Archive

Archive for the ‘Fragments’ Category

Not For Nothing

October 11, 2012 2 comments

by Matt Hetherington

 

Most eyes are looking for other eyes.

*****

Love Your Disease

*****

Winter solstice – rain sleeping in the clouds.

*****

The large majority of the time, we are just comparing the size of our idiocies.

*****

So so-so!

*****

Where do you hide in an empty room?

*****

There’s too much of everything.

*****

The planet grows bluer.

*****

I’ve got more dark corners than a circle in the night.

*****

be as humble as a door
as humble as a toothbrush
as humble as

*****

Skindrinking the breeze…

*****

Wind-grabbed / star-washed / drizzle-rinsed / night-dried

*****

If you want to laugh, look at the back of your knees.

*****

The big dream is smaller than us.

*****

…clouds, moods…

*****

The immense desire to be the water itself – where the clear ocean rests in warm pools over ancient rocks.

*****

I’d climb out of this hole, but I can’t feel the sides.

*****

Every dream with a soundtrack!

*****

I’m still afraid, after all this time, to write that list of the words I overuse.

*****

Killing the spider, you become more ugly than the spider is.

*****

Now noting knowing nothing.

*****

i am where i be
i be where i am

*****

Couldn’t see the face for the eyes…

*****

There’s nothing above loving.

*****

Just before you die you will suddenly be very young.

*****

I take your point until it stops me.

*****

Matt Hetherington is a writer and musician living in Melbourne, Australia. His most recent collection is I Think We Have (Small Change Press, 2007). He is also on the committee of the Australian Haiku Society. Some current inspirations are: Amon Tobin, Grant Caldwell, and plain old sunshine.

Categories: Fragments Tags:

Life Stuff

October 10, 2012 10 comments

by gaye gambell-peterson

 

Life Stuff (collage) by gaye gambell-peterson

 

Fragments are essential to my poetry and my art. I ofttimes partner poems with collages. Thoughts taken from my poem, Collage, delineate the mystery:

I gather dabs of life-stuff around me. They come in a drift,
or singly like snowflakes. Moments fall in my ears; their music, sometimes discordant, although mostly remembered as harmony.
I trim each chance to one-inch squares, line them up on my canvas, seal them—
a portrait of self. My family admires my effort, or mocks it—
this impulse to control past and present. Yet, I persist. Translate half—
or twice as much—of every emotion into these small paper pieces.
Bright hues—purple, hot pink, mango, bitter green, azure—tangle in my hair, in my art, blind my other eye. I edit images into these fragments, rearrange, attempt to appreciate
this life, this urge. Ampersands, seashells, bird nest, rocking chair, moose, spiral, moon. And words: The heart is the hub. Go there. Roam in it. I am.
So. Look at me now. A scrap-monger in a world of dots and words,
confetti of my life a swirl ’round my head, while the unremembered fall away—
fall upon my bare feet which tap and twirl without notice.


Download the podcast

gaye gambell-peterson (website) never tires of piling words on a page or sticking bits of stuff onto a canvas. Frequent recognition in both the art and poetry worlds only encourages her. Two chapbooks feature her poetry and her collages: pale leaf floating (Cherry Pie Press) and MYnd mAp (Agog Press). She likes sticky mac’n’cheese.

Categories: Fragments Tags:

Falling from the cycle

October 9, 2012 1 comment

by Saudamini Deo

I will speak. You will hear me someday. I have read enough books and played with enough guns to know that this can’t be it. There’s always that last bullet that you don’t manage to miss. And you fall, hoping that this is the fall that saves you. I remember falling from my cycle. It would be the same. That sudden change of view and the distinct touch of the road. I don’t remember my fall. Is it the same? Do you also die missing the moment that kills you?

Do you go from alive to dead without dying? Do you understand your death only after you’ve finished dying?


Download the podcast

Saudamini Deo, a literature student, is an amateur photographer and writer (of sorts).

Categories: Fragments Tags:

Intricate Sky

October 2, 2012 Comments off

by Kris Lindbeck

a solitary egret
flying low under an intricate
sky of live oak branches

 

yesterday I couldn’t stop worrying
today I can’t stop making plans

 

June is the season of sober brown grackle mothers
followed by begging fledglings fatter than they are.
One stuffs a bug in the gaping mouth,
another turns her head away again and again,
pretending to ignore her squawking chick.

