Jeff Hilson (UK): from Bird bird

From Bird bird

HIMANTOPUS HIMANTOPUS (black-winged stilt)

Everyone’s poems have birds in even mine. The jays are real workers at their job, he said, and fatter than any jays I ever saw before. The birds are batting by. Thank you we had a lovely view of (the baroness, the baroness) everyone’s poems. I want to be simply the best we have too, and slow like the baroness, obscure and slow and carrying chips. So this one’s about me and unexpectedly long. A startling drop from branch to branch. Those birds she said are startling. Tomorrow is Sunday and I am spotless and rose. Dear joe, a blackbird. Jim’s dead too. Everyone’s poems have birds in even mine.


Everyone’s poems have birds in except mine. Bastone! The rods split into two. In my dream I dreamed I was reading my poems as badly as this I’m glad it was just a dream. In a dark wood my piaggio did tumble down more than any other tree. Then they’re rubbish, the dells filled with dew again. Those happy days after the legions left. Rifiuti! Pale villagers them be in their homes who want for berries. I have seen the rest of the hedge and are all rhubarb. Two countrymen discussing grapes, two librans, the pines the pines. Rugiada, little girl, I don’t know which is touched more my vag or my heart.

PETRONIA PETRONIA (rock sparrow)

What will be my wild end, heads or tails. In the old days most of these small brown things did nominate larkin round and round. I want to be remembered fingers first. This strain, its allies, I confess. A little swollen through the volva I suspected the reverse below the surface but not “my old name.” Not in other words watchful of how ‘hence’ unfolds (yeah, in the area!), there were always, variously, spaces I could have gone for – from the cap but the cap was free; from the apex as if it were only one cap inside another; from the report that it was, which is “as it were,” a cup and not a cap. Caps and cups, cups or caps, this bird does not this little note require.

PORZANA PORZANA (spotted crake)

“We are hard to flush like cous-cous and small buttons. But when the distant throbbing of the coast drops in we must flush down, quickly, into the ditch. Now the ditch dominates. It’s darker here and colder than on the earth, the cous-cous is quiet and the small buttons, ha-ha, it just all looks dark and cous-cous sized.” And he breaks off slowly in a rail-voice. “Nothing demands close attention in itself.” First the moorhen then the bee spends less time in, the bee who has walked through like a weather bird a storm bird a rain bird. His left-hand name, my word-book, is a sign of land.

CICONIA CICONIA (white stork)

The landowner is coming now and harley is between beds. Harley come be found with shirley quickly. Come into the wilder-bed come from the form we fell in mixed up and the pheasant’s eye for nothing from the bright bikes lighting up the pissy-bed. We watched them as the lights came on but it was only an analogy the lighting of the pissy-beds, and they went out of old fields turned into golf-courses. It was ordinary shirley it was ordinary and so so everlasting. The white stork’s carriage arrived it came for nothing the poem was over and it was the end of spring. Spring involves plants in bulk. This is not a recipe.

LAGOPUS LAGOPUS (red grouse)

I struggle with the birds of the air but gaps are allowed with grouse everywhere in this crude survey. I mean it must be fed up my big red eyebrow. Lately a gate or pasture untended, sparser, unintended, I simply don’t know what I’m doing. I guess building it up rich, which the burry-man is too, but loading is just plain wilkinson, quick & vital. On the he heath our art hardly grows but see-see too the shoots of the she heath. With all this debris it’s filling up. “Crescent illae, crescent amores.” A.D. Hope is a cunt. Drinks occur. The turning bird is driven over. That it then fell, that it was finished ending in a leaflet sucker its got hips too.

