Category: Issue 03

Issue Three, July 2013

Table of Contents

Visual Art:

“I, abundance — saying we” – Jill Magi

Poetry:

“from Radiant Action”
“from Radiant Action”
“Notes on Radiant Action” – Matt Hart

“Ezra Pound Speaking” – Collier Nogues

“An Egregious Act”
“Beyond Repair” – Adam Clay

“Everything is a Win”
“We Will Never Go to North Dakota” – Stephen Danos

“Crankbucket Throat”  – Tyler Gobble

“Tromp L’oeil, Jasper-Style”
“Transfer Station” – Lana Rakhman

“Direct Address”
“Audition” – Natalie Shapero

“How to Adopt”
“My Apron is my Frame” – Sandra Simonds

“Record 25-30”
“Record 31-39”
“Record 32-41” – Brian Spears

“Jindabyne”
“Total Information Awareness” – Tony Trigilio

“A Song Called Stitch” – Joshua Marie Wilkinson

“Domestic Violence” – Matthew Lippman

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I, abundance–saying we

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Jill Magi works in text and image and is the author of LABOR (forthcoming in September 2013 from Nightboat Books) SLOT (Ugly Duckling Presse), Cadastral Map (Shearsman), Threads (Futurepoem), Torchwood (Shearsman), and the chapbooks Die for love, Furlough (In Edit Mode Press), Confidence & Autonomy (Ink Press), Poetry Barn Barn! (That let it roll where you want it.) (2nd Avenue Press),  Cadastral Map (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs), and numerous small, handmade books. Her work has been translated into French and Danish.

from Radiant Action

All the beautiful places have consequences
All these beautiful worlds imperfect
and rebellious, “imperfect but ours”
Nucleic acid, nuclear reactors, suns forming
suns forming suns forming suns
The basements and attics with the sounds
of our voices, a singular noise,
in spite of all division     We are
blended to treetops, cinder block
streetscapes, cloudshift positions,
jays and little chipmunks too nervous
to chorus and too numerous not to,
too excited not to try     We sway
in the blue glow of power, tube amplifiers,
so much elemental turmoil, intensity, and love
We could be teenagers, or we could be forty or fifty
or no age at all     What ages mean,
all a social construction     The differences only
or mostly, a matter of perspective,
which is nothing at the human core, nothing
where the passion “flames up in multiple meanings”
bangs all the particles together forever
within and without, and a wildness
between us     Energy cannot be destroyed
Twenty-five years and change change change,
but the music still feels like home to me
I’m happy to say    I’m happy to admit it
Hell is a very cold and desolate planet, but oh so
adult, spruced up and decorous
The cocktails flow with rational business
Even now it’s with us    Always it is with us
just outside our dear field of vision, just outside
where the light begins to snow, encroaching
on our freedom, beating down imagination,
its clusterfuck a kind of efficient starvation
of the desire to delimit possibility     Your
beautiful places, your beautiful vision, are not
parts of yourself that you should ever relinquish
Paradise is process, intuition, and life
Press your whole body to the ceiling and break it
The limits of your language are the limits
of your world     Shake yourself out of yourself
like you mean it     Do you mean it
Hold out your hand I will take it my hand
We can go together to the light
We can stay together in delight
in awe and in terror, in shadow
and obscurity, we’ll stand the onslaught
out beyond good and evil, the radiant crush
of our bones and minds, the unpredictable
miraculous miraculous

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Matt Hart is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012) and Debacle Debacle (H_NGM_N Books, 2013). A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band TRAVEL.

