Jed Munson

From “Silts”

The poems are selected from a series of poems called “Silts” that examine surface and sequence as textual senses and architectures. While the titling of the series as “silts” may frame the text as sediment or material, really silt as material is definitionally galvanized by moving water. In this way, the silts are only possible by material and force external to them and in that way negatively refer to that externality. In other words, silts, like these poems, exist necessarily in cooperation with other, less graspable elements of their environment.

Jed Munson is a Korean American poet and critic. His chapbook, Newsflash Under Fire, Over the Shoulder, is forthcoming with Ugly Duckling Presse.

DANIEL OWEN

from Right on Time

Daniel Owen‘s recent publications are Celingak-Celinguk (Tan Kinira, 2021), Up in the Empty Ferries (Third Floor Apartment Press, 2021), and Points of Amperture (dos-à-dos chapbook with Jennifer Soong’s When I Ask My Friend, DoubleCross Press, 2021). His translations from Indonesian include Afrizal Malna’s Document Shredding Museum (Reading Sideways Press, 2019) and poems by Malna and Farhanah published in various journals and magazines. Recent writing and translations have appeared in Circumference, Asphalte, Columbia Journal, and The Poetry Project Newsletter. He edits and designs books and participates in many processes of the Ugly Duckling Presse editorial collective.

Dayna A. Gross

Quickly!

I was born a sensitive and calm child. No one taught me babies cry when they awaken, so I remained silent. My parents were delighted every time they peaked into my bedroom to find me awake, “This one never cries when she awakens,” they would say w/ pride.

I was not taught their language yet. They sounded as foreign to me as moo’ing cattle.

I was born a sensitive and calm child, but my mother was selfish and I absorbed her nature because she was ma-ma and I was girl while the rest of the world were dangerous uncaged zoo animals.

I was born a sensitive and calm child soothed by a selfish nurture and now love with a selfish nature.

I was born a sensitive and calm child, when people try to speak to me all I hear is: Baaaaaah.

NEVER CHANGE

NEVER CHANGE
NEVER CHANGE NEVER CHANGE
NEVER CHANGE
NEVER CHANGE. NEVER CHANGE
NEVER CHANGE

NEVER CHANGE never change never change
Never change
Never cha-nge never change ne-ver change never-change never change.

Never change, neverchange nivir chanj
Never chainj
Never chains
Never change-, never chang.e
NEVER CHANGENEVER CHANGE
NEVER.CHANGE
NEVER CHANG:
NEVER; CHANGE
NEVER CHANG
CHANGE NEVER CHANGE NEVER
CHANGE
NEVR CHANGE
NEVER CH-NGE. N-V-R CHANGE. NVR CHNAGE. EVER CHANGE.

Future. Womb. Country side. Horse. Mental. Cheater. Eyes. Laughter. Contact. Attention. Soft. Return. Humor. Broken. Mundane. Eyes. Ease. Flight. Hotel. Beer. Hike. Summer. Argentina. Chile. Berlin. Writing. Breakfast. Fruit. Peanuts. Commitment. Loyalty. Honesty. Repetition. Love. Heart organ. Heart signals. Imagination. Unforgiving. Maté. Water temperature. Market. Stride. Side by side. Hitch hiking. Alone. Asleep. Left. Distance. Imagination. Wondering. Unknown. Unforgivable. Blasphemy. Friendship. Music. Timing. Outright. Unspeakable. Inaudible. Possibilities. Future. Locked. Loyalty. Promises. Return. Summer. Spring. Flat. Men. Ignored. Heard. Focused. Lightness. Mountain. Rock. Earth. Lake. Dry. Wet. View. Shelter. Bar. Timing. Country. Air. Romance. Unexplored. Again. Again. Possibilities.

