Category: Issue 17

Harmonica Boy

Elena 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Elena grew up in the DC area, lived briefly in Berlin and Johannesburg, and now attends college in upstate New York. She’s been published in fifty literary magazines over the past few years. She is the winner of four poetry contests, including Word Works Young Poets’. Her poetry has been exhibited at the Greater Reston Art Center and at Arterie Fine Art Gallery. Check out her poetry books, “we’ll beachcomb for their broken bones” (Red Ochre Press, 2014), “a little luminescence” (Allbook-Books, 2011) and “the reason for rain” (Coffeetown Press, expected publication in fall 2015). Her visual art has won her several awards. Go to elenabotts.com and o-mourning-dove.tumblr.com to see her latest work.

Issue 17

Michael Rerick, “Capital (an excerpt)
John-Michael Bloomquist, “Siste Viator
Sean Howard, “endpaper epigrams
Nina Corwin, “epilogue no. 8
H.G.Emond, “Whistle Blow
Michael Whitley, “The Brownness of Bread
Priscilla Wathington, “Area C,” “Plastic Soldiers
Shahe Mankerian, “Lazarus Syndrome,” “After the Ceasefire
Jeremy Schmidt, “Mistory,” “Adjunct of the Arm (4/2015)
Visual Art:

endpaper epigrams (graffiti from a cultural nervous breakdown)

broken:
His
nibs

*

the corpse of the
royal engineer

*

modern men
so determined!

*

apollo: the mind setting
the sun an example

*

grail: the world turned
upside down…

*

history the
world over?

 

***

 

Sean Howard is the author of Local Calls (Cape Breton University Press, 2009) and Incitements(Gaspereau Press, 2011). His poetry has been widely published in Canada, the US and elsewhere, and anthologized in The Best Canadian Poetry in English (Tightrope Books, 2011 & 2014).

 

 

Global Justice (or, Losing A “Genius And A Warrior”)

for Dalton Anthony Jones

 

“Conditions did not arise from or in experience: rather, experience was their ‘effect’.” Stuart Hall (1981; d. 2014)

You and Foucault peers, although not twins in Als’ sense.
Both socialists, he marked by ideology, you diagnosing

foment at the margins with Venn circles overlapping,
exposing oppositions, Gramsci’s Marxist formula unsolved,

requiring “hegemony” and dependence of class on History—
levels, scales, media, connected and interacting, complex

networks crafted by your hands, steadied by paradigms
bearing your name. Foucault privileged power, you,

possibility, scientist of the person in polis. How far to take
interrogation before narratives and conversations and

operational procedures impelled you to another information
model, oppositional power and capital, a system strong as

metal before bending (precipitating Greenland melting,
Britain burning, islands sinking under water)? You

diagnosing culture fascicular as ferny furls. Following
Nietzsche, he opined on Truth. You chose not to preach

Truth at all, leaving us to study matter by “laying claim to
the authority of an origin.” Causes and the hermeneutics of

labor recall the Buddenbrooks of Lübeck sinking from
philistine excess to a kind that you made a study of, no

longer bourgeois but bourgeois by descent, an embarrassing
descent to a lower class on the margins of industry and art.

Gouty ancestors wanting out of their graves to wrest the
family name from progeny no longer knowing the scent in

quiet banks where foreign notes marked lifetimes of
obligations to family and other corporations from

Hamburg to London or to Cayman not far from your
birthplace or from your grandfather’s birthplace where

gold was moved by ancestors through exchanges far
(or not so far) from their province where colonies were

built. Body as commodity, work articulates privilege and
ownership dependent upon History and traits (and Methods

of entering the marketplace), physical and mental capacities,
differential values, power at the table where holders bid.

White, male, heterosexual—division of labor by class, social
insects collectively acting, humans identified by knowledge

of another kind: citizens working for pay (or not working
at all), selling sweat to producers if it is in demand.

 

***

 

Clara B. Jones is a retired scientist, currently practicing poetry in Asheville, NC, USA. As a woman of color, she writes about the “performance” of identity and power and conducts research on experimental poetry. She is the author of two chapbooks, and her poems, reviews, essays, and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous venues.

 

Lazarus Syndrome

We drove Avo’s mother to the cemetery
four days after he was buried. The steady
rain curtained the gravestones that morning.

When we finally found the mound,
Avo’s mother released a heart wrenching
wail and fell on her knees. Mud splattered

on our shoes and on the makeshift cross.
She pleaded for her son to come out;
we waited not knowing what to do.

No one expected a hand to reach out
of the soil and console the weeping mother.
But we all stared at the mud patiently,

hoping to hear Avo’s voice or another sign of life.

 

***

 

Shahé Mankerian’s manuscript, History of Forgetfulness, has been a finalist at four prestigious competitions: the 2013 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, the Bibby First Book Competition, the Quercus Review Press (Fall Poetry Book Award), and the 2014 White Pine Press Poetry Prize. Shahé serves as the principal of St. Gregory Hovsepian School in Pasadena and the co-director of the Los Angeles Writing Project. As an educator, he has been honored with the Los Angeles Music Center’s BRAVO Award, which recognizes teachers for innovation and excellence in arts education.

After the Ceasefire

The butcher removed the stray bullets
from the belly of the hanging pork.
He even sold ribs cracked by shrapnel.
The refrigerator didn’t work.

