Thursday, May 15, 2008

Featured Poet: Elizabeth Harper

“Elizabeth Harper is a poet living in Chicago and walking on air with her head in the clouds when she is not rolling around on the ground with her mind in the gutter. She is the author of two books of poetry, Love Songs from Psychopaths and Fairy Tales Gone Awry. She is the newest member of Polyrhythmic—A Chicago Arts Collective—which hosts an open mic night at Trace, 3714 N Clark, on Tuesday nights. She has read at many venues around town including Phyllis’ Musical Inn, Trace, Mercury Café, The Spot, Monarte Gallery, Silvie’s, The Spare Room, The Heartland Café, Black Rock Bar, Jaks Tap, and Weeds. She participated in The Chicago Calling Festival in 2006 and 2007, and more recently she participated in the Poetry Bomb as a poetry bomber standing out by the Water Tower screaming poetry at confused pedestrians.”

Frigging Fridge Poetry

drunk suit
cool breast

no ache will stop
the drunk dreaming
of a blue producer

read moan think play

smell forest chant

sad man run to bed

milky and mean in there

delirious chocolate pinkness

beat peach
sweet crush

the diamond apparatus

juicy knife manipulates
red symphony

white fluff hissing

spray show
under black stare

to be you
when she waxed mad

recall vision
lather friend

enormous language
gorgeous eternity

go fall pant
lick lazy skin
and hot sweat

what it takes
bitter ache

shine scream
beauty tongue

always chain
purple storm

rock over will

time void head
luscious languid

watch need on TV
then rust away
rip out arm

yet can
they sing
from sleep

never elaborate through here

her like part of a ship

he was about to swim in the water

men at sea

you are all leg

eat the sky

power shadows sits above
worshipful sausages
beneath the soaring sun

shake garden barefeet drool kiss
though like puppy from pound
said after blow to butt
easy these smooth frantic delicate
petals like life like girl

do not ask or tell

honey use a club
I am weak with want

were I as he
none would fiddle for you

red and raw

I hit your car

she has the hair of a goddess
her dress whispers still
but the moment is gone

smear finger with blood
behind the sordid place

I heave and incubate true

leave light on
drive into the darkness

let up by and by

winter spring ding

did he see who shot him
so say yous

do my ass
do me pole

I’m a MySpace Addict

Will you be my friend?
Who can I ask to be my friend?
I hope someone cool asks to be my friend.
When is my favorite band playing?
I’ll leave a comment about them.
Maybe someone will leave a comment about me.
I have 135 friends.
I’m going to get more and more friends.
What can I write in my blog?
I can choose from a long list of moods
and an animated smiley face will illustrate
the mood I choose.
I can let everyone know what book I’m reading
and what cd I’m listening to.
Look. I choose it from the list
and the picture shows up in my blog.
This is so cool.
I’ll let everyone know about my poetry reading.
I’ll send out a bulletin.
I’ll do a search on a name and try to find my old boyfriend.
Look there he is. He doesn’t have as many friends as I do.
He’s going bald. His wife is fat. They have dogs.
Look I have new event invites.
There are so many events to go to.
How will I decide what to go to?
I guess it depends on my work schedule
and where I can get a cab home from.
Maybe I’ll meet some cute guys and then
I can do a search on their names and ask them
to be my friends on MySpace.
I better make a point of remembering
their names correctly or at least
what they look like.
All these guys I don’t know
are asking to be my friends.
Their pictures look weird
like those that come in the picture frames
you buy at Walgreens.
They could be stupid and creepy.
Maybe I should accept them as friends
because they’re interested in my poetry.
One guy sent me a message.
He says that he is 20-something and
Puerto Rican with green eyes and
hangs on the Northwest side of Chicago.
He says that I seem like a freaky, bad girl
and that I should definitely get back to him.
Gee, I don’t know.
I accepted this one guy as my friend.
I actually felt weird about it,
but then I decided I should go ahead
and accept him
because I need
to build my audience.
He’s sent me 7 messages just today.
“I’m still up. Call me.”
“Meet me for a drink.”
“Pick up the phone.”
“Let’s hook up.”
“We make the perfect couple.”
I’ve never met this person before.
I actually emailed him and asked him
if he had seen me read before, or if we had met,
or if we had friends in common.
He said, no, he just was looking
for cool people in Chicago.
His profile says he is nocturnal
and likes cats and is looking for nice ladies.
Maybe he’s a vampire.
His other friends are either dominatrixes or
suicidal goth girls.
I’m going to delete him from my friends.
That’s the first time I ever deleted anybody.
But I’m thinking he could be my first
MySpace stalker.

