ROBIN WYATT DUNN – hell has all of the amenities

hell has all of the amenities



bellboy

laugh track

showers that last as long as you can stand

a full spice rack



the names of your lovers

the sound of dead friends



a huge music encyclopedia

full employment

adequate leisure time

contests and prizes

social gatherings (carefully mediated)



a robust artificial intelligence system designed to give you what you want



a realistic landscape

full of trees and sounds

water

sky

earth



a violin and drums



a pressure to perform

ennui, packaged and shipped



death managed

rotated

exoticized

eroticized

named again

and again

stamped onto your face



written into your balls



a touch on your shoulder

a whisper in your ear

a heart attack



hell should curl and twist over your arm

take it up

a packaged arrangement

for your love affair

of no iniquity

of no distance

of no priority

the badge of honor

stamped and carved into your skull



the name of god

and the name of god's god

periodically revisited



available to to call

beautiful as a winter storm

beautiful as a woman enraged



the color of the ocean

the gravity of despair

the writ of your permission

to travel

and fuck

to rise again over the air

with your eyes on your quarry



hell bellhop

towel and dry

perfume and wash

television sunrise

news at ten

and eleven

corrugated iron

art in the plaza

the name of the receptionist

a beautiful chinese woman

the parking lot attendant

with his huge telephone in hand

informing

all your relatives

your superior officer

your wife and lover

your children and friends

of all your movements

every meal

every look

every gasp

the name of your event

carefully managed

colored in blue



hell is blue

radiant cornflower

hyper intensive

surreal party for the coolest women

cut in the fashion of timeless angles

unreal against the light



your deepest fulfillment

at the correct hour

heated to the right temperature

coated in wax for you to eat



amenity is love

that which is able to be loved

the most pleasant of sights

the most pleasant of bodies

the softest skin

satin and lace



the mare of the body

the sigh of the sun

the color of the air

inside of your rapture



take me beneath the world

inside of your suitcase

I carry the love of your brethren

I carry your honor as my prize

silver and marred by the dangers of your clan

ancient and wise



dip me into the Styx

for my hour and weight

hold my hand in the fulfillment

of the contract

of the unreachable stem

world tree

hotel of all the finest enemies

my deep and caroled beloved enemies

splashed out along the plaza

buried in my grave



named for my children

unreachable

unnameable

deemed unsuitable for acolytes

in their rue and rain



lovers beneath the veil

wracked and warded for your investiture

my dear guest

please come in

Robin Wyatt Dunn was born in Wyoming in 1979. You can read more of his word at www.robindunn.com

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MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON – VODKA OMELET

Vodka Omelet
 
Make it clear in my mind, Jesus,
am I whacked-out on Double Cross Vodka
or have I flipped out calling myself
Limburger omelet chef?
I hate question marks and angels
with crazed wings.
You know the type, John the Baptist
toking weed, stoned out of his mind, storyteller,
foul smells from poor hygiene, eating habits
open mouth, swallowing grasshoppers,
so silky, smooth as sweet honey.
Add 3 eggs in a skillet, Parmesan/Romano blend,
2 cheeses add-on, shiitake mushrooms, turmeric,
chopped kale, hint hot chili peppers, cheers.
Scramble me, I’m cracked.
I rock faith in jungle music, dance nude.
Everything is a potential poem to me.
My omelette, my life, my booze, master cook,
vodka
omelet
2:38 a.m.
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Kasimma – a plastic bowl of snake

A Plastic Bowl of Snake
There was bowl on my kitchen slab
Its flesh was plastic
Or was it ceramic
It was the colour of seduction
Drizzling with beauty
Coated in nsibidi
Spiced with the language of the fathers
It drew my name
Wrote my name
Sang my name even
Beside it was a clay bowl
Bland
Screeching of ugliness
Lidless
It called my name
Are you kidding me?
I reached for the white lid
Of the beautiful red plastic bowl
I flipped it open
A
An
And
Out popped the slithering head of a snake
As if it had long-awaited this day
The freedom promised someday
The freedom covered in hay
It stayed with my freedom
I fled with its fear
~
Kasimma is an alumna of Chimamanda Adichie’s Creative Writing Workshop, IWP workshop, and SSDA Flow workshop. She’s been a writer-in-residence in artists’ residencies across Africa, Asia, and Europe. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming on The Puritan, Kikwetu Journal, Kweli Journal, The Book Smuggler’s Den, Jellyfish Review, Afreecan Read, Orbis Journal.

