Wednesday, July 29, 2020

This Sucks.

Awww fuck. The ruining of a good thing. Goodbye Blogger that I used to know. Hello confusing scrolly-poly interface with light grey type that I can barely see.

Why has everyone decided that light grey is a convenient shade to read?

Anyway….if something has worked really well for a decade the best thing to do is to change it up, right?

Yall' can suck my mask.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Octopus Review Library

FRIENDINISTAS,

How are you? Gosh it's been awhile. I hope you're all okay, lungs & all (ie, I hope you can breathe!)

I'm good(ish); this year has found me a well prepared & keen observer to The Revolution we've spoken of in hushed literary tones for decades. I'm so excited to be here w/ my various-sized rectangles of technology to capture it all.

From 2017 — 2019 I did a little project called The Octopus Review in which I gathered poetry and art from you — YOU folks! — and printed it here. In neat little collections. It was not just my love of art & poetry that led me to do this project, but my curiosity about what happens on the receiving end of a SUBMISSION CALL. I'd been a submitter all my life & I wanted to experience the whole thing as a submittee.

It was a great learning experience. I learned how some people will follow your submission guidelines to a T, while others will disregard them altogether : )) I learned that 88% of your submissions will come from white cishet males (this is not a slur, just an observation) I personally like a lot of poetry by white cishet males, but I am CURIOUS & dying for other perspectives too. I did specifically call for work from people who were not white cishet males & got a good batch of queer submissions. And I learned that when you reject peoples' work, they will take it personally sometimes: O

Anyhow, it was all a good experience & since The Octopus Review is currently on hiatus (we will be back I promise — things are just going slower than expected) I thought I'd make these back issues available here—
                            in The Octopus Review Library


COLLECTION 1 (Summer 2017) — this inaugural issue is quite unique. It features the only spoken word submission I received in 2 years and a collaborative effort by a drag queen and her friends. It also features art by me because I hadn't thought of asking for art submissions yet.
[unfortunately the link to the spoken word piece is no longer available]

COLLECTION 2 (Fall 2017) — eerrr, I'm not sure what happened to the formatting on this one. I know I wouldn't have published it this way, but I also know Blogger is "under construction" right now so it may be temporary. So... this may be the DEATH/NIHILISM issue : )) Don't be afraid though, the words are powerfully engaging and the ART is fabulous!

COLLECTION 3 (Winter 2018) — now this is a gorgeous collection of art & poetry! I'm calling it the issue of HARSH TRUTHS, so don't open it up with a feint heart.

COLLECTION 4 (Spring 2018) —  another looker! Great poetry, gorgeous art. I think this could be called the HISTORY OF HUMANS issue.

COLLECTION 5 (Summer 2018) — I call this the DYNAMIC INTERPLAY issue because I mixed up the formatting a bit. Not to mention this large collection features some of the most dynamic words & art so far. [pay close attention to the brilliant & timely To Serve and Protect (Out of Order) by Juliet Cook!]

COLLECTION 6 (Fall 2018) — from nuanced to horrifying this is our HALLOWEEN issue, what's not to love?

COLLECTION 7 (Spring 2019) — still more intensity of word & image! I'll call this our PENULTIMATE issue because it was.

COLLECTION 8 (Summer 2019) — this was supposed to THE ARTS issue and it pretty much is, with a few other oddities sewn in. Enjoy, it's the last one!











Sunday, March 22, 2020

DOT PANDEMIC

Dear fellow plague vectors,


I am a pro at social isolation; how are you doing?

Hang in there; you’ll get used to yourself & all your own quirky charm.  Until then, offer yourself some kombucha and ask yourself some open ended, non threatening questions.  Try not to make yourself feel uncomfortable or scrutinized.  You might get nervous and try to run away from yourself…

If you approach yourself like you are your potential new best friend, who knows what might happen?? A whole new world could open up, OR you could die of the plague anyway…


Friends, my 3 favorite astrologers warned me that I should be more charming & less alarming in 2020, so here is the pretty landscape I ripped up in the Fall & promised to reimagine in the Spring. From memory alone! All I remember is how the sunlight pouring in the window made the couch look. And the mermaid sign. And that we were in Unit #8. 
(extra plague blessings to anyone who can read the T card : )))

I have so many ideas of what I’d like to be doing with all this time. I’m still trying to chap a book of poems. You all do not understand how difficult a chore this is for me. I’m not sure how you guys do it. I could keep submitting my books to contests, or I could patch them together myself (& perhaps include some art!!)  But neither way seems to be happening for me. I am so envious of people who can self edit & present a finite masterpiece.

Plus, I thought I was on a writing hiatus last year. and I was from May to August. But apparently I wrote tons between August & January & I don’t even remember it. Do we call that vacuum-of-consciousness? Yes, let’s.

