Cheena Marie Lo

from the chapbook NO FILTER (August 2014)

 

The physical form talks around an interpretation.

I am floating above my body sitting above two cities, sometimes three when the sky is clear.

The elaboration of community, of a process—unfolds inside an interview, on the Internet, in a gallery.

Movement and relation.

What is happening next?

My horoscope says lean into what is unknown, something about Neptune and water. I’ve been feeling ungrounded anyway.

We have pretty bad luck, huh?

What do we deserve other than luck?

I’m out of practice—writing, being around others.

Notes: skip ahead, no pressure, dead zones, structures, vulnerability, process.

I guess this thing is new.

There are many lines to hold.

 

 

Something about the physical form

and talking around an interpretation—

if you move the object it triggers a change

we are unsure of how to interact

can we take a picture of this?

 

 

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Erika Staiti

from the chapbook BETWEEN THE SEAS (June 2014)

 

“… and unmade boundaries of acts and poems,
the brilliant scene between the seas, and standing,
this fact and this disease.” — Muriel Rukeyser

 

I.

a black curtain hangs in folds

behind the stage

animated in relief

curved above the background

figures stand wooden, terrible

you and you and me

 

here and the others, objects

resting in a cave as once curled

inside the belly of the decoy

Trojan Horse

like a tormented lover waiting

at the edge of the sea forever vigilant

 

silent now but here or when we depart

vanishing takes on a quality of redress

we leave without you / we take you with us

 

the dragging of history behind our backs

for we march through the thicket with a saddle of bones

and this, the sidewalk, a sultan scrawled

bashed through the looking glass

there looms a violent revolt of being

 

sultan on the sidewalk

I greet you on the third day

it is no matter

the body form

form builds around

by you and in the others

a charmed space I conjure the sultan

amidst tree swings

a chair in the wind

 

and my sultan

rather cloaked petticoat, the box contains you

not a gift, curse, not a piece of parchment, there not a jar

inside to be opened, no plagues, disease, perhaps some hatred

of women, of works, of days

 

the tree that holds a swing is of course the great tangle

leaves and generations, branches

great Gods and Goddesses

punctuating air

non extant to this day

a struggle to breathe on top of the day another day

 

you walk along a dirt road lined with shit and sludge

the remnants of your history

you drag them behind you

 

do not retreat into the chamber of your heart

 

for your heart is diseased

your pockets stuffed with splendor

rotten core thrown out moving window

bite marks all around it

tumbling through the woods

released with force from your hand

chomping on the last bite

behind the freeway, tumbling, a forest

we find you there

your core

RJ Ingram

from the chapbook TWO ANGELS (May 2014)

Angry Birds

[The soundtrack to this poem is a

Recording of The President reading

This poem remixed into an apology

You cant understand the poem until

You hear the poem’s soundtrack]

But the way the cormorant draws

The drops off of its back assures me

My death should come as violently

As humanly possible—I cannot swim

The way a cormorant can swim &

Forget flying—look at these stupid

Hands & the dumb thumbs that type

Love letters to strangers until they

Exhaust themselves it’s all a waste

 

“Poetry? But Can He Eat It?”

Everything I know I learned from TV

Sharks will eat me & ants will eat me

With enough time man will eat me

I’m sorry I never started growing up

When I learned I didnt have to

A man buys a house & fills it with

1000 things borrowed w/ his money

Exactly ten of those things are books

Try this: I buy a house & fill it with

1000 things borrowed w/ my money

To the dining room I pay the most care

I dont allow a chair around the table

I dont even allow a table & forget food

When you come in to dine just be

Kari Marboe

from the chapbook FOUND FORMULA (March 2014)

FOUND APOLOGY LETTERS

This is the most important letter that I have ever written, and these the most important words: I’m sorry.

We would like to sincerely apologize to the whole world for posting some fake toy ads that aroused a series of anxiety of disgust on the internet.