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JOHN TUSTIN – 2 POEMS

DRUNK AND HELPLESS IN THE DARK
 
Some of us lie
Drunk and helpless in the dark
Waiting for the angel that never comes
Because there is no her
Beyond the sad spiraling reveries
Of the drunken insomniac
Smiling wanly in the glow
Of a halo
That exists only
In his
Fevered
Imagination




HUMANITY IS DOOMED
 
I heard the birds that chirp at night
And I saw the cats under the tree.
I know the cats need to eat
And I know the birds want to live.
 
So here I am
In the parking lot of a Walgreens,
Rooting for nothing.
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BOOK REVIEW: Hugo Ball and the Fate of the Universe: Adventures in Sound Poetry by LANE CHASEK

Hugo Ball and the Fate of the Universe: Adventures in Sound Poetry by LANE CHASEK

book review by Tim Staley  

At high noon my wife smashed a fly against the living room window with this book in the middle of our first pandemic summer. The room erupted into puppy yelp, child screech, fly-wail and the desert sun breaching the ceiling, grabbing us by the ankles, holding us upside-down to drain us into our shadows. All this, especially the fly-wail, fits flawlessly with this book about fly swatting, language, number theory, action and surrender.

Hugo Ball was a German author, poet, and essentially the founder of the Dada movement in European art in Zürich in 1916—maybe you already knew that. Maybe you learned that from some stuffy-teacher-induced-research-based-half-cocked-noviate-solo-tour. Maybe you visited some cold websites in search of Hugo Ball. Did you ever figure out why nonsense is such an enduring quality of art?

Emerge Lane Chasek, from behind the purple beaded curtain, to introduce us to Dada and Ball—the way a friend might—in his new book: Hugo Ball and the Fate of the Universe: Adventures in Sound Poetry (Jokes Review, 2020). Chasek is anything but a stuffy teacher. He’s drunk—but it’s an airy-lover-don’t-mind-inviting-“My Back Pages”-kind-of-buzz necessary for this type of Hero’s Journey where the Hero seems to be speaking the most rarefied strain of white gibberish ever.

Chasek has found himself dangling from his own family tree like a crucifix on a dandelion chain wondering how to handle what he’s hearing on Democracy Now. Hugo Ball had the same problem. Like one veined bubble sharing a townhouse membrane with another in the vesper service of language’s aftermath: Chasek–through Ball’s sound poetry—connects us with the madness of the past.

The way this hitchhiker’s guide of sound poetry surveys post-language allows us to make discoveries right along with the author. The tone is serious insanity, congenial nonsense. For example, there’s a rando paragraph on page 76 that starts like this, “My poem would involve chinchillas. Lots and lots of chinchillas, since I really like chinchillas. And thousands of keyboards hooked up to thousands of main frames, all dedicated to storing the corpse that will be my magnum opus. I’d caffeinate those chinchillas and make them immortal if I could.” Will the chinchillas help our Hero acquire the superpower of not making sense?  

Sound poetry is a kiss in the face of Shakespeare. Sound poetry is what happens when language stops feeling pain. There is scat singing and math and laughs in this book.  There are childhood friends, new friends, and a few sound poems. American Puritanical Christianity™ is here too, “Sucking out all the poetic verve Christianity used to have. After all, there’s an entire book in the Old Testament that’s an erotic poem. Never forget that.” Had you forgotten that? I sure had.  

By the end, Chasek has written his own sound poem; in an interview, he said writing it, “felt like a creative temper tantrum—uncontrollable, but oddly liberating.” Through the course of the book, he shares his process of hamstringing language; I felt comforted by his tremendously mellow and jovial tone. Maybe this book will inspire you to write your own sound poem. Logic is all there is to lose.

Hugo Ball and the Fate of the Universe: Adventures in Sound Poetry is currently available in print and on Kindle.

About the author

Besides writing, LANE CHASEK enjoys watching 90s horror movies and cooking plant-based Sichuan recipes.

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Robert Allen Beckvall – a jazz poem

shh sh  shhhh  crack,    “hhmmmm”  he hums while he waltzes


shh shhh   shhhh   shhhhhhh  shh  crack   he waltzes


shhh   sh shhhhh shh  crack, pop  oh two at a time


I watched the man in the white suit, night after night, dance the soft shoe,  then tap dance on the cockroaches, under the light by the pawn shop


sh  shhh  shhhh  sh, crack    “hhhmmmmmm”    He seems so happy.
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THE EDITORS OF CACTI FUR BRING YOU: FLORIDA MAN by MICKEY J. CORRIGAN

AVAILABLE NOW: FLORIDA MAN by Mickey J. Corrigan. You know how it’s funny and abhorrent because it’s true? You know how you laugh until you cry by stuffing cocked pistols between your eyeballs and lids? 

