The Cleave Poetry Webzine [ISSN: 1758-9223]

Posts Tagged ‘cleave of the month’

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

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Cleave of the Month February 2009 shortlist

In cleave of the month on March 1, 2009 at 12:19 am

As of this Cleave of the Month poets with 2 ‘wins’ in the preceding 6 months will be excluded from the shortlist.

Here is the shortlist for February – closing date 15 March 2009.

A trip to Great Yarmouth for lunch by Graham & Fleur Blick

Gentle, courageous victorious Horatio Brittania marks a Norfolk hero
renowned and adored by Burnham Thorpe Nor-folk exposed to the elements and flurrying snow
then cosseted warmth in Kings Head, Acle we scuttle inside
feasting on history and food at the tavern surrounded by ploughshares, creatures and pheasants
hospitality abounding and implements galore creative adornments both inside and out
we talk we eat


Gamelan Music by Dennis Kelly

—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


Indecent Assault by Thane Zander


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.


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

(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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Cleave of the Month January 2009 shortlist

In cleave of the month on February 1, 2009 at 10:46 pm
The editor’s shortlist for this month – voting is open until 15th February.
A Tank/A Life by Michael Williams
alone in a field – walking by myself
a water tank sits rusting – stopping and looking inside
once full of water – I think of my life
little more than scum remains – of potential and promise
existence without purpose – a sense of disappointment




When Styx Freezes Over by Boris Kipnis
your impulses stimulate my mind
heart make me want to wake up hungry
ready to act irresponsibly the dead again
waking up like a child toothless helpless
naked crying for love wide smile when I see
you calm my temper tantrums swallowing the world
urges subside when your breast cold and empty
touches my lips hair stands up vastness of grief
turning into find yours twin blades blue steel on glass
hardness soothing cuts part flesh and bloody
waves of happiness wash away depression
slamming rocking my senses like cancer
in remission my stilts still crumble why?




Immortality by Rick Dale

I want to careI want people to think

I doI really give a shit

or maybe I think I’m supposed to careIt’s only a phantom

all that guilt-driven shamethe constant harping

heaped on medosed in good measure

by a well-meaning but fascist parentapplied with “love”

comes to fruitionleaving welts

late in lifeon tender skin

Too late?“Not enough,” I scream

The “what is” and the “what should be”unnecessarily

wage war in my crimson thoughtsBut they do make it seem like

I really really don’t give a good goddamnat times

about much of anything others think of meyes, not even you

yet I still act like I dounderstand completely

Am I in control?A lack of empathy

Or is it she—still?Shrew-bitch!

And the gray elephantine weight of it allBearing down unmercifully

colors and smothers my every laborcrushing any effort

to write, speak, move, feelto love!

If I could drive a stakewith abandon

through the heart of darknessto the hilt

I would—ending itforever

But there is immortalitywith her blessings
and her name is “mother”Amen




Ricardo Reis by Dennis Kelly
“No one by choice
or inclination would
remain in this port.”
—Jose Saramago,
The Year of the Death
Of Ricardo Reis

here the sea ends—the coast begins
it is raining—over the colorless sea
the waters of the river—polluted with mud
the riverbeds—flooded
a dark vessel—ascends the somber river
to anchor—in lisbon
back & forth—the same ports
london—buenos aires
la plata—montevideo
santos—rio de janeiro
pernambuco—las palmas
one does not speak—or ask
which is—the greater river
which is—the greater town
a curtain of water—descends from sky
we come to know—what we don’t know
which is what—we know already
there is nothing—but names
beyond the reach—of writing




Dearly Belateds by Diana Manister


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Cleave of the Month December 2008 shortlist

In cleave of the month on December 15, 2008 at 11:40 pm

The last Cleave of the Month for 2008.

The Poll is open until midnight 31/12/08.

The cleave poems are:

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    Cleave of the Month November 2008 shortlist

    In cleave of the month on December 3, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Congratulations to Diana Manister for her second Cleave of the Month.


    These are the Editor’s picks for this month – in selecting, I have considered the following 4 points and also simply, do I like the poem?

    1. Depth: What is the theme, what is the point – so what?
    2. Craft: Does each poem work on its own and together?
    3. Communication: Is it clear; does it communicate?
    4. Experimentation: Is it pushing the envelope?

    Here are the poems (Poll closes 12th December):






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    Cleave of the Month October 2008 shortlist

    In cleave of the month on November 5, 2008 at 7:25 am

    **Poll closing date: 15th November – congratulations to Diana Manister for October’s Cleave of the Month**

    It’s that time again: (and as the USA is in the mood for voting) please vote for October 2008 Cleave of the Month from this shortlist.