I know you probably don’t want to hear from me, but I still want to express my deepest apologies for sexting with your husband.

Words can’t express how sorry I am for missing your wedding.

Sorry for the mistake of which I was totally unaware of making.

I am writing to apologize for my behavior during our meeting last Wednesday.

Sorry I busted your lip yesterday with an x-box controller.

I’m sorry for including a picture of you in the backyard of your mansion wearing a bathing suit on my blog.

I’m sorry for the absurdity of this apology. It’s exactly what you asked for and entirely ridiculous.

Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience you may have experience last month with respect to the installation of your high speed internet service.

I’m very sorry I was so naughty and tried to bite you.

I’m sorry for my clothes touching yours in the closet. And for breathing your air.

I apologize if anything I have said or done has caused you embarrassment or disappointment.

You make me feel so safe, Jessica, and my apology is only for not being able to keep us together.

I’m not sorry or bothered by the fact that I broke into your house.

It was your fault anyway, as you’re thick enough to have left your downstairs kitchen window open. I wouldn’t do that in a million years.

Posting that image of you was far too forceful an action, and I’m willing to take it down.

Even Darth Vader, an evil lord, couldn’t leave his son to die at the end of Return to the Jedi.

Dan has been a good friend to me over the years and I threw all of that away to feel good.

It was distressing to learn that the chocolate we shipped to your firm last week arrived in bits and pieces.

Maybe if you didn’t request this letter I could have forgiven you.

It was our personal trial to challenge creativity, but we got carried away.

I had a bath and went to the vet earlier that day, so I was feeling scared.

He approached me in a flirtatious way that I did not ignore.

I have learned that some aspects of my conduct have not moved with the times and are considered by some to be inappropriate.

I should have waited to talk to you in private about the matter and not in front of everyone else.

It was by accident that referred to you in a disrespectful way.

I was wrong, terribly wrong. I owe it to future generations to explain why.

I went out drinking the night before and slept through the ceremony.

I returned from vacation last week and found that your complaint had not been addressed.

I’m punishing myself by giving up YouTube for a week.

It won’t happen a second time, and I will never have to give up YouTube again.

We beg for your forgiveness for such a naive and irresponsible behavior.

I blame my wife.

I promise to make it up to you soon.

Here are some rice krispy treats you can eat while I give you an apology blowjob later.

A new shipment has been sent and will arrive on May 26th.

With this note, I have corrected and apologized for Saturday’s incident.

Tell me how to make this better.

I have been your employee for three years now and would like to continue working for you.

I have let my family down, and I regret the decisions that had led to this with all of my heart.

I honestly meant no harm and hope that you can work through this.

I will no longer embrace my coworkers sensually.

We’ve had a number of staff changes which might have resulted in your letter being overlooked.

I still remain a huge supporter and will certainly vote for him in the next election.

We would like to offer you a free dinner so we can show you our usual higher level of service. 

We promise next time we will be better prepared with potatoes.

Niki Korth in conversation with Kiki North

from the chapbook SPLIT FRAME (February 2014)

II: IS A NARRATIVE A HOUSE

4 hours later, Niki and Kiki move on to discover a new work – Omer Gal’s Naked Cave (2013; 3 Channel Video Loop, 15:29)

K: I am satisfied with my reflections on the nature of consciousness as represented in the pink feather duster. Let us now move on to the next piece.

N: Very well.

K: There are three screens here – and they are all producing different sounds. How do I know what to look at and what to listen to? Would it be easier if I had the pink feather duster?

N: Well, I don’t think that pink feather dusters have an inherent ability to help a person make decisions about how to distribute their attention span. But if you build some kind of symbolic power into what a feather duster means to you, what powers it harbors – then it might help you. But to answer your question – there’s no right and wrong thing to pay attention to. You should just… I don’t know, relax and see what attracts your interest.

