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


Poetic Extracts: Study #7
FasterSmarter – Guide to Microsoft® Office FrontPage®
…to what? ‘more re-
solved than ever…’
in drag
science or history?
‘rulers precisely
placing elements
in grids.’
(taking windows
to the picnic)
men revealing
standard tools
click pane
to add fields
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

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.

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.

The Rhino by Tyrel Kessinger


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 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.

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

By Jennifer Hetrick
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.

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.

2 Poems by Jefferson Holdridge

Madonna Lactans 
Omai sarà più corta mia favella,
pur a quel ch’io ricordo, che d’un fante
che bagni ancor la lingua a la mammella.
[Shorter henceforward will my language fall
Of what I yet remember, than an infant’s
Who still his tongue doth moisten at the breast].
Dante, The Divine Comedy, Paradise
Somewhere on the edge of the inside
Of her loosened dress, the baby’s suckling
Where Maria’s clothes once were opened wide
And flowing milk paralleled Christ bleeding
From the cross, redeeming or giving wisdom
To those who fed as the infant had, until
After the religious wars and the Council
Of Trent forbade it even in supplication.
Before the Baroque, The Tempest of Giorgione
Has a mysterious nude nursing a child.
Eve with Cain? Virgin? Whore?  As unknown
As the storm is:  God’s anger?  The wild?
While we seek the Being who also needs us
Blesséd be the Breast that breastfeeds us.
Off center, her gaze as direct as his Venus is
Indirect, challenging as the scrutiny of Manet’s,
Rude as Titian’s in Urbino is seductive
Amid a rich interior not in Giorgione’s
Venus, as Titian knew while finishing it
In Giorgione’s enigmatic, poetic manner.
Soldier or shepherd looks at where they sit.
The infant aside reveals her pubic hair.
The riddle of The Tempest has led some
To view it as the first subjectless painting.
Perhaps we, the subjects, search for home
In this early paesaggio where we’re lingering
Within a stormy landscape that still needs us.
Blesséd be the Breast that breastfeeds us.
The Painter’s Riddle
Blue is the color of the distance
Leonardo said.  Was he thinking
Only of the sky, or missing
Someone loved?  Those changing tints
Of dark and pale blue draw the eye
To vanishing points behind the portrait
Or the sacred scene and suggest a place
And story, past or future, dimly lit,
That highlights the evanescent face,
The curls, the angelic knowing hints
Of joy and sadness, the painter’s riddle
Of the foreground, of starting high
On the canvass rather than the middle,
And why blue is the color of the distance.
Director of Wake Forest University Press and Professor of English at WFU in North Carolina, Jefferson Holdridge is the author of two volumes of poetry, Eruptions (2013) and Devil’s Den and Other Poems (2015). A third volume, The Sound Thereof, is due out with Graft Poetry in Bradford, UK in 2017. He has written two critical books entitled Those Mingled Seas: The Poetry of W.B. Yeats, the Beautiful and the Sublime (2000) and The Poetry of Paul Muldoon (2008). He has also edited and introduced two volumes of The Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry (2005; 2010), as well as Post-Ireland?  Essays on Contemporary Irish Poetry, which he co-edited and introduced with Brian O’Conchubhair (Winston-Salem, NC: Wake Forest University Press, 2017).

Billie by Marko Otten

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…
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