Saturday, December 15, 2012

Happy Holiday Break!

I would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! My husband and I are closing on our first home this week and then we'll be moving right before Christmas Day. Christmas will be at my parents' house and so I will be very busy these next 2-3 weeks and unable to create any posts for Poet Hound.

Until we meet again, I wish you all good health, good fortune, and good cheer! I will see you in the New Year!

Sincerely,
Paula Cary

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Help Luke Armstrong Help Others Start A Better Life

Thank you to all who have read the review of Luke Armstrong's latest work, How We Are Human, posted earlier this week.
Luke and I have been e-mailing back and forth about a project he has been working on: Helping Guatemalans start a savings account in addition to teaching them basic money skills. I, for one, am passionate about personal finance. I've been reading books like The Millionaire Next Door since I was 12 years old. The Rich Dad Poor Dad series is excellent, too. It really was a toss-up years ago whether to do a blog about poetry or a blog about helping others gain knowledge in personal finance. I now have the very rare opportunity to combine the two.

So I am asking all of you out there that are looking for charitable giving opportunities to check out the link below and learn how you can help others help themselves:

http://www.integralheartfoundation.org/Third.World.Savings.htm


If ever there was a way to really pay it forward, it would be helping others learn to help themselves. If you have more questions and want to contact Luke Armstrong, please e-mail me or message me on Facebook. Luke is hoping to raise an additional $150.00 by December 17th so please take a look and thanks always for clicking in!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt0a7D5kyPs&feature=youtu.be
“Enough” by Andrea Gibson

http://www.blossombones.com/winter_spring2012/miller_ws2012.html
“Our Honeymoon In New York City, My Husband Turns Into Times Square” by Pamela Miller

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by again next week…

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How We Are Human by Luke Armstrong

Luke M. Armstrong has appeared on Poet Hound before on an interview: http://poethound.blogspot.com/search?q=armstrong

Now Mr. Armstrong is back with a heartfelt collection of poems about humanity in all its shapes, forms, phases, and tragedies in How We Are Human published by Create Space Independent Publishing Platform. The poems inside describe hungry children, pop culture, joyful celebrations, philosophical questions, death and more. If you have read his first collection, iPoems for the Dolphins to click Home About, you will enjoy this collection even more so. He also includes an equally hilarious introduction which makes the collection worth purchasing all by itself. Humor before tragedy, it’s the way to go. The poems in his collection are longer so I will only include a couple of them below:

WHEN THERE WILL BE LAUGHTER

One day our greatest grandchildren will
Remember the day everyone burst
Into a simultaneous song of laughter:
The priests and the pastors
Atheists and agnostics
Hippies and homosexuals all stopped
Mid-sentence and took a deep sigh before
Finishing each others’ sentences with a gong-grinding
Bout of gushing laughter.
The babies, who did not understand, put
Down their rattles and stopped dirtying their diapers to
Join the hilarity because they
Comprehended in a wild and unarticulated way.
Priests, politicians and pragmatists poeticized and promised
To stop finishing long dead people’s journeys and
Instead laugh and laugh to laugh and laugh.
Everyone felt like it was the first day of school
And despite reservations had been
Accepted wholly and cherished plainly by
New classmates who grabbed the palms of
Their humid hands and ran towards the tire swing
Where the world’s orbit shrank to the size
Of everyone’s ability to laugh and love it.

I love the idea of everyone coming together through humor. Isn’t that what most comedians aim for? To unite a potentially diverse audience? Perhaps someday a laugh will ignite unity and wouldn’t that be a beautiful day?


BODY LANGUAGE

When we were hungry we'd
wave our arms in the air
mimicking the mating dance
of a rare South American swallow
only ever sighted in tribal
legends of the Amazon.
We communicated in a complicated
dialect of body language.
Once she broke her shoulder
trying to tell me to pass the
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter,
since this was communicated by
doing a backflip off the side of the garage.
To pantomime an ape was to invite
me to the movies. To mime a heart attack
was to remind me to do the dishes. To gesture a
giraffe was into invite me into her arms.
We're still both fluent. But out of practice,
spending our time learning new languages.
But sometimes, without thinking, I'll do a cartwheel
followed by a somersault and fold my hands into a pistol
when all I needed to do was ask for the time
and wonder how it got away from our conveying hands.

This poem resonates with me—so much of how we communicate is by physical and facial expression. The words we say mean less than how we say it. If you have ever been in a foreign country where you do not know the language, pantomiming and mimicry become your main method of communication and I love the elaborate physical communication described in the poem above. It makes me smile and reminds me of growing up on the Texas/Mexican border making friends with children who spoke Spanish and how we got along just fine “aping” our intentions, opinions, and ideas.


There is so much more than I can possibly share with you, the book consists of 114 pages and is worth exploring. If you enjoyed this sample, you may purchase a copy of Luke Maguire Armstrong’s How We Are Human for $9.99 here:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1480055867

Thanks always for reading, please drop by again tomorrow…

Monday, December 10, 2012

Laura Madeline Wiseman's Site

Laura Madeline Wisemen is a writer and shares interviews and insights at her fabulous site, check it out below:
http://www.lauramadelinewiseman.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by again tomorrow…

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Alice Blue Review Open Submissions

Do you have innovative poetry to share? Are you able to submit on-line? For further details go to:
http://www.alicebluereview.org/main.html

Good luck to all who submit, please drop in again next week…

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://www.alicebluereview.org/main.html
“Common Breach” by Shannon Hanks-Mackey

http://www.coconutpoetry.org/bezanson1.html
“From American Eclogues” by Graeme Bezanson

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow…

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Give the Gift of Poetry for Christmas

It’s that time of year again! We all scramble to come up with gifts for loved ones and I would like to gently remind you that there is a poet for every reader imaginable out there. Please look to the links at the side of the screen and keep in mind that plenty of small presses are offering discounts and specials this holiday season!
Just some suggestions:


Blood Pudding Press’ Store:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/BloodPuddingPress?ref=exp_listing


Alternating Current’s Store:
http://alt-current.com/pp/pp_catalog.html


Dancing Girl Press’ Store:
http://www.dancinggirlpress.com/index2.html


Press Press Press Blog:
http://presspresspress.blogspot.com/


For art prints, t-shirts, and more by poet, writer, and painter Hosho McCreesh check out:
http://society6.com/HoshoMcCreesh/Miles-Sna_Print


Slipstream Press’ Chapbooks:
http://www.slipstreampress.org/chaps.html


So don’t be shy, explore the links on the side, explore the links above, and find that perfect collection for your parent, cousin, sibling, significant other, partner in crime, colleague, friend, and provide something truly unique and wonderful this year!

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Woodland Rose's Blog

Poems by the blogger, whose name I did not find while perusing, can be found here:
http://awoodlandrose.wordpress.com/

Thanks for dropping in, please click in tomorrow...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Arsenic Lobster Open Submissions

Please explore their website to get a feel for the kinds of poems they publish before submitting poems. Below I have copy-and-pasted the main portion of their guidelines:

All submissions must conform to the following guidelines,
Poems should be timeless, rich in imagery, and edgy. That is, no political rants or Hallmark poetry.
Must be submitted electronically in the body of an email. Please, no attachments.
All works must be previously unpublished.
Each email may include 3-5 poems, any length. Please keep all poems in one email.
Simultaneous submissions are OK, but please let us know if work is accepted elsewhere.
Include a short, lively bio.
Please write your first initial, last name, date and what you are submitting in the SUBJECT LINE.
Example: D. Carson 3/06/07 Poetry.
Please limit your submissions to one per issue.
Send your email to lobster@magere.com .
We will take submissions from September 1 through April 30.

For further details on submission, go to:
http://arseniclobster.magere.com/1submission.html

Good luck to all who submit, please stop by again next week…

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://arseniclobster.magere.com/290501.html
Jessi Lee Gaylord’s “Icarus in Recession”

http://birdfeastmagazine.com/issuetwo/
Sarah Sloat’s “Lines Written In A Japanese Noodle Shop Watching A Building Be Demolished”

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by again tomorrow…

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kristina Marie Darling's Melancholia (An Essay)

Kristina Marie Darling is back in full force with another surreal and romantic collection titled Melancholia (An Essay) in which dreamy unaddressed, fractured letters and whimsical footnotes spin through the pages into a journey that makes you wish you could fall asleep and dream about the unnamed characters within its pages so you might finally see their faces and know their magic at closer range. Published by Ravenna Press, Darling’s work allows the reader to “fill in the blanks” and create their own imagery and interact with the poet in a way that is not often presented in the collections of poems by other writers. It would be like opening a scientific essay only to find some of the words and parts of definitions inexplicably missing, letters to other scientists with the names “whited-out” and forcing us to come up with our own answers. Below I am happy to share some samples:

noctuary,definition (verb)

1. To keep a record of what passes in the night. 2. To wake from a dream—to begin a series of portraits instead. 3. To depict the beloved and discover cracks in his perfectly white teeth. 4. To experience a heightened awareness of one’s senses. 5. To ask, to consider, to be led away from. 6. To examine a familiar painting—to imagine a blank canvas in its place. 7. To select and omit, as a poet would.

This definition includes items that would make sense in a dictionary and also includes images and experiences that relate to the poet and in turn relate to us, the reader. We wonder who the beloved is and picture cracks in perfectly white teeth, we think of paintings going blank. We wonder who she is talking about and what it means. It is a whimsical definition of night and the senses in the night. We are left to find our own answers to the definition provided.



