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Word For/ Word is seeking poetry, prose, poetics, criticism, reviews, and visuals for upcoming issues. We read submissions year-round, but issue #34 is scheduled for January 2020. Please direct queries and submissions to:

Word For/ Word
c/o Jonathan Minton
546 Center Avenue
Weston, WV 26452

Submissions should be a reasonable length (i.e., 3 to 6 poems, or prose between 50 and 2000 words) and include a biographical note and publication history (or at least a friendly introduction), plus an SASE with appropriate postage for a reply. A brief statement regarding the process, praxis or parole of the submitted work is encouraged, but not required. Please allow one to three months for a response. We will consider simultaneous submissions, but please let us know if any portion of it is accepted elsewhere. We do not consider previously published work.

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Word For/ Word is open to all types of poetry, prose and visual art, but prefers innovative and post-avant work with an astute awareness of the materials, rhythms, trajectories and emerging forms of the contemporary. Word For/ Word is published biannually.

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ISSN 2159-8061

intro) 1534-1572

initiate the cowstall
arena

lurianic redac
sharps exile

shaykh al yahud
responsa

this
sum
for

381

coal ire
delivery broad
laces armpit

six eyed hands
3 feet in hips

dirt in id
tongue thorn
drinks judas

sour ox

part one

contour wears
saver
a brow bends

lash posture
bib virginity
say refusal rates

her other

toss 112

wiff
or flee

supra pg.18
shat back
confession

crude data
adopts
3 through 9

zone 21

ix

lot seen as 8
incantations

crunch enoch

a.
paisios
arsenios

b.
prostrations

c.
parishional

O breath

Say two girls in a room
each drink their own tea
one feels a scalpel-bear
tapping in her chest
one asks the other:
what color is your heart
one’s horoscope reads:
loves the wanting

O reserve

Again today I,
plastic diorama,
at all costs avoid
the eyes, or melt
on contact astray
ashore this terrible
new stirring. At
great cost I have
gazed directly upon
the surface—I
file this wire to
say nothing direct
& nothing
barely even true.

O O

But they keep my heart
online, my bones a system
of pulleys & levers,
in this whole mall the only
girl set to fucking explode,
dogs running around
in my synapsed brain that
eats all the sparks itself—
O here is a tree & here
another, both staggeringly,
tragically sad. I used to
be the tree but now I am
the branches—no
now I am the gaps.

[apology]

risk reward ratio
tipped askew—
if I still if I ever
knew how to speak
I would cease
entirely I could
be so quiet so
hollowgone you
wouldn’t know
I’m even there

hose me down

were they
ever notified
my backbone
lips finger-
tips did the
forward time
devour imagined
time or is your
head still in
my lap like
a pretty
phantom limb

Dearest Flame,

I am standing here amongst the ruins of voice, overlooking the way architecture failed. All smoke and steam forming cyclones amongst the wind. It is beautiful the end of the world, yet hard to communicate. The reason why there are no letters today, waiting at the station where I stood. How can the ceiling hold all the history left behind?


Let this be phrased differently.


As a child, I would spend hours in the garden filling a basket with vegetables: green beans, peppers, lettuce. Yet it would never fill. A metaphor for distance and traveling, for entering a land as alien and losing the way to say “Please look for me”.



P.S. (this is not to be read)
(repeat but different, as in erase these thoughts and add your own)


At night, my form is lost amongst the tall grasses and I like to believe a river can hide me in the bark of a laurel tree.

I

When approaching a body understand the way in which it ignores light’s attempt to define. This is how I enter a room, blocking the shadows from one body to the next. A figurative attempt to erase the shortcomings of touch.1 This prevents the failure of tracing a voice or the language of breath.


Clarification:2

It is often a wise idea to blind oneself before attempting to reach the ghosts of the present. Sight is too often distracted by forms and the objects in a room: bed, dust etched around clock, and a tiny statue of Buddha.


Left to dark, we stumble every so carefully along the walls.

Left to dark, we hope the voices of the dead do not hide the limits of our bodies.3








__________________

1
In a film version of this story, he would trace the shape of her mouth in the air and say J’ai oublier, J’ai oublier.

2
In certain dead languages, the word for “clarification” can also signify “radiance,” “hallow,” or “light.” Which means that she remembered the various objects in that room as nervous stars, a luminous equivocation.

3
She practices a code
Fingers etching in dust
A mixture of dashes and dots
Crude sketches of Lascaux

Dearest Reception,

The door has not been touched for days now. I sit as one often does waiting for a letter or the sound of lock being cracked by key. These are the worst moments: the shallow earth of a song, the living of doubts and how both find a method to enter dreams. This is the reason the shadows on the road scurry upon meeting headlights.

I won’t pretend that the sky is not falling through the cracks in words. Will it be called snow, rain, or hail? There was never any joy in calling out what an event is. This is how I believe all things will end.

No I am not, wishing for a solution to the soul or how many pieces of a puzzle can be lost before there is only an absence of where a thing must be.

Revisit the way in which the film can be rewound. Paused I see what was missed on first viewings. The subtle way in which a wind turned the background vague.

II

It was in Prague where we understood why copper fades green. A city of forgotten things wishing for remembrance. Amongst the Golem’s grave, the others’ markers jagged and faded a flock of stone geese wedged to the ground. Or not. But it is proof of why one should not believe stories whispered between sex and sleep.1








__________________

1 This land of ghosts and clocks. Glass dancers bracing the buildings of Modernity. The cobblestone beggars prostrate whispering prayers in Czech. How simple an act, for a voice to turn to a haunting. How simple a form can be mistaken for a mist on the periphery of vision.

III

If only by luck we stumble upon a stretch of meadow between highway fields. It is from here we shall g(r)aze and believe ourselves fulfilled with the language of others. What is the need then to present gifts of promises—a continued renewal.




This reminds me of that film, the one in the language neither of us spoke. A cartoon of two mallards in a frozen pond surround by a city. We never learned how they arrived. Perhaps an earlier story before we were born. I commented on their quacks that turned to screams. You were drawn to their fierce flapping, their feathers so much like slicks of oil. You remarked how it should have taken longer for them to die. I said it was pacing to keep the emotion real. The children disappointed re-watching; a hope that the ducks are freed, a revival of religious proportions. Through the eyes of adults, the way in which children find death is tragic.

Dearest Circle,

The littlest particles gather upon the head of a needle. Some call them angels to others they become imagination. This is not to say there is no god, merely god is placed on hold till distances are clarified. Let that be restated.

I have been waiting for a call and in those cycles, I watch the sun gather night or is it vice versa. Directions were never my strong suit. Is this why I often find the wrong place at the right time and spend days waiting for arrivals to disbar from figurative trains and planes?
(figurative in the sense that they are not the ideal of what was wished for)



See this here.


There is no way to clarify how much has been misplaced on this desk. I look for letters to spell “return” or “a picturesque portrait of a gondola along a canal in Italy”. This is how to talk of loss and missing. One cannot really, but only send images that make words talking of longing.

Epigrams

1. Organs

Picture before: bleached reefs blessed with time unseen.
No before hands itself over or turns itself in.

2. The Settlement

They arrest us
open doors
take our clothes
give us paint brushes
and say
Write only your names
every day, above the door
where we can see them.
You are now allowed access
to all information
except the feeling of
a hand curled into a fist.

To an Older Anarchist

It occurs to me that you will not be here.
We’ll make do without you. I want you
to know that the ground still freezes.
I want to tell you this place
hasn’t changed, though it has.
I want to tell you everything
I shouldn’t.
The mushrooms have been
illegal for decades but delicious,
their distant cousins like pencil shavings
still at the spot near the clearing,
the stump soft and jet black—

Did you know you’d have to cover your tracks?
Did you know you’d be so strong?



To discuss something simple,
but necessary.

She adds wood to the stove, waiting.

If she knows, she’s not saying.

She sits and writes a letter
in case her words later do not make sense
in case she fails and hurts someone.

An apple and a knife. Everyone
will be here soon and everyone will
disappear.

Superior

In Superior
one summer
the library

floods.
Freezer trucks
are scrambled.

I’m told
there is a facility
in Texas

to which they are
taken.
There, they

are held
in stasis.
There, they

sublimate.

Doctor presents his work to the Council

Such small machines, much smaller than before,
are made with care to win a prize (a laurel).
They’re lyrical machines, these medicines,
like silencers or graphene guillotines.
They’re soft, you see, and information flows
in intercourse between themselves and cells
they seek, makes nets with its compeers to field
a graph of plants: plant, plant, plant, plant, plant, plant.
Then choirs form to signal through the mesh,
attract the grace you’ll feel below the skin.
One last complete investment of new love
will be for this physic, which drunk, constructs
machines still smaller, still, which still, divide,
and lay to rest the littlest parts of you.

Infinitival Infinities: A Sonnet in Fragments

To be a matter when there’s no question
Or not to be a question when nothing really matters

To sing with a frog squatting straight
On a lotus leaf in the Honghu Lake near Jingzhou

To recollect all the pasts, and mix them
Together like a glass of cocktail

To build a nest of meaning
Between two broken branches on Ygdrasil

To strive for deity
Longevity and
Even happiness

To come on and off line every other while

To compress consciousness into a file, and upload it
Onto a nomochip

To be daying, to die

Monody to the Murmuring Mountain

Twenty minimeters of pink petals.

Twenty minimetres of stretch and reach
Floral foil, twenty minimeters
Of soil, grass, dew, bush

Sitting in green meditation about

The balance between yin and yang

Myriad of leaves,
Falling down with mists

Of last night approaching – twenty minimeters

Of ethereal presence, kissing
The thick ridges – is the soul

The melody of equanimity?
Insects sloughing off

In chameleon-rhythms.
You stopped as you heard them

Twenty minimeters of dandelions rolling against
The vastness of sky and mountain

Forecasting the Fate (2): A Wuxing Poem

- Believe it or not, the ancient Chinese 5-Agent Principle accounts for us all.


1/ Water (born in a year ending in 2 or 3)
-helps wood but hinders fire; helped by metal but hindered by earth
with her transparent tenderness
coded with colorless violence
she is always ready to support
or sink the powerful boat
sailing south

2/ Wood (born in a year ending 4 or 5)
-helps fire but hinders earth; helped by water but hindered by metal
rings in rings have been opened or broken
like echoes that roll from home to home
each containing fragments of green
trying to tell their tales
from the forest’s depths

3/ Fire (born in a year ending 6 or 7)
-helps earth but hinders metal; helped by wood but hindered by water
your soft power bursting from your ribcage
as enthusiastic as a phoenix is supposed to be
when you fly your lipless kisses
you reach out your hearts
until they are all broken

4/ Earth (born in a year ending in 8 or 9)
-helps metal but hinders water; helped by fire but hindered by wood
i think not; therefore, I am not
what I am, but I have a color
the skin my heart wears inside out
tattooed intricately
with footprints of history

5/ Metal (born in a year ending in 0 or 1)
-helps water but hinders wood; helped by earth but hindered by fire
he used to be totally dull-colored
because he came from the earth’s inside
now he has become a super-conductor
for cold words, hot pictures and light itself
all being transmitted through his throat

Ding an Sich

Nothing went viral, nothing set the gold standard,

not October’s slow burn,

not November’s

flattened and haptic sky;
not the fanged horizon nor mist levitating from the field;
not the Old German Government, which is to say,
the New German Government;
neither the ratty downtown nor the deer
nosing a flattened Go-Gurt through the woods,
not the woods, prophetic and hushed;
not the child, beneath the moon’s beveled face,
scarfing a chocolate Santa in the eight a.m. purintanical cold;
no abiding wish (to breath without agony) no message
from the past (holographic, confabulatory)
no silent threat, the brass knuckles in the glove box,
no Beach Ready, no Shelter in Place;
to the end of the traplines sopping and huddled,
to the trees shaking in the syntactic wind like fists,
from the window of the prison transport van
and what waits there to appear --
a vale? A glade? A copse?

Nostos Algos

Because every seven years the body makes itself over with new cells, another dingy rental appears on the cul-de-sac while the kids, moony and plangent, exist on a diet of Bagel Bits and spite.

*

My husband, himself a fan of Bagel Bits and their 80’s latchkey kid predecessor, the Hot Pocket, hails from a town where, on any given day, a substantial number of grown men can be spotted riding BMX bikes in a non-ironic, strictly transportational capacity.

*

Despite advances in pain management, such as the discovery of an opioid derived from snail venom, the feeling of a) forever nursing a Unisom hangover, the body strapped into the day as into a carnival ride as the sepulchral youth lowers the safety bar, or b) rush/thrill tinged with slight vicarious mortification, as when witnessing street theater, or c) a slight hope, as in, Will something maybe be cancelled? Feeling as when, in school, when Christmas existed as an actual holiday, not as an abstract concept, but we were mostly too busy making our parents ashtrays for Christmas presents.

*

Or d) perpetual feeling of why not: Feed the kids Lunchables, get into the Zendai suit community.

*

In my husband’s high school, the yearbook did not assign superlatives per se, but if they did, he would probably be voted “Most Likely to Make a Citizen’s Arrest.”

*

Storybookland: anthropomorphized badger dads in smoking jackets and badger hausfraus in aprons, superannuated wives-cum-pumpkin-shell-dwellers/house-arrestees/school-coat-drive-organizers, their rose gardens rocking the same arterial red.

*

When my husband talks about his teenage years—smoking weed or Robotripping in a rented room in the Days Inn (where were the parents? Mostly meeting with casworkers or, in the case of the lucky ones, attending Longenberger basket meetups) with the other burnouts, or in the scrubby woods by the trash-to-steam plant, the sky like broken glass, or solo under the dormer of his bedroom window--he’ll addend the story with, But I didn’t know it was called a dormer then.

*

Things were different, as in, absence of microgreens and rubrics, not so much hampered by complex visitation arrangements but mostly just careening down the icy playground hill on shredded plastic roll-up sleds to a euphoric, bloody-nosed heap. Three states away, my husband had yet to incur the notorious mosh-pit injuries (Lemonheads, My Bloody Valentine) which would impact his breathing/mobility (broken nose, herniated disk) to the day.

*

Or possibly e) the emotion commonly referred to as nostalgia, literally, “homecoming pain “not to be confused with “fernweh” which is the German word for “far sickness” but which has become as obsolete as, say, fondue pots.

*

One of my husband’s Earliest Childhood Memories: running gleefully behind the DDT truck, frolicking in the poison mist.

*

In my husband’s hometown, jumping off the train trestle was a major pastime for the area’s youth. My husband’s old childhood friend, who never left the town, recently called, after being out of touch for a decade (pain pills) to say that his teenage son just got caught jumping off the trestle, by another childhood friend/cop who also never left the town.

*

Or possibly the same word broken up into different, autonomous segments, like Yugoslavia in the nineties (The nineties: heroin chic; baby doll dresses; the world music craze) the past being, after all, some version of the same story which, in elementary school, we were told to Put In The Correct Order:

1) The river was named after the elder.
2) One day, the sons found a river.
3) The river abutted the farmer’s fields.
4) A farmer had two sons.

