[Living Somewhere] by David Rock

Issue 12

living somewhere
super close to
greener pastures
sedation with wisdom
strange but true
common sense
in search of
a place called

Source: The Scroll (the student-run newspaper of Brigham Young University-Idaho).

Method: I teach Spanish literature, and in order to show how poets don’t necessarily have the subject of a poem in mind before they sit down to start writing, I assigned the students to take a single issue of the student newspaper, cut out words and phrases from headlines and advertisements, and then play around with these fragments until something interesting revealed itself.  The above poem is one of several that I produced for demonstration purposes.

David Rock teaches Spanish at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg.  His poems have appeared recently in Carolina Quarterly, Palooka, and American Journal of Poetry.  Sometimes he arrives in exotic places and forgets how he got there.  Sometimes he gets in his car and just sits there, pretending to be furious.


Magic by David Joez Villaverde



Source Text: In the Dust of This Planet by Eugene Thacker

Method: I sought to extract esoteric meaning from a book that was itself abstruse and hard to parse. In making  visual representations of alchemy I wanted to use a technique that would mirror the process of the alchemist to transmuting lead into gold so I settled on erasure and collage wherein I took existing elements and distilled them into a wholly different creation.

David Joez Villaverde is a Peruvian American multidisciplinary artist with forthcoming work in Show Your Skin, Moonchild Magazine, Ellipsis Zine, Dream Pop Press,The Fanzine, Mortar Magazine, formercactus, and Crab Fat Magazine. He resides in Detroit and can be found at schadenfreudeanslip.com or on Twitter @academicjuggalo

A Spiritual Urgency at the Dark Ladders Leaping by Shirley Glubka

Issue 12

As if a mind / folded in thought / created forms—


(a field)
(a dream)
(the sun)

(a round of return)
(a hold against chaos)


from which: world—

battling, inarticulate—
blindly making / only beauty.

Source: Robert Duncan’s Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow & Poetry, A Natural Thing

Method: I often think my erasures might better be called pluckings. I go through a text and “pluck” words and phrases that call to me. I look for energy, vividness, peculiarity. I might go back, pluck more, for sense, or because the developing poem wants more, sees more, begins to understand itself. I hone. My rule: keep everything in the exact order and the exact form (verb form, pronoun gender, etc.) that the source text dictates; no rearranging; no cheating.

Shirley Glubka is a retired psychotherapist, the author of three poetry collections and two novels. Her most recent book: The Bright Logic of Wilma Schuh: a novel (Blade of Grass Press, 2017). Shirley lives in Prospect, Maine with her spouse, Virginia Holmes. Website: http://shirleyglubka.weebly.com/

Untouched by Shloka Shankar

Issue 12

Sprawling like a thought unformed,
I will begin – but how should I begin?
The problem is to make the effort.

Somewhere among my dreams,
with cold, determined intellect,
I am corrupted by the world, continually.

All my waiting turned to this:
a worried look, a tired way of speech,
words, looks, gestures, everything betrays
when I pretend to be happy.

How much of me you leave untouched,
the lyrical impulse frozen.

I do not want
whatever is beyond my reach;
this longing is for nakedness.

Sources & Method: A cento composed from the first lines of a selection of poems by Nissim Ezekiel, including Birth, Description, Problem, Dualism, Division, The Double Horror, Failure, Communication, On Meeting a Pedant, Confession, For Her, The Stuffed Owl, Nocturne, A Different Way, Motives, The Railway Clerk, For William Carlos Williams, and Nakedness (I).

Shloka Shankar is a freelance writer from Bangalore, India. She has found her niche in Japanese short-forms and remixed poetry alike. Her poems and visual art pieces have most recently appeared in Otoliths, Bones, Calamus Journal, Frameless Sky, Narrow Road, and so on. Shloka is the founding editor of Sonic Boom.

Lost Wax by Maureen O’Brien

Issue 12

“The thinner it is carved the more translucent it becomes.” –Heather White

We began like peeling cucumbers,
all we needed were simple tools,
falling in love in a kitchen.
I trusted you, a spade bit,
to drill holes in me to accommodate
your fingers.
Slowly you carved me, removing layers.
For years you used
calipers to measure my widening love:
18, then 20 gauge.
But when you dissolved
we became nothing, a pile of shavings.
You drilled holes in me
in outbursts, until I had to
hide from you, conceal my row
of pearls—those doors
I had not previously opened.
That 18 karat gold
I never unpacked.

Source: The Penland Book of Jewelry, Pages 101-102

Maureen O’Brien lives in Connecticut where she teaches Creative Writing to teenagers who love doing Blackout Poems: she draws endless inspiration from their passions, enthusiasm, and beautiful hearts. She is the author of the novel “B-mother” and the poetry chapbook “The Other Cradling”.  Her work has most recently appeared in Blink Ink, Hello Humans and 3Elements Review.