Thom_Yorke
SWITCH OFF
by Sarah Nichols

I had a series of mini breakdowns:
a brand-new face. Huge, huge empires.
A synthesizer.
All of this stuff.

Just shut down. Be there
but just shut down. Walk past this arena.
Walk past this thing, this music.

Listen.

SOURCE: Thom Yorke interview by Daniel Craig, Interview magazine (July 2013).

PHOTO: Thom Yorke by Craig McDean, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’m an ardent Radiohead fan, and a few years ago, I saw an interview with Thom Yorke on YouTube. He was dismissive of stupid questions, ferociously intelligent, and gave nothing away. Like his music, he made demands. The Interview magazine interview finds him in a more giving vein, and I wanted to see what I could do with it.

nichols

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Nichols is a writer and artist living in Connecticut. Her chapbook, The Country of No, was published in 2012, and her poem “The Mirror” appeared in the Silver Birch Press Noir Erasure Poetry Anthology (December 2013). Her work has also appeared in Found Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing, and MiPoesias.

Freddie-Mercury-in-1974-006
QUICKSILVER
by Sue Barnard

In the kind of world I live in
there are no compromises.

I don’t put on a show.
There is no falsity in me.

I don’t go in for half measures.
I love being able to let myself go.

This is what I am.
I’m myself, and I let the wind take me.

SOURCE:  Freddie Mercury interview, The Guardian (Nov. 22, 2011).The piece first appeared in Melody Maker (December 1974).

IMAGE: Freddie Mercury of Queen in 1974. Photograph by Michael Putland, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve always been a huge admirer of the late, great Freddie Mercury. In this poem, I’ve allowed his own words to encapsulate my perception of him – a wonderful performer and a truly great free spirit.

sue-barnard-author-pic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sue Barnard is a novelist, an award-winning poet, and a member of the editorial team of Crooked Cat Publishing. She has a mind which is sufficiently warped as to be capable of compiling questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz – an attribute which once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” She lives in Cheshire, UK, with her husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.To learn more, visit her blog.

kesha_foundpoem
If you squint really hard, you might still see the dollar sign
by Meg Scott

Fighting like hell,
My whole irreverent essence.
Raw, visceral,
Wasn’t the animal I wanted to be.

Unloving territory–
My worst fear.
Breakthrough, breakdown,
Hindsight saved my life.

I think I just outgrew the dollar sign.

kesha_vogue
SOURCE: “Animal Instinct,” interview with Kesha by Andrew Bevan, Teen Vogue (June 2014).

IMAGE: Singer/rapper Kesha, Teen Vogue (June 2014).

scottmeg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Meg Scott is a Midwestern academic librarian and neologician.

MYTHIC_LOGO
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Poems inspired by mythology, fables, or fairy tales. Submissions can be original poems, or erasure poems based on pages from books of myths, fables, or fairy tales.

PROMPT: What myth tells your story? What fairy tale continues to inspire you? What fable resonates with you? This is your chance to turn yourself into the stuff of legends. Write about yourself as a mythic personage, fairy tale denizen, or fabled creature — or just write about myths and legends.

WHEN: We’ll feature the poems on the Silver Birch Press blog during October and November 2014.

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email the poem (give it a title) to silver@silverbirchpress.com as an MSWord attachment, along with your name, contact info, author’s bio, and any notes about your creative process or thoughts about the myth/fable/fairy tale you chose. If an erasure poem, provide a reference for the original text (publication, date, and link to website where you found it). PLEASE — put all of this information in one MSWord document and title the file with your last name. Thanks!

DEADLINE: Friday, November 21, 2014

Benedict-Cumberbatch
WE ONLY WANT TO KNOW ONE THING BENEDICT
by Marija Smits

Yep, I’m playing yet another brainy guy.

But it’s great, and I’m learning so much.

Will there be romance?

What, now I’m a movie star?

I think that would be incredible…

That is what should happen.

SOURCE: Benedict Cumberbatch interview, “I went to public school, but I’m not a public school boy,” The Big Issue (Jan 14, 2014).

