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Want To Hear About This Dream I Had by Sommer Browning is now available!

WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THIS DREAM I HAD by Sommer Browning is a chronicle of the author’s dreamscape recorded through the first half of 2016. 44 pages in length, it captures the intersection of the surreal and domestic that the running narrative of dream life transpires at. It is a diary of an alternate form of life, featuring elements of the author’s waking life free from the filters of logic. This book is a dream walk through the mind of a poet.

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This book is produced in a limited edition of 100 hand-numbered copies. Its cover features the author’s rendering of the title hand screened in matte black onto heavyweight reflective black mirricard stock. End papers are made from handmade dyed stock. It is bound with handspun and dyed Turkish waxed thread.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE.

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!!!!NEW EDITORS!!!!

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We are absolutely ecstatic to announce that beginning with ISSUE FIVE, REALITY BEACH will be edited by three of its favorite poetry minds:  Jordan Hoxsie, Precious Okoyomon, and Lydia Hounat. As the scale of our operation increases, Adam and Anna will be concentrating on chapbook editing, design, and production.

Jordan Hoxsie has been working with us as our social media and blog editor. They run the spectacular VARSITY GOTH PRESS. They are the author of Cry Lightning and You Walk Exposed.

Precious Okoyomon is the author of the amazing Ajebota. Some of her work can also be found in REALITY BEACH ISSUE TWO. You can read a really cool interview with her here.

Lydia Hounat ‘s fantastic poems have been published in Hobart,  Vanilla Sex Magazine,  The Cadaverine, and a lot of other wonderful places, including REALITY BEACH ISSUE THREE.

We have transitioned to a new submissions platform and will be open for ISSUE FIVE submissions beginning December Fifteenth.

We love you!

INTERVIEW WITH THE POET ERIN DORNEY by TYLER BARTON

One time, years ago, the poet Erin Dorney and I walked through the Baltimore IKEA showroom and wrote a poem inside each ridiculous space.

Every time the poet Erin Dorney and I go to an IKEA, our energy skyrockets. It’s something about the affordability. About the lighting. Maybe it’s the language. The meatballs. Some of my verrrry best tweets have come from letting IKEA wash totally over me. As Erin said in our interview, “The first time I was in an IKEA, I was blown away…I had never heard of it before…I didn’t know it was a thing…I was overwhelmed…everything I wanted to buy could fit into my two-door Honda Civic.”

We were inside an IKEA showroom in Bloomington, Minnesota last weekend when I asked her some questions.

int-1

 

Erin, picking up a white tea-kettle:

I will buy a vessel today. 90% sure.

int-2


Erin, after a woman behind us says, This is more me than my living room is me

One of the weird things about being in IKEA is that I’ve shopped there with different partners who I have lived with over the years. So when I come here, I’ll see things I used to own. And it makes me think about that person, that time in my life, like why did I even like that magazine holder?

 

int-3

 

Me, pulling a Swedish book out of a chic, orange bookcase:

Make a found poem out of this.

 

Erin’s poem, sourced from page 51. of Klaus Rifbjerg’s Bilden:

Hon hann
virvel
satt som de
nästan I
inte se att
armarna
moster
lite för sig
bestämma
hade sagt
punkt och slut
och ut på
bra bild
skuggorna
sig I helfigur

 

Erin’s poem translated:

she could
vortex
sat as
In almost
not see that
arms
aunt
some of the
determine
had said
point and end
and on
good picture
shadows
In the full-length

 

int-4


Me, by the window overlooking the parking lot and Mall of America:

Can you explain how the poem “Test” was written?

 

Erin:

I searched for the different phrases on twitter. Like “the boy questioned” and then from all the tweets that came back, I wrote down the ones that stuck out to me. Anything that was interesting. There were so many ways that each phrase was taken. So, I just did a bunch of different phrases like that. Then I went back through and deleted until the ones that were left worked together.

Then I had an idea to make it a multiple choice test. I thought that was an interesting form. Basically, I got the content and then put it into a form.

It was fun to play with.

 

Me:

What is ‘interesting’?

 

Erin:

Language used in a surprising way. Like, a combination of words that I wouldn’t think to put together. But as soon as I see it, I’m like, “Yeah, that’s exactly it.”

 

Me:

Is it a feeling?

 

Erin:

It’s more like a visual. Especially if it’s on a page, like with my erasure poetry. A word or a combination of words will just pop out of the page. My eyes are just drawn to them.int-5

 

Me, holding the above FEJKA:

Give this thing a name.

