February 28, 2007





Hetaera postulat and pendulous with heavy-chested sighs under her silky

gown. Or rather a kind of hessian, packing material for the muse. Concealing

rhetoric and extreme behaviour.


An early bloomer, the pasque flower resists the snowly chill

of critique. Riding on the winds of change it spreads its lyric seed.


Dependent as a puppy she lives off the avails of adulation. Emotional and eager to please.

Since puberty she has never felt herself. The alternating occipital ache, swollen dorsum of

footstep. Post-partum seething.


Poemeopaths take great aesthetic delight in prescribing the constitutional type

associated with this remedy. Particularly blondes.


Histrionic yet shy and given to extremes of pleasure and pain she avoids dark tunnels.

Has a morbid fear of the opposite text. Craves acids and pungent things. Herrings, cheese.

Fears and feels slighted. Crying helps.


Affecting mind, veins, mucous membranes, Pulsatilla is the potion for passively hostile

and affectionate verse. For showing finally how to why.



—Mari-Lou Rowley


from Viral Suite published by Anvil Press, 2004


Posted by dwaber at 12:09 PM

February 27, 2007

4th Confession

4th Confession


“Do not let my soul be bound to words

by the glue of love through the body’s senses.”

—St. Augustine


this chair, window, tree

data transmuted into the moment

of a poem, dative

the pairing of sense to soul

bound by words, a process

sticky as the glue of love


unbridled beneath a dome of stars

Orion’s broad shoulders, jewelled sword

brilliant, potent in Artemis’ absence


chastity pins virility to

the wall of night

beguiling in her tucked-up gown

moon goddess rails fury in a quiver

of arrows, blows monsoons

through the body’s senses.



—Mari-Lou Rowley


from Interference with the Hydrangea published by Thistledown Press, 2003


Posted by dwaber at 12:50 PM

February 26, 2007

Five Triumphal Gestures


                                                (For Alan and Geraldine)




Last drops spread the leaves

dangers of exploitation

that blends and (as it were) fuses

mumming plays in royal England


geometry and music are not essential

(do not give as you are asked, nor

answer as you are questioned)


take them all

original patent

maddens the hero


Stand up you moron

onward loser!

gravity & music are not


essential either.

Last drops spread the leaves (see


Light is an experience


in rural England

When chickens are cold

they save half

my effort [or she]

knows how [she is]–She is


Self-knowledge for whatever spectator





Mutual Cooperation Unit

only a fragment of whose earlier collections survive her.


Boredom is what I least deserve

or desire (he will be careful

not to say the word “decapitation” again!) re–

volt of the provinces of a lighter-than-air body,


which body

eats itself, or

grasps a microphone

for eternity.





Who do you think you are?


rat & finch,

people just

watched. per-


cussor, as in

river-smooth &





in the bag. eh what?


wife takes

the picture (almost


medical textbook, droll)


audience asks

wait a minute?


handshake?, if that’s

looking enough for you


then ding-a-ling.








come on.





high hill

of my

old age/






to the




of grays

“but that’s


trundle along

the Boggard



yet I need

an aesthetic


to art films

& engine houses



of a realm

beyond my



mercurial &




a Sassanian bowl, perhaps

a gryphon’s claw, perhaps

a Roman stone






Clarification of thought

by walking


The amputee doing

calisthenics in his door way


--“Do you have your ticket?”

--“I have the wing of a crow.”





Beneath the wild

ferns by the bubble-

scummed creek,

John Keats opens

his webs of empty

flesh so the tap-

roots of the willows

find him, and

stones and clumps

of sticky dirt tumble

through him and

where light once

collided within the

tender lobes of

neural tissue, all

grows cold and clean

and clear.



We’d failed to video-

tape our luminous

dog, and even the

snapshots we’d taken

were focused

on a human-

centered world,

allowing John Keats

his skewed spot

off to the extreme

right or left of center.

Now even the photographs

in their fine leather albums

have begun to fade.


—Jesse Glass


Posted by dwaber at 12:03 PM

February 25, 2007




the exotic s,c,r,e,a,m


wrapped in its coarse cocoon

               fails to bite out

               of the embrace

               of mirrors


tiny advance

in Buddhas


Cd-rom full of

grisly footage of

               Amita’s teachings

sold in marketplaces

where a pale face has




this “spasm” of otherness



bullet-dented, motionless



last time I looked


starry scissors

against the sky:






the dharma


b. (commentary)


blak box

takn 2b shakn


watz inzide????

hol r


thiz luvnhayt


blast yr.





thin girlz




th' stairz



canopy o


moveuzall kyotic



th lizzrd







strok th'

hand-ax  n  zo



“she kloz'd

“her legs

“onna tatoo'd



“ta open

“h,r wom'

“like a bok

“o aztek


“on th, pges

“shadoz   o


“liftd  n  end-o-time

“attak  &

“deepr yt.

