Sunday, December 23, 2012

Volume II, Issue IV

December 15, 2012 
The Ides of March Journal 

December 21, 2012.  
Midnight came and went. 
The ghosts of Cichen Itza 
still laugh at our fear. 

In this issue, culled from six eligible poems: 

Art Baker 
    ---"A Mayan Christmas"
Liz Hatrnett 
    ---"Not So Fast"
Phillip Larrea 
    ---"Taxing Times--The Legend of Lady Godiva"  


"A Mayan Christmas" 
---Art Baker 

My brother buys boxes of batteries. 
Candles, too. 
And he's got shelves full of dry food, 
enough for a zoo. 

He says the end is coming, 
and the Mayans won't take him. 
He's stocked his basement larder, 
and he's got guns to the brim.  

I asked him: "What if nothing happens?" 
"What if it's all just a bunch nonsense?" 
He said: "Then I'm already set 
for five years worth of Christmas presents."


"Not So Fast" 
---Liz Hartnett

How did you come to this? 
Your head on a stake, 
with years to ponder your predicament 
from the rooftop. 
Missing your cozy crypt in Westminster.  

Lord Protector of Great Britain, 
Star of the Puritan Elect, 
Oliver Cromwell, man of God. 
The part you played in the King's execution 
never sat well. 

You governed to the hilt: loyalists massacred, 
churches burned around the ears of poor Irish. 
A colorful rule, a peaceful death in bed.  
But after, 
their stubborn resentment could not let you rest. 


"Taxing Times--The Legend of Lady Godiva" 
---Phillip Larrea 

wearing naught 
but hirsute. 

net assets. 
Now its worse.

God I've a 
mind to ride. 
Horse repo'd.  


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Publication Months: April, August, and December only.

The beauty of running a small journal by myself is that I set my own deadlines, no one else drinks my coffee, and I create my own rules.

However, when "life" (as a graduate student, I possess no real life...just "life") comes into conflict with some of those rules, something has to give. And since I value my "life" over my rules, they're going to take a wee bit of a thrashing.

Not too much, though.

Effective immediately, The Ides of March will no longer be a monthly publication. To save my sanity as I work my way through other various projects and callings (that "life" thing again), The Ides will now only become a thrice-a-year publication. April, August, and December will be the only months to see new issues of The Ides; the other months get to relax and take it easy. 

Sorry for any inconvenience, frowny faces, or sub-breath grumbles. 

Next issue: December, 2012!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Volume II. Issue III.

August 16, 2012
The Ides of March
August 15, 1965: 
John, Paul, George, Ringo.  
Shea Stadium, Queens, New York. 

In this issue, culled from four eligible poems:

Liz Hartnett: 
    ---"American Gothic"
Jenna Kelly: 
    ---"Jack the Ripper


"American Gothic"
---Liz Hartnett

Conflict surely reigned in this skull.
Enslaved; wedged
between privilege and privation; a part of neither.
Grandison Harris spent 60 years
at Georgia's Medical College.
Kept them well supplied.
The Resurrection Man. Feared by the powerless,
sitting vigil over their dying and newly buried.
He drew specimens from their coffins
from a hole hacked in the lid,
replacing earth and flowers to leave no wound.
Stealing the last scrap of the thoroughly used,
in service of the users. Wink and look the other way,
it's only the colored cemetery, the potter's field.
For science. Rest in peace, Grandison.


"Jack the Ripper"
---Jenna Kelly

Click click on cobble stone
corset strings are tangled
Click click on cobble stone
now her body's mangled
Scratch of ink pen on a note
a riddle that the killer wrote
To leave the town in shallowed whisper
they never did catch Jack the Ripper.  


Monday, July 16, 2012

Volume II. Issue II.

July 15, 2012 
The Ides of March Journal
July 15, 1741: 
Aleksei Chirikov runs into Alaska. 
Europeans become acquainted 
with the Haida and moose jerky.

Featured in this issue, culled from thirteen possible entries: 

Harold Bosstick:
    ---"The Hounds of Acteon"
Melissa Dickson
    ---"Medusa Writes Her Epitaph"
    ---"Perseus Regales the Throng with a Blustery Tale"
Clinton Van Inman
Sophia G. Starmack:
    ---"Savonarola's Dream"
Katie Lynn Weldon
    ---"Joanna of Castile Marries Prince Phillip"
Bill Wolak:
    ---"The Viking Raid"


"The Hounds of Acteon"
---Harold Bosstick

It bounds


from our ravaging

We see our goal              ahead of us

It                                     eludes                            us.

But we close
in on the fear--
soaked prize
ready to clasp teeth
around its nubile


"Medusa Writes Her Epitaph"
---Melissa Dickson

You have to know I loved you all. None
came before me but I loved him.  None
perished at my gaze but at his own reflected.
For this, I wept. For this, I let dreams keep
me while Perseus, clumsy, dumb, arrogant,
a child I could love, stumbled half-blind
to my dark bed and found me, still, eyes
closed ever against him. What monument
he made of me, did not my soul contain.


"Perseus Regales the Throng with a Blustery Tale"
---Melissa Dickson

I was Stealth, capitol S, proper noun.
She never heard me coming.
I could have slaughtered all three
without opening my eyes.
I had radical resources, mad swag,
a skullcap that made me invisible.
I was smoke on a sterling platter,
in my fist, a snake-headed cunt
to wager the rest of my life on.


---Clinton Van Inman

Go drag your white skull beyond blind seas
That tumble dazed to your mono-eyed magic.
Go tell Neptune when the night is through.
Charm him, too, with your waxing and waning.
But you can't catch me with those veiled half smiles.
Your borrowed brilliance exposes you.
I know too well your darker side.
Go charm some other star struck rhapsodist.


"Savonarola's Dream"
---Sophia G. Starmack

Savonarola had a troublesome nose
through which came rushing all the rot of Italy.

Every time his knees knocked together,
a Volcano started up inside--

The year 1500 was approaching.
Every time Savonarola lifted his arms

the wonderful stink of Doomsday
streamed up and rattled under his black hood.

It was only after his Bonfires that Savonarola
learned the truth about Vanity.

Composing his Confession with the one hand
the executioners had spared, he saw it--

the hole where the Evil had been
still whistled. The ashes stank of red. 


"Joanna of Castile Marries Prince Phillip"
---Katie Lynn Weldon

The people of the court called her La Loca.
Some nights, they said, there is no rest--
her wailing consumes the country like pork,
smoked slowly over a stake like turning over in her sleep.
Her king, Phillip the Handsome, is gone out to sea somewhere.
Her howling is of sea-storms and sirens,
and all day she kneels in the cathedral, fingering the rosary
he gave her until its beads are worn smooth with prayer.
She should have never married someone whose title
uses the word "Handsome." A Handsome man will not stay.
Any village woman could have told her that.


"The Viking Raid"
---Bill Wolak

When the Vikings discovered
that the monastery's nuns
had all cut off their ears, lips and noses
to render themselves repulsive
in order to avoid being raped,
they cursed the waste
of such exquisite,
untouched flesh
and murdered them all
out of frustration.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Volume II. Issue I.

June 15, 2012 
The Ides of March Journal

Presently recorded, traced back to ages away 
preserved behind glass, buried neath sand 
once a commonplace relic 
now revolutions and turmoil replace.
 poem and photo by 
Eleanor Bennett

Featured in this issue, culled from eight eligible submissions: 

Bryce Ansla: 
    ---"Coming Home" 
Anthony Cappo: 
    ---"Theodoric's Lament" 
    ---"Portella della Ginestra" 
Carter Hayfield 
    ---"Pluto 2006"


 "Coming Home" 
--Bryce Ansla 

Afghan sand has dulled my dogtags for two years. 
Two years of recon in the dark, chasing
opium lords through dunes and danger. 
I shot five men muling drugs 
through the desert; they would have killed
me if I hadn't. 