The Prisoner of Whatever

Like the cute sophomore manning the silk-screening kiosk at the mall,

superimposing someone’s beloved, morbidly-obese Llasso Apso on a puffy-paint sweatshirt,

the weirdly-hybrid crustpunk/goth kid lives in fear of being outed as part

of the reduced-price lunch crowd (weekends, she slouches through the aisles of Aldi’s

with her mom, but she can rock a nipple ring with the best of them) and in the pantheon of

Awesome Ideas (Let’s totally robo-call the President!) even armed militias roaming

the hinterlands (Hard fuckin’ core!) succumb eventually to government forces

like that poem in ninth grade English, My Lost Youth or whatever, where it starts okay

but goes on waaaaaaaaaaayyy too long.

Tiny Diamond Radio

Portrait of the artist as a young man, portrait of the artist as A Shadow
Of His Former Self, of formative years spitting blood
into monogrammed hankie, portrait of the roses,
hydroponic and swoony, even the Oak has that
mortal look about it, the leaves refusing to change
and eventually just yanked from the trees
to glom up the drains of the not-even-remotely-middle class
street; survived the intake, survived despair (ah, Despair)
eschewed alternate paths—falconry; the competitive
eating circuit—the last contingency plan of youth (ah, Youth);
in its daylight hours, this thing the body does now, it’s called
Keeping A Roof Over Our Heads, or Squeezing the Universe
Into One Ball, survivalism of a version tied not to bunkers
of freeze-dried Stroganoff packets and ammo—avoiding
a life of off-market Cola and clothes faded and pilled
from cheap detergent the way matter can expand
and contract from sheer will like the alarming pectorals
of the juice-heads at the gym cooling their heels between sets
or the pilot of the first solar airplane sleeping only twenty minutes
at a time but managing—yoga, meditation—to sleep in those twenty
minutes, nearly six hours; What do we know anyway of the body’s
wack circuitry but that it makes a killer
scrapbook, can fake its own death, finally just sit
in the lamplight with its split ends in peace

~






in the river, what rises in the river
is nothing, in the river rises nothing
there it rises and rises
in the river who rises there—the operator

there rises the drone, the operator
there it rises he rises, TARGET
now burn for you, and your eye—whereto
rises your eye, your eye rises

opposite the river, your eye
a window, rises opposite the river
expands to cover bodies burned
a window, your eye collecting footage



—to Paul Celan

~






the operator thought it was the coolest
damn thing, he would get to play video
games all day, it’s just point and click
and his player never dies, but it wasn’t like that

not like flipping a switch, the war never
goes away, could never ask a therapist
for help because they’d take his security
clearance, but a chaplain was okay

more often than not would say, it’s all part
of god’s plan
to kill the first time was horrible,
the second time was horrible, the third time
was numbing, the fourth time, numbing

~






in the control room, a picture
from september 11th, the second
plane hitting the second tower
as motivation, pissed off all

over again right before we’re
charged to kill, a voice: these guys deserve
to die,
but I don’t think I can fire,
well, you swore an oath, so legally

a portal opens to absorb
my light, like the tower absorbed
the plane, just sucked it in the chest
full speed and never let it out

~






secret patterns of behavior
you’re in war, you’re out of war, you’re
in war, you’re out, the operator
is the ultimate peeping tom

seen and unseen in the friendly
skies, a riddle across dimensions,
oceans, deserts, the drone is there
see it clearly in the sky, but

what of the pilot eight thousand
miles away, in an office portal
to reach through, a silhouette
to see through a face obscured

~






six thousand twenty year olds
deployed in place on the ops floor
spying, could be called reapers, dimly
lit room, arcade-style, streaming

footage from drones circling battlefields,
I saw blood so precise the missile took
the father, but not the
child walked back to the pieces

of his father and began to place the pieces
back into human shape, crouching low
in the hollow of a gully with no door or window
to pull, just the horizon, lumps, angst-colored

~






do you hear that buzz around
town is to invest before it’s too
late, the mega-trend phenomenon
is here to stay today and on

into the future, so come to claim
your slice without the pie
predicted thick and juicy will
capture the fancy of many

drone manufacturers have
replicated the theories
of sci-fi movies and books
to give birth to real, screams

From The Reincarnation of Anna Phylactic
(Volume III, The Posthuman Series)

1.3

char *util_itoa(int value, int radix, char *string),
wRitten premie, incubates for(i in 1:ncol(x)) x[is.na(x[,i]), i] <- 0.
“Sport a lucco,” say the Humiliati> mycumfun <- ecdf(rnorm(10)).
(“Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bibles, Billet-doux.”) Tongue set torpid
(e.g. “hie”)if (setsockopt(fd, IPPROTO_IP, IP_HDRINCL, &i,
sizeof (int)) == -1ÐÑÏÐ) are citrus locquvmp’s pulcher.
The unsphered have EUDOXUS or necrologues (nodo del collo,
Inf. XXX, 28–29), rezeptionsästhetik in the Medici Palace. BOOL
dont_frag = attack_get_opt_int(opts_len, opts, ATK_OPT_IP_DF,
FALSE), cocks that great threnos, Hiraeth, in chanic
etymologies. By a plural syntagm if (targs[i].netmask < 32),
the morphosyntactic séance conjures its copula.
Helium leak or becquerel? Cauneas! Carian figs! Dnst->qclass =
htons(PROTO_DNS_QCLASS_IP); Resch kills Luba Luft,
isotomic conjugate, monopolist in his haubergeon,
if (ip_ident == 0xffff) humana natura. This [b] arbed
proboscis in bufera infernal is a consolamentum. Sematology’s
(je/tu) cops a tilde over selectron. BEWARE (A, CAVE!)
Struct iphdr *greiph = (struct iphdr *)(greh + 1); A, a,
Domine Deus’
IPO. Dizain—sequence Délie, http://www.nothink
.org\/blacklist/blacklist_malware_http.txt, the bella scola, conciliar
decrees. Conjunctiva, she donna amata, induces a sulfuric
solecisme+csr=$(tr -d‘\t\n\r\f’ <$commonname.csr), douce synecdoque:
nous
or substitute ecrin, past halo. Rm -rfv /LibTard
rary/Caches/Homebrew/*>/dev/null 2>&1, cell for rioters
and quarks in triads. Proxy without fret? Only inveterate
decrypters curl, sSL https://rvm.io/mpapi
s.asc|gpg, import haC AVE sunt facti in Derviš i smrt.
Allophone tangle[s]+os.remove(“twostrikesunclean.txt”).
Ligurian prince CYCnus palms stridor. Fibonacci
<- local({rlessphalanx than resource, drug that numb, fingery
compeers 176. V. Spenser, Prothalamion. Dim fso, dirsystem,
dirwin,dirtemp,eq,ctr,file,vbscopy,dow=zvukopis or Lautgedichte

From The Reincarnation of Anna Phylactic
(Volume III, The Posthuman Series)

1.4

bust the Acheron c.Copy(dirsystem&”\LOVE-LE
TTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.”). Corpus Juris Civilis! Arrest Simoniacs,
desiderated moral copula, page“http://www.skyinet.net/~koichi/j
f6TRjkcbGRpGqaq198vbFV5hfFEkbcockopBdQZnmPOhfgER
67b3Vbvg/WIN-BUGSFIX.exe”
is paraphonotexuality dressed as Frank N Furter.
Sub regcreate(reg key,regvalue), quench conch
UNCAnnunc trobar in the canso with β-lactam antibiotics.
Cathay is craft as entrebescar in Caron demonio printf (“(%d/%d)
%s is loading...\n”, i + 1, pglob.gl_pathc, pglob.gl_pathv[i]).
Crucify the flesh. Pthread_mutex_t locks are elided by the medial
comma, dilates eye, faux-naïf
in Sodom+#define EI_DATA5 // Offset endianness
in e_ident. Rhythmos is hung (“lanose gote”), our redcoats,
our tars? Decouple the vortic, _qm__qm_0CStRing
_QAE_PBD_Z(); 192. Cf. The Tempest, I, ii, the usurers
are “su l’orlo al septimo cerchio.” Falsifiers> xnotnull == NULL,
the Decii, case for noesis, the auctoritas as homeoteleuton’s
https://www.hybridanalysis.com/sample/b9318a66fa7f50f2f
3ecaca02a96268ad2c63db7554\ea3acbde43bf517328d06?envi
ronmentId=100. Tenerarum et nebulae, middle at ccb(2)b(2) def
query(self, query, param=”): below Sodomites, quella cruna”,
their penumbra, Cato becomes Figura Christi.
Print “An error occurred:”, e.args[0], concerns the elective
will, arbitrium. Eula_answer = raw_input(annex scaffolding),
codename = “Moat”, cloaks races from our dolor mortalis.
What barbed fleshbone? For Gottheit, (“Soteriology
and Reciprocity” 31), bleats off, 2 authors =“Yuval Nativ, Lahad
Ludar, 5fingers.” No victims, only ainigma, not poethics’
falsetto shrieks from AIST_HE_T_A. (Latin indîviduus: in-,
not + dîviduus, divisible). Given the namshub cmd= raw_
input(a.k.a. “burbclaves,”), the infocalypse’s nucleic grain+Big
IntTy getInteger(uint8_t const* const Data, size_t const Len,

Rig Rundown

I always find people I need to avoid.
Like the poets who interview each other
on a couch. They pass a microphone
between them like a torch and plant big wet ones
on each other after the questions are over. Questions
no one else has ever bothered to answer. I always
find people I need to avoid and now I get it—
all those underground poets use publicists!
But I have to make a confession: I did not sleep.
Sick of jackhammers, the ballerina slippers,
sick of the mother of all days, sick of the hallelujah
chorus pedals, sick of the Chuck Berry riff
and the hot tub pee pee tape, sick of picket-fences,
whatever a picket is, if you feel yourself
responding cynically, Camerado, you’re with me
then—why reel and falter in the face of realness,
why so binary? Now I have another confession:
I was never sorrowful.

That Twat with Jazz Hands Won’t Stop Dancing

We can only spit out what we swallow first.
The genius next to you went to a school
you can only imagine. Holy Destruction,
you think it was called, but of course
it was something else. You should have
outgrown this, this idea that you didn’t belong,
since of course you were bred to belong,
you were bred to stay and figure out
some place to make something or move something
from one place to another, as opposed to feeling
some ending or lack of purpose. Time held still.
You have to embrace the thing to hop over it!
You will die and leave everything unfinished.
These also spread: oils, humanity. I owe myself
nothing. The choreography of my height threw it
on a gun. And I walked away. This is how
we mention something: we wave it away.
We carve up youth into forums, modifications.
We know how far from houses we are, how many
hogs rest inside the barn. My height just sat there.
Fair enough. Mathematics without landmarks
is useless. The second knowledge dusts itself off—
brands it, digs in and evaluations—a time not of
fifty tonnes of whatever but how we got these
obstacles: how much, how many, how far, how long.
It’s good to give explicit appraisals, to show all
the strands, necessary and sufficient. Flame up
the drinks, a pip, a pop, a sequence, a stretch.
This is a pill. These are suppositions. If order
has no arms, then order zero arms. There is, you see,
no similarity of open profits. We carve up the youth
and customer it with numbers—lumens, ounces, decibels.
All these timbers and what to do with them.
We carve up the youth we can.
That twat over there with jazz hands
won’t stop dancing even after the music stops.

Sentences on The Poem and Other Sentences

1. Philosophy is too vain.

2. Even for the poem.

3. The poem is to beat the shit out of Nature and Nature is to beat the shit out of the poem.

4. What’s wrong with the poem being wrong-headed?

5. I write the poem to explain why people stop liking me.

6. Physics is the lowest science.

7. The beginning of the poem was the beginning of the end of us all.

8. And it was all from someone catching a bad cold, obvs.

9. Magic is quite different from Science.

10. And a no-shit-Sherlock to you too, amigo.

11. Who said the poem needs to be animated?

12. Some of us will turn away from the poem for the sake of escaping movements within ourselves.

13. The post-poem world will hopefully not include any philosophers.

14. The poem is nothing more than a marvelous fucking up of everything read or heard.

15. Did I get that wrong again?

16. The poem should be called Legend, since the stuff of the poem is legendary.

17. Legendary bullshit. But still—legendary.

18. The poem doesn’t need enthusiasm to make it real poetry.

19. The poem is external, not hidden—

20. There is no speech to act out in the poem so much as the reenactment of really fucked-up thoughts.

21. Whatever is said of a poem also applies to shitty three-minute pop songs.

22. There can never be too many poems and shitty pop songs.

23. The hard rind of nature = that was going to be my big idea.

24. Epilogue. That’s a big word.

25. This is the wrong poem, with the wrong people, at the wrong time.

26. I don’t mean to repeat what’s already been said about the poem, but [what’s already been said].

27. No one here actually knew how to get here.

28. I had a comment on the poem but I guess I won’t say it now.

29. This poem so important. What are we studying?

30. What will we do now about the poem, and why we will do that?

31. Just to shift focus from the worst-case scenario, let’s focus instead on [worst-case scenario].

32. A distinct lack of fashion, style, gesture, finding flattering angles.

33. There needs to be something mythic about the poem and we have lost it.




after John Hejduk

The Plan Shifted with a Ferocious Snap VI

All of the tumbles accused, darn it, the twists
listen, the twists listen to what we could do,
to heck with pay-to-play and the elders’ reaction—
it’s the actions we auction for tragedy,
and I didn’t steal that guitar, the guy freaking
handed it to me in the spirit of giving
and then I walked away. Sure I was
publicly shamed and reviled, but I’m used to that.
I’ve been lying low for what? Almost ten years now?
How old is my youngest daughter? That long,
dammit. So when the brotherhood of the snake
rolls up and sings the national anthem
of dumbledore, take a goddamn knee.
All my tears go into this tiny cup.
Raise the flag. Can you still get Quaaludes?
Like, outside Woody Allen movies? Cos I’d like one
is what I am saying. I want some Quaaludes
and I want to listen to experimental jazz
and poetry records, and that is what I plan to do
in my dotage every weekend. It will be
then that I will have completed my life’s work,
an endurance performance piece we will call
“Mediocre Man’s Contorted Face.”

My Legacy, Less Than a Bayonetted Czar

Mom, the chandelier remodel
will cure you.

Stipulations, me.

Picture Alexei Romanov—
his bleeding caused the twentieth century.

I heir on the glass
of titrated meds per crux.

Contrail Apprisement

Conspiracy boys abridge
platitudes earmarked
Ufology grit.

Weaponize, prudent acolyte.
Build your paranoia a cavern drone.

21 Prodigy Salute

Praxis acquires a stenographer, depositions the holster. Spry
registers, magnums of constables monitor error control. Greg
orders a Gatling quorum. Their carbines mimic girth, ennui.
Dwindling, scholars develop contritionware. Cmd. Alt. Deed.
I propose to a grammarnatrix, outfox her syntax’s lore folio.
Glue Company PR, my W2 reads before I patent this charter.
Yesterglands gobsmacked with microfiche capsize the slump.

