June 27, 2010

Jennifer Burch


Jennifer Burch [USA]
1973

Jennifer Burch was born in Melrose, Massachusetts and spent her childhood in Granby, Connecticut. She earned a B.A. in Fine Arts from Amherst College and an M.A. in English from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she teaches yoga and works in art publishing. Recent work of hers can be seen in Verse, Free Verse, and Sal Mimeo.

BOOKS OF POETRY

No Matter (The Winged Way, 2008)



Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006

Wallpaper

Symmetry operations, glide planes and screw axes might occur in an extended object of repeated patterns. These are the room's translations, so I keep moving. One spot elongates, another squats, but they belong to a system or relation of systems. Colors and luster are all that can be seen of the parts holding together. The walls appear to grow fast in all directions, wearing the habit of plates, but only fracturing could tell. If inside are blades and needles, the arrangement's order deceives. Either there's more than one basis and a whole network of lattices, or I'm looking at glass.


____
Reprinted from Free Verse, no. 8 (Spring 2005). Copyright ©2005 by Jennifer Burch.

Sarah Vap

Sarah Vap [USA]
1972

Sarah Vap was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1972, then grew up in Montana. She attended Brown University, receiving her undergraduate degree in English and American Literature. She passed a few more years in Montana, Frankfurt, Germany, and Richmond, Virginia, before moving to Tempe where she completed her M.F.A. in Poetry at Arizona State University in 2005.

While there she studied with Norman Dubie, Cynthia Hogue, Jeannine Savard, and Beckian Fritz-Goldberg. She has taught creative writing at Arizona State University and Phoenix College, as well as to 1st through 12th graders with the Young Writers Program, A.S.U.’s Programs for Talented Youth, and the Arizona Commission of the Arts educational grants.

Currently a poetry editor at the journals 42opus (an online journal) and 22Across (a journal of kids’ fiction and poetry), she also served as co-editor of poetry at Hayden’s Ferry Review. She has won several grants and awards for her poetry, and has published poems in journals such as Field, Barrow Street, Denver Quarterly, Wascana Review, Diner, SHADE, The Fiddlehead, and Natural Bridge.

Her manuscript Dummy Fire, chosen by Forrest Gander, won the 2006 Saturnalia Poetry Prize and American Spikenard won the 2006 Iowa Poetry Prize.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Dummy Fire (Ardmore, Pennsylvania: Saturnalia Books, 2007); American Spikenard (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2007); Faulkner's Rosary (Ardmore, Pennsylvania: Saturnalia Books, 2010)



Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006



topsy-

turvy is too sweet a word. grapple,
topmost—as if we carry the fate

of humanity on such-and-such
in a dwindle. that’s better. or,

swirls, that basic. so
happy it’s painful. we kilns

chafe—our secret
plan to redeem the world. and not right

ourselves. low,

then high haunts. supplicants.
when we jump

away from each other, middle
of the night.


____
Reprinted from Denver Quarterly, XV, no. 2 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Sarah Vap.

June 20, 2010

Peter Cater (England) 1955

Peter Cater (England) 
1955 

Peter Cater was born in Hampshire in 1955. His early years were spent in Paris, Germany and then in Kent, prior to gaining an open scholarship to New College, Oxford, to read English in 1973. 
     While there he began to take poetry more seriously, and a handful of his first mature poems were published in university magazines. As President of the Poetry Society he encouraged a wider appreciation of Eastern European poets, including Miroslav Holub and Zbigniew Herbert. Subsequently, he spent six years in Wiesbaden, Germany, where he combined teaching English with the development of his linguistic ability to the point where he could read in the original Kafka and Paul Celan, both formative influences. 


      After his return to the UK in 1986, he took up a career teaching English literature in London, which continues to the present. His more recent work is informed by his passion for music and the visual arts, again with an emphasis on Slav culture, but also by a response to landscape, particularly the unique atmosphere of Dartmoor in the South West of England, with its fascinating and enigmatic pre-Roman archaeology. Other places which have a bearing on his poetry and outlook are Prague, Moscow and St Petersburg, frequent ports of call when not getting away from it all in the Slovenian Alps. 
     A number of poems, largely from his Oxford years, were recently published in Green Integer Review.

June 17, 2010

Anne Shaw

Anne Shaw [USA]
1972

Anne Shaw was born in Tecumeseh, Michigan, and grew up in Lenawee County, Michigan. As an under-graduate, she attended Yale Univer-sity, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in English and psychology. She earned her M.F.A. at George Mason University, where she taught African-American and creative writing. Shaw currently lives as a social activist in Milwaukee. An Assistant Professor of English, she teaches creative writing and directs the Writing Center at Carthage College.

Shaw’s work has appeared in numerous journals, including New American Writing, Phoebe, Haden’s Ferry Review, and 26. In 1998, her poem “Enumeration” received the Virginia Downs Poetry Award. In recent years, she has completed two as-yet unpublished manuscripts. The first is a novella-length collage poem, Monstrosities, which explores the social history of people with medical anomalies and their treatment at the hands of the medical establishment. The second is a book-length collection of poems, Transparence of the Seen.

