If your story had a sound, Slushies. What would it be? A rush, a zuzz, a sizzle? David Landon’s “Bach, Onomatopoeia, and the Wreck” triggers a discussion of stories and sounds, and poems that resist narrative closure. Shane Chergosky’s “Headwind” takes us down a different path. Erasures, Slushies. Ammi right? Listen to us puzzle over the way erasures “make it new” and simultaneously obliterate and conjure the from which they’re made. Special note: Jason reads the erasure twice. First as a robot, then as a human. We love both versions– of the poem, and Jason. And if you are hungry for more: take this and this and this.
At the table: Marion Wrenn, Alex Tunney, Kathleen Volk Miller, Jason Schneiderman, Samantha Neugebauer, Larissa Morgano
David is never quite sure whether he is an actor who writes poetry or a poet who acts. And perhaps he can be forgiven his obsession with iambic pentameter: he has done a lifetime of Shakespeare, as an actor (New York, Nashville, and Alabama Festivals), director, and coach. His poetry—all iambic pentameter—has been published in Able Muse (Write Prize, winner), Georgia Review (Williams Prize, featured finalist), Southwest Review (Marr Prize, runner-up), the Dark House, Think Journal, and elsewhere. Officially, he is the Bishop Frank A. Juhan Professor of Theatre Emeritus at Sewanee, the University of the South.
Bach, Onomatopoeia, and the Wreck
For all we knew, it was a random chunk
of interstellar rock, the rear-end crash
that brought us to a halt. Dinner was out,
of course, and the Bach too, I realized,
feeling it in my neck, and standing there
in the rain, examining my totaled car,
the guilty driver soaked, in tears. The cops
were nice enough, did what they had to do
efficiently. The wrecker did show up,
eventually, and we began to cope.
And since it’s now collision story time,
the word I’m hearing in my head is ‘thud’.
There’s ‘clunk’, of course, or ‘jolt’, ‘wham-bang’, or ‘thwack’.
‘Thwack’ has that sudden, can’t-be-happening feel,
as in, “I was just sitting, reading Kant,
when suddenly, inside my head, I felt
this ‘thwack’, and everything went blank.” But no!
The word that truly bongs the knell is ‘thud’,
of impact, ‘thud’, from dice, to hand-grenade,
to asteroid. We need the stupid ‘d’
of ‘doo-doo’, ‘dodo’, ’dude’, or ‘dud’, or ‘dead’.
‘You’re-done-for-d’ is what we’re up against;
you never know when out of nowhere, ‘thud’!
But on the other hand, there’s Bach: the Bach
we missed, the works for cello solo. Bach:
initial ‘b’, a kind of plosive bump,
terminal ‘ch’, a bit of friction in
the throat, but in between the ‘b’ and ‘ch’,
the ‘ah’, release: sustained and open, ‘ah’.
Think of the bow colliding with the string,
a subtle thud, a scrape, and out floats Bach,
genial Bach-analia of dark
and light, a theory of the universe
as music: bang, and then the sarabande,
the minuet, the allemande, the gigue.
Shane Chergosky was born in Minnesota where he was raised on stuffed cabbage and heavy metal. His work has appeared in Pithead Chapel, HASH Journal, Juke Joint, and is forthcoming in Adirondack Review. He holds an MFA from George Mason University and lives in Washington, D.C.
? When I think about the story she told me about that I don’t even wanna hurt the guy. I don’t know if I could meet that person and act normal.
I did that when I was about 20,21. I didn’t go into CVS with Xunaxi to
What a bastard I was
ith what courses I take.Luckily I can only take two (!!!). Maybe a lit course and…an elective? It’d be SO cool to do screen- writing. Finally would have a chance to write that SciFi…I ordered “The Art of Syntax” after Phebe brought it over. I hone stly get so self -conscious talking with her about sentence-level stuff. She’s so smart and her recall is so good (regardless of what she says re: her
I want to
sleep in a crappy hotel and make jokes hold her after we kill a pint of ice cream.
feels right about her, about the way I feel
around her. I want her attention. I want her to pay attention to me. She does! but I don’t know it’s different when you’re with what I have a
with imagining her with her ex, though they’re
I feel like fragments could be a part of my work/th esis . It’d be cool to take a fi nish ed poem of mine, print copies, and do some Christian Hawkey-type process with it /them. The 19th and 20th days had that feel to them because I tore a bit from the top of the page, forcing me to write around the tear. Now, if I had a finished poem, and shot it with a gun, or let an animal chew on I, or let a human chew on it even, the parts that survive
arrative time no time
feeling of the trout throat closing odd breathing but accepting that I have limits I deserve to feel OK, to take a break I’m OK I’m doing everything
I’m afraid of telling her how strong my feelings are I think it wise to simply show her and not ask about sex for a few more months. She said we’re dating and that makes me feel
cane smo oth ed
chard backlogged beggar
t together I guess I’m having a hard time NOT
imagining them together.
How could he treat her that way? I mean no relationship is a cakewalk but like how could someone tell a woman they’ve
with for over a year that they’d rather
riving and make it (home?) on time than stop for a tampon, to let the woman you supposedly
(did he even tell her?) that you’d rather her sit in her own blood, in discomfort and shame than do everything in you r power to relieve her? to actually act? to perform an act of humanity? of care?
sub cu ltur al history. I feel li ke (and I’m probs statin g the obvious) tha gt the n iches of already niche are eras ed by the dominant cu ltur al narrative/
the narrative (s) that are hoisted up by capitalist/ supremacist ideals and/or organizations. I can’t write organ ization without thinking about grant writing
I can, I’m doing a lot. Teach ing is a lot. I’m going to a pply for the fellowship . It’s not that I don’t want to teach, I just want time to focus on my work. I keep feeling its really getting somewhere. A chapbook at the least and a publishabl e one too ! I want it. This semest er is just wearin g
Where only a portion of the whole survives. Then, I could make t he o ther parts appear elsewhere? Maybe it’s too on the nose but I’ve been thinking about the fragmented texts of the Anglo-Saxons
and probs other traditions) in association with incomplete narratives
raging sa tin page paginate vagina labia vulva
contested protest regress transgress
ake Sha kespe are a knight made of feathers stuffed w/ feathers feathers on the doorstep rich lumber in heaps full pools of yellow beer getting warm in the kitchen the glow of the microwave the suran wrap melting on the still-cold lasagna, the color of waiting. Not even a color. Page page again wait know confound botch rip slap chirp girder serve elastic teeth cold
I’m so glad I’m not that way. Maybe I am and do n’t know it until it happens?
thinking about Phebe’s ex reminds me of that, that’s why it
makes me so disgusted
and maybe it’s good that I’m disgusted
to do. But you live and learn. I want to love again and make it right, or do it effectively, the way that makes us both feel whole or more whole/full than empty. I will get an A in grant writing. I will succeed. I know I’ll get an extension and be able to make the internship
I want to
love t o he r real bad she d r ive s me crazy. She’s sensual , and erotic, and real ly
It was a terrible, immature thing
Intelligent ran runaways kept barki ng on. A sub miss ion hold putting entire cities into head -shirt void a void you can buy a void that becomes armor, a subculture, an agreed upon set of val u es in t elli gent li ght s through a crispy gauze of hair swollen blue halo widening behind them like a wedding band. Overblown evening leather charms hanging on the door handle, on the bedpost. Literally thieves war pai nt corps e paint a mouth like a root system spreading, fragmenting branching diverging at both ends a worry squi rrely ratchet odor smolder controller recover withdraw sheath hearth bust bent bruised lashed fixate lack lax creation Bonneville cruiser a loose ruining