the world as ordered                      if you depend
on your mind for translation
if you recognize these thoughts as other
or if you deny easily that
which could be defined as disturbing
a romantic indisposition
I believed I had a right to my wrong thinking on some level.
it was mine and to be defended
as a species of flower
as a turn in the weather
as a geographical pinpoint
as a location found by vertical and horizontal planes intersecting
it’s one thing to speak of what is misfiring and another to locate
here in the deep, deep recesses of porous organ            half able to function coherently                                                                        what half is left and is this accurate
what percentage and on what days and on what dosage
Are you beginning to divide                                                                        the notion of trust?
animate object: as other that lives in me inanimate object: as quieted by this medicine and put to sleep, a wild animal stuffed and mounted glassy-eyed wonder of how it arrived
as a gift from those before me
a realm of suffering
to greater clarity
here is the diseased mind realm
am I making too much of it?
I’d hate to draw attention to it, the gaze then lends it value but to ignore—does “not seeing” mean… what am I afraid of is that the reader will think it is simply the vehicle for my desire, for my identity but I am the vehicle, I’m certain, that it has gotten in beside me
where are we going?
a small insect blows onto the open pages of Brenda’s book
lands on “Rare held over world”
from here on Folsom Street
I can see Jack Collom bringing in his dirty laundry
define the hidden: as dirty laundry                               skeletons in the closet                                                                           dirty skeletons
bone left                                          (dirty organ)
skeletal: tactile, able to walk out on its own
laundry: tactile, able to be cleansed
this is a map of hope in revelation
mind as imaginary, as illusory, as porous
the examiner knows that when you open the skull the brain can crumble within seconds upon losing its container upon touch
fragment                                fragile                                fingered mush
must be poisoned further to provide the perfect specimen
formaldehyde, spun in a web of fluid and glass            suspended and sliced to millimeter   slid onto thin sections of plastic and caught under the magnifying glass
this sheer exposition
what went wrong?
even then how to connect dead tissue to the imagination to the cellular experience to see how the drugs changed the identity
my place in the world
the amount of space I took up
the gap left that haunted me
where the I     I was not fell behind                                          but followed me
I can see her out of the corner of my eye.
who said this?
Am I too gone to be                                          healed?
Megan Burns is the author of Memorial + Sight Lines (Lavender Ink 2008). She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry and has been published in Exquisite Corpse, Contance Magazine, YAWP and Callaloo. She lives in New Orleans and runs the 17 Poets! Reading Series with poet Dave Brinks.
where we depend but don't know
a shiver comes
at the intensity of
attempt at lost heavens
short and shorter
stout like brick
and thick like
wall gone paranoid
rolling dark clouds
stretch and leap
nerve to wind
and the historical autopsy
'hidden geography of body'
in coil of what kidney
what place the aorta
of the nerve
in the pinkie
the past returning in furls
of flesh where is the edge
of seeing the beginning
The peaches stood in dark rows like mourners at a funeral, the zinnias bowed their heads
as if they knew they had worn the wrong riot of color. Some said it was not the rain, some said it had rained
nine days, enough to carry the chest of doves from Mississippi to Spain. We curled in our coffin
like those lovers in Plato’s cave, the ones he forgot to mention, this time sure that when
he opened the lid there would be more light than shadow. But no, more rain,
and everyone looking down on us like saints with gray umbrellas, even the rabbits
in their rows of wire cages. Too much sanctity for so little salt, I said, thinking of an old theologian
who seemed to be missing in the damp crowd. I was thirsty but no one gave me drink. There’ll be a heaven to pay.
Of course, I knew I was sick again, weeping as if the sky were falling, which it was, in big, fat drops.
Lois Marie Harrod’s ninth book Furniture has just been published by Grayson Press where it was awarded the Grayson Poetry Prize. She is a 3-time recipient of poetry fellowships from the NJ Council on the Arts.
Winter is tapping on the hollow willow tree's trunk-- a four month visitor is about to move in and unload his messy clothing and be windy about it-- bark is grayish white as coming night with snow fragments the seasons. The chill of frost lies a deceitful blanket over the courtyard greens and coats a ghostly white mist over yellowed willow leave's widely spaced teeth- you can hear them clicking like false teeth or chattering like chipmunks threatened in a distant burrow. The willow tree knows the old man approaching has showed up again, in early November with ice packed cheeks and brutal puffy wind whistling with a sting.
Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. He is the author of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom. He has also published two chapbooks of poetry and is presently looking for a publisher for two more. He has been published in USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Turkey, Fuji, Nigeria, Algeria, Africa, India, United Kingdom, Republic of Sierra Leone, Nepal, Thailand, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Finland, and Poland internet radio. Michael Lee Johnson has been published in more than 240 different publications worldwide. Audio MP3 of poems are available on request.
