! NEW CHAPS by PHILIP GOOD and ALEX CUFF NOW AVAILABLE!

We are thrilled to announce that two new chaps, Poets in a Box or Pluto in Motion by Philip Good, and Family, A Natural Wonder by Alex Cuff are now available!!!

Poets in a Box or Pluto in Motion by Philip Good

This work was inspired by a box of broadsides put together as a fundraiser for Bernadette Mayer after she suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1994. The set of 25 original broadsides, each signed by the author with exception of the one by James Schuyler was edited by William Corbett and Michael Gizzi and published by The Figures, Great Barrington, 1995. Called Writing For Bernadette and beautifully packaged in a purple box with an illustration mounted on the cover by Joe Brainard called Pluto In Motion Studies.

Each poem comprises two 13 line stanzas. The first stanza speaks to Bernadette Mayer’s work and life. The second stanza speaks to the individual broadside
donated for the benefit of Bernadette’s life.

PURCHASE

 

Family, A Natural Wonder by Alex Cuff is a chapbook-length exploration of family, love, and how these impact and shape identity, as evidenced in brief in one of the collection’s titular poems:

FAMILY, A NATURAL WONDER

We couldn’t agree on a location to dispose the body so we didn’t.

We stuffed organs into Costco-sized jars of maraschino cherries.

We sensed humor where there was some.

We were haven and humanoid.

We wept collections of TNT.

Rewired circuits.

We failed before we thought to act.

Our failures came in large and manageable pieces.

 

PURCHASE

2 Poems by Cindy Rinne

X.

 

And when she left me, I got
into gardening. Cabbages, Anaheim’s,
and chocolate mint.

Daily I said

the rosary, fingered beads
looked like earth from space.
I tossed the photographs;

All, but one.

 

 

Dead Leaves

Empty branches reveal a hollow
nest. Body betrays. In the river
Mio tries to wash away her
memories Ink stays. Rice paper
wrinkles like mother’s hands.
One face – death. Opposite
face – resurrection.

Cindy Rinne creates art and writes in San Bernardino, CA. She brings myth to life in contemporary context. Cindy is the author of several books. She is a published translator and a founding member of PoetrIE, a literary community. Her poetry appeared or is forthcoming in Sea Foam Magazine, Blue Heron Review, Gulf Stream Literary Magazine, Driftwood Press, The Honest Ulsterman (Northern Ireland), The Whirlwind Review, Birds Piled Loosely, and others. www.fiberverse.com

A Poem by Stephen Langlois

Stephen Langlois’ work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Portland Review, Gigantic Sequins,  and Big Lucks, among other places. He has been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes and is the recipient of a 2015 NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship from The Center for Fiction. He also curates and hosts Brew: An Evening of Literary Works, a monthly reading series held in Brooklyn.

Submissions Are Open

 

 

Poetry submissions are now open! Send us work through Submittable.

Poetry submissions are now open! Send us work through Submittable.

Poetry submissions are now open! Send us work through Submittable

Poetry submissions are now open! Send us work through Submittable.

Poetry submissions are now open! Send us work through Submittable.

Poetry submissions are now open! Send us work through Submittable.

Poetry submissions are now open! Send us work through Submittable.

Poetry submissions are now open! Send us poems through Submittable.

Two Poems by Kevin Bertolero

CARTOGRAPHY

 

Perhaps it’s time again to consider hiring a new cartographer. With Google Maps and a star chart, a fifteen-year-old boy found an Ancient Mayan city, and I still struggle to understand why I needed to take tenth grade geometry. Overlaying constellations onto the cities, far from the seacoast, away from the riverbeds, he knew the system needed to be completed. He saw that the world didn’t end in 2012 but wanted to know why. Maybe we should start to redraw the maps—time to reset and clarify the lines that divide us. Africa is too small, and we still don’t use the metric system. The Mercator projection has failed us beyond belief and we all know it. If we start over, maybe we’ll see what we’ve been missing all along. Maybe we’ll recover all we’ve lost; the abandoned seaports and the missionaries trying to gather converts, the Las Vegas watershed and the Worlds Fair. Everything was bigger then, Paxton’s Crystal Palace only standing for a matter of months, the frame solid and the exterior ready to shatter. There wasn’t time to waste on preservative acts. Instead, the fire took it away and everyone just moved beyond the cast-iron skeleton, dancing instead in the vacant pool halls and laundromats, the washeteria in Fort Worth bringing in most of the business. You and I, we can look at the maps over hamburgers and milkshakes from the twenty-four hour diner and consider where to go from here. Our hometowns only ever look alive at night.

 

 

 

DOCUMENTARY POETICS

 

Think of the filmmakers and the artists, the videographers and boom-mic operators—the conjurers of depth and cinematic dust-light. But where do the researchers find their subjects? Dana says that documentarians can live to be one-hundred-and-twelve, but I’ve learned to recognize a reliable resource when I see one. This is not it. When the lights dim in the theater and the screen stays black, we know enough to be complacent and amenable. The end will never come at this rate, or so we like to think. But now we’re in your basement and the lights still aren’t coming on. I’ve seen enough film to predict what happens at the end. I can even write the lives before they happen.

 

I only want to feel happy, like Ponyboy leaving the Paul Newman feature. Where is my ride home? I’ve learned, though, that the best directors leave themselves behind on camera. Ineffable, but substantive enough for us to feel them plotting. They find the darkness of the movie house to be soothing in a way that reproduces natural darkness, but the kind that is only available in select locations. Not in the city lights and suburban plazas, but in the open ocean, salt water and sea air divided.

 

I have a habit of leaving the movie before it’s over. Not before I’ve figured it out, but before the credits roll. I’ve never seen the lights come on at the end. I count previews and check my phone to see what remains, always something else to do. Dana says I need to dedicate myself to the film, to focus on what the director is trying to show me, but I can’t. The medium is manipulation, and these American eyes can show me nothing else.

 

Kevin Bertolero studies literature, philosophy, and art history at Potsdam College. He is the poetry editor for Mixtape Methodology, founding editor of Ghost City Press, and the author of From the Estuary to the Offing (2015). He tweets @KevinBertolero.

 

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

blackhs

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!

020

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!

photo-9-04-2016-2-46-11-pm

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!