 

someone yelling outside near midnight
but I can’t hear what they’re saying – 82 inside
and still too hot outside to open the window.

with summer we choose a little more
comfort, a little less connection.

 

Visiting my dad last week at the “home”
I looked out the window at an orange butterfly
in the purple Mexican petunias while
a 103-year-old man sleeping with
his jacket drawn close against the air conditioning
woke up, muttered “I’m cold” and went back to sleep.

 

childless, I wonder if anyone will visit
me if I outlive my strength…more
a sadness than a worry today

when I can’t find my faith in God’s mercy
I put my faith in surprise

 

carefully caught
and brought from house to garden
the tiny lizard…

my arm
up
runs

*

Kris Lindbeck is a professor of Jewish Studies who writes Japanese short form poetry on Twitter (@KrisLindbeck). She is working on a book of poems and short essays about women in the Bible. Her twitter poetry is collected at klindbeck.tumblr.com.

Categories: Fragments Tags:

Black and White, 1943

October 1, 2012 1 comment

by Patricia L. Scruggs

tricycle beside the front porch,
May air filled with lilacs, peonies in June,
rain barrel collects soft water for washing hair;
hide and seek behind the second-hand sofa;
black Singer sewing machine,
pink nighties, doll clothes,
flowered curtains, apple-box dresser;
welded pipe swing-set painted silver;
teeter-totter plank board over a sawhorse;
snowmen, flyer sleds,
flooded backyard ice rink;
trash fire in an empty drum;
oatmeal sprinkled with brown sugar,
warm milk-toast for fever;
Eno’s Fruit Salts on the radio,
“Keep happy with the Happy Gang,
Keep happy, start your day with a bang…”
Woodbury cold cream,
white tipped shaving brush;
crocuses and shooting stars,
meadowlarks and robins;
the rutted road to school,
“Run, Spot, run,”
purple hectograph, blotters,
ink wells, broken pen nibs;
the Saturday matinee,
Sheena, Queen of the Jungle,
the Pathè News rooster
stretches and crows,
tanks roll across the screen,
followed by Looney Tunes.

*

Author’s note: “Black and White, l943,” is a collage of memories of Royalties, Alberta, a town that ceased to exist when the Turner Valley oil boom ended. Our family lived there during World War II.


Download the podcast

Patricia L. Scruggs is a poet, artist, teacher, mother of two and grandmother of three. A Southern Californian by way of Colorado and Alberta, Canada, her work has been published in Calyx, OnTheBus, Spillway, Rattle and the anthologies 13 Los Angeles Poets, Deliver Me, and So Luminous the Wildflowers.

Categories: Fragments Tags:

Travel Notes

September 28, 2012 Comments off

by Guy Gauthier

Lights. Voices across the lake.

* * *

Cold morning rain. Wet firewood.

* * *

On the wall of the men’s room. Speckled gold. A moth of shocking beauty. Asleep.

* * *

It’s raining on a tennis court in Tennessee. Raining on a deserted pool.

* * *

Couldn’t eat my toast. I’ll never mix wine and vodka again. Vines choking a tree. The smell of cows on a truck. 93 miles to Nashville. Eroded soil, the color of rust. Carthage, 4 mi. Merge.

* * *

Nashville. Ham sandwich. Glass of milk.

* * *

Hitchhiker. No luggage. Can we trust him?

* * *

Today we drove from Memphis to New Orleans. My mind is red, burnt and peeling. It hangs down lazily like the trees in the Bayou.

* * *

The Gulf of Mexico. The water was warm. Muddy. Salty. Thought I saw a shark.

* * *

Night surf. Fires on the beach.

* * *

Hard to steer in that wind. Can’t see, though the wipers are beating fast. Cars parked on the side of the road, waiting for the rain to let up. Others moving slowly with their lights on.

* * *

Blood and fur on the highway. A black cat.

* * *

Crossing the path of a brushfire. Raindrops hiss on smoking trees. The grass crumbles to ashes and dust under my feet.