I have dot fever. Pointillism plague. Stipple syphilus. All I wanna do is make some dots.   

not dots ^^^


Unfortunately, it gives me a headache. But I’m a do it anyway!!!!!!!
Dot cartoons. I have so many cartoons I wanna do… Shelter Cat & Trust Fund Baby (remember them?) I did one episode & it gave me such a headache I never did the next one.

I feel the qabalah in this work & call it 'Delta Jerk'


The Gentoo Emperors!!! There will be more from them I promise. They have so much to say.
And my newest cartoon family The Quintuplets, a group of toddler comediennes doing the publicity circuit.



I also want to revisit my TV show (Singlewood). I have ideas now. And we need ideas during a plague.

Singlewood dots c. 2012


Eeeyore (Tony, Moonchild) is also getting us technically ready to do some kind of broadcast/podcast/talking/laughing thing. He has all the technical skills. I have all the ideas. Together we will fight the negativity of the virus. With our proactive & Syd Barrettish antics.


One More Thing. And this is important, so listen up with your eyes:

I know a (the) lot of you were trying very hard to figure out what offends me. 
Is it WORDS? Nope, I love words. ( even words meant to hurt me don’t in themselves offend me)

Porn? Nope, I like porn a lot now that I’m the next guy. 

Dick jokes? Naw, I like a well crafted dick joke (that’s not a rape joke or a misogynist slur in disguise.) I made a pretty funny dick joke the other day, (you should’ve heard it. Now I’ve forgot it.)

The C word? The B word? The N word? The P word? The x word? The pH word? The brown word? The slang of the 1930s? 

No. What truly offends me on a visceral, splenetic level is:   Rumormongering. Gossip milling. Groupthink. Herd mentality. Mooing. Viral speculation. Fear of self. Camouflaging ones depth w/ a slick surface. Or hiding out in a crowd.

By the by,

    I know which two words offend all of you more than any others and, man….you’re weird : ))) 
i think this is weird too ^^^^^


******************ALSO, I have a serious question

What happens to our deployed troops during this outbreak? Are they quarantined somewhere? What about rogue groups like ISIS? 
Does the war on biology end the war on terror (for now?)
What about all the refugees in Europe, and all the families in cages by our border? What’s being done to to keep them safe?




I don’t hear much about these demographics in all the reports about the spread of the virus & they seem important, ‘mmmkay…I’m looking into it now… 

