Concrete Jungle by Travis McDonald

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Source Text: These poems gather the the colloquial “folk” names of invasive plant species and arrange them according to the state borders where they are most commonly found

Travis Macdonald was recently named a 2014 Pew Fellow in the Arts. His procedural poetry has appeared widely in print and online journals around the world.

His first full-length book, an erasure of The 9/11 Commission Report, titled The O Mission Repo, along with his critical essay “A Brief History of Erasure Poetics,” is widely referred to as a benchmark in the genre of erasure poetry.

Additional books and chapbooks include N7ostradamus (BlazeVox), Bookquet (Shirt Pocket Press), The Story (Peanut Gallery Press), Graceries (Horse Less Press), Time (Stoked Press), Title Bout (Shadow Mountain Press), Hoop Cores (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press), BAR/koans (Erg Arts), Sight and Sigh (Beard of Bees) and Basho’s Phonebook (e-ratio editions).

By day, he works as a Creative Director for one of the nation’s leading B2B Advertising and Marketing agencies. By night, he writes and co-edits Fact-Simile Editions with his wife JenMarie.

Shaming Crests by Tom Snarsky

A confused chatter:
in a way that spoke to the question, “Who am I?”,
the bricks got repointed and browner. Now, and then
not always evenly or easily, it is a double crisis,
pleasure we cannot and will not escape. There’s also room for
more problems on me than usual. Somebody who’s a piece
could write it and could also write about it, the moment years ago,
the medium of mastery.

There was a lot of language and confusion.
Then it is that kind of purring occurs,
both ways of splitting – reconciling personal desires
with the stranger’s steed (it gets to be so exciting but so big too).
The (oftentimes painful) gap between
sitting back and doing something quiet (it hurts)
and pasting a tree to the far left of the page
may be unaware of having lost it. We have changed,
size or some parts neglected or omitted,
only it was dark and no one could see.

Source Text: This poem is a cento with lines from the books Pregnant Bodies, Fertile Minds by Wendy Luttrell and A Wave by John Ashbery.

Tom Snarsky is a Noyce Teaching Fellow at Tufts University, MA. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Unbroken, Maudlin House, After the Pause, Shadowtrain, and elsewhere. He lives in Braintree, MA.

You, Brave by Cathy Bryant

You come out victorious today
— heroic. Go on,
resolutely unusual.
Resist control.
Fight on, back to the
level-headed provocation.
Emerge finer.
Impose indulgence and licence.
Abnormal you, supreme.
Precious life,
accept love.

Source Text: A quiz from a women’s magazine dating from the Second World War.

Cathy Bryant worked as a life model, civil servant and childminder before becoming a professional writer. She has won fourteen literary awards, including the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Prize, and her work has appeared in over 100 publications including The London Magazine, The Huffington Post and The Rialto. She co-edited Best of Manchester Poets vols. 1-3, and Cathy’s latest collection, ‘Look at All the Women’, was published by Mother’s Milk Books in 2014. See more at www.cathybryant.co.uk, and see Cathy’s monthly listings for financially-challenged writers at www.compsandcalls.com

Mad Weightless & one other by Jessica Van de Kemp

Mad Weightless

Breasting the road
at the fledge of hoarfrost.

South aimlessly with a pinging.
Hexagrams, one goes, falls.

Driving wetlands to anywhere.
This ground to Mars. Deep reality

driving margins. You, their
comfort. Light nowhere.

The road, all silks afire.
Tucking ashes into dying light.

Source Text: Don Domanski. “In the Province of Tharsis.” All Our Wonders Unavenged. 2nd printing. London, ON: Brick Books, 2007.

Allowed to Wander

This man will lie between everything.
Thoughts, like streamlets,

blood, the little sibyls.
Under the floorboards,

can’t speak, the hummingbird
pressed like a rose.

God gathers, death gathers,
feather flying into motion.

Source Text: Don Domanski. “A Hummingbird’s Heart Beats 1260 Times A Minute.” All Our Wonders Unavenged. 2nd printing. London, ON: Brick Books, 2007.

Jessica Van de Kemp (BA, B.Ed, MA) is a 2014 Best of the Net nominee. Her poetry chapbook, Spirit Light, is the second release in a new series from The Steel Chisel. Her poetry appears most recently in: The Wayfarer, Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal, Naugatuck River Review, Written River, Vallum, Hello Horror, Unbroken Journal, Halcyon Magazine, and the Switch (the Difference) Anthology from Kind of a Hurricane Press. The recipient of a BlackBerry Scholarship in English Language and Literature and the winner of a TA Award for Excellence in Teaching, Jessica is currently pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric at the University of Waterloo. Website: jessvdk.wordpress.com & Twitter: @jess_vdk