Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Taylor: Romantic Era

Monday, January 5th, 2009

ROMANTIC ERA

by Ed Taylor

I hold in my hand a phone white and fair Shelley we hardly knew ye so this is the best I can do compare you to a day without sun indeed poetry is a Wonder Bra for the world (how many pushups should a man do anyway Shelley managed a thousand a day on Devil’s Island not enough to stave off the heavy barrel morning still steamrollered him where he lay) NOW flower of British womanhood Percy you gave and gave when your unit shipped out Keats found a bar drank pink squirrels till his pale high forehead leapt o’er the dales and hills chasing anything rhyming with orange but alas he passed out in the grass caught cold and slipped into something more comfortable it seems objects in history are closer than you think but everything then was small like a doll house Henry the 8th was just 5 ¾ and to visit your house Perce I duck and get troubled I thought you were taller but the gift shop girl says there’s a sale and nothing on earth is better than a bargain

Taylor: ESL Dream

Monday, January 5th, 2009

ESL DREAM

by Ed Taylor

          In class the phrase is a fence. Chalk’s a finger bone. Gag on a new tongue in your mouth. Your lips burn. Bend over and learn.

          Over rows of class the blades whisper, taking names. I am, we are, he she it is, they are: you are not.

          There is a final test, one question: Who do you think you are? Prove it.

Taylor: Hostile Takeover

Monday, January 5th, 2009

HOSTILE TAKEOVER

by Ed Taylor

I am here to tell you we mean business. We are not afraid of the oubliette, the leveraged buyout, green mail, the stiletto stashed in the leather tie, or low ratings. We have established a rump government seated in a deep vault at an undisclosed lending institution, and created a Ministry of Reptiles to deal with the security question. We have studied Picasso’s scarred apocrypha on ugliness and taken them into battle as bibles. Our technology allows us to ignore the mind, maneuver around the heart, and head straight for the stomach, where the true emotions crouch like toads. While we are indeed cubists we are not amused by your antic character; however, we possess a sense of humor and a flute carved from an arm bone, on which I will play corporate anthems of the world and other martial tunes. You abandon your casualties; we follow quietly with the night and offer them computer literacy and mustaches―you may recognize the man who cuts your throat as the one who rocked the boat.

You doubt our efficiency? We have placed an explosive device in your suggestion box: soon the walls will run red with your own naked ambition. You doubt our seriousness? Our catapults will soon fling angry babies over your walls―children born while we wandered in the desert who resent the sand in their diapers. We will see how you handle foster parenthood. You doubt our support? Look around―you see your best childhood friends, your elementary school teachers, your first sweetheart. They are our stealth weapons. Look again―they are spelling defeat with their bodies, fired up like the world’s most passionate cheerleading squad. You may as well know―your mother pilots our lead helicopter. However, she feels guilty, tears glaze her vision, her sight is clouded, her hand trembles on the stick, accidents happen. . . . We await your decision.

Wood: On Democracy In America

Monday, December 8th, 2008

ON DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA

by Joseph Wood

Beware of mass voice. Of church bells tolling. Of guilt-driven parents, of snot-jammed children. Arson their porch decks. Arson their strip malls. Arson their Capitol, but save the interstates. Steal a horse. Make love to no one. Steal a river boat. Cruise the Mississipp’. The carp, in schools, stir up silt; The silt, in globs, smothers your soul. What is a soul? An antiquated map? A ripped page of algebra? A red dwarf burning, fading, breathing? Let no law snuff you. Let no law dress you. Go for a jog. Erupt your skin.

Wood: River Ward

Monday, December 8th, 2008

RIVER WARD

by Joseph Wood

Greenbacks snow Regan’s City on the Hill. Bullhorns of It is your fault It is your fault Work more overtime. In this dream the yarn mill’s spooling machines sprout teeth. My face a soccer ball men in Windsor Ties belt behind the factory. I never say shit—even if Christ were laid out on my coffee table—next door’s alarm clock startles my wall. And so it goes: the sun on strike once more; the El’ above rattling the rowhomes. What else to say? I want my spit to blanket the cosmos? I want the transit buses to morph to yachts? Three blocks down, beyond the tankers, Jersey on the other side. Between me & it, a gross monstrosity mislabeled river. Styrofoam cups bob that muck; my best, best neighbors.

Wood: The Gilded Age

Monday, December 8th, 2008

THE GILDED AGE

by Joseph Wood

Over & over across the El’ car, cunt. Beneath one juvenile scrawl, a phantom-limbed—I’m not sure—vet (?) pounds Kaddish on a Yamaha & nods to a rusted coffee can quarter-full w/ pennies. I’ve been dressed down all day: Shattered Auntie Sophie’s one Waterford vase; Spent Uncle Sylvester’s 1882 moss-embossed nickel. He blathered if only you held it to your ear, you’d hear the ruffling prairie grass—What about the rackety stagecoach? What about a good old fashion shoot-out? Every human, it seems, believes his era a Cyclops, an occasion for waterworks, a trail of buckshot. Replace hoop skirt w/ toga, toga w/ fishnets, fishnets w/ potato sacks, it all ends w/ fire. Across the planet, an orphanage basement. The babies, to hide from snipers, are dirt-floor crammed. A calendar has molded. Offal builds, deteriorates. I am just one man, one flamboyant tissue. Here is the wind. Toss me.