Today the objects are frozen

t white tea kettle w t blue and orange-red flowers,
t glass jar, t papers, t books, t plants
Stand unbearably still
If I would slide them off t table one by one, they would descend slowly
Shatter to pieces w a jingle
Like t last guttural sound a lamb releases when more than half its thick red blood has squirted from t slit in its throat and t body jerks automatically but t lamb is lifeless between t eyes, these objects
Shattered to pieces, would too, stare
Back lifelessly w out t prospect of returning

Maybe not t plant
No, most certainly not t plant.

Dayna A. Gross has been published and shortlisted in the Büro BDP Writing Prize 2020 (November 2020), Angel City Review (July 2020), Another Chicago Magazine (June 2020), RHNK (2017), JFKI (2018), Seeing Her Ghost (2017) among other small press publications. She lives in Berlin, Germany where she hosts an experimental poetry radio show called CRYPTOMNESIA, which streams FM in Berlin and Brandenburg.

CAConrad

from The Jasmine Ascension

CAConrad has been working with the ancient technologies of poetry and ritual since 1975. They are the author of AMANDA PARADISE: Resurrect Extinct Vibration (Wave Books, 2021). Other titles include While Standing in Line for Death and Ecodeviance. The Book of Frank is now available in 9 different languages. They received a Creative Capital grant, a Pew Fellowship, a Lambda Literary Award, and a Believer Magazine Book Award. They teach at Columbia University in New York City and Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam. Please visit their website https://linktr.ee/CAConrad88

Jane Joritz-Nakagawa

from The End Zone

enmeshed and ruthlessly entangled
reduced to a thought inside a thought
the mind in its own place
from the middlings and meddlings
the era of explaining gets you what you want
if words don’t line up properly
you are you just the same as yesterday
flowers bloom next to the cabin where I’m not
but you are still there

miserly thicket
out of which you came
a stupid bouquet
for disintegrating ash
a soggy lifestyle produces a silvery sonnet
a gust of graphs and grabs
easy to be heavy when stuck in the city
network other
the last remaining decision is doldrum

continuous sunshine in memories
obscured by contamination in need of intervention
joining the era of broken sound and lost remedies
that grace the statues
the remorse and regret
my long ears don’t hear a word
nomadic words by you heave heavy
diagnosed as terror and conflict

just a game
to write furiously till your wrist breaks
uninterrupted text
a pin in its bed
slow ornament, decentered, detached,
defaulted
psychological money
conversing by accident
gums up our existence
between the next thought and
the planned ones
asymmetry of accidents
observed niches
cling to maps of lost continents

the punitive idea of Eden
a vain lack anticipated
before meaning arrives
thoughts fade, try again
the arrival of more sound and indifferent luck

my heart would pack a wallop
if the myth of denial was less real
one delicate moment
dies on the vine
a reinterpretation of repeating phrases
to speak the imposed infancy
in the dark soup of society

*

Born in the USA Jane Joritz-Nakagawa has lived inJapan since 1989. Her tenth poetry book, Plan B Audio (Isobar Press)was published in 2020.  She is the editor of an anthology of poetry by women living outside their birth countries and the author of numerous essays and works of fiction.  Email is welcome at janejoritznakagawa(at)gmail(dot)com.

Olga Vereli

KATHY ACKER ON THE BUS

the horizon is dripping honey and cement
industrial lights of Eleusis

“there will always be somebody riding the bus”

Don Quixote is heading to a party uninvited,
today’s tarot reading told her it’s time to socialize again

She’s thinking of performing a ritual on a crossroad
in the mystical place that is Eleusina,
a landscape oozing with primordial power
coming out of earth’s vagina

the vagina is always industrialized
The first industrial revolution happened when
the first sex workers started working on ancient dicks.

She’s ready to call upon the power of
GAIA and HECATEHUGE SLUTS
tomorrow noon. Everything is calculated.

The ritual will include Kathy using a rosemary branch
dipped in water and oil to spill it over her naked body.
Then she will go eat boiled bitter greens in a nearby tavern.

