Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Welcome Truck's driver for March

Many thanks go to Gerald Schwartz for his work at the wheel of Truck
during February. And greetings go to our March editor/driver who
takes over tomorrow--Jukka-Pekka Kervinen.

Have fun, and stay on the road.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

G. E. Schwartz/ HATMAN

The lake checks its lapping on the shore

to lull late night and then to watch.

The breeze stills its breath in willows

to catch his soft footfall on the beach

as he and his shadow turn, a figure

glowing on its own, where sky and lake

join in the weak light across a beach

parched as bone. The ghosts of

sturgeon lift from the chilled depths

to expand the silent throng: slithering

lamprey, curled alewives, turned shad;

all beneath the surface of these waters.

Gulls halt in the sky, then turn frantic

in convoluted flight--as the night

finds words (All the living left to come,

all the dead long past) under a driven moon

by Point Gratiot's reaching cliffs.


I saw two shadow people standing

by the pond, against an afternoon's light

on rushes, the thin arm of one

reaching from between the small

planets of water-lilies, and saw

that a spider has strung threads

from the other's knees to silver

out over the water adjacent to

the paired black wings of damselflies

& their tiny dance of egg-laying. And

I was strangely at peace with both of them,

each modest eclipse reaching,

and I was at peace that whoever

had cut their forms, painting them black,

set them there as

additions to light.


I walked through The Engine of Life, the giant

walk-through heart, through its blood-pulsed places,

seeking the path, exploring valves, following the current

of my classmates. Touching walls, cardiac muscle was touched,

as were raised arteries clammier than my palms. My

feet shuffled through two chambers, feeling the fibre-glass

contours unyeilding through my thin soles. In near dark

I moved from venticle to ventricle, near deaf, thrilled

with pounding. All around the enormous heartbeat,

sensed, artificial, larger than all life, relentless. Just

there my heart was as small as a sparrow's, its living

compartments ready to seize in silence. Emerging,

my mouth gaped in wonder, knowing--just then--

where I was in this world, one untold millions have

since passed through.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Michael Rosenthal/ AT THE ALTAR

We all die in anger

little time to learn
to say the tender words

"I love the rain."

The water that glazes the stone
also wears it away.


In nineteen sixty three at age nineteen, I crossed
the Nullarbor, the longest straight stretch in the world sitting up on Australian National
railways, Sydney to Perth.
too old to stay with Mother,
I rented a bed in a boarding house
above a city cafe. Living on savings,
I shared a room with a stranger
to stretch the point to its limit.
An LP cost 52/6 back then.
the man in my room was
thick-set, of medium height
with curly close-cropped ginger hair
and cloudy hazel eyes, a fireman
from Perth City Station, a loner
who grew up in an orphanage, taken
from his mother in England and shipped
to Australia 'for his own good'. Try
asking him about that, 'for his own good'.
So much bunkum. As we came and went,
he marveled at the girls I knew and I
believed his dramatic tales. He had
no one, said he wasn't worth it, had
a beer at the end of the bar occasionally,
bet on the ponies with his loose change,
but otherwise, read popular magazines
on his bed, chin thrust forward against
whatever the world served up next.
Sunday's the cathedrals' bells
scattered pigeons, while in our quarter
the streets lay bare. Right by Perth's
central fire station was the Salvo's Citadel.
Sunday mornings their brass band would
set up music stands on a nearby corner
and play. The fireman and i would go
there, not for the message but
the music. talk of God was off limits, we listened in silence. Ten years
between us, curiosity kept us
in each other's company. That's the way
of poets and fireman, curious to a fault,
late night creaking on ghostly beds.
'Turn your light away, will ya?'
'Yeah, sure, sorry.' He huffed.
'And don't apologise every five minutes.'
'Sorry.' we both laughed and turned back
to Pix and Time.
One day I arrived
to find him throwing his possessions
into a duffel bag. 'What's up?' I asked.
He looked up, eyes clearer than ever,
and spat, 'I'm outta here, that's all,'
threw in two magazines and tied up.
I followed him to the stairs, bewildered,
silenced by the hostility coming off him.
The old bat who ran the joint waited
at the door. Sniffing came from the kitchen-
loud, melodramatic sniffing.
I shouted, 'Where're you going?'
from the top of the stairs as he
stopped at the door and turned.
The old bat barred the door with her body,
as he shouted over her shoulder,
'See ya, mate." I stood still as he took off.
She watched him, then shouted,
'Good riddance! and slammed the door.

