Archive for April, 2009

God Bless The Small Press

The Often Too Short, Unpredictable, Yet Glorious
Life of An Independent Small Press Magazine

By Charles P. Ries

When I heard that Linda Aschbrenner, The God Mother of All Wisconsin Poets was stepping down from her beloved Free Verse, I felt like a jilted lover.” Free Verse was one of my first small press dates. My earliest published poems appeared in Free Verse. And when I decided to try my hand at essays, reviews, and interviews, it was the place I sent my work to first. I recently heard that HazMat Review and Blind Man’s Rainbow were closing shop. Bath Tub Gin and Latino Stuff Review are on “hiatus”. The list goes on. Over the ten years I have been active in the independent small press I have seen many publications come and go. With the effort that goes into creating a magazine being so great and the return being so small, why do little magazines keep pooping up? To help me answer this question I invited four small press editor/publishers to guide me work through my separation anxiety. They are: Linda Aschbrenner of Free Verse, Michael Hathaway of Chiron Review, Leah Angstman of Propaganda Press, and Rob Cook of Skidrow Penthouse.


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Lawrence Gladeview
7 inch

track 01
throaty conviction vocals
track 02
scratch blood guitar
track 03
anorexic inked drums
track 04
do-it-yourself vinyl.


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Fredrick Zydek
Sleep Thinking

These thoughts live beyond the limits
of time and space, know the lyrics
of the songs of the tide, the names
of all the spirits that live in stones,

the outrageous practices of the prince
of lost places, and the color midnight
made the summer I got my head out
of my ass and my ass out of Seattle.

These thoughts have a tending instinct,
return often to old nests where they
check on eggs that will never hatch
and chicks that will never fly on their

own. The devil walks the corridors
of this kind of thinking though even
he is aware that his name was coined
by a higher power. It makes him nervous

and me a reluctant saint. Many of these
thoughts have neglected endings, long
for different landscapes and forget to take
inventory of what goes on in the clouds.

I have a brutal kinship with this kind of
thinking, desires to touch peace, to lead
a search for deep time, to comfort things
lost, to be a spy on the roof of the world.


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Joseph R. Trombatore
Sun Table
Salvador Dali, 1936

This is scene 19, take 28:

All 3 understudies have walked off the set
taking the chairs with them
for moral support, & a Vitaphone audition.

The cocktail glasses have been edgy
all day, & on the verge of falling
to pieces.

The script has been underlined, revised,
red inked, used to swat flies; thrown
when the cameraman ran out of film.

The director likes his daily rushes with his
coffee; long hand rolled imported smokes,
but the projectionist has a brunette

on his mind. Duck for dinner,
an elegant parquet floor; flickering prisms
of chandelier.

His voice is sore from screaming.
The backdrop artist paints mountains
like bags of rotted oranges;

a beached canoe where Jean Harlow
should be;
a camel, instead of Clark Gable.

Bits of colored crayons on paper, chip
& flake; no one’s here long enough
for dialect, dictation; or even a decent tan.


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F. S. Symons

On the mat in her hut Maria caressed her baby girl’s cheeks, and then playfully tickled her, lightly running her fingers behind her ears, and along her neck below her jaw. Squeals of delight from baby, who she kissed and handed to “yaya” – her grandmother – before heading for the railway.


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