I was finally sent home to my wife, my life. 
I dream of bullets in the desert. 

On a streetcorner where I live, 
three men were arrested 
for selling heroin.  

The desert found me.


"Theodoric's Lament" 
---Anthony Cappo 

These pompous fucks with their extinguished 
empire snotting their noses at me. Barbarian, 
they say, though my language now sings 
in the court of their land. I learned their tricks 
in the East and now their Western cousins kneel 
at my boot. Barbarian. I build churches, palaces, 
hire their artists but still the pursed smirk, 
the stifled giggle. Not to my face, but I hear them. 
But what to do? Hack every one of them? Crucify, 
as they would? No, they're of use so I'll suffer 
their slights...most of them. But these fops drink 
the dregs of history. No more legions to enforce their Pax. 
The forest is dark out there, believe me. Wilder eyes 
lie in wait, with tongues that char mosaic and marble.  


"Portella della Ginestra" 
---Anthony Cappo 

When the assassins came I laid in the prickly 
pears, bougainvillea shielding my eyes, 
the cries of children shaming the air. 
They shot from the hills and on horseback, 
May Day raid of cops and bandits. Il Duce gone, 
but goose steps march on. Lords enforcing 
vassal domains. When the firing ended, 
eleven slain; I remained to tend the wounded. 
What's happened to my Sicily--envy of Athens, 
bread basket for Caesars, sonnet's cradle, 
jewel of Normans and Holy Roman Emperors? 
The Barbarians are back--mafia scorpions, sleeping 
in the walls of state, engorged, paid to strike, 
and bleed the life of all who till in peace. 


"Pluto 2006" 
---Carter Hayfield

Pluto was meanly flung 
from its planetary rung, 
given a different home
like you'd throw a dog a bone. 

Now just a planet minor, 
he spends his days with Quaor, 
Orcus and Sedna.  
Tough break, little fella.  


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Volume I. Issue XII

May 15, 2012 
The Ides of March Journal 

May 15, 1928: 
Mickey Mouse, famous 
Disney icon, makes his film 
debut in "Plane Crazy."

Featured in this issue, culled from eight eligible submissions:

Zann Carter
    ---"Demeter's Grief"
Mike Miller
    ---"Shabbatai Tzvi, at Dulcigno"
Bill Wolak
    ---(poem removed at author's request)
    ---"Ancient Egyptian Skin Care"


"Demeter's Grief"
---Zann Carter

Every mother who loses a beloved child
knows the call to wander the land
in demented searching,
to become an old woman overnight
dragging the raveling threads of her old life,
knows the urge to vanish in disguise,
knows the withering loss
visible on bare hilltops, all color leached
from the dry, cracked earth,
knows the urge to make another's child


"Shabbatai Tzvi, at Dulcigno"
---Mike Miller

I tarry in the morning
and I tarry afternoon
I tarry on the Sabbath day
and every monthly moon

I tarry, tarry, tarry
to a terrible degree
and it's scary, though I tarry,
there are some who wait for me.


"Ancient Egyptian Skin Care"
---Bill Wolak

Ancient Egyptian women protected their skin
from the damaging effects of the sun whenever possible
with fragrant oils, perfumed unguents, soothing massages,
mud facials, and frequent spice and mineral baths.
And they experimented with many exotic remedies to cleanse
their pores, soften the luminous texture of their exquisitely
depilated bodies, and tone and tighten the muscles
of neck, jaw, brow, and belly. The most rejuvenating treatment
recommended unanimously by all physicians up and down the Nile
for silkening the skin the preserving a youthful complexion
was also the most expensive--soaking in a tub full of fresh semen.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Volume I. Issue XI.

April 15, 2012 
The Ides of March Journal