The Cleave Poetry Webzine [ISSN: 1758-9223]

Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

Cleave of The Month August 2009

In announcement, cleave of the month on August 31, 2009 at 1:05 pm

A year since The Cleave began is a good time to resume Cleave of The Month.

As stated before we will be awarding GBP25 to the cleave of the month from now on, and it will be chosen by the Editor.

It is hard choosing between the great cleaves especially these 3:

in the end the decision was:

Down by the Lake by Ashley Bovan

Under a nearby weeping willow a flock of geese pad and poke
a push-chair rattles along Alice wipes mud from an off-green park bench
two bedlam kids squawking then she rests
Vicious seagulls hunt for sandwich fragments Exhaust fumes, and hums and grinds, from the morning motor-rush waft over
Alice fidgets and then heads off to the rose gardens a discarded sheet of kitchen roll sticks to her shoe
The flowers sway like nodding dogs in the backs of cars She listens to echoing Greensleeves again and again piping out from the ice cream van over on the promenade
Up-wind an old boy fires up his acrid briar it’s time to move on
She takes the tarmac path around and up to the rockery tasting the hint of salt blown in from the bay A brittle crisp packet rattles, trapped in an exclamation-mark-like tree
She wanders through the patterns of rocks Her arms droop by her side
and she catches her hand on a clump of nettles Reluctantly, she prepares herself for the long walk home

Ashley Bovan lives and writes in Cardiff and starts studying for an MA

in Creative Writing at Lancaster University in October 2009.

His website is www.ashley-bovan.co.uk

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The New Tree by Dennis Kelly

In submission on August 18, 2009 at 10:24 pm


“I was planning a novel

in which two different

species on another world

needed to communicate,

one by light and image,

the other by sound & word”

—ptdiep


they cleaved me—back again

I don’t know how—but they did it

one into two—then two into one

the two that was—too much for me

the two that was one—troubling me

a unique collaboration—doubling me

the denouement of one world—dying

this exsanguination—of another world

all that was not me—my own doing undone

this strange doubling—this unique

collaboration of light & image—joining

sound and words—heads & tails

pairs of I Ching coins—yin yang

tossed in the air—thrown on a rug

split down the middle—joined as one

a pair of trigrams—magic hexagram

t’ai / peace—my laughing bellybutton

rubbing buddha’s belly—making a wish

for me it was—the new me

goodbye to all that—that wasn’t me

there in bed—new jonah and lazarus

contemplating—collaborating


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The Healing Tree by Dennis Kelly

In submission on August 14, 2009 at 10:27 pm


“The concept was already

within me, it was inevitable”

—ptdiep


they cleaved the tree—inside me

the murmuring of death—that was me

and I dreamed—of another world

it was my doppelganger—double trouble

and when I woke up—I wasn’t me

I was lost in—the house of pain

a mansion with—many dark rooms

many dark rooms—waiting for the other

teaching me—what I surely didn’t know

nor did I want to know—the hell inside

cut bones, split muscles—bloody nerves

it was all a big mistake—I said to myself

wishing I’d never—made the choice

it sounded so simple—just a valve job

a mere tune-up—and you’ll be brand new

but it wasn’t that easy—pain-killers don’t

kill the pain—pain had its own plans for me

and for a week—pain pinned me down

like an Indian swami—to a bed of nails

I screamed silently—beneath a moon

a thousand nights—Maria Ouspenskya werewolves

no longer a man—more a wounded animal

and they saved my life—for another day


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Parachute: The Coney Island Performance Festival

In announcement on August 12, 2009 at 9:43 pm

First Annual Literary and Performance Festival

September 12th and 13th 2009

Free and Open to One and All

Two Days of poetry, prose, spoken word, performance and jelly fish in Coney Island

Free for one & all

Saturday September 12th, @ 6:30pm

Sunday September 13th@ 6:30pm

At the New York Aquarium

Alien Stingers Exhibit (after hours)

In Coney Island

Surf Avenue at West 8th Street

By Subway:

F, Q to West 8th Street stop

F, Q, N, D to Stillwell Avenue stop

Featuring:

Saturday

Hosted by visual artist and performer, Africasso

Cara Benson

Charles Denson, author of Coney Island: Lost and Found

Jibade Khalil Huffman, author of 19 Names for our Band

Dennis Nurkse, former Brooklyn Poet Laureate

Akilah Oliver

Patricia Spears Jones

Sunday

Hosted by the illustrious burlesque dancer, Angie Pontani (a.k.a. Miss Cyclone)

Edmund Berrigan, poet and member of the band, I Feel Tractor

Michael Cirelli, poet and founder of Urban Word

Eileen Myles, poet, author, ran for president as a write-in candidate.

