An Online Journal of Voice

BlazeVOX17 Fall 2017



Hello and welcome to the Fall issue of BlazeVOX 17. Presenting fine works of poetry, fiction, text art, visual poetry and arresting works of creative non-fiction written by authors from around world. Do have a look through the links below or browse through the whole issue in our Scribd embedded PDF, which you can download for free and take it with you anywhere on any device. Hurray!

In this issue we seek to avoid answers but rather to ask questions. With a subtle minimalistic approach, this issue of BlazeVOX focuses on the idea of ‘public space’ and more specifically on spaces where anyone can do anything at any given moment: the non-private space, the non-privately owned space, space that is economically uninteresting. The works collected feature coincidental, accidental and unexpected connections which make it possible to revise literary history and, even better, to complement it.

Combining unrelated aspects lead to surprising analogies these piece appear as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, past and present fuse. Time and memory always play a key role. In a search for new methods to ‘read the city’, the texts reference post-colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern and the left-wing democratic movement as a form of resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system.

Many of the works are about contact with architecture and basic living elements. Energy (heat, light, water), space and landscape are examined in less obvious ways and sometimes developed in absurd ways. By creating situations and breaking the passivity of the spectator, he tries to develop forms that do not follow logical criteria, but are based only on subjective associations and formal parallels, which incite the viewer to make new personal associations. These pieces demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves. Enjoy! 

Rockets! Geoffrey Gatza, editor

Table of Contents

Burger Bar — Clive Gresswell
From the Other Side — Marianela Valverde Varela; translated by Erin Riddle
The Uncertain Light — Kelle Grace Gaddis
Paul’s Prospect — Scott Reimann
Ugly Words — Melissa Reynolds
Other People’s Houses — Joseph E. Lerner
Cliff Dwellers — Janet Mason
Pikachu’s Patchouli — Shelli Margolin-Mayer
 A — Rebecca Rodriguez 
Creature in the Sky — John Paul King
High Speed Junk — Christopher S. Bell
The Art of Falling — Dian Parker
Text Art & Vispo
R. Keith                                     Visual poetry
Zinnia Plentitude                    Bracing for Impact
Sacha Archer                            Speech Bubble Collages
hiromi suzuki                           purification
Acta Biographia — Author Biographies