Jesse Glass/ poem about Cid Corman

Let the poor mad bad man live for 50 years abroad

& tell us his poems are greater than Dante's

He camps in a burning house

His tiny wife an ember

A knuckle-bone

charred black

Is all that will show up

Come next turn of an orb

That poor mad bad man with taped-together glasses

Whose name means "asshole" in Japanese

Wears a boot with a hole in the toe

When he walks declaiming to


Some wisdom only he will consider

5 syllables at a


Come pulverize that special man of stone

Reduce him to his shatter color

Deer horn pressure point strike & flake

Plate chip platform burr

Him song him tell him cry into our mouth

Long weed heads tremble

Drag forth an old bone shank bone

Strike, crack it on a boulder

That old man's voice

A blown-thru reed:

& hectic written levers

Shake his lips shut

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vanessa Paige/ choreography

Vanessa Paige, who formally was a member of the Maud Baum Dance Company and EBA, curates and directs Soundance at the Stable, which hosts Vanessa Paige Dance. Based in Brooklyn, New York, Vanessa Paige dance has performed group and solo dances throughout New York and abroad. The company also has provided arts education services to New York public school students since its founding in 1984. The company also curates several showcases of independent choreography, including the annual Winterlight and Splendor of Desire programs, as well as an improvisational festival.

Here's an extraordinary clip of Paige in a 9 months pregnant dance solo:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

JESSE GLASS/ Jeffrey Dahmer at Grand Avenue Mall, Milwaukee, 1988

I saw him passing & repassing
Among the young black men laughing

Tough in Bulls Jackets, hats
Raked at a threatening angle--the fixed look

In his eye, the prognathic jaw
& his oddly wooden movements.

I thought "how out of place," this white man
In alligator shirt new jeans almost every lunch hour

The polished floors of Grand Avenue
Food court, long blue windows: scoops

Of Lake Michigan Sky. He was treating
Them all to Kimchi Pork, Teriaki Chicken,

Mexican black beans, high-fiving,
Buying the boys beer & pizza. He'd

Bend near their testosterone sprawl, shaping
His lips as if to say, "Isn't life good,

My friends? Enjoy!" & I recall their laughter,
Their nudging each other in the ribs
An open joke

As he again heaped up their plates.

JOHN ROCHE/ Amazing Stories of Literary Rejection, volume 1.

Journal run by hip twenty-somethings
(or so I construe)
rejects poems from ROAD GHOSTS,
including one about freaking out watching
some dude I barely know shooting up
coke and LSD combo
in men's room of Rte. 66 Esso station.

Editors say, there's a question about the reality of someone "shooting up/ coke and LSD combo" in an "Esso station". nobody's heard of LSD being shot up...

So I respond, Happy to look for something else. But if someone on your editorial staff thinks the above trivia impugns the integrity of the book, then fuck 'em.

Of course, the editorial board misses the point, as the poem is a tale told by a
17-year-old tripping fool being told something (maybe) in 40-year recollection
put down on paper, everything a priori indeterminate, except the fear, the black-out hole
in the universe, the blood-splattered needle, and the fact that, miracle of miracles, the
junkie came back to see if I was alive, just like William S. Fucking Burroughs'
immaculate conception Christmas card
and I apparently (at least all else predicated on) survived-
If not I'm living a pretty good facsimile of the previous earth dimension
(though how would I know?), and anyway, that was an analog world
so I'm no longer there, or there's no there there, as Rumsfeld might say
and at least the beer's better now than the Coors we drank back then
and the wine, too, better than Ripple and Boone's Farm
and the coffee a hell of a better than Denny's watery brew
though I miss that old Mexican dirt weed
not hydroponicked or super-sized or genetically modified
just plain ol' weed you could smoke all day and not get lazy.