Problem Child

probe emblem
pro blend
mild chide
prole blemish
proper rob limn
kid hill
prom bleach
ill did
per able much
press oblique
muddle change hide

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

There is only death in this valley

Frequent viewers have probably noticed a lack of new poetry pouring in at the rate of 5 poets every 4 seconds. I am currently in the process of both finishing graduate school, packing for a major move to New York City, and selling things on Craigslist.
Speaking of which, anyone need a bedframe?
The site will go back to it's normal rate of games and poetry really soon. Until then, please amuse yourself by submitting, because while we have viewers from around the country and world, very few of them actually submit. Why? I wonder this often. Have you read the poetry on this site? It's all across the board, lyric, confessional, formulaic, experimental, etc etc etc etc! I mean, look; no one is thinking you are good or bad. They are soaking in the sharing of art and, thus, the shared capabilities of positive construction. The transmission of shared or abstract though.
You should submit and end this desert.
I will be back to maintaining and soliciting people in no time. Until then, remember:
May as well submit and shut me up.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Featured Poet: Tony Downs

"My background (related to poetry/writing)...I've written and had produced NUMEROUS songpoems and have thus far managed to get two of them played on Canadian radio recently...
A friend of mine, Gary Forney, directed me to your site (which is GREAT by the way) and suggested I send you some poetry and a pic...I thought that sounded like fun, so here's what I have:"

1990 POEM

Dirt road, grains of the past,
Pains remain as stains that last,
Shadows hide in the setting sun,
Rising nocturnal creatures on the run,
Chasing that prey, begins their new day,
time staggers down the line,
Though time's frozen in my rolling mind,

Expectations, manifestations,
elations, relations,
hesitations scorch the Earth,
revelations wield the torch,
headed for my rotted porch,
to rock and talk for what it's worth,

Put on a smile, act real keen
Life's mask is Halloween,
Unpleasantries cast asunder,
Grinning wide, hiding from that thunder,
A warning throng, a fighter's song,
But we're about peace, no need to point out how they're wrong,

Once we were but now we're one,
Gone in light, strikes by guns,
Dissolved to ash and pages past,
Under feet of those that dash,
those that stop and ponder true,
The loss of time and gonner youth,
Dirt road, grains of the past,
First is first and past is last,

The sonic void, the sound erupts,
The vocal stylings of those we trust,
feed us oh sonic lust,
disgust is dust soaring on,
feed us oh sonic lust,
Shake those hands, wring them too,
Freeways, driveways, sing that tune,
under banners, locked in manners,
step in time,
Mannequins on display, then it's check out time,
behind the plaster, watch the master,
rake it in like swine,
rake it in you're fine,
take it in and spin your mind,
Those in possession, step to the procession,
what's your confession?
Did you learn your lesson?
Is it truly learned when your soul's on ice?
Is it truly earned when they know your price?
Ignore what's pure,
Ignore what's sure,
Ignore the score as the score Ignores from shore to shore,
Collapse back to the somber,
The void is destroyed by the sonic bombers,
their next creation sold on high,
Buy into the next big lie...
as the feathers drop one by one, till all is done,
till all is done, till all is done...


Prismic wonder, emerald creation,
shimmering bliss, dismissing elation,
come to the time of the shallow,
run to the wine of the gallows,
We're born to the century of our time of wonder,
whips, guns, axes and the chisels of our timely thunder,
warriors crushed, souls spilled forward free,
The time is now for our eternity,
Mugs raised high with the brew of knowledge,
Drugs defy the cruel new college,
Root for the team that crushed the dreams of yet another,
I'm calling you now my sisters and brothers,
It matters not what side you're on,
It matters not what you're hiding from,
It matters not what you're dividing one,
The one that gave you all that's free,
that dark enticement liberty,
the spark ignites calamity,
if you never learn to damn the dreams you've seen,
For now is day, a time of ale,
The wind is right for pushing the sail,
Out into seas of emerald creation,
shimmering bliss, dismissing elation,

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Re-Featured Poet: Andrew Lundwall

What can I say about Andrew Lundwall that I haven't said already and that isn't evidenced by his poems? His Scantily Clad Press is working with an awesome concept: e-chapbooks. Some really great stuff there, and his site is a good friend of this site. He has resubmitted more poems, and I am happy to publish them. Please enjoy.

