Tag Archives: wigleaf

nachos run all flatmancrooked slim volume of contemporary poetics 14

Barely noon-thirty but it’s been a day. I woke at 5:00 a.m. and drove out to cold, vast, sweeping forest of valleys and ridges. The snow was all thought-provoking. The whisper glow. Moon off the snow is actually blue. I went up, down. I hiked squeaky boots. On the way out I saw a man standing near my car parked alongside the road. He looked like a weathered birdhouse with a snake inside all full of eggs. His eyes had a circus.

(via)

He said, “You better not park round here they been throwing glass bottles!”

I looked around. No glass. Just snow. A few shrubs and my car. Overhead a Canada (not Canadian, a common mistake) goose honked.

He said, “Some dude stole my tree stand out the back of my truck two days ago, I know who it is. Drives a maroon van! He and his wife. If I catch that dude I’m going strip off his clothes and throw him off in these woods naked, I will.”

“Well,” I said. I tried a half smile. The air felt like it was trying to cackle or maybe shrug. I got into my car and drove off and in the rear window watched the man just standing there, side of the road, snow. His head was sort of clicking away.

(mommy, when do we eat junior mints and nachos?!)

Home I shucked off layers of clothes, drank a stupendous coffee, got into my boxers, and ran a brutal 9 mile fartlek on the treadmill. Oh god. I mean brutal. I feel all floaty right now. My knees are red. Taste of metal in my mouth. Lungs like wonderful Mylar. My insides feel hollow and happy. If I had a beer I’d down it, I might, but I don’t have a beer.

Well.

I don’t know what to do. I have work-work to do, but why ruin my glow? I am going to review an anthology of poetry, I will. OK, this is a large anthology. Wait. In a minute I will read and review the first 14 poems of flatmancrooked slim volume of contemporary poetics. I said in a minute.


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metazen has a Christmas book for charity. I shit you not. They asked if I would write a Christmas thing. I stood and sat down. I said I don’t know, Christmas? I stood, fidgeted, sat down and wrote a Christmas list (well, the first 100) to give to Santa. Here is a sample so you will go buy the book (actually buy it for the other authors, who are glow) and help orphans. 28-38 on my want list:

28. Something to carry in my mouth.
29. Nick, are you lonely up there?
30. Nick, you owe me 14 pink Zippo lighters, as you well know.
31. A device for breaking memory.
32. What kind of name is Gary? I want a spray canister that removes names. Gary as
_________.
33. I will keep the hotel room above my studio apartment and I will go out the window here,
climb up to the roof, and use my swipe card to enter my hotel room. I’ll be needing cable, but
would prefer no internet service. Oh, and a bathtub. I want a bathtub.
34. Teeth contact.
35. Reindeer loin.
36. Shelia, you know Sheila. Fuck, you know everybody. Bring me her gall bladder in a glass
banana. Sort of modern sculpture I can set out and ignore.
37. I pledge the possible Chlamydia to the jet lag….
38. My own contractors. Make the walls bend. Make four taps, I want four silver taps installed
above my toilet, the little toady toilet in my little toady cave in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with
the medi-vac helicopter thumping overhead my hangover-skull, wires of transmission—You,
in the helicopter, oh fucked one, fucked broken stranger, I am sorry to ignore you now (as you
will ignore me later in my time of need)—just four silver flowing taps: codeine cough syrup,
coffee, Pepto Bismol, white wine.