IMAGE: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Like most middle-aged women, I have a thing for Benedict Cumberbatch. I pretend that I’m interested in his films and his acting, but really, there is only one thing worth knowing: Will there be romance?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marija Smits is a mother-of-two, a writer and poetess whose work has featured in a variety of publications. When she’s not busy with her children, or writing, she likes to draw and paint. Very late at night, when everyone else is asleep, she runs the small press Mother’s Milk Books. Her work is rather eclectic and she loves semicolons, as well as plenty of cream in her coffee. She lives in the middle of England but would like to be a bit closer to the sea. To see more of her writing and art, please visit www.marijasmits.wordpress.com.

shia_labeouf
I AM
by Erin Dorney

I am not permanent—
I was folded.
I was made to hold things
and on the way home he cut me.
Now I am ruined,
sitting here
in this dumpster.

SOURCE: Interview with Shia LaBeouf, NPR (February 2014).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  This source text is an interview with the paper bag that Shia LaBeouf wore on his head at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival.

IMAGE: Actor Shia LaBeouf at 2014 Berlin Film Festival (Feb. 9, 2014) by Keystone Press.

erin1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Erin Dorney is a founding editor of The Triangle. Her work has been published in The Newer York, The Fox Chase Review, and Potluck Mag. She can be found on Twitter.

james_joyce_by_D_Barnes
Self-Portrait of the Artist as a Middle-Aged Man
by Massimo Soranzio

The pity is,
the public will demand
and find
a moral—
or worse.

On the honour of a gentleman,
I will not serve that
which I no longer believe:
not one single
serious line.

I have recorded,
simultaneously,
what a man says, sees, thinks—
studied through a microscope in the morning,
repeated through a telescope in the evening.

I will express myself
as wholly as I can,
using for my defense
silence, exile
and cunning.

Neither more,
nor less alone,
not only separate from all
others, but to have
not even one friend.

No drama
behind the historical raving:
they are all there,
all the great talkers,
for the first hunt of the season.

Freudians
and all the things they forgot,
bringing on the rain—
and we
wanting to go for a stroll.

SOURCE: “James Joyce — A Portrait of the Man Who is, at Present, One of the More Significant Figures in Literature” by Djuna Barnes, Vanity Fair (April 1922).

IMAGE: Novelist James Joyce (1882-1941), drawing by Djuna Barnes, Vanity Fair (April 1922).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I found this interview to a celebrity from the past, James Joyce, by mere chance. Though not one of my favourite authors, Joyce has played an important role in my life, accompanying and inspiring me on several occasions. His answers in this interview, published around the publication, on his 40th birthday, of his masterpiece Ulysses, were poetic per se, so I just selected and reordered his words to produce this sketchy self-portrait of the writer.

Massimo Soranzio1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Massimo Soranzio writes on the northern Adriatic coast of Italy, about 20 miles from Trieste. He teaches English as a foreign language and English literature in a high school, and has been a journalist, a translator, and a freelance lecturer on Modernist literature and literary translation. He posts some of his found and constraint-based poetry on his blog, massimosoranzio.tumblr.com.

hemingway
WRITING
by Steve Bogdaniec

I don’t know, Gustavo
I start with blank paper
I’ve tried
never
to fit a thesis or a plan

why in hell do you want to know
what should be true
they say that when you’re in your forties
you ought to know enough and have enough

do you suppose
what knowledge you have
to have or have not
whether you get it or I get it
is a hell of a lot of difference

Sorry, Gustavo
has to ask these questions
it’s his job
and I’m supposed to answer them

so
start work
break the back of the job
put the words in
like laying bricks
work
at it solid
if you speed too much you don’t know
some days a lot, some days a little
getting it all down and then going over it
to straighten things out, to get information

the fight
will have to be fought again
don’t worry
we’ll still have a wonderful time tomorrow

SOURCE: “Ernest Hemingway Talks of Word and War” by Robert Van Gelder, New York Times (August 11, 1940).

NOTE FROM INTERVIEWER: The talk was a mixture of Spanish, French, and English. Each comment that Hemingway made on his writing he prefaced with an explanatory speech to Gustavo Duran, the former pianist and composer, who had developed as one of the most brilliant of the army corps commanders on the Loyalist side of the civil war in Spain.

