Artwork by Mara Buck
Caper Literary Journal presents a new issue, filled with poetry (including translation), prose and artwork. We also have three wonderful new author features
, including celebrated poet Christine Korfhage, Martin Willitts, Jr. and Cassie Preemo Steele. We also have the honor of presenting pieces from the now-closed Writers' Bloc (Rutgers) journal. ANTHOLOGY Currently, Caper Literary Journal's 2010 published poetry is being read by Pushcart Prize winning poet Leslie Adrienne Miller (also the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship and the Writers at Work Poetry Fellowship, among many others) and Writers' Digest writer and editor of Writers Market poet Robert Lee Brewer.
Stay tuned for more about the winners. CONTEST Our newest contest, the Borges Prose and Poetry contest opens up today.
Submit. There is no theme and all styles of poetry and prose are welcome. Winners receive a monetary award, publication in print and online, an author feature and a copy of the anthology. Submit. GUEST EDITOR: The poetry portion will be judged by
Pushcart Prize-nominated writer Kelly Davio. The Managing Editor of The Los Angeles Review
and the Associate Poetry Editor for Fifth Wednesday Journal
, Davio is a poet and teacher who holds a MFA in Poetry from Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (Whidbey Writers’ Workshop). She is an instructor of English as a Second Language. Davio is also the book reviewer for the Women’s Review of Books. Her debut collection, Burn This House
, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press.Stay tuned for announcements regarding Caper's wildly successful Maravillosa Magic Realism Contest.READChristine KorfhageDesmond Kon Zhicheng-MingdéMimi FerebeeLaura A. CiraoloCarol Lynn GrellasLavinia KumarMarc VincenzT.M. De VosPeter MarraAshley MartinMarina WeissKatie Manning
Milla van der HaveRoxanna BennettJoan McNerneyColin D. HalloranJasmine SilverRay Scanlon (Writers' Bloc)John Sharp (Writers' Bloc)ARTWORKMara Buck, selected pieces
reading gunnar björling [i]
melt me your handbook
give me your worldview, and maps
lake tõya globed, full
metalwork of pigeons, finch
above a steeple
how to interpret?
how now, of architecture
that lives, out of lines?
an imagined shape
an arc into an escher –
monet’s wrists, castles
* These four haiku are a response to Björling’s lines “it is and that time / that a no-room, no-when / it is / and that one time / it was so bright, so quiet / I hear everything everything”. This translation by Fredrik Hertzberg can be found in You go the words, a collection of Björling’s poems published by Action Books.
reading gunnar björling [ii]
don’t look at the world in vacuo – in vacuo
it loses sight of its space;
open to creeley’s birth poems
staircase words folded in her red purse
experimentum crucis in other arms
reach into the crucible, feel the angular velocity
hand in a fist and old stone, instantia crucis
* This octave, comprising twin twitter quatrains, dialogues with Björling’s lines: “In the lindenalley twitter / very dove in the trees / Shadow me well / here, and so good....” These lines are excerpted from a poem dedicated to Martin A. Hansen.
Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé has edited more than 10 books and co-produced 3 audio books. A recipient of the Singapore Internationale Grant and Hiew Siew Nam Academic Award, he also works in clay, his ceramic pieces housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.
