Saturday, November 29, 2008

POETRY FEATURE 12: Finalists of Omnidawn's Poetry Contest


New poetry from the five finalists of Omnidawn's Poetry Contest: Ethan Saul Bull, Michael Tod Edgerton, Carolyn Hembree, Brandon Shimoda, Jordan Windholz.



The turtle pond is floating in the plastic

Leaves are cutout in the shape of famous
artists and constellations.

I’ve written it down—I am religion and
not religion

in the grass selling shapes.

It all looks like the pad of grass at the top
of a baby’s head.

The size of it intrigues me—you are a
turtle looking at a duck.

I will stay here master of tax deduction
strategies and tabletop figurines.

We’ll end up in the refrigerator arguing.

I’ve gone out to a new artificial yard near
the bank.
The earth is in my eyes.
I’m getting another parking ticket
and the damn tv no longer obeys me!

We’ll have to lie down awhile.

It’ll feel like standing where we are

making piles and tossing matches.

Ethan Saul Bull currently lives and works (a little) in Mexico City. He received his MFA from The University of Arizona in 2008 and then immediately fled the country (again). He loves parentheses. This poem is from his work entitled (INSIDE YOU) WITH NARRATIVES ON. Other poems from this collection have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, The Raleigh Review, Bare Root Review, and Cause and Effect Magazine among others.


(Curtain. Alter)

(in the spot, fades)

In the fold of curtain the amber. In the fold. Curtain seeks amber. Its darkening. In the dark. The spot. Over the spot across filled. Over the seats slow. Across filled seats. (cross fade to red back) To velvet back. Curtain folds. The light. Over the velvet. The warp. In the velvet. Holds the spot. The shadow frames. (hold) Shallow focus on the curtain’s. Or amber, but velvet or. Dancers. Blue or black. In the dark. In the dark wings. In the dark burgundy bright scarlet. Holds.
(music, cued crane view, roll)

Dancers in the wings the curtains. Down. Doors. Close house. Fades. Over the fold of the amber over the burgundy. The scarlet lit. Velvet. Opens. An opening in the stage. Music cues. (pan across) Filled. Full. Fold the seat down. House. Lights opening. Cues. Or silence. We crane. To see to. Or small noises. Reach. The stage the light the opening. Wings.
(walk walk, slowly, cut, to audience seat backs, cut deep focus, center stage)

Sounds entering the melting under. Warm. Lights cue, the music. Dancers the dance, the audience. Stage all set, set all blue. Expanse. (hold spot) She holds his hand. He stretches. He warms. Wings, noises, with waiting on stage. He holds his hand. Eyes follow. Seated. Wing, the way out to, across, his waiting in the, opposite, by step by. Lips.
(reach, )

Michael Tod Edgerton holds an MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University. His poems and reviews have appeared in Boston Review (contest winner), Chelsea, Denver Quarterly, Electronic Poetry Review, Five Fingers Review (contest winner), Mantis, New American Writing, New Orleans Review, Skanky Possum, Word For/Word, and others.


Bird Tells How It Went with Skinny's Beloved

Sh, Bird say from his clock tower
thus twitter nor tweet be heard all night
wide, drafty them halls orange feathers swoosh through
Bird: Old Sweetheart talks to hisself nowadays
he thinks nowadays he be judging crime
(seen on court steps, seen midday ranting)
Bird: He lives nowhere now you know!

I know
I picture him: Sweetheart's always to me
an oil paint boy—bluely plush knickers
crop in hand, too young to ride the mead
'hind him a whinny or neigh or brrr
'hind him a horse alights, it has wings
all things live long enough they get wings
alas! I and he be what? fly-by-night
tonight old snow outside courthouse
caught in dogwood branches so

From on high seems they be blossoming
by park's spiky gate latch near froze
a girl jogs the square her dog crimson-
collared be white it be late nearby
bronze horseman his right hand free spots her
Yaah now! she hears she falls she falls
snow drifts and snowy tufts drift up

Who done it? 'twill be in court in short
order: the judge be in the clock tower
Bird: Order —everafter hurray down
down in tunnels with have-nots, has-beens
with them Old Sweetheart live this way
achoo! 'neath the courthouse 'neath pink sheets
Bird say, Boohoo
yank courthouse to close
ne'er be I whispery to him, It
be ok be ok ok? o!

