Tuesday, January 1, 2008

CSR: First Anniversary Issue

Editor's Note:

Welcome to the 1st anniverisary issue of CSR! By now, you regular readers know my baby hates to eat with a bib but still has a knack of eating an entire meal without ever getting food on the high chair. It also has the uncanny ability to turn the words of poets into colors that resemble an deep iridescent blue. Issue Thirteen is an excellent example. This month CSR is filled with stunning photographs by a medical doctor, along with art that has a cappella in its seashell. Add to that, a group of wonderful poets, an intriguing music maker and one magical book review and you've got the ingredients for a bubbling concoction straight from the soda fountain. Trust me, when you finish this issue you'll feel like The William Tell Overture with cannons. Or no one knew until she was eight. Either way, this issue will tickle your taste buds with delights seldom found in everyday septic tanks. So escape from the migician's box sawed in half and get busy...
CSR: Issue Thirteen Contributors/Contents

Peter Riley

Craig Santos Perez

Reginald Sheperd

Gundega Dege

Tim Ormsby

Kenneth Gurney

Reb Livingston

About Art - The Lightning Field

Nancy Charak

Book Review

About Music - Sam Beam

Marne Kilates

Richard Lopez

Contributor's Bios
Peter Riley

From Second Sett


Heaps of fruit piled up against the houses
grandfathers piled up in the ground
churchyard fruit, pears, cherries
travellers selling small bags of hazels

If all the world is to go the same way —
all one empire, all serving the one broker? —
a thin sigh in the fields, baby
where did our love go?

The house in the fields
breathes, its timbers
flex in the night changes,
the star wheels churn

Piles of apples outside in the yard
yellow and red in separate heaps
slowly, under careful control
rotting into the music.


Open land, then forest, then air.

Leonardo Bruni said that the harmonious
workings of the institutions of Florence
derived from the beauty and geometry
of the Tuscan landscape.

A thin track, a line in the grass across
the pastures and over the riverside humps
everywhere worked, the shape of the place
carved from work, lines curving to meet,
leading ultimately homewards

* from A Map of Faring (Parlor Press, 2005)


Now I put 500 books into cardboard boxes
And the boxes into the back of the car hoping
Springs and axle will take the weight
Then walk out across the town, the fox’s
Lair gaily tarnisht today in winter light
The cubist garden, stone walls sloping
With and across. Walk to a purpose and wait
For that pause in the business and shopping
When a spark of world falls and locks
Itself behind the ear, a sky-connected fate
Capsule, small as a bee’s sting, groping
Down the spine in search of a heart, down the throat
In search of a voice to say you make an art
Of these days among people, your prime state.

* from Snow has settled…bury me here (Shearsman Books, 1997)


The little valley in the foothill
stall birches and twisting stream
snowy crests beyond in sunlight
a marten runs across the road
first thin cherry blossom in the fields
a bell-tower at the crest of each village.

Later sitting on the station platform very cold
suffering pain from an oesophagal hernia
surveying the council houses beyond the track
so like home.

Cathar country, how people survive
or don’t and leave a trace in the mind
that survives through centuries, a trace
of defiance, that the world is open, a blue book
wrapped in wool, clutched to the chest
over high and snowy passes.

*from The Day’s Final Balance: Uncollected Writings 1965-2006 (Shearsman Books, 2007)


Grace and honour descend the hill, seeking
the human heart, brushing aside the wasps
and folding that knotted academy in clay hands . . .

Our front window looked out two miles over
pasture and woodland thick with the sheen of equity
that without a word edits thought against
greed and fantasy, pale emblems shelved
at the field edges, fading nightly into dream. We held
onto this like grim death, we sank our trust in
curtained arbours in a stone house and formed a child,
who mothered us through opening Sundays.

And two miles away was a great ridge, a dark
green mass strung with white stone walls,
at its highest point an ancestral grave, a circular
fate capsule of long stones. It was always there
though the light came and failed. At night the ridge
was a grey sleeper against the sky and white messages
flew into the front window, pierced the night and
focused the day, calling to the mind, calling
to the cusped heart, calling together
the kind forces that hunt us to death.

