{cull}

so wanted to take a moment in the deeper bone to thank readers and writers and crossers and dwellers. since going live mid-November 2017, {isacoustic*} has published 307 poems by 130 contributors. this is not a staying place, but am glad to reside for a moment in a created space. if I am, if we are, selfless in the wrong dream, this at least has kept a recurrent blood.

{isacoustic*} has so far released four volumes of work and has also released Heather Minette’s second book of poetry, Half Light.

holy fuck, said Barton.

some direction:

volume first, January 2018, is available here:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/barton-smock/isacoustic-volume-first/paperback/product-23483920.html

from volume first:

Kelli Allen

Galloping toward the harbor, crown in our pocket

When roots are horses, nothing seeds to fruition.
It is this way with us, too. We pass tasting booths
in Madrid and on the way down, pocket notes
meant for after curtains blunt wide. We leave applesauce
under the bedroom window in exchange for crow
feathers small enough to pick teeth white on purpose.

A landscape boxed is still one doe curled into her buck
and no chorus or apology proves this wrong. Smuggle
the dead into the theatre, wait for the third ovation—
the full moon does not always mean wolf.

Maybe you’ve seen them—the two knots left
on the wrist. Once, we were convinced venom
could be drawn from muscle to tongue to ground. Maybe
you remember the surface red, weeping, your hand
a paw too large against the satin. This is not a story
about impotent death. We have habits and photographs,

sometimes scars, for such embarrassment. I might hum
the notes of how we arrived, in which old boat, backs stiff,
becoming pine, too. Every sail is an eager geometry near wind.
In this murmuration, starlings build parapets from rising jungle
mist and somewhere in the noise, an invitation will fall
into your lap. You will gesture, break every conversation,
tiny bones pillaring beneath first one elbow and then the next

until the throne is cast for you to fall back and fall soft. Look
at the just-closing mouth, the proof slated for a ledger dug-up
and dusted with beetle carcasses meant for next week’s rain.
What will we do with such a king and how will we welcome
you, robes so fresh, a pulse through the moss, into this body?

https://isacoustic.com/2018/01/08/person-kelli-allen-one-poem/

~

volume second, March 2018, is available here:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/barton-smock/isacoustic-volume-second/paperback/product-23543831.html

from volume second:

Sara Moore Wagner

A WAKING IMAGE, AS GRETEL

The rain spills in on us as we sleep
in the backyard, tented. My brother wakes
with a face cotton-soft, button-eyed, cuts
into me as our grandmother
does the most bruised tomatoes.
Says run, but we wait:
sloshing, mermaiding, our hair
and the flowers, the candy
wrappers flood into the yard,
vine. When our father opens
the trailer door he is naked,
his eyes rusted, and we are so wet.
When our father opens
the door he is naked
and will not let us in:
A heavy sigh from the heavy
bed. An uneasy dryness like light.
I remember emptiness, the look of skin,
and so much pillowing rain. My brother, still
a face: The only.

https://isacoustic.com/2018/02/16/person-sara-moore-wagner-three-poems/

~

volume third, April 2018, is available here:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/barton-smock/isacoustic-volume-third/paperback/product-23600773.html

from volume third:

Jon Cone

SLEDS MADE OF BONE

There are iron
moments – how
human it is
to speak –

when one says
to another
I don’t know
& I don’t care.

Birds. A nearby
fountain. Two
homeless kings
at dusk.

https://isacoustic.com/2018/03/07/person-jon-cone-two-poems/

~

volume fourth, July 2018, is available here:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/barton-smock/isacoustic-volume-fourth/paperback/product-23707103.html

from volume fourth:

Triin Paja

October Snow

the women stand for hours and do not
complain. it is the sternness
of a plastic rose, of muted wives
and servants once entombed, alive,
beside husbands and masters, laid down
like silk, gold, a weapon, a language.
it is the way lampposts are valued
as winter fruit that does not rot,
a light that blurs enough
to say shadow, memory, girl.
speech moves in them
like a starling murmuration
before filling a river with
the apple petals of their
photographs. it is a rotting
window-frame barely holding.
it is to believe one’s heart, like a hand,
has furrowed. these women stand,
as horses lash their white manes,
and we say snow, we say austere,
but once I saw a woman collapse
beside nylon stockings, sheaves of dill,
and we hurried, as if she spoke,
as if a bird finally slipped from her,
but only a dog lamented the cold,
snow falling into its opened mouth.

https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/19/person-triin-paja-four-poems/

~

HALF LIGHT

some words for it, my own:

As a child, I told my mother the alphabet was broken after I’d seen it, for the first time, written down. Something about it, there, all in one place. Also, I wouldn’t hold my breath in front of my action figures. I tell you these, here, because it seems necessary to repeat them as is, as summoned, in my reading of Heather Minette’s Half Light. These are poems of ash and glyph. Of men who believe cigarette over bridge and of women who sculpt faces that their own might become unstuck. These are stories, really. Cloaked urgencies. The statuesque inevitable. I saw things in this book and looked from them to see myself, in the mirror, answering a telephone. Minette fashions spirituals for the plainly dressed and has an eye, not only for detail, but for detail’s double. In Half Light, death has only ever happened once, and is resurrection’s safe space. In Half Light, Minette is six years old, nine years old, thirteen years old, and then born knowing age has nowhere to leave its mark. How does one flee exodus? Or record the unnoticed blip of reckoning? How is the firefly not more known for its time spent as darkness? I didn’t read it here, but remembered, while here, that I read, elsewhere…how mail carriers don’t believe in the afterlife. Minette conjures first, responds later. This is a patient language. This, an abbreviated yearning. A father goes from storyteller to jokester because, when laughing, we all weigh the same. If there is mourning, there is also the chance to rename the toothless mermaid identified by her hair. If there is a passing, there is also a poet who knows that loss is, at best, a ghostwriter. Minette knows what she’s doing. To read this book is to haunt its absence.

review of Heather Minette’s Half Light by George Salis:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/20/a-review-of-heather-minettes-half-light-by-george-salis/

review of Heather Minette’s Half Light by Sara Moore Wagner:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/18/sara-moore-wagners-review-of-heather-minettes-half-light/

review of Heather Minette’s Half Light by Crystal Stone:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/07/09/a-review-by-crystal-stone-of-heather-minettes-half-light/

Half Light release announcement ;
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/15/heather-minettes-half-light-release-announcement/

~

ELSEWHERE. SUPPORT.

editors: Barton Smock and those he happens to be talking with
contact/submit: isacousticsubmissions@gmail.com

site: https://isacoustic.com/
facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Isacoustic-192435501303710/
twitter: https://twitter.com/isacousticVOL
instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isacousticvol/

paypal donation link: https://www.paypal.me/BartonSmock or to (bartsmock@gmail.com)

*for donations of 5.00 or more, one will receive a privately self-published work of 60 poems by editor Barton Smock called ~mood piece for baby blur~

~

NOTE:

{isacoustic*} is logistically a one person operation, but does flicker in a few minds outside of its worried body, and (we) do try to pace ourselves to overtake. mailings of volumes and physical mailings of payments are governed by seen forces but do fall solely on my person, and I as such will communicate fully if behind. the printings of the volumes are facilitated via Lulu, and self-published, and are shipped within 5-10 days of the printing, so there are times when the volume mailings may not reach a contributor for a few weeks after they are printed. please don’t hesitate to contact me at isacousticsubmissions@gmail.com with any concerns, inquiries, pep talks.

person Donna Vorreyer, two poems

Donna Vorreyer is the author of the collections Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress, 2013) as well as eight chapbooks, most recently The Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2017).

/\

Crossing State Lines

Insects collect on the windshield, ping as they explode,
death masks splatted in random rows.

Heat lightning blurs the humid air, the glare
of headlights fluttering with their ghosts.

I should sing them all a requiem, herky-jerk
a hallelujah, but I have miles to go. You know.

My own issues. Fever daughter, crater dweller,
creature of the great black hole.

I struggle to name the ache that godzillas its way
through the bright cities of my bones.

Voice tongue-stuck and swollen. Joints locked
in a genuflect. Arriving, I lean against a fender

and stretch, my shadow cast ahead of me
on unfamiliar streets, elongated, erasing the bulk

of me, so much kinder than my reflection. I flinch
as it enters the crosswalk; I call it back like a mother.

/\

What is Left to Write About the Dying

Books full of papery hands,
light as feathers, the way they hover
without a place to land. And all
the crows and ravens, oil-slick
harbingers perched on posts
outside or bedside with a mother
who didn’t complain enough, a father
who tugs the air as if flying a kite
over a fence, its flight a metaphor
for how we all yearn, tethered to place.

For a whole life governed by desire.

In all the books, the sick
are noble, thorny crowns sharp
with suffering. How halos float above
their fevered brows. Pages full
of exhaustion and morphine and
oxygen. And after pouring over
so many volumes, looking for answers,
why do I begin? I have to try –
now the dying are mine.

/\

{belongings}

BONE ANTLER STONE

check out this review by Daniel Paul Marshall of former contributor Tim Miller’s new book, Bone Antler Stone, from High Window Press:

Bone Antler Stone by Tim Miller, a review

check out Bone Antler Stone, here:
Tim Miller: Bone Antler Stone

also, both Daniel Paul Marshall and Tim Miller have work in isacoustic*, here:

Tim Miller
https://isacoustic.com/2018/01/10/143/

Daniel Paul Marshall
https://isacoustic.com/2018/01/09/person-daniel-paul-marshall-three-poems/

~

THIS BEING DONE

former contributor Stephanie L. Harper has a new book available, This Being Done, from Finishing Line Press:
https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/this-being-done-by-stephanie-l-harper/

also, check out Stephanie L. Harper’s work in isacoustic*, here:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/05/02/person-stephanie-l-harper-two-poems/

~

NEPOTISM

my daughter, Mary Ann Smock, has written several pieces for The Mighty, and this is her latest:

https://themighty.com/2018/06/growing-up-with-a-sibling-disability-vici-syndrome/

~

ELSE

volume fourth of {isacoustic*}, July 2018, is available here:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/barton-smock/isacoustic-volume-fourth/paperback/product-23707103.html

also:

review of Heather Minette’s Half Light by George Salis:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/20/a-review-of-heather-minettes-half-light-by-george-salis/

review of Heather Minette’s Half Light by Sara Moore Wagner:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/18/sara-moore-wagners-review-of-heather-minettes-half-light/

review of Heather Minette’s Half Light by Crystal Stone:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/07/09/a-review-by-crystal-stone-of-heather-minettes-half-light/

Half Light release announcement ;
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/15/heather-minettes-half-light-release-announcement/

person Suzanne Edison, one poem

Suzanne Edison is the author of The Moth Eaten World, published by Finishing Line Press. Some of her poems can be found in: Persimmon Tree: About Place Journal: Rewilding issue; Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine; JAMA; SWWIM; What Rough Beast; Bombay Gin; The Naugatuck River Review; The Ekphrastic Review; and in the anthologies: Face to Face: Women Writers on Faith, Mysticism and Awakening, ed. Joy Harjo & Brenda Peterson; & The Healing Art of Writing, Volume One. She lives in Seattle with her family and two cats under an ever-changing sky.

~ ~ ~

Sick Girl in the Wilderness

My mother’s evergreen face,
the one she puts on
before entering my room,
is the only God I know.

Let me be enraptured
in her fan-shaped branches,
let them cool my braised skin,
its geysering heat.

Let her outlast the black bear
eating me with its singular purpose,
as if I’m dug up grubs
burrowed in a crumbling log.

I dream she’s a novice
shaman chanting incantations,
conjuring the vials of pills
to exorcise my illness.

Let her be a snowy cloak,
and I, an ermine in winter
disappearing into her
calm and bright.

Dear Lord, let me be a whiteout.
Even now when hope muddles
the air, wringing me
with its exhausting tune,

let mother be the solace
of fog in the sequoias, and shroud
my addled body. Let her
make for me a place:

a cornucopia of quiet and space,
fissured with light, to hold me
like a red-capped mushroom in duff,
as I dream, like spores, of letting go.

~ ~ ~

{things for capture}

UPDATE

A slight change to submission guidelines, here:

https://isacoustic.com/about/

~

DIRECTION

in Ohio poetry news, something you should know is that poet Ruth Awad just won the 2018 Ohioana Book Award (poetry) for Set to Music a Wildfire

I had some words for it, here, and still mean them:

https://isacoustic.com/2017/11/14/review-set-to-music-a-wildfire-poems-ruth-awad/

~

RECENT

CONTRIBUTORS, volume fifth (to print late August, early September 2018):

Amy Soricelli
https://isacoustic.com/2018/07/09/person-amy-soricelli-one-poem/

Kristin Garth
https://isacoustic.com/2018/07/09/person-kristin-garth-one-poem/

Kat Giordano
https://isacoustic.com/2018/07/09/person-kat-giordano-three-poems/

Nadia Wolnisty
https://isacoustic.com/2018/07/10/person-nadia-wolnisty-three-poems/

Rebecca Kokitus
https://isacoustic.com/2018/07/10/person-rebecca-kokitus-one-poem/

Cathryn Shea
https://isacoustic.com/2018/07/11/person-cathryn-shea-one-poem/

James Diaz
https://isacoustic.com/2018/07/12/person-james-diaz-one-poem/

Alicia Cole
https://isacoustic.com/2018/07/12/person-alicia-cole-two-poems/

~

On Heather Minette’s HALF LIGHT

review by George Salis:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/20/a-review-of-heather-minettes-half-light-by-george-salis/

review by Sara Moore Wagner:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/18/sara-moore-wagners-review-of-heather-minettes-half-light/

review by Crystal Stone:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/07/09/a-review-by-crystal-stone-of-heather-minettes-half-light/

Half Light release announcement ;
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/15/heather-minettes-half-light-release-announcement/

~

INFO, SUPPORT

editors: Barton Smock and those he happens to be talking with
contact/submit: isacousticsubmissions@gmail.com
facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Isacoustic-192435501303710/
twitter: https://twitter.com/isacousticVOL
instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isacousticvol/

paypal donation link: https://www.paypal.me/BartonSmock or to (bartsmock@gmail.com)

*for donations of 5.00 or more, one will receive a privately self-published work of 60 poems by editor Barton Smock called ~mood piece for baby blur~

~

RECENT REFLECTIONS

on Silver Road by Kazim Ali:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/29/silver-road-essays-maps-calligraphies-kazim-ali/

on What Is Not Beautiful by Adeeba Shahid Talukder:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/21/what-is-not-beautiful-poems-adeeba-shahid-talukder/

on Where Wind Meets Wing by Anthony Frame:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/08/where-wind-meets-wing-poems-anthony-frame/

on Phantom Tongue by Steven Sanchez:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/05/30/phantom-tongue-poems-steven-sanchez/

on Bad Anatomy by Hannah Cohen:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/05/25/bad-anatomy-poems-hannah-cohen/

on KNOCK by Melissa Atkinson Mercer:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/05/23/knock-poems-melissa-atkinson-mercer/

on Unmark by Montreux Rotholtz:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/05/15/unmark-poems-montreux-rotholtz/

on The People’s Elbow by Rax King:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/05/14/the-peoples-elbow-recitatives-rax-king/

on What Bodies Have I Moved by Chelsea Dingman:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/05/11/what-bodies-have-i-moved-poems-chelsea-dingman/

~

AVAILABLE volumes

first
http://www.lulu.com/shop/barton-smock/isacoustic-volume-first/paperback/product-23483920.html

second
http://www.lulu.com/shop/barton-smock/isacoustic-volume-second/paperback/product-23543831.html

third
http://www.lulu.com/shop/barton-smock/isacoustic-volume-third/paperback/product-23600773.html

fourth
http://www.lulu.com/shop/barton-smock/isacoustic-volume-fourth/paperback/product-23707103.html

person Alicia Cole, two poems

Alicia Cole is a writer and artist in Huntsville, AL. She’s the editor of Priestess & Hierophant Press. Her work has recently appeared in TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics, concis, Atlas and Alice, and Split Lip Magazine, among other publications. She is forthcoming in Witches & Pagans and NILVX.

*The following works were written on residency at SAFTA”s Firefly Farms, Writer’s Coop, in Knoxville, TN.

~~~

The Goat

The trash man pauses as he drives by,
my red jacket slick with light rain.
He can see me and this is good for you
can tell that he’s worried, but we see
each other and we pass. And this is also
good. The goat has already run by me
in the joy of the late morning, almost
in a panic, for isn’t joy a panic? I make
coffee for myself, the first time in months
I’ve made coffee. My husband does
everything for me. I’m ill and coming
out of illness and illness is my tired,
ratty blanket. I’d like to give my blanket
to the goat and let her lay on it; maybe
she will make joy from our mutual panic,
her brown flank, her bright eyes.
Why do we say animal eyes are bright?
Are they sometimes dull? Are they
sometimes like ours, crying to God
and unseeing? The coffee is good, but
the mug is too hot, and I scramble to begin.
Look, all this day will be a long
climb through the turf of the grazing
grounds, the sheep with their soft muzzles
bent down. I will take off my jacket,
to not call caution, to sit and invite.

~~

Marriage

The difference between the dead moth,
the one plastered to the pane, its wings
spread, and the live moth is the difference
between our mouths parted, the way
we kneel, the way we look, the way we smile,
always the other smile, the hidden smile,
and the way we looked like dead things
flat against the glass when we put on gold
rings and wondered: what is it like to look
at the living, and have we finally arrived?

~

person James Diaz, one poem

James Diaz is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (2018) and founding Editor of the Literary Arts & Music mag Anti-Heroin Chic. His work can be found in Occulum, Bone & Ink Press, Moonchild Magazine and Philosophical Idiot. He lives in upstate New York.

+

Oh Friend,

I am a banshee wailer
I am small details
the rain makes blurs of
each important little word
I meant to say
but instead
I am the silent type
sits in his suffering for days
and days

I want to wipe your slate clean
with my dirty hands
but what good am I at brand new starts
days linger on
and each beat
is faster than you’d expect
a heart to be
tearing its weird sister fingers
into your hollow neck line
the gas trace of stars
collecting in our bones

I make a soup of loss
and spoon feed the moon
in your lap, see, I love you
even when you disappear
I pick up the trail behind the 7-11
I go on foot
follow you there
just behind the southbound hurting tree
I come prepared
for you

and every wound
you own
is beautiful
to me.

++