The moon is high up in the sky and it’s spring.
I think of you and within myself I’m complete.
— Fernando Pessoa, The Shepherd in Love (1914)
Featuring three divergent new collections of poetry: Mark DuCharme's Counter Fluencies 1-20, Tara Walker's Pill, and j/j hastain's Priest/ess. By strange gravity of music in method, each poet investigates the consumptive power of language, suggesting—in detail at turns familiar, peculiar, and shocking—the secret grace of conception.
Spring is a triune nocturne wherethrough poets transmute ulterior narratives of obsession, addiction, and discrimination into benevolent song. The edition remembers us—warily, wakingly—to Kennedy's assertion that "when power corrupts, poetry cleanses," that the artist "becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an officious state." (The Atlantic, 1963)
is the author of The Unfinished: Books I-VI, Answer, The Sensory Cabinet, The Crowd Poems, Infinity Subsections and Cosmopolitan Tremble, among others. He sees the poem, in part, as a refusal of utilitarian language, which is ironic, because he teaches composition.
has appeared in Magnolia, A Journal of Women's Socially Engaged Literature, The Columbia Poetry Review and Lunch Ticket. Her chapbook Sewn Into the Nest was published in 2009. She has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a current PhD student.
is a collaborator, writer and maker of things. j/j performs ceremonial gore. Chasing and courting the animate and potentially enlivening decay that exists between seer and singer, j/j, simply, hopes to make the god/dess of stone moan and nod deeply through the waxing and waning phases of the moon. j/j hastain is the inventor of The Mystical Sentence Projects and is author of several cross-genre books.
on Counter Fluencies 1-20
Mark Ducharme I know firsthand as a teacher. And this collection proves it is not just a professional title. Nearly every line of his poetry is a lesson. For writers - "If you're not destroyed by [it], then you haven't done it correctly." For everyone - "Fear not the invisible but thank her." — Jonathan Montgomery
Working with only (or mostly) the range of letters each pill provides, creating within it a sense of its own world, Walker nevertheless manages to make from this limited substance, poems that extend beyond their encapsulated confines and into a range of expression that can flood the system and alter perception. Warning: mixing with alcohol may cause musing. — Rowland Saifi
on j/j hastain
j/j is the real deal, reclaiming a space for engendered anarchy, opening Pandora’s secret treasure trove, playing with fire, sound and love — Anne Waldman