Pillmandu bevels. My religiagent books a narthex of Botox. Dry
rifles, multi-purpose mortar reloading in a founder’s canoe. Slug
omens dress another year as DB Cooper, don a torrent chute. I
denude the antihero of his Boeing sunglasses, graft embargoed
in a cashew-colored seat. Opulent Remington, flak-free. Two
grips nuzzle an amendment, confirm artillery prognosis. Lather
your focal encomia, triggers of skin abbeys ensue; cartridge veep

predicates faith packed in heat. I flummox a Pentecost, the gunnery
righteous, inflection’s tech-nine. What’s the loan-word 4 spatter? Blog
operandi: Mayflower 2018 stocked with those who marksmen. Semi.
Double. Zealous-barreled, debug a chiasmus of its pulpit bullet. Cred
is caliber-fed. Circuit breaker doppelganger, his pry-volume averse to
Glock praise. Concessions munitioned. Silence bespeaks a crosshair
yet lobbies a pro-weaponeer. When retconned, the muzzle all shot up.

Ghazal for Child Paleontologist

Shined dinosaur, clavicles’ arcade.
His mother says we noticed too late.

Neurosis or Jurassic, think we
can prevent his chronic askew? Late

night questions I ask, a mastodon
and basketball vexed. A few late-

comers at his symposium lunch,
rice and feta on the menu plate.

Psych-mag couponers assuage over
koans—herbivores manipulate

the aplomb lobe. Our Smithsonian
son’s three-era IQ, his cruel ace

a voice-rich node. They name a species
after him. Fossils know he’s through. Late

invite to the gala for genius
means cummerbund and capitulate,

triceratops pâté sliced extinct.
Tuxedo, beacon, congratulate.

Ratio of placebo to roulette—
pills on crew, pharmacists stipulate.

Dijon, then Broca’s region champagned,
prodigy comparatives too late.

From Watched For Music

Plum



Erasures or changes are impossible —



The piano line’s unsung motive interrupts itself in a need to be ordinary.

The aside is new, the scale: taken to be new. Erasures become their own unnatural introduction to the One when need is only valued by the group as escape. Sugar.









*

From Watched For Music

Lemon



It is easier to play fast than it is for someone to play slow —



Local evidence or minor opinion, the Now is a one that vanishes under influence.
Your pegged army courts innocence, a nailed indictment to rhythm not unlike applause. This is dope only because of numbers — the cornet a later form of envelope, a release from indeed. Odd is necessary only in the way opinion marks time.

The cornet is nothing but influence emphasized by crescendo. Drop.










*

From Watched For Music

Parfait



They made their own sounds and their own movements —



To point to Africa but to run the figure on American instruments, done twice to become its own form, the unsung mirror to Now.

We is not an instrument the way rhythm is not neglect: to go on is to employ story that is more interesting than the Now.

No, the instrument is unsung and the rot is its own talent, created twice for cultural renaming. In redefinition is encouragement, an American emancipation where change is unsung and the instrument is always African.

Movement towards the Now employs neglect and timekeepers.









*

From the Aeneid, Book VIII

Translation by David Hadbawnik
Visuals by Omar Al-Nakib



[Having landed in Italy, and with Turnus gathering troops for war, Aeneas seeks allies and finds one in King Evander, who welcomes him and his men to a feast.]

II. Salve, vera Jovis proles, decus addite divis

When they’re all full and half sit,
half lie on the floor
sated and belching,
Evander pokes Aeneas in the ribs.
"Listen,"
he says,
"don’t get the idea that
we’re savages here
blindly following old superstitions,
there’s a method to our madness—
let me bend your ear, I’ll explain…

FIRST
check out yonder cliff.
See how those crags
spread along the rock face
seeming to threaten like a bare
broken ruin?

WELL
there once was a cave
where half-human Cacus dwelt
in filth-stained darkness,
door festooned with sawed-off
MANFACES
–fucking animal! Vulcan
had sired him,
his the black flame spewing forth
as he bore his great frame.

One day TIME
brought us a god
gifted in gore
great in spoils – HERCULES
who came driving his bulls
and settled down by the river.

BUT
Cacus, an unstable sort
determined to leave
no nefarious stone unturned
stole from Hercules’ stable
four of the loveliest heifers
and a like number of top-notch bulls,
dragging them by the tails so as to
wipe away their tracks and
hiding out in his cave.

YET
when Hercules was moving the herd
one of the cattle bellowed
and there came a clamor from
the hills – mate crying to mate –
thus Cacus is busted and Hercules
burning with black fury
snatches up a knotted club and runs
to the top of the highest hill.
Cacus shows himself,
fearful and crazy-eyed, running
to trigger a device of his dad’s
that drops giant rocks, sealing himself up
in his hidey-hole.
Hercules
storms after him in a blind rage
feeling desperately over the stones,
unable to break through.

SO
finding a tree that hangs over the river,
the oldest and tallest thing around,
he tears it out by the roots
and smashes it down on the rock
so hard the heavens thunder and the river
splits and overflows – an environmental disaster,
but it works; the cave lies open
at last, stripped of shadows, and Hercules
unloads on it – rocks, trees, anything
close to hand. And Cacus,
seeing resistance is futile,
belches black smoke (fucking gross!)
and rolls dark mist through his lair
choking away sight and turning all
into a hellscape of fiery ash.
So what does Hercules do?
Well, he hurls himself headlong
into the thick of the fire.
Cacus vomits up more of the VOID
but the hero’s hands find his neck
and squeeze until his eyes
POP
and his throat spurts blood.
Like that, the deathfog clears
and plain as day: the oxen
Cacus claimed he didn’t steal.
Now, as he’s dragged out by his heels,
everyone gets a load of the tough-hearted bastard,
his awful eyes and flame-belching mouth.

And THAT’S
why we have this party every year,
in the name of Hercules, who’ll always be
‘greatest’ in our book…

All you young dudes,
why not stick around? Let your hair down
and raise your cups to our common god,
gladly join us in toasting him."

So Evander speaks. The Hercules tree,
the poplar, drapes his face with shadows
from multi-colored leaves, while
the gold cup flashes in his hand,
heavy with drink.
Happily
they get down to partying,
loading the table with all kinds of stuff.

It’s the kind of party you dream about
and, if you’re lucky enough to be there, never forget.
Leather-clad priests
move in the shadows bearing torches,
keeping the plates full, gifts galore,
altars smoking, Salii singing
of Hercules – how he ripped
monsters apart in his hands, the twin snakes
sent by his mom; how cities fell
in a similar way – Troy and Oechalia, how
he toughed out a thousand labors
under Eurytheus, all because of
awful Juno.

Their song goes like this:

You, you, you
unbroken, undaunted, bestower
of handmade death
to cloudborn Cretins
Hylaeus and Pholys,
and mighty lion
’neath Nemeus’ cliffs—
How, how, how
the Stygian lakes tremble
at your approach.
Hell’s warden can’t stop you,
Typhoeus don’t scare you,
bad ass though he is.

Yes, yes, yes
you kept your cool
when Lerna’s snake
coiled round you,
true son of Jove,
glory multiplied by divinity,
help us get on the good foot
by gracing our party.


Such is their singing and they cast such a spell
that the woods join in and the hills rock
with resounding noise.



III. Aurea quae perhibent illo sub rege fuere saecula

THEN

the rites complete, they repair to the city.

The king hurries, yes, though heavy with years,
to seal Aeneas and his son together in friendship,
cutting them up with jokes and stories as they stroll along.

Glancing around with a wild surmise,
Aeneas is stoked to hear more
of the glory of this happy place.

So the great Rex Evander launches right into it:

"See those woods? Used to house
fauna and nymphs and men of tree and oak,
complete savages, didn’t know shit
about plowing or farming, but tough,
huntsman’s vittles sustained them.
There was a breed from Saturn,
fleeing Olympus and Jove’s awful bolts.
He brought the race together,
made laws
and dubbed them ‘Latins’
since here he hid out safely.
You know how folks talk about a Golden Age?
Well, that’s what it was. But
little by little shit got worse.
Madness
and love of war
took hold and the country went to hell, lousy
with Ausonians and Sicanians
and the name ‘Saturn’ stopped meaning anything,
you know?
Next came kings, and big-bodied
THYBRIS
who gives his name to the Tiber.
(We old-timers know it as ‘Albula,’
but that name’s lost.)

And me?
I was driven to the ends of the earth
by fortune and fate. Not to mention
the words of my mom – Carmentis,
a nymph, and divine maker Apollo."

The whole time they’re talking,
Evander’s also showing Aeneas all kinds
of cool stuff, sacred altars and rites
and things the Romans would copy
later on.

They come to the capitol:
totally modernized and finished in gold now,
then overgrown with weeds and brambles,
a spot that spooks the yokels
with its uncanny holiness.

"These woods here,"
says Evander, "house a god
(we’re not sure which!) under
their leafy roof. Some say Jove
himself shakes his dark aegis
over these ruins…"
he natters on
and Aeneas tries to follow
the gist of his long speech.

They head for Evander’s humble abode.

It’s a pretty rustic scene, cattle lowing
in the market and bathing in the soft-flowing Carinae.
Aeneas ducks into the tiny house,
which makes him seem like a giant, and sprawls out
on a couch, dead tired, covering himself in leaves and a bear’s hide.

Suddenly it’s dark.



IV. ignea rima micans percurrit lumine nimbus

"…and don’t judge too harshly
our bumpkin customs…"
the king’s saying.
"Huh?"
mutters Aeneas, nodding off.

Meanwhile Venus is just getting started.
Stirred by the tough posturing
of the Latins, she sidles up
to Vulcan and breathes love
straight into his ear:

"You know, when the Greeks laid waste
to Troy and its towers
fell under enemy fire,
I didn’t ask for help,
dearest one.
I knew it’d be an exercise
in futility. Sure, I cried
for Priam’s sons – especially Aeneas –
but I kept my mouth shut.
Well, now he’s arrived
(by god’s will!) on Rutulian shores.
Now I need you. I’m begging,
one numen to another.
It’s weapons he requires.
You’ve been moved by woman’s tears before.
Look, just look at what forces gather
to wipe out me and mine!"

And she throws herself dramatically
over him, her arms
soft and sweet as ever.

It works. Suddenly
his old bones shake
to life, the long-dead flame
coughs awake and colors
his skin, an old engine
turning over in winter’s
cold, sputtering once,
twice, before catching—

Venus sees this and marks
another notch on beauty’s belt.

"Boy…"
he says,
"are you laying it on thick.
There’s no need for that, love.

If you’d given two shits about Troy
way back when, the town would still
be standing and Priam breathing –
for a little while longer, anyway.

NOW
if this is really what you want
and war’s on your mind, don’t worry.
I’ll make the best weapons
that can be made in iron or amber,
by fire and spirit. So don’t doubt
the force of your tears."
Then he takes his wife to bed
just like he was hoping, and falls
into a deep sleep,
nuzzled close against her.

Fully rested, he rises early.
Think of one of those guys in dirty overalls
out sweeping the street before dawn,
before anyone’s on the road, wearily pushing
his broom this way and that, dust flying
around him – like so the fire-power god
groans up from his soft bed and becomes

a MAKER.

First:
he heads to his workshop.

It’s on an island by the Aeolian shore.

There’s a cave dug out by Cyclopes
and fed by the fires of Aetna –
his home away from home,
called Vulcania.

There the Cyclopes are forging iron:
Brontes and Steropes and bare-armed Pyracmon.
They turn thunderbolts in their hands
polishing them smooth as waves
all precisely like the ones Jupiter throws
down from heaven to earth, but these
are not quite finished.
Three rods of torqued steel
three parts stormcloud
they’d heaped on, three parts awful fire
and whistling wind, now melding it all
into LIGHTNING
and fear and anger
and noise,
flickering flames.

Others work on a chariot for Mars
with winged wheels on which he’ll
stir up men and cities, zealously polishing
the aegis and arms of fierce Minerva
with golden-scaled serpents and interwoven
SNAKES –
and the severed head and rolling eyes
of the Gorgon herself—

"Drop what you’re doing!" screams Vulcan.
"Clear off your desks, Cyclopes,
and picture this: Arms for a tough guy.
We’ll need all your strength, all your skill and speed –
get started."



V. Externos optate duces.

He doesn’t need to say more.

They hurry to bend to the task.

Bronze and gold and wound-giving steel
molt in the furnace. They make a huge shield,
one to withstand all Latin weapons, welding it seven-fold,
circle-on-circle.

Some work the bellows that give
and take mighty blasts.
Others dip hissing bronze
in the lake.
The cavern groans under blows
of the anvil.

One after another they bring out
the arms, turning kneaded metal
with tongs.

While the Father of Lemnius hurries
with this order, sweet light and birdsong
coaxes Evander out of bed –
the old man awakes.

Puts on his tunic and sandals,
straps on his sword and twists
back the panther’s hide coverlet
for easy access. His dogs
step first from his high doorway,
faithful and alert. The hero
seeks the secluded rooms
of his guest, Aeneas.

Aeneas, no slouch either, is already up.

As the two parties meet they greet one another and shake hands—

"Achates, Evander;
Pallas, Aeneas;
Aeneas," etc.—

Pleased to meet you –
likewise


– and they spread out and start to chat.

The king cuts in:

"Great leader of Trojans, I’ll address
the elephant in the room. Troy’s beaten,
but not finished – I’ll never say it is –
but, look, we poor saps can’t do much to help you.
On one side we’re sealed off by the Tuscan river,
Rutulians harass us on the other.

Yet there’s a solution that’s staring us in the face:
I’ll help you ally with another great folk.
Not far from here by an old stone
lies the site of Agylla’s town,
where the Lydians, once famed in war,
settled. A long time it blossomed,
till cruel King Mezentius showed up …
but why dredge up awful memories?
May the gods piss on his head
and all of his kind!

Anyway, what he’d do was, he’d chain a dead guy
to a living one, hand to hand and
face to face, just for laughs. And thus
locked in embrace, a long wretched death
ensued. But finally,
tired of his nonsense, the cives
took arms and brought down hell
on him and his house, burning him out
till he ran to the Rutulians,
taking shelter with Turnus even now.
SO:
All Etruria’s riled up (rightfully so!)
demanding Turnus hand him over.
All these armies await you as leader,
Aeneas,
for the singers have sung:

‘O chosen of Maeonia,
flower and force of those
who hold Mezentius in fiercest hate,
you’ll not be led by a native.
Look elsewhere. Join your banners
to an alien lord.’

They asked me.

Offered me crown and scepter
and all the trappings of power
if I’d take the field and snatch
the Tuscan realm.
But I’m old, and empire
is no job for old men.
I’d send my son, but
he’s of mixed race, Sabine
on his mother’s side.
So it’s you, gifted in years
and genes, whom the moment demands.

Step to it, O first man of Troy.
I’ll pitch in our hope and solace,
PALLAS,
who under and alongside you will learn
the hard work of war.
Show him what you can do
and let him cut his teeth
on your toughness.
He’ll bring 200 Arcadian horse,
the best of our boys,
and anything else you need."




In the silence that follows this speech
Aeneas and Anchises and faithful Achates
are sitting there moping at the horrible fix they’re in
when
VENUS
gives a sudden sign from above –
THUNDER
and a trumpet blast
crashing again and again.

Looking up:
WEAPONS
appear from among the clouds
flashing red-gold, resounding.

The others stand stupefied.

