Mary Kasimor

cell phone drunk

            When you called me you said that you dialed while you were drunk. Were you happy that you dialed my number or do you have many regrets? We are still deciding this after 35 years. I think that you said that your daughter was a good cook. I love the color of red peppers. I think that your daughter is quite beautiful. You should forgive her after she has left. I don’t think that anything is possible. We do only what we want to do. Then we go to sleep in our confusion. Sometimes we sleep together and I can never forgive you. I need to realize that you are quite flawed and boring. I never thought I’d say that. I never know what I’ll say. I love the impossible and often I undress it, and it looks like a naked turkey or a flower with all its petals torn off. Did that hurt you? I didn’t mean to pull off your skin.

wood bench

The absence of self still it’s noisy in the
room and my heart pumps reflecting moon light
and yet it’s past and fails to peel off the sky in
blue and no one moves & it’s noisy reflecting
falling gravity in shapes and water balances
when life hides behind masks and ancient theater
in the garden is space and mineral and heart
pumps and body points to gray winds on wooden
chairs we sit to distract the portraits with
tongues and thoughts above and unbalanced
while wheels change shadows of old things
cruising in sci-fi versions that plant waves in ears
to beaches that sell immunity from internet sites
and throw out brooding chickens and unplanted
eggs in batteries through peak holes and
dominatrix the tooth failed the past for in the
supermarket light reversed the chain of events as
viewed through sausage and high spirited violins
discovering life on mars so there existed for the
sheep in the meadow looking through tinted
glasses of ginger ale June left a crater in the
chicken’s heart in November I harvested the icy
etchings of the sun.

Mary Kasimor has most recently been published in Big Bridge, Arsenic Lobster, Horse Less Review, Nerve Lantern, Altered Scale, Word For/Word, Posit, 3 AM, EOAGH, and The Missing Slate. She has three previous books and/or chapbook publications: Silk String Arias (BlazeVox Books), & Cruel Red (Otoliths), and The Windows Hallucinate (LRL Textile Series). She has a new collection of poetry published in 2014, entitled The Landfill Dancers (BlazeVox Books).

Editors’ Notes (Posit 6)


Welcome, reader, to the pleasures of Posit 6! And while we admit to loving the work we gather for every issue, this one is special, welcoming back five contributors from our first two issues: Michael Boughn, Rich Ives, Mary Kasimor, Sheila Murphy, and Mark Young. Naturally, we are also as excited as ever to welcome our newest contributors to the Posit family! This issue’s cover art by John Yoyogi Fortes is titled “Navigating the Slippery Slope,” which is exactly what all of the work in Posit 6 manages. As we hope you’ve come to expect, this issue contains stellar examples of contemporary verse that is as disciplined as it is innovative; multi-genre work, both collaborative and individual; prose poetry, and “dervish essays.” When we consider all of the literature gathered in this volume, we are amazed by the way all of these writers makes use of such a range of aesthetic strategies – from irony to gravity, emotion to ellipsis – to grapple with some of the most time-honored literary preoccupations: love, loss, mortality, the nature of existence, and the contradictions of contemporary society. Here, in a nutshell, is why you should read them all.

The precise yet organic prosodic architecture of Michael Boughn’s “City” echoes its subject in this new excerpt, in which mermaids must take refuge from their irreality in those eponymous collectivities, inviting us to consider “certain questions/with the stress on quest,” and their inevitable “figuratively speaking/loose ends.”

Cathleen Calbert’s light-heavy, sharp-edged humor startles us into recognizing such uncomfortable truths as that “all toddlers are Nazis,” and entertainingly warns of the dangers inherent in “myths: Greek, Christian, or “personal” regarding the meaning of death of chicken-fried steak.”

Emily Carr’s multi-genre mash-up begins with a visually stunning collage poem, by way of introduction to love poems whose roots are in the natural world, spinning like “a tornado of dickcissels.”

Dante Di Stefano keeps us reeling with his wild pony ride of a litany declaring “I’m the most stressed out / lazy person ever” “as wrong as two hotdogs in one bun,” desperately commanding us to “Recite me from memory like a prayer.”

Reminding us that “the travelcraft of poetry is the sound/of it,” David Giannini’s re-imaginings of our interior and exterior landscapes emit a serene musicality even as they startle us with their unforeseeable, indispensable insight, coaxing us to “open wide to unknowing” the hauntingly unknowable, such as “How asleep is awake?”

Rich Ives’ prose poems draw us in with “showgirl fluff and red-winged poppies” only to leave us with “a rooster in the lilac bush, and feast of unanswered questions” as well as a list poem teasing us with philosophical musings such as “Facts are not cruel. Understanding is” and “Wisdom is cheap, but a good lie is expensive.”

Mary Kasimor’s unmistakable ‘undressed impossible’ calls out its resemblance to “a naked turkey or a flower with all its petals torn off” but is on display here in full petal, full feather, and full glory, as fully haunting as “the icy etching of the sun.”

Corinne Lee juxtaposes her verse with haunting images of glass in poems so exquisite that they permit us to “meet lightness—and not shatter” and pose the timely question, “If everyone is the police, where do we survive?”

Kate Lutzner’s clean and potent elegies to love and loss resonate with the mystery of “voices ground to a hush,” exploring the times in all of our lives when “the scar rubs where the heart was” and “the equation says: break.”

Sheila Murphy’s spare lyrics offer a stark yet mysterious profundity in their accounts of our mortality, “this mid-range/found by living/with prospective knowing” framed by the character of our status before and after life, “advancing/and in wait.”

In his “dervish essays,” Robert Vivian offers lyrical incantations that carry us along intricate arrays of imagery to leave us spinning and elevated as “rooks, crows, and turkey vultures and smoke from distant fire.”

And finally, Mark Young’s poems delight us with juxtaposition, colliding observations such as that “Near death experiences dwarf all other categories” with “The cook was very personable, an exemplary professional. I was so excited. He came out in January” to startle us with his effortless and uncannily pleasurable verbal dope slaps.

Thank you for reading!

Susan Lewis and Bernd Sauermann


Welcome to the visual art of Posit 6!

It’s my pleasure to gather the fine work of five artists working in a range of idioms and media.

Sabhad Adam’s funny and poignant paintings of adults sitting in baby carriages marry the absurd with the sentimental. These overgrown babies scowl at us with unwavering stares, provoking us to consider the politically subversive subtext of these unsettling works.

The mad, mad world of John Yoyogi Fortes is inhabited by ids and egos, color and movement. His paintings are funny, profound and visually gorgeous. The work is as direct and spontaneous as if there were a direct line from his brain to the canvas.

Gilbert Garcin photographs a highly structured and disciplined world in luscious black, white and infinite grey tones. Man stands alone in a Universe of his own making. Solemn and quiet, these photographs invite us to witness the archetypical dramas enacted by one man’s imagination.

The drawings of Carol Radsprecher bounce with barely contained energy. Hints of figuration and narrative tease at the stories lurking beneath these surfaces of vibrant color and suggestive form.

And Hinke Schreuders’ work depicts a skewed version of idealized women in vintage advertising. Veils of embroidery pop the work into an eerily resonant psychological third dimension.

Thank you for viewing!

Melissa Stern

Editors’ notes

Welcome to Posit 1!

It is with the greatest pleasure that I present this inaugural issue. From now on, whenever I am asked what kind of writing Posit is looking for, I will point to the work in this volume, which shares a quality I hope to make Posit’s hallmark: its combination of homo- and heterogeneity. Homogeneously excellent, by which I mean both original and accomplished. Yet heterogeneous in form and style. Diverse, as well, in origin, harking from Ottawa, Toronto, Rockhampton, Australia, New York, Kentucky, California, San Antonio, and Olympia, Washington. I believe that re-contextualization gives rise to re-conception – that a luminous energy emerges from the cross-talk sparked by the juxtaposition of voices as divergent as the ones assembled here.

I hope you agree, and that you enjoy the great Michael Boughn’s Whitmanesque “City II.2.iv – Flirtations of light,” singing the promise and dread of urban life in this masterful and tantalizing excerpt; Mary Kasimor’s dazzling sampler of rigorous, lapidary explorations of lyric’s cerebral and aesthetic potential, crafted and turned to frameworks of implication as sharp and graceful as razor-wire lace; the grave entertainment of Amy King’s intellectual joy-ride of verbal pyrotechnics, warning and pleasing us at once, offering treats and lifelines to help “make sense of the contagion/we call today;” Travis and JenMarie MacDonald’s playful yet probing lyric departures from Dr. Who, as grave and light of touch as the Doctor himself, and, like the Tardis, improbably expansive; rob mclennan’s entries from his Glossary of Musical Terms, whose intensity of encapsulation and fragmentation shatters preconceived ideas of word and note, generating an energetic lexicon for new connections; Bernd Sauermann’s compressed, delicate, chiseled blocks of verbal and intellectual alchemy, as quietly shocking as a “revelation making its way like mad current up my arm;” R.L. Swihart’s spare, incantatory, verbal fragments taken up and dropped like stitches connecting our shared experience of the dread unspoken; Rob Talbert’s deceptively plain-spoken, unflinching perspicacity, hiding twist after brilliant turn in plain sight, working the seam between heart and mind, lament and appreciation, elegy and critique; Brad Vogler’s meditations on what cannot, will not, or need not be said, magically drawing our quieted attention to the syntax and typography of stillness itself; Mark Young’s deliciously understated verbal artifacts, turning our expectations of allusion and ekphrasis, realism and surrealism, artifice and nature, art and commerce on their heads via splashes of “Frankendolling,” the “sonnets of Michelangelo,” and other inversions; and finally, Joanna Fuhrman and Toni Simon’s spare, precise, and gravely playful “The Ruler of Rusted Knees,” deftly uniting the verbal and the visual.

Finally, a few appreciations.

To the accomplished and celebrated contributors who so generously entrusted their work to this fledgling publication: my deepest gratitude.

To those contributors who are editors as well: Joanna Fuhrman (Ping Pong), Travis and JenMarie MacDonald (Fact-Simile), rob mclennan (Chaudiere Books, above/ground books,etc.),  Brad Vogler (Opon), and Mark Young (Otoliths): the excellence you bring to both endeavors is my inspiration for this undertaking.

To the talented artist and website designer Nathan Gwirtz: thank you for converting my ideas into (virtual) reality.

And to my friend and collaborator, Arts Editor Melissa Stern, thank you for joining me in this venture!

But perhaps most importantly, to you, dear reader: thank you for visiting Posit 1. I hope you are glad you did.


Susan Lewis

* * * * *

Beginning with this, our inaugural issue, Posit will showcase a variety of visual artists working in all mediums, whose work we find thoughtful, provocative, funny, dangerous, or just plain beautiful. Each issue will bring together galleries by three to six artists whose work presents a vision that is both individually and collectively unique.

I am honored that Susan Lewis has chosen me to accompany her on this voyage, and hope that you will join us from issue to issue.

For Posit 1, it is my pleasure to present the work of three artists whose work shares a sense of elegance and grace. In these galleries, Michael Janis creates sublime narratives of extraordinary depth and dimensionality through the laborious fusing of layer upon layer of laminated glass, bringing precision and construct to a parallel universe where science and reason adhere to their own logic; while Leah Oates’ gentle layers of image and tone build mysterious photographic journeys through countryside and city; a theme taken up by Kyle Gallup’s celebration of the past and possibility of New York, from Coney Island to old theater marquees, alternately documenting a world long-gone and fashioning a fantasy of what it might have been.

Happy viewing!

Melissa Stern

Mary Kasimor

organic fairy tale

red dash no less thought fairy stitch tales computer slave
wheel in revolt.

sporadic ashes cave organic digital blue knife oval face acerbic
belief touch bombs. red stem thought slave touch stitch dash
wheel out page face fairy computer.

cave in touch knife organic slave tales thought out belief. red
ashes stitch. stitch stem sporadic red no dash revolt cave oval
slave touch in acerbic thought blue chase. knife wheel organic
out tales in revolt belief less red blue stitch digital face ashes in

oval bombs stems wheel fairy cave touch dash quilt spread page
slave in computer. sporadic touch organic belief oval out digital
wheel face ashes acerbic blue stem.

chase stitch.

spread knife bombs dash belief tales slave. no revolt less red
wheel thought touch out slave chase ashes. knife sporadic belief
in quilt. blue stem digital stem organic red fairy computer.

