Archive for December, 2011
140 And Counting contributors…
Jim Kacian has a lovely, illustrated haiku in yesterday’s tinywords.
29 December 2011
140 And Counting contributors…
Neil Ellman has three poems in The Jivin’ Ladybug.
Ray Scanlon‘s amusing Christmas haiku is in today’s Sabotage.
25 December 2011
140 And Counting contributors…
Dreams & Nightmares 91 is out now and Robert Borski is in it.
The prolific Neil Ellman has written a poem for SPARK in reaction to a photo by Nick Winkworth.
Stella Pierides wrote today’s lovely, perfect tinywords haiku.
20 December 2011
The editor is very tired after flying from Nashville to Halifax without a passport (pro tip: don’t do this) but is excited to note that 140 And Counting and Blueshifting are now available as ePub files on Goodreads: 140 And Counting ePub and Blueshifting ePub.
16 December 2011
|Now available at Amazon for Kindle:
twitter literature anthology 140 And Counting and Heather Kamins‘ poetry chapbook Blueshifting. You can also read these if you have a Kindle app on your smartphone. These’ll be available in ePub format shortly.
140 And Counting contributors have been busy too:
Lindsay Below has an interview on domestic violence over at One Writer’s Journey.
Sue Burke has works in the Neo-Classical, Shintai and Vanguard sections of the December 2011 issue of World Haiku Review.
|Neil Ellman has a new poem up at Danse Macabre du Jour, another at Call and Response and three more at pressboardpress.
S. Kay had a very short piece at Trapeze on Saturday.
David C. Kopaska-Merkel has a new poem up at Ideomancer.
Elaine and Neal Whitman have some haiga at Syndic Literary Journal.
12 December 2011
A blueshift is a decrease in wavelength caused by the motion of an object towards the observer, most commonly experienced in the Doppler effect.
Clocks and galaxies and streetlights; urns and deadbolts and petroglyphs; sweating lemonade; contrails; the spider strings of memory; rocky winter ground, the great blue heron with its neck tucked up under it like a wish, and the vanishing stars: Heather Kamins‘ inaugural chapbook of poetry reveals a deep curiosity and insight into the repressed and irrepressible energies of our world.
Those plump, capped kernels that fell
from the branches overhead,
sinking like deep-seeded feelings
to hatch new trees,
were good for throwing
in holes, at piles of leaves,
at old gravestones in the mist of history
as snow threatened to descend.
The empty caps made good whistles,
shrieking, splitting the air if you shaped
your thumbs into a half-asked Y, pressed,
and blew hard, if you needed help
figuring out what to say
or how to understand. Even now,
the cognitive dissidence: I still don’t know
the right words to speak to what lands
on the unsuspecting grass, to bare witness,
to make that mute point,
that I’m scarred half to death,
that I’m internally grateful.
Poems from the book available online:
These links all open in a new window.
- “Eggcorns,” Autumn Sky Poetry, Number 19, October 2010.
- “De Omnibus Dubitandum,” “Entropy” and “Prevailing Winds,” Neon Literary Magazine #27, Summer 2011, pp.23-25.
In “Insomnia,” the poet continues that sense of wonder. Instead of filling the poem with frustration and difficulty (as so many sleepless nights feel), she talks about those delightful sounds that one only hears in the dark: “ceaseless polyphony” or the breathing of a lover. I was delighted with the sense of awe that rose through lines like this one: “wild neurons / weaving the spider strings of memory.” In the end, the speaker asks: “How can I sleep / in a world so full of such things?” The poet makes me wonder the same thing and perhaps the next time I’m lost at 2 am, wakeful and unhappy, I’ll stroll through the dark and remember to look around me with awe instead of dismay.
…As a reader, I wanted more poems, more of Kamins’ beautiful imagery and wonder.
Kamins’s language is lively and lovely. Take the opening stanza of the title poem, which plays with manifestations of the color blue:
All the children in churches
in itchy indigo dresses,
all the tentative
lovers waiting for the light to change
on corners in the cyan morning,
all the old men playing chess
on pitted slate benches
First of all, of course, the reader notices the lushness of all that alliteration: children, churches, itchy, change, chess, benches. (Kamin backs off that heavy sound as the poem progresses, which is probably for the better.) And then that line break “tentative / lovers” that illustrates with the imposed pause the hesitation of these lovers. And, in a poem called “Blueshifting,” you have to notice that these lovers are “waiting for the light to change” — waiting for the hello to become the good-bye.
