Posted on February 29, 2012
And So It Will Just Be the Two of Us
My sister and I are racing the condiments . Come on—catch-up. Wait—I must-turd. I don't relish the thought of that. We are being given the silent treatment because yesterday we burnt down some evergreens using undergrowth and a magnifying glass. Do you understand now, my father had asked before going quiet, how fire can get away? He stands at the grill, recooking the chicken; he never knows when things are done. My mother has a skin disorder that makes red welts appear wherever she puts pressure. That's how she taught me the alphabet, my writing each letter with a chopstick on the underside of her forearm, waiting for the letters to arise, scarlet. Tonight she shows me her arm, “Ice”—and I go inside.
In the window frame, there they all are. My sister in the burnt out grove trying to keep the hula hoop alive, my father turning the chicken over and over, and my mother pouring from a silver flask into her Fresca.
I often think of that fire, how quickly it got out of our hands. Power. It had something to do with that, wanting the feeling that we could affect the way things were.
It is my mom who turns to see me in the window. My sister will end up dead in high school, driving stoned; my father will join a far-off cult in the Adirondacks and, during an astral projection lesson, he will never return to his body.
My mother holds up her other arm. Hurry .
Randall Brown teaches at and directs Rosemont College 's MFA in Creative Writing Program. He has been published widely, both online and in print, and blogs regularly at FlashFiction.Net . He is also the founder and managing editor of Matter Press and its Journal of Compressed Creative Arts .
Posted on February 20, 2012
Teachings of Death
affirmation sticks to me
the dumb animal death—instinctively
where lions hunt
that wizened woman who has lain with goats
under closed lids
I watch her aghast
the voice of the woman
she speaks of that man
her voice of bodies
she wags her wand
as light deceives
‘climb' she says
& i am alone
March 19 would have been Carol's 63rd birthday. She missed it by just over two months.
This poem was first published in Carol's chapbook, Living Alone without a Dictionary , in 1974 (Gargoyle Poets 11, Makar Press, Queenland University , Australia ).
Be sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming issue of Mad Hatters' Review (Issue 13), where many of Carol's works will be featured.
3 Responses to Poem by Carol Novack
Marcus Speh says:
February 21, 2012 at 9:33 am
This is an outstanding poem, thank you for posting it. Looking forward to the MHR issue. This has been a good funeral service. Thanks.
lucinda kempe says:
March 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm
Absolutely beautiful. “She speaks of that man as if he were holy” says so much.
Thank you for posting this elegiac piece.
Ann Bogle says:
June 28, 2012 at 7:30 pm
Sorry to correct you: Carol's birthday was in fact February 19, an Aquarius. I am so glad we will have her early poems, reissued. She was clearly so talented from the beginning and recognized for it, too, during her years in Australia .
Posted on February 8, 2012
If the year ends a plural spiral
Of the five friends I am holding
I move to see my parents
Acoustic winter sings a summer
May Venus never sever
— love Lee Ann
Winter Solstice 2011
Lee Ann Brown is Assistant Professor of English at St. John's University in New York City . A poet and filmmaker whose first book, Polyverse (Sun&Moon, 1999), won the New American Poetry Series Award. Her second book, The Sleep That Changed Everything, appeared in 2003 from Wesleyan. She is also the founder and editor of the small press Tender Buttons.
Posted on February 7, 2012
Elegy for Carol Novack, 1948-2011
Farewell Carol. If death is a journey take it at a local
pace. Don't hurry if no road presents the way. If no road presents the
way beneath your feet, let the narrative fail where it fails. Let the
narrative waft to a treble let it. If you hear a crackle of burning in
the forest of tokens walk around it and sigh at the apocalypse. If
this is the sweet spot of the poem this is the sweet spot of the poem.
If I thank you for showing us how to walk around with a broken shotgun
draped over a forearm I thank you. If art never offended you with the
music of being alone after the wild darkness settles on the cobbled
town center it never offended you. If you knew deep in your funny bone
that clarity should be avoided if possible you knew it. If you knew
that closure should be avoided if possible you knew that too.
Gene Tanta was born in Timisoara, Romania and lived there until 1984, when his family immigrated to the United States . Since then, he has lived in DeKalb , Iowa City, New York , Oaxaca City, Iasi , Milwaukee , and Chicago . He is a poet, visual artist, and translator of contemporary Romanian poetry. His two poetry books are Unusual Woods and Pastoral Emergency .
His poems, translations, and artwork work may be found in journals such as: EPOCH, Ploughshares, Circumference Magazine, Cream City Review, Exquisite Corpse, Watchword, Columbia Poetry Review, The Laurel Review , and Drunken Boat .
Gene is Arts Director of Mad Hatters' Review .
One Response to Tribute poem by Gene Tanta
Alison Ross says:
February 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm
My new favorite poem. Just exquisite.
Posted on February 4, 2012
Just a Handful of My Very Treasured Memories of Carol
Glebe, Sydney , Australia February, 1977
Molyvos , Greece , October to December 1977
Danced the Syrtaki and Tsifteteli, in public
Happily shared the secrets of Jewish Chicken Soup
Had a policy: “you eat, you wash up”
Co-wrote the Traveller's Hellenican Dictionary
London , England , February 1978
New York City , December 1980
Glebe, Sydney , Australia , August 1999
New York City , September 11, 2001
2 Responses to Tribute poem by Leonie Blair
Stefanie Bennett says:
April 15, 2012 at 4:16 am
NOW AND THEN
Those were the times, Nigel.
Those were the days. Sundays stoked
We'd perfected the art of buffoonery.
Was it enough? To play at being Toughs?
Marking time. Occasionally word-knitting
Posted on February 2, 2012
The Last Day of the Year
in memoriam Carol Novack and Kerry Leves
“he told me that writing poetry was the most beautiful thing anyone could do on this godforsaken earth”
Larry Buttrose is an Australian writer. He is the author of the novels The Maze of the Muse and Sweet Sentence , and the travel books The King Neptune Day & Night Club , and Cafe Royale (also published as The Blue Man ). For the stage he has written Kurtz , his stage adaptation of Heart of Darkness , and a stage adaptation of Don Quixote , as well as co-writing the hit musical Hot Shoe Shuffle . Larry's first book of poetry, One Steps Across the Rainbow , was published in 1974.
Posted on February 1, 2012
— for Carol Novack
I Really Don't Know Clouds At All
When the conversation evaporates, perhaps it's like the clouds vanishing before the
Flying From The Empty Nest
I have discovered
It's a challenge
Circle of Dance
The smoke where we dance does not fade.
I see the roaming circle where we navigated our identities.
I hear waterfalls, taste saffron, touch elephants. This is how you left me, as night crashes
Robert Vaughan lives in Milwaukee where he leads writing roundtables at Redbird- Redoak Writing. His prose and poetry is found in numerous literary journals such as Elimae, Metazen, Necessary Fiction and BlazeVOX . His short stories are anthologized in Nouns of Assemblage from Housefire , and Stripped from P.S. Books. He is a fiction editor at JMWW magazine, and Thunderclap! Press. He co-hosts Flash Fiction Fridays for WUWM's Lake Effect. Click here for Robert's blog.