*from The Day’s Final Balance: Uncollected Writings (Shearsman Books, 2007)


(from “Excavations”)

2. The answering enemy, the Warrior who tried to kill my voice
but missed and struck a hole just above my eyes, black ticket
to the cancelled future, small with insipidity and unresponse,
caught in the dream unable to [wake, die, love] at the mercy of
time’s silence again — but also, “a kind of turning” /these, who
craved for life, and lie, like left-overs on a plate, rubbish in the
street. Plimsoll altars, full of static, all the messages wrenched
to a capsule, until the unfolding. Until the soul is called out of
it (because someone needs it) — father, mother, wife, turn

*from Excavations (Reality Street Editions, 2004)
Craig Santos Perez

Home and Death

On my mother’s birthday
It’s amazing how fast they build houses, she said.
As we drove past the skeletal development. Wood
and geometry and iron nails. A big rig hit a motorcycle,
said the voice on the radio, and continued, without pause
to the situation of other highways. We listened
as we entered the toll gate of the bridge.
The traffic, she said, will be backed up for years.
Small birds on telephone wires. The call to the family. Traffic
in its terror flow.

For the Duration

She held the walls because she knew
how a breath opens full-
lotus. An unnamed cordillera
beneath the bronze moon-
gate; silence rendered as passage.
‘Why do they forget the commandment
of things?’ she asks, to unspell
distance. ‘There are wings opening,’
she says, in the dawn
of failed wind. ‘Is this
the temple gate? The vast fields
of pale salt?’ There’s no geometry
to prove the borders of silence; our senses
punctuated because they are
also language, bridged in this place
of consequent arrest. So close, when our eyes
open, she wakes. So close, all
willingly disarms.

Of A Common Poverty


Her teeth marks on knife
could mean the tongue struggled.


Her teeth marks on wrists
so that
veins resemble wings caught in nets.


Her teeth marks on the guard’s
They severed her arms.


No one hears what she speaks to the fire. If
it listens. Coherent
laws of combustion. Her body as fuel.


‘Water, water,’ she whispers to mimic
Like this. Like this. Like this.

It is important to die in holy places

They sell fruit in the subways,
peaches, green pears and green apples
and pomegranates.
An old man is playing the cello.
The inbound train turns the corner, emerges,
the music, lost in its arrival.


The old women said the rosary.
Your mom was hysterical, clawing
at memory, at the Lord, at the motorcycle that fell on your body.
You were cremated, ashes released over the loud ocean.
She will be reborn as a fish, I said, to pacify the current.
It has been years since your funeral. It was lovely.
It is gathered in my body like dead fish.
Reginald Sheperd

Tantalus in May

When I look down, I see the season’s blinding flowers,
the usual mesmerizing and repellent artifacts:
a frat boy who turns too sharply from my stare,
a cardinal capturing vision in a lilac bush
on my walk home. I’m left to long
even for simple dangers. From the waist up
it’s still winter, I left the world behind
a long time ago; waist down it’s catching
up, a woodpecker out my window is mining grubs
from some nameless tree squirrels scramble over.
When I turn back it’s gone, I hadn’t realized
this had gone so far. (Everywhere I look
it’s suddenly spring. No one asked
if I would like to open drastically. Look up.)
It’s gone. Everywhere fruits dangle
I can’t taste, their branches insurmountable,
my tongue burnt by frost. White boys, white flowers,
and foul-mouthed jays, days made of sky-blue boredoms
and everything seen much too clearly:
the utterance itself is adoration, kissing
stolid air. I hate every lovely thing about them.

What Cannot Be Kept

He was dreaming of the factories across the water’s fog
and pillared smoke, a man listing toward him in a paper boat
whose outstretched palm read Wait. He was laid out
on a lawn chair in the park: and that night
boys were dancing in the branches of the trees
at the party, floating in the crotch of two limbs,
their motion the blur between nature and sex.
The color of them prints across the eye
as plums, in verging autumn, print heavily
on the open palm. They fall from such
trees, the trees are barren: held up at the cusp of two
seasons, both falling, one so-called. He dreamt he was
starving, so slim he could slip between
the horn and ivory gates; their flesh wears away to a winter’s
witness, the history of fleeting ripeness packed
in salted lines and photographs unfolded
while it snows. The originals
are ruined, worn to a mirror’s whiteness by the river
trucks drive over, cemented with progressive sediments,
the waste of fruitfulness sanded down
to almost-morning mist.