He is also publisher and editor of four poetry flash fiction sites--all presently open for submission:
Away from the lab-bench’s proving ground The naked eye’s lame. The moon’s heart In an impulse swirls. Triple-check – it’s far off, Wide of the mark Of swabbed feelings.
If the love-gene’s spliced There’ll be a syringe In the throat, A hitch to swallow Like fish-scaled GM apples Or the troublesome underbreath Of Dolly, the sheep.
Christopher Barnes: in 1998 I won a Northern Arts writers award. In July 200 I read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology 'Titles Are Bitches'. Christmas 2001 I debuted at Newcastle's famous Morden Tower doing a reading of my poems. Each year I read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and I partake in workshops. 2005 saw the publication of my collection Lovebites published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.
On Saturday 16th Aughst 2003 I read at theEdinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St.
I also have a BBC webpage www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/gay.2004/05/section_28.shtml and http://www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/videonation/stories/gay_history.shtml (if first site does not work click on SECTION 28 on second site.
Christmas 2001 The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored me to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North. I made a radio programme for Web FM community radio about my writing group. October-November 2005, I entered a poem/visual image into the art exhibition The Art Cafe Project, his piece Post-Mark was shown in Betty's Newcastle. This event was sponsored by Pride On The Tyne. I made a digital film with artists Kate Sweeney and Julie Ballands at a film making workshop called Out Of The Picture which was shown at the festival party for Proudwords, it contains my poem The Old Heave-Ho. I worked on a collaborative art and literature project called How Gay Are Your Genes, facilitated by Lisa Mathews (poet) which exhibited at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bioscience Centre at Newcastle's Centre for Life. I was involved in the Five Arts Cities poetry postcard event which exhibited at The Seven Stories children's literature building. In May I had 2006 a solo art/poetry exhibition at The People's Theatre why not take a look at their website http://ptag.org.uk/whats_on/gulbenkian/gulbenkian.htm
The South Bank Centre in London recorded my poem "The Holiday I Never Had", I can be heard reading it on www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=18456
REVIEWS: I have written poetry reviews for Poetry Scotland and Jacket Magazine and in August 2007 I made a film called 'A Blank Screen, 60 seconds, 1 shot' for Queerbeats Festival at The Star & Shadow Cinema Newcastle, reviewing a poem...see www.myspace.com/queerbeatsfestival
burn my heart        for george wallace
yesterday, i was reading K-PAX and i noticed Prot or should i say prot doesn’t use capitals for names and neither do you your poetry and you are both lower case and you say that’s ok sugar in that rich full bodied aromatic coffee sounding new york tone that reminds me of tennessee williams plays and hot nights in the deep south (because i’m english and have no sense for american accents) and i read in your introduction how you write from dreams and i wonder how you write so vividly from dreams and i say you must have marvellous dreams, more vivid than everyone else and you reply no different from anyone else
so i think about my dreams but all i see when i sleep is blood and shit and black everything black and every night i’m running in worlds i recognise and don’t in streets i recognise and don’t with ghosts i recognise and don’t trying to dodge the bullets they spit at me trying to stop my knife blades slicing skin trying to stop the devil striking me down trying to stop my lover saying he doesn’t no he doesn’t his spent cock in his hand and behind him she’s smiling and every night I moan in my sleep moan over and over in my sleep wake me up wake me up please someone wake me up
 George Wallace, Burn My Heart in Wet Sand, (Troubadour, Leicester, 2004)  Gene Brewer, K-PAX The Trilogy, (Bloomsbury, London, 2004)
Born in 1971 in the seaside town of Cleethorpes, England, Linda Graham organises arts festivals and programmes spoken word and literature events in the beautiful Lake District. Her poems have appeared in magazines and newspapers in the UK and US as well as online, and her first collection will be published by Bluechrome Press later next year.
