Thaw Compass available now!

PressBoardPress is proud to announce that Thaw Compass, the new chapbook from Joseph Massey is available here or under the Catalog tab now. The book has a letter pressed cover and is hand sewn and printed in an edition of 100. Domestic orders are $10, international orders are $15.

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from Thaw Compass:

Easter (2)

April shapes March mud
the bulk of

the backyard
squirrels plod      antique
junk pile         rust
articulates
rust

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Whitney Houston by Sarah Chapman

Rachel Weiz

I aim to catch you
Coming out of your flat
The mobile you gave your
9-year-old son when you
Went away to Tenerife
And call me in an emergency
And found the dildo you left
In your luggage I can’t understand
You the way you move the way
Your shoulders come out of your top
You give your boyfriend a handjob
In his dad’s taxi but you have chilli
On your hands and it gives him a
Fright – on the bus home you
Call me or I call you i cant remember
You were with a friend and said
Where were u when your boyfriend
Was being kicked to death? Your
Mobile, on silent, fuzzing next
To your head


Love in the Estate in Summer

To be honest this text is glittering like a giff in the sky
This wide screen tv never works
It is as glittering as a couple of couples figuring out
The bbq on a west summer day
The amount of love I have is measured
By the amount of hate – wondering around
This estate
You push your hands over the kitchen cabinet
And say it stinks of fish – your mobile phone
Is charging in your room – because of the heat
Or because you just finished yr last exam and
Are meeting your secret boyfriend you forget it
In your room – your fringe covers your head
And curls a little before your eyebrows
You are your fringe, you are careless in
the way you love and I don’t quite believe it
but you are in love like calpol


Morgan Freeman

I buy a pair of adidas trainers
And think of you looking at me
In them the light from the shop
Window the cool purple of
Night a friend in a bomber jacket
big chipped front
Tooth pale skin one dent below
Your eye a green plastic bag


The flesh

That tv show about zombies
Integrating back into
Village life their poor
Lovers clinging to a shape
These parasites in sliver
Remind me of the time
You took mom chloe
And me to the river
There are a white horse
And it has grey bits
the computer, when
you don’t find me
interesting and
appealing


Profile: Sarah Chapman

Two Poems by AJ Huffman

Destructive[ly Entertaining]

The implosion was set
for 7:30 a.m. Publix opened 2 hours earlier
than usual to accommodate the expected
crowds. Thousands arrived before dawn
on a Sunday to watch. The chaos
rained gallons of dust over the onlookers.
Baptized
inside the blast radius, applause
erupted. There were whispers of vibrations
inducing labor pains. Too bad
it was a hospital vaporized
at the close of the countdown.


A Bizarre Burning of Bees

The hive is a li[v]e in a hand full of dreams.
And spinning a span of conscious debauchery,
this blustering buzz bounces. A ball
of (subtle?) subterfuge re-assembles
inside its space. Place time
against its shadow. Three wishes dissolve
each other in the middle of their own. Sentence
decryption: the headstone is riddled
by tractors. Trading blades with labels
seems civilized somehow in this smokeless dimension.
Or was it/I spoking dementia as we flowered
into each other’s scenes? Of science
and rationale . . . such rhetoric
recites its own curve.

C is the grade of the grave we cover
with[in] exhaustion’s breath.


Profile: AJ Huffman

Four Poems by Shazia Hafiz Ramji

Vigil (or, Ordinary Stranger)

“It was a quiet sound, but it woke me up because it was a human sound.”
From “The Man on the Stairs” in No one belongs here more than you by Miranda July.

1.

To watch one close. To
you, seeking to see
hope some semblance
of you in your lover’s
eyes, a nerve wreath.

2.

Exposure of soft
evidence a desiring
and the beginning
of waning; too much.

3.

For the seeping sense
of arrhythmia leaping
to cross the nocturnal:
space, a questioning.

4.

Is absent solidity
swung in the radii
of seeing the way:
an unspeaking; death.


Less Homely

after Kafka.

my house unfinished
thoughts hung from the ceiling

borne of either latticed dust
or species of delicate spider

mining for the drooping bend
that light curve that swayed

with the breath. of guests in
fleeing like the hobo with

a tarpaulin diaphragm, a swell
in my chest the rise of guilt

trapped. how to draw the line
for gymnasts of a sheltering

when nothing rent hangs above
both curvatures of space decay.


Untitled

The things I refer to have holes;
imprints of the moon’s ocular lick,
tongue budded absorbing breath

— between kisses, this is time
for interpretation a need, to read
after a fullstop — night

shaken, powdered stars drizzle
into a trembling body taut
on your voice resigning
to lazy revelation.


Root person in root place

after a line from The Maximus Poems by Charles Olson

my muse said: hey man,
do you want to come
over and smoke some
hydroponic bud, I said
yes I see atlantis
when we pass main st.
skytrain, station the view

for he is none
other than this false
creek where I am an
other, fine with being
stolen, ancient sun
skimming roygbiv
fish scales on the tips
of eyelashes, two people
are better then; honesty
reflected in the battling
rigid one, ultima thule.


