April 2001Café Society's Poetry News Update
Do you have any poetry news or comments? If so, mail me on the email link at the bottom of this page. Competitions and calls for submissions can be announced here free.


an interview with bryan wilhite


hello, I am Bryan Wilhite. I am a specially designed afrinaut capable of funkatizing galaxies. This was first laid on this manchild when I was born in Los Angeles in 1968. I went to all the tan and blue-green schools LAUSD had to offer in an inner-city filled with radical 1970s teachers -- mostly women -- who prepared me for the College of Letters and Science at UCSB where I stole a degree in physics in 1991. I was a Bachelor in Science but was married for a year to have my first-born son, Amon Wilhite, another soul super-bad.

I have been using computers since my junior high school years. From a local Masjid that used to be on Crenshaw with TRS-80s to the hardware of big-house corporate America, I find computers to be like basketball courts: Neutral and relatively inanimate objects that do what I tell them to do (most of the time). They execute without prejudice free from whimsical glass ceilings. They let me play hacky sack in silk slave shackles.

I try to satisfy my artistic side with this electronic project. I prefer this World Wide Web to an honorable poesy paper publication out of Montana. The literary agents in New York are dwelling in the nose zone of zero funkativity in a global economy. So the kinté space is just one of many of these terrestrial projects, one of many of these sacred phenomena waiting for a more positive attitude.

So, dig, I remain Bryan Wilhite, ego tripping, time zone shifting and bandwidth snatching - looking to be the bomb, trying to blow minds.

It is just a young brother getting over by slinging brains.

Poof.


Poetry L & T:When did you first think of the concept of your kinte space website?

Bryan Wilhite: The kinte space came from a paper publication "Red Beans and Rice" -- a two page spread in L.A.-based FreeStyle Magazine . I was learning about publishing with paper and seeing how much it costs. Simultaneously, I was reading poetry late at night, to rooms with just a few good folks, only to get up in the work-day morning shagged out. Simultaneously, my education and current occupation was continually exposing me to computers -- and computers lead to the Internet.

Computers do three things in multiple factorial combinations: (i) they create and manage data; (ii) they perform calculations; and (iii) they are communication devices. And they do these things at speeds and in quantities that are often super-human. It was only natural to publish on the Internet in order to quickly get the message out to thousands around the world -- as well as those happy few in the late night tea houses.

So the concept of the kinte space was not of a thought in a single moment but rather a combination of many events over time. In short: I looked at the Page Preview of Quark or PageMaker and wished it had as much value as the film going to press. The Internet's web browser made that Preview on the screen valuable.

Poetry L & T:Is the kinte space just about Bryan Wilhite or do you try to be inclusive in your presentations?

Bryan Wilhite: Well, being African and American is a struggle between respecting the tribal collective and respecting the Greek concept the individual. To have a web site that is only about me, a BryanWilhite.com, would mean the Greeks have won!

There are dozens of poets, visual artists, musicians, entertainers, scholars and other personalities at kintespace.com. We want poetry but we also want to capture some of the things that inspire poetry. This far larger than one person. Bryan Wilhite could not do all of this alone!

However, kintespace.com is one of few places on this media planet where I have "the power of context." I enjoy seeking out inspiring voices and presenting them in what I consider a professional -- and personal -- manner. (For more details please see www.kintespace.com/rasx01.html.)

Poetry L & T:What is your criteria for poetry that is relevant to the ideas behind kinte space?

Bryan Wilhite: Human beings are so hard to find. Human beings are a natural resource. We often think of our intellect as civilized. I think the interesting bits of the intellect are non-civilized and of nature. In the same manner that we appreciate a beautiful garden or fear a natural disaster we should appreciate the "natural intellect." Poetry is one form of this intellection. This way of expression is beyond the temporal acquaintances of society.

To put it in more socially acceptable terms: when I read a poem "from the heart" I am moved. I want to share this with the world. One of the strongest forces behind kintespace.com was based on the idea that the Internet could provide yet another form of artificial intimacy---a good kind of artificial intimacy (the kind we get from reading novels). One can peer into the depths of another's heart from across the world by reading a poem on their computer. This idea was very romantic before the commercial forces took over the Internet.

Now to answer your question in terms of English literature, I subscribe to Hulme's Imagist school. T.S. Eliot was introduced to me in High School by my English (they call this "Language Arts" now) teacher Margaret Yukiko Zumwinkle and I have never let go. I like language Egyptian-style: draw me a picture! (For more details please see www.kintespace.com/rasx02.html.)


Poetry L & T:I like the fact that you give several alternative formats for people to read the poetry featured on kinte space. Would you like to see more poetry sites provide this? What do you think is important for poetry websites?

Bryan Wilhite: I would like to see poetry on billboards in the middle of every big city... The idea that poetry should be in "alternative formats" came to me through Jim Morrison, his work with The Doors. I don't care what the so-called literary authorities say: Jim Morrison was a bona fide poet who happened to be a rock star. The kinte space is a publication featuring poetry that happens to be on the Internet. This means that the old-school, New York style of publishing is out the window.

Internet publications must use all of the relevant technical tools available to them. This requires Leonardo-da-Vinci mixtures of technical acumen and artistry. When Jack Keroac and his posse where using mimeograph machines and typewriters instead of quills and ink we have the same thing there.