Carolyn Hembree has poems out or forthcoming in the following journals: Antennae, Archipelago, Colorado Review, The Cream City Review, CutBank, Faultline, Forklift, Ohio, Indiana Review, Jubilat, Meena, New Orleans Review, Puerto del Sol, RHINO, and Witness. Her poetry has also been anthologized in Intersection, Lush: A Poetry Anthology & Cocktail Guide, and Poetry Daily. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Carolyn received a 2005 Individual Artist Fellowship from the Louisiana Division of the Arts. She is Poetry Editor of Bayou, the literary journal of the University of New Orleans. Carolyn was born and raised in Bristol, Tennessee. Before receiving her MFA from the University of Arizona, she found employment as a cashier, housecleaner, cosmetics consultant, telecommunicator, actor, receptionist, paralegal, coder, and freelance writer.



Refugees … disembark from the ship
that brought them

Preterm flowers
Dark, unbridgeable water

Not the land we envisioned
Nor the attraction
Rainbows stripping in the gutters
Fine hairs of finished color falling to the cock-film
We might relieve ourselves
Within so as not to blister the pattering
Feet or the feet sniping colors

Greeted with silence, scrabbling the sun
Turning bones to insouciant meal

The ocean had the estimable nerve, at least
Humping the waves
Outside of time—to kill without equivocation

This country shakes loose bearings of death
A tart little seed, fruit destining its pistols

Waiting in the wreathes, I bite hard
Into pig quarters. The trees never part
An aggrandizement of flowing roots
To acquit love
Like a champ I eat every last
Bite of the shrub, chase it through straw
In the repellant heart
Dip into my breast I am liquid

Brandon Shimoda is the author of The Alps (Flim Forum Press, 2008), The Inland Sea (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2008) and, with Sommer Browning, The Bowling (Greying Ghost Press, forthcoming). Recent work can be found now and soon in A Public Space, Boston Review, Cannibal, Fence, Fou, jubilat and elsewhere. Born in the United States, he currently lives in the United States, where he works for Slope and Wave Books. The poem featured on this blog is from A Giant Asleep in Fortune's Spindle, an assemblage of poems, drawings and collaborative questionnaire-in-progress. This, and others, are dedicated, variously, to the living memory of A, E, G, K, K, L, L, M, M, M, P, P, R, S and Y.



something like grace cottons the

limbs when the I is lost. lambs

without shepherd huddle

a landscape, eat their names

like tender shoots, like swallows

feast in flight. the air forked

and feathered with warblers,

their song, a broken

adjective, spilling. that whole field,

a cathexis of green

these lambs see, the pasture’s every I

hearing as one herd.

Jordan Windholz lives in the Bronx with Erin, his deepest love. He is currently a PhD candidate in Early Modern Literature at Fordham University, which he mostly enjoys, though he gets strong urges to hole away somewhere with as much O'Hara, Stevens, Melville, Crane, Dickinson, and Hopkins he can get his hands on so he can forget 16th and 17th Century England. He strongly believes mystery is what it is all about.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Announcements about the Omnidawn Team


3 poems by Rusty Morrison recently went live at Web Conjunctions!


a photo of Cherise Bacalski, the newest addition to the Omnidawn team, reading at the Bernal Yoga Literary Series on November 8th:


finally, my first book of poems, from unincorporated territory [hacha] (Tinfish Press, 2008) was listed #1 at SPD Poetry Bestsellers for Sept/Oct. get your very own copy here.


more exciting announcements to come this week, so stay tuned!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

POETRY FEATURE 11: Roger Snell


Journal II

After G.A.

