Tag Archives: poetry

Precautionary Measures

by Meredith Blankinship

Meredith Blankinship Giving Daddy a Hand

Spokane & Friends

From the exercise bike on the 2nd story
of the glass-walled gym I watch the action
at the Kum & Go across the street
I read nutritional information for
a Burger King fish fillet I chew
mindfully in the turnpike truck stop
just outside of Pittsburgh

Slomming the page with bursts
of terror, epileptic Xmas tree
gums my sleep. Don’t worry baby
visiting Spokane tonight
just saving for necessity

This is me before and after 10 cups
hung alone in the swing of middle
ground squinting into the sun. My limits
worse over time. Secrete and slip and when
I breathe in it is kerosene. After
I clawed my skin off they said
keep digging until you hit bone
Now I piss away the light

A woman is like two miniature collies
out for a walk, an inoffensive place where
anyone may lay down. Maybe some of us
don’t have to do horrible things
in order to be better people but I did
and that’s the best I’ve got

Grim Girls

Begin with the scribbled-out
Begin with a fever
Somebody’s dad touching you behind
the concession stand
and you

Say bad of ghosts
that don’t know your names
Walking down to the river, at the river
you never want to go back
Tie a shoelace
a bit of calico a plastic bag
to a branch close to the water
to trail the surface of the water

And then you go back
but this time pearl-handled funnel
above is ready
to clip what’s happening to you
The impulse hammering

where grim girls hold
their severed tongues
Magpies pick politely
at traffic’s orange, they know
the difference between
each kind of apologia

You proceed down the hole too small
for your cabbage-leafed hands
Your weeping pink eyes
sopping disease, inclination
to disintegrate into the floor, pool
you’ve ground yourself into

Tell the truth
Barricade the door
No face beyond the hair threshed
No room now for niceties:
nightgown, doily, bloodied linen
In a voice that laughs
at everything you
get more under-
belly than you’d think


Dawn at the First Disruption of Base Camp

The cat’s mournful yawp
at my hush-the-brain
at my restless liver
the hole in the ocean you find
when you break the knife
from handle, become once-human,

when the leaves fall off
the trees
and onto snowy ground
you see the branches filled
with crows

the monster’s legs
tattooed astride her pubis
then life got boring
the ice repose
of a vine-covered day

the timbre of a way
to remember
that each picture is another
thing I’ll never see

like what’s swimming
in the lake
in the abandoned mall
in Bangkok



because the dead
corrupt the living
answer without names
each sun

unbearable vertiginous neck
tendons clamping into
finely scraped hollows

tooth sharps, lick clean
the stethoscope that is
hungry, as all creeping
things hunger and grin

with or without naming names
the dead contaminate
your face miming
in the voice of your loved
ones from very far away

who may speak to the dead?
whose living days
reek with interference
calling back what belongs in
cedars in the bulge
of blackberry root
palpate what is left behind
for containment
the blue tarp flapping
in the yard

you say you
do not know me but I
am here for good


Precautionary Measures

Morning grins in the face
of the drunk dude who tries to break
the shatterproof glass of the front
door with his sternum. We are
what’s on the internet on repeat
when spellcheck is off. Let the engine
accept its ramifications. Let light
decide to do its thing or not.
This new kind of house has pleasant
stink only slightly putrid so look
close for secret spores.
Hello July, today I will listen
to all ten common sounds that cause
deafness on repeat and I will fucking
love it. What are you going to
do, July? I love you, skinning paper
with a bookmark, lines
thinning out into the distance,
into time we haven’t ruined yet.


Photo by Lisa Wells

Photo by Lisa Wells

Meredith Blankinship is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from H_NGM_N, SKYDEER HELPKING, Imperial Matters, Heavy Feather Review, Similar:Peaks::, GlitterMob, Sink Review, and Finery,among others. She is a recent transplant to Atlanta, GA.

Tutti Frutti Haiku

by Virginie Colline


sunset on the beach
he shakes the cornucopia
no more coconuts

summer seeds raining
from the watermelon sky
she lets down her hair

bananafish dream
his hand is edging crabwise
towards her tanned skin

come and taste honey
any strange inflorescence
you want me to bee


Virginie Colline lives and writes in Paris. Her poems have appeared in The Scrambler, Prune Juice, The Mainichi, Frostwriting, Prick of the Spindle, Mouse Tales Press, StepAway Magazine, BRICKrhetoric, Overpass Books, Dagda Publishing, Poethead, Silver Birch Press, The Bangalore Review, and Yes, Poetry, among others.

