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Friday, January 31, 2014

An unlikely story with art by Kato Jaworski

By Kato Jaworski

An unlikely story



Could I dismantle my stake in progress?
Delete a few of the novelty apps
from my iPhone? Stop using GPS?
Postpone texting while I’m on the crapper?
Can I leave the net, go mobilephoneless?

Can I store a dead laptop in burlap?
Without my computer, will there be lunch?
I’ll work at home, schedule a midday nap.
I’ll free the old well and muck out the sludge.
I will be thirsty. I will be a mess.

Where can I walk when the Honda won’t budge?
Can I rest long nights in February?
I’ll make my own music on wires and jugs.
I’ll stitch my own wounds, meet pain’s ecstasies,
and make a storied storehouse of my lap.

In summer only I’d eat ripe cherries,
and hang The Apple back upon The Tree.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Adventures in Publication Pt. I

Hadouken!

On January 21,
I put my book out into the word.
I pressed the button,
launched the project.

Hadouken!
That's how I initially felt the effort.
Hadouken is a kung-fu power move
from the Street Fighter video games.
Ryo seems to gather all his spirit and power
and push it forward from his body
in a wave of blue force that's strong enough to knock someone down.

All the 30 years of writing poems, the decades of submitting poetry, the rejections and acceptances, the ongoing improvement, 20 years of professional copywriting, writing and performing comedy and poetry and music, teaching poetry, everything i know about writing cover letters and resumes, plus all the support and contribution and collaboration of artists, each with their own individual forces of brilliance and creativity, the timing just before Mercury retrograde, all the blessing of friends, of fellow poets, all coming together, all in a great energy ball ---- HADOUKEN!

And I'm also imagining not a blue fireball or white cloud of OOMPH speeding its way into the publishingadventurefightwithpoems, but a giant iridescent blue butterfly leaving my hands as they lift upwards. Not push forward but release with intention. Slow and with blessing of all. And the thing, the project, the poems, the lovely wholeness lifting into a fluttery flight to make the breath catch, the eyes deepen--strong enough to knock someone down. Someone specific. Someone who will know to act.

Hello to the world of pressing, binding, promoting, selling, following up. Hello to the obstacle course of preference, requirement, tradition, things to lose, things to gain. Unpredictable crosscurrents of wind, weather, mood, worldscape, random number generators, kung fu hustles, the twenty-seven senses and the fifty-billion whys.

Fly, book! I'm with you all the way.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Meditation with art by Katina Huston

By Katina Huston

Meditation


The smooth stones blessed in Quan Yin’s radius,
shaded by the rambling ficus, give way
to the pale paisleys of my bed sheets, mussed
in slow rising to the views of a day.
Soon the traffic of the busiest blocks

filters tidally through my maculae
and into my mouth, parted as I saw
on the serene Buddha faces arrayed
everywhere I went in Ayutthaya.
Where I sit like this is all one locus,

where my thoughts’ weight and quantity withdraw
becoming as light and few as the skies
I’ve known. All seats are found in the same straw.
All breath is drawn from one well. As it slows
I count the cycles lifting away. Here

the meat of a being that sees and moves
recalls the unity it itself proves.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Whose idea? with art by Jon Turner


Whose idea?

    “We send the monkey out to Planet X in the Horsehead Nebula—
    the planet that looks like it’s coming and going at the same time—
    so monkey can collect soil samples and watch the stars being born.”
        —Dan Carbone



Records (that no one will ever review)
reflect that you were assembled and set
onto an unexplored planet, into
a vast, indifferent deepness. Your settings
are dialed more toward “to be,” less toward “to do.”

There’s a cay between seeing and seeking,
but you cross it without noticing how
a distant, deeper glint got you thinking:
there may be something you’re supposed to know,
a new mission to be revealed to you.

But what it was that flashed is never shown.
When you arrive where you thought you would take
the source, undifferentiated glow
surrounds you. If you feel, then it’s an ache.
You have to stop again. You have to think.

Your current programming may be a fluke.
With only your wiring, what can you make?
The Seas of Europa by Jon Turner.

Epigram from "There Be Monsters" by Dan Carbone.




Friday, January 10, 2014

Welcoming the new normal with art by Tom Franco


Welcoming the new normal


    late September, 2008


Who left the money for the breeze
to squander? Grant turns into pulp
in the gutter. The rosemary
bush wears Benjamin like a cap.
“It’s an ill wind,” say the neighbors,

but the sun still lights up our crap,
all the doodads we’ve said thanks for
now tagged and arranged on our tarps.
But no one’s selling wrapped foods or
wool blankets, so nobody trades

in currency, only rumors.
At least we have fresh rosemary
to make our spaghetti gourmet.
Gift-giving traditions may be
impeached this year—but you don’t shop

for what I want most. Luckily
my favorite gift from you is free.
By Tom Franco




Friday, January 3, 2014

Thanatopsis with art by Bob Stang



Thanatopsis


Since we don’t know the minute or the hour,
when should we begin our soliloquy?
It wouldn’t do to speak up too soon or,
worse, start late and run out of energy
before the coil of our wisdom finds air.

Our speech grows solemn with priority
as though this were our moment in the play.
This statement—and this—take such gravity;
but every scene and every act gives way
to the next. The waitress comes. We order

breakfast. I give my line, a throwaway:
“Eggs over medium, sourdough toast.”
Most words need no timbrous tenor. Each day
we had will have gone by unlike the next.
After the service, we’ll saying something twee.

Then it will be dinnertime. Time to rest.
Time to let the silence express it best.