A HOLOCAUST EXPRESS. A Poem by Milton P. Ehrlich

 

I drive alongside an 18-wheeler loaded with lambs on their way
to Chuck’s Custom Slaughter in Dixon. Halal slaughter welcome.
The lamb’s melancholy faces protrude from bars in wooden cages,
as if to plead their case from as they eye-ball every passing motorist
for one more day of roaming in the bucolic pastures called home.
 
I’ll never eat another lamb chop.
 
 

 
 
Milton P. Ehrlich, Ph.D. is an 87-year old a psychologist who began writing poems after the age of seventy. He has published many of his poems in periodicals such as the Toronto Quarterly, Wisconsin Review, Mobius, The Chiron Review, Samsara, Blue Collar Review Cartier Street Review, Naugatauk River Review, Taj Mahal Review, Poetica Magazine,Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times..
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist & Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (Leeds University)

Lost Window. A Poem by Fabrice B. Poussin

 
Mystery is grand in the old barn,
seeking your way through lost treasures,
misplaced identities of days long gone.
 
A forgotten window remains hidden
below corrugated panes, half rotten boards,
between darkness and obscurity.
 
Eyes to the two sides of a complete tale.
in slumber of deep decades under the dust
of lives only it keeps in its memories.
 
The mirror of two souls in a-temporal gaze
speaks only to the accomplice of the one
who once sealed its fate in an unlikely safe.
 
Time capsule in paragraphs of broken dreams,
in cobb webs, as in a shady shroud,
its fractures will never heal, signatures of the past.
 
I carry the remains to light, as if to resuscitate a pal,
another self in the stories frozen, immobile,
and to chance upon images of those now lost.
 
 
Fabrice B. Poussin
 

 
 
Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry,
his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and dozens of other magazines. His photography
has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (Leeds University) .

Not Happening. A Poem by Ananya S Guha

 
Lovely the way it happens 
lovelier the way things don’t happen 
in an acrobatic murmur 
I saw dissent in a storm 
a cup in wither in the morn 
the battering of life is simply 
an aroma, things happening 
not 
so, bolster fashion 
there is in it the mythic, 
the epistolary, then the 
giants will look at the other way 
a whodunit? a whodunit of the 
whodunit?
Don’t know that surprises melt into 
laughter, then anger 
I am a bit composite now 
after writing a poem.
They do not know it is laden 
with color and tears 
drinking a few beers 
and the way this happens
actually, come to think of it
in slow sterile responses 
( punctuated with heavy breathing) 
should not.
 
Ananya S Guha 
 
 

 
 

Ananya S Guha has been born and brought up in Shillong, India and works in India’s National Open University, the Indira Gandhi National Open University. His poems in English have been published world wide. He also writes for newspapers and magazines/ web zines on matters ranging from society and politics to education. He holds a doctoral degree on the novels of William Golding. He edits the poetry column of The Thumb Print Magazine, and has published seven collections of poetry.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (Leeds University) .

Fragments from My City of Sorrows and Joys. A Poem by Mohammed Moussa

 

I’m in love
with my city of sorrows,
with every joy of it—
the morning scent of sea,
the motley blues of its sky,
the laughter from coffee shops,
the screams of a cab-driver,
the gossip of old women,
the smell of dank alleys.
 
There, along crumbling walls,
muralists hope to eternalize their dreams,
while aging souls sit in their doorways,
drinking strong-tea at noon
and reading their fleeting present
in the day’s news.
 
A brown-eyed girls stares from a window.
 
A small boy returns from the sea with fish.
 
I walk through my streets,
among scars of old losses,
the rubble of broken lives.
 
How do I say farewell
to those memories?
 
I feel cold.
It’s getting colder.
 
My dear city
I have to say goodbye.
I’m tired of your losses,
of your sorrows,
even of your joys.
I’m tired of hope.
 
