Poem in Redivider

by Craig Sullender

Photo: Light of the Lepur

I have a poem (pennies) in Redivider 11.2, A Journal of New Literature and Art.

They picked pennies for Page 1!

Read this story: Experiments With Sponge Cake by JD Irpino.

And My Beard by Eric Braun.

 
pennies (excerpt)

even a thing with no mouth talks—
pitch a penny at a hard wall

just a penny but rich in our neurons
the butterfly’d gristle that emits

and subsumes cause
and answers too late

after God’s quick eraser
makes the penny sound how you sound

 

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Oprah and Gildroy

by Craig Sullender

Evolution

Over the tea display at Starbucks Oprah’s radiant face says “Buy my chai.”

Mega-brands like Oprah move us with a name. Once we let them in they prompt our actions. We hardly notice someone else has taken the reins. They have mastered the science of being very loud, having an overwhelming voice, without being told to stop it.

Loud voices are a fact of our world. Loud voices are not sane, and they waste our better hearing. They numb our will. That’s my O-pinion, but true or not, our ears are confused—is the source within or without?

700 years ago Marguerite Porete published “Simple Souls” and said “The light from the opening of this book has made me find what is mine and remain in this.”

She claimed an inner voice. She said “Help me stop and wait, then speak as it does.”*

In 1310 she was put on trial, allowed to live if she would say “Pay no attention to the voice inside.”

She wouldn’t and they did—burn her upright, tied to a pole—but not quick enough to keep us from listening.

 
Craig Sullender 2014
*Doreen Gildroy, APR Vol. 43, No. 3, Pg 21.
https://www.aprweb.org/issue/mayjune-2014
 

Photo: Me and Oprah

 

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middle New Age

by Craig Sullender

they forgot in the middle
New Age of inner perfection

that one way or another creation will cost you
and no one will avoid the price

of you expending you—
your emotion your health

your very mind and the useful part of your spirit
will do their jobs and be fueled

away into your forward motion engines
and into each fresh rung of evolution

you climb by ignoring
the one little entropy ticket

speed limit that has us here
all flowing away

and used up—
but look at the ones swimming

hard enough to appear still
and quiet

as if they had displaced the effort
and cost elsewhere

as if they had come into gravity
to be ridiculous

as if nothing else
would let them fly

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year of living dangerously

by Craig Sullender

I was the youngest at first I couldn’t talk at all
it took years and practice

watching her lips move when she sang
fascinated at the sound

and feeling of motion through life that came
different from my muffled no no no

it took 10x the effort to leave
10x more again 10x

that means forget your plans slow ones
winning is for the pretty folk

bones fallen from cup pips up
not us stray barnacles on edge

tide harassed and pit bossed
life reviews are for chumps

and the New Age that Trojan horsed
another prickly hope

inside the words we caught
with the basket of our heads

no—take ephemerol straight
you will see

degrees of maceration
rent rending boiled out

from the new event where I said
this can’t be my life

for the first time not even
when I slid across the road on my ass

north of Chiang Mai with my foot
pointing left and right

not even when they took me to the police station
before the doctor

not when the first hospital
sent me away stretched on a board

to the cot in the hallway of another
not when the nurse shaved me

there everyone watching
him work around my balls not even

the med students
needling my spine and days later

the doctor re-resetting the leg a cappella
with four nurses holding me down laughing

at my strange loud words
not back in the states

where they thought to remove my leg
gone busuk

and later not the growing up part
when hopes dried

and the successful
preached commitment

not for the complaints and passing agonies
and habits of loss

until this week and then I did say
this isn’t my life

this isn’t me
and the owner stuck their finger in my head

flipped the switch from protest
to fact

this next body I was dealt was a surprise
stopped up and leaky

but the previous was done
mission complete

avoid loneliness – check
be in love – check

travel a bit – check
build something – check

don’t get caught – check
be happy – it was a good month

before the exit and entrance
and coming out of liquid sleep

I was cranky
it takes awhile to wake up

and say I am new here
this is what I have

or I am old in a new place
this is what I bring in my small bag

of body that seems less likely
than before

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best magic

two of my friends I knew
would be in my life forever

as the small group I will die
knowing

that’s how the future
becomes the past

what went is longer
than what is to be

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yellow

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some parts are trained to not feel pain
like a dog’s paw or a person’s skull bone

and some parts feel an ache
the tip of hurt

like a little truth avoided
before it leads to something big

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CSI

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No one knows what poetry wants,
why it talks about the smudged
window where the pigeon smacked,

and not the blinds on the inside,
slicing the view into rows until
we call it open.

