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Two Poems – Katie Clark

Passion is being in love with the world is when a color isn’t one color or another one is smiling at someone you don’t know and them smiling back, loving each other in that moment is flannel sheets is porcelain cups is cypress leaves is the smell of sugar on gentle hands”

Katie Clark is a queer poet on the verge of the twenties who belongs to a lot of places: Jacksonville, parts of Georgia, the pioneer valley. Likes planting things and being alive. Katie’s poems have been in Vagabond City, Voicemail Poems, and Words Dance. Tweets @octupiwallst.

I READ YOUR HOROSCOPE ON AUTOSTRADDLE ACCIDENTALLY

this month should be good for you
                                                            so says astrology, so says Corina, the astrologist
who said this
                 she likes dandelion tea
and i know you know why that would matter

i have been thinking a lot about being alive / in the way i was alive / when you watched me do handstands / behind fort caroline /
                                                                                                                        remember?
it was september still,
                                               still, we were only who we could be:
red in the ways
summer skinned us raw         our bodies in the grass,
                                               your name carved into the city

i have been thinking a lot about being in love with you at 17 / at 18 / at 19 / and now im 20 and i still am / but it’s different
                                                                                          it’s call me when you get home
it’s yellow roses not red ones, maybe
                                                                          but it was always like that, huh?
                   i am trying to say i’m in love
                                  with someone who isn’t you and this is weird
                   i am trying to say i’m in love
                                  with someone who isn’t you and i think you would like her
but maybe not (based on principle)
                                                                                            i know we’re adults now so
things aren’t allowed to be simple anymore:
                                                                                            we say “friends” and it’s funny because we’ve seen each other naked

                                                                    careful girl, the world wasn’t made with marble
careful, the world wasn’t made of peach flesh
not like you,
you: many miles and raspberry seeds
                you: blackberry briars and the blood they bring
                                            you like it that way, i know.
                                                                                                        grass growing,
                                                                             you:
                              dandelion seeds,
                                                                    something soft, many.
                                                                                                                  corina, you were right
corina, thank you.

APOLOGY FOR THE EIGHT CALLS I DIDN’T TAKE FROM MY MOTHER IN EIGHT VOICEMAILS I DIDN’T LEAVE HER

i.im sorry i havent been answering its just when i was little and busted my knees you would bleed for me and i cant come sleep in your bed until this passes

ii.
the past few months taste like counting backwards from a thousand and hydrogen peroxide and unless i swallow them i know anyone i kiss for the next 100 years will taste the spit she left in my mouth

iii.
at first it was my body and now its everything else that isnt mine anymore which makes it harder to love which makes it harder to live in which makes all of this feel a little bit like standing on your head until the blood rushes down and this is the moment where the world goes dark

iv.
this is the moment where the world has been dark but ive been pressing fingers into my eyes to see phosphenes, just anything but this dark and im so sorry i didnt notice the sun kicked out im sorry i didnt notice that the sun could kick out without even noticing i was shutting my eyes that hard

v.
we never had a basement in florida because it would’ve flooded and i brought that here i am flooding this basement and you are holding me and you are not here but you are holding me and i am glad for a moment when i remember grape fruits names dont make sense and i promise i am glad when i am with my friends and when i call you on the phone and you say things like i love you very much darlin

vi.
i want you to know i still love this life and i dont want to let it go the way i do sometimes and im not letting it go its just ive been trying to hold more of it in my hands than i can right now and i cant blame my hands because our hands werent made watertight and i told someone who asked me once about this their hands full of riverwater i said i thought this was poetry but now im thinking maybe its just the body

vii.
and had you asked me two months ago i wouldve told you the body is a synonym for the best poem youve ever read and i know i still mean that but maybe sometimes we have to become worser versions of ourselves to keep the goodness safe until were ready to hold it out to the world again

viii.
and this is me promising to keep my hands out this is me promising to keep my eyes open and tomorrow may be golden maybe but today it’s this for now the aftermath but tomorrow is still something– i’ll call you then.


“i read your horoscope on autostraddle accidentally” + “apology for the eight calls i didnt take from my mother in eight voicemails i didn’t leave her” are previously published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance Issue #013

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Poetry + Hip-hop + Migrant Solidarity : No Más Muertes Variety Benefit

The mission of No More Deaths is to end death and suffering in the Mexico–US borderlands through civil initiative: people of conscience working openly and in community to uphold fundamental human rights.”
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 Oi ! Coming up this Sunday (1/15/17) is a variety benefit show for Southern AZ humanitarian organization No More Deaths/No Más Muertes !!

“WHAT’S ‘NO MORE DEATHS’?”