FLORIDA MAN ~ Mickey J. Corrigan ~ $5.00

This chapbook contains 17 poems and 4 drawings

Dimensions: 3 3/8ths inches by 5 inches

Free Shipping on all US orders: btn_buynow_SM

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CHRISTOPHER BARNES – 5 POEMS

The Dance
 
…lilac Nehru jacket,
ploughman’s amble,
gadabout eye-flicker
-       you doorstep…
    
     *
 
…pare sweet breads
into morsels,
deform, hand out.
Tump with cauliflower…
 
     *
 
…retreats into a dive, yells.
“Something titanic, icy,
flush and gin.”  The barman…
 
     *
 
…we’d never waltz on shingle,
ripple-drenched feet,
as vinyl purred…
 

 
 
Horizontal Vision
 
…barrows to-and-froed.
Hagglers impressed, lurking.
I corner nosegay oils,
you earmark…
 
     *
 
…tilt steamer
on disengaged hob
10-15 minutes.  Baste…
 
     *
 
…check-up.  Paramedic eurekas
-       something woefully awry –
deduces tip-off…
 
     *
 
…metro expired at Wallsend,
bus green-lighted
an hour to cloud-gather,
you’d never essentially…
 

 
 
 
 
Earth
 
…peachy-keen upbeat guitar
seesawed your hips.  Taffrail clover,
dribble…
 
     *
 
…rattle all footloose.  Chip walnuts.
Grease loaf tin…
 
     *
 
…ventured into Bronx Flea Market,
bisected dummy
cornered into a pin-stripe…
 
     *
 
…lick-and-promise miasma
Overhauled drained instincts.
Only traffic faded…
 

 
 
 
Fixations
 
…in rag-order
knee-highs yodelled,
single-filing my alley.
No cur whined…
 
     *
 
…kibble, tooling rutty blade
of mincer.  Dissolve ½ oz…
 
     *
 
…Pegasus’ foals vamoosed,
so the knight…
 
     *
 
…we quick-timed hours.
An invisible…
 

 
 


 
Not Quite June
 
…gabby-guts rooks
air-cleared your nickname.
Evening shade diffracted urgency…
 
     *
 
…groundwork panade.  Turn out
as for béchamel, stargaze an hour…
 
     *
 
…wolfed my quill.”
“What shall I do?”
“Take advantage of a crayon…”
 
     *
 
…rule-breaking headaches spared,
though we blethered all…
 

 
 
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JON HUERTA and TIM STALEY -POETRY INSTRUCTION BATTLE – HOW TO WRITE ABOUT A SPECIFIC PERSON

POET STALEY’S TOP 10 RULES FOR WRITING ABOUT A SPECIFIC PERSON

1
allow yourself to acknowledge that you care about someone
then sweep that someone out of your mind
and onto the pages of your journal

2
dump the dust pan of that person
as fearlessly, honestly and quickly as you can

3
surround that person with the concrete nouns
that person surrounds themselves with
then deliberately inject action verbs
or slip them in when no one’s looking

4
keep writing everything you can about that person
not worrying about the direction your writing is going,
try rhyming about that person,
try listing things about that person,
try moving that person around in time,
try writing from that person’s point of view

5
describe the person as though you’re describing the details of a photo

6
let your journal pages marinate overnight in the refrigerator or at room temp

7
cut away all the lame stuff
cut away all the stuff that doesn’t deeply satisfy your aesthetic
cut away the stuff you put in there just for the teacher
cut away anything you’ve heard or read before

8
replace boring verbs with better ones
cut away all the fake words
sprinkle in literary devices until a poem appears
(if no poem appears repeat steps 1-5)

9
break your lines. make it look like a poem. not a paragraph.

10
proofread and read out loud and tweak and fix and submit

~~~

Huerta’s rules about writing about people you know and people you don’t

1.  Conversations about a past event will entice the reader to forge ahead.

2.  Objects around the poems location bring realism to your story and will build a bond between you and the reader. Common household products and animals, for instance, are worthy objects. Politics and trauma are questionable. 

3.  Never write about your feelings or love loss. You’re better than this and no one cares.

4.  If writer's block is something you are suffering from, try your hardest to live in the present with an unapologetic eye for your surroundings. Read the room, write it down. Repeat.

5.  Creating a mad lib style game will force your imagination. Pick up the daily paper and create a story using the police blotter and your comrades. 

6.  Always mix imagination with reality. Because the best shit happens when the fresh river meets the salty sea. Where the tears from your fears clash with consciousness to create a story worthy of telling again and most importantly for someone else to repeat it.
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