…Much delight in this slender volume. Well worth the $4.99 cost of a download.
— Sherry Chandler, “Exploring the blueshift on the Couplets blog tour,” 24 April 2012.
There is much to ponder in this collection. The recurring scientific imagery is used to make observations about our relationships to each other, the natural world and the universe as a whole. These themes are poetic staples, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing new to say about them. In particular, the scientific theme helps dissolve the artificial divide between science and art.
In some ways, the gist of her poetry is reminiscent of the phenomenon of peripheral vision in which you’re positive something has slipped into the perimeter of your consciousness only to vanish before you can fully register what it is. In Kamins’ world, places and happenings may be presented with telling precision but everything is on its way to becoming something very different or at least affecting the narrator in a very different way.
This is, in brief, a cool, intellectual exercise in poetry that I enjoyed much more than I expected to, which is quite an admission from a Byron man.
— Robert Hewitt, “Poetry and life enhancement…,” 11 March 2012.
One twist in the path, which maybe defies scientific analysis even more than love, is humour. Kamins keeps the all-powerful governing metaphor at bay with a gentle sense of humour and genuine wit. Eggcorns, for example, is a funny poem of malapropisms. And Devolution inverts our expectations by sentimentalizing garbage and smog and expressing indignation at the threat of an encroaching nature. And my favourite of the collection — Headspace — lulls us into a saccharine state of mind, sitting next to grandmother, perhaps on a farm, learning how to make jams or preserves the old-fashioned way, until we discover that this is a case of ‘borrowed nostalgia’ and our narrator is, in fact, in a classroom making it all up… projecting the good old days when poetry was a rustic pleasure passed on to us by our grandparents. Maybe this is Kamins poking gentle fun at the whole debate. And with beautifully crafted poems in a tight, cohesive collection like this, we’ll grant her that indulgence.
These poems, these concepts are aimed at coming towards the reader, bringing things closer, connecting sandwiches and lightwaves and grocery lists… I’m adding Heather Kamins to my list of poets to keep an eye on.
3 comments 11 December 2011
Plucky underdog online journal Seven by Twenty is an online magazine using Twitter as its publishing platform, for readers at home and on mobile devices, which started publishing weekdaily in July 2009. Seven by Twenty specializes in literary and speculative writing that fits in a tweet – they mostly publish haiku and related forms (like scifaiku and senryu), and cinquains and American sentences, and very, very, very short stories.
140 And Counting is a collection of the best twitter literature from the first two years of the journal’s history, on relationships, nature, work, animals, seasons, science fiction and fantasy, and mortality: 141 clever little allotments of literature by 119 authors in 1 exquisite ebook!
What should appeal to the average reader is that most of the poems will not read like the haiku so many dislike because it seems to say nothing quickly. These poems, for the most part, are well crafted and thoughtful. The best of these caused me to stop and replay them in my mind.
The stories here also work like good poems, jabbing at the senses, the heart, and the mind like a dagger making quick work of our preconceived notions about fiction. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself chuckling one minute and gasping the next.
As a collection of work from a modern medium, then, i find that this is an excellent work, with much to be appreciated…
—Elsie Wilson, “Another poetry review,” 2 April 2012.
It is a selection of sayings, necessarily short, from Twitter, and very appealing and absorbing. I have been an ardent fan of Twitter for over a year, and a more recent convert to Haiku. Why write a hundred words when ten can express the same thought and capture the same evocative image?
—Elizabeth Spradbery, on French Phrases, 4 March 2012.
