December 24, 2010

December 24th: Poem 'Plosion

  Mary Biddinger 
More like a gun than an anchor, a revolver,
the loop they played to make it sound like a diner
in the studio, the entire neighborhood, one guy’s shirt
causing chaos around the corner, debasing the sky
of its antique linens, the kind that bragged how many
once inched across then reconsidered, rolled over
the way that I don’t allow you, so flip the light off
in the birdhouse before mathematics destroy us,
pluck our rivets, and you say there’s this place on my
neck, it’s a tragedy, and the neck is not yours but
mine, not that we have territories, that’s artificial,
unsexy, and when they talk about us it’s mostly me
talking back, and so what, because I once crossed
a river that would’ve kept me forever, and I declined.
                                   one takes one’s place     in a pose
                                                   Aby Kaupang

another has vacated     one is
birthed     by lending forms
to the forces of one’s birth

one’s birth is form      filled in & died in

every beginning then requires a smudging
a giving off of the pelt      near the seem
a new glass      for the squinting of the eye

 Nothingness      wrapped us in cord      new skins & gave
a place for ritual     a body crossable      a border crossed    

{we are afraid too     of finding
astonishment unsurpassable
like joy—total and totally new}

Toss the Famous Person Cards Into the Fireplace
   Becca Klaver
the family
its one
sublime &
one terrible

they have
the right
words for

each other
for lilting
TV voices
for trying
to fade out

into a
real world
decked in
any frock

Montage Our Way through Winter
    Krystal Languell
I'll use my get out of jail free card
and my good credit. A stranger
called me a whore in the subway
I saw a rat I got lonely I bought shoes
and ate ice cream I drank all the coffee
so I made more and I slept it all off.

I didn't talk to you all day. If we
montage our way through winter,
I can wear my Little House on
the Prairie boots while we pretend
we do real work like chopping wood
or boiling pails of water, and I'll lift

my skirt to step over a puddle just
for the ceremony. There will be
moody string music, no voice-over; 
the audience will see my hair go a little gray.

Would you like to be a power couple?
Come spring, we could arrive in any new town
and between your neckties and my rhetoric,
we could run a successful mayoral campaign.


Dana Teen Lomax
The directive as
I remember it
was to yell epithets
at a tree
and stand back
to watch the results
keeping an eye on
limbs & leaves
the surrounding grasses
any change in light
to take in a reaction
            projections, reactivity           
            so many wars diverted

[mary is pregnant when]
  Pattie McCarthy
mary is pregnant when  the mayflower 
leaves leiden  mary gives 
birth to a stillborn son  only ten months 
after burying  an unnamed child 
   mary gives 
birth to a stillborn son  while still at anchor 
in plymouth harbor friday   22 december 
1620   mary already 
has two daughters named mary & remember 
mary dies that first winter  (her husband later 
marries mary's    daughter fear)       her daughter 
 mary  dies at 83      the last surviving 
mayflower passenger 
mary  a child   four         the product 
an adulterous relationship  is placed 
under the care of  mary  mother of love & wrestling & 
fear & patience   mary 
(a child)              dies   that first winter 
mary whose father died  in provincetown 
harbor  becomes an orphan that 
first winter  mary an orphan of fourteen 
pressure to marry  six eligible 
men for every  woman & girl   after 
   that first winter 
the only other      mary on board dies 
soon after her husband  died 

Christmas in Norway
     Sarah Sarai
Nora the door-slammer
knows every ridge of
Torvald's thumb.
A regular Sacajawea
is she, tracking
her way from out under.

Ahead a few steps,
a thoroughly nice woman,
thoroughly my age
watch outs for cars
and slush. 
Thank you, Sacajawea.
She laughs.  How many years
since I heard Sacajawea,
Lewis and Clark, Torvald.
I'm not well-researched.
I'm lazy.

