Saturday, November 1, 2008

Issue Twenty Three
Editor's Note:

Welcome to Issue Twenty Three of CSR! By now, you regular readers know my baby likes stem-ironed nighties and hates the smell of burnt toast. It craves passion cashews and makes cute little sounds when a marching band goes by. Baby has an uncanny ability to turn the words of poets into a canal of gondolas with every rower singing. Issue Twenty Three is no exception. This month is filled with self-hypnotized photographs, along with muse-making art. Add to that, a group of stunning poets, an intriguing music maker and one magical book review and you've got the possibility of festive grape juice. Trust me, when you finish this issue you'll feel like the green in blades of grass. Or he only shoveled compost for a living. Either way, this issue will highjack your interest with delights seldom found in damp firewood. So forget about your unsightly liposuction scares and get busy...
CSR: Issue Twenty Three Contributors/Contents

Ariel Gordon

Trevor Joyce

Deborah Vatcher

Sigfrid Lopez

Scott Glassman

Letitia Trent

Paula Hackett

About Art - Agora

Karen Hollingsworth

Book Review

About Music - David Morales

Gunter Quinte

Pat Paulk
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.
Trevor Joyce

from Ana (an excerpt)

this mis fortunate bitch

may never walk again

something with the nerves they say

perhaps the spine suffered some trauma

whimpering occasionally

she sleeps until they come for her

again the nose flares

forelimbs scrabbling dreamt earth


the crying goes on and on

it might be comforted by some attention

relief for hunger thirst

the warmth scents sounds of a familiar body

for lack of these uninterrupted simply it continues on and on

* for Lynne Clibanoff

fissuring faulting jointing

crack thundifferentiated to an interlock of vaults boxes rooms

rivers their walls

stone furniture stone air

diviners sense the strike or dip

when over charged a perched table pitches

afflicting property

overwhelming thirst

successively each emperor's doubles were assassinated

then himself

therefore this stratagem

our latest emperor was chosen secretly

no-one informed not even the elect

it worked

somewhere he lives obscurely on

quite unaware he is a god

court tombs constitute our earliest examples

local sites exhibit small side chambers

transected galleries

only the largest slabs remain

fallen displaced

smaller stones purloined for nearby walls or roadworks

the ideal form exists in imagination only

-previously published at Masthead
Deborah Vatcher


the goats know it
before it comes
sense it in the radar of their horns
aimed skyward
probing the atmosphere
with its advancing
they buck and kick
then retreat to their shed
dark and watertight
where the lightening light
flashes in the corners
through dusty spider webs; and
when thunder finally falls
they hurl at each other
cracking horns
rattling brains
asserting terrestrial power


between the leather doors of the
memory book
I house your life paste you
in with your famous bubble quotes
those light bulbs flashing over your head
illuminating years of pages
and decorate the rooms
with patterned scissor cuts
around the borders in bold
triangle and square colors
tape in flowing blue and red ribbons
ABC+s and
a curl of hair
the paper on the walls embossed
with floral patterns recalls
the garden where you sipped mint tulips
at your first tea party

The Old Dog

when the old bones stop at the
bottom of the stairs
and drop with a whimper and a sigh
resigned that the
soft mattress is beyond hope and suffer
this cold hardwood bed for the night
when the aspirin doesn’t dissolve the
pain anymore
when the joints go their own way
grinding spurs dislocating
when it was only yesterday
you came home
with the leap of youth in your legs
when you could not only run
but fly

The Road

the old road’s cracked and rough here
blind potholes out of nowhere
like some sickness
the pavement’s blown
along with my tire
when was this surface last smooth
had to be years ago
when the asphalt was still hot
and steaming
over a bed of fresh gravel
before that it was a track of dirt
but the town had it paved
because of the wild ruts
and loose stone
now after seasons of neglect
it needs repairand mending
and I bend over exhausted
the two of us the road and I
leaning on my tire


robust and giddy with music
strumming air guitar beating
the table prancing
reeling through the kitchen
skipping between the audience
seated with forks dabbing at dinner
rock hopping grabbing
the dusty broom your
microphone belting notes lusty
to the pulse of the chorus
you always loved the Beatles
best seeing it your way
before we all fall apart
to wash the dishes
and go our separate ways
you try to work it out
this musical frenzy
and ruckus
and blare the trumpet
to sound the final flourish
your fanfare
your call to home

-all poems collected from her blog, Snake’s Poetry
Photography by Sigfrid Lopez

Scott Glassman

Pillow Talk

Hi, I'm me.
Nice to meet you, you.I
t's nice to meet me too.
Who may I say has the pleasure?
You, I guess.How've I been?
Fine as far as you can tell.
Ask me something.
Sure, if you can help, go ahead.
Who is speaking here?
You mean, who is listening.
I'm sorry, what?
You always repeat myself.
You see?Who, you?
This is why we never
have this conversation.


Ail, breathe clouds downwind escaping
flustered groans higher
if jump-worthy kisses
laugh, my noble Oslo, perhaps
questions resound slowest
tied underneath
vacant worlds: xx yy zz


breakers caught
dangling, entrapped, frozen

happily in
journeys, kidnappings, love

Naples, Ontario,
Pittsburgh, Quebec, Raleigh . . .

to, unconsciously
vertical with X-boxes

yearning . . . zaftig

The Mural

no beginning
or end as though

all of you came
to walk through

the archaic light

a quotient
of always-ness

decimal followed
by so many zeros

something took its time
to breathe you
into itaren't you glad


A canary flew in
and threatened to peck
my eyes out if I didn't
announce my love for it.

I don't open my window
for canaries anymore.

-all poems gathered from his blog, 30 Days: poems
Letitia Trent

Isolato #1

He thought he’d die that summer, the ceiling
fan stuffing old air down his throat. The once-
sweet puppy showed his teeth and chewed
through a two-by-four. The glass resisted
and kept reflecting until it finally gave under
his knuckles. One month without seeing anyone
I couldn’t crush between my fingers. Dog bones,
a Pepsi can, a doll missing its arm. Standing by
the highway and waiting for a wave. Even
a convenient store stop can thrill me. You decide
to start twelve hours of sleeping. When it rings
she grits her teeth. I can’t talk to anyone anymore.
Can’t even breath till seven. Fucking sun’s up
again. Wait until then. Almost autumn. Help.

Isolato #2

Mother started sweeping five times
before breakfast, then between meals,
then until she fell asleep still standing.
We ran out of bath water and my hair
stuck up in any position I twisted. We found
dog bones, a Pepsi can, and a baby doll
missing its left arm. I conjure up
a telephone and try to call him through
sheer physical exertion. We keep
artifacts of other people—receipts slipped
from car windows, coffee cups. If you
are bored then that means you have no
inner resources. On highway two I try
to meet every passenger’s eye. A perimeter
of highway with no sidewalk, no shoulder.
Even a convenient store stop can
thrill me. Your kids aren’t big talkers,
are they? Silence gums up when I try.
We are always only watching. Can I help
you? Look at me. Just looking. Help.

Prom Season

Slut. Pussy-whipped. Girls
like red. She’s easy as
pre-algebra. Lice around
her hairline. Watch the baby
while I smoke. Buy
Cinnamon Schnapps
and she’s done for. Notes
about three guys and razor
wire. His class ring rises
and beats her chest. Cigarettes
can help—make a smaller baby,
easier delivery. She shaved
the Gitano labels from all
her Wal-Mart jeans. His class
ring diamond is a purple star
above her eyebrow.

The Townschildren

The townschildren have reached
a state of crisis. The directions
on their homework assignments
seem foreign, hieroglyphics spoken
in Russian noises. Even their name blanks baffle.
They've lost
all hand-eye coordination. Kickball
has become a form
of punishment
or torture
(so the teenagers say, eyerolls
still in order).
Some say it came
from the red pills school dentists
gave to elementary children,
the ones we all chewed
to see where our future
cavities would bloom.
Some blame
the tapwater's tang
and milky aftertaste. Some,
the communal recorders
they play every year
in the Christmas choir. Do you remember
that sterilized mouthpiece? The taste
like gunmetal? Sometimes I think it might just be genetic.
For example, I once
wore my shirt backwards
for hours until I noticed
in the produce mirror
that my breasts were showing.
It will pass, say
the doctors, their stethoscopes
in their pockets, pictures
of reliable witness. I repeat this prognosis
to my son as he tries to fasten
his sweater buttons, grits
his teeth at the spread jam
lobbed on his toast, as he tries to add
a whole tippy
column of numbers.

I didn’t expect to see you here again

Us? Just visiting. Kicked clay dust.
But what about you? Can’t never get clean
completely. Whitney’s fat and her lip-
stick’s bleeding. You still take peanuts
in your pop? His belt buckle’s the size
of my palm. Jesus changed my heart
when I had my baby. Look—he’s got
Redneck tattooed on his bicep
in Garamond. Run in there and get
them menthols and lottery tickets.
The door squeals open and I smell
Frito pie and air conditioning. For a while
he made good money laying asphalt,
working for the county. We sure do miss
having you and your pretty wife
in our church family. Bodean, leaning on
the rust-furred pump, doesn’t remember
calling me skank in high school. They
were making meth in the trailer house
and it caught on fire—all those babies!
Kelly has three babies, Sharon has two
babies, and, it’s a shame, but little
Julie turned lesbian up in Tulsa.

-all poems gathered from her blog, Poemtasting
Paula Hackett

Vision of a Catatonic

I've been leaving here for a long time
with a pill with a goodbye
when anger was the only feeling
and seeing that we turned old and sad
sometimes the jazz was too loud
and we were too happy
warm with whiskey and your face
that turned many colors
words were silly things we forgot about
and magic was a thing
that made us all children.
Now people think I've wasted my life
And that I've nothing to say
but turning away, I'm sorry
I was only trying to get back
to the place I've never been before


I sat next to an old lady on
the bus today, skin tight on
her bones. Clutching a purse full
of old Kleenex. Not looking at all,
just staring at her shoe lace,
wishing she had tied it
before leaving the house.

Billy Holiday
(a lullaby)

Sometimes when nature is quiet
and the moon shines just where you are
I can hear you singing the spirit world to rest.
I remember as a child your voice would wrap me in cotton
as you felt the blows
for all of us.
Born into a country that tried to
make your voice illegal
poise and elegance was your response.
And tonight like so many
nights as I wait for morning
I know I can count on
the voice of Billy Holiday

Coma Rising
for Art Pepper

Anger in motion
in public places
in mid-air
posing with sick habits
fighting like a disease
in every note
An alto saxophone
faster than any words
any thoughts except Art Peppers
A knife thrower with a facefull of glee


There is a rumor
we are a sick
and disgusting lot.
Started before we
knew of it.
Saying we jump
from windows,
drink an unkind
That we care
for ourselves only.
Let us then meet
by a stream
using the water
for our thoughts
throw a party
of sickness laughing at our
tragic fortune.
About Art - Agora

The statue Agora incorporates the figures of 106 headless abstracted 9 foot tall human figures. The hollow figures, which are a permanent project located at the southern end of Chicago’s Grant Park, next to the Roosevelt Road Metra station, seem to wander about along a stretch of land aimlessly. Each is hand molded and made to resemble the texture of tree trunks.

The 2.5 million dollar piece was a gift from the artist and the Polish Ministry of Culture. The Parks have raised $800,000 needed for the installation and maintenance of the piece, thanks to some help from Robin Williams, an Abakanowicz fan.

The Polish sculptor explained the sculptures as this: "They must be like one body that represents so many different meanings," she said. "It's the self against the whole world."

Many say that Abakanowicz' history gives context to her art. The artist was born into an aristocratic family in Poland and when she was 9, she saw Nazi soldiers shoot her mother's arm off. She lived and sculpted in Warsaw under Soviet occupation, using a hemp-like material to make pieces that could be tucked away in her tiny studio. Find out more about the artist at her website:
Art Work by Karen Hollingsworth

About Books:

Title: The Wash
Author: Adam Clay

Description: On every page of The Wash , Adam Clay discovers new kinds of eloquence, elegance, excitement, and inward experience from which a language springs that can flow forward through present space (wherever we are now) and backward (often to old England), then downward into the still reaches of the heart where the waters give us our own faces back. . . . This book is an eyeful and an earful. It teems with originality. —Michael Heffernan

Product Details:
Printed: 84 Pages
ISBN: 1-932559-99-X
Copyright: 2006
Language: English
Country: USA
Publisher's Link:
About Music - David Morales

David Morales (born Aug. 21, 1961, in Brooklyn, New York), is an internationally acclaimed Grammy winning house music DJ and producer. In addition to his production and DJ work, Morales is one of the most prolific remixers of all time, transforming many pop music songs into club-friendly dance tracks. He was one of the pioneers of house music in New York, an original head from the 1970s who weathered the change-over from disco to house and teamed up with Frankie Knuckles to form the leading early remix team, Def Mix. During the '90s the dance mainstream became aligned to many of his stylistic trademarks — vocal breaks, uptempo piano riffs, plenty of strings — resulting in clich√©s attributed to both of them. Also, Morales hasn't been involved in own-name record production as much as his few peers (Knuckles, Junior Vasquez, Todd Terry), but Morales found a dancefloor hit with the 1994 single "In De Ghetto."

Born in Brooklyn to Puerto Rican immigrants, Morales lived his early life in quite a rough section of the Brooklyn projects and was once shot while growing up. He dropped out of high school after ninth grade, and worked as a cook while supplementing his meager living with a job as a DJ (he had been collecting records since the age of 14). Turned on to disco at crucial clubs like the Loft and the Paradise Garage, Morales was soon working at the Garage as well after hooking up with For the Record, an early DJ management firms. His reputation spread during the late '70s and early '80s until he had DJed at every major club in the New York area. One of the first underground house hits in the New York area, "Do It Properly”, was a production helmed by Morales. Moving on to remix and production work during the '80s, he hooked up with another major house legend, Frankie Knuckles (through For the Record) to form the Def Mix Productions crew, and his Red Zone remixes became known as important sign-posts in the developing progressive house movement.

Increasingly though, as dance music began appealing to a wider clientele, Morales' mixes attuned themselves more to the mainstream of dance and his material often garnered airplay on daytime radio as well as in nightclubs. After making his name in the pop charts with an early Def Mix for Seal, he began working with a role call of the era's major pop stars: Mariah Carey, Madonna, Michael Jackson, U2, Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, and Bjork, among them. A major-label contract with Mercury resulted in the 1994 single "In De Ghetto," a reasonable club hit, and Morales' debut album, The Program. He's also a top-flight DJ, known for pushing a sound much harder than that found on his own remixes. Not just a DJ, Morales owns one nightclub, Stereo located in Montreal (Canada). Morales is also resident at his own club, well known for his 16-hour sets at Stereo's "La Vie en Stereo", taking place on the last Saturday of each month. In addition to his music career, Morales has served as a model for Italian clothing manufacturer Iceberg Jeans. Dance to his website at:
Gunther Quinte

After Catullus

"Dawn broke down.

"I passed the elements all in a line,

The tiresome moment,

A crisis shaped like a lion's tooth,

My mistress in Groucho Marx glasses.

A dense market, nothing new.

Lender, bender.


"I tasted blood on your cheek."

Omphalos in the distance,
or an ocean of paste.

The land is pocked fiddle,
or Crimean grasses.

Sue the bed.


"The language fell apart in my hands."

Shoulder of water,
shoulder of glass,
shoulder of earth,
shoulder of flesh.

Mullions on mullions,
diaphanous breadstick army.

I'm off this grid and onto another.

The Rexwroth Leaf

"This hill is in perpetual decline."

Eyelets in a delta,
we measure arms in feet.

The burghers invoke themselves,
crystal chips on concrete plates.

Touch me once or twice,
literal mantle.

I'll be here all month.

Finders Feel

collapse, you've been granted
a cluster or two, thanks
built into the pavement

if you could smell the person,
hear the compressor, the escalator,
the negotiating casters

comfort leaves the chair

thanks built into the cheek

-all poems gathered from his blog, Gunther’s Block
Pat Paulk

Even Though

i woke up this morning
with my bones melting
pooling in the soles of my feet

i squished
when i walked to the bathroom
sloshed when i stopped
yeah though i walk
through the valley
of the shadow …

I still fear!
leaving puddle-prints
of skeletal slush

Light One Up

Are stars the flickering tips of cigarettes
being smoked by fallen angels that never sleep?
The sun, a fat smelly stogie burning down
to the last puff this world will ever know?

Paper rolling postulation?
Unfiltered thoughts of fantasy?

At the very least a musing
lighting up a smoke of imagination.

Ashes Of Ghosts

Words can be empty
even when full.

You can tie them together
like garlic in panty hose,

hang them from
the toe of a lost poet’s dream;

they’re still just words,
empty when full,
ashes of ghosts howling
in the period after goodbye.

Something I Said

Words fall,
like soldiers on a field
of someone else’s choosing,

fatally woundedin the trigger pull
of sound proof ears.

Last One Out Lock The Door

Death is like a door in a room.
We paint over it, even the knob,
so, it’s inconspicuous as can be.
If we can’t see the handle
we surely won’t open it by mistake.

We can nail boards from jamb to jamb,
add sophisticated locks that require a key,
a combination, and a dead bolt with hardened steel.
Security measures make us feel safe, except
in the pit of our stomach we know
it opens from the other side, locked or unlocked.

-all poems gathered from his blog, Poetry In A Garden Of Fire
Contributors Biographies

Ariel Gordon: she is a Winnipeg-based writer and editor. Her poetry has recently appeared in PRISM International, The Fieldstone Review, and Prairie Fire. She is a regular contributor to the Winnipeg Free Press' Books Section. She lives in Canada and has a blog at:

Trevor Joyce: he co-founded New Writers' Press in Dublin with Michael Smith. He has three collections of poetry, with the first dream of fire they hunt the cold (Shearsman in 2001), Courts of Air and Earth (Shearsman in 2006) and What's in Store (The Gig in 2007). He is also the co-founder and director of the SoundEye Festival in 1997 and is a Fulbright Scholar and a member of Aosdana. from Ana was written with the help of a fellowship from the Ballinglen Arts Foundation. Visit his website at:

Deborah Vatcher: she is a graduate of Binghamton University where she majored in Biology and music. She received a medical degree from the University of Massachusetts. She has written poetry sporadically since her undergraduate years. However since her medical career has been interrupted by illness, she has been writing more in earnest. Some of her poems have appeared in the journals Fetishes, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, and The Rio Grande Review. Her poems also have been published in the online literary magazines Best Poem, Flutter and elsewhere. She lives in America’s Northwest. Visit her blog at:

Sigfrid Lopez: he says he can’t remember a time he did not like photography, even though after several years behind the lens it still remains a hobby. He creations imagines in both vivid color and B&W. One of his photographs has been printed into a poster and can be purchased at an online art print and framing store. He has a wide variety of motifs but is partial to doors, windows, lamplights and neon signs. He has traveled extensively and resides in Barcelona, Spain. You can find his work at:

Scott Glassman: he is the author of five chapbooks Exertions (Cy Gist Press, 2006), Surface Tension (Dusie, 2006) with Mackenzie Carignan, Identity Crisis (Dusie, 2006), G (self-published, 2006) with Leonard Gontarek, and A Field of White Violets (self-published, 2006). His poems have appeared in many print and online journals, including Iowa Review, CutBank, 580 Split, Sentence, Marginalia, eratio, The Cortland Review, and Shampoo. He lives in South Jersey with his wife and works in the medical education field. Visit his website at:

Letitia Trent: she is a poet & prose writer with a passion for experimental/post-avant poetry. When she is not writing she bakes, knits, and does yoga. Her poems have appeared in MiPOesias Magazine, 42 opus, IPC, NOO Journal, Shampoo, and elsewhere. She is the co-edit a literary journal, 21 Stars Review, and live in Brattleboro Vermont with my husband, Z, and my cat, Cheeto. Visit her blog at:

Paula Hackett: she is a poet and lyricist who left school at the age of 14 to begin writing poetry. She attended San Francisco State University where she studied under John Beecher, Angela Davis, and Grover Sales. As a lyricist she has worked with her brother John.Together, they have collaborated with some of the greatest composers of our time, including Teddy Edwards, John Handy, Max Roach, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and Cedar Walton. “Roulette“, a CD of her poetry with pianist Rudi Wongozi, was released in 2007. She resides in Berkeley, CA. Visit her website at:

Karen Hollingsworth: she says it has been a long and winding road with many detours becoming a painter. Becoming a nurse in my early twenties took her down a different path for many years, but helped her become a better painter, as well as a better person. When she finally decided to pursue art as a career, her first ambition was to paint portraits, attaining success in this area. But she realized sometimes she enjoyed painting the backgrounds, as much as the people. And that is what led her to paint what I'm doing now, RoomScapes and WindowScapes. Her work has appeared in over a dozen exhibitions, many in the Atlanta area where her and her artist husband James live. Visit her website at:

Gunter Quinte: he calls himself a “humble poet”. His poetry has appeared in Can We Have Our Ball Back?, Gult Cult and elsewhere. His favorite book is Don Quixote. He works in a job the business services and resides in Los Angeles, California. Find out more about him and his published work at his blog:

Pat Paulk: he began writing poetry copiously in 1968 while still in high school in his coastal Georgia community of Brunswick. Over the years his poetry has appeared in numerous ezines, including Autumn Leaves, Poetic Voices, The Sidewalk's End, WAH, Autumn Leaves, Banks Of The Little Miami. He works in the construction industry and resides in Atlanta, Ga. with his fianceé, and a black cat in need of exorcism. You can find more of his poetry at his oddly titled blog:

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 Dec. 1st. Copyright 2008 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.

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