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Uninstalling the Old Aeon

J/k! It’s my… 

Favorite Music of 2019

60. Bodega — Shiny New Model (dig the single but the rest of EP is very brief)

59. Ava Luna — Moon 2

58. Shikoswe — Back in the Tall Grass (love the single—haven’t heard whole album)
[thanks, Bagel!]

57. Vagabon — Vagabon   [thanks, Sheila!]

56. Plague Vendor — By Night (+ single)

55. The National — I Am Easy to Find 

54. We Were Promised Jetpacks — Repeating Patterns 

53. Art d’Ecco — Trespasser

52. Mondo Cozmo — (love the new single, hope there’s more!)
[thanks, Sheila]

51. Kiwi, Jr — Football Money (fratty but likeable)

50. GRLwood — I Sold My Soul to the Devil When I was 12 (great single, listening to EP now)

49. Surfbort — Friendship Music [(late ’18) thanks Bagel!]

48. Mannequin Pussy — Patience

47. Holiday Ghosts — West Bay Playroom

46. Dog Orchestra — Pity Party single (2018, always a year late on Dog Orchestra)

45. Blood Cultures — Best For You single [thanks Sheila!]

44. The Foreign Resort — Outnumbered

43. Pottery — No. 1

42. Pip Blom — Boat

41. Baxter Dury, Delilah Holliday, Etienne de Crecy — B.E.D. [thanks Bagel]

40. Alex McArtor — 2 singles (Touch & Party’s Over)

39. Julia Jacklin — Crushing

38. Crumb — Jinx

37. Tullycraft — The Railway Prince Hotel

36. The Regrettes — How Do You Love?

35. Ladytron — Ladytron (sounds like Ladytron)

34. Greys — Age Hasn’t Spoiled You

33. Def!cit — Appleseed

32. Methyl Ethel — Triage (my favorite single of the year on this album)

31. Vivian Girls — Memory

30. Guaxe — Guaxe [thanks, Bagel]

29. Body Type — EP2

28. Drab Majesty — Modern Mirror

27. Olden Yolk — Living Theater

26. Abjects — Never Give Up

25. The New Pornographers — In the Morse Code of Brakelights (sounds like The New Pronographers)

24. Mattiel — Satis Factory

23. Rubblebucket — Sun Machine

22. Panda Bear — Buoys

21. Seratones — Power (woo!)

20. Operators — Radiant Dawn

19. Polyenso — Year of the Dog

18. The Coathangers — The Devil You Know (sounds like the Coathangers)

17. Elbow — Giants of All Sizes (it was an Elbowy kindof year)

16. Sink Tapes — Enough to Flood the Cow

15. Du Blond — Lung Bread for Daddy [thanks Bagel]

14. Ride — This Is Not A Safe Place [thanks for not waiting 19 years to put out another album]

13. Guster — Look Alive

12. The Proper Ornaments — Six Lenins

11. Juliana Hatfield — Weird

10. Kim Gordon — No Home Record

9. FEELS — Post Earth

8. Wand — Laughing Matter

7. The Twilight Sad — It Won’t Be Like This All the Time

6. levitation room — headspace

5. Dry Cleaning — 2 EPs (Sweet Princess & Boundary Road Snacks & Drink)
[thanks Bagel]

4. SQUIIIIIID!!!! — Town Centre EP & single

3. Ezra Furman — 12 Nudes (yowzra)

2. Sofi Tukker — DANCING ON THE PEOPLE (perfect new year music)

1. FONTAINES, DC — Dogrel ( I didn’t want to give this first place because it’s so obvious, but it’s also undeniable)

*********

That's a ton of great music! Now I must compress it all into a 2-hour time slot by Saturday. 


Best wishes for 2020

Saturday, November 16, 2019

DOTS!! and Dash

HEY GUYS!!   HEY FRIENDS!!   HEY PEOPLE!!!

After five decades of planeting with you ,You’d think I would know your preferred nouns by now. But I don’t.  You’re still the mystifying organism known as Humanitor

But it’s okay—I misclassify myself on occasion too. I’m one of you & though less mysterious than you I’m still not fully solved.

*****

It’s not the New year (new Decade) yet, but I’m desperate for change so I’m going to elasticize a bit
past Thanksgiving to the knowledge that the Internet (and social networking) was the strangest & most magical & also least wholesome experience I could’ve ever imagined in my life;

I think in 2009 I proclaimed Facebook “more enchanting than attending one’s own funeral” and I meant it. it was a blast and it was more entertaining than television, or my real introverted life before the extronet;

for me being alive on the internet was more lively than going to a party in real life. and that’s…not as sad as it sounds, it’s hard to see people having fun in real life when I’d rather be home writing reading singing or just about anything.

So this has been quite an enlightening, evolutionary, revolutionary decade we’ve spent together & I think we’ll look back at it & pat ourselves on the back for being such brave magicians.

The Gentoos perform their own version of The Crying Game


***************** BUT WAIT

I haven’t written enough about being trans here, and I apologize.  When I started this momentous portion of my life, I thought it would be more newsworthy : ))

But my change has not been as drastic as the younger (& same age as me, in fact all other trans guys I’ve seen) and it has puzzled me, and my friends, and my doctors. But I changed more this year than in the first 3 years on T combined. I’m finally at a plateau I can live with without wanting to murder the person in the mirror.  I love my post-post-post modern pubescence!!!!

I never expected to be Aquaman, and yet I felt like him at times this& last year. My T was high then, but it’s high now. I never, never, ever understood the female hormone cycle, no matter how many times I read about it in Cosmo or a doctor explained it w/ charts & all. I just never got which fluid was in the beaker at which time of month. And why it had to affect me so much [??]  I know that’s problematic, but I hope you understand

Anyway, I’ve never been good with hormones. They’re like little foreign languages flowing through my endocrine system.

I feel pretty good gender-wise, though.  And that’s something to be Thankful for as we bypass all the turkey talk.

The Gentoo Emperors — Teduardo, IO Pine, Cayden Haydenson, and Susie G (full biographies to come)


I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that sometime in 2014 my brain broke and its probably not going to return to the way it was. I’ve adjusted to a different level of foreboding that tells me something absolutely catastrophic is going to happen all the time. It took five years to calibrate my new levels of foreboding w/ PKD-approved reality. But…

…I’m still not sure something catastrophic hasn’t already happened???!!!?? 

Anyway, I tried to fix this many ways, including yoga, fitness, all the healthy stuff that I was told to do by well meaning folks
and then had to feel like a huge failure when I couldn’t live without medication any longer.  (I no longer feel bad about this—I’m old and brains go bad.) I just worry about my liver now. But let’s not start a hypochon-CON.

I’ve had a good life and I know for sure there are enough good people out there, even if I can’t talk to them regularly.

Pixel gets in on the act


THIS YEAR…I did what I’ve wanted to do since 11-8-16. I lost hope in people. I gave up on life. I know, I know…I’m a rich, crazy, asshole who can do something like that…that’s partially true…but a little exaggerated : )) Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend it if you have many real world commitments…it’s a feral adventure…and be sure to have the support of angels (living and other) around you. 