* From Some Are Drowning (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994)

For My Mother in Lieu of Mourning

It takes a thing so long to be true. I don’t want
my dead back, not any more, dreaming they’re just
in hiding. The body stiffens into I’m awake, chilled
by a window left open all night. Dust grays
the screen, truncates the run-down view
of strip mall loading dock and idling delivery
truck fumes: unseasonable cold, no birds, everything
gets dirty fast. Then memory becomes rain
after days of overcast, wet panes blur into blind
clouds learning to let go. Too accurate a memory
is the cure for dreams. Your body of brackish water,
black, opaque, impossible to see through
to the bottom, swim across to shore:
I’ve been drowning in my sleep
too long, when will I stop comparing you? Today
my hands discover distance, the heart I imagined
I had: this lying signifier settled from time to time
by ghosts. The words return in single file, repeat
themselves: cold and uninhabited, my heart’s
healed over under ice. Would you have frozen
in these lines? You were their possibility:
now love must find another shape. You left me here
with what you saved me from, and I am equal
to that: absence, wind tangled in a winter tree,
defeat dangling from stripped branches,
or perhaps it’s just a plastic grocery bag.

Snowdrops and Summer Snowflakes, Drooping

The river is silted with sentiments, Ophelia
sings flowers in hell to all the goodnight
ladies martyred to plot, rosemary, pansies, fennel
and rue, columbine, wormwood and oxeye daisies:
wilting litanies of no consequence. She scatters
handfuls of snow in no tense, returning
to the same spot she brings her spotless
suffering, called Candor, or Covert.
I’d give her trillium and yarrow, wild
carrot or white sweet clover,
some roadside blossoms less
historical: invasive wood sorrel, dame’s
rocket, handfuls of designations,
names of names; stems broken, weeping
sap to sting her fingers, draw the flies,
make her drop her bottle of virginity.
I’d give her brambly honeysuckle
and dogwood bushes to shred her
wedding dress in passing to a proper
shroud, a weed or three to stain her white
with theirs, goodnight sweet lady,
wake up. What I wouldn’t give
to hear her shut up that infernal singing,
walk out of sullen water open-eyed.

Hesitation Theory

I drift into the sound of wind,
how small my life must be
to fit into his palm like that, holly
leaf, bluejay feather, milkweed fluff,
pine straw or sycamore pod, resembling
scraps of light. The world
slips through these fingers
so easily, there’s so much
to miss: the sociable bones
linked up in supple rows, mineral
seams just under the skin. I hold
my palm against the sun and don’t see
palm or sun, don’t hold anything
in either hand. I look up, look
away (what’s that?), I trip
and stumble (fall
again), find myself face down
in duff, a foam of fallen live oak
leaves, with only
this life, mine at times.

*From Fata Morgana (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007)
Photography by Gundega Dege

Tim Ormsby


Inept, susceptible,
are words to describe me.
One, two, three. A sulky sea,
a slumped sky, a tattered tree.
Self in a coffin, I’ll not soon forgive thee.
Long ago my mentor, dear Professor V.
(who later dangled), bade me never cry.
What girlishness; besides, life is piffle.
I struggled, atom-hearted, cross-purposed,
and learned self-overcoming is a wattled lie.
On I shuffle and sniffle.
Unwatched marcher, march inward
on the derelict parade route.
With your drum and spangled suit,
keep marching inward.


I lose hope quietly, like an eyelash
sinking in a bowl of milk, a stuck smile.
I walk in lockstep with my manifoldies
(as I call them), versions of myself
whose speech vibrates with earnest vanity.
What a penchant for self-regard
is hidden in my head!
Oh, how can I accomplish high deeds
while being showcased for connoisseurs?
Could I breathe serenely in a jar?
Could I perch impishly upon a leaf?
I think perhaps I could (and show my teeth).
I drink a cup of tea, eat raisin toast,
and read the travel section in the Sunday Times.
Ah! It seems banality attaches to exotic lands.
Somehow I find that reassuring, half a sign to live.


