Archive for the ‘New Classics’ Category

New Classics: issue summary

August 17, 2010 Comments off

by Ann E. Michael and Jessamyn Smyth

The challenge we gave our participants in this collaborative cultural experiment was to view, or re-view, the idea of a classic — and to re-invent it through some new lens of experience, point of view, or sensibility. We wanted more than persona pieces that fit the standard interpretation of these classics, more than contemporary re-tellings, and much more than simple parody.

What we got was re-visioning of classic forms and fables, familiar but fresh voices both canonical and chronically overlooked, and a flood of beautiful, intricate, funny, smart and fierce language and images raising familiar stories and archetypes in ways we had never considered. What a pleasure to guest edit qarrtsiluni, to have the opportunity to read such wonderful work, and to be able to craft an issue offering such fresh and startling takes on what we thought we knew.

Download the podcast

For bios of Ann and Jessamyn, see the Call for Submissions.

New Classics: Table of Contents

August 17, 2010 1 comment

On the Folly of Not Being James Bond by Leslie Ann Minot

Frankenstein’s Brother by Marc Hudson

Nude with Rash by Anne-Marie Levine

In Nihilo by Ray Templeton

Twilight by Celia Lisset Alvarez

Molly’s Bloom (in Fade) by Maureen Egan

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party by Tama Hochbaum

Ten Discourses After Jalal al-Din Rumi by Alex Cigale

So soft his neck, so distant from the thought of stone by Jee Leong Koh

Egil’s Lament by Ann Fisher-Wirth

Scrambled Shakespeare by Millie Niss

The Beauty by Neila Mezynski

Ishmael’s Concordance by Scott Wiggerman

Arezzo. Casa Petrarch. by Wendy Vardaman

untitled by Gordon Smith

Little black dress— by Aditi Machado

Bone by Betsy Phillips

His Side by LaToya Jordan

Gladiator (Rome, 2009) by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

There’s That Old Chestnut, Again by Luisa A. Igloria

Batman’s Address, or the Theory of Fort Knox by Christopher Hennessy

Sometimes I Miss the Old Jealous Goddesses by Deb Scott

matisse two by bl pawalek

The Lears at Home by Monica Raymond

Wounded Man at War in the Metro Père-Lachaise by Martha Deed

Pay Asclepius a Cock by Eric Burke

Cadillac Gargoyle by Steve Wing

Dream in Five Acts by Karl Elder

Onion by Marin Willitts Jr.

The Monsters Receive Their Briefing on Millennium Park by Donna Vorreyer

Mictlantecuhtli, 2010 by Joaquin Ramon Herrera

The Railway Children by Samuel Prince

Heart’s Desire by Rosemary Starace

Andy Warhol (The Vancouver Art Gallery, 2004) by Daniela Elza

Eating Godzilla by Jason Crane

Palindrome by Isabelle Carbonell

Hideous Progeny by Leslie Ann Minot

Black Heart Wind by Eric Darton

Apophthegm by Henrietta Cullinan

Oracle by Jessica Otto

Coptic Pizzeria by Dorothee Lang

Caught in the Flood by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming and Reid Mitchell

Shakespeare CIX Translated by Andrea Kneeland

In All Your Blinding Glory by Joaquin Ramon Herrera

piobaireachd by Andrew McCallum

the wyndham sisters by bl pawelek

A Study in Setting by Peg Duthie

Male Nude by Anne-Marie Levine

Marina, La Malinche by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

Postcard by Nancy Gott

The Bitter, True Taste of the Human Heart by Alex Cigale

As I stand here folding by Mara Mills

The Cave of Sleep by Kristin Maffei

Roget’s by Sarah J. Sloat

The Business of Creation by Uma Gowrishankar

Salve, Constantia by Dorothee Lang

24 by Barbara Young

Ariadne sends her friend a ball of twine by Leslie Ann Minot

Female Parent by Jeneva Stone

Twice Burned by Ray Sharp

Narcissus by Stuart Barnes

When asked your place or my place, meaning host or guest, by Jee Leong Koh

Moleskin by Mario Milosevic

The World is a Sound: A New Creation Myth by Robbi Nester

Re-Shake by Millie Niss

Oh Basho by Mary Wehner

The Poetess by Wendy Vardaman

The Adam Rose by Clarissa Jakobsons

La Guadalupe de Juan Diego by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

god    is a poet by Daniela Elza

Birth, Labor by Dawn Manning

June Cleaver Considers Divorce, or: Ward, Why is This Ring Slipping Through My Skin? by Jill Crammond Wickham

Zinacantan Woman by Joaquin Ramon Herrera

Dressing, On the Side by Lori A. May

The Constellation of the Water Snake by Maggie Cleveland

The Snake by Martha Deed

Blanche at Rest by Linda Umans

the tunnel by morgan downie

Be Mine by Judith Terzi

Categories: New Classics

Be Mine

August 17, 2010 4 comments

by Judith Terzi

O come let all your rabid pleasures prove
On the terrace under eveglom’s span.
I am terra nullius, kaboofa groove
Bust in ne plus ultra retro glam.

I am terra incognita in threads
Of funk. O kiss me, plinth of 2KX.
Let us contemplate the frothy spread
Of sea and see what we can resurrect.

Let your fleshspades guide the quest
Into alcoves and embrasures of the night.
Taste my mantric kisses, those arabesques,

In the clerestories of fading urban light.
Come suspend your hang ups, let us jibe
The architraves of two quotidian lives.

Download the podcast

Judith Terzi’s poetry has been widely published in print and on line. A new chapbook, The Road to Oxnard, will appear from Pudding House Press in 2010 as a finalist of note in the 2009 competition. She was a runner-up in the 2009 Alehouse Press Happy Hour Awards. In her other life, she was a high school French teacher and college writing instructor. She lives in Pasadena, California and is terrified of earthquakes.

add to :: post to facebook :: share on Twitter :: Stumble It! :: Digg it :: seed the vine :: share on Reddit

Categories: New Classics Tags:

the tunnel

August 16, 2010 3 comments

by morgan downie

they say i am the fruit
of un-natural union
they say that i feed
on the blood of virgins
all these things i hear
though they think i do not
in the darkness it is easy
to create monsters

they descend from above
groove steps with their passing
weave the white threads
of their desire around me
until my bound oxhide glows
and their tongues are sated
in my pale light starved meat
laughing they call this pit
a labyrinth

until a man comes
holds a torch to my face
and in a voice that sounds
like broken jars
tells me i am no more
monster than he
and guides me out
into the brightness

there a woman waiting
and seeing me shrieks
at the secret unbound
blood falls in skeins
let them sing songs the man says
that no-one shall know us
and leads me away
down to the anonymous sea

Download the podcast

morgan downie lives and works in the leafy lushness of central Scotland. His new collection stone and sea is just out from Calderwood Press. He can be found at his website.

Categories: New Classics Tags:

Blanche at Rest

August 15, 2010 1 comment

by Linda Umans

(After Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams)

I’m partial to shades of cucumber
(lush when the need arises)
and my gentle helper
this boy with the sweet chest
he will live in my cast of memories.

I caught sight of her in the long mirror
as we came through Admissions
all floral and light.
Diaphanous woman, I said to Carly
but Carly said no.
She is a boulder
even if you can see her shoulderblades.

I’ve survived my murder
no family allowed, therefore.
No need to mention names
next-of-kin and paramour not welcome.
(Save us from our sisters.)
Temporary     temporal
whereafter unknown
rootless now     although
no longer homeless.
Transition     acclimation
I feel    re-creation    here.

Download the podcast

Linda Umans enjoyed a long teaching career in the NYC public schools. She is an ardent traveler and a native of Manhattan where she lives, studies, writes. Recent and upcoming publications include poems in Beauty/Truth: Journal of Ekphrastic Poetry, Waterways,, The Broome Street Review and Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood.

Categories: New Classics Tags:

The Snake

August 14, 2010 Comments off

by Martha Deed

to me listen to me
I was out
rolling my abs
dodging the bees
and other bitin’ things
ya know
when out of the weeds
nymphlike apparitions
careless dancing lassies
bore down on me
one stepped on my head
so I bit the kid
for her carelessness
ya know
ruinin’ my sleep
for the next
thousand years
her old man
twangin’ the strings
day and night
and not very well

Download the podcast

Martha Deed (website, blog) is a retired psychologist who makes trouble with poetry inspired by crises and other mishaps around her house on the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda, NY. Recent publications include her chapbooks, The Lost Shoe (publisher’s page, video trailer), 65 x 65 and #9, and an e-book, Intersections, a 20-day journey of the unexpected. Recent poetry publications include: Iowa Review on the Web (with Millie Niss),, Poemeleon, New Verse News, Dudley Review, Helix, The Buffalo News and many others.