From the BOOK of HOW

How is everything that it promises to be how is my book being received how misspell your sister’s name how are the wife and kids how’s Arthur Rimbaud how’s her sun equate how to set an example how to get acquainted how did where’d you go what’s going on I don’t understand how exalt a thing so holy as my typing this is not profound rather a guard-rail around everything that’s ever been familiar to you in some capacity like that night oh well I won’t mention that again I promise how’s your high going how about you leave how about a moment or two alone to collect my thoughts how about butterfly how about how she said that reminded me of everything that’s wrong how metaphysical how it felt to be so small how’d you get to grow so big how about something to drink how about a beer how about a whiskey on the rocks how about cursive handwriting how about that how do you sleep at night how about we put on some records and dance in our underwear how’d the ceiling fall in our sleep how awake and wide the field as it lays there like a blanket how about kicking yr habit getting your life in order and shit how about we take a trip somewhere far away how apathetic how it all went in the passenger side window how hollow the tree that fell how to get painting and panting how her bizarre geography caused the mind-altering shipwrecked shriek in the sky how like you how could we be so soon content how can anybody how what her dreaming gave how the content had exceeded its limit how pornography affects the mind how American how scientific how proportionate how offensive how the front lawn had given out beneath us how to please your lover



would that it were


quiet front lawn tongue's bricks just lay there stunned under sun


daisy = navel fascination


in charlotte


discuss like saucers


dinosaurs long-legged hurtle over moon

high on hardcore nooner's shifty feet on room's floor

scrape on knee she'd said was an accident

avoid shadows take risks repeatedly

knees knocking consider an anchor to consume better

is outerspace because you understand more than they'd wish to intimate

complaint wind which i cannot stand little else

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

GAMES OF POETIC CONSTRAINT: Chester came up with these

Guess what, Floweries? I looked at the comments section. Thanks for the words. Chester suggested these! I love them! I love the artifice of games and the reality of what is produced. Right now, I am obsessively listening to Crystal Castles, playing with my magnetic poetry board, and listening to Anne Sexton read with the visualizer on on itunes. There are outskits on the fringes of the digital age, the analog age, totally worth embracing. First of all, game number 2 is an Oulipo game called PRISONER'S CONSTRAINT. Second, I have translated some Baudelaire poetry and some of what was produced by it was amazing. I strongly suggest ekphrastic or sound-based translations of foreign poems, and hell, maybe even some hybrids of what the poem sounds like with what a rough translation means. Also, check out this ROBOT: "1: You read a poem in a foreign language you don't understand, untranslated, into a tape recorder. Or have a friend read it. Then play it back and try to pick out words you think you hear in English. Use these words to start a poem. 2: Eliminating letters and attempting to convey a specific meaning is always challenging and usually yields impressive, textured results. For instance, limiting yourself to a single row on the keyboard, or eliminating the letters that dip down:g, j, p, q and y. But give yourself a task, like write a love poem to Maya Deren without using a or e, or write in the past tense with no 'ed' endings. Chance operations are always useful to subvert your ordinary default writing style. For example, you can use a deck of cards to determine the age, ethnicity, language and personality traits of characters, you can flip coins to determine tense, you can use the i-ching to plan everything from tone to number of paragraphs and words per page to verb usage. It's fun, but I usually only use these methods as starting points and let the writing carry itself after a while. Similar methods can be employed to make music, films, visual poems/ text collages, plays, etc. etc." Thank you, Chester! EVERYONE, PLEASE SUBMIT. WE ARE IN A POETRY DROUGHT RIGHT NOW, NOT JUST ON THIS SITE, but in the WORLD!!!!! SEND! YOUR! POEMS! NOWWWWWWW xoxo Russell

Monday, May 5, 2008

GAMES OF POETIC CONSTRAINT: Dictionary of Misued Words

I just learned about this game from Fred Burwell, the former publisher / editor of Acorn Whistle magazine. He's a mind filled with great ideas for poetry, publishing, and fun games.
This is a game he plays with his son:
Find a word in the dictionary that you don't know. Based on the way the word sounds or looks, create a new definition and explain it.
This can be done again and again with a whole bunch of words, and then perhaps strung together as one poem.
I think it's an interesting way to displace the lexicon, and many L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets would be beaming proud!