Trash smell in the apartment courtyard.
The desert sun is scribbled on my skin
and I am tail-twisted by an old man’s urge.
What a steep distance to the death dot
on this bird of an afternoon.
Unorthodoxly naked in the bathroom,
I prepare myself to receive an apricot.
The sun nuzzles the stark mountain.
Memory molecules loom large.
Nothing relaxes me like being tortured.


I rarely smile at the squat servant
who brings my boiled chicken breast,
glass of wine, and jam tart.
Clad in white pajamas, I ingest dimness.
She who chewed quietly and adored Satie
dismissed me from her life. Love is folly.
Airplanes in the night sky soothe me inexpressibly.
I confide nothing to my squat servant.
I am lordly strange to the squat servant
who, like me, was singularly crumpled
by his birth. Twin twirldown petals of breath—
one fell couth and one fell uncouth.

Loud Do My Kidneys Sing

Loud do my kidneys sing.
Purple pineapples pave my way.
I am the city’s most recondite eel.
Loud do my kidneys sing.
Loud do my kidneys sing.
I slander zebras and crimp my hair.
My strength derives from bicycle ooze.
Loud do my kidneys sing.
Loud do my kidneys sing.
I hug my knees by the flabby fire.
My loved one has furry fingernails.
Loud do my kidneys sing.
Loud do my kidneys sing.
I hereby resign from the country club.
The volcano erupts cream cheese. Farewell!
Loud, loud, loud do my kidneys sing.
Kenneth P. Gurney

Oboe without a reed

A single size seven shoe
parked in the alley way
blocks all the traffic,
both in and out.
The girls smell of orange peels,
cinnamon and a fifty-seven Chevy.
I laid my last adventure to rest—
an Adidas box, size twelve
with a broken pair of red laces.
The girls wanted their sex
to be in the public forum,
in the news, the olds
and the inbetweens.
It could have been oral,
but my penpal is allergic to phones,
loud banter and, usually, signs her name
in Sanskrit characters.


Delphi, who reads the stars,
fails, regularly, to read
her own heart.
She spends her morning
crying out her misunderstandings
and wonders how
her illusions
regularly beat out reality
when it comes to men.
Delphi places the tarot
back in their box.
No matter what pattern
the cards place themselves
on the table, they
do not cause her bed
to welcome a man’s weight
to bend the mattress.
She finds her breath again,
lets it go and draws it back,
finds the comfort of sleep
only when alone.

State of Mind

Spilled coffee and cat piss
fumes rise from the sofa.

An anonymous cock leaves a stain
on the inside of April's cheek.

The mop died years ago
and the floorboards suffer through neglect.

His hands stroke her breasts,
squeeze, tweak the nipples until she moans.

Rain attends the broken glass,
the ghost of a window.

He tells her to talk dirty to him.
She says nothing, doesn't feel dirty.

*previously published in Thunder Sandwich #26

Wild Fire

On a cold night
a woman treats a man
like kindling—round stick
rubbed between two hands
spreading sparks.

In this overcrowded brewpub
the problem is sparks landing
on a tinderous floor
of an old growth forest
suffering from long years
of drought.

*previously published in Poetz.com


As the number ten bus
bumps down Humboldt,
I see Lisa rub peanut butter
and jelly on her forehead.

This action distracts me
from staring at her breasts
for just a moment.

I’m not ashamed of my staring.
This is the first time I’ve seen
Lisa’s breasts fully clothed.

If there is such a thing as sacred geometry,
Lisa’s curves possess it.

Most men would seriously consider
worshiping at Lisa’s feet,
but this whole peanut butter and jelly thing
dissuades most of them.

It is an effective tactic for Lisa
to keep the riff-raff away,
prevent them from committing
verbal acts of sexual aggression.

Once, in Chicago, a man on the bus
who was about to be mugged
pissed himself, wet his pants
down to the cuffs. The attacker
walked away in disgust, leaving the man

The golden ratio is approximately:
one point six one eight zero three three nine—
Stradivari is said to have used this ratio
to create his violins.

The bus comes to a stop and grounds itself
at the corner, so the elderly can embark
and disembark with ease.