 

 
 
My name is Mohammed Moussa. I’m a spoken word poet from Palestine. I earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature and now I work as a journalist, translator, and English language trainer. I’m passionate about writing poetry, it is a safe river where my feelings and emotions can flow peacefully. Through poetry, I express what I feel and experience, I write to convey my experiences to the outside world. Recently, I wrote a poetry book titled.” I Was Born in Gaza,” about my experiences during war-time. Living in a besieged city and occupied country has taught me to snatch the sweetness of life from of the bitterness of miseries.
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Next Arrivals. Collected Poems by Robin Ouzman Hislop. Introduction by Ian Irvine (Hobson)

Introduction to Next Arrival: The Many Faces of Creative Indeterminacy
by Ian Irvine (Hobson)

Poetic Indeterminacy 1: L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry and Late Modernist Experimental Poetry

When Marjorie Perloff, long-term critical advocate for L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry (indeed for experimental poetries generally), published The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage back in 1981, she wanted to trace a particular kind of poetic ‘indeterminacy’ back to its 19thcentury roots in Rimbaud. Early on she quoted Barthes’ perspective on Rimbaud’s poetics: ‘Rimbaud … destroyed relationships in language and reduced discourse to words as static things … In it, Nature becomes a fragmented space, made of objects solitary and terrible, because the links between them are only potential.’ Perloff then traced the 20th century developments in this emerging poetics via chapters on Gertrude Stein’s ‘word-systems’, Samuel Beckett’s ‘poetics of absence’ and John Ashberry’s ‘open field of narrative possibilities’ (elsewhere termed a ‘field poetics’). Her book concluded with studies of the ‘marginless’ poetics of David Antin and the chance-operations poetics of John Cage , who wrote of his later works: ‘They begin anywhere, last any length of time … They are therefore not preconceived objects … They are occasions for experience.’ Perloff’s book led to further studies in which she announced L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry as a further chapter in this century old poetics of ‘indeterminacy’.

Robin Ouzman Hislop’s poetry is certainly in dialogue with some of the key architects of this well documented ‘poetics of indeterminacy’ – both the Modernist strands represented by the likes of Beckett and Stein, and the postmodernist strands represented, initially, by Ashberry and Antin, and later on by poets like Charles Bernstein, Bruce Andrews, Lyn Hejinian and Ron Silliman. Next Arrivals, however, like Hislop’s second collection Cartoon Molecules, also explores and responds to themes only rarely addressed by 20th century experimental poets.

In both Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals we start to catch glimpses of a hulking phantasmagoric something (a transhumant creature perhaps?) as it ‘slouches’, ‘transforms’, ‘self-engineers’, ‘machine learns’ it-self into being under cover of the postmodern twilight. Culturally speaking, something new is being born/engineered/programmed in these early decades of the new millennium and all three of Hislop’s collections, in my opinion, work hard to capture the cultural zeitgeist surrounding aspects of this transhuman nativity drama (one interpretation of the collection’s title, i.e. literally, the Next Arrivals). Hislop senses that new poetic forms – what we might label a new (perhaps quantum influenced?) ‘poetics of indeterminacy’ – may be called for here and, like US poet Amy Catanzano, he is courageous enough to initiate new experiments with poetic form in order to address the urgencies of our time.

Poetic Indeterminacy 2: Eulogies for the Passing of Mechanist Science

All this is to say that Hislop is keenly interested in exploring poetically a range of phenomena loosely related to ‘the New Sciences’. His interest, however, is not that of the wide-eyed, but willfully naïve, classical scientist. He understands humanity’s darker impulses – particularly our darker collective impulses – too well to buy into the idyllic marriage vows these days being exchanged between the New Sciences and extreme capitalism – however loved-up the happy couple appear to be in public. His unease and ambivalence regarding this pairing is evident in many of the poems featuring New Science themes. At times key poems descend into states of existential vertigo brought on by what is unfolding. Such themes are most directly addressed in the poem on (p.59) of the collection:

we invent them to serve us         controlling our existence
to create virtual worlds with hells and heavens
myths domesticate science
fiction and reality blur shaping our reality
an assembly of biochemical algorithms flash fade flash fade
spinning

Similar notes of caution and critique accompany references to genetic programming, Artificial Intelligence (and the much publicised ‘approaching Singularity’), Virtual Reality obsessions (Hislop’s meditations on Bostrom’s ‘Simulation Argument’ are particularly interesting), quantum computers, and, so on, throughout the collection. He asks us to be wary of the way the New Sciences are merging with what he refers to as ‘datism’, and then warns us that ‘algorithms can control empire/ or an upper class ruling the planet’ (p.59). Later in the same poem (p.61) we read: ‘free market big brother/ watches every breath you take’. The New Sciences, of course, were founded on a profoundly ontological understanding of ‘indeterminism’, arising as they did, out of the discoveries of a range of early 20th century physicists – especially Heisenberg (with his so-called ‘uncertainty principle’).