Thank you for actually telling me that you like seeing the poetry in several formats such as PDF or Flash, MP3 -- or even in QuickTime (coming soon). I have had a few comments from "representatives of the literary establishment" questioning the utility of "covering up the words" with bells and whistles.

Poetry web sites should respect visual design just as much a traditional book publishers and retailers. I know this is can be very expensive. I compensated by exploiting my own talents in visual/information design and data management. I try to share what I have learned at The Funky Knowledge Base.

Poetry L & T:Who are your favourite poets in kinte space at the moment?

Bryan Wilhite: Fumilayo Bankole of Los Angeles, Moshe Benarroch of Isreal, Sandra E. Morris of Barbados and Silvia A. Brandon Perez of Cuba stick out in my mind right now. Approximately every month this list is likely to change!

Poetry L & T:I thoroughly enjoyed your Flash 4 presentation of "Sweet Honey In The Rock Woman". I like the way the woman's body slowly emerges out of the rocky shape as the words of the poem appear. The images were very strongly relevant to the words. Did it take a long time to create? How does an idea like that develop?

Bryan Wilhite: Thanks. "Sweet Honey in the Rock Woman" was years in the making. It started off as an Authorware Star presentation back before AOL recognized the Internet. The Flash version took about three months to build (with respect to the day job). Eventually I will do some kind of film or television version of this poem. The dream is that this work will go to public television, DVD and respectable "art houses" all over the world.

Poetry L & T:Do you think that popular music can sometimes be a bad influence on poetry, or that it is sometimes a positive influence?

Bryan Wilhite: Popular music was a great influence on me. I am child of the "new wave" 80s where there were all these highly educated English blokes (and a few Americans like David Byrne) making music with extremely sophisticated lyrics. I listened to song lyrics far more than reading words in books of poetry. Here's a line from David Bowie that fits right in with recent dot-com crashes:
...as ugly as a teen-aged millionaire pretending it's a whiz kid world...
In fact, I plan to write an essay about the lyrics from songs that have influenced me and my poetry.

Now, the negative side: Many writers -- probably young writers -- borrow a bit too much from popular song lyrics. At university, I remember reading this guy's poem where he used the words "cellophane clouds" -- I thought that was so cool until I found out it came from the Beatles!

Poetry L & T:What do you like (and/or hate) the most in modern poetry?

Bryan Wilhite: I "hate" poetry that uses techniques that I use when I know I am writing poetry for ulterior motives. I "hate" poetry obviously designed as a prelude to pick up lines (sometimes I read poetry live in order to impress women -- he web site keeps me honest!). I "hate" poetry that sounds like vain diary entries (most of us want to enjoy the positives of celebrity but often prematurely ejaculate words that others don't really care about). I "hate" victim poetry (I used to do this stuff in my teens when I first began to realize what happened to Africans all over the world since the time of Columbus -- one gets tired of hearing about loss and may need to militantly move forward to future).

And, of course, I hate the poetry of singer/songwriter Jewel (just kidding -- never read her stuff).

I think we already talked about the poetry I like.

Poetry L & T:Who, or what, is the biggest influence for your own poetry?

Bryan Wilhite: We already talked about popular music. But we have not talked about the works of William Shakespeare and the books of the Bible. These have a tremendous influence on me. Like most Africans in America I speak English (or something similar to English but arguably more efficient). I am extremely attracted to one powerful source of English language: William Shakespeare. He is completely fluent in English... And, like most Africans in America, I come from a "faith-based" family.

Poetry L & T:How would you explain the word "poetry" to a visiting alien?

Bryan Wilhite: I would say, Poetry is the word we use when speak of our feelings. This is a formal way to describe our feelings without regard to present, past or future (or the entropy of narrative).

Poetry L & T:What do you see in the future of the kinte space?

Bryan Wilhite: The kinte space will remain a web site as long as web sites remain. This is the intention here. Other forms of media should emerge from this place. We look forward to "re-purposing" our content for any form of media that can be digitized. I have already enjoyed promoting poets are published on paper through kintespace.com. We also support the exhibition/promotion of visual artists -- making virtual museums/galleries/documentaries.

I assume that I am done with the bulk of the computer programming managing the data (the poetry) driving the web site. This should free me up to get back to appearing in public and reading poetry -- really reading poetry and not trying to pick up women!

Poetry L & T:What advice would you give to an inexperienced poet who wants to improve?

Bryan Wilhite: To me, poets are human beings who happen to be literate and articulate. To be an inexperienced poet means one is struggling to find the words for strong feelings---feelings most human beings have. The gift of the poet is to give feelings a tongue---to give a voice to beings suffering in silence. This is not a gross political activity but a fine public service to private matters...

I don't know where words come from. I don't know what to say to people who don't know what to say!

Well...

How about this: Seek self-realization.