What I know for sure is old.
Ibsen wrote a great scene.
I have a decent hold on
western culture against
much of which
I'd like to slam a door.
Little's known of
Sacajawea's life after Lewis and
Clark opened up the west,
so rich in natural assets.
  Jessica Smith

December 23, 2010

December 23rd: Kate Durbin


Marking her thirtieth British Vogue cover, supermodel Kate Moss takes over the September issue of Vogue UK with a mix of rock ’n roll flair and classic elegance. Lensed by Patrick Demarchelier, Kate shines bright in “The Moss Factor.”

Willy Vanderperre captures a sultry Kate Moss for the cover shoot of April’s Vogue UK. Styled by Miranda Almond in flirty and elegant looks, the British supermodel is a stiletto-wearing vixen in “Basic Instinct.”

Captured by Peter Lindbergh, supermodel Kate Moss falls easily into the role of seductress for an all black-and-white story in the latest Harper’s Bazaar US. After having some sexy fun with male models Ash Stymest and Callum Wilson, Kate luxuriates in sultry yet elegant looks pulled by George Cortina.

After working eight consecutive seasons with Longchamp, supermodel Kate Moss collaborates with the French label for a handbag collection. Captured by David Sims, Kate stars in the black-and-white campaign shot in Elsa, Paris.

In V Magazine’s editorial “Kate & The Gypsies,” stylist Karen Langley and photographer Iain McKell have the opportunity to work with the legendary Kate Moss. Dressed down, but still wearing the best from labels like John Galliano and Dsquared², this supermodel shines regardless of her surroundings.

Stylist Simon Robins proves he is not afraid of a little glam and sparkle as he adorns Vogue Russia cover girl, Kate Moss, in glittery pieces by Gucci, Balmain and Alexander McQueen. Under the well-trained lens of Sølve Sundsbø, Kate looks quite the part of a seductive vamp with her smoky cat eyes and intense gaze. Me-ow!

Kate gets clad in skin-tight, black leather for the September issue of Vogue Paris. Lensed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, the British supermodel delivers editorial gold in rebellious ensembles courtesy of fashion editor Emmanuelle Alt that feature the work of DSquared, Isabel Marant, Chanel and more.

We’ve already seen Kate Moss’ October cover for French Vogue, and now it’s time to get a look at the shoot in its entirety. The British supermodel was captured by Inez and Vinoodh in an all black-and-white studio shoot which features a combination of elegant and hard-edged looks as styled by Emmanuelle Alt. Entitled “Kate Moss,” the spread only reaffirms Kate’s status as one fashion’s most iconic faces.

*Significant portions of the text from FASHIONWHORE: KATE MOSS originally appeared at the fashion editorial site Fashion Gone Rogue.

Kate Durbin is a Los Angeles-based writer and performance artist. She is the author of the poetry collections The Ravenous Audience (Akashic Books, 2009) and, with Amaranth Borsuk, Excess Exhibit, forthcoming from ZG Press. She has written several chapbooks including Fragments Found in a 1937 Aviator's Boot (Dancing Girl Press, 2009), FASHIONWHORE (Legacy Pictures, 2010), The Polished You, as part of Vanessa Place's Factory Series (oodpress, 2010), and Kept Women, forthcoming from Insert Press. She is founding editor of the journal Gaga Stigmata: Critical Writings and Art About Lady Gaga. She writes about celebrity style at

December 22, 2010

December 22nd: Carol Guess

Upturned Cistern, Plastic Fawn

The lettered streets stop short of K. Knock on the garden of the ruined gate. Beyond us cold orchards and kerosene lanterns, frozen Delicious asleep on the tree. Past Anchor Island, past Petulant Ridge, past the failing pedestrian bridge. You’ve brought weather from the places you go. A girl could get lost among handfuls of loose tea. Two men in scrubs ferry a trolley, body without heart or heat. An airplane lands on frozen water, windows white with winter geese. The pet sitter decorates houses with dust, flowery pillows from her dead daughter's stuff. I'm your only possessive S. Brace yourself if you love someone else.

