{ Build Yourself A Boat ~ poems ~ Camonghne Felix }

Build Yourself A Boat
Camonghne Felix
Haymarket Books, 2019


I didn’t know art could do this. Do these. As in, I didn’t know a vision could project itself as singular and, with that projection, distract its own shape long enough to give periphery a stomach. Camonghne Felix is an asker and a teller. A thinker one rethinks so that one might get the chance to pose the same question a second time. How was fire born? Fire was born plural. Is nostalgia real? The aftermath of origin is real. Can you describe embodiment? Description is alone; description cannot swim.

Not my answers. Build Yourself A Boat is a book that marks its words and comes back for them.


reflection by Barton Smock


book is here:

Ceremony of Sand ~ poems ~ Rodney Gomez

Ceremony of Sand
poems – Rodney Gomez
YesYes Books, 2019


On earth, an angel begins to limp. And a demon sees what imagery cannot. And a church is made for the bell of unstruck awe. And the poems of Rodney Gomez enter the collection Ceremony of Sand to be washed of their stillness. Transformation is not a crossing, here, and Gomez knows, borderlands or brief heavens, one cannot call it art if it’s just a mirror with an off-switch. Nor can one call it map if it serves merely as a marker for where the mirror works. I love the sound of these poems, and what their speaker does with hearing. These seem scenes captured once by an eye keeping secrets for the ear. This care, this hand, a stopwatch doubling midnight beneath a wig going bald. This ceremony, this anti-rehearsal, a bright and sobering exploration of how easily uncovered one can become when separation is used as a means to dress witness in invisible greys. The dream: the one where I am waiting at the bottom of a small hill for the head of god. Dream I roll from. To mean: Bless this work its escape and bless the skeletal forms herein that tally transference. The dream: the one where language has two lovers and loses them both to an absence that has recently left departure. To mean: this language is alone.


reflection by Barton Smock


book is here:

YesYes Books website:

facebook page:

The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded ~ poems ~ Molly McCully Brown

The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded
poems, Molly McCully Brown
Persea Books, 2017


As a child, I worried that if those around me lived longer and longer, and that if those I didn’t know remained healthy, then the ghosts I so badly wanted to see would get lonely. Or, as a child, I worried about ghosts. I mention this, here, as I’ve recently read Molly McCully Brown’s The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded, a firsthand recreation that doubles origin, and any actual age seems now an exit for distance. These poems, patient and unsparing, do not give voice to, nor take voice from, but instead listen so accurately as to safely carry sound in its ear-shaped cradle from the ruins of its temporary past while opening for touch its unreachable window. Thankful and serious, this narrative drowning, this new air, is an act of rehomed balance and of outside faith. Brown is a caller, a clearer of place, and honors not only the accidental locale, but also the toll such calling takes on the summoned. What a held note. What brutal kindness.


reflection by Barton Smock


book is here:

{ 3/11/19 }

3/11/19 NOTE:

am placing submissions on hold, point forward, for the moment as I step away from this endeavor for a month or two in order to get caught up in general, and to get previous volumes mailed while compiling volume sixth.

upon returning, there will be some changes to what {isacoustic*} puts into the world, and to how it goes about doing so.




person Jules Elleo, one poem

Jules Elleo is working on his first full-length manuscript of poems in Brussels, Belgium.


Last Miles to the Highway

A landscape dresses in a yellow-green rhapsody.
Memories of salt as spring settles in,
but splashes of snow remain
on the side of the road.
Such miraculous mutiny.

The earth no longer holds her breath.
Clouds and cattle leave the ground
on their slow march uphill
to the point where wind turbines change
the shape of the horizon.

Eyes like black birds
extract diamond dust
from forsaken sheaves.
Ancient hectares – bold, bellied, vital.
we must take it all in.

A family of four carries sacks and logs
house to house on a donkey-drawn cart.
Their story is yet to be written.
A group of men in silent overalls
is waiting by the curb. A local farmer,
mason or carpenter
has yet to give meaning to their limbs.

Have you seen that lonely tree
tethered to a horse?
How its branches reexamine the poetry
of a pelican landing
on the Danube delta?

I slow down the car and pray
for the engine to die.
Bucharest can wait. Bucharest
& her neons & her asphalt & her lights.
A savage symmetry
we call progress.

Tell me:
how can I ever be
my mother’s son again
when here, at land’s end,
I am my own gospel?


person GJ Hart, one poem

GJ Hart currently lives and works in London and has had stories published in The Molotov Cocktail, The Jersey Devil Press, The Harpoon Review and others. He can be found arguing with himself over @gj_hart.


Where No Meaning Lives

Weight – I longed only
For levity, had no wish
For my unplanned act
To become
Like sacrament,
But steady hymns
Of wind And the slow
Drawing on
Of winter’s vestures
Made it seem so.

Tall, my father,
With fingers thick
As hickory shanks,
I bore him now in a box
Smaller than an infant,
Quietly past the ruined abbey
And down to the peat
Black river, its oils and chromes
Idling as if paused
For me.

Busy village
Of clod
And colour, I joined
Crowds of phlox,
Watched the banks
Musterings beneath limbs
Taught and cast and hauled
Whisky from my pocket –
His drink, preferring its flickering
Heart to wine’s
Stuck blood

I toasted the day’s filament,
Its carving deck,
Its pistons sweeping
At the black ash wire,
And as water’s
Doors opened,
I lifted you light as sand
Cleared hours into lake’s
Train and waved until
My goodbyes
Closed at the line.


person Lee Patterson, one poem

Lee Patterson is a poet living in the northeast.


a dialect, a draw

you let ohio keep its fireflies so they can see their lovers’ skin even as the power flickers. I watch a deer with a bum leg hobble across one of the dakotas. somehow, georgia got most of new hampshire sunburnt while colorado drunkenly stumbled across a time zone no one’s ever heard of before. I drove through alabama once & was asked to never do it again. mississippi is one large billboard with a plastic fetus glued to it. I am always reaching for a new pack of cigarettes. the midwest is tornado’s tomorrow. look up. every cloud is a boombox held over my head. look around. you can find wilderness everywhere. or is it anywhere? is anywhere everywhere if the sun eventually finds it? the clock blinks eights. the bathroom smells like green soap. a sticky note on my computer screen reads a bomb is falling & I know exactly where.