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30 April 2013

Things in Light Poetry Series 2013: Rudolfo Carrillo

Rudolfo Carrillo

There are only a couple of hours left in this year's version of April. We are confident that this iteration will infinitely reprise itself, though our spectral sources say that by 2157, the term "April" will have been replaced by an unpronounceable word that alludes to the majestic heat and windy cruelty of springtime in the northern hemisphere.

In accordance with such glimpses into future astronomical and geophysical possibilities, we are going to wrap up our second annual poetry series with the previously published sonnets of Things in Light co-founder and editor Rudolfo Carrillo, who reminds us that Tlön is closer to becoming than we can possibly imagine.

Sonnet for Amalthea

This ain’t a story built from good wood,
he said, while assembling imaginary
transdimensional super materials
into a fluid as heavy as Jupiter’s third
moon. Besides, the others might
gather together an army of squirrels
or squares. Both are considered good eating,
you know. There are alternatives to dusk
and did I tell you — he continued
in a voice reminiscent of the translucent
utterance ascribed to Zeppo when
confronted by the complexity of it
all — the way ashes cling to water is
just another word for the sky.

Sonnet Comprising Today’s Temporal Analysis

I found out my town was made from dust and corn, street people

and low flying jet aeroplanes. Sometimes an old turbo job swooped into view.

Inside the restaurants, people spoke about how bright the sun had been, whether

or not there would be enough rain to paint the streets with, like it was a holiday or

something like that. Everyone I knew drove a car that spit out smoke while loudly

proclaiming the continued ascendance of heavy metal. The pictures in the local

paper alluded to twisted mulberry branches. If you fashioned a plutonium-laden

symbol from those elemental moments, someone up in heaven would surely

smile at the heaviness that propelled the resulting storm clouds upward into what

could only be described as a fantastically elaborate void. After recording these

latest observations, I drank from the river with the solemnity of Coronado’s

thirsty horde, gamboling fiercely upon the shore, disguised as last month’s

flying insect ruler, conjuring articles of faith from yellow leaves. Sodium

lamps buzzed wantonly from electrified steel poles; it was never quiet here.

Sonnet Sixteen: Saltwater and Smoke

The past, or rather the world created
by expired occurrences and dangling
actions remains out of reach. The
inchoate symphony in everyman’s left eye
is a globe of indeterminate composition
and volume. Arms cannot grasp such
roundly articulate implications. Its girth
is unitary and expansive in directions
previously dismissed as outlandish,
as not befitting the shabby wizardry
defined on a Cartesian plane and
primarily used as a basis for moving
wind-driven, wooden caverns filled with men
and their produce across the vasty deep.

Sonnet After Kilgore Trout

The flattened portion of the universe you are currently viewing
is best displayed through soporific filter number seventy-nine point

sixty-three. You know the one I mean, don’t you, gentle reader?

It resides in a golden box, composing itself from ashes and modern

construction materials like citizenship and looming mortality.

A new tower built of bony fingers with missing legs upon its painted lips.

That form gives a rumbling grandeur to what was poured into it.

Infinity and nothingness make for subtle yet utilitarian hinges.

There is even a subroutine designed to increase the vividness and

the saturation of spring. Subsequently, the summer sun burns hours

into crevices available for entertainment or observation in a manner

similar to the power of photographs prior to their silvery obsolescence.

I have never been more hopeful about America. Smoke a cigarette

and masturbate. Ask your robotic assistant about installation options, today.

Sonnet for Flesh

Now he is mechanical.

and there ain't any music

on the a.m. dial, so you can

forget all about x-rock eighty

motherfucker, reconciling
yourself instead to
murmurs, utterances 
and the urge to catch
one's breath, 
trip trip tripingly, or whatever
 floats through the aether to be
transformed by magnetism.

Continuing his research on robots

because there are plenty of flash
that depict men made
from tin,
 he will limit and adjust
his range of motion, accordingly.

Quotations From a Revolution

Thirty years must pass said I,
knowing anyway springtime
could not be properly reckoned
in the rough calculation of
transit. You may visit when
it is convenient. Ah, but remember
to flee spasmodically with the night,
just when the trees flutter and
the birds erupt into their seasonal
songs of temporal location. Until
then, all monuments should be
built from locomotion; a reminder
of what we did to make an
escape from this new rain.

Sonnet for A Passing Vessel

Vast portions of the heavenly void
go unused because performing magic on
carpeted hallways has limitations. Things
are getting lost, and better yet, being revealed;
much like serpentine flashes in the trees,
almost like the time they found a poisonous spider
behind the water cooler. My dreams do not refer to literature.
They do not echo my father’s Quixotic asides.
Or describe everything as backwards. Inside that vessel,
Wave forms do not have emotional content and you
can experience purple in all of its glory, although
the soundtrack is forgettable; composed of bright pixels
that are really grains of rice that are really
bones colored like the contour of a cloud.


