Modernist Hay Making

Hart Crane

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Modernist Hay Making

By Tim Peeler

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About the Author:  A past winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to baseball literature, Tim Peeler has also twice been a Casey Award Finalist (baseball book of the year) and a finalist for the SIBA Award. He lives with his wife, Penny in Hickory, North Carolina, where he directs the academic assistance programs at Catawba Valley Community College. He has published close to a thousand poems, stories, essays, and reviews in magazines, journals, and anthologies and has written sixteen books and three chapbooks. He has five books in the permanent collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, NY. His recent books include Rough Beast, an Appalachian verse novel about a southern gangster named Larry Ledbetter, Henry River: An American Ruin, poems about an abandoned mill town and film site for The Hunger Games, and Wild in the Strike Zone: Baseball Poems, his third volume of baseball-related poems.

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Relics

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Relics

By David Chorlton

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Relics

The empty habit of a priest
appears between Heaven and Earth
with the cross on a string of beads
still flowering on the breast.

His sandals, alight with needles,
rest on the incline
where he stepped out of his body,
and red blossoms have grown
at the nine tips of his whip
that put down roots since last
it stung his back.

The shadow of his horizontal arms
is burned into the pale stones
where he was nailed
to the heat

and the bones he left behind
withered into straws
which were taken for a nest
by the immortal Phainopepla.

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About the Author: David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems have appeared in many publications online and in print, and often reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior. A recent collection of poems is Bird on a Wire from Presa Press, and The Bitter Oleander Press published Shatter the Bell in my Ear, his translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant. A new book, Reading T. S. Eliot to a Bird, is out from Hoot ‘n Waddle, based in Phoenix.

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Two Poems: Neon Boneyard and Disobedience

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Two Poems:

Neon Boneyard

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Disobedience

By Ruth Bavetta

 

Neon Boneyard

The desert ends in a pit of light,
streets cacophonous
in their escape from dark.
They’ve pried the gas
from its place in the Periodic Table,
stroked electricity
from the demon’s feet.
A hemangioma
of multicolored tubing,
burns blisters in the sand.

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Disobedience

I will wake the lilies under
the window. I will bite deeply
into the apple’s defenseless cheek.
I will follow the seagulls over
the waves as they etch the air
with their wings. I will not
be good. I will not be safe.
I will ride the tide as it goes out.
And when the man comes in the dark,
I will show him the family
silver’s shining secrets.

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About the Author: Ruth Bavetta writes at a messy desk overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Her poems have appeared in Rattle, Nimrod, Tar River Review, North American Review and many other journals and anthologies. Her books are Fugitive Pigments (FutureCycle Press, 2013) Embers on the Stairs (Moontide Press, 2014,) Flour Water Salt (FutureCycle Press, 2016.) and No Longer at This Address (Aldritch Books 2017.)  She likes the light on November afternoons, the music of Stravinsky, the smell of the ocean.  She hates pretense, fundamentalism and sauerkraut.

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O’Brien’s Tower

 

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O’Brien’s Tower

By Stephen Roger Powers

 

O’Brien’s Tower

If you stand on the beach in Montauk
and launch miniature ships from your eyes—
indulge in breaking miniature champagne bottles
across their bows first—the line of ships will,
if they don’t change course, brush Rio Grande do Norte
and Paraíba, approach Australia from the south, and make land
near Perth. The things you learn from YouTube.

Today I am at the Cliffs of Moher throwing a message
in a bottle over the edge, none of anyone’s business
what it says, charting it toward a discoverer
who will uncork and unroll it waves and winds
and continents away from the straight-line recipient.

Sea-mist mornings like this, it is easier to imagine
the nosey finder puzzled and riddled
and pulled by the tease of its suggested narrative
than it is to map the direction
over the horizon and a thousand
unseen horizons after the first
where my country is from here.

