Saturday, December 31, 2011

New driver for January 2012

Please welcome Larissa Shmailo, Truck's driver for the first month of the new year.

Many thanks to Lewis LaCook for seeing us through the last month of this year.

New Year's greetings to all.

IN MEMORIAM: Carol Novack 1948-2011

Carol Novack died of lung cancer Thursday at 8:55 pm. She was a genre-defying writer of lyrical and inventive work, imaginative and beautiful. She was a lightning rod who brought together thousands of artists from around the globe in collaboration and exploration as publisher of the groundbreaking Mad Hatters' Review. She was also my good friend, quite irreplaceable.

Here is the text of her lovely piece, "Destination," and the film made by Jean Detheux with her recitation.

(for Jean Detheux)

On the hill, there is an easel holding a painting of a town. You
are always traveling to the town, but whenever you think you’ve arrived,
there is nothing but stones, statutes and indigestible
bread. You return to the painting. You wonder if there’s a detail
you’ve missed, a clue that will help you find the town. You let
your eyes be deceived. They are connected to your heart with its
longing to nest; you are possessed with owning. You lose your
perspective again and again, wanting perspective, you are cursed.

You have come to rest. You think perhaps this is my town or
close enough to the one I was walking towards, at least when the
moon guided me like a mother it seemed to be. I can’t be too
fussy; I will die with dust mites and sand crabs and there will be
no home in death. But now, always now this town is different
from then, at least my memory of soft greens and blues with
gentle angles, or so it seemed, seems. This town is all glare with
acute turns and sonic booms. It won’t hold me, rock me, is neither
mother nor lover. It has so few dimensions for me though it has
dimensions for the neighbors, I suspect. They talk about rules,
have so many they can’t keep track of what’s forbidden. Too many
of them stay indoors for fear of breaking a rule. The chandelier
drops are cameras. They don’t understand. They make more rules.
This town’s windows need insulation in the frigid seasons when
the voices grow colder and louder. Nothing grows and the
kitchen shelves are vacant. One can hear the real estate agents
screaming in their white rooms. One can see their angry shadows
through white curtains. Always white – that is what the
denizens want: a neutered town in which you may disappear
into your shadows. They say that colors invite arrest. They
think they are invisible, the fools. Perhaps they are invisible
and I am the fool.

Here again I have to walk on stones for bread; the bakers don’t
know me. So I will move on. This is not a town, well not mine.
That is my perspective, not this.

He frightened me when he clasped me to him in the night,
when he lowered the volume of his voice to speak of the mirage
of walls and roofs. Not so long ago, he seemed to be my destination.
He was mine and I was his or so it seemed. After an
orgy of mirrors, we sucked and picked at one another’s bones.
Then he strayed into that other woman’s residence and stayed
too long, I took the turn back to where I’d been going, but
couldn’t find it. Pain was my map; I could hardly see clearly.

So I found you hiding in a hedge with thorns, not crying but
chanting, no, singing, singing a lament to your mother; you
crooned, wanting to crawl back into her, so I came and stroked
your head. I remember your hair as soft as dandelion puffs and
you trembled but kept still for a spell entranced you let me
be your home. And then like flotsam, you floated away, you
with your eyes dense with storms. I carried on, tore off my red
dress, taunted you. Who can stay still? Who can remain in homes
with so many rules? you pleaded. I left that town a long time ago,
I answered. At least I thought I did. You looked like a rabbit in a
wolf’s yellow eye. All homes have rules, you said. You said I am
a nomad. I have no choice. You do, I replied, drawing you into
me for the last time, feeling like the rabbit in your jaws. But
was I the wolf? Now I have forgotten your name.

In those towns they lock up the homeless when they remain in
one spot and throw stones at Gypsies. Like snails, the Gypsies
carry their homes on their backs. The denizens say it’s not
right! Everyone must pay taxes and mortgages like us – despite
interest rates. They rape the land we have purchased and pillage
the daughters we have sown and own. Lock them up!

The Gypsies say it is a curse to want to own, a curse to be
possessed. It is a curse to want to possess and be possessed,
a curse to own. You can seek to become the color of any of these
towns with their home teams, but the shade will be unbecoming
and oppressive. You will see!

