Saturday, December 24, 2016

Anti-Gravity by Danielle Billington

Anti Gravity

To live and be loved by shooting stars and by gravity.
Pleading, violent and full repressed, please, feel noctuary
manipulations, silvery wet wantings and dreamings, ambiguity.

Ideas, images of sound become your hush lullaby actuality.
Silent silvery white…such beautiful and temporary…
To live and be loved by shooting stars and by gravity.

Thrashing in the dark underneath covers, reaching for affinity
out and falling, reaching out and ending, binary
manipulations, silvery wet wantings and dreamings, ambiguity.

You are my dying dream falling and floating-anti gravity
the hundredth story, hitting the hard concrete of your leaving.
To live and be loved by shooting stars and by gravity.

Deep and abiding dying dream falling and floating-anti gravity.
Heart spiraling echoes decrease my hearts murmur,
to live and be loved by shooting stars and by gravity.

Growing thinner, tiny loops of repeating energy, atomicity
blowing words, hush …
To live and be loved by shooting stars and by gravity.
Manipulations, silvery wet wantings and dreamings, ambiguity.

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Want to be on the Karawane blog, and conseqently on our FB page too? Then you need to submit some work to us! Quad City Writers, the deadline is December 31st and we need to see some more work from you all! Send us the most experimental writing you have. The work itself needn't have been performed in pubic yet, just so long as you have stood up the mic and read somewhere (or everywhere) before. If you haven't -- it is supposed to be warm this weekend. Grab some relatives after holiday dinner and go out to the park and DECLAIM your poetry to the world!

Keep looking to the Facebook page as well. Karawane, Garage 3, the Figge Art Museum, and the Midwest Writing Center all will have more opportunities for you to read your work publicly! Contact Rozz Toxx or Theo's and set up a reading and then let us know. We will be there! With bells on to accompany you! =8-)

For those of you outside the Quad Cities, we will be accepting submissions soon as well from you!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Up, Down, Sideways, Across by Ann Chandler

This is a piece I particularly liked. We published it in a previous issue (#6 or #7?) Check out the back issues on the website at to see the whole piece.

Up, Down, Sideways, and Across

Ann Chandler, Wayne, NJ


Needless to say, I think we all need less to say, since mind takes over voice, takes over Length, that stretches and circles, what goes around comes around to the last sound set for beginning, for ending, into nothing, rushing in and out of mouth to lower regions, to lower meanings of self, of body, and I’m not listening to his philosophy, his curiosity on a meaningless subject merging into lessons and sayings, so I’m near the end, nearing water, bordering the edge to test my acts, so let me uncover my underneath, my underside, where we’ll all being kept here to die, but I’m alive, prime, so I’m going to stop repeating . . .

You know where to find me if you need me. Up close, close, personal, hiding behind the first line.

II. Breast

I could never brush up against the wind and transcend many things of the above and the beyond, and wave this magic wand to hope for the best, and pretend I never knew this mess, this breast that hangs over my shoulder, and some men call if my four leaf clover, the luck, the life it brings to this world, and feeds the soul in order to grow to full potential, a special body a human, not a zombie, that heart beats 190 times a minute and stop in a second and signal the gods to touch the stripping of something inside of me, when she said it’s probably something you ate, or faked, I don’t believe so. This bra holds them together to make them look better, but no one appreciates their true form, their scorn, the precious milk they deliver to the child, the lover, the pillar. The production of a machine that switched on and off when carrying a son or a daughter, how true, a miracle, although some may use it against her, a weakness, a taunt, but the breast never talks.


They e-mailed me and said my opinion wasn’t worth anything, and I should tone it down. So they kept me from getting inside the question. Where is my freedom? Where am I living so honestly conformed to their thinking, and I’m not beginning to settle my reasons for their happiness, their seriousness, and I’m weightless of all that is calm. Like mother earth, I don’t watch what I say so I’m put away, in the back of rooms. What makes us so important? The fact we mock our homeland, our home, the land we were born on, and I’m stepping outside the question, I’m stepping outside the question beside my thin short body that was once somebody, that was once one body and they tell me I should hide my mind . . .

They told me my opinion wasn’t worth anything, wasn’t worth any thing . . .

I am not a thing.

IV. The Night Before

Falling to the sound of a rhythm
Like a movement is a liquid
I am one two motions crumbling to the beat of a woman
To the drums pounding to the sound of a call
To a scream
The light a simple beam
Word, have you heard
The jokes, the smell of smoke
Treating my like a toy
The boy a symbol of survival
The woman a test to his ability to walk to talk
To wash out the connection to the belly of the dog who does tricks for his master
I am not his or his weapon to use against the outside world
Do I have a name?
People walking around me
My contractions closer and closer together
Can I hold his hand without people saying I am his?
Like my body was a thing
I am, she, real, trying to scream can he wonder why I love him?
Can he wonder where I’ve been the night before?


When there’s no source of knowledge or this garbage which I produce from top to bottom over emotion down into cellars where dwellers dwell, on things, stupid things, over some things that I can only hope to trace to embrace many of what stand and pick colors and perfect lovers that hold up to expectation, and we can reason like we can tell our favorite season, like spring, like winter, something colder, something better than sitting, than staying in a town where nobody loves you or those who cover your eyes from these bruises from these choices that have been made by ducks and geese, that kill and ask where is peace, and I ride and spray these sayings to the next working man where there is no lawyer to guide you through this unwanted land.


They wonder why we hate certain things when rings are forced onto fingers, where dinners serve to congratulate our ties, our lives together, joined by a letter which expresses our love and honor for one person, and we place them in white dresses and black tuxes over the alter, waiting, expecting them to say I do to the rest of their life just to fill a place in society where normal is viewed as the American Dream, and our mothers and fathers water color our fate with that one special mate, and then we fly out in spite of our wings . . .

They wonder why we hate certain things.

Friday, December 9, 2016

How I Came to Live in a Hut - Neil Levy, Issue 6


IT'S FUCKING COLD IN HERE. I better go chop some wood and carry water. Sometimes living way out in the boondocks is a hassle. I got to walk a quarter mile through foot high snow and down the slippery hill to the spring. Then I have to chop a hole in the thick slab of ice and scoop up two gallons of water filling these here buckets. Takes over and hour. Then back up the slippery slope, I'll probably fall to my knees at least once. I'm, pretty good though since I recently bought super deluxe snowshoes. Then the quarter mile back, passing some incredibly ancient trees. When its warmer out I sometimes sit down and meditate beneath these friends of mine. They are so strong and peaceful. Today though I will hurry this water in the house and then go split some logs. Heat the hut the old fashioned way. I'm an expert on lighting lingering and warm fires. It's a skill I've developed over the last three years I've shacked up in this here hut. Yep, three long years. And here I am still here chopping wood and carrying water. Like the old wind mill in the valley brought over piece by piece from Ireland in the 1880's. It just keeps on turning. Sometimes with a slow almost imperceptible rotation. At other times when the season of the high winds arrive the arms spin so rapidly that it looks as if its solid. Getting used to the pitch dark out in the wilderness was extremely trying for me. Oh, for about the first three months I hardly slept a wink all night. I was jumpy. I had the sense that I wasn't alone. That there were crazy people wondering through the hills and valleys. A murderer limping, dragging an axe along the dirt road to my house. Homicidal maniacs dancing around my hut. I'd hear a noise and pull the covers over my head and remain motionless till the next episode., Let me tell you there are many such noises that come out during the dark phase. You know people, mostly men, who are aggressive and violet are another bread altogether. I met some of these specimens while in prison. Oh man, that's a whole other story.

Anyway these guys are freaky. Often they've got screwed up teeth and a smile that sends shivers down my spine.They have this look, maniacal is the only way to describe it but you get this sense that they are not held back and that they can, like a wolf, just attack you if it so strikes them and just for the fun of it. The ones that went so far beyond their boundaries and snuffed another life out gives me the sense that I'm on a cliff just at the point of falling for these seretonin deficient individuals have no sense of boundaries.

Boundaries. I'm losing my sense of boundaries. It's been happening slowly over the years and is one of the main reasons I moved way out here, away from the rabble. The rabble, oh what a waste! There is some bitterness in my voice, its true. But, alas, it has become part of my experience. I am what I is. Got some cool, clear, fresh water. Cold water on a frigid day homeopathically warms me. I still hear those pipes, gliding their sweet melodies through the air. I used to play the Uilleann pipes. I miss those days. Out here in the thick of it I carved a few crude instruments. They play pretty good but there was nothing like those pipes and all those beautiful lasses that thar danced for me. I was in bliss, in heaven, I danced, composed music,and choreographed my pieces for all the world to see. I was the man. The Lord of the Dance. And then like the great Nijinsky my mind collapsed.....< like a house of cards.

When I was a wee lad I used to spend hours constructing all kinds of architectural wonders with decks of playing cards. I even won a number of art contests and it got me scholarships to architectural school. I learned the secret of balance and form in those days; guided by a kind of intuition and focus. I knew that these structures, so beautiful and grand, were extremely unstable. Often during the new and full moons I hear the fullness of the pipes filling my soul. I don the leopard costume I wore at my last performance and dance throughout the night, giddy with joy .

