« Posts under Poems

A Muffled Beep Beside Me

Is the title of a poem that debuted in print along with the editorial brilliance [compliment directed towards the team with whom I had the good fortune of working, BTW] in Giuseppina magazine 21 : The Acceptance Issue.

And not that you asked . . . but yes : In my continued assault against the expected, this piece was composed in a form not open but rather fixed, or — despite how deliciously perverse I consider usage of the term, a myriad of connotations attached to it as stead-fast as a spiked cilice to the inner thigh of an Opus Deistrict.

By no means is it my intention to imply that free verse is inferior, but rather familiar. Hence, exploring the paradoxical freedoms of composing within a limited; i.e., formal poetic structure . . . namely, one of my own creation? Oftentimes the experience is nothing short of numinous.

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numinous (adj.) : describing an experience that makes one fearful yet fascinated, awed yet attracted — the powerful, personal feeling of being overwhelmed and inspired

Alive, Within The Spaces Amid Love

Nice to kick off the new year with a reminder that Cottonmouth Kisses hasn’t . . . well, you know : kicked it. In this case, thanks to the blog The Spaces Amid Love for posting an excerpt from the poem “Danielle, I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You.”

And since it’s been a while since this little bugger‘s inception, here are a few Cottonmouth Kisses reviews . . . “For Your Convenience.” : Via Marcus Pan of Legends MagazineKevin Killian of Small Press TrafficAra Taylor for The Bellingham HeraldCara Bruce of The San Francisco Bay GuardianRichard Davis for The Lambda Literary Review [ previously Lambda Book Report ] † Cathi Unsworth of Bizarre Magazine

Thanks, all!

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Elizabeth McGrath’s Incurable Disorder

I’m pleased to announce the release of Incurable Disorder : The Art of Elizabeth McGrath [Last Gasp], the second full-length monograph of this visionary artist’s works, including dioramas, mixed media paintings and three-dimensional sculptures produced from 2005 to 2012.

In addition to over 200 color images, the book includes introductory essays by filmmaker/producer Morgan SpurlockMcGrath’s art dealer Alix Sloan, and the artist herself.

Regarding the creative process of the “damaged anthropomorphized animals who would rather bite than be healed,” McGrath explains “The conception of these brainchildren is hard to pinpoint. They stem from the emotional encounters I have with humans, landscapes and objects, and are further shaped by the constant stream of words and images that survive my mind’s filter. Once I have the skeleton of an idea, the rest comes automatically, but staying on task through the many hours it takes to complete one of these works requires a heavy dose of news radio, stories, and audio books. For instance, the chapter titled ‘Altarwise by Owl Light’ started with a Dylan Thomas poem but grew during The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley…”

She continues, “When I see the finished pieces it takes me back to the story or vice-versa, like memories from a vacation.”

As aforementioned, the tome is divided into sections — each paired with a passage from a poem or literary work that functions as a companion piece. The chapters are as follows :

Tears of The Crocodile
[ excerpt from the poem “What All The World Is Made Of” by Robert Southey ]

Altarwise by Owl-Light
[ with an excerpt from the Dylan Thomas poem of the same name ]

Incurable Disorder
[ accompanied by my poem Dead Letters : Twenty-Six Are in its entirety ]

American Animals
[ excerpt from Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson ]

Shadowless Summer
[ excerpt from Thomas Pynchon‘s novella The Crying of Lot 49 ]

With Tomorrow’s Scream
[ accompanied by a quote from Redmond King ]

Elizabeth — a.k.a. Liz, a.k.a. “Bloodbath” — McGrath is the only artist whose creations I collect, and without doubt, one of my favorite people on the planet. We met through a mutual friend in 2002, when I was asked to M.C. the Broken Dolls fashion show in January of the following year.

I’ve written about her numerous times between then and now : regarding the release of her first retrospective  Everything That Creeps in January of 2006, the premiere of Cecil B Feeder‘s documentary Bloodbath : The Movie, the main subject of which is — yep, you guessed it — in 2011.

I even modeled for CREEP Clothing, Miss McGrath’s collaboration with B.F.F. Winter Rosebudd : a feat which included strutting around Echo Park with an evil-horned creature [the duo’s slaughtered chupacabra stole] draped about my shoulders, the pièce de résistance complete with velvet cloven hooves and a poisoned arrow. And did I love it? Every fantastic click and tick of the clock.

In short, Liz is generous, genuine, a true talent, and a stead-fast friend. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and truly : I’m honored to be part of this chronicle of her creative outpourings.

Oh. And uh, in the event you might have been “skimming”? It’s as simple as this : Incurable Disorder = new book you need in your life. Me? New poem in book. Matter of fact, I’ll save you a click and leave a copy right here, even . . .

Cheers!

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Dead Letters ; Twenty-Six Are

A new poem, published in Incurable Disorder : The Art of Elizabeth McGrath [Last Gasp] . . .

Composed in a strict poetic form I created, the details of which can be found HERE. ⟣ Thanks!

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Another Haiku

For National Poetry Month, 2013
[ via ] :

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As The End Draws Near

. . . of National Poetry Month this year, that is.
Grifted from my Tumblr, here’s :

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Rubaiyat For Rocky

Repeat of the screen grab, except with linkage in working order : “Rubaiyat For Rocky” is from the book Cottonmouth Kisses. Thanks to Beauty Nursed On Darkness for the spiffy lay-out / introduction to the Tumblrsphere.