Poetry L & T:Thank you for the interview, Bryan.

the poetry of bryan wilhite
a poem from The Invisible Man pages
© Bryan Wilhite

the streets of l.a.
are packed like a slaveship
no protocol in their packets
save webmonkey traffic lights
Go Network the Donner party
in a Ford Expedition
this was a harmless prarie schooner?

they ate the Indians who refused to eat each other
who forgot these Homestead Acts of murder?
who wants me to join this mechanical palaver?
— drunk driving in the whine country.

you may be surprised by what can happen
to the best of us
ah, grand allusions of true African genus
Listen:

do you not see where I am coming from?

Ah: it is not that you do not see me:
it is when you mistook me for someone else

my moment of human being stolen
and dipped in Optic White
and sealed over into a mechanized palaver

we the machine inside the machine
we the machine inside the machine



Links to some of Bryan's special poetry presentations:

Basquiat
(PDF file with art incorporated)

0.5 The Sisters
(Flash player presentation)

Night in Nijinsky
(Flash player presentation)


EDITOR'S LETTER, APRIL 2001

Dear Poets,

This issue features an interview with Bryan Wilhite, poet and editor of the kinte space website, who has made some innovative presentations of his work using different formats, including Flash 4.

Featured poets this month include Yaakov Besser, Janet Buck, Lynn Levin, Mark Awodey and Jan Sand.

Any comments on this issue or back issues can be emailed to me on the link at the bottom of the page. Please indicate whether you would like the comments to go into the Letters section. Announcements are always welcome, you can also promote poetry books here.

Poetry submissions should be in plain text in the body of an email, with a small jpeg author picture attached, also a bio, with the URLs of any ezines mentioned, so that they can be shown as links. This increases the chance of inclusion, especially for late submissions. Pictures are best at a maximum of 520 pixels across, otherwise they take ages to arrive by email, especially in bitmap or TIFF format. Further submission guidelines are available on request.

Best Regards,

                  



Featured poets this month are Yaakov Besser, Janet Buck, Lynn Levin, Mark Awodey and Jan Sand. Many thanks to all contributors.

YAAKOV BESSER
Yaakov Besser (b. 1934; Poland) fled in 1940 with his parents to Russia and then to the Ukraine to escape Nazi persecution. Besser arrived in Israel in 1950. Currently the editor of lton 77, an Israeli literary monthly, he has been a prolific author since he began publishing in 1965. His work includes eight volumes of translations of Polish and Russian poets.

Books Published in Hebrew
Winter of Nineteen-Forty (poetry), Eked, 1965 [Horef Elef Tesha Meot Arbaim], A Tangle of Roots (poetry), Eked, 1967 [Be-Svach Ha-Shorashim], Fragile Lead (poetry), Eked, 1968 [Oferet Shevurah], Poems of this Journey (poetry), Eked, 1969 [Shirim Ba-Halichah Ha-Zot], In Moments of Inevitable Retreat (poetry), Eked, 1970 [Be-Regaim Shel Nesigah Bilti Nimna'at], Selected Poems (poetry), Eked, 1973 [Mi-Shirei Yaakov Besser], Chosen Field (poetry), Sifriat Poalim, 1976 [Sadeh Skulah], Worry (poetry), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1976 [Deagah], Even if Not (poetry), Makor-Agudat Hasofrim/Yachdav, 1979 [Gam Im Lo], Beyond the Ruin (poetry), 1961-1981, Sifriat Poalim, 1982 [Me-Ahorei Ha-Harisot], They're Already Mowing the Yard (poetry), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1986 [Mishehu Kvar Mekaseah Et Ha Hatzer], Fistheart (poetry), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1990 [Egroflev], My Mother's Face I Recognize (poetry), Gvanim, 1996 [Et Pnei Imi Ani Mezahe]

Books in Translation
Selected Poems
Polish: Krakow, Wydawnictwo Miniatura, 1991
Individual poems have been published in: Arabic, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, and Spanish.

THE LITTLE PRINCE GROWS OLD
© Yaakov Besser
translated from the Hebrew by Mel Rosenberg



Perhaps this is it.
I've had my fill. Done
what I have done
no need to carry on.
I have given the words their due, love
hers. And as for me?
I am become poet of the kingdom,
where two reign by night and one by day.
In my sleep - I dream within me. By day -
the dreams dies. Towards evening the king ascends
to light the lanterns
hanging on a low cloud. And the flame, like life itself,
sealed within the glass.


MOUTH TO MOUTH
© Yaakov Besser
translated from the Hebrew by Mel Rosenberg



We come and we go
and meet over the doorstep as if
on the edge of earth
we stand and we move on
and the darkness between us
freezes
how we
blindly pass black ice
from mouth to mouth.


THE LANGUAGES IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL
© Yaakov Besser
translated from the Hebrew by Mel Rosenberg



My mother's mouth is soft
like the cry of guilt-feelings
wild flesh between my mother's lips
a trembling and moist wolf cub
in a woodland winter. She drops him
and gathers him up, nibbling
at this fur, purring whispers at his ear.

Wherever I go, whenever I run,
whatever distance draw us part, I knew
her whispers would grow into guilt-feelings

Here in the Land of Israel, the Hebrew tongue no longer
takes her into account; the words fall
tasteless from her lips
her weakened tongue rolls a wheelchair in her hands
as she turns words
from Yiddish into Hebrew

Stones in a treacherous field. Scorpions
at their moist sides. They approach with yellow tongues
guilt-feelings, hanging themselves on her tongue.


