Edited by Raindog (RD Armstrong) // Art Direction by Yazoota // Illustrated by Claudio Parentela, Yazoota, friends & family
Published monthly // Available by subscription: twenty dollars for twelve issues (basic rate)
This is a special annual issue (still available for three dollars)
Copyright 2000 Lummox Journal
These poems are used by permission of the authors and may not be reprinted without their permission. Please contact RD ARMSTRONG at the Lummox Journal (POB 5301 San Pedro, CA 90733-5301)
The editor would like to thank the publications in which some of these poems first appeared.
POETS IN THIS SPECIAL ISSUE (in order of appearence)
Jen Mertens, Frances LeMoine, Bob Slaymaker, Maria Daleo, Belinda Subraman, C. Mulrooney, Errol Miller, Dave Church, Larry Jaffe, Richard Wilmarth, Ed Galing, John Macker, T. Keyser, Jon Richards, Alec Kowalczyk, Lawrence Welsh, Scott Wannberg, CC Russell, George Gott, Mather Schneider, Nancy Means Wright, Robert Stevens, Sean Bergeron, Marc Olmstead, Mark Edward Marston, Barry Frauman, A. D. Winans, Julia Stein, Ifti Nasim, Gerald Locklin, R. Flowers Rivera, Gwynne Garfinkle, Craig Sernotti, Monica E. Smith, Neca Stoller, Phil Taggert, RD Armstrong, Jacqueline Kras, Leslie Cohen, Holly Day, Paul Kloppenborg, Tim Scannell, Rick Smith, Amber Goddard, Christopher Harter, Todd Moore, Jerry Ball, B. Z. Niditch, Lyn Lifshin, FrancEyE, Adrian R. Ford, Devorah Namm, Corey Mesler, Michael H. Brownstein, Elizabeth Howkins, John W. Levin, Linda Lerner, René Diedrich.
(This page last updated Dec. 6, 2000)
"Every day should be National Poetry Month!" -- Ellyn Maybe
Well, it's springtime, again. A time of renewal and rebirth. A time to rise and shine. A time to celebrate all that is right with the world... Okay, okay. It's also National Poetry Month and I'm just a shameless huckster trying to cash in on the focus du jour.
Normally, I don't print much in the way of poesy; that doesn't stop the poets from bombarding me with submissions all year long. So, I look forward to this issue so I can showcase the best of what I get over the course of a year or so. I figure I owe it to them. After all, they took the time to send their little scribbles to me.
I recently did a reading at a local venue in Los Angeles where I was surprised to find that only 10% of the 30-something poets in attendance would admit to sending their work out to mags or zines. TEN PERCENT! So, I dedicate this special All Poetry issue of the Lummox to all the poets with guts enough to send their work out, risking ridicule & rejection.
Here are some things to consider when you are submitting your work to the Lummox Journal: "Presentation is 50%" -- The POEM is a manuscript, to be treated with respect. It is a reflection of the Poet-Mind. If you send a crumpled piece of paper with your 'best' scrawled on it, then I wonder where the respect is. It's an insult. It means you don't care what happens or what I do with your 'masterpiece'... if you don't care, why should I? Why waste my time and your money?
Make sure there aren't any unwanted typos or grammatical errors. Some editors will correct your errors for you, but I'm not one of them.
Thanks to the cult of the Poetry Slam, many poems do not work well on the page. Don't bother to send me these poems. If it doesn't stand alone, unassisted by your voice, then I don't think it's poetry and I won't print it.
Always (even thru E-mail) send a 'cover letter' which includes some bio info - a short paragraph is all that's necessary. Also include an SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope - with correct postage amount). Fifty-five cents is a paltry reading 'fee' yet some poets are too cheap even for that. Make sure your return address is printed on each page or, if you're doing email, make sure your return address is correct. Nothing is as exasperating as not being able to get back in touch with the poet. Finally, I like to know how you came to submit to my mag, so I appreciate it when you tell me where you heard about the Lummox. The old rule-of-thumb is to buy a copy of a mag before you submit to it, but with the proliferation of zines, mags and journals that's pretty much impossible. Now it's mostly word-of-mouth, so it helps the editor know where to target if you mention where you found out about the mag.
So, with that out of the way, let's get to the meat... RD Armstrong, Editor
fake anchor haiku it's on for face time solely above the waist I'm wholly HOLLYWOOD the caves are in-and-out the rest is dullness and whores across from Home Depot why did I like her? she was to bounce free in the air between sunset and pounce not to be dyker the Stock Exchange it and Beverly Hills are all the boom there is I'm a dollar worth a swallow she's a fraud Tennyson's Maud her ass is a full moon over the weeds lovingly C. Mulrooney Los Angeles, CA the jazz hurts there's a moment between the notes between the keys where you have to hold your breath and this ragged sharpness digs into diaphragm and heart the jazz hurts Larry G. Jaffe Los Angeles, CA America This morning I dreamed myself dreaming an America where I wrote my wife a poem it was just like assembling glass shards into the shape of a window that shined a light in on us naming itself Ramblin' Jack Elliot Sunday this is the last dry winter of the millennium I embrace the cold, yellow field of dawn quivering with pine siskins and all of these mornings all of them speak to the latent Texas Music Cafe in all of us except for those who speak the truth because there is no truth to speak of this morning I dreamed myself dreaming a window inside it a dry orange moon swelled America slept in the silence of its history: Ben-Hur outlived Bob Dylan at the party the Church Of Zero acolytes drank too much the sweet scent of wisteria disappeared and the Sunday Times headline read: guns, nirvana and hygiene. John Macker Las Vegas, NM Wishing Winter Sometimes w/you I smell fall coming feel the straps tightening holding me down a hand striking... me alive. Then and only then I long for the absence of smell in the cold winter death. T. Keyser San Antonio, TX Reflection in Anthony is desperado the song she sings for boys crashed in anthony the lyrics leaving memories on highways? he tries or tried commitment in vinton santa rosa berino raton but commitment leads to expectations and expectations are heading west Lawrence Welsh El Paso, TX Sling/Slung This touch at the speed of light - lips to the back of the hand to the raise of knuckles to the thin layer of dead skin over bone. And when I was writing to you last, I left the 'k' out of skin. I don't want to get metaphysical over all of this, but it has to mean something. The response of hairs over the neck, the little fears growing. CC Russell Laramie, WY When Only The Moon Rages Scotch-tape my soul to the abysmally clear mirror of a Medusa dawn; unearth my inward occupations, draw me out, draw me near, draw the line across my stalwart dogma. Backspackbackspacebackspace to begin a new paragraph of quicksilver verses which penetrate my airtight denial--restore me to the eye of Eden's debacle, when madness had to be taught, and learned. Robert Stevens San Pedro, CA Poem For A Friend In Prison hello joe i could handle the name change but they keep transferring you to so many different units that I'm running out of space in my telephone address book and now they're shuttling you from prison to prison i know this is america but this is a bit too much even for a pro like me all these prisons being built like factory assembly lines I mean there's only so many license plates that can be made makes no sense to me you ask how I'm doing which is kind of you given your own circumstances I'm confined to my own prison even if there are no keepers life has become a surreal movie with nothing but bit actors like those sin-alongs they flashed up on the screen in the old days when I was a kid follow the bouncing ball but I can't carry a note never could so I just faked it it's a hard life brother on the inside on the outside somewhere in between they're killing civilians in Kosovo making the world safe for democracy whether they want it or not I tried placing a call the other night to my translator in Belgrade but couldn't get through maybe the CIA was tapped into the line do they know I once worked for the post office? not that I'd "go postal" on them Brother we're all dying truth is that we were born into this terminal disease it's clear the trouble lies with the judges who must be poor mathematicians when it comes to handing out time what the fuck is the world coming to when poets write only through e-mail? the old man down on market street the one with no legs and a scateboard has more moxy than the president and the sob sister media crying about how poor Monica was taken advantage of half a million dollars for a few blow jobs is proof enough that capitalism pays this is a bitch of a poem not a bitching poem I know you know the difference even if the jailers don't those count dracula look alikes thirsting for your blood stepping on over and around dead bodies looking for live spirits to bury I wish I could tell you there's light at the end of the tunnel but there isn't the new governor believes in capital punishment as if death were a spanking or going to bed without supper got to get me a new dictionary the one I have must have belonged to bill clinton with all its tortured definitions the message of america can't be found on Mount Rushmore it's written in blood at the Texas Book Depository Store I heard a guy at a bar last week say that if you reduced the population by a third and closed our borders there would be enough food for everyone in the world too much breeding he said but this same guy breeds killer dogs and has six children and one on the way it's this kind of shit that's driving me sane, and just when I was getting the insane part down to perfection christ Joseph, I feel like I'm the lone survivor on the Titanic, walking alone on the ocean floor with a view of reality to draw on better watch it brother you might get what you wish for a new trial a new judge a new jury but