K: Very well. Okay. I see a tent-like structure, which seems to be made of some kind of plastic, perhaps? It is a translucent compound – and I see a human figure costumed to appear like a wolf, a man, a woman, a hooded violinist, a female. Oh, yes, who is this woman?

N: The violinist captures your attention?

K: Yes… this violinist is an especially captivating character. Is she a muse, or a narrator? I cannot tell. She seems to be a character in her own right within the narrative of this piece, but also serves as a guide of sorts, almost like the master of a dream…

N: Yea, the narrative dimension of this piece is really interesting to me too – especially because the videos all play on loops, which intersect at different points depending on when you begin watching. Thus the narrative is like a repetitive and perpetual cycle, which to me seems more in line with the way that life is actually experienced, in contrast to the “closed totality” of most narrative works, particularly those with a clear “beginning” and “end” point (those that one watches in a single sitting).

K: Yes, I believe the violinist is the master of this so-called cyclical narrative.

N: Do you think that all narratives require a master?

K: I did not say that. But I do believe that the violinist is the master of the particular narrative we are discussing. I came across the expression “the one who pulls the strings,” and understand that it refers to the person who controls a particular operation – but somewhat invisibly, or in the background. I relate this idea to this violin player who does not pull the strings as much as she rubs strings against one another, according to a specific system, in order to produce vibrations that produce melodic sounds. But here it is both her sounds and her image that command the story.

N: Yea… And the woman playing the violin, or should I say, the woman playing the woman playing the violin, is also the hooded woman – there, who appears there with the wolf man.

K: She is the one who was feeding the wolf man? Or at least putting those objects that resemble food into his mouth. I remember they appeared as if they were made out of fabric of some sort… Can humans eat fabric? I had assumed that they cannot – and I actually conducted research on wolves recently, so I understand them to be carnivores, and thusly conclude that they do not consume fabric. Or are there some fabrics in fact made of meat?

Steffi Drewes

from the chapbook MAGNETIC FOREST (December 2013)

More Math In Trees

to arrive at a place where letters are leaves and roots become

arrows and each path pertains to the exact place we started from

no harm in holding up that antenna to match the constellations

every new listening takes you one step closer or farther from sleep

the child wound the red wire around and around her soft fingertip

until it pulsed bluish purple there, that’s how to measure the days

having sipped long and hard at history try and come up with a single

number that expresses the difference between any two memories

no more questions about weathervanes or where I came from

before I became an uncertain howl in the heating register

rendered unstuck by a song that stalks you note by ravishing night

mutates bright branching you too radio tower you too silver circuit

when we see other people sandtrapped or suddenly jackknifed

the urge to look hard or look away but what if I drew a diagram

remember the distance from safe to sorrow is 2 the distance

from fear to sun is 3 the distance from history to home is also 3

spied a perfect elk in the rearview mirror even with the earth

opening up you fixed on those antlers what wide-eyed anthems

Chloé Veylit

from the chapbook GO THERE (November 2013)

the thoughtful bridge

we are stuck on the moon. put there and left there.

the other one says, craters are big and dark, look like mouths
and teeth. I say, Don’t be stupid.

always colder. we call collect back home. climb
out the well for antlers and bubblegum. give comfortable the slip.

how long do you think Mom’s going to keep us here?

light is a big flat disc.  would you like another?
the air goes to my head.
I watch the craters for signs

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

that volcano is a woman who wears her hair around her neck. her body fuses to the liquid heat, runs downhill. her eyes engulf the basin, roam the villages and smoke. her tongue leaps and whips. when she lulls, she softens, beams palm-sized. now, she likes blouse buttons, small fossils, worries her husband, the iguana

under the ocean the iguana’s tail circles the bottom of the world. he says, right like wildflowers, children, I’ve missed you dearly. rivers run from his fingers, flood the whole surface.

we watch people shimmer through crystal to find your shell we still don’t understand these stringy marbles so like old growth we become the plain ground keep like sea bottoms dirty sneakers loose change