Z213 Exit (extracts 11-12) Translated from Greek by Shorsha Sullivan
I think of you but not as I used to. My eyes open in sleep, a hand seizes me. And in the sweetness of somebody’s touch. I am falling, and the same dream again of a child’s breast that a woman holds in her arms. Lips on it, wet, blood-soaked her lips. I start upright. The others are sleeping. Days walking uphill, view of an evergreen plateau, stay there. Quiet. Except when the wounded mumble close to your ear. I took something that made me get over my fears and then I didn’t care about anything. I did not care about anything. I couldn’t care about anything, a knife cut took off my finger, and I couldn’t care about stopping the blood. Nothing to stay for. The daybreak of a Pel re dawn without light. And around one side and the other monasteries empty nests and a whole crowd there, a river between. And there were a lot. They are singing, the bridal chambers are filled, holding hands. Below bodies the stream hustles along, on the bank a row of them fallen face upwards, I run around like a madman looking for you, a woman presses her daughter to her, poor, we haven’t eaten for days. Gleam without hope still gleaming. In the dreams jostling the one in my other. As then a boy on top of his mother, help me to lift her, he was holding her tight by her soaked rags, have you got matches strike one, as if in her hands. Shows me black avenues and a door at the end. My name that I saw written on it. First time I felt this kind of pain, like a bite. I saw, yet another soldier fallen nearby. Tears in his eyes, called out where are you. Could not see, black with the soil, don’t drink from this water, couldn’t hear, the march past blanked it out. And it was the memorial chanted for us. On our backs, above us the poplars all round. For what was lost, country and youth we had lost. For the horses rolling in blood. And then their carcasses rest under the olive trees. When the sacrifice starts and they pour something over us. Where are you. And they are all gone there are only the gods that off their jackets and give us cover. Dead holding on to images scattered until they too fade forever away. And I see the others, do not go near leave them get up by themselves. Like the bare ramrod hitting you in the stomach, a saw, an empty water-bottle. I recall. New Year’s Eve. And deep down a knot. Sleeping beside me, who. As if to my words he whispers an answer. Now it grows dark, I am a child, I encounter the gypsy. Who takes by day to the roads and sings. In distant villages, in the graveyards for charity. They said he was dead. And during Carnival, in the squares roaming about. Comes and asks us to light a cigarette for him. Deep down a knot, memory, poor girl. Working all night, ruffling through uniforms. In the cloakroom of travelling players, should you find something to change. Your face fading again, to hold your head for a while, and your body is warm and when you are bending to kiss me you hesitate for a moment, as if you catch the sound of them coming. Or the sound of water or wooden fingers on drums. Beside me late flowers on your mouth and it is your kiss. The eve of the lights do you remember? On the day itself I dig into the stone wall and bury there the crown of a fir tree. Scapegoat, then, then we were together.
Cruel the evening again in the station the train and another station silent and the train tail of an animal somewhere ahead, and another station alien eyes not on you yet you want to hide again, a long narrow passage that flows away in the rain covers you. Sitting still you can’t manage your thoughts cannot make you stand up you cannot go forwards or backwards. Socks wet, take off your shoes, not yet, you stay still, almost as to abandon the world, the lights go by, nothing but lights, nothing exists besides this. No thought moves your body not even a pain. One by one all those that fled all those you left, pieces, pieces like ice breaking and falling in front of your feet. And it melts before you can move. The rhythm of the metal draws you with it a shadow out in the corridor lighting a cigarette the same tree that had passed before you so many times. You smoke too. You take off shoes socks lie down. Cramp in the stomach, the usual. You cover your feet with the pullover, fall face down. Chilly berth that sticks on your face. You wear the pullover, you put the Bible under the jacket for a pillow. Her breast, her half-opened mouth. Some life. You unbutton your trousers put your hand in. A hand that holds you a body you stretched on top of. She is there you almost touch her and she is gone again, saliva, pale light and the listless pulse of the body powerless almost. You hold your breath, her breasts come, you press it hard, comes inside you, from inside you squeeze as many drops as you can, from inside you. Stay still, calm, empty, darkness hides you, then sleep. A nudge, you slip all but fall, you put out your hand, below the palm crumpled paper, a dog-eared book open. Turn over the cover: The First Death. You would smile. This too for a pillow, on top of the Bible. When you wake again two bodies entwined, the flesh between them in pieces, that melt, breast onto breast, that fades one into the other, fading out when you decide to stand up.
Dimitris Lyacos was born in Athens in 1966. His trilogy Poena Damni (Z213: Exit, Nyctivoe, The First Death) has been translated into English, Spanish, Italian and German and has been performed extensively across Europe and the USA. A sound and sculpture installation of Nyctivoe opened in London and toured Europe in 2004-2005. A contemporary dance version of the same book was showing in Greece between 2006-2007 culminating in a performance at the Athens Concert Hall (Megaro Mousikis). Lyacos' work has been the subject of lectures and research at various universities, including Amsterdam, Trieste and Oxford. The German translation of The First Death is due to appear by J.Frank Verlag in the forthcoming months. For more information on the author visit www.lyacos.net.