I try hard not to want but keep gazing at the painting, as if I
had perspective or could learn it. My eyes are connected to my
heart with its longing to nest; I can’t help but let it flutter its
wings and woo my eyes. How foolish. I keep traveling to the
towns, all the same the cursed towns with their statutes and
stones. None is the town I seek.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lindsay Morrison: man, what a day to go

originally published in High Brow Mountain Mutant (

I don’t usually cotton to superstition but on Christmas Eve my aunt
showed me pictures she’d gotten of two wild

turkeys staring into her windows and then a whole group where the
family usually has picnics. She thought it was an

omen of a funeral. Christmas Day there was a death in the family. I
saw a deer in my yard that day and had

thought, is this a bad sign or a good sign?

I believe.
I believe.

I believe in a kind of subconscious interpretation divined from
unusual brushes with wild animals.

My grandmother’s brother; my Great-Uncle Glenn.

Turkey would have been the perfect sign, because he came from many
generations of woodsmen.

carolann stevens says man, what a day to go, how was your family day
at your house? (other than a death)

my party sucked. i didn’t cook the prime rib enough and i had
insufficient knives to cut it so i had to hack at it with my hands and
a small knife. i began to sweat like a lunch lady and lewis had to dab
my brow as i cut and and flung the ragged puddles of meat. plus i
wasnt exactly partying with motley crue, it was a bunch of my nuclear
family. i did embroider a boner in a quaint way to surprise my mom.
that was a hit and even my grandma laughed and forgave me.

My older sister said Her party was wondeful and we all appreciated it
and felt warm love feelings. There were gifts under and all around the
pretty tree. Animals for petting. Foor for eating. Toddlers for
talking with. Fellowship to be had a plenty!

I said Everyone hated the party and noticed that I didn’t dust shit.

My sister said Lindsay, it was a precious get together and so shut your mouth

I said They had to drink the meat from cups such was it’s rawness and
they respectfully gulped it in spasms of frightchokes.

stop it, wrote my sister, you are denigrating the reality of your party!

They left me all their god damned empty clothes boxes and forgot half
of their personal property. I typed.

my memory is an iron trap.
get it, because iron is in blood and my memories are surrounded by my
brain blood, where those thoughts are trapped?

Do you ever have dreams about Mill St? I have had many. I remember
almost every detail. Those times were hard for everybody, but in my
memory I always see it literally bathed in a safe golden comforting

Memories, even “bad” ones are more precious than any property.

Memories are so much more relaxing than the present. You can explore
them without liability. You can think about them any different way.
You don’t have a schedule. You don’t have to be anywhere, you can just
walk around and look at things.

memories to me are always from the viewpoint of my regular eyes. like
in a dream, i don’t see myself in my memory.

Do you mind if I list what I remember. The driveway. The screen door.
The astroturf. The bright thorough clean and polished wood paneling.
knick knacks to the right that said Home is Where the Heart is. The
round rug. The lace table cloths. The grin and bear it magnets. The
secret door to upstairs. the big buttons on the couch. the
bookshelf.the turkey midsoar over the t.v. the low table with that
wedding picture. a large mirror? the lace curtains. the accordion
door.the bathroom decorative soaps. peach. bath grippers. the wood
chair outside the bathroom door. potato chips and french onion dip.
spoons tinkling against dainty cups of coffee and tea. those glossy
mini animal figurines. the angular and magical feeling of the upstairs
with floral wallpaper. a tea kettle. a tall faucet. a porcelain ?
counter. a mudroom/pantry i think tilted toward the yard. a hanging
wood glider, i sat on and it fell to the ground and i bruised my
tailbone and was humiliated. the barn. a clothes line. the mailbox.
the curve. the fireman’s grounds. the 3 10 market.

I remember you playing Nirvana in the car. I think Cobain was still
alive or recently died. It was the early nineties.

The very very last time I saw Great Grandma I was with dad. It was
near Christmas because we were bringing her presents and she unwrapped
them very carefully with a butterknife my hair was black and I was in
middle school. I actually have a photograph of that day. I was sitting
on the couch.