A HISTORY OF MELANCHOLIA: GLOSSARY OF TERMS:

beloved. The raison d’etre of the melancholic’s affliction. Consider the graceful line of his wool coat, its fabric dark against the towering snowdrifts.
courtship. A set of social conventions that gave rise to their exchanging of love tokens. These antique pendants, which held locks of tangled hair, were inevitably lost in the great avalanche.

locket. An object onto which her memories were inscribed. When she thought of their evening soirees, its clasp seemed smaller, more intricate.

As in Darling’s previous collections of work (which have been featured here on PH) there are unusual glossary terms, definitions, etc. that the reader is led to discover. Throughout the collection Darling makes mention of the locket, always empty, and of the beloved and their courtship. The glossary leaves further images of the beloved and his interactions with the poet and we are left with the emotions and the fragments of memories in the most lovely of ways. It’s as though we are reading a great love story’s footnotes and glossary terms instead of the story itself and it is up to us as readers to create the story itself using just these small details.



FOOTNOTES TO A HISTORY OF THE BELOVED

1 Two of the darkest flowers, which were pressed in a book and displayed on a mahogany nightstand.

2 Only then did she describe the recurring dream, in which luminous cufflinks gave rise to a series of house fires.


3 “I had wanted to preserve the cold white light that shone that evening. But beneath every door, a little wisp of smoke. The hallway smolders and now my armoire burning in a locked room.”

As I said earlier, it is as though you are reading the footnotes and glossary to a romantic novel and are left to build that story or novel on your own. I think it is an enchanting way to engage the reader and a wonderful form of writing that Darling is exploring. I love the images of the flowers pressed in a book and dreaming of cufflinks that somehow cause house fires in the poet’s dreams. The armoire, I’m guessing, contains all the trinkets and odds and ends from the relationship and I imagine the poet setting it on fire and locking the door behind her when she leaves the room. Another powerful image of a relationship “up in smoke.”


If you enjoyed this brief sample of Melancholia (An Essay) by Kristina Marie Darling, you may purchase a copy for $10.00 from Ravenna Press at:
http://www.ravennapress.com/books/title.php?tid=20036


To learn more about Kristina Marie Darling, whose work includes Night Songs published by Gold Wake Press, The Body is a Little Gilded Cage: A Story in Fragments and Letters published by Gold Wake Press and The Moon & Other Inventions: Poems After Joseph Cornell published by BlazeVox Books, visit her website at:
http://kristinamariedarling.com/

Thanks always for reading, please drop in again tomorrow…

Monday, November 26, 2012

Birds in Snow Blog

I have loved Dorothea Lasky’s blog since the moment she started up “The Tiny Tour” of her collection of poems years ago and allowed her poetry readings to be filmed in different parts of her small home for people like myself to see. She continues writing and posting and I urge you to check out her blog and to click “earlier posts” for further enlightenments:
http://www.birdinsnow.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://www.corpse.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=739&Itemid=32
All of the poems by Lidija Dimkovska Translated from the Macedonian by Ljubica Arsovska and Peggy Reid

http://juked.com/2012/11/nandini-dhar-clandestine.asp
“Clandestine” by Nandini Dhar

Thanks for clicking in and Happy Thanksgiving to all, please drop in again next week…

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cadillac Men by Rebecca Schumejda

Rebecca Schumejda’s most recent collection of poems, Cadillac Men, has been published by NYQ Books in 2012. Her other works include Falling Forward from sunnoutside in 2009, and From Seed to Sin by Bottle of Smoke Press in 2011 as well as others, she has received her MA in Poetics and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and her BA in English and Creative Writing from SUNY New Paltz. She currently resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her family. Rebecca Schumejda’s collection of poems about the trials and tribulations of the pool players in her and her husband’s pool hall are dead pan and gut-wrenching at times. Mrs. Schumejda also includes quotes from the pool players themselves and keeps the momentum of these personable players humming throughout the pages. With cover art by the multi-talented Hosho McCreesh, this book is a must read on a gray and/or rainy day. That’s how I read it, anyway, and it was perfect for the mood. Below I am happy to share a few sample poems:

Rosary Beads and Pool Balls

When the army
couldn’t salvage
Shake’s soul,
his mother’s fingers
kept track of Hail Marys
and Our Fathers
recited over decades
for her wayward son.

But no wooden beads
could save him
from the old ivories,
so she stayed awake
waiting for him,
sometimes for days.
When he came in,
she’d fix him a meal,
ask him when
he was going to find
a good woman
and settle down.

He’d kiss her forehead
and tell her he could
never find a woman
as good as her.
This made everything alright,
until she was waiting again.

After she passed,
Shakes started going
to church religiously.
He hung her rosary beads
from the rearview mirror
of his Cadillac.
Whenever the beads tap
Against the windshield,
it sounds like pool balls
in the distance
calling him home.

This poem paints a sentimental and woeful picture for me. I can picture this man who should have settled down years ago kissing his mother’s forehead, content with life, and then his mother is gone and he must turn somewhere else for comfort: church. The sound of the beads is audible in my mind and I thank the poet for using straightforward imagery to bring such a vivid picture to her poem.



The Pool Table, a Shallow Pond

One night, after hours at the bar
down the road, No That Pocket George
stumbles in to tell me about how
his brother drowned in a shallow pond
when they were playing hide and seek.

His mother never forgave him, so now
he hits the balls harder than he should
and thinks of his mother’s apron,
the one she always wore
even on the day her son
was buried behind the old barn;

the apron she wore
when she screamed
I hate you
into a callous sky because George was hiding
under the porch.

He whacks the cue ball, a white apron,
as hard as he can because
sometimes after he plays too long,
the cloth on the table is algae
masking a shallow pond.
And sometimes he drinks too much
beer foam looks like that film
sitting on a shallow pond.
And when there’s a full apron in the night sky,
he is that little boy hiding under the porch.

This is a tragic story captured in the brevity of a poem and it is gut-wrenching. I wonder if the poet feels a longing to reach out and reassure No That Pocket George while feeling helpless to do so as that is the feeling I am left with. This is when poetry is at its best, striking you in the chest and leaving you with all the emotions to ponder on.



The Table Swallows Wally the Whale

The table swallows Wally like poetry does to me,
Takes us away from the day’s drudgery:
paying the bills, worrying about what will break next,
and where we’ll get the money to fix it.

Fifteen object balls
Spread out across the felt;
twenty-six letter
in the alphabet;
we both dream
of possibilities, combinations, perfect breaks.

He spends afternoons
Practicing how to miss a shot;
while I pick apart words to resurrect.
We both have our own language:
underappreciated
and misunderstood.

We both struggle with rules.
I hold my pen with the same intensity
he does his cue.
Felt and paper
obstacles
we navigate.

It’s when writing swallows me that I understand
his Captain Ahab-ish obsession:
how he sacrificed his wife and children
how the world, so invasive, disappears
when he leans over
to line up a shot.

I like that the poet relates to the player through her writing. I enjoy seeing writers talk about how they feel about their craft because I relate to it, too. For anyone who has a passion they sacrifice many things for it and often family, friends, and outsiders have a hard time understanding. Poems like this validate people’s passions and I appreciate that.


If you enjoyed this brief sample you may purchase a copy of Cadillac Men, length of 156 pages, for $16.95 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Cadillac-Men-Rebecca-Schumejda/dp/1935520687/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&keywords=9781935520689&linkCode=ur2&qid=1350461689&sr=8-1&tag=poetscraftcom-20

If you would like to learn more about Rebecca Schumejda whose work has appeared in sunnyoutside and Bottle of Smoke Press, among others, please visit her web-site at:
http://www.rebeccaschumejda.com/
and
http://www.nyqbooks.org/author/rebeccaschumejda


Thanks always for reading and please click in tomorrow…

Monday, November 19, 2012

Noctuary Press

One of my favorite poets, Kristina Marie Darling, is starting her own press and I am very excited about it. You should check it out, too, as innovative and engaging forms of literary worlds will converge here:
http://noctuarypress.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please stop in tomorrow for another featured poet...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dos Gatos Press Open Submissions

Once you go to the submissions page you will submit your poems on-line without any identifying marks such as name, address, etc. on the individual poems submitted. Depending on the style of poem you are submitting such as haiku, senryu, haiga, or free verse, you will want to read the guidelines for each type. There are several options for choosing which publication at Dos Gatos Press to submit to so please read the guidelines for each one, the submissions are open into January/February.
Please make sure you use Times New Roman font with size 12 when entering your poems. Get all the true details using the link below:
http://dosgatospress.org/how-to-submit

Good luck to all who submit, please drop by again next week…

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

https://sites.google.com/site/57rhpissue/jeff-dutko
“Poetry” by Jeff Dutko

https://sites.google.com/site/57rhpissue/obrien4
“Shores of Japan: Snag #10” by M.N. O’Brien

https://sites.google.com/site/57rhpissue/daniel3
“Prelude” by Daniel Hales

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by again tomorrow…

Monday, November 12, 2012

Forgotten Bookmarks

This is exactly what it sounds like and very interesting, too. A dealer in used and rare books posts finds between the pages and also hosts give-aways of his wonderful finds, it’s too good to pass up! Check it out at:
http://www.forgottenbookmarks.com/

