Monthly Archives: October 2013

RIP Geoffrey Chaucer and Flashback Friday is back!

Geoffrey Chaucer died on October 25th 1400….he’s known as the father of English Literature and the Canterbury Tales was one of the first pieces of literature that kick-started a passion in the written word for The Idiom.

Reading the Canterbury Tales in high school and especially the Miller’s Tale with the big ending scene of Absolon asking for a kiss from Alisoun and she, sticking her arse out the window, made me realize that we’re all a little bit messed up and enjoy a good dirty story no matter what century we are in….

Here’s a picture of Chaucer with his copy of Tollbooth published by Piscataway House Publications obviously a major influence on many of his works and must have been proud of such characters as Sarah, Kid with Clownhead, and Jimmy Saare….

Chaucer and the Idiom

Chaucer about to relax with our novel Tollbooth

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Taking over Radio Shows, Literary Festivals, and new issues are out….

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The Idiom Magazine and Piscataway House Publications was at the Frostburg Indie Lit Fesitval last weekend.  Above was our table with full PHP layout and below is the interactive cover of the new issue drawn by Jenny Mustaches…

Idiom Cover

The Interactive Idiom Cover at the 2013 Frostburg Indie Lit Festival

I (Mark Brunetti) also substitute hosted the Unknown Shown which is usually run by Bud Smith….It was a great time we had Josh Ballard, Ink, Keith Baird, Deborah LaVeglia, and Jenny and Daimon come on and talk about all the things they do….you can listen to it here

The New Issue of the Idiom is out and I will be publishing it on The Idiom Website some time tonight so keep an eye out for it….and over the next few weeks I will be blogging about some of the selections I have picked for this issue….Tommorrow night is my birthday so I will be celebrating at the Soundwaves show at the Asbury Park Yacht Club on the boardwalk…so come on out, get some idioms, and have discussions with me about the future….

Bone Dancers Drink….

Bone Dancers Drink   is the first and last line in Jeffrey Grassley’s poem Seen from the Current Issue of The Idiom Magazine

the rest of the piece has just as many great one liners and images throughout and reads really well out loud.  It’s a great homage to Bukowski and his attitude that writers shouldn’t try to write like him is something I wish more writers would learn.  “And too often we multiply ourselves / by our tragedies” is a great statement and a thought I’ve been contemplating about myself and the people around me….

Being Able to Touch is a tighter poem but flows just as easily as the last one.

“teacher

of cadence, an education
in bad prophecy– project
and convince them, that yes,
i speak of, electricity
static-cling shockwaves on skin
beneath warming sheets
and little space– ghost stories,
we told too many war stories,”

His internal rhymes are magnificent without being obvious or sing-songy.  Again his images surprise me as I approach each line and although I can’t make an immediate connection to them by the end of the poem I am satisfied.

Here’s his bio that he sent me and you should check out his chapbook if ya like his stuff:

-Jeffrey Graessley lives in La Puente, CA. His poems can be found in the upcoming volumes of Emerge Literary Journal and RCC MUSE Magazine. His first chapbook, Her Blue Dress is due out sometime in September (Silver Birch Press, 2013). His recent discovery of the BEAT generation has prompted loving and longing thoughts for that simple, drunken, far-gone time in American history.

James Duncan and his use of the absurd….

You can see James Duncan’s poems in the current issue. I couldn’t link it from my ipad so here’s the address:
http://theidiommag.com/idiom%20sites/idiommagazine.html

I like when things don’t make sense. I especially like when people get angry about things that don’t make sense. In James Duncan’s poem No Sunday Delivery we have a narrator who’s mad cause someone stole his mailbox….but the anger seems unwarranted if this is taking place on a Sunday when things don’t get delivered anyways….

I like how everything seems to reference every other image in the piece….the birds in flight connect with the crying babies because I think of a stork who delivers babies and the stamps for sunlight remind me of a fresh begging and of course the play on the word stamps as a verb and the currency we use to mail things….I’m not quite sure what this piece is about but having everything reference each other and a few unstable spacings around the piece give me some kind of poetic pleasure….

James’s other poem in the issue, Waiting for the Artist to Arrive Is a little more concrete and narrative. It’s a kind of ars poetica and celebrates the similarities of hanging out in Astoria and an Edward Hopper scene of people doing there daily routine and sometimes that quick glimpse into a brief moment of someone’s life.

I don’t know Manhattan well enough (does anyone really?) to know if they would actually line around the block “to catch a glimpse at that thousand word painting of checkerboard broken windows” but considering the state of reality television today he may not be too far off…

Imaginary Buildings in Invisible Cities perhaps?

In the Current Issue of The Idiom Magazine Matthew Antonio has a poem called Imaginary Buildings 2…He had a few other Imaginary Building poems and other numbered poems in a series titled He….unfortunately they were published in other places so I grabbed #2 before I could lose it.

I love these types of poems and if you know my (Mark Brunetti) poetry you know that I have a small collection of poems I have dubbed ‘museum’ poems.  My obsession with museum poems began with Carolyn Forche’s poem The Museum of Stones.   I was given a workshop prompt and wrote The Museum of Dogs which won me the William Paterson Poetry prize and eventually became the title for my collection of poems for my thesis project.

….but back to Matthew’s poem…..Imaginary Buildings remind me of Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities, a collection of what I like to consider prose poems about Marco Polo and his travels to the many different cities he’s visited.  These cities are being told to Kubla Khan but in turn are really being told to the reader and Matthew’s poem whether he read that book or not is a reflection of it.  The one thing I liked about Invisible Cities is the growth of the absurd and strange concepts for each city.  They become contradictions and Matthews first line, “I’m invited I say, though no one believes me.” and continues to state, “None of the names are names.  None of the walls are walls.”  I’ll let you read the rest of it on our site but these contradictions throughout the pieces really sets up the reader nicely on what they should and shouldn’t expect….

Tollbooth Book Release Party Video!

A few weeks back we had two book release parties for Piscataway House Publication’s new novel, Tollbooth.  One party was at Revolutionary Lounge and the other was at Eight Sixteen Recording Studio.  At both we had a whole slew of people reading their words, playing their music, and Bud Smith reading from his novel….Here’s the link to the Video

You can buy the book on Amazon and soon off The Idiom Website Book Page

Jennifer Lemming reading her poem, Driving with Sunflowers

We recently posted why we liked Jennifer’s poem, Driving with Sunflowers, now you can hear her read it on The Idiom’s Website.

For Mac users the audio works best in Safari and cuts very short in Firefox for some reason….