Shapes of the unsaid
puncture the ordinary—

“astonished by daylight”

from exile, in

derivations of

would efface this
prelude for the sun

its solidarity—

a green node above
the filament


this half-
room in

the scuttled align-
ment of letters

the many-
lived lives
of words

unknown among
memory gaps—

a stillpoint for
the artifacts
of silence.

The hundredpoems—



Roger Snell lives in San Francisco with the lovely Ann Marie and their almost five year old son Duncan. They edit & publish Sardines Press. His new book The Morning has just been published by Plein Air Editions & Bootstrap Press. Check out a review of the book at Bookslut.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008



check out Stephen Vincent's comments
on Selected Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin translated by Maxine Chernoff & Paul Hoover.

3+3 Poetry hosted its first San Francisco reading on Saturday, Oct. 4th, 2008, at 7pm in the Canessa Gallery. The event featured 3 established Bay Area poets, Gillian Conoley, Standard Schaefer and Norma Cole reading theirwork alongside 3 emerging Los Angeles poets, Polly Geller, Lizzy Epstein and Sarah Suzor. Listen here.

Canessa reading for Oct 18, 2008, featuring David Brazil, Rob Halpern, and Stephen Ratcliffe can be heard here.


32 Poems is looking for 1-2 extra sets of hands to help us grow.

The 32 Poems intern could help with any of the items below that looks interesting:

planning readings (best if you live in large metro area);
creating concept for new renewal postcards (graphic designer would do the actual
design work);
sending out renewal postcards;
creating concept for new subscription postcards (graphic designer would do the
actual design work);
building or updating website;
contributing to blog with interesting posts;
photographing or taking video of 32 poems events;
reading poems sent in via online system;
manning 32 Poems table at AWP for a few hours each day;
inventing interactive ways to engage with people at AWP conference;
using web 2.0 tools to create community.

If you are already familiar with 32 Poems, you are welcome to suggest an area we
need to work on and to explain how your skills would help with that.

Please send a cover letter explaining your experience in 1-2 of the areas above to Please do not send a resume or any attachments at this time. If
you know how to make video, you are welcome to make a video explaining your
experience. In that case, just send me the link.

Please also put "32 Poems intern" in the subject line, so I can filter the emails to
a special folder.


We welcome you posting this to your blog, posting to your university's bulletin
board, telling your best students, etc.


Deborah Ager, Publisher

32 Poems Magazine



Saturday, November 1, 2008




I looked down to sustain the camera’s hide. I have never seen an Ibis mirror. The house rained. The beds echoed. A dead oud’s resin cloned the first sentence. An apple in the closet developed the scene. I felt the sun.

I fell into an opaque bed. The clone smiled. I have never seen a clone smile. His snails grew fur. The closest ant grafted the smoke with sand. This is the first piece of wood. This is the first piece of glass. Clouds arranged them behind dead doves. The membrane’s séance broke. The doves died again. The dead doves reset. I arranged them into flowers. I have never seen a flower. I have never seen a dove.

The sky and its stills mated. I have never played an oud. I have never said Bird. O snail, I heard outside. When the first dove died, the ouds ate apples. I died too. My glass fermented opals. The second séance failed, my fur glued to flowers. I have never seen a cloud. I have never looked down. The organs smoked. The clone strummed. I fled, immersed in planes. The mirror in the closet chimed. Dove. Oud. Bed. The blue membrane’s array split. Inside, the blanks bred herds.



I have been a patient tincture. My sister, a watcher of snow. She thought her name would be stunned and it was. It was Iris Versus The Blur. It hurt to see the same snow twice. I was Also or Minus or Gauss. I think we are being minted again. I think we are cotton or bread. There is always a different cost. A different cloth. A second coat. It takes some time in the positive press. We practiced our transfers today. Iris’s insects were bluing the sky. Helio. Helio threads. She likes to call them Dowsing Crowds. I trace. I see parallel rays.


Eric Baus
is the author of The To Sound (Wave Books) and Tuned Droves (Octopus Books). He edits Minus House chapbooks and writes about poetry audio recordings on the site To The Sound. He lives in Denver.