PROTEST POEM
© Yaakov Besser
translated from the Hebrew by Riva Rubin



I slip by the shade of the tree
at the door of my parent's house, once my beloved home.
This cypress planted like a finger pointing
from the ground, binding root to root. Interlacing
its short arms. Embracing its trunk. Keeping its head
up in the sky - an inverted excalmation mark.
Dotted at times with stars trembling like tins in the wind.

On hazy days a cloudlet is speared on its erectness, a sort of
saintly halo

Not me.
Only now and then. In the evening, passing by or, really,
one cloud say slipping by at a respectful distance, anxious
not to touch the fringe of that enchanted shade, I blurt
on the wind a bitter protest that the branches catch, about
people who lived in this house, passed by in the shade,
as their lives - I will say it - slipped by me, not knowing

but also about my own life that's passing me by.
I, who can now and then touch, indeed, who've seen
living wound and fathomless abyss. Yes, even love's come back.
The eternal white bird that now soars, now plummets to hell.
That is always protest as well as love. Let neither pass me by
nor soar without me. Let me not be late nor trip
on the fringe of shade nor, after all is said and done,
stand - head bowed, disgraced - in the presence
of the wind leaping awake in the branches of this cypress
suddenly leaning towards me like a broken exclamation mark.


[email protected]



Janet Buck

JANET BUCK
Janet Buck has a Ph.D. in English and teaches writing and literature at the college level. Her poetry, poetics, and fiction have appeared in The Pedestal Magazine, CrossConnect, Kimera, The Rose & Thorn, 2River View, and hundreds of journals world-wide. The year 2000 was packed with readings, publications, awards, and opportunities. Janet's first reading tour stretched from Washington to California to New York, where her poem "Acrylic Thighs" was taped for Japanese Television in the lobby of The United Nations Exhibit Hall.

In January 2001, Buck was the featured contributor for The Paumanok Review, The Poet's Cut, and Moondance. Her first audio CD of poetry and music entitled Before the Rose is now available from Art Villa Records. Janet's work is scheduled to appear this year in The Montserrat Review, PoetryRepairShop, Thunder Sandwich, Megaera, Ascent, Swagazine, San Francisco Salvo, Verse Libre Quarterly, interweave, The Clark Street Review, and Ygdrasil.

NEWS FLASH - Janet recently became one of the contest winners for the new Kota Press Print Anthology. They are publishing 25 pages of her work. Release date is October 2001. Janet only heard about this the week prior to her appearance in this issue of Poetry Life & Times.

To read more of her poetry and find links to her current publications, go to:
http://members.aol.com/jbuck22874/
whatsnew.html

and
http://www.janetbuck.com

OTHER LINKS:
Before the Rose--Art Villa
Hot Links: Janet I. Buck
Author's Den
Active Amp.org--Features Janet I. Buck
janetbuck.com
One World-One Heart Exhibit
(click on "On Site Report" and scroll down to the New York Exhibit; then click on "A message from one of the authors, Ms. Janet Buck")
Art Villa

Where Teapots Sing
© Janet Buck



Love long ago, the dream of it all
betrayed like a photograph
of the sea minus salt and juggernaut,
now sits whole, an egg on
the counter of death,
courting the edge and still
content, integrity in place.
A sponge to use when suffer
spills and leaves a stain.
Correcting errors of the chill.

I imagine old age as summer
on a cracking patio.
The sun's role to match
your eyes like lefts and rights
of bedroom slippers in the dark.
Our flesh will thin,
my breasts will sag like thunderheads
that know the pummel of the rain.

A silver mustache on your lips
will brush my teeth when hands refuse.
If we grow blind,
we'll study Braille,
fondle 'til we get it right.
The moon will be a cameo
to finger through eternity.
Doleful dew will stretch with us
like rivers trace a continent.
Here, with you, where
teapots sing instead of scream.


Wash Day
© Janet Buck



Out back the clothesline swung
like a shoelace between two trees.
First spring rain still hovering
in lilacs washed and hyacinths,
their sweetness baking in the sun--
nervous, peeking unbrowned breast
popping from a flannel shirt.

Grandma's hair, the color
of a teapot's handle
braided in the silver drawer.
Rocking her head to cricket clips
and robins fussing in their hats.
Smooth aloe of muddy puddles
everywhere my toes would turn.
Street lamps like a goblet rinsed
and drying in the renaissance.

These weeping rites of first spring rain
were demarcations of her soul.
She parted grass with fingertips,
cleared the weeds for planting time.
Grandpa watched and ran his thumbs
around his pipe, his belly full of
raisin bread and love for ways
she pinned his wrists against the wall
of evanescent miracle.


Last Oranges
© Janet Buck



This day's sun could well be
the last orange in a torn bag.
What will I do with its pulp?
My eyes forked open, staring
at pitch of fleeting night.
Owlish onions in a forest
hooting at the nebulous.
Determined to find the dust a pan.

My broom is wet from sugar
of summer rain and love's
elusive miracle I've seen and held,
stashed in pockets when you leave.
I roll into the warm spot
of wrinkled sheets.
A tiny crater in moon rock
bequeathed to me by scents
of lingered aftershave.