Shorsha Sullivan was born in Dublin in 1932. He studied Classics at Leeds and has spent most of his working life in England. He has an interest in Modern Greek theatre and poetry.
i bruise easily these days come hither to the underbellies of (the) clouds this sunset too true to be good the bruised to a cinder clouds the gulls have found something to squabble about & fill their bellies with down there just below the water's ripplin surface little mountains of eruption moving against eachother where i banged my knee (almost) & it burnt like the orgasm i had this morning that spewed forth nothing but smarted more than this bulbous sun as i walked into it & burnt like the underbellies of these clouds 2 ticks of a rereflection or myriads of 'em bonifide doowop (g)list'nings & short of what double means & the new trees planted around my feet i kissed 'em all the other day & bade them grow in good spirit then walked to the river tied a rope around my bruises & threw 'em in the gulls went diving & squawking all the way under then spit when they discovered there was nothing there to nourish them & as it turned dark the bellies of the clouds turned grey again & i rose up & blinked.
coda:              the lights of the other city              came on unnoticed              & my footsteps became              water.
steve dalachinsky nyc 4/14/08
steve dalachinsky was born in 1946, Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared extensively in journals on & off line including; Big Bridge, Milk, Unlikely Stories, Xpressed, Ratapallax, Evergreen Review, Long Shot, Alpha Beat Soup, Xtant, Blue Beat Jacket, N.Y. Arts Magazine, 88 and Lost and Found Times. He is included in such anthologies as Beat Indeed, The Haiku Moment and the esteemed Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. He has written liner notes for the CDs of many artists including Anthony Braxton, Charles Gayle, James "Blood" Ulmer, Rashied Ali, Roy Campbell, Matthew Shipp and Roscoe Mitchell. His 1999 CD, Incomplete Direction (Knitting Factory Records), a collection of his poetry read in collaboration with various musicians, such as William Parker, Matthew Shipp, Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen, Thurston Moore (SonicYouth), Vernon Reid (Living Colour) has garnered much praise. His most recent chapbooks include Musicology (Editions Pioche, Paris 2005), Trial and Error in Paris (Loudmouth Collective 2003), Lautreamont's Laments (Furniture Press 2005), In Glorious Black and White (Ugly Duckling Presse 2005), St. Lucie (King of Mice Press 2005), Are We Not MEN & Fake Book (2 books of collage - 8 Page Press 2005), Dream Book (Avantcular Press 2005). His books include A Superintendent's Eyes (Hozomeen Press 2000) and his PEN Award winning book The Final Nite (complete notes from a Charles Gayle Notebook, Ugly Duckling Presse 2006). His latest CD is Phenomena of Interference, a collaboration with pianist Matthew Shipp (Hopscotch Records 2005). He has read throughout the N.Y. area, the U.S., Japan and Europe, including France and Germany.
A unicorn for Iyanna,                  with an 80's asymmetrical haircut.
If I had any power.
Luck twists itself out of me.
My insistence on.
Red buttons drop like seeds.
I may have entered.
Everything I see is.
Orange cones in snow.          One or more bound variables. Crystal seer.          "What you need to know."          "What you need to know."                                          Yell it louder.
Every constellation is not made of stars.
Stairs that turn,          I want to be them.
What my mother would tell me                  if she were here.
The windowsill hurts.
Every fear protecting you from what is feared.
51.          Putting things away.
A wish for stories                  and stones to throw.
Glinted gift you carry back.
A smile in poverty,                          but not amongst.
Having never learned to can.
What he said about what I could not understand.
There are no bumblebees here.
Yellow laughter could be what you wanted.
Carrie Hunter has been published online in Moria Poetry, Eratio Postmodern Poetry, Aught, Turntable & Blue Light, Dusie, Parcel, and Sawbuck, and in print in SCORE magazine, CRIT Journal 2, and Small Town XII. Her chapbook Vorticells was published by Cy Gist Press, and an e-chapbook Kine(sta)sis was published by Dusie, a portion of which is also featured in Jacket 35. She received her MFA/MA in Poetics at New College of California, edits ypolita press (ypolitapress.blogspot.com), and lives in San Francisco.
knee over knee like a maltese cross madonna, mary of the misused. you're thin as a stripped fence post next to squat gray graves, your white arms like cigarettes (and how you burn, burn) how the world loves a good-looking suicide.
her voice purrs like humming exhaust i think about my grandmother's car, perfume and tobacco how she bought it when she was manic, paid in cash now the former beauty is muddy with meds.
do it the right way and it's almost like one last poem and i told you, you write poetry just by existing with your black dress your black lungs your black heart.
Lauren Joslin: I am a native of Melrose, Massachusetts; and I am studying History at Boston University. I have a passion for the Victorian Sensationalist Novel and pressing flowers.