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Rose Metal Press is having a fund drive. Please give. Seriously. Years ago I stumbled into this whole indie/alt community lit thing and it was refreshing as a snowfall of golden ballet shoes. Different than other aspects of the lit/book/author world. Why? Because we look out for each other. It is actually a community. I notice. All of these authors/publishers/amazing artists of all sort–they always shout and wink and glow about others first. It’s what pleased me about this little world, when I first explored lit-blogs, publishers, authors online. They had balance. It wasn’t just, “Read my book!” It was a little “read my book” and a whale of “Holy shit, read her book! And check out this reading! This interview. And look how this publisher just made a book out of a fishing tackle box. ” It was a medication to me, a good one. To give back. It is the oil of the movement, the windmill, the energy, the horse and wagon, the force that through the green fuse drives the flower, the metal of the rose, I feel.

so give

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By Lindsay Hunter

“Each tiny, diamond story—precise, comic, poised at the edge of surreal—contains one brutal life force tearing itself off the page. You can hold Daddy’s in your hands and feel it breathing.” —Deb Olin Unferth, author of Vacation

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BOOM chapbook contest, folks.

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Glow Luke Hawley at Hobart:

“I don’t know how you run marathons on sugar and diet soda.”

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FLASH! Mary Hamilton interview at The Short Review.

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I have a flash/prose poem about babysitters and a postcard about living on a houseboat at wigleaf. (If you are reading this months from now, go to wigleaf archives.)

Look under L, you slaw-cheeks.

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Ok, here we go: flatmancrooked slim volume of contemporary poetics. The first 14 poems.

1: “Aftermath” by Brian Adeloye is a cut-to-the-bone poem, so I’ll let you just read the thing and brain your own sandwich:

Whether noticeable

Or negligible

It probably

Was measurable

2: Justin Alvarez made me look up the word, alsacienne. It a term referring to a cooking style, origin “Alsace,” a province of northeastern France. Usually it means braised meat, some sausage, big-ass taters. A heavy meal. I could see someone eating in the alsacienne style and then belching before walking out to the woodpile and sprawling on the woodpile in the warming sun, wood sort of poking your back, legs all angled falling out, and maybe a few ants tickling your legs and next thing you know you’re asleep.

3: I don’t know why Joseph Atkins needs a period in the title of the poem, “Rain or Shine.” Could be something, or nothing. He does it here, too, at Shampoo. “Rain or Shine.” takes a stab at bored and medicated we. A good fork-ful stab, shiny sharpened tines of words:

Choking was the sound of progress.

Choking was the sign of progress.

What pleased me was the spin into another, apparently found over the internet, another soul drifting on the flotsam of split pills and television. He took this and made it that. This may be why they put Atkins name in big-ass letters on the back of this anthology.

4,5,6: Three prose poems appear. All by Mr. Atkins. He seems already a “presence” in this anthology. The prose poems are printed sideways on two pages. Atkins as interested in form. As interesting. I preferred the first one, “Plastic Vines Sparking in the Sunlight.” (though I sort of hate the title. It sounds like a Roadiohead song title)

A wash of “I” sentences, but it is the exhaustive “I” being examined, analyzed, alienated, sharded into nothing. It works:

I like things clean but I don’t like to clean.

I enjoy traffic jams for the homogenized goals of the mobile citizen & the unidirectional lack of insight they reveal.

7: Another Joseph Atkins poem, another period: “Photo Op.”

Odd poem here. A series of linguistic phrases, similar in structure and state, similar in diction, but then attributed to various personalities, DFW to Obama to Bernie Mac. It is a tri-level juxtaposition, with more depth than a photo op, and possibly one thesis: The systematization of celebrity culture transparent in its intent to transport the underlying assumptions of capitalistic society, AKA: they are puppets, but insidious puppets, and even worse, we love them and have no idea why.

8: James Benton made me go and look up amaryllis. It is a lily. It’s nickname is “the naked lady.” Hey now.

9: I’m getting a little Matthew Arnold feel off “Oceanus Pacificus”

Read both poems yourself.

10: Diego Baez doesn’t waste words. Tight as a thoroughbred, no fat. The title is a bit obvious, so off-putting, but I love how he takes me out with an image, a horse grazing in the bowl of our skulls, a diorama of our days.