Thanks for dropping in, please click in on Wednesday for Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://issuu.com/yespoetry/docs/september
“Your Last Rooster” by Tina Barry

https://sites.google.com/site/righthandpointingjeanietomasko/dear-lord-the-wren
“Dear Lord, the wren” by Jeanie Tomasko

Thanks for clicking in, please click in again next week…

Monday, October 29, 2012

Poor Rude Lines

John Field invited me to check out his blog, Poor Rude Lines, and I urge you to check it out, too. Poetry reviews with links and pictures abound, you can read up on some great poetry collections and writers at:
http://johnfield.org/

Thanks for dropping in, please visit again Wednesday…

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

https://sites.google.com/site/56rhpissue/howie-good
“Magnetic Disturbance” by Howie Good

https://sites.google.com/site/56rhpissue/bev-harp
“Entomology” by Bev Harp

Thanks for clicking in, please stop in again next week…

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Planchette by Juliet Cook

Published by Blood Pudding Press in 2008, Planchette is a haunting collection of ten poems about young girls amidst their dolls and their life at home. Planchette refers to a “heart shaped board from which messages are written under supposed spirit guidance” according to dictionary.com. The book itself is bound in beautiful textured paper with textured edges and is bound by knitting yarn. Each poem is a spine-tingling pleasure to read and I am happy to share a couple of sample poems below:

Planchette
Something is wrong with me

I can’t make things happen

I’m trapped inside a little glass bunny.
I quiver inexplicably,
but never move smoothly across.
All I do is quiver and then I

swerve madly.

My progress is not reasonable.
My progress is not measurable.
My progress is not memorable

until I am so wildly
erratic that I blur
towards the erotic
(kinky).

I’m trapped inside a glass eye.
Red-rimmed. Red-painted.

(You want to lick me.
You want to put me all the way inside
your mouth. Clean me up. Stop me rolling.)

I zoom across a black board with white letters
like one possessed. I fervently spell out
the same word again and again and then I
get stuck

on your tongue
inside my own head
somewhere small and dark

and so crowded…

This poem makes me envision one of the haunted girls disappearing into a little glass bunny as she is attempting to use the planchette/Ouija board and becomes part of the board itself picking out letters. I wonder who is in the room when the lines “You want to lick me./You want to put me all the way inside/your mouth” comes up, I envision a gentleman caller visiting and having no idea how to get her out of the glass bunny. The girl’s world is curious and surreal in this poem and captures my imagination.



Parlor Tricks

Our eyes were fake blueberries.
We made synthetically sweet fruit
perfume fill the parlor, almost an ooze,
almost oily waves.

Our fancy dessert plates burst
with lurid peonies, so swollen,
bruise-colored, almost lewd,
but already wilting at the edges.

Now they’re flaccid, faded, flat.
Out of tune piano keys’
wan background music. Warped wallpaper.
Failing glue. Scraps of yellowed newspaper

Lodged in our throats. We can’t read
the fine print, but feel the gray lilt of it
blurring out tongues into listless
little clappers of broken bells.

Oh this ringing in our ears we can’t expel.
We shuffle shiny flashcards.
We coiffed each other’s hair.
We played musical chairs

until we were all stuck to musty loveseats.
Instead of another chair disappearing, a girl did.
Something swallowed her, right after she swallowed the key.
The china cabinet trembled, cracked the handles off

our floral teacups, vomited bent spoons.

I imagine a group of girls sitting in the parlor playing with the object around them: fake blueberries in a bowl, faded yellow newspaper, flashcards their mother hoped would educate their young minds. Then one of the little girls picks up a key and swallows it and disappears herself, the forces acting on her shake the cabinet and the spoons explode out of the teacups. It’s a frightening thought if you really think about it, playing with siblings or childhood friends and such an inexplicable event occurs. We are left without an ending, we have no idea what happened to the girl who swallowed the key, or what happens to the girls who are there to face her absence and explain it to others. This poem makes my spine tingle.


If you enjoyed this sample, you may purchase a copy of Planchette by Juliet Cook for $7.00 through Blood Pudding Press’ Etsy Shop at:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/111834513/halloween-treat-planchette-by-juliet

Thank you always for reading, please drop in again soon…

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Arsenic Lobster Open Submissions

The poetry editor is Lissa Kiernan and there are other editors if you look at the “About Us” tab in order to help you address your e-mail appropriately for your submission(s). You may send 3-5 poems in the body of your e-mail as well as your contact information and “a lively bio.” Please check out the details of what the editors are looking for in the kinds of writing they publish. In the subject line of your e-mail include your first initial, last name, date, and what you are submitting. Example: P Cary 10-18-12 Poetry
Please limit your submissions to one per issue, deadline for all issues is April 30th. Please send your e-mail to: lobsterATmagereDOTcom

To learn all the details on how to submit, go to:
http://arseniclobster.magere.com/1submission.html

Good luck to all who submit, please drop in again next week…

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://www.zygoteinmycoffee.com/100s/issue139tantrum.html
“Tantrum” by Kevin Ridgeway

http://arseniclobster.magere.com/291301.html
“Search Party” by Connie Post

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by again tomorrow…

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Moon & Other Inventions by Kristina Marie Darling

Kristina Marie Darling’s work has appeared on Poet Hound before with her collection titled The Body is a Little Gilded Cage: A Story in Letters and Fragments and I am pleased to share with you her latest collection published in 2012 by BlazeVOX books titled The Moon & Other Inventions: Poems After Joseph Cornell. The collection is as dreamy as the last one featured on Poet Hound. This series of poems, divided up into chapters, are a series of footnotes for her various chapters on A History of Inventions, Ornithology, Cartography, and more. The pages are mostly blank space as though the text of the chapters are missing while the footnotes were inextricably left behind. I looked up Joseph Cornell and he was an artist most known for his collages and I imagine these collages are the inspiration behind the footnotes Ms. Darling has created after him. Ms. Darling’s footnote poems are beautiful and release the imagination into the reader’s minds. As you read the footnotes of each chapter you begin to find words that tie in to each other from chapter to chapter creating a pleasant connection that allows you to feel as though you are reading a beautifully imaginative textbook in which the content is somehow all related. Below I am happy to share some with you:


From A History of Inventions:

5. A late eighteenth-century stage play, in which a woman crawls into the hollow shaft of a telescope. The stage directions call for “faint music.” Also the sound of “silk rustling” and “a tiny door coming unhinged.”
6. Nights like this she flipped a little golden switch. That was when the rooms would open up before her.
7. Her ruined correspondence indicates exactly where she would have gathered these dead lilies and perfume bottles.

These footnote poems make me think of Alice in Wonderland with the idea of a woman being small enough to crawl into a telescope and the sound of “a tiny door coming unhinged.” There is magic in these lines, the golden switch that make rooms open up, the ruined correspondence that allude to dead lilies and perfume bottles of which we have no idea what their meaning is or where they come from but strike us in our imagination nonetheless. Since this comes from a chapter about inventions you wonder if the main character in these footnotes created the golden switch and the rooms, the more mystery the more imagination and it is lovely.


From: Horology

4. Oscillate.
1. To swing back and forth with a steady rhythm.
2. To waver, as between conflicting opinions.
3. To vary between extremes, especially within a fixed period of time.

5. During these years, she felt as though she would be faced with a decision. The clock within the cathedral recorded the movements of minor stars. But from its interior a series of unfamiliar notes emerged, that ominous ringing.

6. A late sixteenth-century church record, in which the simple machine turned against the monks. The illustration depicts their attempt to gather water and extinguish the great fire.

This poem creates the image, to me, of a large grandfather clock that is tied more to the celestial than the earthy terrain which it inhabits, its chimes relate to the stars and mark time at a pace that does not coincide with the inhabitants of that church, such as the monks. Whether this is the case I have no earthly idea but the footnotes capture images for the reader to determine the words’ meaning and I love the open-ended invitation to imagine alongside the poet what might be going on.


From Ornithology

4. Overwrought.
1. Extremely distressed or agitated
2. Overly complex or ornate.
3. Wearied or exhausted by overwork.

5. The documentary depicts their efforts to develop a machine. This invention was inspired by her experience embalming butterflies. Their mother found the device shattered among various feathers and antennae fragments.

I selfishly picked this one from the words “overwrought” and “overwork” as lately I have been feeling both. To juxtapose the words that relate to overwork with the delicate work that would require unimaginable patience with “embalming butterflies” took me by surprise and I re-read this page several times in delight. It sounds like the creator of the invention was too much for its creator and that is why the creator’s mother finds this delicate machine in pieces along with the butterflies and birds in pieces. Delicate, dangerous, and again, lovely.


