Monday, May 15, 2017

Notes Toward Some Lines on Nurse Rivers*

by Jefferson Hansen

Go in fear of absolutes!
“You’re only as crazy as your deepest secret.”

Sometimes, rather,
it is the secrets that keep us sane.

Take Nurse Rivers, for instance.
She accepted a medal for her work
on the study.

Her greatest contribution
we will never know:

Did she give the men penicillin

            a white man
            of decades later
            of Northern climes,
imagine black people in Alabama
of her time
knew how to keep secrets
most savagely.

       Observant Hebrews eat no pork, today.
       The Law began, I assume,
       because pig meat could make you sick
       so easily
       in that time.

What was once utility
can become sacred.

I imagine Nurse Rivers keeping
useless trinkets on the second shelf —
more hidden there.
I imagine her smiling
gently at their crystal every day,
and taking them down every three
days to dust,
then placing them carefully back.

On all the other shelves
with no lettering on the spines
filled with all that has been said
about her.

She never goes there.
They are merely the frame
for the crystal.

One book quotes people saying,
“The men loved her
and she loved them.”

She married late in life.
I imagine she told this husband.
He had his trinkets,

And these lines are my Nurse Rivers,

some lines
lacking spines.

*Nurse Eunice Rivers, an African American, was the only person who worked for the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study for all of its 40 years, 1932-1972. Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and Its Legacy (U of NC Press), by Susan M. Reverby. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Joy Of Solitude

by Ted King

I will live
in a cave
from ordinary view

I will serve tea
every second day

will be one of
my guests

We needn't speak
The truth will be
in our eyes

are among the few
who will sip
my tea.


Ted King has a PTSD in poetry. Otherwise, No grants. No contests. No awards.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

On the Beach in RIO

by Ted King

I remember so clearly.

It was you and me at sunset, on the beach, in Rio.

Or was it you and me?

Maybe it was you and someone else.

Is this your memory instead of mine?

I've never been to Rio.

Have I?

And yet, I remember.

Do you remember?

Remind me.

Did we ever stand together on the beach at sunset?

Or maybe it wasn't us.

Someone must have stood on a beach, somewhere.

I'm not sure this is my memory.

Maybe it's someone else's.

A memory fragment that I picked up as it floated by.

Why do you look at me that way?

Please nod your head, or wiggle a finger, or something.

I need to know you hear me.

I'm sharing a memory with you.

What does it matter whose memory?

I forget. Was that you on the beach?

And was it really Rio?

I've never been to Rio.

Maybe it was Lake Superior. The North Shore.

Or that little creek.

Yeah. That little creek.

When I was a kid I used to ride my bike out there, early in the


Must have been 6 or 8 miles.

I'd carry a cane pole and some worms in a bucket.

Fish for crappies. Catch a few. Bring em home.

Mom and I would clean em and we’d fry em up.

But that was morning, not sunset. And you weren't there.

I'm not sure I was either.

It might have been my brother.

I'll ask him.

No matter. I remember. I remember You, Me, Sunset, the Beach, Rio.


Ted King has a PTSD in poetry. Otherwise, No grants. No contests. No awards.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Cello More Dictator

by Jefferson Hansen

                                                                 February 2017

more to the light of
        a solitary cello bouncing
                  its warmth from the stereo
              across newspapers
            strewn about

in February it rains warm in a Northern city
       becoming ugly
             in the run-up
                to differentiation
      even the sky
                    may be guessing

a restless balance announces itself
                things come and go
      what can’t happen already did
            and gone

the leaks are wiped clean
         by standardized lies
             sometimes called accurately

Monday, May 1, 2017

Two Asemic Works by Gareth Jenkins

Alphabet of Blue Stars
[Photo credit: Bob Newman]


Alphabet of Purple Stars
[Photographer credit: Bob Newman]


Dr Gareth Jenkins is a poet, artist and independent researcher. He is a creative producer for the 9 inner city Sydney libraries. He runs poetry writing workshops in NSW prisons with the Red Room Poetry Company. Gareth has lectured widely in Australia universities on the history and practice of poetic writing. 

His theoretical work focuses on avant-garde writers and artists that have experienced schizophrenia – he has published and presented his research in Australia, Europe and the U.S.A.  

Gareth's creative work includes poetry, concrete poetry and digital media. His work has been shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize and the Zebra Poetry Film Awards in Berlin. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Cordite Poetry Review, RattapallaxRed Room Poetry Company, The Drunken Boat, Rabbit Poetry Journal, Mascara Literary Review and VLAK: Contemporary Poetics and the Arts. 

More of his work can be found at:

Terrence Folz Reading From "Bunt Burke"

  Terrence Folz's chapbook  Bunt Burke will appear from The Circulatory Press in August 2021. The above film features him reading some o...