The pharmacists bought the maggot
infested rib eye, and the blind
dog chewed on the discarded wattles
of the chicken. The priest cleared

his throat when he walked
through the back door. He stepped
over the carcass of the defrosted sheep.
He dipped his finger in a plastic

container full of liver bits and drew
a bloody cross on the drawer
of the cash register. The butcher smashed
a fly with the flat of the cleaver.

 

***

 

Shahé Mankerian’s manuscript, History of Forgetfulness, has been a finalist at four prestigious competitions: the 2013 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, the Bibby First Book Competition, the Quercus Review Press (Fall Poetry Book Award), and the 2014 White Pine Press Poetry Prize. Shahé serves as the principal of St. Gregory Hovsepian School in Pasadena and the co-director of the Los Angeles Writing Project. As an educator, he has been honored with the Los Angeles Music Center’s BRAVO Award, which recognizes teachers for innovation and excellence in arts education.

Susan B.

from Coins from the Coins in Stories.

The reverse is also true:
Gasparro was his name
xxxxxwhen asked
to commemorate a woman
he drew an eagle the same
eagle over surface of moon
of the splayed
eagle of the men
xxxxxrocketed to
the moon the mission
position the insignia
brief theatrics
xxxxxif you have to ask
who now, how this otherwise
great phase of bird
came to be—

But also as a boy I traced
birds extinct—a progress
tracking the curves
of the scene of the
xxxxxEarth as I saw fit
coins traced, circling above
circling silver
xxxxxdollars beyond dollars
across scraps of newspaper
as wheels, as planets
like two glances
toward Saturn and Mars
(I say furtive)(You don’t say)
in no way similarly
extended in a history

 

***

 

Terence Huber’s recent work appears in Juked and Dead Housekeeping.  He was a winner of Great Lakes Review’s First Annual Poetry Prize and a finalist for the Black Warrior Review Poetry Prize.  He writes and shines pennies near freshwaters of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail.

 

 

epilogue no. 8

and whats this we’re left with?
xxxxxxgreasy memory with membrane
corrupted          elastic lost

xxxxxx
and foundering?    what’s that?
anatomy of shadow                or perhaps
xxxxxxa blackboard over-writ

in afterbirth (complete w/gene map) cast
xxxxxxaside; a 13 gallon cinch-sack cinched.
the hat: a mere receptacle, w/emblem obsolete.

xxxxxxthen comes the day we learn
the blue bag thing was all a scam
xxxxxx(were you surprised?)    the sham

recyclers split
xxxxxx(along with endings 1 – 7)
soon as Karma turned its back.

xxxxxx
what’s left, indeed?     (after
caution is tossed) a muddy palette or
xxxxxxa well that’s never done with gushing

pocketful of pigment hued and crying.
xxxxxxin hindsight, the umbilical was cut
too quick (for horse & barn & open door).

xxxxxxno angels evidentxxxxjust
creatures breached and straggling with
xxxxx wings awash in rainbow slick.

 

***

Nina Corwin is the author of two books of poetry, The Uncertainty of Maps and Conversations With Friendly Demons and Tainted Saints. A chapbook, OutPatient Suite is forthcoming in 2016. Her poetry has appeared in From the Fishouse,Drunken Boat, Harvard Review, Hotel Amerika, New Ohio Review/nor and Verse. Corwin, a Pushcart nominee, also curates the literary series at Chicago’s Woman Made Gallery. In daytime hours, she is a psychotherapist known for her work on behalf of victims of violence.

 

 

Siste Viator

Less and less I enjoy my death,
the frailty with its fragrance—
holding my breath to the opposite end
of an Olympic pool, or surfing despite
the pinched nerve in my spine
riding behind my eye like a bee
trapped in a glass. It wont last. Even the night
with its crystalline inhabitants is fragile—
its tenderness blessed with its end.
Saturn’s rings are ice, water, and dust.
A solar flare could blunt the earth to silence,
a razor blade crossing chalkboards
clears a field with deer. I breathe in a night
that covers the lake like caramel.
I harvest this chemistry, lacing my brain
thoroughly to itself. Though I am not
Po Chu-I’s three pine trees he planted
when his wife died so that his grief
would grow beyond his death,
like everyone, I have a body
grown weary of abandon. The brief dance
of the letter O in our throats like the tires
of a car in mud scream for release—
what we take from each other to forget
each other is a cathedral we’ll never see
finished. When I say I’m not finished,
I mean stop travelereulogize,
praise the essential selfishness to live,
break from labor for the feasting.

***

 

John-Michael Bloomquist lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his partner. His poetry has been published in Third Coast, The Carolina Quarterly,  The South Dakota Review and more. He is the founder of poetryfortrash.com, an interactive public arts project.  He wants to foster a hypoallergenic cat.

 

Plastic Soldiers

What if every desire in your life had a checkpoint
manned by tiny green soldiers

poured on a factory line that began with a giant bath of toxic
swirls cooled in batches into predetermined

postures, some leaning forward into an enemy
that is open-ended, for you to provide

some standing perfectly erect fused to a gun
that will elongate, not snap, if chewed?

For simple agendas, Jaffa oranges, a trip to the sea,
a single figure will do,

for more serious pursuits, a selfie on le Salève, lunch
with your cousin, allow yourself some decades

or, begin training a seabird who may yet pass
the plastic in its belly.

 

***

 

Priscilla Wathington is a consulting editor to the children’s rights group, Defense for Children International – Palestine. Her poems have previously appeared in Rosebud Magazine, The Baltimore Review, Spark and Echo Arts, Sukoon, Mizna and The Normal School.