Rudolfo Carrillo is an artist and writer that lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He studied art at the University of New Mexico. He has been a welder and projectionist, but now works as a college instructor. His work has been published in all sorts of places, but mostly on the web and in newspapers. Interact with his site, Infinity Report, when you have  some time. 

28 April 2013

Things in Light Poetry Series 2013: Murat Nemet-Nejat

Samantha Anne Carrillo

The penultimate installment of TiL's 2013 Poetry Series features the work of poet, translator and essayist Murat Nemet-Nejat, who was among writers who recently read and celebrated 21 years of Word Thursdays readings at Poet's House, NYC. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Nemet-Nejat has resided in the United States since 1959. He sent us this sublime work from his home in New Jersey. It is an adaptation/translation of a Turkish poem written by Küçük İskender.


I bought you a lamp shade today
just the tip of my mind baltimore
or an open doored green Chevrolet,
registered a masterpiece
sacrifice is the tape you play
waywards towards the shore
all around us angelhoods, in blood cleaning
at each other’s throats, hanging on each others’ calls

I wrote you a letter today,
more than trivialities,
talking of roses
the anxiety of turning into a rose
can’t you remember I bitched,
left and right cigarettes lit, burnt out
each drag starts with “my love, “
no more, fragments fragments
of paper soul
rocks of cocaine bliss
a winter piece came into me
with your drip of blood within
we went
sacrificing today
my wrist still sweet and flowing
a temporal drip
a love chat not talked about
bodies abused
feisty squirrels meeting on a limb
the lips, the lips trembling
the glowworm which hits nothing and disappears
the wonder phantasma which hit my mind and disappeared
our love
pieces of soul and love which hit and disappeared
the hand of the teen cutesy god which appears and moves on my white and wet forehead
in the middle of my life the first time I came, parisreaming of dying
oh, readjust slowly my wet forelock,
I bought you a lamp shade today, wrote you a letter,
to you, I say... a lamp shade and letter
for you I died today no one else
That green Chevy, open doors
in your cassette sacrifice by Elton, Elton John
on my palm a pink alliance ring
fragments, of fog and bliss which hit and disappear,
yours and mine collected we anted
into time
and you and I thinking we are a mere thing
fretting on the fact
like a feather, approaching you
like a feather touching and startling you
then ebbing away…

k. Iskender
translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat

Murat Nemet-Nejat is the author of The Peripheral Space of Photography (Green Integer Press, 2004), the memoir/essay “Istanbul Noir” in Istanbul: Metamorphoses In an Imperial City (Talisman Press, 2011), and the poem "The Spiritual Life of Replicants" (Talisman House, 2011). Poet, translator and essayist, Nemet-Nejat also edited and largely translated Eda: An  Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry  (Talisman House, 2004), translated Orhan Veli, I, Orhan Veli (Hanging Loose Press, 1989), Ece Ayhan, A Blind Cat Black and Orthodoxies (Sun and Moon Press, 1997), and Seyhan Erözçelik, Rosestrikes and Coffee Grinds (Talisman House, 2010). Ece Ayhan’s A Blind Cat Black and Orthodoxies will be republished by Green Integer Press in 2013. His translation of Birhan Keskin’s poem "Y’ol" will be published by The Imprint Press in 2013.

26 April 2013

Things in Light Poetry Series 2013: Mjamj Snjirc

Samantha Anne Carrillo

As April transits into May, we're excited and happy to publish the work of Mjamj Snjirc. We asked Snjirca native of Amsterdam residing in a small Hungarian village near the Croatian borderto contribute because her prolific output and multimedia approach to poetics is formidable and intensely beautiful. The video realization of this poem is embedded following the text.

The Love Who Is My Love Is My Love/1

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love is
talking silenty. Her silence is gorgeous when she whispers her
whishes to me.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love is
lying next to me when I lie. And isn't she lying next to me she is
lying in me. With her silent drum she arouses me. Virtuoso rhythms
defying any analysis. Move me move me move me move me.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love is
resting next to me when she rests. And isn't she resting next to me
she is resting in me. The Love who is my Love is a gorgeous warrior.
Her weapons are dedication and noble courage.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. She swims and swims and
swims and swims. Through the water through the miracle. Her birth
will happen under a lucky star. The same star that shone on the bed
in which I was bred.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. She is unborn she is alive she
is dead.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love
possesses the words. Within the words she possesses she possesses
the time. Within the time she possesses she possesses the space.
Within the space she possesses she possesses the roads. Within the
roads she possesses she possesses the elements.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love is a
holiday dish. A holiday dish served up in 1181 bowls. Each bowl
fired in last night's flames.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love is a
fairy tale. A fairytale gathered from 7 times 7 mouths. It begins in
the winter that never ends. And ends in the summer that never