Loesser: Excerpts from Touched by Lightning

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

This fall, the Emergency Press will publish Touched By Lightning by Ernest Loesser, the second-place winner of our recent book contest. In accordance with the contest rules, we are going forward with this manuscript as the publication of the winning book has been delayed indefinitely.  Here are a few selections: 

 

Our Community Laments the Recently Departed

 

Jean Dobrer, former high school principal and calendar girl, Miss June 1965. Lucy Altman, a dedicated wife and the proud mother of three Ivy League graduates. Russell Brunner, married into wealth. Dorothea Fisk, member of the horticultural club who had prize-winning orchids. Sgt. Esteban J. Ramirez, soldier in the First Battalion, Fifth Cavalry Regiment, First Cavalry Division, killed in action. Richard Bonanno, proprietor of Calabretta’s Pizzeria for 63 years. Carmine Christo, director of the Twin Rivers Country Club and ping-pong champion. Danielle Chisholm, a maverick who never married but was never lonely. Anthony Baldwin, sang Otis Redding to his baby daughter. Father Bishop Joseph Crisfasi, was lucid on his deathbed when he uttered, Totus tuus, a Latin motto for “completely yours”. Naftali Gibson, doubted her parents’ religion. Helen Kingsley, a community board member and a real good one. Mary J. Sage, valedictorian, law firm partner, who had many enemies. David Weber, struck dead while riding his bicycle home from elementary school. Sylvia Cutler, beloved mother and swim instructor who meditated on fidelity. Ritchie Lono, was a career penitentiary guard who was taken hostage during a three-day prison riot. David Newman, an auto mechanic who painted watercolors for 40 years and no one ever knew. Charles Palms, father of eight, a former district president with the Black Panther Party and a talented gunsmith. Bert Reinhold, threw parties every Friday and his friends are bored now. BJ Turner, had a rags to riches story. Eleanor Stevens, knitted 37 sweaters and 16 quilts, her favorite season was autumn.

 

 

Forgotten Daughter Dies at Boarding House

 

Claire Clayton, 86, who was involuntarily held at a Nevada mental institution for 51 years, died yesterday in a Reno boarding house. A city medical examiner recorded the case as dysentery. Ms. Clayton was committed to a state hospital on April 28, 1934. Her parents were strict Baptists and disapproved of the youthful liberties their eldest daughter requested and exercised. Claire’s parents forced her to participate in a church exorcism after discovering their daughter’s hidden collection of make-up and fashion magazines. After the exorcism, Claire ransacked the family’s home and attacked her mother. At the Sunny Peaks Hospital Ms. Clayton was diagnosed with schizophrenia, but in a review after her release in 1985 it was determined her original symptoms displayed psychotic depression and hospital records revealed the symptoms quickly subsided. For each Christmas Claire received a toy doll provided by the Salvation Army. As a result of her extended period confined within a hospital, Ms. Clayton was afflicted with an “institutional syndrome” that left her withdrawn and incapable of showing emotion. Ms. Clayton received no education during her period under supervision or any reparations afterwards. Her parents died in a car accident in 1942, but no extended family members contacted the hospital. Her eventual release came when state auditors determined it would be fiscally and ethically responsible to release patients that displayed no threat to society. Clair Clayton, whose mental development progressed little beyond that of an adolescent was buried with her collection of dolls.

 

 

Air Force Veteran, 85, Falls at Daughter’s Home

 

“Think of geese honking and coughing, flying in low off the lake,” is how Captain Clifford Chance described to his youngest grandson, the sound of the B-17 he piloted during the European Theater. Captain Chance flew Detroit’s Diamond for six months and was among the first American bombers to complete 25 missions without losing one man. “She was a ten gun, four engine bird, with a buxom lass brandishing a big old gem on her finger painted right up on the nose of the ship,” said Morgan Cash, Detroit’s Diamond’s surviving tail gunner. Some military historians dispute that Detroit’s Diamond was the first aircraft to complete 25 missions. “She was in nothing but a skimpy bathing suit,” recalled Cash. “Who could have missed that?” The legacy of Detroit’s Diamond and her crew were spun off into comic books, a TV mini-series, and eventually a Hollywood feature. After returning home, Captain Chance never accepted an endorsement or appeared on the popular radio programs of the time. “Stick with me Cliff and you’ll be a star,” his wife Nancy told him. “We had 24 air shows booked this year alone.” In the 37 years that Captain Chance was employed with the Michelin Tire Company he never took one sick day. Captain Clifford Chance died after breaking his neck in a fall at his daughter’s home outside of Detroit.