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About the Author: Stephen Roger Powers started writing poetry almost twenty years ago to pass time in the middle of the night when he was too energized to sleep after coming off the stage in comedy clubs around the Midwest. He is the author of The Followers Tale and Hello, Stephen, both published by Salmon Poetry. Other work has appeared in 32 PoemsShenandoahThe Southern Poetry Anthology Volume V: GeorgiaRabbit Ears: TV Poems, and Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia PoemsHe hasnt done stand-up in a long time, but every once in a while he finds avenues for the performer he was born to be. He was an extra in Joyful Noise with Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, and he can be seen if you know just where to look.

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Capitol Island

“The Spent Wave, Indian Point, Georgetown, Maine” By Marsden Hartley” (1937)

 

Capitol Island

By Robert Boucheron

 

For the annual First Year Building Project at the Yale School of Architecture, students design and construct a small building, often a wood frame house in New Haven. Unique at American schools, the project is required of all students in the program. A faculty member who is also a contractor guides them through weeks of rough carpentry, roofing, sheetrock, and more.

In the spring of 1976, I was in the first year class. Our project was to be an office and sales showroom for a quilting cooperative in West Virginia, but it fell through. Funding for a house renovation in a black neighborhood of New Haven also stalled. The faculty was at a loss. As students made plans for the summer, the building project was likely to be cancelled.

At this point, a classmate offered an alternative to anyone who was interested. Ken Colburn and his wife and his older brother Ted had just bought an old cottage on the coast of Maine. They had spent summers there as children, and they had relatives nearby, including two cousins who lived there year-round. One of these, David, was the realtor who sold them the house. The other, Bob, was a home builder or handyman. The project was to make badly needed repairs.

The Colburns wanted to rent out the house during the summer months and use it themselves off-season. When I searched online after forty years, I found the “Colburn Cottage” is still available for rent, one or both of two furnished units, right on the water, and fifteen minutes’ drive from Boothbay Harbor. In the photos posted, the house looks unchanged. It is on Capitol Island, east of the larger Southport Island, reached by a narrow wooden bridge. People from Augusta, the state capital, bought and developed the little island in the early twentieth century, hence the name. Continue reading

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Punk Rock at 45

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Punk Rock at 45

By John Dorsey

 

Punk Rock at 45

when i look at your life now
i think nancy spungen got off easy
breast cancer at 45
you have be a fighter
to sleep in the streets
with your broken heart
just dangling there
like a locket made of bones

i remember you at 30
beautiful
tough
& sad

talking about your family
as we drove to 7-eleven
to get hotdogs on christmas eve

how it all came flooding back
your father threatening to drive
the whole family off a bridge
into icy cold arkansas river water
on christmas morning

or the near rape
by a family friend
at fourteen

or the countless bad relationships
that became your anthem
as much as nick cave
or the murder city devils
ever were

your lungs filled up with silence

as the night sky balled up
into a fist
& hurled your childhood
into the past.

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Check out our interview with John Dorsey on his book, Letting the Meat Rest.

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About the Author: John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Press, 2017). He is the current Poet Laureate of Belle, MO. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He may be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com

 

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Grace

“Blue and Green Music” By Georgia O’Keeffe (1921)

 

Grace

By Mike James

 

Grace

Before she chose her one new name, she trembled through a dozen baby books. Walked through library stacks and touched every Anna and Sylvia, all the Marianne’s, Eileen’s, and Audre’s. Said each in a slow whisper, elongating vowels into a wish. Now and then, imagined saying the name with a confident rasp. What she wanted was not a mark of winter, but spring’s first color and the alchemy of change.

Finally, the choice stood out as much as her dark over-tall frame, as much as her cliff-sharp cheek bones. Jacob, her former self, became a passenger on a bus headed to an endless west.

The directions were in the small compass of her hands.

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About the Author:  Mike James is the author of eleven poetry collections. His most recent books include: Crows in the Jukebox (Bottom Dog), My Favorite Houseguest (FutureCycle)and Peddler’s Blues (Main Street Rag.) He has previously served as associate editor for both The Kentucky Review and Autumn House Press. After years spent in South Carolina, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, he now makes his home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his large family and a large assortment of cats.

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