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State Machine

Jumpy lumps allow and contain,
eating our long confusion.
Like beads pulled through the brain,

computing one event after another,
with a pause on the clap–
think clogging not ballet.

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Quantum Chemistry in Ladyland

Communication is all talk.
Other signals carry more

of the good stuff– where
she is in her dream at night

by how she breathes.
To kill myself I would first

calm
the beast that wants to live.

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Tubing the Guadalupe

While drowning I wanted air to be water
and fish to fly.

We love nothing as it is.
I went under three or four times,

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Clouds

Photos from Villa Aldora, Cozumel. Sunrise, facing east from Villa Aldora, Cozumel. Sunrise in the east creates antisolar rays in the west. Antisolar rays are opposite the sun, converging to the antisolar point. Read the full article →

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Bargad’s Shade

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The poem “Bargad’s Shade,” by Gnyaneshwer Nigudkar, is about the gift of the shade of the Bargad tree on a very hot day. Not just a hot day–so hot it is “raining fire.”

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story for here

strike the word courage from your language

walking out of a falling building
is not courage

walking into a falling building is not courage
it is a risk acquired

a bet placed against odds
a different kind of hand reaching forward

yes a bet

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secret message

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Check out the latest Weave Magazine. They selected my “decomposed” for the poetry section. Purchase a copy here.

“Char Front” is a fine read with a lot to ponder, recommended. – Midwest Book Review

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domesticated soul

think we misbehave?

puppies pee and I fart massively
twice a day

soul boots a life into meat-brained wildness
and you expect good manners

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Char Front Readers

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I LOVE your book! -Ellen

The poems in Char Front lend themselves to repeated readings and what at first comes across as a clean use of language becomes poignant and profound. One realizes: Ah, a lot of thought lurks behind the poetry in Char Front …

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when we are in the canoe wait for us

Thom Moon recorded Ric Williams reading the poem “End” from Char Front.

A video of Leslie reading “End.”

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Char Front Book Release

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I came home yesterday and found in my mailbox YOUR BOOK!
I LOVE IT. THANK YOU!
I know what everybody is getting for Christmas. -Deb

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gates of the celebration

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silence of all the horns blown at once
silence of silence pulled from all around
filling the full cup to the edge

clear and carried carefully
by tonight
thirsty again

I was a generous person undone
by remorseless caution

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wakers

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rain water glass

how can you not believe in magic
when you hold her wrapped in her own skin

to the gears of a stubborn mind
the smell of coffee means relief is near

she clicks into place a distant eureka
a bird song after a bad fall

dreaming alone we find our way home
my heart tightens against being here

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embarcadero sermon

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thank God for this rain

but go slow when you talk to him
he’s reading all the parts at once

we sit picking at our wrapped-up wings
brown leaves swirl up the trees

forgive this shell this husk of being
crab splayed to stay inside

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wet suit

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I heard a vicious rumor that someday we die
the proof is white buildings and sheet covered bodies
hustled out the back door planted in the ground

a terrible rumor that at some point we lose our temper
melt into anger and say things hugely wrong

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bus stop

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(for JoeB)
the string of time knots at your feet

dead pets look up with bright eyes
parents cured hold you tight
friends return

I heard every word you ever said

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recipe for success

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shock us up daily
tell our big world about devilish hands
caught spelunkered in naughty pockets

what do they matter at six I stuffed a firecracker into a lizard’s mouth
gateway to a career in engineering and nights of reading poetry
in flung corners of LA

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Char Front

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Char Front is a travelogue of the passage of our own beings through a frazzling world, stories that will engage souls moved by deeper currents.

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