Artist, Cheryl Dodds: Dodds was co-editor/publisher for Urban Spaghetti, a literary arts journal. Her art work has taken the form of mixed media, graphite drawings, photography, painting, woodcuts and multimedia as well as a few conceptual art projects. More of her work is online at AbsoluteArts.
From Jack Spicer’s Letter to Lorca
I would like to make poems out of real objects
to be a lemon
that the reader
a real lemon
like a newspaper in a collage
is a real newspaper
I would like the moon in my poems to be a real moon
one which could be
with a cloud
that has nothing
with the poem
a moon utterly
independent of images
The imagination pictures the real
I would like
to point to the real
to make a poem
that has no sound in it
but the pointing of a finger
– “From Jack Spicer’s Letter to Lorca” previously appeared at Fictionaut.
– “From Jack Spicer’s Letter to Lorca” previously appeared at Fictionaut.
Bill Yarrow is the author of WRENCH (erbacce-press, 2009) and “Wound Jewelry” (new aesthetic, 2010). His poems have appeared in Poetry International, PANK, DIAGRAM, The Centrifugal Eye, Pif Magazine, Rio Grande Review, BLIP, Ramshackle Review, and other literary magazines. His poem “Andalusia” was nominated by Up the Staircase for a 2010 Best of the Net award. He lives in Illinois.
A Thing I Did
I built a little prose boat and all these people climbed in until the water was only a few inches from the lip. It was a shock to find them all on board. It was frightening to see the water so close and all these unfamiliar faces staring at me, at one another, expectantly. But there was something great about their believing enough in a little prose boat to climb on, even after there were possibly too many people for such a very small prose boat. Then everyone on the perimeter dipped their fingers in the water and paddled us out, away from shore. There was a fog on the little glass lake they stirred with their fingers and we lost sight of the shore. We knew it was all around us, the shore, so no one was scared – it was a lake after all. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the little prose boat on the little glass lake. Then a good friend of mine who hates fiction and thinks I’m self-indulgent called out from the shore No you didn’t. No they didn’t. No it wasn’t. No it wasn’t. No there wasn’t. No they didn’t. No there wasn’t. No you didn’t. No you didn’t. No you didn’t. No I didn’t. And he was right about all of it. But you would have admired my backstroke.
Colin Winnette’s work has or will appear in American Short Fiction, Necessary Fiction, Everyday Genius, The Ampersand Review, Beecher’s Magazine, North Texas Review, Tex Gallery Review, Denton Scramble, and online at offandonandoff .
Ann Neuser Lederer
Egg of Filaments
Kernels sown and reaped or left to rot.
Between two teeth was cracked a tiny flax seed
straight from its papery pod,
to suck its oily fragments.
The snag toothed sawsounds
of invisible insects increased.
Their steady circular swirl could cut a limb cleanly.
I checked my lower legs for welts and evidence.
I banished from temporary memory a man
who was nicknamed Pops, who opened
his mouth for pudding first when fed,
then spoonfuls of carrots, mashed.
Suddenly, silence, though, in unison.
A simple childhood nightmare called to mind,
named Boll Weevil.
Antlered and needled it filled the screen of dream
with one determined action:
to spin an egg of filaments,
encased itself in strands of white light,
obliterated image, but not knowledge,
the acute and ominous awareness
of its continued presence,
and its steady hum.
Then after a startled wakening, a dread of sleep again.
Ann Neuser Lederer was born in Ohio and has also lived and worked in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Kentucky. Her poems and creative nonfiction appear in journals, anthologies such as Bedside Guide, Best of the Net, and The Country Doctor Revisited, and chapbooks Approaching Freeze, The Undifferentiated, and Weaning the Babies. She is employed as a nurse in Kentucky. Visit her home page online at annneuserlederer.
In A Tavern Of Decidedly Minor Wonders
In a tavern of the decidedly minor wonders, it’s always twenty two after four.
A pop-up jukebox in the corner plays only the greatest hits of Chicago.
“About twelve, all told a surprising variety,” offers Pat the crew-cut barkeep from Cork. Patrick has a tendency to slouch a bit, while he squeegees two shot glasses with scraps of chamois, and a banjo thumb pick. “Won’t be long,” says Patrick as he rubs, “sound of baby bugger bumpies…”
“Aamaco wipers, running, on hot sunny days,” advises Kim the hottie brunette Bar Back.
Abreast of Kim’s sixty nine inches, above the sink with the foamy golf ball washer bristles, the Icelandic Poet of Telepathy is constantly washing his mouth, with a sliver of Ivory soap. When he gets the soap between his teeth, just the way he wants, he makes a twist-top move with thumb and forefinger, with tongue extended, as if to pick a lock while throwing away the key.
“Nice one Seamus,” says bartender Pat, “but what ya got against Irish Spring, lad eh? … We’ve a couple cases o’ fat striped cakes, right here on tap!”
The poet pauses, for a cross-eyed benefit of beat, and a half. He tips back. Gargles. Swallows.
And abutting (as if to abet) the Condiments Station, Lara is a notable contortionist.
Atop the bar rail, Lara’s lovely splayed and braceleted ankles cradle a creamy mug of Guinness. Her toenails are painted the most wonderful shade of plum. “You don’t wanna see how I chain-smoke ‘em, honey pie,” Lara mutters, quaffing some ale, which she tilts to her sexy mouth with balls of feet. “Believe me darling sweetie baby dory doll,” Lara says. “Believe, believe it … all.”
Patrick the Irish Barkeep stands up, ram straight; nods appreciatively, and at length.
Over in the far corner, a trap door with beveled accordion scallops seems to grin while giving, then soon retracting the rhinestone studded juke, which in turn pops forth again like a faithful Jack In The Box, every forty-four seconds on the dot.
A patient patron with blue duckbill mullet presently punches in: B – 46.
Colour My World…
But who will brake, for this semi-wondrous stalemate? Come sidling, through that back door, four twenty in the morning give or take, like a knight who’s forever known better? Singing:
“As time goes on… I realize…”
Tilting that sweet lyric, for a good loop with one solidly stilted flamenco stomp, a puff of dust rising from the only right floorboard?
Might this be…
“My God!” cries Lara, “Just once, to be swept off … Me, somewheres nearby the Magnificent Mile … I am not asking for a fucking miracle!”
Certainement: Only Failsafe Keifer, 3 day beard, perfect teeth. A bit of buckskin, at the cuffs…
Yes, you! It is enough.
Come, to tap sweet Lara between her twining shoulder blades. To bow, with upturned palm and courtly whisper, lobeward … One time, before a song is done.
Now you’ve got to hang:
Unfold Lara about the seashell-speckled floor. Step, two, close upon the fir tree. Maneuver in concentric four square, beneath the big overhead glitter ball. The strobing spotlight, and you the true dipper, for tonight, it’s the only night. Listen, as that lava lamp whispers: The lemon meringue-crinoline-Tom Petty-chiffon-and-confetti sound it always makes. Your palm, at the wonderful, wonderful small of her back.
Set this whole damn place to snowflake.
Dennis Mahagin’s poems have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, 3 A.M., PANK, Juked, Stirring, Night Train, 42opus, Absinthe Literary Review, and elsewhere. He’s also an editor of fiction and poetry for FRiGG Magazine. He blogs at 4 Hour Hard On.
When Times Are Slow
Growing up, who would risk pills
or weed against the threat of hands
on your throat or life in the mills?
Escaping, he came this far,
the daily commute among lunatic drivers,
a student who calls himself
the White Dragon of God in his class again,
every second in this skin
facing the hatred of common men,
homophobes, gun-toters, the disenfranchised.
Eat, drink, and survive the misery of life,
not knowing what the future holds,
something he hopes somehow better than this.
He spends a lot of time being sick,
the rest he spends writing, afraid
at last of what might go unwritten,
knowing he has nothing new to say
but still wanting to be the one to say it.
He pulls the shade, not wanting to know,
shaking at the vitality of trinities,
beginning, middle, and end,
win, place, and show,
the living, the dying, the dead.