Lisa steps off the bus, heads toward work
at that peculiar institution
Art’s Performing Center
which, not by chance,
is just up the block
from my destination,
the Performing Arts Center—
a violin evening
of Isabella Leonarda.

*previously published in Mannequin Envy
Reb Livingston

Luna Park

When nothing better bubbled your kiln
you looked for entrance.
Why not? It was safe for you, the
lions only ate women.
You saw castle and carousel
never shades and shadows. She
fastened her belt, endured the scenic
railway until everything throbbed
riot, licked cotton candy while you
twirled the cardboard cone. You said
Shoot the Chute, she said
Temple of Mystery, you
jumped the turnstile
yelling after the trolley.
Desires vanish once you
leave, it’s always different on return.
Rain checks bring ash, perhaps a fond
brief flash, moonstruck girl
breast stroke, mighty Monongahela.

*first published in The Carolina Quarterly (2006)

Off Vermont

Wasn’t a leaf that didn’t
Smack her face on the way out as she
Sped across the green humps
There were road signs, sharp turns,
Interstates, omissions and a legacy of mock repose
All clearly marked so even girls could understand
This one kept her gaze on the pretty man’s chin, felt
Sing-song wisps streaming through her hair
Down her spine, gripping her hips
Bird songs or flashbacks, is there such a translation?
Do lovers ever love? Of course not, too obvious
Better luck next time, oh wait, there is no next time,
next in line, move along
Oh, don’t worry, I’m going
Didn’t stop for syrup, wheels spat out
Wry pine cones, provocation, there it was,
Lay down and be flattened, thank you, that was nice
Crossing that turf was breech without epidural
Without child after ordeal
New York or Massachusetts, the only options, she
Deserved nothing more; two more locations to
Pretend, for just a while, she’s not tone deaf
Small thoughts produce tiny tears and hers were
Specks and plenty and would not wipe

*first published in Mem (issue #3, 2006)

Pine Box

Maybe I’m impressed by church light.
Split pews didn’t part the Red sea
--neither did diagonal stripes or rubbing shoulders.
When I say “impressed” I’m not talking penis, so
put it back in your pocket, those slithering slacks that
make me wonder if you’ve started working out.
This is about art, being over it and being good.
That’s what I came for. I’m so over it.
See God. See Moon. See Conifer. Over.
--But all this stained glass, the bright shades pined against
sure, come hither, the man in the tower
just stepped out for juice and right now I
sense a potent sparkle from your beacon.
I’m talking literal, I truly believe you’re a ship
full of tiny wisps waving shiny lighters
screaming “Encore.”Cruise liner, tug boat, sinking barge of coal,
what do I know?
Hurry, before I require downfall.
Careful, those rocks are sharp!

*first published in Soft blow (2005)

The Love Story

Here’s the love
story minus the
poor woman, in
poor health with poor taste.
She shells the
vegetables into stereotypes in her long
vegetable garden.
Poverty was
funny and he has a wonderful sense of
Pancakes are
pancakes and his code for the
obscene which is a
shame because she still likes
The sky parades its
sunrise all the way to
sign of the
she ends.

*first appeared in The Displayer (2005)

No Bra Required

Someone scrawled funny
words on our underwear.
Our underwear, way
too loose on our
rascal asses.
We must realize
ourselves into those
big britches, you declare.
Love in a hand basket.
Hell in my heart.
My camisole, yours, evermore.
Never have I believed in polygamy more than I do
rising this daybreak.

*reprinted from The Bedside Guide To No Tell Motel (No Tell Books, 2006)

About Art - The Lightning Field

The Lightning Field, 1977, by the American sculptor Walter De Maria, is a work of Land Art situated in a remote area of the high desert of southwestern New Mexico. It is comprised of 400 polished stainless steel poles installed in a grid array measuring one mile by one kilometer. The poles—two inches in diameter and averaging 20 feet and 7½ inches in height—are spaced 220 feet apart and have solid pointed tips that define a horizontal plane.

A sculpture to be walked in as well as viewed, The Lightning Field is intended to be experienced over an extended period of time, and visitors are encouraged to spend as much time as possible in it alone, especially during sunset and sunrise. In order to provide this opportunity, Dia offers overnight visits during the months of May through October.

Commissioned and maintained by Dia Art Foundation, The Lightning Field is recognized internationally as one of the late-twentieth century's most significant works of art and exemplifies Dia's commitment to the support of art projects whose nature and scale exceed the limits normally available within the traditional museum or gallery. Dia also maintains two other of De Maria's projects, both located in New York City: The Broken Kilometer, 1979, and The New York Earth Room, 1977. Another large-scale work by De Maria—The Equal Area Series (1976-90)—is currently installed at Dia:Beacon, Dia's museum for its permanent collection north of Manhattan in Beacon, New York. Find out more at: http://thelightningfield.org
Artwork by Nancy Charak

About Books:

Title: Latecomers
Author: Jaya Savige

Description: The poems in latecomers go beyond what we take for granted these days in a first collection: refinement of language and cadence, allusiveness, wit. Moving easily through abstract wonders and the streets of the inner city, they return for nourishment to family and ‘the Island’ – Bribie, its fishing-life and beaches – as a test always of what is native and endures’ – DAVID MALOUF

Product Details:

Printed: 112 pages , 7.5 x 5 x 0.2 inches
ISBN: 0702235199
Copyright: 2005
Language: English
Country: Australia
Publisher's Link: www.upq.uq.edu.au

About Music - Sam Beam

Iron & Wine is the stage and recording name for Southern singer-songwriter Sam Beam. Raised in South Carolina, Beam released his first album, The Creek Drank the Cradle, on the Sub Pop label in 2002; Beam wrote, performed, recorded, and produced every track on the album by himself at a studio in his home. The album features acoustic guitars, banjo, and slide guitar; its music has been compared, variously, to that of Nick Drake, Simon & Garfunkel, and Neil Young.

In 2003 The Sea & The Rhythm was released, an EP collecting other home-recorded tracks along the same lines as those on the debut. Beam's second album, Our Endless Numbered Days (2004), was recorded in a professional studio with a significant increase in fidelity. The focus still lies on acoustic material, but the inclusion of other band members gives rise to a very different sound.

Beam released an EP titled Woman King in February 2005, and the EP In the Reins, a collaboration with Calexico was released in September 2005. This joint work mostly features new full-band versions of previously recorded Iron and Wine rarities.

One of his most famous songs is a cover of the Postal Service's Such Great Heights" was featured on a commercial for M&M's candies and in the 2004 film "Garden State" (and on its popular soundtrack). His song "The Trapeze Swingers" was included as part of the sountrack to the 2004 film "In Good Company" too.

His most recent full-length album, The Shepherd's Dog, was released on September 25, 2007. Beam's music videos are often beautifully cinematic, a testament to his degree from the Florida State University Film School. Find out more about his music at: http://www.ironandwine.com/
Marne Kilates

Shanty On A Lot Vacated By A Bank

As if overnight the universe decided

The mighty high-rise must return to dust.

At least it was a boardroom verdict dictated:

“In real estate we could no longer trust.”

And so it came to pass, Ortigas was

Minus one tower, and in its place a hole

In the sky: “Ghost of the house of Midas—

Money’s end leaves a hole in our soul.”

But life goes on and more real was the pit

Left by the foundations: at its edge had sprung

Up the shack of the last worker who won’t quit

After the demolition. And so there it hung

By the lip of the swamp: ramshackle entity

Rising, reigning: Shanty Shanty Shanty.

Potted Cacti


erect tongues

turgid with sap


with spines

they lick

the desert air

straight out

of Mother’s


Zane Grey.


The revolution eats its own children.

The elections are a feast of fools.

Mornings lurch on the highway like most,

Except this one feels most condemned.

It ages before it is born, it burns out before

It starts burning. Growing cold among

The fumes, it is tired, head-hung, hung-over.

The papers tell us what we most expect.

We behave like we usually behave:

The lights change (the only changes we can

Expect), and we swerve and cut into each

Other’s paths, without so much

As a by-your-leave, except in our favorite fishwife’s

Expletives. Because we are all so alike,

We condemn each other with our choices:

We fling our curses about like spit,

And we are stained, stunned, tainted.

We cannot tell the taste of the blackened air

In our mouths from our own irredeemable

Bad taste. Blind, berserk, bigoted,

We ride this phlegmatic slick

In our bestial cage, in an agony of wheels.

