Thursday, December 22, 2011

Volume I. Issue VII.

December 15, 2011 
The Ides of March Journal

December 15, 1933: 
America's 21st Constitutional Amendment 
officially ends Prohibition. 
Bottoms up. 

Featured in this Issue: 

Bri Angleton-Stannish
    ---"Spanish/American Empire"
    ---"Nazca Lines"
Art Baker
    --- "Crispus Attucks"
    ---"Manifest Destiny"
Jerome Brooke
    --- "Slave Woman"
    ---" Stone Idol"
Linda M. Crate
    --- "et tu, brute?"
    --- "unearthed secrets"
Clarence Dearborn
    ---"The Russian Campaign"
Stephen Faraday
    ---"Santayana's Saying"
    ---"1941's Memorial"
Harold Guth
    ---"Paul Revere"
Catelyn Lancaster
    ---"First Crusade"


"Spanish/American Empire"
---Bri Angleton-Stannish

Spent like Hapsburg's blood-
line, lost like a galleon
wrecked at sea-bottom.


 "Nazca Lines"
---Bri Angleton-Stannish

As though a god drew
on earth's desert skin doodles
to make the time fly.


---Bri Angleton-Stannish

Stone upthrusts, reaching
for heaven and all its stars.
Stone watchers, waiting.


"Crispus Attucks (The Boston Massacre)"
---Art Baker

There are high schools named after him.
Memorials erected to his name.
The first to fall, caught
by musket ball, shot
dead in the snow.
And yet he was a rabble-crier,
a fearsome sailor who waved flame
and lobbed stone--his death brought him fame,
but it was he who leered
at the redcoats standing there
and grinned and taunted
and dared them to fire.


"Manifest Destiny"
---Art Baker

Go West.
pioneer hardscrabble, dirt. Blood
licking elbows and timothy, weeds among crops.
Sweating and squatting in dirt beneath Kansas' sun,
a red haze on the flat, horizon, smoke
from burning crapshacks where natives
set fire to the white man's push
to tame the wild.
Go West.

"Slave Woman"
---Jerome Brooke

Proud lady, where are your purple robes, bright emeralds,
               All pomp of state?
You are shamed, naked before your enemy, cruelly bound,
               Victim of hate.

Bound by ropes, led by the chariot of the conqueror,
               Shamed and debased.
Lady of sorrow, you are proud, you shed no tears
               Your cheek they do not trace.

Cheers, for the victor, jeers, jeers for the woman debased,
               Led thru the street.
Lady desolate, your daughters used as whores, your sons slain,
               Brave lads, food for dogs, their torn meat.


"Stone Idol"
---Jerome Brooke

Graven eyes gaze cross the sea, past ten thousand years,
Past warriors, and chiefs, seeing all.
Maidens were bound, and cast to the earth, before the rude stone,
Blood of the fair did soak the stone, idols tall.

Great war canoes cam to shore, filled with men, consumed with hate,
Long years ago, in this horrid land.
Idols were the prize, symbols of power, sign of royal blood,
In the dawn of time, here on the sand.

Then two loves walked, hand in hand, before the uncaring eyes,
Your hands in mine.
Night fell, and ages began anew, wars and rites, from long ago;
Time out of mind.


"et tu, brute?"
---Linda M. Crate

the ides of march draw nearer, 
but like caesar you ignore the 
chiming bells casting light upon 
your final breath, you flit from 
person to person like a butterfly 
drifting from flower to flower, 
embracing the blooms that will 
one day devour them in the soil; 
so you hold dear your enemies 
waiting for the right moment to
strike, just anticipating betrayal.


"unearthed secrets"
---Linda M. Crate

pegasus lifted his mighty head,
and the world shook in fear as
the black stallion unearthed its
secrets from the core, and laid
them at the feet of the demigod
perseus who never understood
the weighty volume of the craft
laid upon his shoulders in this
simple, affectionate gesture.


"The Russian Campaign"
---Clarence Dearborn

Oui, Napoleon Bonapart'e
dreams were all blown apart--
Russian fires
torched his desires.
All over again he'd start.


"Santayana's Saying"
---Stephen Faraday

History repeats itself,
said George,
for those who do not learn from it,
history repeats itself.


"1941's Memorial"
---Stephen Faraday

Beneath the bone-white tomb
where the oil seeps and spreads
their bones sprout corals and algae
where they drowned to their deaths.


"Paul Revere"
---Harold Guth

Raced as molten silver, bolting
across dark cobbles, sparks sizzlin'
from horse's hooves, racing and bellowing
for all good Englishmen to hear
that the tyrant's hammer
was falling.


----Catelyn Lancaster

From Pagan to Christian,
from Emperor to Pope,
Rome's trace elements endure
In 2,000 years,
when we are ruined statues and stories,
will our seed live on
or fade away?


"First Crusade"
---Catelyn Lancaster

When the Christians took Jerusalem
at the end of the First Crusade, they massacred
everyone within--Muslim, Jew, and Christian.
So much
for brotherly love.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Volume I. Issue VI.

November 15, 2011 
The Ides of March Journal

November 15, 1533:
Cuzco, the capital city
of the Inca Empire,
is conquered by Francisco Pizarro.

Featured In This Issue:

Bri Angleton-Stannish
    ---"Mayan Calendar"
    ---"Within the Trojan Horse"
Stephen Faraday
    ---"Nameless History"
    ---"Einstein's Folly"
    ---"Proof (of Holocaust)"
Harold Guth
    ---"Lascaux, France"
    ---"World War Family"
Nathan Hinote
Kofi Kufuor
    ---"Anansi's Slaves"
Catelynn Lancaster
Mike Miller  
    ---"St. Patrick"
Janet Prince
    ---"General Tom Thumb"
Mark Young
    ---"Norman the Linguist"
    ---"Zeus' Sex Life"


---Bri Angleton-Stannish

Blood-kiss on divine
flesh, a rose in winter; wilt
beneath damning stars.