Dense and lyrical, Shaw’s poetry is profoundly engaged with the physical body and its location in time and space. Her work frequently examines the interconnections between gender, history, and the natural world. Man of her poems interrogate and fracture the language of expertise, seeking to expose its implicit assumptions and juxtapose them with alternate perceptual possibilities. “In my work,” she writes, “I do not necessarily accept the view that the beautiful in poetry is hegemonic, outdated, or useless. Instead, I attempt to carve out a territory in which radically fragmented and lyrically evocative language can coexist.”

BOOKS OF POETRY

Undertow (New York: Perseus Books, 2007)


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006



Shibboleth

A florida I enter in
the name sends out its spikes.
The name is a pod
for the child.
See how the self
rattles around inside?

And such similitude
of love. I am hove up.
A rope to apprehend.
Barnacled. As instinct.
A hand to shuttle forth.

As if our increment were whole:
The pouring-out of waters
over stone,
a shelf of grasses, pressed
beneath the wave.

Or gill note, opalescent
gill. A substance to refute.
Omit the sibling fist
of wind, the hook,
the redundant gale.

Now the tongue will sorrow forth Add Image
its crisp and bloody pod.
The seed is always mute. A cut
exposes the wifely pith.


____
Reprinted from New American Writing, no. 23 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Anne Shaw.

Michael Riley

Michael Riley [Australia]
1972

The youngest of five children, Michael Riley was born in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. He spent most of his childhood moving from city to city, town to town. “My father didn’t like being in the one place too long.” when Michael was eight his parents divorced. In 1982 his mother settled in Townsville, a tropical city in far North Queensland. Michael hated school so much that he left at the age of thirteen. Ten years later he went back and obtained his High School Certificate.

In 1999 he graduated from James Cook University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English Literature. In 2001 he moved to Melbourne to pursue a career in the creative arts. Riley has been writing poetry for only two years. In that time he has had some fifty poems published in major literary publications and anthologies in Australia and overseas. He is currently working on his first book.


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006


Anwrothia

civilian casualties in his lower left jaw
left him more akin to leafy suburbs than palomino
his name was Anwrothia after the pelican
that bit off his father’s cock
his wife hid the cheese grater in her robe
having earned her husband’s respect
his work mate worked her over
while he worked his shift
in Paris that summer
she filled her socks with metered rhyme
and sniffed a pair of knickers stuck to a knife
Anwrothia rusted inside enmity

_____
Reprinted from Aught, no. 14 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Michael Riley.

Allyssa Wolf

Allyssa Wolf [USA]
1971

Allyssa Wolf was in born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1971, and raised in rural Pataskala, Ohio, a student of the bible and Christian missionary until she was thirteen. At age ten she became a poet after reading Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass.

She moved to New York at seventeen and continued to move across the country for several years, working dead-end jobs, living in places including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Florida, New Mexico, Massachusetts, and Ohio, where she attended the University of Cincinnati for two years.

After Carroll, other early literary influences were Beckett, Pirandello, Plath, Kathy Acker, Rimbaud, James Wright, Burroughs, and Spicer. She was mostly disinterested in what she knew of contemporary poetry until reading an essay by Leslie Scalapino in the American Poetry Review titled “The Canon.” It was in searching out other work by Scalapino on the web that she discovered the Los Angeles journal Ribot, and sent her first poetry submissions to editors Paul Vangelisti and Standard Schaefer. The work was accepted blind, but eventually led to friendships, as well as an open invitation to sit in on poetry workshops at the Otis College Writing Program where she worked with Norma Cole, Scalapino, Vangelisti, and Schaefer.

Her work has or will soon be included in Fence, Versal (The Netherlands), No-Tell Motel, The Bedside Guide Anthology, Octopus, Ribot, Poesia in Azione (Italy), The New Review of Literature, Cutbank, Montana, Fascicle, The New College Review, Volume I, and Soft Targets.
She is editor of a chapbook series, Gateway Songbooks, and online magazine, Ghost Play. Her first collection of poems, Vaudeville, was published by Seismicity Editions early in 2006. She is currently at work on her next two poetry manuscripts: Prisoner’s Cinema and Pure Waste.
She now lives in San Francisco, in the area called variously the Tender, Nob and the Theater District.


BOOKS OF POETRY

M, the Dancer (Grand Forks, North Dakota: Gateway Songbooks, 2004); Vaudeville (Los Angeles: Seismicity Editions, 2006)


╬Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006

First Doll

Rather this or that says one,
As another sings low

I would have grown sound even
In the rich sick
Of the Earth
I would have grown

Within a crowd crying
What won’t exist?
A rose on the rod
With this I look on you now

A spike of light?

Is it an anger which turns
My face to yours?

