Archive for the ‘Imitation’ Category

Dulce et Dotcom Est

May 24, 2012 2 comments

by Chris Clarke

Bent double, web designers without slack,
Ache-wristed, hacking with tags, we cursed each kludge,
Till on the table cells we turned our back
And toward semantic code began to trudge.
We did not sleep. Many hours lost, reboots
And trancing iPods. All went numb; the grind;
Drunk with caffeine; deaf even to the suits
Of Hi-Fived Two Point Ohs who then resigned.
Crash! Crash! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Finding the clumsy backup just in time;
While CTO was chilling out and Tumblring,
Websurfing with a Tanqueray and lime . . .
Dim, through the tinted panes and Aeron mesh,
As under a green sea, I saw him clowning.
In all my coding, after each refresh,
His comments in there, muttering, joking, clowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the bitbucket we flung them in,
And watch one-liners twinkling ‘cross his face,
His sad trombone and tiny violin;
If you could watch him drinking Jolt, the flood
Of banter as he climbed each corporate rung,
Obscene as goatse, bitter as the cud
Of stupid WHASSUP jokes from off his tongue,
My friend, you would not Greek without regret
For clients entre whom you would preneur,
The old Lie; Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Download the podcast (reading by Dave Bonta)

Chris Clarke (Coyote Crossing) is a natural history and environmental writer, an editor and photographer. He’s a finalist in the Los Angeles Press Club’s SoCal Journalism Awards this year, in the Advocacy Journalism category, for his environmental column at Chris is currently working on a book on Joshua trees, which will be based on over a decade of research.

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Adcock Modulations (Symbolic, Fantastic, Historic, Personal)

May 23, 2012 Comments off

by Jon Stone


(after Araki Nobuyoshi)

They’re not yet limp and still well flushed
with bloody dyes that darken in
their curling tips but past the point
of picking, the summer’s cut-and-thrust.

But he, hawk-hearted, freshly loosed,
with time for more and nothing else,
thinking beauty at its most heady
in its final shudders, is well seduced.


They watch the sky turn bludgeon-blue,
their crests engorged, their plates pricked up.
Every fin, sail and spiny frill
is frenzied to a danger hue.

But she, exempt, extant, ex-queen,
exudes an air of measured calm.
She’s done this once; the kingdom up
in smoke, the flood, the cannibal scene.


(after Sidney Keyes)

Through Bone to Medjez from Algiers,
they hold the line with spats and scraps,
then take a hill and hold that too,
bed down among the rusty smears.

But he, death-scholar, symbolist,
has found the place where his lab rat
is infestation – wild, at large,
and studying him through the dreaming mist.


They bring the full and fattened cobs,
and from their gardens leeks and beans,
and from the shops horseradish sauce,
then meat and mustard, heat the hobs.

But he, far flung, now London-based,
tongue stiffened on much harder vowels,
drains his glass and tries to pin
a name to what he can’t quite taste.

after “The Ex-Queen Among the Astronomers” by Fleur Adcock

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Jon Stone was born in Derby and currently lives in Whitechapel, London. He’s the co-creator of the micro-anthology publisher Sidekick Books and the multi-format literary zine Fuselit. His work has been published in a variety of British anthologies, including The Best British Poetry 2011 and Adventures in Form. He has twice been highly commended in the UK’s National Poetry Competition and his full-length collection, School of Forgery (Salt, 2012) is a Poetry Book Society Summer Recommendation for 2012.

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we know most when we know nothing

May 22, 2012 Comments off

by Dana Guthrie Martin

after Linda Gregg

What things are lost? Not the trees.
Not the small shells we’ve gathered and displayed
on our bookshelves, which call to the ocean
every day.
The winds are not lost as we are.
Worn bottle fragments experience our hands.
But not like our bodies experience one another.
Apologetic and shy, we stutter.
Wanting satiety and longing all at once
and what that means. Nothing holds us here
yet we stay. Nothing remembers what
we have been
to each other. We pause, stop sometimes
at this realization, as the wind blows,
as the ground swells with spring.
As we untangle what we are, alone and together.
Perched on a future we cannot know.
What these bodies resist.
Our fingers quiver like wings.


Dana Guthrie Martin (website) lives and writes in eastern Washington state. Her poetry collections include In the Space Where I Was (Hyacinth Girl Press, forthcoming), Toward What Is Awful (YesYes Books, 2012) and The Spare Room (Blood Pudding Press, 2009). Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Boxcar Poetry Review, Alice Blue Review, Failbetter, Fence, Knockout Literary Magazine, Stirring and Vinyl Poetry.