This Is My Libertine Story

by Laura Carter

Schrödinger’s Cat by Caroline Nevin  (https://www.facebook.com/CINfulART)

Schrödinger’s Cat by Caroline Nevin (https://www.facebook.com/CINfulART)


Games retire into heart
and then the Copernican window
that never quite says what it can say
because the world is made up of obsolete angles.
I listen to Neutral Milk Hotel and think of the two-headed
Hegel, though I know that A does not equal what it is.
On the other side of the city, a couple settles down
and turns on the TV for the last time. And then they get divorced.
It’s as simple as that really, the fact that they have grown apart
because the night crept into them where it hurt.
There’s really nothing left of a city when you
see only the remains of the day, and then nothing left of those old remains.
Salvador and his friends are growing beards again in my latest longing.


Every night we kiss before the sheets become wet with
remnants of bodies lost in space
Before a loss
there is always a voice that comes from somewhere telling us that we should
By we I mean me
and you the one I once remembered
but the dawn is an unruly fool
matched only by night
where things are almost simple and right with the new rain
and everybody
loves to wear a city and
even the sky is a new rooftop


A document is filed under sun and
nothing seems to change.
Outside, the world is what it has always been:
full of people needing to care
and be cared for, full of people needing to hug and be hugged and to be blessed
by something, if not others.
The old people
walk slowly to their doctors’ visits,
making ducks back into dogs,
telling off the sun because it’s so far gone and
the only thing left is
a body—not just one but maybe many
slouching toward a destination.


Modernity is made of old spikes—
you lose one, and then I help you heal where it fell
into the ground into a puddle of milk.
The other side of the revolution
is that a lover can be made of nothing
but himself—pure self—pure nothing but him-him-him-himself
and the world is brighter than an orange May.
A new romance is almost as alphabetic as
the time you escaped from the womb again.


A sun glistens in early
and you don’t know what to do so you make your coffee
and imagine what your next life will be.
Made up of the worlds of alphabet skies,
you’re not all there yet, but you want to be there oh so bad.
While you’re worrying about the next thing, I’m worrying about
where I put the keys to the car in case I need
to flee in the middle of the night and
drive to the station to write a letter.
The next thing I want to do is become ordinary,
as plain as new luxe
but not entirely live
as a wire is live, not entirely all that way.
The place near the desk where you put your chair spins.


As it turns out, the animals are awake
and listening to Cyndi Lauper on iTunes
until 3 in the morning, just because they can.
Everything for sale, until dawn
hits and their lovers turn over in their beds.
Neglect? you might ask. What’s the working world about?
It’s not the lake anyone needed.
It’s not even Times Square where the cultures are all blending and
and suddenly your Jungianism seems obsolete, retarded
by the station moving forward in space.


Someone wants to enter the door of the law for the last time.
It’s like shuffling what’s left—
with tears for ordinary
time schedules train stations left.
The latest groove is an exercise in fear,
when the world doesn’t want to take you in.
Someone enters the last door
and begs a little sustenance
as if remembering what a love was for.

laura carterLaura Carter lives in Atlanta, where she is poet-in-residence at WonderRoot Center for Art & Social Change until March. Her most recent chapbooks are out in 2014 with Dancing Girl and ShirtPocket Presses. She has published many poems online and in print journals, and she lives on the east side of the city with her two cats, Sasha and Sonya.

Erasing Infinite Jest: Five Poetic Approaches

by Jenni B. Baker

In late 2013, I began creating erasure poetry page by page from David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest as a memorial to an author whose death in 2009 had a tremendous impact on me. Erasure poetry, in which I remove words and phrases from Wallace’s text to unearth a new poem in their midst, is at once a metaphor for death and a mechanism for dealing with it.

I’ve written more about the project’s origins and purpose over at The Huffington Post and Nick Maniatis’ wonderful David Foster Wallace site, The Howling Fantods. For this post, however, I want to talk specifically about craft.

In terms of digital execution, my process is straightforward:

1)   I scan the pages of the hard copy edition to an SD card, which I then insert into my computer.

