Category Archives: Issue 23

Sarah Koenig

Of Natural Things

I.

insects understand
the poetry of the grown up world
the severity of a house’s needs –

our mysterious winters
figure prominently in their telling
they keep looking back

with marvelous facility –
gingerly they walk the length of our sidewalks
seeing boulders in its sediments

 

II.

horseshoe crabs aren’t really horseshoes
and they definitely aren’t crabs
they shed their old names as they get bigger

soft but firm to the touch like wet fingernails
small ones are the size of a spider
they remind people of quarters

if you pick up a quarter
it will kick its tiny legs
tickling your palm

 

III.

the survival of the tree
depends on the jay’s ability to think ahead
though they are shy and retiring

they will carry the abandoned acorns
far from the tree shadow
then bury them out of reach

it’s a risky strategy –
the jay has effectively planted them
and may not remember what they will become


Source & Method

Each section of this poem takes language from a different book. I combed through the books to find interesting phrases, rearranged the phrases into short poems, then combined the poems.

Sources:
Section I: The Virgin Homeowner, by Janice Papolos
Section II: Cabinet of Curiosities, by Gordon Grice
Section III: The Nature Book, by Marianne Taylor


Sarah Koenig lives in Seattle, WA. Her poetry has appeared in Barrow Street, PANK, Forklift Ohio, the Bellevue Literary Review, Bellingham Review and Cutbank, among several other journals. Her work has also appeared in Washington 129, an anthology of Washington state poets.


 

David R. Bublitz

3 Visual Pieces

Beating

Echoes

Two Thousand Yards (After Thomas Lea)


Source & Method

This series of found poems came from the U.S. Army Combat and Operational Stress Control Manual for Leaders and Soldiers (FM 6-22.5). I created all of the artwork using Adobe Photoshop (primarily the pen tool). Artwork for the poem “Two Thousand Yards (After Thomas Lea)” is an homage to “That Two Thousand Yard Stare” by artist and illustrator Thomas Lea.


David R. Bublitz is the son of a veteran. He completed an MFA at the Oklahoma City University Red Earth program, and his first full collection of poems, Combat Pay, was published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company in March 2020.


 

Growing Time

a cento

 


Source & Method

From, in order: Jennifer Grotz, Medbh McGuckian, Mary Oliver, Evie Shockley, Lucille Clifton, Sarah Kay, Janice N. Harrington, Amy Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Helene Johnson, Hilda Morley, Laura Tohe, Rita Dove, Louise Glück, Maggie Smith, January Gill O’Neil, Lynda Hull, Jennifer O’Grady, Margaret Atwood, Gail Mazur, Brenda Hillman, Audre Lorde, Anne Spencer, June Jordan, and Moya Cannon.


Taryn Ocko Beato is a poet, mixed media artist, and audiobook producer. Her art is inspired by nature and focuses largely on combining disparate materials and text to create something new. Taryn’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in eris & erosPlants & Poetry, and Rue Scribe. She lives in New York with her husband, son, and sweet rescue dog, Darby.


 

Crystal Bowden

History & Hate


Source & Method

Magazine images and found text from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.


Crystal Bowden is a poet, collagist, and writing coach living outside Atlanta. She prefers to hide away in the woods, chugging coffee, covered in cats.


 

Bob Lucky

Climate

climate is music that leads to a lake
a lake is a looking-glass

the resemblance should be measured
should be big enough so that there is shade

this is awkward and strange and yet
all the time it rests where it is
in excellent and slanting light


Source & Method

Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons (Claire Marie 1914); blackout/grayout.


Bob Lucky is the author of Ethiopian Time (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), Conversation Starters in a Language No One Speaks (SurVision Books, 2018), My Thology: Not Always True But Always Truth (Cyberwit, 2019), and the e-chapbook What I Say to You (proletaria.org, 2020).

