Vallum Poem of the Week: “The Long Study” by Alexei Perry Cox

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Alexei Perry Cox

 

Alexei Perry Cox – THE LONG STUDY

 

THE LONG STUDY

Mother, now listen to my words. I see
Your soul in anger; this is a foolish and an evil rage.
Oh, I know when we stand before a helpless
Doom, how hard it is to bear. [pause]

from “Iphigenia in Aulis,” Euripides

The Mother talked to me
as if I were drawing her naked.
There are no hard edges
to the living flesh
especially to the loosened skin
but we draw them anyway, deceive,
because we cannot see
what we see
we make believe:
Mother, now listen to my words. I see

She loves to say things:
The older I am
the more I know
I don’t know.
But also, sometimes just,
At my age
Oh I don’t know
love
It’s just another way to wage
your soul in anger; this is a foolish and an evil rage.

Tyranny doesn’t become palatable.
It becomes more palatable.
And when you are no longer
a woman drawn,
you are no longer a woman.
But not even an actress
can rehearse the underscore and colour
of the irony that who loved more
becomes less.
Oh, I know when we stand before a helpless

wish I could render her then
still her life
from the sadness
that takes over
from within
what she has become, with cause,
becoming her only perfect geometry:
the sharp pupil of her dilating eyes knows flaws.
Doom, how hard it is to bear. [pause]

 

Alexei Perry Cox currently resides in Montreal. Her work recognizes that a fixed ideal is not useful for trying to gain an understanding of things. Instead it is the process of reexamination that most closely articulates truths in all their complexities. Presently, she is working on a manuscript that has been largely written in Lebanon.

 

Alexei Perry Cox was the first place contest winner for the Vallum Award for Poetry 2014. Don’t miss your chance to enter the Vallum Award for Poetry 2015, DEADLINE JULY 15th. For details, please visit our website here:

http://www.vallummag.com/contestrules.html

 

Vallum Secret Poem Word Game: Week 6 (FINAL WEEK!)

We are offering a chance to enter the Vallum Award for Poetry 2015 contest for FREE! The catch is you have to be the first person to guess the title and author of the secret poem.

How it works:

Every week we will add one letter and give a clue to help solve the poem. Once you think you know the title and the author, email the answer to info@vallummag.com. Be careful, you only get one guess, so use it wisely! The secret poem will be revealed one week before the contest deadline.

WEEK 6

Clue: This poet is mostly a modernist and this poem might make a marvelous map of the moon.
Letter of the Week: M

 

___A_ _AE_E_E_

A s___e_ ____fe_
se__es
___a__e __ _______p_a

__ s_me s_m_am______s
__ a___es____ _____s
__ape_
__ sa_____a_ __ape__es

Pe__s __ ___e__
p_epa_e
_e__e
___ p_s__m___s pa__e__es

_e______s A_e__es
___
____ __e __a__e__e_ ____s
__ __f_s___a
_____ P_a__a_’s __m_s___es

_ea_
__ me_____a_ ___ms_a_s
_____s _as_s
__ f_____e_ p__sp_____s

__e e_e-____e s__-_____
____e-_____ __s_____
__ ___a_ __s_s

S_e__e_____ s___s
“____ s___s __ S_a__a_”
“____a_ _a____se_”

_______es
__ e_s_a___ __s_
a__ as_es _____
___sa_e_s
f___ _a______a____ ___a_e_s
__ s_a__e_e_ __ass
____ e_a__a_e __a_e_s

A f____ __ __eams
___se __ _e___p___s

F__m __e s___es
__ ____ __ea_s
__ __e ______e_ ___e__

____-e_e_ __a__s__es
a__ _____________s
__se__e
___ f_____
__ E__s __s__e_e

A__ “_mm___a____”
m___e_s …
__ ___ m__e_ms __ ___ m___

“_______a_ _____ps”
“___s___ ________e”

P___e_ ____ pe_s__f__a____
__e f_ss__ ______ __ ___ s__es
_a_es a__ _a_es


DEADLINE for the Secret Poem Word Game:
July 2nd, 2015
http://www.vallummag.com/secretpoem.html

DEADLINE for the Vallum Award for Poetry: July 15th, 2015
http://www.vallummag.com/contestrules.html

Vallum Poem of the Week: “Ode to a Garden Echo” by Symon Jory Stevens-Guille

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Symon Jory Setevens-Guille

Video by Marc di Saverio.