I had to unconsciously face some conscious [biases?/terrors?/glitches?/some of which were not even my own] and that sounds so easy but nothing was labeled and all the pie was in uncharted territory,

the soft innards leaking past the tinfoil...mmmm, pie.

There is no 14-year-old girl here. Nor any mama. Your dumb pie will land on the wall way above my head.                                        

No papa bear eating toast, but there was a jaguar spotted swimming across the channel.

Misuse my words and treat them as you would my torso when you thought it was yours

and it may be funny but I hope it’s also a big load off your…

…..


…..


….

shoulders.  [There are no puns here! Only double thrusts and ironic jabs; so sharpen or grow up]

Muchi gratz to Matt Groening for learnin' me to draw a proper bun!


******************AND THIS!!!

I’ve always known what everyone wants to know (as soon they get away from you & with their friends) is all the sexual stuff.  I encourage everyone to do their own research on the effects of testosterone & estrogen  [freud missed 

the boat when 

he didn’t guess it could flip over]

I was going to do a thing on transitioning bathrooms, but it wasn’t very exciting. I never was a fan of public restrooms, even as a lady. And let me tell you, no matter how strongly you identify as male, the women’s restroom is a luxury you give up when you pass too well as a guy. The lack of privacy is a bit alarming, speaking as a human of either gender who is accustomed to stalls or peeing in a cup in my car : )) But I think the most bizarre bathroom experience was running into my brothers in there at a wedding! I quickly ducked into a stall so I hope it wasn’t as awkward for them, but thank fuck that stall was open : O

Usually men’s restrooms are darker and quieter than women’s. That’s nice. But women’s rooms smell better! That’s about all the bathroom data I could gather. I hope that was entertaining enough for you.

WRONG!!!!!!


With the help of colorful dots, medication and Eeeyore, I feel better than I did when I decided to give up hope on people (March-ish). I think the pendulum will strike a less vertiginous balance, though I’m not sure it’s done swinging in all directions…

…which is to say I’m still 115% for Free Speech. Especially for artists and whistleblowers. I had to wrestle with my own peanut gallery of voices with the question of someone’s right to incite violence using hate speech, after the Australian guy went to NZ and shot up a bunch of Muslims and then claimed prominent world leader DT’s rhetoric as his inspiration,
[ I wish I knew more about clauses and addendums about gagging potential dictators. Did we not clausify this stuff after WW2—what was the verdict on Free Speech then?]

Can he shoot someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it? The only thing I see in my perfectly conscious and wide awake mind is YES.  And that’s not a the Tiptree-approved reality I saw myself growing ripe in.

Anyway, I know there is a faction of free speech activists who defend it just so they can get away w/ promoting their hateful nationalist racist sexist agendas. 
I hope this is not us, Miss Question Mark/
                                 Madame Asterisk!   << misgendering someone else is kinda fun!

************ IN CONCOLLUSION

Are you wondering why I keep talking about the internet and the social networks in the past tense? As if they are something I enjoyed at one time, but not so much here and now?  Well, I’m bout to deliver a premature new years resolution for the whole decade of the 20s — yay The Twenties! Let’s all be Dadaists together (or separately)—

My resolution is to be on the internet less! I’ve gotten down from a steady 77% to a nice comfortable 44%. But I’m gonna crank it all the way down to 11%

An 11% internet life is all I can handle from now on : )) and that includes this blog too! 11% Octopus, I hope you understand. I am thrilled to have reconnected & known so many new people (esp writers). But now I shall go have my Syd Barrett years, so don’t be surprised to see a fat old bald guy growing roses in the garden next time you stop by!



************Post Script Re: DOTS

Hey GuyFriendPeoples, you know I don’t do much art that’s pretty. It’s just not what inspires me. But I want you to know I was making the most beautiful dot portrait of the view from our cottage on Siesta Key. It was turning out quite nicely, but…

…the art gods demanded a sacrifice out of the calypso blue   So I ripped up my landscape &

kicked my own ass

& everyone was happy

I will try to recreate the landscape sometime in the Spring. Now is too soon.


***********Post-post Script re: 8

This summer I found out I had an 8th sibling. Along with my 2 natural born sibs, my 2 long lost step-sibs, and my 2 younger adopted sibs, there was a sister born before my parents met in college. It was treated as a huge secret & swept under the rug, but I knew from a young age that my family was a very secretive unit, so I wasn’t surprised to find out five decades later that there were even more secrets than I’d figured out on my own. I haven’t met her yet. But I have no doubt she will be more welcome in our family than I ever was.



And so it goes.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Sweet, Sweet Eye Candy Dots!

Friendly-types,

Hi there, how are you? I’m doing pretty good again, so i thought I’d say hi. But I guess the real reason I’m here is because of the DOTS!