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love is
singing with the wind when she sings. The Love who is my Love is
crying in me when she cries. She sings and sings and sings and
sings. She cries she cries she cries she cries.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. She is unborn she is alive she
is dead.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love is
dreaming next to me when I dream. And isn't she dreaming next
to me she is dreaming in me. She introduces me to all of her
acquaintances. A procession of a billion heads passes through my
house. I greet and greet and greet and greet. And the best wishes
expressed in dizzying sounds. Heal me heal me heal me heal me.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love
lends me her glance. Her glance has a reach of 360 degrees sharp.
Everything that comes within her range, shows itself for a
gorgeously silent moment. We relish we relish we relish we relish.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love
possesses the flowers. Within the flowers she possesses she
possesses the big smell. If her big smell is heavy. She temps me
to drift and doze. If her big smell is light. She animates my

The Love who is my Love is my Love. From the riches she offers, I
conscientiously pick my presents for her. She lets me, because me
too she grants the joy of giving. And because she knows the power
of the gesture of goodwill.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love is
walking next to me when I walk. And isn't she walking next to me
she is walking in me. My step adjusts itself to hers. Her step adjusts
itself to mine. She walks I walk she walks I walk. Through the
distance through the light. Without the slightest effort we arrive
where we should. A billiom laughing faces welcome us. A table is set
with 1184 steaming bowls. As we join the orchestra strikes up. A
mixture of rumba samba chachacha and chardas. The sun dances
with the moon – the other planets dance with the comets. We feast
we feast we feast we feast.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The words she possesses are
too long if they must be too long. Too short if they must be too
short. The time she possesses is too early if it must be too early.
Too late if it must be too late. The space she possesses is too wide if
it must be too wide. Too narrow if it must be too narrow. The roads
she possesses are too slow if they must be too slow. Too fast if they
must be too fast. The elements she possesses are too good if they
must be too good. Too bad if they must be too bad.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love is
too big if she wishes to be too big. The Love who is my Love is too
small if she wishes to be too small.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. Of my Love I rest assured for
the remainder of my life. With my Love I rest assured for the
remainder of my life. Through my Love I rest assured for the
remainder of my life. In the morning I drink a cup of tea. In the
afternoon I smoke a pipe. In the evening I exchange stories in a
whisper. One time in the company of some old Chinese. Another
time in the company of some old Finns. Also sometimes in the
company of some old Indians. Then again in the company of some
old Egyptians. This is how I pay my dues – informal but strict.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. She flies and flies and flies
and flies. Covered with snow from northpole to southpole the earth
stretches gorgeously silent under her. The never ending winter has

The Love who is my Love is my Love. Lie my Love lie in me. Rest
my Love rest in me. Cry my Love cry in me. Dream my Love dream
in me. Walk my Love walk in me. Glow my Love glow in me.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love
blows bubbles like a champion. A billion transparant universes
trance through my house. Sparkling jewels defying any reforging.
Transport me transport me transport me transport me. The Love
who is my Love is generous if she wishes to be generous. The Love
who is my Love is tight if she wishes to be tight.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love
possesses the forms. Within the forms she possesses she possesses
the colors. Within the colors she possesses she possesses the light.
Within the light she possesses she possesses the miracle.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. She is dead she is alive she is

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The forms she possesses are
complex if they must be complex. Simple if they must be simple.
The forms she possesses are always gorgeous. The colors she
possesses are intense if they must be intense. Pale if they must be
pale. The colors she possesses are always gorgeous. The light she
possesses is white if it must be white. Black if it must be black The
light she possesses is always gorgeous. The miracle she possesses
is nothing if it must be nothing. Everything if it must be everything.
The miracle she possesses is always gorgeous.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. She is dead she is alive she is

The Love who is my Love is my Love. My Love and I – we are
pagans. She is a pagan I am a pagan. Untamed we walk the earth.
She walks I walk she walks I walk. We go through mountains – The
Himalayas The Kilimanjaro The Andes. We go through deserts – The
Sahara The Gobi The Nullarbor. We go by rivers – The Wolga The
Amazone The Mississippi. We go through cities – Singapore Madras
Dakar. We arrive we stay we leave. My Love and I – we are pagans.
We pay are dues – informal but strict.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love is
sitting next to me when I sit. And isn't she sitting next to me she is
sitting in me. Her flesh is firm. Firm as the month of december. With
her firm flesh she keeps me firm. Her breathing is calm. Calm as the
month of june. With her calm breathing she keeps me calm. Her
glance is clear. Her glance has a range of 366 days sharp. Every-
thing that comes within her range. Blooms, gets fructified, ripens.
With her clear glance she keeps me clear. The Love who is my Love
is my guide. I am firm – full of eager patience. The Love who is my
Love is my guide. I am calm – full of the violence of nature. The
Love who is my Love is my guide. I am clear – full of dumb

