Sunday, April 26, 2015

I35 Creativity Corridor (or tributaries thereof): mIEKAL aND, West Lima, WI, April 26

Driftless Geobiome


Seeking the Origins of Poetic Misunderstanding at the Intersection of Rural Living & the Smell of the Land

At the crossroads of A and D surrounded by Amish cow pastures and white trash yards, the unincorporated town of West Lima, Wisconsin is the poetry capital on the top of the world*.  The life of poetry is the everyday interactions of common uninspired people.  Melody is everywhere in birdsong and in the aura of tractors pulling manure wagons dripping slurry along the roads as they go.  The gospel revival church is shaking with the rousing alliteration of I's and You's echoing down into the valley at the bottom of Over The Hill Road.  Mobs of hound dogs are the true troubadours of the Avant Garde, the slightest interruption of rabbit running past or jogger sneaking thru the food, sets them off in waves of howling and guttural yelping.  In the decaying remains of the Old West Lima high school is a large library full of small press magazines and publications collected from around the world.  The school is too far gone to be safe to enter, but the many ghosts of students past are constantly quoting lines from these books as they wander the hallways late in the night.

On somedays someone has the courage to come to the door of the Old Post Office where I live and is surprised to find piles of books and manuscripts amid endless carboys of wine & and a jungle of ethnobotanical plants wrapped around every available windowspace.  One can never predict how someone will respond to the notion of poetry, of poetry books, or of the language of the Other simmering in the unsaid potential of language.  There is not an effective way for the poets and poetry books of my world to find distribution among the farmers and artisans of the Driftless bioregion, or predetermine what use they could have for such.  They are an invitation to step outside the call of chopping wood and carrying water into a hint that language maps pathways not traveled in these parts. 

I went to the Driftless Grotto where someday, as I wait patiently, the bird-operated blue glass Time Machine will appear on a spot that I have clearly marked as the location of its materialization.  I write words on pieces of paper and put them under rocks.  There is very clear intent in these actions and someday.  On the scraps of paper are words like "projection", "don't trouble trouble until trouble troubles you", "invent you" etc etc.  

This is what I know on this date in history.  Tomorrow already sounds different.


*600 million years ago the Driftless area, the largest unglaciated area in the northern hemisphere, was a mountain chain as high as the Himalayas.


Cherry Fairy
Stuck Inside a Carrot

Robin Cooking Northern Comfort

I35 Creativity Corridor (or tributaries thereof): Robin Brox, West, Lima, WI, April 26

Robin F. Brox is the author of Sure Thing (BlazeVOX  [books], 2011) and collaborator with mIEKAL aND on a sound-for-sound translation of Bruce Andrews's Factura, Of Fracture (Xerox Sutra Editions, 2012). Her poems are in online journals including Dusie, Gritty Silk, The Volta, Fortunates, and others; she has also published several chapbooks and is the founder and curator of Saucebox Book Arts, a feminist micro press. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Brox now lives in the rural Driftless hills of southwest Wisconsin at a permaculture ecovillage, Dreamtime Village, a fair piece east of I-35. She is working on a manuscript, Pomegranates, that combines poetry and photography, as well as promoting Sex+Positive Self Love on social media.

Divorce Poem

i called
the marriage
a spade

The Toothpaste Poem

in the medicine cabinet
the crumpled tube of toothpaste

following the manufacturer's instructions
i squeeze from the bottom
for best results

replacing the now-perfect tube
in the cabinet
i know you'll happily squeeze
its middle again

from Pomegranates:

Ladies, Kindly Do Your Soliciting Discreetly — at The Corner of Mohawk Street & Limitless Joy

Indian apple drops, cracks open
invitation sent in wine colored fruit
now exposed to air and peeling fingers
and spectacle of eyes with or without glass
what joy belongs to a forgotten piece of fruit
alone with her myriad dreams, enough to
suddenly open thoughts aware as ever
how minute change sparks the
sensations to follow, distance is a foray
forward when time will not play along

