Monday, November 16, 2020

from Atlas, by Glenn Bach


 

From the waves

 

between and of the sea. What travelers
are saying / is this a place. Maybe they unfurled

 

a map giving          terrain / tides

 

the mighty Pacific before we knew better—

 

a map giving
a great little this is a far cry. It comes alive
with streets / who imagined the quality of the places
being built. Why was the city not like this

 

the whole time? Our demise in story
after story. The signs in the stars the borders

 

are not strictly defined the roaring of these
waters / open space the shoreline inches forward

 

of the earth the showing forth.

 

 

 

 

Glenn Bach is a poet, sound artist, and educator who lives and works in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. His major project, Atlas, is a long poem that documents his reflections on place, landscape, and our understanding of the world. It has been excerpted in small journals such as Dusie, jubilat, and Otoliths. The first book of the poem, Atlas 1, is available as a free PDF from glennbach.com.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Two Poems, by Anita Dolman

 

Turquoise

An honest-to-god witch sent me turquoise in the mail;
The stone dangles, heavy, divine,
from the silver thread it came with.
I keep it by my bedroom door, on a hook
with my mother’s shiny black costume jewelry,
which I realize now I never saw her wear,
and which I’ve only worn once myself, in costume 

I said online I’d been chasing June bugs
across the deserts of my dreams. Everything
means something, right? So we continue to speak.
I received a sacred dung beetle in answer, shit-roller
in aqua, white fissures like someone else’s map,
a prophecy. Turning effluent into something else,
into something 

I want to be reborn, but not
like this. I no longer
believe evolution is a path
leading out. My goals now are water
and sky, slow kisses, coffee
at the exact right temperature,
for my child to want both more and less
than I

  

Flow 

Lao-tzu said to be like water
so drunk and desperate
to belong, I leave
my shoes at the shore,
wade into the river,
and begin to evaporate 

The scenery here sways improbably green between
slate, against air exhausted by recent weathers 

Wine, in a glass, I was holding
onto something, wasn’t I?
A “No swimming” sign,
its bullet holes, the illusion
there is no highway past
that crest of scrub and cottonwood,
despite a constant shush against pavement 

Everything, here,
is a chimera, I think,
except intentions and the cold, cold wetness
shoving at my shins. Maybe only one
can be true at a time 

A shard of glass signals sunlight
from the riverbank. Alberta stones stay sharp
against my feet. The water and I remain too new here
to wear anything down but ourselves

  

 


Poet, editor and writer Anita Dolman is the author of Lost Enough: A collection of short stories (2017), co-editor of Motherhood in Precarious Times (2018), and author of two poetry chapbooks. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Imaginary Safe House, Crush, Arc Poetry Magazine, On Spec, Triangulation and Grain. She is a bi/pan+ rights advocate living on unceded Algonquin land.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

shifting baseline syndrome, by sophie anne edwards

 

 

desire paths cut across
generational gaps
I walk the path he walked
but it’s not the path he walked
without linking a to b
we continually rework the starting line
the falls are beautiful today 

the raised arm, the shadow,
like breath
I walk her path
and it is her path
b becomes a
paths shift imperceptibly
the falls are beautiful today 

the scale of experience
disallows extrapolation
statistical modelling flatlines
at yesterday. I dream
we all wake missing digits
without the ghost pain
the falls are beautiful today 

we start our days knowing
no differently
identification requires
generational memory
we don’t know the words
we have lost
the falls are beautiful today 

species shift to generalities.
leaf
ivy
fish
we don’t know the worlds
we have lost.
the falls are beautiful today
 

2.

our memories are
the projections of
what we expect
the falls but
not the river
the hook in
the mouth but
not the progeny
the thin underbrush
not the thinning
the melting snow
not the salt
(halite, lead, cadmium,
chromium, iron, aluminum,
manganese, chlorine, phosphorus)
progress requires collective
amnesia and master
classes in ‘now’
new myths make
coherent the incoherence
of climate change
decisions made with
one eye closed
the waters flatten
the incremental loss
what is common
is uncommon was
common it is
not natural but
socio-ecological extraction
economics are the
recurring baseline ‘ecosystems
do not rewind.’ 

 

 

Pauly, D. 1995. Anecdotes and the shifting base-line syndrome of fisheries. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 10(10):430.

Pitcher, T. 2005. Back-to-the-future: a fresh policy initiative for fisheries and a restoration ecology for ocean ecosystems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 360:107–121.

Soga, M,  and K. Gaston. 2018. Shifting baseline syndrome: causes, consequences, and implications, Volume 16, Issue 5, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, pages: 263-263.