At Mt. Samat War Memorial*

Under the Cross,

into the bowels of Mt. Samat,

my son and I descend,

into the caverned memory

of the war of our fathers:

Their pictures smile at us,

or stare in the distance,

their heavy feet stir

the dust of the Death March.

I muse on the noble causes

for which men go to war,

my son admires the guns

that defended or killed them.

* Mt. Samat is in Bataan province, the Philippines, site of the
last battle before the surrender of the U.S. Allied Forces in the
Far East (USAFFE) to the Japanese.

War Correspondent

It was a time when hometowns

Were sleepy, the world was far and its wars

Didn’t intrude in our living rooms.

(The last war we knew was our parents’,

Of which they now seldom spoke,

Having, it seemed, given up on their losses.)

But you roamed our streets in your tattered

Olive-drab, relic, it was said, of Vietnam or Clark,

Its pockets stuffed with the debris of other lives.

One hand cupped to your mouth, the other

At your ear, you were calling perhaps from some

Raging battle. Your voice mimicked the crackle

Of static Your eyes darted, your voice cracked

(The children mocked or watched you wide-eyed).

Was it rescue or assault? Was it swamp or desert?

In digital glow the breaking news

Interrupts the talk show host. You are babbling

Out-of-synch on the videophone.

You shudder with each blast, behind you

A city burns. You are embedded

In the invading force that assaults my living room.
Richard Lopez

will take you will not take you

invisible spirit
said angel g.
humped over
his field of
the blessed
matrix claims
ufology can
travel without
leaving his body
hola he cries
to everyone
california is
not here
tapping the
tapping his
head sound
like hardwood

tripping out

k st mall at 6:00 pm in sac
winter night after work
walking thru and around
the wannabes gangsters
workers waiting for the train
home i'm in deep
neon and shadows shape
thoughts but whose
i'm wandering
have my toes pointed
in every direction
which means desire
confused with coordination
tripping out
the best way is to
walk thru

sun burnt like a blowtorch

greenish blue streets can't drive w/o
the a/c on
in july high summer
tho if one asks no it never gets
hotter than the surface of the sun
check that shit
i'm here to say otherwise
the sacrament can't do no sacrfice
it ain't blazing
i've seen street bums broiling
in their clothes
deep in shade
and the sky stretched out
tanning hides
freeways opened like veins
people burst spontaneously in flame

Sprung raw

'april skies' by jesus & mary chain peels away

idiomatic is plaintive for
the idiot

funny with a seriously funny

chows behind gates bark thru their blue

newspapers milk cartons cigarette

& black lugies spat out by the

get that going on my

i''m no one but continuing on keeping me

howl at 12th st

drive past
the narcotic hypnogogic state unlike the police chopper
its 1 eye
so bright like ray milland
in the man with the x-ray eyes

the porn shop
parking lot full of honda suvs
tipped toward
a kind of sensuality that lives only in the mind

outside loaves and fishes
1 sits
on the curb staring at
the sun saying c'mon
look into my eyes

develop the city
for lofts and shops
no one there
a desert becomes
the city

narco dreams
voyage play
the needle
tapping the vein.
you live here

love her but watch yr back
says the motherfucker
is a bitch
she'll love you back
Contributors Biographies

Peter Riley: is a poet, essayist, and editor. He is known as a Cambridge poet, part of the group associated with J.H. Prynne which is an important poetry innovator in the U.K. He is editor of the English Intelligencer and of ten books of poetry, and many small-press booklets. Of special interest is Distant Points, a series of prose arising from his meditation on 19th century excavation reports of pre-history burial mounds in the north of England. His latest collection is The Day's Final Balance: Uncollected Writings 1965-2006 (Shearsman Books, 2007). He lives in the UK and his website is www.aprileye.co.uk

Craig Santos Perez: is the co-founder of Achiote Press and the author of 2 chapbooks: Constellations Gathered Along The Ecliptic (Shadowbox Press, 2007) and All Witch Ocean Views (Overhere Press, 2007). His first book, From Unincorporated Territory, is forthcoming from Tinfish Press in 2008. His poetry, essays, fiction, reviews, and translations have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Pleiades, The Denver Quarterly, Jacket, Sentence, TinFish, and Rain Taxi, among others. He lives in Berkeley, CA and his blog is www.blindelephant.blogspot.com

