Saturday, June 24, 2017

Exquisite Corpses

I posted something a few days ago about why I am so attached to doing exquisite corpses. Please check that post out if you haven't already!

At Coin-Op open mic

I was frightened by the truth
As it hit me in the face
Like a mackerel fresh from the marketplace.
The detective knew the case would go bad soon.
Bad, bad. Like sour milk. Like milk gone solid.
Bad, bad. Like the night with no lights
that glimmer and sputter, no good to see,
because things are never as they seem.
They refract as in a mirror or a prism,
not wanting to see the shadows following each of us to the final light
and on that street was what we were looking for.

At theWine and Art event at the Figge Museum

In retrospect, at the museum
I found a purple fish in a glass.
It's a bass in that glass. A bass, bass, bass, bass.
Spring is here with flowers, bugs, and sunshine
with many raindrops to make the flowers grow.
The sunshine burst through the rain-drenched leaves,
casting a dappled pattern of shadow on the fresh-mowed grass,
She twirled defiantly
in her glitter high-heels.
She is unstoppable.
But then she stops.
She wonders why she has never thought to quit before.
A voice in her head made her drive on.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Exquisite corpses and the politics of Surrealism

Helena Lewis wrote an excellent book called Dada Turns Red: The Politics of Surrealism, in which she goes into a thorough analysis of the history of Surrealism's politics. Towards the end of the book, on page 173, she makes an excellent case for Surrealism, writing that:

"The Surrealists, in their collective and anonymous art forms, succeeded in creating an anti-elitist art that acquired a new social meaning. Their belief that talent is irrelevant and that everyone has creative potential in his [sic] unconscious, could be a perfect vehicle for a truly revolutionary art. That the official art of a Party dedicated to revolution should be merely an adaptation of a nineteenth century bourgeois aesthetic is an irony that has become increasingly apparent."

I love this quote an in fact, I am thinking of making it into postcards or t-shirts or something that I can give out at readings and at classes. This is the impetus behind the exquisite corpse, which is a group-created poem, and the reason that I use them so much whenever I can.

I am publishing some in Karawane and I am going to publish some on the blog as well, both that are in the journal and some that are not. This is one that is not, that we created on June 19th. Someone was reading poems by Gerard de Nerval, Baudelaire, Poe, etc., and so I included some words and lines in my part when it came my turn, just using parts of the line I was hearing at the time. (That is also Surrealist and avant-garde inspired!)

Escape west to find yourself
and young men to lose themselves
never to be forgotten always to be remembered
the cries of the children lost in the night.
O' sacred moonlight scatter not fearful of the noise
that arose out of the stars, monsters roaring on their hind legs
soaring above their hideous selves reaching eyes outward
reaching, touching the sun, burning his fingers
he nearly died from the heat
desperate salvation and horizon mirages.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

New Issue Cover, Featured Authors, and Samplers


We are finalizing ads for the magazine and sending out writer's contracts soon and will have a new issue out hopefully within a month. Featured in this issue will be poetry, fiction, and nonfiction/academic work by:

X. H. Collins
Cody Sanderson
Sal Marici
Aubrey Barnes
Melanie Hanson
Farah Marklevits
Margie Mejia Caraballo 
Thomas McKay
Laura Winton
Misty Urban
Kenneth Darland
Michael Thomas Kelly
Megan Lee

We will also feature photos from our participation in 100,000 Poets for Change from 2014 and 2016, from our Coin-Op semi-monthly open mic, and some Exquisite Corpses written around town.

We want to thank our advertisers so far, The Artery, Theo's Java Club, Spellbound, and the Midwest Writing Center for their contributions. We want to thank Quad City Arts for their ArtsDollars grant, Neighborhood Laundromat for letting us use their space for the Coin-Op Readings, and Western Illinois University for their participation in 100,000 Poets for Change as well as copying and posting our color flyers for Coin-Op.