Poetry: 2014 Omnidawn Open Finalists

This month we feature new work from the five finalists from Omnidawn’s 2014 Open Poetry Book contest:

Curtis L. Crisler – The Black Album
Kit Frick – A Small Rising Up in the Lungs
Leora Fridman – The Riots
Solomon Rino – The Angelico Plays
Caroline Young – catastrophiliac




Boombox Head

Curtis L. Crisler



—for Hoodnick


You the mix-tape soundtrack singin your unspoken—
            playback sloshin home, to our city on the grind. It grinds on

us that “you don’t leave Gary w/out keloids, prayers put up, or death.”

What tinkles trickles back to a stale mechanical drawin classroom,
            where Mr. Olson’s monotone bounced off our noncommittal

ears, where we jones’d ‘bout life in the next quadrant of existence,

bankin on some grace after teenager. Old days sketch you the simile,
            like rooted tributary—light-skinned & testosterone-pampered in

perspiration, kickin Hendrix & Rotten in that heavy R&B zone, needin

a bed to rest your raw worries. Words could do you no harm. Binary
            colors of permanence never fit correctly. You spittin alternative

before it crashed couture—acceptin the screech from cats caught tails.

We were deaf mostly, slapped by history’s backhand, stuck searchin for
            our parent’s costumes to fit us. We traipsed not to be cardboard

replicas. “Not ‘til we can accept how we must grow into the-our-selves-

we-never-see does the ON-switch click.” You left Hoosier w/ your fro &
            toothy grin, hit Cali to never be the one of us missin the rapture—

fond of a chick named Blondie, a babe w/ black heart, tattooed Joan.









*


IMG_0055Curtis L. Crisler’s forthcoming poetry book, “This” Ameri-can-ah, will be released in 2015 by Cherry Castle Publishing. His poetry chapbook, Black Achilles, was released in 2015 by Accents Publishing. His one-act play Fade was just published in Eleven Eleven: Journal of Literature & Art, Winter Issue #18 (online), January 2015. His other books are Pulling Scabs (nominated for a Pushcart), Tough Boy Sonatas (YA), and Dreamist: a mixed-genre novel (YA). His chapbooks are Wonderkind (nominated for a Pushcart), Soundtrack to Latchkey Boy, and Spill. His poetry has been adapted to theatrical productions in New York and Chicago. His fiction piece, “The Gift” (1st published in The New Sound: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Arts and Literature), was adapted into a short film by the independent filmmaker, Timeca Seretti (Austin, Texas), and was featured in Gary’s Independent Film Festival 2014. He is Associate Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, and a Cave Canem Fellow.



photo by William “Bryant” Rozier





KILL YOUR DARLINGS, CLEMENTINE

Kit Frick


::

The men here are sick with urgency      and nowhere
to place it         their hands are ready     so ready

where is their burden                  where is the thing
that needs fixing

they pace until no inch of floor
remains untrodden        no unruffled carpet

if this is a test of my patience                  you win
don’t you hear me calling uncle

this is the longest day                    uncle
            each hour is the longest










*


Kit FrickKit Frick is the author of two chapbooks: Echo, Echo, Light (winner of the Slope Editions Chapbook Contest, 2013) and Kill Your Darlings, Clementine (Rye House Press, 2013). Kit studied poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University, where she served as poetry editor for Salt Hill Journal. Her poems have recently appeared in places like Crazyhorse, DIAGRAM, Conduit, CutBank, Sixth Finch, and Forklift, Ohio, and have been featured on Verse Daily. The Chapbook Editor for Black Lawrence Press, Kit lives in Brooklyn with her husband and lives online at www.kitfrick.com. She is at work on her first YA novel.





VESSEL FOR PERSEVERANCE

Leora Fridman


                                                            after Elisabeth Workman



like I good jug
I don’t go bad

like a good sister
I pleasure myself

minorly, slightly
ending at just the right

time for vigilance
for a brain to wake

alone, sheets sweaty
audience off to work

to do the important
work of earning

to bring home
jugs to sleep with

to put us
to sleep

to enjoy a nice
coin, a nice

evening without my
interruption of mind

a mind in California
a mind in a family

has its place
to be seen

& not heard
the relief of only

being seen, coppery
in a supermarket

in California
spending precious

consciousness on milk
to carry home

& spray like
pleasure inside

an ice box
righteous refrigeration

prolonged, I pleasure
myself fully

persevere
in my container

dilute my
welcome home

say, who are you
to see me awaken

break for all
hungry bodies

will want my change
for a roof over

their makeshift kitchen
my makeshift vision

is sorry
I have it

retires for
the night

I break for
all bodies

in domestic
sight









*


photo (3)Leora Fridman is the author of My Fault, forthcoming from Cleveland State University Press. She is also the author of the chapbooks Precious Coast (H_ngm_n Books), Obvious Metals (Projective Industries), On the architecture and Essential Nature (The New Megaphone), and Eduardo Milán: Poems (Toad Press). With Kelin Loe, she edits Spoke Too Soon: A Journal of the Longer











Fascicles

Solomon Rino


LOT wears boxing gloves and shorts. Shadowboxes.