Enjoy all the new art. Sorry about the over eager color saturation, but I’ll get better at leaving some white space for your weary eyes as I do more dotwork. I plan on becoming a regular DOTTARD in the coming weeks & months…

There was a lot I wanted to talk to you about, but I didn’t want to call each & every one of you on your smartphones, so I’m just going to leave my thoughts here & let you find them at your leisure & get back to me (or not) as you wish.

Time Gets Mad & Eats Its Children


[Thank you for finally getting that I am not a nazi, just a writer who communicates in an exhausting & bizarre fashion…]

The topics I wanted to discuss w/ you are

1) Octopus Review news (thank you all for such an exciting 8th issue!)

2) Trans news (I declared my transition COMPLETE back in April, but it’s complicated…did I reach my personal peak of masculinity in April? yeah…Did I sustain it throughout the summer? not really. But I’ll talk about this another time… ) the other topic I wanted to say something about is 

3) Vogon poems (aka automatic writing aka spirit writing aka stream of conscious gibberish that isn’t really poetry. I am used to not being noticed, ever, at all, much less in any artistic pursuit…and I couldn’t help but notice…that y’all noticed the Vogon poems & so I’ll say something about them, then I’ll give you Octo Review news….

How’s that?)

************* VOGON POEMS AKA ALL THOSE THINGS ABOVE *************

I guess you all know by now that I went on another “psychic safari” , except I’m calling this one “shamanistic fight club” and I really can’t say much about it yet.

The Vogon poems are a 542-page 14 pt document (and I apologize for that —even in beloved MS 10 pt that is a sizable doc). It begins 12-5-17 and ends 4-29-19 and should not be cherry-picked or read out of order. It also includes the Adventures “Rogue Bub” & “Red Flamingos” plus all the art that went with them.

I think I will change the name of it to “Installing the New Aeon” because that’s what it felt like. And I thank Douglas Adams for indulging my use of Vogon all these years.

8 Alters & 2 Albums


The writing portion of this spirit adventure has ended, but other aspects of it continue. Spirit writing is any stream of conscious writing done w/ the purpose of invoking contact w/ the spirit world. 

I always loved to do this style of writing but knew it was not poetry, so when I committed to learning to write I sort of lost contact w/ my spirit pen pals : )) For seven years I really closed off that part of my thought process & wrote from a conscious brainy place. And it didn’t go well. I produced very little good writing that way.

I did hope that going from left brained to right brained writing would yield some interesting results but that was not the PURPOSE of the project. My intention when I started was for it to not be about incoming data that I couldn’t decipher until after it happened. Something different from the last time, I asked. And I guess I got my wish : ))

It all starts w/ being receptive to stuff that doesn’t make much sense…

…for me that was a few months of awkward left/right gibberish writing. But it was fun. Writing was fun again! Then by the summer of ’18 things heated up & I felt tapped into a meditative trance-like style.

By winter of ’19 I felt very trance-like. All the time. Like when you’re black out drunk & you have full conversations & continue to function pretty normally but you have no memory of it. At first this trance-like state was a nice welcome change from the nervous rodent I usually am, but then it sort of became a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from…

…and that’s when some really weird shit happened. Interesting. Scary. Can’t say much about it shit. I tried to say some things about it in the poems but wasn’t sure how “kosher” that would be, spiritually speaking. Someday I will try to write more consciously about the whole experience…but when I say a mother and son who died the same day came to me for help…

…pretty much sums it up…. if you can think of a mother & son who died the same day in recent history, you might get the gist of the spiritual dialogue that began as the writing exercises ended.

So, what about spirit writing predicting stuff?  It’s been known to happen. The alpha state of mind is very elastic. Throughout this project, I read a lot about time & how it moves & pushes & bullies us on our peaceful orbits in space. But I can’t go into that now…our minds are more elastic than our bodies… that’s all my conscious brain will say.

TUMBLR meme?


Anyway…the Vogon poems are not witchcraft. I have not cursed anyone ( I know you’ve designated me the bad witch, but I am a good witch, or possibly a magician since I identify more masculine now). I’m not trying to call out any person, race, gender, editor or ex lover. One thing I learned about writing, which I probably missed by not going to school is that HIGH SCHOOL and EXPLOSIVE ENDINGS are big fox paws. But why? I’ll never know.

And I’ll continue to write from whatever dot on my timeline I choose. KAPOW!!

************************OCTOPUS REVIEW NEWS*************************************

Before I started doing The Octopus Review, my true goal was to (self)publish a poetry chapbook. I saw allllll of you all doing it, and I thought it would be really neat if I could do it too. So I tried. I got software. I got advice from friends who’d successfully put together chapbook after chapbook. I felt like I could handle that part. But then I looked at my…oeuvre. 