I dare not ask how long we'll last,
arguing against our deaths.
To wallow there--
quicksand for a pensive dawn.
Some moment in the giant burn,
I'll taste our cookies crumbling.
Coronach and elegy of what a daisy
just might say, if it were
to stop the wilt,
count the flow of petals stripped,
ivory bellies lying in a bed of ice,
inert as snapshots of the sea.


Studies in Sharks
© Janet Buck



In cramping currents of the sea,
the moon reflects its luffa sponge,
a pearl of unevenness,
changing sizes with the day.
One night it's a cotton ball.
The next a sliver, silver tress
upon the pillow of the dark.
Another brings the grimace
of an apparition smiling
at a motherland.

These, these salty ocean hours
rub the backs and spines of piers.
A boat is but a body mimicked,
crying seals that slide down
algaed rocks into the cholera of chill.
A school of sharks is passing through,
suspended in a horoscope I understand.
They cannot stop, swimming
even in their sleep.
Death a promise in the dew.


[email protected]


Lynn Levin
LYNN LEVIN
was born in St. Louis, Missouri and is the author of one collection of poems, A FEW QUESTIONS ABOUT PARADISE (Bemidji, Minnesota: Loonfeather Press, 2000). She has also edited and written a critical introduction to LANGUAGE SAYS, a collection of poems by the Israeli poet, Amir Or (Chattanooga, Tennessee: Poetry Miscellany Chapbooks, 2001) and is the translator of THE FOREST, poems by the contemporary Albanian poet and writer, Besnik Mustafaj (Poetry Miscellany Chapbooks, 2001). Levin was Bucks County Pennsylvania Poet Laureate for 1999 and has an MFA from Vermont College. Her poems have appeared in The North American Review, Poetry Miscellany, Yellow Silk II, Poetry New York, Loonfeather, Helicon, and other places. She teaches at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

To Vinaigrette
© Lynn Levin



When a man makes you for a woman
whisking balsamic and first cold pressed
sugar, salt, some crushed
Tellicherry pepper
I know there is grace in this world
for it is a fine thing
when a man cooks for a woman.

You prove
that there is a place
for bitterness in union.
The cress and endive
craving your acid
falling
onto the blue and yellow plate
like embraces refused,
clothes peeled off,
torn love letters
or their postage stamps
heaped as Glovinsky used to heap
them in his glorious penny pile
at the hobby shop, the radicchio
peeking out
like old four-cent Lincolns.

What an irrational dressing
you are:
Taylor and Burton, Monroe and DiMaggio
your liquids mixing
only for a spell
until they remember
they are completely incompatible.

When the man spoons you over the torn greens
I begin to believe
your vinegar will not sour me
nor your oil make me fat
because it floats
the way a very good idea floats
at a meeting, my spirits after Merlot,
a man's jacket upon my shoulders.
It may be true that one is what one eats,
heals or stings from it, true
that salad eaters grow lettuce
from fingers and toes.
If one cared to look, one might see that.


Pumpkin Flower
© Lynn Levin



No more golden shout to morning
No more tunnel for the drunk bee's burrowing
and the squash blossom yellow
you look best in has paled.

To what have you closed your ear
and why won't you talk?
And why this turning inward when everything
green reaches up?

Yes you have lost the contest.
Yes you gave your best and no one wanted it
for very long. The bee warned you

then moved on with its sting.
You didn't listen.
Almost no one listens.


Foot
© Lynn Levin



No hand in this world but a foot
that's always wanted to be a hand,
that's always wanted to
to catch the falling,
heal the sick,
free the enslaved,
keep faith with those who sleep in the dust.

That foot in the world,
half blown off by what it sowed,
I have seen that it presses blood from grapes,
flattens the tulips
upon the long cry of its road.

That foot, the mad and the lovesick
think they see it.
They believe
it walks with them.
They believe it dances
for some fine reason.

Sometimes you want to dress
that foot in velvet or
bathe it, rub it with lotion,
bring it to your lips and kiss,
speak into it like a telephone
with words passionate, human,
that make no difference.


Glass
© Lynn Levin



You, of all things,
should be grateful
that, having been used
and having been seen through,
you are not despised
for being too well known;
thankful that whatever you held
is not held against you;
happy that you can
pour out your heart,
come perfectly clear again,
and, in the same form,
be rededicated
to a hundred different purposes.
You should feel lucky
that, set next to the clumsy,
you can last as long as you do,
humbled that light can always enter,
always leave you.