If you enjoyed this sample, and I can tell you I cannot do this book justice, it is simply wonderful, you may order a copy of The Moon & Other Inventions: Poems After Joseph Cornell for $12.00 from Amazon.com at:
http://www.amazon.com/Other-Inventions-Kristina-Marie-Darling/dp/1609641043/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347471466&sr=8-1&keywords=9781609641047


To learn more about Kristina Marie Darling and her work, visit her website at:
http://kristinamariedarling.com/about/

Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow…

Monday, October 15, 2012

Button Magazine

They’ve been around for a decade and I didn’t even know it! Sample poems and you can have a lifetime subscription for a mere $25.00! Check it out at:
http://www.moonsigns.net/Button-frame.htm

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by again tomorrow…

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Horse Less Press Open Submissions

The deadline is the 15th, so be sure to submit quickly! There is an on-line entry form you can go to and send 5-10 pages of poetry or hybrid-genre writing as a single attachment for Issue #13. Make sure you include your name, address, contact information and check out their website which is also linked on the submissions page. You may use the link below:

http://horselesspress.submittable.com/submit


Good luck to all who submit! Please drop by again next week…

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://arseniclobster.magere.com/290201.html
“Desert Cactus” by Laura Theobold

http://www.poolpoetry.com/poetsix.html
“From A Field Guide” To Verbs by Molly McQuade

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by again tomorrow…

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Carnival by Jason Bredle

Jason Bredle has published three books and three chapbooks, his poems have also appeared in journals such as Denver Quarterly and in anthologies. Mr. Bredle lives in Chicago and works in the patient-reported outcomes translation field. His fourth book, Carnival, has been published by The University of Akron Press in 2012 and encompasses a tilting and revolving world of animals, humans, and unusual encounters such as finding tiny people and towns in his bathtub. It is an entertaining read and I am happy to share below:

Suburban Love Song
Suddenly you realize you’re in the middle of it and it’s heartbreaking. You get a telephone call from yourself in the future telling you to run. All I want to know is if you’re mad at me. If I could, I’d tattoo your name on my skeleton. I love to look outside. I love to be outside. I love when you touch the back of my head. I love when you hold me in your arms. I hope summer never ends. It’s twilight. I hear children playing. I hear sprinklers, a lawn mower. Airplanes descend over the backyard onto the nearby runway. This is where we live. Hell at its most tranquil. To flee is life. To linger is death. The only thing wrong with this picture is everything. It’s the eve of a hostage situation. Will you do one thing for me tonight? Will you put on your favorite dress and sit with me?

This poem is one of the more “concrete” ones in the selection and I like it selfishly because I’ve been in search of a house to move into and I wonder with each house how I will really feel about it in the future. In this prose piece there is a telephone call from the future saying to run and if only that could happen for all of us. I love that the neighborhood is painted in the typical suburban light and then you find out airplanes land nearby and it is described as “Hell at its most tranquil” which sounds lovely and heartbreaking to me all at the same time. It’s a wonderful poem about life and living in a neighborhood and taking in the sounds and wondering about the present and the future.


Tiny Hurricane Season
My bathtub’s fishing industry has created a tiny community. They call themselves Tinyville. I’m a little disappointed, but I guess it’s the best they could do. At least they’re not like those dumb fucks in Tubtown. I know it sounds mean, but Tubtowners are a new breed of idiot. Yet they’re strong and athletic, which is why the Tubtown Tiny Champs continue to dominate the tiny baseball circuit. They destroyed the Kansas City Tiny Monarchs 13-3 last night. Did you see the game? I like to watch Tubtowners celebrate their success of their team and revel in their stupidity. They’re nothing like the citizens of Tinyville. Tinies are hard working, proud, and they’ve created a striking image of me that they worship, though I have no control over their lives. And that’s the thing. That’s why I’m so nervous about the upcoming tiny hurricane season.

This poem reminds me of the wild imagination I had as a child, that a whole world would exist in a bathtub and that its occupants might worship the giant that enters their world from time to time. It could also easily be a reference to God standing off to the side and watching the world at large unfold and not being able to do anything about the world’s surroundings, environment, and its creatures. Either way it is an entertaining poem that gets my imagination reeling again.


Carnival
You forget so much, and it makes me sad. I like holding your hand on the Ferris wheel because it makes you happy. There’s one little dude in the Gravitron. A girl with a bloody nose is escorted from the Himalaya. Do you like corndogs? I’m committed to living and dying in the fast lane. I want to lose my wallet on the Hellbender while the operator enjoys a fried chicken dinner with a side of baked beans and coleslaw. I want to win an enormous stuffed pig and save the lives of hundreds of goldfish. Everywhere there are lights and music and children with blue lips. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to bury yourself in candy? I’m a little paranoid. If only I knew that in a few months we’ll never speak again. Now it’s the time to celebrate—wear white all week, wear red all weekend. After I die, I want my friends to take my corpse to all my favorite places. I want them to begin at the carnival.

This poem strikes me because I love carnivals and all the colors, lights, people. The view from the Ferris wheel is typical of what I’ve often seen, and the fact that the poet has someone he cares about by his side only to lose them later begs the question of what happened? As a reader, I search for some clue but there is none, just the idea of living in the moment, watching the children with blue lips and wondering about burying yourself in candy. The end makes me think of the movie Weekend at Bernie’s, since the writer wants his corpse, not ashes, brought to his favorite places. Plenty of visual moments in this piece which make my imagination soar again.


If you enjoyed this sample you may order a copy of Carnival by Jason Bredle in paperback for $14.95 at:
http://www.uakron.edu/uapress/browse-books/book-details/index.dot?id=2336857

Thanks always for reading, please click in again tomorrow…

Monday, October 8, 2012

Strange Girl Press

While the Open Submissions are closed, their guidelines make me excited to read what they choose to publish in the way of stories, poetry and art so please check them out and stay tuned for their publications because I know I’m looking forward to seeing what they produce:
http://www.strangegirlpress.com/

They also have beautiful work at their blog which is being converted over to the website above, so check it out at:
http://strangegirlp.blogspot.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bolts of Silk Open Submissions

You may send between 3-6 poems up to 40 lines each, editor prefers poems that speak about nature, though cautions against poems that are about nature being beautiful, she is looking for poems with a message. Please check out Bolts of Silk to see what kinds of poems are generally accepted, poems about other subjects are welcome also. Send a brief cover letter addressing Juliet Wilson (editor) by name when sending your poems in an e-mail that has the subject line as follows: Juliet.M.WilsonATgmailDOTcom
Check out more details at:
http://boltsofsilk.blogspot.co.uk/p/submission-guidelines.html

Good luck to all who enter, please stop by again next week…

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

https://sites.google.com/site/whiteknucklechaps/poet-anon/introduction/ds2
“Dream Song 228” by Anonymous

https://sites.google.com/site/whiteknucklechaps/poet-anon/introduction/ds11
“Dream Song 321” by Anonymous

Thanks for clicking in, please drop in tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

https://sites.google.com/site/rhpquestions2012/deborah-scott
“The Hostile Witness” by Deb Scott

https://sites.google.com/site/rhpquestions2012/sara-amis
“How Fairy Tale Girls Get Lost” by Sara Amis

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Michael Grover's americanEyes V.1

Published by Alternating Current’s Propaganda Press in 2012, Michael D. Grover’s americanEyes V.1 is a collection about his view of the world as an American. The poems are stark and cynical. Below are a few of the poems that reflect the “wool being pulled off the eyes” as it were:

9.
I see through these americanEyes
& I see nothing
Can’t see past
The politics of fear
Everyone could be dead outside
& I wouldn’t know
& somewhere bombs are raining
From the sky
In the name of submission
& I wouldn’t know

I know in the mourning
mcdonald’s will be open on the corner
Pushing buttery death breakfast
Even in the hood
Especially in the hood
& who can refuse it
They kill Poets & ordinary people
Every day they will kill someone
Every hour
Every quarter of an hour
Every minute they are killing nonstop
& if you’re poor enough you can’t refuse
They are killing us

& I am blind
Seeing the world through americanEyes

In this poem, politics and corporate culture are killing innocent people abroad and just down the street. The poet says he is blind to it as an American and I have to say that the majority of us who watch the news turn a blind eye after a while. The information fed to us on the news is overwhelming and never-ending and so it may go in one ear and out the other while “Poets & ordinary people” die every minute. It is a morbid poem and touches a nerve in the reader as we recognize that we are blind, too.


17.
I see through these americanEyes
There’s a poor man forgotten
He was exiled by his own country
For the crime of being homeless
They don’t see him anymore
No one sees him anymore
He walks around like the walking dead
like the invisible man
Foreclosures are all the rage on the news
Because they are real
Funny how there’s not a lot of reality
On the news
Probably why I don’t watch it
Truth is we are all a step away
From being him
From joining him
He’s saved a space for you
Right in the front
He was exiled by his own country
He sleeps in the park
He sleeps in the car
He sleeps by the river
He sleeps in the woods
He sleeps in the streets
He sleeps in a shelter
He sleeps in an abandoned building
He sleeps on steam grates
Leaving a burn on his body
He sleeps on a bench
He sleeps where he can
He could be sleeping in your neighborhood
I know he’s sleeping in mine
Truth is we are all a step away
From being him
From joining him
No matter how hard we all try
To walk away from him

& I want to go blind
Seeing the World through americanEyes

This poem I feel more closely than any other. No matter how “secure” people were financially a few years ago everything we knew about a secure financial future crumbled around our ears. Retirees saw their accounts plummet, housing prices collapsed, countless people lost their jobs and plenty are still unemployed. Our friends, family, and neighbors are all falling on hard times and this poem above captures the scary truth. Any day now it could be me or you. One major disaster or several small misfortunes or any combination of things could put any one of us on the street joining the homeless man we’ve ceased to see with our eyes, our “americanEyes.”


27.
I see through these americanEyes
I see pharmaceutical ads on the tv
They tell you how sick you are
How much you need their pills
& the side effects they list
In a friendly manner
It’s all so friendly
Everyone is active & smiling
They all seemed so harmless
No side effects
No going blind
Seeing the World through americanEyes.

