Category: Issue 13

Kitsch Klown

KitschKlown big

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kate Puxley was born in Edmonton, Alberta and has since lived in Toronto, Ottawa, Italy, and Montreal.  After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Concordia University in 2005, she extended her practice beyond the palette, and became a certified taxidermist.  She specializes in large charcoal drawings and taxidermy, using ‘found animals,’ predominantly road kill.

Puxley was one of five Canadian artists short-listed to illustrate The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, was awarded the Editor’s Choice Award for Art Threat Magazine’s Framing Harper Competition, and was invited to create a diorama intervention at The Museum of Zoology in Rome, Italy.

She is currently an MFA candidate at Concordia University.  Her work hangs at The Brookstreet Hotel (Kanata, ON), The Almonte General Hospital (Almonte, ON), and in a number of private collections.

The Avenger

The Avenger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

Kate Puxley was born in Edmonton, Alberta and has since lived in Toronto, Ottawa, Italy, and Montreal.  After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Concordia University in 2005, she extended her practice beyond the palette, and became a certified taxidermist.  She specializes in large charcoal drawings and taxidermy, using ‘found animals,’ predominantly road kill.

Puxley was one of five Canadian artists short-listed to illustrate The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, was awarded the Editor’s Choice Award for Art Threat Magazine’s Framing Harper Competition, and was invited to create a diorama intervention at The Museum of Zoology in Rome, Italy.

She is currently an MFA candidate at Concordia University.  Her work hangs at The Brookstreet Hotel (Kanata, ON), The Almonte General Hospital (Almonte, ON), and in a number of private collections.

Strangers in the Garden

StrangersGarden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

Kate Puxley was born in Edmonton, Alberta and has since lived in Toronto, Ottawa, Italy, and Montreal.  After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Concordia University in 2005, she extended her practice beyond the palette, and became a certified taxidermist.  She specializes in large charcoal drawings and taxidermy, using ‘found animals,’ predominantly road kill.

Puxley was one of five Canadian artists short-listed to illustrate The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, was awarded the Editor’s Choice Award for Art Threat Magazine’s Framing Harper Competition, and was invited to create a diorama intervention at The Museum of Zoology in Rome, Italy.

She is currently an MFA candidate at Concordia University.  Her work hangs at The Brookstreet Hotel (Kanata, ON), The Almonte General Hospital (Almonte, ON), and in a number of private collections

CB Chipmunk

chipmunk-1024x807 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate Puxley was born in Edmonton, Alberta and has since lived in Toronto, Ottawa, Italy, and Montreal.  After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Concordia University in 2005, she extended her practice beyond the palette, and became a certified taxidermist.  She specializes in large charcoal drawings and taxidermy, using ‘found animals,’ predominantly road kill.

Puxley was one of five Canadian artists short-listed to illustrate The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, was awarded the Editor’s Choice Award for Art Threat Magazine’s Framing Harper Competition, and was invited to create a diorama intervention at The Museum of Zoology in Rome, Italy.

She is currently an MFA candidate at Concordia University.  Her work hangs at The Brookstreet Hotel (Kanata, ON), The Almonte General Hospital (Almonte, ON), and in a number of private collections.

I go to the poem alone

 

We were taught no history complete deletion from the syllabus

an erasure of dates and names figures feats

(it’s poetic out of context to think the formal removal of happenings

the creation of a whole new text the beauty

of staring through factoid holes and other profanities)

deliberate cutouts of potential facts monuments special moments

generals genitalia costumes specific hats.

Timeline staggering under the weight of characterizations

I get it proximity of history in South Africa gnaws at the ease of current events.

The impossibility of teaching peacefully to a peer group

hot babes born into a system then let loose and

the relativity of truth gives way to a nihilism so startling

that history as the precursor to politics today

is bound to an audience with zero-sum attention span

huge          spaces          leaps and bounds of                unknowing.

But can you even unknow if you never knew what it is all about

what it was all about          will be about

as realism is precursor to abstraction

like knowing the rules to break the rules

it’s really unnecessary to forge or forgo information sapience is

authority that cannot simply be dismissed for an entire generation.

 

Blood never fails to play its part red that gorgeous substance

abuse I’m not talking blood relations red pigmentations

yes my uncle will always come fix a vehicle in distress

fluid that flows down a lineage is not or is it Bloedrivier

battles conflicts civil and world wars bloodshed watershed

shedding skins like wildlife livid over the fact empiricism

has become a pastime pasting heads like stickers along walls.