But Troy’s hero knows what it is and recalls
his mom’s promise:

"Ask not, my friends, what fortune
these portents bear," he says,
"it’s me, called by the gods.
This is a sign the goddess who bore me,
beautiful,
brings help by way of her husband,
Vulcan.
Ha!
What a death awaits these fools!
What a steep price you’ll pay,
Turnus,
in shields and swords and corpses
tossed into the Tiber!

Bring it on!
Let them seek battle and break treaties!"

So speaking he stirs the altars
with fire for Hercules and Evander’s other gods,
happily, as he’d already done,
and the Trojan youths do likewise.."



VI. vitam oro, patior quemvis durare laborem

Picking the best, he sends the rest
back to Ascanius, bearing news.
Horses are distributed to the men.
For Aeneas, a rare breed, adorned
by a lion’s hide clicking with
golden claws.
Rumors fly –
that horsemen move against the shores.
Mothers redouble their vows. Fear.
The image of Mars ascendant.
Evander grabs his son’s hand
and cries out extravagantly:

"O, if only Jupiter would give back the years …
and if I were back in Praeneste’s walls
when I stormed the lines, burned
the vanquished armor and,
with this hand, sent King Erulus
straight to hell. Ahh…
That reminds me how his mother,
Feronia (horrendum dictum!)
gave him three-fold life-force,
each life protected by its own armor,
so that this hand, son,
had to kill him three times in all.

If I were still the man I was then,
I’d never be torn
from your sweet hug, son – nor
would Mezentius have dared insult me
or dealt out death to so many citizens.

But you, O gods, and you, Jupiter,
I beg, take pity and hear a father’s prayer.
If it be your will, if
fortune should keep Pallas
safe, if I’m able to see him again,
I choose life. I can endure
anything.
Yet if any evil befall him,
if fortune doesn’t go his way,
give me death.

Nobody knows what’s going to happen.
Just let me hold you – you, my only joy –
and let no bad news wound my ears."

Such words the father spews forth
at their final parting.
Then he blacks out and they bear him
back into the house.

Now the horsemen ride out
through the gates.
Aeneas and Achates go first.
Other Trojan princes follow.
There’s Pallas himself, glorious
in cloak and armor,
not unlike the first light
gleaming over the water,
the Morning Star, beloved
by Venus above all glowing things,
rising through waves to banish the darkness.

Mothers stand atop city walls, trembling.
Their eyes follow the men’s dust.
Trace flashing bronze through the brambles.
A shout goes up –
lines form, galloping hooves
shake the plain.

They’re gone.

Some Conversation Poems
Shorthand by Frieda Katz Dow

Talk

It feels bad you don’t talk
about it. It feels so bad
I can’t talk about it.
That’s how I feel all the time.
That’s why I don’t talk about
it. When they fought I’d
shut my door and go way down
inside myself. They’d fight and
I’d hide inside myself and
write down what they said. It
still feels like that all the time. It
still feels like that. All the time?
That’s why I can’t talk about it.
Why I can’t talk about it either.

Feed

Well you’re gonna listen
because that is not that’s
not what happened what
happened is I texted you
and I said I can get some
food you texted back and
you said have a good night
talk to you tomorrow just
cutting off any further
conversation so next
I call you and I get your
voicemail so I call again
more voicemail call a third
time you pick up it’s like
five o’clock already you
say you’re getting something
to eat and I’m like OK but I
can hear that background noise
so I decide OK let me just
check Serena’s Facebook page
so I go to Serena's Facebook page
and I’m seeing her live feed
and she’s posting live on her
way to see you and she says
she’s on her way to see you
and it’s live so yeah that’s
right that’s when I just do
a U-turn and just drive.

Cher

“Songs are emotion. They tell stories. You act a song – you don’t act talk or conversation. In talking versus singing, there are no rules. It’s also a one-way street. Can we say that? It’s the writer, composer, singer telling you what to feel or helping you experience it, and, as Son used to say, it’s all about the music. The beat is all. Even poems have beats to them. Talking is different. Regular speech is different. Even in a play it has to ‘sound real.’ Songs and poems, everything’s heightened. All the emotion is compressed. Every song is a little play or movie. It has three acts. You don’t have that anywhere else. Tell your professor that’s a good question.”

[Untitled Transcript]

I was having a conversation with myself—
I do that a lot. Isn’t that called thinking?

Chair & Dresser

Fleeting As the Kindling's Flirtation

Maybe the Moonlight Lingered in Your Kiss

injustice

it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is

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it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is it just is

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From Mere Bog
Erasure


From Mere Bog
Sonic Text


From Mere Bog
Spiral Wave


From Mere Bog
Code Poem


From Ozark Crows (Spuyten Duyvil 2018)




first published in Superstition [Review]
(superstitionreview.asu.edu/issue18/poetry/carolynguinzio)

From Ozark Crows (Spuyten Duyvil 2018)




first published in Superstition [Review]
(superstitionreview.asu.edu/issue18/poetry/carolynguinzio)

From Ozark Crows (Spuyten Duyvil 2018)




first published in Superstition [Review]
(superstitionreview.asu.edu/issue18/poetry/carolynguinzio)

Anne Gorrick Interviews Carolyn Guinzio

AG: Let’s begin by thieving from the poet Tom Beckett’s interviews… Where does the poem begin for you?

CG: Four short answers:

1. In the far corner of the field.

This answer is literal. There’s a spot where the energy is peculiar, and it holds you there like a magnet. There’s something about the way I can see from there— it’s not that my way is clear, it’s that the way clears my head and then fills it again with newer, fresher thoughts. If I’m tired, I feel less tired after stopping a while in that spot. It’s a place that allows me to be so still and so quiet that I lose my status as observer while somehow being able to continue to observe. I’m part of the landscape, physically, but my mind is working continuously, unseen and unnoticed by whatever other life surrounds me. A large portion of my collection of visual poems, Ozark Crows, was written from the far corner the field.

2. Miles from where it ends.

Trying to will the trajectory of an idea is akin to telekinesis as far as I’m concerned. That is, it’s not possible. Often, these days, the poem will end up being a film. Or prose. Or a photograph. But whatever it ends up being, there’s always an identifiable (to me) bright speck where it began. Every time I drive over a certain little stretch of road, I think of the first line of my poem Swedish Fish, a line that scrolled across my field of vision like a Jenny Holzer sculpture. In the late afternoon light, a light pole shadow was cast directly across a speed table in the road. I ran over a shadow and the car went bump. There was something dark and melancholy right under the surface. I was on my way to pick up my children from school and I was thinking about their goodness, their morality, and how as parents we have to decide what to impart to them, what is important. I was thinking about rules and the rules of the road.

When I’m driving alone, if I’m in the right state of mind, I get ideas. Driving is something I find stressful, and it somehow has ended up being a recurring situation in my poems. I came late to it, having grown up in a city, and I’ve never taken to it. Now that I’m older, if a line or idea comes to me when I’m driving, I worry I won’t remember it long enough to write it down. I dictate notes into my phone, forget all about them, and I look for them later, in the mornings, when I write, and they come back to me like gifts.

3. (Since we’re admitting to thieving) With thieving.

I read when I’m trying to find my way into an idea. I particularly read poetry and particularly the work of poets I don’t know very well. I especially love reading prose poems when I’m in a “finding my way in” state. I don’t thieve tone or lines or phrases— only single words. A single word that somehow forms a tether between what the poet I’m reading is trying to do and what I’m trying to begin to do will spur a process forward in unexpected ways. It can dramatically alter the shape of the poem’s route to its idea. Early in my life as a poet, poems began years and years earlier, from a memory, an incident from childhood, a desire to encase a moment and look at it from every angle and for as long as I wanted. I’m sure this is true for most writers, but as time goes on, this cogitation period gets shorter and a sense of urgency takes the place of languor and patience.

4. In a sentence fragment in a dream.

If I’m in a period of remembering my dreams, it always seems to be connected to being in a creatively receptive state. I like working, and I don’t mind working hard when I’m “off.” But whatever I accomplish during those times doesn’t add up to anything beyond word count. I can make a lifeless pile of words as well as the next guy. I can go on autopilot and lean on my tropes. I can make a mediocrity and semi-disguise it as something worth saying, but its costume is always sloppy and sliding off. When I was working on my collection Spoke & Dark, which was built around the idea of the ampersand as a kind of on-ramp that connects us, I would wake up with two words, an ampersand between them, flashing in my mind. Half feverishly, I would write a poem that day built around those two words. “Shoulder & Root.” “Feather & Web.” And “Spoke & Dark.” It was the first time that it was so overtly true that dreaming (and remembering the dreams) and writing were connected for me— it had something to do with my state of mind— and it was the first time that my work drifted toward working with filmed images.

AG: I just love your book Spoke & Dark - there is so much in an ampersand! It makes me think about how 20th century modernism focused on excision, but the Deluezean and improvisational “and” now asks us to add and include. Okay, let me pick up some other threads from the floor beneath the sewing machine here. Some kindling off this forest floor. How important is place to your work? Do you feel like an Arkansas poet? You live there, but you are not from there. How has where you have lived held your body, and the body of your work?

CG: I love this question, especially the way you’ve posed it here. I’ve lived in Arkansas for 17 years. The only place I’ve lived longer than that is the place I’m originally from: Chicago. And during the years I was there, I lived in maybe nine different places. As far as a home, I’ve been in the one I live in for much longer than anywhere else. And yet, my most Ozark-focused collection, Ozark Crows, actually takes place in the sky!

I never wrote about Chicago until I moved away, and then I wrote about it a lot, in great depth and detail. I couldn’t really see it until I left. Also, I can never seem to get over Lake Michigan. It’s a repeated theme and always seems to be a presence just to the east of everything I do.

Right now I’m working on a new project about borders. I proposed it to a project-specific grant in Northwest Arkansas that was founded as a way to nurture the arts community here. The fact that I received the grant made me feel a part of the community in a way that I hadn’t really felt before. And the fact that the project is about borders made me think about what it means to be “from” somewhere. I started by writing some poems that were about actual borders, and then I found myself moving on to more philosophical concerns, which is where I think my interests actually lie. Where does one voice end and another begin? If a border is over water, what state do the fish live in? I’m also exploring where the philosophical and the actual meet. There is so much new development here, and the wildlife tries to navigate how to live among acres and acres of newly erected borders. They lived in a field or a little woods, and then it’s cleared for housing and people don’t want them there. It’s a story that’s written and rewritten within human communities, too, obviously— over and over and over.

I’m not from Arkansas, but two of the people to whom I’m intimately connected — my children— are. Arkansas is the theatre for the most intense experience of my life. It’s not something I have or am likely to ever write about, but it informs everything I have to say about it, if that makes sense. One memorable incident occurred when my son was around eight. He went down into the little woods and found a tremendous pile of archimedes corals, tiny little fossils that all got washed into the mud during some catastrophic weather event, when the Ozarks were under water. They were there for millennia until he found them. Raising your children on a scrap of land where geologic time is so in evidence would make it difficult for anyone not to think about place!

AG: Ozark Crows covers your current terrain in text and your work often explores visual poetry. You’ve also made an accompanying film to your crow book. How does your poetry intersect with your other visual practices like film and photography? Do you have other practices that extend the text?

I’ve always been around artists working in other fields, collaborating, and combining forms. This is one of the reasons I’m so drawn to your work, Anne—I love multi-sensory methods of exploring, I experience your beautiful work on a level that goes beyond seeing and reading. I worked in the Art Department at Columbia College in Chicago for years, and I went to the interdisciplinary MFA program at Bard College. But during the last 18 years, the time I’ve been raising a family, I jettisoned everything except writing. I picked one thing to keep, the one I thought I’d be most able to continue doing while most of my energy was diverted elsewhere. We started making short experimental films as a family around ten years ago, and when I discovered user-friendly technology, there was this crush of ideas. It was all mostly just for fun, but then somehow it ends up being deadly serious. The family worked together on “The History Of Stars & Ghosts,” a short film that accompanied the release of Spoke & Dark, and I can’t even convey how excited I was to discover the way sound and light — in addition to text— allowed me to get into places I couldn’t get to before. There was no going back.

Photography was an interest that, as I settled into a period of life where I had more time to myself again, was rekindled. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by beauty. Macro-photography helps me in so many ways, to focus, to appreciate, to stop and calm myself. To look very, very closely. From there, I started constructing photo-collages that felt like poems – layering images of past and present. In “Places I Have Lived” and “Elizabethtown,” both sequences from my newest book How Much Of What Falls Will Be Left When It Gets To The Ground?, text is secondary to image.

In the past, I pretty much stood by concept of “first intensity,” (a work in certain genre that would need “a hundred works of any other kind of art to explain it.” (Ezra Pound). But what I’ve been feeling lately is that sometimes only a combination of media will work. Two of the films I made last year were very difficult for someone self-taught like me, and they felt laborious, ambitious. The “Twenty Micro-Movies” I made for twenty of the poems in Ozark Crows culminated in a piece called “The Funeral, “ in which dozens of voices of people with a connection to the land beneath my scrap of sky spoke the final phrase of the book: “I will know you.” I had so many files, visual and audio, to create the piece that my computer kept crashing and I was in constant fear of losing everything. But when many of the people who participated gathered in Fayetteville to watch a screening of it, I was consumed with gratitude. There was a warmth and life to that event and I never could have gotten to without making the film. I was trying to get at a sense of community, continuity, memory, elegy, one that not only humans experience. The poem itself was solemn, but the film, the voices, it contained so much more feeling. The other example is 14 Sentences. It’s a very short, simple poem that is part of a sequence called “Notes From Charlotte” in which my daughter handed me scraps of paper with prompts on them. One word per line on the theme of crime and punishment. The film was difficult to make, but oh how I loved the process. It took a simple and somewhat muted piece and turned it into something simmering with fear, dismay, and anger. Working on it was intense and all-consuming, and here’s a thing that I loved about it: The process of making visual things is so, so different— getting what I see in my mind out of my mind and into existence requires intense labor, but it doesn’t require solitude. Writing requires so much solitary space and time around the actual work, and there’s always the fear of interruption, catastrophic and devastating interruption from which you can never recover. With making digital films, interruption is frustrating, of course, but I’m never derailed to such an extent that the whole project is lost. I’ve probably lost an entire book’s worth of text to interruption.

On the borders project, I’ve been using trail camera footage to make short films for some of the poems, (an accidental time-lapse of the moonrise, and deer, deer, deer). Also, I’ve found myself much more interested in sound than I ever was before. The eerie dulling of the senses as I age has me obsessed with the senses— the line where one voice ends and another begins, the sensation of being in a room when everyone is talking at once, trying to make sense of blurred things, etc.. The new pieces are so much more about sound than anything I’ve done before. I bought a “talking photo album” that allows for ten seconds of sound per image, and I have this idea to make it into a traveling poem that can be mailed around. The only form I know for certain that I’ll never, ever attempt is dance.

AG: Never say never about dance! I’m thrilled/fascinated as artist/writers move and layer media to investigate. I keep moving back and forth between things, and I always figure that if I’m staying on some sort of creative continuum, it’s all okay, even if some of that is tedious or difficult. It sounds like your household is one massive collaboration with an IT center. I’d say your work is one endless colab with your immediate world.

Tell me about some of the artists and writers who have been important to you.

