Philip Byron Oakes

Can and Can’t

Night’s quorum of stillness.
Ratcheting pensive playing
possum to a draw. Whisper
dancing tandem with the
dark. Rumpling ethereal
quilt making room from
much of nothing. More of
the less said bettering itself
in shadow. Stooping to
console the moment’s fade
to midnight’s blue repose.
Silt of experience lending
weight holding ground to
its promise. The pitch to
its forgery of light lifting
veils. Mining phenomenal
density for depth beneath
the touchy-feely push to
exist.

Jeff Harrison

Blue Throats

kitty the wood
cling the zero top
carnival-smooth reading
neither first is the yawn ,
nor the second, itself a
stretching floating, what’s
slow isn’t plankton after all
but it’s battered until bones blue
and jet’s shade, a night carousel

cunning are
the winks most pushed and loosened
they’d sleep some otherwise
their disease leaves something fresh

Virginia, your donkey-boring head
is thinking elbows again
you should be thinking of
countering my breath with blue throats
why this strange death – all relations
jeweled for the scoring? a gesture imperiled?

whooped the bee defiance flaring…
briefly the jeweler recovers gold
the stick world’s there
stick are her funeral soldiers
paraded before cheated pines

it took some time,
but winged insects have
a new sly unhappiness:
screen, score,
cranium,
noon, & see:
winks

no, not winks under the ceiling, Virginia
below the ceiling are silver bees
it took the jeweler days to make them
road (dark) map affection, could you dare
Virginia’s gauntness?

John Lowther

We need to acknowledge and honor that tension, and the connection that that tension is a part of.
We hope to bring hir here.
We are all brothers under the skin — and I, for one, would be willing to skin humanity to prove it.
We create oppositions and conflicts, and we can transcend them.
We glance from screen to screen.
We have to completely explain the possibility of something new in an old world.
We’re snowed in with only two condoms.
We fought all the time but I nearly put a lily in his hand that night.
We get the world we deserve.


 

Jared Schickling

VACANCY

instead of a preface
what a poem
as weather can do so
why wish it
in the chair
on anyone
why kids will cry so
unnecessarily and
all over
regardless
unnecessary so
who can say
what news can do

1

cutting into steak newsflash my tent is gone
my tent is gone he looks like a cop so
write in the dark my tent is gone
my tent is gone lets smoke out front
local authors my tent is gone so
write butchers’ tales
my tent is gone
in the log cabins sold my tent is gone
tourists from the city my tent is gone
snowbirds my tent is gone
my tent is gone and such

2

was there any depth to it at all rus
kin, so they say, I paid a little for a lot
mouth of the lake like a mirror
where never’s no wind so
when we say
she’s in trouble too much
know
she is three so
me
drawing a line
in sand
for the tent
for consequence so
actually, should have
drawn more of them so
porous
perimeter
it’s rainy
as they say
cheap
in a motel so
my tent is gone
nothing here to prove

3

emotions mixed like primary colors so
live
by enjambment theft
adirondack chair perched
on a motel
after this kid is bathed
her beer and smoke so
racine’s
crayons
in the pines here resemble
in quarter moon crescents from rock
in a painting by day
theater and lake strand
where there is nothing especially so
real in my poems
minus the syllables so
in a wife’s underwear
but the distant ridges
in half moon crescents
not so far away
by kayak, they lie so
but not really
it’s me, see, up here so
looking down there
where they lock up
my pool at night

4

I’m a mid-day mower so
as they say, not nearly mean enough
pamphlet in the making
notebook will
be so
dry
as I am, lake
mist off the mountain
in me, old forge
kid and the one
you don’t name, so behind me
or in the front there so
in their bed
a fishery to our right left
municipal beach to our left right
where my music plays so
crayons
a fawn is trapped there
in the fence, motel terrace so
below me
and smack-dab in the middle of here
my pencil
so
it meant nothing, at all
(don’t I know it)
to the duck so
and her ducklings an osprey
circled

5

earlier so
from this roof—until you’re under
this world spins you
don’t
write it so
a whole lot
of nothing
quick down vacations end so
everywhere
when the alarm goes off
in the ears so
that bug cop
his daughter’s
bites are huge—so up here don’t
we know it

6

itches you wood so
hear of it of course how
these cartoons get lovely
coming in through the screen so
salt in the pines and all the blood
ever been here
your family was prepared so
the girl lasted six days
my tent is gone

Raymond Farr

Another Day Penultimate at Missing the Point

I only slipped on the cake of soap of the air
& drowned in the bathtub of the world
—John Ashbery

I come briefly
Into the sun

Where
I’m writing today

I laugh
I am alone

I write—
Traces of light!