Edwin Torres

John Ventimiglia (“Artie Bucco” from the Sopranos) reading Henry Miller’s words on Coney Island

Parachute: the Coney Island Performance Festival is the first of an annual literary and performance festival in historic Coney Island. It is a community based festival focusing on Brooklyn artists. The Coney Island Performance Festival takes place the second weekend in September—Saturday and Sunday, September 12th and 13th.

Since its inception, Coney Island has played host to a magnificent array of theatre, performance, poetry, dance, and literature. A naked Walt Whitman read Shakespeare to the Atlantic Ocean; Cary Grant was a stilt walker at Steeplechase Park; Woody Guthrie strummed his guitar on Mermaid Avenue; Bread and Puppet Theatre was in residence in the 1970’s and Coney Island USA has been a theatrical presence and Coney Island fixture for nearly thirty years.

The essential aspects to the Coney Island Performance Festival are a literary and performance stage, and an afternoon of free poetry workshops held at the Coney Island branch of the New York Public Library led by artists participating in the festival.  The literary stage will be located in the Aquarium, in front of the jelly fish tank.  Readings will begin at 6:30pm both nights and feature a wide array of established and up-and-coming Brooklyn based poets and writers. Highlights include performance poet, Patricia Spears Jones, John Ventimiglia from the Sopranos reading Henry Miller, post-punk poet Eileen Myles and the former Brooklyn Poet Laureate, Dennis Nurkse.

Saturday evening’s reading will be hosted by the legendary local artist, Africasso. Sunday evening’s reading will be hosted by the illustrious burlesque performer, Angie Pontani (a.k.a. Miss Cyclone.) A festival program with a map will highlight local history and architecture and draw people to local businesses.

Free poetry workshops Saturday, September 12th will be led by Urban Word, Patricia Spears Jones and Cara Benson at the Coney Island Public Library on Mermaid

Avenue and 19th Street.

Goals:

Parachute: the Coney Island Performance Festival brings literary and theatre arts to the Coney Island neighborhood that aren’t otherwise accessible to residents, while also drawing an arts audience to Coney Island from the greater New York area to see exciting new productions. Participating artists will offer workshops, free of charge, to all who would like to attend. Additionally, the festival aims to highlight the history of Coney Island, while simultaneously bringing people to discover what the present Coney Island has to offer.  The goal is to create something new and create a bridge over the whole neighborhood—east and west. Festival goers can come, spend the day, walk around Coney Island, see a theatre piece, eat lunch at a local restaurant, ride the Cyclone and enjoy a poetry reading.

Locations:

The New York Aquarium

Coney Island Public Library

www.ciparachutefestival.com (ready in late August)

parachutefestival@gmail.com

Payment for Cleave Poem of the Month

In announcement, cleave of the month on August 12, 2009 at 9:33 pm

To celebrate The Cleave‘s anniversary I will be changing how the Cleave of the Month will be run:

  • Payment of GBP25 for the Cleave of the Month
  • I will choose my favourite poem each month
  • The usual submission guidelines apply
  • The changes will start from this month (the cleaves already published this month will be considered).

Seventy Years Before by Romella Kitchens

In submission on August 10, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Seventy Years Before
An earring falls from a pear tree the gift of moments is within this
Old man, what say you?
The earring was from a maiden a slight girl who climbed the tree
In what century was your longing?
She climbed to meet her lover. You were young then, too.
The earring was lost in a kiss. We cling to our “historical” limbs. Her skin was  sun-hued
She came the next day you left not to be found
Old man, was your fear in “more”?
A century later the earring falls a woman looks over a great wall
A woman clasps it  as if… To hold on is to know… yet, you gather yellow pears and…
Go home.

Romella Kitchens has had poetry published in Iodine Poetry Review, The California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Lilliput Review, Ship Of Fools and others. She has four published chapbooks. The latest chapbook was published by Pudding House Press in April of 2009 and is titled: “The Red Covered Bridge.”


