Thursday, September 25, 2008

10x3 Plus - the word gets around

If you google The Montserrat Review and read Book Review Editor Grace Cavalieri's "Best Books for Fall Reading, 2008," you will see 10x3 plus listed under Best Chapbooks. 10x3 plus is a poetry journal and not a chapbook, but I will take any recognition for the magazine. Grace Cavalieri has a strong history of supporting the arts and her mentioning the magazine in The Montserrat Review has made me smile, and smile, and smile. The word does get around. So is this NAME RECOGNITION and BRANDING? I hope so!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Late Fire - Laura Treacy Bentley

I think it is all light at the end; I think it is air
Larry Levis, "The Quilt"

The poet told us Yeats came to him in a dream
and said, "Passion is everything."

He repeated the words again
as if somehow we hadn't heard.

Then he began to read,
the summer sun streaming through the windows,
the microphone flashing like starlight.

The next day
he went swimming in a lake.

I saw his body crack the surface of the water,
as he swam under that July sun.

His wake lapped against the shore,
covering my bare feet like laughter.

This summer
he is dead.

Just before he died,
he'd been working on a single line,

over and over.
"One late fire

burning beside a field."

First published in CONTROLLED BURN,
Collected in LAKE EFFECT, Bottom Dog Press

Seeing - Tomas de Faoite

What does seeing the light mean?
Being enlightened? Seeing a vision
Not made of my own seeing?

The face of God in the dark
Left behind by the rays of the sun?

Seeing Gandhi wearing a monocle
On an Indian carpet during meditation?

Leaving the body briefly? No, no.
I have seen the light
And it was so ordinary.

I looked long and hard at an elder tree
Until its boughs turned pink.
I looked long and hard at ivy
In a ditch until it turned blue.
And I said, forget the master-

Pieces, forget Van Gogh, Vermeer.
Who needs hands when we can paint
With our eyes; the light,
The delight of seeing things
As they are, were, and will be.

First published in GREEN FATHER,
Poezie-uitgeverij WEL

Stairs - Tomas de Faoite


You are coming down the stairs my son.
And I can hear you.
You see the light come from beneath
The kitchen door. You know I'm up.

I'm already there with you in mind.
I want to run out and exceed
All my previous limitations;
To fold you in my arms and sing.

But the time is not this moment.
So come on down the stairs.
Tiptoe to your heart's desire.
I can hear you coming down.

And there you are saying, Papa,
Ik ben wakker. Ik ben wakker.
A son's lullaby to his father.


Up you rise to meet my eyes,
Up you rise into attic light,
Into a room now complete
Emptied of unwanted things.
Your cot is by the window,
You are asleep in my dreams.

Your mother's breasts weep
Whenever you cry, as I weep
Sometimes, in another way.
Outside conditions are arctic-
Like, Siberian winds, hungry
Herons, fish nosing the ice.

Down the narrow stairs
You come in the cradle
Of your mother's arms,
Into the living room
For the first time, into
The midst of our lives.


They are parked for the night
Up against the settee, Gregor's
Lorries, cranes and motor cars.
How silent they are, how real too,
Like real lorries parked in a yard
In the morning
They'll be on the move again
Making long distant journeys
Across the sitting room floor
On into the kitchen
Up the stairs to his room,
And back down again,
Back down for the night
To their parked positions,
Noses against the settee,
Their engines turned off,
Fast asleep, upstairs,
In bed.

First published in GREEN FATHER,
Poezie-uitgeverij WEL

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Five Meditations on Hair - Lisa Zimmerman

My first-born daughter's bald head crowned
in the slate room before dawn
though hours would climb down the stairs of my body
before she emerged whole, glistening.
In high school she would dye her long hair black
because being blonde was overrated.

The second daughter shaved half her head
when the P.E. teacher confessed to class
she had breast cancer. Two years later that daughter
shaved off all of her abundant red hair and I said
not beautiful. And I thought Dachau.

My boy's first haircut was at age two.
He had curls. They fell like pale feathers
beneath the girl's swift scissors.

When my son was fourteen I showed him
all the gray hair in my bangs.
He said It looks like tinsel.
Last August he got his head buzzed for Kung Fu.
He looked like a Marine. I say The war in Iraq
cannot have him.

The filly is as tall as the mare. They stand together
against the fence like sisters. I comb her long black tail.
Tucked inside, near the bottom, is a black corkscrew
of hair. It is the first tail, the one she was born with.

Anhinga Press

Karma - Lisa Zimmerman

I could love you once then let you go
alive in a life I cannot keep
but I'd rather burn than die that slow.

Your hair, your breath, your eyes I know
from another time, some quantum leap
I could love you once then let you go.

A hundred years of wind could blow
the candles of the past asleep
but I'd rather burn than die that slow.

Beyond the meadow, beyond the glow
of sunlight brushing this hill of sheep
I could love you once then let you go.

The wreck of sex, the dive, the flow
into each other so true and deep
but I'd rather burn than die that slow.

To know you now, to want you so
I dream your ribs, your hands, I weep
I could love you once then let you go
but I'd rather burn than die that slow.

Anhinga Press

Coyotes in the Ditch - Lisa Zimmerman

Sometimes in summer we wake
to their high-pitched chorus
carried across the rope of sleep.
Night sky abates and becomes
pasture, becomes singing--
horses stir and rustle,
the moon's white fangs pierce
chinks in the barn.

When you tell me you listened
to a pack in full daylight
take an animal down, bone by bone
in the snowy ditch--
we imagine a February calf
as the prize, imagine
the tender throat exposed.
All day you couldn't shake
that gleeful barking.

Tonight the farmer's cows across the road
low endlessly, their calves vanished
into the dark interior of trucks at dawn.
Beyond the string of fence the coyotes
begin their refrain.

Anhinga Press

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

On a Personal Note - Sue Ann Simar

Thanks to the many well-wishers who have provided me with support and encouragement during the past five months of surgeries and treatments. I'd like to refer everyone who is going through any kind of personal tribulation to Martin Turner's blog site (linked here), which has a section of interdenominational prayers included. I've found particular comfort in the words of Thomas Merton, St. Augustine, and the Sarum Primer.
Martin's web site as a whole makes for interesting reading. His writing skill is unsurpassed, and I want to remind everyone that you can read five of his poems in issue #2 of 10x3 plus.

I've started reading for the 2009 issues of 10x3 plus, and if any readers have any poems that they'd like to submit that read like litanies or prayers, I would be interested in reading them. Please keep in mind that I am not doing a Sunday school handout, but editing a literary magazine so all submissions would have to have solid literary merit to be considered. I'm interested in poetry, not preaching.

Again, 10x3 readers and contributors, thank you-thank you-thank you
for helping me with the mag and for helping me distribute the mag and for keeping me on task these past few months.

Each kindness has been a gift,