Kelly Nelson

I Hear America Singing

I loved a pricey device
for igniting a bomb,

free of purpose,
intent, more just

winging it, feathery
accessory, accessory, accessory.

Yes, they’re trendy.
Yes, they’re made

of gold. Unparalleled, they are
that too.

________________

América carols mechanics singing plank máson
leaves boatman boat steamboat nging sits on bench
nging song delicious or of young singing party songs

 
 

I, Too

Yeah, I know money
tucks away

the muzzle, money
swallows

the moan. I know—
I loved a loaded woman.

________________

ng nd company comes well Tomorrow
company comes Say e ashaméd America

 
 

Danse Russe

I already gave you
my supper

& the abortion
& my jiggle

of egg, milk & sweet.

________________

baby and white disc mists dance naked, grotesquely
lonely was born to lonely admire flanks

 
 

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

I know that mansion
& I know

she laid out
in the sun. It was

an inelegant tow rope
I wore & I know

she derided me, a thousand
times she jeered.

________________

Who these village My horsé queer To stóp
farmhousé To ask Of easy downy promis
miles befóre miles befóre

 
 

The Day Lady Died

You’re only half
here, I submit.

Your cough, adorable
as a bullet, walking

like fending off
a bull. A bird

the accidental inmate
of a cardboard box.

I spun no feathers
around your neck.

________________

York and I go shoeshine I don’t sun to see these Linda
bala
nce quandariness store and Avenue Theatre and
casually cartón cartón now whilé keyboard

 
 

The Road Not Taken

I pray to see
the possum

before it sees me. It prays
to see me

like this—buckled
and gasping for breath.

________________

Two roads diverged far as wanted same leaves
for another ever come a sígh hence has made
These poems were created through a process of experimental translation. I start by finding Spanish words living within well-known poems written in English. For instance, a Spanish river (río) runs through the middle of the word serious and the word darkness begins with the Spanish verb to give (dar). I then gather a constellation of these unintended Spanish words and translate them into English to compose new works.

The erasure-palimpsests that appear below each poem carry echoes of the original poems while also showing these two languages coexisting within the same lines, the same words. This is my own small way of trying to unbuild the wall between us and our neighbors to the south.

These poems retain the original titles of the source texts, poems by Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, William Carlos Williams, Frank O’Hara and Robert Frost.

Kelly Nelson’s experimental translations have appeared in Anomaly, Interim, Seattle Review, Best American Experimental Writing and elsewhere. She teaches Interdisciplinary Studies at Arizona State University and is the author of two chapbooks. More at kelly-nelson.com.

Sonja Johanson

Gneiss

At least
reinvent
destiny
tatters
within geological strata
toss them into
a       billion
little
days
All of them

erasure, Anne Rice, Taltos, p.10
Pinnae segments from fertile fronds, Sensitive Fern, Onoclea sensibilis

Divinity

choose
to
fall into
quantum physics
tracing the path of particles
within
this
brimming world
this
empire                      of                      paper
zeal

erasure, Anne Rice, Taltos, p. 470
simple leaves, Pincushion Moss, Leucobryum glaucum

Bradbury

orange
black
mixed and ready,
dying in the air.
a discreet
cleft.
night,
came again,
dark and distinct,

erasure, Anne Rice, Taltos, p. 120
capsules and berries, Japanese Spindle and Privet, Euonymous japonica and Ligustrum compactum

This series of erasures use the Anne Rice novel Taltos as their source text. I elected to perform these erasures using plant materials as a way of celebrating and mourning our current ecological state; the breakneck speed of climate change and globalization is easily observed by those working in horticulture and conservation. These plants represent both native plants that are threatened by habitat loss and the non-natives that are replacing them. In selecting materials for these erasures, I looked for plants that were accessible in the New England landscape during the month of October, and sought diversity of form, texture, colour, and botanical structures.

Sonja Johanson has recent work appearing in THRUSH, Bellevue Literary Review, and American Life in Poetry. She is a contributing editor at the Eastern Iowa Review, and the author of Impossible Dovetail (IDES, Silver Birch Press), all those ragged scars (Choose the Sword Press), and Trees in Our Dooryards (Redbird Chapbooks). Sonja divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine. Follow her at sonjajohanson.net.

Carlo Matos

Wolf Erasures

1.

Carlo_Matos-WolfErasures-1
*Simone Muench’s original cento appeared in Whiskey Island

2.

Carlo_Matos-WolfErasures-2
*Simone Muench’s original cento appeared in Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day

3.

Carlo_Matos-WolfErasures-3
*Simone Muench’s original cento appeared in Poets & Artists

Artist’s Statement

These erasures of poems from Simone Muench’s Wolf Centos are part of a larger manuscript in which I am systematically erasing the wolf from Wolf Centos. The conceit is that Muench’s book has been recently declassified, but like all declassified government documents, any sensitive (or damning) information has been blacked out.

Carlo Matos has published nine books, including It’s Best Not to Interrupt Her Experiments (forthcoming Negative Capability Press). His anthology of Portuguese-American and Portuguese-Canadian writing (co-edited with Luis Gonçalves) is now available from Boavista Press. His work has appeared in such journals as Iowa Review, Boston Review, and Rhino, among many others. Carlo has received grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Fundação Luso-Americana, and the Sundress Academy for the Arts. Follow him on twitter @CarloMatos46.