“blod welz

“ta blot thoz











wat ur aftr h,re?

no UFOz



for us ta stepabord

ta parad,ce,

butta gost

inna masheen....(????)




z all wn finz



ta bust


iz all th’




ta mak

us do

wat it





o’ th glanz

iz all,,,


zo glum

bastrds at th

mylennyum boyz

blak  box

takn 2b shakn

watz inside????

hol  r



biznz'll fu,kin

blast yr.





—Jesse Glass


Posted by dwaber at 03:36 PM

February 24, 2007


Dear Reader,


my eyes are nearly clawed out of my head–

the grizzle of my nose is mostly gone–

half of my tongue’s bitten off, and the skin and flesh

of my hands and forearms is torn literally into strings.

In this tattered condition

I have ceased writing

to enjoy a sort of parlay, recovering strength

and preparing to resume my work in a few moments.

Nearby, some former Muses lie on their sides where I tossed them,

eyes glazed and rolling in ecstasy,

while others sneak about

licking the black hinges of their jaws

as they plan a renewal of love’s sweet circlings.


Dear Reader,

believe me when I say there is a beautiful view from where I dip my pen.


Dear Reader,

believe me when I say

it is only you I desire without reservation.


—Jesse Glass


Posted by dwaber at 01:52 PM

February 23, 2007


Summer at the “New Globe Theatre”



Physical rough up              language

man-handled        [sublimity

on tire treads                       [rubber throne

wire cages worn on the head

while jets rumble fuck-all in real-time

above & beyond the S,h,a,k,e,s

this morning


air-conditioned (of course)




barefoot inna cloud o’ red dust

the Thames from here’za,  za..

(echo o’ (s)trumpets).


a clot o’ ill-kempt groundlings welts drawn? daggerz?

hair by the pulled-out roots preserved

piss & shit cultural [ass/etc.

semblance o’ suckling




carv’d up for c,o,r,p,o,r,a,t,e,z,p,o,n,z,o,r,s


rot-tooth Ur-Hamlet

the nine reeking holes of the body

maggot on a treadmill

hornet lashed to plough


—Jesse Glass


Posted by dwaber at 01:28 PM

February 22, 2007



we were on

the rocks

the gulls


musical shuttle


when they




and you were


reading the

play to me


about how

the waves


made it

with each other


to make the



—Jesse Glass


Posted by dwaber at 01:23 PM

February 21, 2007

In Patterns of Regret

rhythm shaped
  beyond where wine influences us

to explore
  deep seeds
  buried in the garden of a book

the key, however, is
  in repeated sonic babble, distortions

reflection of the world,
  the echo unveils poets
  striking out words
  built from the stick of disregard

striking out words
  the echo unveils poets’
  reflection of the world
  in repeated sonic babble: distortions

the key, however, is
  buried in the garden of a book

deep seeds
  to explore
  beyond where wine influences us

rhythm, shaped
  in patterns of regret

—Maxianne Berger
Palindrome plundered from Gregory Betts’ “Plunderverse: A Cartographic Manifesto”

Posted by dwaber at 12:53 PM

February 20, 2007

The Other Woman’s Poem

I found another woman’s poem under the pillow
on your side of the bed. Your taste in literature
appears to be improving, but I analyzed
her craft, found schemes in her motif.
The meter moving my stanzas, active with
your verbs, takes its rest in the everyday
language of your arms. Her lines are contrived
to simulate excitement, drawing on shades
of forbidden form.
                                 Yet after a few readings
you’ll crumple it in boredom, discard it
like so many others before. Philologaster,
I realize that no wife can keep you
from burrowing your wormy way through
other women’s verse, but don’t naively hide
the folded facts under your pillow:
remember who changes the sheets.