 

ODE TO A GARDEN ECHO

Struck flint flails; flutters of rouge reef tremble
in plume pillows;
sun-gauzed grapes, bevy-burst brail erupting
as globic grails.
Breeze deflates breath through the fern-born fifes, as
buds brim with petal pause, bloombasting peels
of a sun swooned
pollen, lung puffed
from tongue torrents, sap sputtering.

 

Poet Symon Jory

Symon Jory Setevens-Guille lives, or has lived depending when this appears, in Montreal. Symon studied linguistics and philosophy at McGill and will study linguistics to a further extent somewhere else next year. Symon’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Antigonish Review, The New Quarterly, Vallum; interviews with more interesting people have appeared in print and online in The New Quarterly.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website here:
http://www.vallummag.com/archives_10_1.html

To see additional audio and/or video content you can subscribe to Vallum’s digital editions here.

Vallum Secret Poem Word Game: Week 5

We are offering a chance to enter the Vallum Award for Poetry 2015 contest for FREE! The catch is you have to be the first person to guess the title and author of the secret poem.

How it works:

Every week we will add one letter and give a clue to help solve the poem. Once you think you know the title and the author, email the answer to info@vallummag.com. Be careful, you only get one guess, so use it wisely! The secret poem will be revealed one week before the contest deadline.

WEEK 5

Clue: This poet’s Feminist Manifesto was formulated in 1914 and ferociously fustigated the founders of Futurism.
Letter of the Week: F

 

___A_ _AE_E_E_

A s___e_ ____fe_
se__es
___a__e __ _______p_a

__ s__e s___a_______s
__ a___es____ _____s
__ape_
__ sa_____a_ __ape__es

Pe__s __ ___e__
p_epa_e
_e__e
___ p_s______s pa__e__es

_e______s A_e__es
___
____ __e __a__e__e_ ____s
__ __f_s___a
_____ P_a__a_’s ____s___es

_ea_
__ _e_____a_ ____s_a_s
_____s _as_s
__ f_____e_ p__sp_____s

__e e_e-____e s__-_____
____e-_____ __s_____
__ ___a_ __s_s

S_e__e_____ s___s
“____ s___s __ S_a__a_”
“____a_ _a____se_”

_______es
__ e_s_a___ __s_
a__ as_es _____
___sa_e_s
f___ _a______a____ ___a_e_s
__ s_a__e_e_ __ass
____ e_a__a_e __a_e_s

A f____ __ __ea_s
___se __ _e___p___s

F___ __e s___es
__ ____ __ea_s
__ __e ______e_ ___e__

____-e_e_ __a__s__es
a__ _____________s
__se__e
___ f_____
__ E__s __s__e_e

A__ “______a____”
____e_s …
__ ___ ___e__s __ ___ ____

“_______a_ _____ps”
“___s___ ________e”

P___e_ ____ pe_s__f__a____
__e f_ss__ ______ __ ___ s__es
_a_es a__ _a_es


DEADLINE for the Secret Poem Word Game:
July 2nd, 2015
http://www.vallummag.com/secretpoem.html

DEADLINE for the Vallum Award for Poetry: July 15th, 2015
http://www.vallummag.com/contestrules.html

Poetry of the random

This is just an assembly of thoughts, a mediation on the unhappiness of the world.

with the start                                                                                                               of a thought my                                                                                                           only understanding                                                                                                     full of bits                                                                                                                     i i want no answer