You in the carpeted hall!
As downwind

A radio—
the commissar’s in town, oh, oh—

Reads another crazy
Meaning

Into
The hollow membrane

Of our days
I can’t explain

The cosmos
I grew up in

I renounce all its
Power over me

I feel it
Still swimming

At 4 AM
Like a ghost

Lodged
In my throat

& yet
I exist in utterance

Managed by my
Impotence

Another day penultimate
At missing the point

Eventually

I’ll Simon-says myself
To sleep—

Somebody get me a window
To yell out of—

I mean
Who does that?!

& like a near-sighted girl
Reading lyrics

To her dog
I exist

Just visible
From the nearby

Overpass

Mark Young

Archival Footage:
Koi at play in the water feature of the Secretary of State

As I watch the black woman
Republican secretary of state, I agree
with Zak & the story of
fraternity members who captured
a campus Koi fish — originally from
North Korea’s Pyongyang region, where the
water is said to be volkswagendubbele
cabine secretary of state minnesota table
rental fathers day. This is a story
of back greens & washing
machines, herring, & Koi.

Bank runs & failures were a common feature
of life during the period when Cordell Hull,
the Secretary of State for the US, was instructed
to start classified research into the detection
of enemy submarines under water. Secretary
of State Henry Kissinger denied then & in his
memoirs later that feeding koi at the edge
of the water captured a world & a culture.

In 1815
General Don had requested
of the Secretary of State
for the Colonies
fresh water
on the Rock, with Koi Carp
& a collection of exotic lilies.

Learn all about waterfalls & water
gardens at a lecture, “Beyond Koi: The Ecosystem
of the new secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice.” The
3:30 pm to 7 pm show will feature
musical & dance performances, & arts.

The North American Water Garden
will blend the water feature seamlessly
into the landscape. Borrowed library
items are overdue in the koi’s gut. The
one thing I fervently hope is that they
do not water down the music
of the water buffalo.

Secretary of State Colin Powell,
has said that public diplomacy bacterium
can also cause disease in other
fresh-water and marine fish species. Political
corruption is a corrosive feature of
everyday life & needs to be
“Yeh koi gudde-gudiyon ka khel hai kya?
First you give, then you take away.” Powell
urged Yasser Arafat to cede control of the old
library with its cut stone fountain filled with koi fish.

CHENEY ENERGY TASK FORCE DOCUMENTS
FEATURE MAP OF IRAQI OILFIELDS. There is a koi
pond nearby, teeming with the colorful Japanese fish.

The famous film ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ was largely shot in Uttaranchal.
How does water get from the plant to the people,
& is there a way to improve?

Just when you
think it’s safe to go back in the water, it isn’t. Walls of
water, set in motion by an underwater earthquake. An
undocumented feature? Perhaps. & perhaps not;
I’ll never know. Secretary of State Cathy Cox
said recording machines were disbursed to all.

I haven’t done much work on the house,
but I did finish the koi pond
& how do koi fish reproduce
straw hat decorating with silk virtual malaysia.

This year’s Fest will feature
cultural sharing through
performances of song.

Please use this form
for your comments or
questions to KY Water Watch,
a disease notifiable to the relevant
Secretary of State. The UN will judge
North Koi on its actions, not its words.

(An edited compilation of the output from
the use of “koi,” “secretary of state,” & “water feature”
in Leevi Lehto’s Google Poem Generator
7/16/2005 1:41:45 AM GMT)

Marco Giovenale, translated by Linh Dinh

from They were in Danger

1.

It’s very easy to catch the disease and resistance must be prompt from the first hours of the morning.

It’s not easy to resist. But it is the minimal (or even maximal) degree of the acknowledged remedy. Even if, until now, there has never been in reality an actual remedy.

Once caught, the disease is essentially inside. Irreversible and incurable. The people sit for many hours, close relatives especially, observing and faulting one another without a word about their condition.

Every now and then the sound of an ambulance somewhat far away somewhat near reminds them of where they are, though it’s no longer an innocuous noise as when, in plain clothes, they laughed in their own manner in the familiar world.

They were in danger.

7.

In the evening they went to Veneto street. There, there was a distributor of uranium open day and night, so they became brilliant without knowing it.

10.