You can imagine just from reading this blog how exhausting my poetic oeuvre must be. I had 10 chapbooks, possibly 11 waiting in the hatch, unedited, totally slushy, messy, in need of repair. And when I say chapbooks I mean 70-page manuscripts really. 

As promised, the Gentoo Emperors


I quickly abandoned that venture and decided to do The Octopus Review instead. I had no idea if anyone would send me their poems when I first asked, but they did. And then this happened 7 more times!! I have to say I really like putting together a poetry/art zine.  

However, before I do another Octopus Review, I feel like I must concentrate on getting a chapbook together. It’s going to be frustratingly left-brained but it has to be done.

Then — when that major feat is accomplished — there will be more Octopus Reviews. Getting a new website up will also be a major accomplishment for me, but I’m going to make the 2020’s about updating my technical lexicon. I’ve got 2011/2012 technology licked, but now I’m starting to feel left behind again : ))

I would like to keep the scrolling format but really pare it down to maybe 8 poems & 4 artworks & even offer a small payment to each contributor. It won’t be a lot, but I believe in artists & writers getting paid. We are also considering doing a writer’s retreat/ air bnb situation, but that may be beyond our hobbity scope, ie just a dream we like to dream, which would be a better reality for someone else.

Also… I don’t know how publications get added to Duotrope, but somehow I got added and it’s been interesting. All summer I received tons of fabulous vacation photos from all over the world. And I’m not complaining—there are worse things than a mailbox full of gorgeous photos. 

But I don’t feel like I belong there. i am currently not using Duotrope, since I’m on submission hiatus. If I have any real friends who can check my Duotrope account & see if it’s legit that would be cool. If not, I’ll live : ))

I made this at Starbucks...



I will start writing conscious poetry & submitting it again someday…maybe to you : O

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Octopus Review #8


Friends!

It's finally here —The Octopus Review #8!  This will be the last Octo Review in this space in this format, and it is a good one!  I will be back soon with news about the new incarnation of the Octo Review.

I think great things are happening in the poetry scene and I've been honored to participate in it with you all. Thank you not just to this batch of poets and artists but to EVERYONE who has contributed to The Octopus Review the past 2 years. You'll never understand what it has meant to me.

Also—I can't believe it but no one submitted any octopus art : )) For the first 3 or 4 issues I received several octopus submissions and I rejected them because, you know, I thought it would be octopus overkill. And this time around? Nothing. Oh well—you guys always surprise me.


**************************************************************************Barbara H. Moore

NEW DAY

Standing on the rooftop, I am Juno, Ceres, 
Victoria, Minerva, Hecate, Iris, Diana – 
wind in my hair, sun rising to greet me.
I contemplate flight over a city awakening, 
scoping out freshly mown territory – 
looking for places to hide in plainest sight.
Simply clad in camouflage, blending in 
with treetops, I am pleased with last year’s crops 
but not content. Over and again, I rise victorious, 
no ashes in sight, with wing expansion greater 
than my own capacity for dreaming. Wise but 
not without faults of jealousy, suspicion, 
my body armor never leaves my sight completely. 
I carry torches and threats to morph you into 
other forms if you double-cross me. I may 
surprise you, arriving when you’re least prepared – 
with cryptic messages and leftover nectar dripping 
from my fingertips. My eyes ablaze like silver moons,
and deadly as my aim is true, I do not suffer fools lightly.


Man Walking by Wayne F. Burke



************************************************************************Andrew Darlington

COURTESY OF ANOTHER EMPTY SPACE
(Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield, February 2017)

I’m in the Hepworth Gallery
where someone’s draped
their coat folded over the chairback
and left their case slanting the seat,
with their tight-rolled umbrella
angled precisely across it,
I’m appraising in indecision
from different perspectives, see
a common on impermanence,
the transience of art and presence,
the outsider nature of being
and nothingness, absence and
what remains beyond leaving,
but no,
not installation sculpture,
just left by another drifting art-geek
in the Hepworth gallery




****************************************************************************Lois Betterton

Gracing the Square
(An Ode to Poetry)

Crowds gather as the ancient sundial tells them what they want to know.
The bells ring, the crowd gawks,
Music fills the chambers as we enjoy their dimensions.
Tea? you ask, and I am charmed,
For your eyes sparkle and we both know what we mean,
And what we cannot mean.
Musicians are everywhere, even in corners we cannot see,

We can hear them only faintly now.
And finally the senses are relaxed as laughter
Spills out from between lips like honey from a golden pitcher.

Time is a man-made invention, a name and a promise
To move forward reliably; though, in reality, time is something
That can neither be contained nor defined. And man is so uneasy
That he gives time a measure that it can neither understand nor obey.

And no one is the wiser.