(scrubbed hand in red fogged sun
shock of grey hair gently
placed on dry earth


____
Reprinted from The New Review of Literature, III, no. 1 (October 2005). Copyright ©2005 by Alyssa Wolf.

June 15, 2010

Ralph Angel


Ralph Angel [USA]
1951

Ralph Angel is a second-generation American from Seattle. He attended inner-city public schools there, and, while working freight trains for the Union Pacific Railroad, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Washington. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of California, Irvine, and has lived in and around Los Angeles ever since. Since his early college days, he has traveled extensively in Europe, North Africa, and Central and South America. He is currently Edith R. White Chair of English and Creative Writing at the University of Redlands, and is a member of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing faculty at Vermont College.

His first collection, Anxious Latitudes (1986), was widely praised and reviewed. And his second, Neither World (1995), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, garnered him national prominence. A third book, Twice Removed (2001), was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Awards, and was a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards. His most recent literary awards include a gift from the Elgin Cox Trust, a Pushcart Prize, the Willis Barnstone Poetry Translation Prize for his translation of García Lorca’s Poem of a Deep Song, a Fulbright Foundation fellowship, and the Bess Hokin Award of the Modern Poetry Association.
Angel’s work has been lauded for its extraordinary abstract lyricism and wry philosophical wisdom. It also has been noted that his collections differ dramatically from one another, about which he has stated: “Poetry is the language for which we have no language. Given that I have only two tools—the language in which I compose and the fact of my reality—it’s my job to find the language that enacts the fact of my reality. If my poems have changed and evolved over the years, they are testimony to how my life and orientation to language have changed and evolved. It’s my job to make absolute presence possible.”


BOOKS OF POETRY

Anxious Latitudes (Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1986); Neither World (Oxford, Ohio: Miami University Press, 1995); Twice Removed (Louisville, Kentucky: Sarabande Books, 2001); Exceptions and Melancholies: Poems 1986-2006 (Louisville, Kentucky: Sarabande Books, 2006)


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006



Untitled

for Betty Ong

Something stayed in the mind there.
The most credulous birds. An indifferent
road.
That
that future is ashes
and a kiss on the cheek. This cup
of coffee goes down like chocolate. A footbridge
the eye leaves among cliff sides
of steam.

There is no shame
in failure. No lost
or blue unfurling courtyard. You are transparent,
in the basement,
by way of all exits.


___
Reprinted from The New Review of Literature, II, number 2 (April 2005). Copyright ©2005
by Ralph Angel.

Ian Seed


Ian Seed [England]
1956

Born in Birmingham, United Kingdom, Ian Seed spent his childhood in Yorkshire, Wales and Leicestershire. He gained a B.A. Honours Degree in Philosophy from Nottingham University in 1979. For more than twenty years, he worked in Italy, France, and Poland as a teacher, translator, technical writer, and project manager. He returned to the United Kingdom to take an M.A. in Creative Writing at Lancaster University in 2003, and he now teaches poetry and creative writing.

Seed began publishing poems in magazines in 1974 while still in high school. His first collection was Into Rolling Red, 1975. This was followed by Excerpt, 1979 and Flung into Dust, 1980. He began writing prose poems in 1981 and published A Man of Some Influence in 1987. There was a long gap until The Stranger appeared in 2000 and Rescue in 2002.

His future plans for publication include a book-length sequence of innovative prose poems and a translation of Pierre Reverdy’s Le Voleur de Talan.

Ian Seed’s poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in dozens of magazines in the UK, US, and Italy, and his work has been translated into Dutch.

Seed is the editor of Shadowtrain (www.shadowtrain.com), an on-line poetry magazine.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Into Rolling Red (Leicester, England: privately printed, 1975); Litter (privately printed, 1976); Excerpt (Cornwall, England: Kawabata Press, 1979); Flung into Dust (Cornwall, England: Kawabata Press, 1980); Fivepenny Poems (Aberdeen, Scotland: Granite Books, 1980); A Man of Some Influence (Derby, England: Moss & Flint, 1987); The Stranger (Derby, England: Moss & Flint, 2000); Rescue (Derby, England: Moss & Flint, 2002); Anonymous Intruder (Exeter, England: Shearsman Books, 2009)


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006


Encoding

The hand moves away, contemplating the end of the tunnel, abandoning the page in a hotel room. No time but dust on water in a glass, the imperfection of paradise, to be cut where cut is possible. The difference resides in feasibility, rife with forgetfulness, swept away knowledge. The blue of the eyes sharpened by a thick dark beard are strangely familiar. It doesn't have to be like that. The insight disappears on waking. Persistent otherwise, the room is renumbered, a cave of hair around him. And that one there, when you were another, pale brown light, ash down to where you could be forgiven. Nothing to be renamed in spite of this, nothing outside the room.


____
Reprinted from Stride (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Ian Seed.

June 13, 2010

Elizabeth Cross

Elizabeth Cross [USA]
1966

Born on an American air base in Japan, Elizabeth Cross spent most of her childhood in Biloxi, Mississippi and in the former West Germany. She earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Hope College and a Ph.D. in Literature/Creative Writing from the University of Denver. She taught at the University of Denver and at the University of Michigan before arriving at the School at the Art Institute of Chicago where she currently teaches in the M.F.A. writing program.