11: Baez glows in the line, but continues a pattern of “Thanks for making it clear to me” titles. I wish I was his close friend and he would say, “Would you read my poems?” I would say, “No, I’m fucking busy, but maybe in the summer.” Then he would be patient, and I would read them in the summer. And I would say, “Damn, these are poems. I don’t have much to say, except thank you for writing these, and please, please, please change your titles.”

12: Finally, we have a female poet! That opening was front-loaded with male poets.

13: Amy Bleu has an excellent name. She sings. And writes a poem named “Akimbo.”

I don’t like what you stand for

But I like the way you stand there

Arms akimbo

Dominating

Every space you inhabit

Confident enough to conquer

Every Creature

Who extends a tender arm

Tentative as a tendril

In the vain hope

Of reaching

You.

14: Wow, to the “Fistulated Cow.” Glow words, Katie Cappello. (Here is a review of her book)

Aside: A fistulated cow is a cow with an intentional hole in it for scientific research. In 1822, a Canadian suffered a wound that refused to heal, but the man otherwise was in fine health. His doctor discovered that the digestive process could be observed directly through the hole. The discovery spread, and for over 150 years, fistulation has been used to observe digestive processes in living animals, with the first recorded scientific use on animals dating to 1833.

But back to the poem…

What is the cow thinking? I’m glad that’s asked? And isn’t love the wet undigested grass yanked from the cow’s first, second, third, or fourth stomach?

Indeed.

15. BONUS POEM! BONUS POEM!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Everybody slap their grandmother! BONUS POEM!

Anna Clarke brings it with “How I never Wanted to Have Coffee with You.”

I’m reading, I suppose, and I notice

Capturing the coffee shop idyll, hardly reading at all, watching, thinking, we as book, sometimes faking, watching…Look, an elderly couple. Talking about silence, the weather, nothing, nothing

nothing but baked goods between them

Love fades. And is ordinary? As a leaf or a chip of paint. Or cold coffee. And the speaker is that couple. And we are that couple. And it is terrifying. And we must thank Anna Clarke for showing us so.

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Consequences by Lincoln Michel

Another wigleaf Top 50 would be Consequences by Lincoln Michel.

I read it 7 times, just to get the movement. This is a tight clock of movement, understand? I didn’t. So I read it 7 times. See, this piece jumps somehow, the way green darts of water frogs leap from the throb of my approaching push mower. Yet I can’t really tell you anything about frog-jumping. I just see this zip of jade.

I’m talking about movement:

I once knew a girl who’d been smothered with a pillow by her lover.

That’s a great opening line. And I think the girl is dead now. But then we get a quick reversal, we move back–the girl is alive, but now we are already into:

No one told me any of this before I saw her across the room at a party.

We just zipped from mythology to contemporary realism setting. We moved. It’s like a flashing light and there was something above the light and that felt very heavy on my face.

Zigzagging: producing tension by creating fluctuations of feeling to maintain a high degree of attention.

Thanks, Jerome.

The 1st time I felt I stumbled upon some guitar-riff licking fishing poles sort of thing.

The 2nd time I studied.

the 3rd time I noted many well-rendered sensations.

The 4th time I felt wonder and envy. Who is this Lincoln Michel? [Here u go]

The 5th time I was blotto.

The 6th time I felt like a waitress leaning and waiting to pick up the dishes. I mean I was ready to write my own flash.

the 7th time I exhaled and wrote this blog post.

I was angry and never talked to the girl again.

Cut.

I got a job moving boxes then lost it.

“What do you want, Mr. Lovelace?”

“Smack. To be smacked.”

WANT

OBSTACLE

ACTION

Thank you, Lincoln Michel, for the Consequences.

(all images by Shannan Lee Hayes)

wigleaf 50 Jensen Beach, ACE disc golf, Harvey Pekar Glows Ball State

Harvey Pekar features his Ball State visit in his latest comic. Pretty cool.

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wigleaf Top 50 is out.

Excellent forward by Scott.

