Poems by Conley Lowrance

poems by Conley Lowrance

ARCHITECTURE The stairwell is empty. Her steps ricochet off the cement. Around her, the air is filled with impossible odors: foxglove, traces of some unnamable chemical.“This door leads to another door, leads to a disinfected room.” But this can’t be right. She has arrived at a balcony—where the wind carries hooded birds safely through the city’s fog.Leaning against … [Read more...]

Too Dee: Drawings by Nathan Pietrykowski

Folly and Fortune (detail) - Nathan Pietrykowski

Artist's statement: Humankind seeks out meaning to overcome the fear of the unknown. When meaning is unable to be found we fabricate our own. Through the invention of my creation myth I examine how humankind searches and contrives truth. In my drawings I chronicle the history of a paracosm, an imaginary universe know as Too Dee. In this place colorful mask wearing explorers … [Read more...]

Poetry by Sam Silva

Street Flowers by Alexis Doyen

A SONG WHICH THE ARTIST INSPIRES Angel of my thoughts and dreams! Painter of my dusty soul in earthen portrait. Fire around the darkened coal lit alive by such desire.Love like this comes only once! No one else could take me there except for Jesus and his mother come with images that likewise strike me dumb among the words I write...not even Helen with her … [Read more...]

Rain Poem

A. D. WINANS RAIN STORM

RAIN POEMthe rain beats a rhythm against the windshield the wipers flail helplessly like a fish out of waterdemons to the left of medemons to the right of medemons in front of medemons in back of memy brain a barbecue pit feeds on the rolling thunder spits out bits and pieces of poemswords of emptiness words of despair shadow creatures … [Read more...]

Poems by Sarah Ghoshal

poems by Sarah Ghoshal

Bus to Big Band Barn For DrummersBoom, he says. Boom and snap and twiddle and pop and digida, digida, find a pillow, find a pot top, find a table top and a couple of spoons, spatulas, sticks, feet, palms, wicker broom looking apparatus with soft sound. Boom.A smack and a dab and a smooch through the spotted windows and you eat the stuffing pouring out of the seats … [Read more...]

3 poems by George Moore

Beach by Alex Talmon

The Order of ThingsIn the days before temptations, when the boys urged on by theirEverclear slip-drive madness, consumed everything in their path,I escaped to here, poet nested amid disorders, a post-holocaustHamlet, his final failure to remain detached from that which he hates.For me it was love. Liberal sprinkling vs. deep ecology. Somewherein-between, where … [Read more...]

An interview with Michael Guerin of the Diartspora Gallery

photo credit: Lori Waselchuk

Michael Guerin is the owner of the Diartspora Gallery, a private art collection focusing upon African-American art, and the art of the African diaspora. Collected over a period of over 20 years, the collection includes many pieces by self-taught and outsider artists, as well as some by those who are well-known.I had the opportunity to talk with Michael about the collection, … [Read more...]

The Consequences of Violence

Afghanistan Sky / U.S. Army

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. —Oscar WildeI’ve found it true in personal experience that being a target of life-threatening violence strips away everything that isn’t a core value or an innermost desire. Near the eastern Afghan village of Shkin in 2004, I huddled in a mud brick house with … [Read more...]

Fairy Poems by Laura Madeline Wiseman

Fairy Poems

Domesticity with FairiesYou keep pulling me to you and wrapping your arms around my waist. I’m standing in the kitchen with coffee as the morning wind shakes the red-gold from the trees and you’re squeezing me like I’m a stuffy, a baby blanky, a puppy before the first day of school. Have a good day at work, I say around your damp hair. After  dinner, when … [Read more...]

“Said God, Scratching His Naked Belly in a Kitchen”: Charles Bukowski to Robert Bly

Bukowski letter to Robert Bly. Joshua Preston

Unlike any other time in U.S. history, the 1950s and ‘60s saw the emergence of multiple literary movements stoked by a flourishing small-press culture. Popular magazines of the time included the New York-based Fuck You founded by Ed Sanders and Floating Bear founded by Diane di Prima and Leroi Jones. This “Mimeo Revolution” (though not every publication used a mimeograph) … [Read more...]

Dream Sequences

Dream Sequence 2 (detail) - Jonathan K. Rice

Artist's statement: Image, color, composition, and texture are all informed by what I read, what I listen to, and that which surrounds me. I work with acrylics and mixed media, painting, and creating assemblage and collage as well. My work is primarily abstract. Through my paintings, I explore the relevance of the indescribable, and work toward the understanding of that which … [Read more...]