The vampire men of Eleusina will be watching her
but she knows their game
She knows the incestuous crimes they’ve committed
Their sperm transmits nationalism
She’s here to stake Lord Byron, their patron saint and father
Drive her wooden stake right through his heart
She means business this time

      Justice and Piety august I call,
      θραύουσα δικαίως,
      human life annoy

those mothers who are fathers
I’m always that person who notices how violent their love is
they want your love to be used as a weapon, just as theirs

είχα ήδη αρχίσει να διαλύομαι στον αέρα
ήταν ξένη σ’εμένα όμως χρησιμοποιούσε
το σώμα μου ξεκίνησα να μιλάω
για να σταματήσω την ευγενική εξαΰλωση

street signs fading into languorous music           ως πράκτορας ενός παρακράτους
“how to invent a language                                   μυθοπλασίας
on a bus”                                                             προβοκάτσια:
some passengers are asleep                               προκλητική συμπεριφορά, λεκτική
others murmur softly                                            ή/και γραπτή με σκοπό
prayers to St. George                                           να υπονομεύσει τις παγιωμένες
                                                                                                                          σχέσεις
the slayer of dragons                                            συγγένειας

when stretch’d upon the bed of grief
the sex seeks relief
συρματοπλεγμένη πολυάνθεμε
πολυώνυμε δαίμων
ποια ώρα διαστέλλεται
ποια δαίμονας θα φέρει επάρκεια σαν πορτοκάλι
ποια επανάληψη συλλαβών

(tombs of ancient tribes are resting beneath the houses
in the woods there’s mostly pines and ruins of dream hotels
capitalism is falling apart and re-emerging as a vampire tooth
we’re looking at Kathy’s short hair, her tanned skin, a bloody knee)

She’s tried foolishness, loneliness, sexiness, emptiness
licked the sorrow from the wound

Here to plunge once more in the womb waters
PROTHYRÆA
venerable pow’r, who bring’st relief in labour’s dreadful hour
λύσε τους πόνους μιας αρχαίας αλφαβήτου ντροπής

the whole world is an orange
I’m inside a worm bus traveling across this juicy sphere that is non-stop producing sticky dreams
endless solar power
eternal desire
my body is your body and your body is one with the orange sun and I will never die

Olga Vereli is a writer based in Athens. Her work is interdisciplinary and cross-genre. She has published a collaborative zine under the title The Cemetery Is A Forest and runs the newsletter The Gizi Resident.

Chiara Crisafulli

O

day 7

That summer night,
a year after Aris left, like
a brave sober drunkard
I dared ask why. Why did
you disappear? Why did you
leave all of a sudden?
 
                    (I left because I’m young, he said,
                    ten years younger than you.
                    What do you want from me?)

Our first night replayed in my head.
‘Do you feel safe?’ he said, staring at my tears.

So many unanswered questions
and ringing Sunday mornings.

All the shooting stars draw
a path heading for the
green –

I look at my feet.
I think maybe I should have worn
a different pair of shoes.

day 14

Today, after
a run and wrinkled
cravings for Kalamata
olives, I left
the peels of my avocados
and phantasies over a trip to Spain
leaking in a big
black, garbage
bag.

Barefoot
still
wearing
my violet
white H&M running shorts
going
down the stairs. The

touch of my
                 skin on the steps. The taste of
                       my bones on the shiny wooden
                               floor. Beyond the heavy

building door, wind
grabbed my body. Kicked it,
made it scream.

Then
I saw Aris. Unexpected,
ghostly, unreal.

Eyes warm and frozen.

He was sitting next to the gate.
He was texting with his phone.
He lifted his chin and smiled

but I had to let go
of the garbage.
I had to
close the door.

day 28

These days I sleep
less, dumb thoughts
ovulate: heated,
salty eggs for
breakfast, fine leather
biker boots. Cooler,
nail polish
remover.
Bulky breasts as
village
church bells,
loose black locks

shutter my

thirsty,                                                                                                                                               stinging,

darker nipples — like shepherds on plateaus
                    tending to their goats too early at
                        sunset. When I digest my

period cramps,

breath crumbs

like truths

I knead with my bare hands to
strawberry cheesecake. This is how I
                                                                surrender to my body:
to its language so far unknown. There’s no
migration of cells but
rather, in-house
talkers — like hens. They gather close to my cheek,
sometimes it’s my hip or my
left ankle, and lift a

red, thick curtain to
show me a toddler in a
stroller. He squeaks,
laughs and when sucks his
big toe I see he has no
teeth.
                                                      Then I read. A gig. Around you.