of dross

one large drop
proving nothing /no matter doesn’t
float and the egg
destines itself to live in the word

wanders /the word troubadour

the egg exits
though nothing matters

she knits green cotton yarn
into the flat land of/nothing

(&) is new under the sun

the word green rests close to
blue /baby floats an inch
above the surface
she is a relative to string theory
she is (the memo) the bright
spot on sale in the eye

a bright dross
spins herself to another self
a shaping
of steps out of the cave

the word is her double

when she walks down
The stairs in pieces
shaping sculpture
into the lips of (eccentric
) graffiti

planets in between

takes no lotus
light only
morning breath
am  words
splayed unhinged
moon drama
desultory  trails of night hollow  hollow

bone diamonds
floating                                                                                           6:01
wind                                                                                                am skin dust
swept implants

memorizing                                                                                   loneliness
marching forward

yeast hollows honey
stuck in blood planted
in corners
clotted rivers
am soggy
dogs & rhododendron
blooms float
frog tails
computer child
eruption is not funded                                                                 6:30

am bus holds moist
questions in mist
fists memorabilia bounces off
facebook into edible and intricate
puzzles of taste
dog nap

on small bird                                                                                  planets
7:00-5:00                                                                                        in
between dotted lines squeezing out
the prices of
flash & sadness s
splits carriers of intelligence
thought is
not so much the words
just a crow
with questions
wearing it
nature                                                                                   balances
on a wing
in your unbearable                                                             position

she rides to places

next to/ you          I                     lie when
my face         turns/                                 north
finding                  the  inner stone           if life
danced to                death        when ants romp
waltzes             one two                       three
always stealing                 secrets              of
unhappiness         (          an             Old lady rides
the bus)               and blood’s                  floral
the seasons              in                and out   I don’t
know why                   I feel so                 large
digesting             small PIeces                    give me
ocean                     mystery                    in /a quiet
hall (            she rides                                the bus
knits the                  sweater                   ) the light
the eye                       Red jolts                     a
jello                      of murder where           there is
so little                   to   do              replacing the dust
gorged                   on meat                 The bones do a
/dainty                           /dance another       nose to
blow      (she rides                     the bus and Writes
three words     )      the genius of               pills fits
into small              places                           EXplodes
self Worth              with the                 ditto side of
perception plays        the piano before        seconds
bursts into                   flames      the white tea kettle
whistles                          in the                 well of tears
I divine             Water with/in                the heart   is
my heart                throw it out             And if it
rises    a witch             A murder              in the summer
Cleft                of birth                     many street arms
are counted            and Stretched           little /Little
lambs on/  to             the ship                         set sail
with                   purple spices              the GListening
sweat                      of shoulders               sweet meat
again              and Again            at the end   the ship
holds life                   size arms                hanging onto
the water (       the little Old           lady rides   the bus
and holds     A             Cup                            of water    )
and they were     never                           in      mud/silent
middle               The human remains         in       stone

girl band

twig people who didn’t      believe     fall into four dimensions      they never stood straight            they never           counted         themselves more             than once      what exists in   a  zip lock bag is   a pre-existing condition  there are no sunny days      for   certainty 500,000 dream women spake in   tiny tongues formed the first girl band      trees   see through songs a depiction of fluttering wings tapestry of hybrid unicorns and      plums what more than snake skins      elixirs do you want      we packed      ourselves explosives no one felt better      computers spilled  out orgasms swollen            seeds for the manufacturing of dogma         fragmented list of enemies 500,000         the  song on two strings japanese tones In the first      layer of tears no      one cried the sound      of broken beauty opened and bled onto the parking lots      heads dully fall thud men      crouched around         fire          women wearing cheap      flimsy      bodies feel a procession of ants         tight      and magnificent            

water for mrs lot

in favor of insanity
I am water
do not feed me art

the northern lake divided
into territories ceasing water’s
motion to exist

all natural all salt lot’s wife
bobbed in the dead sea
then the cell phone rang

now immortalized in words
flying crows
inserted themselves
infecting the others

I flew out of my house
I will die on desperate planets
waging cellular warfare
in virtual games

all my voices are unplanned births
wanting to be part wolf
from the mysterious ditches

In the rain
the slightly insane man playing soccer
is no longer enclosed in cutting edge oxygen

beautiful inky squids
are made out
of dusk and broken flowers

Mary Kasimor has most recently been published in the following journals: Yew Journal, Big Bridge, Reconfigurations, Moria, Otoliths, Certain Circuits, MadHat, The Bakery, and Altered Scale. She received a Fellowship from US Poets in Mexico for the 2010 Conference and was also a finalist in the 2011 Ahsahta Chapbook Contest. She has had several books of poetry published, most recently “The Windows Hallucinate” (LRL Textile Series, 2013).