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Ezra Pound Reflects on the Los Angeles Riots, 1992

May 14, 2012 4 comments

by Patricia L. Scruggs

Wotan sleeps in the house of Freya
surrounded by boulders and flames.
And he said: “Long is one night,
Long are two nights” (sounded phonically),
and he said: “But how shall I hold out three?”
That was Longfellow
(that old potato),
in l844 or 1845
or thereabout
and Emerson said he lived like a king
around the time
Courbet was denounced
(if he was denounced)
for painting The Stone Breakers.
It lacked spiritual content
or so the critics claimed,
but he said, “Je ne peux pas peindre un ange
parce que je n’enai jarnais un vu.”
He made his own exhibition in a shed
and distributed A Manifesto of Realism.
That was at the time
of the Paris Exhibition.
Later Lincoln wrote: “You can have
no conflict without being yourselves
the aggressor,”
but that was before
the South seceded
and Sherman marched
to the sea.
“Strike the tent,”
Lee murmured as he died,
with Grant already
in the White House.

“Anger is short madness,”
said Horace. I think not
of the helicopters
vibrating overhead
or the National Guard on every street.
As Mary Siewert said,
“I never thought I would be glad
to be living in a police state.”


After the warm spring rain,
the hills don
their poppy covered shawls.

When at night I go to sleep
National Guardsmen watch do keep.

Did He who made the lamb
make thee? Has He carved
both madness and bliss?

Let not the fear
cover up the fear.

The cat is king in his jungle yard.

Let go of thy talent
I say, let go.
Release thy genius
that flowers in its place.

Open thyself wide,
let the poem emerge.

This is all there is.
There is nothing else.

Download the podcast

Patricia L. Scruggs is a Southern Californian by way of Colorado, Wyoming and Alberta. Her work has appeared in Calyx, Rattle, Spillway, OnTheBus, and the anthologies 13 Los Angeles Poets, Deliver Me, and So Luminous the Wildflowers. She is a retired high school art teacher.

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Hors d’Afrique (after Larkin’s Vers de Societé)

May 9, 2012 8 comments

by Irene Brown

“It could’ve been a trip to reach the stars
aboard Virgin Galactic flights.” My arse.
The fare’s at least a coupla hundred K!
Be that as it may.
Their pensions weren’t stretching to the moon–
‘cept in a fluked, off-route hot air balloon.

So, decades graded, they choose the Big Game plan.
A group safari: three whole weeks with strangers.
Star lit skies and camp fire meals with rangers;
walk with Grevy’s zebra, wildebeest
(I’d rather be deceased)
an overnight with some poor tribesman

who has to deal with khakied matching hats
(all waterproofed in case of a monsoon)
Howard and Hildas with keen binoculars
finding rhino, flamingos (but no cougars!)
the odd baboon
their purring tabbies swapped for snarling cats.

Beneath acacias Masai guard the camp
as distant lions roar; hyenas laugh,
but sparring in a rare Rothschild giraffe
is nothing to the foreign sounds that seep
under the flap:
Kalahari Karaoke’d make you weep.

Never been inclined to hunt in packs
preferring, like the heart, to hunt alone
and bunk up in my own sweet bivouac.
Savannah star jumps? Yuck! And new best friends?
Too hard to blend.
The whole thing makes me groan.

Hell is other people (I’m with Sartre)
I think I’ll stage a daring coup de théâtre.
Close by I hear a thousand buffalo thundering
and I’m wondering…
How to get out of Africa; just breakaway?
Oh fuck! gie me the mike– ‘A Wimoweh…’

Download the podcast

Irene Brown started writing late in life and has been published in a variety of media and has successfully performed her work on the Edinburgh Fringe several times. A pamphlet, Glass Slippers, was published in 2008 by Calder Wood Press (CWP) and a joint pamphlet with Anna Dickie entitled Imprint was published by Jaggnath Press in 2011. She currently writes for Edinburgh Guide.

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A Lesson Learnt

May 8, 2012 Comments off

by Wendy Burtt

in the spirit of Mark Twain

“I betcha hunderd bucks you can’t make it back here in a minnut.”

“He’s the fastest horse in this barn. I betcha I can too.”

“Go ahead then if you think he’s so fast.”

Reachin’ down, I gave Kane a pat. “We’ll show ‘er.”

“Alrigh’ then.” We turn’d towards the field. “You time us.”

“How do I know you won’t cheat?”

“You callin’ me a cheat Tammy Flynn? I ain’t no cheat! I’ll git down off this horse and thump you one!”

“Aww go on then. Yer jus scared that stupid horse of yours ain’t that fast!”

“You count. Once you git to a hunderd, you start countin’ ta sixty. I’ll be here in flash!”

“Awright then, go on.”

Kane and I started down the hill to the bridge crossin’ the crick, then cross’d the flat pasture. We come to another hill where the path cut through the Osage Orange and Sycamore trees to the Back Forty.