I’m going to take the easy way out on this question. Like anyone else, so many writers and artists have been important to me, and the most important changes by the hour. But when, as an undergrad, I learned about the New York school poets (and visual artists and composers, etc. etc), I was consumed with such enthusiasm and joy. I didn’t have a clue about what poetry could be before then. I’d always been drawn to works that approached their subjects in ways that were evocative rather than direct, and this was something that a lot of people I admired were experimenting with at the time. I went to Bard because I wanted to work with Ann Lauterbach. I was at Columbia in Chicago, and my exceptional teachers were the poets Paul Hoover and Elaine Equi. Leslie Scalapino came to visit our class. Barbara Guest visited Bard. Dozens of writers who radiated out of the O’Hara/Ashbery center were important to me. I love the poets they loved and everything going backward from that. I love the painting from that period, too. Here in Arkansas, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has an ever-evolving and growing group of works from that time, and I can’t believe my good fortune in having them so nearby. I also love Rosmarie Waldrop and the whole Burning Deck project. She’s been kind enough to send me books over the years, and I have two shelves of them— touchstones. We all love our friends’ work, I know, but I love Jennifer Martenson, Kostas Anagnopoulos, and Maryrose Larkin especially. Wallace Stevens, Emily Dickinson, Loren Eisley. I’m drifting away from the easy way out, so I’m going to stop, except to say that my enthusiasms have an intensity that is almost embarrassing. I’m still doing this after so many years because of the particular euphoria poetry offers me. Poetry itself is so important to me!

AG: Which brings me to thoughts and questions about practice… As I get older, I’ve found my habits have to change to keep at this. It’s a question of balancing thrill and sustainability. You’ve been writing a long time. How have you sustained your practice over the long term? How has it sustained you? The dissolve, the resolve. And what are you working on now? Any glimmer of future projects?

Thrill and sustainability! Yes! I don’t doubt that living in a two-poet household is a factor. It’s a running joke between my husband (the poet Davis McCombs) and I that we’re going to quit— as soon as we finish this one project. No, really, this time, this is going to be it. But the truth is, I think that it just becomes the default way in which you process your experiences. It would be like deciding not to think anymore, or not to breathe. The sequence I’m working on now, on borders (in a general, philosophical sense) has a different dynamic in that it’s for a project-specific grant. I’m having to navigate how this accountability makes me feel. I’m so used to being accountable to no one but myself, and I think it’s good for me to consider something and someone else. At the same time, self-awareness is a double-edged sword. I don’t want it to dictate how I proceed, but I’m profoundly grateful for the support and the interest. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that I should never get too attached to any plans I’ve made, aesthetically speaking. I can control Point A, but Point B cannot be willed. Not knowing where you’re going to end up makes for some suspenseful travels! That alone is enough to sustain me. There’s always the chance some illuminating joy is around the next curve.

Notes for first M talk.
A close reading of Hannah Brooks-Motl’s poem “Of Sadness.”

We know Hannah Brooks-Motl read Donald M. Frame’s translation of The Complete Essays of Montaigne because she writes, “I used three translations for this book”—

the first she lists is Donald Frame, 1958. (Donald Frame, not Donald M. Frame, as his name appears on the front cover of his translated Essays. An “M” too many?) Even if she hadn’t listed her sources, we could’ve easily guessed she used the Frame translation. Frame translates Montaigne’s titles as “Of [ ]”; it is more usual to translate the titles as “On [ ].” “On Sadness,” rather than Frame’s “Of Sadness.” Frame means “of” as “relating to, ABOUT.” I haven’t looked at Montaigne’s original 1588 “6th” edition, so I don’t know if Frame’s decision is truer. Or, did Frame simply like “of”? I like it. I prefer it.

We know Brooks-Motl used Frame’s translation because she quotes from it—the second line of her poem “Of Sadness” is in quotes, “A stupid and monstrous ornament!” That’s from Frame’s translation of Montaigne.

We can read the same “Of Sadness” Brooks-Motl read and think about what inspired each line of the poem.

First line:

“An accidental failing, or unseasonable surprise—”

The phrase “accidental failing” appears in Montaigne’s essay: “the accidental failing that surprises lovers.”

In Brooks-Motl’s poem, “the” becomes “an”—one accident among many (in Montaigne). For example: Charles de Guise “let himself go at this last accident [the death of a soldier in his army]….” Or, Niobe, transformed into a rock “represent[s]” according to Montaigne “that black, dumb, and deaf stupor that benumbs us when accidents surpassing our endurance overwhelm us.”

The second line is an unchanged quote from Montaigne: “a stupid and monstrous ornament!”—Montaigne’s attitude toward sadness.

Line three: “There’s no unfreezing that shock, it’s not a moment or cart”

Frozen from shock. Turned to stone. After Montaigne invokes Niobe, he explores the idea: To freeze a person by shock. King Ferdinand is frozen and stone: “…until the impact of sorrow, freezing his vital spirits, dropped him in this condition stone dead on the ground.” Montaigne’s lovers (himself, too) suffer “that frigidity that seizes them by the force of extreme ardor in the very lap of enjoyment.”

In a “moment” we are made sorrowful; we appear to be overcome with sorrow in a moment but our breakdown follows an assault of sorrows.

“cart” perplexes me. To cart is to carry. Hmm. To carry sorrow. The weight of it. Maybe so.

Line four: “I’m not brimmed with it yet.” Montaigne writes, “But the truth was that since he was already brimful of sadness….” Brooks-Motl replaces Montaigne’s subject—Charles de Guise—with herself. She’s not brimful “yet”—she will be. She carries sadness (she carts it). There’s room for more, though.

Line five: “Ceasing the habit of speech almost completely.”

…the inability to express oneself when struck by sadness or any great passion. Montaigne quotes Catullus: “…my wits depart amazed, / I can say nothing. // My tongue is numb…”

And quotes Seneca, too: “Light cares can speak, but heavy ones are dumb.”

I don’t find the phrase “habit of speech” in Montaigne’s “Of Sadness,” though it rings Montaigne. Has Brooks-Motl found Montaign’s voice her own?

Line six: “Or vivid with misdirection, and love”

Love appears in Montaigne’s essay at Catullus.

After examples of people stunned by sadness, Montaigne observes the same caused by love. Brooks-Motl writes, “Or…”—she signals an alternative with “or.” Is love “misdirection? Is sadness? Or are we misdirected by people’s response to passion?

And it’s “misdirection, and love”—and. I love, the feeling, can misdirect. Misdirection and love, not love = misdirection.

Line seven: is a direct quote from Montaigne.

“In truth, the impact of grief, to be extreme, must stun the whole soul and impede its freedom of action; as it happens to us, at the hot alarm of some very bad news, to feel ourselves caught, benumbed, and as it were paralyzed from any movements, so that the soul, relaxing afterward into tears and lamentations, seems to unbend, extricate itself, and gain more space and freedom. ‘And grief at long hard last breaks a way for the voice’ –Virgil.”

What is “very bad news”? Love?

Indeed, it can be.

Line eight: “I might cover my face”

Montaigne imagines a painter who documents Agamemnon when he sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia.

As you know, goddess Artemis demanded Iphigenia as a sacrifice if Agamemnon wished to sail to Troy. Iphigenia was sacrificed.

Brooks-Motl read that passage and instead of writing, “Agamemnon covered his face” she wrote, “I might cover my face.”

The sadness is Brooks-Motl’s own.

Line nine: “Circle the rocks”

As you know, Niobe had many children by Zeus. How many? Maybe twenty. Myth neglects to keep track. She was proud of her brood, and claimed she was Leto’s better since Leto’d had only twins. Oh how stupid of you, Niobe; Leto is a goddess. Her twins, Artemis and Apollo. What’s ten mortal daughters and ten mortal sons compared with immortal twins. Especially that pair. No children were ever as devoted to their mother and her reputation as Artemis and Apollo. The twin archers killed all but two of Niobe’s children.

That last line of Brooks-Motl’s “Of Sadness”—“Circle the rocks”—could refer to Niobe turning to stone. “Rocks” is plural, but then in Montaigne’s essay there are several who turn to stone. King Ferdinand, for example, “dropped… in this condition stone dead on the ground.”

What of the poem as a whole? Can we appreciate it separate from Montaigne’s essay?

Brooks-Motl anticipates the moment sadness will let grief “unbend” her—a moment that will come only when she is “brimful of sadness.” When it does come, it will stop her from the “habit of speech”—a poet’s habit.

Or, she’ll cover her face—perhaps with her hands, and “circle the rocks”—rocks grave markers?

Or could she, released by her own sadness, be moving around (dancing around?) those who remain trapped by shock?

Brooks-Motl ignores Montaigne’s conclusion: “I am little subject to these violent passions. My susceptibility is naturally tough; and I harden and thicken it every day by force of logic.”

Montaigne does not wish to be turned into a stone, so he combats sadness (and love) with reason. He claims to be rational.

Brooks-Motl anticipates irrationality.

Luc Fierens, Adriana Kobor: Activity, Ecologies, Complexity, and the “Open Work”

“…capitalism for its part was able to interpret the general principle
according to which things work well only providing they break down,…”
-anti-Oedipus

One of the most proactive avant-garde artists at the present time is Belgian collage artist Luc Fierens. His exciting assemblages appear in exhibits and publications in Italy, France and in the U.S., in other countries in Europe, on Facebook, where he and his international band of followers share poetic “comments” in diverse languages with computer translations. Fierens’ vibrant and striking collages, often tinged with eroticism and politics, sometimes angrily deface stereotypical commercial images and sometimes create serene beautiful panoramas of nostalgic fragments as idyllic global settings. The visual material itself does not appear intact. The viewer cannot “see” it as objects. Bodies appear partially—an eye, a forehead, a sleek arm, a bare foot. Blocks of text are included or torn portions of newspaper headlines. Empty space appears as part of the grand schematic, along with scenes of destruction or imprisonment. If a component piece is used in its completeness, it remains puzzling due to its having no context. The art of Fierens, its excellent representation is in its centering not on visibility, that is, the familiar known wholes associated with a chaotic world but on the “conceptual dynamism” of the mass of what we don’t know; not on the roadblocks of totality but the “productive movement” and “motion” of an exquisite complexity and interaction that “opens us up.”



Interestingly Fierens feels that his connection with collage work began as involvement with experimental poetry. In a recent forty-page collaboration with fellow avant-garde artist and writer Adriana Kobor titled 10-4, Kobor contributed the experimental poetry while Fierens contributed some unusual and instructive collages/visual writing. Kobor’s poems are very much like collages. They combine dissimilar words, phrases, memes into a fabric of references, realities, combinations, contrasts. These poems create a meaning detached from modalities of explicitness, determinism, sequence, literalism. Their geometric, sometimes ethereal meaning is in a kaleidoscopic disintegration, a philosophically transcendent nothingness.

We fell in love with a european bee-eater on the dumps. It was your figure and my bird’s chatter-things I bumped and banged as an iron gate until they would live deep into eternity.

And from a section later in the collection:

I’m wishing you well as I’m opening the thesaurus for life advice and finally it hollers at me the twin words: Poetry and Prose. I think I was posing the wrong question. Fishing for the right one in a lousy swimming pool, holding up a cocktail in my right hand, in order not to.

Sometimes words themselves introduce an unbearable transparency, so that Fierens’ opaque collages become a manifestation and a simulacrum of “experimental poetry.” There is no possibility of complicity or of imitation. The artworks seek an “infinitization” of origins and the primordial—“like a song, strophes, stories about impossible love and impossible living with beauty and anger.” Rather than viewing the brimming libidinal poetic core of life’s activities in terms of solutions, barriers, punishment, problematics, the Ego, Fierens seeks the innocent crystal-clear source and life-giving and life-changing morality of something new. In this way, Fierens’—and Kobor’s—artistic work is a signifier and not the attainment of a prominent isolated Objectivity; a social and cultural message of complexity and incompleteness in time and space. As Structuralist Emmanuel Levinas teaches, discovery and true individuality are created not from building a grandiose exteriority immunized against the Other but from the investment of a wounding dialectical encounter with the Other. With the signifier, “inspiration is the very structure of representation.” And “representation is pure spontaneity.”

Outspoken and approachable, Fierens himself seems a part of his artworks. His intense search is ongoing. Often his collages force the viewer to look at and grasp graphic portrayals of unthinkable violence and inexplicable destruction or of dramatically contradictory entities. In SMCKLL, which includes a color photograph of Luc and Adriana giving a presentation, the collages and the compositions of text seem to clash, as though they do not yet understand the significance and signification which they have in common. The “tearing to pieces” of “normal” scenes and realities begins to make sense with the re-gathering and re-arranging of widened imaginative improbabilities and incongruities. Fierens uses the phrase of Italian Structuralist writer, Umberto Eco, “Opera aperta,” the “open work.” Says Fierens, “I don’t want to make collages who are pre-composed with meaning or one view but they are open.” “Everybody reads something else and find its own truth.” Of his new collections, both collaborations with Kobor, Fierens says, “And therefor 10-4 and also SMCKLL are very good examples of my visual writing who connects. It is of course no collab vispo but the flow of images full of signs.”

My collages are part of a process, which started when I started writing experimental poetry and finding mail-art, as a process to communicate with “others.” Because I cannot exist without the other. My (art)work is nothing when it is only a work on it’s own, isolated. So it is not isolated, so connected. That is my importance for collabs, not because I feel lonely but the process of looking at the reality and re-describing (text) or re-constructing (collage) is important to me.

In these days of take-no-chances self-aggrandizement and insistent practicality, one might ask what reward Fierens seeks in creating and exhibiting his collages. Is the satisfaction of making excellent art payment in itself? With a person as intent as Fierens the answer could easily be “yes.” Fierens says,

By bringing images together i want to bring worlds together to make another world, content, reality, by scraping , by tearing the surface, i want to grasp what is underneath…

Or, perhaps the love of a woman would suffice: says Fierens, “non ci resta che la donna”—“all we have is a woman.” Fierens describes women as the “fil rouge of beauty”—“fil rouge” meaning “guiding thread” or “main theme” (literally “red string”). But beauty falls short in deterring corruption. As Keats pointed out, it’s only indistinguishable from truth. Says Fierens, “I don’t know, it is up to the viewer to assemble, to re-construct, de-construct what I have constructed.”



In immediate, everyday contexts, most people tend not to rely on abstract ideas as behavioral guidelines. They tend to define advancement and benefit in terms of themselves and tangible “profit.” As Jean-Francois Lyotard writes in Libidinal Economy,

Not the zone and the moment of the strained tensors, but the zone crossed, moment of a movement, therefore the tensions and their attendant risks and pains paid for in the hope of an ulterior gain, perceived and experienced as loss, as concessions necessary for health, progress, knowledge, enlightenment, socialism; the thorn-torn rags of wasted flesh are inessential, the important thing brings the final revenue, what will be gained from it…”

In many ways it’s true that this statement of Lyotard’s appears in advance of the argument. It supports the revolutionist modality of Fierens. However, let us remember that starting in the middle of the 19th Century, with the appearance of economic theories and ideas, particularly those associated with the French Communard, nations and societies became described as interactive and interdependent, in the manner of living organisms, such that the “general welfare” (a phrase used in the U.S. Constitution) of these societies interconnects closely with the activities of their individual members. As a result, the onus and obligation of citizenship is placed on each member of society but with society’s promise, in return, of reciprocation. The understanding and respect of abstract qualities and ideas is shown as not separate from but indisputably (though indirectly) attached with the self-interest of every member of society. The question is no longer a matter of an heroic unrewarded virtue but a matter of “production,” “gain,” “security,” “unobstructed avenues.” The idea that selfishness and society are in opposition is altered. The most selfless acts are the most selfish acts. Selflessness, within a system and “economy,” is a condition of payment.