Excellent introduction by Brian Evenson

Today, let’s snare/share “Family” by Jensen Beach.

Someone suggested swimming and someone else said that in this weather all we need is another incident. Someone recalled that there was an expression that perfectly explained this very moment.

This opening is a stirring, a crackling (surely, we are due an “incident” soon) and also a cosmos, a shard-world of a larger one, the world of family.

Someone said that they’d read an article on the Internet about this topic and someone else said that, well then of course it’s true.

Truth. Internet as family, family as Internet: Information. Who to trust? What to say? What to share? How long does it remain, the things we write and say and don’t say–the things we whisper into our coffee mugs/clenched teeth/night.

Craft: Anaphora: The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, or paragraphs

“Someone”

“Someone”

“Someone”

Someone struggled to hold on until someone else suggested that maybe lunch should be served, which turned the subject to food, which as usual had a calming effect.

Food, sure. Or we could discuss sports. Or weather. Or clothing. Or we could pass around photos–as one dimensional as anything, as staged lie–or stare glossy-eyed into our Smart Phones, or we could find all sorts of activities, as a family, intended to assure, to make certain, that we say Nothing.

“These sure are good potatoes.”

Hummmmmmmmmmmmm

“The rain is going to go below us” (A doubling technique–stare into radar on phone, intimate a necessity [I am the one who checks the weather for the family], do nothing.)

Someone said that as a family we’re always forgetting important details, and someone else said, do you mean forgetting or ignoring?

Indeed. Families choose what they forget. Or remember. Unearth. Bury.

And “Someone” works well here. We don’t choose our families. Or if to have them. We are someone. They are someone. Close, far, near, distant. With us. Without us.

This piece dances and swirls around the dangerous gaps, the precipices of family. The repetition brings weight, brings a cadence, as I said, a dance. But it is fitful. Something is about to seize, in the subtext. Somehow I see all the flickering corners of this gathering, as the storm rolls overhead, as the Others stare out the rain-streaked window. Someone is in the bathroom for way too long. Someone is upstairs napping. Someone runs an errand, simply to escape. Someone is laughing way too loud, at anything. Someone hasn’t had a good laugh a single day of their life. Someone has a bottle of beer stuck down their boxer shorts. Most everyone is medicated in some way, and aren’t there so many methods? Someone is out in the yard, on the ground, mouth open gasping rain.

This is an odd piece, Jensen Beach. Odd.

Like family. So.

Someone is impressed.

Your reader.

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ACE at Honey Hollow. Full Peru disc post here for those that glow disc (and why don’t you?)

S

wigleaf Goodness Ace read Business of Books

Me got some new words in wigleaf. Go read it and you will be happy like corn or something.

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ace!!!

Ace yesterday at Pieradise, hole # 18. Aces make me feel like corn. This man (Alen Pier) turned his farm into a disc golf mecca and we are all better for it.

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“Obviously, what we hope and we see with the small, independent publishers that there is a younger generation that is not going to buy into the money culture and that has decided that some of these values still matter to them.”

Andre Schiffrin

I just finished this book:

23761751

It talks about how media conglomerates have destroyed book publishing. How thoughtful, intellectual, engaging literature and essay and so on have been pushed aside for glam and glimmer and $$$.

It made me thankful to all the awesome Indy publishers out there. There are still people who care. Half the writer/bloggers I truly enjoy more than likely wouldn’t have their books out by mainstream publishers. Blake Butler, Shane Jones, Molly Gaudry, on and on and on. Exciting, sometimes difficult (in a good way. I’ll take my art hard like a knife edge thank you) work I am so happy to be ABLE to obtain, read, pass on, discuss, enjoy.

This is an important book. All readers and editors and anyone else who believes arguments and inquiries and art/art/art are CRITICAL to a democratic society, to a people, pick it up. I think it makes the argument for why writer/bloggers, indy publishers, all of this buzz and whirl and everything going on right now on the net acts as ESSENTIAL.

S