—Maxianne Berger
from How We Negotiate (Empyreal Press: 1999)

Posted by dwaber at 01:21 PM

February 19, 2007

(a composite poem of complete sentences from Rampike, Zygote, Black Cat 115, ink, Cencrastus, Broken Pencil, above/ground press, Coach House Books, Brick, Blood & Aphorisms, pedlar press, Quarry Magazine, Descant, and The New Quarterly)


Dear Ms. Alland,

You’ll notice this is neither
an acceptance nor rejection letter.
There is no logical reason
for this decision.
Recently we rejected work
from a writer who won
the $5000 Stephen Leacock Award
two weeks later. Actually,
this might mean it is better
to be rejected by us
if you want to become
rich and famous.

Because our magazine
is created in the scraps
and odd shavings of time
between paying our rents
and living our lives,
choosing work for each issue
is a painful experience.
We prefer works
that display polyphonic
and dialogical qualities.
This prevents us from taking
some exceptionally fine writing.

Competition was fierce.
Many projects were meritorious.
As you can imagine, the majority
of submissions come from writers
we either publish
or who are friends of the magazine
in some way.

Unfortunately however. Please see
the list below for reason(s)
we could not use your work
this time. You should hear from us
in Jasnuary.
I apologize for the time it has taken.
Whatever though do keep in touch.
Please consider becoming
a subscriber.

We would have encouraged you
to try again, but, unfortunately,
we are ceasing publication.

Writing is an occupation which,
generally speaking,
requires a great deal of solitude.

It has become necessary
to make use of these terribly
impersonal reply slips.
We have all received
these letters and cursed
the fools who sent them.
We hope you understand.
You definitely have potential.

The Editor

P.S. I think I’m in the next
Paperplates too. If it ever comes out…
I’m reading at the Imperial Pub
next week. See you there?

—Sandra Alland
previously published in Taddle Creek magazine (in 2001)

Posted by dwaber at 01:13 PM

February 18, 2007

Lost While Translating

There’s this woman I’m reading.
No, that’s not right.
There’s a woman –
open like a book.
Still not it.
Her heart an ancient text.
My heart the devouring eyes.

There’s a woman,
she has words like no one,
sentences like never,
a woman I lost like a train
for a faraway land.
Not what I mean.

In English, you say,
What are you reading?
Rarely who.

There was a woman,
and I kept reading
what I’d been reading before.

—Sandra Alland
previously published in Proof of a Tongue (McGilligan Books, 2004)

Posted by dwaber at 01:25 PM

February 17, 2007


Electrified Conclusion., by Vernon Frazer, (33k .pdf)

Posted by dwaber at 02:47 PM

February 16, 2007

Bodied Tone




            endemic: the comic


Myoclonic cuticle

chutes the catwalk

jerks the lute,


its meaning

the chronic ballad





sub-atomic membranes



Sound, its tendered inflections

engendered anemic counts,

a bloodline leading gene clefs




epics dissonance

as its





—Vernon Frazer


Posted by dwaber at 01:22 PM

February 15, 2007

Still Moving



as moment  / as line


traces behind its moment


to snatch it / freeze in time


the animated /  inanimate words


suspended animation


still, moving


the line races behind


the paper’s frieze






at  / the moment


the words as present


still / moving



—Vernon Frazer


Posted by dwaber at 01:51 PM

February 14, 2007


... while they were talking about
genetic engineering in The Great Hall
and declassified documents in The Barn
two words were trying to get out
of an abandoned greenhouse in the grounds.

... while poets sat sifting
under trees what they were
going to read or chewing over
what had already been read
we found some white shit
at the base of a trunk
denoting a sparrow-hawk
- worth stepping back
before looking up.

And then we passed
a humming-bird hawkmoth
with its proboscis
stuck in a flower
and heard clapping
from a lecture
on The Paradox of Happiness.
It was about this time
that we came across
the two trapped words
belly up against glass trying
to get out of the greenhouse
which leant on a warm
crusty old brick and flint wall.

The words had drawn a small crowd
which started to twitter and flap
but the man I was with - a non-reader,
non-writer by choice but willing to listen
entered the glass house and by moving
slowly with hands hovering lightly
was able to catch the words and hold them
for a minute passage of time before
he let them go free from the text ...

—Mary Maher

Posted by dwaber at 01:40 PM

February 13, 2007


After the reading
Mrs lam dreamed
the poet
who liked whips
spent the night in her name.
He was a lover
of meaning
and resonance.

He cupped her subsongs,
drank to distant bleatings
and let a lambent fingernail trail
through labyrinth, lacunae, lady,
lagophthalmy till he came
to beat, thrash, baste,
(Old Icelandic).