Sheepishly cherubic with a shiny t-zone.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bosley Gravel: @_TheAristocrat_

Bosley Gravel describes himself as an 'eclectic hack writer.' I guess that depends on exactly how you mean 'hack' there. While I suspect Gravel intends it to convey his natural modesty, for me, this view of his work has deeper meaning.

Gravel is a writer working at the intersection of genre fiction and disjunctive post-avant practice. If we can see traces of noir writers like Hammett and Chandler in William S. Burroughs, the traces of Burroughs' collage methodology are inherited and tweaked in some of Gravel's work. His 2010 novel, The Movie ( is a young adult novel, a coming-of-age novel, and, above all, a compassionate look at coming-of-age in a small town.

Gravel is fairly active on twitter, managing a few accounts that exploit collagist methods for text generation. One such account is _TheAristocrat_ (!/_TheAristocrat_).

Here's what Bosley has to say about it:

"@_TheAristocrat_ started life as surreal, non-linear (experimental) novel. The story details the rise and fall of Toby Howell AKA Kid Judas, a musical prodigy who, like Billy Pilgrim has become "un-stuck in time". Raised between a shut-in mother and his wandering uncle, a professional clown who uses the stage name The Aristocrat, Toby struggles with inherited demons despite his talents elevating him to near messianic status. A gallery of characters come and go: Wildman, a forest dwelling lunatic; Winston the Chef; Sadie Day, daughter of a evangelist preacher; Farkus the Pimp; Legacie the Giant; Kit, a mysterious and relentless bounty hunter; Harley a reluctant cult leader."

"'The Aristocrat' was written in a style to emulate William Burroughs' cut-up method: leaps of logic, stream of conciseness that quickly melt into narration or from one character to the next. While I think I pulled off what I intended to do, I realized it was not a salable bit of fiction. But I'd spent a year writing it and I couldn't bear to just toss it in the proverbially trunk -- so I got it into my head that perhaps I'd feed it into my twitter stream 140 characters at a time. Not content with the first layer of 'non-linear' I decided to shuffle the bits chapters randomly, and run that text through a piece of software called Dadadodo which does a particular sort of randomizing using Markov Chains. From there the story is groomed for twitter and automatically (and semi-randomly) broadcast to the twitter stream. With every committed twitter post my media center plays sound byte of Mozart's laugh from Amadeus an inspiration for the protagonist. As an experiment I'd intended to keep it a private stream, but once it was clear it was stable and consistent and engaging, I figured, what the hell, and opened it up ... and was surprised to see a few followers."

Some samples of _TheAristocrat_'s stream:

  • Just stay away: and #wrapped around in their offering his shoes; to largest the dark two to smoke skyward in."
  • He of the Dark Two part the moisture out your name I can't love isn't he had a tiny yellow of her."
  • "The clear it to up on the edge removal of survival, the cans in wire shelves."
  • Come and what the gory scene of his #feet person minding your father: only about to why did they see. #fluxus #intermedia #syncretism
  • Barely #stifling a grassy pumping in the folds of paper. #antiart #dadaism #avantgarde
Be sure to check out Bosley's website:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ice age in a bottle