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love is
talking silenty. Her silence is gorgeous when she whispers her
whishes to me.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love
possesses the music. Too warm if it must be too warm. Too cold if it
must be too cold. Within the music she possesses she possesses the
stones. Too warm if they must be too warm. Too cold if they must
be too cold. Within the stones she possesses she possesses the
energies. Too warm if they must be too warm. Too cold if they must
be too cold.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love is
warm if she wishes to be warm. The Love who is my Love is cold if
she wishes to be cold.

The Love who is my Love is my Love. The Love who is my Love
possesses the fruit. The Love who is my Love is a piece of fruit. With
her sweet juices she caresses the tip of my tongue. With her bitter
juices she tickles the back of my tongue. A billion drunken animals
prepare themselves for tomorrow. A holy day on the calender of
eternity. The clouds are busy decorating the sky. The thunder storm
finished the design for the light show. On each of the 12 tables there
is room for 1190 bowls. Each bowl piled with juicy delicacies.
By now the procession can arrive any moment. When tomorrow is
over one by one each member will continue on. And they will meet
up again at the joint destination. Nobody will get lost. For everybody
gets dealt a compass whose needle is pointed invariably towards
As soon as Sagittarius comes in sight Jascha strikes up. A mixture of
earth fire water and air. The moon dances with the sun – the
comets dance with the other planets. The Love who is my Love is a
gorgeous dancer. The Love who is my Love asks me for a dance.
She dances I dance she dances I dance. The beat of my heart
adjusts itself to hers. The beat of her heart adjusts itself to mine.
My Love and I – we are tireless. We dance and dance and dance and

The Love who is my Love is my Love. HOW FARTHER SHE REACHES

To read more, visit her website.

18 April 2013

Things in Light Poetry Series 2013: Luis Peña

Samantha Anne Carrillo

The twelfth installment of TiL's 2013 Poetry Series features the work of Luis Peña and proffers an A/V treat: fotografía 505.

How Many Names Do You Have For Water?

Water is memory alive
two hydrogens and one oxygen
three distinct states on Earth
a holy trinity of solid, liquid and gas
the basis for all life on the planet

The memory in water is
coded deep as connections to
zero, the very beginning
when cloud people danced
across coral colored skies
and thunder was the drum
and the drum our hearts
and we celebrated many names for rain

these memories are
proportional to water in living flesh
and bears witness to every moment
so watch it flow by like
sinew and tendon across bone
liquid silver and turquoise intention

My memories are made of
arsenic, iron and soda pools
spring runoff and melting ice
moss rocks and golondrina trills
water balloon fights and the
way the frogs sing after a good rain

I fell into the acequia as a child
and felt the downward pull
gently swallowing panic for air
then the unsound of underwater silence
somewhere the memory of birth
and the sting of every La Llorona threat

As an adult the memories are
full with strength and respect
the birth of our three children
the power of the ocean waves, atl
headwater prophecies, agua
playful water serpent, kha'poo

in every moment there is water
Something worth fighting for
Something worth dying for

in every moment worth fighting for
in every moment worth dying for
there is water


what is a desert consciouness?
how does it manifest?
as a perfect square or maybe 
a cross shaped monolith?
plotted out as cardinal points
or maybe some sort of plant
hard and bitter, skeptical
like yuccas combed clean of flesh
stripped and ground down
bound by saltine dreams and humility
or maybe a conciousness 
like melted wax, pieces of time
that burn away slowly and
are hot to the touch, perfumed
a vehicle for intention and superstition
a south facing wall in the winter
or a cool shadow in the summer
a goathead on the foot
dry bones in the backyard
gratitude encarnate as rainfall


You ever notices how God's will
looks suspiciously like a Man's political agenda
and how, when you unravel all the doublespeak and
false ideology, you find a scared person 
who fears change too

And have you ever hit a stoplight, around Christmas
and come face to face with a homeless soul
and for one second you exchange places
and all of a sudden, that's you holding a sign too
in the freezing cold

Have you ever watched them drop bombs
on the evening news, on villages in far away places
whose names you cannot pronounce, and see pain
on the faces of people whose name you cannot pronounce 
and thought, that's me they're bombing

Or have you ever attended a burial
only to find yourself looking up
from the bottom of the hole
skywise, to see yourself cry
for the loss of such a great friend