Take this also as a call for submissions of magnetic board poetry, which I will be putting some of on the site. I mean, for the obsessive poet, it's Magnetic Mecca. Fun, constraining, and just open ended enough to allow for some interesting verse.
Oh yes, may I please ask that you gaze upon a picture of me holding the latest issue of Columbia Poetry Review.

If you noticed that the copy is upside down, 500 friendship points for you.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Featured Poet: Steven Fletcher

"Steven Fletcher is blue-green color blind and has
high cholesterol."

Good Old-Fashioned Dream Résumé

Steven Fletcher
xxx xxxxxx Rd
Deerfield, IL 60015
Phone: (xxx) xxx-xxxx

Objective: To claw large, flying insects off my neck, to keep my intestines from falling out
of my anus, to drive my large tin can into the movie theater without hitting any
pedestrian-shamans, and to find a Halloween costume at the last minute.

Education: Escaped from cannibals into a museum full of Mona Lisa people; saved them
by leading them out into the daylight, where they became individuals, only cartoons,
animation style circa early ghostbusters.

Work Experience:
Piloted a giant ziggurat spaceship as Sigourney Weaver, during which time I seduced both the heiress to a business fortune and her brother.
Circumnavigated Pittsburg with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the city’s remains raised above wreckage on parking garage pillars.
Won over an accosting group of macho, malicious men by getting them all to sing along with a song called, “Get the Fuck in My Truck,” to Dobro accompaniment.
Dove out of a space station, fell through the burning wreckage of a satellite, weaving through debris and wreckage with only my wits about me, past aircraft and skydivers and floating spiders and birds, and never landed.

Movies Dreamt: On an overnight greyhound, Troll II, which I’ve still never seen (!), and
Cujo the night before I watched it, and my version was way better.

Internships: Heaven: A network of high, brick-walled alleys, where I was greeted by a big
raucous band of drunks in ridiculous hodge-podge period garb and incongruous
costumes. They treated me to a rousing chorus with marching beat and deep bass
lines. They turn around and do the same routine for everybody. God himself
smokes heavily and seems a little senile.

Special Skills:
I am expert at taking on arduous, precipitous journeys in which everything is meaningful, poignant and significant. Even dilapidation is lovingly crafted, and exteriors appear to be on some kind of grand set.
I’ve lived in snow caves with outcast creatures and seen the humanity in vampire clans.
I’ve stepped right up to the edge of possibility and seen alternate reality selves leaning in unison to listen against the doors of dimensions, vision striated by heat waves and sound scorched like ozone smells.
In real life, I have no marketable skills.

Our Myelin Sheath

Sunday morning take you to work
ride the territory band wave
the swoop of a Century
cantankerous and irresponsibly incongruous
taking loose change from fountains for coffee
life’s not short enough,
nor filled with enough stuff.

Elmore James rattles your speakers
pilots your car vicariously,
drive to dinner, motion suggests
loose hips crash blimps
fallout over fault line
tied to the bridge,
sound didn’t exist before it shook your joints,
hooked your spine,
trembled the fillings out your teeth
rusty, and sexy,
and lapped up tasting of portwine

your mix tape floating the cosmos
scavenged by some asteroid wrecker
a maniac lever puller, chain-smoking,
sneering, blasting debris,
listening to jangly guitars and blow horns

Maybe my nervous system will be scratched there too.
I know this tape like I know red skies in winter,
like I know how to fall asleep in libraries,
like I know how to pine.

Here on Earth, our tape deck doesn’t work.
Self is plural, life is weird, cells are memory,
and memory is flawless
as always.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

O Sweet Flowery Update

Well. it's been three days.
I have been watching you, reader.
I have a site counter, and it tells me where people are lookin' from! I have found your secret spying nooks.
We have people checking out the blog from Canada, Spain, Croatia, England, and India. Yes, India! We have people reading the blog from all accross the US of A.
But where are the submissions?
I, your editor in chief, am moving soon, and plan to being a new phase of promotion at readings and events in NYC. Until then, however, people should feel free to share and care.
If you are reading this, please submit. No judgement. No hierarchial contests. No rejection slips or scoffs. You have a home here.
One of us!
Please, if not for the site, think of Becky. She really wants to read more poems.