Need to catch a squall in
this minced crack. Nurse,

your cotton box of restive Snooki
encloses Jonas’ brother, Salk

Let’s get high. They may close
everything, but while we can

swig mint tempests back
and palimpsest, a settee, tea

I’ll swing in methane, thin with Maoism
and you’ll never have to go home

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Baby-faced elephant seal

Everything around you exchanging moisture, says it will accept strict new limits on using chimpanzees in medical research. Night come to made can't has committed a wide range of civil rights violations, against Latinos,  take it respond as I've 411 agreement was near on extending this year's payroll tax cut. Thoughts towards the town of lovely lady that needs attention and someone to love, steeped in history. Of an acquisition of social performance platform object object has an the a, proposed law that has mobilized Silicon Valley in a way that goes. Far beyond issues such as privacy or even network neutrality given name that child! Weighing posted a 27 percent drop in quarterly profit on Thursday, less than a she is. In different configurations like mod_php, cgi, FastCGI, etc among ever born in then like a modern version of the taxi dispatching software there’s the flowers, manicuring. My birders have enjoyed a fabulous fall of jaeger-watching it. The postman, SUV, and  the interaction between traditional TV advertising and YouTube: I bound house with only  causing quite a bit of industry buzz. Skin of my to Atlas the year of revolutions and webolutions, sound? Each minute of hours killed and two wounded in the last five days,  in a rash of shootings of work working full-time plans has been arrested for shooting an Elyria woman. In the foot  to also can prepare to served since opening in 1910 until its closure in 2005 many different cultural events, including concerts, sports events and exhibitions as part of their wildlife took a different route.  For a single-input combination lock familiar to with life forms,  faxing is still in use.  We have long these mammals I used, sudo visudo, and removed my name (the whole line) from there and total control of more running debian and RAM sticks are completely out of my financial reach than 5,000 Transport Museum! Has got my first taste of unix at the old Bell Labs in IL,  largest poster archives. A bust-up baby-faced elephant seal nicknamed Jackson cloud and the black hole if required results are reached. Will radiation that could is normally placid?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Again, golden niblets

Discovered an obnoxious letter
We were so close he to rock star sweat on him
how she became a Linux kernel

Path photos

you don’t listen to that one song
here is nothing more satisfying than hearing
power towers along lakefront could come down

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chris Girard: Shadow Shadows Tomb

According to his website, "Chris Girard is an experimental collage poet based in London whose work explores embodiment and identity." I knew, when I encountered his twitter stream, that I'd heard his name before. The tweets themselves were so succinct, compact and trembling with potential energy that I quickly forgot about jogging my memory about where I'd first heard his name, and decided to simply enjoy. Latest tweet: "I arrive like a tongue protruding into a mouth of another forest. I hear it now, stepping on branches, putting a coin into the head's mouth."

Chris explains "Shadow Shadows Tomb" thus: "THIS is a collage poem based on texts on tombstones I filmed at Nunhead Cemetery in London."

Shadow Shadows Tomb

Shadow shadow
shadows shadows
tomb side
flies leaf

Sacred shadow shadow
beard sleep surface shadow
acre leaves
room tomb

Resteth pity
gracious web

Walk leaves
wing the above lane
look red

years roll
remain true friend
ship bell
precious martyr
hear rose
shadow twigs
plants pillars

The taken life of hosts

tomb pillars

Monday, December 5, 2011

An excerpt of an untitled draft of a collaboration with Sheila Murphy

Earlier this year, BlazeVOX released Beyond The Bother of Sunlight, a long collaborative poem I wrote with Sheila Murphy. This is a new collaboration we started in March of 2010.

I've never seen stars like these

You call it the house on the hill, in Chautauqua dark
Your headlights spooling out road for us
I read the night through to you, a one-man play
and rocked sleeping in your attentiveness
Later I wanted to know what monsters you have here
parked, low on fuel, having eaten Valerian
In Ohio we had the melon heads
We had awkward children, maladroit, who took to woods
Know what I mean?
They're supposed to have huge heads, and are nuclear

Reading aloud to you the best I can

Those stars are clear stars, clean stars, brittle
We like it that way
cling to each other under reverse freckled sky
listens too for sounds, muffled by woods
listens for the passage of monsters through woods

Consecutive daisies wheeled in through improvised
Gestation marks the playing field as attendant
Quiet blisters that transform the asleep sounds
Macular and obvious and chore lined
As the choir moves in for herbal headlines
Clear to middling outré blanking on the jazz
From nights before the plenary apostrophe fest
Brained from scratch to have been owned
Again as if feckless choirs had mufflers
Tapped with fuel and left in park

You modest me when I retain syllabic
Hedge to shave and hand across
To check the level and the weight of pores
Against results of seed

The adjutant generic mimes leave home
And state names with built-in exclamatory
Roundness saves daylight to be heeded
Like Morse Code if anyone continues to be
Passage-prone and resonant with mantra voices
In the wooded plain a textual more
Like some caucus of the dark where weather
Claims to capsize all the cells we started
Out of foster air and brimming slight
less refraction than tandem misting
She was on the couch writing lists all morning
My fingernails had grown long and I'd shrugged off
some headache from the length of sleep

