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Cartographer Electric

 

X

X marked the spot on the blackboard where

xenophobia poured in

xenial as a bullwhip spine or xanthate

printed xylographs in the X rated moonlight

xirself perched on a xenolith

xebec cuts the fleecy waves aft as we approach in xenon traces to

xerox someone else’s wrought iron dreams on Xmas

 

Formerly Excerpt from Pastoral Emergency.

Click here to download the book as a PDF.

PAINTED LADY

The worst part
is how my thumb
could erase her

body but not
the nausea draining
her body down

to a dull hum,
her skin against
bone: the scaffolding

not around her heart
but the movement
of her heart wrapped

in a cocoon, the way
she emerges weeks
later, covered

in butterfly wings
folding and folding
in the kerosene sky,

finally refusing
the kiss, the spark,
the mere possibility

love could move
next door, never cut
the grass, not make

a big deal
when she lets her hair
down, I want her

to tell me I should leave,
tell me loneliness
is a compass needle,

a pencil tip, that
she is just a sketch
I trace with my thumb.

 

Click here to download the book as a PDF.

Long live the Cartographer Electric!

After almost a year or two of putting it off, I and the other editors have posted the final issue of The Cartographer Electric! This was a magazine we started back as seniors at Binghamton University. Along with the issue, we created a reading series at the Belmar that still continues to this day.

After graduating, we quickly ran out of steam to continue putting out issues. This was a true community magazine, and it fed on the energy of the readings and was inspired into existence the other poets we knew and were excited to read. It was a great experience, and I think that everyone should start a small community rag like this. It doesn’t have to be big or ambitious…just something that you share between you, your friends, and their friends. I don’t spend lots of time reading the latest issue of Ploughshares, but I was always interested in reading local indie rags like the one we were putting out.

During grad school, I had the idea to start an accompanying online press that gave ebooks away for free. We put out a fantastic copy of Joe Weil’s poems that is still available (lovely typos and all–some day I’m going to fix that), a half-chap of poems by Eric Kocher (who is currently kicking ass down at Houston), and Gene Tanta. Gene’s book is currently unavailable as he is editing it for another edition (more on that later!).

The Press Electrrrric! is on the back burner for me right now, but some day I’d like to revisit it. Until then, I hope you enjoy all the archives of material (I know the website is not a looker right now–I’m gonna go back to that some day too!). I want to give one last shout out to my fellow-editors-in-crime Joel Davis and Adam Pelligrini. It was a good time while it lasted, bros.