Profile: Shazia Hafiz Ramji

Three Poems by Tausif Noor

Apotropaios

You always hated the smell of stale cigarettes on my breath
But that night you were a little drunk on whiskey so you didn’t care,
And held my hand on the 7 train even though
We were going through Woodside with the guys in hoodies snickering.
I smiled in spite of myself and stared at the Chinese woman’s shopping bags:
Red, cheap plastic that smelled of fish. I tried to remember
What it was that Foucault said about gay men and going home.
That night I watched you turn in your sleep
From the dim light of your tiny bathroom and believed.

You who were corn-fed and milk-toothed didn’t believe in superstitions.
Face scrubbed and hair parted with a hard-edged determination
To take what was yours from a world that was wont to shut its dry palm
Before you even knew it. What would my restlessness mean to someone
As stolid as you? I tried to hold it off for as long as I could
Avoiding all the cracks from 35th to Crescent. You crinkled your nose
At the incense but didn’t say a thing. The lone mirror in the bedroom,
Covered in protection as if we were devout Semites in mourning.
It wasn’t enough. It was never enough.


I have always wanted to drink wine out of a can

Some of my friends enjoy spending their time dreaming about the future.
I said a crude thing about killing myself but it wasn’t because I was sad
Or even because I was trying to be funny, really, I just didn’t want to leave things
Undone. I try sending you little messages without tapping on my screen, all lit up.
Everything always has to be about you. I can’t get through the day
Without feeling like I’ve failed someone, in some way or another.


what was I yearning for if not for validation of my fears

The first things I didn’t even notice until long after the fact.
You harbored them away stealthily, accumulating bits and pieces,
Hoarding fragments of me like so many little treasures. What sort of self
Were you building, unbeknownst to my own body, my own mind?

Were you to fashion for me a new form, one pieced from
Memories squirreled away in the file cabinets of your heart, I might
Have been less wary. I lost track of the parts, now alien and external
That had once made me whole. You walked away

Holding hands with someone I couldn’t quite place.


Profile: Tausif Noor

Before Poems by Clare Paniccia

Girl Talk

we fight all of the time about useless
bullshit
like who has to scoop the litter or
that maybe today I am being over sensitive;
well, so what if I am –
I was made with a vagina so I should be
over sensitive to everything, right?
or maybe I am just being a bitch because
I feel like it
that’s what girls do, right?

when we have sex I sometimes feel
inadequate, like
I should know better about the way a body
can move
but that’s what girls think, isn’t it?
that’s what all girls think –
with their fucking brains when really
they should just be closing their eyes and
giving it up,
right?

I’m afraid to leave home with you,
sometimes I miss it more than I should
miss it a little, because it is mine
instead of ours
maybe I am selfish,
because that’s what girls are, right?
thinking too much about what things mean
instead of what they don’t,
right?


#1

you had red eyes so red
from all the crying
but my eyes were white white

you had eighteen tissues
all crumpled
like small
forgotten
memories
underneath your pillow

and you asked questions questions
so many questions
and i laughed
silently
to
myself
ha ha
laughed and laughed


#13

Well, we were all supposed to be
adults, by now Supposed to have

jobs and money and fat 401K plans
Vacations, hotels, solid hearts and

possibly solid futures I think I lost
the bet, lost it all, a gamble Silly

to gamble away pens and pencils,
a drab outlook, but nonetheless I

can put stock in the little things,
like semantics and the importance of

having things to care for – wasn’t
that the goal anyway? Caring for

the parts that exist outside of you
with their own separate hearts and

their little hands and feet, that I don’t
have but others do – you do, don’t

you find success in small jackets and
your sudden rebellious nature? Because I

don’t have or have not I can see into
the next year, maybe two, and it’s

all filled with choices I made one,
maybe two years back, the choices

of heart versus head versus skill
versus bone and now I am paying

with the money I do not have, yours
will hold me in My ticket to my thirties

and maybe the little things that I
am sure I will find at the bottom

of tea mugs and lost between pages
drawn upon when I was seventeen.


Profile: Clare Paniccia

Five Poems by Dane Karnick

Detective

Please assassinate
my conjecture
with its rehearsal
of criminal offense
wearing a tuxedo
presumably for
camouflage against
sensibility
prompting me to
go into the mode
of super sleuth
and see underneath
a watershed moment
with telephone poles
supporting a tent that
hides my tambourine.


From Top to Bottom

everything points due north

for some length of time

as far as you can see

in opposition to

your silhouette

painted over the edge

of moving horizons

but regardless

consult your atlas

help extinguish

ambiguity.


Memorabilia

forced to bench their
popularity
from previous decades
that overlap franchise
echoing some notion
of karaoke tracks
hungry for more songs
that annex suburbs
of recollection
like coveted real estate
the possibilities
kicking and screaming
grab-and-go secrets
in camouflage.


Diabolical

No matter what I do
this day has its own
one-take action shot
in a limousine with
a case of restless legs
stomping over my
glass of champagne while
shouting directions
to the driver through
a respirator to
keep his foot on the gas
as long as he can.