I've often sat listening to music that
pokes at the sore spots and wails
as it speaks to heartache and loss
and have realized, hey man...
that's me they're singing about

necessary for growth
but damn
it hurts like hell

creation story

/// i have been created
/// in divine light
/// and in the anger
/// of creation reverse

.// obsidian winged
.// butterflies that
.// dwell in colony
.// wind drifted

../ i have been created
../ in the mischief
../ rabbit tricksters
../ on smoking altars

... golondrina whistles
... swallowing silence
... like watery sound of
... turquoise and silver

../ i have been created
../ in liquid feather
../ reptilian parietal eye
../ a social construct

.// other siders
.// lucid dreamers
.// whispers of ghost
.// dancers and fiber optic

/// i have been created
/// in the space between
/// irrational numbers
/// and rational love

Perfect White Torpedo
He drinks from the chipped porcelain coffee cup, which reminds him that life can be cold & bitter at times. Back in the living room he rolls another cigarette, gazing at the snapshots and fractures. Fat children with exaggerated smiles and stone faced testaments to military service line the walls one square at a time. His fingers fumble back to pack the tobacco in the small white oja, to roll a perfect white torpedo. Top brand of course, zigzags are for the marijuanos.

The match strikes

His stare stretches on for 100 miles after the first drag, gazing into purgatory. The silence is witness to the gathering of angels who sit next to his fogon, patiently waiting to impart wisdom while the clock ticks on in impatience. In his head he hears radios and interference, bomb whistles and explosions, screaming and directives. The smoke twists about his face in an effort to refocus his attention, in the way that children with important ideas sometimes do.

Home has never been the same, even though that statue of the Guadalupana has not moved from its place in the trastero. She stands there, arms outstretched among the collection of crosses and tea cups. Her heartbeat echoes off the canyon walls that surround this little casita, because she still loves him. But instead, he chops wood to pass the time and avoids the dogfights at the bar. It doesn't matter much, the faces change but the roles remain the same. Just ask the three legged dog. 

There are no jobs and he won't accept handouts. Fortunately for him that beans, potatoes and chile never get boring

Beans, chile and potatoes
Beans and potatoes
Chile and beans
Potatoes and beans
Chile and potatoes
Potatoes, chile and beans

Just enough calories to keep the Jeep on the road. In the night, he pleads with his sergeant  to join the rest of his ghost platoon. And the son of a bitch kids call him crazy and tease him when he's not looking. So he conjures the big yellow schoolbus to take them away and it passes swiftly against the kitchen window. The brakes and the grinding gears give him a sense of order and the way the sounds fade off into the distance is predictable. Not it same way the ocean does, or the way he can still speak Korean through cracked lips.

His daughters don't understand, but every year they cook him a big turkey on Veteran's Day. And in that moment, it's all trumpets and streamers and sparklers. His shoes shine and you can bounce a quarter off his bed. He laughs and leads his grandson by a calloused finger and tells him,"El diablo sabe más por viejo que por diablo." The little boy smiles back in confusion.


He problem solves
Inside equalibrium
Gifiting elders with
Fresh blanquillos

Super secret
Liquid purple
Split & stacked

Hermano Raton
Sings softly to your
Coffee pots and
Spring runoff

And right about now.

Cloud people are
Irritated by cable TV
And the pop of cheap shoes
On linoleum floors

Somewhere. Dream deep.

Deep as mica mines
Deep as camotes
Somewhere. Clan animals
are chasing car tires

And here you are
With me, watching
Thoughts go by like
Stock tickers

Even the second hand wastes our time...


When he's not digging through 1's and 0's, Luis Peña has been known to kick it with poets and in gardens. He hopes to someday become a seed saver and a hollow bone for Creator. His thoughts tend to drift towards cloud formations, subwoofers and the current state of water in the Nórte. You can find him in Santa Clara Pueblo, NM or at luispena505@yahoo.com

17 April 2013

Things in Light Poetry Series 2013: B.A. Crumm

Samantha Anne Carrillo

The eleventh installment of TiL's 2013 poetry series features the work of writer, artist, musician and culture jammer B.A. Crumm.

teen angst sonnets (not really sonnets), pt. 5

Hedy Lamarr started the telegram invented the cell phone tech
Pink, the lion is wading in the pool
At the Chateau Marmont with lipstick
On his coronated collar follow me, follow me
Repeat this fantastically fancy & furious & fascinated
So froze in time
Which bungalow will she fit into the best? He thought, He thought
Hungry ghosts are always waiting & watching
So ugly they are bored pretty
That photographer got distracted by
Hedy’s gams that Summer
And crashed into a wall Roundabout at 10:15
Vigil, candles on the sidewalk
It was Sunday.