Upper Rubber Boot is tremendously grateful for the overwhelming support from:
- Sara Astruc
- Jennifer Brown
- Sue Burke
- Michael Donoghue
- Anne Gregory
- Caroline Halliwell
- Sandy Kamins
- Cee Martinez
- Deborah Merriam
- Christina Nguyen
- Kathy Nguyen
- Carol Raisfeld
- Sue Sartini
- Vickie and Bill Slone
- Helen Tang
- Lawrence van der Meer
8 comments 11 December 2011
The dreadlocks of polar bears; the atomized droplets of an underground waterfall; oranges as an offering to the dead; a purple hippopotamus wading pool in a strip club; hoar frost and aurora borealis and bail bondsmen and road kill: Joanne Merriam‘s inaugural collection of poetry catalogues morsels of experience. The Glaze from Breaking overflows with lovely, vivid poems about the aftermath of a breakup, and the redemptive power of travel, nature and love. Her language charged with verbal energy, Merriam has crafted a moving portrait of a woman who is saved by her close observation of the everyday wonders of the world.
The Glaze from Breaking was originally published by the now-defunct UK small press Stride Books in 2005. December 2011.
Poems from the book available online:
These links all open in a new window.
- “Auto Biographies.” Winner of the Goodreads Poetry Contest, July 2012.
- “Bodies Make Poor Lenses.” Astropoetica, Volume 6.2, Spring 2008. ISSN 1559-6052.
- “Cunt” and “Guest Room” (with other poems not in this collection). Concelebratory Shoehorn Review, 1 February 2009.
- “Footprints Drying on the Stairs.” New Hampshire Poet Showcase, From NH Poet Laureate, Pat Fargnoli.
- “Glorybower,” “The Ghost Road” and “Long Weekend.” Concelebratory Shoehorn Review, September 1, 2007.
- “Re Member Ies.” flashquake: an online journal of flash literature, Fall 2005.
Reviews of the 2005 edition:
The poetry is ripe with sensuality, whether it is kissing or watching birds flutter or polar bears fight.
— Jacqueline Karp, New Hope International Review Online, September 2005.
She reminded me a lot of the early work of Boris Pasternak where the poet does not so much observe the natural world as fuse with it breaking down the boundaries between speaker and landscape… She also does clever things with sound… [and] has the odd image that manages to be both unusual and just right.
— Belinda Cooke, “Belinda Cooke reviews six new volumes from Stride,” Shearsman 63/4, April 2005.
…a secondary level of suggestiveness on which the overall themes of this collection become clear. This is characteristic of the way in which the best of the poems and sequences in The Glaze from Breaking succeed: the implications of particular images shift and are clarified in time. The first sentence in the book tells us that ‘Theories of self can be demolished’, and the poems proceed to show subjective language rewriting itself, as where the word ‘breaking’ in the book’s title comes to inhabit many of its different senses at once…
— Matthew Sperling, “Matthew Sperling reviews three new collections from Stride,” Tower Poetry, June 2005.
Her language is fabulous… I think that folks who don’t need a line-break-fix and who are comfortable with their decentered selves (the last of which I don’t mean negatively and the former of which I mean only a little) will be thrilled by the poetry here.
— Mary Alexandra Agner, online review, May 13, 2005.
Merriam, a Canadian poet now living in the United States, published her book through a British publisher, and its distribution in North America is limited to overseas orders. But readers of contemporary poetry – especially those intrigued by the possibilities of the prose-poem form – will find this small yet deeply felt collection well worth seeking out for its elegant exploration of love and loss, recovery and redemption, eroticism and the echoes of the heart.
— Kate Washington, “Beautifully Formed: A Review of Joanne Merriam’s The Glaze From Breaking,” chicklit, March 30, 2005.
Merriam’s entire collection uses silence to give her work an eerie feel of helplessness. Silence is a kidnapper of communication, and Merriam suffocates us in the inability to express, as though ‘[m]outh sealed in nectar, silence lies dormant on my tongue.’… Her images are sharp and vivid…
Joanne Merriam saves herself by travelling, remembering, and by long lines and prose poems well-suited to Stride’s new square format books.
— Jane Routh, “Fireside Reading,” Stride Magazine, January 2005.
Memory, tenderness, and its flip side ‘estrangement’ – these are key themes in Joanne Merriam’s exquisite poems. With an accomplished lyric ear and eye, Merriam’s images soar through her verses and prose poems like plants flinging their spores. The city is always in the frame yet, out of the window, lies the natural world; a beautifully rendered amphitheatre in which the poet explores personal relationships and the relation in which we stand to the world. Merriam’s emotional honesty, combined with her convincing, startling images, will transport you.
— Andy Brown (back cover blurb)
1 comment 10 December 2011