Nature As Muse: The World of Fine Writing

Mt. Baker seen from Mt. Watson. Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bthompson/5011625855/ Ben Thompson

The world is never “too much with us,” said Wordsworth, but not the wild glories, which he treasured, too. Natural gifts reflecting the gifts of the gods, or of Darwin’s insights and those of the plate tectonics wizards. Everything moves.All of this and running water and birds on the wing and paths beckoning us to follow are the inspirations for great writers who, over all … [Read more...]

The Florilegia Project

Florilegia 3 (detail) by Tristan Stamm

Artist's Statement: Commissioned books of botanical art, meant to immortalize the gardens of collectors, usually illustrating miscellanies of species primarily enjoyed for their beauty and rarity, not the medicinal usefulness. … [Read more...]

Three poems by Sam Silva

Poems by Sam Silva

THE LIGHT WITHIN THE DARKNESSChagall's celebrant Russian folklore foreshadowed somehow the deeper sadder island serenity of your dazzling palms which radiate tears and your portraits of tiny upper class Dominican girls decked in regalia for some ten year old coming out with harsh eyes that stare at the nothingness there.All the wedding, the carnival, the … [Read more...]

Poems by Sarah Stockton

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/karmadude/8302907982/ Liji Jinaraj

North BeachYou are so lonely you chat up the dodgy guy parking cars at the Italian restaurant, the place you could never afford, not even a plate of lusted-after spaghetti but you are so hungry for conversation the garlic scented smile he tosses in the air becomes a white tablecloth of love. Even though you’ve never clearly seen his face in the diesel-scented … [Read more...]

Seven paintings by Margarita Gokun

Parenting (detail) - Margarita Gokun

Artist's Statement: I think of my pieces as snippets of thoughts and feelings we experience but often fail to recognize. Our connection to the bigger, our ability to dip into the cosmos’s pool of possibilities, our link to the universal consciousness, and our relationship with our own subconscious. The representation of that which is there yet unseen invite the viewers to move … [Read more...]

Detroit, Airport

Photo credit: LaVladina

I am in Detroit and have not slept in a day It is the first snow of their year and I am thinking about the last words my grandfather said to me That I cannot rememberHere there is woman with a gentle face and humble watch Reading a book, hard white heavy cover, called “Husband’s Secret”, with a blood design lettering Across is a girl with black boots and black skin … [Read more...]

Wordsworth and the Beats: The Longevity of Influence

Wordworth & Kerouac

Although William Wordsworth once stated that he was “not a critic” and, in fact, “set little value upon the art” (Leitch 556), in his “Preface to Lyrical Ballads” he nevertheless proposed and discussed several controversial ideas that would become key components to his literary philosophy, securing the “Preface” as a significant and influential addition to the cannon of … [Read more...]

Four poems by Sam Silva

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WHEN THE POET SEESThese facts appear like magic! Those abstract birds you made with wild paint on a tropical canvass seem to my failing eyes now a nocturne where such colors still keep swirling pure.Such a painting frames the world above my desktop next to shadow and lamp glow...idea and image fall this way suffuse with the patterned chaos of life my bony … [Read more...]

Shine

Shine

She moves soft as moonlight, pouring across the concrete. She follows the sound of the music as it reaches out into the quiet streets. She’s been following the sound for eons and still it pulls her forward, on and on through the dark.She lingers for a moment at the door of the bar with the scent of stale cigarettes and beer. She remembers a time when music smelled … [Read more...]

Ticket to Ride: Inside the Beatles’ 1964 Tour

Ticket to Ride - Larry Kane

Ticket to Ride: Inside the Beatles 1964 Tour That Changed the World by Larry Kane Backbeat Books / October 28, 2014 / 978-1480393042 / 272 pagesIn conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' 1964 tour of America, Backbeat Books has republished Larry Kane's insider's view, Ticket to Ride. Just 21 years old, Larry was the only American reporter to accompany the … [Read more...]

Ten paintings by Vakseen

Vakseen - Eyes Wide (detail)

Artist's statement: I’ve always felt they were God’s greatest creation, so my work evolves around women, their natural allure and the insecurities or confidence created by Pop culture. Simply stated, my work is a reflection of society’s idolization of beauty. I can’t imagine being a woman in this world. Everywhere you turn you have these “perfect” images that are supposed to … [Read more...]

Drift Bottle Prose Poems

Drift Bottle / Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/infomastern/12407730413/ Infomastern

A Bottled Message I thought it was strange, the first one, mottled blue, corked, a paper coil that ticked when shook. It looks old, you said. It didn’t look old to me, a pale ale or soy sauce, something about the grooves on the bottom, something about the pure symmetry of lip, the clarity of glass free from bubble, blemish, nick. The gulls flapped above us. The runners spread … [Read more...]