Sweet Revenge by Winston Plowes

Issue 12

This latest hand
had a spear to the back

Left Ryan dead

Left by a path into the night
with the wind
squared up
and scrambling to get safe

There was no way back
for his legs

Source: Football match report in the sports section of the Brighthouse Echo Newspaper, Page 63, February 27th,  2014.

Method: Erasure (including title)

Winston Plowes lives aboard his floating home in Calderdale which doubles as a home for lost and wayward words. He is a teacher of creative writing at primary schools and universities. His collection of surrealist found poetry, Telephones, Love Hearts, & Jellyfish, Electric Press, was published in 2016. www.winstonplowes.co.uk

Ruth Miller by R. Mac Jones

Issue 12

Ruth Miller

the four-year-old daughter

Ruth Miller

of Charles Miller

Ruth Miller

of Kansas City, Kan.

Ruth Miller

died from the effects

Ruth Miller

of eating candy from a box

Ruth Miller

of poisoned bon bons

Ruth Miller

sent through the mail

to an older sister.


Source: A news story in the Golden Valley Chronicle of Beach, Billings County, N.D., February 21, 1908

Method: The text is from a single sentence in the news story, except for the repetition of her name.

R. Mac Jones is the co-editor of Found Anew: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the South Caroliniana Library Digital Collections. His poems have recently appeared in ellipsis…, Star*Line, and Shot Glass Journal, among other publications.

Justice by Howard Richard Debs

Issue 12

how is it to be told? . . . in detailing the facts themselves?
—Charles Reznikoff, Reznikoff Papers Box VII, Folder 26

What to do with the body
of a Nazi war criminal
no one wants
where to bury him, since Rome,
his adopted homeland of Argentina,
and his hometown in Germany won’t take him?

He died Friday at age 100
in the Rome home of his lawyer,
where he had been serving
his life term under house arrest.

Priebke spent nearly 50 years as a fugitive
before being extradited to Italy
from Argentina in 1995 to stand trial.

          Erich Priebke got up from his seat
          to break the silence he observed
          since the trial’s start to say
          he would not testify before the court.

Rome Mayor:
the city accepts neither a
church funeral nor a burial for him.

          The 335 victims of the massacre
          were machine-gunned at the
          Ardeatine Caves near Rome,
          which were then dynamited
          in an attempt to hide the bodies.

Chief rabbi of Rome’s Jewish community:
cremate while dead,
unlike the millions of children who
went into the ovens and for whom
Priebke never had pity.

          Priebke claims
          he was forced to participate or face death.
          It is likely that Priebke will be one of
          the last significant Nazi war-criminals to face trial.

Priebke’s lawyer:
as a practicing Catholic,
Priebke deserves a
Catholic funeral and burial.

But not even Priebke’s
adopted homeland of Argentina,
where he lived in the mountain
resort of Bariloche, will take him.

Priebke was born in Hennigsdorf,
a small town north of Berlin,
local rules give only
residents a right to burial
in its cemetery, exceptions
are possible in cases where
people have family graves there,
but the Priebke family
doesn’t have any.

In his final interview released upon his death,
he denied the Nazis gassed Jews
during the Holocaust.

Sources: Palm Beach Post article October 14, 2013 “Church, state refuse funeral for former Nazi” ; AP Archive Story No. 28506 06/03/1996 “Former Nazi Officer Erich Priebke Trial”

Method: I have files stuffed with all manner of clippings, notices, advertisements sitting waiting. The local newspaper article about the Nazi Priebke demanded a response. The free-form excerpting and lineation was straightforward enough but there needed to be something else. I am a devotee of the objectivists, and particularly Charles Reznikoff; his work Holocaust, all 94 pages of it, being a tour-de-force of found poetry. Holocaust uses actual testimony (Reznikoff had a law degree) extracted from 26 volumes of transcriptions from the court proceedings of the Eichmann and Nuremberg trials. I followed his example and researched for detail about the Priebke trial itself and discovered the AP archive story. Juxtaposing elements of the two creates a full picture representing the inhumanity of humanity through the words and deeds of but one human being.

Howard Richard Debs is a finalist and recipient of the 28th Annual 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards. His essays, fiction, and poetry appear internationally in numerous publications; his new full length work Gallery: A Collection of Pictures and Words, (Scarlet Leaf Publishing) is a 2017 Best Book Awards winner as Finalist in poetry. He is listed in the Directory of American Poets & Writers

Of Too Much Truth by David Capps

Issue 12

Of too much truth to do much more than lie
Astonished that you have returned to go
I do not betray you, I still go forward,
Snaps of ice cracking in the hidden air.
and turn it into something cartoon-funny.
Green lilac buds appear that won’t survive
A salamander scuttles across the quiet

The weight of being born into exile is lifted.
Down the long course of the gray slush of things
Gray the cloud-like oaks
Wheezing ravens, when
Blurring the terrain,
Close at the end of distance the two Chose
Or else, like us, sunk into some long gaze
Two of us, Docteur and Madame Machin, who stand
Rain. We are forced to fly,
And beyond, the same sound of bees
Like some poor wounded wretch
ong left for dead
Wide, whited fields, a way unframed at last
Of too much truth to do much more than lie
They move against, or through, or toward, or by.

Source:  Spam

David Capps is a philosophy teacher at Quinnipiac University. He has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Connecticut and an MFA in poetry from Southern Connecticut State University. He lives in New Haven with a fluffy cat named Purrbasket.

Boeuf en daube by Emily McAvan

Issue 12

(after Woolf)

Here, she thought, dabbling her fingers in the dark
here stuck high up in the sea
To want and want
little daily miracles, illuminations, in the water
matches struck unexpectedly in the most exquisite smile
There it was before her – life.

Source: Virginia Woolf – To The Lighthouse

Method: I wrote this poem with the aid of a Markov text generator, which feeds in prose as an input and generates an output randomly – no two are the same. I grabbed the best bits of random prose, repeating the process until I got something I liked, and then edited for sense from there.

Emily McAvan is a Jewish Australian poet whose work sits at the intersection between sacred and profane.