Thursday, August 6, 2020

Kimberly Alidio, Lisa Fishman, J.R. Carpenter, Gary Barwin + Rose Maloukis : virtual reading series #19

a series of video recordings of contemporary poets reading from their work, prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent cancellations, shut-downs and isolations; a reading series you can enjoy in the safety of your own protected space,

Kimberly Alidio : “continent reverence,” “from Dear Archon

Kimberly Alidio is the author of the poetry books why letter ellipses (selva oscura, 2020), : once teeth bones coral : (Belladonna*, 2020), and after projects the resound (Black Radish, 2016). Her most recent chapbook is a cell of falls (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2019). She lives in Tucson, Arizona, on the ancestral lands of the Tohono O’odham and the Pascua Yaqui peoples, with her partner, the poet Stacy Szymaszek. Her website is:

Lisa Fishman : “Truth-telling is possible, thought Laura Riding,” “not ‘using words’,” “the Five Ways to jump,” “Michael says the poem will speak,” “i’ve been looking for you,” “There were broken birds,” [from] “Summer 2015,” from Mad World, Mad Kings, Mad Composition

Lisa Fishman is the author of seven poetry collections, including the newly released Mad World, Mad Kings, Mad Composition (Wave Books, 2020). Some of her earlier books are 24 pages and other poems (Wave, 2015), The Happiness Experiment (Ahsahta Press), and Dear, Read (Ahsahta). Hybrid work from a new manuscript in progress appears in 6x6, Denver Quarterly, and is forthcoming in touch the donkey and elsewhere. A dual US/Canadian, she lives in Wisconsin and is soon to be dividing her time between her farm there and the Sault Ste. Marie area. She directs the MFA Program at Columbia College Chicago.

J.R. Carpenter : an excerpt from This is a Picture of Wind (2020)

J.R. Carpenter is an artist, writer, and researcher working across performance, print, and digital media. Her web-based work The Gathering Cloud won the New Media Writing Prize 2016. Her poetry collection An Ocean of Static was highly commended by the Forward Prizes 2018. Her new collection, This is a Picture of Wind (Longbarrow Press 2020) is based on a web-app of the same name. A fellow of the Eccles Centre at the British Library and the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, she will be Writer in Residence at University of Alberta September 2020 — May 2021.

Gary Barwin : “THE BOOK (for derek beaulieu),” “PERMUTATION MACHINE (after Brion Gysin & William Burroughs),” “WHALE (a fable)” and “PSALM”

Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, and multidisciplinary artist. His books include For It is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe: New and Selected Poems, ed. Alessandro Porco and Ampersandthropocene, a collection of his visuals based on the ampersand which will appear from Penteract Press in August. He lives in Hamiltonacorn, Ontario where he holds the David W. McFadden Chair in Diffuse but Earnest Luminosity at the National Rhyme Institute of Canada.

Rose Maloukis : Three poems from Cloud Game with Plums

Rose Maloukis is a poet and visual artist, with a BFA from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. She was born and grew up in the United States but has dual citizenship and resides in Montreal. Her poetry appears in a limited-edition bilingual artist’s book, From the Middle ~ Sonoritiés du Coeur, which is held in the collection of both the national and provincial libraries. She was short-listed for the 2015 Montreal International Poetry Prize and two poems were published in Matrix Magazine, Issue #105. A winning Second Place poem has been published in Geist’s 2018 Spring Issue #108. Her chapbook debut, Cloud Game with Plums, appeared recently with above/ground press.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

em/ilie kneifel : from CATCH

in april-july 2020, my friends and i whispered about how things feel. our whispers are here. our transcriptions are here. these are the transcriptions of my own whispers (and ridiculous noodle-singing). the idea was to see how improvisational descriptions of nowbodies might teeter. how they might wobble if we used “you” and asked someone else to catch them. in the end, as with most things, CATCH became a love story. audio rom com, i emailed the protagonists. ghosts at a party.

note: every episode begins with the sound of a basketball bouncing and emilie calling, “catch.”

this is how brain fog feels. everything is / the afternoon. dense pastel. rough brightness. the air condenses / into sand at the bottom of your forehead. the sand gets wet. your eyes / collapse. things try to run up / the sand, but everything // everything down

this is how it feels to feel unsure. your eyes are shivering. your mouth is shivering. your hands keep making more knots

this is how it feels to listen to your mom and your little brother talking on the phone. you’re lying on your bedroom floor. your fingers are in the carpet. you spent a lot of time outside today, so your arms are heavy, and your face is warm. there are two voices talking and laughing, but not with you, and not with each other. they’re talking to other people who are somewhere else, who are maybe also being listened to. by someone who spent a lot of time outside today. whose arms are warm, whose face is heavy.

the dishwasher just started. so maybe now we are underwater.

there’s a shadow on the ceiling. there’s a shadow on the wall. maybe you have a shadow. maybe your shadow is sleeping.

put your feet on the floor.

can you feel how she listens with her mouth?

this is how it feels for a movie to let your grieve. your eyes are still clenching / onto someone else’s sadness. you curl up / into your own sadness. your own knees and thighs. you stroke / your own head. it’s hard / underneath your hair. it’s soft / underneath your chest. soft / like new things can be.