 

Zieher: Project for a Fourth Avenue Kiosk

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Project for a Fourth Avenue Kiosk  
(Stuart Davis Version)

by Scott Zieher  

Dumplings avail as well as a cornucopia
Of comic vessels from periodicals to literature’s
Edges. A short pink and powder-baby-bottom
Blue-eggshell neon sign spins in veritable
Anamorphoses, hidden to all without mirrors
(Ideal spot- next to a shop that sells mirrors).
Postcards avail, as well as newspapers, envelopes.
Short films of Nijinsky, Chaney and Kid Chocolate.
Soda jerk for your convenience, all flavors, flâneurs.
Three stools. Tiny stage behind a spinning display
Of antique tablets for penmanship and cartes
De visite, manifestoes, hotel billhead, pennants
Celebrating the epoch of the golden wolf.
Sunshine avail in excelsis during daytime. Stools
Added under umbrellas at crepuscular clemencies.
Steins of local beer avail. Guitar performances 
Nightly and twice on Sunday (Matinee at Noon). 
 

 

The Winter Lamb  

The Winter Lamb   

 

Holiday Inn   

Holiday Inn

 

 

Piano

 Piano

 

 Fingers

Fingers 

 

Chicken a la Swing     

 Chicken a la Swing   

 

 

The Shakespeare of Dogs   

The Shakespeare of Dogs

 

 

All pieces by Scott Zieher.  Mixed Media. 14 x 11 inches each. 

joesmith: This Week in the News

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

This Week in the News, April 8–15, 2007  

by joesmith   

A corpse in a cowboy hat spews bile at the mic. 
This time, he says he’s an idiot.   

A drove of men crowd around a bombed car in Karballah. 
All look excited. None sad. 
14 take pictures with their cell phones. The rest want a camera. 

What does the Titanic have to do with Jesus? 

You’re a screen upon which all else is projected. 
You wear your image of an image that looks almost like you. 
Everybody watches. Nobody watches. You squint in such light. 

Let the dead stay dead. Allow rumors of resurrection. 

This method will back up all of your profile data for each profile in the profile data location, as well as the registry.dat or profiles.ini file that records the profile location. All profile data will be backed up at once, together.  

James Cameron. Hubris. Noun. 

You won’t speak to one of the several hundred of faces you glimpse every day.
See, they’re pictures. 

“The schizophrenic is not, as generally claimed, characterized by his loss of touch with reality, but by the obscene proximity to and total instantaneous with things, this overexposure to the transparency of the world.” 

Don Ho dies at 76. Hawaii will never be the same. 

You see more of them if you don’t leave the house. 

The body of Christ is a thin thin wafer. Stamped into a perfect circle. 

1 in 4 Americans have a mental disease. 
The other 3 are sick from thought. 
1 in 2 have a broken part of some sort. 

Baker of Jesus crackers. There’s a job. 

Jackie Robinson. Somebody to believe in. 

A woman in Idaho has had convulsive hiccups for 8 months. “I do believe in the power of Christ,” she says. “I’ve seen miracles. Mrah-rhhrrpp. Happen.” 

C’mon, plaster Jesus, jump off that cross against the castle, snatch the only man who gets to talk, shake him around in one hand, scare us. 

“In spite of himself the schizophrenic is open to everything….” 

The total value of player salaries who wore number 42 was 147 million. 

Or twitch a foot. 

“He is the obscene victim of the world’s obscenity.” 

A state trooper in Kentucky was driving in a rainstorm when he hit a horse and rider on an unlighted rural highway. 

Tell us a parable. 

The rider was charged with DUI of a non-motorized vehicle. 

Tell us you meant something else. 

The horse was euthanized at the scene. 

C’mon, you can do it. You’re 9 feet tall.

Gitlin: Horological Correspondence

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Horological Correspondence:

The Mission Missive from Count Eduardo

 

by Jason Gitlin

 

 

If your New Haven Mission clock

strikes outta whack/your skinny

surgeon-fingered Father beneath

the dial with a gigantic rubber

band/held the suspension spring 

angled/not my hands/we will fix

the strike/Meshugina/but I sent

& restored an Ingraham movement

good time keeper/my last minute

decision overcome by generosity

the case could use some clarity 

uncompleted/spray satin lacquer

90 lbs/rub it/quadruple “aught”

steel wool between applications

Look how I handled the Ingraham 

suspension spring/the Dentist’s 

finesse/I cannot write what you 

ought know about clock handling 

cut rubber bands & remove tacks  

gimme a break/the King of Spain  

without a worthy collection/you

Hamtramck King/realize/truly am

I Eduardo Zaz/The Count of West 

Bloomfield/The Certified Master

Clock Maker/I wrote this letter

without cuss words SHITSHITSHIT

 

 

–Count Down to September 25th 2007 

10 months 19 days