The Cleave Poetry Webzine [ISSN: 1758-9223]

Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

How can it be that the gas chamber door opens inwards? by Steve Parker

In submission on February 27, 2009 at 8:56 pm

How can it be that the gas chamber door opens inwards?

(to David Irving)

the occasion is Smoking Mirror, an exhibition–Flarf
to execrate the despicable English practice of riding to hound
–W.S. Burroughs
he’s asking in the wrong colour!
–Seance Recording (anon)

what it is to outselect the egregious shadow assemblage
of flickers the flickering voice half-memory a gestalt
of fireflies & rattle of redacted love of the Ramp
of that confluence of whispers gargled up in evoking
of the noisy spirit beyond the machinery of
blue saturates tested for at Birkenau Auschwitz
by weight of its own inertia so to assail a weakness
prying alone alone with the  conviction with such fervour thereby mining
with the fixation of a boy digging out his first living spine
that such determination sapping away a bulwark artfully
might who might just bring the walls coming down with fumbling
with the flagship at the blowing thrice O thrice of the trebuchet
trumpet trumpet and canary glossolalia there look listen with jerks  & squawks of
trumpet that thou art in thy posture & mild hooting hubris
thy resolve to be other but always in pursuit and hot sneer
of what is truly as the fall of  clouds cry now in deadly blue
& otherwise spirited from your holes of deadness flushed
for the shoving your redcoat tripes in those faces of deluded boys

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Gamelan Music by Dennis Kelly

In submission on February 23, 2009 at 11:04 pm

—for Phuoc-Tan & Diana

“I write for myself—

and strangers”

—Gertrude Stein


i write for myself—and strangers

but mostly—for myself

i wouldn’t be writing—this way tho

if it weren’t—for strangers

especially a stranger—who said

there’s somebody—i want you to meet

so i write now—for two strangers

and myself—i write for her

even tho—we don’t talk anymore

i write for him—we talk a lot

without her—there wouldn’t be him

i write for him now—not her

funny how strangers—come & go

i write for myself—and them

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Indecent Assault by Thane Zander

In submission on February 19, 2009 at 9:50 pm


Broken marriages – surviving – a lifetime

present problems  – and marked – considering

those years wishing – praying – the abuse would stop


The dogs at the gate – penalise – passing ladies

retaliating –  the prophet buried – in places austere

barking new orders – in the Town Centre – find gravitational pull.

Armed Robbery

Vandals splattered – paint and pens – tagging new neighbourhoods

where virgins – fearing to tread – found new ground

passed into Heaven – their end placated – where light shone from below.

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What is the Cleave Matrix?

In announcement on February 18, 2009 at 10:54 pm

The Cleave Matrix

A cleave by any other name…Part 2: Greg Williamson & Octavio Paz

In discussion on February 17, 2009 at 9:54 pm

The cleave – a form waiting to be born?

It seems that a few years before the cleave form Greg Williamson invented a poetic form he called ‘Double exposure’:

Even earlier Octavio Paz experimented with similar forms.

Here are some thoughts on Greg Williamson’s Double Exposure:

And some thoughts on Octavio Paz’s ‘proto-cleaves’:

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Premieres and Poetry at The Poetry Society Cafe

In announcement on February 15, 2009 at 8:48 pm

The Editor will be performing 2 poems (including a cleave poem), followed by music composed in response to these poems, at the Poetry Café in Covent Garden in April:

‘Premieres and Poetry’ arranged by EMFEB Orchestra

30th April 2009

Live musical responses to live readings from contemporary poets.
6 composers and 6 poets are ‘paired up’ and the resulting work is bound
into a dramatic, intense performance with orchestral instrumentalists.
The poetry and the readings are separate, the music responding to the text.

The Poetry Society Café:

The Poetry Society
22 Betterton Street
London WC2H 9BX

Time: 7:30
Tickets: TBC

Composers: Ben Oliver, Benjamin Ellin, Owen Bourne, Jacques Cohen, Ashley Kinnair, Oliver Leith.
Poets: Luke Wright, David Kessel, Charles Bourne, Rohan Kriwaczek, Phuoc-Tan Diep.