It's short--but I miss my alarm to a confused A.M.
Lindsay's late and sullen with rounded daylight
Her pores quietly glisten with adored depth
when she tells me about the sadness of the Fair
the results of poor people gone to seed
I want to add an exclamation to New York
placing so much that's attentive upon each other
I spin askew sometimes
I've always been too willing to run away
and in the middle of investigations

I break down faith to a drill-bit thaw
blanked on jazz as the choir moves in
Pretty soon everywhere I kiss you becomes a flower
I hang from my feet surrender torrentially
Unless I test these vessels calcified with indentation
The air will foster occidental elevations silk
stillnesses mum across your restless hands

Land mass has a forgiving storm
That acts out weeping for our fractions
Attending to the past resisting resolution
Points of clear young river taste me out of frame
Until I hamper my compatriots from scolding
Their lesser selves too willing to retreat
The key of G remains alluring to untutored
Witnesses pretending to be God of shoulders
God of should the rippling abs of the apostles
Raging in the mirror as though
Indentation pasteurized somebody’s milk
And it was blue again
The gender of surrender hastened inadvertent
Endpoints where the wildflowers are most
Tame and moist conflicted and still given
To falsetto numbness with a note full of
Remainders suspended where the exhalation
Leaves its evidence and someone innocently
Locates little parcels of familiarity
To name them something freighted
And yet clear to the touch
I've always preferred C-minor
and the way its velocity twists pianoforte
A clear young river could split my palm
like my lifeline pinches

In the morning we're walled-up in amontillado rain
armed with bastard lead and wrung with mascara tears
Fog muffles my throat as I love her against the mattresses
we've piled high and floral in the bedroom

Friday, December 2, 2011

Equal protection

“Well, we’re going to hell in a hand-basket,” he complained, shifting the bulk of his shopping bag from the crook of one arm to another. “Everyone’s looking for a handout these days.”

The people surged past us, each face made beautiful by swiftness. Every feature was blurred. Every disagreement, be it in proportion or ideology, had naturally resolved itself, and all that was left was smooth wind.

“I’m waiting to be changed.” I told him. My muscles were clenched, staying upright in the wind. Crowds were streaming past me as I stood with him. The night before I had dreamed of smooth rocks, the inevitable levels etched by water and time. I had dreamed of floating.

“You know, you’re blocking the way,” he said.

“I’m waiting to be changed,” I said again. He winced. “It doesn’t have to be by you,” I added.

I noticed that his shopping bag was spilling with hearts. The color red, as surprising as tears, trickled and pooled on the outside of the plastic. Here and there, crows glided over our heads.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Truck's change of drivers for December

Many thanks go to Andrew Burke for guiding Truck during November. It was a great ride.

December's driver/editor will be Lewis LaCook. Welcome, Lewis. Drive carefully. The keys are behind the sun-visor just above the wheel.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Introducing a young poet from Macau

to the Guia Light

she followed the light

into the eyes of the forest
after her coat was stained
with the indigo mist
she felt secure
under those staring
amber eyes

the door said
close your eyes, give me your hand
then she touched
vines on the wall
flowers blossomed
cherries fell
where her fingers landed
after that a clutch of cloud

a headless bird
flew out
gliding in the flooded tunnel
a ball of light struck her
from underwater

lights out
she found herself leaning back
on a wooden chair in the little pub
her friends light up their last cigarettes
mentioning the distant afternoon of ice discovered

smoke and words
swirling tangling above
weaving cumulonimbus
pouring down some colourful characters

mossing the floor
a squirrel slips and falls
leaves a hazelnut
ten seconds after, pop
shell cracked
an ocean spreading out


Iris, Fan Xing was born in Xi’an in 1985 and moved to Guangzhou with her parents when she was in primary school. She holds a Master's degree in English Studies from the University of Macau. Her bilingual (Chinese-English) book of poems Lost in the Afternoon was published in Macao in 2009. She was awarded first prize in poetry category of Hong Kong City Literary Awards 2011. She has worked on many classical and contemporary poetry translation projects. In July 2010, she worked as a translator in residence at Bundanon Artist Centre in Australia for the translation project of contemporary Australian poetry.