 

Erin:

SPRIGSTEN. It’s like the Swedish Bruce Springsteen.

int-6


Me, behind a stack of Christmas presents addressed to “Dylan” and “Lydia
:

Avian Quarantine is one of my favorite poems of yours. I remember when you wrote it.

 

Erin, also there with me behind the presents:

You were there.

 

Me:

And I remember workshopping it with our friends at the big dinner table at our old house in Lancaster.

 

Erin:

We didn’t live there then.

 

Me:

Okay well…

 

Erin:

I think it’s almost like three years old.

 

Me:

Well I remember you always saying it was your favorite poem too.

 

Erin:

Yeah, for a long time it was.

 

Me:

Why do you think it was rejected so many times?

 

Erin:

I don’t know. It wasn’t resonating with anyone. Maybe it’s because I know the picture that inspired it but other people don’t?

 

Me:

Say more.

 

Erin:

Avian Quarantine is an ekphrastic poem in response to a photo in the book called “An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar,” by Terrance Simon. There’s these birds in glass boxes, a quarantine before they can enter United States. Any bird coming in to the country has to be quarantined for thirty days or something. The poem was a response to that image.

I don’t know. I don’t know why it was reject so much. I remember sneaking it into batches of other poems that were nothing like it. And some would get taken but never that one.

 

Me:

I didn’t even remember that it was ekphrastic. I do remember you saying, “No one likes this poem.”

 

Erin:

Yeah

 

Me:

Except us.

 

Erin, as Nickleback’s “Far Away” plays through the store:

I don’t know what to say. It resonated with someone at Reality Beach. As an editor, I know that some poems hit you and some don’t. Maybe it just wasn’t catching people the way it caught me, the way it caught Reality Beach.

int-7

 

Me:

Why did you submit poems to Reality Beach?

 

Erin:

I was blown away by the first issue. I never read online lit mags cover to cover. Especially in one day. But I did with the first issue.

Their aesthetic is like what a person on TV in the 80s would be warning everyone what the future will be like.

int-8

 

Me:

What risks have you been taking in your poetry lately?

 

Erin, as both a man with one leg and a woman with one arm shop behind her:          

I’ve been working on projects lately. I’m almost done with the October project, which was to create a found poem every day from Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. I had never read the book or seen the movie. That was a challenge because the vocab he uses is so strange and dark. That’s been fun. The book is not quality writing at all. I would like to think Stephen King agrees with me. Because he never wanted it published anyway.

int-9

 

Me, by the baby beds:

Tell me about a time you couldn’t write poetry

 

Erin:

*is silent for awhile*

 

Me, whispering:

 Just let the question wash over you.

 

Erin:

Right now.

int-10

 

Tyler Barton and Erin Dorney edit Fear No Lit, a web and IRL literary organization.

For more information about Tyler, visit him here.

To learn more about Erin, visit her here.

To read Erin’s amazing poems in Reality Beach Issue Two, click here.

 

Heart Sutra by Adam Tedesco is now available

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Heart Sutra is a chapbook inspired by meditating on a line of Bernadette Mayer’s, “My heart is a fancy place”, and a text from the Tantric Buddhist tradition with which the chapbook shares its name. The pith of this text is the instructive passage “go, go, go beyond, go completely beyond.”  This phrase informed the approach taken in constructing the poems within Heart Sutra, which is to say the personal, the inner life of identity, emotion and memory is something to be traveled through to an inner elsewhere, then the inverse as well, and all of this is a path to laughter, release and the realization of not knowing, even one’s own heart.

i love The <3 Sutra, it’s utterly charming, funny, sad, in the sense that every great poem is essentially saying: I too feel sad, life & time also vice-grip me like a cliched torture victim in an early aughts horror movie, my <3 too is a Pizza Hut / that doesn’t serve beer / that you have to walk to / through a cherry orchard. Adam’s done it, he’s written a book that’s better than TV, better than the internet, better than sex late-night sandwiches. Did i mention i <3 it! I do.

