Friday, November 29, 2019

issue seven: guest-edited by Susana Gardner

edited by Susana Gardner
the seventh (double!)issue features new work by:

Book one:
Melissa Benham
Megan Burns
Genève Chao
Annie Finch
Susana Gardner
K. Lorraine Graham
Jaimie Gussman

Book two:
Pattie McCarthy
Danielle Pafunda
Adra Raine
Jessica Smith
Alina Stefanescu
Michelle Taransky
Bronwen Tate
Elisabeth Workman

$6 + postage / + $1 for Canadian orders; + $2 for US; + $6 outside of North America

Canadian/American/International rates (including shipping


MELISSA BENHAM is the author of At Sea (Ebook: Duration Press & Printed chap: Hooke Press), Codeswitching (Subday Press) & the chapbooks repronounceable and surrealist object vs. narrated dream. Melissa is an alum of Naropa’s School of Disembodied Poetics. She ran the monthly Artifact Reading Series in San Francisco & Oakland for six years. She has taught poetry & playwriting to children & teens in Bay Area public schools, juvenile detention centers, and family homeless shelters. Currently, she works at Saint Mary's College of California managing their great books program and January term. Melissa lives in Oakland with poet, Brent Cunningham & their children, Mina & Jules.

two poems from SERAPH

In 1996, Hameroff and Penrose theorized a model of consciousness they called Orchestral Reduction (OR) in which the brain was seen as a quantum computer. 20 years later the brain went from a computer model to a quantum vibrational orchestra. Hameroff: "Brain patterns repeat over spatiotemporal scales in fractal like nested hierarchies of neuronal networks with resonances and interference beats." Poetry is a translation of emotional feeling overtones in the body received through the auditory thalamus when spoken and creating vibrational patterns within a whole brain resonance that entrains the participants. These poems are from a new collection called SERAPH in which the poet acts as tuning fork for the struck sound of eternal or universal sound. The sound is translated into language retaining its vibrational patterns in order to shift energy in beings open to receiving it at a level of vibrational healing. The only thing that interests in me in poetry anymore is its ability to restructure and reprogram the human system towards integration, wholeness and self-healing modalities.  

MEGAN BURNS is the publisher at Trembling Pillow Press ( She also hosts the Blood Jet Poetry Reading Series in New Orleans and is the co-founder of the New Orleans Poetry Festival ( She has been most recently published in Jacket Magazine, Callaloo, New Laurel Review, Dream Pop, and Diagram.

ELÆ [Lynne DeSilva-Johnson]
from Speculative Resilience Field Practice & Nonlinear Alchemical Disruptor Mechanism Protocol [in conversation with the Medicine Diaries and Systems Manuals of the Fewkin]

#documentingpresence :: #flora || #brooklyn 40.6782° N, 73.9442° W || working with the #disruptormechanism protocol every day. How can asking yourself different questions of your environment change your body? Your mind? Your senses? Ultimately, can it rewire your perception and shift your ontological relationship to what you “know” about your self, language, the world, place, others? I say yes.  The plants have been VERY chatty recently. Are you #listening? #nonhumanallies #vegetalconsciousness #plantcommunication #relationalaesthetics#socialpractice #fieldwork #documentation #experiment #experience #ritual #mindfulness #intention #selfhacking #selfcare #howtohuman #culturehacking #contemporaryart #conceptualart #art #artistsoninstagram #fluxus #somatics #writing #notes #fieldrecordings #fieldguide #opensource #peer2peer #invitation #project

It's part of a multipart "disruptor mechanism protocol" that is then again part of a larger project -- I'm attaching a description of the project I wrote up for a related application -- #documentingpresence is an operationalized self-hacking re/orientation mechanism I'm first testing out on myself using a set of explicit channels for observation and documentation, with the goal of reprogramming body-->community-->human systems--->biome for sustainability and nurturance (and survival, to be explicit)

ELÆ [Lynne DeSilva-Johnson is an multimodal creator and scholar, addressing intersections between persons, language, technology, and system change. Recent features include Big Echo, Matters of Feminist Practice, and The Exponential Festival; the hybrid collection Sweet and Low : Indefinite Singular as well as Boddy Oddy Oddy, a collaborative ekphrastic book with painter Georgia Elrod, are forthcoming. They teach at Pratt Institute, and are Founder/Creative Director of The Operating System.