Weak, he does not want to be born. He would gladly be born in reverse, towards the dark, shot towards the dark. He would rather be born backward, reversed, with an ample dosage, sleeping, stiff necked, recoiling to not see, dodging the hanging tin pails, ropes on the ground, traps, uncovered buckets, marble, grey rock floors, cylinders that are seating structures and straw, emptying, à rebours, rewind, always giving way towards less, towards black, towards a diminution neither generated nor general but a diminution that belongs to him, a waning of unity, of one only, lacking, letting go, away away, diminishing as stated, subtracted, shortening, once more with less stuff and personality, cough and chill, another cough further away, a pronounced chill, empty room.

11.

Yes, like you told me, I refused to listen to music, because of the dust. On the record, yes. I didn’t even read, not even a letter, for the same reason, just as stated. Stayed in my hiding place the entire time. I tried not to learn anything. Tried to simplify to the utmost my words. At any moment simplicity was even stronger than reality. I thought I was betraying it. It was full of specks. No one could verify what I said. When it was transcribed by the reporters the most celebrated phrase, relative to love, many of them didn’t understand the objective. Even if I simplified everything, at the risk of lying, not everything was clear to them. Nearly nothing, really. Now as I cross entirely into deception, I’m thinking: now it will be clear, explicit. I’ll always lie, completely, without rhetoric. Plainly. Everything will be deciphered. They’ll want it that way. They’ll understand me because it’s also their language. With all the syntax reduced to zero, totally simplified. They understand the lies, the distortions. They’ll read. It will be clear. I was wrong. It didn’t even work like that. It wasn’t working.

 

da Erano in pericolo

1.

È molto facile contrarre la malattia e l’opposizione deve essere pronta fin dalle prime ore del mattino.

Non è molto semplice opporsi. Ma è il livello minimo (e anche massimo) di soluzione nota. Anche se, almeno fino a oggi, in realtà non è quasi mai stata una vera soluzione.

Una volta contratta, la malattia è in buona sostanza interna. Irreversibile e incurabile. Le persone siedono molte ore, specie parenti stretti, osservandosi e incolpandosi a vicenda senza parole del loro stato.

Ogni tanto il rumore di un’ambulanza un po’ lontano un po’ vicino ricorda dove si trovano, e che non è più un suono innocuo come quando, da borghesi, ridevano nel loro modo e mondo consueto.

Erano in pericolo.

7.

La sera andavano in via Veneto. Lì c’era un distributore di uranio aperto giorno e notte, e si diventava brillanti senza saperlo.

10.

È debole, non vuole nascere. Nascerebbe volentieri al contrario, verso il buio, sparato verso il buio. Nascerebbe all’indietro, al rovescio, a belle dosi, dormendo, a torcicollo, retrocedendo per non vedere, schivando i secchi di latta appesi, le funi per terra, le tagliole, le buatte scoperchiate, il marmo, i piani di pietra grigia, i cilindri che sono strutture di sedie e paglia, svuotando, à rebours, rewind, sempre cedendo verso il meno, verso il nero, verso una diminuzione non generata e non generale ma che è una sua diminuzione, un affievolirsi di unità, di uno solo, mancando, perdendo, via via, diminuendo come detto, sottratto, raccorciando, daccapo con meno materiali e personaggi, tosse e freddo, altra tosse più lontana, un freddo forte, sala vuota.

11.

Sì, è come lei dice, mi sono rifiutato di ascoltare la musica, per la polvere. Sul disco, sì. Non ho neanche letto, nessuna lettera, per lo stesso motivo, appena, detto. Sono rimasto nel mio nascondiglio per tutto il tempo. Ho cercato di non imparare niente. Ho cercato di semplificare all’estremo le mie parole. In alcuni momenti la semplicità era perfino più forte della realtà. Pensavo di tradirla. Era pieno di macchie. Nessuno poteva verificare quello che dicevo. Quando fu trascritta dai cronisti la frase più celebre, relativa all’amore, molti non ne compresero l’oggetto. Per quanto semplificassi tutto, a rischio di mentire, non tutto per loro era chiaro. Quasi niente, anzi. Allora passando interamente sul fronte della menzogna pensai: ora sarà evidente, esplicito. Mentirò sempre, completamente, senza retorica. In modo piatto. Sarà decifrata ogni cosa. Intenderanno. Mi capiranno perché è il loro stesso linguaggio. Con tutta la sintassi azzerata, totalmente semplificata. Loro capiscono le bugie, le deformazioni. Leggeranno. Sarà limpido. Sbagliavo. Neanche così funzionò. Non funzionava.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*

First published in

Ekleksographia – wave two, October, 2009 (edited by Anny Ballardini): http://ekleksographia.ahadadabooks.com/ballardini/authors/linh_dinh.html

Later in “Quasi tutti”, Polimata, Rome 2010

 

Diana Magallon

Blind as portrait

For forever an envolving moth,
the best companion,
waking up surrounded by icy crystals
cringing to the sleepless night before forever.

