Andy Fogle

Five Found John Brown Poems

Title & Entymology Mix

calling forth
a beginning

calling forth
a cross

calling forth
the vulgar

calling forth this terror
this secret this quaking

calling forth
this walking towards

calling forth
Black abolition

calling forth this new
dominion

calling forth this
outbreak of secret god


Source & Method

I’ve been interested in abolitionist John Brown for a long time and recently received a grant from Saratoga Arts up in upstate New York to visit his farm, read, talk to people, and write poems. This is the beginning of one vein of that project and is based on a single old newspaper article from the Baltimore American, which collected the headlines of various newspapers reporting on Brown’s seizure of Harpers Ferry. It’s fascinating how the media framed that experience (and it implies a bunch for the public too: how they would “receive” the experience, but also maybe what they were ready for, how newspapers figured readers would best take it). As the titles within label it, I begin with the common nouns from those headlines, adding just a touch of light, simple language (usually just “It was…”). From there I work in the etymologies of those common nouns, then a mix of phrases from just the titles, a mix of phrases from just the etymologies, and then a mix from both.

From “HOW WOULD IT FIGURE IN HISTORY” Baltimore American, November 14, 1859, front page. A special thanks to Heather Thomas and Erin Sidwell at The Library of Congress for locating the newspaper article for me.


Andy Fogle is the author of Across from Now and seven chapbooks of poetry, including the forthcoming Arc & Seam: Poems of Farouk Goweda, co-translated with Walid Abdallah. Music’s at fogle.bandcamp.com.

Issue 25

Andy Fogle

Five Found John Brown Poems

Entymology Mix

calling out
accursed Virginia

calling out
war by some

calling out
this god that causes terror

calling out
the straw forager

calling out
the timid:

to do
begin

to do
rise up

to do
be at the helm of

to do
erupt

to do
walk towards

Issue 25

Andy Fogle

Five Found John Brown Poems

This Mix

great Virginia
nipped in the bud

Black beginning
nipped in the bud

Black abolition
nipped in the bud

Black excitement
the new old scare

Issue 25

Andy Fogle

Five Found John Brown Poems

Common Nouns as Statements 

It was aggression, a riot, emeute
It was a plot, a conspiracy

It was an insurrection, mutiny
It was an invasion, war, treason

It was a crusade, an uprising, rebellion
It was a conflict

It was a provisional government
It was a mob

It was a scare, an affair, a foray
It was a quaking

It was an outbreak, a panic
It was business

It was excitement nipped in the bud
It was the beginning of sorrows


Issue 25

Peter J. King

Vernuti and Lang

 

i.
x
Joe and Eddie
through an old opportunity
offered a welcome
blue and gay
x
children of tradition
they expressed a white facetiousness
cheap and unexpected
play hot
and stranger in the studio
a richer blues
harsh jazz of alien days
x
ii.
x
Coltrane and Hawkins,
slow and sentimental
sinus standards ………………..historic sunset
(easy over and all) …………..smoothly changes
a bleak advance ………………a fifth time rifftide
towards self ……………………..and walking jazz
x
iii.
x
Pee Wee
flirt free
fans first
Birdland
x
iv.
x
high Ink Spots
whispering sun
down forties swing
flat sharpness
x
v.
x
modern night
drumming magic
presents the romantic
bop Bill
a bid
for beautiful

Source & Method

From All What Jazz, Philip Larkin (Faber & Faber, 1985). My approach to cut-ups is to choose a section and read through it, extracting words and phrases, keeping them in their original order, and arranging them on the page.

Peter J. King, born and brought up in Boston, Lincolnshire, was active on the London poetry scene in the 1970s, returning to poetry in 2013.  His work has been widely published in magazines & anthologies; available collections: Adding Colours to the Chameleon (Wisdom’s Bottom Press) & All What Larkin (Albion Beatnik Press).

https://wisdomsbottompress.wordpress.com/S


Issue 25

Peter J. King

Three Found Poems

 

You see,
a poet is wounded into speech, ……..and
he examines those wounds,
meticulously,

to discover how to heal them

(Nova, Samuel Delaney)
x
*
x
In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia,
/-iz/ is used not only after /s z s z c j/ but
also after /sp st sk/
(An Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics,
H. A. Gleason [Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1969])
x
*
x
Farmer’s Wife Hints:
Keep cool
x
(Farmer’s Wife yoghurt carton)

Source & Method

Sources as noted.


Peter J. King, born and brought up in Boston, Lincolnshire, was active on the London poetry scene in the 1970s, returning to poetry in 2013.  His work has been widely published in magazines & anthologies; available collections: Adding Colours to the Chameleon (Wisdom’s Bottom Press) & All What Larkin (Albion Beatnik Press).

https://wisdomsbottompress.wordpress.com/S


Issue 25

Alexis Fedorjaczenko

3 cut up poems


Source & Method

The source is New York Times front-page articles from early in the pandemic. Each day in April 2020 I printed that day’s news onto vellum paper in all caps Bodoni 16. I made analog cut-up poems in batches of five days and documented the poems with digitally altered photographs.