Your voice// your lips// move fast /

then slower / and slower /          and          /                    slower       /
                                                                                                                            warming / juicy flow/
saliva / us / moaning /
                                                                                                              brushing kissing/
                                                        …what was I doing…again?

Your stomping chest is no distance I can bear. Ache

pours into
empty
wombs, weeps
dyed words       now


drying —
over the shell of this
full moon

Chiara Crisafulli juggles words, space and un-structures with no desire to restrict forms and/or genres. Her dream is to see ordinary things turning into art—plastic garbage bags, scratches of paint, glimpses of light. Before being a body of work, art is a way of observing (ourselves in) the world. Originally from Sicily (Italy), Chiara wrote her first poem at age 7 inspired by the moon, boredom and loneliness.Her academic background is in journalism, philosophy, teaching English as a second language, playwriting, travel writing and contemporary poetry writing. In the past eleven years, she has experienced living, travelling and volunteering in different countries including Ireland, Holland, Greece, the Canary Islands (Spain) and Portugal. She currently resides in Lisbon working as an interpreter and at her first experimental hybrid poetry book in English.

Jeremy Allan Hawkins

Paper Project Suite for Prospective Trees

Jeremy Allan Hawkins is a French-American writer, educator, and researcher. A former NYC Teaching Fellow, U.S. Fulbright Grantee, and Fellow of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Program, his work includes poetry, criticism, architectural writing, and arts-based research in spatial design. He is the author of A Clean Edge, selected by Richard Siken as winner of the 2016 BOAAT Chapbook Prize. His poetry has been included in the Best New Poets anthology series, the extended program of the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture, and the Rencontre Mondiale de la Poésie, along with literary magazines in the United States and Europe. 

Linda Kemp

circuits

analyses indicate increases in loneliness predicate inconsistencies
through externalising suggestibility the adolescence of developmental
highlights the unpleasant variety of negativity the paucity of
distrust in outcomes particularly recent leading relationships the
adaption of has been & the well documented risk achieved of
increase in the not the number of investigative clauses
hypostasised interpersonal increase the greater the final together these
actual lack in the circumagitate indications of risk rate peak & norm the
focus on poorer phases of intervention the expansive waste of influence
consistent across the middle-childhood the behave exists
longitudinal into not because the lone of during affect & respectively
in these between the base & how the inclusions exclude the found statistically
constituting thoughts endorsed endorphins report attempt
measuring widely used & subscale liminalities the problem
combines in computational reflections the displacement across adolescence
investigative decreases in ratings to change the during thought the hold
& risk of participative indications to sample external the
conduct with demonstrations through binary logistic regressions see
not associations the idea increases the specifically alone with both
middle indirectly demonstrating extremes fizzing out behaviour
modelling the particulate thus in demonstrating
time intent to seriousness conflating risk with delight &
distinction to attempt the however is to adverse the logic to high-
light relationships implications for undergoing finally the find to
negligence in investigative change continually to displace

Linda Kemp‘s publications include Lease Prise Redux (Materials, 2016). Other poems can be found in DATABLEED, Erotoplasty, Front Horse, Splinter, Tentacular, Zarf and elsewhere. They edit Enjoy Your Homes Press.

Daniel M. Shapiro

THE NEST ISSUE | Daniel M. Shapiro

Daniel M. Shapiro is a special education teacher who lives in Pittsburgh, PA. His poetry books include How the Potato Chip Was Invented, Heavy Metal Fairy Tales, and the forthcoming (This Is Not) a Mixtape for the End of the World.

