..:: CONTENTS ::..

..:: POETRY ::..
David H. Horton
  5 Poems from Found Material Given by Dan Godston
Sara Wintz
  [Insurers, reinsur I saw...]
  [(July 20, letter correspondence]
  Wildfires; California
  Footsteps. Movement.
  [(One light on in the top window]
Thierry Brunet
Vernon Frazer
  Delayed Deliverance Relayed
Chris Stroffolino
  Condo Billboard Stand-Up Song Poem Helpmate Manifesto 
Benjamin Perez
  massacre lite
Teresa K. Miller
from in, Still, mooring
  [Lead dust in the leaden drawers]
  [Set goal sets motion to motion]
  [A want wants that belies wanting]
  [Appearing in the man/time, the places]
Stephen Ratcliffe

..:: PROSE ::..
Sheheryar Badar Sheikh
  -struck life
Michael Frissore
  The Jay Mohr Hater
Chris Allen Clark
  A Fight in the Bloody Angle While I Do Dishes
Paul Kavanagh

..:: OTHER ::..
Amy Papaelias & Jaanika Peerna
from Sonotype
  [Character: W; Font: Amy; Style: Angry Voice]
  [Character: B; Font: Jaanika; Style: Angry Voice]
  [Character: H; Font: Amy; Style: Angry Voice]
  [Character: H; Font: Jaanika; Style: Angry Voice]
  [Character: Y; Font: Jaanika; Style: Normal Voice]
  [Character: I; Font: Amy; Style: Happy Voice]
  [Character: I; Font: Jaanika; Style: Happy Voice]
  [Character: I; Font: Amy; Style: Angry Voice]
Ira Joel Haber
  Collage 8
  Collage 14
  Collage 15a
  Collage 23
  Collage 24
Dillon Westbrook

..:: INTERVIEW ::..
Jacob Eichert/Chris Stroffolino
  Interview with Chris Stroffolino,
  August 06/January 07

..:: REVIEW ::..
J.D. Mitchell-Lumsden
  Jackson Mac Low, Doings: Assorted Performance Pieces, 1955-2002
Corey Johnson
  Russell Edson, The Rooster’s Wife
Jeffrey Schrader
  Stephen Ratcliffe, REAL
Chad Lietz
  Benjamin L. Perez, The Evil Queen: A Pornolexicology

..:: ETC ::..
  Contributor's Notes

..:: ARCHIVES ::..
  Volume I, Issue I
  Volume I, Issue II
  Volume II, Issue I
  Volume II, Issue II


Russell Edson, The Rooster's Wife
(BOA Editions, Ltd., 2005)
Corey Johnson


Doors are meant for closing, right? Yes, and the screws, for screwing. Agreed, screws for screwing. But what of the hinges? The knobs? None of it matters if we don't close the door…

Rip it from the hinges, let the winds move in. And child, it's a strange wind tonight. A knowing wink may be mistaken for a nervous tic, or vice versa. On the mantle a candle is extinguished and a ragdoll has taken up the wick, its hair turned to fire; they exchange insurance information. This is the Great Collide. While we lose something in the handoff—someone good with numbers, most likely: an accountant? an actuary?—we gain a second shadow to do with as we please.

To make it in this new world, you're going to need a copy of the Bible and The Rooster's Wife. Bible optional. This is a place of our own making, consequences no more damning than the original decisions. The Rooster's Wife is a lessonbook in responsibility/accountability. "Now that each stair is whacking you back, breaking your calcium tree, you would have thought then to have walked more carefully…" ("The Way")

Consider it a cruel father of a reading. Whereas earlier Edsons often found their central character caught in some unsuspecting, often surreal situation, 2005 finds them trapped in a box of their own folding. Sometimes, they marry that box—after habitual opening and closing of a box, the son is confronted by his father:

         "…His father said, Why don't you get married so you don't have to be doing that with that box?
          But I am married, this is my wife, said the man.
          Congratulations, said his father, But why didn't you tell us you were married?
          Because I thought you might be a little disappointed that I didn't marry the girl next-door, said the man.
          But there's no girl living next-door, said his father.
          I know, that's why I didn't marry her. I hope you're not disappointed.
          Not at all, said his father, It's just that box is a little disappointing…

We should all live life by such hard edges. Things don't seem to spill on their own, as in previous Edson works. Everything is nicely contained, until we begin playing with the scales, we begin scratching at the paint. In The Rooster's Wife, a man plays a violin too hard and is left with "hands full of kindling and gut"; the Jacks from children's rhymes (Horner, Sprat, et al.) have been left behind only to drink and reminisce; and an old man has broken his cane and brought it to Doctor for repair. The punchline? "My wife, said the old man, Her head is uncommonly hard…"

Cause and effect, cause and effect. Here it's boiled down more than ever. Perhaps with good reason. This isn't Edson sailing through uncharted territory, this is Edson responding to our current situation. The prose-poems in The Rooster's Wife are blunt, lessons harsh. It couldn't be more American or more appropriate. A country awash in its actions of the last two terms continues to sink in its own unsettling consequences (we've already faced its absurdity). And we can say we told you so, even while we're busy picking up the mess. Suck it up, America. We're no longer the Hollywood of the World. Happy endings have found a new home, but we're still getting their mail. Oooh, look, a copy of Maxim.

They took the mirror but they left us with The Rooster's Wife. So let's take a look, see what we've got. A home with clean corners and dusty centers. Skeletons wearing flesh costumes. Masturbation as respected an institution as marriage. It's not that things aren't what they seem; they're simply more than they seem. Edson's wor(l)d is one of extended shadows. Back to back cul-de-sacs. Try as you might, there will always be a remainder. No erasing will undo it.

So go ahead, hammer away the once-accepted shape of things. Build yourself a steel drum only you can play. We're going to need a soundtrack in the new world. A land where sex organs are treated as they should be: playthings. Not as oddities locked in a curio cabinet. Science and experience may want to shed light on the subject, but some things are best left to the dark. Anyone who's surely been to the farthest reaches of the human body understands this. Edson reached the edge of the map, and rather than returning with news of civilization, or instilling fear with the rumor of monsters or dropoffs, he penciled in the call to arms: "Here There Be Wonders."

And last we knew, strange winds still fill sails.


//   Advance   //