This poem hits home since I work in healthcare and there seems to be a pill for absolutely everything. Co-workers, colleagues, patients, they are all convinced that if they can just get the right combination of pills that their lives will be better, they believe the ads and the doctors. Personally, I take very few things, one of them being a multi-vitamin, but I’ve had many conversations with people who tell me they take 10 or 20 pills a day and they do not have any long-term illnesses or diseases, they are just regular people convinced they “need” these medications. One of the people I talked to simply began walking after work five days a week and marveled at the idea that they were now taking fewer pills because the exercise was lifting their mood and making them feel better health-wise. Imagine. This poem captures the whole sentimentality perfectly of pharmaceutical companies convincing people that pills fix everything.

If you enjoyed this sample of poems, you may purchase a copy of americanEyes V.1 by Michael D. Grover for $5.00 from Alternating Current’s Propaganda Press at:
http://alt-current.com/pp/pp_item.html#americaneyes_v_1

Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stony Moss Blog

Deb Scott out in the world! This is how you’ll be greeted at Deb Scott’s blog about her poetry, other poets, and other wonderful things. Be sure to check it out at:
http://stoneymoss.org/

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bone Orchard Poetry Open Submissions

This is a blog that publishes poems on its site, the guidelines are simple and straightforward which I love: Submit 1-6 poems or 1-3 prose poems, paste these into your e-mail to boneorchardpoetryATgmailDOTcom. Make sure you include a short bio and in the subject line include “poetry submission/last name” so they know it isn’t spam.
Check out the blog to get a feel for poems they publish and for the details verbatim at:
http://boneorchardpoetry.blogspot.ie/
Good luck to all who submit, please drop in again next week…

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://www.blossombones.com/winter_spring2012/darling_ws2012.html
“Noctuary: by Kristina Marie Darling

http://www.blossombones.com/winter_spring2012/henney_ws2012.html
“Blueprint” by Theodosia Henney

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by tomorrow for more open submissions…

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Doug Draime's More Than The Alley

Doug Draime’s More than the Alley has been published by Interior Noise Press this year and is a full-length collection of straightforward, hard-knocks poems that many fans know and love. His poems are inspired by Bukowski and the grit of life, below I am happy to share some samples:

Red’s Tavern

Pete’s stab wounds
were a badge of honor.
Pulling his beer stained
Dodger t-shirt up
showing me
a 5 inch scar
across his huge
beer belly.

That’s something, man
I said.

He jumped up from his stool
turned around and
with both hands
pulled his t-shirt
up to the back of his neck

revealing a large, imbedded
nasty looking gush
in the middle of his back
clear down to
the cheeks of his fat ass.

He turned around with a goofy
drunken smile on his face
pulling his shirt down. “The ex done
that with a broken beer bottle the
night she left and went to Tucson.
They say I lost 4 pints of blood.”

That’s something, man
I said again and bought him a
Beer for that one.

I love that this poem talks about the battle scars of relationships and that it shows that men aren’t the only ones who are violent. The older I get the more I learn that relationships can be brutal for both sexes and while women may compare emotional battle scars it is interesting to read a poem where men show off physical battle scars of relationships. No one gets out of a bad relationship without some scarring and the fact the poet buys him a beer for “that one” of the battle scar stories makes me smile. Women might buy their lady friends a cocktail or treat them to a mani-pedi, men buy each other beer. We all have our way of coping and of comforting our friends, or fellow hard-luck strangers.



Someday I Will Write A Poem That Will Flood The World

And I will own all the
arks, boats, ships,
rafts, and canoes,
and tug boats, ferries—
all forms of water transportation.

People will have to come
to me for their means
of survival.

The stubborn and destitute ones
will drown in my poem
sinking to the bottom
screeching like anchors on
rusty
chains.

The rest of humanity will plead
for cut-rate discounts. But fuck them.
I’ll make them pay out
the ass. No rainbows
this time.

This poem makes me grin, what writer hasn’t wanted to write an epic of some kind that grabs the whole world’s attention? I feel that way when I’m experiencing writer’s block or read someone else’s work that is so great that I’m immediately jealous that I cannot write like that. This poem is my own selfish indulgence to share with you all, I simply love it. I wonder what the inspiration was for Mr. Draime for this poem?



Burning Bag of Shit

She found the last 50 poems I wrote
in my notebook, cut them out
put them through her office shredder
twice: once lengthwise and then
width-wise. She told me all
of this, as she was standing
screaming and crying on the stoop
in front of my apartment, with the pieces of
my poems in a small paper bag. She
took out my Zippo from her ass-tight
jean pocket, lit the bag, waited for it
to get going good, before she
dropped it at my feet and turned
still crying and ran to her car. I watched
her drive away and walked back into
my apartment, letting the bag of words
burn like a bag of shit on Halloween.
I made a cup of strong black tea and sat down
at the kitchen table with a new notebook
and I started another poem…
just for fucking spite.

This poem makes me laugh, actually. Maybe that’s cruel of me, but I feel like saying “that’s what you get for snooping!” Mr. Draime is like myself, what we really feel is written in poetic form and most of those poems aren’t left out for public consumption, it’s in a journal/notebook/private space of sorts. This poem is the ultimate example of such a scenario and as true testament that Mr. Draime is a writer he goes right back to writing more poems after his notebook is shredded and then burned to a crisp.





To be honest, there are a half dozen more poems I’d love to share with you but I limited myself to the ones that made me grin big. If you enjoyed this review, you may purchase a copy of Doug Draime’s More than the Alley for $15.00 at:
http://www.amazon.com/More-Than-Alley-Doug-Draime/dp/0981660665

Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow…

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Improvised Life Site

It’s not all poetry but what I love about it is that it incorporates my favorite things: Home design, art, and poetry. Check it out at:

http://www.improvisedlife.com/

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blood Pudding Press Chapbook Open Submissions

There is a $5.00 entry fee through PayPal which is well worth it, if you ask me. Also, you may submit 10-25 poems (approx.. 12-30 pages for total manuscript) via e-mail with “BPP Chapbook Contest (your name)” in the subject line. You may attach your manuscript to the e-mail and be sure to include your full name and contact information along with your bio in the body of the e-mail to the editor, Juliet Cook to:
julietcooATgmailDOTcom
*Make sure you check out the website to get a feel for what is published, the deadline is October 15th and you must read all the details at the blog to make sure you submit your manuscript correctly.

Check out all the details at:
http://www.bloodyooze.blogspot.com/2012/09/blood-pudding-press-is-accepting.html

Good luck to all who submit, please stop by again next week…

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://fictionaut.com/stories/tina-barry/white-legs--2
“White Legs” by Tina Barry

http://juked.com/2012/09/secondperson.asp
“Second Person” by Perie Long

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by again tomorrow…

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

An Interview with Juliet Cook's Post-Stroke Collection

Juliet Cook’s collection of poems POST-STROKE is darkly rich and decadent. The chapbook itself is beautifully made by hand and is a treat just to hold, the words inside just as delicious a treat. After reading some discussions Juliet Cook has had since her stroke, I’ve learned that her carotid artery was bleeding and causing aneurysms and she has been tackling her difficulty with reading and creating words with determination and guts. I am thrilled she has agreed to an interview about her poetry regarding this collection and I happily introduce you to Juliet Cook:


Hello there. Before I answer your questions, I wanted to thank you for your interest in conducting a poetry-related interview with me – and I also wanted to honestly admit that I had a bit of a tough time with these questions, due to them being predominantly focused on my stroke and its impact. Obviously, the reason your questions focused on that was because they were in relation to my POST-STROKE poetry chapbook. However, even though I still have real side effects from my stroke and can’t simply ignore them, I don’t want that to be one of the primary things people focus on about me and poetry. My health issue did not largely change my poetry reading and writing style (except for slowing it down) – BUT my poetic content is mentally/emotionally based and the health issue had an impact on those parts of me. I’m happy to share some of this with others who might find it helpful or interesting.

1. Juliet, you made mention that before your stroke in 2010 you felt you were coming into your own with your poetry in 2008 and 2009. Can you tell us a little bit about your work and creative flow before your stroke occurred?

I have a tough time with dates and other time frame details, but I’ve been reading and writing poetry for many years and had been submitting it for years, as well – and despite occasional acceptances, my rejections outweighed the acceptances until probably somewhere around 2007 or so, I started receiving significantly more acceptances AND feeling more strongly about my own poetry writing styles. After many years of working hard and having a slow writing style, my poetry finally started flowing out more quickly and powerfully and naturally.
In 2008, I had five different poetry chapbooks published AND my first full-length poetry book, ‘Horrific Confection’, was published the end of that year. Then in 2009, I also had five different poetry chapbooks published and was in the process of working on several others. I think 2007- 2009 felt like really exciting, successful writing times for me, during which my poetry was starting to take off, both in terms of my own writing style improving AND being more widely accepted for different kinds of publication.
Then early in 2010 (January 6 2010), I had an unexpected carotid artery dissection, which caused a 99% bleed out, which caused aneurysms, which caused a stroke, which caused me to lose some brain powers – oddly enough, most of those powers related to words and memorization.


2. Once you had your stroke and you were working with the speech therapist you mention that reading and writing was difficult to do. What techniques did you use to overcome those difficulties and what kinds of words were the most difficult to work with? Were they action words? Naming items? Conceptual words?