Zebulon Huset

On Tables Named Lack

We were drunk and played the floor is lava
                          while the world outside was on fire. You
              came home and made the bold claim that
                                         imaginary friends are for children like cartoons
              or believing in Santa or eating your vegetables.
Just because flat-packed tables aren’t real wood
                          and they don’t use real screws and we got a real
              gash on the shin. You were essential, selling
                                         houses to rich people. 100,000 have died, we said
              but you said you didn’t want to hear it. Old news.
True, we replied like a Greek chorus. It’s up
                          at least another thousand since this afternoon.
              While some locals fight their facemasks,
                                         last night, a guy kidnapped his three year old
              twins and full-on Duke’s of Hazzard-ed his truck
into the Pacific because his estranged wife
                          was getting the police involved. We won
              with rum and fruit juice and you joined the jumping,
                                         crumpling cheap tables and chairs to the molten
              floor like they were the furniture for paper dolls, lava
everywhere, setting fires and shifting the ground.
                          They said the Yosemite super caldera was overdue
              for a huge eruption—wipe out the dinosaurs
                                         huge. But who’s got the decades to wait on that plug.
              We’re not on geological time here—this
is something different entirely.

Jessica Tyson, Nolan Hutton, Zebulon Huset

Quarantine Exquisite Corpse Project* #1

it was impossible to tell if the neighborhood kids were shrieking in terror or joy
         the siren was like a baby down a pitch-black hall
                     sitting on the back of the garden chair in the rain
 
the Chinese elm tree hissed leaves roiling before
                                                         the exasperation of poverty
and                          is this the peace you seek?
         Only ever                sings for you,         if it ever does.
 
Discovered in Budapest without shoes
the sound of a small motor and metal grinding and zydeco music down the alley
                     as ants carry more weight than any of us.
 
Before the calves got ornery, as they say—
         the pericos, as Pete called them, erupted from the branches
                                                         without a ticket or fare—we proceeded
                 filling the sky behind the siren—
                                         truth that bleeds into the space between your breaths
         he believed that wood milled on a full moon was somehow stronger.

  • A series of exquisite corpses completed by poets online, from their various nests.

Zebulon Huset is a teacher, writer and photographer living in San Diego. His writing has recently appeared in Meridian, The Southern Review, Louisville Review, Fence, Rosebud, Atlanta Review and Texas Review among others. He publishes a writing prompt blog Notebooking Daily and is the editor of the journal Coastal Shelf.

Robert Sheppard

From British Standards:

An overdub of The Dancing Girl by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

this is the darkest time though colour fields                                    I
  flex and shimmer in the retinal pool eyes                                    don’t
    shoot dance through thin surfaces this is                                     want
      a weary world flattened indoors into                                        to
           fresh-faced images of fresher faces seen                                  just
               (as they seem) less clearly for our lesser                        make
                   looking she takes the breath she slices moulds form
               its feeling vibrations in creaking knees she                      the
           lifts the line of poetry to shift the limbs                               plastic
      we open the shutters to let in light                                                 hope
    to sharpen all the hopes to harp-notes                                         of
  and unshackle the air and shape the ear she                                    hope
stretches in crooked space to bend it                                             itself

11th April 2020

Robert Sheppard is a poet who lives in Liverpool, England. His most recent publication is Charms and Glitter (with photographer Trev Eales), out from Knives Forks and Spoons; before that was Hap: Understudies of Thomas Wyatt’s Petrarch. This poem is part of a long project transposing sonnets entitled ‘The English Strain’, this part ‘British Standards’. His selected poems, History or Sleep, is available from Shearsman, which also publish The Robert Sheppard Companion, edited by James Byrne and Christopher Madden: this carries essays on his work. Co-editor of the Arc anthology Atlantic Drift with James Byrne, he is also a critic of contemporary poetry. The Meaning of Form is published by Palgrave, and he has published studies of Iain Sinclair and Lee Harwood. Emeritus Professor at Edge Hill University. Web: robertsheppard.weebly.com.