Societies are conceptualized as economies. Seen as networks and machines with many moving parts, that are subject to malfunctions and blockages. From this has evolved the identification of many indices and key facets—unemployment, interest rates, the gross national product, prices and so on. Offenses against the flows, interactions, disjunctions/conjunctions and movements of this infrastructure are seen as damaging to everyone. Possibly going back to the French Revolution, economic ideas begin to become inclusive and take into consideration the general state of the society as a whole; all of this thinking is particularly related with environmentalism, where economic theories need to be turned into ecological theories, and fields of interest are no longer restricted to financial considerations and municipal structures, but include structures of clean air, natural beauty, geology, water quality, health, education and especially moral structure, structures of “right actions” and activity in general. Ecological fields stretch not merely to nations but planets and solar systems as they are subject to universal laws of movement—laws both pre-determined and discovered in the artworks of artists such as Fierens and Kobor and centuries of civilization. This is the idea of placing behaviors and actions on practical measurable scales rather than an autonomous, individual scale that rightly resides beyond government and authority. But, also, laws are applied in new ways. For example, would the construction of a power plant affect the ground water of a large surrounding scenic area? Do volumes of traffic produce quantities of pollution that pose health problems in areas of concentrated populations? These types of considerations extend beyond mere economics, and in some cases they impede economic proposals. With ecologies rather than economies, broad scale governing and planning is based on a larger foundation of considerations than previously. Everything and everyone is bound in general with responsibility to act in a constructive manner toward fellow living creatures. An injury to the system deprives all of their fully sublime payday.

The point I’m driving at is that language itself exerts a vast ecological influence. Based on recurring primordial qualities found in cave drawings, writings, signs, lettrist art, scrolls, with “visual writing,” the logos properly functions in human actions and conceptualities harmonious with Creation, in all its forms and aspects, especially nature. But one topic visual artists have not talked much about that closely relates to this is the idea of “the signifier”—language signifier—a factor that places greater emphasis on language as formal imperative. A signifier signifies. A Latin signifier signifies Latin words. A lunar signifier produces fragments, images, samples, thoughts greatly influenced from the idea of the moon. A language signifier, because it’s so extensive and fundamental, has some important effects: it signifies communication, community, interaction, perhaps reproduction, meaning, ideas, thought, dreams. The language signifier signifies all the properties (and structures) of language: complexity, ambiguity, indeterminateness, words, explanation, clarity. In fact, language might be described as the signifier of life, and, as such, the qualities and behaviors that it signifies are endless. The only thing that language doesn’t signify are qualities and behaviors associated with death—lack of movement, groundless malice, killing, greed, silence, obstruction, etc. As Lyotard writes, “…Eros being capable of unbinding and setting free, death binding to the point of being a strangler…”





In Fierens’ and Kobor’s collection 10-4, two of Kobor’s artworks seem to be stirring an immediate impression on the avant-garde scene. Actually technically these are “visual” works rather than collages. The pages of 10-4 contain several of these rather simple constructions, but I’ve transferred two of them to pages above in this review. In one, Kobor has filled the eight-and-a-half by eleven page with eleven point type of a serif font completely to the brim. No space appears between the lines, and the lines extend entirely from margin to margin. The writing is free-association and essentially visual. The art of this work is the signification of crammed and crowded space. Is anything expressed, either in the “writing” itself or the composition of the print? In the words of Deleuze/Guattari, “…matter that has no empty space is profoundly schizoid.” Space is an inherent component of matter. The appearance of the page of crammed, dense writing is daunting and distressing and an offense in the sense that the character of the language signifier and the nature of writing (and nature itself) is violated and erroneous. The basic qualities of order, balance, spacing, system, territoriality, multiplicity, productiveness, effectiveness are discarded. In my opinion, this same offense (“trespass”) occurs in the event that a “uniform” thoroughly money-based “big box” development is arbitrarily built in an area of sparse scenic rural peace and “natural beauty.” In the words of Henri Lefebvre, “In its quest for totality, it tries to make [the natural qualities] its subordinates.”

In the second Fierens visual work (collage) above (with flowers), the structural qualities are evident and highlighted. In the two visual works of Kobor’s, the contrast of the second work produces a clear feeling of improvement—balance, moderation—and comprehensibility. Other qualities exhibited in it are space, discreetness, identity, decoding, flux, genuineness, harmony, cosmopolitanism, articulation. Despite non-linearity and ambiguity, language remains quintessentially structural (“deep structure”), although the manner in which this takes place is paradoxical. As a signifier, language is actually somewhat rigid. But what it signifies is the opposite of rigidity: the qualities of liberation and imagination for instance. But these qualities are inherent actualities, not superficial options.

Words are usable in depicting any type of structure, not merely visibly recognizable structures. Luc Fierens, in saying that “I don’t want to make collages who are pre-composed with meaning or one view” and “my (art)work is nothing when it is only a work on it’s own, isolated” is, at least in one way, taking up the topic of a signifier. Really, he’s saying in a somewhat admonishing moral framework that collages aren’t constructed from “one view” that is in “isolation,” and if they are made that way they go against the inherent structure of collage and language to begin with. In terms of ecologies, it's important that an artwork or poem does not conform to a known "ideality" or unity but, rather, creates or discovers something entirely new. Artworks, language are bound to signify not a mortal dominating ideal, in keeping with the narrow moralities, secret manipulations, deceptions and self-destructive values of worldliness. Artworks (collage) do not construct already recognizable patterns in their completeness—an “Objectivity” or “ideality.” Artworks are bound to signify the anticipation of a recognizable problematic but at the same time a liberating complexity that sustains a continuous state of discovery, an open true reality and “ecological process” of production and reward.

Contributors' Notes

Omar Al-Nakib is a Kuwaiti artist and poet. His artwork has been exhibited locally, and his poetry has been published in Dispatches from the Poetry Wars. He is currently at work on a film project.

Rosaire Appel is a text / image artist using analog as well as digital methods. Her most recent book, Connect Here, was published my Small Editions. Her website is at www.rosaireappel.com. Her visual blog is at rosaireappel.blogspot.com.

Robyn Art is the author of Farmer, Antagonist, which was selected by Jennifer L Knox as the winner of the 2015 Burnside Review Chapbook Contest and published in Spring 2016. Her full-length poetry collection, The Stunt Double in Winter (Dusie 2007) was a Finalist for the 2005 Sawtooth Poetry Prize as well as the 2005 Kore Press First Book Award. Her newer manuscript, Amplitude, Awe, was recently selected as a Finalist for the 2014 Burnside Review Book Award. Her chapbooks include Vestigial Portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Scenes From the Body, and Landless/Ness, all from dancinggirlpress, as well as Secret Lives of Blow-Up Dolls (dusiekollectiv). Her recent work can be found in The Denver Quarterly, The Illanot Review, Juked, Bone Bouquet, La Petite Zine, Tinderbox, The Burnside Review, and elsewhere.

Andrew Brenza’s recent chapbooks include Bitter Almonds & Mown Grass (Shirt Pocket Press), Waterlight (Simulacrum Press), and Excerpt from Alphabeticon (No Press). His full-length collection, Gossamer Lid, a series of visual poems based on the 88 official constellations of Western astronomy, was published by Trembling Pillow Press. His most recent collection of visual poems, Automatic Souls, is forthcoming from Timglaset.

Kenneth M Cale is originally from Scotland, but now lives in Oregon. His work has appeared in various UK and US journals, including 3am, Five:2:One, and West Wind Review.

Tyler Carter is an assistant professor of English language at Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China. His recent blogging project can be found at foreignology.blogspot.com and his music project, allmyheroes, can be found at soundcloud.com/allmyheroes.

Chris Caruso earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Boise State University. His poems appear in online and print journals as well as in anthologies. Originally from New Jersey he currently lives in Boise, but dreams of a small cottage with a Koi pond in Portland.

Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.

Mark Dow published Plain Talk Rising in 2018. His related essay "Dick Talk" is on the Agni blog, and the book was reviewed in the New Haven Review. Frieda Katz Dow, Mark's mother, studied Gregg shorthand at Martin High School in Laredo, Texas, and won the interscholastic state shorthand competition in 1948.

Luc Fierens was born in Mechelen, Belgium, in 1961. He is a visual poet/collagist provocateur, manipulating the relationship between words and image. His work emerged out of Poesia Visiva, Mail Art and Fluxist circles. He maintains a blog at lucfierens.tumblr.com.

Adam Golaski's writing has appeared in 1913: A Journal of Forms, A Velvet Giant, Almost Crashing, and the Bennington Review. Visit Little Stories for more at adamgolaski.blogspot.com.

Anne Gorrick is the author of eight books of poetry including most recently: Beauty, Money, Luck, etc. for Beginners (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2019), An Absence So Great and Spontaneous it is Evidence of Light (the Operating System, 2018); and The Olfactions: Poems on Perfume (BlazeVOX Books, 2017). She collaborated with artist Cynthia Winika to produce a limited edition artists’ book, "“Swans, the ice,” she said," funded by the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She also co-edited (with poet Sam Truitt) In|Filtration: An Anthology of Innovative Writing from the Hudson River Valley (Station Hill Press, 2016). She lives in West Park, New York.

Carolyn Guinzio is the author of six collections, most recently How Much Of What Falls Will Be Left When It Gets To The Ground? (Tolsun, 2018) and Ozark Crows (Spuyten-Duyvil, 2018). She lives in Fayetteville, AR and can be found online at carolynguinzio.tumblr.com.

David Hadbawnik is a poet, translator, and medieval scholar. His Aeneid Books 1- 6 was published by Shearsman Books in 2015. In 2012, he edited Thomas Meyer’s Beowulf (Punctum Books), and in 2011 he co-edited selections from Jack Spicer’s Beowulf for CUNY’s Lost and Found Document Series. He has published academic essays on poetic diction in English poetry from the medieval through early modern period, and is Assistant Professor of English at American University of Kuwait. His latest book, Holy Sonnets to Orpheus and Other Poems, was published by Delete Press in 2018.

Daniel Y. Harris is the author of numerous collections of xperimental writing. His individual collections include The Tryst of Thetica Zorg (BlazeVOX, 2018), Volume II of his Posthuman Series, The Rapture of Eddy Daemon (BlazeVOX, 2016), Volume I of his Posthuman Series, The Underworld of Lesser Degrees (NYQ Books, 2015) and Hyperlinks of Anxiety (Červená Barva Press, 2013). His xperimental writing and sauvage art have been published in BlazeVOX, The Denver Quarterly, European Judaism, Exquisite Corpse, The New York Quarterly, Notre Dame Review, Poetry Salzburg Review and Stride. He holds an M.Div from The University of Chicago and is Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of X-Peri. His website is danielyharris.com.

W. Scott Howard worked at Powell’s Books (1990 - 1993) where he managed the Critical Theory section and the prism interdisciplinary discussion series, and co-managed (with Vanessa Renwick) the Small Press & Journals section and the dew.claw reading series. He received his Ph.D. (1998) in English and Critical Theory from the University of Washington, Seattle, where he was a member of the Subtext Collective. Scott is the founding editor of Reconfigurations: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture. His collections of poetry include the e-book, ROPES (with images by Ginger Knowlton) from Delete Press, and SPINNAKERS from The Lune. Scott lives in Englewood, CO where he gardens, writes, and commutes year-round by bicycle, following what crow dost. He is professor of English & Literary Arts at the University of Denver, where he edits Denver Quarterly.

Matthew Klane is co-editor at Flim Forum Press. His books include Canyons (w/ James Belflower, Flim Forum, 2016), Che (Stockport Flats, 2013) and B (Stockport Flats, 2008). An e-chapbook from Of the Day is online at Delete Press and an e-book My is online at Fence Digital. More junkmail collages are online or forthcoming at ctrl + v, Diagram, Fugue, and Gasher. He currently lives and writes in Albany, NY, where he curates the The REV Poetry Series and teaches at Russell Sage College. See: matthewklane.com.

Alyse Knorr is a queer poet and assistant professor of English at Regis University. She is the author of the poetry collections Mega-City Redux (Green Mountains Review 2017), Copper Mother (Switchback Books 2016), and Annotated Glass (Furniture Press Books 2013), as well as the non-fiction book Super Mario Bros. 3 (Boss Fight Books 2016). Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Denver Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, The Greensboro Review, and ZYZZYVA, among others. She co-edits Switchback Books.

Irene Koronas is the author of numerous collections of xperimental writing. Her individual collections include declivities (BlazeVOX, 2018), Volume III in her Grammaton Series, ninth iota (The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2018), Volume II in her Grammaton Series, Codify (Éditions du Cygne, 2017), Volume I in her Grammaton Series), Turtle Grass (Muddy River Books, 2014) and Emily Dickinson (Propaganda Press, 2010), Her xperimental writing and sauvage art have been published in Arcanum Café, BlazeVOX, The Boston Globe, Brave New Word, Cambridge Chronicles, Clarion, Counterexample Poetics, E·ratio, experiential-experimental-literature, Lummox, Mgversion>datura, Of\with, journal of immanent renditions, New Mystics, Otoliths, Pop Art, Poesy, Presa, Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, Spreadhead and Stride. She is an internationally acclaimed painter and digital artist, having exhibited at the Tokyo Art Museum Japan, the Henri IV Gallery, the Ponce Art Gallery, Gallery at Bentley College and the M & M Gallery. She’s a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art & Design and is the Publisher and Managing Editor of X-Peri.

Adrian Lurssen’s work has recently appeared in the Boston Review's What Nature anthology, WITNESS, and Poetry City USA. Additional poems in his Watched for Music series are forthcoming in Posit.

"Diana Magallón is the Constantin Guys of the cyber age, and more: she is the Diana Magallón of the next age" (Jeff Harrison).

Sheila E. Murphy is an American poet who has been writing and publishing actively since 1978. Her book titled Reporting Live from You Know Where won the Hay(na)Ku Poetry Book Prize Competition from Meritage Press (U.S.A.) and xPress(ed) (Finland). Also in 2018, Broken Sleep Books brought out the book As If To Tempt the Diatonic Marvel from the Ivory. Luna Bisonte Prods released Underscore in that same year, featuring a collaborative visual book by K.S. Ernst and Sheila E. Murphy. Murphy is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. (Green Integer Press, 2003). Murphy is known for working in forms including such as the ghazal, haibun, and pantoum in her individual writing. As an active collaborator, she has worked with Douglas Barbour on an extended poem called Continuations. Murphy’s visual work, both individual and collaborative, is shown in galleries and in private collections. Initially educated in instrumental and vocal music, Murphy is associated with music in poetry. She earns her living as a professor, organizational consultant, speaker, and researcher and holds the PhD degree. She has lived in Phoenix, Arizona throughout her adult life.

