Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ariel Gordon


You burst through the door, hot
& angry, eager to keen
& wail into my ear. Dad-dad telegraphs
your refusal to nap at the sitter’s, the entire shrieking
ride home, his nostrils already flared
by working fires, exhaust
& spring’s gritty exhumation
with a lifted eyebrow. As you leap
into my arms, reeking of dog
& incense, your hair lifts.


Storm-light’s grey clarity and you bluster.
Syllables batter against the rear-view, cling
to the meat of my earlobes
still half-a-city from home.

Rain clouds unroll over rush-hour, its ticking
stale from storage. Mouth open, I blare My Bonny
shoulder-checking headlights
and grit twisters
at the curb.

In evening’s rush-light and traffic’s flare
your face goes bone before you drop off
leaving a body to bob
over swells of asphalt and tar,
a body for me to bundle inside.


The sticky ant-walked nubs of peony
buds showing lurid lippy shiners
under prim sepals
for the latest red bonk unfurling
under the skin of your headfirst
ass over teakettle

The up-thrust females from the mossy cowl
on slim aspens here there along the tree line
for the wiry spray of hair
on your intersection of head and bed
those humid nights
you spent between us.

How To See Deer

Be near-sited. Tapetum-lit eyes / fireflies.
Spots and voids behind lids /
pelt markings.

In autumn rut refrain
from holding

Bed down in dog parks. Urban deer
& scraggly stands of trees
reek of pee.

Be capable of stupid happiness
at rumpy flashes
in trees.

Stomp until utterance is overcast
by leaves and twigs of trembling
aspen, bur oak
& beaked willow. Strip bark.


You were my time piece,
one hand on my shoulder, the other
rooting around
in my shirt. Even half asleep
your third eye was always on the clock.
A year in, you're still a stickler:
just enough time to shower, just enough
to eat so I can feed
you again: Tick
tock, mummy. Tick tock.


Ariel Gordon said...

Dear Maurice,

First of all, I'm concerned that you would post my work without notifying me.

Your format makes it appear that people submit their work but I had never heard of your magazine and probably wouldn't have known that you had cut and pasted material from my blog if it hadn't come up in google alerts.

Finally, I've never published with the Alsop Review.

Maurice Oliver said...

Dear Ariel,

This is my twenty third issue of CSR and like most people I make mistakes. I thought I had gotten your OK to publish them and that they had been previously published in Alsop.

Your work is intriguing and certainly adds much to the issue but I would be happy to pull it if that would please you. I have poets lined up until April.

Please let me know what you decide and once again, I apologize.

Ariel Gordon said...

Dear Maurice,

If you can correct the Alsop mis-attribution and, correct the two following (introduced) errors, I'll allow the poems to stand:

1) In How to See Deer, remove the dash in the last line.

2) In Rush-Light, the title should be Rush-light (i.e. lower case l) and there should be a period at the end of the final stanza.



jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jen said...

Hi Maurice,

I don't really know what to say - the 'mistake' you mention above seems unlikely because my work appears in your last issue without your having contacted me.

On the one hand, I'm not wild about copyright fascism (happy to embed Youtube videos), I'm all for poetry dissemination and I like your taste.

On the other hand.... Well, as Ariel points out, you list us as contributors and we're not. It seems deceptive.

And there are other reasons it's problematic. The versions of poems I put on my blog usually really are drafts. Sometimes I take them down soon afterwards (one of the ones you have here was only up for a couple of days - and you've omitted my citation of its source material!). Often I offer later versions to publishers, considering them unpublished or saying they have been published on a personal blog. In any case, I'm in control of my decisions around this - which is what I expect until I offer work for publication.

And I'm wondering how many of your 'contributors' are unaware their work appears here. I hope not too many.


Trevor Joyce said...

I am not a "contributor" to your self-promoting blog. You have never had any contact with me whatsoever, so there is no reasonable possibility that you thought you had "gotten my OK to publish". The original publication on Masthead (to which it would have been courteous of you to link) notes that "Copyright remains with contributors. All rights are reserved." - do you find this unclear?

Lastly, given that with every single one of the poems you lifted from there, you have altered the lineation, can you be surprised that I am requesting you, more politely that you perhaps deserve, to remove those poems from your blog at once, and never to attempt to republish my work again?

You remark that "like most people [you] make mistakes". You appear to be particularly, not to say systematically, error-prone.

jen said...

It's clear that these are not errors. As I request on the post of my work, please remove my poems from this site.

Ariel Gordon said...

When I first wrote, I had no way of knowing if the mistakes made with me were one-offs or part of a larger pattern. As the comments that followed our exchange have proved, the latter was the case. As such, I would request that you remove my poems from your site.


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