—po(e)m near granite— — at On the Roads Leading South from Zarzis.

when e is missing
thought is flat—
might rocks sound
as words or constraints

& could oil
the slipping shift
of story

moist hands
smooth you
wisp of cautious
curling upward

voicing sand
in its quartz choir
microscopic colorbombs
sing fantastic form
into what is

drab from afar
brownish and not articulating

its truth:  sublimity

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I35 Creativity Corridor: Dan Coffey, Ames, IA, April 25

I will be channeled by a young girl who
won’t think about murdering her parents.
She’ll braid her own golden hair
while watching “Price Is Right” reruns.
A panoply of short-lived pets, who themselves
have channeled other pets, will be her legacy.
A book will be written about her and will include
the controversial channeling years.
When she pulls me into her psyche, I will be sweaty
from having just mowed the lawn.
She’ll get me a beer, as she might for her father,
and we’ll watch whatever comes on after “The Price Is Right.”

You, Scott Walker!
Dark glasses ride your face into cinemas
away from good news. You cannot refuse
the world that was once your pinball
machine, and which you tilted and tilted
until there were no more angles.
The world can’t refuse you either. Youth
squeezed from your voice, and you, stricken
from youth’s record, still manage to get
some to bang the drum while you hold forth:
silver word balls that shoot almost all
the way up the larynx and rattle, don’t
make sense except that they’re where
 you’ve been, starring in that film.

Better for You
I have been told
that you are waiting.
I am waiting
to be told again.

Dan Coffey hails from Buffalo, NY and has made the Midwest his second home. The librarian for English and World Literature at Iowa State University, Dan lives in Ames, Iowa, with his wife and son. He has had poems published or forthcoming in Poetry Bay, Kennesaw Review, MiPoesias, Dirt, and The Laurel Review.

Friday, April 24, 2015

I35 Creativity Corridor: Spencer Selby, Ames, IA, April 24

Spencer Selby has performed work and presented slide shows in many North American cities and in Europe. He is the author of nine poetry books, five visual compilations and two reference works on film noir. He edited SINK and was co-editor of the visual poetry magazine Score. He currently lives in Ames, Iowa. Website:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I35 Creativity Corridor: Jim McCrary, Lawrence, KS, April 23

McCrary has lived in Lawrence, KS on and off since 1965.  He knows where the Oregon, Santa Fe and California trails run past the town...has walked the ruts.  He lives 20 minutes from the confluence of I-35 and I-70.  Route 66 a couple hours south.  Kerouac hitched by on old Hiway 24....KC, Topeka and on to Denver. McCrary's latest publications include Not, Not; All That; Mental Text and Po Doom.  Recent poems in Truck, Otiliths, House Organ and other publications too obscure to remember.  He helps out at the 8th St Taproom Poetry Series in downtown Lawrence which is curated by Megan Kaminski.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I35 Creativity Corridor: Joe Harrington, Lawrence, KS, April 22

Collage by Jerry Sipe
The late Jerry Sipe was one of many environmentalist and Indigenous activists who fought for 25 years to prevent a superhighway bypass from being built through our local wetlands (per “alignment 32-B”). Last year, the courts ruled that the construction could go ahead, and it has. The road does not connect directly to I-35, but it is a link in the intermodal “NAFTA Corridor.”

from “The Spirit of the Laws”

Only two employees left: man and dog
the man to feed the dog the dog
to keep the man away from the machines
the machines to make something
that used to look like a man and a dog
feeding one another with something
that used to look like food to keep
themselves away from animals
that look like machines that run
all the time feeding themselves.


The guy crucified on the burning cross
said he should be able to move
his inventory of SUV’s
before he had to light another cross.
Once he did, he could go back to Texas.


everyone examines their pod,
staring at its face
awaiting further directives
funny and cute

It’s staring at your face too
I’m furiously attempting an exemption
from the men in suits posing as servers:
I even joined a subculture
that didn’t exist.


I prolong my life by buying it,
returning it, buying it back
over and over and over again

Talking to stones makes them
your friends -- or familiars, anyway.
I recall Kansas to have been underwater once.


First we leave the Laundromat that’s in a cage.
When I see her again, I know that she’s a sprite,
having been tossed from a helicopter to the sea

Now, we can read the story of what is happening
around the walls as it occurs; the crowded
gesticulating comrades cannot see or hear us,

including my sister whose head recites a poem
by Jack Kerouac in the voice of Jack Nicholson
& I don’t even have a sister . . . But how

did we get into a room full of giant Afrikaaners?
Ah, we’ll all “disappear into Mexico” someday.
Turn off the lights as you back out of the cave.


Exit 57:
formerly, Exit 58.
“MARS” for “MAPS”:
unmet expectations
deselected terms: terms
no longer what’s desired

Prairie Center Mall’s
Quizno looks kindapocalyptic
storefront thyroid salivary and
parathyroid shut

The model McMansion tour
would begin shortly
if anyone showed


Widow-Orphan Control “On”:
a bad request – invalid hot name:
supplied argument is not
a valid MySQL-Link resource

for the code is in English, creates
other languages spontaneously -- 
e.g. Freeverb, Loadbang --
nothing contains its

zonohedral tessellations
partition the disk of metropolis: 
the instruction “000006874938”
could not be “read” ergo
windows & orpheans’ bad request
make legible their desire to migrate
to another platform where supplies
arrive in the form of signs.


pictures turn animals into
words into guns

pen another
word for sword


White people in evening dresses and tuxedos,
just like the movies!
If you’re “buff,” you get a skin-tight.
Do they know they look like they know
they look commodified?

This city makes young people look young:
apparition of faces, petals & brown leaves.
The old folks blend right into the scape.

sign on computer: BE AGGRESSIVE
flag at encampment: DEBT is SLAVERY
Kid at Starbuck’s: “Would you like that in a bag?”
Me: “But . . . it’s already in a bag.”
Kid: “No, I meant did you want it in a bigger bag.”


 “When he came to his
senses he became
a street sweeper.”

(a handpainted sign decries
taxes; a handpainted sign
cries up Jesus

a Coke machine turns
on as you approach,
not the people

We’re moving out into
the city - issues of
personal scale -

issues of inverted
human architecture,

time to buy time
buy genes buy
bytes, but

treat yourself to some
residual lyricism -
especially when

you think you don’t
deserve it!
Removals $2.10

South: “the direction of suffering”:
_____ yrs til the magic
has been tamed

“Take your eyes out
of the sky someone
is stealing your bread”

Vultures hover over the
pentecostal church

for binding”
that used to be a union hall.
Next to the Superfund site.


Wait for the country to bust
aquifers to break down bunnies
to rust. The Marcomanii on the
frontier pound out color plasma
flexible voice-activated monitors;
cameras lather over everything.

Of course everybody’s turned
fanatic, what with the end near
and all. Keep your eyes on sky,
someone is stealing your bread,
so you’ll prob’ly need redemption.
Transmitters outpace receivers:

even now somebody is saying
what nobody wants to hear.

Joseph Harrington is the author of Things Come On: an amneoir (Wesleyan Univ. Press 2011), a mixed-genre work relating the twinned narratives of the Watergate scandal and his mother's cancer; it was a Rumpus magazine Poetry Book Club selection. He is also the author of the chapbook Earth Day Suite (Beard of Bees 2010) and the critical work Poetry and the Public (Wesleyan 2002). His creative work also has appeared in Hotel Amerika, No Tell Motel, 1913, BathHouse, Otoliths, Fact-Simile, and Tarpaulin Sky, among others. He is a Professor of English at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Asked about his influences, Mr. Harrington replied, "Influences? Hmm - there are a lot. Chief among them, perhaps, are Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's book Dictee; the works of Susan Howe; Paterson, by William Carlos Williams; The Maximus Poems of Charles Olson; The Book of Jon, by Eleni Sikelianos; My Life, by Lyn Hejinian; Book of the Dead, by Muriel Rukeyser."