We kept walkin’ down the strip of weedy land flanked by trees and the cow fence to the north. He started prancin’ and a-flaggin’ his tail in the air and actin’ real proud and fancy like. I wrapped a big chunk of his black mane round my hands to help keep my seat. My bare feet clung to his sides, and my knees hung real tight behind his shoulders. He bounced and hopped all the way to where we couldn’t go no further and then I pulled him up. I hunkered down a bit and tightened my grip on his mane and then spun him real fast! He took off like a runaway train!

The monkey grass slapped at my legs as we whipped down the lane. The trees blurred to my left, and the cows scattered away to my right. The reins didn’t do no good, so I just clung to his mane like a burr. The wind stung my eyes and tears a-streamed, makin’ rivers down my cheeks.

We launched up the hill and come out onto the grassy field. I grinned and whooped, and my boy just run harder. I could see the barn now, Tammy a little dot wavin’ at me. We flew over the bridge and up the hill. As we clattered into the lot, we scattered the sleepin’ horses, a dirt cloud risin’ behind us. I quivered in excitement as I looked at Tammy, her hand wavin’ away the dust from in front of her face. “How long? He did it didn’t he?”

Tammy looked kinda sheepish like. “Yeah he did it. I made it ta 53 fore you got ta the gate.”

“I told you so! You didn’t think he could do it, but we showed you!” I crowed my delight and gave Kane a hug ‘round his sweaty neck.

Feelin’ cocky, I reached down and slipped the bridle over his ears. “Here, take this.” As I leaned over, Kane suddenly whirl’d away to his left. I dropped the leather and grabbed his mane. “Whoa!”

But that ole’ horse didn’t listen to me. Instead, he took off through the lot and run back down the hill. I grabbed his mane tighter and hung on, but couldn’t do nuthin’ ‘cept hunker down. Instead of crossin’ the bridge, he leapt over it. He swung a wide arc to the right, and galloped down the hill and turned left. Skimmin’ the tree line, he run all the way to the corner of the field where the path led back towards the cow field. Instead a-goin’ down the path, he turned and run up the hill again. Seein’ where we was headed, I thumped him with my heels and got him to run faster towards the barn. “Go on then you ole mule. You wanna run then go on!”

He gallop’d all the way up into the lot, skiddin’ to a stop at the gate. I was fair to shakin’, and clean outta breath. “You see that? Tammy he run faster than before!”

“You better git off then. Why’d he do that?”

As I went to slide off, dangit if that horse didn’t bolt again. He wouldn’t let me git down, instead run off on exactly the same trip. So help me I swear that horse was a-laughin’ at me! I ain’t lyin’! We run down the hill, jumped the dry creek bed, and run the circuit to the left this time. He turned right up the hill, run cross’d the bridge, and back into the lot. I didn’t have no words for Tammy, and she didn’t have none for me. Our eyes met real wide and scared-like. I reached a shiverin’ hand down to pat Kane on his neck; now I ain’t a liar, but that horse took off again!

This time, the other horses followed us down the dirt hill. I could barely hold Kane’s mane, and my legs was so covered in sweat, I nearly fell off fifty times. Kane had his head stuck out low and his nostrils flared. He looked kinda angry, and his eye gleam’d. He run through a grove a low hangin’ branches and one caught me unawares and sliced my chin open. I got the scar to prove it, honest.

We thundered ‘round that field, and the dust rose in a fog behind us, up the hill, and into the lot. The horses all slid to a stop, buckin’ and rearin’ and carryin’ on about their fun. Kane pulled right up at the gate again. His sides was a-heavin’ and his nostrils was a-flared so wide the bright pink insides glared in the sun. Great gobs of white lather dripped off ‘im. It fair flowed offa me too. I daren’t move, so I stuck tight, a-huffin’ and a-puffin’, a-shiverin’ like a leaf. Tammy’s eyes were wide as dinner plates and her mouth hung open in a silent “O” of amazement.

Finally I slid down, and laid a shakin’ hand on Kane’s neck.

“Well, you weren’t a-lyin’ Wendy. He shore is fast.”

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Wendy Burtt writes from her home in Chicago where she lives with her fiancé and daughter. Her work can be found in Mindful Metropolis, Shark Forum, Common Ground, and DOPE magazine. And “A Lesson Learnt” is true, she swears!

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O great maritime bears

May 7, 2012 7 comments

by Marie Marshall

(an experiment in imitation of “Ye white Antarctic birds” by Lisa Jarnot)

O great maritime bears of Sauchiehall,
you parade of great maritime bears, you paviors
with great maritime bears and drums and great
maritime bears you paviors, oh and you the
paviors and bears I follow behind the parade of
paviors and bears and intolerance, you the bears
maritime of the confrontations and the metal
uprights, you the uprights of intolerance, the intolerance
for the uprights, you the despiser of the metal
and me and bears and others too and
drums, and you the drums, and you the forthright
intolerant bears and me, and you and the
confrontations yet maritime, and lager and
thronging great maritime bears and you the
flutes and accordions and uprights the metal
uprights maritime, and you the uprights and
drums, and him the one I hate, and those who
do not hate me, and all maritime intolerance, and all
the bears and drums and also on the paviors
maritime of this intolerance.