An evolving ape, well said my friend, we’ll said….it’s true, much easier to become a victim inside the cage when there is space for a man and himself and his sacrifice to Mimir’s Well.

Jeff Harrison

Thorns In Young Faces

gumshoe hover plain knows
plain knows? dead. sea…
Kukla, frantic, frantic, knows
Kukla knows? dead. sea. right knows?
earnest tribal right knows!
Ah, each and till since river…
thorns in young faces…
sea lovers down deep Oh weep
strep half tones, weep all
animated space… dead. sea…
where queen bee summons

in answer to the words “gumshoe hover plain”
we (royal We, queen bee) get variously

1. destruction

2. purple

3. hound

4. power

5. (and, again) destruction

then I (royal no longer) reversed the word order –
“plain hover gumshoe”, with the following results

1. for “destruction” I got “hound”

2. purple = expanse

3. hypnosis = death

4. power = tale

5. destruction = hound

to the words “Kukla, frantic, frantic”
we (me & the queen bee) got

1. blue

2. thought

3. bird

4. porous

5. blue

from the fact “earnest tribal right” = “mud”
and “strep half tones” = “fellow night”
and from the fact “mud” elicits the word “yellow”
and later “light”
“fellow night” is answerable by “blood”

Ah, each and till since river…
thorns in young faces…

Mark Young

an interloper note on some earlier six-liners

So

they do not
flow

nor are they meant to

rocks in a river

wat-
er

moves


The Menciad

Human nature is thick-
skinned & fleshy
but escapes predation
by taking on a
concave shape &
matching the
environment. Blocks
of information are
turned into collage or
collagen, flying cranes
unfold themselves
into the sheets of paper
they once were. Is
essentially chameleon,
but needs to be left to
learn how to conduct its
own orchestra. Other-
wise, seduced by
seduction, there will
come a point, just be-
fore the trumpets enter,
when potential captain
changes into cabin boy.

Stacy Kidd

Elegiac

 

this grief

that isn’t

 

green

why say it

 

over and

didn’t know

 

the man

so well

 

isn’t it

enough to

 

 

Smoke

There is the water where we take
our walks, sometimes

concrete & a bridge & several geese for us to count.

Michael Parker

Ruminations of a man with a failing body under a perfect sunset

Is not the intent of this grand experiment to become
something more than animated clay

always moving toward tomorrow in grace?
Grace in our suffering. This is the true rubric

under which we are measured. Not how we are scuttled
by the growing leviathan of fear, or how

we entreat the soft-shelled ghosts shuttling
between worlds for the meaning of things.

It is true. This is the year of the goat.
The pages of Sartre are falling from the spine of their book.

A thousand black Winter birds explode from the leafless poplars.
And I am still searching for a safe place for a home for my hope

that incandescence of light, the ever-sought after
transformation of stone to a softer heart.

I have had a new epiphany, something greater than
our displacement, our diminution, our disappearing.

It is how we are always appearing, always in the act
of appearance; appearance as migrations,

appearance as minute transformations:
that save us from the anesthesia of grief and

enlarge the alliteration of light we so often pray for
flooded in the depths of every dark force waging against us.

I have fallen asleep and days have gone by without me.
I can attest that what propels me forward like fuel is kindness.

My eyes are seeing myself suspended in infinity and
always glowing. Glowing like the glowing death of stars,

like the forces in the heavens the mass of millions of suns
like this sunset – fire-red and piercing –

announcing I am a sudden wonder at any one moment.
And I shall always be leaving you in this same fierce-some glory.

Charles Perrone

My Way

Besides, this voice averred
a particular use of “I”
really did catch my eye
yes my eye was caught
by a version of “me” yet
I still wander and ponder
the horizons of verticality
of these configurations
refusing to be—albeit
with notably sparse alacrity—
confounded
compounded
or otherwise
drawn in out or aside by side
beside my other self.