Segregated Eyes

on hiatus from
a sharper focus
to choreograph
the ricochet of magic
like a vinyl LP
spinning on a
vertical axis
ballads that belong
on a hillside of grass
rolling my body
into a smudge
of dirt and giggles
as if playing
inside a movie
subtitled with
the language of
obscurity.


Profile: Dane Karnick

Two Poems by Kyle Eldridge

I’m Not Cool

?
when will i learn
that its not cool:
to be a drunk
or a junkie
or to read books by drunk junkies
or to like jazz
or even acid rock
or ‘hallucinogenic country music’
or to use kerouac references
or to admire people in a kerouacian way
or to list my vulnerability as one of my ‘redeeming characteristics’
or to defend insanity as a ‘viable alternative’
or to describe psychedelic sessions in which i believe i experienced ‘ego death’
or to play freeform ‘jams’ on guitar thru fuzz pedals disregarding ABAB song structure
or to let kittens playfully nibble at my toes while laughing and smiling and feeling happy
or to say fuck it and quit my job for no real reason
or to stay in bed for a day and a half every fortnight or so
or to be shy and withdrawn one minute and overly exuberant the next
or to try and pass off my ‘experimental blues rock’ as ‘avant garde sound poems’
or to take over-the-counter sleep aids and herbs known for their anti-anxiety and sedative qualities
or to say i like certain aspects of religion
or to really believe the world is anarchy and chaos
or to perceive inapplicability
or to say or even think ‘im bored’
or to desperately want richly symbolic dreams and sometimes have them
or to openly praise my friends, being sincere whether they know it or not
or to buy big bottles of whiskey
or to switch from Patsy Cline to the Sex Pistols on a whim
or to re-read my favorite books over and over and sometimes last chapter first
or to say ‘i dont know’ or ‘its too complicated’ when the answer is important to the person asking
or to ponder the socio-political consequences of LSD use in the 1960s
or to smoke Pall Mall cigarettes because they are the cheapest, not because Kurt Vonnegut smoked them
or to like ‘the idea’ of transcendental meditation but never practice it
or to enjoy things that make me sad
or to occasionally see things meant to make people happy as silly
or to think having kids is okay as long as you understand they are smarter than you and love them unconditionally
or to stare catatonically at bad drywall jobs and dents in hardwood flooring, not caring about workmanship just shapes and chance and colors
or to make proclamations that Ozzy Osbourne lyrics are mystically profound
or to feel really bleak when i know i should be excited about life
or to not ‘be myself’ sometimes and almost use that phrase then chuckle at the absurdity of it
or to like Jung more than Freud
or to watch youtube for hours when i have stuff to do
or to not put cds back in their cases
or to even use cds when an ipod would be much easier
or to sometimes ‘hate’ ‘smart’ people
or to not talk to my parents enough
or to talk to my parents too much
or to idolize black, left handed guitarists with big afros and big amplifiers and sexually provocative stage moves and messages of love
or to be indecisive about whether to call a girl pretty or cool, when i should probably say either both or nothing
or to say nothing when i want to say something
or to want to take back things that i said, knowing its just selfishness
or to wish i was rich or famous not to be rich or famous but simply to have more opportunities to meet interesting people
or to laugh just cause everybody else is laughing
or to laugh just cause no one else is laughing
or to laugh to make someone feel comfortable
or to laugh to make someone feel uncomfortable
or to laugh when im alone
or to cry in company
or to want things i cant express in any way
or to write poetry


Getting Ready

and it was spoken that
when 12 oclock rolled around
i was going to get out of here,
the time was ripe as juicy plums
with wrinkled pits.
liquid running down mountainous cheeks
onto tender breasts with lactation.
sticky sweetness like ejaculate spurts
bouncing off the teeth.
o yes i was going to get the fuck out
and in style too.
i would wear my new black hat
and everything would be alright.
the lucky hat.
i never put it on the bed,
always threw it on the floor.
so here i am wanting to go
who knows where for
who knows what reason
except to get out.
fast.
lightning speed will be necessary.
thunder, footsteps of god and
lightning, bolts of zeus.
zinging through the dawn into tomorrow.
shooting the pistol into the future
dividing air into more basic molecules
constituent parts.
the twilight has lifted
now i am ready for a perilous quest
it will take a keen interest and
a solid vantage point
to stay calm.
in the open there is all to see
and all can see me.
but i am not one to be seen,
i am the sea,
i am nothingness
encased in somethingness.
vast empty expanses are the norm.
everything is black at a certain depth,
and the pressure also increases.
the farther down i dive,
the less i see,
the more i feel.
so this journey is that of an idiot.
retrograde action
retribution
syrupy bass tones and jellyroll saxophones
twirl around me like fireflies.
like spiders trying to scratch their asses.
like the laugh of a retard.
like real soul.
like bacon and eggs and homefries
with an orange and a cup of coffee refilled 4 times.
the old times. the good times.
now times. meow times.
cow times. moo moo


Profile: Kyle Eldridge