Download the podcast (reading by Dani Adomaitis)


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After Cycling Near the Lake Inside a Glassed-in Room I Open Su Tung P’o’s “The Terrace in the Snow”

May 4, 2012 2 comments

by DeWitt Clinton

By the time Friday just disappeared
We were all gazing at the grey
Circling the sliver of our moon.
Somehow we thought Exjaafjallajokull’s plume
Might have drifted out that far.
Now all of northern Europe
Has floating ash so sharp and hot
No one dares fly into grit like that.
Awake for hours, I open blinds
Of where we sleep when
We can’t rest past the last late shows.
Outside all the birds are tuning
Up for full fledged orchestra and chorus.
I pick up all our
Limbs and leaves and half eaten
Apples that have landed on our deck.
The light comes later to our back forest
Burning off the damp spring fog.
We can then count on
Crows to awaken all the drowsy
Dogs to push us out of bed.
The air is thick with pollen dust.
Daffs and jonquils bloom in every yard.
We’ve spotted big black flies
Who arrive before the tiny ants find our little home.
Pretty soon I’ll be deep in dirt
So we can feast on summer.
It’s too soon for sun bathing.
My legs still ache too
Much and I wonder what I’m
Doing trying to still write.
We’re locking the doors more
If those murderers try to find us
Once again.

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DeWitt Clinton is the author of two books of historical poetry and six chapbooks. His poems and essays have recently appeared in Storytelling Sociology: Narrative as Social Inquiry (Lynn Rienner Publishers), And What Rough Beast: Poems at the End of the Century (Ashland Poetry Press) and Divine Inspiration: The Life of Jesus in World Poetry (Oxford University Press). The above poem is from a new adaptation of Kenneth Rexroth’s One Hundred Poems from the Chinese (1971); four more poems from the project were published in the November 2011 issue of Cha. Clinton writes, “I’ve tried to honor and respect these classical Chinese poets by resetting/adapting the poems to the contemporary Great Lakes city of Milwaukee.”

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May 3, 2012 Comments off

by Theodore Worozbyt

Whether I go annealed to the oyster’s demesne, but for the lack of an inner tester, the most discrete but intimate counterpane, is unknowable; yet here staves one of bone, inside the one of muscle, another scarf to wrap around my own inner flensings, and here another in my moving hand, of same blood but of blood removed, if all colors be but a version of the volume of that bibled sea which pulses hidden within us, the red sea, the blue sea (wheresoever the sun’s coin travels, its disc on a round orbit, spending our watch and watchfulness); whither I go, across the latitudes and longitudes of my nether-nexus, warping and woofing invisibly ‘neath the skin of the ever sine and cosine uncritical ocean, tell me then and there that the ocean is not a living breather absolute, when as its radical equation we observe the ritual geometries of the gams of Leviathans? Euclid spells geometries; Archimedes levers the globe with a measurement of shadow; Heraclitus bespeaks the river’s ever-flowing soul. Who will ever apprehend sufficiently the failing lights and vitals of the sea to preach the ever-looming watery yarn of the sperm whale? Who will stitch the ever-wounded skin of the cutting waters? Each weave of the sea is invisible; every atom beneath our copper-bottom hulls is a prairie where spacious grasses wave in long undulance toward the nucleic almighty brow. Our hearts mouth the rivers whose tributaries flood the brain with breath; and what man’s soul is not soothed by the sight of the vaporous exhalations of the whale, the tester of smoke which is neither smoke nor texture nor skull? There is he; he is there; he gams in his own eras. He has descended a sounded hour by the watch and then he rises to breathe our breath again. Are not our souls thusly fed with an invisible wind, thinner than the brine of our aqueous dreams? Do we not see in the workings of rain into rainbows the breach of divine color into the firmament? The ghostly hours in the deep of dark thoughts: on these we feed our solitudes and nourish our hopes for ghosts, whose specular vehicles motion us toward faith in the power of our levers and irises and pupiled brains.

after The Whale.

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Theodore Worozbyt’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Antioch Review, Crazyhorse, Image, Poetry, Poetry Daily, Quarterly West, Sentence, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, TriQuarterly Online, Verse Daily and The Best American Poetry. His first book, The Dauber Wings, won the American Poetry Journal Book Prize, and his second, Letters of Transit, won the 2007 Juniper Prize. Scar Letters, a chapbook, is online at Beard of Bees Press [PDF]. Objectless Fragments, a new chapbook, is forthcoming from Apocryphal Text.

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Art Crime Bulletin

May 2, 2012 1 comment
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