Monday, November 28, 2011

everyone has their orders to follow 

one of the guards is in charge of the lock
another keeps the key
one sharpens the instruments of torture
one measures up for the simple box
and one will spade the earth in

none of these men has a name
and in the morning
each of them shaves
with a similar razor
and until
his face is gone

work of the everyday

every day of my life
I’ve built
block upon block
I added to meaning
I added things up
seemed as if
from nothing once
but that was never the way
all that I needed must have been there
I’ve puzzled it out of the ruins
yes – the materials were there
where I stood
were with me from day 1
it was just a matter of
opening my eyes

now I’ve four walls
and the roof’s almost done
where once I had
a sky 

he decides to start a religion

I have perfected the art of falling up
it’s taken me till now
and of course there’s still some proof
left to the pudding
the kind of thing angels applaud

and so it is with no little suspense
I step up on the window sill
I won’t tell you how many floors up
I hold out a finger
to test the wind
and so I lead the way

damage control

those who
make weapons
buy weapons
sell weapons
those who
tell us
we must have weapons –
these people should have weapons
tested on them


Christopher (Kit) Kelen's (客遠文) most recent volumes of poetry are God preserve me from those who want what’s best for me, published in 2009 by Picaro Press, (N.S.W, Australia) and in conversation with the river, published in 2010 by VAC (Chicago, USA). For the last ten years Kelen has taught Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Macau in south China. 

Dredging the Delta (book of Macao poems and sketches, 102pp)
published in 2007 by Cinnamon Press (UK)
on-line orders through

God preserve me from those who want what’s best for me
published in 2009 by Picaro Press, (N.S.W, Australia)

In Conversation with the River
published in 2010 by VAC (Chicago, IL)
on-line orders through

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My friends never cease to amaze me. Poet Stephen Vincent has written letters to Jack Spicer, put them together into a manuscript entitled After Language: Letters to Jack Spicer and Blaze VOX Books has published them. Here's one now, then where to buy the book after.

Dear Jack,

Now that I grow older and literally sheaves of poetry have passed before my eyes—let alone hundreds of public and private readings by poets filling my ears with their works—I am struck by the question of what survives. That is, what makes one poem endure—one that we come back to again and again over a lifetime—and others disappear like old-fashioned printed data, the shredded pieces that used to fall like snow from windows in the financial district on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve?

What makes a poem bang and resonate for years? And when it no longer resonates, why is it still possible to go hit it again and the thing keeps resonating? Or, to change metaphor, what makes a certain poem like perpetual butter in a churn, the cow’s milk turned to rich gold, those cubits on our platter.

         Row, row, row your boat
         Gently down the stream.
         Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
         Life is but a dream.

We learn that one early as children, singing it over and over again, even though the boat is leaky, there is nothing gentle about the stream, and "merrily" happens most often only when we sing. Yet the song survives in perpetua! Some things endure, I suspect, because they are the opposite of what we know to be true. The verity is in the music, the way it rises and mocks the lie. Simple as that.

Yet, what is it about a real poem, one that does not mock, but endures whatever beauty or trash we throw at it? I have walked around Language for more than 40 years. It is as disturbing as ever. Perhaps the sculpture—a David Smith—in the park is the metaphor. The way one keeps returning and walking around it. One day a wheelbarrow, another day the spare, crude metal letters attached at odd angles to an edge of the barrow—particularly the ampersand—another day the thin dark wheel and its luminescent spokes: the sequence and absence of sequence.  Particulars compel an eye to mix the angle of light, with whatever combination of objects, into what stands—at this moment or that moment—to be true.

Anyway, Jack, that is the way I have been reading you. A ring around the poem. It does not fall down. A ring around the poem. The dance the eye makes. The ear. Sometimes you are obnoxious and terrible. Sometimes hopelessly bittersweet. A self-loathing you do go. Other times the
transparency, the poem with an utter overwhelming clarity. The “you” is way gone. Plato’s figures illumined without a shadow on the wall.  No wonder you got more than your fingers burnt. Those messages.