Alexis Fedorjaczenko lives on a hilltop in Massachusetts. She holds an MFA in poetry and essay from Western CT State University and a Master of Public Health degree from Yale University. Alexis tweets @ObjetAutre.


Issue 25

Kelly Hambly

Essential Materials for A Love Charm

i.
A hummingbird hovers
in the thick, humid air
when I take the dog
for his first morning piss.
The bird darts in
all unholy directions
close enough to touch
as if it’s trying
to send me a message
encoded in wing beats.

The medicine cards say
that hummingbird signifies
a lightness of being,
an ability to be present
to life’s inexplicable joys,
even those, such as these,
which shatter.
The feathers are often
used in love charms,
but no tiny feather
drops into the hand
I offer in open,
begging prayer.

I only have my words
and I choose them
with an undertaker’s care,
hoping each will pry
the day open wider
and let more of me fit
into the shrinking crack
between now and
when you are gone.

I tell you of the melody,
the high lonesome harmony
that sang such sweetness
through the silver light at dawn.
I tell you how beautiful I felt
barefoot in the dew
beneath near-static flight,
and you say the hummingbird
must have wanted to be close
to something sweet and beautiful, too.

You mean me, of course,
and I clutch the truth of my charms.
It is the only thing I get to keep.

ii.
We buried the hummingbird,
my daughter and I – wrapped it
in a square of green silk cut
from the mermaid costume
she wore when she was four,
the same green as the feathers
the color of ocean and sunshine
as seen from rippled sand
beneath the waves of the Atlantic.

She thinks the tears pooling
at the edge of my chin,
where the skin seems so loose,
as if I, too, am giving in to gravity,
are for the bird, and I suppose
they are in a way. I can’t help
but cry for the loss of flight,
for the sudden absence of
this nectar-sipping proboscis
in my Monarda patch.

I pluck a tiny feather
from the tail, and when
she dips her face close
to whisper goodbye,
I tuck it under my tongue.
I will have my love charm,
even if I must
swallow
its hollow shaft.

iii.
Of late I’ve been afflicted
by too many hummingbirds;
every poem starts
with a winged trickster
darting into my thoughts,
sucking out the sweetness
instantly recalling to me
the hopelessness
of the words I wrote
before I understood

ticking clocks,
body lanterns,
whiskers,
shoulders
dipping down,
growing
stacks of pages

I do not wish to see
how wrong I got it –
the message I thought
that bird was trying to impart.
He only wanted me
to step away from his babies,
knowing how close I was to
tearing my own nest to shreds.


Source & Method

I wrote this in stages as I found sparks from “Medicine Cards,” Jamie Sams; “Hummingbird,” Dorianne Laux; “Complaint and Plea,” Jim Harrison. I thought it was done with part i. but it continued to grow.

i. Information about hummingbird meaning and its feathers being used for love charms from Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals by Jamie Sams and David Carson

ii. “We buried the hummingbird” is the first line in Dorianne Laux’ “Hummingbird” in the collection Facts About the Moon, ©2006 W. W. Norton and Co.

iii. “Of late I’ve been afflicted by too many hummingbirds” is the first line in Jim Harrison’s “Complaint & Plea” in the collection In Search of Small Gods, ©2010 Copper Canyon Press


Kelly Hambly is a hungry-for-home New Englander living in Kent, Ohio where she writes poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction in the spaces between her work as a marketing and advertising copywriter.


Issue 25

M. A. Dubbs

Magazine Man-Spread:
Cosmo Over the Years

I

Ten reasons Russia won’t fight/
the progress of science/
transcendence/ beauty
of empire/ origin of thought/
Ernest Hemingway/ legacy/
world of art and letters/
Cuba’s struggle for freedom/
a fortress/ the greatness of man.

II

Still holding back?/
hurried housewives/ busy bachelor
girls/ cook
book/escape
boredom, conformity/
become a cultured/ lesbian
experience, cancer/ woman troubles
out of style/ truth
about the pill/ divorcee’s post
-mortem/ Depressed? Get yourself Up/
plastic surgery for girls/
rise in a man’s world

III

4 steps, 6 minutes/
21 sex tips/
confidence boosters/
STI-proof your Relationship/ Love
Rule/ Men Vote,
live with a neurotic man/ How sexy are you?
date 8 men/
lock down his love/
outsmart a bitch/ your va-jay-jay/
the balls to tell/ that jealous bitch
is you/ 100% hotter/
bigger/ better/
ballsy


Source & Method

All parts come from Cosmopolitan magazine covers spanning 1894 to 2012.