2 poems for Megan Burns

GENÈVE/GENEVA CHAO normally writes between the margins of language as stranger and native, but is occasionally moved (here by the misogyny of the legal system, prevalence of legal abuse as an interpersonal weapon, and parental and societal disregard for children) to document other things.

The Empress is Speaking, Binding Spell

I no longer separate spirit from body, in life or in poetry.  So I use meter as a spell to move me through the poem --and to move the poem through itself, as I revise. Through experience in poetry, healing, and ritual, I have uncovered/developed a set of metrical correspondences.  For example, “Binding Spell” is in the meter of strength (a.k.a. trochaic) and “Empress” in the meter of spirit (a.k.a. amphibrachic). 

ANNIE FINCH is the author of The Poetry Witch Little Book of Spells, just out from Wesleyan U Press, along with Spells: New and Selected Poems and 16 other volumes of poetry and poetics.  She currently teaches in the low-res MFA at St. Francis College, Brooklyn as well as in private ms. consultations and in her trademark Wisdom of Rhythmic Language workshops (

2 poems from The Sea Argots

Writing as impulse and making sense of the inward as well as outer world. Writing as becoming and self-expression. Writing as it can contain multitudes bestowing forms akin to craft and creativity that begets the muse or poetic magic. Letters and words bustle about in the mind and in dreams like sea-words of waves and a culling pursuit of thus. The employment of words as self-expression and creative representation is as healing as it is generative and sustaining.

SUSANA GARDNER is the author of three full-length poetry collections: [ lapsed insel weary]  (the tangent press, 2008), Herso (Black Radish, 2011) and CADDISH (Black Radish Books, 2013).  Her latest book, Somewhere Upon a Time / Oceanids & Dreampomes is forthcoming. She lives on an island off the New England coast where she tends books, writes and curates the online poetics journal and experimental press, DUSIE.
I don't know. / Nothing here., I was going to call it, "A Brief History of Breast Pumps.", The Perspective of This Article is Limited and Mostly Uninteresting

These poems were my attempt to write discrete poems with line breaks. I managed to stick with the line breaks, mostly, but they became a series, like everything I write. When I wrote them, my son was 8 months old and nursing frequently, which means I spent a lot of time expressing breastmilk at work.

K. LORRAINE GRAHAM is a writer and visual artist. She is the author of TERMINAL HUMMING (Edge Books, 2009) and THE REST IS CENSORED (Coconut Books, 2015). After a decade in California and an MFA at the University of California San Diego, she lives in Washington, DC with her family.

JAIMIE GUSSMAN lives and works as a writer, teacher, and potter in Kaʻaʻawa. Her first book, Anyjar, was published in 2017 by Black Radish Books. She is a recipient of the Ian MacMillan Prize (2012) and the Rita Dove Poetry Award (2015). She also has three chapbooks: Gertrude's Attic (Vagabond Press, 2012), The Anyjar (Highway 101 Press, 2011), and One Petal Row (Tinfish Press, 2011). Gusman’s work can be found in the anthologies Jack London is Dead (Tinfish Press 20 2013), All We Can Hold: Poems of Motherhood (Sagehill Press, 2015) and The End Of The World Project (Moria Books, 2019). She is the founder of Mixing Innovative Arts reading series in Honolulu, holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Hawaii, and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Washington.