Saraswati सरस्वती             (a   l o o s e   translation)
Sookie  Stackhouse
 is    so    ”hotrightnow”
»what about fake fangs«
fauxfirefinishit. / finnish shit? /
there are too many good books
  /other things on the table/
leaning learning language
    liquid        &       lost   the  ”holdhands”   &   extra arms
       still                schooled
             sing    it   in
                sanskrit                  गायत्री

For Uhura/ & for Her

Versus why does it always have to be
It feels worse than the cursive
Whisper. Phone. Spaceship.
Simple things in Space.
Here: Not quite so simple.
Uhura you sent me this message from 1957
“ & America it drowns itself with machines & weeping.
And I send you this message back from 2010
“ & America it drowns itself with machines & weeping.
-B.A. Crumm ”Will they get it, Uhura?
Mirror the middle man in the mirror middle.
Underdog. Horse on a string around neck. Pause.
& sit underneath a dogwood tree.
Like an underdog would.
Uhura. Count on You.
Cipher. Codebreaker.
Riddle fixer. Oracle.
Or a call.
Sumerian or something.
Uhura ,the battle cry has gone wild
And so have the girls.
Uhura, is your headset fired up?
The battered battle song/cry is Babel.
Babel to Men on Earth.
“& All the Universe is laughing at you. “
( & Us)
( or Maybe along with us- not so sure yet)
“ The Universe is also conspiring to
Shower us w/ Blessings. “ ( we’ll see )
& either way the Universe is filled with
Uhura, make the girl a champ.
In your stars.
Light years away Uhura responds:
“ You can start laughing now you Bastards!

Why The Piano Player Knows Everything

“You’re a weak little pony, Jim, to pull big men like us.”- Dylan Thomas

Why the Piano Player knows everything
( a version )
at night we beckon a gentle congregation
although what really gathers are the
heckling hounds
& we are janitors because there is
the constant upkeep of keeping
all the assholes
at bay
& eagle eye it from the center of the
swarm storm
kick a guy out for blocking the view
& the dancing bear whores causing a riot
the merchant marine chimes in
 ”you just can’t win in here, brother.”
 ” don’t even try it.”
maybe if you take a closer look that can change
look for the one that holds the book
closest to her chest
shes holding her horses that stole the summer
air & the radio sirens are blasting their way across
the beltway to get to you, stealing her
she goes under
never put the make-believe on
make & believe it. ’ cause there are lots of irons
in the fire & lots to iron out in this old discotheque
yes & when everything goes & grows black in this
electric wilderness
make that call. there will be an answer.
remember, Cowboy : don’t ever let them shoot you in the dream

ghost catch time: a poem for hybrids

i know futured cities
cassandra said so
sat in sandboxered
shorts skirted w/ the
sacred sacrement
almighty aphrodite
she rolls by
acknowledge knowledge
on the edge of the ledge
desired it
after a waltz of you
we waltzed together
to break in
two bear the name
bride of old order
far from sunshine
always alien aphrodite
artemis clowns you
confusion of the tribes
lady of the wild things
admittedly witch
which trial?
lady of the wild things
i think i love you
but i want to know
for sure oh the permanence of
prophecy like rum &
coke & pirates & radical
factor’d the maxi-mum-speak
wearing that shady shade
of lipstick to town again
cassandra puts on her
monster mash mask
tape recording
all saints day
for all the
sinners of the alphabet
mahalo apollo
it’s ghost catch time again
mahalo apollo
a sudden calamity awaits you
the old  “switcheroo”
dwell in diss-member-meant
   m e a n i n g
put the head  


B.A. Crumm is a writer, artist, musician & culture jammer. Her poetry was a recent feature in Gigantic Sequins Literary Journal. Her artistic adventures have been featured in The Village Voice as well as several group shows around the US. B.A. is at work on a new album & the forthcoming chapbook Staircase Wit. When not hitchhiking or touring she is happily based in her newly adopted home of New Orleans, LA with her dog, Cinder. She likes pizza, cheeseburgers & The Ramones. She is still rumored to be dating that Mr. T guy.

For more B.A., visit:

art/poetry blog: crummcake.tumblr.com
music: goldbandit.bandcamp.com

14 April 2013

Things in Light Poetry Series 2013: Mark Lopez

Samantha Anne Carrillo

The tenth installment of 2013 TiL's 2013 Poetry Series features the work of editor, writer, poet and newly minted Burqueño Mark Lopez. 


I was born in a ball of water,
came out trickling, oozing,
sticking to the hands of a man,
concocted from rich ornaments,
delicate pin-stripe portrait 
of a lost, listless anecdote.

I came out on a cold, autumn morning,
knees askew on the dirt, asphalt,
sun beaming down on my jet-black hair.
Bulging eyes eclipsing the desolate
hospital room made anew
with the soft touch of her delicate hand.