“No More Deaths (No Más Muertes) maintains a year-round humanitarian presence in the deserts of southwestern Arizona. We work in the remote corridors into which migration has been pushed, where people are walking 30 to 80 miles. Volunteers hike the trails and leave water, food, socks, blankets, and other supplies. Under the direction of our medical team, volunteers provide emergency first-aid treatment to individuals in distress.”

More on NMM here.

“WHAT’S A VARIETY SHOW?”

A variety show is a coagulation of voices & mediums gathering into a single space. Much of this show is a dialogue between hip-hop + poetry. Folk + electronic + story telling + [ etc performing arts ] are welcome.
Your work does not need to focus on borders / migrant rights, but respect to the event’s core is expected / necessary to perform.
RSVP thru our Facebook Event.
Share + invite folks to boost it into other folks’ feeds !!

“HOW’S THIS ROLLING OUT?”

Kicking things off is a speaker from NMM, discussing the organization/their needs followed by an open mic + featured performers. We ask open mic attendants to limit their sets to ~3 minutes, or one piece. If it’s a haiku you read, that’s your poem.

Open mic sign ups start @ 6:30pm.

Our beautiful 🔥 features are Alana Maria speaking on NMM, their work & needs as group, + Yanara Friedland, a German-American writer, author of”Uncountry : A Mythology” (Noemi Press), translator, & teacher at the UofA Poetry Center, + Wren Awry, the founding editor of Tiny Donkey, teacher at the UofA Poetry Center, & NMM volunteer, + Lando Chill, local hip-hop artist & poet signed to Mello Music Group.

It’s going to be a hell of a gathering ❤

“HOW’S THIS BENEFITING NMM?”

Entrance is donation-based to maintain economic accessibility ($5 recommended donation) for all voices to be able to attend. All $$ goes to NMM.

Vegan/vegetarian plates are available at $3 a pop. Sculpture + pottery + paintings + photo prints + artist merch are vended to benefit NMM (% set by artists).

Our traveling bookstore Books & Shovels will also be vending its usual wares + anti-fascist/know-your-rights zines.

“HOW’D THIS START?”

This show was intended for December 16th in correspondence w/ the International Day of Poetry Benefit Shows that occurred across the United States & Canada, organized by poet Elijah Pearson, to show solidarity w/ migrants + human rights.

Circumstance worked against us, & to best provide space + effectively fundraise, we pushed Tucson’s event back to January 15th.

“WHAT’S THE BENEFIT GOAL?”

Our goal is $200–or a ~week’s worth of water drops.

That’s our bare minimum goal to raise thru bringing together an eclectic mix of artistic expression thru both the performance space + displaying art for sale.

If you’re in the position to donate at the door, again, the suggested amount is $5.

If you’re able to donate more–donate more.

If you can’t make it out, you can donate online.

RESPECT THE SPACE !!

Please respect the yard/house space. Johanna Robin Hand is investing a lot of trust + energy into this event, & we want to make the return
Thank you ❤
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One Video/Poem : Soeun Seo

Passion is feeding  / all your innards loop by loop / to ever-hungry spaces that can’t be filled, letting it take / all of you split to the last strand of hair, dropped / where it disappeared, / spending everything from skin to toe in minuscule embrace, / never warming whole, and being delivered fresh / out the other end, / sacred and profane.”

Soeun Seo is a poet/translator from South Korea. Her translations of Kim Yi-deum’s poetry have been published or are forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review and Circumference. Her original works can be found at Potluck Magazine, Witch Craft Magazine, and Fuck Art, Let’s Dance!

SAFE TRAVELS, DON’T DIE

on the last night I felt like my futon was a boat and we were spooning along the Lethe

toward our deaths and in our mouths instead of coins there were pieces of chocolate
hell was warm all around us like blankets

I wasn’t sure if we were dead but I didn’t want to be certain

I’ve returned and you are leaving

promises are addicting because we don’t believe them

I’ve started to take note of where the stars hide in this neighborhood

remember when we walked along the bushes and watched how the night fades
beginning with the shades of the forest

the lagoon sat perfectly still holding in the ghosts of buildings
like a breath underseas, under siege

how many times did you get lost in that forest to find the perfect shadow
to hide in and feed me berries
like a secret or a promise

we kept finding each other closer than we thought

and it scared me

if I hold out my hand you would take it—small yellow flowers sing cheerfully by the cliff
but we are not supposed to pluck them

Traveller, I know of the magic you are about to enter
beauty will boil over the roads you step and you will crouch to lap them up

but so much magic can make you feel so mortal

careful not to forget what you looked like in the mirror

traveling starts to feel a lot like being lost
you get so used to taking off you want to leave your own shadow behind

I feel the most homeless when I gaze at a new city and it stares back at me
because it knows I will walk out on it shortly

if on some evenings you find yourself lost I hope it will console you to think of me
thinking of you at a beach neither of us would call home