* * *

Cracks in the sidewalk. Black ants eating something with wings.

* * *

The flicker of a candle. A man and a woman. Centuries ago. We’re leaving New Orleans tonight. Drinking black coffee for night driving. The red flicker of a candle. Centuries ago.

* * *

Following her down the Otter Creek trail. Sitting with her by the Otter Creek falls.

* * *

Hot sun behind us. A haze of rain ahead. The cool wind that comes before rain.

* * *

We drove all day to see a lake. A firefly in Kentucky.

* * *

Standing in the spray over Cumberland Falls.

* * *

Tennessee afternoon. Peaches in the shade.

* * *

Sunday morning. Headlights in the rain.

* * *

Lying wet and cold on a beach towel. Sand on my feet. Salt on my lips.

* * *

Chesapeake Bay. The salty taste of her skin.

* * *

A sunset that began in Maryland is ending with a red glow in the Pennsylvania hills.

* * *

Grey skies. Umbrellas in the wind.

* * *

Seaweed. A white sail on the North Shore.

* * *

Dim shadows on the road. Thin, transparent clouds over the sun.

* * *

Driving into the night. Headlights in my eyes.

 

Guy Gauthier was born in Winnipeg, Canada. He started writing a journal in 1971, shortly after moving to New York, where he still lives today. His plays have been performed in New York, Canada, and overseas. Water & Earth, a journal was published by Impassio Press, Seattle, 2002, and “Journal Fragments” appeared in In Pieces: an anthology of fragmentary writing, Impassio Press, Seattle, 2006.

Categories: Fragments Tags:

Ahura Mazda; Thus Spoke Zarathustra

September 27, 2012 Comments off

by Alex Cigale

I call on the spirits of those who died
in the fire: be with us, live on in our hearts.

The girl dropped her pink hat like a small cloud.
In weightless silence this seemed proof enough.

She was gently prodding the cat’s feelings.
Why are you so rude and unkind to Lola?

The New Year heralds the coming of spring.
Urban leprechauns leap over the flames.

Excuse me! I shouted, pointing to the floor.
Between us we could hold onto nothing.

Black fur standing on end on his arched back
like a thousand tiny exclamation marks.

After an hour, the dwindling bonfires
were banked, consolidated into one fire.

Desperately searching all my pockets,
patting myself down for the lost wallet.

He was shredding the notes she had taken.
Gatti! I see you will need some more work.

And a few people gathered to reflect.

He had belonged to a really crazy friend.

For a while after that, I lost nothing.


Download the podcast

Alex Cigale’s poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Green Mountains Review, North American Review, Tampa Review, and The Literary Review, and online in Asymptote, Drunken Boat, and McSweeney’s. His translations from the Russian can be found in Ancora Imparo, Cimarron Review, Literary Imagination, Modern Poetry in Translation, PEN America, Brooklyn Rail InTranslation, The Manhattan Review, St. Ann’s Review, and Washington Square Review. He is currently Assistant Professor at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Categories: Fragments Tags:

So Now I Return to Myself

September 26, 2012 Comments off

by Karize Michella Uy

Karize Michella Uy, Fragment 3: "It came to me that love / can be pruned / if it does not produce / any fruits."

*

Karize Michella Uy, Fragment 5: "they thought me a bore / during my silence / all along I was tending / a fire within / but they could not even see / the smoke"

***

Karize Michella Uy, Postscript - Fragment on Fragments or on Moments: "It is these quick lightnings / of epiphany that make me / want to wait and live / white haired"


Download the podcast

Karize Michella Uy writes, “These fragments were created through the assemblage process: I literally cut up words and phrases from two short stories I had written but have outgrown, and assembled them to form altogether different short pieces. I glued the word cut-outs on blank index cards, which I scanned. I have always thought fragments and moments operate on the same plane, that it is these ‘flashes’ we have come to anticipate, whether in reading and writing, or in life. In this light, I have also included a postscript, a fragment on fragments or on moments.” Three more of Uy’s assemblages have appeared online at The Cabinet.