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Down by the Lake – by Ashley Bovan

In submission on August 8, 2009 at 12:20 am
Under a nearby weeping willow a flock of geese pad and poke
a push-chair rattles along Alice wipes mud from an off-green park bench
two bedlam kids squawking then she rests
Vicious seagulls hunt for sandwich fragments Exhaust fumes, and hums and grinds, from the morning motor-rush waft over
Alice fidgets and then heads off to the rose gardens a discarded sheet of kitchen roll sticks to her shoe
The flowers sway like nodding dogs in the backs of cars She listens to echoing Greensleeves again and again piping out from the ice cream van over on the promenade
Up-wind an old boy fires up his acrid briar it’s time to move on
She takes the tarmac path around and up to the rockery tasting the hint of salt blown in from the bay A brittle crisp packet rattles, trapped in an exclamation-mark-like tree
She wanders through the patterns of rocks Her arms droop by her side
and she catches her hand on a clump of nettles Reluctantly, she prepares herself for the long walk home

Ashley Bovan lives and writes in Cardiff and starts studying for an MA

in Creative Writing at Lancaster University in October 2009.

His website is www.ashley-bovan.co.uk

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In Such a Place as This, by Jessica Lafortune

In submission on August 7, 2009 at 11:51 pm

even in this godforsaken place
there is stirring evidence of life, like
the frog who came just after the rain
and remains still clinging to the glass
the lizards beating a path to safety
rustling in the grass outside my door
the squirrels giving chase
playing tag recklessly
in the street irrespective of cars
and then there is me alive, barely
running in place depending on the day


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Oxford Alum and HBO Def Poet Taylor Mali Releases New Book

In announcement on August 7, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Please join us for the book release party of Taylor Mali’s “The Last Time as We Are” on Wednesday, September 9th 8-9:30 p.m. at the Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, (Between Houston and Bleecker). Admission of $8 includes a discount on your purchase of the book. Special guests & rare appearances. For more info please call 212-614-0505 or bowerypoetry.com.

Taylor Mali is one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement. After studying drama at Oxford with members of The Royal Shakespeare Company, Mali was one of the original poets to appear on the HBO series Russel Simmons Presents Def Poetry and was the “Armani-clad villain” of Paul Devlin’s 1997 documentary film SlamNation. He is a vocal advocate of teachers and the nobility of teaching, having himself spent nine years as a teacher. His New Teacher Project has a goal of creating 1,000 new teachers through “poetry, persuasion, and perseverance”. He is the author of two books of poetry, “The Last Time As We Are” (2009) and “What Learning Leaves” (2002), as well as four CDs of spoken word. He received a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in 2001 to develop Teacher! Teacher! a one-man show about poetry, teaching, and math which won the jury prize for best solo performance at the 2001 Comedy Arts Festival. Formerly president of Poetry Slam, Inc., the non-profit organization that oversees all poetry slams in North America, Taylor Mali makes his living entirely as a spoken-word and voiceover artist these days, traveling around the country performing and teaching workshops as well as doing occasional commercial voiceover work. He has narrated several books on tape, including The Great Fire (for which he won the Golden Earphones Award for children’s narration).

Horace said the “task of the poet is to instruct or entertain,” and it would be difficult to find a poet who more fully embodies this vision than Taylor Mali. In this latest collection, Mali’s work buzzes, hums, snaps and zaps, the tour-de-force of Mali on stage having been properly captured and catalogued on the page. You don’t need a classroom to be a teacher, and you don’t need to be a teacher to help someone learn a lesson. Taylor Mali’s poetry explores this truth in entertaining and plainspoken ways, giving readers “what they need before they knew they needed it” (“Miracle Workers”). The poems contained in “The Last Time As We Are” prove that “He who seeks to teach must never cease to learn.”

Billy Collins, United States Poet Laureate, says, “Not since Taylor Mali, has there been a poet of the likes of Taylor Mali, which is to say he is a man of unique properties. He is tagged as a performance poet, but his performances, rather than being frontal assaults, are leavened by charm and wit and could survive happily on the page.”

Bowery Poetry Club

Carbon River Valley by Dennis Kelly

In submission on August 2, 2009 at 11:38 pm


The way the light—slants downward
Northward over—the mountain range
The escarpments—the forested ridges
A winter light—low over the river

Mostly we were there—during summers
Parking the car—on the road leading into
The rainforest—on the northern side of
Mt. Rainier—covered with fir and cedars

Ten years ago—we hiked across ancient
Riverbeds of smooth—rounded boulders
And white-bleached stones—and rocks
To get to Chenuis Falls—on the other side

Standing in the middle—between the two
Sides of a long swath of—glacial debris
Looking up at the ancient—granite towers
From down below—terminal moraine awe

One could hear the river—the mountains
Communing—with each other like Forces
In the I Ching—caught up in hexagramic
Flow of huge spaces—both old and new

Pausing for a cold beer—in the shadow of
Some giant boulder—leaning back and
Looking up at it all—our time together
So brief and fine—like a snapshot


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