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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Suzanne Burns

Diary of a First Book, Entry 4: Still Loving Morrissey and Shopping at the Gap

October 23rd, 2009
by Suzanne Burns

BEND, OR-

Don’t ever agree to your book being published if you have a fear of public speaking. I can say that, over the past five months, I have almost completely conquered this fear. I have beaten it out of myself. My husband has stood by, helplessly watching the self-berating, doling out the necessary Kleenex and gelato cups, weighing in on every outfit I’ve tried on. My vain (in more ways than one) attempt at looking just the right combination of serious literary writer and hot-ass bitch has culminated in committing the worst of sins: I bought a black T-shirt from the Gap.

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Rich Ferguson

Karma Driving School

October 15th, 2009
by Rich Ferguson

LOS ANGELES -

Author’s Note: I want to thank Jessica Larsen for the photo that she took during her recent travels in Varanasi, India.

Let’s go back to the very beginning / get in that car / get behind the wheel / rev the engine to pure devotion / our each and every dream – sparkling motion / relearn brake, gas, and clutch / not so much to speed us through these streets / but to clearly see that our each and every action ripens into results / bad equals bad / good equals good / it’s not some tricky math / nothing like finding the perimeter of all human suffering / what it is is the world coming from us / not at us / karma driving school

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Peter Schwartz

Heart VS. Head

October 8th, 2009
by Peter Schwartz

AUGUSTA, ME-

In my worst moments, when I’m awake and shouldn’t be, when I feel as though I am merely surviving this life, I think: what am I? I don’t know what I am but I do know a little about the habits of the creature that is me. Maybe the most important duality I inhabit is that between focusing on my mind and focusing on my heart. When I’m in my mind, I’m serious, possibly a little cranky, and doing something useful like accepting my next friend on Facebook. When I’m in my heart, I’m either writing my next new poem or practicing one of my more inspired hobbies like autoerotic asphyxiation or Reiki. (more…)


Tyler Stoddard Smith

How to Write, Or Not

October 4th, 2009
by Tyler Stoddard Smith

AUSTIN, TX-

They tell me you should write about what you know. I’ve always had a problem with that. I may know some things other people don’t, but in writing that down, what good does that do me? Not much. I already know it. I want to write about things I don’t know about. I want to learn things about what I don’t think, how people I don’t know don’t act and why. Perhaps I say this because I don’t know much. I know a lot of facts about arcane things, but I already know them and I already know that nobody, unless they are short of Trivial Pursuit cards, wants to hear that kind of bilge. However, I don’t know one thing that I think will serve me well in my writing career: I don’t know how to write.

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Mary Richert

Comfort Words

September 8th, 2009
by Mary Richert

COLUMBIA, MD-

Christmas.

That’s the word I come back to. My brain, sometimes, gets quiet, but never silent. In the background, there is a restless rustling, the sound of my mental secretary, poor girl, who is always working. The frontal lobes are at rest, passive, eyes and ears like buckets, just receiving, while somewhere in the amygdalae, she is trying to get my attention. “What about… what about… what about?”

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Kip Tobin

Mil Palabras: Guadalajaran Trees

August 30th, 2009
by Kip Tobin

August 30, 2029

GUADALAJARA, Mexico

In those days, I was finishing up a degree in the Spanish language in Guadalajara, Mexico, riding the wave of what was left of my mid-life postponement, wedged between two countries, two languages, girlfriends, professions, et al. I remember I turned 36 there, straddling the fence between youth and middle-age, having just moved from Madrid where I had lived for almost six years, and the six weeks in Mexico was an understated adjustment, preceded by the initial shock that Mexico was not even second but third world.

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John McNulty

Inbox of Tears: An Ode To Old Emails

August 19th, 2009
by John McNulty

PARIS-

In the corners of my coffee stained eyes, a hollow blue reflection. I’m staring at my earth toy, my computer, my mistress, my bitch. My screensaver shows a classic western landscape not available to twentieth century globe dwellers anymore.

I mouse in with the oh so slight touch of my pinky finger.

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Paul Clayton

Le Voisinage de Monsieur Roger, First Blood, Part I, Chapter 7, addendum 1.2, or Wally Gator gets down with the crew at the sauna…

August 17th, 2009
by Paul Clayton

SAN FRANCISCO-

As usual, I drove to the municipal pool last Sunday.  My route takes me past the soccer field.  A game was in progress, one team wearing green shorts and jerseys, the other blue.  Soccer is really big here in South City with the Mexicans and Central Americans.  They’re out there most Sundays, their families picnicking on the grounds, watching.  There’s always a truck parked alongside the field selling burritos and tacos.  We also have a baseball field adjoining that.  They usually play Saturday and some evenings under the lights. (more…)


Ducky Wilson

My Waitress at Sonic

August 14th, 2009
by Ducky Wilson

SMALLTOWN, TEXAS -

She looks just like you

my waitress at Sonic.

With her skinny long legs

and the bashful way she waits

for the tip she knows is coming.

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Brandon Gorrell

Most of the People I Know on the Internet

August 11th, 2009
by Brandon Gorrell

SEATTLE, WA -

I have written small reflections on most of the people I know on the internet. Most of the people are associated with the “Internet Literary Scene”. I didn’t use the internet while writing this. People are listed alphabetically.

ADAM J. MAYNARD: Runs “My Name Is Mud”. Continually slightly confused about his age. Like the design of his website. Seems to like me.

ADAM ROBINSON: Feel like he edits Publishing Genius but also feel unsure. Have “kind of no idea” of his opinion of me while worrying, slightly, that he dislikes me. Watched a video of him singing and felt really confused.