She awoke
and stretched
but found
she had slipped
down the page
and was lying eye to eye
with Lamia,
a sorceress,

—Mary Maher

Posted by dwaber at 12:40 PM

February 12, 2007


A literate woman with an enquiring mind
is that what this painting says
the gaze falling to a winged book
at her breast?

A drawn curtain anchored by a closed book
invites the light she needs

on to the table where a pen lies in wait.

She steadies herself on a glowing white cushion
in a wicker chair: willow
woven again and again by paint.

Or is Gwen saying something about the complexities
of this chair she carries from canvas to canvas?
Its vacancy groaning for missed confinements
or have her chair-days come early
or were they always with her?

Nothing so pretentious maybe;
skindeep, paintings don’t talk
they just look, like us
and the book might not be literature;
it could be maps (what interior next?)
a diary (oh those important dates),
or someone else’s disturbing secrets
(there is a slight ‘uh’ about the lady’s face),
hints on household etiquette, recipes, memoranda.

I’d rather it wasn’t poetry: too inward looking altogether
but of course there’s no reason
why it shouldn’t be a book of reproductions like this.

                                           (‘A Lady Sitting’ by Gwen John)

—Mary Maher

Posted by dwaber at 12:27 PM

February 11, 2007



My writing is a needle shortening the pants of monotony and dread

It leaves an impressive thread as it winds through

the abbreviated cuffs of you who hitherto did proceed trippingly through the daily

darkness and stumble of everyday speech


My writing rides a bicycle through the stitchholes of your hems

the fabric of your mind stretched by my thousand-speed cosmic roadbike cosmos with

wheels of pure joy

and your thoughts

undiscovered planets embraced by a multitude of imperceptible moons

suddenly are Hubble-ized and named by the perspicacious cartographic lexicon of my

cerebral sewing


For I am a one-handed phrenologist kneeling in a haberdasher’s fantasyworld funhouse,

a contestant playing the carbon dating game with the moon-fearing bachelorettes of my



Through the chest hairs of language, my poems seek gold medallions and the burnished

signs of the zodiac in the mythic resonance of the curly pectoral forest

my writing is a BeeGee sestina hallelujah chorus

a John Travolta post-structuralist jumpsuit fandango of literary theory

a Hilary Duff post-colonial mega-sized writing samba in the blog roll drive-thru


My poetry contains multitudes and they appear small within its vastness

a single molecule within the molehill of my talent

I write on a desert island and the desert island feels glad

signals the boats of meaning, the search-and-rescue helicopter critics

says, stay away

stay away for we have something here


Yes, I’m a bachelor married to the archipelago of my own poetry

going on a date with me would be like Y2K all over again

an excitement of digits, an anticipation of irrational calculations, airliners seeking the

arcing chaos of their own inspirational routes through the cloud-busy air

a date with me would be like changing from the Gregorian to the Julian Calendar while

hang-gliding through the National Library dressed in an asbestos nightie while the

books are inflamed

the librarians run blindly down the stacks and inhale the smoking grammar of our lives
headbutting the opposing players of tedium, madness, and apathy as they attempt to fan

the bookish flames with facile rhymes, trite metaphors, and a limited

understanding of the depth of my literary consciousness


I am the book-wheezy Jeffersons of this last century, the poetic Archie Bunker of our times

I speak of Love Connection glory

of radiant Gilligan’s Island subplots singing Partridge Family small press bliss in the

triumphant World Cup publishing paradise of Toronto

A date with me would be like having God’s credit card, Satan’s expense account, and the

incisive ontological wardrobe of Samuel Beckett if he were born as one of the

midget stagecrew for Gladys Knight and the Pips and his daddy owned the big

rhinestone factory on the outskirts of sense.