"Mayan Calendar"
---Bri Angleton-Stannish

When 2012 comes,
their long-count will roll back years;
Earth begins anew.


"Within the Trojan Horse"
---Bri Angleton-Stannish

 Belly-crouchers, dark
children grasping knives, blood-borne
to Priam's old heart.


"Nameless History"
---Stephen Faraday

My friend died
the Veteran's Day before last.
His name is not written
in books, is not known
by schoolchildren. But his deeds--
turtle-crawling on Normandy's beaches,
punching an enemy soldier senseless with a fist
of rolled quarters, clutching his bleeding leg
with his right hand while firing a gun with his left--
are preserved in the memories of those who know,
and in the dried ink
of 1945's newspaper headlines.


"Einstein's Folly"
--Stephen Faraday

Einstein's head was full of wonders;
incredulous equations to gaze upon.
But I bet he wondered, every now and then,
if he should've kept the secret of the atom.


"Proof (of Holocaust)"

Photographs...Black, Gray
Jutting Bones Vacant Eyes Think!
the horror of colors.


"Lascaux, France"
---Harold Guth

Chalk-stone spirits. Alien
crude hunters from archaic
hand. Chasing
ancient hoofed flesh long petrified. Running
nowhere on ageless walls.


"World War Family"
---Harold Guth

Wilhelm, George, and Nicholas
of Germany, England, and Russia.
World leaders of common descent
from Queen Victoria.
Flung their pawns, plunged
countries into hell-war
with trenches, gas,
cannons, flames--
so much for family values.


---Nathan Hinote

Old men anchored here know the town wasn't named
after the sound of the horn in a Ford Model T, but
they would tell you otherwise because they are
the same ones steering south for the festival
of antique cars steeped up Newport Hill,
remembering that Cayuga means
"the place of taking out,"
an Iroquois port term,
an exit, an escape.


"Anansi's Slaves"
---Kofi Kufuor

Ashanti Anansi,
the Spider-Trickster of yore,
was brought to America on slave ships,
and the Africans spun his lore.
From the grassland forests of Ghana
old Anansi spread his spore
to the arid cotton fields of Georgia.
Wily web-weaver, yet his people wore
shackles and chains, their legs bound
with the brands of slaves--so sore!--
so maybe it was Anansi, see,
who tricked America into civil war
and set his story-spinners free.


---Catelynn Lancaster

99942 Apophis swoops through space,
a gargantuan mass of primordial rock.
It blurs, in 2029, the gasses
of Earth's atmosphere, just enough,
just enough to turn
this rock into the demon
for which it was named.


"St. Patrick" 
---Mike Miller 

To Crom Cruach the old ones would stammer 
till Saint Patrick corrected their grammar; 
"This worship is odd-- 
there is only one God!" 
Then he smashed in Crom's face with a hammer.


"General Tom Thumb"
---Janet Prince

The mightiest soldier of them all--
mocking Napoleon, haranguing the bears
and lions, piping his shrill gall,
a spectacle for the years.
And him only a circus man,
hardly three feet tall!


"Norman the Linguist"
---Mark Young

Norman the Conqueror,
in 1066,
took his army to England
and kicked some ass.
He took French culture
to Hastings and beyond--
which is why we have words
like "competition" and "garage."


"Zeus' Sex Life"
---Mark Young

I begot Perseus as gilded rain
flowing into Danae's low-sunk dungeon.
As a bull, I horned Europa across the sea just as easily
as I flew into Leda's startled arms, my feathers
blinding her to all else.
I covered Io's flesh in the cloud of my beard,
hiding my prize
from her
who should, by rights, know me best
but whose love, I admit, I've come to detest.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Volume I. Issue V.

October 15, 2011
The Ides of March Journal

October 15, 1966: 
Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, 
two civil rights activists, form
the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.

Featured in this issue:

Bill Boslego
    ---"At the Site of the Brinks Robbery, Boston"
Bud Claymore
    ---"Our Congress: 2011"
    ---"For Columbus Day"
Clarence Dearborn
Julie Laws
    ---"Robin Hood"
    ---"The Bear"
Jason McCall
    ---"The Nordic Norns of the North"
P. Nordom
    ---"Black Tuesday"
    ---"LZ 129"
Anita Walker
    ---"Julius Caesar"
    ---"Rasputin the Tenacious"
Mark Young
    ---"Jack the Ripper"
    ---"Trailer Park Olympus"


"At the Site of the Brinks Robbery, Boston"
---Bill Boslego

This perfect crime remains a call
To work the mind, solve a puzzle, devise a plan
An offbeat testament to the ingenuity of man
Even the arrests proved a point, eventually
The only thing to fear is human propensity
to talk too much, to seek revenge
The walls and floors, stairways and doors
Remain the same, now a parking garage
And beneath the windows, basketball games
As before in the North End air
And not plaque, no plaque
To even mark the spot
Implying this crime doesn't merit the time
To contemplate or oddly inspire.


"Our Congress: 2011"
---Bud Claymore

Our American folks: we've got a confession.
This thing we're in--yeah, it's a recession.
Gotta tighten up your belts just a few notches,
gotta sell your diamonds, your gold, your watches.
Don't worry 'bout that job--you'll find another!
Can't afford your house--go and live with your mother.
She was lonely anyway--hey, what's that you say?
What have I sold? What have I lost?
How is my job unchanged, how have I paid the cost?
Hey, that's a good question. I'd tell you, you see,
but I've a jet to catch, and a speech for Tv,
and I'll say really big words, I'll grin really wide
and I'll make you feel like everything's all right.
'Cause it is, you see. At least, for me.


"For Columbus Day"
---Bud Claymore

Columbus comes a-sailin'
in his famed ships a-three.
And all those natives wailin'
from wardogs and disease.

Discovery was granted
to a thief come in the night.
For all he brought was an end of life
with steel, and men, and blight.


---Clarence Dearborn

Red Tommy gave
his lovin' to a slave.
To him she bore
six kids or more--
that servant he did crave!