Rapturous sensual mysticism extends limits     Of human existence beyond nature        Utopia overshadowed by elliptical duality           How and Why mindfully unified
One single original source interconnecting     All things with one another        Balmy skies mirror reflections of           Who and What we are
Vast ocean engulfing life itself     Generating waves through causal actions        Moonlight reaches darkling bottomless depths           No water trace left behind
By cultivating tranquil quiet reserve     We bring flowers to perfection        Emanating seductive fragrance radiant beauty           Simultaneously nurturing our own earthiness
A fiercely independent unbridled maverick, No Holds Bard Dr. Charles Frederickson bucks mundane routine with ticklish fancy gusto, feisty vagabond moxie and feigned hyperbolic flair. Check out PoetryArtCombo.com and AvantGardeTimes.com.
Have to get sick to slow                 down
standing in the quickfire the lanes of dust grabbing at particles
my hands trying to eat clouds
the roads between us the fish of light the millions
have to get sick to slow down, freeze the eyelake over
see the fish of light frozen swimmers a library of ice
let's learn to swim down here while we're dark our bodies solved
our bodies are much older than we, than we think
our bodies know everything
have to get sick to glimpse you                              you not some death girl forearms awarded parallel wounds
(you were laying new roads with the knife)
skin torn up like carpet, pair of choking eyes
this is what you are (too)
beneath the drugs down slow
Stu Hatton is a poet based in Melbourne, Australia whose work has been published in various journals, e-zines and anthologies. He recently completed an MA at Deakin University, where he teaches professional and creative writing. In 2006 he was awarded an Australian Society of Authors mentorship, which he undertook with Dorothy Porter throughout 2007. He has a book-in-progress entitled How to be hungry.
Rose said she didn't "know where [she was] to or where [she had] been," but that that was okay because she knew that this is where she was supposed to stay, today, and tomorrow, and the day after, because her life had "become dull," she said. She said that in Paris, "Everyone speaks English, Darling." She said she admired Selma for traveling there alone, and that if Selma had just stood there in one spot she imagined that "Frenchmen would flock to [her] in dozens." That Frenchmen would flock to her. Selma tells her that she knows "everyone there speaks English." That Rose is to be admired for the glamorous life she has led, and that all the Frenchmen must have flocked to her; 'how pretty she was.' But when Rose speaks to Selma she looks into her eyes directly. Despite her faux feelings she looks straight in. She tells Selma that she is beautiful this day. Selma contributes in Rose's luxury affair with words, and truly feels their emptiness there, because she knows them well, but not from that position. Not from sitting, leg asleep backwards, on her bed. Not from being taken in so trustfully by someone on her way out who can't name her the following day, can't discern her own place. But. Now she knows them from the position of someone watching it all, disconnected from her past because past brings it feeling. Of someone who can echo shame but must choose now to rename her secrecy of character. Can't shadow the discomfort but can't consider it either. What it brings even its passers don't know.
The bird walked like an Egyptian, and Rose said, "My, those trees are so big." It was funny how the other day Benny told Selma that all the trees had stopped, not a leaf was moving. And on the following, she had asked him if he heard that cricket, and he thought she was conning him, nodding on her imagination by saying, "It's a good thing." Selma sometimes gets a glimpse at the pillars of trunks on her way approaching home, and she thinks it isn't all bad to be constantly falling into bouts of naiveté; drawing all inside the lines is equally as naive as absurd. Even early, "Running a Redline" had always tried to be her mantra, but then there are others that attach themselves to her, like Yesterday's "It's all beneath too much" or June's "No, I didn't say anything. I thought a few things, but I didn't say much." It was all as if she'd already told herself it. Too pardoning to be in field research and too troubled to be in field research. Too insane to be driven into that small gated community where no one lies, again, protecting their sphere from the world outside to instead speak plain. Too antsy to be pulled into that period of nurturing…and she realized, it's difficult to eavesdrop when you are repeating your own thoughts and trying to act sincere. Benny told her today that he didn't think enough before now, and in old age, he thinks too much. It bothers Selma that she likes him most when he is starving.