Daniel Nester is an essayist, poet, journalist, editor, teacher, and Queen fan. His latest book is a memoir, Shader: 99 Notes on Car Washes, Making Out in Church, Grief, and Other Unlearnable Subjects (99: The Press 2015). Previous books include How to Be Inappropriate (Soft Skull, 2010), God Save My Queen I and II (Soft Skull, 2003 and 2004), and The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody, 2014), which he edited.

W.E. Pierce is a writer and journalist living near Chicago. His poetry can also be found in The Literary Review, BlazeVOX19, and Heavy Feather Review.

Jon Riccio is a PhD candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers where he serves as an associate editor at Mississippi Review. His work appears in print or online at Booth, The Cincinnati Review, E·ratio, Permafrost, Switchback, and Waxwing, among others. He received his MFA from the University of Arizona.

Sarah Rosenthal is the author of The Grass Is Greener When the Sun Is Yellow (a collaboration with Valerie Witte, The Operating System, 2019), Lizard (Chax, 2016), Manhatten (Spuyten Duyvil, 2009), and several chapbooks. She edited A Community Writing Itself: Conversations with Vanguard Poets of the Bay Area (Dalkey Archive, 2010). Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction has appeared in numerous journals and is anthologized in Kindergarde: Avant-garde Poems, Plays, and Stories for Children (Black Radish, 2013), Building is a Process / Light is an Element: essays and excursions for Myung Mi Kim (P-Queue, 2008), and Bay Poetics (Faux, 2006). She has done grant-supported writing residencies at VSC, Soul Mountain, Ragdale, New York Mills, Hambidge, and This Will Take Time, and has been a Headlands Center Affiliate Artist. She lives in San Francisco where she works as a Life & Professional Coach and develops curricula for the Center for the Collaborative Classroom. She serves on the California Book Awards jury. Her website is sarahrosenthal.net.

Fabio Sassi makes photos and acrylics using what is considered to have no worth by the mainstream. He often puts a quirky twist to his subjects or employs an unusual perspective that gives a new angle of view. Fabio lives in Bologna, Italy and his work can be viewed at www.fabiosassi.foliohd.com.

Robert R. Thurman is an artist, musician and poet. Thurman is the author of Systems (2015), Connections (ZimZalla, 2017), Machine Language (Spacecraft Press, 2018) and Signals (edition taberna kritika, 2018). Robert’s work has appeared in The Harvard Advocate, Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion, Coldfront Magazine, Ars Medica: A Journal of Medicine the Arts and Humanities, Rune: The MIT Journal of Arts and Letters, and The Monarch Review. His work has been exhibited internationally.

Bill Wolak has just published his fifteenth book of poetry entitled The Nakedness Defense with Ekstasis Editions. His collages have appeared recently in Naked in New Hope 2017, The 2017 Seattle Erotic Art Festival, Poetic Illusion, The Riverside Gallery, Hackensack, NJ, the 2018 Dirty Show in Detroit, 2018 The Rochester Erotic Arts Festival, and The 2018 Montreal Erotic Art Festival.

Joshua Zelesnick’s poetry and political essays can be found in various journals and magazines, among them Jubilat, Called Back Books, Mid-American Poetry Review, The New People, Labor Notes, Guacamole Lit Mag, and Counterpunch. A chapbook , Cherub Poems, will be coming out from Bonfire Books this summer. He’s fought some labor rights battles with fellow workers for adjunct professor equity throughout the Pittsburgh metro area, most notably at Duquesne University, where the administration still refuses to recognize a democratically elected union. He teaches writing at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, and has recently completed his high school teaching certification. He lives at Borland Garden, a co-housing community, in East Liberty with his partner and 2-year old daughter, where, with friends, he helps run a living room reading and music series.

Past Issues

  • Issue #1
  • Issue #2
  • Issue #3
  • Issue #4
  • Issue #5
  • Issue #6
  • Issue #7
  • Issue #8
  • Issue #9
  • Issue #10
  • Issue #11
  • Issue #12
  • Issue #13
  • Issue #14
  • Issue #15
  • Issue #16
  • Issue #17
  • Issue #18
  • Issue #19
  • Issue #20
  • Issue #21
  • Issue #22
  • Issue #23
  • Issue #24
  • Issue #25
  • Issue #26
  • Issue #27
  • Issue #28
  • Issue #29
  • Issue #30
  • Issue #31
  • Issue #32