---Clarence Dearborn

Lincoln's ghost haunts
the White House, tall and gaunt.
Why he stays
none can say.
No one knows what he wants.


---Clarence Dearborn

The miner out of Iowa
was lauded by America.
It all went fine
'till '29--
then came Depression Era.


"Robin Hood"
---Julie Laws

Forest green, a arrow in the trees
spills gold on the road,
and poor faces smile.
Woodland outlaw,
tree-hider, yeoman reknown;
win us bright jewels
from our despotic crown.


"The Bear"
---Julie Laws

Artorius: bear-strong, wielder
of iron and steel, forged the seed
of legend long ago
in the wild grass of England;
High King, the legends name him,
Commander of men,
Unifier and protector
of God's own isle.

He sleeps, they say,
in the sacred waters
of Avalon's spring, curved
like a child in the cusp of a grail--
resting through the winter of the world
to wield his sword again
in the spring's green rebirth.


"The Nordic Norns of the North"
---Jason McCall

By divine will or cosmic jest three, old crones
hold so much influence and power
to decide gods' and men's final hour.
Even Odin whispers their names in quiet, hushed tones,
lest they remember him and take life from his bones
the next time the old women sit at their loom
and measure out the universe's life string
that accounts for any and everything
a man will do, from the day he leaves his womb
until Hel or Brunhilde comes to claim her groom.


"Black Tuesday"
---P. Nordom

leaves fell, as did shares
a slain bull caused boom's decline
thirty billion lost


"LZ 129"
---P. Nordom

How high we flew, giddy with our creation
Our ambition and driving focus to succeed outpaced our reality...
(And our caution)

On a rainy night in New Jersey
St. Elmo's eldritch flickers did us in, some say...
(A rebuke for our height?)

For 90 seconds of tragic glory we burned like the sun...
But fell like the stars

Oh, the humanity


"Julius Caesar"
---Anita Walker

Old Julius Caesar,
dictatorial geezer,
was killed, so sad,
was stabbed and stabbed--
alack for power seizure!


"Rasputin the Tenacious"
---Anita Walker

Russian Rasputin had too much brains--
so he was poisoned, stabbed, shot,
and beaten with chains.
And he still wasn't dead,
so they threw him in the river.
And while it's no surprise
he finally died,
you'd think
he have gone quicker!


"Jack the Ripper"
---Mark Young

Rip, rip, rip!
The blood ran fast and slick.
In London town, the prostitutes' gowns
bloomed red when Jack slipped in.


"Trailer Park Olympus"
---Mark Young

The Greek Gods stood as true
mirrors of the human condition.
This is why Zeus always slept around,
and why Hera couldn't stop her bitchin'. 


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Volume I, Issue IV.

September 15, 2011
The Ides of March Journal

September 15, 2008: 
Lehman Brothers, a world leader
in investment finances, declares bankruptcy. 
Shit hits the fan.

Featured in this issue:

Art Baker
     ---"August 6, 1945"
Jerome Brooke
    ---"Hail Caesar"
    ---"Ride of the Valkyries"
Clarence Dearborn
Jamie Lee Kirtz
    ---"Ah! The Witches! They are Coming! (The Trial of Martha Carrier--Salem)"
Julie Laws
    ---"Hannibals' Elephants"
P.D. Lyons
    ---"Tattoo on Leaving Gettysburg"
    ---"King Laoghaire"
Megan Peterson
    ---"Andrew Carnegie: Villain or Victim?"
Mark Young
    ---"Oh, High Fly the Flag"


"August 6, 1945"
---Art Baker

              The Gadget
       blew the world in two
crisped our skin to dust and dirt.
         humanity to hurt.


---Art Baker

They say she stretched
across the ocean, touching
America, kissing Europe.

But the jealous ocean seized her,
sweet beauty, jeweled lady,
ravaged her with fearsome waves, pulling
her down,
      beneath him,
leaving nothing but a schoolboy myth
and her name
on the tips of the tongues
of her far-ago lovers.


"Hail Caesar"
---Jerome Brooke

Gladiators file, one by one, all in mail,
Hail Caesar!
We who are about to die, doomed,
Salute thee!

Paired together, brothers in arms, glory we seek,
Death we defy, and disdain all fear.
Dance of death, in silence, sword against trident,
We circle, then do come near.

Hail Caesar, master of the world,
your command we await.


"Ride of the Valkyries"
---Jerome Brooks

Storm clouds gather, in the north sky, thunderbolts flash;
Shieldmaidens ride forth.
Fallen warriors do lie, slain on the field, brave warriors,
under the sky of the north.

Men who did die, with a sword in their hands, now summoned this day,
To the rainbow trail.
Now are carried they, on the steeds of the Valkyries, maids fair of face,
With coats of mail.

Each night to feast, and drink horns of mead, bounty of All Father,
His name, writ in runes, we dare not say.
Fair maidens are carried, taken to paneled booths, prize of valor;
All await the last battle, on the final day.


---Clarence Dearborn

"Old Hickory" Jackson
hated the Indian Nation.
He made a law
to move them all
out west to Reservations.


---Clarence Dearborn

'Tween Kruschev and the moon,
John's world was all a-swoon.
So Marilyn Monroe
and he would go
and rocket around the room.


---Clarence Dearborn

As general, he was not
generally worth a snot.
Maybe exceptin'
Saratoga and Trenton,
he got whipped a lot!


"Ah! The Witches! They are Coming! (The Trial of Martha Carrier--Salem)"
---Jamie Lee Kirtz

Her eyes black like spots on cows twitchin disturbed on dead grasses
acts of witchcraft crown hir head
them girls start to howl humming chests
unnatural necks twistin like circles drawn like spokes from all unsaw stares
chants by younge tounges like spells rasped by red starry eyes

Twinklin shadows rise from doores black
silty fields betwixt milke and graine
them saw black man at hir eare
spittin sweet and unsavoury curses
pinchin, prickin, poking harts and heads

Ropes snakin rownde bones wrists shakin them sit still
while hir arms bind to chair


"Hannibal's Elephants"
---Julie Laws

Dark leviathans
trumpet in snowy mountains.
Tusks gore bitter ice.