Then I get to thinking, ah, a simple Google search! To find out what "nobody's heard of":

During the psychedelic era, Dr. Hofmann struck up friendships with such outsize
personalities as Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg and Aldous Huxley, who, nearing death
in 1963, asked his wife for an injection of LSD to help him through the final painful throes
of throat cancer.

Mumbai Shooters were on coke and LSD:
"We found injections containing traces of cocaine and LSD left behind by terrorists and later found drugs in their blood," said one official.

Intravenously Injecting LSD:

And there are many more such evidences on the Worldwide Web.

Postscript: So I send this poem to guy I know on the staff (red-mustachioed Hotspur;
actually a most promising poet-scholar) who tells me a) they aren't all that hip, and b) the lead editor is actually a 50-something poet. So I GOOGLE editor. And there, emblazoned on his blogspot, in bold letters, is the motto, "Poets are liars. None of these poems represent actual people or events accurately. Any truths you find are inside of you."

DAVE ESPOSITO/ music and activism

Dave Esposito publishes music and videos under the moniker Solomons RamaDa, a name he coined for a performance Music and poetry improvisational ensemble two decades ago and which remains ongoing to this day. Never quite hip enough to be a part of any music scene that would have him as a member, Esposito pursues a corporate career while surreptitiously making music and documenting events like OCCUPY BOSTON in his adopted home. His actual music career reaches back more than two decades and he's played with bands ranging from blues to reggae to jazz to alt rock, always injecting originality into the compositions.

Here's America, which documents Occupy Boston, as well as a commentary on the general state of these Unites States:

His Your Own Mardi Gras shakes out as a powerful rant through, with and in religion:


And, live from the algae-covered murkiness of the Palais Royale, Albany, New York near twenty years ago, the ballad If It's What You Want (lyrics in this case by G. E. Schwartz):

Here's a darker version of Chicago's Poem For The People, recorded live at Joey's Basement Lounge, , Mass (2009):

And here's an interpretation of Esposito's favorite Herbie Hancock tune--Dolphin Dance, recorded IMOB studios, 2009:

And, finally, for Solomons Ramada collaborations and individual works:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ANDREW BURKE/ The Name of the Game

Oh, I see it is the time
of the year for lace faced fungus,
woodlice and red-bellied ants, snails
that deckle our mail, and the trimming
of our curry tree.

In the shallow pond
across the road a white-faced heron
looks for frogs and freshwater snails
grateful for anything in this muddy water.
We walk by
dogs sniffing the news,
looking where new growth
grows green and bright from the late
summer brushfire. It looks so fresh against
the charred trunks.

In dried edges
of the pond, before its
low banks, the council tried
a re-vegetation program at the end
of summer, but

the heat hung on,
and now we see the few
survivors dusted off by late
autumn rain. I straighten bamboo
placed to prop up

new plants. Last year
and the year before that
we did the same - small areas
of fledgling trees and bushes
support each other

as their root systems
tap into the subterranean
water sources or spread out
laterally to catch what moisture there is
just below the surface.

Perseverance is
the name of the game,
returning to the earth what
is the earth's for the earth to
be continued.


Born in Newark, NJ, Steve Swell has been an active member of the New York City music community since 1975. He has toured and recorded with many artists from main streamers such as Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich to so-called outsiders such as Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor and William Parker. He has over 30 recordings as a leader or c-leader and is a featured artist on more than 100 releases. He runs workshops around the world and is a teaching artist in the NYC public school system focusing on special needs children.

Steve was nominated for the Trombonist of the Year award for 2008 and 2011 by the Jazz Journalists Association, and was selected Trombonist of the Year 2008, 2009 and 2010 by the magazine El Truso of Argentina. He is the recipient of the 2008 Jubilation Foundation Fellowship Award of the Tides Foundation. The Downbeat Critics Poll selected him for the Trombone category in 2010 and 2011.

You can see him in action here:

You can read some of his poetry at:

You can learn more about him... tour dates, discography, etc. here:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mark Weiss/ poems


In a world of gesture
three deaf teenagers
"speak," her hands
an electric dance, the boys
cruder, in a world
in which scratching an itch
may be a silent eloquence.