I’m not even sure what ‘action words, naming items, and conceptual words’ MEAN – so yes, I guess my difficulties included those kinds of words and/or basic understandings of word-based meanings. I could barely read or write at all at first. I could understand many words if someone else said them, but I had a hard time thinking of words myself – especially the basic kinds of words that you learn when you’re a kid – like colors, shapes, sizes, body parts, even ABCs. At first I repeatedly went over the alphabet and colors and numbers and other stuff you learn when you’re a young child.
I had a hard time with months and days and even times. I had a hard time with food words, animal words, and people’s names. One of the first things I had to do when home from the hospital was write down the names of me and my husband’s immediate family members and read those multiple times a day so that I could learn them again. I would look at my own dad and it’s not like I didn’t know who he was, but I couldn’t think of his name. If I had to re-learn the names of immediate family members, imagine the names of friends and other poets. I felt out of it and clueless and still do to an extent. I still have to concentrate a lot when it comes to easy little words – sometimes I remember certain words; sometimes I don’t; sometimes the first letter and relative length pops into my head; sometimes it seems as if there is no particular rhyme or reason to any of it.
My parents helped me with therapy, much of it involving reading children’s books (which were very hard for me to read at first) and a Children’s Picture Dictionary. Much of the therapy was annoyingly repetitive, boring, but necessary (and frankly, I feel like most of my stroke-related answers to interview questions might be boring for other poets to read – because why would a unique creative individual want to read about another adult’s children’s picture dictionary therapy?).
I will say that I truly believe my passion for poetry had a profound positive impact on my recovery – because I cared about poetry so much, that I would spend hours upon hours reading the same poem hundreds of times in a row.


3. Were there any specific words that “stuck with you” after the stroke? Words that were easiest for you to read and speak despite the stroke and what were those words?

Seemingly random words would suddenly pop out of my head and that still happens. Also, it seems that my brain has become more visual and seemingly random (yet strong) images often pop out. Sometimes it’s really overwhelming, because I can’t clearly explain the images with words. Word-wise, I didn’t lose big words as much as small words - but sometimes when a big word pops out, I’m not sure what it means and so need to check it out via the dictionary.
Sometimes it’s all kinds of imagery from my past, suddenly popping out. Pop pop pop pop pop pop – one image after the other, for no apparent reason – no matter how much I close my eyes, place the pillow atop my head, and try to control my thinking, all this imagery just keeps popping around in my brain – most of it really visually specific images from a long time ago.
The speed of the popping can be really overwhelming and sometimes lead to weird panic attacks. Another detail that contributes to my panic is that a little over a year ago, I started having small seizures, as a result of how my brain is healing.


4. Your chapbook is made with textural paper and the yarn that binds it is soft and comforting. Is it easier to create with materials than with words since your stroke? Does the type of materials you use help you present the words you are trying to speak?

My brain does act more visual than it used to, BUT I’ve always liked visual art and I’ve always used bits of visual imagery outside the poetry chapbooks I create. I started Blood Pudding Press, my itty bitty hand-designed print poetry chapbook press, near the end of 2006, and I always enjoyed adding small visual art snippets to the chapbooks I created. I preferred using ribbon-esque doodads rather than just staples. The soft yarn like substance I used to bind the POST-STROKE chapbook made me think of the color of brain veins. It could be perceived as warm and soft; but it could also be perceived as misshapen, discolored, and creepy. Dark and light; up & down; malfunctioned and scary.



5. Your collection of poems features a mix of medical words, descriptive words such as “red” and various forms of the word “blood” and animals that are not always pleasant such as rats, tigers, crows, pterodactyls. As you were recovering, how did these words come to the forefront of your mind into your poems? Were they ones you used before your stroke or were they words that associated with your inner feelings during the healing process?

6. I’d like to share the first poem in your collection with our readers which has no title. Can you describe what is happening with your writing and recovery with sharing this poem? Reading it I see a woman trying to reconcile her body and her soul, her body has a “pernicious red limp” and the previously “non overly obvious poetry” is “dead.” Now there is “platinum mesh/deep inside my odd head” and a “vicious new voice” waits to speak. Can you describe your emotions and the details behind this poem’s creation?


Post-stroke my words are not over-
ly obvious. Why on earth should my
non overly obvious poetry be dead?
1. Telebloodied brain cadaver with pernicious red limp.
2. Telebloodied drain dagger with growing open limbs.
3. My carotid swirling, awaited a dangerous blow torch
from the crotch; clicked in, rose up, added platinum mesh
deep inside my odd head. In spite of my almost annihilation.
4. A vicious new voice will slowly seep out of my skull.
5.Will spill more pretty crooked plucked out wordage.

In a conjoined response to your questions 5 and 6, many of the bloody, body part, and medical words within my POST-STROKE poems are related to what happened to me, during or after my stroke.
That first poem’s first three lines ARE its title – and some of that poem’s content is related to the surgery I underwent.
Within that poem, the ‘platinum mesh’ technically describes the kind of stent I had inserted during surgery – it was moved all the way to my upper neck, below the brain area using some tiny device inserted through a whole poked into the area of my thigh right next to the crotch panel.
Granted, it wasn’t technically inserted with a blow torch, BUT the kind of stuff that was happening seemed so unexpectedly bizarre that a blow torch didn’t seem like all that much of an over the top descriptor in the midst of what was actually going on – which was my carotid artery bleeding out and then platinum mesh getting inserted near my crotch and surgically moved all the way up to my upper neck area – a blow torch seemed to fit into that picture, mentally speaking.
I’ve always used a decent amount of animal words and body part words and horror words in my poems. I actually have a harder time with animal words now and culled some of those words (as well as some of the other words within my POST-STROKE poems) from poems in progress and revisions.
One sort of words I used amongst the POST-STROKE poems that are not so much my usual poetic norm were quite a few words that reminded me of death and funerals and burials; in part because I felt as if pieces of my brain had died or were still alive but strangely buried.


7. In your poem “Unfurling” I am struck by the mix of images and the “she/he” of your brain as though it’s a separate entity. I’m also interested in knowing where the “inner thighs” comes from? The poem makes me think of your brain trying to grow organically in a new phase but it is a somewhat gruesome and tenuous process. The ending line you talk about the cat killing mice as well as butterflies, are you alluding to the fact that both good and bad knowledge/memories are missing in this stage of your recovery? Can you tell us more about this poem and how it came about? The poem is below:

Unfurling

On & off my brain she/he wants to break
tiny splinters embedded into inner thighs
with a high pitched buzz. Lobbing orchids,
wet dark truffles oozed through funereal fantasyland.
Tentacular lobes unglued, steamy, no longer able to fly.
My parents’ cat kills not only mice but butterflies.


I can still FEEL the visual impact I used in these poems; but I still can’t describe it very well in a non-poetic form of writing. I still feel lobbing and tentacular and unglued and steamy and unfurling!

In addition to having platinum mesh inserted into my upper neck area all the way up from my inner thigh/crotch area, I then had to have a device inserted into that little whole in my inner thigh/crotch area – a vascular closure device called a collagen sponge near my femoral artery. My surgery was 50/50 (as in 50% chance I’d live; 50% chance I’d die) – so in a way, that poem combine’s inner thigh insertion with almost death but oddly lucky life; thus the ‘funereal fantasyland’.

I was truly lucky to live, but then the unfurling or ripping apart of my life continued. Not that long after my stroke, I was temporarily living with my parents (and even though I was certainly lucky to have a temporary space to reside and I appreciated my parents’ support, living with one’s parents when in my late 30s was less than ideal for me), having troubling brain issues as well as emotional issues as well as relationship uncertainty issues. I ended up getting divorced, but I didn’t want to rush that choice – and I felt like some people wanted me to rush it ASAP – and even though they meant well, it ultimately needed to be my own decision – and it’s hard for me to make my own decisions when I’m in a space that’s not my own.
Sometimes I felt as if I didn’t know where I was or who I was or what I was aiming for anymore. Sometimes, I still feel that way – especially quite recently, since my first serious romantic relationship since my divorce recently ended.
My parents own several outdoor cats and on at least one occasion, while living with my parents, in addition to viewing one of their cats playing with and/or malfunctioning a mouse, I saw one of them malfunctioning a butterfly – and although that bothered me, at least I could work it into a poem – in which it seemed to offer a hint as to how my life style situation and malfunctioning brain felt.


8. The closing poem, Aftermath, speaks of an ending relationship, it mentions “A woman in need” and “I could be borderline/poison when he drank” and “I could be a super-sexual séance.” How were intimacy and relationships affected during your recovery? Can you tell us more about how this poem came about?

Aftermath

He purged me like a decapitated spread shot;
a moldy magpie slot when I used to be a slit
with girly feathers flung into a strip-tease.
I had turned into a grotesque disease.
A woman in need. Unworthy.
Might as well be dead.

Vile has two meanings.
I could be borderline
poison when he drank; strange
treat when he spit me out.

I could be a super-sexual séance underneath
a more luscious arrangement of teeth.
My porno-horrific rippling sensations will turn
into telepathic tinsel. My misshapen tonsils will grow
into succulent ornaments to float over your head.
I’m not a nightmare. I’m a dark delightful dream.

Just a few months after I was back from the hospital, my husband was tired of hearing about my stroke. He thought that my immediate family was focusing on my stroke and my recovery too much, treating me like I was a baby. As mentioned prior, it’s true that a great deal of my initial therapy involved working with children’s books, because at first even children’s books were hard for me to read, and I had to re-learn words and meanings that I had initially learned as a child. It certainly was not my idea of fun or enjoyable, but it had to be done.

I really don’t want to get extremely personal in this interview, but that last poem was largely inspired by my marriage ending; we did end up getting divorced exactly one year after my stroke happened. Some of the details of that poem derived from some of the thoughts/feelings/emotions I was undergoing at the time. I sometimes felt as if an unexpected health issue had turned me into an un-fun, worthless challenge - and who wants to undergo such challenge to stick with a decapitated, unhealthy pile of broken down crap.

So the first stanza is quite negative and derogatory – the second stanza is a bit more in between, emotionally speaking – the third stanza is aiming towards new hopes, dreams, and desires that I still might have my own unique appeal.


9. Where are you now with your writing? Are words easier to speak, read, and write? Are you still recovering parts of yourself? What differences have there been artistically for you?

My reading and writing is much better than it was at first, but still slower than it used to be – so hopefully my brain still has an ongoing healing process ahead of it.

A little over a year ago, I started having mini-seizures, as another result of how my brain has changed. Those are certainly un-enjoyable, but could be far worse.

Emotionally speaking, I’m still kind of a mess – brimming with self-doubt and even self-deprecation; frequently questioning myself; feeling like I will most likely never be deeply, intensely loved by anyone again, at least not for any sort of extended time period. Feeling as if everything will most likely end to soon.

I still very much enjoy and care about poetry and art, but I feel more ‘what is the point’ about life in general. I wish I could re-energize my emotions into a terrain in which they are writhing with creativity and joy and love, but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.


10. With your press, have your tastes changed in the types of writing you enjoy reading, editing, and publishing?

I think every writer/reader/editor’s tastes change a little bit in the course of time, but I don’t think I’ve had a recent BIG taste change. Because everything takes me a little longer than it used to, I can’t afford to publish very many Blood Pudding Press print chapbooks – but just because the press is slower doesn’t mean I’ve given up on it.

The last Blood Pudding Press chapbook I created was a collaborative poetry collection called ‘Fainting Couch Idioglossia’ – and I am currently accepting poetry chapbook manuscript submissions for the next two Blood Pudding Press chapbooks (from now through October 15, 2012). More details are available via the Blood Pudding Press blog, linked to at the end of this interview.


11. As for yourself, what are you working on these days that we can look forward to reading in the future? Any manuscripts or published works we can be on the look-out for and where can we find them?

I’m still reading, writing, and submitting my own poetry (although somewhat slower than I used to be in such realms). I’m also submitting my second full-length poetry manuscript. One never knows exactly how long that’s going to take to be accepted; but golly, I would sure love it if it found its ideal home this year or next year when I am 40.

I do have a new poetry chapbook coming out quite soon from Grey Book Press! It’s called POISONOUS BEAUTYSKULL LOLLIPOP and offers twenty some pages of my poetry ranging from 2008 to very recent work. I’m excited about it and imagine more information will appear upon Grey Book Press’s website when it’s available, here - http://greybookpress.com/.


Juliet Cook, thank you so much for sharing your work and your experiences with us. I wish you continued success in all areas of your life and hope you will keep us up-dated with your upcoming works.

If you enjoyed this interview I urge you to purchase a copy of POST-STROKE for yourself for a mere $4.00 at her etsy.com site at:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/69547229/post-stroke-by-juliet-cook?ref=sr_gallery_5&ga_search_query=blood+pudding+press&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_search_type=all

Juliet Cook is the editor and creator of Blood Pudding Press which you can visit at:
http://www.bloodyooze.blogspot.com/

To purchase other poets’ wonderful work from Blood Pudding Press as well as more of Juliet Cook’s work through her etsy.com website go to:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/BloodPuddingPress


Juliet Cook reads her poems at Menacing Hedge:
http://menacinghedge.com/podcast/2012/menacing-podcast-2012-04-29.php

To learn more about Juliet Cook and read more of her work, please visit her personal the sites below:
http://julietcook.weebly.com/

http://doppelgangrene.blogspot.com/

Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, September 10, 2012

Twenty Four Hours On-line Site

Interviews galore with artists of all kinds: Musicians, writers, editors, you name it! Please check it out at:

http://www.twentyfourhoursonline.com/#!/

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for an interview with poet and editor Juliet Cook…

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

https://sites.google.com/site/55rhpissue/the-note
It’s not a poem, it’s Dale’s editor’s note for the issue about music and you should read it. I work with people who are aging and his note talks about musicians who are living longer than most people think musicians would. I think all artists should strive for longevity, don’t you?

https://sites.google.com/site/55rhpissue/trina-gaynon
“Yoshi” by Trina Gaynon

https://sites.google.com/site/55rhpissue/david-tomaloff
“Photographs of Wounded Statues” by David Tomaloff

Thanks for clicking in, please drop in again soon…

Monday, September 3, 2012

Laura Madeline Wiseman Site

I read a great interview on here and there are lots of wonderful inspiring things to read and look at so check it out at:
http://www.lauramadelinewiseman.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by again…

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://www.smartishpace.com/issues/issue_18/the_ohio_poem/
The Ohio Poem by Amy Pickworth

http://wickedalicezine.tumblr.com/
Was Becomes by Sally Molini

http://www.lightedplace.com/bud.html
Bud by Sarah Sloat

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by again next week…

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Still Life Is A Human by CEE

Still Life Is A Human by CEE is published by Alternating Current’s Propaganda Press as of 2012 and is a collection of photographs by Mrs. CEE paired with poems by CEE inspired by those photographs. It is visually satisfying and entertaining to read. Below I am happy to share a couple of samples (sans the photographs, you’ll have to purchase the collection yourself to see them):

Caricature of a Wedding
(The Vermin Lord and the Bridegroom)

Let’s be honest
Young divorces are caused, principally
By lack of money
That’s when Your She
Became The Great Horned Rat,
The demonthing, cantreallytalkchick in Beloved
Keep it comin’, schmedrick,
Whether or not you pay the bills
Firehose of lavish waste out into the street

…and, any familial assistance?
She wielded that money,
Wielded it back into that street
Like a bad hammer throw

You two’re a Tears For Fears song, buddy
Indecision
Married with a lack of
Bride
She isn’t
She’s a Vermin Lord
The great, horned recipient of your
Great horniness

This poem makes me grin, I get the impression the writer is not impressed with a friend’s choice of bride. It also reminds of some relationships I’ve seen and known are doomed but no one has the heart to tell “the happy couple.” This poem says it all in regards to a doomed marriage.


Milton
(Writer BFF’s)

A counselor is Not your friend
Once they would be, their advice would be
(Fisheye) “Ohhhh…!!”, dismissed
A banking associate is Not a potential date
Your MONEY is in that bank, Mr. Juan!!
A plumber Isn’t going to come hang, and
Watch the fights w/ you
There’s such a thing as a “working relationship”
It has smiles
It has niceties
So, so, you know,
Like the ever-popping person on SpaceFace who
REAAALLLLY NEEEDZZ YOOOUU!!!,
You Don’t wanta Chatty Cathy correspond
With a faceless other nice enough
To print your coffeestained, diseased haiku,
It leads to “knowing” them, that
Space-Face kinda “knowing”
And, yes, agreed, it’s a new day and all
But, read your Jung, Adler, and
Accept being a writer in an eternal
Year of the Rooster
Ya have tuh scratch for it, fallen angel
Better slips in HELL…!,
Than friends in Heaven!


This poem makes me wonder if the poet isn’t just inspired by the bust of Milton but perhaps by a friend who tends to be rather clueless and annoying. At least, that’s what I envision. A guy who doesn’t understand that his therapist is friendly because she is being paid to listen to his woes, who doesn’t understand that a plumber is there only to do the job that involves plumbing and cannot legally hang out on the couch afterwards when the guy is lonely, that kind of guy. Most of us have met if not personally known a person who tends to be rather clueless about the basics of life and I’ve always found such a person annoying. This poem made me smile and nod, especially the references to “SpaceFace” that thinly veiled reference to MySpace and Facebook where people trumpet personal things, inappropriate things, and try to “friend” people for no apparent reason other than to add to their number of “friends.” This poem gets me off onto my own tangents as you may have noticed so it is a poem that I enjoy because it gets me thinking on a broader perspective.


If you enjoyed this short sample review, you may purchase a copy of Still Life Is A Human by CEE for a mere $4.98 at:
http://alt-current.com/pp/pp_item.html#still_life_is_a_human

Thanks always for reading, please drop in tomorrow…

Monday, August 27, 2012

Smartish Pace Site

If you haven’t stumbled onto this already then definitely check it out for all things poetry interviews, readings, articles and all sorts of poetry fabulousness at:

http://www.smartishpace.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Menacing Hedge Open Submissions

I urge you to check out the website and find out what they like to publish. You may submit up to six poems on-line, include your bio and contact information and submit your poems as one attachment. Response time varies, please go to:
http://menacinghedge.com/summer2012/submit.php

Check out the on-line journal at:
http://menacinghedge.com/summer2012/index.php

Good luck to all who submit, please drop by again next week…

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Frances Livings' During The Hours

This collection is actually on CD and set to wonderful jazz music. Three poems: Songs of the Soul, The Maliciousness of Words, and During the Hours are featured here. I will tell you that this CD was sent to me at just the right time as I was driving to a conference two hours away and I kept getting lost every single morning trying to find the hotel in downtown Jacksonville, FL. I played the CD when I was at my most frantic and it was soothing and beautiful. Frances Livings has a beautiful voice and the jazz accompaniment pairs perfectly with her words. Zane Musa on saxophone, Brandon Coleman on piano, and Paul Cartwright on violin join Ms. Livings in creating a beautiful CD that I would urge anyone to purchase.
Her poems can be seen in their entirety on her website and you can also take a listen for yourself with links there to her work with live music.