© Jeff Hilson 2008

Andrew Lundwall (Beloit, Wisconsin, USA): Four Poems


those lips that smoke together
giggle at 4 am like porcelain
of it felt like years'd passed

chopping block was it the moon's
a woman entertains life this way
hear there are milky cloud noises

hear there is recur prolong each missing
with oval slip of kisses stirring up feel
which surged into my eyes for you again


shallow faces paint this way go by
eavesdropping the largest erection yet
under penalty of checkered tablecloth
imprisoned by rainbows soft chewy nougat
milling about smoking dopest dope
being called fucked each hour inches by
flesh glaciers peach fuzzy incredible
strips like puzzles skinnydips off riverside
with buxom pupils whiskified abysmal


moans on phone snuffed rationality her torso unspooling
beneath magenta sheets of doubtencrusted lust
rolling winedribbled r's of distant camerafugues
a fugitive cyclone of shattered spastic sunflowers

because lay awake is law of those indebted
because noise of kisses over shoulder past
because memory juice leaks what could might be
because floorboards creak a melancholy possible


stars after
rain feet
on street
television creeps
cramped cargo
stapled to chest
like an insect
like an ever

© Andrew Lundwall 2008

Jordan Stempleman (Kansas, USA): Three Poems


Some sun spots, the old ones, sound of
defeated clouds. Too violent,
they’re finally told. Too piled in for the sunset
to see the midwinter turn away
medicated, unscented, however they prefer
to turn away. This is a near obsession
of the present, self-stored, hoping much later
to say what it is. I have no idea what’s to become
of the terrible places that never once
thought of themselves as terrible places.
The deal of the animate was to keep moving
in the stratum of take your pick, then time
to time the leaving. Once with one arm shorter
than the other, oaf of perfect nose. I like
that you heard me. It seems that you heard me.


I am facing the fanciful yellow of how I pan out.
A common dream: I am thinking eyeholes, if provided
mixed reactions to pre-summer light, and late summer light,
couldn’t do any more with what they’re asked to wipe away
before morning, even if real eyeballs were bounced
from a dark velvet bag straight into my head.
I am preceded by a sign, near-wooden
that begins, dash-dash, apple, yuck, faraway,
faraway, nasty, come here.
Behind the capability of a new design, there’s a raggedy
drift, this is true, from such a place that forgets
I am the terrible host, and I am lazy and allowed to stare
in a descending pitch at all who arrive late
and are willing to live.
Do I, take you, to love all the symptoms of the earth,
even as we lose our long hours and relative loves?
It’s about time we dig. I’m coming to
as slowly as I began.


I have one cold dish of something
that wouldn’t be caught dead in pants.
And the gray, I remind myself, is the business
of the subtle forgetting, of where you lead,
without thinking, I’m stretching it
now, really, it’s in the narrowing flail
that makes the good technique. Dope.
Why, as a basis, isn’t there a moment
or one moment to go?
I will care to occur for as long as I’m doubled
over, see the size of this, playing along with the that
that I won’t ever see. But the zoo, come on,
sigh. I mean the species, nothing but,
that refuse our attention.

© Jordan Stempleman 2008

Kathleen Rooney & Elisa Gabbert (Chicago, USA): Two Poems


One step past permanent delete, I bereave
the whole synthetic thing & so what if
a barren moonscape "presents." Then crashes.
If complete giving over to belief fills anyone's
false eyelashes w/ frenetic gladness, if I cast
my subconscious wishes in the trash,
who will notice my five-year plan imploding,
so ashen unto itself & off-loading its expectations.
I forget the gist of the incantation. Pushing the pull,
I'll never get in that way. Any club, diamond, or
spade is a tool for ace investigators, cracking
the case right out of the dossier. It's so cliché,
but the blonde cigarette girl wants to teach me how
to learn. Her inner wrist is like thistledown.
So much information, so little requited yearning.
Only a musical child grows up to be a whistler.
I can't believe what I used to miss never left, though
the ghost assures me & the abyss echoes on: I never
left. Now that I know I'm not alone I want to be
& the dark seems darker, the days rained out.


Becoming even more weird than you are attractive
is another popular approach to getting on TV.
I'm so terrible at games. I couldn't think of
at least one way in which serial killers are
just like serial commas & serial monogamy.
Your first fifteen minutes of fame are a way of
letting the universe know how bad you want it.
I looked pretty good? Or I felt good about what
I had left in the dust of "the other Connecticut."
I'm not searching for Miss America here. I'm
collecting data on answers to "Where are you from?"
"How come?" and "How desperate does one
finally become?" In sum, life is less a journey
& more a candelabrum containing a too-short candle.