would the outcome be any different? the D.A. should wear a black robe a wig, powder on his cheeks bend over and beg forgiveness what's left of elliot ness' gangbusters could take on the wise guys outside the court house hell, I might even buy a ticket mouth a few obscenities to take the edge off the hype we are born we die we spend time in between be it behind or outside the walls and the stock market keeps going and the prisons keep getting built and all I can do about it is write these "bitching" poems to an audience who does nothing but bitch sometimes I think I'm a retarded space alien put here by a superior race you are on the inside me on the outside inner parts of a human computer waiting to be blanked from the screen A.D. Winans San Francisco, CA My first day in New York At the Kennedy airport I told the cab driver About the YMCA He dropped me off in front of the door. A woman checked me in I dropped my luggage in the room. Came out of the room looking for a toilet. I saw few men standing in front of the urinals I stood in front of an empty one and released Myself. Suddenly I noticed someone is watching me. I looked over my shoulder. A sailor was standing next to me Half-mast. I was very impressed by the warm welcome And American hospitality. Being an Eastern and newly arrived in this country, I did not want to be rude. So I told him very politely "Thanks but I am vegetarian." Ifti Nasim Chicago, IL I Do Not Love You I do not love you for what you give but for what I am when I am with you I do not only love you because of but in spite of what I am you love me still I will never love you despite anything but because of everything you are I love you Monica E. Smith Liberty, OH Tallulah Falls in Winter Old Tallulah Falls stands in a graveyard of bare oaks. With calm servility, the falling water has iced and stilled. In apathy and abatement, the creek has lost half its flow. Once I slid my feet, like a sled on the ice. My hands reached to touch soft clouds of air wandering from the mouths of cowed birds. This year I leaned hard against the cabin's glass porch wanting the bright, upward childhood of ice and flight. In a light, surprising snow, birds glide with unapproachable grace, their shape less primitive than kindness, more like charity, moving smoothly in the polished disparity of the winter sun. Neca Stoller Columbus, Ga. Yukio Mishima 1925-1970 Samurai angel of art and duty erotic clown in army boots narcissus before the fogged mirror Words are purity's conscious razor but in your slash of language beauty retreated behind a mask to a fluent thrust of man to myth to conscripted logic, flexed to a point. By patriotism's blood proof, Your nostalgia clouded idioms in ink To belief as resolution of night thoughts on paper, existence marching past blossom, past full bellies sleeping, past culture as Nippon on its knees the ultimate fetish of duty and diary, blade of sunrise and secrets within the bud. Action is life's single choice but your supreme synthesis in erect veins was an act performed in clots kamikaze of beauty and brilliance galvanised by sunlit skin before false recruits, the punctuated longing of sword to man thorn of the Emperor's flower, or droplets beside the broken pen. Paul Kloppenborg Glen Waverly, Australia AFTER THE NEWS April 25, 1995 She tried to imagine air and dust crushing her small fingers, a film of birth run back ward so the slippery hair's cushioned again in a warm dark. The crushed cement, blown to a soft skirt. She tried to imagine the wind braiding with children's dazed crying, their denim full of leaves. If she could think of them becoming stone, the rivers of fire smoothed into a roundness others would pick up and hold, or white dust light as moths floating under sweet Russian olives. If she could imagine them reaching for stars as they twisted thru the luminous rain, hovering and waiting, listening to the grass, the geese, the moans of trees loud enough to rock them Lyn Lifshin Vienna, VA no equal what i want is razor edge cutting not well crafted polite; don't need to see a bruise but feel the wound the blow that caused what the poem is trying to show what i want is the hot searing kiss in a man's phone voice burning inside when we talk in his eyes when we meet what drives voice: breath without which there's no life; all poems fail when it comes to the touch of flesh Linda Lerner NYC, NY My Hands Give Me Away Like A Free Sample Like Judas, My hands are Passive-aggressive, Lonely, Misunderstood, Put upon When asked to hang Or count a few pieces of silver. Their only will is to remove my Freudian slip, caress nakedness, Which makes us one again. But I must wear my costumes: The schoolmarm-dress they tug Around the neck, beads the fingers Worry with my black knit mini-dress They struggle with silk, Lacing up my tall shit-wading boots, Never concealing their contempt for the eyes. They don't obey me or The wisdom of winter flannel, Crawling like zombies wired on crack; They won't bear rings or painted talons, Appeased by the solitude of skin, They are driven to create during A sleepless rush across keyboards, Assaulting pads of paper with Inky ammunition cracking through stiff Joints in sporadic rounds that defy the kidneys- At times I must lie on them until they tingle with sleep To keep the teeth from chewing them off. At others, they turn on each other With desperate prayers. Outside, In daylight, They betray me, Facilitating words like wild, Broken wings, flying without feathers or fear. The mouth was not estranged by their Red-peppered thumbs, teeth that bucked, Became bitter; They just drifted apart Like couples who take a booth In restaurants and eat without Speaking. René Diedrich San Pedro, CA
LUMMOX Press c/o PO Box 5301
San Pedro, CA 90733-5301
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