I am imagining you back into my studio so we can be naked together

we dance for Dionysus and forget where we put the condoms

you tell me I feel like home and I like your lies a lot but I should
be honest—I don’t know where home is either

a strip of opalescent night sky hangs over the eaves of student slums like streamers

today I sat on the tree over that cliff to watch the evening bruise the sky in professionally
perfect pink gradations
the moon stared down
a glittering boat for drunken dismimeanors

a wind took me by the neck and told me to keep my fucking eyes open

because the best wonders are the ones you can’t share

and a wonder is only wondrous if it scares you a bit

it feels like death, eternal peace in a casket with room for a few more bodies

someday I could lie on your back and feel your voice tremble your skin as you try to describe it
but that is another promise

go now, my rambler, the world is out there, and when you are roaming remember

beauty persists in estrangement

and you are most strange when you are lonely


“Safe Travels, Don’t Die” is previously published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance Issue #013

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Why I won’t tell women to be “extra careful”

“This post is not only about travelling. But we travellers need to talk about it.”

Bitchhiking

Being suspicious of men began when I was twelve and a classmate walked up to me, outright groping my emerging breast.

This story already shows the seeds of a dynamic I still experience and tried to properly put into words only yesterday when a male friend asked me to. There is: the shock and disbelief that someone just invaded my private space, without even hesitating. The perceived helplessness, which is hard to admit for someone like me who thinks of themselves as strong. But apparently, I can be able to articulate what I want in many areas and still feel helpless in other situations. A comparison: the same kid threw snowballs at me on the way to school and I had no problem at all reporting that. In the groping situation, a teacher was even closer, in the same room even. Yet, it didn’t even occur to me to…

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Interview + Poems + Art – Jeffrey Cyphers Wright

“Passion lies deep inside, like a statue in a stone, waiting to be freed, imagining its creator chipping away at the layers covering it. It is the seed of a belief. A flame on the bottom of the sea. Blue and restless. It is a wave always moving through you and carrying you away and along.”

Jeffrey Cyphers Wright impressed Nostrovia!‘s crew with his maze of interests & projects that he’s invested sweat & love into for the literary/arts community.

Wrapped up thru Jeffrey’s art is his work as a critic, eco-activist, and publisher. He currently writes criticism for American Book Review, ArtNexus, & White Hot Magazine. He is a long time resident of the East Village in New York City, & produces literary events at KGB Lit Bar and La Mama ETC in conjunction with his magazine, Live Mag!—that said, he’s best known for his lyricism, having published fourteen books of poetry, including “Triple Crown, Sonnets” from Spuyten Duyvil and “Radio Poems” (forthcoming from The Operating System).

“Writing is a struggle. The goal is to maintain what you feel is your own voice while keeping it fresh and vital. My girlfriend told me, ‘You should read 20 poems for every poem you write.’ That is good advice. I find that after I read something I have new ideas and insights about subjects and structures.

So, I’m still focusing on themes I’ve developed over a long time, like exploring and incorporating mythological characters and song lyrics. And at the same time I’m being true to my style, I’m trying to be innovative and react to work I’ve read or heard.

As a publisher, I seem to have my own quixotic way of selecting work that hasn’t really changed since I started. I took Ted’s advice. Live Mag! is still built around artists, poets and reviewers I interact with. And it expands beyond that to include work my restless antenna find and want to share.” -Jeffrey, from our interview below

jeff

Our Featured Artist for Fuck Art, Let’s Dance Issue #013, he shot us both poetry & art that caught our eyes. Read Jeffrey’s feature interview here. We’re pumped to reshare some of his art + poetry below:

***

art-by-jeffrey-cyphers-wright

Mac, the Night Watcher

***

RECIPE FOR A PRECIPICE

Start with overbearing delight
Untenuous joy
A dash of unrectified éclat

Smoothbore lightning salvaged
from the haunted mirror district

Blot up a dram of spilled sun
Capture ruptured rapture

Stir in a cage
of moth-eaten shadows

Add blue snapdragons,
blood squeezed from a Swatch,
mix well and tie into a knot

In my log of useless beauty,
love has no room for pity.

***

thirsty-t

Thirsty Y

***

WOUNDED STAR

You’re always going on
about how unfair things are,
how the deck is stacked for some.
Damn the dealer.
Every whine is one less win.
Let’s hear it for the kiss of hell.

Here’s to the drowning rat.
Here’s to the patrol that’s cut off.
Here’s to the crippled acrobat.
We’re all acting our parts;
I’m wind in a jug,
you’re a little off-key.

What could ever take your place?
A grain of salt? A wounded star?

***

august-dog

“August Dog”

***


 “Recipe for a Precipice” + “Wounded Star” are previously published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance Issue #013. Read Jeffrey’s feature interview here.