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

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
X
X

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
X
X

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

Kelsey Zimmerman

4 Erasure Collages

x
x

x
x
x
x
x
x

Source & Method

Sources: Paperbacks of Deliverance by James Dickey and Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris; Photos – my own. These pieces were created in Photoshop.


Kelsey Zimmerman is a writer and photographer from Michigan living in Iowa. She’s currently working on a chapbook of visual erasures.


Issue 25

Peter J. King

Venuti 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

Sam Kemp

Moonshot (extract)





Source & Method

These poems are composed of scans from Edward Lear’s The Nonsense Poems and text from the 2010 Conservative Manifesto.


Sam Kemp is an experimental poet based in London, UK. He lectures in creative writing and his visual work is published widely. @Samkpoetry


Issue 25

Amie Whittemore

Earth, Air, Fire, Water

Earth speaks to a palm and belongs to people.
Earth appears full, a solidness, loyal as employees.
Earth is rare, the same as the palm,
thin when viewing it, pure, likely, but not all.
~
Air is at its finest and long when it belongs to air.
Hands often belong to people, but have a wide grasp of the world.
Air can be just as intelligent as aggressive.
Sure as hands, strong air can be sensitive but with these hands
air is extremely soft-looking, it carries everything—as if air.
~
Fire is either wider at the bottom or tapering as it travels.
Fire is not common. It belongs to troublemakers
with boundless energy. Don’t pen it.
When the palm is full, ideas and energy smoke.
Restlessness, the fire. It has the true dreamer
always clicking. Fire is often unable to cope.
~
Water is soft-looking. With water, hands have
a great color; the hand needs water in all its forms.
Water can be easily intimidated, swayed by feelings.
Sometimes, with other fierce water, a blend—
generous, tender, but not lazy in anger.
~
Both men and women are water, air, earth, fire.
Some can give heart that’s still damp or hot.
Those with firm wants held too long
feel insecure. Women are their handshakes.
A man’s grip shows when it lasts.
People are open practice.

Source & Method:

From Discover Yourself Through Palm Reading by Rita Robinson (New Page Books, Franklin Lakes, NJ: 2002.) Each poem is drawn from a specific chapter, which is sometimes reflected in the title, sometimes not. The words appear in the order they were found in the chapter, though, obviously, with many words omitted in between.

Amie Whittemore is the author of the poetry collection Glass Harvest (Autumn House Press), the 2020-2021 Poet Laureate of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow.


 


Issue 25

Amie Whittemore

4 Palmistry Poems

The Problem of Handedness

When humans began
to hunt and forage,
it was necessary to develop
one or the other hand.
The brain followed suit.
When humans began
talking, it caused the body.
That’s only a theory:
words make up
seven percent of body.
So, take your theories:
What is certain?
What causes handedness?
The older meanings scar:
left-handed marriage,
left-handed wife, left side of the bed.
A left-handed person might
baptize these connotations
if the left hand contains
a troubled childhood.
Both hands can spur
a picture, perfectly drawn.

 


Issue 25

Amie Whittemore

4 Palmistry Poems

Hands Reveal Genetic Influence

Not just the physical self. The connection between—
hands, consciousness, hair, eye color, body shapes.
The child behaves or reacts,
a person likes or dislikes: an inherited trait.
Some people need the ride.
~
On a bench at the Chicago library, I was struck by
the way they held their heads. Their faces both wore
their gestures. So taken by them,
I asked if they laughed. I asked if I could take—
nearly in unison, I would have asked to take their hands.
~
Far more than we think, far more than we suspect—
we never really know someone else.
The living and dead will show up in our hands.
~
Thus, we breathe our first breath. A single marking. A story.
There is not a lone gene: interaction determines life.
~
We can inherit a morning or an evening.
We often become more aware, prone to illness or receding, as we age.
The chosen is wishful thinking. A woman may have liked more.

 

 

Issue 25

Amie Whittemore

4 Palmistry Poems

Introduction to Palmistry

When someone asks fate, the hands provide
desires rather than a path. Once to take.
A certain road. Sometimes we fail.
Life is our failures.
Palmistry serves as a guide, fluid, true.
The reading does not answer the questions:
Perhaps a woman discovers a desire.
Maybe a man has dreamed.
The hand shows the palmist that struggle will be necessary.
Often, all along, waiting for want only.
Palmistry is not about how long we live.
How many lovers we have. It speaks to whether or not—
there are no bad hands. Say a person likes traits
that could be seen as undesirable. Those who enjoy
can see others in light. We can move beyond miserable.
After reading hands I’ve found people are far more
rough-cut. Diamonds. Palmistry allows the polishing.
Studying the hand often we observe love.
Studying the hand we can find the nature of others.
Aware of inborn and acquired self,
we repeatedly blossom as we age. In the hand, believe.

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

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

Andy Fogle

Five Found John Brown Poems

Title & Etymology 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

Etymology 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 Noun Etymologies

a mob is a vulgar crowd
a mutiny moves to rebellion

rebellion is war by some
war is mixture, confusion

aggression is a walking towards
conflict: a striking together

business involves care, anxiety
an affair is something to do

emeute: to move
emotionally, a pack of hounds

a conspiracy agrees
a plot is a dense crowd, a secret project

treason is a handing over
excitement calls out, calls forth

a government steers,
is the helm of

a foray (straw forager)
plunders, raids, searches for food

to riot is to quarrel, debate
a riot is dissolute living

those who are scared shrink from
panic, this god that causes terror

quaking: the chatter of teeth
outbreaks burst, erupt

invasions go into
insurrections rise up

an uprising wakes,
gets out of bed

beginning? begin
crusade is a cross

 

Issue 25