In this Republic, with him at her flat, Selma learns the meaning of depression. She's deadened, and she often cries when riding the bus out to work in the country- the country where her students await her. "In the nature," some of them say, those who have cottages there to visit on the weekends. Selma can't not cry, and she is supposed to be "the strongest one." She pulls out her book even though she hasn't yet devised her lesson plans. Everyone in Prague brings a book. The Czechs are indelible students. Selma fake reads to have her head in something and her eyes on something else. What she thinks is not what she sees, but she's no prophet. The future's always too predictably predictable for her. Later after getting off the bus and returning home in this catatonic winter and with wet boots that crystallize her stride, Selma wants to, again, cry. Sometimes when she feels this she tells him that she must go walking. Then she walks around the reservoir and thinks about that word. "This must be it," but she hears no music. Selma feels betrayed by the likeness of the words "dreary" and "dreamy"- "that's not quite right." And she cries, beside herself, on a bench. It is hard returning home this particular night. Every second person is a fucking asshole and Selma's mind is not minding her again. Like not knowing how to say, "bless you" in another language, an awkward moment is all that she can surrender when passers-by question her tears through their skittish looks. It's safer there in walking though, in being just a wanderer rather than one without a title. "I'll erupt a few stories down I suppose," but length is a measurement, and, Selma, you're only falling from one place.
Danielle Adair is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. She carries an MFA in Art and in Writing from California Institute of the Arts and has both performed and exhibited her art extensively within the US.
dark and blue evening/ urban noise but quietness in the crevices of my thought system.
increasingly i characterize my life with a busyness seeking obstruction.
the text becomes part of my breath though few will listen.
hyacinths are a famous flower but famous to WHO is the question.
listeners are the fewest things. and the least.
i am later apologizeing for whatever meaning i produced in you.
this world of unstable selves, the way you changed when you weakness was revealed...
the caption beneath your portrait does not illustrate the loss.
Bobbi Lurie: My two poetry collections are Letter From The Lawn (CustomWords, 2006) and The Book I Never Read (CustomWords, 2003). My poems have been published in numerous print and on-line journals including APR, New American Writing and Shampoo.
i will forgot the name Alison it's a problem when adapting her visit to the bar had apparent lost connection that is second sight veteran nose bends toward books in a new reaction to illumination to a family who will never read this with a sense of twelve turned backs our occupations in the old country that have no electronic calendars is the unsettled arrival of winter one month returns to empty houses we are so accustomed to old pains these are things we fail to notice
Tim Martin works in theatre and mental health in the Philadelphia, PA area. He has lived with depression since he was young. He attended the Naropa University. Tim's work has been seen and heard in: I-Outlaw, EOAGH, Altered Books Project, One Less Magazine, Big Bridge, Hamilton Stone Review, and many others. Some of his plays have recently been seen in Philly: Echo, The Ballad of Joe Hill, Tales From Turtle Island and several adaptations of children's stories.
The morning has become resolute -within her boundaries- of light and song to awaken the dreamer into wide afternoons of curved spines and to sing for slack with its dense and obsessive words that are better left hummed....
David McFadden: I have been involved in the Fine Arts for over 17 years and have been writing poetry over 2 years. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety for over twenty years and find drawing, painting and writing very therapeutic in discovering the reality of the situation. I have a website that you can visit that displays some of my artwork. The site’s location is at www.worldnine.net.
Gertrude Halstead was born in Germany in 1916. She escaped to France where during the war she was interned in Camp Gurs in the south of France. She volunteered to work as an interpreter and subsequently was allowed to be released. She eventually made it to Portugal where she was able to get passage on the last ship leaving for the United States. Her work has appeared in Sahara, Diner ,VOX, Amoskeag , Surroundings East and Columbia Poetry Review. Her first book memories like burrs was published by Adastra Press. She has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is presently Poet Laureate of Worcester, MA, USA and recipient of a 2008 Cultural Council Fellowship Award.