Listening to Depeche Mode or reading my semblable, Robert Creeley. I am old enough to remember a different time. It wasn’t always so cold and death-like. People saw each other in mirrors, reflections of themselves, not hateful opposites. This digital world, the spread of thought, wrong-headed thought. Corporate disease and greed. What does it all yield?

no answer because                                                                                                       the question is not under-                                                                                             stood, like                                                                                                                     i want the dream, not                                                                                                   the emptiness

Is there anything. Happiness in some youthful souls. I envy this ability, and cultivate it in my own way. Too much argument and litigation. Too much cynical gossip. There was a time before I got old. Before…

word and world eclipsed

ez/

Vallum Poem of the Week: “Hesitation Marks” by A. Garnett Weiss

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A. Garnett Weiss

A. Garnett Weiss – HESITATION MARKS

 

HESITATION MARKS

I have worshiped the wrong gods
and grace in the space of one heartbeat,
ridged with bright shards of broken glass.

My future lit by bridges and their burning
or hot-wired to this smear of light and speed,
tied up with ribbons into the shape of a man.

 

…………………………………………Cento gloss: Hesitation marks
…………………………………………Title: Robin Robertson, “Entropy”
…………………………………………Line 1: Robin Robertson, “Holding Proteus”
…………………………………………Line 2: Robin Robertson, “The death of Actaeon”
…………………………………………Line 3: Robin Robertson, “Siesta”
…………………………………………Line 4: Robin Robertson, “Crossing the Archipelago”
…………………………………………Line 5: Robin Robertson, “Entropy”
…………………………………………Line 6: Robin Robertson, “At dawn”

 

Garnett Weiss’s poetry has appeared in anthologies, chapbooks, on-line, and in local and national media, either under her name or as JC Sulzenko. She served as poet-mentor in The Gryphon Trio’s Listen Up! Ottawa 2012 project. The Ottawa International Writers Festival launched her book and play for families about dementia, What My Grandma Means to Say.

 

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website here:

http://www.vallummag.com/archives_11_2.html

Vallum Secret Poem Word Game: Week 4

We are offering a chance to enter the Vallum Award for Poetry 2015 contest for FREE! The catch is you have to be the first person to guess the title and author of the secret poem.

How it works:

Every week we will add one letter and give a clue to help solve the poem. Once you think you know the title and the author, email the answer to info@vallummag.com. Be careful, you only get one guess, so use it wisely! The secret poem will be revealed one week before the contest deadline.

WEEK 4

Clue: Even Europe wasn’t enough for this extraordinary esprit.
Letter of the Week: E

 

___A_ _AE_E_E_

A s___e_ _____e_
se__es
___a__e __ _______p_a

__ s__e s___a_______s
__ a___es____ _____s
__ape_
__ sa_____a_ __ape__es

Pe__s __ ___e__
p_epa_e
_e__e
___ p_s______s pa__e__es

_e______s A_e__es
___
____ __e __a__e__e_ ____s
__ ____s___a
_____ P_a__a_’s ____s___es

_ea_
__ _e_____a_ ____s_a_s
_____s _as_s
__ ______e_ p__sp_____s

__e e_e-____e s__-_____
____e-_____ __s_____
__ ___a_ __s_s

S_e__e_____ s___s
“____ s___s __ S_a__a_”
“____a_ _a____se_”

_______es
__ e_s_a___ __s_
a__ as_es _____
___sa_e_s
____ _a______a____ ___a_e_s
__ s_a__e_e_ __ass
____ e_a__a_e __a_e_s

A _____ __ __ea_s
___se __ _e___p___s

____ __e s___es
__ ____ __ea_s
__ __e ______e_ ___e__

____-e_e_ __a__s__es
a__ _____________s
__se__e
___ ______
__ E__s __s__e_e

A__ “______a____”
____e_s …
__ ___ ___e__s __ ___ ____

“_______a_ _____ps”
“___s___ ________e”