    Whisper your name three times into the wind and it will go by Diana Manister
    (From Dancing with Mary Shelley and Henry James A Cleave Suite)
                                        to the land of titles - signs
                and diaries drawings and stories - of love
                                           words describing - April's fragrance
                                         distant pictures of - real sun
                                                     showerless - showers
                        facsimilies of spring flowers - and bees in the buddleia
                  always a step away from places - feelings sensations
    nothing more wonderful than the word - wonder
                                 leaving behind a trace - a sigh
                               whose name blew away - on a windy day
               Maypole by Andrea Barton
    brightly colored - center - celebration of
                spring - of - ribbons
             held by - poems - this way
              colors - are - dancing
            girls - maypoles - that way
            twirling - driven - skipping
          twisting - into - light steps of
            children - the - laughter and
             hope - earth - in the sun
                    Argentina by Dennis Kelly
    “Los artificios y candor del hombre”
    —Jorge Luis Borges,
    “El golem”
      already you can see—the tragic setting
          each thing here—in its appointed place
           the broadsword—the ash destined for dido
                 the coin—ready for belisarius
          why do you weep—searching in lazy
    bronze old hexameters—gone old empires?
      when 7 feet of dirt—waits for you
     a slow rush of blood—Argentina
          watches you now—the mirror of death
          dreaming you up—spitting in your face
     all your crummy dayz—so bourgeois
     goodbye middle class—it was the house
            by the street—you grew up in
     but now peron, evita—Argentina
            wants it back—again
      All Along the Campaign Trail! by Jennifer Semple Siegel
           In the other gardens -- On the endless networks
           And all up the vale, -- And all through cyberspace,
       From the autumn bonfires -- From Springtime surprises
           See the smoke trail! -- Now see how they placed!
           Pleasant summer over -- Conventions now passed
    And all the summer flowers, -- And all summer potshots,
           The red fire blazes, -- O'Biden blazes hot,
         The grey smoke towers. -- McPalin does not.
        Sing a song of seasons! -- Sing a song of absurdity!
       Something bright in all! -- All frightful in Fall!
         Flowers in the summer, -- Hucksters all through Summer,
             Fires in the fall! -- One winner nabs all!
    --Seed Poem: "Autumn Fires," Robert Louis Stevenson--

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    Cleave of the Month September 2008 short list

    In announcement, cleave of the month, submission on October 21, 2008 at 6:22 am

    We decided on a short list of 4 cleave poems for September 2008.

    See Cleave of the Month for our choice.

    Two visions: Ezekiel and Aphrodite by Brian Fone
           Ezekiel saw a vision,-a gleaming godly vision,
        saw wheels within wheels-making the mind spin
        spreading across the sky-as it slowly revealed itself
    dazzling the enlightened man-with all its terrible beauty
               sweeping him away-and took watcher, mind and body,
     from the reality around him-with its naked, shining splendour.
               Point of view by Andrea Barton
                        I see - the same thing:
                          you - through a different lens
                    your eyes - blue, oceanic
            the way they look - a sea to one
    they take in the distance - to another, sky
                the center of - the you place
                        maybe - eyes wide
             there aren’t any - hollower places;
                   starpoints - or pinpricks of light
                     only you - through a different lens
                         your - eyes, the way they look
                    blue gaze - and the way you see.
    From the cleave suite Dancing with Mary Shelly and Henry James by Diana Manister
                              I busied myself with - concocting a tale
                                                    a story - one which would speak to
                                             mysterious - fears
                                 awakening horror - terror
                                                      dread - quickening the blood
                                          I saw a body - made of ghastly fragments
                       stolen from a graveyard - showing signs of animation
                                         moving eerily - due to its creators skill
    the pale student of unhallowed arts - giving consciousness to his progeny
                              cackling in triumph - it is alive
    ___black panther by Dennis Kelly
    A cleave ‘Translation’ from Pound’s Personae  (1925)
     the black—panther
     the black—jungle sky
    except for—his dark green

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  • Cleave of the Month

    In announcement, cleave of the month on September 28, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Cleave of the Month:

    Whilst I am focused elsewhere (for the next 2 weeks or so) I will introduce ‘Cleave of the Month’.

    Please vote for your favourite cleave poem (excluding the Editor’s),

    published in September,

    by posting a ‘comment’ in this format

    (or any other format if you strongly disagree)

    attaching it to this post:

    • Poet’s name:
    • Cleave poem title (or first line):
    • Date published:
    • What can be learnt from this cleave?

    The Editor