Marc Awodey
MARC AWODEY
2000 Poetry Slam National head to head Haiku Champion. Poems by Marc Awodey have appeared in approximately 175 publications worldwide including:

In print- Humanitas, Defined Providence, Writer's Journal, Portland Review, Nomads Choir, The Vincent Brothers Review, The Aurorean, Flying Horse, The Dry Creek Review, Poetry Motel, Tight, BlueLine, Plainsongs, Parnassus Literary Journal, Midwest Poetry Review, The Higginsville Reader, Voices International, Southern Poetry Review, Eccentricity, 12-gauge Review, 32 Pages, Obscure, Yomimono (Japan), The Poets Edge, Illyas Honey, Kimera, Afterthoughts (Canada), Sierra Nevada College Review, Yomonamo, Emu, Papier-Machete, Axxion (Argentina);

Internet - About.com, Inter/face, The New Voice, Lexicon, Zuzus Petals Quarterly, Poetry Cafe, World Wide Writing, Poetry Magazine, Immortali Et More, Thoth, Fresh Ink, Southern Ocean Review, Glossolalia, Brooklyn Poet, Anthem, Park & Read, A Room without Walls, Gravity, Recursive Angel, Ygdrasil, Gazet, Galapagos, 15 Credibility St., nrv8, Reflections from a Murky Pond, Pogonip, Slumgullion, The Astrophysicists Tango Partner Speaks, Sparks, Friction, the Implosion, A Writers Choice Literary Journal, Write On, Webgeist, Asili, Grepoetry, Black Street/Yellow Moon, Pauper, Night People, The Poetry Pavilion, Log Cabin Chronicles, New Works Review; ...and many others.

Anthologies - In Their Own Words- Voices of Generation X (MWE Publications- Raleigh, NC 1999); The 1999 Poetry Calender (CAC communications, Laguna Beach CA, 1998).

Poems by M. Awodey have been broadcast by C.B.C. radio- Montreal; WBUR- Boston; Go Poetry!- NYC. New Hampshire Public Radio. He has received several minor poetry awards, and been the featured poet on many websites.

Individual, and group readings with poets of the Minimal Press have included The Knitting Factory, NYC; Mobius, Boston, MA; The Middle East Cambridge, MA; The Gathering of the Tribes, New York City; The Baggot Inn Greenwich Village NYC; New England Artists Trust Congress IV Newport, NH; Gibsons Bookstore, Concord, NH; Zeitgeist Gallery Cambridge, MA; Out of the Blue Gallery, Cambridge MA; Manifest Poetry Festival, Northfeild ,VT; The Common Basis Theater, Chelsea NYC... and many other venues.

He is author of: Telegrams from the Psych Ward and other poems by Marc Awodey (WPC Minimal Press- Warner, NH 1999, perfect bound 100pgs). Known reviews- Southern Ocean Review, New Works Review, Sparks, Turk's Head Review, Times-Argus, His work has also been published in many chapbooks, including Art & Machine: 95 theses, available through www.minimalpress.com

His new book TELEGRAMS is available from amazon.com

Marc Awodey is founder of Rhombus Gallery/Artspace in Burlington, VT. He is also an award winning art critic (contributing writer Seven Days) and a visual artist.

MFA (painting) Cranbrook Academy of Art 1984.

Halieutica
© Marc Awodey



1. Catching conspicuous emptiness

My intimates; heron and loon
were worthier than me
at first light.

Heron's stilts poled him
over fast water.
Loon fell into the alizarin hours

of her prey.
Heron ascended on overwhelming wings

toward farther parts of the stream.
Loon glanced above
water's stretched surface,

to dive and dive again at dilatory
sunfish.

Catching conspicuous emptiness,
I cast monofilament into morning wind
beside sunlit hills of ebbing foam.


2. A Small Dance

They danced a small jig
in the foiled box,
warming below a sixty watt bulb.

Aping an impolite divinity,
I scooped squirming handfuls.
With the delicacy of glass animals,

they (nevertheless) attempted escape
by crawling up the cruelly waxed sides
of my sawed off milk carton.

Juice ran over futilely kicking legs
and segmented thoraxes.
Hooked in a tiny crackle;

head on a barb like regicide,
they gloriously splayed
their innermost wings

and buoyantly danced
once more before they gasped
and turned to sink.


3. Fish are an arduous catch
© Marc Awodey



With January's thirst unquenched
silted streams were stillborn in spring.
Our lake has become sour and low.

Gulls organize on each parking lot
into groups of anxious, chalky toys
squawking louder than in last summer.

When fish are an arduous catch
beaks and feet adapt to collect
the filthy lucre of crumbs and fries

that is scattered about our fringes.
Arrayed as stalking martinets they
also snatch and spit bent cigarettes

a priori barnstorming off
like a wheeling flying circus,
farther away from Lake Champlain.


Ghazal for Aunt Tofeka
© Marc Awodey



From gentle reminiscences songs undiscussed descend-
how long in remembrance, must mountain dust descend?

Fireflies relax entrapped by streams of morning light-
children watch a gathering swarm's empty lust descend.

Stares grow wide outside a vanished, vacant church
as effervescent flowers of black emerald dust descend.

Ping, ping, on a high old bronze bell locust roll;
of Damascus, brutish Janissaries forever must descend.

Beside muted gutturals praying "inherit the Earth"
a broken girl weeps in a cave- blood and rust descend.

From Beirut, to New Orleans, from Detroit into old age;
inarticulate immigrants trust the unjust must descend.

Shy under slabs of memory, her oak Victorola sings -
a robust voice, an oud, and songs of exodus descend.