Carol Guess is the author of seven books of poetry and prose, as well as Doll Studies: Forensics, forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press. Find out more:

December 21, 2010

December 21st: Kristy Bowen

the kissing disease
 Sometimes, I am too suggestible. Both exquisite and satin hipped, moving through December like a doll within a doll.  I am always too exciteable, this contagion sweet on a boy's tongue. I pretend that we are moving further and further apart, like halving an orange and then halving it again. Or a curtain unfolding and unfolding to reveal a ballerina, ice lipped in a white dress.  You wouldn't believe the things I want sometimes.  Like now, the fever blooming inside me, scented like milkweed and snow.  The enormous tangle of branches that give way to a tiny kitten heart.  This river looks fake, all singing children and dirndls.  But then, so do your hands, pulling me toward you in the truck.  I braid my hair and pretend it comes natural to me as breathing, as this little disease caught in my throat. It might be a butterfly.  It might be a knife. All night, my ribs are a sleepy furnace, where small colonies make scrimshaw drawings of strange beasts. You wouldn't believe the things they want.
A writer and visual artist, Kristy Bowen is founder of dancing girl press & studio, an indie press and design studio based in Chicago. She is the author of in the bird museum (Dusie Press, 2008) and the fever almanac (Ghost Road Press, 2006) as well as several chapbook length and book art projects.

December 20, 2010

December 20th: Lisa Janssen

Midwinter Chicago, 2010

Bunker Hill looked beautiful in 1960
a black and white clapboard shambles
in perpetual dusk
as the cars make their way down 3rd
headlights refract in the camera lens
into a line of blinding stars

A spectacular view of Los Angeles
from an old man’s window
from the new man’s window
from the malingering world’s window
and the woman who has no future
but perpetual black and white
and sons and daughters who will do no better
her window too

I would imagine myself at that window
but I am at this window
it has snowed all night and still snowing
outside my window it was silent
and footsteps so softly
but now the shovels are scraping
the children are screaming
it’s almost Christmas

Christmas is a desolate window
a truly dark glass
through which I see a convex past
write your name in the fog like a ghost
a window there is no way to close
one of these winters
I’m going to board it up for good

Lisa Janssen is a writer and archivist living in Chicago, Illinois. She has published poetry in several journals, and currently publishes and co-edits MoonLit magazine. Most recently, she completed editing film director Curtis Harrington’s memoir Nice Guys Don’t Work in Hollywood, which will be published by Drag City in 2011.

December 19, 2010

December 19th: Susana Gardner

     Adores her itinerant
Quivering  Sea of voices

     Image   legible
Iridescent  rich& lush

Binding December    alone
     Eat your early paradox:
Dirty Cloak Industry

Artless is
     Radiant exultant
Contractions of little mugs

Heaving& rising
     Incident me:
Come, Come, Come!

Answer mechanically
     Thoughts persist
Alcohol tedious    thereafter

Inward damp imbecilic
     Dress    half undone
Evident atrocity

Ought I leave?
     His harlot artfulness
Wanton carmine-tinted menacing

     Wakefulness  desiring
Luscious lips        diminish

     Idempotent     perfidy
Apogeic maxims

Susana Gardner's latest book, Herso, An Heirship in Waves is forthcoming from Black Radish Books. She lives in Zürich.

