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.