Hunter Gagnon

Quarantine poem #60 yes mama Ellen I look at Johns Hopkins every day too

1,724,736 confirmed 104,938 deaths 390,335 recovered (April is moving)
503,594 US It takes convincing unfortunately for this
                                                                        to be all it is
                                  the report / the diligence
IN ITSELF a humiliation
              before vast math
                  the required bowing of the human
    but all it is, really is, is
nothing
    required
            for the American: “I’m concerned about russian viral propaganda
      during this pandemic. Their main goal
                        is to lessen trust
        in our institutions. I have tracked the web of this. The prism. The
    lines unfolding
                it is like a flower”
for the American a cigarette in a sunburnt
                                                              hand
                                                  in a crème pickup truck
                          in the grocery parking
                               lot leering at the many-colored masks
                                                                        of walking others
                                                              their
                                              uncertain
                  steps “Uncertainty should be despised. As should any
                        productive action. In this prison. Any action is just labor
                        for the warden’s hand. We only want what dignifies us which
                        is contempt
                        with certainty.” the individual
            is easy
                        to remove the solution
            is easy
                              to doubt
                                          for the American
        play ultimate frisbee outside
              FEMA hq a change
                                            from the menthols and black&
                                                              milds
                  of New Jersey, the superstructure brown + slumping “Our death
                                        is greatest now
                                                                  [10 years late]. This
                                                                                            is the last time
                                                                  we win.
                                                                      Appreciate it.” For
                                        the
                                                              American.

Quarantine poem #18 on how verified facts reach for the day

407,485 confirmed 18,227 deaths 104,234 recovered
49,768 US (3rd place) 3/24/20 in the morning Johns
Hopkins
On wifi signal, then
The day came the night came
It fed on stars
fed itself
and all the wheels of the night
rode the sheep field
the big house threw its glow like copper spears
thudding into the body of the woods
shelter in place more strict as of now
spilling yellow blood
all over
screw in hooks
grab head
walk back and forth
bed not
made in clumsy dark
3/25/20 —,— confirmed Johns
Hopkins be
good go
to work buy
a stock sleep with
your head on the bars it’s a
pillow you funny
animal it
works

Hunter Gagnon lives in Fort Bragg, California where he has worked as a State Park Seasonal Aide, a bookseller, and as a poetry teacher for local elementary schools (before the pandemic). He holds a degree in Philosophy and has served in AmeriCorps and FemaCorps.

Babak Ahteshamipour

An Accumulated Moisture in the Walls

The dawn of a latter forenoon,
Afterwards you have vanquished,
Oftentimes brings you into realization,
The circumstance that you have never existed.

Occasionally asking is more semantic than spelling,
In another occasions the sky casts us out,
Declining,
Howling from the depths of existence.

But,
You are thither,
I am hither,
You are incapable of apprehending me.

Factual marionettes,
Are similar to pins which gravitate towards,
The heart of a black hole,
Where the grenade is, waiting to detonate.

The roaring silence,
& the streaming nullity,
In which they leave you with,
Disintegrating your exoskeletal carapace.

Alike criminals
Having all of the anarchist fun,
Alike the lifeless shirts,
Embroidered by hollow molecules.

 

 

Babak Ahteshamipour (born 1994 in Arak, Iran, lives and works in Athens, Greece since 2000), is a multidisciplinary artist, whose focal point in his research is the organic subject and its interaction with the Real. Meaning, how an organic subject unable to comprehend the universe completely, interprets partially fragments of it, based on a limited sensory system, creating erroneous generalizations and prejudices. Triggering a mechanism of Becoming, transforming individual components of a system through an observatory procedure – which varies depending on diverse parameters – into organs which retain a whole body, rather than being perceived as autonomous and self-referential. He works with painting, video, sound, writing and sculpture. He has participated in various exhibitions, launched few events on his own and has done numerous live performances mostly in small and cozy venues and spaces, and holds a MSc degree in Mineral Resources Engineering (Technical University of Crete).