Reginald Sheperd: is editor of The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries (University of Iowa Press, 2004) and of Lyric Postmodernisms, to be published by Counterpath Press in 2008. His five volumes of poetry, all published by the University of Pittsburgh Press, include Fata Morgana (2007), Otherhood (2003), a finalist for the 2004 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and Some Are Drowning (1994), winner if the 1993 Associated Writing Program's Award in Poetry. His collection of literary essays, Orpheus in the Bronx, is forthcoming in the University of Michigan Press Poets on Poetry series. He lives with his partner in Pensacola, FL. His blog can be found at http://reginaldshepherd.blogspot.com

Gundega Dege: is a 34 year old photo artist who began to cultivate her talents as a child when she entered drawing competitions and exhibitions. After secondary school she entered university where she majored in foreign languages, continuing her drawings and poetry writing. she worked as a translator, a public relations specialist and a photojournalist for a local newspaper. She began to post her digital photography online in 2004. In 2005, she had her first digital photo exhibition and has had several exhibitions in her native country Latvia, where she resides. Visit her website at: http://photo.net/photodb/user?user_id=1118749

Tim Ormsby: is a technical writer fro a software company and a fairly newcomer to the poetry submission.publication scene. So far, his work has appeared online in The King's English and Word Riot. He lives in Riverside, CA with his wife and two children. He can be contacted at: timormsby@gmail.com

Kenneth Gurney: has been writing for over ten years and is the editor of Origami Condom, an online literary journal. His poetry has been published in websites, magazines, reviews, and anthologies. When he's not writing, he studies the American Civil War, goes for long walks, and eats good food. He has used up 7 or 8 out of his 9 lives in a grand adventure that has recently led him to Albuquerque, NM where he currently resides. Visit his literary website at http://origamicondom.org

Reb Livingston: is the editor of the online poetry site No Tell Motel and is co-editor with Molly Arden of an anthology titled The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel (No Tell Books, 2006). Her poetry has appeared or are forthcoming in MiPOesias, Softblow, Coconut, The Carolina Quarterly, 42 Opus, and elsewhere. Her online chapbook Pterodactyls Soar Again was published by Whole Cocnut Chapbook Series. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, she now resides in Washington D.C. with her husband and son. Her website is www.reblivingston.net.

Nancy Charak: is an artist who stands proudly on the shoulders of a long line of giants starting with the guys and gals in the caves at Lascaux through to Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenhaler and Agnes Martin. She sees art as a series of visual problems asking to be defined and perhaps not easily solved. Her upcoming solo exhibition will be at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago in June 2008. She resides in the "Windy City". Her website is http://rounderstudio.com

Marne Kilates: his books include Children of the Snarl & Other Poems (Aklat Peskador, 1987) and Poems en Route (UST Publishing House, 1998). Mostly In Monsoon Weather will be released by the University of Phillippine Press anytime now. He has won the Manila Critics Memorial Book Awards, The don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards (the oldest literary award in the Phillippines), and the 1998 SEA (Southeast Asia), WRITE Award given by the Thai royalty. He resides in the Phillippines. Find out more at his website http://marnek.blogspot.com

Richard Lopez: is a poet who admittedly sucks at writing bios. his recent poems, reviews and interviews have appeared in Otoliths, Galatea Resurrects, Jacket Magazine, Shampoo, E-X-C-h-a-n-g-e-v-a-l-u-e-s, Over The Transom and Fhole. His most recent chapbook is Super8 (Superblast! Press, 2006), a collection of texts based on old porn loops. He resides in Sacramento, CA where where he maintains an intriguingly curious poetry, poetics and movie blog at http://reallybadmovies.blogspot.com

Closing Notes: The editor would like to thank the contributors for the use of their work. Each contributor reserves their original rights. Look for the next issue of CSR online on Feb. 1st. Copyright 2008 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.

Visit the editor’s personal blog: http://www.copyat5.blogspot.com/
And his music blog: http://www.medleymakersant.blogspot.com/