---Julie laws

Mold lord, sunless king,
twelve times shunned, pale of dark pools.
Keeper of Greek breaths. 


"Tattoo on Leaving Gettysburg"
---P.D. Lyons

For Stacy

The dead of Gettysburg reach out, soak us with desire.
Teaching us its tears that shape their ghosts.

Even down at the Blue Parrot,
Drinking Pennsylvania Porter and Jameson's
We find ourselves with them,

And at the motel
Phone ringing with 2am complaints,
Does not stop us the living from honouring the dead.

In the morning Stacy's Chrome Garden
Soft hum needles lullaby beneath my skin,

Winged horses form a few more drops of blood for Gettysburg
While you, holding my hand as if in hospital
Think of ways to further delay our leaving

Because like me you crave the company of ghosts
And too you know the need the dead have for healing.


"King Laoghaire"
---P.D. Lyons

Let the high hill speak for me:
Those who look shall see,
Full regalia compared
With stones of destiny.
Those with memory
Shall know
Cruelty the old belief
Compare with loving points of Christianity.
Let the high hill speak for me:
Bishop or pagan disguise
Usurper, still by only lies
Once Bridgit discards such foreign shame--
Who stands high on Tara Hill again?


---Megan Peterson

The greatest warriors of all
and the story of how they fall:
ruled with mystics and superstition
difficult to deny or define,
open to sneaking and corruption.

True to the law they stay.
Only a few go, the best.
Falling to the enemies within,
down they go into the fray
to die with the rest.

Sparta didn't fall that day,
but it soon would.
For the corruption
they did pay.


"Andrew Carnegie: Villain or Victim?"
---Megan Peterson

Seen as a greedy industrialist by all,
except for the libraries he built.
The masses wanted to see him fall
in an era where intelligence began to wilt.
Up he came from nothing,
no credit to his name.
Taught himself everything,
worked up from the bottom for his fame.
Employed thousands of unskilled,
yet he was to blame.
Was he right,
or was might?


"Oh, High Fly the Flag"
---Mark Young

Steel bellies soared into ivory towers,
oh, high fly the flag.
All the world fell hushed for just a few hours,
oh, high fly the flag.
Rescue-men and firemen hollered and raced,
oh, high fly the flag.
The tainted air beat the blood in their face,
oh, high fly the flag.
The dust and the steel caught in their chests,
oh, high fly the flag.
In hospitals, those heroes have breathed their last,
oh, high fly the flag.
Their spirits were silenced. Asbestos and ire
slipped in their lungs when they raced to the fire.
Oh, high fly the flag.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Ides of March--August Issue

Volume I, Issue III. August 15, 2011.
The Ides of March

 August 15, 1969: 
Half a million hippies 
converged on Max Yasgur's pig farm 
in Woodstock, New York. 

Featured in this issue:

Art Baker
    --- "Imagined Thoughts Before the Boston Tea Party, 1773"
Askold Skalsky
    --- "Lebensraum Blues"
    --- "Lake Geneva Summer, 1818"
C.B. Anderson
    --- "The Inventor"
    --- "The Zeroth American President" 
Amanda Bausch
    --- "Adam and Eve"
Jerome Brooke
    --- "Battle Array"
Clarence Dearborn
    --- "The Articles of Confederation"
    --- "Ulysses S. Grant"
    --- "Barack Obama"
Richard Peake
    --- "Tasmanian Heritage"
    --- "Teach by Example"
    --- "Sad Homecoming"
Mark Young
    --- "William Tell's Agony"
Changming Yuan
    --- "Origin of the Suns"


"Imagined Thoughts Before the Boston Tea Party, 1773"
---Art Baker

Aye, coercive though your acts may be,
with your taxes and axes at our Liberty Tree,
we're all freemen, aye, and fine men, too,
and we've taken all we'll take from you.

When darkness covers the cobbles tonight,
when the ships' masts creak in pale moonlight
and bob in the water with their damned pounds
of English tea, we will be found breaking

and taking the law into our
hands. Tonight the fishes in Boston Harbor
will swim in a teapot, a damned big one, too,
filled to the brim with our defiant brew!


"Lebensraum Blues"
---Askold Skalsky

    The three-hundred-year long presence of Germanic 
    people left no lasting trace in the Carpathian Basin. 

                                                 A History of Hungary

Like large senescent moths,
the Heruls and the Ostrogoths,
         the Gepids and the Longobards
have perished in

Wiped like a clean lampshade,
no speck of them remained
        except a small teut teut
        (stuck onto one word-root)
still used in


"Lake Geneva Summer, 1818"
---Askold Skalsky

There's Pollidori, vain and irascible, perpetually craving approval
from Lord Byron, who provokes him mercilessly with sarcasm
until the doctor turns hysterical, then quasi-suicidal, even paddling him
with an oar, though later temporarily consoled by her dark illicit love...

Percy, who likes to launch balloons over the lake, neglecting his wife's
needs by keeping company with George, then transferring attention
to his discarded mistress, Claire, perhaps even making love to her
(which might be why, on her death bed, she clutched his shawl to her breast)...

and Mary, several of her children dead already and she intimidated
by the personality of the Lord and distressed by her husband's long sessions
with him, herself spending many hours with the medicus, who later writes
in his diary that he has threatened to shoot Percy that day and feelings,

as things showed later in that summer labyrinth, prophetically violent.


"The Inventor"
---C.B. Anderson

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

All those who safely read in bed
Owe much to Thomas Edison,
For after years of sweat and toil
A light came on inside his head,
Allowing them to jettison
Their candles and their midnight oil.

And those who like to dance and laugh
May thank him for the phonograph.