Awards include grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts and the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute. Her visual poetry has been exhibited in Denver at the Red Shift Art Gallery, the Jewish Community Center, and the Outdoor Museum of Art. In Fort Collins, Colorado, her work appeared at One West Gallery. Publications include American Letters & Commentary, Chain, Chicago Review, and Denver Quarterly.

Cross’s work obsesses over definitions, accumulated research, multiple texts, and the formal devices she invents to explore them. Each poem is (in)formed differently in the process of this accumulation, and as a result, each often looks completely different from another. They do, however, tend toward a few basic questions such as what can language do? What is love? and What is it that generates meaning in our lives both emotionally and intellectually? Since these questions are infinitely unanswerable, the different constructions of the poems becomes a way to keep coming back to those questions, to try again and again to find new answers or possibilities.



Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006


from Rifle


RIFLE 1. obs. A depredation, sacking, spoliation.
2. A thing acquired by rifling


Gone out the open window I am deceived by things I counted on
rifled by an evening of needles.
The vial emitting sparks now left behind, sucked dry.
Clean is a new hiding a partial erasing of your sound in the floor,
in the vent, on the brand new telephone line,
the message you leave in the garbage to threaten my life.

Around the furnace a ticking under the shouting
above the hidden gun speeding for gain
loss of my eyes on you through the window
faster depredation and pattern in the neighborhood.


PERMISSIONS

Reprinted from Denver Quarterly, XXXIX, no. 3 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Elizabeth Cross.

Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner [USA]
1979

Ben Lerner was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1979. He holds a B.A. in political science and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Brown University. A former Fulbright Scholar in Madrid, Lerner co-founded and co-edits No: a journal of the arts.

His first book, The Lichtenberg Figures, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2004. A Lannan Literary Selection, The Lichtenberg Figures was named one of the year’s twelve best books of poetry by Library Journal. Copper Canyon published his second book, Angle of Yaw, in the fall of 2006 which was National Book Award finalist. He currently teaches poetry and literature courses at California College of the Arts.

BOOKS OF POETRY

The Lichtenberg Figures (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 2004); Angle of Yaw (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 2006)


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006



from Angle of Yaw

SEEN FROM ABOVE exposition, climax, and denouement all take place at once. God sees the future as we see the past: through a trimetrogon. In the name of the camera, the film, and the view itself. Simultaneous eternities are superimposed to create the illusion of plenitude, but the transposition of planes is a poor substitute for the transmigration of souls. I think Andrei Rublev says, Nothing is as terrible as snow falling in a temple, because without a distinction between inside and outside, there can be no extra-temporal redemption. That, and how anybody can just lie down an make an angel, even a Tartar. Even an angel.


PERMISSIONS
_____
Reprinted from Denver Quarterly, XV, no. 2 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Ben Lerner.

June 10, 2010

Christopher Reiner


Christopher Reiner (USA)
1961

Born and raised in Southern California, Christopher Reiner’s father was a real estate agent and his mother sold cosmetics. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Sonoma State University, and became involved in the Drift Group of experimental filmmakers. Among his films and videos are The Man Who Ate a Car (shown in the 2002 L.A. Freewaves festival), The Wedding Song (shown at the 2001 Videopoem Festival in Vancouver, Canada) and Stage Sleep.

From 1992 to 1999, he edited the journal Witz: A Journal of Contemporary Poetics, and he currently edits a chapbook series of poetic prose titled Margin to Margin.

Reiner’s own writing has generally been in the form of prose-poetry or short fictions that are poetically centered. His books include A Coward’s Libretto (1992), Ogling Anchor (1998), and Pain (2001).

He was formerly the Director of Foundation and Government Relations at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, He now serves as a freelance fundraising consultant to cultural and arts organizations. He recently composed 14 songs for a musical performed in Los Angeles.


BOOKS OF POETRY

A Coward’s Libretto (Texture Press, 1992); Ogling Anchor (Penngrove, California: Avec Books, 1998); Pain (Penngrove, California, Avec Books, 2001).




A Coward’s Libretto

Reflected at three times diminution words ring along wealth and strength, strong stressing deliberation, delight, memorial. And so in cahoots at fault against the antics of preposition. What is not obscure, unsaid, looks for the slightest waver, comb thin voice squeal out of control, “Canyon and Principal. Canyon and Principal.” Superb

*

Allure presiding over detail cartel fulsome discord vendetta legislature ventilated cue errorless airless lineament dossier owed to catchphrase Work Out Your Animal. In teeth, by rattle, in prime focus of reinvention, “you are not at liberty but may move your hands.” In what time ties
what small cord approaches. One delightful face to bury transcription. Idiot gods graze this brown bone.

*

Me, I note the false modesty the greats, the institution of scribbling, and the secret said sotto voce, in words anyone could understand, shimmering cost, searching force of temporary in sacred shine. Note she hears enveloped question trying understanding. Aria, overture, admonition, Highest praise presides over tough undercurrent, piquant bolt of energy itself, query’s legendary ripple. All things made equal, and some free, she fucks with the force
of mollitude, the dangling feminine, contemptuous even of planets, of nicknames. For the big secret, posing as answer, snuggling, whispering.

