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

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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
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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).

Roll Your-Own Lamb by Joe Dolce

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Roll-Your-Own Lamb  
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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.
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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

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Regarding the Shelves
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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.
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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.
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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

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Kenya Photo/ Stuart Price

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The Rhino
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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.
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tyrel
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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.

Recently Received Books

Review copies of the following books are available 

Poetry: Music for A Wedding by Lauren Clark: (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Short Stories: Monte Carlo Days and Nights by Susan Tepper. (Rain Mountain Press)

Poetry: Talking Pillow by Angela Ball. (University of Pittsburgh Press) 

Poetry: Darwin’s Mother by Sarah Rose Nordgren. (University of Pittsburgh Press) 

Stories: The Conduit and Other Visionary Tales of Morphing Whimsy by Richard Gessner. (Rain Mountain Press)

Poetry: Weather by Kelly Cherry (Rain Mountain Press)

Historical: Nationalism In Central Asia- A Biography of the Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan Boundary by Nick Megoran. (University of Pittsburgh Press) 

Memoir: Letters to Memory by Karen Tei Yamashita (Coffee House Press)

Novel: Hap and Hazard and the End of the World by Diane DeSanders, forthcoming in January: (Bellevue Literary Press)

The Third Voice: Notes on the Art of Poetic Collaboration by Eric Greinke

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By Jennifer Hetrick
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Presa Press published what’s crucial to say across the unseen ties between one person, another, and all of us in Eric Greinke‘s The Third Voice: Notes on the Art of Poetic Collaboration.
 
Released in 2017, the book weaves academic and analytical aspects of approaching poetry through Greinke and a number of fellow scribes clearly cherished by him well beyond what’s tucked under the proverbial skull. And a reference to bones fits well here in that they’re universal in the marrow we all have and need. Heart-wrenchingly, three of five of Greinke’s collaboration partners passed away between 2011 and 2012.
 
Poet Hugh Fox shared line-writing with Greinke as final language-carving efforts in knowing cancer would take his body away from him. Their paired words intertwine into the often mentioned third voice, perhaps in the same family and vein as the idea of collective consciousness.
 
Greinke says, “Above all, we both knew that the best thing we could do in the face of Hugh’s impending death was to write a poem about it.” Embracing versus avoiding the truth of blood, bones, and the body’s systems, even in the face of cancer-too-common death, brings out a sense of truly living which isn’t as easy to see sometimes in stressed, slowly-edging-toward-the-grave others of the world.
 
Deep into drawn-out stanzas, the ninth in a 170-line poem titled “Beyond Our Control” glides with Greinke’s voice, that of his then-dying friend, and the third voice created by them for all of the world and those who cannot or do not write but whose insides would understand the meaning in the snap of a resilient finger.
 
We have been carried along by a flood of songs,
mostly in languages we didn’t understand as the audio-visual world
wasn’t our reality, but the melodies played around us as
wind-tree bird-song thunders that brought us back to our real selves
yet forward and away from ourselves too, into a long
immersion in the sensual celebrations of
sub-atomic love down ancient genetic pathways.
 
While the collaborative poems in this book sometimes blend voices across lines, others are one written in response to another (“Axes” to “Swiss Army [Knife],” “Carpenter Ants” to “Black Flies” with Harry Smith who Greinke so enjoyed talking to by phone but never actually met). A number of poems spanning these pages are similar to former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser and the late Jim Harrison’s book Braided Creek, penned as correspondence while Kooser went through cancer—although the two perhaps wisely and whimsically elected not to identify which friend wrote which of the 300+ observer-oriented glimmers published by Copper Canyon Press in 2003.
 
Greinke’s reverence for collaborative poetry stretches from the early 1970s into recent years, and he’s never limited himself in the possibilities of how combining mind-space with that of a good friend builds strength and art which might not otherwise float on up into this realm of days.
 
Philosophy bobs and knits onward at the second surface of Greinke’s writing paired with the voices of fellow poets. But he doesn’t lend to the belief that poetry must be serious and without its own deserved comedy and comfort of awkwardness at least some of the time. He illustrates this in the following instructional poem excerpt as the first of four stanzas written with Ronnie Lane , first published in their joint venture Great Smoky Mountains in 1974.
 
Bath Ornament
 
Lay down. Chew dead calendars.
Drink Pancreas Tea.
Eat Libraries. 
 
Libraries are so valuable to literary-loving folks that wanting to gobble them up in certain moments doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
 
The beautiful mush of two brains clinking together their quirks and curiosities—and obscure or not-really-so-obscure-at-all thoughts housed in them, is a welcome specificity in stanzas.
 
“Collaborative poetry achieves a level of universality that is greater because it is a social rather than a personal artifact,” Greinke explains early on in this book. And while he didn’t say it directly, the most vital point and beauty of what he conveys, in other words—poetry-drenched ones—resonates: the world and its people need poetry. Alone and together all at once, fully, deeply, and away from the disconnection and dividing we see around us and hear about too often in the news, with hardly as much attention given to the compassion across collaborations in communities. This book’s language and goals are necessary and will show readers the often untested waters of what we can achieve when we support each other at a heart-level while we’re on this earth.
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The author of a three-year project called the labors of our fingertips: poems from manufacturing history in berks county, Jennifer Hetrick is a journalist, editor, and photographer, and she also teaches poetry in schools and state parks. Her traveling poetry class often meets at the Schuylkill River in warmer seasons.