"You are mine," she whispers.
A tear trickling down her bright pink cheek,
her Latina essence shadowing
my new outlook of the world
from whence I shouldered a bubble,
bursting free from any prison that 
dare lay siege.

I held on, coveting this creature,
replaced my strength in mid-air,
caught by the foot,
streaked with fluid after fluid,
until my body caught sight of a lovely being,
cradling it to sleep,
cradling it to feed.

She sings a song,
over and over,
dancing around the words 
like a fortunate place with a kind partner.
And he shows up.
Dark, broad-shouldered specimen of a man,
with jet-black hair 
and a thick black mustache.

He cradles my head,
he kisses my hand.  
He says, "That's my boy."
He smiles and they connect eyes,
taking only seconds to kiss and embrace,
embrace and kiss.
How lovely the sound of a birth can be.


Boom Boom!
The weight of this room
causes us to rattle and fume
under the shrouds and sheets
placed at our calloused feet.

Government prescription
makes a hasty decision,
United Health 
signals the stealth 
of the brave and few
who carry traces of red, white and blue.

Language barriers,
structural barriers,
moving fast.
The apparent apartheid will not last.
We move and shake
and shuck and jive
to prove to them 
that we're still alive.

They turn their color-blind eyes
toward their white sky,
and we shout for life,
while they scream, "DIE!"

Doctor, Doctor! Find the antidote,
while the trumpeteer plays his haunting note.
And we march on and on,
hearing that sacred song,
that anthem of freedom, love and equal rights,
knowing we are desperate for an equal fight ... 

... while he signs his papers, puffs that cig.
But we won't go into the ground,
no matter how long they scream, "DIG!"


She may feel it today,
but tomorrow, she'll call it a sickness.
The vibrating nausea that
pounds its vibrant drum in her stomach.

Go to sleep, horn.
Sound yourself in the morning light.
She's not ready to claim you,
much less, call you a confidante.

The lacquered mirror is begotten
by lost images of a face
carrying one too many stares.
Seven years, seven names.
Each a memory, each a glare
that catches her wayward eye.

She'll name you Maria, Alonzo, Hector,
Fabian, Lourdes, Marcos and Sophia.
Each a knot on a strand of hair,
curled tightly around her pounding knuckles.

God bless the child who suffers ... 
... enough to recant their broken drums,
their skipped beats,
in a rhythm that was once steady.

No, she'll burn them out
with an ember of her last smoke,
contemplating the loss of one more pack,
she'll bury their little arms and legs
in the pillows of another's bed.

Now I lay me down to sleep.
Each of their hearts is one to keep ... 
... inside this box, holding tiny keys
to doors of a home
filled with the silence of seclusion.

Each breath a tiny contusion:
A lasting illusion
that where there was once a quick heart beat,
another is sure to follow.


The shadows and the school buses and the gaping trees…
…blossomed the clouds with their shattered choruses and scraped-up knees.
Ma called out to me in the morning with her back all scratched.
Was this your favorite moment, when you got stuck in the garden-hatch?

There was a sky-tapped globe atop your shoulder,
When you danced wildly there.
Into the timeless incisions of your false decisions,
Where the Father swallowed your air.

The treetops and shrubs of the lonesome bugs, caught sight of the sainthood.
And we tried to climb down, from the rusty drownin’ of the etched-out cedar wood.

Pa came to save you when the sun caught hold of your skin.
He gave you kisses and told you where to begin…
At the touch of a glove,
With order…
Set order…
With his fatherly love,
Those fields,
Those fields,
Gave you something you’d never forget.
Where they found you, where you tread.

And, brother – I found you in the dark, by your lonesome.
I saved you from the monsters at bay, and fought them with my sword.
You stood there, eyes a-blazin’ like you’d forever lost your spirit.
Blossomed and emboldened, colored and swollen, just begging for me to hear it.

I walked you across the cold, dark room, my arm around you.
I sang to you, as you tried to creep along the sleepless corridor within our home.
Though, you just dreamt of Grandpa Bear, I watched the faces and fixtures.
I never left you, though you’d thought I’d forget you, but I hummed to you some lovely scriptures.

…The bird and the cow jumped over the moon,
And the moon came out to play.
The bird is a saint, the cow the remains of the sky that is expanding and waving.
…The bird and the cow came down from the clouds,
And the sun peaked out from the day.
The bird is a grip, from the cow that was tripped by the hand that is misbehaving.

She awoke and sang us her soft screech of the morn’
And we just drowned in the constant frowns of the early shore.
The faces faltered when we found them anew.
You just turned under the burn of their cold-colored hues.