Apologies for the didactic, but simply “For Those Whom” . . . [blah blah blah]

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My Contribution To Paleolithic Swishin’ and Dishin’

Details about the project/anthology in which it appears
And nerdy stuff about the form in which was written “beneath the cut”. . .

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Only Pictures

Mad gratitude to Beauty Nursed On Darkness for the post [ditto 115 Tumblrers, for the notes!] Much appreciated, indeed . . .

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Millennial Love Story

Thanks to Beauty Nursed On Darkness for the blog post, and to The Battered Suitcase, where the poem first appeared.

For information about the form in which this piece was written, please click HERE.
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DRESSED TO THE TEETH

I have tired of my face pressed
to the windowpane staring watching
waiting gazing at this bloody month
of winter unwinding itself before me
pumping lost love letters and
lipstick stains on private parts
in its flow I
have tired
of it
I am tired
so I shamelessly step
from a life lived by
scrupulous selection into
the apocalyptic fury
outside inside: a
cinematic panshot
the remains of myself given over
to frosty pink lipglossed hookers skirting
about in see-through blouses and
micro spandex wrappers slit
to the curve of ass cheeks jiggling in
twenty-five dollar anticipation of
some john who’d like a snack to eat
I’m the only one who seems to
be paying either attention or them
and I want to brush my teeth
brushing off a Suzy Wrong with
a flyspecked complexion who
can barely speak English
pleading “you want sucky-
fucky?” and poking her
chopsticked fingers at me
my boots shuffle by
dry on chipped concrete the
sidewalk cracks resembling
veins lonely for someone’s teeth
I make it to my fluorescent-
lit mailbox and
laugh as if I’m mocking
the whole codependent
romantic notion, trying to
pretend I don’t know damn
well that yesterday’s date
was February thirteenth
Valentine’s Day licks its
vampire chops and
drools ropes of red tar like
severed arteries
my stomach churns with
nervousness as I stick
my mailbox with the stake-
shaped key and twist
and turn and
peek inside its
guts there’s
an offering of a single
crimson-colored
square piece of paper which
I yank out like an abortion
and head back across
the street toting
the casket of red death
beneath my arm and
grinning shit at the call girls’ hissing
“Here, kitty kitty” my
thoughts are frisky-frenzied and
distant my heart races with
all the possibilities of an empty-
cornered envelope
the intoxication of remembrances
an address to return to and
memories to address
with an abbreviated
version of a smirk curled
in the corners of my mouth
I shove my thumbnail unseal
pry but what I find
inside yanks my tongue
out and smashes
my ribcage from the
impact of that pot-bellied bastard
cupid sprawled out on
a generic greeting card
the message “I’ve got an eye
on your sweet tooth, Valentine”

streamlined in the shape of
an arrow and “Best Wishes
from Dr. Stepka, d.d.”
some-
thing-or-other down
at the bottom the
sweet slogan in script letters
words that
curl and close themselves
around me:
all my living breathing something
turning nothing, empty-
gutted like last year’s
heart-shaped cardboard box,
a shell that once housed
chocolate treats now
graveyard of past lovers and friends
packed to the hilt
I stiffen with the ghostlike
reminder that love
is a noose
dimly or definitely or
disguised like
those letters of “Best
Wishes…”
are lies
in peppermint-colored curlicued drag
to drag a sucker in but
then again I’ve
never even cared about
the trumped-up sweetheart
scene, have always known that
bit is
no disease for me
I head towards my
place, cut out
scissor-stepping hard and
brisk and cold
a rapid streak so
quick I can’t unveil or even see
the emptiness of dark mascara-
clustered eyes surrounding couldn’t
can’t be anything
like me
I step
feel the whirring of flared nostrils
step and
force a smile
I step
sway my arms as if I’ve got snake-
eyes beneath my sleeves
because being sincere
solves nothing
I step and
step and make
it to my stoop and
solve my problem of the moment
by leaving it behind:
Valentine’s Day a past
now passed
shot down like
this gunpowder night that
sighs with its
softbound sounds from the gutter
wheezes coughs and
spits out a slit-
stained backdrop for
a crumbling city
St. Valentine’s a
myth forgotten a
false belief outgrown
like training bras or hopes
for true love treadmarked
by the sole of my shoes
that step
I step and
for a second before I kiss
the delusion smack-dab on the lips,
I am afoot with
reaching my remembrances
dressed to the teeth
in fabulous

vacancy

Clint Catalyst, from the book Cottonmouth Kisses

Thanks to Beauty Nursed on Darkness for the post!
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From The Vaults : Spectre Magazine, Issue Six

with Tina Root
[ vocalist : Switchblade Symphony, Tre Lux, Small Halo ]

a tear sheet from Spectre,
one of the underworld’s most exquisite publications

[ founded/produced by Jennifer Chen ]

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Switchblade Symphony, Clint Catalyst, Spectre magazine, goth, gothic

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SPUN

I am powder
pressed tight and zip
locked in micro baggies
I am promises for
perfection and for
ever lined up blown
away or torn
like cotton
bandages
I am cut with
all the wrong
words and
fervent manic stirrings
wave the red flag
put up your caution
signs I
am dangerous
with my lab con-
structed wings and
the way I come
unhinged like a
screen door

[ From Cottonmouth Kisses ]