from Radiant Action

Whenever, if ever, in the low light assembly
finding new fuel isn’t always practical or easy
It’s enough these days to make out
a few lines in the morning or late afternoon
I know I’m back to writing, but at least it’s back
to writing you     A grisly procedure     How to be aging
on fire    Cracks in the hardcore exterior, a manual
The leaking foundation and the driveway mostly gravel
It’s what’s right in front of me, life at this minute
Blueberries and Bruce Boone’s Century of Clouds
an important book informing these new narrations
this broken book of hours, these dis-illuminations
Blueberries     Nothing inspirited, but everything spirit
And two vigilant adult robins on guard duty
dive-bombing squirrels too close the nest,
dive-bombing cardinals to close the nest
All the planes in the air within us
All the vessels on the ocean within us
Up all night drinking coffee with sea monsters
Then we wake up at noon and have coffee
so we’re sea monsters     It’s no picnic
The west side of the city, the roots of the trees
churning up the sidewalks, the churches
with their bells at ungodly hours and the storm
sirens blaring when I’m trying to tell you
not to worry about the money that we need to fix
the gutter and the dryer, the back door and basement
stairs     It’s always something    And yesterday a phantom
hit my car with its car and didn’t tell me, left no note
with apologies, not to mention no name
and no number, no insurance I could call    The blue jays
roar into my air space screaming    It’s no hardcore,
but it’s better than almost anything it might be
in any place else in the world that we might be
And last night read poems in a boxcar with Chris,
not a real boxcar, but one that sells books
How lucky we are with each other and words
Ate another Reuben to make it a tradition
Then two and a half hours, drove home in light rain
Woke up this morning with Melanie beside me
as most days I have for fourteen years,
fourteen tumultuous and lovely strange years
The endless days and nights and days
I know they’re gonna end someday
But I don’t need to tell you that
I would do better to show you my face
Happiness is written where I write this

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Matt Hart is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012) and Debacle Debacle (H_NGM_N Books, 2013). A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band TRAVEL.

Notes on Radiant Action

I stumbled on the phrase “radiant action” last year while reading Charlotte’s Web to my daughter. I’d never read the book before and actually quite enjoyed it. If you don’t know it, it’s a story about a friendship between a spider and a pig. Ordinary and miraculous things happen. I recommend it.

The phrase, in question, comes up in the story when Charlotte, the spider, sends Templeton, the barnyard rat, out to find some words that she can write in her web about her friend Wilbur the pig.  By writing about him in her web (in retrospect, a sort of barnyard version of a blog) she hopes to convince the humans in the story that he’s “SOME PIG,” one that can even inspire spiders to be writers, and thus, ultimately save him from being slaughtered.

When Templeton returns with the words (one of the times he returns with some words), he brings Charlotte an advertisement for detergent—soap flakes—which reads, “And now with even more new radiant action!”(—or something along those lines. I’m with my family this summer in Michigan and don’t have the actual book with me. It’s at home in Cincinnati. Anyway, “radiant action” is in there—that’s what counts). “Radiant” is the third of four messages about Wilbur that Charlotte writes in her web (the others being the aforementioned “Some pig,” “Terrific” and “Humble”).

For some reason the phrase “radiant action” really struck me. It’s so warm, full of energy and light—nearly radioactive. It has a charge to it—the long “a” in “radiant” and the movement and deliberate decision (at least in the way I think about it) in “action.” There’s something about the phrase that seems a kind of metaphor for Being itself, an animating principle for art and for life. RADIANT ACTION!—a way to be, a way to proceed.

So I wrote it down and kept it with me, started thinking about the various human, non-fictional contexts—besides advertisements for detergent—where it might be applied.  What are the various ways the words together might mean?  From there the phrase lead me associatively to the sun, creation, belief, (artistic) faith (in process), inspiritedness, the uncontainable vast, miraculousness, and (weirdly) noise—in particular the difference between noise as mere interruption, disruption, and interference and meaningful noise, noise, which if one is open to it, becomes a new kind of music. “Some Pig!” And this in turn lead me back to the music I love, the radiant action of punk rock and its offshoots. I’ve spent a lot of time while writing these poems, listening to Hüsker Dü, especially Zen Arcade and also Bad Brains’ I Against I. Started reading and re-reading, too, James Schuyler’s brilliant “Hymn to Life,” David Rivard’s incredible debut Torque, Joanne Kyger’s As Ever: Selected Poems, James Wright’s The Branch Will Not Break and Lew Welch’s Ring of Bone.  Somehow I also found my way back to No Wave bands like The Contortions and Mars, and to newer , so called, hardcore/post-hardcore bands like La Dispute, The Saddest Landscape, Pianos Become the Teeth, and Defeater. If all this sound sounds convoluted, well, it is, sort of. But ultimately, I think radiant action is a matter of radiant racket—making a noise (both literally and figuratively) that really matters in a depth-charged human way.