P___e_ ____ pe_s______a____
__e __ss__ ______ __ ___ s__es
_a_es a__ _a_es


DEADLINE for the Secret Poem Word Game:
July 2nd, 2015
http://www.vallummag.com/secretpoem.html

DEADLINE for the Vallum Award for Poetry: July 15th, 2015
http://www.vallummag.com/contestrules.html

Featured Review: WHAT DOES A HOUSE WANT? Selected Poems by Gary Geddes

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What_does-a-House_want_220


WHAT DOES A HOUSE WANT?
Selected Poems by Gary Geddes

(Pasadena, CA: Red Hen Press, 2014, $19.95, 239 pages)
Review by David Swartz

In What Does A House Want? Gary Geddes brings a full chorus of voices to the table, speaks loudly about relevant contemporary issues, is imaginative, rich, varied, and deeply political. Unlike what one might have expected out of a new book of poetry in 2014, Geddes’ collection is about collectedness itself (“A house wants to stay / where it is… is a safe / haven, anchorage, place of rest.”), exemplified by a clear, precise, lucid, yet buoyant lyricism (“I never lost my cool, but took them one by one, like a cat collecting kittens”). Walking amongst the still tender ruins of twentieth century political history, Geddes concerns himself with what a house requires to maintain life, speculating “laughter, sounds of lovemaking,” memories of past occupants, solidity, consistency. “Is there no aesthetic to consistency anymore, / that’s what I want to know.” What a house needs most of all are guests, and Geddes embraces and appropriates his guests the way an author welcomes a character into a novel he is writing.

The intention of the poet to build a house where a collective of words can be appreciably unified is propelled by the poet’s incurable need to form such a whole, “charting connections / few had ever dreamed of.” A task such as this requires more than mere politicizing and raw constructive power: one needs a house plan.

The unforgettable front cover of Geddes’ book, featuring the painting Mon Cheval by Martin Honisch, could be viewed as such a plan. The thick white letters of the question “WHAT DOES A HOUSE WANT?” juxtaposed with a deeply lined hand emanating from an organic pipe out of the abstract ground, chained to an ever-changing sky, speaks to the core of Geddes’ self-imposed task as poet. A ladder and a cowboy hat are propped up against the bottom of the page in the foreground. The man himself is noticeably absent. We see only his hand, chained to a rock or the sky, a wooden boat above, leading to mountains and the vast ocean. The lines on his hands are deep like veins.

……….The world has been my whale-road
……….wanderer and seafarer
……….among the lost manuscripts,
……….charting connections
……….few had even dreamed of …
……….Tennyson was right
……….about being part of all he met,
……….but he hadn’t met enough

Geddes ventures outwards and inwards. The more he becomes the other, the more he becomes himself. Ironically, for all his moving and shaking around as other people, at no point does Geddes ever become other than himself.

What Does A House Want? is a book brimming with life, experience, wisdom. For the most part, Geddes is generous, honest, exploring political motivations, personal behaviour, speculative possibilities about the metaphysics of space between worlds, the past and the future, the self and the other, the individual and the collective, the historical moment that is nowhere and everywhere, that is consciousness, that is the present speaking through the past, and the past speaking through the present.

……….Did I say that, or was it Master Bi?
……….He spoke so close to my ear as he applied
……….clay to mould my features that his ideas
……….invaded my brain as if I were a puppet.

Who is this mysterious “other” Geddes addresses, and who he speaks of as if it were his double? His book probes this ability to look outside to see inside. Most of Geddes’ poems in this collection are in fact written about others, or from another’s point of view. Significantly, Geddes adds excerpts of poems by other poets between his nine chapters, only to mix himself up all the more. It is as if Geddes is saying “I am the other.” And
yet, to be sure, Gary Geddes is always Gary Geddes. Thankfully, Ghandi, Trotsky, St Augustine, and other mysterious men of letters, for a short but significant period of time, get to be Gary Geddes too, as do compliant readers of his book.

