Author Archives: theidiommag

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….

Waiting in Line or Driving with Sunflowers

After workshopping a bunch of English Comp student essays I found myself repeating that if there is a change in action they should start a new paragraph….the title of these two poems by Jennifer Lemming in the current issue   remind me of those motions….

Waiting in Line, has a kind of sing songy rhyme scheme but I’m distracted by the slow build-up of slightly crude images…the first person narration starts by waiting in line ‘for a big banana’ which made me laugh and moved me to the snot in your voice and finally to the unnamed ‘you’ who was so ‘prickly’. . . these images are presented in quatrain stanzas and ultimately set the scene for the final biting couplet “Some day, you’ll be the one to pay / and have a nice day.” which turns this piece into a sonnet and the brief interaction turns into a love poem of a sort….

Driving with Sunflowers is a larger piece that shows off Jennifer’s ability to use free verse and move the reader through not only the poem but this trip to an art gallery with someone she makes clear is only a friend….I don’t know if this friend is trying to be more, but I cringed every time he tried to further explain the art on the walls.  In fact he’s not even critiquing the art but more the artist’s lives which makes him more of a TMZ type critic who takes more of an interest in the life than the work….I can relate to some of her final thoughts of him as she decides where he stands in her life, “I watch his retreating figure, knowing long ago just how much energy / to put into this friendship and I now know to just let go.”

“there were those lonely nights in pittsburgh…”

This is how John Grochalski starts his poem, “Buddha of Pizza and Beer” in the Current Issue of The Idiom Magazine.

It’s a type of ‘coming of age’ poem and throughout the piece he mentions all those things that we all address at some point in our lives

  • when i was first on my own
  • losing and gaining friends
  • nights i didn’t want to be around anyone
  • hung up over some girl

In the short time of the piece he slowly comes to terms with these thoughts, gets his pizza, stops and gets some beer, and goes home “waiting on my moment” becoming some kind of contemporary buddha….

His other piece in this issue, “Our Crowd” has a similar voice as the last piece and his observation of seemingly everyday events again present a narrator who is accepting of a typical day in the life.

We here at the idiom especially liked “this group of old ladies who won’t quit laughing at their folly”, “the confused austrian yelling into his phone”, and “the chinese tourists taking photos of their mistake”.  All these characters make for a surreal scene in the poem and help to create the visual of place and surroundings for the piece.

 

Book Release and Reading this weekend….

So this weekend two events going on….

Saturday night we are having Bud Smith’s second book release party because the first one was so good!  You can see pictures of the first one in one of our previous posts

This book release party is at 8:16 Studios and again we’ll have bands and beer and poets and smokes and Bud Smith’s novel Tollbooth for a nice lil discounted price…heres facebook info on it

 

On Sunday, the South Brunswick Library starts up its Sunday afternoon poetry readings and Hank Kalet a poet from the previous issue of the Idiom is one of the features….starts at 2 and there’s an open mic afterwards so bring some words….here’s a link to the full schedule for the year

Nicole Greenwood and the Haiku structure….

We’re hanging out at the Revolutionary Lounge at the Tuesday night open mic.  Every week we meet here and read our poems….test them out to an audience who’s listening….kids looking to hear something new….Nicole Greenwood comes up to me and says,

“I have a poem”

“Ok” I say.

“It’s made out of Haiku,” she says.

I’d recently read Patricia Smith’s sonnet poem “Motown Crown”  That’s fifteen sonnets the last line always the start of the next sonnet and then the fifteenth sonnet uses all the previous first lines from every sonnet to make its own….so a poem made of haiku I liked the idea for….

Each Haiku’d stanza makes the poem sound kind like a list.  Read them aloud like you would any haiku and you naturally pause a little between lines and stanzas.  But the listed haiku don’t stand alone they create a slightly abstracted narrative and the setting of a carnival and dizziness one receives when hanging out in such a place contributes to that abstractness.  Young love is mentioned, the confusion adolescents feel and the church that wants apologies gets pushed aside towards the end of the poem when none of that stuff seems to matter during the birth of the child.  There is no indication if the parents are the same as the young love in the middle of the poem but Nicole doesn’t need to tell us that and moves us throughout the piece and through time and has us work a little to see the transitions.  I like working with poems and making sense of them on my own.

Check out Nicole’s poem on the Idiom Website and other pieces from this issue and let us know what you think….

Pictures from Bud Smith’s Book Release Party….

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Here’s a bunch of pictures from Bud Smith’s book release party for his novel Tollbooth….Thanks to everyone who came out and all the performers and everything.

Don’t worry if ya missed it!  There is a second release at 8:16 Studio in Toms River next Saturday... there will be more bands and a reading by both the writer of the book and all the writers who helped edit it…

Perhaps you can’t make any events we have….you can also get Tollbooth here

Tollbooth book release party tonight!

Tonight is the book release party for Bud Smith’s novel, Tollbooth published by Piscataway House Publications.

Go to Revolutionary Lounge in Toms River from 7-9 to hear Bud Smith read excerpts from his book and performances by Mark Brunetti, Love Hustle, Chris Rockwell, and Nathan Dickinson….

The book will sell at a release party discount of $8! Come on out, meet the author and publishers and be a part of that ever growing jersey literary scene…