Oh Salome.....Dionysus, pan, the satyrs, old Bacchus arrive.....No longer do I think of marketing it,of yakking about, concerned what the rabble think or feel toward it. It is liberating out here in the world of HUT! Oh, when I had the narcissus sickness life was so constricting; I felt as if a cobra were choking me. Now don't get me wrong I had my share of fun. And it is vital that I had those wild experiences. So I also feel deep gratitude for the rabble. I am part of the rabble for you.. Hidden away here for three years is the culmination of "all of it." Sometimes tears fall down my at the intense feelings I have for your world. You are out there interacting with the populace. What a wide variety of human beings and their life conditions. Tomorrow I am going to bake the weeks bread. Lots of kneading. When I was back in LA,having immigrated from Ireland, to pursue my dreams, or should I say my illusions, I was amazed to see a TV show on Life's meaning or some such thing and all throughout the show were these corny references to baking bread and now I baked bread and find it spiritualizing. I often let my conscious mind hang in a rocking chair most of the time. I've trained it and given it its freedom to lounge around. A permanent vacation. When I compose it comes forth to some degree but I keep the door wide open. I'm not perfect, not by any means a serene hermit sage. Not in a long shot. But, hey, who wants to be a sage? I'm not interested in money anymore. Just enough to last till the breathing stops. Spare change is all I need. Got any? IT'S FUCKING COLD OUT HERE IN THIS HUT OF


—Neil Levy, Minneapolis

Monday, December 5, 2016

When a River Floods -- J. Otis Powell!

This was originally published in Issue 9. To read the whole thing, check out our website at

I will be publishing more things that we have previously featured in the magazine to lead up to our deadline and hopefully inspire you all!


It began as a trickle; like the headwaters of the Mississippi from Lake Itasca in the Minnesota North Woods, it swells, it deepens and it varies in width like the river running south to the Gulf of Mexico. A Being in Motion was flowing much like a river and subject to, as a river is, changes in weather like the fury of hurricanes, the deluge of thunder storms and the imminent danger of water overflowing its banks. When rivers flood it’s considered a natural disaster and Adamas was realizing that this production held the potential for a cataclysmic destiny as well. As a director Adamas had spent his career managing disasters and he knew what he needed to do to keep this one from becoming a sight in shambles. He needed to reign everything in from where it was to a more controlled level of chaos and wrap it inside time units like television segments.

The production featured improvised music, dance, spoken word and projected images happening simultaneously, but this was not the flat surface of television, this was live multidimensional space. A video could be projected behind live performers and prerecorded audio could fill another part of the soundscape. Adamas talked with Keita and Jamila who were the directors of the house band about punctuating the show instead of filling it with music and they could see the benefits of abbreviations rather than blowing full out all the time. “Only fill the space if its empty” Adamas told them. “And there will be plenty of empty space, you dig?”

Aquanetta’s words kept passing through his brain, ”it’s the same story, everybody is telling the same story.” He could let go of his need to follow the story line or to employ a literal interpretation of the impressions expressed in the performance. He could let go of his need to understand how everything fit together and simply fit everything together. He remembered an event he produced in Birmingham, Alabama in recognition of the life of Malcolm X; nothing was working like he planned, everybody had a different concept, a different message, and a different truth to convey. For some the story was about Malcolm X: a minister for the Nation of Islam, for others it was a story about the prison education of Detroit Red and for still others it was the spiritual transformation of
El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. It was a grassroots people powered production and grassroots productions have the precariousness of passion and prevarication; no one knows what’s going to happen because no one is in control and the story changes constantly because stories are organisms.

Realizing that he was not in control was liberating and it allowed him to relax and go with the flow of an eclectic montage of independent happenings that Aquanetta called a show. From the first scene, which was an ensemble of dancers moving in front of a projection of a waving body of water to primal sounds of the waves lapping, slapping then human sounds of moaning and sighing and grunting with live instrumental music and poetry. It was too much and now he understood that was the point of it. Layers of meaning braided together was like his life, like the Mississippi, like the story, like the
show itself; everything happened simultaneously and without hard separations in-between.

Keita wouldn’t stop playing his instruments. He and Jamila set up camp downstage left and were working on something all through rehearsals. “Ya’ll just go on now, don’t mind us. We gon’ be playing all through this thang.” Then he put a horn in his mouth, looked at his wife, nodded and went on. This obsessive behavior inspired the dancers to move constantly as well: on the stage, in the rows between the seats, in the dressing rooms, in the hallways… A BEING IN MOTION was taking shape as a subconscious idea that became a foundation for every aspect of the production. Constant motion and perpetual sound was the primary metaphor and everything else was expressed through that reality. Occasionally Adamas would need to gesture to the band to hush or to hold up a minute while he made something perfectly clear to other artists in the production, but of course nothing was perfectly clear. Everything was a different shade of blues.