BlazeVOX17 - Fall 2017 Full Issue 

New & Forthcoming from BlazeVOX books

From this first page, the single white male “makes eye contact with you,” the reader. Although, in other instances, this “you” feels like someone else (a former lover perhaps?), much of Color Me White operates by insisting the reader make eye contact with offensive and uncomfortable moments of 21st century life. … —Barbara Cole
Dennis Etzel Jr.'s precise prose poetry examines injustice, Star Trek, George Bush's oft-ridiculous internal monologue, and a vague, nebulous past. Didacticism is just another device in My Grunge of 1991, one that makes technical yet poetic points about feminism and the nature of utopia. Etzel also challenges the idea of pure art, instead using his meanders to promote a utopia to be striven for. But "Does the Reader know the Watcher is watching him read as he reads about the Watcher?" Tune in to accompany Etzel as he interrogates our surveillance state. —Amy King, The Missing Museum
If it’s indeed darkest before the dawn, then we should immerse ourselves in Joseph Harrington’s Of Some Sky and hope – because it doesn’t get much darker than this. This book surveys the terrain we inhabit now (in the mid-Anthropocene) somewhere between the devil and the rising seas. From here we can wave to “The Three Species / still in syndication.” Harrington presents us with an elegant sequence of double-binds or conundrums. They are strangely satisfying, even as we realize we are consuming our own futures. —Rae Armantrout, Partly: New and Selected Poems, 2001-2015
“If these stories were mousetraps, we should all be mice. They are enticing and snap without warning, but the real surprise is their grace. The survivors escape a wee bit wiser, more alert, and creatively perturbed.”  —R. S. Deese, author of Surf Music and We Are Amphibians
“The true poet is born and not made; Kevin Di Camillo's latest book, Now Chiefly Poetical, will convince readers that he embodies that phrase. His poems, which encompass love, melancholy, passion, mystery, and even the quotidian, provide a lovely cadence for our modern life and will persuade those who attend to him to seek increased beauty through the written word.” —Prof. Carol Kealiher, Ph.D., Managing Editor of James Joyce Quarterly, University of Tulsa
Contributors include: Stephen Collis, CAConrad, Matthew Cooperman & Aby Kaupang, Adam Dickinson, Suzi F. Garcia, Brenda Hillman, Brenda Iijima, Anna Lena Phillips Bell, Lucas de Lima, Eric Magrane, Joyelle McSweeney, Julie Patton, Craig Santos Perez, Evelyn Reilly, Linda Russo, Metta Sáma, Kaia Sand, Kate Schapira, Jonathan Skinner, Cecilia Vicuña
Kevin Killian and Peter Valente’s haunting collaboration Ekstasis comes on like one of those dark dreams you can’t seem to shake – it’s memory and sensations still lingering long after you’ve awoken. —Michael Salerno, artist, filmmaker, and publisher.
With THE MERCURY POEM, Jared Schickling brings us an oddly reversible apocalypse—the story of individuals grappling with their own bleak place in history. “A tsunami ruining the beach / during an election season,” “the exclusion zone is breeding,” and as an elegy to television, the poet finds normalcy in the unlivable. —Jonathan Penton
Free-ranging, intelligent, a poetry of wit and survival—to be “crazy not to go crazy” and not going crazy and making art in the face of that: “finally taking a stand” . . . “there is no shortage of things to do on the path to a better life” and “letting things be,” “tip-toeing around the good and the terrible”—it's so good to be taken to the source so lightly, so often, without eliding the brutal, the complex, the incomprehensible or the gorgeous. This is the book that does that. Reader, read on . . . —Maurice Scully
A mapping of word and thought metastases to co-here (in now of us all) the crazed pathological death-life energies of our age – Richardson takes the notes inside my own head, at least, and probably taps a collective despair, why everyone can’t rouse out of diseased, disfiguring, disaster consciousness. —Magus Magnus
Linda King’s new collection is filled with poems that reflect on their own making, considering the rules of narrative with wit, subtlety, and grace. Here you will find language interrogated from within its most familiar structures, singing all the while with difficult and necessary music. Her work surprises and gratifies with its syntactic denseness, its wild associative leaps. King is a poet to watch. —Kristina Marie Darling, author of DARK HORSE
Enter A Lyrebird and you open onto a polyphony of slang and nuance. Expect a humorous disorientation and deep travel through undersides of all that can be said and borrowed. Just in time, since mono-culture cannot know itself, Michael Farrell’s deft bravery transmutes English and gives us journeys out. —Sarah Riggs
“i have to start / everywhere” as only the best poets can have it! I have been a huge fan of billy cancel’s poetry for years & this book is long overdue, but here, finally, to get us right by spirit in the magical sluice through this fucked, harried but beautiful world! Get reading this NOW! — CA Conrad
In Pickles & Jams, cris cheek exposes the very membranes that lie between the sensed-real of the culturally dominant and the barely-sensed hyper-real of the culturally emergent. His poetics (initially spawned and tested in Briton) isn’t of an “epiphany” variety, but rather is borne of a sabre-ready constructivist process, whereby the jettisoning of American Capitalist values is at a premium.  —Rodrigo Toscano
It’s a rare poet who can look the muse in the eye and speak through or with her as Reese has done in this fragmentary and insightful collection, which reads both as a form of exegesis, literary criticism and dialogue, as well as a love poem to literature. —Nin Andrews
So Long, Napoleon Solo is a sophisticated comedy about suicide, relationships, and Irish society at the turn of the century. It’s not a Man from U.N.C.L.E. story, it’s the legend of two boys the show inspired, in all sorts of twisted ways.
When Tory Spry’s hallucinations become more frequent - what start out as a “pinpoint,” extend into an “arc,” and eventually become the blunted but flashing “Fingerprint” - he reluctantly but necessarily retreats inward into the well of himself. Swimming through the blackholed remnants of his outside world - high school, church, diners, home, in the car with his friends - Spry can only find comfort in sleep, the cold, the woods, and in his best friend John, who has a deep internal secret himself. And within our haunting and untouchable loneliness, we are separate but not alone.
“Elysia Smith sits her younger self beneath a ghost light and pulls the most arcane questions out from her chest. She looks back on the origins of her own sexual identity, surfacing the candid ugliness that flickers in all instances of coming of age and sex itself. Gritty detail and exquisite retelling crash together to disrupt the orderliness of simplified femininity that comes from a small-town upbringing.” —Laura Knicklebine of Maudlin House