*

In the age of flowers, molting interior years, year with no was, no back then, nothing to supply story BACKOFF, CAN”T YOU SEE I’M TIED UP Crone merchant on terrace, only looking old with open suitcase bottomed out. My picture dyed green singing in perfect French a simple expression of my (almost) intentions. “The Good Consolation of Art” and “Friendship in Rooms”—and later “The Consolation of Art for all.” God’s bolt of medicine. The point of
freedom: she strokes me.

*

Wanted: sincere, sedate, slightly Merovingian correspondent, acidic, magnanimous. Slip on collar. Vanguard of ultimate zoot. Scissor speech—to discuss my own misfortunes.

Talc smoke insists on Mr. Supercharming. His substitute, statue of the old man, a crane now carries across the square, digesting that last tranche de célébrité, mouche de renom.

Why, here’s the original, organ and all, standing naked, soulful. I start demanding These things the older I get. It says space, rise, talk back to me.

*

Search for prose arbors, furious scratch above chiaroscuro, with me, against my will, constantly acquiring little by little my own attention, sleeping soundly with more life against any assiduous force, looking for my own “form of purring.” At which every bit of energy, all understanding, becomes a song of destination. Part of me even agrees with this abundance of “Lost Life” and “Lost Self.” No meaning mirrors the wealth written in potential for figure (female). Significant
fiction frying predominant search for one indivisible tone. The tone of ending.

*

A room I was in years ago, before I learned the language, above a wide street semicircle from the huge face of a public building. In the language I spoke to myself then, against the widening arc I saw crowds carry statues just like yours, statues “numerous as stars / before the stars were counted.” Conduit dove. Shouting in that big, high voice.

*

The protagonist displays his name’s soft indentation. Ribs of affinity, arid marrow. Joke focused on the body. At night, several uncertain fires in the distance, Toward the hills. I cover them with my fingers, from the bed, through the doorway, in the center of the window. Sparks orbit the stature still suspended. I transport, curry favor, secret in the most magnificent sense, solemn
done soft malevolent jingles.

*

Orange outdoors. All semblance of truth spilt. When she came she blew old mortality into the smallest distance, span between the percolator (percolating) and the wooden table (sill). Spirit fumes, revenge of the bass set in ruins of imperial chambers. Stranded! Affirmation of temperament, weight commiserates. Living on the last rib of land. I (my body). Ocean lace. Ship obscured by flags of the marina.

*

Poke and prod the unbirthable. “I’m just a friend, just an aficionado.” A pause between question and cough. The singer’s quaver an undertow. A moment laminated by lyric.

*

Solitude guarded triumph, slow self fade to invincibility. Dope wind recidivist year, soft patter of mariachi, sore raised higher and higher into perdition. Cinema solvent lay insurrection aspiring to humane. Pisses me mondo. Not in semblance of piété, not in rising air, “that testicular look.” In mania of sickness. Corrupt senile balls revert to rough perfection. Not the ambience of memory or love of truth or time’s signature. Not the appearance of appearance. Not the clarity
of sleep.

*

Do me a favor, just this once, against quality procured by moment. The huge painting against the furnace wall. Poverty of the alcove. Apparition of a window, a cypress. My record of hate, groping the old globe.


*

Smoke pours out of the alley. The tenor launches into a long, piteous how. The action escalates. With each breath he says, “It can’t continue.” The pretender is granted brief chorus.

*

What is spoken softly, complement against compliment. Not the tra la la’s allotted to us, not my own vulgate, not that old song of glory. What beast can alter its own material? Ask me about the fire. Voice, mentor of place. The word that continues to grow. Art of atonement. Wreckage of transcription. The scream heard from the street

*

A final flicker of starlight rifles through the room. I am disguised as whatever I appear to be. Figure of desire and figure of time. Mask in arena. Ogling anchor again.


(from Ogling Anchor, 1998)



PERMISSIONS

“A Coward’s Libretto”
Reprinted from Ogling Achor (Penngrove, California: Avec Books, 1998). ©1998 by Christopher Reiner. Reprinted by permission of Avec Books.

Mark Salerno

Mark Salerno (USA)
1956

Born in New York City in 1956, Mark Salerno graduated from Columbia University, and received his M.F.A. at Otis College of Art & Design.

Beginning in the 1990s, he published his poetry in numerous small journals, including Exquisite Corpse, Fell Swoop, Jejune, Ribot, Shank Possum, and sub-TERRAIN. From 1993 to 1999 he edited the noted literary and art magazine Arshile, during which time he also published his first collection of his own work, Hate (1995).

For Revery followed in 2000, and over the next four years he published two further collections, Method (2002) and So One Could Have (2004). He currently lives in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Hate (Los Angeles: 96 Tears Press, 1995); For Revery (Davis, California: a+bend press, 2000); Method (Great Barrington, Massachusetts: The Figures, 2002); So One Could Have (Los Angeles: Red Hen Press, 2004).



