north of oxford poetry

Poetic Extracts: Study #7 FasterSmarter – Guide to Microsoft® Office FrontPage® by Sean Howard

IMG_1029

.
Poetic Extracts: Study #7
FasterSmarter – Guide to Microsoft® Office FrontPage®
 
i
…to what? ‘more re-
solved than ever…’
 
ii
 
mice
in drag
 
iii
 
science or history?
‘rulers precisely
placing elements
in grids.’
 
iv
 
(taking windows
to the picnic)
 
v
 
men revealing
standard tools
 
vi
 
simply
click pane
to add fields
SONY DSC
Sean Howard is the author of Local Calls (Cape Breton University Press, 2009), Incitements (Gaspereau Press, 2011) and The Photographer’s Last Picture (Gaspereau Press, 2016). His poetry has been widely published in Canada, the US, UK, and elsewhere, and featured in The Best Canadian Poetry in English (Tightrope Books, 2011 & 2014).
Advertisements

Roll Your-Own Lamb by Joe Dolce

IMG_1002
.
Roll-Your-Own Lamb  
.
Bereft of kindling newsprint,
being a particularly cold bush night,
reluctantly, I reached for the dry leaves
of the Oxford Book of Light Verse.
 
Ripping out Publication Details,
Index of Lines, I began
lighting Kipling, Butler and Yeats,
pausing at DH Lawrence,
tearing Pope, Swift, Anon.
 
When cigarette papers ran out,
a real conundrum:
with whom would I share breath?
 
I chose Charles Lamb’s, A Farewell to Tobacco, 
a fine poem, no doubt a fine smoke.
If cancer were to fog an x-ray,
no worthier bloke.
 
Scissoring a rectangle, from …more from a mistress than a weed…
down to …while thou suck’st the lab’ring breath…
I tobacco’d up, rolling
and thread-tying a beedi.
 
Inhaling, I watched the orange edge
erasing phrases,
sooty retainer to the vine, vanishing,
more and greater oaths to break, becoming ash. 
The burning poem pinched my fingers;
I stubbed it out.
 
Nicotine-dazed, eyes closed,
I raised supplication to the poet.
 
I might smoke Edward Lear next.
.
15

His poetry appeared in Best Australian Poems 2015 & 2014. He is currently long listed for 2017 University Of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize, Billy Collins, judge, and was shortlisted for both the 2014 Newcastle Poetry Prize and 2014 Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize. Winner of the 25th Launceston Poetry Cup. Published in Meanjin, Monthly, Southerly, Cordite, Canberra Times, Quadrant, Australian Poetry Journal, Overland, Contrappasso, and Antipodes (US). Recipient of the Advance Australia Award. Presently on staff of the Australian Institute of Music, teaching Composition, Ensemble and Personal Tutoring in setting lyrics and poetry to music. His forthcoming book, On Murray’s Run, 150 poems and songlyrics, selected by Les Murray, will be published by Ginninderra Press in Oct, 2017.

Regarding the Shelves by David P. Kozinski

IMG_0110

.
Regarding the Shelves
.
There are folded letters on air mail paper, slighter
than skin, and lists
tucked in as place marks – ice melt, oil, lighter fluid.
I can only take in so much dust and sit back
to decipher what you scrawled,  Suzanne,
about the hard life of a carver of stone
and what Chris put down
about letting rejection fall away like dead leaves.
 
Then there is what you noted, Patti, to stand me up
in 1993, and again in ’94
as the decade that started with a noose around its neck
became a countdown to a strange and hoped-for frontier.
 
Oh brother, Chris, the Protestant ethic
chafed me like tweed, clashed
with your dark secret and my own
we held tight to as boys. Yours turned out bigger
and badder than mine – only to see itself whittled down
slowly, and gradually faster, collapsing
finally from the gravity of hate.
 
Far too often returns the image of caged wolves
pacing frantically in the late afternoon, Philadelphia July heat,
but mother wanted us to see everything a zoo was about;
and too often, the memory of my impatience
with my brother’s phone calls, placed
between one and two a.m.
the way I demanded
and how even with that I sometimes
didn’t pick up, let him ramble until the machine timed out;
then, the hush of hospital corridors and stairwells
when, hung-over and hypoglycemic, I couldn’t find
a doctor to stall the march of pestilence
in my mother’s brain.
.
All this from old messages
pressed between poems
I still admire, even as so many of their authors
die or retire, lose their edge or just their will.
All this as the sculptor chisels free the core
trapped in the slab, while sparks of marble 
ignite the surrounding cloud of dust,
leaving me waiting
to see what grainy god emerges,
what monster begins to uncoil.
DPK Headshot
.
David P. Kozinski’s first full-length book of poems, Tripping Over Memorial Day  (Kelsay Books) came out in January. He won the Delaware Literary Connection’s 2015 spring poetry contest and the Seventh Annual Dogfish Head Poetry Prize, which included publication of his chapbook, Loopholes (The Broadkill Press). Publications include Apiary, Cheat River Review, Fox Chase Review, Philadelphia StoriesSchuylkill Valley Journal & Rasputin.

The Rhino by Tyrel Kessinger

rhino

Kenya Photo/ Stuart Price

.
The Rhino
.
The rhino stands stoically,
as if he was Epictetus come again
and not just an uninteresting attraction.
It looks as if a God of the earth underneath
wretched up debris lodged in her Granite craw.
The end result:
the Rhinocerotidae no longer a scratch in her throat
but a living hide of tangible starpowder.
 