Our need to explore these kinds of ontological uncertainty suggest a second major way to understand contemporary experimental poetries as ‘indeterminate’ – a way that brings Hislop close to the concerns of a growing band of writers creating what some are calling ‘Quantum Literatures’. What kinds of art, philosophy, poetry and poetics should we develop to address fundamental ‘indeterminacies’ of matter and consciousness (rather of consciousness observing matter)? Hislop does not, of course, advance explicit theories on such topics in this collection, but a poetic response to the challenges posed hovers above a number of the best poems in the collection. Such concerns also – whether consciously or unconsciously – seem to affect the formal flow of the collection.

Next Arrival can, in theory, be entered via a range of gates, since the 2nd to last poem in the collection mirrors the collection of lines used to construct the table of contents. Though there are no titles to each discernible segment of poetry – no capitals and headings to interrupt flow – we slowly become aware (via a kind of gentle memory murmur) that the first line of each new segment also appears in the table of contents (and will appear again at the end of the collection). In a sense then, our reading choices – i.e. whether we browse/surf the collection or proceed more conventionally from start to finish – ‘collapse’ a range (or field) of reading (and meaning) possibilities into a particular reading outcome. The experience, however, is always ‘hologrammatical’, since poem fragments from across the collection are embedded in secondary poems – producing the uncanny sense that every poem is linked to every other poem. Another term for this – a term directly related to the New Sciences – is ‘entanglement’. Specifically, we are talking about a poetics of entanglement. It is perhaps an intuitive development –possibly arising naturally out of Hislop’s deeply held ecological vision (as outlined in a number of the collection’s other poems). We note, however, that a poetics of entanglement may run contrary to the kind of language atomizing poetics we sometimes find in the more extreme manifestations of contemporary anti-representational poetry.

Although Hislop uses a range of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry techniques, the poems in Next Arrivals are never completely ‘anti-representational’. Rather meaning-creating choices, options, possible worlds/selves are offered up to the reader at every turn. The poet invites us to contemplate a new kind of reading freedom—a freedom built upon expansive notions of subjectivity, linked, in turn, to up-dated Existential and New Science perspectives. A subjectivity, in short, subliminally aware of the multiverse. Barthes’ summary of Rimbaud’s poetic (and, retrospectively the poetics of late Modernism and Postmodernism) – i.e. a poetics of ‘objects solitary and terrible’ – is not, in the end, Hislop’s poetic. Rather, we are talking about a poetry slanted toward human vulnerability and the facts of our inter-relational entanglements – a poetry addressing readers staring at the approach of an A.I. and big-data determined – perhaps Simulation programmed – future that may well see ordinary humans made obsolete and irrelevant – in a word ‘surpassed’. Interestingly, however, I suspect that for Hislop the risks associated with the fast approaching A.I. Singularity confront us as contemporary manifestations of what amounts to an age-old curse. Perhaps a classical allusion is in order. As we read Next Arrivals we become aware that we are still negotiating the Minotaur’s death-haunted labyrinth (in many ways the structure of the collection resembles that of a literary labyrinth). The face of the Minotaur, however, continuously shape-shifts into that of Saturn (old Father Time himself, or, put differently, the inevitable human encounter with death/mortality). There are thus a number of moving poems in Next Arrivals exploring mortality, ageing and the general fragility of human life. Two lines, for me, best summarise the collection’s new spin on this very old theme (p.69):

but I brimmed in apocalypse             under the welter of bones
yield to the inevitable

Poetic Indeteminacies to do with Editing, Translating and New media Technologies

Hislop and his wife, Amparo Perez Arrospide, have edited the online literary and visual arts publication Poetry Life and Times (PLT) since 2006. In this age of global communication networks, it becomes increasingly difficult to separate a poet’s poetry from a poet’s elsewhere contributions to literary and online cultures. Everything swims together in a kind of ‘electronic soup’ of interactions and information nodes on the WWW (representing perhaps another kind of ‘field poetics’ or ‘poetics of indeterminacy’). For better or worse, the specialized poets of the 20th century have slowly been replaced by a new breed of transmedia savvy ‘uber-artists’. Some poets are well equipped for the new role. Hislop, certainly, is comfortable communicating in a range of genres, across a variety of conventional and new media platforms (e.g. reviews/nonfiction essays, translations, video-poems, teaching, poetry performances, etc. ), as well as through publishing the works of other poets at the PLT site (and we note that all good literary journals seek to construct ‘an open field of narrative possibilities’).