A pattern is running through my mind I have thought that it stands on its own two feet regardless of twists & turns pushing towards new outcomes of fate new separations between inside & out locus solus & societas the expansion or reduction of circles eyes fixed forward on that tree which blossoms on the horizon in the summer encrusted with dark memories of cold skies, of lesions which separate us from you from me from the sensation of light from the miraculous union of the seasons from sensation from depth from the playfulness of memory from life itself
To repeat it & repeat it again as if any reparation were adequate practice & training for the fantasy of winning that race finally arriving there alone or with others beyond the line in that moment or event where anguish & bitterness emptiness & despair wave their final farewells bleak & teary eyed filled with the sentimentality of departing trains
It is as if day one does not know the meaning of first day of dawn, horizon, of feather & caress
I waste more time writing these words they are not mine they belong to my mind as alcove belongs to cave or guardian to gate as muse belongs to the impoverished poet as magic helper belongs to frightened child as aphasia belongs to word the arc traced around the invisible center the skin of the apple or the peach which protects the ripe flesh within ready to burst in the season of new beginnings in which eyes open to the orange and pink rays of dawn to the morning flight of pigeons & doves to the excess of beauty of my beloved's skin, the curve of her waist, the softness of her thigh, the weight of her breasts, of the pain & beauty of growing old
When the trains departed we thought of the sky when the sky fell we thought of a place beyond time practically unfathomable, resistant & impervious to harm to war & sickness & the darts of the angry angels the frightened ones who would whisper their horrible names & desires in our ears for we had ears & were forced to listen though we stopped them up with wax & hope & even wisdom projected into the push-pull of our dreams of utopia of lion & lamb of the absence of goods where the idea & abstraction of what was possible replaced the materiality of excess imposed upon us from the outside
At night we sleep that is my vision my dream I enter the bed before you do you stay up late & read through the darkness the emptiness of memory the hopelessness of future the refusal of fatality each night I wish that you were there with me from the outset & invent excuses & lies to achieve this end sometimes it is a sore back that needs the affection of your hands sometimes a fear or need to complete the distracting conversation complete the task or come to terminus though both of us know in our unspeaking that end is illusion that we are given what we make that the beyond is now & that beyond the sense of nothing in now which we struggle endlessly against & into there is a greater & more infinite emptiness which touches & somehow inexplicably kisses the process of dancing atoms, of thoughts formed from spiral galaxies, of actions taken in those universes whose geometric configurations & metaphysical self-awarenesses lie beyond our capacity to conceive
Invariably I startle within the hour & lie awake awaiting some miracle demanding from sleep the capacity to dream within my own necessity for freedom in the direction that I would take the dream always dreaming of that beautiful dream I would call breakthrough & meaning the feeling of feeling unnamed resolute, inspired, sincere, purposeful, & mine
You enter the bed & sleep disturbed by my wakefulness, my obsessive disruptions, the distance between my unbridgeable now & walled off then, my gray is & my blue could be my nameless desire & impossible contentment
40 milligrams of temazapan dissolves on my tongue its bitterness covers our eyes with the sand of forgetting protracts the discussion of what is missing & what happened what we never speak of so that this excess of the unbearable leaks onto my pillow in the form of sweat & exudes from my stomach as vomit & bile though I do sleep I sleep through it forming lesions inside that we hush with maternal words, comforted in darkness because what moves within light we know will blind us with the madness of its unbearable truth
Because I have failed you once, twice, over a dozen times each night I fail you again in the decisive moment which determines who I am
It is as if, worse than choosing flight over courage I simply do not exist or choose to fade into self-protected nothingness
In a crowded room I will point at you & you will point at me words are unnecessary this means "you make me who I am" if you return the gesture I will know that you feel the same it is not that we are one we are more than that it is not that we are two we are more than that also we know that the others cannot understand the depths of what it is to be through the lover's eyes, ears, lips & skin, through the thought completed before it is uttered through the completion fragmented so that it can be completed again through the memory of the storm weathered without fear, through the burning heat at the heart of the sun, through the sleep of bears, through the company of wolves, in the face of contagion and irreparable loss, of dandelions in spring, the startling rose which blossoms in winter, the absence of time, the confines & vicissitudes of what cannot be, of the tools that are available & those which we invent, of the knowing & the yet to be known
A pattern is running through my mind that is the nature of the instillation of society's dreams that is the nature of unresolved doubt of the fear before becoming what one means to be that is the nature of the paranoid creature ever watchful & wary of the escape routes & openings to his burrow that is the nature of the wall of the flight from demons one has not yet learned expel with a word with the power of one's own breath, in the communion of the ten thousand fists raised against the tyranny of power, of the joy of laughter at the swarm of locusts which one crushes into bread, of the barbed wire we use to cut the ropes from our wrists, of the prisons whose walls we enter in order to teach those who need our teaching most, of the silence which emerges through our deepest being, which cannot be thought, expressed, or uttered except in that silence which resides beyond the silence of words