The times have changed and we are children…
…But we have scoured all the cowards to find out where they’ve been.
And the parents and teachers and preachers and principals and nuns.
Found us forging under the morning, with our hands all red from the run.
The building’s choked on its pipes that broke, and we try to plug ‘em in.
The people and their god-forsaken little sins.

The moment you have had your finger smashed by a door.
I apologized to you, and said I’d tease you no more.
We followed the thunder,
So noisy,
God noisy, in the night-time.
We found ourselves in old bodies,
That warned us.
Oh they warned us,
That we shouldn’t find ourselves afraid,
Of the debts that we haven’t paid.

Oh, my brother, you find yourself lost, and I’m not there with you.
You laid your hands a-clear from the bones and spears that Mommy and Daddy gave you.
Though, you have fallen, blasphemed and swollen, and begging for something to give.
Brother, I’ll try to find you and tell you musings.
I’ll find you sitting on your lonesome rock, and convince you that you’re not losing.
Though, what we’ve been, and what we’ve seen is something more than we can decipher.

Pack them up, for we know they’re just parents and a daughter.
The sky still shines, and the mother rhymes, and we can still find some water.
Though, I have seen you, drenched and squeamish, daring me to find myself unknowing.
Though, I try to sing it, try to believe it, but I can’t graze that which is not sowing.

Ma and Pa, they try to draw, and find us within our globe.
They fix and fold, daring to grow old, within their lobes.
She is broken and still swallowed from her cold refrain.
The bogeys and bugs are under the rug of tomorrow’s rain.

And the pictures are all staring as you dance your crazy dance.
We stare at you, with eyes glued to you, like we’re in a trance.
The room is a-spinning, faces a-grinning, you smile and then bow.
But, we have never known your truth, but God, just tell us how.

We found you there, inside the cupboard, treading on silk.
She carried you south, then tried to save your body with milk.
We move and then whisper,
Loving you, we try to give you ages
Of order…those same old stages.

We carried your clothing,
With our eyes glazed-over,
In the morning, where you planted yourself.
We could love you even more,
Hoping that with one soft tune,
Until you grow old,
We’ll have this,
And only this…

…The bird and the cow jumped over the moon,
And the moon came out to play.
The bird is a saint, the cow the remains of the sky that is expanding and waving.
…The bird and the cow came down from the clouds,
And the sun peaked out from the day.
The bird is a grip, from the cow that was tripped by the hand that is misbehaving.

A World

I dipped my foot into the cold, clear water
Feeling renegade droplets bounce upward, onto my knee.
They sent little blasts of shivers all the way
To the top of my head,
Causing my brain to jumble and fumble about,
And send hidden signals to your ear…
…that swollen ear,
That heard the silent cries of that whore,
Giving birth to a nation,
As her cunt bled wildly,
We searched the levels of land,
Thinking we’d find her son? Or her daughter?
Was it some sort of liberty or chastity
That befell this new born king or queen,
That never had a chance to sing his youthful spite
In the parked omnibus that moved slowly
Down the lane,
Picking and choosing,
Choosing and laughing.
“I’ll take her,” he says,
Pointing at the fair-faced reaper who,
In white garb,
And a skeleton face,
Smiles crookedly, exceptionally,
For she is only bones.
No flesh, no muscles,
No womb for which to carry a country.
She dips her toe into the ramshackle blows
Of terrorizing waves sent from the God of the Ocean.
She feels the mist and spray
That seeks shelter on her empty face,
And hums a little tune in the middle of the next phase.
She feels a kick to the belly,
As the buoys rock back and forth,
And the ringing in the distance
Makes her wince and moan,
Oh, how this baby nation has grown,
Grown and consumed what little room is left,
Taking all the green as he set sail across the blue.
“This land is your land. This land is my land.”
Oh no, that is not true,
It’d take 1,000 islands for him to change that tune,
That lonesome, little note that calls the wandering souls forward,
Those who claimed a spot on the green since 10,000 BC.
But no, she sprays the blood and baby onto the rocks,
As the trees applaud,
And her fair-faced prayer goes unanswered.
The soldiers march out of her once-closed womb.
She lays her head back in surrender,
As they storm the land that was lent to her.
And her last breath goes so smoothly,
While her body stretches and melts into those rocks,
Set aflame by the watchful eye of the shore.
“This isn't your land. This isn't my land.”


Mark Lopez was born and raised in a city by the sea … broke free of the entanglements of oceanside meandering and wandered to the lush, green and blue town of Austin, Texas, where he received bachelor's degrees in English and journalism from the University of Texas. After graduating, he freelanced for various publications, including UT Law Magazine, CHAOS Magazine, Jupiter Index and the Corpus Christi Caller Times (his hometown newspaper) until he trekked the 14-hour ride to Albuquerque, N.M., where he currently serves as copy editor and staff writer at the Weekly Alibi.

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