"The Zeroth American President"
---C.B. Anderson

Benjamin Franklin, both scholar and rogue,
Printer, inventor, and man of the world,
Showed his bare pate when the wig was in vogue,
Lending a hand till our flag was unfurled.


"The Plucked Rib"
---Amanda Bausch

While Adam slept,
God plucked his rib to make a woman,
Then closed the flesh that bled.
When Adam woke, Eve stood unclothed.
It was then that he called her woman.

She began to wash the blood from Adam's side
She looked into his eyes,
And having never seen eyes before,
Adam felt a new emotion.
It was then that he called her wife.

Adam told his new wife of God's plan.
They would have dominion over every plant,
Beast, creeping thing. At night, in the garden,
They began bucking their way from tree to tree,
And it was then that he called her Eve.


"Battle Array"
---Jerome Brooke

Astarte the Queen, high glory to her,
In silver mail rode.
Her warriors bold, did clash their arms,
Loyal unto death.

Raced the queen, in chariot of gold,
Before the ranks.
Long live the queen, was their shout,
Glory to her.

Her champion brave, did spur his steed,
First lance today.
Foeman wavered, to see the serried lines,
Death arrayed.


"The Articles of Confederation"
---Clarence Dearborn

The Articles of 'Federation
gave us some presidents--ten.
Despite these precedents,
we count our presidents
from after the Constitution.


"Ulysses S. Grant"
--Clarence Dearborn

Though he bested Lee
with siege and calvary,
as president, well,
he wasn't so swell--
he couldn't best whiskey.


"Barack Obama"
---Clarence Dearborn

Mr. Barry Obama
was born in the...Bahamas?
was it Kuwait?
Kuwait?! I heard Kenya!


"Tasmanian Heritage"
---Richard Peake

"I have one black parent, one white,"
she says, "My black family raised me.
All people's blood runs just as red.
We exist today as you plainly see."

The Tasmanian aborigines
have been deemed extinct people,
a legend holding great appeal:
sad, dramatic, untrue but simple.

Modern rulers of Tasmania still hoped
to hide the truth with Truganni's photo:
the last aborigine passed to history.
Conveniently forgot, mixed blood flows.


"Teach by Example"
---Richard Peake

Like Blackbeard, pirates live a life of crime.
Named Teach, he trapped gold ships many times
enriching himself and Tarheels with a fee
tolled at sword and pistol point at sea
where pirates live and rob.
Now Somali youths think piracy crime's
moment has returned, think it lucrative to climb
aboard merchant ships to seize booty
for hauling home as looted fee
where pirates live and rob.
The world looks aghast at TV time.
Viewers think these pirates' daring crimes
demand quick action from the world's navies.
They think Teach's hanging should be the key
to clear the sea where pirates live and rob.


"Sad Homecoming"
---Richard Peake

As a celestial fireball
transforming to a comet's tail
they're coming out way
news shouts, we rush out to listen
for the lout blast that marks
the shuttle's homeward passage.
I strain to hear the tell-tale sound
the explosive indication
their aircraft is passing over
Texas on its final approach.
Listen for sound that never comes
as Columbia astronauts
and their space ship fall in pieces
littering Texas landscape.


"William Tell's Agony"
---Mark Young

Up against the tree--
sin's bright apple,
the apple on his head,
apple of my eye.

My boy stares,
rounded eyes shooting
along the notched arrow
to my own feverish  brow.

that I don't miss!


"Origin of the Suns"
---Changming Yuan

Ancient Chinese myth has it that the world began with ten suns.

They are sons of God of Heavens
Each with an all-faced body
Each has a heart
Where dwells a three-legged golden crow

They are sons of God of Heavens
As wild as so many bears bursting with fire
Playing non-stop, lolling and wallowing
In the heavenly river of stars

Until one day they go crazy
All jumping high in the sky
Refusing to return home
And take a break at night


Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: Curie

Curie, by Jessica Cuello, is a beautifully written chapbook entirely about Marie Curie, the Polish-born chemist and physicist best known for her groundbreaking work concerning radioactivity. Naturally, as a student of history, my fingers were excitedly tingling as I opened up the envelope that the mailperson delivered to my door several days ago. I have read through the eighteen poems it contains several times, and have deemed the chapbook, overall, to be outstanding.

Cuello's style, for one, is perfectly matched for a subject like Marie Curie--it is, for lack of a better word, measured (a word used several times throughout the poems in conjunction with the subject). Each word has a distinct purpose. This is made all the more powerful in that the poems are told from Marie Curie's own point of view--history measured in poetry, tempered by a personal perspective. It is this personality which makes many of the poems outstanding--they deal, not only with the purely historical aspects of Curie's life, but also with very singular events--the early losses of her mother and sister, for example, to tuberculosis and typhus:

"I clutched her coughs
like kisses. I wanted to touch
her throat, press my lips
beneath her eyes, bury
my face in the contagion
of her--who left early." 

Of the ghostly, otherworldly dance of her friend, Loie Fuller, painted in radium:

"Breasts curved with gold,
thighs phosphorescent, her neck
a stick of light."

Of performing surgery on a wounded young man during the First World War:

"Our eyes watched each other
as the metal entered
his skin. An odd silence:
a storm behind our pupils,
more than the pain of surgery..."

Truly, Cuello's talent for writing is superbly showcased in Curie. While the strength and richness of her poetry is captivating, there is nonetheless bound to be some confusion for the casual reader who knows next to nothing of Marie Curie beyond what simple information schoolchildren may know--that she received two Nobel prizes, that she discovered Polonium, that she pioneered the study of radioactivity. The poems are laced with names and references...Casimir, Bronia, the beet children, the leaking shed...which will confuse anyone who does not have more than passing knowledge of Curie and her life and work. Accompanying information, such as a page or two of clarifying notes, would be helpful if published with the book. The upside of this is that casual readers will be encouraged to learn more about Marie Curie--and by doing so, they will both gain knowledge of an extremely important historical figure, and be able to appreciate and understand Curie all the more.

Overall, Curie, by Jessica Cuello, is a highly enjoyable read from a very talented writer. Anyone wishing to read some very good poetry, and anyone wishing to learn a bit about Marie Curie, may do so right here.

Volume I, Issue II. July 15, 2011.

The Ides of March

July 15, 1799: 
The Rosetta Stone, 
the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs, 
 is discovered by a French soldier.  

 Featured in this issue:

Paul David Adkins
      ---"War Story #57: Kellogg, Brown & Root, Kuwait City Airport"
      ---"War Story #64: Stop Loss"
Gary Beck
      ---"Emily Dickinson"
John I. Blair
      ---"Philip Nolan"
Doug G. Campbell
Zann Carter
      ---"The Possibility That My Grandmother Saw Isadora Duncan Dance"
Jessica Cuello
      ---"Jean D'Aulon, Squire"
Julie Laws
      ---"When 9/11 Happened"
Donal Mahoney
      ---"An Irish Enclave, 1956"
Micah Anthony McConchie
      ---"A Journey Through Asgaard"
      ---"The Dance of Apollo and Artemis"
Bill Wolak
      ---"Nicodromus of Againa"
      ---"Poet of Assisi, 20BCE"
Mark Young
      ---"The Chant of Cuchulainn"


"War Story #57: Kellogg, Brown & Root, Kuwait City Airport"
---Paul David Adkins

On landing our DC-10 the pilot gushed--
On behalf of KBR, welcome to Kuwait.
We laughed.
I shook my head.

Years later, I analyzed that instant--
squinted, drew near,
slowed it down
to frame by ticking frame
until in the left corner I noticed
a gun raised.

Rewind. Relook.

Being raised again.


"War Story #64: Stop Loss"
---Paul David Adkins

His retirement date landed in the middle of his second Iraqi tour.
He crowed, That's it! I'm through --
hassles, deployments, idiot officers.

He showed up late next day unshaven. It's good
to be retired. He forgot his helmet.
Boots untied, belt undone, shirt untucked.
No tirades worked, no screaming.

The day before they shipped him home
he pulled a lawn chair, fishing rod from his tent and sat
casting and reeling. A naked hook snagged paper scraps.
He plucked and dropped them
in a cooler by the near-beer at his feet.


"Emily Dickinson"
---Gary Beck

Emily Dickinson didn't deplore
the frequent use of metaphor.
She thought it better than to be
the victim of a simile.
So struggling poets who aspire
to set the literary world afire,
should seek their own mode of conjugation
and avoid Emily's subjugation.


---Gary Beck

Your mouth
a harbor of passion
invited my entry,
I the wrecker of cities,
the bearer of corpses,
fell within your sateless flesh,
birthed a voyage
and unleashed disaster.


"Philip Nolan"
---John I. Blair

In bronze your name appears beside State Highway 174
And a live oak we imagine held the rope that hung you.

Again, in paint, on bridges by a rocky stream that flows
Past Cleburne, Rio Vista, through Blum into the Brazos.

Brave Irishman, bigamist, filibustero, horse thief,
You died at Spanish hands in 1801 somewhere nearby.

Your name brought tears when whispered to your friends,
Your two young wives, children without a father.

But after years your name means nothing to the boys
Who skip flat stones and tease the sunfish in your river

Or to the breeze that blows across your unmarked grave.


---Doug G. Campbell

Each night after stars have risen
above his battlefield, and taps has
ceased its lonely and unaccompanied
mourning, General Grant walks
into the night. You cannot see
him stepping deftly among the dead;
only the glowing tip of his cigar marks
his presence. He always goes alone;
he tells us he walks out among the ghosts
newly born, to apologize for all the stupidity
that leads to war. A general who sends
young men out to die cannot sleep
until he walks the bloody hills that
he has painted; a vast bone yard that
can never be fully purged--made clean.


"The Possibility That My Grandmother Saw Isadora Duncan Dance"
---Zann Carter

On June 17, 1906, my grandmother left American for years in Europe.
She journeyed on waves of grief: her younger sister, her mother, her father
all gone within one year.

She wandered the Continent, begging to be consumed by Art.
The Louvre, the Uffizi, the ruins of Pompeii. I have the postcards.

That same June, in Holland, Isadora waited by the sea for the birth of her first child,
and by December was dancing again in Warsaw.
Letters and photographs then document sojourns to Berlin, Florence, the Riviera....

I can almost make the places and dates fit.
I imagine convergence in Nice: DearMa's grief and Isadora's astonishing dance,

meeting perhaps in a garden performance, grace blossoming
before a soul in mourning, Isadora's wings

carrying both of them upwards through spiraling lines
of leap and gesture, movements of pure joy Isadora always believed
would go on forever in the infinite ether.


"Jean D'Aulon, Squire"
---Jessica Cuello

There was a camplight, tender
with the spell of death.
We slept on straw
and entered sleep more thick

than death. I saw Joan undress.
Her breasts were beautiful
but none of us wanted her.

We did what she said: mass,
cursed less. She was black
armor on a white horse. We trusted
with our breath.


"When 9/11 Happened"
---Julie Laws

Fear polluted my blood
when I saw the towers crumbling.

I thought of other fires
which had scorched my eyes from history books:
of the oily infamy of Pearl Harbor,
of the ashy plume of the Reichstag burning,
of Vietnamese forests glowing napalm-red.

Do we ever learn?
my heart whispered.
Do we ever learn?


"An Irish Enclave, 1956"
---Donal Mahoney

    South Side of Chicago, 
    long before Barack Obama 

On bungalow porches
and out in backyards,
on hot summer evenings
old men lower themselves
into green canvas chairs,
smoke and sip beer,
laugh and relive
Easter, 1916
and plot what they'll do
when the niggers pour in
and eddy all over
the dregs of their city.


"A Journey Through Asgaard"
---Micah Anthony McConchie

Listen, ye children, to the tale I sing
Your mind's eye borne aloft on mighty Raven's wing
My song of immortal realm of Asgaard
The land which inspires tales of men, and songs of bard
See the one-eyed, All-Father, Odin, upon his throne of stone
With arms like oaken logs, and voice that break bone
With Queen Frigg by his side, the essence of beauty and regal grace
Hel have mercy on man that puts a frown across that striking face
Behold Baldr, god of beauty and innocence, with eyes alight with eternal mirth
Slain by wicked brother, then returned in birth
Feel the eternal, piercing gaze of mighty Heimdall, the All-Seeing One
Rooted in his perch, ensuring the sanctity of his beloved home
Witness the brawn of the god Thor, holding aloft Mjolnir, hammer always near
Deadly weapon that sends giants and the wicked running in fear
Hear these tales, and become enchanted children, by me, Bragi.


 "The Dance of Apollo and Artemis"
---Micah Anthony McConchie

Virgin goddess in moonlit sky
No man can see with mortal eye
Dazzling brother follows with sunup
Radiance flowing like wine from a golden cup
Artemis, queen of the night
Apollo, king of light
Handsome beardless youth brings joy with poem and song
Beautiful unspoiled girl brings the joy of hunt with game trailing along
Twins entwined in eternal dance
Chase each other along horizons
Ancient deities inspirational even to this day.


"Nicodromus of Againa"
---Bill Wolak

"Nicodromus of Againa defeated a rebellion
on his island and prepared to execute
seven hundred of the conspirators when one escaped
and ran to the temple of Demeter, the lawgiver,
grabbed onto the door-handle of the temple,
and claimed sanctuary.
Nicodromus, when his soldiers failed to wrestle
the man's grip from the sanctuary,
lopped off his hands at the wrists with his sword
and dragged the man off to be executed.
The hands, they say, remained
clinging to the door-handle of the temple.


"Poet of Assisi, 20BCE"
---Bill Wolak

"Let my enemies love women,"
prayed Sextus Propertius,
who in his poetry praised and blamed Cynthia,
"but let all my friends love only boys."


"The Chant of Cuchulainn"
---Mark Young

Lugh's own son, Culan's Hound--
   the names of Cuchulain!
Ireland's pride, in foe-gore crowned--
   the truth of Cuchulainn!
The Sword of Ulster whom none could break--
   the strength of Cuchulainn!
But greybeard age was not his fate--
   the lot of Cuchulainn!
With spear and sword, his death fell fast--
   o woe to Cuchulainn!
To stone was lashed, and breathed his last--
   the blood of Cuchulainn.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Review: Miller's New England Haiku Dictionary

Mike Miller’s Miller’s New England Haiku Dictionary is just that—a collection of words defined in haiku. But to write this off as simply a dictionary with a poetic twist would be to kick yourself rather solidly in the ass. I personally don’t think adding stanza breaks to Webster’s would make it more interesting—just longer and speed you on your way to buying bifocals. 

Miller’s is much more than a mere dictionary. It’s a small cross-section of existence, conveniently printed, stapled, and mailed to your door for practically nothing. And I’m not saying that to be dramatic. These haiku cover many aspects of life in general. I like to think of it as sort of a poetic photo album, with the photos/poems gathered from many different situations, attitudes, and lives, which makes for a very compelling collection.

There is, for example, laughter:  

Sobriety (n.):
can’t say I remember it.
Care for some more gin?

There is joy:

Watermelon (n.):
chasing your laughing sister
through the sprinkler.

There is sadness:

Melancholy (n.):
diabetic black fingers
on old guitar strings.

And there is wonder:

Thankful (adj.):
the sigh breathed out by the trees
when it starts to rain.

See what I mean?

That was just a sampling. I wish I could go through them all, but that would deprive you from getting a copy and seeing for yourself (which you can do here). Miller’s New England Haiku Dictionary is full of those words that make you see ordinary life in ways new and previously unknown. Don’t let this one pass you by.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Volume 1, Issue 1. June 15, 2011.

The Ides of March

June 15, 1215:
King John of England signs the Magna Carta, 
placing himself and all future kings
within the law of the realm.

Featured in this issue:

-Zann Carter........................................"The Night John Lennon Died"
-Clarence Dearborn............................ "Vlad Tepes of Wallachia"
- ""......................................................"William Howard Taft"
-Jenna Kelly........................................"Apocalypse Now, or Maybe Later: Rapture 2011"
-Julie Laws.........................................."Caligula 'Invades' England: 40CE"
- ""......................................................"Salad for Hilter" 
-Mike Miller........................................"Isambard Kingdom Brunel. 1806-1859"
-Amit Parmessur.................................."Lord Shiva"
-Annie Perconti...................................."Uroboros"
- ""......................................................."Xochiquetzal"
-Megan Peterson.................................."Henry VIII"
- ""......................................................."Socrates, Dear Friend"
- ""......................................................."Catherine the Great of Russia (Who am I?)"
-Mark Young......................................."Enola Gay"
- ""......................................................."The Wright Brothers, December 17, 1903"

 * * *

"The Night John Lennon Died"
---Zann Carter

we were in a meeting,
all the servers and busboys squeezed
into that big-party corner booth.
who said it?  Sam? the bartender?
i only remember looking up in horror
and how the only other horror-filled eyes
were yours,
how our gazes locked, tractor beams colliding,
drawing us back and forth into each other’s shock--
what was the meeting about?
I only remember us fiercely hugging after,
going for pancakes,
how everywhere we wandered that night
how bereft the world felt
how his music played and played.  

 * * *

"Vlad Tepes of Wallachia" 
---Clarence Dearborn 

Oh, Impaler Vlad,
your enemies made you mad!
And so you would take 
some really big stakes
and skewer them in the nads! 

* * *

"William Howard Taft" 
---Clarence Dearborn

William Howard Taft
was large of fore and aft. 
So big was his gut 
he went and got stuck 
in the tub while taking a bath.