© Kathleen Rooney/Elisa Gabbert 2008

Jerome Rothenberg (USA): Four Landscapes

Europa, on the Train

three who go across a bridge.
how often.
three who go across an auto route.
some fall & find the sessions sweet.
& some in silence at the last frontier.
a sudden racket.
bells in moscow mark the start of sleep.
a cause is lost.
an arm is open.
arm in arm.

clouds in the sky.
a swiss franc in the hand.
a brick that breaks in pieces.
a snail that rushes in.
today becomes tomorrow.
a wind upsets a wind.
they find a time for driving.
someone arrives in time.

girl with a bow in hair
& flowered dress:
the mother struggles up a hill
where no one finds her.
Saturday with ruffled sleeves.

the shadow of a cloud
is on the field.

the horses race inside the shadow.

half a field away
a burning tree.

© Jerome Rothenberg 2008

Brooklyn Copeland (Carmel, Indiana, USA/UK): from Borrowed House



Our first mornings feel tricky, the tip
of a dusty tongue wetting a dusty upper lip.

The creeping sun is noncommittal.

Over decades, the mice in the attic have built
dresses from scraps of bandage, bandanas.
A dead farmhand's dressings.

You find me sorting through half-filled
dance cards, imagining a devout girl,
fair of face, fat of thigh.

Your reassurance is as mild and aloof as a dove:
that girl is long dead, you say.

Furthermore, look at her

junk: clearly she'd condone us.


These people were packrats. Really, we're the ones

haunting the house, traipsing half-naked, drink-handed,

every warped floorboard announcing our belligerence.

O, the things they hung on the walls!
And the things they shoved under beds!
And the beds they stored under stairs!
And the stairs they made into scenes, into starscape!

The carpet is still sandy with their dander,
flakes of spittle from their chatter. Just imagine!

They remain where breath left them.
Even on the way out, there's no accounting for taste.

Look hard at their expressions:
you and I are too conceited, incapable of expressing

such grand scale completion.

P.S. A review of Borrowed House.

© Brooklyn Copeland 2008

Leonard Gontarek (Philly, USA): Five Poems


Jackson Pollock was afloat in his life

with a view of burning cruise ships,

which was the world, if that makes sense,

and I understand if it doesn’t.

I think of Pollock when I am walking the edge

of a field in autumn imprinted with shadows

of leaves, and lit leaves among the dark aspects.

I connect the calm to Pollock,

strangely, you might think.

Pollock once sat in a field with an elixir,

after selling his soul to the devil.

A mixture of whiskey and dusk.

It looked like the glass was frothing,

but it was ordinary mist.

Recently I looked a Pollock painting,

which, always sacred to me,

looked like a bunch of paint piled on a canvas.

One of the saddest afternoons.


The birdsong is repartee, curt

and haunting.

The world calls me momma.

A woman, fleur-de-lis

stockings, sails past.

She’s beautiful, I suggest

to the man at the end of the bench.

Buddy, you wouldn’t know a beautiful woman

if one came up to you and bit you on the ass

I think I would.

Jesus Saves. Of course,

then, Jesus kills too.

It rains on lush trees

and small breaks in sky. Hard.


You introduced me to ouzo.

If you sprinkled a few drops

of water in the clear liquor,

it turned smoky. Remember?

Afterward we were drunk enough to make love.

A gray day with white and pink blossoms in the trees.


It turned cool again tonight.

The first of Spring fast approaches.

I remember a man hammering a nail

through a piece of tin. It must have been zero out.

I didn’t ask him why he was doing that.

The stars come out like soft white bulbs.

I have nothing. I know it’s not true,

but that’s how it seems.

I am a blind man in a Zen story,

without even a lantern.

You don’t know what I’m talking about,

see what I mean.


See how the rain & screens form a way to you.

It is not just that the way is lit by brilliant maples.

It is more than that. In the reserve of dark,

we are happy to be pained by love & mysteries,

so meaning may elude us. Oblivion, blissfully so.

All night long. God fingers us, all night long.

Cars skirl the wet streets. Brilliant red cars.

Leaves don’t so much fall, as

are dumped into wet needles.

Difficult to tell dream from the other thing,

Inhabit this world when I damn well feel like it.

Compassion is not a requirement. Mystery makes

matters worse & my shadow is small, affectionate,

wiry, smells like wet hair.

© Leonard Gontarek 2008