Categories: Fragments Tags:

The Falling

September 25, 2012 1 comment

vocalist solo

by David-Glen Smith

1
—and that’s all it takes,
(even mid-song) one slight glance
across a small room.

2
Or even mid-phrase.
Mid-word. And then the falling
into vertigo.

3
As casual as
slipping into mama’s dress,
stepping out to dance.

4
Nights of Latin jazz,
a time when I’d wear music
as a second skin—

5
all past sensations
returning from just one quick
glance of a stranger—

6
It is just too much—
when a full stranger mirrors
a past memory,

7
reflecting the face
of my brother: his earring,
his stance and movements,

8
a gentle haunting,
which clings, even years later,
as if time derailed,

9
as if this city
transposed itself to somewhere
else—to fractured scenes

10
stolen from the past,
before the epiphanies
or experience,

11
before changed notions
of self took hold, unfolding
paper memory.

12
His attention falls
elsewhere, seeking out someone
in this small grey room.

13
I close my dark eyes.
Step further into myself.
Acknowledge the past.

14
Across the tables,
the boy’s dragonfly tattoo
trembles, as he leaves—


Download the podcast

David-Glen Smith (website, blog) has had work in various magazines including: Assaracus, The Centrifugal Eye, ffrrfr, The Fertile Source, Houston Literary Review, Lady Jane Miscellany, Louisville Review, Mid-America Review, Saltwater Quarterly, Slant and The Steel-Toe Review. In addition, a recent print anthology titled Ganymede — Unfinished accepted two of his poems. In December 2010, he and his partner of ten years welcomed a baby boy into their lives: new topics and inspirations for poetry projects. They currently reside in Cypress, Texas where David-Glen teaches English Literature at both Wharton County Junior College and Lone Star College — CyFair.

Categories: Fragments Tags:

How to Undress a Mountain

September 24, 2012 2 comments

by Aditi Rao

It’s like turning a page. Or peeling the cellophane off your favorite book’s cover. Look for moisture — moisture turns corners.

Keep scrap paper handy. You want to catch the shavings and throw them neatly away.

Grab the cheese grater. Grate.

Gather mountain shavings like nail clippings in newspaper. Don’t throw them away just yet. You never know what you can use when.

Fair warning: what you find underneath might scare you. Make sure you have someone around to help with the newspaper.

Now, stop.

Step back (about 4 kilometers). Watch the grays give way to blues, the purples grow into magentas. Allow yourself a day to acclimatize.

Look for striped rocks. They are trying to tell you something. Listen, always listen, to the songs of rocks. They are usually right and always wise. Let the rocks tell you which path to take next.

When in doubt, stick with the left. It is the safer option, and it makes the returning less painful.

If you brought your binoculars, now is a good time for them.

Look up. There are lifetimes worth of blue there.

Keep peeling. The mountains you see first are a ruse; the real ones hide behind. Or under. Sometimes, you have to drink up a whole river before you find what you are looking for.

Arrive thirsty. It’s worth it.

Yes, you will shave the snow too. Stuff it into cones. With a little mint, it is better.

Watch how the snow peak throws the sun’s light back at it. Watch how it glows in its own stubbornness. You need that glow.

Place your chair in the river. Anyone who nears you will first remove his shoes. Feel like a goddess.

Fill the arches of your feet with freezing rocks. They will not hurt you. They remember you — this river must. After all, it is what you are.

Let the old man downstairs wash his clay elephant. His prayers can only help you (although I doubt he’s praying for you). And your daughter loves the smell of incense.

Learn the names of the birds that screech you out of bed. Look particularly for the one that nests in the walnut, pulling branches from a half dead, half blushing apple tree. It has understood something you do not yet know.

Keep looking. The longer you watch, the closer you will come. Climb into the apple’s arms if you want to be sure.

Wait for the air to smell of night and cowdung. (You have learned to love cowdung, yes? You cannot peel through the mountains until you learn to love cowdung.)

No, there isn’t an end. But you can take these shavings home and build a new mountain. Then, you can start over. That’s the fun of mountains. You can always start over.


Download the podcast

Aditi Rao (website) is a writer, educator, and dreamer. She works in New Delhi, India, and lives everywhere she can.

Categories: Fragments Tags: