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

R.L. Swihart

Ari’s Daimon

The first time I decided to bowl a few games on a hot summer’s day
I saw someone I’d caddied for forty years earlier: Glinka, Gluck, Glass.
The second time I saw Ari

I hadn’t seen Ari in ten years and I never would meet Elaine

Ten years earlier I had been subbing in Math at a local high school
and filming birthdays and bar mitzvahs (as Ari once said: Blare Witch
style) to supplement. Now I was subbing in Physics

A crazy turkey was dancing on the screen when I sat down next to Ari.
We ordered drafts. The ceiling was yellow from smoke. Fans
were spinning without effect

Ari talked. I talked. We sipped our beers. Then Ari asked if I’d ever used
a stroboscopic camera. “Turns out I have,” I said. “The kids were learning

I spared, clenched a fist in excitement, then took slow strides back to the table.
“Where will I hide?” I asked. “In the closet,” he said. “And Elaine?” I asked.
“It’s for me,” he said. “She’ll never see the pictures. I’m the one who needs to
feel whole”


I Have a House

This is my house (square, rectangle, round), it was given to me. I knock
and the door opens. I don’t knock and it opens. There are flowers
outside my house. I bring them in. If I question the flowers,
I don’t question the house. I will die in this house

This is not my house (square, rectangle, round), it was given to me. I arrange
things to feel more comfortable. Sometimes I prefer the arrangements
of others. The permutations seem infinite, and yet
the house is empty

I am building my house, I am tearing it down. When I yell fire a few people
run, but there is no fire. In time my house will come to nought.
How much time, how little


Without Lifting a Finger

The gauntlet of underpasses is a humble enough birth: the palm of a hand
cradling a walnut

Between Spearmint Rhino and FORT STORAGE it multiplies: not the walnut
just the hand: the original hand being supported by another hand,
and another hand, ad infinitum

Further along the 10, the henge of skyscrapers steps out of the fog
toward K.

K. exits the spastic carhustle, navigates along surface streets, and parks
near the Casa Vertigo

The squinting sun provides the chalk and he draws a perfect triangle connecting
TWERK MILEY, church window, and doctored knee

Doctored knee: his words (his mirage) for the complex of barriers and tape
guarding a recent archaeological dig beneath the street

Perfect triangle: an example is a right triangle with sides 6, 8, and 10. The area
is 24 and so is the perimeter

Archaeological dig: choking the ability to remember is the ability
to forget

K. steps around an obelisk. Slips under strips of white linen. Scrapes a knee
before he stands

Everything is connected. Nothing. I hold the walnut in my hand

R. L. Swihart currently lives in Long Beach, California, and teaches high school mathematics in Los Angeles. His poems have appeared in various online and print journals, including Bateau, elimae, Rhino, Right Hand Pointing, 1110, and decomP. His first collection of poems, “The Last Man,” was published in 2012 by Desperanto Press.