……….Islanded in our separate
……….selves, words are
……….too frail a bridge

While in themselves words may be too frail to join one individual to another, by taking on the personae of multiple historical personalities, Geddes shows how they can be made to stretch out over time and space. In effect, he inspires us to think about world politics, current events, historical relevance, and most of all subjectivity. Remarkably, the wandering of Geddes’ personality, his “I-less” subjective home without a home, takes the poet on a journey which, through the other, returns back to himself.

 

David Swartz is a visual artist and writer from Toronto, currently living in Lisbon, Portugal, where he works as an English teacher and translator while studying painting at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Lisbon.

 

This review was published in issue 12:1 “Surrender.” To see more from this issue, please visit Vallum‘s website here:
http://www.vallummag.com/archives_12_1.html

Vallum Poem of the Week: “Apple to Apple” by Susan Hughson

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apple-tree-hd-new-wallpapers-free-downlaod-tree-pictures
Susan Hughson – APPLE TO APPLE

 

APPLE TO APPLE

In the season
of apples suspended
in air,
wood piles
and winter spiders,

you are lost
with a canvas bag;
an apple
a book
and a camera.

Travel past
previous windows,
a green house
between
here and not

take a photograph-
books hold clues,
save the
apple
for later.

You fall forward
from this page
landing,
dear one,
on this spot.

House still standing
pine board fence,
faintest
tincture
of fog,

someone must have
eaten
the apple.

 

Susan Hughson is a transplanted Maritimer, poet, mother, veterinarian, humanist, activist, maker of art song, and pragmatic romantic.

 

Susan Hughson received an honorable mention in the Vallum Award for Poetry 2015. To read more contest winning poems please visit our link below:

http://www.vallummag.com/contestrules.html

Vallum Secret Poem Word Game: Week 3

We are offering a chance to enter the Vallum Award for Poetry 2015 contest for FREE! The catch is you have to be the first person to guess the title and author of the secret poem.

How it works:

Every week we will add one letter and give a clue to help solve the poem. Once you think you know the title and the author, email the answer to info@vallummag.com. Be careful, you only get one guess, so use it wisely! The secret poem will be revealed one week before the contest deadline.

WEEK 3

Clue: Not every poet performs with the Provincetown Players, pens “Parturition”, and gets paid by a prosperous Peggy for pushing paper pieces and painted posies in Paris, but this one does.
Letter of the Week: P

 

___A_ _A______

A s_____ _______
s____s
___a___ __ _______p_a

__ s___ s___a_______s
__ a____s____ _____s
__ap__
__ sa_____a_ __ap____s

P___s __ ______
p__pa__
_____
___ p_s______s pa______s

________s A_____s
___
____ ___ __a_______ ____s
__ ____s___a
_____ P_a__a_’s ____s____s

__a_
__ _______a_ ____s_a_s
_____s _as_s
__ ________ p__sp_____s

___ ___-_____ s__-_____
_____-_____ __s_____
__ ___a_ __s_s

S__________ s___s
“____ s___s __ S_a__a_”
“____a_ _a____s__”

________s
__ __s_a___ __s_
a__ as__s _____
___sa___s
____ _a______a____ ___a___s
__ s_a______ __ass
____ __a__a__ __a___s

A _____ __ ___a_s
___s_ __ _____p___s

____ ___ s____s
__ ____ ___a_s
__ ___ ________ ______

____-____ __a__s___s
a__ _____________s
__s____
___ ______
__ ___s __s_____

A__ “______a____”
______s …
__ ___ ______s __ ___ ____

“_______a_ _____ps”
“___s___ _________”

P_____ ____ p__s______a____
___ __ss__ ______ __ ___ s___s
_a__s a__ _a__s


DEADLINE for the Secret Poem Word Game:
July 2nd, 2015
http://www.vallummag.com/secretpoem.html

DEADLINE for the Vallum Award for Poetry: July 15th, 2015
http://www.vallummag.com/contestrules.html

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