IMAGE: Ernest Hemingway posing for a dust jacket photo by Lloyd Arnold for the first edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls, Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho, late 1939.

steve_bogdaniec

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steve Bogdaniec is a Chicago-based writer and teacher, currently teaching at Wright College in Chicago. Steve will write just about anything: he has had poetry and short fiction published in numerous journals, and recently wrote a monthly movie feature covering movie sequels. Follow him on Twitter! Just kidding—he never posts anything there anyway.

swinton
TILDA SWINTON HAS A LIFE
by Virginia M Mohlere

If you’re looking for a key –
          the slow burn,
          the long view,
          the endlessly reliable generators
                    of Nature and friendship;
          the image of planetary kin,
          the company of fellow travelers.
Companionship and wonder in the face
          of bitterness and disillusionment:
both are bigger than us,
two influences that never fail
          to buoy and nourish me.

We set out to hope.
We set out to make something.
Our dreams are the place where we can
          remember
          that which we never realized we knew.
They support and carry us.
We can fly at the back
          of the formation they form.
That would take some acting out:
          I want you to pull
          those bad thoughts out of your ears –
                    companionship and wonder might win –
          and never listen to No.

SOURCE: “Tilda Swinton Is Not Quite of This World” by Carl Swanson, Vulture.com (April 2014).

PHOTO: Actress Tilda Swinton by Norman Jean Roy, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve been a fan of Tilda Swinton’s work since Orlando – she seems like a delightful mix of Alabaster Space Queen and warm/friendly. I admire her fashion adventures and her willingness to transform her looks drastically for a role (watch Snowpiercer, people, she’s tremendous in it [so is the rest of the cast]). This interview made me stomp around in circles for a bit and make a screechy blog post. Her commentary about being a “cheerleader of artists” didn’t make it into the poem, but it echoes my belief that we should build each other up, never tear one another down. Making art is difficult enough without planting obstacles for ourselves and others. Art lifts up art; love lifts up love.

Vmohlere

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Virginia M Mohlere writes from Houston, where it is generally 4 inches from the sun. Her poetry has been seen in places like MungBeing, Strange Horizons, Ideomancer, and Mythic Delirium. She blogs extremely sporadically at www.virginiamohlere.com.

paz_delahuerta
PAZ WITH A “Z”
by Magdalena Edwards

I.

               resent me for being naked

          be pleased that I’m knocked up

                    pay attention to the performance

II.

Even my own sister treats me worse
than somebody would treat a rat.
She actually likes rats, so worse than that.

                    she used to punch my mother’s stomach

She did not want me born.

                    my upbringing has been very destructive

They’re all Scorpios —
my mother, my father and my sister.

III.

Larry Gagosian lived above us.

                    his hot tub would leak into our apartment

It was the ‘80s.

My father

                    had been in the French Foreign Legion

would go up there with a gaucho knife
and confront him —

“Ahhhhh, get your bath fixed!”

IV.

She’s a brilliant actress,
and she’s still getting naked

If I look like that at her age,
I’ll flaunt it

V.

I met Jack at the Roosevelt Hotel
          when I was 19.
Jack kept following me around.
He said to me: “They don’t
make them like you anymore.
I haven’t seen a beautiful girl
like you since 1965.”
I said: “Let’s go make
my boyfriend jealous.”

VI.

My lawyer says
I’m not allowed
to talk about the case.

I so wish I could.

VII.

Yeah. So I went to his recording studio
and I stood in this corner and I felt him.

What can I say? I felt him touch me.
I mean, come on, he’s a ghost.

I felt his spirit go through me
and give me pleasure.

It was like Elvis was tickling me
with a feather.

SOURCE: Andrew Goldman’s New York Times Magazine interview with Paz de la Huerta (July 17, 2011).

IMAGE: Actress Paz de la Huerta by Christian Oth for the New York Times, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Paz de la Huerta is electric. Her performances both on screen (her role as Lucy Danziger in Boardwalk Empire, among many others) and off (her antics are well documented by the celebrity gossip blogs) communicate sexuality and danger. Not long ago, I was walking down 4th Street [in Los Angeles] at a steady clip when I sensed something unusual. I slowed down, looked up, and there she was in a short black coat over a patterned dress, arm in arm with a girlfriend. I don’t think I saw a ghost! Yes, I was scared, and mesmerized.

Magdalena LARB 16

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Magdalena Edwards is an editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books. Visit her at magdalenaedwards.com.

Author photo by Christian Thomas, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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