* * *

"Apocalypse Now, or Maybe Later: Rapture 2011"
---Jenna Kelly

Come one, come all,
it's going to be one hell of a show!
A rapture you'll never forget!
More hellfire, more fear,
fun for the whole family!
Four feisty apocalypse horses
for the petting zoo.
Adult swim in the lake of fire.
Save the date!
Tickets are going fast.
But don't worry,
if you miss out on the summer fun
there's always October.

 * * *

"Caligula 'Invades' England: 40CE" 
---Julie Laws

From Rome's hungry heart they marched. 
Caligula's army, the might of the Mediterranean, 
was charged to charge the island of England-- 
they halted at the Channel shore, ready for invasion, 

blood bursting in veins, swords sharpened for gore, 
thoughts of battle beckoned, fury-full, and-- 
"Aha!" cried Caligula. "Neptune will plead for pardon!" 
He then attacked the waves, cursing the fish,

and demanded that his army, 
the terrible legions of the Roman Empire, 
collect cockle shells off the beach
as tribute from the defeated water. 

Caligula was killed
shortly afterwards
by his own bodyguards.

* * * 

"Salad for Hitler" 
---Julie Laws

Adolf Hitler, whose voice spurred
the world into a war
which butchered fifty million bodies, 

whose policies massacred
over twenty million people
in undignified camps and ghettos

was a vegetarian
who could not abide
the slaughter of innocent animals.

* * *

"Isambard Kingdom Brunel. 1806-1859." 
---Mike Miller

 Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook,
 Or snare its tongue with a line which you lower?
Can you put a reed through its nose,
Or pierce its jaw with a hook?
--Job 41:1-2
 Brunel replied, “I have Leviathan
secured in my right hand.  I cast a line
upon the waters, and Great Eastern pulled
as some eight thousand horses snorting steam.
I forged the hook and anchor, and they lodged
inside her coal-dust craw.  Now I draw up
the chain and, ton by ton, I reel her in
to tame and train in dry-dock as I please.”
In stovepipe hat he puffed at his cigar
and thrust his hands beneath his crumpled vest,
this roughly-shaven fashioner of steel,
this crudely-fashioned fisherman of fate.
To him, if not the glory, then the power,
forever, and in iron’s name we pray,

* * * 

"Lord Shiva"
---Amit Parmessur

O Holy hermit on sacred Mount Kailash!
O Lord of 108 names, ardent lover of Benares,
indestructible city of eternal salvation!
It’s one of your fascinating secrets
the way you concocted Sanskrit
from the sacred sounds of a Damaru!
It’s one of your fascinating secrets
the way holy Ganges flows from your head!
It’s one of the most fascinating secrets
how you fearlessly drank the poison
that threatened to devastate the whole world!
Blessed with sons Ganesha and Kartikeya
and wife Parvati, the Supreme Deity of Shaktism,
you have no form and yet all forms are yours!

* * *

---Annie Perconti

Underneath suffocating skin-
Reborn once again-circling with
Open mouth-tail on tongue-
Biting the body, slaying the self-
Opened at last in death- I am
Returned whole-Eternal Unity
One with the True Self
Serpent of the Soul. 

* * *

                ---Annie Perconti

                   Sacred, Eternal
         Charming, Dazzling, Alluring
Lover of All things Bright and Beautiful
      Everlasting, Entrancing, Enduring
              Numinous, Wondrous

* * *

"Henry VIII" 
---Megan Peterson

All I needed was a boy,
an heir who would live.
Her looks were inviting and coy,
and the curves of her body
showed what she could give.

I am looked at oddly,
but what do I do?
I need someone to produce—
this is not out of the blue.
Shame this girl isn’t loose,
so my only option remains…

This is to save the throne.
Otherwise, who would lead?
Who would take the reins?
I cannot leave the crown alone.

* * *

"Socrates, Dear Friend (Plato's Lament)"
---Megan Peterson

Day after day I followed,
observing and recording you.
You asked difficult questions,
like why respect was owed.
I loved what you chose to do,
and what I gained from lessons.

For this you went to trial.
We heard the argument
and watched them spit bile.
You just let them vent
but you lost in the end.
Farewell, teacher and friend.

* * *

"Who Am I? (Catherine the Great of Russia)"
---Megan Peterson

I was brought in from Germany,
to marry a man who I despised.
And it’s difficult to produce an heir
with a manchild who doesn’t want any…
After a short time I realized
the measures I may have to take
to bring a child to bear.

Nine months later, my job was done,
and the Tsar’s actions—no longer fake.
I now knew what I must do next…
I let the royal guards have their fun.
Apparently hemorrhoids were the cause of death.
And my life moved to the stuff of historical text.
But of course I won’t hold my breath…
but do you know me?  

* * *

"Enola Gay" 
---Mark Young

I steadied my mother
as we flew through her labor. 
Her delivery room
was clear, open sky, and her womb 
was a welded steel darkness. 
The doctors--the navigator, the bombardier-- 
measured the moment of arrival, 
and her brothers--Necessary Evil, The Great Artiste-- 

The doctors dropped 
the baby.
Little Boy whistled 
as he plummeted. 
Her brothers took notes
as his fiery blood scorched Heaven.

* * *

"The Wright Brothers, December 17, 1903"
---Mark Young 


                                                           flies at the sky. 

           Wilbur jubilates. 
KittyHawk KittyHawk KittyHawk KittyHawk KittyHawk KittyHawk.

* * *

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Just to clarify: yes, we are indeed on Facebook.

There we are: Ides of March!

Or you can just type "Ides of March Journal" into the search bar.

Or you can click on the handy "Ides of March on Facebook" link, which is located at the bottom right of this page in The Awesome List.

Or you can just take our word for it, I suppose.

Friday, May 6, 2011

First Issue!

This still isn't it.

We're still just a wee bit over a month away from publishing our first issue of Ides. While this still gives you plenty of time to write amazing, gold-plated poetry about Rasputin's rather incredulous death (or not), it also leaves plenty of time for us to sweat nervously and count the number of submissions.


In the mean time, enjoy some pretty sweet poetic rap about Alexander Hamilton: