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Poetry Winter 2015    fiction    all issues


Cover Peter Rawlings

J. H Yun
& other poems

Colby Hansen
Killing Jar #37
& other poems

Melissa Bond
Freud's Asparagus
& other poems

Jane Schulman
When Krupa Played Those Drums
& other poems

Susan F. Glassmeyer
First Moon of a Blue Moon Month
& other poems

Melissa Tyndall
& other poems

Micah Chatterton
& other poems

Emily Graf
& other poems

Kate Magill
LV Winter, 2015
& other poems

Michael Fleming
Meeting Mrs. Ping
& other poems

Richard Parisio
Brown Creeper
& other poems

Jennifer Leigh Stevenson
Circe in Business
& other poems

Laurel Eshelman
& other poems

Barry W. North
Molotov Cocktail of the Deep South
& other poems

Charles C. Childers
& other poems

Ricky Ray
A Way to Work
& other poems

Cassandra Sanborn
& other poems

Linda Sonia Miller
Full Circle
& other poems

J. Lee Strickland
Anna's Plague
& other poems

Erin Dorso
In the Kitchen
& other poems

Holly Lyn Walrath
Behind the Glass
& other poems

Jeff Lewis
Charles Ives, A Connecticut Yankee
& other poems

Karen Kraco
Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill
& other poems

Rafael Miguel Montes
& other poems

Jeff Lewis

Charles Ives, a Connecticut Yankee

Kazoo chorus

with flutes, fiddle & flageolets

piccolos, ocarinas & fifes;

                                                      or: “I heard something else—

there are many roads, you know

besides the Wabash.”

The Unanswered Question in a clear Connecticut sky,

a triple hammered to right,

Columbia the Gem of Mutual Life.

                                  Read in two voice—

                                  or a battle of the bands,

Giants vs. Cubs                                   roughly

August, 1907                                       & in a half-spoken way

Polo Grounds                                      played as

The Perennial Questions                   indistinctly as possible

of Existence,                                        or gradually excited,




all but impossible to decipher The Camp Town Races

in Central Park in the Dark.

Tone roads taken and not taken

are to represent the silence of the druids in Concord.

                                  Read in two voices

                                  or tap dance in black face,

Mike jaunts                                   Watchman, tell us of the night

out to CF.                                       What the signs of promise are:

Johnny at bat                                Traveler, o’er yon Mt.’s height

hits over Mike’s head                   See that Glory-beaming star!

oboe on the mound

ball strike ball ball                        Watchman, aught of joy or hope?

strike                                               Traveler, yes: it brings the day.

the classic 3 & 2 rhythmic            Promised day of Israel

situation                                          Dost thou see its beauteous ray?

Music not evolved but mutated

in a sudden paroxysm of Fourth of July!

All Hail the Power!

All Hail the Power!

                                           Ives, must you hog all the keys?

                                           Why it’s just like a town meeting—

                                           every man for himself!

Little Richie Wagner,

Pussy Debussy—a Vermont December would do you in,

Mama’s boy Mozart,

Chopin the transvestite—

                                Jigs gallops reels

                                & for every man his own symphony

                                & the space to compose it in

                                for every man his own Unanswered Questions

                                & his own answers in music that sounds like life.

“Stop being such a goddamned sissy!

Stand up for fine, strong music like this

& use your ears like a man!”

Berlioz Wins a Bride

“If she for one moment could conceive all the poetry, all the infinity of a like love, she would fly to my arms though she were to die in my embrace.”

—Hector Berlioz

Berlioz, the beautiful hawkman

fell in love with the Muse in the guise of Miss Smithson, the Irish actress—

poor Miss Smithson,

poor poor Miss Smithson.

Berlioz pined for her unrequitedly.

Berlioz raved for her Romantically.

Berlioz purple prosed her drunkenly through the suburban fields of Paris,

Chopin was concerned for him.

Berlioz saw her embrace her leading man on the stage—

oh fickle Muse, oh fickle fickle Muse!

Oh migraine Muse!

Berlioz ran from the theater weeping to pen his revenge on this black lady.

High as a spiraling hawk on opiated hash

Berlioz led her to the dock of Art

where the ragamuffin orchestra judged her:

catcalled its dissonant abuse 

Whore! Slut! Scarlet woman!

While Berlioz,

self righteous impresario of the Fantastique,

acting as both conductor and executioner,

dark hair wild,

hawk eyes mad

            started the march to the noose

with a juggle on the tympani

and ended it with the sweet snap of her importunate neck!

But poor Miss Smithson not being Muse cold or Muse true

being flesh and blood did yield to Hector’s rude nebulosities of love

and did marry him

and there did die in his embrace,

or worse yet turned into an Irish shrew

with an Irish obsession for the booze,

and around and around they went

                                                in an accelerando

each with a silver plated pistol

making a witches’ Sabbath of the marriage.

He threw her scapula to the rats

hungry for the gory in the music;

she threw his Tuba Mirum to a goat dressed up as the Pope

snarling, “There’s your patron!

and here’s your Muse!”

Hitching up her skirts to the naked partita

doing a drunken bump and grind,

“Your inspiration, my music box!”

The two of them chopped up the instrument, 

gutted the strings,

pulled out the keys like rotted teeth,

hacked off the gangrened pedals

then splintered the body 

but the thing kept playing

and playing

its walpurgisnacht

its Totentanz

until she died in the variations.

Poor Miss Smithson,

poor poor Miss Smithson.

Let us imagine his Requiem is for her.


somewhere in the heartland of the nation, Kansas City say or maybe Omaha there is a secret underground installation   in this concrete complex buried beneath the stockyards Musak is rendered from music  take a song, any song with guts and balls   the white smocked Musak technicians cut it open, sluice out the guts, extract the heroic, send the remnant to a few symposia on the meaning of “love”   they pump the resulting comatose thing full of strings, attach a few angel wings, shoot it up with Hollow Man, then channel to an ad man composer or poet of hymns to sing to some king driven mad, centaur being flensed, flautist having donkey ears attached to his head or great weaver of Prometheans being turned into a spider

                               “I think that I shall never see a poem as beautiful as a tree” is how the power of Orpheus came out of the processing plant  “pity this busy monster manunkind not”  the liver of Prometheus after Musak processing  “still falls the rain” the last string of the lyre used as a garrote  “Oh, tannenbaum!” squeaks the tiny voice of Attis from inside the tree   

                 lobotomized Eurydice  genderless upbeat schlock Semele so you boogaloo down the aisle not noticing what demon you’re buying as you’re shopping  101 Strings Does the Dismemberment soothes you into missing the earthquake rising from the casket beneath Kobe  

                 kill them  kill all the songs 

                                  or at the dentist’s having a root canal done on your resistance to aliens by the angels humming Mysterious Mountain

                                                   kill all the songs!

                                                                    or in the church where they put you to sleep with A Mighty Fortress so they can insert Le Sacre du Printemps up your Twentieth Century 

                 kill all the songs!

                                                   or on the psych ward taking your pill of Amahl so you can still give your gifts to the Kings

                                  kill all the songs! kill the poor things!

the hawks with one wing! 

                 give them the lead gift 

                                  they’re not responsible 

and did you know they have Spartacus arranged for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?    while Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony sings in its chains for Rogaine? 

                 kill all the songs!

                                  give them the lead gift in the twilight

kill the poor things!

                                  kill all the songs!

Listening to Music

in the evening I drink wine and listen to music

To Copland

Appalachian Spring

“tis a gift to be simple” cranked up loud enough

                          so the rocks to hear it

Billy the Kid

bad and proud of it

broke and entered the Muses’ Bank

made off with the Genesis account


the Tenth to keep Stalin dead

Vaughn Williams’ Antarctic Symphony

“to forgive wrongs darker than night or death

to suffer woes hope thinks infinite”

and sing it!

not like chains

but like spring!

like, it is not cold here!

it may be cold where you are

shivering in your poetry prisons

but it is not cold here!

it is not cold where I have raised

Prometheus from the bottom of Lake Nancy

I refuse to freeze 

beneath a blanket of meekness

in front of a dead fireplace at some church

with the Id Monster chained in the basement

it is before in The Beginning here

when it was good

before Time with his scythe

created that weeping wound

covered by a big popple leaf

I will not repent my life

I will not forget my wife

that I father things 

that I have spoken to all the kings

who harden their hearts when Orpheus sings

it is cold on the golf course

where you hide down in Florida!

in Harpers where the poem shivers on the page

pawing desperately through Emily Dickinson’s under things 

searching for a body

trying to build a fire

in the frozen slush pile

after a while the dog in your manger

waiting for a fire builder

will get up

trot off through the woods

toward the source of this music 

the real spring


Wagner, Mr. Marvel, decided to become a composer

before he could play a single note

so you know he had gall,


with a capital “B.”

It must have been playing that angel as a child that did it.

Wagner lived off “impressionable” women for a while

while his creditors plagued him like veritable Walkuries—

he owes them an inspirational debt.

Early on Wagner, like Napoleon, crowned himself

Official Musical Mutant and Composer of the Future.

It was all just in fun, of course

to play Superman,

steal other men’s wives

while the queer King of Bavaria 

kept you in silks, blank checks

villas and Festspielhaus

so you could fiddle with the Mythos

the dead serious ostinati in the blood,

Schopenhauer’s “proto images of the world”

and not laugh when Berlioz quipped

“Yes, Richard, but in Paris we call that digestion, letting a little wind.”

But the polemics against the Jews

the Aryan hysterics,

the forever Flying Dutchman of your hate

were not “farting,” Richard.

As for the Siegfried

we were all spellbound 

by the acid trip swastikas in its eyes

before Brunnhilde could destroy the place.

Jeff Lewis has a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, painting, from the University of WI, Superior. I have had poems published in The Wisconsin Academy Review, San Jose Studies, Magical Blend, Kansas Quarterly, and other magazines. I am a five-time winner of the Lake Superior Writers Award for poetry. I am married, have two children and live in Northwestern Wisconsin.

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