Untitled by Jim Zola



The ARTist

Fragment Raw Rage Unfinished
Untethered by convention, witnessed,
Unbound by perceived oppression,
Works his ART, visual expression.
Its soul cries out to be unheard, 
Poetry without a word,
A silent tortured naked scream
To his within, fulfills his need.
The ARTificial sacrifice, of life and limb, of modern strife,
The path unbroken, all his Life,
Revealing unseen, unknown truth
He carries from his sacred youth.
Generous now, he shares his view
For there is nothing he won’t do
To see how deeply he can go
I don’t think he can really know
How rare his magic, how his eye
Compels his hand, his raw heart cries
Out to the cosmos, to the Moon
His new work’s heartbeat emerging soon
To live its truth will come alive.
To be itself it must survive.
Releasing thunder, tenderness,
The ARTist’s heart, the gift possessed.




*****************************************************************************Robert Beveridge

ALL THOSE PROMISES

an excess of legs
brushes against your sternum,
orgy of past due notices. the last time
you stood here, Canaveral
was still a cloak. the twilight
casts everything in hues of red
yet the traffic has not found a reason
to stop, you dodge bicycles
on the way to the deli, your chest
alive. bags of cats set you to ponder
the way to succeed. roast beef on rye
with extra mustard and a hint
of sliced olive. you wait for it to move.


Incels in Space by Peter Landau


************************************************************************************Tony Egler

INHERIT THE MOON

It’s life and death every day on the Moon.
Hell, anywhere I guess. You don’t have to leave
Earth to die, plenty of that here everyday.

It’s more than where you live, it’s how.
Like, do you I-me-me-I your way
From relationship to relationship?
Or are you all in?

They said there was no place for us here,
that our lives didn’t matter. Not until someone
believed in us, helped us survive,
taught us how to live again.

First we made the desert bloom, then
we moved to the Moon. They called us Refugees,
but we always knew we were just like you. Free.

Dialogue with Articulated Formation by John Nelson


**************************************************************************************Juliet Cook

What if my most vibrant heart beats happened in the past
 and then my emotions gradually got stoned
 into grey?

Or maybe I'll never dry out all the way.

Today I took photos of my own menstrual blood,
because it won't be long before it stops.

Or maybe it will never stop.

Maybe when I die, the blood will still be gushing
out of my vaginal lines.

Bloodied screw hole.

Bloodied irises
in a flower pot.

Bloodied saint of torn apart poems,
dripping, thrown away, hidden inside 
underwear drawers and
underground dreams.

In which my vagina was a tiny tomb
for broken dicks
whose heads have managed

to convince themselves that I don't exist anymore
and maybe I don't in some mind's eyes.

I mean I'm not the same as I was 
when I was 20
when I was 30
when I was 40
but I do still exist
and I'm still the real me
no matter how much I change.

I want to be able to keep changing
for at least another 40 years, but
can I handle myself?

     ****

When I was a little girl,
my grandma made witch finger shapes
with pierogie dough. She knew
I would turn into a witch with entrails
stuck between dirty fingernails.

My nose keeps growing more and more witchy
and I can't tell if this is sorcery or another ugly sign 
of aging.  It is hard to believe that anyone really wants
to handle these spells. That anyone really wants all of me.

Brimming  with broom legs,
with bruises and veins, 
uneven blood flow, pulsating heart beats
underneath my skin. I cut myself 
shaving again, because the veins 
bulged into the razor blade.

The ever alternating landscapes
of quantifiable feminism.
Blood 
then mental evaporation
then excavation from underneath the cuts.

Woods by Wayne F. Burke


***********************************************************************************Pris Campbell

 burn

hate burns his lips
sets fire to trees
scares off squirrels

he walks in haze
no longer knows color
until the sky bends
to touch him

he has long forgotten seedlings
in spring
redbirds in flight
wildflowers in bloom

this man...
my hunched over grandfather
carries his daughter's torn
underpants in one hand
my barrette in the other

the road to perdition
has many turns
barbed wire holds
shirt fragments

snagged from other
lost men who
tried to escape this route
before him

he cries out
to the god his victims
cried for when his evil
lay so heavily
upon them.

a storm rises
on the horizon
cloaked horsemen
ride its cusp

Untitled by Jim Zola



jukebox

I still smell that war... 
it seeps from my bones. 

Oh praise to the soldiers
lined up on D-Day,
shivering, while the water
turned crimson 

We were so certain 
of our lives together
before Vietnam. 

Bodies pile up
in the Middle East,
a child's broken toy 
beside them.

When the shells 
hit his ship he slipped
further through that rabbit hole 
carrying him away from me.

Return to me,
oh souls of the dead
and the walking dead
for one last benediction

He didn't want me 
to drop braids, kiss a frog, 
or click heels together 
to help him return intact. 