Based on the known,
imagining the confluence,
one hopes for a florid excitement, a spastic
flailing, some kind of


In time one decorates necessity.

A foot becomes a skein of bones.

What I said
and what I thought I said
and what I meant to say.


Are there any here
but us chickens?
Have there ever been?


Not that I make this place
but that I make
its story.


The season arrives with a clamor of geese.
And at the end of it.


Sometimes transcendence is a trick of harmony,
tonic to dominant-C major-
and the sky opens.

Lakey Comess/ Minus three, rising

That's right. They should stop telling us stories,
as though we are still gullible children. It's really insulting.

What is it like to be lumped with vigilantes?
Did you say something righteous about hell (and return)? Did you find out by chance?
Keep hold of extenuating circumstance. It might come in handy.

I'm thinking in terms of strong mitigation. That's a choice cut of sarcasm you use.
Show me your memories, or are they all too unbearable.

Lakey Comess/ No flashlight, borrow mine

Strike light on files marked personal.
Deviants cower in darkness entering ninth circle.
Surprise heated by sunrise awaits.

Perception flows over rock, glistening green algae.
You have discovered an enclave, but not a shelter.

Enter in silence. Dante is sleeping.

Set to right damage caused by natural disaster,
good intentions flow down the line, broad-handled in space.

History provides other occasion for outpour and edit.
Beneath bid bridges, troubled waters swirl and eddy.

Focus is on the heart, waiting for liberation.


Heather in blossom,

seasonal endeavor,

rock chastened hive.

Lakey Comess/ Trials tell stories

Small mercy and March spare us your testicles, exposed for camera.
It is too cold and we have seen it all (and better) before.

Poker faces pack up singer,
clad in black, one sporting red beret.

Child exploitation pays a pivotal role in society.
Corporal H was killed by enemy fire. Death is a matter for the inquiry,
when bullets fly. How friendly was that fire?

Explore the idea of socially responsible investments,
color your nails a brave new hue. It gets better, bills are hefty.

Cutting back on quangos is always desirable in Cloud Cuckoo land.
Great basis for an open, transparent relationship. Change is as good as a holiday,
(and you know how good holidays are.)

Thanks for your three dimensional, animated, staged event.
Trials tell stories, release passionate, sensitive information.
Good God, y'all... left me with a mouthful.

Michael Rosenthal/ THIS THING DESIRED

This thing desired us, whom we desired

To swallow us again and again
each time smaller,
each time finer
until breath is ground
into air

Days over nights, empty or not
the mill revolves

Where is the circle
Where is the axis

I acknowledge that I do not hold any more

When I listen to the sentences
intrigued by this thing

This which tears us off at the hours,
scaling our seconds
slicing our years
as long as we can listen

This thing so much desired

We will make it a wonderful bread.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Damian Catera/ politics and music

In collaboration with Ardele Lister, Damian Catera has been documenting the Occupation at Wall Street... full-throttled and unfiltered and necessary:

Ardele Lister's bio:

Recently Catera has turned his musical attention to Bach, illuminating Bach's central position in the musical firmament of our time. Like Shakespeare, Goethe, Aristotle and Michelangelo, J. S. Bach is simply one of those inescapable figures of Western culture. Catera's take is designed to provide a much-needed context for Bach's music--right now--and in the future.

Here's some links:

for more information on his album, Well Tempered Revolution, and his bio:

Well Tempered Revolution on sound cloud:

Jason Martin/ performance artist/ musician

Jason Martin current works re a multi-media series under the general title POWER ANIMALS. This work engages species-queer, glamorous, paganistic animism. With it, he explores power structures, species and gender hybridity, witchcraft, military conflict, rock music, pre-history, and analog electronics. This is not about art. It's more about seance, particularly in the interaction with "audiences" and "collaborators" (often one in the same). Channeling mysterious yet identifiable energies in a given space or situation, taking anthropomorphism out of its comfy, harmless, cartoon status and connecting it to less safe, personalized mythical archetypes with Jungian undertones and erotic juxtapositions. Dreams from long ago are revealed, as POWER ANIMALS, and the codified information within them, are reflections of real forces and dynamics in our world, one in constant evolution.