 


Genevieve Betts

Silence, I Discover, is Something You Can Actually Hear

Listen, every object’s in flux—
the whole universe is like some big FedEx box

searching for something, the breath of the dead,
the whispers of people who don’t exist.

Prince sings on, like some mollusk in your head,
carving the words in a deep blue tattoo. Just listen.

Imagine you’re a clam speaking a common language,
the afternoon quietly reeling into twilight.

Words are asleep in a corner of time. The metaphors
transform and I’m on the border of this world,

a maze of eddies. In truth, all sensation is memory.
You’ll live forever in your own private library.

 


Source & Method:  All lines taken from Haruki Murakami’s novel Kafka on the Shore.


Genevieve Betts is the author of the poetry collection An Unwalled City (Prolific Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in Hotel Amerika, The Tishman Review, New Mexico Review, The Literary Review, and in other journals and anthologies. She teaches creative writing for Arcadia University’s low-residency MFA program and lives in Santa Fe.


Chidambar Navalgund

2 Collages

Remarks

a new course


Source & Method

1. Remarks: A collage using magazine images and phrases from ‘Time’ and ‘Bloomberg’ magazines. 2. a new course: Digital artwork and cut-up from page 111 of ‘Miracles of Sai Baba,’ published by Dheeraj Pocket Books.


Chidambar Navalgund, from Belagavi, India, is a graduate in Criminology and is presently pursuing his Masters in Sociology from IGNOU. He has recently started dabbling in visual and found poetry, especially collage.

 


Andrew McIver

End of the Empire

 


Source & Method

Source Text: Franz Joseph Land: The Meaning of North by David Quammen (National Geographic, August 2014).

Photos: Corey Richards. Constructed using cut-ups and collage, pasting words and phrases on top of images from the source text.


Andrew McIver is the author What the River Was, a collection of original and found poetry forthcoming December 12, 2020. You can find his work online at andrew-mciver.com or @andrewmciver_ on Instagram.

 


Thomas Terceira

4 Collages

 

 

 

 

 

 










Source & Method

Two digitally created collages. Found and scanned images combined in Photoshop and two hand-cut analog collages made from vintage ephemera, illustrations, and tissue paper.


Thomas Terceira born in Providence RI in 1953. He received a BS in Crafts Design from FSU in 1977. Thomas is a professional craftsman and designer. His creative endeavors include collage, decoupage, graphic design, theater, and music His collages appeared in Rattle, Drowning Gull, Foliate Oak, and other literary journals.

Joan Caska

This Year Will Take From Me

What is it like there, right now?
The cool flash of what serious is—
the ice has begun to unclench.

What will happen. All this leaving. And meetings, yes. But death
falling on each of us, the departed and the leaving.

The dead man looked like this. No, that.

The landscape usually contains the solution to what’s lost.
Out the window I can see dead leaves ticking over the flatland.
The few birds at my feeder watch the window.
It is as if we have all been lowered into an atmosphere of glass.

The eyes of a thin woman sixty-three years old search the shadows.
Vaults, cages, bars, curbs, bits, bolts, fetters.
Invisible, our ghosts starve, while the rest of the world keeps on eating.

To the one who sets a second place at the table anyway:
Come and carry me there
Let us poem a place where you cannot erase us into white space.

 


Source & Method

This piece, including title, consists of one or more lines sourced from each of the following poems (in alphabetical order by poet’s name): Anne Carson’s “Three and The Glass Essay”; Renee Gladman’s “Proportion Surviving”; Eliza Griswold’s “Ruins”; Mark Halliday’s “The Missing Poem”; Susan Kinsolving’s “Trust”; Judy Loest’s “Faith”; Varsha Madhulika’s “Oh The Stealing Steps…”; Dionisio D. Martínez’s “Flood: Years of Solitude”; Jean Valentine’s “Sanctuary”; Tanaya Winder’s “Missing More than a Word.”

