Jeffrey Jullich


suddenly, — “without warning” or premonition
(but who is there to warn us? Of danger? A town crier?)

metamorphosis of seraphim
once hobbled club-footed,
knotted forehead untied

the rate of change through time as a medium
held within The Seven Invisibilities

lying behind what’s evident
and intentionally, by a violence, concealed so as to deceive

All at once crawling naked occurs
Unforeseen to sit up bare happens
Spontaneously lying down nude takes place

all that’s said, un-said
about them, surrounding them as a coral reef,
near-fatal details differ
casually, off-the-cuff, in passing:

There are velvety petals on pansies, —
mundane daily life in a setting (scenery)
measured by discrepancies
or Nostradamus contradictions, — tragic

The Lower Case “i”


an island without flowers — has no use for insects — nor rain — the sidewalk
is one, continuous bridge — it is — that goes from puddle — to a stoppage, a cloud

hung between my life — and life itself, a comma hung — a speck
blocked off — my going on — my coming home stopped short — at once

a mote of dust threatened to crush — the City of God — under a faint
impression — and swarms of angels — shuffled their wings, random — wanton —

my feet left foot prints — on the ceiling — of the cell — a “learn-to-dance” cloth
the blood rushed to —my headlessness — a guard thumbed the key — a jaw-harp

no icicles — drip on eaves — or parking meters — since the smith hammered
them unveiled — on a cold anvil — to envelope the closest slave — in the clearest links

everything on two legs — starts to flap — going higher — The two-legged tripod —
the barbecue grill — until no room is left — in skies dyed blue — for old clouds

intelligence is only — a fraction — a niche for omniscience, punctual canings
for forgetting how to spell — ignorance is the numerator — the viscous unguent

My tail tucked between my legs — my cloven heels — its point arrowhead
designates a matchstick, intact — Robins, also — ready for a redder scene


I died too late — to see life — on a barren planet — a dozen
pebbles — in an egg carton — so i cleaned my spectacles — to see inertia

thunderheads — knocked at the front — door, undressed. a raindrop
pressed the buzzer — i spoke — to an intercom — in the dark, calm

i asked “the housefly” — for a sugar cube — my tombstone, a postage stamp
entomology explains — the sleeping larva — muttered a lullaby

maggots wear a simple mask — a face without a visor — or make-up
gnawing at — the looking glass — reflections carry germs — sepsis

the anthill is a monotonous — zoo — in this picture of the ground
i forget where i am — Atlas dragging a breadcrumb — up a steep slope

doors, walls, ceiling, floor — are all one — churning horizon — that erases
the chalkboard of the sky — by rote — i learn zero — naught — synonyms

Jeffrey Julich has two books published: Thine Instead Thank (Harry Tankoos Books, 2007) and Portrait of Colon Dash Parenthesis (Litmus Press, 2010). His work has been published in a variety of literary journals, including Fence, New American Writing, and Poetry; and audio recordings and videos of his readings are included on the Poetry Foundation website and Youtube. Videos of American Lit: The Hawthorne-Melville Correspondence, an opera whose libretto he wrote, are also available on Youtube. He was the publisher and editor of the literary journal, Logopoeia. He has poetry recently published or forthcoming in Boog City, The Brooklyn Rail, e-ratio, The Equalizer, Nerve Lantern; No, Dear; Noon, Otoliths, The Otter, Spiral Orb, the St. Sebastian Review, and Touch the Donkey.

Editors’ Notes (Posit 11)


Welcome to September, and to Posit 11!

It is a special thrill to introduce the masterful poetry and prose Bernd and I have gathered for this issue. Not only has another summer come and gone, but we are in the last stages (if not throes) of an American election cycle in which the complacency of most notions of “normalcy” have been shattered, giving rise to an appropriately pervasive anxiety about the depth and scope of the humanly possible. In its own provocative and evocative ways, the work in this issue addresses that anxiety, and even musters some degree of optimism. For tragedy rendered inseparable from the beauty of its vehicle, consider the stark profundity of new work by Michael Palmer and Fady Joudah; the disturbing resonance of two parables by Marvin Shackelford and Eric Wilson; or the tender melancholy of verse by Jeffrey Jullich, Stephen Massimilla, and Simon Perchik. For an inspiring balance of critique and optimism, take a look at Sharon Mesmer’s tragic yet emancipatory tributes to undervalued women poets, Sheila Murphy’s inimitable and ineffable pull-no-punches constructs, Sharon Dolin’s disciplined frolics, ambitiously braiding tribute and lampoon, or Anne Gorrick’s high-octane mash-ups of web-commerce parlance examined and re-examined to reveal rich veins of resonance. And on the brighter side, bask in Felino Soriano’s linguistically untethered odes to transformation.