Since You Asked

The question that continues to haunt me
is whether I should settle for a broad general answer
or insist on painstaking detail in the reply to my inquiry
regarding the art of choice to grasp this cosmic plan
such as plain words in a swirl or sounds twirling upward
or paintings of kings and queens of limitless domains
even panted athletes deigning to stake us to a lead
only to overcome dust and all in the ray-filled race
toward a kitchen of knowledge with its pots and pans
aching to cook up recipes dishes plates or commonplace
grub to assuage the hunger of those whose pains
are simply taking too long to dissipate or somehow
skate around the nagging issue of survival on this
pale blue dot.

Jenny MacBain-Stephens

Bird Poem #1

poorly illustrated legs/ no passion filled gallop/ lacking blood lust / ingest weight, repeat /dreaming of
index fingers / acquiesce: a torso/ bird brain glass smash/ no forehead to inspect/ no fingertips to
soothe / cat egos placate / survival of the fastest/ fly away feathers/ flutter in the bath/ pretend it’s a
game / I can shoot you full of buckshot /no safe house too small.

Bird Poem #2

Icterus Baltimore Aquus Marinus
For the artist (unknown) outside the Museum of Found American Art

Cement invaded a tiny mold
beak, wings, feet.
mirrored glass pieces
encased refraction forever
or the weather wins

A Technicolor environmentalist’s
vision in sharp shards.

In your torso, my eyes radiate chartreuse
My chin lavender,
My parka disintegrates into
diamond suns.

Now I have wings

I soar into pieces
The dirt, formidable
The ice, suffocating

No longer encased in stone
I swallow the wind.

Bird Poem #3

I dropped him off at the train station.
He sat amongst goldfish crumbs.
He drank an energy drink.
Only berries for breakfast
like the chipmunk
I saw run through the flower bed,
costumed in the structure of a man.
I dropped him off on the sidewalk.
He lugged a backpack.
The wind blew.
The rain poured.
Why don’t you eat anymore?
I couldn’t ask.
I wanted a smile and a “next time…”
I dropped him off at the train station.


Bird Poem #4

Ticks removed: two
No, three
one discovered the next day
on a hip

bluebells unbloomed all week
Leafy, convoluted brain stems
Muck splattered shoes
Stomped hay grass

Blue birds never showed
Empty little wood boxes
Listen for the call
Muster up a sh sh sh sh sh

Sounds like she she she
Come to me me me
How successful was my bird call?
Blue birds almost went extinct in VA

The dominant sparrows
cleared out the nests
Bird bullies
Some humans trapped and killed the sparrows

Doesn’t that make them a bully?
No, murderer.
I want something perched on my shoulder
Then I will be satisfied

Untouchable, like a memory
You never will of course
Just a hint of turquoise in the forest
Always struggling to build a home

Always the renter
Me, deluded

Garin Cycholl

from prairied

I speaks for the Mississippi basin;
the oracle, a shallow well 9 mi. SW of Rafetown

in my middling age, I have become quick—
quick to notice the bent boards under my bed
quick to notice the soil bent to light
quick to notice the shortstop’s bend, his
loss of step “to the hole”

the Atrizine River flows into the bone and stones of me,
a gallon of bleach dumped down a shallow well;
the dead world flat against my dead eye—
the prairie in me accelerates, the story of lungs
gone to seed down into the great slop sink of the Republic

a simpleton with my
lumpy breast and dead
cat “everywhere is
Dakota”

I never met a
frog I didn’t
no greek
no greek
no greek
can
prairie ’s
this

quick, prophet! invasive
and local       your god’s
eye—his reflection
of a shadow
in the pond,
or the snake
in slow crawl
along the foundations;
trim your own eye to the world

Kateri Lanthier

Sirens

I was the waif in the snowbank of the banquet hall parking lot.
A voluptuous stray. A bravura drunk. My thoughts encrypted in sugar.

Chiming through my rain-streaked gaze, the hues of this week’s cocktail:
curaçao blues, maraschino rage, olive, lime cordial, not bitter.

Unplugged from the folk circuit, unhinged by your grin.
When the heat deigns to return, the extremities sing pain.

The perimeter keeps expanding. Shots ricochet round the arch.
Catch me, catch me, if you must! Bake me into the Earth’s crust.

I clawed you from the rock and now you glisten on my finger.
In the marble at your temples, I can trace the throb of doubt.

All night the blind truck-river-road courses past my house.
Sirens swim the butterfly to comfort each shipwreck.