Trading Fours

Barren for broken so might as well
sky up in the not too distant thighs
O grievous angle these pieces seem
where a juncture of two like souls
might color in the planets and airy stars
I it’s a buddy movie the central character
I want my cowboys to sound like I think
cowboys should sound like in my methods
I loved the repeat the insistent and
anything technical shaping in my clutch
a falling apart heart animadversions
at the boat show in fact a boat load
here a more foreign sounding name
dirty dirty stage direction he sleeps.

(from Method, 2002)





Method

Scour the dross say
what seems real alive
you’re alone O broken
hearted melody O fly
in the paradoxical ointment
a person is unevenly
loved and yet these
glinting and burnished
surfaces seem always to
tilt and throw back the
light without purpose
I admire that saving up
that scrupulously main-
tained day followed by
a next and a next
something else is then said.

(from Method, 2002)


Shanghaied

Of the thousand injuries I had borne
I was charging but that light
gave me permission to be powdery
in the dim or messy to review then
a congenial mode of thought for me
was rowdy in my clutch whereas
my enemies for there are present
of smug contempt merely depictive
I’m gonna flush ‘em out citizens
definition of the end of company
and merely human care so long I’d
wanted say a simple or a hand holding
whatever and if two people give up
while overhead the planets and
innumerable tiny stars.

(from Method, 2002)



The Crown Collapsed

A congenial mode of thought for
me is drumming there is not plot
in painting so that time not draw
the color from how much more if
wrong loose if wavering modern
my heart a hoax of mere obsession
I love I miss blah blah blah
The central character in the film
For an art that would me more
Of reverie surface or glowy beveled
The joy was hard to say words and
Delusions to be thought of as desire
The way her hands say or the simple
Small-town in a world gone wrong.

(from Method, 2004)



Essay

Greensward yellow linen anything
Flutter of her hands gesturing and
Another day beyond what I can take
Is this the power of wanting or is
This the flimsy flimflam of memory
Everything comes back except the
Flint in her the gaudy casting about
For vocabulary noises like light on
The Fox lot years ago conditioned
No doubt by the arrangements is love
Mocked to be put to this use still
Ever the still image of her standing
There while all around a chaos of
Furious sunlight shattered spangles.

(from So One Could Have, 2004)




Insert

In my book of accusations and the record
Of my experience the sheriff must choose
Between he movie and what’s happening
O every-fixed mark O befuddled longing
To conjure up the negative of what I am
The artist begins by speaking to others
As described on page after page of whatever
It was rich idylls the rainment of my heart
The way she held her hands in the picture
The passing moments I’d given my life to
For wasn’t I my Lucky Pierre style a dawdle
To amuse this pretty pie this young cutie girl
There is a dream I have where I sail away
Or set aside rewrite and abjure all else.

(from So One Could Have, 2004)


Coda

Sky high into the mile high or sky up
she said nice little town you got here
sheriff with eyes on the stranger logic
wanted the big hit the big grab and skip
over the border it’s a helluva country
to be modern in cottonwoods and damp cuffs
a building falls down by the sky stays put
pinned to its place with apologies to
those who mourn for chicken in a chicken
restaurant I missed you at lights out
O list of words you seem real to me
wading a little in this warm bath of light
the sheriff remains isolated but sticks
and things fall from the flawless sky.

(from So One Could Have, 2004)

___

PERMISSIONS


“Trading Fours,” “Method,” “Shanghaied,” and “The Crown Collapsed”
Reprinted from Method (Great Barrington, Massachusetts: The Figures, 2002.
©2002 by Mark Salerno. Reprinted by permission of Mark Salerno.

“Essay,” “Insert,” and “Coda”
Reprinted from So One Could Have (Los Angeles: Red Hen Press, 2004).

Pasquale Verdicchio

Pasquale Verdicchio [b. Italy/USA]
1954

Born in Naples, Italy in 1954, Pasquale Verdicchio was raised in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. He began publishing in his early 30s with Moving Landscape in 1985, published by the Canadian press, Guernica. Guernica also published his second major collection, Nomadic Trajectory in 1990 and Approaches to Absence four years later. His most recent collection, The House Is Past, was published by the same press in 2000.

In 1986 Verdicchio became a professor of literature and writing at the University of California, San Diego. He has published several translations of Italian poets, including Antonio Porta, Giorgio Caproni, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Alda Merini, and edited a small publishing series, Parentheses Writing Series. More recently, he has headed a program in Italy for the university.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Moving Landscape (Toronto: Guernica, 1985); Ipsissima verba (San Diego: Parentheses Writing Series, 1986); A Critical Geography (San Diego: Parentheses Writing Series, 1990); Nomadic Trajectory (Toronto: Guernica, 1990); Isthmus (Los Angeles: Littoral Books, 1991); The Posthumous Poet: A Suite for Pier Paolo Pasolini (Los Angeles: Jahbone Press, 1993); Approaches to Absence (Toronto: Guernica, 1994); The House Is Past (Toronto: Guernica, 2000)



The Cutting Edge

The landscape is moving.