Stick figures flicker on sleet stalactites and other claustrophobic

tourist attractions. Birds cages are where feminists were kept

in concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer war these women

were not only the mothers of a nation but had hardworking hands

chapped to the touch frayed at the edges like objects well-loved

now sinking in among maggots routinely fed to the birds chased

away to make way for these women wearing pure larval gowns.

That boars translate to sanglier and that bloody sang drip drip drip

from the tusks. Die Groot Trek aesthetically like the movie Meek’s Cutoff

except another continent another courtesy to someone’s majesty

walking right over the crest of the country’s largest mountain

barefoot hoofing it high heel shoes never let a soul go hiking.

Hitchhiking with crocodiles I think that was a thing for a while.

There were wars involving spears versus rifles arm wrestling

thumb wars his thumb bigger than his thumb thumping

out that measurement to the smallest degree of separation.

Are there ever brief spells of calm when people actually live

in their beautiful period homes with healthy children

or is the smallest fraction of perfection an illusion

based on the repression of another fractured skull.

Chronologically 1948 to 1994 are illogical decades

nowadays a most important reminiscence of this time is

the separation of shit by race like that excrement running real fast

to break the ribbon and hold hands with the golden cup

golden is loaded skin colour rolled out gloating

tending to division between master and servant like

flakes of skin need to be brushed off and deeper layers of skin

must be nurtured murdered. When all else fails

there are always names to pin to lapels of those same names.

Words swimming to the surface fly affirmative action

townships sinking ships

discrimination crime rate hate speech

education power privilege underprivileged informal settlements

load shedding which is not jacking off but sitting in the dark

contemplating corruption xenophobia and fear of the dark.

For stepping out the door’s the opposite of release

hold your breath to listen clutch purse look over shoulder

the woman walking perpetually looking back looking back

looking back like there’s intention or an object to see

an object which avoids memory the instant seen

and needs immediate review to be studied interiorized

her gaze is eternally insufficient to the threat.

When did racism return is one of the most common

questions and the most naïve I’ve been tendered.

The Portuguese show up for a second but sail right on away

there’s a memorial cross where sailors had scurvy and I posture teen

and long-legged lean in a family vacation photograph

the Nguni show up Xhosa Swazi Zulu convex southern expansion

to the tip of the world the Dutch show up this is all in boats ships

the compass is a bright new thing the Sesotho show up the British show up

of course not a second late for the treasure quest gold and diamonds

the French show up Indonesian slaves show up

the Khoisan meditate extermination factors in to so many minds

that showing up is short of the ultimate gentlemanly act

Taiwanese and Korean immigrants show up immigrants

migrants illegals settlers colonists expats pats on the back.

When tourists sail like snakes from the Cape of Good Hope

to Robben Island and marvel at elements of civilization

like captivity crestfallen attachés of heartache is not equal to grief

Madiba has become the figurehead of everything

liberty equality fraternity peace love eternal wisdom

God-complex signs in and the actual suffering and strength

he manifested is reduced to the bleached out smile of public image.

Likewise Hector Pieterson lies down in the arms of objective correlative

iconic photographs and almost anatomical sketches of Shaka Zulu

so many feathers in his cap Florence Nightingale

singing lullabies that start with the question what would Dingaan do

with van Riebeeck de Wet de Klerk voertsek Verwoerd

mammary Malema the real dilemma of parliament.

 

The insignia poured into your hot chocolate so-called latte art

is considered by kids a set of antlers ruminating a plan of attack

with its bone brain calcium inbuilt into the image.

Archaeology is one of the words I will never forget the orthography of

so ingrained in my mind handwriting studies the excavation of

site-specific pages school time is such bullshit all-inclusive

index fingers bullfighting along the forehead.

This playpen with its pneumatic pretenses to academe

hosts of characters laurels around the ears

or horns hidden in the cavities behind the nose you can never know

the exact shape of the skull before stripped of hair and skin and flesh

atavistic postscripts linger to remind that not a single story

lives itself in isolation but worms its way into the homes

of every reclining figure in the hereafter.

The past is the headstrong skeletal taking its time to disintegrate.

 

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Klara du Plessis is a poet residing alternately in Montreal and Cape Town. A chapbook, Wax Lyrical, is due for release Spring 2016 (Anstruther Press). Klara routinely writes essays and reviews about contemporary poetry, and curates the monthly, Montreal-based Resonance Reading Series. Follow her on Twitter.

