus (BlazeVox Books 2010), Basho’s Phonebook (E-ratio 2009) and Hoop Cores (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press 2011). Other poetry and prose has appeared in print, online and elsewhere. He currently lives, works and writes in the greater Philadelphia area. Alice Notley is the author of more than thirty collections of poetry. Mysteries of Small Houses (1998) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She has received the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Los Angeles Book Award for Poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Denise Powell attended the University of Iowa and participated in the undergraduate poetry workshop in 2000. Now based in Boulder, Colorado, she is a freelance editor and the USA manager of OrphanAid Africa, a non-profit organization that fights for the rights of orphans and vulnerable children in Ghana. Suchin Rai is a photographer who lives in Florida. Anthony J. Rapino is a horror writer with forthcoming work in Black Ink Horror, On Spec, and Sand Chapbook Line. His first novel will be published by Bad Moon Books in late 2011. Damian Rogers was born and raised in suburban Detroit and now lives in Toronto. Her first poetry collection, Paper Radio (ECW Press), came out in the fall of 2009. Elizabeth Robinson’s new book of poems, Three Novels, is due out from Omnidawn Press late in 2011. She has been working with Jennifer Phelps to co-edit an anthology of essays on contemporary women poets and spirituality, tentatively titled Quo Anima. Ariella Ruth is a poet and performer from the sand aside the Atlantic Ocean. She is an MFA student in the department of Writing & Poetics at The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University and lives in Boulder, CO. Angelos Sakkis is an artist, poet and translator. He lives in Oakland, CA. John Sakkis is the author of Rude Girl. With Angelos Sakkis he has translated 3 books by Demosthenes Agrafiotis. Meghan Schardt is an MFA candidate in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She is an avid yogini, lover of herbal medicine, and finds great solace in salt.

Karin Seidner: writer, psychotherapist, performance artist, instructor of creative writing. Studied German and English Literature at the University of Vienna, participated in a variety of classes at “schule für dichtung” (Vienna Poetry Academy) and at Naropa University, has numerous publications in literary journals and anthologies. Lucy Simpson lives and works in Seattle. Her website is www.onethousanddays.org. Brandi Strickland is a mixed media and collage artist based in Richmond, Virginia. Born in 1985, she grew up in North Carolina. She graduated with a BA in Art from Queens University of Charlotte in 2001. She likes paper, adhesives, and working with her hands: brandistrickland.com; paperwhistle.com. Chris Weige is a poet and screen printer who lives in Austin, Texas. His poetry can be viewed on chrisweige.com and his art can be purchased on reckon.ws. Chris’poems have appeared in Austin Daze Magazine, Power of the Word UK, BillHicks.com, Free Radio Austin, Sacred Cow, Spiritual Awakenings Magazine, Poethia, Zenith, The PR, The Richmond Review (UK), Moose and Pussy, and The Literary Lion. Renee Zepeda is a poet, teacher, and publisher currently residing in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. With Chris Weige she wrote The Twitstat Project (2010). This is the third issue of The PR that Renee edited singlehandedly. Follow Renee on Twitter: twitter.com/ThePR.

Related Interests