22 February 2006

Featured Poet: William Allegrezza, Part 2

Editor's Note: This is the sequel to last week's posting. With all the talk of electronic poetry and its possibilities floating around listservs and the blogosphere, etc., William Allegrezza was generous enough to allow the following poems to be posted on Seven Corners. Enjoy! Be sure to check out William's blog and his online journal, moria. Also, these poems were meant for a white background which has caused some formatting/font difficulties in Blogger.

Copyright © 2006 William Allegrezza and Seven Corners

16 February 2006

Featured Poet: William Allegrezza, Part 1

William Allegrezza teaches and writes from his base in Chicago. His poems, articles, and reviews have been published in several countries, including the U.S., Holland, Finland, the Czech Republic, and Australia, and are available in many online journals. Also, he is the editor of moria, a journal dedicated to experimental poetry and poetics, and the editor-in-chief of Cracked Slab Books. His e-book/books include Covering Over, The Vicious Bunny Translations, Lingo, Temporal Nomads, and Ladders in July.

seeking hades again

though some dream leap i find myself watching

cars people
 villages  trees  life
    aid    juries

and somewhere below a bell cord
is being pulled and shadows
         are gathering
   before a pit
   where i should
   be seeking answers.

it aches grease

the journey begins when
you leave stormy waters
and give up hold of the shore

“i have no longing
to be trapped under
clouds in storm”

still divided
  for something to
  clutch as the helm
  goes wild
  and lightning
  flashes on peaks
  turned white

in trusting the drift
one must be prepared for
destruction at sea.

heart’s lake

to be distracted through so many days the
hour as if not even alive
“stories of innocence violated pile up”
and cause the ultimate questions

our survival relies on such

i would rename these deeds to make them disappear
but i cannot force myself
  to turn eyes
  from flame even though
  i go blind.


we watch the wind
tear us to shreds
 nowhere does a
 man listen

in compromise they
fired the shots at me

 the legality of it
 is humorous

in replacing the tide
they knew where to find you.

Copyright © 2006 William Allegrezza

09 February 2006

Featured Poet: Robert Archambeau

Robert Archambeau is a poet and professor who resides in Highland Park, Illinois, north of Chicago. His first full-length collection of poems, Home and Variations, was published by Salt in 2004. Wild Honey Press also published two chapbooks: Citation Suite, poems, and Another Ireland, an essay on experimental Irish poetry, in 1997. Robert teaches at Lake Forest College and is the mastermind behind Samizdat Blog.

Léon Theremin

Called Léon, a Leonardo
Léon Theremin, 1896-1993
St. Petersburg and Paris, New York and Butyrka

Called Léon, a Leonardo: wireless, his métier,
Called Léon, not Lev Sergeyevich, not Termen in gay Paris.

The sharashka Leonardo, without the Medici,
Without a Ferdinando, but once this: RCA.

*Or stop, and try another way. From the beginning—

So came the Revolution,
his dreams were more than méchanique:

See, they play like Russian peasants with clumsy saws and tree-trunks,
They scrape their deadwood violins.

So came the Revolution (his patrón). And he'd explain:
See the conductor. You'll play like that.

The conductor simply moves his hands.

*Moscow, the great conductor plays:

I brought my apparatus and set it up in his large office in the Kremlin. He was not yet there because he was in a meeting. I waited with Fotiva, his secretary, who was a good pianist, a graduate of the conservatory. She said that a little piano would be brought into the office, and that she would accompany me on the music that I would play. So we prepared, and about an hour and a half later Vladimir Ilyich Lenin came with those people with whom he had been in conference in the Kremlin. He was very gracious; I was very pleased to meet him, and then I showed him the signaling system of my instrument, which I played by moving my hands in the air, and which was called at that time the Thereminvox. I played. Then they applauded, even Vladimir Ilyich, who had been watching very attentively. I'd played Glinka's "Skylark", which he loved very much, and Vladimir Ilyich said, after all this applause, that I should show him, and he would try to play it himself. He stood up, moved to the instrument, stretched his hands out, left and right: right to the pitch and left to the volume. I took his hands from behind and helped him. He started to play "Skylark." He had a very good ear…

*And then.

Paris, Varèse: He's Theremin, and plays
The Thereminovox. Was Terminvoska at the Institute, and then

The Heterophonic Box. But now, for all of vrai Paris,
for tout le monde de la rive gauche, he'd play.

There were no handles and no keyboard.
He waved his hands. Like that.

Conductor to the future,

And no patrón.

*And stop. Digress at Europe's wonder,

D.E. Ravalico, Prodigi e Misteri delle Radio-Onde, Bompiani, Milano, 1934:

A small metal rod protrudes from the top of the music stand, from which there is another metal coil extending on the side. On the music stand itself, which is connected to the power supply for illumination, rests the music score. The conductor moves near and, having set off a switch, begins to wave his arms, as if conducting. Immediately, sounds begin flowing out from a speaker pointed in the direction of the audience. I certainly hope that the reader doesn’t think, even for a minute, that I would let any farfetched fantasies flow from my pen. It’s actually the invention, realized very practically, of a Russian technician, Léon Theremin. He lives in America…


In New York, he sees the future, Americain, he'd make it real:
A wireless orchestra plays Carnegie Hall.

A studio at RCA, the Rhythmicon, its bells.
In New York, they see him working. They see they'd make it sell.

He works, they pay,
his new patróns. Einstein comes to see.

Elsewhere, a conductor simply moves his hands.

*Moscow to Siberia, Termen from Theremin, returned.

Arrived, the locomotive paws the track,
Deep-chested, bellowing. Its whistle plays

No “Skylark,”
And Termin's back from old New York —

Not by his choice.
(A New York night, the KGB,

they take him by the hands.
Like that).

The train conductor slams the boxcar door
And waves them off.

No one guides his burly hands,
And this conductor's dreams are méchanique.


So came Butyrka, where the future's built
From souls of broken men. And then

For coal, so came Kolyma, sent there, with Tupolev.
A great conductor squats in Moscow,

Orders gulags,
Orders praise.

So came the inner exile.
The great conductor’d guide his hands —

This steel patrón,
this Kremlin mountaineer —

And move them, left and right.
He made a very good ear:

A bug of this nature was embedded in a wooden plaque,
Given by schoolchildren to the American ambassador,

Where it hung in his office until detected, decades on.

*And decades on.

Once he'd dreamed a future, dreamed avant,
A wireless orchestra played Carnegie Hall.

He hadn't dreamed in years.
They'd let me leave, and use a room.

The university. The officials did not consider music
A science, and everything was dismantled.

Dismantled, he. And decades on.
The great conductors laid the old thing down.

He dreamed no future, no more dreamed avant.

*And stop.

They take his hands.
They guide him to the podium

They help him stand.

After the end, and California, 1991. No conductor
Planned this future (Americans: they saw and made it sell).

He is very gracious. They are very pleased.
He smiles from beyond his dream. Like that.

*Or try another way—

Called Léon, a Leondardo: wireless, his métier,
Called Léon, not Lev Sergeyevich, not Termen in gay Paris.
The sharashka Leonardo, without the Medici,
Without a Ferdinando, but once this: RCA.

Copyright © 2006 Robert Archambeau and Seven Corners

01 February 2006

Featured Poet: Kristy Odelius

Kristy Odelius Photo by: Joel Blair Posted by Picasa

Kristy O is a poet and Assistant Professor of English at North Park University. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Chicago Review, Notre Dame Review, ACM, and diagram. She loves her cat and wide warm water.


The virgins of Chicago

work nights at "Federal Screw
Products." They like welding,
sweating and wearing
gray aprons.

"I can't feel anything,"
I sigh as the elevator rises.
The meta-galaxy slips
like a ring on my finger,
a parenthesis squeezing the night
in towards morning.

They rest in the caliper,
thinking about tree
trunks, project their
cool measure, summon
the helicopter.

The sky pales, a weird ochre.
All yellow, I'm flying an octave
below the shareholders. It's
always the same. I remember
their names. I can't see their faces,
I can't read their folders.

Poet's Note: "The virgins of Chicago" is part of a longer series of poems all with the same title--"The virgins of Chicago."

A Breath Catalogue

Allegedly, breath
clocks downward,

edged from gasoline
hovering into jackets, jars.

Knock lower? Make noise?

O pantworthy quests
roaming small
towers, tell us!

Utterance. Vow. Wind.
XXX. Your yellow
zones, alledgedly.


Poet's Note: "A Breath Catalogue" is an abecedarian which represents my love of writing in form, my affection for rules and restrictions of all kinds. It's also a very different treatment of "breath."

No Breath Found
no thought no breath no eyes no heart no breath in the bellows no body beside you no breath of fresh air for manufacturer phillip inman the day is empty no one needs you seven are squatters in two different worlds hog’s breath is better than no breath at all and when I beheld lo the sinews and the flesh came up upon them and the skin covered them above but there was no breath in them as far as I can see there is little real justification for what we do here there was no breath left in him red heart yarn red hot no breath strips provide a clean mouth feeling on-the-go tao of breath no dog breath unfortunately no one can really smell their own breath whale calves do not exhibit bad breath because they have no need to feed themselves and don’t have to dive deeply thanks no it doesn’t hurt to breathe just sore to lay on or touch sneezing coughing wheezing nose itching no match for breath sorry breath is not in the dictionary cough? no yes no yes yes copius sputum? no yes no yes possible pallor? no no yes no no shortness of breath difficult labored breathing

Thoughts of Falling, Pollen, Pare
after Sappho
When champion-bred
leaves lie splayed
like minimum wage
sin, when sleep,
a raincoat czar,
spreads its liquid
hands thin, I'll say
not on: your life, your daddy's knee, a new knife blade.
Try, swim the brackish margin
between holy and hole, the ocean's
backstitched locomotion loosely
recites "no, there's no such
night in prosaic blood" nodding
its great nose toward the
mollusky dance-floor.
And if honey leaks from
eyes bent to breezes,
eyes like peach
pits, fragrant and useless
let the blooming dreamers
over their shadows
toward the gray scrimmage
the czar disappears into
the rain's rumpled plumage
my heart's gong-bruised knees
buckling through branches.
It's bee-spit
that blows me
I admit
and you

"It's curtains, ars poetica"
Is this why I stand at my oeil-de-boeuf,
blowing sugar bubbles at that guy
in the snazzy black hood?
Nipples and waffles rustle
a mean last week, ruffle
the constellations oar-locked
along our shower curtain.
A falling,
my heart,
a crocus stalls
at dawn.
Street noise adjusts
its head, tumbled
among the oak leaves.
At home in the bushes, thimble-
berries fill, advance a plump sortie.
O thermostat!
Preside like a priest
over our mouths,
Somewhere, an offhanded window
winks from a sea-drowned cabin.
On the dock, faded paint
suggests "submerged rock."
Underwater, you there, you hear?

Editor's Note: "Thoughts of Falling, Pollen, Pare" and "It's Curtains, ars poetica" were previously published in Chicago Review 50:2/3/4 Winter 2004/5. They are reprinted here with the author's permission.
Editor's Note: Some projective elements of these poems have been lost to left alignment. If anyone can tell me how to format text more precisely in Blogger, the information would be appreciated.
All work copyright © 2006 Kristy Odelius and Seven Corners