 

but the light against eyes makes vision

the man stands in his black skin     shaking

like a star before the black barrel

fills his vision     the tunnel     the cry

anticipating always what comes

is never what’s anticipated

 

here in the race pit     self-fulfilling

as a snake     the man chews his own tail

and I flex from the shoulders as if

winged     as if there is a sky above

 

but here inside the barrel we can

see no sky above but black-framed eye

afloat at the barrel’s edge     it waits

for one more cop his white skin steady

as the true aimed gun     we are inside

 

the barrel its edges a spiral

staircase missing the axis mundi

at the center     just a groove to spin

straight the projected force     it leaves us

 

exposing our insides to the sky

***** our redness and weather unraveled

on a street or sidewalk     I am not

really here I just read about it

***** my thin computer screen shooting light

 

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Dan Rosenberg is the author of The Crushing Organ (Dream Horse Press, 2012) and cadabra (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2015). His work has won the American Poetry Journal Book Prize and the Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Contest. Rosenberg teaches literature and creative writing at Wells College and co-edits Transom.

 

 

inside my eyelids feathers collect

I have somehow a strange brother     he

sheds white light in his wake     I’ve turned eight

and unfamiliar with any world

or complicated needs     so when our

shared father tasks cooking the chicken

 

to us I see no horizon but

set the bird at the end of my mind

***** a still point our shared future will reach

through fraternal effort     a manly

 

laying into the task     a worthy

evening such that when my bright brother

raises the baster like a blade I

understand nothing but wholesome use

***** the birthing beauty of its design

 

and when he says look down the neck hole

to see if I have sprayed the inside

of this bird fully with hot liquid

I kneel and crane and stare in my haze

 

of stark inhuman credulity

***** until blinded for the first time by

betrayal     or lesson in the form

of vital fluids carrots onion

and the red laugher of a brother

 

***

 

Dan Rosenberg is the author of The Crushing Organ (Dream Horse Press, 2012) and cadabra (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2015). His work has won the American Poetry Journal Book Prize and the Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Contest. Rosenberg teaches literature and creative writing at Wells College and co-edits Transom.

The Refrain

The light gray bird flies across the fence.

It flummoxes the squirrel and cordons off the yard.

It flies into the office and enters the sentence

I was writing about a bird that lacks clear ambition

But understands the glimmer of the pin

Because its eyes are made of needles.

The bird upchucks a fetus because like all birds

Its body is pain’s whistling vehicle.

It shimmers on the bookshelf, whistles a fight song

And pecks at the forefathers’ portraits

Before building a nest with their radioactive scraps.

 

What is it thinking? What does it want?

Can it hatch offspring in this fucked up sludge fest?

What is the bird’s mood? Is it an apricot?

Masculine? Feminine? Feminine-masculine?

Militant? Militant fruit? Fiery fruit? Bursting flesh?

A fire opening in the sun? A sun burning a crèche?

Where can it leave its brood?

 

*************************************  When the bird

Flies back to the window, the window becomes its song

And its nest and its throat of blood.

It launches a neighborhood protection program

And from the rosebush assembles a man of thorns,

A big cop whose head is congested

So he pistol-whips himself until the enhanced interrogation

Launches his brains into the sky

Where the bloody pieces become a droning swarm

Blocking out the moonlight, bloodying the sunlight,

Drowning the birdsongs, clogging the throats,

Clustering around the gray bird and ushering its clusters

To the squad car, the cash nest, the broken unlit cradle.

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Nathan Hoks’ books include Reveilles (Salt, 2010) and The Narrow Circle (Penguin, 2013), which Dean Young selected for the 2012 National Poetry Series.  He currently teaches poetry writing as a lecturer at the University of Chicago, and runs Convulsive Editions, a micro-press that produces handmade editions of chapbooks and broadsides.

 

Essay in Six Parts

You so material so networked we

 

The chronic indebted finish no programs possess no degrees

The half-baked idea author no books win no grants deserve no feedback

The aging on the temporary gig friend no contacts find no mentors schedule no payments

The lazily reverent dispense no advice teach no classes read at no readings

The yelling have no collaborators

The exhausted object have no body of work

 

 

The good life

 

There ought to be a career of slow inhale exhale

There ought to be smoke breaks from self-actualization

Some days we should read nothing

Some days just one sentence

A paid leave from poems working hard

A recess from fundraising

A holiday from our keeping before we were done in

 

 

Ask for everything

 