A selection of poems from “rogationtide”

“rogationtide” is part of a long (as yet untitled) series which began as daily writing practice— a goal I regularly fail to meet. The poem is drafted without regard to form & shaped into couplets after some time away from the material. I am a very slow writer— & I came to this particular process in an effort to just get the work down whenever the time to write presented itself. This poem is about working with the time one has.

PATTIE MCCARTHY is the author of seven books of poems, including the forthcoming wifthing (Apogee Press). She is also the author of over a dozen chapbooks, including the forthcoming mercy, a midden (Bloof Books). She is a nontenure track Associate Professor at Temple University, where she teaches creative writing, literature, & first year writing. 

3 poems from “A Mother Named Her Child Rumor”

“I have always had to, and will always have to, live consciously within the meat of the body, and this meat life influences every fiber of my politics/poetics.” “In poetry I try to do at least one thing consistently: to attract the gaze, to pin or fix it in place, and then show it those sights which brutalize, horrify, repulse, or shame it.”

DANIELLE PAFUNDA is author of ten books, including Beshrew (Dusie Press), The Book of Scab (Ricochet Editions), The Dead Girls Speak in Unison (Bloof Books), and the forthcoming Spite (Ahsahta Press 2020). She teaches at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Process Statement – A Poem for Poets
When you learn something new you can’t unlearn it, the world as you know it rearranges around this new knowledge, all the relations change.

There are things after you don’t understand before you are.

It didn’t make sense to me when they told me. Now I warn the others. I recognize their faces unconvinced.
Remembering is an act of imagination. I try to imagine what it was like before I knew, in order to tell it.

Parents say to their children: When you have kids, you’ll understand.

Must it be that we don’t tell people things so that they will know it. But for some other reason. Not for reason.

ADRA RAINE, author of Want-Catcher (The Operating System, 2018), recently completed her PhD in contemporary U.S. poetry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is currently working on a new project titled "Undissertating," which is or isn’t what it sounds like it might be

"14 Monostichs Make a Fruitcake"
"I Wanted An Emptying Out-Poem"

"14 Monostichs Make a Fruitcake" baked itself after I failed an easy fruitcake recipe and started wondering how the word fruitcake became an insult. I'm always fascinated when delicious things turn hurtful in the mouth. Speaking of mouths, I'd been playing with monostiches, or single-line poems, and the itch to subvert the form rubbed against the urge to play with the angel on the pedestal, to poem her out a little. It struck me that monostichs resemble one single black stitch over female lips and so I counted to see how many stitchs it would take to sew my mouth shut. Fourteen will do it. 

"I Wanted An Emptying Out-Poem" came out of a poetry reading where two friends read poems about recent school shootings and police violence against black bodies. In their introductions to the poem, Lamar and Lauren mentioned this feeling of being emptied out by the cruelty. I wanted an emptying-out poem.

ALINA STEFANESCU was born in Romania and lives in Alabama with four incredible mammals. Find her poems and prose in recent issues of Juked, DIAGRAM, New South, Mantis, VOLT, Cloudbank, New Orleans Review Online, and others. Her debut fiction collection, Every Mask I Tried On, won the Brighthorse Books Prize and will be available in May 2018. She serves as Poetry Editor for Pidgeonholes and President of the Alabama State Poetry Society. More arcana online at or @aliner.

5 August 2010 / Buffalo, 6 August 2010 / Buffalo

I write by hand at night, before bed, with a cup of tea.

JESSICA SMITH is the author of numerous chapbooks including Trauma Mouth (Dusie 2015) and The Lover is Absent (above/ground press, 2017) and three full-length books of poetry, Organic Furniture Cellar (Outside Voices 2006), Life-List (Chax Press 2015), and How to Know the Flowers (Veliz Books 2019). She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and teaches at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