(singing) leedly dum and a leedly dum, this is how it feels to take a bath. beetly bum and a teetly tum, this is how it feels to take a bath. you sit with your tum and you sit with your bum, and you give ‘em a little scrubby dubby doo. sometimes you put a little soap on your bum! and on your head a little shampoodlydoo!

in this episode, all of the recordings (except for the singing bath episode, because it is very loud and ridiculous) play at once, giving the ambient feeling of being in a group of people. it’s sometimes sweet, sometimes claustrophobic. at the end, after so much pulling, intertwining, wandering throughout the season, vi-an and trynne’s voices find each other again. every other sound stops abruptly, and episode 15 vi-an, cycling v-ian, says, “and then the edge and then the sky” — as episode 3 vi-an wakes up with trynne and says, “it still feels so special.” vi-an goes on, “and the sun is still rising and it’s beautiful—” as episode 7 trynne, trynne in pain says, “that’s okay.” vi-an: “and it’s sunny and it feels like you’re really starting your day.” she pauses. trynne: “it teaches you to move more slowly.” vi-an: “and you get to work, and you’re ready to start your day.”

em/ilie kneifel is a poet/critic, editor at The Puritan/Theta Wave, creator of CATCH/PLAYD8s, and also a list. find 'em at, @emiliekneifel, and in Tiohtiá:ke, hopping and hoping.

Aleksandra Byrska : four translations from the Polish by Mark Tardi


Are you flying with us to rescue koalas?

In my dreams, I’m on horseback escorting a bus full of kids. A haunted
ranger beelining across the country
to the cold Polish sea.
My left hemisphere’s already pure glitter,
chaff snowing with the colors of the rainbow.
Let’s go pick the pouchy bears from the trees. Give out
candy free hugs colorful pictures.
We’ll cover the ashes with popcorn, well build
castles & swimming pools for the animals.
The simple point of life –– to have a koala in your crib.
In the right hemisphere, flames,
hot coal underfoot.
An alarm in the frontal lobe,
the bus is veering off the road.

The Teacher Doesn’t Like Us

I close my eyes. So the body’s rebelling in the service of the system. Specialists can’t
figure out –– if I’m falling asleep or losing consciousness.
Then the tired neurons cower within themselves, withdrawing dendrites. This is how I
imagine it.

I open my eyes. I fail for a
living, change forms,
migrate to spores.
Youll listen
write, recite. And write again.
I’ll teach you
that you must never use
the acquired reflexes.

About the Behavior in Class

Do I have a soothing effect on you?

A herd of unicorns galloping across your synapses, the cold high sea
waves. A sharp wind. Yes.
The wan light of the screens. The silent herd sucked into smartphones. Door
closed. Yes.
Little pink tablets with benzodiazepines. Bardzo sweet. Yes.
Roaring herds disguised as animals in the corridors. No.
Your affectionate friendship with the garbage can. No.
Toilet paper installations. Nie, przepraszam.
Get away from the window. Sit down. Conjugate:
Im broken. Youre broken. Were all broken.



floating in sticky warm water, the head
ache moves from forehead to back
a hot liquid thick with existence
sticks to the skin, pulls the hair

sand in the throat irritates the esophagus
opens the burning eyelids
it’s everywhere
irritates the nostrils, sticks behind the nails
the chalk


the branchy cycads, the evergreen araucaria,
soft ferns,
strange creatures with fragile shells
drifting in warm waters
I carry you with me everyday

calcite in the lungs
calcite on black clothes
calcite behind the nails
calcite particles under the eyelids
layers of calcite that insulate hearing


Good morning kids
don’t trust the teacher

Mrs. O. inhaled the chalk
calcite –– a substance
from the world of dinosaurs, ferns,
mighty turtles, the hot sea

calcites a tool of the Prussian school
don't ask what she is

so Mrs. O. is dangerous
her enthusiasm has been exhausted
they mock her on street corners
drag her name thru the online mud

Mrs. O.s a tainted individual
schooling twisted her spine
now the system distorts her face


I sit down in the corner of the classroom & raise my eyebrows mockingly
I look at myself fighting under the blackboard

a precise dance with chalk in hand
sweeping, energetic movements
so let's dance dear parts of speech

me at the blackboard & me at the back of the class
we eye each other
we raise our eyebrows


–– I already know why you always have dirty pants.

And what shall I tell you, child?
A fairy tale about ammonites and osteochondral fish?
Cretaceous, Jurassic, Triassic.
Outbid you for grief?
Permian, Carboniferous, Devonian.
Or shall we play?
There are so many dark tales about the extortion
of so-called respect.
Silurian, Ordovician, Cambrian.
Think before you repeat yourself.

–– Wash your hands before you go back to your desk.

Aleksandra Byrska (b. 1990): a graduate of literary criticism at the Faculty of Polish Studies of the Jagiellonian University, and now a PhD student at the Faculty of Polish Studies at the Jagiellonian University dealing with Polish prose after 2010. She edited the cultural magazine Fragile and is the author of the play Śnieg [Snow] published in the anthology Nasz głos [Our Voice] by the Helena Modrzejewska National Stary Theater in Kraków. She is a speech therapist and also works as a Polish language teacher.

Mark Tardi is the author of The Circus of Trust (Dalkey Archive Press, 2017), Airport music (Burning Deck, 2013), and Euclid Shudders (Litmus, 2004). His translation of The SquattersGift by Robert Rybicki is forthcoming in 2021 from Dalkey Archive Press.  Prologue, an award-winning cinepoem collaboration with Polish multimedia artist Adam Mańkowski, has been screened at film festivals throughout Europe and the United States. He was a writer-in-residence at MASS MoCA in January 2020 and will be a research fellow at the Harry Ransom Center in 2021. A former Fulbright scholar, he is on faculty at the University of Łódź.

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