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Greg Olear

Invisible Touch

August 9th, 2009
by Greg Olear

NEW PALTZ, N.Y.-

In which we contemplate what makes some art better than other art, using the example of two erstwhile members of the band Genesis.

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P.T. Winton

The Bastard Child of Jackson Pollock and Claude Monet

July 30th, 2009
by P.T. Winton

PARIS, FRANCE -

Emerging from the Metro station in Montmartre, Paris, the sun plays through a haze that makes all the edges of the city drip with dew. I think back to the maps that got me here.

I came from Germany — a trip in a couchette as resilient as birch wood, to the Metro sub-station in France. Then a quick and jarring ride on the Metro to Montmartre. Paris was going to be a different experience than Germany. The Metro map told me so.

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Reno J. Romero

A Thousand Words: Lost in Hollywood

July 22nd, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

LAS VEGAS, NV-

I called Brad Listi from some sleepy little suburb in Sacramento. We chatted. I think I strong-armed the poor fellow and told him that I wanted to read at TNB’s first L.A reading. He’s too kind. Dear and charming.

I got the gig.

So, L.A.  I had to go. Haven’t seen my birth city in years. Memories of crowded streets and concrete buildings tumbled through my head. 

I gassed up and hit I-15.

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Chiwan Choi

Tides

July 13th, 2009
by Chiwan Choi

LOS ANGELES, CA -

white boy joel called our neighborhood a ghetto
and swam in his pool hidden behind tall walls
splashing water loud enough for us to hear.

when he stepped out on his lawn
rubbing his belly under his t-shirt
we shot him in the face with a bb gun and
ran away as blood flowed out
six seven inches in front of him
spraying the green grass.
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James D. Irwin

The Juvenile Couplets of a Bitter Young Man or How Music Changed My Life in a Way I’d Never Realised

June 23rd, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to be a rock star.

No, that’s not true. Since I was a kid I wanted to play up front for Tottenham Hotspur.

But since I discovered rock and roll I have wanted to be a rock and roll star.

I can’t sing or play an instrument. This is pretty limiting to my aspirations of rock stardom.

However, it never stopped me writing songs.

One song (when I say ’song’ I really just mean lyrics) my friend David Rostron recorded. Unlike me he can play guitar and is a brilliant songwriter.

The particular song of mine he recorded was about a prostitute with an unspecified disease. It went a little like this:

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Milo Martin

The Strenuous Conditions of Dealing With a Milk Spot at the Bottom of a Highball Glass

June 17th, 2009
by Milo Martin

LOS ANGELES -

you know when you’re washing the dishes 

and you find a tall glass 

and it’s got a milk spot encrusted right down in the very bottom 

and in the very center 

and it’s there and it’s impossibly stubborn 

because you’ve neglected your dishwashing duties for the last four days

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Savannah Schroll Guz

Review: Monkey Bicycle 6 Delivers

June 5th, 2009
by Savannah Schroll Guz

PITTSBURGH, PA-

Unlike Monkey Bicycle’s previous issues (No. 4 presented thematically-connected short stories by 40 contributors and No. 5 was devoted exclusively to humor, both dark and light), No. 6 is an arresting crazy quilt of subjects and voices, many of them masterful.

In Jing Li’s “Forever,” calligraphy is the means by which the poet penetrates memory and creates metaphor. And while the images in “Forever” are powerful without any consideration of possible retrospective influences, they still seem to echo the poignancy of works like “The River-Merchant’s Wife,” which was Ezra Pound’s translation of a poem by Li Po (*cough* Pardon me, the English professor part of my persona is leaking out my right side…Okay, there. See, duct tape helps everything). Jing Li’s last lines, which depict the sublimation of shadows into transient flock of starlings is itself a calligraphic arabesque that points to the poem’s theme: the relentless and elliptical movement of infinity.

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Suzanne Burns

Stop the Presses: I Am a Poet!

May 25th, 2009
by Suzanne Burns

BEND, OR-

I just licked that big, all-consuming yellow envelope that holds, in its hopefully safe confines, my newest poetry manuscript. To be sent to an interested publisher in New York, a land almost as far, far away as Paris.

These are the first poems I’ve written in seven years. The first poems I’ve written that seem like grown-up, adult poems. (No, not adult in that way.)

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Megan Power

Cloud Nine

May 24th, 2009
by Megan Power

SAN ANTONIO, TX-

As a transplant, I feel about Texas the way I imagine a lot of men feel about strip clubs: self-consciously fond.

Obesity is rampant, retail centers are unnecessarily gargantuan, McMansions do ostentate behind gated communities - all the dubious braggery of “everything’s bigger” does ring true.

But this unimaginative, irritating slogan also happens to capture the one redeemable big state feature: its endless horizons.

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Suzanne Burns

May Update: Thoughts on American Almost-Idol Adam, On Turning 36, and My Continuing Writing Life

May 20th, 2009
by Suzanne Burns

BEND, OR-

It’s been a crazy month. I am working right now on a new novel, a poetry manuscript about Paris, freelancing for the local arts paper and co-writing a script about the Thai sex trade. I turned 36, watched the complete season of American Idol (fell in love with Adam, finally, when he wore that gorgeous outfit of Kiss boots and metal wings), sold a few poetry books, took a class on baking with chocolate, went on a ghost hunt in rural Eastern Oregon and watched a handsome waiter in my favorite local restaurant bring me a piece of pecan pie with a candle on top. (more…)