Friday, September 27, 2013

"a syllogism," by Mary Kasimor (forthcoming in issue 23)

withOUT sound there
IS no story
2:00 a.m. a SOURED
apple moon One note

under THE bed
a COFfeE table
book about canARIES

a head ACHE an appointment
AN INfection

it must BE dark
outside no MOON in
my mouth tasting HUNG
over NO car
on the street OUTside

silence A BOx of
kleenEX we are
in THIS world

by our SELVES

WITH infinite deTAILS

Friday, September 20, 2013

"Who is Jonathan Richman?" by Dennis James Sweeney (forthcoming in issue 23)

Snow shoe tattoos on snow ridge. White invisible lives in imprint, breaks in empty make the empty. It’s soft. Sing light, light tread disappear. Invisible fill, cold feel on the hand. Empty’s full. Where is air.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

“{marginalia} the definition of water,” by Valerie Witte (forthcoming in issue 22)

the edge of clarity / charming at times, when
mixed with dirt forms mud / crystals / total cubic

feet / a mitigation estimate / what it takes
to resolve a triangular entanglement / dissolve

a small calm / what I mean is how learning
to float one averts drowning / a question

of liability once disaster is confirmed
the source of blame is multiple / the difference

between what we want / and expect, at least
I'm not surprised / the beginning of a slow

flood is moisture bleeding / into or; am I bleeding
out / I was a clearing / an excess of pillows

Saturday, May 4, 2013

“Poem,” by John Myers (forthcoming in issue 22)

Because I was too shy the marquee casts me as the bad guy.

In its limited vocabulary the sun’s weird voice.

Marigolds keep bugs out of the garden.

A sunshine mangers your hair.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

“Tour,” by John Myers (forthcoming in issue 22)

Peals and green sheep, their muzzles
smelling like perfect acorns
all caught in the gel air like
thirds in Bach. Is it pleasure
that keeps a city together?
I’m reading through pages of
old fortunes, validity
is subjective as our words
for weather. My chaise lounge won’t
fit through our new door, newspapers
will but they’d rather pile against
one another like round faces.
When I saw how awesome your
picture of Bermuda grass
was I knew we were moths,
exclamation-ready, and
that we’d need to come up with
another sign for waiting.
On the street, including bluebirds
my other pleasures defer. Overheard
boys describe new boyfriends to
one another. Adjectives
like to be grounded somehow,
like power lifters. The verb
feels better to me today,
grammar like a mobile made
of it or one made of walking.
A linked set of arms requires
two people and what does collage
require? Two sitting calmly.
Blank means everything. Plural
likenesses, some rain which passes
wherever early afternoon
crosses the meadow. The heightening
effect of travel, its scalene
uncertainty. Again into
verticality I begin
to unearth my show, private
and strong as a spine.
If I were wearing the sky like a bathing suit
this lip like the pink lip of a shell is glossy as.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

“Poem,” by John Myers (forthcoming in issue 22)

I trust the village chin. We are both in bloom
as the dropped pie. This is love

this is perhaps the least still of things.

We watch the loom in the hands of a genius
while I blow canned air at cherries. I take Fridays off.
As one truly who champions herself

walk with me. I’ll bring a pinwheel in case there’s
wind. I’ll be eyeshadow and my country lips and sourness.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

“{marginalia} a limited body of iterations

inner tracks adjacent, a star, this song
asserts animation / agitation / if in sequence

performed kneeling / beside a woman becoming
whole as a patchwork evolves incrementally

over generations, from clay and water
the part a chamber, rib or beam / a hand fallen

and the legs are snakes she has sewn
or reconstructed herself in the image of her

maker / if nameless while the earth spins
whom to call into question / what we assumed

were finite waters / a tornado in restoration
violently exploding a myth known as churn

Thursday, April 18, 2013

“{marginalia} anatomy of an organ,” by Valerie Witte (forthcoming in issue 22)

a fist enclosed in a double-walled sac
depends on gradation / the thickness profile

and varnish, which nourishes as a bridge
prevents shocks of blood / overflowing

could we ever pump it out / in response
to its own contractions a muscle may achieve

oscillation / protect its surrounding vibrations
an encroachment upon the inner layer also

to lengthwise scoop we negotiate between
fluid and seclusion, a lubricated surface

in which to play with good intention and anchor
sliding to preserve a structure made of adjacent

spaces, two superior and two / inferior, attached
to literally heartstrings wound around tuning

pegs held in an arc, each sounded separately
and fit into a tapered hole / a lover

in the receiving chamber, where a tension built
might burst: no / frets to stop dividing

into outer walls / passion and pain, contained

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

from “The Escapist,” by Jennifer Mackenzie (forthcoming in issue 22)

Or perhaps it is you who is painting me as an owl
my head still separated from my child’s body
in secret like a knife stuck under a wife’s pillow

& who shall be intruded upon
by a jasmine picker. The flame she said
is quite beautiful. Moves like breathing

between me & everyone else
such terror at the casual

guttering of any form. In this heat
helicopter gunships hover to keep us cool
You blow on my face, we scrawl warm

alphabet still in rootball. One head reading
political science (“Theories of the future”)
& the other “Life with Picasso”

Then his miserable luck, a he-goat
he called she was taken away
by gypsies & he was left calling

Where’s my little white she-
goat that I love so much?

