Kyla Matagi

CITIES BUILT ON CLOUDS

What are clouds made of?
No responsibilities at all,
white when the rest of the sky is blue.
“It’s still raining,” she says.
“What’s a little rain?” I’d say.
Unaware that it’s been raining for days.
Bleak truth drenched me
with my own potential guilt.
“But I got wet too,” she’d reply.

Within moments, it was snowing
so hard we couldn’t build a fire.

I could embrace any preposterous delusion,
crawl on my hands and knees.
If I were someone else, it might be.
But I like to think I’m not sorry at all.
I take comfort in the fact
that from utter nothingness,
nothing ever changes.
The secret to happiness.
I suppose that’s one way to define it.


Source & Method: I crafted this found poem from “Yukon, Ho!” A Calvin and Hobbes Collection by Bill Watterson. I aimed to subvert the text from Calvin’s world of youthful adventures into a bleak and aching struggle of adulthood, pulling out the gloom of the setting to achieve this.


Kyla Matagi earned her Bachelor’s in English from Utah Valley University, during which time her art and writing appeared in the University’s literary journals. She currently lives in San Diego, though not for long. She is always seeking the next adventure.

Mike Ferguson

MOON BEHIND PAMPAS GRASS

Caesar’s horse impressed by the surprise of such a film existing. Swingers meet by its light, apparently. Luna ‘n’ cortaderia selloana. In the metaphysics of a photograph, dark lines are drawn against the brightness of illumination. Animal motifs should not be drawn from strands and luminosity. Emblem of autumn and replanting. Cartoon versions present displays of singular leaves. Simon’s chainsaw another exercise in hacking away at metaphors. I could count the number of my moon pics on many hands. Beware of the pink, but not because of any sexual allure.


SOURCE & METHOD: These poems are more about process than content, but most lines are prompted by snippets of content found in Google search pages having typed in the theme/title. I mostly use only the extract appearing on a page, though I’ll sometimes go into an article. I take few words from any of this and use any further tangents this initiates.


Mike Ferguson is an American permanently resident in the UK and appears widely in print and online. A retired English teacher, he taught experimental writing to his students for 30 years.


image by Dale Wisely

Karen Greenbaum-Maya

GIFTS OF THE WHITE DOG

when White Dog raises his hackles
refuses to sniff your hand
when White Dog refuses to know your voice
when White Dog howls for no reason
when White Dog howls at the open door for no reason
digs a hole in your garden
then these acts keep away your true family

when White Dog sleeps, paws curled, tail outstretched
digs a hole in your garden
then these acts do not signal a breakthrough
then White Dog foretells death

when White Dog howls outside at night.
when White Dog howls three times, then falls silent.
when White Dog howls once, then falls silent.
when White Dog howls in front of a house where someone is ill
sniffs out landmines and trapped people
then White Dog tells you, Die a symbolic death

perhaps White Dog empowers and enlivens you, like yeast
perhaps White Dog asks to become part of your lifestream
perhaps White Dog longs to meet other beings like you
but White Dog howls at the open door for no reason

perhaps White Dog admires you
perhaps White Dog believes you
perhaps White Dog is light and shadow
in vibrational affinity
perhaps White Dog consoles you
but will White Dog forgive you?


SOURCE: found passim, Internet, googling “White Dog”


METHOD:  It is mostly a sense of hearing something present but unintended, hearing words from a language I speak but that is not often spoken.


Karen Greenbaum-Maya is a retired clinical psychologist, German major, two-time Pushcart nominee and photographer. Kattywompus Press publishes Burrowing Song and Eggs Satori. Kelsay Books publishes The Book of Knots and Their Untying. She co-hosts Fourth Sundays, a poetry series in Claremont, California.


Photo by Angel Luciano

Issue 15 Eve Leaned Out the Window

collage by Sarah Sloat
collage by Sarah Sloat

Jane Attanucci  OVERDUE

Genevieve Betts  A QUESTION OF WHOLENESS

Ama Bolton  THE GLOBE-MAKER’S APPRENTICE

Lisa Carl  THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP

Natalie D-Napoleon  INTERRUPTED

Andy Fogle   SCHOOLHOUSE SYLLABICS, HANCOCK

Alisa Golden  INSTABILITY and DISPLACEMENTS

Jessica Goodfellow  FOG CENTO

Rick Lupert  HEADLINES

Hannah Mahoney  ARE YOU READY? and THE WORLD IS SPINNING

Monica Shah  SARAH

Sarah J. Sloat  EVE

Brandy Smith  HALLOWEEN 2004

Mark Young  from THE POUND CENTOS

Lisa Carl

THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP

Those blue lights keep us
from getting enough—
a modern bedtime ritual,
the backlit screen.