-Sampson Starkweather, author of PAIN: The Board Game

The experience of reading Adam Tedesco’s Heart Sutra was to curl up around a heart whose beats mirrored the daily compassion, filth, drugs, and fun. I was having the worst day: I was filled with rage and lethargy. But then I sat down to read this chapbook and it calmed me down, reminded me about feeling things and the poetry of our everyday environment, how a cloud can be in the shape of a penis and how fun that is. How that equalizes. He writes “A glass and brass table flipped / The wet fog, the upturned top / The slow loss of want / for breath, an exchange of nothing.” Adam Tedesco has probably watched all the same music videos as us, binge-watched the same TV, paused and rewatched the same cat videos, and this has filled his heart to the brim with clear-eyed humanity, clowns teetering in void, and intoxicating humor.

-Amy Lawless , author of I Cry: The Desire to Be Rejected

Adam Tedesco has worked as a shipbuilder, a meditation instructor, and as cultural critic for the now disbanded Maoist Internationalist Movement. He is a founding editor of REALITY BEACH and a contributing editor for Drunk In AMidnight Choir. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Funhouse, Souvenir, Cosmonauts Avenue, Hobart, Fanzine and elsewhere.

This hand made chapbook is a limited edition of 108 8″x 8″ numbered copies. Its cover features hand screened raised ink available on both black and bright green covers which contains text printed on premium 32lb paper, all bound with hand-spun Turkish thread.

PURCHASE

Curtis Emery Responds To The Questionnaire!

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What is your favorite breakfast food?

I usually don’t eat breakfast, or much food before 6 p.m., but if I am not working and have money I can always go for a breakfast sandwich. On weekends I like to get this massive breakfast sandwich called “The Barnyard” from a local coffee place in Lowell, MA–it is enough food to tide me over for most of a day.

Tell us a bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

“Earthworm Oracle (pt.II)” is a follow up poem to a piece that came out in ELDERLY earlier this summer. It is a celebration of imagination and anxiety and the chaos of projection. It, and by extension the first poem, comes from a moment of dissociation. A violent moment of beauty which forced my brain to fill in unexplored spaces in the natural world around me. I am currently obsessed with preparing a mystical narrative for my personal landscape.

“Genital Nest Bird Proxy” is moment where I am able to consider emotional landscape. I am troubleshooting sexuality, I am troubleshooting space–I am embracing queerness and the pain of discovery. Does it work? I am not sure, but maybe that is the process.

“Slow Mouth” is an experiment with language and spacing. This poem demands to be read a certain way. White space as speed bumps; assonance as lubrication. It is a part of a personal project of mine where I beg pragmatism to unlock some creative truth for me. It is ongoing.

“The Maple and I Share a Brain–I Burn Too Yes Yes” is a marriage of two of my favorite things: New England Autumn and repetition. Repetition lends itself to the mythology of season. Seasons lend themselves to the purpose of repetition. Purpose, as an Idea, lends itself to my own uncertainties, which I color with repetition and the imaginative fury of the natural world.

What is your creative process?

My creative process is fairly basic but always evolving. I have been taking pictures of what is directly in front of me wherever I plant myself to write. I like this; I enjoy framing the space around me. Creation is a process of centering for me. Anything I can do to manage myself while writing or reading is an important exercise for me–these exercises are always changing.

Where would you like to be at the end of the universe?

At the end of the universe is the most beautiful flower I have ever seen. When I eat it I am overwhelmed by so many histories; left at the mercy of imagination in absolute silence and it is so wonderful.

What is your favorite part about being human?

My favorite part of being human is writing poetry.

What do you rule over?

I rule over the nightstand next to my bed. My room is a mess. My car is a mess. My cubicle is a mess. My nightstand is organized just the way I like it. I love being able to reach over with my eyes closed and find a drink of water or beer or find my glasses without a second thought.

How can we support you and buy more of your work?

You can support me by reading as many poets, online or on paper, as you can. I don’t have any forthcoming books or chaps (although I wish), so I have nothing to sell, but I know there are a multitude of other poets like me out there trying to share their truth and we could all use some love.

What is your daily motivation?

My daily motivation is having a cigarette after I get home from work. My current job is so far removed from literature that it drives me nuts so having a ritual when I get to come back to my own space is very important to me.

Anything coming up in the near future?

I am writing like crazy so I am hoping something is coming up in the near future.

Who is your alter ego?

My alter ego is the Brazilian Pygmy Gecko. I love those little things. Look them up they are so small. They can walk on water and the smallest incidents can throw them into moments of complete chaos.

Be sure to read Curtis’s four poems in Issue Three!

Mike Sikkema Gives Us Answers!

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What is your favorite breakfast food?