Tiny orange crayons scatter blazing
from the sky, lit seed-darts star
doubt bright or dark

We will blossom coolly
coolly to author Thieves of the Future

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

from “The Escapist,” by Jennifer Mackenzie (forthcoming in issue 22)

Hitherto this sylph this azimuth
construed a dome sewn

w/ tracers. Clatter above
from carpenters stumbling
on roof beams, rafters. A ship upturned

was ripped & scuttled, filled
w/ stones. Bang Bang! Nikita

Maximalist. Firehosing plaster
from our lips. Spitting in
our pinstriped eyes unsealed

“2 global & searing themes”: How
our laughter resembles monsters’

rough uncut garnet stuckness of
children’s slitthroat scabs unearthed

power. (“Now either you are
a personality (especially
a personality of such magnitude)

or you are not.” (Mayakovsky))
Only 2 faint stars

& the occasional booms. They come
in ones or twos or threes. Then there are

minutes of quiet. Dark blistered blocks
of listeners murmuring on  rooftops
What is the make of gun Mayakovsky

used on himself in lieu of vinegar
& sponge. Autarchic. Father

father in the future, maybe
you want to watch TV forever? 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

from “The Escapist,” by Jennifer Mackenzie (forthcoming in issue 22)

Morning, horse-breath disturbing
the cold air inside the cup

Wake up my fellow gardenia
dry feet & hatred terrified
of my heart, I can’t do anything

about it if everything I showed you
was a further kind of concealment 

Sockmouth. Castles of trout. What is
they are me. The shoes around the faces
of the dead. This one has no head

& above the darkness of old table
wood the cardsharper’s hands sprout pink
splitting buds. Terror as a god of indolence

One wicked Indian alone in the weather
knowing the sign for love

but what does it mean. I the loath dirigible
sadness never as improvised as one feels

Closing the book in the cold-lashed
pewter afternoon—Breton!

—envy is joy
—no, exultation 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Carlyle Baker (forthcoming in issue 22)

An excerpt from an interview in SAPLING

Sapling: Word For/Word is an online journal of poetry, prose, and other good stuff. Tell us a bit of your story—how did the journal come to be, and what should people know about you?

Jonathan Minton: I started Word For/Word in 2000 while I was a doctoral candidate in the University at Buffalo's Poetics Program. I had the classic 1950s “little magazine” in mind as a model – magazines such as Cid Corman’s Origin. I had originally planned to publish a print magazine that would have, at the insistence of my co-editor, an online supplement. The first issue had a narrow, specialized focus. I was at the time mostly interested in publishing writers who shared a common background with either UB’s Poetics Program or with Language Poetry. This changed after the third issue. I abandoned the print-model altogether when I realized that being online was expanding the scope of what I had originally planned. And beginning with issue three, I started featuring guest editors who have introduced me to visual poetry, Chilean sound poetry, electronic poetry, post-avant poetries, and a wealth of established and emerging forms of writing. Word For/Word has become a curiously hybrid creature.  And happily so.

Sapling is published by Black Lawrence Press and focuses on the small press industry.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

from “The Escapist,” by Jennifer Mackenzie (forthcoming in issue 22)

Lately I’m worried I’m Picasso
& you Francoise? w/me clutching

your breasts carefully
from my totally self-enclosed solitude

Such lunches & ferocity
to despise—so as to devour
the most interesting others

My carved monkey face
seeking its twin inside
you, & to make it

be nude! Obediently uniformly
brown, my little savage

nun,  my wobbling-away bicycle
-soul functionally bent

& veering jabbingly indigo
with thickly scabbed chagrin  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

from “The Escapist,” by Jennifer Mackenzie (forthcoming in issue 22)

Amen’s underpants cannot be panties
nor chrysanthemums flame-trees

armies streaming. Don’t start
with pity, don’t

waiting for a taxi at noon
everyone’s patience red

vigilance selling
milk fruit petrol
valor and squalor

nakedness between
fights you breathed by

The flame she said is quite beautiful. Moves
like breathing. Between me and everyone else
soft tongueless severance from the casual guttering

at the bus stop my whore-calves glow like salt
they signify wishing, the burning one
who can do nothing, every ruler

Red skirt and dust
and chickenwhite wait—

You blow on my face
go back to reading Theories of the Future 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