Day two says this is not consciousness at work this is not consciousness at play this is the desire to resist necessity this is the impulse to hide within the interior recesses of cavern of darkness, to resist tension this is the desire to separate water from water to count out measure in syllable sense or carve niche in comfort of concrete glyph to place the inconsequential slide beneath the ridiculous microscope to contemplate the film on the surface of mirror this is not the consciousness of hewing stone this is not the consciousness of letting blood of erasing the first, second, and third gateway of unknowing
Day two says this is the mantra of continuous forgetting
Day two wants the poem to end at this moment will mark a turn in the road will begin again tomorrow
is forced into the discomfort of remembering the violence of speech forced upon itself & against its will
A pattern is fragmenting the lavatory of my mind a word chosen randomly from the dictionary of memory a sword or word replacing the phoneme used to hush or stifle the confused indiscretion of passage into deposition
One finds oneself there before the jury of outsiders eyes fixed on the unmoving lips on the trembling lips on the sweat which pours from one's brow internalizing the dream in the image which exudes from the back of the throat from the breath which heaps up in pants from the muffled cries one wishes at once to hide & inhabit
& so choked thus day two says let the beautiful dream enter the poem express the laughter of communicated meaning, of resolution & new beginning, of the absurd expression of that actual moment in which the deepest fear of those poisonous serpents kept in glass cages by the machiavellian corsortionists of imposed desire is transformed into the gentle acceptance of giving it all away at the inception of the secret order of mystical herpetologists
For that is the pattern that is the dream, the nightmare for years it slithered into my nights always of reptiles kept in a cage & among them those I would have cared for & loved were it not for the others whose fangs and poisons kept me from opening the lid that would express the purpose of who I am
For that is the pattern that is the meaning of dream, nightmare, hesitation, & indecision fear transformed into guilt inertia before action, love, care, responsibility, & understanding
For two decades I have dreamt of poisonous serpents kept in cages with beautiful lizards, helpless birds, & beloved cats
For two decades I have dreamt of the paralysis of fear & the guilt of placing my safety before the needs of beings crying out for sustenance, deliverance, comfort, & care
& yesterday, which is a figure of speech, I dreamt that I had given all of my reptiles away to a man who understood, who knew, who could teach & show me through demonstration that the smaller ones could be raised in canopies above the larger that the weak & strong could be kept within the same cage that the powerful & aggressive could be given the run of the ground floor while the soft & meek could be cared for above that even the poisonous serpents could be handled by one who understood their nature & could substitute caution for fear
& so day two utters its first truth or interpretation of truth it is not stupid, careless, or simpleminded it knows that its words, its stories, its meaning & interpretations are fragmented & out of order it knows that it has not yet found its way on the road of becoming that it has uttered the letter h without reciting the alphabet which comes before & after that a glimpse is not a vision that a patch of light is no evidence of cloudless sky that a dream is neither state nor action that the clarity of desire is not a course unstrewn with stones & chasms
Composed of brachae or filligree constructed of moss, sod, hope, or desire, I wait inside the waiting gate despondently tired of waiting for first glimpse of the origin of universe, light, partition, & departure
In water I turn to you toward the sea beyond sea in horizon I interpret you against the venoms of hazard
In ringlet I see you as rhizome of the particulate in substance you are present in absence you turn to memory in fire the air in bread the act of kneading in etcetera the ellipsis
I cannot forget the day I turned away from you encrusted with the gold leaf of class-envy & ambition with the barnacles of narcisistic desire wandering lost with floppish gait on the road divided by so many misdirections each with its sign bearing false witness to belonging each with its siren song of horded treasure & crown each with its promise of one-eyed kingship & the eternal sleep imaginary needs
I have read through the journey what has been written so far & no further though I would push into the beyond to coalesce & merge into greater meaning, particulate & sedementary into fusion metamorphic, metastable, multidimensional
On the road confined by maps we adhere to the surface seem bound by it as one is bound by inarticulate gesture & subterfuge within the prison house of language, Limited Inc.
As I being of fire I bring fire burn the map & the bound words behind it as a being of fire I speak of fire draw burnt signs upon my wrist to mark new direction, twist, & return as a being of fire I burn fire against the institutions of lie against the codes of demise, promise, & compromise
& so without maps we wander, carry on in daylight under the burning sun at night by the glow of moons we name according to the beauty & care of
past and future guides in the night without moons by the embers of certainty that persist within what cannot yet be said
Since 2002 Bruce Stater has produced several collections of poetry, each touching in different ways upon the experience of trauma, loss, abandonment, psychic reintegration, and psychotic semiosis. They include: Wound Flower Heart and Memory-- Poems for Paul Celan, The Language of Angels, A Labyrinth of Visions, Shaman-Machine, and What Happened. Selections from A Labyrinth of Visions have been published in PoetrySZ, Of(f) Course Journal, and Golden Handcuffs Review. This work was recently published in its entirety as an echapbook and is available online from Ahadada press at their web site.
to help her after her hard day at work they took to role playing re-enacting the tense moments threatening situations that sort of thing …………….. but one day sometime later terribly injured awfully scarred touch and go he woke up in intensive care on a drip ……………… they then thought that perhaps she could learn some nice relaxing breathing exercises instead
Patrick Mc Manus is a retired architect-survivor poet published in ‘Beyond Bedlam’ ‘Magma’ ‘Under the Asylum Tree’ and more latest books ‘Cement and Water’ and ‘Bricks - kept relatively sane with painting ex potter -ex voluntary work mental health-running poetry workshops groups helped by doses of Poetryetc and Britpos- -has –partner Janet ,Cat Vile Boris and grandchildren.-saw second world war -born London long ago.