Jane Lewty

Three poems from Mistune



ever and ever anywhere, I feel into things
things I heard, hear

the coloratura of a single voice, re-rendered

a match scanning unaired rooms

skylight open at four

pale hum of billboards

remember the sound up and down, drawing in smoke

remember over the freeway, stroking from tip to base spattered hands.

Remember sloping road to grassed pavements where your ancestors are buried.




They repeat, things like     a     nascent flicker,       whitened. A     not-cooking sm—smell              bitter       milk,       hot
grate,     palms knees    to    floor, self crossed.    A couch, in a raised house
bay window.      The
slur crack, slap, lie down,   get them       all affrighted   etc. how   ungettable as    –and   the following is hard- -there   was    a strange   elation, the skitter guilt of achievement. That’s            the cruelty        of cruelty.
When  thought   of,
it’s     calibrated rearward        wrong wrong
How can there be a
true story after, then? Any flare of capillaries brings it back
To-front.              To
skinside   up,     the
heater on frost- watch




We landlocked town, we mills, we miles   From the hallway
hidden as    an eel in sedge.
Inanition being
the best mode for us.

Remember an almost-floodlight pylon.

The die-cut kitchen, paper all, square-scored, chipboard. Cheap. Listen.
Silent. Secret.

Didn’t I show you luv      perkapella for all you non-believers
Don’t know about you but I feel alright alright
House faze joy I’m leaving

[dreamy piano]


grafting my hand from the dog

died of an overdose

[bleepy dot dot]

Let no one put asunder

what it was like

Artist’s Statement

Mistune is a project where the industrial decline of a city is registered polyvocally, tracing how a regional accent is lost, found, and lost again via certain methods, such as recalling the soundscape of 1990s dance music and the geography of a place that can never be restored, either for the individual or the community. Ultimately, anything remembered will be erratic and skewed by nostalgia, anger, and a fragmentation that becomes a layered score of words and sounds.

Jane Lewty is the author of Bravura Cool (1913 Press: 2013), selected by Fanny Howe as the winner of the 1913 First Book Prize in 2011. Her poems and essays can be found in The Volta, Dreginald, Bestoned: The New Metaphysik, jubilat, Paris Lit Up, Eleven Eleven and others. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently a visiting assistant professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Amsterdam.

Editors’ Notes (Posit 5)


Welcome to Posit 5!

In this issue we are proud to feature literary and visual work by many rising, as well as gloriously risen, stars. As ever, we offer a range of literary aesthetics and approaches, from excerpted book-length projects by Anne Waldman and Pamela Lawton, Jane Lewty, and Deborah Poe, to short fiction by Luke Whisnant. This issue also showcases the poetic potential of the long prose line, put to innovative and distinctive use by Stephanie Anderson, Rob Cook, Kristina Marie Darling, Vanessa Couto Johnson, Bobbi Lurie, and Zach Savich.

We hope you enjoy:

Stephanie Anderson’s delightfully surreal and surprising Ditties, in which “everyone sits in the yo-yo park, staring at the buds,” and we are playfully invited to “look up the appendix” but warned not to “ride in the wrong direction”;

Marcia Arrieta’s gossamer constructions, at once contemplative, startling, and forlorn, in which “everything is dreadfully calm,” “deer come and graze on [her] bed,” and the narrator “often feel like an orphan”;

Rob Cook’s somber, foreboding poems in which he informs us of “the screams where I went / looking / for the clothes / my mother wore”;

Kristina Marie Darling’s wittily slant re-imaginings of nostalgic iconographies of femininity, charting their magical courses “from Iceland to Finland to anxious”;

Vanessa Couto Johnson’s wise wordplay delivered via statements that “think with the delicate,” awakening us to the mystery and ambiguity of our own existence, in which “the heart is not a pound but an apothecary dispensing needs”;

Jane Lewty’s “Spatio-Temporal [Re]Mix” of aural and visual referents amalgamated with precision and care into poems of musicality and provocative design, resonant with “a strange elation,/the skitter guilt of/achievement”;

Bobbi Lurie’s dense and powerful evocations of strength in the face of pain, shunning what is “fake as plastic shrubs” to reveal “how much the pursued is pursuant upon/a clause in the material fabric of a lie” with “the skill to slice whatever needs to”;

Nils Michals’ prose poems, teasing us with the contents of boxes: “an entire forest, petrified white, whereby the occasional breeze stirs the crowns” and something “unclaimed . . . is gifted to the Church in the name of a holy work that shall be unnamed”;

Deborah Poe’s quiet, serene “prouns:” elegant transformations of space to states of being we “don’t have to understand” although we are led to consider “[w]hat is lost when you ask why,” and assured that we “don’t have to connect dirt to language, But the histories cave right there”;

Zach Savich’s spare, starkly simple nuggets of imagist magic, demonstrating that “the things I like are the things that happen,” in other words, why “pleasure educates”;

Anne Waldman and Pamela Lawton’s feminist appropriation of classical oral tradition in which “women’s work is never shunned” and “the skies [keep] circling the/liberated hearth” where the female body is sung by its self and she/we can feel genuinely “welcome to the symposium”;

and Luke Whisnant’s post-apocalyptic flash fiction about a mandolin virtuoso in whose “music [resides] the anguished song of a headless doll and the rubato stagger of a cripple’s broken crutch.”

Thank you for reading!
Susan Lewis and Bernd Sauermann


Welcome to the visual art of Posit 5!

Made from found and fabricated objects, Mari Andrews’ sculptures delicately dance the line between nature and nurture, form and object. Each piece suggests a multitude of possible references. At once open-ended and concrete, her works are bits of sculptural poetry.

Kevin Brisco’s series “Build” presents a world of young men at work with muscular energy, both literally and imagistically. The raw materials that his images are painted on – wood, tape, and sheetrock – interact with the subject matter in a way that comments on the process and the product of a creative life.

The fact that Marcus Leatherdale uses the English colonial name for the Indian sub-continent, “Bharat,” in the title of this stunning photographic essay gives more than a clue as to its intent. This reference to India’s past jives perfectly with these elegant and haunting portraits of his friends and neighbors, imbued as they are with such a feeling of timeless nostalgia.

Oriane Stender’s work plays with the imagery and the objects of our material world. Using US currency and found paper, she sews, weaves, and paints these sly commentaries on the cultural interplay of commerce and art, image and meaning.

And finally, the video artworks by Tim Tate, elegantly framed in handmade glass, conjure the bits and pieces of half-remembered dreams. Their inhabitants share a moment with us and then, poof — they’re gone.

I hope you enjoy!
Melissa Stern