Categories: New Classics Tags:

The Constellation of the Water Snake

August 13, 2010 2 comments

by Maggie Cleveland

Hydra’s Alphard:

the evening star.
A double star
triple the size of the sun, it
is the most

beautiful of all stars,
the coruscating eye
in the constellation
of the Water Snake.

The Greeks said Crow
served Apollo
a goblet of wine. Loved,
he brought it to his lips,
but remembered crow was tricky.
Before he poured it
down his gullet, he
glanced at the cup
& saw Hydra the snake—
sharp fangs gleaming
with his venom.
lowered his gaze,
irresistible and bittersweet,
swilled the rest of his wine,
that loosener
of conscience,
& winked.

Apollo was
a trembling mound
of muscle, a swirling fury
of limbs. “Love,”
he said,
grabbing the snake
by the tail to cast the
reptile like
a ball into the sky

where it was caught by Alphard,
ensnared in a nebulous web.
planned his getaway quick.
“I’ll fly off before he
strikes me.” Down
the cliff he plunged,
a black blur of feathers.
Apollo’s hands were faster.
Now Crow and Snake
hang side by side in the sky.

Apollo went back to Greece

Note: this reverse erasure poem incorporates 2 of Sappho’s fragments (left-aligned text) from Mary Barnard’s translation.

Download the podcast

Maggie Cleveland looks for omens and wears her heartbreak like jewels in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, where she works as a grant writer and lives as a proud mama of two fierce little girls. She is the director of the Whaling City Review LIVE poetry series, and is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College. Maggie was recently published in Amerarcana: The Bird & Beckett Review.

Categories: New Classics Tags:

Dressing, on The Side

August 12, 2010 2 comments

by Lori A. May

She is not yet comfortable
With Botticelli
Thinks it is something to be forgiven
Like Beta tapes left to dust

Sipping juice from the unpeeled orange
Searching for the daintier flesh
Within the folds of restrained citrus

She drapes shame
Over the weight of her heart
Heavier than her shell
Covering sins and regrets

The roundness of her
A barrier
An obstacle
Thick rind sheer with exposure

Away from him
She slips into something
Unlike her
Out of sight
Hidden to the side

Download the podcast

Lori A. May (website, blog) is a poet, novelist, and freelance writer whose work has appeared in publications such as The Writer, Tipton Poetry Journal, and anthologies such as Van Gogh’s Ear. She is the author of stains: early poems and two novels. May is also Editor-in-Chief of and Founding Editor of The Ambassador Poetry Project.

Categories: New Classics Tags:

Zinacantan Woman

August 11, 2010 5 comments

June Cleaver Considers Divorce, or: Ward, Why is This Ring Slipping Through My Skin?

August 10, 2010 3 comments

by Jill Crammond Wickham

There is no further need for disguise.
Husband, we have been found out,
revealed for frauds,

stripped naked, bones hung out
like a shop-keep’s hopeful shingle.
We are the undead.

When we walk into a room—
nothing. Sinners, cross-
lovers, strangers, stare, pray,

witness the ripple of our beating hearts,
exposed muscles, raw truth:
together we are a dead man

and his mortician.
One breathing, one wax-faced.
No beat. No pulse. No life.

With this truth, freedom.
Free of flesh, bloody muscle,
husband, we may drop pieces

of ourselves where we walk now.
We are free. Let us step
from our graves, trip

the half-light fantastic—first date.
I don’t know whether to run
hand in moldy hand

in front of a car
or send the worms of my lips
down your throat.

Download the podcast

When she is not teaching young artists to paint blue horses (ala Franz Marc) Jill Crammond Wickham masquerades as your average poet/artist/mother in Upstate NY, funding her writing habit by running a children’s art studio. Her work has appeared in Crab Creek Review, Naugatuck River Review, Weave, Wicked Alice and others (and sometimes in progress on her blog: She is an editor for Ouroboros Review and a reviewer for Poets’ Quarterly.

%d bloggers like this: