Archive for the ‘Words of Power’ Category

Words of Power now in print

December 30, 2010 Comments off

Words of Power cover
We’re pleased to announce the publication of the print edition of our Words of Power issue, which appeared online in Fall 2009, with qarrtsiluni’s managing editors, Dave Bonta and Beth Adams, at the helm. This edition is dedicated to the memory of Harvey Parker, a contributor to the issue who died suddenly last summer. It was designed and published by Phoenicia Publishing in Montreal, has a full-color cover, 126 pages, and is available for $14.25 from the online store or from Amazon.

Words of Power is a magic box filled with curses and spells, charms and prayers, incantations, imprecations, castigations, oaths and legal instruments, mantras and scripture — and a collection of remarkable images inspired by the theme.

Be sure to visit our publishing partner’s new website, browse their catalogue and read their news blog. The listing for Words of Power urges customers to “Please consider ordering from our online store: almost twice as much of your purchase goes toward supporting the authors and independent publishing, and foreign shipping rates tend to be favorable. We’re happy to offer sales through Amazon for your convenience too.”

Categories: Words of Power

Words of Power: issue summary

January 17, 2010 Comments off

Come words of power, we said, and fill our inboxes. Come curses and spells, charms and prayers, come incantations, imprecations, castigations, come. Let mantras and holy scripture ladder us down where the bright ore of symbolic language first glittered in the light of a caveman’s torch. Let oaths bleed into legal instruments; let the party of the first part depart. Who has ears to hear, listen the fuck up.

Let words precise as snow crystals give birth to a wild meltwater roar: blessings, namings, signs and rules, writs and contracts. Come words of angry widows, cheating wives, absent fathers, forgotten sons; words to bind us and release us, words that label and ensnare. Come, longed-for words and those remembered, words that enlarged us, diminished, words thundering into life or struggling out of silence.

Let tongues burn with the fire of prophets and bellies knot with the solemn pronouncements of law.

Come, words of power: be recited — or go unsaid.

Let the cloroform of text still your shivery wings.

Beth Adams and Dave Bonta, issue editors

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Categories: Words of Power

Words of Power: Table of Contents

January 16, 2010 2 comments

Lung Ta (wind words) by Dorothee Lang

Ceremony: the Opening of the Mouth by Alex Cigale

Go My Uncle and Fetch the Bride by Jane Rice

St Joseph of Cupertino. 9/18 by Wendy Vardaman

Cuss Club by Ian Singleton

“Om Sai Ram” A Thousand Times by Patricia Bralley

Dear Brain by Muriel Karr

Maledictus Requiescat by Juleigh Howard Hobson

The Word by Susan Roney-O’Brien

The Rules by Christopher Woods

Kol Nidre by Peg Duthie

Naming the Flowers by Ron Czerwien

Lust in Translation by Bryan Borland

Brink by Anne Morrison Smyth

The Burrowing Song by Karen Greenbaum-Maya

Prayers by David Need

Incantation for My Old Friend, Landers by Alex Cigale

Incantations Over Alloys by Kaz Sussman

The Smiling Beaks of Bluebirds by Christi Krug

book of spells by andrew topel

The New Dogma by C. Albert

Learning to Curse by Ann E. Michael

Grandmother Praying by Oriana

From Genesis Rabbah by James Toupin

Going Out to Buy Shoes by Richard Nester

Yoga Center Wall by Steve Wing

The Man Who Spoke the Law by James Brush

An Irish Blessing by M.V. Montgomery

Urban Testimony by Maroula Blades

Divinations by Maureen Alsop

Eski Cami (Old Mosque) by Elizabeth Angell

The Atheist’s Art of Prayer by Caitlin Gildrien

Faggot by Dustin Brookshire

A quick visit to Joaquín’s, and a ceremony by Nathan Horowitz

The Names of the Dead are Floated to Heaven, Gyeongju, South Korea by Robin Susanto

(incantation: ekstatic) by Jeneva Stone

November by cin salach

A Language of One by Allen C. Fischer

ARKEO 4 by Marja-Leena Rathje

The Charmed Life by Susanna Rich

Islam for Americans by Khadija Anderson

Pomegranate by Maya Massar

Unenforceable Promise by Julia Martin

Elements of Force by Karyn Eisler

How I Would Do It by Angela Just

Man Date by Penn Kemp

The Mist in Morning by Barbara LaMorticella

The Butcher’s Wife’s Tale by Colleen McKee

Afterthought by Steve Wing

Tricks by Zoe Polach

He Gives Me My Nahuatl Name by Susan Elbe

I am waiting for the right instant to say your name by Peg Duthie

The Killer Poem by Paul Stevens

Bird Transformation by Harvey E. Parker

The Taut String by Joe Hyam

Looking for an Oracle by Amy MacLennan

Directions’ Introduction by Francis Raven

Letters to My Father by Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld

The Blasphemer by Carrie Ann Baade

Lullaby by Sarah Burke

Toxic Cylinder by Julene Tripp Weaver

For Tom W.—Eyes Only by Linda Umans

The Language of God by Ayesha Saldanha

Bittersweet by Chistina Pacosz

Dream by Anne Morrison Smyth

A Warning by Stuart Barnes

Common Needs by Robin Chapman

A Widow’s Curse by Bev Wigney

Credere by Dick Jones

Emptiness by Catherine Ednie

The Seven Healing Saints by Lucy Kempton

Self-Portrait as Dryad, No. 7 by Marly Youmans

Trance by O Thiam Chin

With Nebuchadrezzar in Jerusalem by William Doreski

Excerpts from Seven Anglian Spells by Andrew McCallum

Silent Messengers: Writing on Stone III by Marja-Leena Rathje

Personnage by Holly Anderson

Abracadabra by Joseph Harker

No Place Like Home: Kansas 1965 by Pamela Johnson Parker

Cruickshank’s Farewell by Irene Brown

Angra Mainyu by Harvey E. Parker

The Curses by Monica Raymond

Voices from the Porch by Catherine Ednie

How Time Does Things With Words by James Toupin

On Signing Your Power of Attorney by Nancy Lazar

Road Sign by Steve Wing

Swear by O Thiam Chin

Three by Stuart Barnes

Raise the Lord: To Witnesses in My Driveway Praying on my Rebirth by Susanna Rich

The Slovenian Grandmother… by Holly Anderson

sea litany by Catherine Ednie

Performance by Anne Morrison Smyth

Escalation (Use Only as Directed) by Adam Ford

Charge to the Jury by Monica Raymond

A Tree for Ezekiel by Marly Youmans

Mal by Dick Jones

Categories: Words of Power

Elijah and the Raven

January 15, 2010 9 comments

by Clive Hicks-Jenkins

2003 – Acrylic on Board – 46 x 66 cms (Click image to view larger)

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Clive Hicks-Jenkins (website, blog) has worked as an actor in film and on TV, and was a highly succesful choreographer, director, and stage designer before switching his focus to painting in the mid-90s. He has exhibited regularly with the Attic Gallery in Swansea, the Martin Tinney Gallery in Cardiff, Keith Chapman Modern Art in London, and Anthony Hepworth Fine Art in Bath, and has had well-received exhibitions in public galleries. He has been a member of The Welsh Group since 1997, exhibiting with them throughout Wales, in Scotland, Ireland, France and also in the USA, and 56 Group Wales since 2004. In 2008 he was nominated a Royal Cambrian Academician. After working from a studio in central Cardiff for several years, he recently moved to Mid Wales.


January 14, 2010 4 comments

by Dick Jones

Strange word, ‘stroke’ — a gentle sleep
and then you wake up,
changed. Caressed by infirmity
on the brown hill, kissed
by disability as you climb
the long drive. The farmhouse tips
and, heart in crescendo,
you embrace the grass.

Indifferent sheep manoeuvre,
crowding out your sky.
You lie in a lump, adrift
at the field’s edge, floating
on the dead raft
of your limbs.
The sun nails light
into your one good eye.

Near dusk her scarecrow voice
scatters your crowding dreams:
she calls you from the house,
the sound of your name
curling out of the past,
a gull-cry, fierce, impatient,
tearing at the membrane
that has dimmed your world.

Root-still, potato-eyed,
you are another species now.
Your medium is clay and saturation.
Mummified, like the bog-man
trapped by time, you lie dumbfounded,
mud-bound and uncomprehending
as the sun slips down
behind the hill.

The urgent fingers
scavenging for a heartbeat,
fluttering like bird-wings
at your throat,
are busy in the dark.
You feel nothing
of their loving panic,
their distress.

All love, all optimism, pain,
all memory, desire coarsen,
thicken into vegetable silence.
A dim siren wobbles in the dark.
And then rough hands manhandle
your clod-heavy bulk.
Night swallows the spinning light
and closes in like smoke.

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Dick Jones writes, “Initially wooed by the First World War poets and then seduced by the Beats, I have been exploring the vast territories in between since the age of 15. Fitfully published in a variety of magazines throughout the years of rambling — Orbis, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Ireland Review, Qarrtsiluni, Westwords, Mipoesias, Three Candles, Other Poetry and others. Grand plans for the meisterwerk have been undermined constantly either by a Much Better Idea or a sort of Chekhovian inertia.

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A Tree for Ezekiel

January 13, 2010 19 comments

by Marly Youmans

First of all, know this: the tree was dead,
It had already been dead for a time,
It was going to be dead a long while.
It was a stick in labyrinths of sand.
And yet, and yet—for this Ezekiel,
This dry-bone tree was clothed in chrysolite,
So that the leaves made glitterings in sun.
The bole was swathed in strips of China silk,
The twigs were mummied in gem-colored threads,
The shriveled root began to drink from earth.
A gust came from the East: the sound of wings,
And leaves turned in the wind—blue leaves and green
Looking, and each shaped like a human eye.
A dew arose from earth and bloomed as cloud,
Though in the desert, this was very strange
To see, and also there was far tumult
As if the dunes had changed to waterfalls.
The priest Ezekiel discerned a form
Among the staring blue and green of leaves,
Prismatic figure brightened by the light.
Ezekiel foretold: Your incense lost,
Your limestone idols headless in the dust,
Your cities and all of your histories
Wiped from the memories of everyone . . .
The centuries forget your name, your love,
The sons and daughters raised from infancy
In years that are themselves forgotten things,
And all there is of comfort is this tree,
Mysterious and riddling-strange to you,
A rainbow covenant, its promises
Too far away in time for you to see.

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Marly Youmans’ second book of poems, The Throne of Psyche, is due out soon from Mercer University Press. Keep up with all Marly Youmans-related news at The Palace at 2:00 a.m.

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Charge to the Jury

January 12, 2010 Comments off

by Monica Raymond

In your cool gaze, your neutrality
try to find mercy.

As you mark
the indignation of sparrows

and water seethes her bitter testimony
brackish and abused

try to seek abnegation
for the human—

some mitigating circumstance
uncertain childhood, bitter economy,

metallurgy, glamour, greed:
beauty swollen, congealed.

Try to remember this species
that dates itself by its weapons

is born hairless and has to construct
an armor of fictions,

that gravity, though pale
and guiltless as the sky

is of necessity
the opponent.

When you are tempted by the austere
precision of salutes

expressionist blur
of explosion,

try to feel kindness for this ever-breeding
lichen breathing narration.

Keep us from war, from pestilence,
from self-destruction

remember babies, joy, sages
whatever redeems us.

Be the hand on the scale
for life, try to find mercy.

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Monica Raymond won the Castillo Prize in political theater for her play The Owl Girl, which is about two families in an unnamed Middle Eastern country who both have keys to the same house. She was a Jerome Fellow for 2008-09 at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, among many other honors and awards. Her poetry has been published in the Colorado Review, the Iowa Review, and the Village Voice, and her work has been selected for publication by every pair of qarrtsiluni editors for ten issues in a row now (counting the upcoming Health issue).

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Escalation (Use Only as Directed)

January 11, 2010 3 comments

by Adam Ford

We appreciate that a poster
with instructions for the use
of escalators may seem patronising
and might imply we believe you have
the acumen of a four-year-old,

but we need to completely eliminate
any chance that you could point to us
and say we did not do everything
in our power to make your experience
one hundred per cent completely safe

so despite the fact that if you need help
in order to grasp these fundamentals
then a written list of what to do
on the station wall is hardly enough
to save you from yourself,

please take it in the spirit which it was meant
when we remind you to stand to the left
and within the yellow lines, and to hold
the handrail at all times, but never to rest
anything on it, never to run either up or down

and finally to walk off promptly and
immediately step clear, and further to this
please understand that any use
which falls outside these parameters
is counter to the spirit of the contract that

you entered voluntarily into when
you placed your foot on the top or bottom stair;
having given this advice we wash our hands —
your escalation is your responsibility, so
watch your step because we can’t watch it for you.

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Adam Ford (website) is an Australian poet with three poetry collections to his name, the latest of which is called The Third Fruit is a Bird.

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January 10, 2010 Comments off

by Anne Morrison Smyth

Performance, by Anne Morrison Smyth
Click on image to view a larger version.


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Prize-winning photographer Anne Morrison Smyth (website) grew up in Ripton, Vermont and in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She moved to Belchertown in 1999 after living in Amherst for 30 years, where she raised her four children. Anne’s love for wildernesses of all kinds informs her work with an intimate, unflinching celebration of the diverse small realities that create a larger truth.

sea litany

January 9, 2010 1 comment
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