2)   I open the image in Adobe Photoshop and correct any deficiencies in the scan, such as page rotation and coloration.

3)   Finally, I “erase” text from the page by using the paintbrush tool to paint over it with the same color as the page itself. Occasionally, I’ll work in reverse, filling the entire image with the page color, adjusting the transparency to 80 percent or so, and selectively erasing the paint over the words I want to use in my poem.

Here’s a video that shows the process in action:

Knowing how to erase the text is just the first step in the process — the bigger challenge comes in when I’m forced to “find” new poems in each page of Wallace’s novel, ones that aren’t simply distillations of the original text but which reinterpret, respond or react to it in new ways.

In an early iteration of this project, I attempted to craft poems from entire sections of the text at a time. This approach ultimately failed; I found myself reading the text and writing poems whose topics and tone were too close to those in the novel. I have to work one page at a time, removing each page’s contents from the book’s broader context, in order to divorce myself from the literal subject matter.

Once I’ve isolated a page for erasing, I usually apply one of five approaches to arrive at the final poem.


Approach #1 is the loosest and the one I default to when first entering a page of text. Quite simply, I let my eyes quickly scan the page, hoping they land on interesting word combinations or phrases. A compelling juxtaposition of two words can be enough of a seed to grow a poem around.




The second approach works well when there’s a compelling word located in the first few lines of the page. When crafting a definition-style poem, I often choose abstract nouns — words that represent concepts rather than objects. You can easily see how choosing a starting term like “love” lends itself to more exposition than one like “coffee.”

Jenni B Baker 3



As readers, we often pay more attention to what authors say rather than how they say it. Spending time with Infinite Jest allows me to examine closely Wallace’s stylistic and syntactical choices — constructions which reveal the depths of his writing prowess. I use these recurring words and phrases as jumping off points for erasure poems.




If you’ve ever stood bewildered in the aisles of a large supermarket, trying to choose between one hundred brands of cereal, you know that fewer options can sometimes lead to quicker decisions. When I’m having a particularly difficult time surfacing a poem from a page, I find it’s usually helpful to restrict my word base even further. I’ll limit myself to words found within a single column inch on the page or those that align along a particular margin.




Finally, sometimes a phrase on the page just hits me, and I’ll let that single expression stand as its own piece. These erasures usually garner the greatest number of favorites and re-blogs on Tumblr because of their simplicity. I try not to depend on this approach too much, however. Critics of found and erasure poetry often argue that poets don’t do enough to transform the original text, and I don’t want to give them too much additional ammunition.

Jenni B Baker 9



Jenni B. Baker is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Found Poetry Review. Her own poetry has been published or is forthcoming in more than three dozen literary journals including DIAGRAM, Geist, SWARM and InDigest Magazine; her first chapbook, Comings/Goings will be published by Dancing Girl Press in 2015. By day, she works as a nonprofit content manager in the DC area. Follow her on Twitter @jennibbaker.


Jenni B. Baker

Erasing Infinite

Found Poetry Review

Creative Remix – Word in Sound and Image

Marc Neys-Ladder 3

One of the hopes of Creative Thresholds is that different art forms and genres meet and that the convergence inspires creatives of all types, resulting in dialogue and possibly collaboration. In this post, a poem, which had been inspired by a painting, in turn inspires a film. The process and the individual works are…magical.

Watch the film, “Ladder Our Boat,” and read about the process from both the poet, Maureen Doallas, and the filmmaker, Swoon (AKA Marc Neys).

The video is best seen on full screen with good volume.


Melissa, curator and editor

Creative Remix – Word in Sound and Image

by Maureen E. Doallas and Swoon (AKA Marc Neys)



The Poem:

A Ladder Our Boat

after Holly Friesen’s Warrior Canoe

When we make a tree a ladder, we climb
out of the flaming fire, through our fear.
We are each from earth’s guts spilled,
Persephone rising, wild mint lacing
loose braids, sheaves of grain in hand,
spring’s re-welcoming cheered.

When we make the ladder our boat, we sail on
a kiss of wind above the Hades of our making,
spirits water-rocked in Zeus’s arms, seeds
of the pomegranate bursting, our offspring

We strike our fevered blessings on the wood,
water-tight, wave at the moon we circle twice:
the light, our safe harbor, shore.