He shakes me again, in panic, fearing the drop,
or crash or whatever tonight’s ephemeral terror
may be. Perhaps like last weekend, he’s drowning,
the carbons of the purple Pacific, being held down,
Gideon’s flaming left hand, the blaze burning his
scalp under water, nidor and its moist conflagration
a symbol of something, he says, but can never stay
sleep long enough to see. So as heavy, humid hands
grip my shoulder, clutching a wide hip, rocking to
freefall rhythms, I hear electric, violin screeches
within our silent room. The sounds of torrential gasps--
they make me nauseous, the wheezing of lost
breathes, the whine of water as it fills contracting
lungs and I want nothing more than to squeeze his
hands, whispering, It’s just a dream, love, to wipe
a sweating head, the slender rills of rogation, a cool
rag to calm the heat, awaken him and rejoice. But if
I do he may never recognize, understanding the
quietuses of reveries, the pain inflictions and warisons,
the swollen, specious laughter, that devilish grin Gideon
flaunts, the gurgles of his feat. Thus, I leave him there,
fluttering in that dark jorum, eyes clinched, air sifting,
helpless. And he reminds me of myself. No doubt we
both pray in this moment. Lord, please give him strength
that before he sips last breathes, Gideon reveals, telling
Charles about himself, explaining opprobrium, the
demolition of our marriage, that fragile stele, shame,
that perhaps my eyes will glare through the fire, blending,
red as they are bloodshot, a limned vein of my choler,
JESUS! I ask you for forgiveness, a polemic protesting,
the unction of us and all the wrong that he has done.
Mimi Ferebee is a full-time writer in Chesapeake, Virginia. A William and Mary graduate who received a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) and Psychology (Developmental and Behavioral Science), she recently retired a career as a Clinical Therapist, pursuing her primary passion. When not working to complete a feministic poetry anthology and her first novel (psychological-fiction), she sends poems out for publication to remind herself of why she writes full-time: to get hands dirty with real human emotion. Her poetry has been seen in a number of print and online publications, refer to A Tribute for Mothers, The Cherry Blossom Review and Amphibi.Us for recent acceptances and upcoming publications.
En la Corrida de Toros
El sol era caliente
y el toro
era frio de miedo.
El pobre toro.
The poor bull,
how aterrorizados was he
to make a giant leap
climbing into the stands
over the wooden barrier,
scaling concrete wall
and iron railing?
El toro no tenía nada más que perder.
Only then did the fear
of the people
match the fright of a bull
who knew for sure
when he heard
the first cheers of the crowd
that injury and death,
las lesiones y la muerte,
for him this day.
Laura A. Ciraolo was born in New York City and has lived and worked there as long as she can remember. She has poems currently in the New York Quarterly #66 and Poets for Living Waters. Her poems have appeared in Agenda (UK), The Centrifugal Eye, The Long Island Quarterly, Orbis (UK), iota (UK), MiPoesias, and The Comstock Review among others. She has a poem forthcoming in The Cortland Review in November, and she was a finalist for the 2010 Bordighera Poetry Prize.
Deliberation after Long Years of Missing You
A child stands transfixed between
galaxies, eclipsed by light under the soft
corona of stars. An umbilicus is all I know
of him. Where skin has aged like saddened
trees, he was once a part of me. But I can’t
recall what it was to love him, only
the way his fingers clung to mine
and the slow loosening that followed.
But this is just a dream where he flails
in the far off distance, amid poplars
with three point leaves, where a tourmaline
moon looks like a pregnant mother’s
belly, pure as the immaculate conception.
Carol Lynn Grellas is a four-time Pushcart nominee and a 2010 Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of four chapbooks, Breakfast in Winter (Flutter Press 2010) Litany of Finger Prayers (Pudding House Press 2009) Object of Desire (Finishing Line Press 2008), A Thousand Tiny Sorrows (March Street Press 2010) and two electronic chaps: Desired Things (Goldwake Press 2009) To the Children (Victorian Violet Press 2010). Her collection, The Epistemology of an Odd Girl will be forthcoming from Diminuendo Press. Her fifth chapbook, The Butterfly Room is soon to be released from Big Table Publishing. Carol Lynn enjoys serving on the editorial panel for Triggerfish Critical Review. She lives in El Dorado Hills California.