M. A. Dubbs is an award winning LGBTQ Mexican-American poet. Her poetry has appeared in Nanoism, Tipton Poetry Journal, and Backbone Poetry, among others. Her poetry book, Aerodynamic Drag, debuted earlier this year.


Issue 25

Dale Patterson

The Astronaut’s Notebook


Source & Method

I use personal photographs and found images to create digital collages.


Dale Patterson is a retired art teacher who fills his spare time writing poetry and creating visual art. His work has been published in numerous online and print journals.


Issue 25

Jennifer Richter

Seismologist Cento

 

Charles F. Richter journal entry, 6/20/26:
It was a surfeit of scientific occupation which led some years ago to a breakdown of my nerves…

1

Only one step
to go
so calmly there I stood upon the ledge
that for the moment I was half
alive

it was the realization of the artistic, or as I called it then, the spiritual aspect of the world, which first raised me out of that depression…

2

I make this prayer in experiment
let me be less uncertain in my mind
unafraid
of words
listen

just out beyond the circle of my light
they are all here

and it was the final accomplishment of self-expression in poetry which at last permitted me to return to my work.

3

At last
as if I were to turn the rusty locks
the sound of poetry
at the door
my friend
at last
you came

 


Source & Method

“Seismologist Cento” is woven entirely of lines and titles exactly as they appear in the archived poetry of Charles F. Richter, creator of the earthquake magnitude scale.


Jennifer Richter’s poetry collections No Acute Distress and Threshold were both published in the Crab Orchard Series and were both named Oregon Book Award Finalists. Richter teaches in Oregon State University’s MFA program.


Issue 25

Sam Kemp

Moonshot (extract)


Source & Method

I use personal photographs and found images to create digital collages.


Dale Patterson is a retired art teacher who fills his spare time writing poetry and creating visual art. His work has been published in numerous online and print journals.


Issue 25

Barbara Sabol

After Ruin

 

Sometimes I hear the earth’s sunken voice,
……a throat-slit pouring silk, saying
…………this is water; this is darkness;

this is a body fitting your description. Saying
……we can never be without loss
…………too long.

The cemetery expands its borders―little milky crosses
……grow like teeth. I knew I would lose you. Why
…………do stars break the morning sky?

I’ve engraved your name
……on the palms of my hands. We are two guests
…………on an excess, fugitive cloud.

Some say we are living
……at the end of time. An afterlife
…………of parts―rubble, but not without shape;

the sunset’s patchy rust; a creek of shadows; a body
……displaced against the pull of the waters.
…………No me, no you. No beginning, no end.

Come home, come home, the five porches weep.
……Old bone home―mottled mildewed wallpaper
…………like a wet coat we couldn’t put back on;

a naked animal in search of a pelt. Some things
……are hidden from us: the film of old water in a well;
…………glaciers in a slow dissolve.

Eight weeks of deluge and gloom, but dear eager earth
……makes its impossible offer: one thousand birds in the hand,
…………well water sweet for a hundred miles, and light,

more new light. How kind time is. Messages from the dead
……arrive like calm white birds with a gift, and all
…………the sky there is fills my throat.

 


Source & Method

Cento, drawing from poems by Malachi Black (“Sifting in the Afternoon”); Robert Bly (“Living at the End of Time”); Rachael Boast (“Disfigurations”); Mahmoud Darwish (“To a Young Poet”); Dan Gerber (“Often I Imagine the Earth”); Robin Gow (“Sacrament 1); Chloe Honum (“Spring”); Luther Hughes (“Stay Safe”); Susan Kelly-Dewitt (“Reading St. John of the Cross”); John Koethe (“Murray Gell-Mann”); Joy Ladin (“Forgetting”); Sylvia Legris (“Gazetteer of the Back Yard”);John McCauliffe (“The Ax”); Spencer Reese “(At Thomas Merton’s Grave” and “ICU”); James Schuyler (“Scarlatti,” “Sweet Romanian Tongue”); Eleanor Wilner (“Encounters in a Local Pub”)


Barbara Sabol‘s second full-length book, Imagine a Town, was awarded the 2019 Sheila-Na-Gig Editions poetry manuscript prize. Her awards include an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She lives in Akron, OH with her husband and wonder dogs.


Issue 24

Anhvu Buchanan

Ears ( Joy Luck Club Erasure)

I bit back my tongue.
among strangers

 

my name

 

held the sun’s fire

I  saw only      white

 

my

 

ears       whispered secrets

 

Shh! Shh!

sacrifice

 

and

lean away from the wind


Source & Method

Erasure: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.

Anhvu Buchanan is the author of The Disordered (sunnyoutside press). He currently teaches in San Francisco and can be found online at www.anhvubuchanan.com

 


Issue 24

kerry rawlinson

two erasure poems, with original artwork

bird secrets

 

fish of life


Source & Method

Erasure poems, with original art. Found sources of text attributed below the title of the piece. “Word” erasure docs available upon request.