© Maureen E. Doallas
Printed with Permission of Author

Marc Neys-Ladder 1

The Process:

Maureen: Nic Sebastian, an excellent poet herself, is the founder of The Poetry Storehouse, which is dedicated to promoting “new forms and delivery methods for page-poetry”; the site has become a terrific repository of poems in text, audio, and video. I submitted five poems, which Nic accepted, with the understanding that any and all would be made freely available for creative remixing. Among the selections is my poem “A Ladder, Our Boat”. The poem first appeared in the Image-ine series at TweetSpeak Poetry; Image-ine, to which I’ve contributed numerous ekphrastic poems (including a series inspired by Lisa Hess Hesselgrave‘s paintings), is a place for discovering and learning about and sharing poetry that is inspired by paintings or other media. “A Ladder, Our Boat” was inspired by Holly Friesen‘s exquisite painting “Warrior Canoe”; I shared the poem with Holly after I wrote it, and she was kind enough to allow us to use an image of the painting at Image-ine.

Marc Neys-Ladder 2Marc Neys aka Swoon, who is a tremendous talent, first sent me a message via Facebook to listen to a soundtrack he’d composed for my poem “A Ladder, Our Boat”. I expressed my delight, and was thrilled Marc was setting my poem. Marc continued developing his concept for the poem, incorporating images from footage he collected.  Unlike some of Marc’s other remixes, this one has no narration. Marc’s completed videopoem is “Ladder Our Boat”. Marc is entirely responsible for concept, camera, editing, and music. I am very pleased with the result.

Ladder 4Swoon (Marc): For my latest video for a poem taken from The Poetry Storehouse I went back to my early days. That is to say, there was a need to create a videopoem without a voice again (and I hadn’t done that in a long while).

I started with collecting a series of images that could either tell a new story or create a different path to go on when combined with a certain line from the poem. Once I had collected the footage and paired them with certain lines, I needed a timeframe. So I created a soundtrack with a lot of background noises (breathing, scratching, squeaking,…).

With these sounds I started editing the chosen footage. I combined the lines of the poem with the images. Giving the words space and time to take root in or react to the images. I love this way of working and I wonder why I don’t use that technique more often… Yes these works need to be played on a larger screen for full effect!

Maureen E. Doallas

Maureen E. Doallas is the author of Neruda’s Memoirs: Poems (T.S. Poetry Press, 2011). Her work has appeared in the anthologies Open to Interpretation: Water’s EdgeOpen to Interpretation: Love & Lust, and Oil and Water…And Other Things That Don’t Mix; and in Felder Rushing’s book Bottle trees. Her poems also have appeared in Every Day PoemsThe Woven Tale Press MagazineThe Found Poetry Review (special David Foster Wallace edition), The Victorian Violet Press & Journal, The Poetry Storehouse, VerseWrights, Escape Into Life, Poets for Living Waters, Red Lion Square, The Beautiful Due, the sad red earth, The Poetry Tree, and Englewood Review of Books. Her interviews and feature articles have appeared at TweetSpeak Poetry and The High Calling. Maureen writes daily at her blog Writing Without Paper, is an Artist Watch editor for the online arts magazine Escape Into Life, and a contributing writer to Manhattan Arts and TweetSpeak Poetry. An art collector, she owns a small art-licensing company, Transformational Threads.

Social Media: I’m on SheWrites, FaceBook, Twitter, Goodreads, SoundCloud, and LinkedIn.


Transformational Threads:

Another collaboration of mine: http://juancarloshernandezphotographe.blogspot.com/2011/07/night-stalkingcollaboration-with-poet.html

Marc NeysSwoon (AKA Marc Neys) (°1968, Essen, Belgium) is an artist who works in a variety of media; he’s a video-artist / soundscape-constructor. 

“His work is provocative, beautiful and disturbing. Using poems as guidelines, Swoon (Marc Neys) creates video and soundscapes that is instantly recognizable for its dreamlike quality as well as the skill with which the artist extracts new meaning from the poems he illuminates.” (Erica Goss)

Swoon’s work has been featured at film and video-art festivals all over the world.

In 2014 Swoon released his first album of soundscapes ‘Words/No Words’ on Already Dead Tapes. He curates, gives workshops and writes a monthly column for Awkword Paper Cut.




How is choir

by James Sanders

For the past several years, I’ve been increasingly drawn to “situated poetry”– poems designed to be performed or composed for specific sites or occasions (though by no means restricted to those sites or occasions). Jackson Mac Low’s Pronouns and performance scores, David Antin’s and Steve Benson’s improvisatory pieces, Gertrude Stein’s operas and plays, and the art of Alexander Calder and Robert Smithson are just some examples of work that has pushed me in this direction.  “How is choir” is a poem written for a large multi-media piece called “Island Boy Live” designed and produced by filmmaker Anna Winter and composer-performer Luke Leavitt – both based in Denver. Hovering between music video, sound art installation, and experimental film, “Island Boy Live” pursues connections between Denver’s local dance subcultures and the landscapes – natural, social, and economic – that incubate them. “Island Boy Live” began as a song by Leavitt, which I then used to create the poem here. Performances of the poem were recorded and then mixed into the song, and accompanying video was created.  A dual channel video for “Island Boy Live” can be found here: http://www.swigview.com/Y14mswC.

That video served as a basis for a live performance at Monkey Town in Denver (http://www.monkeytown4.com/) earlier this year. The performance consisted of Leavitt playing the “Island Boy” song live with his keytar, with “How is choir” taped on the ground around him and used for some vocal improvisations, all backgrounded by the video. Leavitt also had four bottles of red-dyed soy sauce, wielding them as a weapon of sorts– a playful splash on the ‘high-dining’ atmosphere of the Monkey Town events (which are curated by professional chefs). A few bottles– and a diner’s carafe– were accidentally smashed in performance. Some diners complained that the smell of the sauce ruined the food, others claimed it enticed their appetites!  Some scattered shots of the performance can be found here: https://vine.co/v/MJ90mqwWzOp and  http://instagram.com/p/m1QeJjw2Kn/.

James Sanders-How is choir_Page_1


James Sanders-How is choir_Page_2


James Sanders-How is choir_Page_3


James Sanders-How is choir_Page_4


James Sanders-How is choir_Page_5



James SandersJames Sanders is a member of the Atlanta Poets Group, a writing and performing collective. His most recent book is Goodbye Public and Private (BlazeVox). His book, Self-Portrait in Plants, is forthcoming in 2015 from Coconut Books. The University of New Orleans Press also recently published the group’s An Atlanta Poets Group Anthology: The Lattice Inside.




Twitter: @ATLPoetsGroup.



By Nicholas Quin Serenati

Humanscapes is the final post in a three-part series, which began with Locating Place: Fragments of an Illness.

About the series: Illness experience is a resource for experiential knowledge. To that extent, it is important to understand that life has infinite spaces which can be experienced. My work is concerned with phenomenological experiences that transform these spaces into places. These places become the foundations in our individual lives – the construct of our identity. The work in this series is intended to ascertain an understanding of the ways meaning–making functions as a method for healing, and how the creative process operates to uncover and identify new metaphors that best communicate illness experience to others.




In Bob Trowbridge’s book, The Hidden Meaning of Illness: Disease as a Symbol and Metaphor, a philosophical engagement is established with how illness penetrates the process of being human. What illness does for a person is quite unique and individualized. For me, I find that illness is an experience that can stifle and complicate the order of living. However, I believe that illness experience offers an opportunity to transcend the basic containment of being ill and evolve into a more knowledgeable and inspired being. Similar to the process of art making, illness is a process of discovery. During illness experience, an opportunity arises to untether from the superficialities that compound life and embrace the moments of being vulnerable, confused and weak in order to flourish in strength, beauty and wisdom.

Humanscapes presents an extremely straightforward and customary point of view on illness. The work embodies the typical tone and nature that possesses aggression and horror. Humanscapes is an exploration of the human condition as I perceive it to be through my illness experience. Specifically, the exploration dealt with juxtaposition of content – image and poetry – and in doing so, the overarching philosophical questions emerges: what would resonate?



Collected Spaces


Nicholas Serenati 1



Death comes during the twilight.
An opera of suffocating screams,
tuned in the key of pain.
Pitch perfect, echoing across barren landscapes.
Injections, ravenous poison, constricting veins.
Internal asphyxiation.