I don’t think it’s strange at all
to imagine that the tree he doesn’t stand under
–the one that cloaks a third of his enclosure in curtainous shade–
was his favorite place to stand with her.
Another melancholy tidbit of backstory:
he didn’t know why she left, only that she did.
But there he is. In the sun. Not any prettier
just because he’s bathed in a lightness.
He pines like the rest of us.
Stubborn to fact that is henceforth eternal. Riddled with guilt.
Willing to punish himself in exchange for repentance.
 
I also don’t think it’s strange at all
if you see only the creature,
poised, waiting statue silent.
Not knowing what he’s waiting for,
not at all expecting time to pick up and run the other way.
.
tyrel
.
Tyrel Kessinger lives and writes in Louisville, Ky. He enjoys comic books, obscure NWOBHM bands, guitars and anything else that prevents the onset of true adulthood. His work can be found in Gargoyle, Word Riot, Prick of the Spindle and most recently The Sandy River Review.

Under the El by Michele Belluomini

sax
.
Under the El
.
.
there he is again
the diabetic saxophone player
leg in a cast   his foot cut off
playing jazz-blues at 11am
on a humid June morning
.
his music evokes the night:
blare of a neon sign stuttering
in darkness
a run of notes in the upper register recalls
voices riffing
from an open door —
men and women laughing     
   happy to be alive
.
a sudden descent into a minor key
low notes blister the air  — growl
of an argument whirls    reverberates
.
tension builds    music arching like a cat
ready to pounce:  hear the shouts
feel the shoves    a low snarl
music swirls     filled with disgust  
.
with a shake of the head   
shrug of a shoulder
friendship walks out the door
.
blue notes scrape air
lonely footsteps on rain-soaked pavement
.
oh how he plays
.
I miss the train   I miss two more
only when he stops
am I released from the spell
.
mb
.

Michele Belluomin’s poetry has been published in American Poetry, Philadelphia Poets, Beltway, The Mad Poets Review, The Fox Chase Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, and Apiary Online, among others. Poems have also appeared in various Poetry Ink anthologies and the anthology, COMMONWEALTH: Poets on Pennsylvania.  Crazy Mary and Others, won the 2004 Plan B Press chapbook competition.  Her most recent volume of poetry is Signposts for Sleepwalkers, also published by Plan B Press (Alexandria, VA).  She works as Adjunct Library Faculty at Community College of Philadelphia.

 

 

2 Poems by Gareth Culshaw

Mail

.
THE ROUNDS
.
His bag emptier with every street.
Socks sagged around his ankles.
The lever in, slip, release
over and over.
.
Odd numbers, even numbers, rusty
hinges. Wind battered gates that
knocked their whole lives. Seeing
.
the sun spread itself over his daily
plot. The snip of a latch, clock turn
handle, heave the hinge-less, walk
.
through the gate-less, unbolt
the formal. Listening to the barking
and cawing, the snap of car lock.
.
Taking it all in his stride, the passing
of the unknown. Wearing away
his years until he himself slips
.
and drops.
.
Brick
.
 
PERPS
.
The perps were our line
the joint between bricks, that
buttering of two faces, softening
.
the wall. Making us believe
things were not as hard as they seemed.
Flemish Bond, English Bond, Stretcher
.
Bond, some bricks halved, others
in wait like a waiting foot. The weight
of it all, building before us.
.
Those years when time is of no height.
And walls had no theme, other than
something to clamber over.
.
We ignored the perps, seeing them
as a weakness. A scoop with a trowel,
tap with the butt end, dink with the edge,
.
not realising that for every brick we laid
corners came into our lives, and shadows
and shadows, and shadows.
.
Gareth
.
Gareth Culshaw lives in Wales. He is an aspiring writer who has his first collection by futurecycle in 2018.

Billie by Marko Otten

billie
.
Billie
.
Billie is gone, no… (no… no… no… no…)
.
Yes Billie, you are gone! Damn it.
No more wagging a tail… no
No more jumping the jetty… no
Deep deep diving it will take us to
Retrieve your reflection that used to float
Freely on Pandora Pond
A weird silence rests heavily upon the water now
Stared at by four frozen blue tits on the shore
Listen Billie listen
Listen to the magpies muffling their mournful
Whistling in the undergrowth.
.
Meanwhile in the kitchen uninvited emptiness
Moves around mysteriously…
But giving it a closer look Billie
I can see it’s your fond face watching Louise’s cooking
Don’t tell me you want goodies
While showing off just a black lit contour of a dog
What you’re doing to her!?
.
She is so sad. It’s not fair Billie.
.
Somewhere in the blue woods off Domino Road
There’s this grassy patch where kangaroos gather
With faces grim and sad they are moaning
You used to be a friend Billie!
Their playful chaser, a noble hunter… gone Billie
You are gone Billie
They keep on waiting there: surely soon you must return
Won’t you Billie? They insist
Evening come, nighttime fall… they insist
Send them a bark at least, you can do one.
.                                                                                                   —>
Early next morning after the rain
When a black body is not shaking off a heavy shower
In that out of control manner of yours
Dull twilight will reveal under the lower canopy
A lone wombat’s tearful eye
Like a prolonged whispering…
.
“Where—the—f—are—you—Billie?”
.
portret Marko Otten (1)

Marko Otten is a historian and a former college administrator & principal. He lives in Arnhem, the Netherlands and sometimes at Pandora Ponds, Trentham (Victoria, Aus) or Avinguda Diagonal, Barcelona (Es). https://www.hetboekenschap.nl/product/provo/?v=7516fd43adaa

.