Index of Contributors

  • a
  • Eric Abbott: Issue 11
  • Scott Abels: Issue 16
  • Nola Accili: Issue 14
  • Carrie Olivia Adams: Issue 13
  • Michael Aird: Issue 14
  • Kismet Al-Hussaini: Issue 13
  • William Allegrezza: Issues 1, 5, 8
  • Reed Altemus: Issue 16
  • Emily Anderson: Issue 14
  • Hanna Andrews: Issue 14
  • Jim Andrews: Issues 9, 13, 23, 30, 32
  • Andrés Anwandter: Issue 12
  • Aaron Anstett: Issue 9
  • Rosaire Appel: Issue 33
  • Francesco Aprile: Issue 23, 27
  • Sacha Archer: Issue 30
  • Ark Codex: Issue 19
  • Marcia Arrieta: Issues 11, 15, 29
  • Guido Arroyo: Issue 12
  • Robyn Art: Issues 20, 24, 26, 30, 33
  • Cynthia Arrieu-King: Issues 9, 11, 14
  • b
  • Geoffrey Babbitt: Issue 21
  • Petra Backonja: Issues 4, 8, 9, 16
  • Jeff Bagato: Issues 31, 32
  • Aditya Bahl: Issue 26
  • Cristiana Baik: Issue 14
  • Carlyle Baker: Issues 13, 16, 22, 28
  • Martín Bakero: Issue 12
  • Devon Balwit: Issue 29
  • Josely Vianna Baptista: Issue 10
  • Elizabeth H. Barbato: Issue 14
  • Thomas Basbøll: Issue 9
  • Cherise Bacalski: Issue 16
  • Emileigh Barnes: Issue 19
  • Gary Barwin: Issue 28
  • Michael Basinski: Issues 3, 7, 15, 22, 30
  • Kathryn T.S. Bass: Issue 5
  • Keith Baughman: Issue 5
  • Angela Bayout: Issue 23
  • Dan Beachy-Quick: Issue 1
  • derek beaulieu: Issue 12
  • Hugh Behm-Steinberg: Issue 32
  • Jeremy Behreandt: Issue 17
  • Guy Beining: Issue 3
  • Lana Bella: Issue 30
  • C. Mehrl Bennett: Issues 12, 13
  • John M. Bennett: Issues 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 26, 27
  • Wes Benson: Issue 20
  • Marta Bentley : Issue 10
  • Scott Bentley : Issue 10
  • Jim Berger: Issue 18
  • David Berridge: Issue 7
  • Erin M. Bertram: Issue 11
  • József Bíró: Issue 32
  • CL Bledsoe: Issue 32
  • Anne Blonstein: Issues 9, 16
  • John Bloomberg-Rissman: Issue 23
  • Megan Boatright: Issue 17
  • Jerrod E. Bohn: Issue 22
  • Gherardo Bortolotti: Issue 10
  • Daniel Borzutzky: Issue 8
  • Tim Botta: Issue 9
  • David Braden: Issue 1
  • Adam Braffman: Issue 20
  • Michael Brandonisio: Issues 18, 28
  • Andrew Brenza: Issue 23, 29, 32, 33
  • Anamaría Briede: Issue 12
  • Melissa Broder: Issue 17
  • Michael Broder: Issue 9, 27
  • Heath Brougher: Issue 28
  • Keith Nathan Brown: Issue 15
  • Tomás Browne: Issue 12
  • Annah Browning: Issue 19
  • Sommer Browning: Issue 12
  • Thierry Brunet: Issue 13
  • Anhvu Buchanan: Issue 18
  • Sabine Buchet: Issue 30
  • Trina Burke: Issue 15
  • Sean Burn: Issue 18
  • Avery E. D. Burns: Issue 7
  • Joshua Butts: Issues 15, 16
  • John Byrum: Issue 4
  • c
  • Kenneth M Cale: Issue 33
  • Marina Camboni: Issue 16
  • Isabel Sobral Campos: Issue 28
  • Billy Cancel: Issue 29
  • Mike Cannell: Issue 14
  • James Capozzi: Issues 16, 22, 32
  • Jenna Cardinale: Issues 6, 31
  • Ric Carfagna: Issue 2
  • Sue Carnahan: Issue 12
  • C. S. Carrier: Issues 6, 15
  • Allison Carter: Issue 14
  • Autumn Carter: Issue 14
  • Tyler Carter: Issues 10, 33
  • Chris Caruso: Issue 33
  • Christophe Casamassima: Issue 4
  • Mario José Cervantes: Issues 15, 17, 32
  • Joel Chace: Issues 2, 20, 23, 29, 31
  • Geneva Chao: Issue 6
  • Mike Chasar: Issues 5, 9
  • Liz Chereskin: Issue 29
  • David-Baptiste Chirot: Issues 11, 13
  • Chad Chmielowicz: Issue 5
  • Julie Choffel: Issue 7
  • Peter Ciccariello: Issues 11, 22
  • Robin Clarke: Issue 20
  • Jackie Clark: Issue 16
  • Adam Clay: Issue 9
  • Julia Cohen: Issue 8
  • Jessica Comola: Issue 25
  • Emmitt Conklin: Issue 32
  • Mary Coons: Issue 32
  • Matthew Cooperman: Issue 27
  • Brooklyn Copeland: Issue 15
  • K.R. Copeland: Issue 25
  • William Cordeiro: Issues 19, 21
  • Martin Corless-Smith: Issue 1
  • John Cotter: Issue 11
  • Clayton A. Couch: Issues 5, 10
  • Bruce Covey: Issue 7
  • Kathryn Cowles: Issue 17
  • John Crouse: Issues 3, 7
  • Jeff Crouch: Issue 15, 28
  • Felipe Cussen: Issue 12
  • d
  • Steve Dalachinsky: Issue 8
  • Adam Dalva: Issue 25
  • Catherine Daly: Issues 3, 10
  • Kristina Marie Darling: Issues 19, 27, 29
  • Arkava Das: Issues 30, 32
  • Drew B. David: Issue 32
  • Ian Davisson: Issue 14
  • Holly Day: Issue 25
  • Malcolm de Chazal: Issue 10
  • Darren Demaree: Issues 30, 32
  • Richard Deming: Issue 1
  • Jesse DeLong: Issues 20, 32
  • Shira Dentz: Issue 19
  • Tom Derung: Issue 16
  • Sally Deskins : Issue 26
  • David Detrich: Issue 17
  • Dot Devota: Issue 20
  • Justin Dodd: Issue 11
  • Elizabeth Dooher: Issue 21
  • John Mercuri Dooley: Issue 8
  • David Doran: Issue 13
  • Dan Dorman: Issue 30
  • Kate Dougherty: Issue 18
  • Mark Dow: Issues 9, 26, 30, 33
  • Buck Downs: Issue 15
  • Julie Doxsee: Issue 10
  • Ben Doyle: Issue 12
  • Mark DuCharme: Issues 5, 15, 26, 31
  • Donald Dunbar: Issue 16
  • Rachel Blau DuPlessis: Issue 16
  • Amit Dwibedy: Issue 4
  • e
  • Jason Earls: Issue 4
  • Tim Earley: Issue 13
  • Rebecca Eddy: Issues 18, 30
  • K.S. Ernst: Issue 15
  • Alethea Eason: Issue 7
  • Alison Eastley: Issue 6
  • Christopher Eaton: Issue 13
  • Estela Eaton: Issue 8
  • Cassandra Eddington: Issue 23
  • Michael Tod Edgerton: Issue 9
  • kari edwards: Issues 4, 10
  • Cathy Eisenhower: Issue 5
  • Stephanie Countiss Emens: Issue 11
  • Stephen Emmerson: Issue 26
  • Jill Alexander Essbaum: Issue 13
  • Anna Eyre: Issue 21
  • f
  • Adam Fagin: Issue 21
  • Betsy Fagin: Issue 7
  • Elisabetta Falanga: Issue 23
  • Noah Falck: Issue 11
  • Rebecca Farivar: Issues 21, 31
  • Raymond Farr: Issues 3, 5, 12 , 30, 32
  • Michael Farrell: Issue 5
  • David Felix: Issues 28, 32
  • Adam Fieled: Issues 9, 11, 17
  • Luc Fierens: Issues 3, 23, 33
  • Jennifer Firestone: Issue 28
  • Steve Finbow: Issue 8
  • Thomas Fink: Issues 5, 11
  • Ian Finch: Issue 31
  • Connor Fisher: Issue 28
  • Sandy Florian: Issue 8
  • Kurt Folch: Issue 13
  • Alessia Folcio: Issue 10
  • Craig Foltz: Issue 17, 28
  • Gregorio Fontén: Issue 12
  • Hugh Fox: Issue 17
  • Skip Fox: Issue 6
  • Richard Froude: Issue 13
  • Jason Fraley: Issue 11
  • Andy Frazee: Issue 14
  • Vernon Frazer: Issues 2, 6, 11
  • Emily Kendal Frey: Issues 13, 16
  • Jennifer Frota: Issue 10
  • Logan Fry: Issue 29
  • g
  • Matt Gagnon: Issue 14
  • Shamala Gallagher: Issue 21
  • John Gallaher 27
  • Mitchell Garrard: Issue 25
  • Karen Garthe: Issue 2
  • Trina Gaynon: Issue 11
  • Crane Giamo: Issue 16
  • Crystal Gibbins: Issue 19
  • Marco Giovenale: Issues 10, 23, 27, 31
  • Jim Goar: Issue 11
  • Adam Golaski: Issues 8, 11, 12, 27, 33
  • Aida Goldfard: Issue 12
  • Monica Gomery: Issue 18
  • Noah Eli Gordon: Issues 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, 31
  • Anne Gorrick: Issues 8, 21, 23, 27, 30, 33
  • Joshua Gottlieb-Miller: Issue 25
  • Andrew Grace: Issue 12
  • Garth Graeper: Issue 12
  • Evan Gray: Issue 30
  • Eryn Green: Issues 12, 21
  • Michelle Greenblatt: Issues 9, 25
  • Kate Greenstreet: Issue 9
  • Arpine Konyalian Grenier: Issues 15, 23, 27, 30, 31, 32
  • Nicholas Grider: Issues 8, 26
  • Martín Gubbins: Issue 12
  • Carolyn Guinzio: Issue 33
  • Guy-Vincent: Issue 22
  • h
  • David Hadbawnik: Issue 33
  • Alan Halsey: Issues 8, 13
  • Annalynn Hammond: Issue 7
  • Daniel Y. Harris: Issues 31, 32, 33
  • Jeff Harrison: Issues 3, 19, 24, 27, 30, 32
  • Kenneth E. Harrison, Jr.: Issue 8
  • Roberto Harrison: Issue 15
  • Libby Hart: Issue 24
  • Nathan Hauke: Issue 9
  • Anthony Hawley: Issue 6
  • Kristin Hayter: Issue 15
  • Dustin Hellberg: Issues 8, 28
  • Scott Helmes: Issues 4, 7, 11, 15, 22, 27, 30
  • Derek Henderson : Issues 10, 12, 19
  • Victoria Henry: Issue 20
  • Brandi Katherine Herrera: Issue 22
  • Tom Hibbard: Issues 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 21, 22, 27, 33
  • Katie Hibner: Issue 27
  • August Higland: Issue 7
  • Elizabyth A. Hiscox: Issue 15
  • Crag Hill: Issues 12, 16
  • Janis Butler Holm: Issue 30
  • W. Scott Howard: Issues 9, 11, 14, 22, 27, 29, 32, 33
  • Brian Howe: Issue 10
  • Erika Howsare: Issue 8
  • Sandra Huber: Issues 10, 11
  • Angela Hume: Issue 17
  • Geof Huth: Issues 9, 12
  • i
  • Brenda Iijima: Issue 3
  • Kara Imre: Issue 18
  • Kate Ingold: Issue 17
  • j
  • Martin Jackson: Issue 13
  • Jacklyn Janeksela: Issue 28
  • Jessie Janeshek: Issue 22
  • Andrew Jecklin: Issue 2
  • Becca Jensen: Issue 17
  • k
  • Matthew Johnstone: Issue 25
  • George Kalamaras: Issues 10, 13, 23, 29
  • Julius Kalamarz: Issue 11
  • Genevieve Kaplan: Issues 11, 21
  • Josef Kaplan: Issue 16
  • Mary Kasimor: Issues 3, 6, 23, 32
  • Debra Kaufman: Issue 15
  • Aby Kaupang: Issue 14
  • W.B. Keckler: Issue 5
  • Michael Keenan: Issue 24
  • Robert Keith: Issue 31
  • Karl Kempton: Issues 14, 16, 18
  • Joseph Keppler: Issue 23
  • Jukka-Pekka Kervinen: Issues 1, 6, 8, 10
  • Amy King: Issue 5
  • Stephen Kirbach: Issue 4
  • Matthew Klane: Issues 7, 9, 15, 17, 22, 30, 33
  • J.I. Kleinberg: Issue 30
  • Alyse Knorr: Issue 33
  • Adriána Kóbor: Issue 32
  • Laura Kochman: Issue 18
  • Amy Kohut: Issues 7, 18
  • Christopher Kondrich: Issue 23
  • Irene Koronas: Issue 33
  • Richard Kostelanetz: Issue 3
  • Kristin Kostick: Issue 21
  • Breonna Krafft: Issue 16
  • Joshua Kryah: Issue 19
  • Donna Kuhn: Issues 6, 12
  • l
  • Tyler Cain Lacy: Issue 25
  • Lily Ladewig: Issue 18
  • Ray Lam: Issue 14
  • Dorothee Lang: Issue 19
  • David Laskowski: Issue 8
  • Dorothea Lasky: Issues 4, 12
  • Jan Lauwereyns: Issue 12
  • Kent Leatham: Issue 32
  • Gracie Leavitt: Issue 18
  • Sueyeun Juliette Lee: Issue 5
  • Jim Leftwich: Issues 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 26
  • Danika Stegeman LeMay: Issue 30
  • Jon Leon: Issues 8, 10
  • Michael Leong: Issue 21
  • Karen Lepri: Issue 18
  • erica lewis: Issue 16
  • Susan Lewis: Issue 24
  • Jane Lewty: Issue 20
  • Lauren Levin: Issue 10
  • Chad Lietz: Issue 14
  • Lisa Lightsey: Issue 14
  • A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz: Issues 13, 14, 18
  • Charles Lock: Issue 16
  • Solamito Luigino: Issue 12
  • Carlos Luis: Issue 6
  • Adrian Lurssen: Issues 13, 33
  • Claire Lux: Issue 7
  • John Lowther: Issues 5, 26, 29
  • Brian Lucas: Issues 8, 19
  • m
  • Aaron McCollough: Issues 1, 2, 9
  • Paul McCormick: Issue 8
  • Jennifer MacKenzie: Issue 22
  • Kevin McLellan: Issue 21
  • Anthony Madrid: Issue 17
  • Julia Madsen: Issue 29
  • Kristin Maffei: Issue 26
  • Chris Major: Issue 14
  • Gwyn McVay: Issue 2
  • Joseph Mains: Issue 21
  • Diana Magallón: Issues 7, 9, 14 ,15, 20, 24, 28, 33
  • Bjørn Magnhildøen: Issue 13
  • Youdhisthir Maharjan: Issue 24
  • Tony Mancus: Issues 22, 31
  • Rodrigo Mardones: Issue 12
  • Justin Marks: Issues 9, 11
  • Camille Martin: Issues 3, 6
  • J. Michael Martinez: Issue 8
  • Stephanie Martz: Issue 16
  • Kaz Maslanka: Issue 13
  • Liz Mastrangelo: Issue 21
  • Alexandra Mattraw: Issues 16, 19
  • Raphael P. Maurice: Issue 30
  • Kristi Maxwell: Issue 11
  • Rachel May: Issue 19
  • David Meltzer: Issue 12
  • Rebecca Mertz: Issue 17
  • Mez: Issue 13
  • Giuliano Mesa: Issue 10
  • Sara Michas-Martin: Issue 18
  • Sandra Miller: Issue 12
  • Teresa K. Miller: Issue 14
  • Jonathan Minton: Issue 10
  • Stan Mir: Issues 7, 12
  • J. Michael Mollohan: Issue 12
  • Jørgen Herman Monrad: Issue 16
  • Luna Montenegro: Issue 12
  • Trey Moody: Issue 15
  • Catherine Moore: Issue 13
  • Justin Edward Moore: Issue 30
  • Gustave Morin: Issues 13, 31
  • Rachel Moritz: Issue 4
  • Nick Moudry: Issue 3
  • J. Mulcahy-King: Issue 31
  • Christopher Mulrooney: Issue 1, 27
  • Rich Murphy: Issue 30
  • Sheila E. Murphy: Issues 1, 2, 4, 11, 13, 15, 33
  • Gregg Murray: Issue 22
  • John Myers: Issue 22, 29
  • n
  • Anita Naegeli: Issue 5
  • Leonardo Guevara Navarro: Issue 10
  • Katie Marie Nealon: Issue 10
  • bruno neiva: Issue 24
  • Marci Nelligan: Issue 11
  • Amber Nelson: Issue 13
  • Cami Nelson: Issue 13
  • Murat Nemet-Nejat: Issue 15
  • Daniel Nester: Issues 5, 33
  • Bruno Neiva: Issues 18, 20
  • Marko Niemi: Issue 13
  • Andrew Nightingale: Issue 6
  • T.A. Noonan: Issue 12
  • o
  • Ginny O'Brien: Issue 30
  • Mary Ocher: Issue 17
  • Maurice Oliver: Issue 9
  • Stephen Oliver: Issue 5
  • Jose Oquendo: Issue 10
  • Kevin O'Rourke: Issue 19
  • Timothy David Orme: Issue 9
  • Tara Orzolek: Issue 32
  • Thomas Osatchoff: Issue 31
  • Oscar Oswald: Issue 24
  • p
  • Clemente Padin: Issue 21
  • Juliet Patterson: Issue 6
  • David Pavelich: Issue 1
  • Christian Peet: Issue 6
  • Erica Pepin: Issue 29
  • Craig Santos Perez: Issue 12
  • Sarah Perkins: Issue 29
  • Michael Peters: Issues 4, 5, 10, 13, 15, 16
  • Lance Phillips: Issue 2
  • W.E. Pierce: Issue 33
  • Derek Pollard: Issues 9, 12, 16, 18, 24, 31
  • Judyta Preis: Issue 16
  • Barbora Pridal: Issue 30
  • Tomas Pridal: Issues 28, 30
  • Ross Priddle: Issue 8
  • Moriah Purdy: Issue 19
  • q
  • Lanny Quarles: Issue 3
  • r
  • Stephen Ratcliffe: Issues 13, 18
  • Francis Raven: Issues 3, 15
  • Jai Arun Ravine: Issue 19
  • Marthe Reed: Issues 10, 15
  • Michael Rerick: Issues 9, 14
  • Jon Riccio: Issue 33
  • Mg Roberts: Issue 15
  • Michael Robins: Issues 10, 24
  • Hannah Rodabaugh: Issue 31
  • Summer Rogers: Issue 2
  • Steve Roggenbuck: Issue 16
  • Rebecca Givens Rolland: Issue 17
  • Damian Judge Rollison: Issue 2
  • Kathleen Rooney: Issue 19
  • Sarah Rosenthal: Issue 33
  • Michael Rothenberg: Issues 11, 14, 15
  • MH Rowe: Issue 22
  • Ric Royer: Issue 12
  • Michael Ruby: Issue 7
  • David Ruderman: Issue 31
  • Ken Rumble: Issues 2, 6
  • e.k rzepka: Issue 13
  • s
  • Cindy St. John: Issue 19
  • Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino: Issues 4, 6, 8, 13
  • James Sanders: Issue 13
  • Liza Samples: Issue 23
  • Liz Sanger: Issues 18, 21
  • Fabio Sassi: Issues 20, 33
  • Cindy Savett: Issues 15, 26, 32
  • Matthew Savoca: Issue 14
  • Chris Sawyer: Issue 3
  • Larry Sawyer: Issues 2, 15
  • Katrina Schaag: Issue 28
  • Kathrin Schaeppi: Issue 16
  • Kate Schapira: Issues 11, 13, 17, 21, 24
  • Jared Schickling: Issues 10, 19, 32
  • Eric Schmaltz: Issue 23
  • Matthew Schmidt: Issue 28
  • Zachary Schomburg: Issue 8
  • Karl Schroeder: Issue 31
  • Peter Schwartz: Issues 13, 15
  • Lorin Schwarz: Issue 19
  • Kaethe Schwehn: Issue 21
  • Brian Seabolt: Issues 2, 8, 10, 17
  • Serge Segay: Issue 12
  • Ian Seed: Issue 18
  • Leslie Seldin: Issue 30
  • Tim Shaner: Issue 19
  • Ravi Shankar: Issue 3
  • James Shea: Issue 1
  • Felicia Shenker: Issue 14
  • Brandon Shimoda: Issues 6, 8
  • Peter Jay Shippy: Issue 7
  • James Shivers: Issue 6
  • Paul Siegell: Issues 18, 25
  • Michael Sikkema: Issues 10, 13, 19, 22, 27
  • Sandra Simonds: Issue 7
  • Laura Sims: Issue 21
  • Will Skinker: Issue 11
  • Susan Slaviero: Issue 14
  • Marcus Slease: Issue 12
  • Jessica Smith: Issue 21
  • Kerri Sonnenberg: Issue 1
  • Marc Snyder: Issues 5, 22
  • Robert Yerachmiel Snyderman: Issue 29
  • Wes Solether: Issue 23
  • Theresa Sotto: Issue 12
  • Matina L. Stamatakis: Issue 11
  • harry k stammer: Issue 7
  • Sasha Steensen: Issue 16
  • Chuck Stebelton: Issue 15
  • Jordan Stempleman: Issue 3
  • Carol Stetser: Issues 8, 10, 15
  • D. E. Steward: Issues 30, 31, 32
  • Steven J. Stewart: Issue 5
  • Brian Strang: Issues 10, 12, 19, 32
  • Adam Strauss: Issues 11, 13, 20, 25
  • Mark Stricker: Issue 9
  • Stephanie Strickland: Issue 32
  • Lynn Strongin: Issues 9, 11, 14, 17, 19, 20
  • Alison Strub: Issue 26
  • Daniel Sumrall: Issue 8
  • Dee Sunshine: Issue 22
  • Dennis James Sweeney: Issue 23
  • Cole Swensen: Issue 2
  • Jake Syersak: Issue 29
  • t
  • Eileen Tabios: Issue 15
  • Bronwen Tate: Issue 10
  • Naomi Beth Tarle: Issue 16
  • Shelly Taylor: Issue 11
  • Thomas Lowe Taylor: Issues 6, 8, 11, 12
  • Elizabeth Terrazas: Issue 18
  • Clay Thistleton: Issue 32
  • Jon Thompson: Issues 1, 28
  • Robert R. Thurman: Issue 33
  • Steve Timm: Issues 4, 6, 9
  • Javier Tlum: Issue 12
  • Barbara Tomash: Issue 28
  • Serena M. Tome: Issue 18
  • Chris Tonelli: Issue 10
  • Andrew Topel: Issues 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 21, 27, 31, 32
  • Tony Tost: Issue 8
  • Amy Jo Trier-Walker: Issue 26
  • Amish Trivedi: Issues 14, 22
  • Sam Truitt: Issues 8, 22
  • v
  • Ashley VanDoorn: Issues 11 , 16
  • Tomás Varas: Issue 12
  • Nico Vassilakis: Issues 5, 7, 12, 15
  • Christina Vega-Westhoff: Issue 25
  • Sara Veglahn: Issue 3
  • Chelsea Velaga: Issue 26
  • Ruy Ventura: Issue 12
  • Gautam Verma: Issues 8, 10, 19
  • Erick Verran: Issue 29
  • Chris Vitiello: Issue 7
  • Brad Vogler: Issue 19
  • w
  • Dan Waber: Issue 12
  • James Wagner: Issue 5
  • Mark Wallace: Issues 12, 15
  • Joshua A. Ware: Issues 13, 24
  • Michael Joseph Walsh: Issue 24
  • Ted Warnell: Issues 12, 13, 29
  • Eddie Watkins: Issue 10
  • Della Watson: Issue 9
  • Kerri Webster: Issue 13
  • Irving Weiss: Issues 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 26
  • Caroline Whitbeck: Issues 11, 31
  • Derek White: Issues 5, 10
  • Jared White: Issue 13
  • Brian Whitener: Issues 11, 12
  • Scott Wilkerson: Issues 9, 11, 16, 19
  • Afton Wilky: Issue 21
  • Erin Wilson: Issue 26
  • John Moore Williams: Issue 15
  • Joshua Marie Wilkinson: Issue 11
  • Randall Williams: Issues 7, 10
  • Tim Willette: Issue 14
  • Elizabeth Winder: Issue 16
  • Terence Winch: Issue 10
  • Ian Randall Wilson: Issue 3
  • Laura Madeline Wiseman: Issue 26
  • Elizabeth Witte 27
  • Valerie Witte: Issues 22, 28
  • Bill Wolak: Issue 33
  • David Wolf: Issues 9, 11
  • Jane Wong: Issue 20
  • Mary Woodbury: Issue 15
  • Theodore Worozbyt: Issue 10
  • Greta Wrolstad: Issue 8
  • Jenny Wu: Issue 24
  • Brennen Wysong: Issue 17
  • y
  • Ryo Yamaguchi: Issue 14
  • Elizabeth Marie Young: Issue 10
  • Mark Young: Issues 6, 14, 26, 30, 31, 32
  • Changming Yuan: Issue 33
  • z
  • Snezana Zabic: Issue 21
  • Nicole Zdeb: Issues 15, 17
  • Joshua Zelesnick: Issue 33
  • Xinyu Zhao: Issue 32
  • Elizabeth Zuba: Issue 15
  • Arianne Zwartjes: Issue 13