November & December 2019
Vol IV No VI
Not your ordinary poetry magazine!
If good coffee (or just the concept of coffee), great books, sharp wit, and great authors excite you, we are for you!
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Experimental & Form Poetry
Joel Oppenheimer: A Luggage Tag
in the seat / of a car
. . .
what were we
At Fifty―Joel Oppenheimer (with a nod to Miker Mike)
in the seat / of a car
a fave bit of ephemera, this
poem printed on luggage tag
hung out with its spine-meister
from a loop of twine
tied up to ship well into
this far flung future
what were we
at fifty― if Joel were alive he would
love your new book of poems,
just the kind he championed*
our kind & kindred champ
well tagged at the Poetry Project
you Take-a-Bow-Airy, maestro.
*A back cover blurb by M.G. (Mike) Stephens
Tom Pickard: Oop norf, fook sake
bulimia oblivia―Tom Pickard
don’t woof yr cookies (Newcastle Brown Ale)
purge yourself, sunflower
say somebody’s lil’ bunting
here’s I me mine in yr eye
oop norf, fook sake, you bet
Yorks Bete beat the Pool *
not to get all cocky
h’8 no ’aitch 4 bp concrete
viz, getting all visual
ate me (’arf-time) so don’t be
telling porkies, pie-head
magpie caught in a barcode **
*Piers Plowman, first “lit” (up) instance of the family name Bete/Bett/Betts, with all its variant early spellings
**Newcastle United Football Club nicknames: Magpies, Barcodes
Stephen Bett is a widely and internationally published Canadian poet with 24 books in print. His personal papers are archived in the “Contemporary Literature Collection” at Simon Fraser University. His website is stephenbett.com.
Zeno at Breakfast
Nobody wants to claim the final slice of toast, the last orange section, the single
remaining sausage, but Uncle Ted thinks he could maybe handle half the fruit,
and Aunt Sally reluctantly accepts half the sausage, and grandpa
will butter up half the toast and see what he can do, and
grandma, no she really couldn’t, finally can, and
further mushes the orange into divisible pulp
and puts half on her plate while Bob agrees
that half of the half-slice will take care
of his remaining glob of marmalade,
and Alice can’t quite manage
a half sausage but might
have a half of a bite
if Carol will share
what’s left . . . .
will need to fetch
a nano diamond
knife and an
James Swafford has begun writing poems after recently retiring from a long career teaching English literature in upstate New York. He now lives in Toronto.
All sheets were white in
Tuscan towns where we never
left the hotel room
Alien tongues in foreign
places I didn’t behold
They said ‘chew your food
thirty-two times’ to keep girls
from speaking their mind
It was great for their gut health
claimed all men at the table
Hege Jakobsen Lepri is a Norwegian-Canadian translator and writer. Her most recent work is featured in The New Quarterly, Carve Magazine, Hobart, Belletrist, Crack the Spine, and Prism International. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and on her website: www.hegeajlepri.ca.
21st November 2017: The Today Programme . . .
Let’s go over to Ben Brown in Harare. A momentous morning there Ben?
Yeah. When you think about it . . .
Lucy, tidy those toys up. I won’t tell you again.
. . . for almost 4 decades . . . got to find a way to constitutionally remove him . . . that’s if he doesn’t go voluntarily . . .
Rocky. Basket. Now
Always under my fuckin’ feet.
. . . everyone pretty much would like to see . . . he’s being pretty stubborn about it as he has been for years . . .
Jake, what you want with your bacon?
. . . the dawn of a new era, he can go farming . . .
Sausage. You got sausage?
. . . the decision has been taken . . . has come 180 degrees since last week . . .
Josh, get dressed. Out of those PJs now! Move!
. . . how much more humiliation he’s prepared to accept . . .
Where’s your brother? He up yet?
No, make that fried eggs, luv.
. . . what his demands are? What potential fate . . .
Tim, get up or you won’t get to the game on time.
. . . we will go back on the streets and we will sort this out ourselves . . . was running out by the minute . . .
Watch the timer Rosie, when it’s emptied, you shout me, OK?
. . . veneer of legality . . .
Rocky! Not again.
. . . trying to find the right words...
Luce, get hold of that pup.
. . . legal process still has to catch up with that . . . he simply becomes irrelevant . . .
You wanted a dog now learn how to control it,
. . . a key part of negotiations . . .
else it will have to go.
. . . his own sense of his own dignity . . . he refuses to accept reality . . . his world has vanished . . .
Mum I can’t find my football shorts.
. . . we’ll fix this . . .
On the ironing pile.
. . . most people do not know another leader. The fact that he’s being turfed out . . . respect for elder, elders should be treated with dignity
Rosie, go get your dad. Breakfast is ready.
. . . it was extraordinary, he dressed up in academic robes . . .for him it looked like business as usual
. . . what follows?
Mum, Rocky’s messed the floor! Yuck.
. . . people power, things have changed . . .
Jake, get the door, it’ll be Amazon.
. . . ruled by autocracy . . . to move on, whoever . . .
Can you lift that in for me?
. . . transitional government leading to elections next year . . . fractured opposition . . . the path ahead uncertain . . .
Luce, Rice Crispies.
Rosie, boiled egg.
Josh, bacon sannie.
Jake, bacon, sausage, fried eggs.
Tim! Porridge is getting cold!
. . . at the moment people are just celebrating . . .
Phew! Where’s my coffee?
. . . Ben Brown in Harare, thanks very much.
Sheila Ash is a global Scot, having lived on four continents. Retired and based in Suffolk, she continues to travel in Garfunkel, her campervan. An avid reader, more recently a poet, Sheila has her own blog and also contributes to local writing group workshops.
Better than Starbucks began wholly as a creation in my mind. Now the wonderful collaboration of dedicated editors is creating a magazine that I could have only dreamed about when I was starting out as a one person organization.
Having said that, there are no direct connections between U Penn, Al Filreis, KWH (Kelly Writers House,) ModPo (Modern & Contemporary American Poetry,) or any of the actual affiliated programs to ModPo and this magazine, other than I have been a part of ModPo for several years now. There is, however, a strong spiritual and intellectual connection between BTS and ModPo.
If I had not gotten involved in the larger community of ModPo, I don’t think I would have restarted a literary publication. I am certain I would not have added a Formal & Rhyming Page, and probably not a Translations page. I have a pretty narrow preference for poetry, but the course and the people at ModPo have expanded my view of poetry to the point that I decided if I could find good people to help me do it, we would make BTS as broad of a source of styles and genres as possible.
Thus, it seems fitting that we dedicate a page to my fellow students at ModPo, and/or anyone who wants to share experimental poems. The thing about experiments is, they often fail, but as the point is to learn, not to create perfection, even failed experiments in the lab or on this page, will offer something for us, if we will find it. and when the experiment doesn't fail . . . well, you will see! - Anthony Watkins