December 13, 2008

judith roitman


previously published in Slippage
, Potes and Poets Press


Judith Roitman was born and raised in New York City; she lived in San Francisco and Boston areas; now in Lawrence KS. Her work has appeared in various places, including First Intensity, Black Spring, Bird Dog, Locus Point (web), FO A RM... She has three chapbooks: The Stress of Meaning: Variations on a line of Susan Howe; Diamond Notebooks; Slippage, and one book, No Face.

December 12, 2008

kate greenstreet


from The Last 4 Things

Each tone, each color, has a different vibration. Everything was getting darker, “dimensional.” A woman came here once and fell. To her knees—it was a Sunday, I’ll never forget it. In those days, I was very small. I knew my own grief to be so small, nobody could find it. In winter, just the pilings, ropes; ice in black water, “as seen.”

All these shots are locked down. I can manage when the pressure is steady—packed with dark-tent, chemical boxes and the camera, an umbrella, a lamp. We talked about colors so much. Or sometimes I feel that the LIFE is there, waiting—but I don’t have the part. I know that everything can’t be important. They let me take down the curtains. Everything is slightly hidden from me, all the time. It’s dark. Did you sleep?

Someone’s yelling out there. Have I run out of luck? It’s dark—that always takes me back. Rereading our old mail. I have to try, don’t I? When you asked me about having a secret, I thought it was just a form of greeting.

previously published in Cannibal


Kate Greenstreet is the author of case sensitive (Ahsahta Press, 2006) and three chapbooks, Learning the Language (Etherdome Press, 2005), Rushes (above/ground press, 2007), and This is why I hurt you (Lame House Press, 2008). New work is forthcoming in jubilat, Saltgrass, Hotel Amerika, and Court Green. Her second book, The Last 4 Things, will be out from Ahsahta in September 2009.

December 10, 2008

helen white


(click image for closer view)


Helen White grew up in Britain and now lives in Ghent, Belgium, where she works as a translator and co-organizes the Krikri and Zaoem poetry festivals. Her visual poetry has been shown in exhibitions in Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Cyprus and Argentina, and appeared in journals including De Poëziekrant, Foursquare, Phoebe, Karagöz, The Big Ode and Womb.

December 9, 2008

suzanne nixon


I'm going to be sexy 69 next month
I don't watch TV
so I don't see the images
nor do I read "women's" magazines

the only place I encounter
the anti-ageing business
is on the Net
they have me targeted
at yahoo
for all kinds of obviously
terribly done photoshopped
anti-wrinkle lotions potions and masks

or I see some ads at msnbc
wherein young women
in their 30's and younger
are being sales pitched
for anti-wrinkle creams

I've taken a frank
photographic record
of some years for some years
of my ageing
it's been a fascinating learning experience for me

I haven't found the experience
of growing old
to be anything like I thought it would
biggest best surprise of my life
(along with the pleasures of birthing and raising my sons)

I am totally healthy
so the illness chronic or otherwise
aspect is not in play

I have a high energy level
I work out sporadically weight training
{my mian weight lifting is the little contest I have
when I grocery shop
to try getting everything in the house
in one trip
which frequently means 6 or 7 bags at once
easily 60 pounds}

I have had more and more varied
and with more partners sex
since I turned 55 than all the time
before that

my hair which is moonstruck silver
actually beautiful which it NEVER
was in the mouse brown stage of my life

though in the last year or so
it's started to thin
and as it is my greatest physical
vanity I'm about to try some hormonal balance
alternative medicine formulas

and my skin
this is really
the only thing about ageing that irritates me
crepey thin skin
just no restorative bounce in it

it's almost as though I have to chose
between the infamous "second belly"
of abdomonal fat

or slimmer but with crepey skin


it doesn't seem to matter
to the man who lives with me
who is, just for the record
(okay ___and a little boast)
a quarter century younger than I am

and in terms of my sexuality
I've never been so engaged sexually

the things you hear about and dread:
vaginal dryness reduced sex drive
atrophied sexual parts

absolutely none of that
going on here

so in some senses I am off the grid
where the horrors of ageing
are so frequently and slickly articulated
and visualized

I wonder some about how I'll Be
when I'm 80 90. . .

and yeah I do think
about my death
I've having such a splendid time
being alive
and I have stuffed
am still stuffing my head
with so much Wonder
it puzzles and pisses me
to think all "that" will just
all of it assembled from the life experience
whhich has been so enriching
it seems unseemly
for it to just vanish

but exploding super novae
probably think the same

so I forego anyone else's definition
of how a woman ages
and only go by this experience
I'm having

and I'm telling you
with the thought it might
alleviate some anxieties

being able to find positives
in anything that happens
(even the horrendous ones:
my favorite mantra at those times is
"but it'll make for good poems")
i.e., being able to say and believe
"There is no better life than this one."
will prevent you
hagging up
and you can transform instead
a pussy crone


suzanne nixon:

in my soul I'm a middlewesterner
through and through
gobs of formal education:
PhD (History of Science)
post-doc (Psychology):
mainly though from
life and
reading and writing
spent my working life as a therapist (primarily border-line personality
and a planner of medical education curriculum change
I started writing poetry as soon as I learned how to write
then stopped for several decades before starting seriously
again when I was 55.

December 8, 2008

carrie etter


The Occupation of Iraq

Wounds under plaster or gauze are not wounds
to the beholder. These early daffodils come to bloom
and die in four days. The trick is to lose well,
which is not the same thing as losing profoundly,
not always. The swaddled wound appears already
on its way to recovery; it must, to preserve the pallor
of the bandage, have been washed clean, loose skin
trimmed. The idea was to fill the flat with buds and leave
for France. No bodily injury produces more pain
than that to the nerve, yet the eye cannot perceive it.
We left for France. The dentist overfilled
the canal, sent the sealant six millimeters into
the lingual nerve, delivered six hectares of misery.
On the first night, someone said Canadienne when I
feared Américaine, and I smiled. Winning comes with
a dictionary, all the right words without rules for syntax.
There is no exponent to relate my worst pain
to an entire country's wounds. We came back
from France, and the room was yellow with dying.
All we could see was loss.


this poem first appeared in Shearsman

Carrie Etter's is an American expatriate resident in England since 2001. She has two books forthcoming: The Tethers (Seren, 2009) and Divining for Starters (Shearsman, 2010). She is member of the creative writing faculty at Bath Spa University.