There is no doubt that PLT, here including work published via its sub-sites Artvilla and Motherbird , expresses a truly internationalist poetics. Its contributors herald from all over the planet and the various sites feature a range of poetic styles—traditional, modernist, postmodernist, experimentalist, etc . The editors are also committed to publishing the poetry of non-English language poets (translated, in many cases, by the editors themselves). We note here that ‘translation’ is itself a notoriously difficult and ‘indeterminate’ activity – there is always a trace of the translator in the finished product, however much he or she strives to eliminate any evidence of input. Overall, PLT augments ,and expands upon, the very same poetics of indeterminacy we encounter in Hislop’s own poetry.

*****

The creative Indeterminacies I have located in Hislop’s overall oeuvre are cause for celebration. Exploring such ‘creative indeterminacies’ will introduce us to zones of hybridity – the interstitial plazas and market-places that exist between the monolithic, but ultimately delusionary and oppressive, certainties fed us daily by governments, media moguls, religious leaders and ideologues. There is something liberating and eminently human about embracing the expanded notions of self we encounter in Hislop’s poetry. We note that John Cage also sought a more expansive definition of creative practice when he labeled his later experiments ‘occasions for experience’. We may apply the same terminology to the poems in Next Arrivals – they are, each and every one of them, ‘occasions for experience’. Hislop’s ‘occasions for experience’, however, highlight the ambivalences and anxieties, as well as the joys and occasional epiphanies, experienced by ordinary people attempting to make sense of our globalised, corporatized, information-saturated post-postmodern world.
 
Ian Irvine (Hobson) Victoria Australia 2018

 

Ian Irvine (Hobson) is an Australian based, British born, poet/lyricist, fiction writer, journal editor, and writing and creative arts academic. His work has been published extensively, including in a number of national anthologies, e.g. Best Australian Poetry and Agenda’s special Contemporary Australian Poets edition. He has published four books and has co-edited over 20 publications including 7 editions of the groundbreaking international literary ezine The Animist (1998-2001), as well as Scintillae 2012 (a print anthology containing work by over 60 Australian poets and writers). Ian has taught in the creative and professional writing programme at Bendigo Kangan Institute since 1999. He also lectures casually in a similar program at Victoria University, Melbourne.
 
 
 

 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Evolution. A Poem by Antonio Martínez Arboleda

 
Animals programmed to kill:
 
Some demand entertainment
to appease the flames
of their DNA,
which they try to bypass
through consciousness
or convenience.
 
Others simply survive
without questioning their appetites
(They make great TV in their chase and struggle).
 
Meanwhile
the veggie rest
distil the fluids
of their neighbours:
 
A chain of convivial parasites.
 
And all this happening
in a Cosmos with lamps
that come and go
without rehearsal,
like the lights of the ceiling of a disco,
 
a Cosmos that keeps shifting
energy and mass
without remorse,
like accountants play with figures
 
The absent Developer
sated his thirst for creativity
in only six days,
leaving behind
a beautiful,
ugly,
random,
orderly,
bloody,
dusty,
tender,
holly rocky Mess.
 
His desk is covered by mountains
of meaningless,
timeless paperwork.
 
If Intelligence is just artificial,
what is then Faith?
 
Customer Services are down.
 
Don’t settle for evolution.
 
 

 
www.leeds.ac.uk/arts/people/Spanish Portuguese and_Latin American Studies/Antonio Martinez Arboleda
 