White crosses shine
in the moonlight
at Arlington:
ghosts step out from the Wall.

I watch helplessly 
as he falls further. 
I reach out, but my hands 
grasp empty space.

Our warriors are gone now,
leaving behind those who mourn.
May we may hold their memory dear,
gain peace for what has been lost .

Dead now a year
I still talk to him -
program alternate endings 
into this jukebox called life.

*********************************************************************************Catfish McDaris

THE LAST NIGHT SHIFT

Stumbling outside from the monster
loud shrieking machine madness, the
black slate floor trying to swallow your
feet to the knees in phobic quicksand

A cigarette, a sip of water in a deserted
parking lot, night, like a workman’s
gloves fingers wearing through at the
tips grasping the sun, clutching that
orange red ball to his dark bosom

Quick dozed off leaning against a
concrete wall, he struggled awake
hearing a sound, a lady was playing
trombone with a monkey in a tutu.

What Is A Man? by Peter Landau


***********************************************************************************Matt Borczon

Try ( for Eliza at 10 years old )

Try
to channel
the devil
with your
dance moves
to wake
the dead
with your
screams
to scatter
the crows
with your
icy breath
stampede
the horses
sink the
ship shoot
out the
street lights
with the
fierce energy
of your
youth with
the power
of your
love and
anger try
please try

to change

the world!



********************************************CONTRIBUTOR BIOS******************************************

Andrew Darlington worked as a Stand-Up Poet on the ‘Alternative Cabaret Circuit’ and interviewed many people from the worlds of Literature, SF-Fantasy, Art and Music for a variety of publications. His latest poetry collection is Tweak Vision (Alien Buddha Press), while his new fiction collection A Saucerful Of Secrets is now available from Parallel Universe. His scientifictionnovel In The Time Of The Breaking (Alien Buddha Press) was published in January 2019. 

Barbara Moore is a New York poet and author of the slim poetry collection Dancing on Broken Glass (Nightwing Publications, 2014.) Her poems have appeared in numerous online and in-print poetry journals/anthologies. Barbara admires the ability to access the flip side of tragedy and believes it’s humor that keeps her afloat. An avid Bob Dylan fan, music is one of her greatest pleasures.

Catfish McDaris won the Thelonius Monk Award in 2015. He’s been active in the small press world for 25 years. He’s recently been translated into Spanish, Italian, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin, Yoruba, Tagalog, and Esperanto.  

Jim Zola is a poet and photographer living in North Carolina. 

John Nelson: “My paintings employ design to generate tension, and I use color for a release of that tension. I enjoy watching the art reveal itself layer after layer using newly discovered techniques while eliminating subject matter. Having no formal training , I can create in a manner that knows no bounds.“

The two poems by Juliet Cook appear within a chapbook called DARK PURPLE INTERSECTIONS (inside my Black Doll Head Irises), which will soon be published online by Dusie. It can currently be acquired in hand-designed print chapbook format in the Blood Pudding Press shop here - https://www.etsy.com/listing/689260672/new-dark-purple-intersections-inside-my?ref=shop_home_feat_1".


Lois Betterton grew up in Yonkers, New York and now resides in Sarasota’s Historic Rosemary District. She began reading and writing poetry as a young child and has embraced the written word all her life.  She founded and hosts The Word Show in Sarasota that showcases local, free range, organic poets.

Matthew Borczon is a poet and navy sailor from Erie, PA. He publishes widely in the small press. He has published 6 books of poetry, the most recent The Smallest Coffins Are the Heaviest was released through Epic Rites Press this year. He is the father of 4 kids and he works way too many hours to survive. He also holds a degree in fine arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

Peter Landau draws and writes in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and three children. His drawing can be seen at https://www.instagram.com/peterlandau/  or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/peterlandau/

The poems of Pris Campbell have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including PoetsArtists, Nixes Mate, Rusty Truck, Bicycle Review, Chiron Review, Pulse, and Outlaw Poetry Network. Nominated four times for a Pushcart, the Small Press has published nine collections of her poetry and Clemson University Press a collaboration with Scott Owens. My Southern Childhood, from Nixes Mate Press is her most recent book. A former Clinical Psychologist, sailor and bicyclist until sidelined by ME/CFS in 1990, she makes her home in the Greater West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in The Virginia Normal, Credo Espoir, and Chiron Review, among others.

Tony Egler is an avid Science and Science Fiction enthusiast who for many years has engaged his muse as a spectator, but has longed to be an adept. He has practiced his craft with the development of screen plays, manuscripts and short fiction. He lives in Sarasota Florida with his partner and co-conspirator. His work has appeared in AntiMatter magazine.


Wayne F. Burke:  “My drawings have previously been published in Portland Review, Flare, Grey Sparrow, Red Savina, and elsewhere. I live in Vermont, USA.”