Thursday, May 1, 2008


I will now move O Sweet Flowery Roses into a new phase of cosmic being: the site will begin to feature new games of poetic constraint for you and yours to try. Don't think of them like jail. Think of them like rolling the marble through the wooden box maze. These games of constraint are games that I love and that I hope you will love and experiment with as well. To begin the first game, I need to explain where it came from. First of all, it is broken into fragments, and you can try any of them in any order. In my workshop class, the professor asked us to bring in an old photo. First, we had 5 minutes to bang out a poem where we removed ourselves from our personal connection to the photo. Who are these people? What are they doing? What is the scene? Next, we banged out a 5 minute poem where we were ourselves; our dripping, personal, confessional selves, explaining, elaborating, lighting up the dark corners of the photo. Now we have two small poems. The fun begins: Take one poem, fold it in half, and place it over the second poem. Now, match up the words and phrases as best you can: you can have language layering upon language, nonsensical overladed statements, but what I personally did was pepper in some articles and connecting words just to make the flow a bit more cohesive. This is not to ruin the game; I just thought I wanted to go in a more direct, traditionally "poetically-phrased" piece. Here come the bonus sprinkles. The instructor gave us old copies of magazines --poetry, verse, Best American Poetry-- and we folded those pages over, too, found new phrases we liked, and inserted them into our own poems. What a game! Wait a minute, reader. You didn't think I would just introduce the game and leave you alone, did you? FOOL! I have included some examples, with the author's permission, of a few of the poets from my class. Alright, you aren't a fool. But please, keep playing, reading, submitting, et al. This first one is by yours truly. This is what I know, Dad I'm here because my father picked me up, looking aloof, and put me here. It's the last time I ever knew I would see him. I don't recall it. I wanted, being so yellow, my Dad. I, the Spanish in the woods, bearded now, if he's been lifted, I wonder who my really long time fuck-the-work-week-revelry bowler was. If she was about girls. I think a lot about if I didn't know or ever met anyone in TV shows. Think about something, about talking to something. The hair of that kid, read-- is he the child of reading, father? Did he mother you herself, creeping in, or in myself? The human in the photo shows. What's more, I don't know dinosaur. That man is my father, an organ. He was tied to an iron stake, a wedge. I'm 13. He may be: he has the look of somebody going somewhere in his eyes. Huge pupils pump blood. Victory over poetry is Western art. As physicist Richard Feynman said, "it does not silky-airy to the mystery to know a little from the other poems." O limbic skull! His mother, to be fair, slit throats of slaughtered calves and sustained mistrust in the world. note: Kenyatta, the next poet, is an ass-kicking poetry machine from the mean streets of Cleveland, OH. I sincerely hope he reads this and, with enough pressure from the Flowery Roselitts who read this site, submits more poetry to the site. Untitled, by Kenyatta Rogers Of history, where my father moves ahead. Did you know that that would be the last time you two go out together. He has his arms around her + is drunk dressed up really nice. He drove there, drove back. We don't ask him drifting over blasted. How late was it? 11 p.m., 4 a.m. Sometimes you know, I won't leave the house until then. We've conked out our arm linked, I remember being woken up it was dark. It looks like a prom, colors are solid, silver, white, black. How was the food? For needing a coat although, their black marrow. Gray speckled floors. Shine shoes int he living room, boulder hat. I don't remember any arguement or fight after you came back + you came back that night. note: What I can say about Thomas Mowe is that he likes this poem, he has been published in Black Clock and Columbia Poetry Review, and what else? Oh, I live with him, also. Another emerging poet of his generation, Tom submitted this: Untitled, by Thomas Mowe Daniel's girl left. He invented that. I forgot Robert's, and these deposits in the neighborhood. Also, I forgot the unit on Shanghaii. I'm ashamed, Portland underground. I spend Tuesday standing straight. Standing, and I forgot every present, and fired. A matter of faith, believer unfurled. Take the lump out, or in trees, and fired, dead, mute, sleeping w/ his eyes, the DVDs you bought, the army his wife had. I too give nothing, could debate, taught debate, but I know so much, not a word, the word, one more prize. I kept move, or I'll move you, and spells, and saved. In words he didn't know, starving to fight off, drone out, or quit. The poor armadillo. By retake day, the slightly learned to do that, taken hold. The moment after the not your body, yours comes to rest, and before mules, and sneaks to complain with a stranger. Untitled, by Meg Riley

In whispers I am of a body

brushing a new life

chest to chest

outcome language

maybe sixty years

special treatment for that girl

    goof captor

    New Year’s Eve

feet & cities

a blue rink

the choice to enter

even beetles would speed

the silvery rip of leaf

straw and dipper-sip

the tartness & years

relief to hear her on the couch

fumble raw

in passing cried herself