Jamila integrated Aquanetta’s words with her own as a foundation for abstract vocal impressions. She invented music according to emotional expressions that bubbled up from somewhere deep inside her. Her expressions were from somewhere deeper than she could articulate but shallow enough to release and move on. Adamas decided to loop the phrase “stories are ever after” and play it back at particular moments in the production to remind everybody that it’s all about the story. Once the story began to flow it went to places no one expected it to go and it stayed there until it felt like moving on again.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

In This House by Charles Campbell

This post is from part of Charles Campbell's performance text In This House, originally published in Issue 9. To read the whole thing, check out our website at

I will be publishing more things that we have previously featured in the magazine to lead up to our deadline and hopefully inspire you all!

As is frequently the case, the formatting is somewhat different on our blog than in the magazine. Yet another reason to check out our website and look at past editions there!


There is no family, but these relations are present and taught.
There is no familiarity, the rooms continually change their functions.
Rooms are gaping holes into which people disappear, and out of which their shadows emerge.
There are walls that serve as conduits for secret communication between strangers.
There are stairs from which people throw themselves in a bid for suicide, or in surprise attacks.
There are light fixtures that serve as gallows and signposts.
There is no welcome mat, the threshold is a barrier and a border.
The doors are barricades, weapons, boundaries and escape hatches.
The people do not live here, they perform a series of shifting occupations.
There are no battle lines, no armies, no command posts, no bullets or bombs.
A human presence is a tactical maneuver in a struggle for space.
It is placid. The newspaper has been read. Sounds of cooking from over there. Television on upstairs. The table has been cleared. Bags are on the floor. Soft footsteps on the stairs. The bed sheets turned. Voices in the street, arguing over a piece of furniture.
Chairs, food, matches, newspaper, a rug, a table, a light bulb, toilet paper, the mail.
Movement across the floor, sounds from the other room, light under the door, tapping at the window, knocking at the door, sitting across the table, hands on a coffee cup, coming in, going out, sitting alone in bed, eating together on the way out the door, looking out the window, peering in the window, watching the walls, talking to the television, cooking for one, sleeping on the couch.
The boundaries between outdoors and inside are unclear, bits of each appear in the other.
The everyday gestures of the home are repeated, but emptied. Their mundane utility replaced with the strategies of the greater world.
Sounds and language float against a heavy silence. The meeting of two individuals is rare, strained, dangerous, and weighted with tactical considerations.

Friday, December 2, 2016

These two poems are by Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhran, of Oakland, California at the time we published them, several years ago. They are not formatted exactly as they were in the mag when we originally published them. Go to the website at to view the original publication they were in and to see them in their full glory!

I really really liked this poetry very much.

lessons in excavation

for Sandra Maria Calvo & Maria Mazziotti Gillan

although it is true i have been "american" for six and four and three generations

i have been irish and german jewish and arab spanish and african far longer

my roots there in europe the middle east nord afrika and the mediterranean

(across an ocean twice traveled and even more removed)

are much deeper stronger thicker

than these mere branches thin and weak shallow

and overshadowing the ground upon which i was born

check the soil below they run for miles

those above their distance measured

in only feet and inches

(perhaps it is best this way)

in winter the leaves fall

the thin branches grow thinner gnarled and grey

matching the sky above indistinguishable

(to some the tree would appear dead)


there are still those of us

who know the truth of things

who know the benefits beyond shade

who know other ways of living beyond the grey

who know what lies beneath the surface and

who still dare

to dig

(previously published in The Hammer)

la lengua of love

for JV

my love for u es multilingue many-tongued washing

over u with each wave of appreciation this gift of

sharing u n yr body with me wetness n warmth

heat hot springs from the ocean floor always

returning wave upon wave of undulation

always finding ourselves on each

other's shores with no course

back nor wanting any

nor wanting any

(previously published in Mizna)

Karawane Call for Artists - Quad Cities

I have been very neglectful of this page! Here is Karawane's call for submissions to the Quad Cities edition. If you have trouble reading it, you can also download it from our Facebook page: or write us at

Coin-Op Poetry

So, we have started a poetry reading at a local laundromat in the Quad Cities. We have been going for a couple of months and we had our best turnout the Monday before Thanksgiving. We are going to have another reading this week, Monday December 5th, then we will break for the holidays and start back up on Martin Luther King day, the third Monday in January.

Here is a flyer for the event and also some pictures from two of our previous Coin-Op Readings.