 

 

 

sophie anne edwards (she/her/settler) is a geopoet, environmental artist and community animator who lives on Mnidoo Mnising | Manitoulin Island. Her field-based practice has her installing poems by the river and in the bush for a more-than-human readership, as well as for humans through a range of lit mags and presses. Recent publications include a pamphlet and video with Blasted Tree, and a forthcoming project with Gap Riot Press.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Defending Against the Menacing Rußsians Caused the American MiLitary tO BuilD thE InteRnet, by nathan dueck






nathan dueck’s middle name is russel, which means his initials spell “nrd.” His parents tell him that nobody used that word when he was born, but dictionaries say otherwise. He is the author of king’s(mère) (Turnstone Press) and he’ll (Pedlar Press). His most recent book of poetry, A Very Special Episode, was published by Buckrider Books in 2019. This poem is from a manuscript of questionable translations entitled "Verfremdungseffekt by Bertolt Brecht."

Sunday, November 1, 2020

unidentified, by Heather Newman


 

not whipped not buttercream
some white filler 

fugitive dust
                  a meandering Jane Doe
he she it they      trap door
        pseudonyms 

lost monoxide                          
unculturable  bacteria 

riding the delta wave   

read my faceless
                      lips unknown                         

 Adermatoglyphia

          the way they mutate
                 among us

 

 

 

Heather Newman's work has appeared in Hanging Loose (#111), Barrow Street 4x2, Love's Executive Order, Right Hand Pointing, The Inquisitive Eater, Matter, Voices From Here, Vol. 2/Paulinskill Press, Storey Publishing anthology (upcoming 2021) and more. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Three Poems, by Jerome Sala

 

Re-inflating the Corporate Bonus Bubble

I hear stomping steps across my ceiling
and the dull exhaust of a car struggling through the street.
A magazine on the table urges its readers to
hydrate, define and style their curl power. 

Lost in the mud below
I cannot see the sky
but what a party it must be. 

The gods are celebrating their resurrection
by way of reinvestment. They float again,
serene, over seas of data
that applaud their reappearance. 

Socrates exiled the poets
for denigrating the gods—
supplying them with earthly motives
until they seemed wild humans
lacking the discipline of mortality:
I worshipped Apollo a singer sang
until he murdered my family. 

We don’t talk of the gods today—
not out of reverence
but because we don’t
understand their language.
Emboldened by our incomprehension
those pricks up there can do anything they like. 

 

 

The Fly on the VP’s Head 

People read deeply into this insect—
if the camera zoomed into its blue foil back,
they imagine a message tattooed there
by the god of history. 

As it is, this dark vibrating spot
on a head of white straw
points to trouble ahead for its bearer—
that messenger ordered by the ailing king
to carry his words in a more coherent form
(a translation that only clarifies
their venomous intent,
especially as delivered by a sickly smile).

His opponent speaks with the insistence
of the future’s chic discipline.
She prosecutes the present while pointing to a time
when it may be cool again to be intelligent
and to bring the multiple into play—
that mathematics whose aporias
inspire leaps across a kingdom’s divisions. 

The fly, sly mediator between one regime
and the next, offers a philosophy of hope.
Change, it tells us, at first looks random—
an accident that results in laughter. But like a
“crocodile shows gone wrong” video
that goes on too long,
you just can’t tear your eyes away.

 

Every Day Is a Good Hair Day

It looks like the product is for grooming a dog
whose big white dog face stares out from the ad
with that sadness animals express when
their owners want to treat them as movie stars. 

Is that a celebrity holding him?
Her bright smile and beaming red lips
speak the language of fame
and that big black and white striped blouse —
a jockey riding the ideal of beauty toward sales. 

The headline reveals this is a tonic for both—
“Unleash the beauty of healthier hair
for you and your pooch.”
I wonder if they take a bath together? 

 


Jerome Sala’s books include Corporations Are People, Too! (NYQ Books), The Cheapskate (Lunar Chandelier) and Look Slimmer Instantly (Soft Skull Press). His work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions, Pleiades, Boundary 2, and many others. His blog -- on poetry and pop culture -- is espresso bongo: http://www.espressobongo.typepad.com

Monday, October 12, 2020

English Bond, by Russell Carisse

 







Russell Carisse is preserving one hundred acres of wood and wetland in New Brunswick, Canada. Here, they're homesteading off-grid with their family of people and animals, growing food, and building a stone house from local and found materials. Russell's work is forthcoming or in Funicular, Periodicities, STILL: The Journal, The Paragon Journal, online, or their debut collection of poetry, Nomography.


from Atlas, by Glenn Bach

  From the waves   between and of the sea. What travelers are saying / is this a place. Maybe they unfurled   a map giving      ...