A lifeless marionette standing on a thorn’s edge of a cacti.
Sand storms perform a ritual dance
to a fiddling devil, vultures circle above.
Breath shallows, eyes hollow, heart slows, flesh blisters.
Red-eyed from hearing my mother’s cry.
Tears from angels come crashing down, loud.
Collected by the hands of a decomposing crowd.
Now, we can bathe, and be covered in a linen shroud.

Traces of red from these fingertips,
Ink that flows and pens this script.
What is left are bloodstains,
from life’s dismissed.
I’d be remiss, if a history of illness went claimless.




Nicholas Serenati 2
I tasted illness.

Flavored by metallic bitterness of wicked misery,
It sped through my veins.
A devouring plague,
An internal decomposition;
The memory hangs in the timberland of my mind.
Silent, static, yet ever present.





Nicholas Serenati 3


I sympathize with those who lie still.
The light has escaped them;
and now, darkness.

I find it eerily near.
Vulnerability that will always remain.

In the shadows,
just as ugly.
Dark separation is home.

Shadows misplaced,
Lying dormant with others.





Nicholas Serenati 4


Overshadowed by internments of negative space,
Reflection blinds the wonder of escape.

A room,
Void of definition, exists little to name.
Balanced by masses,
Whispers of nothingness fall short of noise.

Beneath an image is the image.
Transcending the real for a rendering of another;
The antagonistic image that requires such attention.

Light, the consciousness of wisdom;
Darkness, its frame



The Old Oak House


Nicholas Serenati 5


A splintering in the wood on the side of this old oak house reminds me of that winter.

Crackling echoes through the chilled air from slivers separating.

This old oak house is in ruins, decaying inside out.

I stand by the window looking out.

My fingers run across the weathered wood interior,

Pieces of the old oak break away and fall around my feet.


That morning, trees stood still, birds frozen in flight.

Water ran down the grooves of the rusted metal roof, down the pane of glass

Like rain, dropping down upon my forehead.

The old oak house dampened.

The crackling grew louder.

Light from the sun turned away and darkness loomed.


Near the old oak house, a river cut through the land like a knife.

Steam from the water smothered a rolling landscape,

A scorching water flow.

Condensation ran down trunks of trees, off tips of leaves, down the plank wood siding

of the old oak house.

Soaked was the landscape.


Just beyond the old oak house, past the riverbank, into the distance, a forest.

From the thicket of brush and pine, a dark horse emerged.

Massive and stoic it stood, flaring its nostrils, sensing the frigid still air.

Black, lifeless eyes peered in the direction of the old oak house.


With a gait slow and steady, the dark horse neared.

I moved aside of the window, peering out carefully

Fear lumped in my throat as his presence grew broader.

The dark horse approached the edge of the riverbank.

Blood trickled from his fractured hooves into the water.

The red streamed down current.

I gasped from inside that old oak house; the dark horse stared.

That is where we remained.


Nicholas Quin SerenatiNicholas Quin Serenati is an interdisciplinary scholar-artist whose work is defined by arts-based research that explores the potential of medium and discipline in liminal spaces. With a practice rooted in locating one’s place, Serenati employs video, creative writing, photography, sound, installation and performance to investigate forming situations that direct his research around illness and metaphor.

Serenati’s intellectual practice deeply engages the creation of meaning – form and function – and the articulation of story throughout the investigative process. Themes of trauma, identity, illness, disability, experimental narrative, social constructivism, sound and language are all contributing factors to Serenati’s work as a critical discourse. Serenati’s scholarly-art practice is intended to investigate phenomena as a way of achieving profound knowledge of theory, philosophy and art.

Based out of St. Augustine, Florida, Serenati holds a BA in Communications from Flagler College, an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, and is a candidate for his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Humanities and Culture from Union Institute & University. He is currently the Art Director / Dept. Chair of the Cinematic Arts program at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and an adjunct professor of media and cinema studies at Flagler College.

Serenati’s dissertation, ReFraming Leukemia: Metaphorizing Illness as Windows, will be completed May 2014, and the installation of the project is set for early 2015 in St. Augustine, Florida.

