Lori Brack

A DOSE OF CERTAIN THINGS

Livestock reports and remnants
of history – I built a fire with whiskey,

tree limb and a memory of horses.

Tilled wilderness paused toward
far-off church bells.                     Oh

I have made a bleached skull, No Name

cemetery marker. The bell’s echo
swayed down on me: barn afire
and geese helpless over home.

 

Method:  I marked off a column of text one vertical inch wide down the right margins of two pages from Jim Harrison’s Dalva, and used only words and phrases located within those two vertical column inches. (Harrison, Jim. Dalva. New York: Washington Square Press, 1988. Print. 117, 175.

 

Lori Brack‘s book of poems, Museum Made of Breath, was published by Spartan Press, Kansas City, in 2018. Her poems have appeared in journals including Another Chicago Magazine, North American Review, and Mid-American Review.  

Lisa Zaran

FOUR LITTLE LOVE POEMS

I found you and I lost you
My hand is lonely for your clasping
I do not forget the sounding of your voice
I do not forget your eyes
And I do lift my aching arms to you
And I do weep for very pain of you
I do, yet dare not say I ever meant
my care is like my shadow in the sun.

From me he took his sighs and tears
He bound me in an iron chain
In this life of probation, my legs refused
to walk away
Do you come to me to bend me to your will
to bear your children, wearing out my life
Love lies bleeding in the bed,
a transient cloudy spot.

To see love coming
The night has a thousand eyes
The mind has a thousand eyes
Love walked alone.

I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.
And the oak tree and the cypress grow
not in each other’s shadow.
And the woman calling,
I long for you, I mourn for you.
You did not come.
I dare not ask a kiss.
I dare not beg a smile.
And into ashes all my lust.
What you ask and every killing,
every deed and word,
I know and knew it.
You loved me not.
You loved me not.
Take, oh take those lips away.

Method: I attempted to combine the art of sixteenth-century writers as well as some of the pioneers of the Romantic age into something that could be read and understood as modern-day. I carefully selected lines and pieces of lines throughout an anthology of poems titled Love Poems. Some of the lines are from Christopher Marlowe, others include Thomas Hardy, John Fletcher, Robert Burns, Henry Alford, F.W. Bourdillon and Christina Walsh.

Lisa Zaran is the author of eight collections of poetry including Dear Bob Dylan, The Blondes Lay Content, If It We and the sometimes girl. Lisa is founder and editor of Contemporary American Voices. When not writing, Lisa spends her days working for a Community Service Agency serving individuals with substance use and mental health disorders in Arizona.

Shirley Glubka

AND THE HOUSE STOOD UP ALL ROUND HER

Magic lay over everything—
in the fragrance,
the assembling,
the fittings.
It came in the light.

She found herself alone,
the light falling with happiness.
with perfect distinctness,
going back to the strange beginning.

The rest contracted,
pressed close,
a stiffness, puzzled and interested.

She must find the answer,
say the answer to herself.
She tried to smile, felt her way.
It was nothing.
It couldn’t be anything.
It was dignity in black hat and black gloves.

Somewhere out in the sunshine:
the piping note, out of tune.

She went slowly upstairs,
there was no hurry.
A little crack
in an upper pane
shone like a gold thread.

(Source: final chapter of Dorothy Richardson’s The Pointed Roofs: Pilgrimage)

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: https://shirleyglubka.weebly.com

 

Jill Khoury

KEPT

i
hand-held
spectacle
small

i see
bus numbers
television
who is at the door

i
riding as
passenger
without disturbing
other people

Source: Jose, Randall T., Ed. Understanding Low Vision. American Foundation for the Blind, 1983, p. 216

Method: This erasure poem come from a project called UN VISION, in which I, a legally blind individual, erase pages from a low-vision instructor’s textbook to find my childhood history between the lines. The title was cut-up from words within the source page.

Jill Khoury is interested in the intersection of poetry, visual art, gender, and disability. She holds an MFA from The Ohio State University and edits Rogue Agent, a journal of embodied poetry and art. She has written two chapbooks—Borrowed Bodies (Pudding House, 2009) and Chance Operations (Paper Nautilus, 2016). Her debut full-length collection, Suites for the Modern Dancer, was released in 2016 from Sundress Publications. Find her at jillkhoury.com.