 


Joan Caska works as a digital marketing specialist, editor and creative writer. She primarily writes literary flash fiction and prose poetry, and has a passion for experimental writing and literary criticism. She enjoys helping others achieve their writing goals in workshops and writing groups throughout upstate NY.

 


 

Cooper Dart

Many Days

How many days until my guinea pig’s
first birthday? Until our vernissage? Until the Feast
of Our Lady of Guadalupe?
I am calculating days until I have
seven years sober. Until redundancy.
Until I no longer have chlamydia. Until I turn 30,
run out of time, and gain possession of the proverbial farm.
——
Why am I here? To test the accuracy
of a program I am writing that calculates
when a parent is twice the age of the child?
To find the days until human extinction occurs?  (2485)
To see if this is real? The apartment lease is up.
This is good — I see my dad.
This is good, thank you.
This is good.

Source & Method

This is composed of public comments made on the “Keisan Online How many days until ~ Calculator” website. I went through them all and organized by topic/theme, then sorted into the order we have here!

 


Cooper Dart grew up in Hailey, Idaho. He is currently a senior at Bowdoin College on the coast of Maine studying natural resource management, anthropology, and creative writing. He can usually be found at the nearest rope swing.

 


 

Sarah J. Sloat

3 Visual Poems


Source & Method

These collaged pieces are part of a series exploring the concept of agency using ‘by’ phrases found in books, in this case in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose.

 


Sarah J. Sloat splits her time between Frankfurt and Barcelona, where she works in news. Her book of visual poetry, Hotel Almighty, is out from Sarabande Books. You can keep up with her at www.sarahjsloat.com.

 


 

Jenna Le

How Not to Be Wrong

How not to be wrong?
Never breathe a word.

 

The lover,
the optimist
never breathe a word.

 

The dolphin,
the pilgrim hawk
never breathe a word.

 

White heat,
red shift
never breathe a word.

 

Faces in the water
never breathe a word.

 

Poets in a landscape
never breathe a word.

 

Buddhist scriptures
never breathe a word.

 

Winter stars
never breathe a word.

 

Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire
never breathe a word.

 

On being blue,
never breathe a word.

 


Source & Method

These are “book spine poems”: poems where each line is the title of a book, constructed by stacking books so that the poem can be read off their spines in order from top to bottom. Book titles used: How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg (2014), Never Breathe a Word by Caroline Blackwood (2010), The Lover by Marguerite Duras (1984), The Optimist by Joshua Mehigan (2004), The Dolphin by Robert Lowell (1973), The Pilgrim Hawk by Glenway Wescott (1940), White Heat by Brenda Wineapple (2008), Red Shift by Alan Garner (1973), Faces in the Water by Janet Frame (1961), Poets in a Landscape by Gilbert Highet (1957), Buddhist Scriptures ed. by Edward Conze (1959), Winter Stars by Larry Levis (1985), Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire by Fodor’s Travel Publications Inc. (1991), and On Being Blue by William H. Gass (1975)

 


Jenna Le (jennalewriting.com) is the author of Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011) and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Indolent Books, 2017), an Elgin Awards Second Place winner. Her poetry appears in AGNI, Denver Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Pleiades, Verse Daily, and West Branch.

 


 

Sarah J. Sloat

I s s u e   2 3

beauty of a halo


Jenna Le

How Not to Be Wrong

Sarah J. Sloat

Three Visual Poems
by disorder
by pressing
by the tremendous beauty of a halo

Cooper Dart

Many Days

Chidambar Navalgund

2 Collages
Remarks
A new course

Thomas Terceira

4 Collages

Joan Caska

This Year Will Take from Me

Andrew McIver

End of the Empire

Genevieve Betts

Silence, I Discover, is Something You Can Actually Hear

Bob Lucky

Climate

Crystal Bowden

History & Hate

Taryn Ocko Beato

Growing Time

David Bublitz 

Three Visual Poems
Echoes
Beating
Two Thousand Yards

Sarah Koenig

of natural things