RAG sits center stage. Bound by the arms and legs to a chair. Head hooded. The word BULLETPROOF written across his belly.

LOT and RAG speak simultaneously, starting and stopping where indicated.



LOT (staccato): the mass grave… (Rag starts speaking) is invaluable as a guide… to recall language… from the precipice of banality… but questions nonetheless arise… absurd unanswerable questions… the grave he wakes upon… to grow senescent more veraciously… where necessary metaphors archetypes tropes… stumble into death in stinking wild… perpetuity in extremis… the toilet that he dies in… a place that bears certain urgency… malnutrition and excessive work… and the ineffable… babble of Armageddon… this final word… into which the rabbit goes… has not yet sounded… indifferent to its representation… the thing itself… was exhumed… Malebranche’s natural prayer… in the utility of syntax… recognizing this our species wills a ferocious need… in favor of offering language its necessary renewal…

RAG (melismatic): as the mimetic pipe does not function… Magritte’s La trahison des images… must be abandoned… completely divested of… the true treason… Messianic power… to look up from the page… a quality of attention… of murder… unconcerned with… what cannot be said namely… this is not a sentence… sole mediator of creation… who will kill us tomorrow… stripped to the barest survival… a world renamed… stained in the fluids of decomposing bodies… a stranger interlocutor… locates the opportunity of poetry… in the unburied raincoat pocket… the compulsion of a deluded man… the death that he promises… of linguistic forms… finds his efficacy at the end of the world… even when a word signifies nothing… the singularity of… in the universality of… the verbal and textual… in which (Lot stops speaking) we are now surrounded…

(LOT removes gloves. Unfastens RAG. Removes hood. RAG stands. LOT sits. RAG hoods LOT. Binds him. Writes BULLETPROOF across LOT’S belly. Puts gloves on. Shadowboxes).

RAG (staccato): the mass grave… (Rag starts speaking) is invaluable as a guide… to recall language… from the precipice of banality… but questions nonetheless arise… absurd unanswerable questions… the grave he wakes upon… to grow senescent more veraciously… where necessary metaphors archetypes tropes… stumble into death in stinking wild… perpetuity in extremis… the toilet that he dies in… a place that bears certain urgency… malnutrition and excessive work… and the ineffable… babble of Armageddon… this final word… into which the rabbit goes… has not yet sounded… indifferent to its representation… the thing itself… was exhumed… Malebranche’s natural prayer… in the utility of syntax… recognizing this our species wills a ferocious need… in favor of offering language its necessary renewal…

LOT (melismatic): as the mimetic pipe does not function… Magritte’s La trahison des images… must be abandoned… completely divested of… the true treason… Messianic power… to look up from the page… a quality of attention… of murder… unconcerned with… what cannot be said namely… this is not a sentence… sole mediator of creation… who will kill us tomorrow… stripped to the barest survival… a world renamed… stained in the fluids of decomposing bodies… a stranger interlocutor… locates the opportunity of poetry… in the unburied raincoat pocket… the compulsion of a deluded man… the death that he promises… of linguistic forms… finds his efficacy at the end of the world… even when a word signifies nothing… the singularity of… in the universality of… the verbal and textual… in which (Lot stops speaking) we are now surrounded…

(Repeat).









*


rinoSolomon Rino co-authored the ethnography Deity Men, Rebgong Tibetan Trance Mediums in Transition (Asian Highlands Perspectives, 2010), and translated the final poems of Miklos Radnoti in A Wiser, More Beautiful Death (Editions Michel Eyquem, 2011). He is an editor and designer for the press Editions Michel Eyquem in San Francisco, California, where he recently published Like an Eye in the Hand of a Beggar by Leopoldo María Panero (2013), and the artists’ book Fritters (2015).








Wind Damage I

Caroline Young


a wind wild dry
rot missing shingles
seek no explanation

**

report says wind
an open closed case
mouth of measured responses

**

the news say wind tears
in town two
chain saws flash camera dialogues

**

winds the tree
to six mile stretch of scatter
scooped up garbaged air

**

pavement walks
power poles happen
ground eases grip

**

carries on wind
a frenzied exchange
bodies unburied to reclaim

**

mile an hour
anemometer
record but do not recollect

**

history head count
F2 RISING down
town windfall happens too

**

speak of wind in
moneyed amounts
in snapshots tumble spin

**

upturned lines and limbs
to be
picked up bill to pay

**

wonder where wind died
on who

wind is but a
consequence

**

what sky scrapes
returns to earth

an act of God by hand
or by mouth?

**

His wind-
flung air stirs music, trashes
glass shards bed in charging horses









*


Caroline Young lives and writes in Athens, Georgia. She is currently working on a digitally interactive version of Tender Buttons as a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. Her poetry can be found in print and online at publications such as Omniverse, RealPoetik, Marco Polo Arts, and The Carolina Quarterly.

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