Songs of the Soul is complex and lovely, I’ll admit that so many images came to mind listening to it that I have a difficult time explaining what the poem is about. It could be about lovers, musicians striving for depth, it could be about being in the spotlight, as I said, so many images you should listen for yourself.

The Maliciousness of Words is exactly that, how words have power over us and in what ways. This one has sections that made me grin, especially the line “super model boring.”

During the Hours is romantic, about two lovers and their hours together, gentle, soothing, beautiful.

If you enjoyed this review, please view and listen to her work by going to:
http://www.franceslivings.com/poetry/

To purchase the CD for yourself for a mere $3.00 of During the Hours go to:
http://franceslivings.bandcamp.com/album/during-the-hours

Thanks always for clicking in, please click in tomorrow…

Monday, August 20, 2012

Miriam’s Well: Poetry, Land Art, and Beyond

The title says it all! There are posts about poets and poems, inspirations from teaching college class, and check out the red thread journal dress pictured on the site at:
http://miriamswell.wordpress.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Prick of the Spindle Open Submissions

There is a small reading fee of $2.00 to submit up to five poems on-line (any length) so definitely read the on-line journal to get a feel for what is published before deciding which of your poems to send. Many poets I admire have been published by them so I believe it to be a sound and worthy journal to submit to. For more details go to:
http://posprint.submittable.com/submit

To check out the on-line journal full of poems, book and art reviews, short films, go to:
http://www.prickofthespindle.com/

Good luck to all who submit, please drop in again next week…

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Poems Found by Poet Hound

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/244218
“Unemployment” by Mark Levine

http://www.alicebluereview.org/main.html
“Tenebrae” by Colleen Coyne

Thanks for clicking in, please drop in again tomorrow…

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tales of Fantasy and Reality by Chinwe D. John

Chinwe D. John’s collection of poetic tales of love and loss is titled Tales of Fantasy and Reality and she includes the tales of her travels from all over the world to create these fascinating poems. Published by CreateSpace in 2012 I am happy to share a sample below:

Hand-Festa

He looks up the jagged hills to see
The castle hidden behind the trees
Medieval walls gleaming in the sun,
Within its fortress, a jewel to be won.

He fears neither the moat nor barricades,
For victory belongs to the bold and brave.
With sword in hand, he scales the gates,
Hungry to grasp the treasure that awaits.

She has sat by the window forever
Waiting an eternity for a hero to save her.
Vacant sockets sunken into an absent face,
A golden scepter is clasped in a bony embrace.

Threads of tangled lace and spider webs
Form a shroud from crown to legs.
On her finger sits a diamond ring,
The finest stone that wealth could bring.

He bursts triumphantly into the ancient halls
Marveling that the legend was true after all.
Swiftly he takes hold of her skeletal hand;
Deftly he tries to remove the dazzling band.

Suddenly, a vise grip seizes his eager wrist.
He lets out a howl of dread and tries to resist.
She will not resign; her faith has kept her alive—
A corpse, waiting for love until the end of time.

This poem reminds me of Sleeping Beauty only she wakes up and lives long past her time out of sheer determination. Imagine the treasure hunter following up on the tale only to find the princess rotting away, stubborn and determined and alive. I like this twist on the typical Fairy Tale. *In the back of the book are notes, “Hand-Festa” is an old Norse word meaning “to strike a bargain by joining the hands,” and is likely the origin of the word “handfasting” in which the bride and groom’s right hands would be tied together during medieval weddings. Interesting, yes?


Hunter’s Foil

Through the forest’s strong walls he pushed,
Bow in hand and threading with a light foot.
Stooping down, he aimed his arrow low,
Striking one of two antelopes as they roamed.

Resting under an Iroko tree on his return home,
He sipped palm wine and sang an old hunting poem.
The leaves rustled, and he saw a figure approaching.
She moved with a grace that was stately and becoming.

At first he asked no questions, and she gave no answers.
From that night on, she would become his steady partner.
In time, he wished to know the secret that she kept.
Relenting one day, she asked that he follow where she led.

As they made their way, she sang of love lost and found,
Of vengeance and fidelity—both to which she was bound.
They were well into the forest when she slipped from his side.
He, on realizing, turned around to face a pair of haunting eyes.

In this poem, the hunter is lured into the darkness by the spirit of one who he has hunted. I like this twist, too. If he had never asked about the secret, I wonder if he would ever have been led into the darkness?



An Artist Remarks

Who sits at my grave and weeps?
Whose salty tears disturb my sleep?

These loud laments that fill the air
Come when I no longer care.

Save those black designer clothes;
There’ll be other times to primp and pose.

Turn away your mournful, pensive face,
Lest I should awake and return your gaze.

Where was all this love when I had need?
You mourn for yourselves and not for me.

The press now hails my work as genius.
My face has found its way onto t-shirts.

My sales have soared to an all-time high;
I hear that happens after one dies.

Hollywood is frantically casting for my likeness
Anyone who exhibits box-office prowess.

How good to be free from the gimmicks and games.
Pack up the band and kindly go away.

I really like this poem. What artist doesn’t secretly fear exactly the above scenario? You work and create and strive for recognition and while you’re alive you do not see the respect or interest you want for your work and then… When you die, there is the sudden interest, the accolades, people parading around in finery acting as if they knew you and that you were important to them though they never gave you the time of day when alive. Again, I really like this poem.


If you enjoyed this sample of Tales of Fantasy and Reality, you may purchase a copy for $7.95 by going to:
http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Fantasy-Reality-Chinwe-John/dp/1470042525

You can also watch Chinwe D. John perform her tales to live music on YouTube here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/lyricalgroovemusic

You may also friend Chinwe D. John on Facebook at:
www.facebook.com/LyricalGroove

Thanks always for reading, please drop in again tomorrow…

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bent Lily Site

Samantha Reynolds invites us to read one poem a day at her website and she has guest poets in which you can submit your own poems to be featured as well. A wide range of appealing poems for all kinds of people, parents, celebrity fans, those going through the effects of love and loss, it is all here at:
http://bentlily.com/

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Only Human by Definition by Jay Passer

Jay Passer’s collection of poems, Only Human by Definition, is published by Crisis Chronicles press in 2012. It is a stark collection of urbanized humanity in which Mr. Passer describes scenes involving dreams infected by corporate sponsors, blue collar men drinking beer at lunch, the untouchable and unreachable nature of outer space and its stars and constellations. It is dark and gritty and I am happy to share a few poems with you:

Amends

It didn’t work,
the perfectly imperfect sea-stones,
the dissonance of lilac,
the natural intention of yeast,
haiku written in the sand,
the fedora hats of old black-and-white footage,
the earth on a frayed rubber band course around the sun,
sheets of paper balled-up and tossed
through the smoke-filled air of the room
landing just short of the wastebasket.

forgive me.

This poem makes me think of a writer who tries to put into words all of the visions above and cannot make it work on paper, hence sheets of paper ball-up and tossed around the wastebasket. The apology could be directed at himself, or an editor, or a loved one who he is trying to express something to. Either way, I can picture Mr. Passer smoking a cigarette and the sun fading outside giving way to the “frayed rubber band course around the sun” reference and tossing wad after wad of words that did not quite fit. Of course, this poem could be about other things entirely but this is what I picture, how about you?



The Harvest

maybe since it’s getting cold out
the flies are flying around my wine glass
I spit blood since my diet’s so high in wine
the leaves rot on the sidewalk
and the buildings erode magnificently
as if the world were asleep
the flies are thirsty too
they circle the glass fearlessly
I drive my fist into the wall
I drink and drive and close my eyes
my diet high in iron
mosquitos high on my iron
trees sucking the life out of the streets
so we cut ‘em down
we pave the world since it’s cheaper that way
and we like things cheap
nothing has changed since the day I was born
the state of the world is a shit storm
as the new year approaches
I’m thrown out on my ear
to make room for
condominiums
it’s cold out ask the flies
they like to drink wine and fly around and drown
I ask myself
maybe it’s the cold or
maybe it’s a world soon without horses

This poem reaps the opposite of harvest in the traditional sense. Instead of mining crops and goods out of the earth the poet paints the picture of paving the world in concrete. While the poet steeps himself in a diet full of iron ( earthly metal) the world outside also pushes him aside for more metals and materials (composite materials for condominiums). I like the flies buzzing around the chaos, along with the mosquitos, the pests that never go away whether the world is made of dirt and growing things or composite materials that deaden things. I’d like to know Mr. Passer’s inspiration for this poem. I like the ending, too, the world soon without horses puts in mind, to me, the vision of cowboys in the spreading land of the west being slowly paved over, pushing horses and men connected with nature aside.


If you enjoyed this sample, you may purchase a copy of Only Human by Definition by Jay Passer for $5.00 by going to:
http://press.crisischronicles.com/2012/02/11/only-human-by-definition---by-jay-passer-cc18.aspx

Thanks always for reading, please drop in again next week (I took a vacation over my weekend and will have more posts up next week)…