Decades ago, autodidact/ bloody-minded optimist kerry rawlinson gravitated from sunny Zambian skies to solid Canadian soil. Now she stalks Literature & Art’s Muses around the Okanagan Valley, still barefoot. http://kerryrawlinson.tumblr.com


Issue 24

Emmeline Solomon

Society Must be Defended

1

Down there where it can’t be seen, down there where it is neither seen nor monitored by anyone, it is following a deep, coherent, and premeditated trajectory.

The great, tender, and warm freemasonry of useless erudition.

2

We are forced to tell the truth, we are constrained, we are condemned to admit the truth or to discover it.

Power passes through the individuals it has constituted.

It is always easy, and that is precisely what I hold against it.

3

People with dust in their eyes and dust on their fingers

born in burning towns and ravaged fields.

We are all inevitably someone’s adversary.

And something fragile and superficial will be built on top of this web of bodies, accidents, and passions, this seething mass which is sometimes murky and sometimes bloody;

Cynical rage in all its nudity

4

This Mythology tells of how the victories of giants have gradually been forgotten and buried, of the twilight of gods, of how heroes were wounded or died, and of how kings fell asleep in inaccessible caves.

Those who find themselves, perhaps for a time – but probably for a long time – in darkness and silence.

There is no blood and there are no corpses.

5

A knife to our throats

The knife at our throats

A double outline or a twin

Two branches that grow from the same trunk

A circular knowledge which derived knowledge from knowledge

6

This too is hateful

Someone else begins to say “I” and “we”

This is no longer the glorious history of power; it is the history of its lower depths, its wickedness, and its betrayals.

It was not power’s ode to itself.

7

A stable dyssymmetry or a congruent inequality.

The bastard sons of the adventurers of the night

The present is no longer a moment of forgetfulness

8

Death was now something that slips in to life, perpetually gnaws at it, diminishes it and weakens it.

9

It is a new body, a multiple body, a body with so many heads that, while they might not be infinite in number, cannot necessarily be counted.

To make it proliferate, to create living matter, to build the monster.


Sources & Method

Michel Foucault,  “Society Must Be Defended”: Lectures at the College de France 1975-1976, English Translation by David Macey. Beautiful sentences arranged in order of appearance in an attempt to find a through-line.


Emmeline Solomon is an artist and educator who lives and works in Albion, Michigan. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, a BFA in Printmaking from the Maine College of Art.

Issue 24

Michael Brockley

A Gratitude Cento

When Adam ate from the Tree of Knowledge, all the animals ate from it, too. I want to write about warm milk silent as a bee hive. Hot-buttered grits and of all the places where they might shine. I want to write about three strands of hair. About something more human than lava. The time no one laughed but me. I want to write about feeling bored and counting snowflakes stamped in silver while spelling out my new name. I could solve problems. Get the answers I want. Nothing goes down easier than when what there is to lose is everything. I want to write in a place where fireworks percuss. Loud and certain as the auctioneer’s racket. Let the conversation be bilingual. Go ahead and eat the poem. Flaunt its imperfections. Re-write the narrative on a darkening hill. We will kill or die. Or become the lion.


Source & Method

Bibliography:

When Adam Ate from the Tree of Knowledge, All the Animals Ate from It, Too, Nickole Brown
Bitter Vision, Wendy Vergoz
The New Twilight Zone: ‘Empty City,’ Jennifer Knox
Hot-Buttered Grits, Allyson Horton
After God, Jennifer Browne
Hands, Siv Cedering
The Lava on Iceland, Katy Didden
After Taking Me Home, Heather Sellers
Pandora Speaks, Karen Kovacik
Coming Home, Kendra DeColo
Project Challenge, Liz Kershner Whiteacre
Immersion, Patti White
How It Is, Alice Friman
Robinson Escapes to the Cape for Independence Day, Kathleen Rooney
After the Auction, I Bid You Goodbye, Aimee Nezhukumatathil
The Contract Says We’d Like the Conversation to Be Bilingual,  Ada Limón
Here, Kim Addonizio
Show Off, Allison Joseph
P. S. Assault, Alessandra Lynch
Creek-Song, Shari Wagner
Become the Lion, Traci Brimhall

I composed “A Gratitude Cento” to express my gratitude to the women who had influenced me as a poet. It is based on lines I selected from twenty-one poets who had instructed me in face-to-face workshops or in virtual workshops during the current pandemic. I am truly grateful for the help each instructor gave me.


Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist who lives in Muncie, Indiana. His poems have recently appeared in The Thieving Magpie, Last Stanza, and The Twin Bill. Poems are forthcoming in Flying Island, the Indianapolis Anthology, and the Exeter Hometown Anthology.


Issue 24