Cut from the landscape
we move toward it
to suture the wound
--hills not remembered
are fluid fragments: water
mirror

My eye the cutting edge
upon which the landscape flows;
excised fragment in hand
everything else fallen
until the landscape turns
upon itself, upon me (the space
I once occupied)

then it moves across the desert, fast,
rolling over, smooth across,
just above the surface
of spiny desert plants
digs deep to find the fissure
has always been present—space
into which seeds were not sown

ancient wound of light in crude mirrors
quiet in the abyssal depth

no voices and a house
not on any street, and secluded
by trees and shrubs; this is the house,
engulfed by the smell of ink,
pen in hand,
I rest in the dark.

Had I known light
reflection might have been easier;
had light known me
refraction might have freed the dialogue

--naked in mirrors, empty mouthed,
everything carefully measured,
hours become more and more difficult.

The landscape
is the cutting edge
upon which everything falls.

(from Ipsissima Verba, 1986)



from “Feuilletons”

A photograph and your smile.
Mistakes could be redeemed
clutching flowers and maps a sense brought on
by sunlight it just occurred to me
stumbling falling for some sign your thighs in Athens
your breasts in Mediterranean water.
Telling it so far apart
a bland taste of distance habitation or absence
a representative authority in geography

[the upper edge of a space that will never be closed
the indication belongs]



*





A bird calling to itself
calling itself by your name

angelo misterioso

tired of screening out
there is no romanticism
in what can no longer be touched

Skin and more skin
clothes extentions become skin

le lettere il ritorno e la congiunzione

finding it hard to keep up; ankles have lost their feathers;
no longer the keeper of languages; impossible now to keep
faith in charts the sky no longer visible

[a cane brake occasional expectations lost
what becomes accepted ground anticipated by its own
passing the place again]



*


The locality of
ignored towns every now and then
as when blinded by whitewashed homes

there are no more stories to tell
the heat that emanates is transformed
negation interruption the meter
is disrupted tension dissipates.

Speaking calm kept for cover
the signs that go forward and recoil,
line in equilibrium, profiles of animals.

From time to time
and the process of deciphering the angles;
wake up later than ever
to have a look at what calls itself
back; further on the idea of thunder
breaks through, given up by boiling waters
one prelude of investigation toward


*

An illusion of absence provides a key
for the collection of space.
What the landscape incites us to
- the drift defines itself as singular:
never a body doubtless a disguise.

Ignoring the centrism a declaration
and deficiencies; an assumption
of power investment of body and force
informing itself and what must be reclaimed

the desert in bloom overnight to have a look


(from Isthmus, 1991)



Incomplete Sealines

Often a division of guests results
in diverse approaches. You attend lectures,
enter rooms at set times
with your partner or guest of choice

and immediately follow numbers.
Certain confusion pulls events over your eyes.
Do you want to talk.
Do you want to talk.

The field narrows as the evening progresses.
Daughters maybe sons are waiting.
Basic science tells them to set aside
the handled crosses and weary saints,

come toward a more palpable prayer.
There are moments to be cradled like children,
all different one from the other,
which halt the grip of occasion.

(from Approaches to Absence, 1994)



Errors

There are ears in the fields.
An easel placed in one corner speaks volumes.
Portable representation a warning.

What was shredded and occupied
by no means sacred to all.
Easy to recognize even through voices.
Use an already existing quote.

Only hours away in retreat.
Talk of the town circles back.
Someone is taking things into their own hands.
A practical consideration: the answer is no.

(from Approaches to Absence, 1994)



Impossible Saints

A brief arrangement of miracles,
regulations and decrees outline the sequence of severity,
and trial of testimony, eyewitness
in absence of divine approval;
usually flight or levity is a rule
not of the comic sort.
And best of all offerings predominate,
body parts, eyes, breasts, and such other jealousies
in which we materialize bodies, distanced
from spirit they seem to take a life
of their own. Very little prodding needed,
in a trance the pain ceases.

Saint Agatha’s breasts.
Saint Lucy’s eyes.
Culture is a matter of subtraction and offering.
the river of blood
no longer runs through veins blessed,
halted by faith in halting
and never doubted the extension of
divine tourniquet to stem the flow:
touch razor sharp icons and sacrifice.
But it was somewhere else that I heard
flying above my head, truly believing,
the chance it might entail,
the opportunity missed,
if only for a brief instant of apparition,
were to actually appear, I would miss it
so as to concentrate on its silence,
on its bright absence above my head,
on the illusion of its invisible pressure.

Each day a name,
and name’s sake, and saint’s day
every and each name a day;
in calendars the stories tell
themselves by allusion for those who bear
the names handed down by fathers
and mothers; the continuance of small
the role of belonging.

Such reflections are in the end
possibilities of worship and the capacity
of things to darken,
fall as shadows over the sight of believers.
With the humility of an insect,
with the deception of one’s self;
a time of seeing beyond blessings and curses
that colour the permanence of childhood.

Racist, sexist, polluter, murderer, destroyer,
warmonger, politician, deceiver, liar,
the single spin in favour of some menacing evil
hard bigot senator shithead.
Self-sacrifice for the good of the people,
martyrdom at a high salary,
advisers and detractors
defenders and offenders;
it’s the process
it’s the procedure
it’s not the issue
it’s the delay
it’s the way
it’s their fault
it’s too late to talk.
The patron saint of politicians?


(from Approaches to Absence, 1994)




Glassed Over, from “Filmic”

A young couple meets. Obviously the man cannot be trusted. The building is very high and the fall proves acceleration. Varying angels are clever devices. It could be any city on the east coast. But the skyscrapers serve as a hint. The reflection of the sky and surrounding walls in her eyes as she falls.

There are no friends who could witness. There are no souvenirs to speak. Of letters it’s the same. A fast track affair. A question of errors along the way.

Sooner or later he will make a mistake. He will surely fall for himself. He will most likely do so on purpose. Set the trap and activate it. No one will believe it. He will tell everyone he set himself up to fall. Or maybe he should just go on as he is. Why should I make it easy, he thinks.

A clever fellow, he assumes another identity. The new self suits him better than the old. He has erased his family and himself. No one will miss him, he is certain. Time passes.

An effigy is something someone else constructs. It can be specific or general. He is not an effigy of himself. An effigy is headed toward destruction. He is headed in the opposite direction.

He wakes up at night in a cold sweat. There are whispers. The same whispers he hears every night. He walks to the mirror and stares back at himself. All right, he thinks, there is no kidding you. He wakes up in the morning not knowing how he got back to bed. Maybe the voices are only a dream. The last thing he remembers is refusing to answer.

He reminds himself
that the story could be written down and that way he would be more certain as to its meaning
or
that the story could be a dream in which case he has nothing to worry about except getting some sleep and he knows a rest will do him good
or
that he is afraid to call her just in case the story is not just a story but is a true and actual event.
He decides to explain it to himself later.

There is another lapse of memory. This time from a bridge. A Pythagorean displacement. A body in a body of water. One body replaces another in his actions. He does not know if these are his actions.

The story takes a turn. It is someone else he remembers. The turn is too sharp and the bakes fail. The new body is trapped in the flaming wreck. This body, and the bridge body, and the body of initial falling are related. His obsession is clear but without reason.

There are no examples that he can think of and none that he can use as a lie. He resigns himself to a bodily accumulation. An average person in an average situation.


(from Approaches to Absence, 1994)

____

PERMISSIONS

“The Cutting Edge”
Reprinted from Ipsissima Verba (San Diego: Parentheses Writing Series, 1986). ©1986 by Pasquale Verdicchio. Reprinted by permission of the poet.

from “Feuilletons”
Reprinted from Isthmus (Los Angeles: Littoral Books, 1991). ©1991 by Pasquale Verdicchio. Reprinted by permission of the poet.

“Incomplete Sealines,” “Errors,” “Impossible Saints,” and “Glassed Over” from Filmic
Reprinted from Approaches to Absence (Toronto: Guernica, 1994). ©Pasquale Verdicchio and Guernic Editions. Reprinted by permission of Guernica Editions.

Barbara Maloutas


Barbara Maloutas (USA)
1945

Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania in 1945, Barbara Maloutas, the eldest daughter of a line of eldest daughters, was born of Quaker stock on her mother’s side and into the Catholic tradition of her father’s Irish family. Her father was a security director in Europe for ITT Industries, a global engineering and manufacturing company, so many of her younger years were spent abroad.

From 1963 to 1969, Maloutas was a member of a religious community that ran hospitals and medical training centers around the world. Working in the art department of the order, she also studied at the Philadelphia College of Art, majoring in graphic design and photography. From 1970 to 1975 she worked on her Masters Degree at the Algemeine Gerwerbeshcule in Basel with Armin Hoffman and the influential typographer, Wolfgang Weingart.

In 1972 she met the Greek businessman, Paul Maloutas in Brussels, and they were married in Switzerland, spending time over the next several years in both Switzerland and Greece. Upon returning to the United States, she helped her husband run a wholesale travel company, the main destination of which was Greece; so the couple continued with close relationship with that country. They retain an apartment in Athens and property in Ermioni on the Peloponessos.

In 1988, Maloutas began teaching design and typography at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, and in 1996 became Assistant Chair in the Communication Arts Department. She started writing during the years she was studying design in Basel, Switzerland, and in 1994, while working at Otis and attending classes there, she had begun writing poetry and composing artist books. Her work has been published in several journals, including American Tanka, Aufgabe, Free Verse, Segue and Tarpelin Sky. Her first book of poetry, In a Combination of Practices was published by New Issues Press, and a chapbook, Practices, was published by The New Michigan Press.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Practices (Grand Rapids, Michigan: 2003); In a Combination of Practices (Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2004) ; Of Which Anything Consists  (Tuscon, Arizona: New Michigan Press, 2011)