The Whittlers Poem by Jackson

He leans forward,

there was a time, sonny

when I saw old men whittling
at the courthouse
sitting there on benches these men
were in overalls and wore
wool hats stained
from the sweat of
days spent in the heat,
in the field,
old grey wool hats
stained with work.
They whittled, these old men
and spat tobacco juice
on the courthouse steps
and sometimes they grabbed
their stubble’d chin
and waved a skinny finger
as they made a point about
“them this”
and “them that”
but mostly it was the weather
and the outlook for the weather
and how they could work no more
and they whittled at the courthouse
and could be seen on Saturday,

our day in town.

I can sometimes see those
old farmers
spitting tobacco juice,

whittling,

and one of them looks
not quite at me but
above,

“Is that your boy?”

 

 

by david michael jackson

Janet Kuypers “Crazy” 4/23/17 short story feature

Janet in Crazy show Janet in Crazy show

On April 23rd, 2017, people got together at the weekly Austin poetry/comedy/music open mic at Kick Butt: Spoken and Heard, and Janet Kuypers was the feature performance that night, where she chose to perform her short story “Crazy”. (The video playlist below shows not only the 4 videos of the performance in 2017 but also teaser video where Kuypers read portions of the story at open mics around Austin TX to advertise the show, as well as two video sections of the first time she ever performed that show, in Chicago.

Crazy short story chapbook

    Before the show started she also released a chapbook of the short story, and this chapbook “Crazy” is still available online even during her reading, so anyone could (and can) download as the chapbook as a PDF file for free any time.

Janet in Crazy show

Six Poems by Allison Grayhurst

Six Poems by Allison Grayhurst

 

Resolve

Burning in the middle
where the sickness gets in,
and my expression is foiled
by an inaudible aim.
Clouded like a bad fragrance
soaking into the pours, making it hard
to breathe. Hard to breathe in like
a petal crushed into a ball, or like a poem
with no testimony.
But I will not be taken in.
I will forge a path for my energy,
find new neighbours, something
unbroken to hold on to.

Take This!

Greed. Grief.
Screaming in the vacant aftermath
where such a scream contains, then releases
the toxins, separates the truth from the immobilizing
confusion of evil.
A smoke cloud of charred pride.
The lie of worry, the torn pages
of prophecy laid out,
caught by the wind, carried
toward God as this scream is
carried – a boxed burden
waved high
into a dull sky.

Without Soul

I felt the pressure between
my hands, drive through
my cortex and embrace
the tip of my brain with warmth.
It felt like fool’s gold, fake
but still providing glitter.
I felt twisted with unknowing,
degutted of all things I hold sacred.
And that was a coat over my corpse,
pennies placed over my eyes. That was
for me, forging forward
with no significance, with no discernable
regrets.

Rilke

You have given me
a stoic ideal and also
the comfort of knowing of the deepest dreamer’s fragility.
You – in the rain,
running with your rage, disappointment and poverty
until you reached the angels and the animals
who spoke to your uncertain heart and spilled
their clarity into you, into words for you that formed
like a reprieve from the monsters and the
chaos of failure. They held you in their
Sabbath for a moment of prayer, until
thrust again into your anguished wilderness, you sunk
away from joy, leaving behind an imprint of happening –
engrained in the realm of all else that ripples
intangible, eternal.

 

The Wall I Walk Through

Sophistication underneath
a set of sad droopy eyes.
The bland dream of civilization
slicing my fingers
as though my flesh was a watermelon.

I see no point but the point
of love, and the interaction between two
in love or just loving.
I see that a relationship can only happen
when both parties are giving –
all else is just in process
of passing.

 

Sculptor

So hard & regal
are the cry of your creations.
A sadness that moves
to be opened:

Stone stuck
movement. Watchers
in the distance
breathing out
your madness.

Old like
love, your roots
have no end. They burrow
with a strength no god
could hinder.

Your hands
outstretched
to the foreign dancer:

shrewd as passion,
life-filled
as the sea.

Some of the places my work has appeared in include Parabola (Alone & Together print issue summer 2012); Elephant Journal; Literary Orphans; Blue Fifth Review; The American Aesthetic; Agave Magazine; JuxtaProse Literary Magazine, Drunk Monkeys; Now Then Manchester; South Florida Arts Journal; Gris-Gris; The Muse – An International Journal of Poetry, Storm Cellar, morphrog (sister publication of Frogmore Papers); New Binary Press Anthology; The Brooklyn Voice; Straylight Literary Magazine (print); Chicago Record Magazine, The Milo Review; Foliate Oak Literary Magazine; The Antigonish Review; Dalhousie Review; The New Quarterly; Wascana Review; Poetry Nottingham International; The Cape Rock; Ayris; Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry; The Toronto Quarterly; Fogged Clarity, Boston Poetry Magazine; Decanto; White Wall Review.

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Three of her poems have been nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015, and she has over 1050 poems published in more than 425 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published twelve other books of poetry and seven collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series. In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. More recently, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group). She is a vegan. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com

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