Memoria
© Marc Awodey



When a D-day dawn
of dandelion parachutes
crossed freshly sodded lawns,
and cat tails shed to dance for us
over abandoned train tracks and July;
bent aces were artfully clothes pinned
against a space aged titanium and aluminum
Nirvana of banana seats, and gear shifts.
Spokes whirred like flurries
of Zuider Zee windmills as we patrolled
our indigenous dirt roads. We spied-
with brimming hands like Sioux braves
plotting Custer's Last Stand; tin squadrons
of flying corn cobs circling to surround
and capture a barn board basilica.
Soon every frogman was mobilized to-
"See Rock City", "Put a Tiger in your Tank!"
"Chew Copenhagen Tobacco"

as a D-day dawn of dandelion parachutes
crossed freshly sodded lawns,
and cat tails shed to dance for us
over abandoned train tracks, and July.


II.

Underneath painted columns at Memphis
mystery rites were once performed
midst introits for Isis, Osiris, their son
Horus, and his eternal brother Anubis.
Underneath Tyrian hashish plumes
draped in wreaths around midnight,
censers and cymbals bloom in lilac
majesty beyond our Hubble telescope.
Pomegranate seeds and cinnamon
spice the nadir of my demitasse.
Censers and cymbals bloom lilac radiance,
as frail bean stalks of Camel smoke spiral
into flowery flights of tin ceiling.
Fading beyond the Beal Street jail,
walking toward Jefferson Davis park
another tourist with clammy hands
blends into the heat of Memphis.
Underneath painted columns at Memphis,
mystery rites were once performed
midst introits for Isis, Osiris, their son
Horus, and his eternal brother Anubis.


III. jubilee

As yellow pines arched and wove
a lean-to over porous soil,
we skinned a mess of bullhead
one Sunday morning.
My uncle hammered their brains,
and spun out tightly curled souls.
My aunt then pushed her plier jaws
against the limp palate,
as lidless eyes tilted astride
her nickel plated pliers.
My uncle etched confident lines
into sepia rinds, and incised white
curves behind the hidden horns.
My aunt pulled flaps against his pulls,
gills flared red- like woodpecker heads.
Auntie nimbly flicked a serrated knife
under the meat, flaying roughly over
courses of noisy, carbuncle cartilage.
She slopped dishcloths of fish flank-
swished them in rosy water, and filled
her basin with treaded strips
that reminded me of softened sticks
of freshly unwrapped beechnut gum.
I rolled the pile of glistening remains
between sections of The Alpena News;
and delivered the lump beyond a screen
of birch, and linden trees.

Later, skittish shapes
congregated to snarl and laugh,
as smoke reclined over tar paper,
pine cones, and later on still-
a masked militia of fat raccoons
singing a midnight song.


IV. reverie

Men barked nonsense on Lunar hills,
deaf to the music of our moon.
When her glassine sands were pressed,
to transmit clips of harlequin white;
conquest illuminated the dome of night.
To understand why her ungodly face
appears to mourn; ask why
we strolled the lunar hills,
and danced upon her virgin humps,
with follicles, and fragile toes
encased in air conditioned boots.
And when each nerve is soothed enough
to see our silver mirror ebb and wax,
when spheres and hemispheres descend
to dream in undreamt volumes
deepened by a drum of tidal urge-
perhaps our sable voices will return
so that we sing, to sail
like drunken Greeks
through timeless stars, and stir
the rainless latitudes that sweep
to span the Sea of Tranquility.


V.

Better to misplace yesterday,
as a faded sun moves west to east
to bury a stoic neighborhood
under slabs of squandered light.
And in the west is a hidden truth,
so thunderstorms caucus above my roof-
with molting birds of prey that play
across the lips of sunset.
Soon a squall enters to baptize black
pavements adorned by old accidents;
where the traps of heaven became unhinged
and dimes of rain tumbled in escadrilles
like devils after pride
onto yellow, night shaded canary lines.
I have seeped through a frieze of memories
and am carved into a windless perdition-
yet blessed are the descent of a leaf,
and dusty moths fluttering in emptiness.
Blessed are mushrooms, grape leaves,
fragments of story gathered into stone.
Blessed is the golden curl of autumn,
let mourning be delivered by a tumbling voice-
for this is the voice of petals in a grave.
Blessed are the accompanists.
Blessed are human jugular and larynx.
So banging my burled Milano under a lawn chair
I produced a very small pile of ashes today
beneath the bowl, brown and burnt,
and for awhile it stood intact
on a shoulder blade of singed earth.
I saw the first gulls
I had seen in months, while you
were making love somewhere else.


[email protected]


Self-portrait by Jan Sand

JAN SAND, poet and illustrator from New York, is a regular contributor to Poetry Life & Times. and the newsgroup alt.arts.poetry.comments. A great deal of his work is about animals, or science fiction.

Recently Jan was published by Kedco Studios Artist Profile Press, on their latest CD ROM e-book, "A Way With Words (Poetry Real and Surreal), which also includes complete books by Dale Houstman, Sara L. Russell and Keith Gabriel Hendricks. Jan's illustrated book on the CD is called "Wild Figments And Odd Conjectures", which is also sold separately, in a limited-edition "single" CD.

To see an illustrated article about Jan's poems, visit the November '98 issue of Poetry Life & Times, and scroll down past the Editor's Letter. He also has his own poetry pages on Charlotte's Web at Artvilla.