December 18, 2010

December 18th: Carmen Giménez Smith


An agitator holds her sign up asking are you feeling equal, so you and your sisters deride her because she's so public about Injustice, so second-wave. Your sisters gather around her with collective scorn and sully her earnest nature It’s thanks but no thanks. I can vote, walk into the pharmacy for my Plan B, and wear a chain wallet. One sister throws an apple into the melee and the unfazed agitator bites it. Her straight block-teeth break the fruit apart which shocks your sisters, but when they’ve abandoned their mockery for the lure of a choice bazaar: earrings, Ugg boots, removable tramp stamps, a Sex and the City marathon, you're hot for the agitator. The crowd clears and you kiss her sweaty neck and use her agitating sign as a bed. You scrawl her agitating words onto your belly and stand naked against her muscle memory. Not just the cause, the impulse, the result, but the buzz of lack. You’d like to consume it right out of her, that humming electric dissatisfaction. Then you’d like to put it out of your body in the form of a Louise Bourgeois sculpture, milky, blobbing, love the star-fuckery of doing it with her and to her, then the sticky pulling apart, the eternal production of polyurethane eggs wrapped in yarn.
 Carmen Giménez Smith is the publisher of  Noemi Press and the Editor-in-Chief of  Puerto del Sol.  Her website can be found here:

December 17, 2010

December 17th: Danielle Pafunda

The Dead Girls Speak in Unison

Hush, now. 
In a house like ours,
stay quiet. 

Keep moist
or your skin will split
and spill your secrets
across the carpet,
one stupid bagworm
after another.

Hush.  Do not disturb
our needles,
squalling thread. 

We’re stitching up
all your fancy mistakes.

We’re stitching up
your mother’s face.

We’re going to stitch you a new one.

We’re going to take our time.
 Danielle Pafunda is author of Iatrogenic: Their Testimonies (Noemi Press 2010), My Zorba (Bloof Books), Pretty Young Thing (Soft Skull Press), and the forthcoming Manhater (Dusie Press Books). She's an assistant professor of Gender & Women's studies and English at the University of Wyoming.

December 16, 2010

December 16th: Leigh Stein


I finally have enough socks so that I only have
to do my laundry twice a month, the guy said,
on the plane, but still, does that mean
my girlfriend shouldn't have to call and wish
me a Happy Hanukkah? I said I wasn't Jewish
when he asked, but did I know about the candles?
Everyone knows about the candles, he said.
That's true, I said. All the towns
in the morning were below us, with
their snow-covered cul de sacs and
snow-covered hills for kings, their water
towers and windmills and kitchen
islands at which people fell out of love
every day, and even gas station parking
lots snow-colored before the first cars
arrived at dawn, the car wash lights bright
enough to make someone decide to live
through the holidays. My name's Seth,
the guy said. I'm a financial planner
and I'm not saying I make a ton of money,
but I make a ton of money. When Seth told me
his girlfriend was a dancer, it made me think of you,
how you asked me if I was a dancer, the first night
we met, back when I still had a chance to forget you, but
I think once I saw you pick that lock with my library card
I would have followed you anywhere. The necklace
I got her for Hanukkah? I'm getting ready for work
and I hear this crash and her go oh my God, and
what did she do? Dropped and broke it all over the floor.
Just clean it up before I get home, I told her, Seth said,
and I'll get you a new one. Honestly, I can't wear any
of the necklaces I have, because they were all given to me
by people I try not to call in the middle of the night.
Honestly, Seth, I never went to sleep yesterday
because I was trying to hold onto my youth.
There are lines around my eyes. No one else
can see them, but I know they're there
because I know myself the best. Guess what.
In the new year, I won't sleep ever. I'll become
younger. I'll never call you at 1am again.
I'll be eleven, I'll be twelve. I'll tape songs off the radio
and they'll all be about you, but I won't know that.
I won't know you or what you'll do. I'll wear pink
and I'll be good at math and I'll be twelve.
And in the movie, we'll play ourselves.

Leigh Stein is the author of the chapbooks How to Mend a Broken Heart with Vengeance (Dancing Girl Press), Least Inhabited Island II (h-ngm-n), and Summer in Paris (Mondo Bummer). She lives in Brooklyn.

December 15, 2010

December 15th: Cara Benson

Gooseberry Kiss

I, too, am a monster. We
becoming don’t ask words / becoming.