My current favorite breakfast food is grits with goat cheese and foraged lion’s mane mushroom. It’s a little processed, a little wild, and probably a little cruel, like the rest of us. The fact that the mushroom is a neural regenerative is pretty cool, and makes the meal a kind of meditation. Of course, we are always reborn through food, but eating foods that I foraged and prepared myself feels like a part of the immediate act of being human.

Tell us a bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

The poems in Reality Beach were composed on notecards, for the occasion of reading in DC, for Tony Mancus and Meg Ronan. I knew that Rod Smith was going to be in the audience as well as other DC poets who I am both intimidated and impressed by so I wrote some poems specifically for that audience, and that performance.

What is your creative process?

My creative process consists of being open to all the voices that I hear, and then paring them down. Cutting the punch line, or stacking the punch lines, or listing dialogue without context, or providing commentary on parts that have been deleted all make the poem (the big poem) seem honest and realistic and candid to me. I try to hold back more than I give, and I want people to lean in, to meet me more than half way.

Where would you like to be at the end of the universe?

Since there is no end of the universe, I’m happy right here, learning about how our planet works, and how its individual subjects work, and trying to foster a healthy habitat for all of that. The universe is born and reborn and we suffer and celebrate our spring times too, some in more rapid succession than others.

What is your favorite part about being human?

My favorite part of being human is being beautifully incomplete and ignorant. There is so much I don’t know about the most basic things. Wind, rain, the hidden worlds under that first half inch of earth we all walk over, etc. I’m studying and trying to learn all the time and it’s such a delight to know that I will die having solved almost none of the mystery.

What do you rule over?

I’m not sure I rule. I think I weather. I experience, I collaborate. I’m slowly becoming a better cook. I’m proud of that.

How can we support you and buy more of your work?

You can buy my first book here

You can buy my second and third books here

You will be able to buy a collab written by me and the strong, talented, beautiful, fierce, amazing Elisabeth Workman, soon from Pity Milk Press.

What is your daily motivation?

My daily motivation is to try to grow some, to help, to undo some of the devastation that happens everyday.

Anything coming up in the near future?

Right now I have no forthcoming work, which feels weird to type, but not in a bad way. We begin, and begin again. My press, Shirt Pocket Press, will be releasing great work by Jessie Askinazi, and mIEKAL aND soon.

Who is your alter ego?

I’m trying to whittle down the ego, alter and otherwise, but I do find myself thinking through the lens of Swamp Thing quite a bit.

Be sure to read Mike’s work in Issue Three!

Kris Hall Answers Our Questions!

 

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What is your favorite breakfast food?

If I’m on my way to work and can handle the guilt early on, I’d say it’s a greasy BBQ burrito from Alfi’s Food & Deli in Denny Triangle. It’s my favorite brand of comfort food.

Tell us a bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

“Rain by Ryuichi Sakamoto” speaks on what I feel as an inability to form solid and consistent bonds with people. Looking back at old toxic friendships that have ended, but still occasionally missing them. Missing parts of myself even.

I see “Eureka! Synecdoche” as a conversation about privilege between two individuals. One who is too hedonistic and distracted by their own life to accept its existence, and the other being far too passive and unaffected to construct a viable response or argument. Like, this conversation should be going somewhere. There should be an “ah-ha!” moment, but it’s falling flat and is a total disservice.

What is your creative process?

First, I come up with a theme and sit on it for a week or so, maybe repeat a line or two in my head to attain the tone I want to go for. I may even find a song I like and listen to it a thousand times until I have the right “color palette” in mind. Then I read a couple of short story collections that have bits of magical realism or imaginative horror and more poetry, poetry, poetry. Eventually down the line I have a panic attack that busts open this dam and then all of a sudden I have a stack of poems I’m going to obsess over and scrap 75% of and edit and submit compulsively and sometimes I accidentally submit before the editing has happened and then more anxiety.

Where would you like to be at the end of the universe?

Not vaping.

What is your favorite part about being human?

I’m appreciative for my senses.

What do you rule over?

Philly Cheesesteaks.

How can we support you and buy more of your work?

Previous chapbooks are out of print but if you see something you like, feel free to share it with all the exclamation points your heart can muster.

What is your daily motivation?

Philly Cheesesteaks.

Anything coming up in the near future?

SEATTLE: I organize and co-host the variety lit. series Ogopogo with Bryan Edenfield (Babel/Salvage). We have a show at Vermillion on 11/16/16.

Who is your alter ego?

The frog that stays a frog even after you kiss it.

Be sure to check out Kris’s poems in Issue Three!