Whether you are absorbed by the anxiety of our historical moment or weary of its seep, I hope you’ll take some moments to explore:

the tightly packed wit and wisdom of Sharon Dolin’s allusive riffs on Conceptismo, W. C. Williams’ So Much Depends, Niedecker’s ‘condensery,’ and the fraudulence of linguistic obscurantism;

the looping logic of Anne Gorrick’s expansive assemblages, artistic antidotes to our day-to-day “doses of forgetting” the “fine tunings built into” these rocking, rollicking litanies in which “invisible empires of products, fireflies and songs add to the beauty;”

Fady Joudah’s profound and miraculous condensations, with their masterfully chiseled, spare, and haunting visions of oppression and its internalization (“Election Year Dream”) sanctuary in the face of damage (“Monastery”) and the devastation of love (“Coda: A Fragment”);

Jeffrey Jullich’s grimly beautiful constructs, evoking the hazard, sorrow, and insignificance of existence as revealed by the “metamorphosis of seraphim,” “Nostradamus contradictions,” and “a cloud/hung between my life—and life itself” in which “intelligence is only – a fraction – a niche for omniscience;”

the mystery and beauty of Stephen Massimilla’s chiseled lyrics, gesturing towards the elusive and tragic lightness of love, loss, and existence itself, in which “so many little masks (marks, tasks) / make a life” until one is reluctant “to come down from the lightfastness / of this insomnia high;”

Sharon Mesmer’s lyrical tributes to women poets of the Americas which, by “beating all sorrows/into beauty” themselves fulfill the determination to be “no mere witness/to inertia” by evoking, among other notions of liberation, the freedom of radical departure — in what her fans will recognize as a masterful departure from the pyrotechnical virtuosity of her signature Flarfian poetics;

Sheila E. Murphy’s confidently quiet, powerfully enigmatic new works evoking the intimacies of existence anchored by “the palpable act of witness, witnessing” in which “pounce marks levitate a posse / of connect points” in our appreciation of her bracing linguistic montage;

the incomparable music of Michael Palmer’s austere and profound masterpieces of compression, sternly confronting us with the tragedy and horror of a world — our world — in which a child is “set afire / before blindered eyes / a world’s eyes” and authors “lost at sea / in a storm of words” stand idly by as their “books consume . . . the fire”;

Simon Perchik’s moving lyrics of love, loss, and memory, gently guiding us to “listen / the way all marble is crushed” and witness how “inside each embrace // the first thunderclap and shrug / no longer dries”;

Marvin Shackelford’s haunting parable of shipwreck, survival, and friendship, with its “reversed exploration” of the great parable, Before the Law, replacing Kafka’s eternally-withheld judgment with rescue, but, gratifyingly, perhaps not redemption;

Felino Soriano’s “relocated” lyrics, as musical as they are disjunctive, enacting the generative power of the transformations of which they sing; “alters” “of improvised becoming” in which the day is “a dangle of marbled light, an / algebra of sun” for the reader to gratefully absorb;

and the disturbingly resonant infinite regress powering Eric G. Wilson’s “Bowl,” ruled by the labyrinthine, archetypal, Escher-esque logic of nightmares.

Thank you, as always, for reading!

Susan Lewis


Welcome to the visual art of Posit 11!

Christopher Adams’ background in biology and science informs these environmental installations of ceramic sculpture. He creates small universes of hundreds of individual elements reminiscent of creatures from the biological world, as filtered through Adams’ imagination. Installed on walls painted in brilliant, deeply saturated colors, they seem to vibrate with energy, transporting us into another dimension.

Yura Adams works in a diverse vocabulary of forms united by her nuanced and thoughtful vision of the world. Based on both scientific and intuitive observation of the natural world, this work encompasses a lovely tension between loose drawing and complex patterning. Her use of rich and beautiful color reinforces this dynamic.

Kate Brown’s solidly painted compositions address one of the basic constructs of painting – the push and pull between positive and negative space. Using a carefully controlled palette of color, she has created an exploration of figure and ground that transcends the academic idea and emerges as glorious paintings. Big gestures are offset by architectural spaces. These works are luscious and bursting with energy.

In John Hundt’s hilarious and odd collage pieces, we see a world of biology and evolution gone strangely awry. Unlikely combinations of creatures are meticulously constructed from Hundt’s trove of imagery. Building upon the grand tradition of Surrealist collage, he has created a world of creatures found (hopefully) only in dreams.

With intricate and delicate etched lines, Renee Robbins explores the biology of the ocean. Her etchings, all based on actual creatures, evoke the undersea world caught in mid-motion. Her images are simultaneously scientific and dreamily ethereal. Rendered in softly psychedelic tones, they are like specimens on view through Robbins’ artistic microscope.

I hope you enjoy!

Melissa Stern