ABOUT JEW poems from Abramowitz-Goldberg

Statement of poetics:
My rabbi said on Facebook that he’s moving to Providence. My high school friend’s dad died of Cancer, suddenly.  There’s a group text about it. I feel nothing. I should say out loud: he coached my 4th grade basketball team. My dad said he didn’t play me because I was Jewish. I was a bad bad basketball player.  Later I’d read Bad Bad by Chelsea Minnis and wonder how she knew exactly how to talk about being Jewish without being Jewish. I open up another tab to research if She’s Jewish.  At the same time I text my friend Emily, “Is Chelsea Minis Jewish?” There’s a news story about Frank Sherlock being in a white supremacist band. I’m scared to search twitter to see the extent of it.  The most Jewish thing about me is that I make jokes about tragedies.  When I was getting my MFA at Iowa, my boyfriend and I were in the same workshop with the poet Mark Levine.  Mark said the experimental poets wouldn’t want me since I went to Iowa, and the Iowa poets didn’t feel pleasure or reward reading my difficult poems, so that was that.  I didn’t know I would be charged with choosing the wrong family. So, all my dads are white men who teach at Universities and wear theory goggles. They were born before I was born! My boyfriend bought me a holocaust calendar for my birthday that semester. Is Chelsea Minnis Jewish? Emily says Chelsea Minnis poems are really WASPY.

MICHELLE TARANSKY is the author of Abramowitz-Goldberg (Factory Hollow, forthcoming 2019), Sorry Was in The Woods (Omnidawn, 2013) and Barn Burned, Then, selected by Marjorie Welish for the 2008 Omnidawn Poetry Prize. Taransky teaches courses in critical and creative writing at Penn and is the Reviews Editor for the online poetry and poetics journal Jacket2.


Here are two sets of three poems that speak to some of the different ways I approach composing poetry. The first set draws on Lorine Niedecker, in particular the five-line form she developed after reading a bunch of haiku. I tried to use a specific moment to create a poem that might serve as an amulet or charm centered around a particular task or affective state. I’m interested in use here: other poems from the same series offer themselves as invocations “To Accept Dailiness,” “Against Choking,” and “For Respite,” for example. The second set draws on readings of Harryette Mullen (and Hoa Nguyen’s generative workshop) and plays with sound and idiom. For these prose poems, I started by generating a list of words with various kinds of affinity (sonic and semantic) and then worked with them to see what associations, patterns, and memories were sparked by their juxtapositions. Both sets are thinking through mothering—its exhaustions and intimacies.

BRONWEN TATE is an assistant professor of Writing and Literature at Marlboro College, a tiny radically egalitarian educational utopia usually buried in snow in southern Vermont. She is the author of six poetry chapbooks, most recently Vesper Vigil (above/ground, 2016). Her poems and essays have appeared in the Journal of Modern Literature, 1111, Denver Quarterly, LIT, TYPO, and elsewhere.

Limbo Figure, Infernal Figure

Note on Process: Poetix of scraps and collapses Poetix of having survived try carmelite water try tantrum try what salary this is stolen time and I am the gluttonous thief sea leggy and mutant writing shanties in the light of google docs while the villagers sleep try divination Poetix of more than x, y and more than o, y and more than a, y and y is always propulsion Poetix of inextricability, the society of the tentacle, of root magic the future is botanical Poetix of rupture and caesura as incision slash wand slash joint slash presence Poetix of finally reading My Emily D and being butterflied by it Poetix per the genius of my writing wives Poetix of Perpetuity and Gargantua and Electra and Margery Poetix of too bad per Aase Berg “It’s too bad language had to be transformed into a market-economy power apparatus for pleasure-opposed morons” Poetix of countercraft & paradisiacal alchemy per the word plus a dash (of blood or cum or y) plus a dash (of salt or dirt or y) plus word plus space equals transformation Poetix of the changingness of figuration Poetix of the sway back and forth and back the rocking and rocking even years after their infancy but always body memory rhyming with a still underslept and mad and messy and excessive and tenderly good enough volition.

ELISABETH WORKMAN is a poet and writer currently living in Minneapolis. She lives in the disembodied realm here:

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issue twenty-six : guest-edited by Adam Katz

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