The test of a true poet is to correspond.

The test of a true poem? You got me, Jack.

The test is how not to die for it. Believe me.


The ecstatic is not built on an echo
   The corrugated skin of the heart
Dappled thoroughly in red, a small vowel
    Released, a flooded gorge:
Throw those rocks to the wind
    What you shout is about nothing—
When your mother—eyes closed—
Fingers the triangle across the Ouija board
Numbers like Michael Jordan’s baskets
(swish, swish) fall into place: A 3
And a 2 and a 3.  The Coach
Is a Cherokee Werewolf, Tiger Woods
Is a caterpillar: transformation falls apart
At the line of scrimmage. What we tackle
Between vowels is the incision
The stone carnage: the way I melt
    Trembling—my tail wing in flames:
My head buried and born before you.


Stephen Vincent lives in San Francisco where he is a poet, writer and visual artist. Some of his previous books include: Piece by Piece (Okike + Redberry Publications, 1967); White Lights & Whale Hearts (The Crossing Press, 1971); The Ballad of Artie Bremer (Momo's Press, 1974); Walking (Junction Press, 1993); Sleeping With Sappho (faux ebook, 2004);Triggers (Shearsman ebook, 2005); Walking Theory (Junction Press, 2007); The First 100 Days of Obama (Steven Wolf Fine Arts, 2009). Vincent’s haptic drawings and unique accordion fold books have been featured in gallery exhibits at Braunsein-Quay (2009) and Steven Wolf Fine Arts (2009), San Francisco, and Jack Hanley Gallery (2011), New York City. In 2012, the Logan Gallery, Legion Museum of Art (San Francisco Fine Arts Museums) is planning a one-person exhibit of the drawings and books. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

a collaborative work-in-progress between Christine McNair + rob mclennan

Dismantled, lodge

But how with gnarled hands holds the many and how? The sun and shadow of Rhode Island? Let alone the earth?
                        Rosmarie Waldrop


A strata, many featured. Afterlife of trees. Streetcorner, dance. So barely noticed. Does, her little move.

Arrangement, in the teeth. Red daisies, diamond truck. My name is, not. Grammar. Red-winged blackbird, curls. No one, possibilities. The room. We speak no, French.

Authorial, activity. Barnswallow, trance. Poignant, and ephiphinal. Determined. Laurentian Hills, so named.

My father, a distant cousin in St. Marguerite, 1950s. Am I the last to know.

A talent for arranging. Words, can't break. Imagine, her left hip.


Sessional, cloud. They come in curlicues. In, waves.

Hybrids, peaches. So, you make. Misty expectations. August. What we try to, hold. Vowels, a lung. An eighth troubled day. An undergrowth of bodies. Landed.

You were significant, rail. Tethers, the bike paths. Written, from opposite ends.

Old age is its voice. Invented, out of sight. Basement, cooling stage. The birdsong, insular. Make tea, play guitar. Autoharp.

Pecked, out a balloon. A red remark.


A corporate appeal, denied. The trap door, opens. Ultimately, appeared. A warbled, contradiction. Cowboys, up a name. In French, les voyageurs. Hernias hold in, scarves.

Not to know our time. Placing bones into the earth. A perfect, bit. They raid the biker hills.

As old as I am, now. Porcelain, chops. Deceptions, wire. String.

The snow, precludes. It is, only August.


« le jour où il l'avait rencontrée dans un champ de fraises »
            Un homme et son péché, Claude-Henri Grignon


August stings, deceives, unravels. Under my feet the lawn corporeals, slides up and slips. It circles round and there are trees and they are around and the windshudders. The trees shudderflex. The rain bends the roof. Barely bearable, instep peels down onto cold grass moves imperceptibly. The deck sighs. My feet are on the grass. We labyrinth round. My buried dogs yip in the earth. They eye you cautiously. The deer eat the flowers. The rain buckets.


The balloon store has closed. All the puppets are lost. The crawl up the chalets at night and hoof the sky. Howl and pull at the shingles. The balloons evolve into jellyfish, luminesce, purr. Feral bicycles roam the streets, slick the medians with coral. They are not to be approached past midnight.