SLEEP
© Jan Sand



The sharp cold corners of the day
Deny the soft foundries where the I
Undoes all regulation. Not location
Nor chopping minutes disciplines
Can marshal marching corps from liquid instances
That infiltrate the secret places of the psyche.
Here an eyelash curl can twirl a galaxy.
Here the warm flesh of sex and ecstasy
Erects municipalities of rushing blood,
Of thick fluid smells and salty flavors
Which dissolve known pathways into broken chasms.
Landscapes out of continuities erupt, slide, and slump.
Sounds bark or tinkle into coruscating creatures
That dance or threaten, invite or pursue
Bedecked in pointed talons, needle teeth,
Enrobed in smoking clouds that twist and hiss.
The waking mind cannot confront quotidian cascades
From all the senses, pure and direct.
It must shunt the horrific flow to holding pits
Where trap doors creak wide only in the dark
Wherein the exploring eye may adventure
Safely cloaked in the insanity of sleep.


OLD CRY
© Jan Sand



I am imprisoned within a cage of bone.
These rags of bloody flesh behind a mouth
Of broken teeth wherein a squirming tongue
Screams to be let free where young legs
Might leap through flowered green fields,
Where swirling clean water streams
Run silver threads amongst black boles
Of green leaved trees that shower whistles,
Chirps and high keening calls of bright winged birds.
There must be places still where this wrinkled flesh bag
Can run spider hands amongst cool roots, damp soil,
And watch small strange creatures taste the air
With tentative antennae. I want to hear the leaves
Converse with the wind as it teaches dust to dance.
I want to feel the cool anger of a summer storm,
See electric tongues lick a purple sky
And smell damp rain to run
Through the ravines in my face to wash away
These dry years to let the child emerge.


OPTIMISM
© Jan Sand



Cynics are, in normal life,
Not to be admired.
They castigate and denigrate
And cannot be inspired,
Shine intellect into the nooks
Revealing lies and scams and crooks,
Write the most despairing books,
Make us dispirited and tired.
But, anyway, humanity
Ignores most buts and ifs.
We have our normal arguments,
Our spats and snarls and tiffs.
But deep inside we can't deride
That destinies can be defied.
We paste some feathers on our hide
And keep jumping off of cliffs.


[email protected]


COMRADES - NEWS

New Chapbook
We have published a new poetry chapbook under the banner of Comrades Press. It is by Comrades editor Deborah Swain and is available to purchase now. Full details can be found at http://www.comrade.org.uk/press/index1.htm

Submissions Wanted
We are accepting poetry submissions now for the Comrades Anthology 2001 which will be out in paperback by the end of the year. Details at the same URL.



The 14th St. Y of the Educational Alliance
The Center for Cultural and Performing Arts
Wendy Sabin-Lasker, Director WhY Women Poetry Series, Veronica Golos, Artistic Coordinator for Literary Programs

Presents:

WRITING TO THE BONE: NEW WORK BY WOMEN

Thursday, April 19, 7PM, $7

344 East 14th St.
New York, NY 10003, USA

212-780-0800 x255 for reservations

Featuring: Linda Addison, Michael Carman, Amanda Blair-Ellis, Laura E. Johnston, Ritu Kalra, Jennifer McDermott, Jelayne Miles, Terri Muuss, Beatrice Nava, Lee Schwartz with Veronica Golos

Music by Mudhmita Chakrabartti
Directed by Kim Reed

"A deeply felt, and well crafted montage of poetry, prose, journalism,
fiction, memoir, performance pieces and music."

Veronica Golos, poet-in-residence

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Cave Canem's Celebration of the Publication of its 5th Anniversary Anthology
- Monday, May 7, 7pm, 7$
with authors and special guest, CORNELIUS EADY

OPEN AS YOU CAN MAKE IT!
Thursday, June 7, 7pm, $7
featuring slam king and spoken wordsmith Jamal St. John - with a "total open" mic.
Call to reserve for open mic:
212-780-0800 x255



POETRY COMPETITION
and a chance to get work published...

There is still time to enter, but time is running out...

...Click on the Dogwood Link for further details !



NEW ANTHOLOGY - SUBMISSIONS WANTED
For Kedco Artist Profile Press

We pay in free copies of anthology + prizes for the best.
Short story trophies + solid silver medallions to be won!

Submissions of short stories and/or up to 10 poems wanted for new MILLENNIUM DAWN anthology, to be published both as a CD rom and a bound book.

Email submissions to Elaine Davis at [email protected] before September 2001.


THE PERILS OF NORRIS cartoon, #4 of new story.
Spot Reginald The Rat and win a prize! Email me on [email protected] to say where he is in the cartoon. The first email each month wins.

The Perils of Norris started in August 2000. To catch up on past episodes, click the links below and click your browser's Back button to return.

#1  #2  #3  #4  #5  #6  #7  #8


Dear Sara,

I enjoyed the March 2001 edition of Poetry Life & Times; I especially found Lynn Levin's Want Ad poems very enjoyable. I want to thank you and PL&T for expanding my poetry reading list and introducing me to exciting poets on a monthly basis. Let me also mention that I enjoyed Ms. Levin's interview last month with Amir Or, as well as, Mr. Or's poetry. I look forward to future editions of PL&T.

Joyce Tres


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