“For Eddie, the Cynosure, Wherever You Are,” by Jessie Janeshek (forthcoming in issue 22)

Lock Zephyr in the steel shed with plastic flamingos
tie me to white wicker with brownbread hide
find my red truck in the moon

plot knocks our teeth

to the ghosts of the river                      the money

the hex on her dress

the sausage-curled, thorn-fanged rosette

the dogs you’ll call off

ere they eat the mother

amputee with the key

that will tighten the tambourine’s skin

Sunday, March 10, 2013

“{marginalia} the definition of pressure, 2,” by Valerie Witte (forthcoming in issue 22)

when subject to terms, within
conditions and limits of our own calamities

unlike other animals who simply beg
on / would you believe it didn’t / hurt, neurosis

as a locale where we dwell too long / until

we train ourselves to ignore the impression

a finger leaves lasting / here
are my regrets; let me lay them out for you

Saturday, March 9, 2013

“The Moon Is a Painted Stone,” by James Capozzi (forthcoming in issue 22)

The Muse is a room you find beneath the cork trees
near the abbey's door, with aromas of manure
yarrow, and oranges.  The study of the Muse requires
quietude, so you place the barrel in your ear
and blast your way into the room, are implicit in its angles
its magnificent triptych depicting a saint, pursued and named
by her sin.  Not when or why, but here—the world's road.
A throng like leather puppets makes its evil
rounds on it, below the cliffs, among the rocks.  Their faces are
a soggy blur.  Your face is dark and now you are
deaf with stone, the painted air
so she sails into the ocellated oaks and sees that
your obsequity is nothing like humility.
That the whole is greater than the part.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

“November 12,” by Valerie Witte (forthcoming in issue 22)

She was looking for a place that could hold a body ~ to pinpoint
that moment of recession ~ the solace of declining, to say nothing
of denial ~ he said there was room for two and what he wanted,
application of flame to a body ~ she didn’t like sharing with
another ~ we all have a comfort level ~ a murmur a minimum of
one chamber to enter before passing through ~ she needed a lot of
water, to vaporize ~ because she was empty ~ what can be burned
off; we all have a reason to eliminate ~ because it was open, an exit
flue ~ she didn’t like being put under, away ~ at minimum, one to
incinerate ~ because it was empty ~ because it was open.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

“{marginalia} bartering lessons,” by Valerie Witte (forthcoming in issue 22)

I gave up stories, shuttering / dogs to nurture
bodies to belong to small things I can keep; they take

up very little space but oversized rooms, furniture

what’s a basement or a yard if not for hoarding / if
houses let you go unfulfilled in exchange offer

an abundance of redwood, tile or the like employed
in an overlapping series of compromises held

to terms and I’m bound, a settlement by concession
endangered as a skirt is vulnernable / the underside

exposed / erosion or a weathering hoped for / I traded
love for casement: the simple perception of hue

value and saturation / water, tables / in turn we live
with strangers and do not expect affection pressing

against a building / remains of swag forms: intercourse
I need bartering lessons / to cheat the rolling

mechanism we learn to give up for radiating / glazing
bars stripped / metal bent and stretched to fit

any circumstance / a channel to catch
and carry companionship / I never knew I’d have only

one chance when we let go a recess opened
I’ll always distinguish yours from all the other faces

Saturday, February 23, 2013

from “Bride of Paradise,” by James Capozzi (forthcoming in issue 22)

Thee bears, jaguars, beavers never get plugged into this the bleakest street
in America.  The neighbors behind their Xmas decoration are dead.  Lights
winking in their circuit are a warning do not call, walk on: fists in pocket
shoulders hunched, shambolic through this desolated hall.  Be emptied onto

Main Street.  There the bar turns out its furnace heat, the dilapidated rambler
gets a brand new coat, the stone foundation holds.  We live for this, more or less.
The buses take us in, we sob and think, drink bourbon and screw like people do.
Anyone might find us here together in my office, beneath an ancient photo of
a chocolate lab emerging from a shadow, taut chain shivering, bees noiseless

in the grasses.  I guess the question is: where does it end?  Do you want to be
some asshole in search of the perfect meal and a dream home, extending his
life all over a road between two worlds?  One here, where the snow lays its
hand across our many mouths, and another in the skies, where I sail around
to parties in heaven, dancing too hard, smoldering at the periphery, thinking

Saturday, February 16, 2013

“The Early Histories,” by James Capozzi (forthcoming in issue 22)

It's more important they lay open in the ocean

And whether or not we mount the red birds

Like beveled ornaments

Less sophisticate

The shifting tents are mutinous

New movement

Eats the grain each day, little by little

Even the noun eats acid

You are in a Roman place

But the year is out of order

Only the tent city stirs in the morning

Nothing more

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