Sainte not saint. Feminine distinct. Adele stretches, yawns, picks at her teeth. Adele is the colour of the sky. Adele is rambunctious and shivery. Adele is running in heels. Adele shakes her braids out. Adele kicks the mountain. Adele contains the forest. Adele bites the wind. Adele pushes her fists into the mud. Adele is the smell of crushed leaves. Adele creaks the thunder. Adele turns the cross into an earring. Adele hums a tune. Adele saves a pretty penny. Adele consumes peaches by the bushel.


My fifteenth grandfather stirs at the mention of Rhode Island. Fluffs his wig and sleeps miles away, where the trains no longer go.


Read rob discuss the collaborative process at Open Book

Christine McNair's work has appeared in cv2, Prairie Fire,, Arc, the Bywords Quarterly Journal, Descant, and assorted other places. Her first collection of poems Conflict, is forthcoming with BookThug in spring 2012. She works as a book doctor in Ottawa, is one of the hosts of CKCU Lit Landscapes, and blogs at

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of more than twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, his most recent titles are the poetry collections A (short) history of l. (BuschekBooks, 2011), grief notes: (BlazeVOX [books], 2011), Glengarry (Talonbooks, 2011), kate street (Moira, 2011) and 52 flowers (or, a perth edge) (Obvious Epiphanies, 2010), and a second novel, missing persons (2009). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books (with Jennifer Mulligan), The Garneau Review (, seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics ( and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater ( He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

3 Poems by Jill Jones

There Are No Extras

It’s all busy
even at ground level
hello cellophane, hello ants
days beget days
that’s the charming
the little songs
jumping out of backpacks
and while koalas
fall from the trees
and offer us their thirst
that’s past cute
like all les urgences
flood, drought, five cents left
in any language
is something even these
two tourists expand, give them
a map or a branch
of Christmas bush
while they wait at the
interchange, time for
tannin and sugar
readjust kit, the long
city road melts
inviting, eh
no extras needed
all here

Jill Jones

Yearn For You

Perhaps it starts with the ravens, it seems
like conversation, perhaps you still call them crows
in an old dream the unknown neighbours neighbour
check spotty rain, flatbed & dog, cold chisel

is it sun making the hens go, barbara ann’s in number one
ignoring us, you can’t go back, we have no
church clothes, you can never go back

small inscription in concrete
grass fires, temperatures, witnesses, no clothes
no rain to bear, buzzing flies, buzzing leaves

peggy sue scrapes paving, the ravens stop
you can’t compare this rain
now beginneth, you don’t return
to a dream of your old clothes

Jill Jones

‘What Are My’

WHAT ARE MY clothes worth what
are my clothes if they fall or are
taken within a box that if taken
away to be burnt or buried sailed away
on rivers which disappear breezes on
borders and roads and grid brown borders
wilder when they fall and flake wilder
with my naked arms naked ears with
sounds burning sounds burying sounds
saved in particles and streams not saved
but scattered as tokens in roads but
not any more than more or if more not
less than other than this hope less
free scattering no return falling free

Sometimes you want to say even here
is elegance even as it falls apart in the
opulent choking time spinning air

Jill Jones


What the critics say:

"poetry of unsettling mystery and beauty. ... passionate and parodic at once, as cool as all get out." The Australian
"... building bridges and points of access and communication, forming a whole, prescient and often deeply moving experience." Poetry International Web
What Jill says:
"I'm interested in relationships between states and locales, shifting borders, the openings in closures, pleasures of exploration, the great themes, like the weather. Walking is important, slow mobility across terrain, the temporal process.

I’m working somewhere between the lyric and something more broader, more discursive, so I move from either investigations of interiority or sensuality merged with the figurative which may also speak to larger structures. The poems have become a broken song – fragmented, flagrant, floating - perhaps an abstract or ruined lyric, where ‘I’ has shifted from the centre.
The way I work has evolved from a continuing interest in texture, pattern and transience, of jumping in the midst of the flow, experience in language underway, asking questions about how the pieces don’t fit as shards alter meanings."

 from her homesite at