Her lightning face / oh my lovely.
Darling daughter…

Who knows how much of me sleeps / sits alone in the silent?

Some buildings loiter, loiter –
and that is why I have seen suddenly everyone is a rat.

I was that race at that moment.

Skinly suited thing resembled barking blue dogs. Sure.

So out of this barren fuckscape, henceforth I predict.
A bucket with holes on purpose is full of feeling!

I will never steal the result of her own split preoccupations.
Home is other people, (not) lucky meaningless nouns.

While she forever barefoot slick with wanting.
That’s a long fucking time, little lamb.

Goodbye and goodbye bundled in shoe boxes from my poem candy.
Just think about it, “Did I set the living room on fire again, America?”

Language curated by Cara Benson from Advent calendar contributor poems Dec ‘09.

Cara Benson is a poet, educator, sound artist, and activist. Her full length book of interconnected of pre-elegiac prose-poem texts for earth plants humans animals called (made) is now out with BookThug.

December 14, 2010

December 14th: Jenny Gropp Hess

Ornaments of Providence & Welded Water

snowy December
           instead of a hot air balloon
           I have cardinals
                       in melted birdbath water,
           like a well-meaning professor
                       saying morning.


I drink a sunlit whiskey,
        a belt of coal
right through me.

                  at the ice tray,
disrupt a cube.

remembered names,
           like black holes
           folded into hand-passed


O Mailman,
             your thousand boxes
             are spots on a bush
             where berries grow.
                            if someone dies
              or moves away,
                            another berry
        in the same place.


somewhere the parrot
                 and the aloe
                 will outlive me

above, the sky
             slow-churns icily,
             crosses like freezer gin.
a cold pilot light

Jenny Gropp Hess attends the University of Alabama and edits the Black Warrior Review. Her work appears in or is forthcoming from Colorado Review, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Parcel, Unsaid, Seneca Review, and others.

December 13, 2010

December 13th: Cori A. Winrock

Bioluminescent Christmas Trees

This greening our night
an unhasping-of. Phosphor

-escent nursery. Glasphalted sky.

The saw-song gleams friction,
cuts its own kind of light.

Strapped to our cars, strung
along roadways. An oceanscape

draped across foyers—the trees,

then, afterglow

on the turned-off curves
of television screens.

: : :

Glitter the gold into each needle
until brightness clutters & spills, tinsels

our eyes. Until sick with halo

we swaddle the dazzle
in burlap sacks like statues

wrapped & hauled, wept

out of our houses
into the nearest unfrozen body of

water—afterimages adrift
in our retinas like flashlillies:

contusions of left-over light. 

Cori A. Winrock’s poems have appeared in (or are waiting in the wings of) Black Warrior Review,  Blackbird, Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, Barn Owl Review, Pool & others. She is a recipient of a Barbara Deming Individual Artist Grant as well as being chosen as Editor’s Choice for Mid-American Review’s James Wright Poetry Award. Her manuscript was a finalist for the 2010 Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award.

December 12, 2010

December 12th: Sarah Rosenthal

from Lizard

She has landed.
She’s in the seat
of bite. She’s
dreaming tails and
thunder. Sound is
what binds her.
Inscrutable, she
whispers, why
would I want that
word? Blues hard
enough, she croons.
All night trades
appetites, all day
seeks cover. Drinks
in the happy hour

Sarah Rosenthal is the editor of A Community Writing Itself: Conversations with Vanguard Writers of the Bay Area (Dalkey Archive) and author of ManhattenHow I Wrote This Story (Margin to Margin), sitings (a+bend), and not-chicago (Melodeon Poetry Systems). She is the recipient of the Leo Litwak Fiction Award and grant-supported writing residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Soul Mountain, and Ragdale. An Affiliate Artist at Headlands Center for the Arts, she has taught creative writing at San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University as well as privately, and writes curricula for the Developmental Studies Center.