Look! Someone’s revved the motor, turned on the highbeams of language’s monster


Seems like its blind driver has floored it and is driving to you a first date

it’s 1849 and it’s with me


—Gary Barwin


Posted by dwaber at 02:11 PM

February 10, 2007




the field beside my heart is

filled with ugly deer and one beautiful dog


a poem doesn’t have to have 14 perfect lines

or else you’re spitting on graves


maybe you’ll slip up and tell a truth

stick your flaking elbow into something rich


under the moon your tongue hangs out

you’d like to howl but there’s this language thing


the pile of shame grows and grows

please save my family from complication or sudden death


listen: a small movement in the linden leaves

the poem collaspes small and leaping


be brave be brave be brave


the field beside my heart is

filled with ugly deer and one beautiful dog


and here’s another beautiful dog

sighing sighing sighing


—Gary Barwin


Posted by dwaber at 01:20 PM

February 09, 2007



my nose




in the dark

my nose




you will find

my nose

in the dark




my nose is a pink moon

you have to

take my word for it

about the pinkness

I mean

it’s dark

but prepare yourself

I must sneeze

I have a cold

and right now

no Kleenex



nothing is beautiful until

I look at the moon

my nose in total darkness




revision is possible

a poem should be

perfect and polished

like a nose

let’s put

our noses to the wheel

our shoulders to the brimstone

the muse will knock and

deliver the pink moon

to our door


in the dark

my nose

simple sneezing moon




imagine if life

was so perfect

like this poem I mean




but there are some words

that didn’t fit back there







the sun

—achingly beautiful—

sets over hilltops


the other side of the world

a nose made warm


—Gary Barwin


Posted by dwaber at 02:07 PM

February 08, 2007




In the forest, we were not able to see the trees.
My teacher put them in his suitcase
and walked into the night.

When he got to the edge of the world
he turned and pulled up the road
cracking it once, like a sheet or whip.
He held it under his chin and folded it right.

I pointed. This is the way out of here
but there were no roads.
I pointed. This is our forest
but there was nothing.

The crickets said something that I will not repeat

Six jeweled piglets lapped at the droplets of my brow.
Seven azure swallows brushed their wings against my shadow.
T-shirts are silent, cotton, and easy to launder.


—Gary Barwin


Forthcoming in Vallum Magzine


Posted by dwaber at 12:54 PM

February 07, 2007

Ars Poetica

                       for Alec Finlay

The sayable
     in nouns
in syllables
     is nuance

As if a flock
     of small birds ate
the feeder but
     left the nuts

—Alan Halsey

Posted by dwaber at 05:57 PM

February 06, 2007

Ars Poetica

‘Statements of fact are not funny’
wrote John Burnet, and
‘Thoughts that are wholly unreasonable
do not admit of artistic expression.’

This was in 1914
and with regard to Greek philosophy
but neither circumstance
entirely accounts for such errors.

—Alan Halsey

Posted by dwaber at 05:53 PM

February 05, 2007

Target practice

Sharper arrows rusting
beneath the page
that no string shall ever release
fast and square
against the tangled knot
clutching and checking
those same fingers
that should unearth
and ply the inexorable points.

                             would the flexing and twanging
                             of an empty bow
                             avoid its growing lax
                              and our losing aim?

—Riccardo Duranti
from Poems in lieu of an essay on poems

Posted by dwaber at 05:50 PM

February 04, 2007

The ambush

The light is waiting
        flexible and jagged
at the end of the passage.

This elastic ink
is getting there again
slowly, unaware.

It becomes crisp and alive
for a moment:
a clear-cut tree
a hillful of trees
olive trees against a tramontana sky.

Then the ambush snaps.

Rippled and sucked
by a greedy south
ink and wind
are swallowed, whole.

Through the very gate, over the threshold
thoughts and branches
words and leaves
bones and pebbles
flesh and soil
melt together in a silent sigh:
they acknowledge with a chill
the power
that deals them such a light death
and then delivers their ghosts
into a black & white flat heaven. . .

—Riccardo Duranti
from Poems in lieu of an essay on poems

Posted by dwaber at 05:49 PM

February 03, 2007

Inside the hum

           After the impact
words come hurtling down
a black-red funnel
and smash against shuttered eyes

the circuit closes:
inside once more they organize
like a charm
some white paper
delivers them pulsating
to a curious    still    life

—Riccardo Duranti
from Poems in lieu of an essay on poems

Posted by dwaber at 05:48 PM

February 02, 2007

A Map to the Muse

Nine steps northwest of zero
across a littered wasteland
of daily chores and nightly deserts
lies the rustproof treasure
of her bright soul revealed
only to few, unbribed eyes.

Lose sight of her shining light
at your own risk and peril…

—Riccardo Duranti
from Poems in lieu of an essay on poems

Posted by dwaber at 05:47 PM

February 01, 2007



The right way

to approach


the broad side

of a barn


is with one eye



and both hands

in your pockets


then start



to let it know

you’re coming


—Michael Rothenberg


Previously published in Rolling Stock


Posted by dwaber at 05:46 PM