I don’t know why exactly that I associate “radiant action” with human “noise-making”—it’s something I’m trying to figure out. However, it occurs to me that like music, radiance is in the air, but it’s also mostly invisible. One feels or notices radiance, one hears/feels music. Radiance is a tricky quality of things.  One we associate with light and heat, “White Light, White Heat” the Velvet Underground mostly droned. Maybe my fascination with radiant action and radiance in action, then, has to do with my being a musician as well as a poet. Maybe it’s that language to me is first and foremost a noise, a sound in the air (or in the head), ordered or disordered in time. Poems, too, are sounds in the air—at least that’s what I want my poems to be, and where I feel like they resonate the most. Certainly, they aren’t merely black squiggles on a page. They disrupt and interfere with blankness, whiteness—silence (a kind of perfection). The written page is imperfect, and gorgeous in that imperfection, a field of meaning intended. As writer and musician David Toop puts it in his book Sinister Resonance, “… noise of all kinds…can act as a field of interference out of which essential signals can be isolated. Noise is not a sudden incidence of disruption, but the constancy through which events of high value—a silence for example, or breath heard against the slow flowing of water—are highlighted.” Now imagine substituting the word “poetry” for noise in the passage just quoted…

To give a poem life in the air—to read it out loud—extends its noisy imperfection radiantly. Reading is always an activity, but reading aloud either to an audience or oneself engages the whole body, brain, muscles, nerves, blood…

Radiance to radio…

Waves of sound to the sound of waves…

My tinnitus…

Convoluted and messy—even contradictory—it’s all in the poems. Radiant action is life in motion, is connectedness to, and immersion in, each other—in faith, belief, and love—paradise found in the noises we make—consonance, dissonance, harmony and sometimes also strife and hell. The beauty in this world is not uncomplicated, a tough and fragile meaning, a loud-soft sound in our heads and our hearts.

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Matt Hart is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012) and Debacle Debacle (H_NGM_N Books, 2013). A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band TRAVEL.

Ezra Pound Speaking

Ezra Pound Speaking

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Ezra_Pound_On_Resuming_book_2

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Collier Nogues’s first book of poems, On the Other Side, Blue, was published by Four Way Books in 2011. She has received fellowships and grants from the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, and Oregon’s Fishtrap, Inc. She grew up in rural Texas and on Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, and currently teaches writing at the University of California, Irvine.

Original text: Ezra Pound’s 1941-1942 Radio Rome broadcasts, published in 1978 as Ezra Pound Speaking: Radio Speeches of World War II. Pound was not particularly interested in actual women in these speeches, but he did use the pronouns “she” and “her” frequently in reference to democracy, the United States, or other abstractions. In erasing these poems, I’ve enjoyed imagining him telling stories about people instead.

An Egregious Act

The borderlands or a cup
of coffee along the edge

of Missouri and we’ll
knock down a tree today

or tomorrow and name
the space where it used

to stand hollow. We could
use some clouds

in the sky for a minute
or two. It’s likely

that spacing out
atmospheric pressure

is a waste of time
and a waste of time suits

today with stripes
and loafers, a wistful

sifting of snow through
your fingers, never mind

your hand going numb,
the dog refusing to go outside.

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Adam Clay is the author of A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World (Milkweed Editions, 2012) and The Wash (Parlor Press, 2006). A third book of poems, Stranger, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, Iowa Review, New Orleans Review, and elsewhere. He co-edits TYPO Magazine and lives in Kentucky.