Antonio Martínez Arboleda:
Tony Martin-Woods started to write poetry for the public in 2012, at the age of 43, driven by his political indignation. That same year he also set in motion Poesía Indignada, an online publication of political poetry. He runs the poetry evening Transforming with Poetry at Inkwell, in Leeds, and collaborates with 100 Thousands Poets for Change. Tony is also known in the UK for his work as an academic and educator under his real-life name, Antonio Martínez Arboleda. His project of digitisation of poetry, Ártemis, compiles more than 100 high quality videos of Spanish poets and other Open Educational Resources. http://www.artemispoesia.com/. He is the delegate in the UK of Crátera Revista de Críticay Poesía Contemporánea , where he also publishes his work as translator from English into Spanish. He published his first volume of poetry in Spanish, Los viajes de Diosa (The Travels of Goddess), in 2015, as a response to the Great Recession, particularly in Spain. His second book, Goddess Summons The Nation, is a critique of the ideas of nation and capitalism, mainly in the British Brexit context. It incorporates voices of culprits, victims and heroes with mordacity and rhythm. It consists of 21 poems, 18 of which are originally written in English. It is available in print and kindle in Amazon and other platforms.
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Good Morning, Mr. Bollocks. A Poem by RW Haynes

 

Blathering aesthetic remf,
Where were you when that meteorite
Fiberglassed half a continent?
Did you cry with us in the choir
Of angel rapture, back when matter
Meshed with concept meshed with love?
Did you point your K-Mart blowgun
And matching plastic hatchet
As the saints came striding down the sky?
 
Wait a minute.
I remember you. You had a nervous face
And complained about pelicans.
I thought at the time that a jury of penguins
Would be unanimous,
Vindicating their crash-diving friends.
I thought you needed some time at sea,
Some time to gather gravity.
After all, don’t the gulls always call?
 
In the place I walked a little while ago,
A rainbow raised its arms before the sun,
And, by the shrine of a murdered child,
A mockingbird flew at an oriole.
 
 
 
On the Savannah River 2013
 
 
 
R. W. Haynes has taught literature at Texas A&M International University since 1992. His recent interests include the early British sonnet, and he is completing a second book on the Texas playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote (1916-2009). In his poetry, Haynes seeks to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without sounding any more dissonant notes than he has to. In fiction, he works toward grasping that part of the past which made its mark on his generation. He enjoys teaching drama, especially the Greeks, Ibsen, and Shakespeare, and he devoutly hopes for a stunning literary Renaissance in South Texas.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Chapter Yuck. A Poem by Vlad Krakov

“Whenever you are sad be sad for the world that is dying”
  -me just now
 
chapter yuck
 
as the designee
i lie with my pillows
facing the dawn.
ce matin,
it is my sworn duty
to notice every change
in color and hue.
 
chapter yum
 
do not tell me
to go outside
i am turning
the human soul
inside
 
out
on wikipedia
word
and youtube.
 
chapter jesus just go outside man
 
i wish i could be
a plant in your room
to be gazed at
to be stroked
in all your sleepy tenderness
your mind far away
it doesnt matter
the mind and the heart
rarely land on the same leaf.
i wish i could feel you watering me.
 
i know you tried.
 
chapter what the hell fine
 
little sparrow things
peck a burnt baguette
beside a dumpster.
who can tell them
that thats
garbage?
 
chapter dont worry now i’ve had my coffee and promise to not be a meanie
 
in this park
you can hear birds
and
even
 
(shh)
 
salamanders.
 
chapter yellow
 
man on his hands and knees
picks up the butts between the leaves
saving noone
helping everyone
trees bees and mes
 
chapter orange
 
its a delusion
that a change of scenery
is comforting.
but
it’s a comforting delusion.
 
chapter red
 
who left
the roadkill cat
bloody wrapped in a hoodie
at the cemetary gates?
 
sombre offering
to a forgotten urban god.
 
chapter yesterday
 
the laws of the playground
are the most sacred
and the most seldom broken.
children,
knowing the weight of words,
and of the hands of those it,
would never agree
to marriage or mortgage.
 
“we’re the winners”
cry three,
jumping on a rock.
you sure are.
 
chapter today
 
a duck
finds peace
under a bridge.
 
chapter tommorow
 
i just wanna
lay in the grass
and listen to birds
but today
this dying world
is dying.
 
yea your buildings
are pretty
but theyre also
ugly.
 
yea your steaks are tasty
but they’re also
mean.
 
maybe after i save the world
i can have grass and birds
and steaks and skyscrapers
and big trucks too.
but right now its
time for adventure.
 
//
 

 
 

Vlad Krakov:
“Vancouver’s famously self-pitying dumpster-juice-for-blood Bad Luck Brian. Favorite pastimes include brooding and drinking at dog-friendly beaches and chatting with the spirit of Lou Reed through an ouija board. Currently working as a research assistant in an archaeology lab.”
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (Leeds University)