We climb to the mountain edge, where
tourists flock after dark to see blue
flames from the combustion of gases.

We undergo a startling
metamorphosis. We become
almost paralyzed. We approach
the frontiers of death.

Our team flies to an Inuit village–dilapidated buildings,
empty fuel drums–a desolate landscape, the bear lying
on the ground like an abandoned rug, nearly lifeless.

Life on a spinning planet,
with its endless wheel
of day and night, aims
to sync us with the sun

In West Papua, catchers bring butterflies for inspection.
They come from all directions, sometimes in the morning,
sometimes from darkness, dark, ghostly shapes in the air.

One’s nightly spindles
curate memories throughout
the looping voyage of the night,
of harrowing missions.

We traverse the roadless landscape, trek up valleys
where villagers tend apricots at the foot of glaciers,
barely aware of the bloodshed in the distant capital.

Sleep is ancient, essential, dreams
a source of enchantment, mystery—
or chaotic neurons, devoid of
significance, haphazard.

Love letters, a CD player, tequila, a Bible containing
tickets to a soccer match in Bolivia, a dozen kangaroos
and wallabies, foraging for seaweed in the waves.

In the untamed jungle
of the mind, our savage
instincts arise.

A Maasai girl bounces on the carcass of a female
elephant, poisoned for raiding grain stores.

Sex drive, elation, love:
the playtime of the brain.
Why do we stay awake?

 


Source: National Geographic, August 2018.

Method: For this poem, I excerpted stirring short expository passages from an article discussing the phenomenon of human sleep, in “The Science of Sleep,” National Geographic, August 2018. I shaped these passages into short lines to accentuate their sparse beauty. I interspersed these passages with excerpts from captions and other short passages from other stories in the same issue of the magazine, all describing the wonder, absurdity, and horror of the human adventure, as it is lived throughout the world. I distinguished these passages from the expository passages with italic font and longer lines.

Lisa Carl is a writer, painter, photographer, and associate professor of English at North Carolina Central University.

Ama Bolton

THE GLOBE-MAKER’S APPRENTICE

a hand an eye a love of latitude
ning-king dreamy it’s not
months and years it takes
with only a bit of ding-ding muscle

a year and a half and a ship
in a curve of the map
a ying-ding around the world
a ling-ying all over again


Source: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/you-can-apply-now-to-be-an-apprentice-globe-maker-in-london

Method: My rules are that I can use any words or parts of words so long as they appear in the same order as in the source, and that the found poem should not tell the same story as the source.

Ama Bolton, former member of The Liverpool School of Language, Music, Dream and Pun, runs a monthly open-mic and has performed at festivals in England. Her poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies and online.

Hannah Mahoney

ARE YOU READY?

Life
requires assembly

Includes three cupcakes
Rejoice!

 

THE WORLD IS SPINNING

Entrances and exits

Things
grow more distinct with age

It all ends
Not quite what you hoped for?

Oh,
it’s perfect


Method: Each line or sentence, including the titles, has been lifted verbatim from the 2019 IKEA catalog.

Hannah Mahoney is a coauthor of Dream Language: For Three Voices (Yet to Be Named Free Press). Her work has appeared in a variety of journals, including at the Mann Library Daily Haiku website.

 

 

 

Rick Lupert

HEADLINES

Gumbo’s origin’s may surprise you.
This 95-year old fed Freedom Riders Chicken.

What now Elon?
Where is your soul, black man?

Yankees manager touches umpire,
squats like catcher.

Raiders send megastar to Bears!
Phil Mickelson shows off insane, viral high-kick!

Racist Robocall!
Starbucks quietly tests a healthier recipe.

A disturbing photo and a leaky can of pepper spray
ruined this flight to Hawaii.

The most stirring moments from the Memorial service.
Prince Harry sings!

The best ice cream in New York City!
Watch this ice cream stretch like gum.

What’s really behind “scallop wars”.
Spear phishing has become even more dangerous!

Lustful dolphin causes swimming ban.
Meet the man she fell in love with.

Kanye West apologizes.
Get fit like Ruth Bader Ginsburg!

Taiwan ‘hamburger’ goes global.
Lawmaker doubles down on ‘monkey’ comment.

Slow down and live long with this ancient practice.
9 hotels to sleep in before you die!

See Dad’s amazing catch of falling toddler.
See what’s streaming in September.

See this life size Bugatti made of Legos.
See fireball light up Australian sky!

See thousands of fish fall from the sky!
We’re going to build a lunar colony out of moon dust…


Method: All this text was found on September 1, 2018 on the home page of the CNN website. No clicking was involved.

Rick Lupert is a Los Angeles based poet and author of 23 collections of poetry, most recently Beautiful Mistakes (Rothco Press), and is founder of PoetrySuperHighway.com.