Twitter: @nqserenati
Website: nqserenati.com


By Nicole J. Johns
Image by Caroline Nevin

Queen of the Grotto by Caroline Nevin

Queen of the Grotto by Caroline Nevin https://www.facebook.com/CINfulART

The Trouble with Bridges

to have lived in this town
is to never trust a bridge again.

we have seen
when bridges fail, like people.

we feel the give and shake
as we sit idling in traffic.

bumper to bumper
so close together, we are.
gusset plate crumbling
like a thin, rusty communion wafer.

tumbling, braking, crashing,
Bridges don’t collapse in America.
this must be some third world country,
or a terrorist attack.

we know better,
the sonic boom alerted and altered.

we sit disconnected, staring
at taillights and that murky water.

wondering, knowing, our river
is full of secrets.

and we are merely suspended–


find the dark space—
crawl inside


we go down,
together. into

liminal space
language, no one

has ever written—
or spoken.

language is born.
language is reborn.

straddle the gap,
quiver along the line


Rush Hour

what does it mean
to tell you this?

to sit static
on the interstate

and think of the place
i used to call home

a time and a space
rolling in memory

the person i was
three lives ago


all of us
have multiple lives

we are all reborn
of former selves

our old lives
creep in on us

during rush hour
while waiting in line

would you have loved
the person i once was?


Poetry Village

I want to join a poetry village,
where metaphors
Run wild through a dim forest,

A plethora of frenzied poesy,
poems composed by poets,
Strung out on coffee, cigarettes,
gin and tonic, and love.

Verbs race through the air,
knocking into the walls of huts,
Nouns primly sip tea with a poet.

A genre goddess knocks at the door,
bringing with her a custom made muse,
A replica of the woman I fell in love with
over lunches, late nights and dancing.

Erogenous alphabets float
through the atmosphere,
a cacophony of rolling consonants blending.
Redundant entanglements are forbidden.

Nicole J. JohnsNicole J. Johns is originally from rural western Pennsylvania, but now lives in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, where she teaches English at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota and her BA in English/Creative Writing from Penn State-Erie, The Behrend College. Her first book, Purge: Rehab Diaries (Seal Press, 2009) was nominated for ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award in memoir, and has been described by Library Journal as an “unflinching work rooted in feminist self-reflection.” Nicole has also published poems in numerous literary magazines, including The Evening Street Review, Ellipsis, and Lake Effect.

Check out her Website and her Facebook page or say “hi” on Twitter (@nicolejjohns). You can writer her at nicolejjohns@gmail.com.

Ocean Haiku

by Virginie Colline

Illustration by Riccardo Guasco from "The Book of A+R"

Illustration by Riccardo Guasco from “The Book of A+R”

onyx shingle beach
all night long he gently chokes
in a stagnant dream

far side of the bed
after a winter away
an ocean of ice

the words left unsaid
sinking down into the depths
ripples and sunset

unknown latitude
he has lost track of his self
riding the black waves

Virginie Colline lives and writes in Paris. Her poems have appeared in The Scrambler, Prune Juice, The Mainichi, Frostwriting, Prick of the Spindle, Mouse Tales Press, StepAway Magazine, BRICKrhetoric, Overpass Books, Dagda Publishing, Poethead, Silver Birch Press, The Bangalore Review, and Yes, Poetry, among others.

Evidence that Ke$ha Is a Key Factor in America’s Growth Economy

by Bruce Covey

photo by Lee Ann Roripaugh

photo by Lee Ann Roripaugh

She has a dollar sign in her name, instead of an “S.”

Since Animal came out in 2009, unemployment has decreased and Wall Street stock prices have risen. No, really.

The day after I joined twitter in January, Ke$ha tweeted, “omg I’m cooking a carrot omg omg omg.” She’s talking about carats of gold, right?

In 2007, a music producer and a libertarian economist teamed up to write a rap song that talked about the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich von Hayek. When Ke$ha saw the video, she said, “It’s like legit. It’s really good rapping.”

She says, “Glitter fixes everything. At the end of my shows, why don’t I put on a backpack that’s like a handheld cannon and blast glitter at people?”

Mick Jagger attended the London School of Economics in the early 60s. Ke$ha refers to Jagger in her 2009 song Tik Tok.

Late last year Ke$ha asked her fans to send her their teeth. She says, “I got, like, over 1,000 human teeth. I made them into a bra top and a headdress and earrings and necklaces. I’ve worn it out!!!!”

Bruce Covey‘s sixth book of poems, Change Machine, will be published by Noemi in 2014. He lives in Atlanta, GA, where he edits Coconut magazine and Coconut Books and curates the What’s New in Poetry reading series.

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