Monday, May 2, 2022

Michael Mc Aloran, excerpt from ‘bone bite snare’


untitled, acrylic on canvas/ 80 x 100cm/ 03-‘22 
Michael Mc Aloran


(…it see none sees elsewhere it cannot…blind sees less lesser see what from…black see none of what sees less of what…cannot see less what of for a…hilt depth trace see widen never…begin what from sees less absolve…what sees absent lesser breathes of it…sees black of none till havoc see ash oceanic seen…see claim what breathe aches nothing ever…see non-see…see what what matter of it… tidal-non asks what no answer to…breathe in-breathe… see asks cannot follow it…it is nothing or…wind absence of tide sees only end…end of follow mark hollow cannot it claims none more arbitrary…withered see says what no answers to…sees left no distance right…permeates of none sees eclipse of shadow once…matter see matter says what undone to…to answer to says none distance ever… locks blood as if it too were to decide it sees…recollect what matter…oceanic nothing amber nocturne so & as if to…still breach ask of it or not of what…lung lapse of see all eye unseen…silence/ silent/ silent traces…sees what is not sought…unknows of breathes allsame…denuded eye what of the seeing of it…lacking of the lightless seen/ ever-elsewise…fragments traces nothing for tomorrow’s absent flame…/echo/ echo/ see what null…gouge of all closed wound absorb sees/ echo/ unsung...ask now of the why to the too of the why of no question other than where zero the closure eye that once where knew silently divulged as what lapse of passage play & silence weighted in the palm of the other then returning to the other & so forth as all that in-between of the what steady nothing to be in the absolute cast aside in a breath of dispel an end to what flourish yes what an end to become of it to make of it it-dreamt of finally nothing of the furthering the lessening too soon the door ajar & the jaded shadow shed left behind as if to breathe of it were to be of in an elixir of vanquished the night no further step once two/ stepped not once…)


(...filters out un-sound/ sound/ given to collapse into other than what once/ drained vocal of/ or teasement of until nothing ember-lock/ harsh round of echo-echoing/ a path never cleared across/ sound eclipse till given snap what stun alack/ eaten of till shadow formed across exposed eye/ non-said/said/ from which all said all sun/ step un-step breath violet/ a glimpse of never what was ever was before/ before in asking of/ (fade out)/ final shiv in eye of percept/ broke bones/ sound given to retrace/ trace/ seasoned from pitch bleak lightless till given night/ in vertigo snap/ all/ sound simulations gripped by breathless/ soon to dissipate/ songs of un-being/ traceless violet songs in bloom/ distillate to point of never having been/ all purpose shredded/white lung till breakage/ a shattered tongue frozen of  inept/ in echo chamber/ steel’s lament rips pulse meat flowers from given density/ on and on it/ till risen once more/claiming that it can/ what sight what sound/ not a vulture’s intricacy/ a shed of rat-black teeth in vocalise/ given to unfall unto/ bitter shards bite the eyes of sounding/ yet no lament for given loss/ white-washed wall/stare.../...ash unlock/ blind wither claim nothing lapse/ else no treasury what nothing settled breath/ unsettled/ broke catascope undue rigour/ breaks none of lapse sequential/ sound basking in sound of/ reverberate of unknown viewed from an externus/ it/ vocalised as if to/ endless streams of sound reverberating from/ surrounding ever unknown known yes or know/ no/ if quantify/ sound bile dream ejaculate of voice/ this is sunlight it/ un-sound of which the dissipating trace/ inhaled to touch nothing/ silenced once more/ coloured by corners/ blind lights/ none abounding/ sound evacuates of its own voice/ shears black/underwater skull/ prism promise of trace/ vapour lights/ excavative/ echo-echo nothing/ remaining/ shutter snap down/ escapade/ wind ice tunnel of/ dense what/ sound what/ interpretive alignment/ (says what it does not know what it knows not in silent reek of inutterable bound)/ evacuates break stone blind fed none/ subtle break/ in dead as lung/ sound wither/ scattered shrapnel tines/abandoned to silence/ still yet silences spoken of in wilt of sound/ overture of nothing claimed/ frozen in/ clasp weight lack of/ not...white ash of sound/ settling un-silenced/ silenced in/ fundamental as shit/ inconclusive/ yes or no/ it posits as if to indent/ not a trace yet in blood pierces eye’s unfold/ escapade lock/ stripped from out of echo/ glimpse in which/ knocks/ rejected by unseen un-sound/ nothing claimed/ not a step nor murmur/ none all stripped welcoming nothing more/ being nothing more in-sound/ yet utters what it can/ as if to parry/ it cannot/ so back then to utter blind/ light non-sound/ words terse/ no not fleshed it/ if it/ satiates nothing/ in bleed of lapse from until timeless/ once again...)

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Jeff Bagato, Maker Taker Quaker


Maker Taker Quaker
deeber dabber doober
floater feeler
wheeler jeeper
taster tester bester
ragger gadjet
paster guester
peeder padder pooter
latter needer
clicker teeter
satter sooter seeder
pister poster
laster raster
chider chooter cheater
macker tacker
vader mater
water weeder waiter
madder dooder
lagger leaper
abble dabble dooble
patter picter
lacker lister
nacker nicker nooker
caddle kidder
racker shacker
piddle paddle pindle
spooker spitter
ober noble
clicker clucker clacker
stander phoner
chatter noter
ducker dooker dicker
laper geeber
todder yocker
sacker sicker soaker
clapper doper
saddle soaper
slapper slipper slopper
finder fester
weedle munder
looper lipper lapper
happer capper
sodden sunder
binder bander bonder
chadder nodder
tatter longer
kicker wicker sticker
faddle paddle
noter doter
banter binter bunter
facker flicker
total tocker
natter matter fatter
toker spoker
nodder dodder
packer picker pecker
plodder pander
sagger tinder
locker rocker tapper
broader smacker
tiddle smoker
vicker wander yonder
wootle deetle
peddle gawker
tattle tiddle toner
quacker quicker
listen mister
zacker zicker zeeker
nuttin fogger
pickle moater
gacker hacker fister
potter winder
token spender
later litter looter
backer baiter
under lander
sander dander chunder
simple sample
tamper scamper
licker locker lucker
fiddle middle
laster rester
hater heater hooter
tweedle deedle
sucker seater
simper swamper stamper
dimple dumper
pocker mocker
dimmer dumber donor
spackle specter
remoter voter
ether ester eater
cable corker
tamber chanter
quester quoter quitter
wiggle waggle
razzle dazzle
toner tinner tanner
tittle middle
wanker singer

 —Jeff Bagato

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Joel Chace, A Lesson & A torso excerpts from Ciphering


Asemics, #33, image by Irene Koronas

 A Lesson & A torso excerpts from Ciphering                             



A Lesson

She speaks the sentence.  Then, a







student at the board writes,

In English, there are three







to’s.  Next one, …there are

                            three too’s.












                                                                                                             Finally,…three two’s.  

                                                                                                  Prof:  “So,

you see it?”  Usual








“No one?” 







Usual blankness.


                          again:  “And how about











                 ‘ I watched my mother

   exhale for the final time.’  ‘My







little boy looked up with his

                                                                            sad face, and smiled.’ 

‘We saw fog spread







across river flats.’”


              inscribing in notebooks.




                                        A torso                                    (for Walter Benjamin)

                        Fine flag over it,

                 sleeping, rethinking

                             ground from

           the ground up.  Having

                fallen from the train

         that does not leave until

everyone is on board.   A kind

      of escape, at that, from its

              marble block.  But this                                                                                                    isn’t narrative, not

with lightning flashes

out there and,

in here, messianic

sparks.  The minor boredom

of order will come

knocking, but there isn’t yet a

door in this fabric.  Or

a Saturday night rolls

around like death, to cleanse

                     all filth from the body.

             Then, maybe, chess, quick

      game against that unbeatable

                       automaton with the

                   mystical dwarf hidden

                                  inside.  Seven

                    thimbles, 49 levels of

                 meaning, with nothing

                   seamless.  The upper

                                                                      torso seems not just high, but

blocky, huge.  From Zero Zoo,

a tiger leaps into

the past:  Adam, father

of philosophy, named it.

This one says, Just wait

 until daylight, and I

will go forth and learn how

to shudder.  Then I shall have

a skill that will support me.

On a stone pillow,

                                  it waits, not

                        for Empty Time’s

             continuous flow, but  --

                          under its flag, at

                                 a crossroads

           in the labyrinth  --  to see

          when and where it will sit

                    in history, in its own

            modernity that possesses

                                   antiquity like                                       a nightmare that creeps

                                                over it.  That afternoon,

                                                           they stroll through

                                                             the arcade, sky’s

                                                          narrow, gray curve

                                                    overhead.  Money and

                                                        rain belong together.

                                             The child thinks about three

                                                                bluebirds on one

                                                          branch, lunch, a map,

                      fox, turtle, squirrel.  A

               flashing at her feet.  What

                           entrances her:  Not

                      what the moving neon

           red sign says  --  but the fiery

                                 pool reflecting it

    in the asphalt.  Though what this

                                    little one really

                                  desires is to exit

                       the tunnel and, on the                                                                              other side, to see the new

construction site’s fine,

jagged detritus

enlivening hard-packed

 earth, gigantic

 dumpsters.  Then

still more men fell down, one

after the other

from the chimney.  They brought

two skulls from dead men and

       nine bones, then set them

              up and bowled.  Lying

            beyond the black, daft

                         border of their

                      territory, a dirty

      heaven:  young loris with

              its thin shadow; two

      grains of wheat on which

                        a kindred soul

had inscribed the complete

Shema Israel; pieces

of toast in a playpen;

white sprinkles edging

a gully; taxed

numbskull; blank bank; virtue

mill.  Recurrence

of transience, a

rhythm of downfall, leading,

when embraced, to great

humility and to

            happiness.  His ability

      to see the remnants, the

         ruins inherent in grand

              ideas; not to deface,

 but to leave the face within

          the block; not to leave

               his work to become

a remnant, but to fashion it,

           from the first, a made

              remnant; to remove                         the extraneous and leave                                                          

his Atlas Slave, imprisoned in

                    its own body and

                     pose, unrelieved

                     by any opposing

              force.  And disruption.

     Rupture.  A truth, charged

       to the bursting point with

                            Time.  Chip of

                          Messianic Time,

                      reclaiming lost

                  voices.  Property

             relations in Mickey

Mouse cartoons:  here we

                   see for the first

       time that it is possible

              to have one’s own

                   arm, even one’s

   own body, stolen.  These

   prunings and the moon’s                                                                                                                sliver should be

enough.  Camp

Divine:  tapestry; rhapsody; rested

quill; gym; garage; yellow

wire; vast key; outdated

globe; square fool; courtyard;

river; flight; flint;

road, with robbers who

make an armed attack and

relieve an idler of

                  his convictions;

               film.  Sitting, she

         helplessly stretches

her arms for a fruit that

             remains beyond

        her reach.  And yet

 she is winged.  Nothing

     is more true.  She, all

      those leavings, ruins,

                           all under

a fine, blank flag that must

now be a home, the new

home.  We have long

forgotten the ritual

by which the house

of our life was

 erected…But the human need

for shelter is

lasting.  Architecture 

has never been idle.  Its

             history is more ancient

                        than that of any

            other art, and its claim

                        to being a living

              force has significance

                 in every attempt to

                      comprehend the

                        relationship of

the masses to art.  Massing

                       under the new                               house.  And here is                                                                             

 a new someone.  Her

                    clothes are

impermeable to every

          blow of fate; he

   looks like a man who

                 hasn’t taken

                his garments

             off for months;

           she is unfamiliar

               with beds; when

             he lies down, she

                      does so in a

              wheelbarrow or

on a seesaw.  That fine,

              blank flag of the

        Now Time.  Only he

            who can view his

               own past as an

              abortion sprung                                                                                                                   from compulsion

and need can use it to

full advantage

in the present.

For what one

has lived is at best

comparable to a


statue which has

had all its

      limbs knocked

                                                                                       off in transit,

                                                                                  and now yields


but the precious

      block out of

          which the

                                                                                  image of one’s


     must be hewn.


—Joel Chace

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Saint Flashlight’s The Will of the City

Hamlet By Diane Mehta

Saint Flashlight’s The Will of the City
What happens when playwrights and poets alike draw inspiration from William Shakespeare? Magic, perhaps. Over the last five months as a curator for Saint Flashlight, I invited over a dozen writers to mine Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and the like to create fresh verse reflecting a contemporary POV. The resultant poems – many of them sonnets, all of them thought-provoking, repeatedly delightful – have been on display in the windows of Theatre for a New Audience since the Autumn of 2021. The overall series, entitled The Will of the City, may no longer be surprising passersby at the Brooklyn performance space but you can read most of them here now below. The order reflects their sequential roll-out on the theater’s street-side, big-screen monitors. Special thanks to TFANA's Jeffrey Horowitz, Jennifer Lam, Torrence Browne, and Steven Gaultney (a staff member who’s also a playwright and now a poet) for helping to make this project not just possible but immensely enjoyable, too.
Drew Pisarra
Saint Flashlight Co-Founder
Kent after Lear
by Steven Gaultney
Is this the promised end, or just an end,
All promise long forgot? How many lives
Can one surrender, lives on end, yet spend
More life? His spirit breaks, yet he survives.
Vex not his ghost. But I remember days
When he, behind the wheel of that Corvette
He used to pray to, howl-howled down highways,
Eyes arched to heaven’s vault, its stars no threat.
Break, heart, to see him roaming vast expanses,
Soul still unbound now bounding every mountain,
Up peaks where thunder stomps and lightning dances,
Voice raised to god still sure the sky must bargain.
       If this same man is now but earth on earth
       Why should his slave tread dust of so much worth?
The Exchange
by Anya Banerjee
My mother never called me Changeling Boy. 
Her name for me remains unheard, unknown. 
And yet, somewhere within, it brings me joy; 
That safely secret name shall not be owned. 
Sometimes whispers call out a lover’s name 
And sail through the forest like merchant ships. 
My chance to steal some merchandise! I claim 
Their treasured whispers, sealed between my lips. 
But this Midsummer Night my lips do part; 
Out flies a voice, familiar yet strange.
And here my broken and twice-stolen heart 
Begins to ask “For what was I exchanged?” 
No fairy dust, no spicèd Indian air. 
Just little old me and my self laid bare.

The Mother of Othello Comes Before Us
by Malcolm Tariq
Men raced into darkness look for light.
They return black as my face. My name
that is as flesh made him all the more
an example he could not return.
Had he devoured my discourse, observed
my title, I would not be the monster
in his thoughts. My mystery is the cause.
And when I turn the business of my soul,
it was I who killed her. Had I taught him
to tell my story, would it repair him?
Certain, men should be what they seem,
but doubt was my first gift. Then, fate.
I must confess the vices of my blood—
I love my son. I hate the Moor.
By Diane Mehta
Cowards, all: to be the end of this design,
ice-fields swimming slowly out to sea,
razing our ecologies, our needs unquenchable,
peat-bogs we make calamities of; so long life—
these clouds are white, my ravishments are dreams
irredeemable. Outrageous fortune! I weep.
A thousand loves are stolen from the years,
hectares would be mine, undiscovered country
my largesse, purple-puzzle sky and green auroras,
foamflowers in blue shade below knobcone trees,
world so near and long alive; wrecked, all wrecked.
I see my father’s pale ghost wandering and wonder
who is murdering our eternities. Cowards, all.
Art of trouble, sea of love, questions inside
questions. I won’t grow old; don’t lose count of me.
Winter’s Tale for a Warming World 
by Will Eno
Would that this most unworldly world would stop, 
Say I over bread crusts and water. 
Jailed by the mad king and torturous thoughts 
Of my wasted dead son and lost daughter, 
I strain to remember happier days. 
A stone castle of trust, not suspicion. 
Years of good queenly grace and marmalade, 
Not this moth-bitten rank isolation. 
Then statuesquely I come to pained life, 
And my play ends with a comical turn. 
While on unstaged Earth we waste sacred time, 
Our treetops and weak lungs crackle and burn. 
Enough rhyming, cruelty, paranoia, meter, poison-- it’s near hopeless. 
Near hopeless is where the best hope is born.
The Block Talk
by Modesto Flako Jimenez
                                                                                 (Enter Woos & Choos Chorus)
1 - Two Factions both turning up in the streets (a)
2 - In Flatbush Brooklyn, New York, Peep the scene, (b)
3 - The Choos and Woos mix-in Bloods and Crips (a) 
4 - Bringing bloody blocks when forty Glocks gleam (b)
1 - From these rivals emerges Brooklyn Drill (c)
2 - That Brings capital gains with each POW sound (d)  
3 - And street kill all wanting to claim the bill (c)
4 - Bodies dying, broken limbs force sit down (d)
1 - The nightly tales of black souls dropping (e)
2 - The Angered in despair infested streets (f)
3 - and killing of Pop Smoke got us talking (e)
4 - putting the guns down we begin to see (f)
1 - If you listen to the neighborhood talk (g)
2 - You will understand this tale in a walk (g)
                                                                                 (Woos & Choos Chorus Exit)
Taming Of The Shrew
by Regie Cabico 
In the bronze of my Filipino,
fallow face, my ocean face,
my Scruff suitor phantoms
fossilizing my face, my jowls,
my howling jowls at a moon
face, moonbeams reflecting
the gilded sea, to the suitor
gushing the savagery of the sea
in me, lost in thistles,
my orchestral conductor,
my mirror of exclamations, 
my cliff, my whistle, my peacock
feather in leather, my silver whip,
my pain, my hand is ready…
by Twinkle Burke
Regnant queen providing a radiant light
Her power emerging from deep within.
Does her ebony frighten or delight?
Can it save you from the wages of sin?
Vivid melanin infatuation
Revered by her fierce and bronzy skin
Behold from the gods wondrous creation
The power that helps us start, to begin
Catalyzing our own beauty and worth.
A worldwide reckoning seen ‘round the globe.
Shattering the myths, buoys spirits on Earth
Splendid rebirth glorious to behold.
We are mesmerizing and audacious
Sovereigns, liberated, and vivacious.
Yours, Lady Macbeth
by Mónica de la Torre
Spirits, I write, once topfull of cruelty and now hollowed out
but of blame, barely lifting my arm, so heavy it is
with exhaust and disgust at the filth still clung to my hands.
Sleepless I remain, except when roaming about rooms,
half-dead, apparition-like, possessed by remorse, as now.
I’d implored you to block its access.
You granted me a half-wish—only partially unsexed,
the idea of patricide deterred me. Who speaks through me now?
A man wrote my evil persuasion; my breakdown upon the bloodbath;
my fate, awayward, for I die offstage each time.
My leaving, the occasion for my husband’s most quoted of soliloquies.
Out of time, I scribble these words furiously.
Trust they are not nonsense.
Henry IV
by Jeffrey Sweet
“Shape up,” he says.
And sometimes he talks about how he wishes someone else were his son.
Yeah, and get this, that someone else is a traitor who is trying to overthrow him.
“Take the stick out of your butt and enjoy yourself,” says the other.
He jokes and drinks and tries to boff anything that moves.
And he lies and he steals and exploits our friendship whenever he can.
Swell again.
I’m a figure who died in the early fifteenth century,
But, using the gift of foresight granted by the author of this,
I think of Freud (why not?).
You know, super-ego and id.
Guess who is which?
It’s not easy having two daddies.
When they're dead, I'll be free of them -- right?
by Carol Triffle 
Oh sacrifice be thine
Oh boo hoo you’re no fun
Get in the mood
Just a son divine
He’s gotta die
Blood galore
And he will be no more
Breathe no more
Just sleep, sleep, sleep
Deep, deep, deep
I’ll be emperor soon
Lop a leg you creep
It’s a barbecue on you
Come my new queen
Vengeance you lusty love
Soon you will be seen
You’re in the mood
You are my dove
Kill the brood
Revenge awaits
At the pearly gates
Cut off a hand, cut off a head
Kill the girl, kill the guy
Kill a fly
Serve a feast
Kill some more
End with more and more bloody gore.
The Tower (XVI)
by Emmy Potter
You who ignore the signs Nature does give
of rising tides and forests set aflame,
yet play God with how common folks must live,
so confident our Fates are not the same:
The Fool heading sure-footed off the cliff,
with eyes, like Icarus, turned toward the sun,
sees not their downfall will be ever swift.
(Weighty the crown you wear yet never won.)
In solemn silence, Justice sits and weighs
the measure of men’s actions on this Earth;
though she sees not, still none escape her gaze.
Her sword will surely parse out your true worth.
For oft when men fail to do the right thing
Justice and Mother Nature intervene.
Twelfth Night
by Kate Lutzner
Seven years to mourn, Olivia.
I will not hook up with another man
until you have left me, oh brother,
oh dear. I will lament you singly,
with my hands in my pockets.
Let me be free to love later,
despite rejection, despite complication.
Self-love is an aspiration, one I aspire
to. I have borne jealousy but not a child,
will die alone I think. Please, intervene
in my horrid thought, this tired combat
with words and emotions. I am finished
before I began, so many plans
taken up by my mouth.
Regarding the poems above, Steven Gaultney took his inspiration from King Lear; Anya Banerjee, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Malcolm Tariq, from Othello; Diane Mehta, from Hamlet; Will Eno, from The Winter’s Tale; Modesto Flako Jimenez, from Romeo and Juliet; Regie Cabico, from The Taming of the Shrew; Twinkle Burke, from Antony and Cleopatra; Mónica de la Torre, from Macbeth; Jeffrey Sweet, from Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2; Carol Triffle, from Titus Andronicus; Emmy Potter, from Julius Caesar; and Kate Lutzner, from Twelfth Night. Additional heartfelt thanks to Grand Little Things and Sacred Chickens who published “Kent After Lear” and “The Exchange” respectively, in support of this project last year, as well as poets Urayoán Noel and Ricardo Alberto Maldonado who also contributed to this project.
Drew Pisarra
Saint Flashlight Co-Founder

Michael Mc Aloran, excerpt from ‘bone bite snare’

  untitled, acrylic on canvas/ 80 x 100cm/ 03-‘22  Michael Mc Aloran (i) (…it see none sees elsewhere it cannot…blind sees less lesser see...