Those days everybody was heading west to California, to the Rocky Mountains, so I went east to the Adirondacks, New England, the Maritimes. I hitchhiked over 30,000 miles, off and on, over three years. I’d head out from Buffalo in Spring, return in Autumn, work again till next Spring and head out once more. I backpacked on mountain trails for days on end. Hitched on expressways, highways, small country roads. Stayed a third of the time in peoples’ houses without ever asking once. Spent time with folks who lived in the country and had gardens, chickens, put food up and lived simple lives close to nature. Through all of those hitchhiking miles I never had a bad experience.read more
Summer's Over, but Don't Let That Stop You... from burying yourself in these fine reads by Mike Foldes Took awhile to get enough traction to settle down and actually plow through anything but a few hundred emails containing repetitive updates on...read more
Meter is often challenging for any poet to handle and it is discussed with easy to understand examples, definitions. It has the best chapter on meter I’ve run across and should help even the most timid poet—or even those accomplished in using it.read more
The name Knockdown Center comes from the fact that the “knock-down” door style, which could be assembled from a variety of pieces on construction sites, was created here in this factory space under the Manhattan Door Factory. Before that it was a glass factory under the auspices of Gleason-Tiebout. The open courtyard space has an overloaded bike rack, a handful of cars, and a few twenty-somethings milling about with cigarettes dangling from their lips and fingers. The theater-style sign draws in anyone who may walk past, with the name of the venue, the promise of a bar, and nothing more.read more
three poems by holly dayread more
Floating Tales by Jeff Friedman ISBN 978-1-941196-46-5 $21.95, paper. Plume Editions, MadHat Press Asheville NC https://madhat-press.com/collections/plume-editions Floating Tales by Jeff Friedman With an introduction by Daniel Lawless ...read more
Full disclosure: Jonathan Penton is this reviewer’s fraternal twin. That’s right. The author currently under examination was parturated clinging onto my red-hairy ankle. He entered upon this particular incarnation all primed to fuck me out of my birthright for some dribbles of lentil soup the color of blood, salsa and unpainted rust. So, how have I managed, in this strange critique, to approach my rival sibling’s stuff with such an unjaundiced eye? Is it due to the magisterial disinterestedness of my critical faculty?
Perhaps it’s just because—as I’ve suddenly come to realize, now that Bradley’s Complaint has been duly lodged and I’ve delivered myself of my authorial pet peeve—I don’t give a fuck. I don’t even recognize the notion of birthright.read more
Invisible Departures —internally displaced persons, Crimea, 2015 How long before choosing to kiss an angel’s hand, to reach for heaven’s fruit-bearing boughs— the bee not disturbed too drunk— How swollen the seeds of heavy-headed...read more
THE ORE HOLE By Thaddeus Rutkowski During a school day, a science teacher took my class on a field trip. We hiked to a patch of trees growing in a crater in the ground. “This was an ore hole,” he explained. “Iron ore was dug here; then it was...read more
The senior nurse leads the march out of the room, clutching the garbage bag to her
respectable spare tire, leaving the night table open and empty.
HARD BIKING by Thaddeus Rutkowski It’s raining, and I’m on foot, heading for my parked bicycle, when I see a bike go by with two umbrellas attached to it. One umbrella is over the main rider, and the other is over the back wheel, as if to protect a small...read more
With his Columbia University degrees in literature, including a master’s thesis on the poetry and imagery of the Romantic poet William Blake, his experience teaching at Columbia and at St. Bonaventure, and his many years teaching at Gethsemani—four years as master of scholastics and ten years as master of novices (frequently using literature in his classes)—Merton’s evaluation was also encouraging …read more
A teacher or “expert” might say, “Good poetry must ____ and not contain ____,” for instance, or “Every story must _____.” To me, it’s good if I like it. Iread more
Through the “Door to the River” I See AAA no Brechtian “earthquakes to come,’' only cool Coltranian chromatic riffs ascending/descending Giant Steps tween heaven and house, notes runnin-t-getha in clefs of black juice poured between strokes of the calligrapher’s...read more
Unpredictable Pleasures You’re a shipwreck rusting into sand, but keep the wind’s sighing inside your tattered sails even when the world seems cold as a coffin’s white silk lining. Like the breathlessness of sparks, the unpredictable pleasures of love always...read more
A gun rack tickles your ribcage when you
make love in the extended cab’s back seat.
You shoot the breeze with angels and sing hymns
that harmonize buckshot and wildflower.
you follow the vines,
the leafless branches that one day would die
knowing the joy gravitating between your arms
as body and soul come together in the same dance;
“Venceremos” was a cry that I constantly heard. Cuba was a beehive of armed citizens, milicianos and regulars. I knew of the invasion talk back home and I wondered how in the world a country armed in this fashion could be subdued. Little did I know that the debacle of the disastrously failed CIA sponsored beach-head at Bahia de Cochinos and La Cienega de Zapata would be a total route with Fidel himself commanding from the turret of a former Cuban Army battle tank.read more
She starts greeting you in your language, releasing throngs of words you cannot understand so that you become irritated. All this is unnecessary. You know she can speak English and so you don’t understand why she insists on speaking your language all the time. You ignore her and walk away, hoping that your conduct puts her off, but she is unfazed, tipping the taxi driver and carrying your two traveling bags into the house, the smile on her face ever present.read more
Father Itchy-Nookie lurks simultaneously in all the crannies of this catacomb, his clutch purse brimming with transubstantial gore — Sam knows this without separating either seizured sets of eyelids. To the assembled expatriate congregation, Hiroshima’s chief attorney of nothingness dispenses wads of gristle and scab, flopping them greasily from the chipped rim of a crude ceramic chalice. And, unlike Sam’s present interlocutor, the wads are not even properly cooked.read more
WALMART The knuckled trailer park rests in topsy repose on a plinth of ledge beside paltry little Windham Airport whose main function is flying people up so they can skydive down, and where every now and then at dusk a Cessna’s vesper whispers across the wide sky...read more
PLANTING A SEED (For many people) In the back room with Van Morrison. In the back room. In the back of the back room with Duckett & Beaz, back somewhere below purple azaleas, on our backs & on the back of a B&O retiree's gold-plated swan song. In the...read more
Queen Kong by Amanda J. Bradley 88 Pages, 7 x 10 Library of Congress Control Number: 2017930503 ISBN: 978-1-63045-038-0 Anticipated Publication Date: April 24,, 2017 Cover Illustration by Mikayla Lewis by Emily Vogel, Poetry Editor Much of classic feminist theory...read more
Now Helen lifted the lamp, surprised by its weight. She needed two hands to wrestle it into the box. A sharp stabbing in her lower back made her cry out but no one was there to hear her. She got down on her knees and rubbed at her back with both hands, tears filling her eyes.
Damn you, Ed. You knew I hated this ugly thing. Twenty years I put up with it, twenty years of parties, all those embarrassing moments when our guests walked up to it, peering at the garish colors, then at me, a question in their eyes.read more
HERON: MONTEREY WHARF, CALIFORNIA Heron, hunchbacked, Drab chapel-grey, Bedraggled loner, Still as a statue On guard, staring Away and stood In a calmness Perfected since birth. What is a moment In unbothered composure? The ridiculous legs, The ungainly posture, The...read more