Martin recently told the New York Times in relation to a video installation for the Microscope Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn, "I don't mean for my art to be outsider, but it seems to land outside current trends."

Some videos of POWER ANIMALS:

Additional POWER ANIMAL performance footage:

Some songs:

Jesse Glass/ poem

The insect with its mouth of dust

Lifts its head and trumpets down

Upon us where we shiver here

Within the anteroom of Thoth

Here the whisper of despair

With its reeds and iron hooks;

The cracked paint box that gives the lie

To lips stacked in a wooden box

Here domed head & hollow chest

Fall to zero; there the stalks

of syllogisms twist & crack

Beneath the heels of those that walk

Down the airless corridors

Daedal fingers engineless

Processing round the graven walls

In a route that light transgresses

No honeycombs grow in their throats

But the wasps' tripartite crib

Would mark the frontier of the night

If these ancient blocks were split.

To draw the shadow of the sphinx

Across the bubble brow of doubt;

A lash of desert air, a loom

Of moonlight and a distant shout.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Burt Kimmelman/ December Solstice

Night's dream lets go slowly -
at once bare black branches
in the window, behind
them the white house across
the way, in the first gray
light of dawn, the new day.

Burt Kimmelman/ Cup of Tea, 5 AM

No reason
to wake up
early, no

light yet in
the window -
only that

the day has
begun though
in darkness.

I switch on
the kitchen
lamp, set the

flame under
the kettle -
later sip

my tea, hot
and harsh, and
watch the dawn.

Steve Tills/ Means to be operative

I possess neither son nor daughter. Some say they
would have completed me, but I never thought
completely there was any capital to that notion.
We mustn't mess with old father's tales, however,
even if the shortest stories survive
unwillingly at best.

One uncle, someone says a
"monkey's uncle," means to be operative
and to this semantic end employs
a copulative, at least syntagmatically.

Whatever that means, the real question is,
when you turn it on, does it get all
mean-spirited and stringy and all.

One fellow, a transplant from the east
who quickly learned how to presume himself
a hippy there, hence became a neohippy
here or everywhere later additional new realities
turned up like out of place. Well, besides that,

I forgot what I was going to say, frequently
inventing some other excuse for what others took
to be improvisation it took its toll. In the first place,
the first person didn't know what he was writing bout
and the second really just wanted to replace him, the
third was an even more complete imposter.


But when you see an Indian fellow in the hospital
and even though you know better, you think
it could have been Kasey Mohammad
the way you pictured Kasey before
you saw an actual picture of him

and found out he was older,

and the Indian fellow is Indian, or Pakistani, maybe,
and much younger again,
like Kasey before you saw an actual picture of him.


Let's face it, YOU

My Wife, My Poetry, A Day at the Laundromat,
all Frank O'Hara, I suppose,
the easiest one to imitate, so many have
and the others are all pissed
because they only tried to imitate themselves
and succeed eternally.

And whether I take six months
to compose four spare stanzas
or do two books a year
in six long nights, I still can't fry an egg
with one hand jobbing and jobbing and jobbing.

Yes, my first time in a big university
library like that.

I could have spent a lot of time there
in her lap, but "that's not me,"
you say. You never got busted.
That's why you got away with so much
time wasted.

Actually, I already know who you are.
You don't have to prove anything
with your experimental methods.
You're the one who received a four finger salute
for a three finger bag of Commercial
Columbian in the '70's, one from your Dad,
one from your Mom, one from your Little Sis,
and one from your Big Sis, who sold it to you,
then bailed you out down and at
the county pokie, Okay?


Had you only matured two decades earlier
in the great 60s
maybe you could have gone
to Princeton or Brandeis
like your analyst
and her brother,
but you were working
class, so you will never know.
Had you only been further neutered.

John Roche, Brother's Keeper

Peaking on acid in men's room of Esso station, Rte. 66
dude I barely know shooting up
coke and LSD combs
asks me to tighten the tourniquet

I freak when he splatters blood
from hypodermic
on the bathroom wall

all becomes one dark stain
the universe
a blood-black hole

Minutes later, or hours, I come to--
he's returned, guilt-ridden
for running away
leaving me perhaps for dead

A Good Samaritan, after all