A phase of eccentric middle-aged dress

Where everywhere and

No event is an occasion

Unfit for a five-piece uniform

 

 

Ask everything

 

Does live-tweeting the death of an industry earn you a job in death

Does pounding out choice conference aphorisms count as community work

Does updating a relentlessly upbeat Facebook feed win you the emerging person’s award

Does digital labor create a taste for your pay-walled peer review

Does public vulnerability count as a brand

 

 

A factory someone with a nice salary

 

one long decade
in clutched vestments
overwrites the vapors
lush with ethno-mania
these all process words:
relational janitorial
karaoke
glitter a post-
an anti-
a muffin top
re- and de-
thigh touches
dis- the end of -izing
earnest proposals
a half nod
camouflaged precariat
fester and rot
I’m afraid every word
jargon I can
childish play
like flip you through
relational modes
pages of a book
oh that pessimism
there grit
emergent  sub-
sub-field
karaoke studies
an -ism of a -ness
late to camouflage
she’s the serious grievance
now
become subject and simile
a verse to someone or other

 

 

All the Pinays are straight and all the queers are Pinoy but some of us

 

hold our femme gaze straight into the cosmos

behold a supernova of fat negation

know Mark Aguhar as the real babaylan

have mothers young enough to be our sons never to reach 26

 

************************************************ Blessed be

our ugly grief

our helpless beauty

this very moment of utterance incarnate in an absent brown body

joining us

alive painfully so

strand us alone together

 

************************************************ I will never not

want to be violent with you (dare you to say

this isn’t love, queen)

pray for

her resurrection every easter

“I’m just so bored and so pretty and not white”

 

 

 

************************************************ Thinks you need some deflating

LOL YOUR PINAY SELF

LOL YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS DECOLONIAL INDIGENEITY

LOL RECOVERY AS AN ESCAPE HATCH FROM REAL NEGOTIATIONS

LOL CARING THAT WHITE PEOPLE THINK OUR BODIES ARE CHEAP

LOL THINKING ONLY WHITE PEOPLE THINK OUR BODIES ARE CHEAP

LOL THINKING WHITE POETS MATTER AT ALL

LOL FRETTING OVER OUR FAILED TOKENIZATION

LOL AGENCY AND THE COURAGE TO SPEAK

LOL CENTERING OURSELVES IN THE NARRATIVE

LOL PRETTY TRAUMA POETRY AT OUR NATION’S CAPITAL

LOL RESPECTABILITY POLITICS

LOL SLUT SHAMING

LOL LANGUAGE SHAMING

LOL MOTHER TONGUE

LOL THE MOTHERLAND

LOL PRECOLONIAL PARADISE FOLK TALES

LOL UTOPIA UNTOUCHED BY QUEER PINAY RUIN ACROSS TIME & SPACE

LOL YOUR LOLA

LOL YOUR HIYA

LOL YOUR WALANG HIYA

LOL OUR TENDER EMOTIONALITY

 

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Kimberly Alidio is the author of solitude being alien (dancing girl press, 2013) and the forthcoming full-length poetry collection, After projects the resound (Black Radish Books, 2016). She is a contributing writer and dramaturg for the Generic Ensemble Company and currently collaborates with the dancer-choreographer Andee Scott.

Mass Stranding

The US Navy blinds the sea floor with bursts of sonar at 235 decibels. National security scalds Melon-Headed whales with gas-bubble lesions. They dive deep into the dark to flee a suddenly bright night. We are safe. We are safe. The military secures us. The pulse floods for hundreds of miles. As far away as the Bahamas and Hawai‘i Beaked Whales belly up. Many of us suffer bleeding in the brain. Such metallic blasts alter our diving patterns and air bends into pockets and we float pelagic with large bubbles in our organs. Have you ever lost your own balance? Can you move? Panic. Who is coming across the sea to you? Or do you feel the tidal pull of the ocean at your fins as you graze your body in the surf’s wake, up and down the beach. There’s nowhere to run. Not up. Not down. Look at the hill from Ka‘ena; see the satellites. How many Kānaka Maoli dry in the sun? The beach is secured for an opportunity cost.

 

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Rajiv Mohabir received the 2014 Intro Prize in Poetry by Four Way Books for his first full-length collection The Taxidermist’s Cut (Spring 2016), the 2015 AWP Intro Journal Award, the 2015 Kundiman Prize for The Cowherd’s Son, and a 2015 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant. Currently he is pursuing a PhD in English from the University of Hawai`i, where he teaches poetry and composition.