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Speak ill of the Dead by Steve Parker

In submission on February 14, 2009 at 8:51 am

Speak ill of the Dead (Gaza 2009)

They are the exalted birds and their intercession is required indeed
—Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

Blitz By May 1941 43,000 civilians many of them horribly as cellars
filled with sewage escaping from burst heads heads that lay with the corn dollies
of Dresden whose skin grew vapid as tubers of fire and wind
whose horses were silhouettes capering on sidewalks of armour and ashen ghosts
whose Pompeiis cooked down like stock unstuck in Time
there in the rising in the Thames in the Elbe the horses at night
they came to feed of shadows of the Dead after night
a three year old child in Gaza City dying
with a broken back of rivers running hard into deltas
over two days in the rising through the Thames of concrete
of heat of her mouth with petals and song
filled with dust on the green banks folded aloft in the arms
of mothers of the history of mothers of the mothers of mothers
and of the baking of bread at dawn and at the going down
of the sun will we consume thee thy flesh thy bread of glory
as white phosphorus as coins they inserted in the loaves
of an Intifada like vast catfish coins for the raising
of the drowned in dust face down now be still
do not fight do not fight as the horses fought it will be over the sooner
into that glory or thrust upon shadow and exalted aloft
upon high in the upper air and upon the heights in cannonades
in loaves at dawn they seek the drowned to ask
why one child whose skins grew vapid as tubers of fire why one child
of another race worth so many of hers unable to move her arms she who will never know
knows only of snow and one catfish king says Jim to Tom of its taste
its cold soft iron is much like another much like one another and all of it

no damn good

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Shab-e she’r returns for Persian New Year with open mic and poetry.

In announcement on February 10, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Join us for Norooz 2009, the Persian New Year celebration, at the Bowery Poetry Club on Wednesday, March 18th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at the Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, (Between Houston and Bleecker). For more info please call 212-614-0505 or $10

The celebratory evening will feature two incredible acts that bring the works of ancient poets including Rumi and Hafez to life through music. Opening the evening will be Rana Farhan, who is best known for setting classical Farsi (Persian) poetry to contemporary jazz and blues music that will surely captivate any audience. The second act will feature Iraj Anvar – singer, author and expert translator of Rumi. Performing in Persian song, Anvar will recite his renditions of Rumi ghazals and will be accompanied by Anne Twitty, who will translate the Persian performance into English.

Persian Arts Festival, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to showcasing the magnificence and diversity of Persian art and culture through its voices, artists and visionaries. PAF provides a truly unique opportunity for local and global communities to gather and explore one of the world’s most ancient and rich civilizations. Persian Arts Festival is a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

Hosting between 20 and 30 shows a week the Bowery Poetry Club (BPC) is proud of our place in the lineage of populist art: the Yiddish theater, burlesque, vaudeville, beat poetry, jazz, and punk that gave the Bowery its name.

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Gamelan Blue by Dennis Kelly

In submission on February 10, 2009 at 8:42 pm

“Separated by too. This

is neither a sentence nor

a paragraph. A simple

center and a continuous

design.”—Gertrude Stein,

“More Grammar Genia

Berman,” Portraits & Prayers


gertrude does—grammar portraits

turning dialog—and conversation

into paragraphs—and sentences

portraits are done—with words

alice toklas—is a season of seems

when she’s blue—may is blue

what is bluer—when she is blue

my baby loves blue—so do you


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Amateur Cleave Riff by Beppo

In submission on February 8, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Amateur Cleave Riff – page 55, 2666 (Wimmer)

The words — hale bopp
Waved — like a magic wand
Whilst — uncovering
— a secret,
The secret — that supplied
— the stamp
Of ultra — concrete literature,
A non-speculative – ‘free of ideas’ secret
No ambiguity — zero assertion
Like anti-denial — doubt
Free of intent — free of serving as a guide,
To pro and con,
Eyes — just seeking out
Tangible elements — not judging
Simply displaying,
Coldly — like photocopy,
Facsimiles — and by similar tokens
Things — like archaeologies


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