Author Archives: theidiommag

It’s A Wonderful Flashback Friday with The Idiom!

On December 20th in 1946 the film It’s A Wonderful Life first appeared in theaters in New York City.  Here is a still from one of the earlier takes when George Bailey is looking through the book that Clarence was reading…. it was actually supposed to be a current issue of The Idiom Magazine.

It's A Wonderful Idiom Life

It’s A Wonderful Idiom Life

Do you know what book they actually replaced the idiom with in the movie?  Comment below and I’ll pick a random winner to receive our Idiom special prize holiday package….

Pass this post around to others and spread some words….

 

A new video for Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving / Black Friday to the world….

Here’s our interactive cover video to end up the last week or two where we will be featuring the Volume 9 Issue 1 Idiom….

The cover was done by Jennifer Mustaches and the video was produced by our friends at Royal Jelly Studios...check them all out and all the things that they do…But first check out the video linked below and some of our other youtubeiness…

Idiom Cover

The Interactive Idiom Cover at the 2013 Frostburg Indie Lit Festival

The Simplicity of a Poem makes me turn to Metaphors….

Here at the Idiom we love a good narrative poem….We’re fans of minimalist writing and enjoy coming into a party and waiting for the anticipation to leave….

But when a poem is narrative and concrete and straight forward with its images and story….I eventually look at the piece for more than what’s being said and find metaphor and meaning in everything…

In the current issue of The Idiom there is a poem called Icicles by Caitlin Sinead Jennings which makes me turn the whole piece into a metaphor….maybe it’s because we live in Jersey and right now when we see the word Sandy it makes us think of the storm that hurt our shore last year or maybe I just want icicles to be more than condensed water dripping off of awnings that remind me of A Christmas Story and Ralphie who I look so much like….or that Caitlin brings us to the bank at one point and the struggles her narrator is having in their post Sandy be-Jobless World and the pleasure found in learning new words and using them in dangerous situations when there really is no time to learn new words….

Now I’m rambling….The Idiom doesn’t normally deal with politically themed pieces but when one is written as well as this one was, hiding the political overtones and focusing on the enjoyment of the poem instead of its message I have to accept it and will even post it below because I think its our favorite piece in this issue….

On a side note stay tuned to our blog on Thanksgiving Day when we will be releasing a special video featuring our interactive cover!

 

Icicles

I assessed the icy blades hanging from the bank awning before setting up orange cones and pulling a ladder from my “Ted’s Landscaping” truck. The image of the lawnmower on the side seemed out of place in winter, when instead of cutting grass we were shoveling snow and removing hazardous icicles.

I was used to walking under this awning, not climbing to be on level with it. I saw it before depositing my first paycheck and before asking for a mortgage. The bank gave Jimmy, just two then, an orange lollipop and Sandy and me the home of our dreams.  But it’s also the awning that I walked under, foreclosure notices in hand, four months after Sandy lost her job.

The man I talked to sneered at our misfortune and relished the power he held over me. I frantically begged for a different payment plan. A smirk hid behind his lips when he said in an annoyingly calm voice, “We cannot acquiesce to any requests for changes in loan agreements at this time.” He didn’t even hide the laugh when I asked him what acquiesce meant.

The icicles were firm in the cold, but would grow unpredictable as it warmed. I was about to knock one down when someone disregarded the cones and walked under me. I stared, realizing it was him. He paused for a while, reading his blackberry, seemingly begging me to break the large sharp icicle above his head.  I simply acquiesced.

Joshua Ballard’s Epic Return to the Universe….

In this current issue of The Idiom Joshua Ballard makes his epic return since publishing a collection of his poetry with Piscataway House Publications (i keep going)

In fact heres a link to a video from his book release party when it was released…

His poem The Science of Stars addresses that existential feeling we all get when looking at a city in the distance or the night sky and those heavy thoughts we have questioning our own existence to our everyday activities….

Science tells us that the universe is expanding
that never again will it be quite like this
never again will the stars be gazing upon lovers
at this exact angle
how perfect this moment is, then
that there are a billion stars for every human
that has ever existed on this planet
how that’s the most humbling thing I can think of
and those tiny flecks in the sky are the closest thing
to a connection with the universe we’re ever going to have
I’m gonna call Josh an experience poet….a writer who’s really good at writing about that moment of enjoyment, excitement, or anguish and able to take all the feelings of an experience and putting it into words…check out the rest of his piece on our site and you can see Josh read at many poetry events around Jersey…

Josh is very involved with the local community and is starting a non-profit organization which will put on events and other awesome shows…check out the Artist For Change Facebook Page

What is Fecundity….

In the current issue of the Idiom there is a poem by Susie Garay called Fecundity….Never heard that word before so I googled it…wikipedia told me it’s “derived from the word fecund, generally refers to the ability to reproduce


Fecundity

I wonder about the
fecundity of a thing.

The birthing of ideas,
the act itself.

The miracle of thought
that leads to action.
The dreaming that
brings things to pass.

Living on
this planet
is messy.
And I am often
a mess.

But from the mess
come morsels
that I never would
have come upon
otherwise.

The writing today
was interesting.

Such odd old memories
coming to the surface.
I hope they serve
their purpose,
then go.

Susie though is not talking about the physical act of giving birth but “the birthing of ideas, / the act itself” and I especially like the idea of ‘morsels’ of thoughts coming out of the ‘mess’ in her life and “such odd old memories / coming to the surface.”

She ends her poem elegantly as some of the friends of The Idiom who have come and gone “I hope they serve / their purpose, / then go.” That line break ending on serve does double the work as it continues the thought but implies the work that the ideas are doing…

Also coming out on Thanksgiving Day a new video on our Youtube Page!  A video showing all the fun you can have with this issues interactive cover….

Tollbooth Review from way back and Van Gogh’s crows

This was posted a while back but thought I’d mention it here…..Matthew J. Hall a poet who has been in a previous issue of The Idiom wrote up a lil review of our novel Tollbooth His other blog posts are great too about literary things he’s reading and more….

The Current Issue of The Idiom Volume 9 Issue 1 is now available on our website!  You can flip through the Magazine if it shows up on your computer or click on Volume 9 issue1 to download a PDF to your mobile device and tablets….damn we’re fancy….

In this issue the poet, Christopher Mulrooney sent us some poems and we chose his piece, Van Gogh’s crows

the symbolism is expressed in the brushwork of a few seconds etc.
a flick of the wrist and it’s done
not the dull cowboys at the bright supermarket
signifying where the posse is laid ambush for
in Yuma territory or thereabouts
or the girlish echoes of a ghost town in the West entirely imaginary
birds of night closing in on the day at the start
When I see a poem about art I tend to turn it into some type of ars poetica and even though this piece isn’t about writing I take the situation of Van Gogh and his painting and turn it into some kind of epic poem about the poets own writing….or maybe it’s just easier for me to relate as a writer and see all art as some kind of universal machine and make it all relatable in my mind…..
but whatever it is I loved the epic first line about symbolism that dwindles into a simple “etc.” at the end….obviously I am a huge fan of the ellipses, and etc. can be considered the lettered form of the punctuation mark….
That etc. is also kinda shown visually in the Van Gogh painting … as our eyes are drawn to it at the end of the first line in the painting we are drawn to the crows rising up to the sky and slowly dwindling off.  In the painting we are surrounded by a very “dramatic, cloudy sky” almost as dramatic as the “dull cowboys at the bright supermarket” to the “girlish echoes of a ghost town” and the other images that make up the poem….
Do you agree?  What else do you like or not like about this piece….let me know in the comments below…

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

Like this picture?  Comment about it and share it with your friends!

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

IMG_0874

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…