Chapel of Man
Chapels, cathedrals, churches in Cuenca
Paris, Budapest, so much altar gold
stained glass windows, some too red,
too blue, the why of white marble angel
and disciple sculptures a mystery, chapels
with candles inside smaller chapels, till
Guayasamin built his own, is buried, not in a wall
or floor like tombs of kings, but under a tree he planted
near La Capilla del Hombre, a memorial not for him
but to cruelty of man toward man, woman, child,
Los Ninos Muertos a sepia painting of sprawled dead
children, a far cry from my two-year old who hangs
her Disney necklace around a Buddha statue
every morning, an early deed on the path
to rebirth, not for her the gallery of pained
faces with edged planes one blue cheek,
one red, nose ready to be cleaved
eyes staring wide at the machete
surely not at any gold promise
that can unfold fingers tangled
in black and white torture.
Lavinia Kumar participates in the Delaware Valley and US1 poetry workshops. Her poetry has appeared in Waterways, Thatchwork (Delaware Valley Poets), Orbis, US1 Worksheets, and the US1 newspaper.
On Sundays before you rise
to the murmur of ancient God-call,
before a thousand pilgrims plummet
cows graze uphill against the grain
and as mountain swelters in shadow
the last lynx growls in the trees.
Gion and Gulio guzzle beer hot
even in the swell of lukewarm summer.
In this hidden valley night crawls
you still find the lost snow of Caesars,
the pit that held a hundred angry Celts
roaring at shin-yapping hounds and
bleeding spikes thick as arm-wrestlers.
He enters the shrubbery pelted
without a single thought of blood,
for the taste of lichens and wild crowberries.
You turn to face me in the dark earth
of your precious skin,
a fine golden weed of hair like Cassandra
and ask me gently to let the wolves in.
Marc Vincenz is of Swiss-British descent, was born in Hong Kong, and worked in China for many years. More recently based out of Iceland, he writes a featured column for The Reykjavik Grapevine, Iceland’s
English language newspaper. His poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming in various journals, including: Poetry Salzburg Review, MiPoesias, Nth Position, Poets and Artists, the nervous breakdown and Right Hand Pointing. He is currently putting the finishing touches on two collections of poetry, and a spoken-word CD.
And how the hinges bit me
when you shut me in the cupboard
to board her, broad and bright as a small craft,
bobbing as you learned on her.
I rued her no beauty—all of that was closed with me,
doubled over in my dress.
And you found me again, fell drunk on my door:
I had no time to pull the sap up to my cuts,
nothing to show for that year apart:
not tokens earned at love or some trick of the body,
or even a new language to set puzzles in.
And that decade you locked me in the cellar,
dancing on my head with your guests, bricking me
with pickles and the sweet wine that dripped on me.
The beetles gnawed me sore for that--
I went mad under their frilly toes, the eyelet of the light
through the tiles changing with your weight and hers.
The gourds were inflated and taken,
their starches mounted in jars like freak limbs.
And you pulled me up by the heel,
pinafore over my face, like the saints of certain cults
whom the earth cannot digest. My heart was quiet,
the old irons slower now: I, too, had been cured,
like the eggs the Chinese bury, in the brine of the dark,
the brackish rain off the slate where you lived, above.
I was a new thing to you, found, a curio worried smooth--
one marvels at the violence it needed to become just so.
But the nerves fatigue from one note, and mine
is the pang of surprise at a creature stopped entirely,
as if in amber, legs folded a little under it.
It can only be trapped, not rationed through a common life;
it is a spectacle brought out for company
like a daguerreotype that still holds the old faces.
Familiar things are like this:
they can amuse you only shortly before burial.
Even the ancestors must have new sweets in their shrines,
the marzipan ether sucked to crumbs in their smoke-mouths.
T. M. De Vos completed her MFA at New York University in 2004. She is the recipient of a Summer Literary Seminars fellowship and a Hopwood Award from the University of Michigan. Her work has appeared most recently in Gloom Cupboard, Painted Bride Quarterly, Tidal Basin Review, HOBART, Dossier Journal, Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette, Bosphorus Art Project Quarterly, Sakura Review, The Whistling Fire, Shady Side Review, Umbrella Factory Magazine, and the Los Angeles Review. She is a staff member of Many Mountains Moving, a performer with the Poetry Brothel, and a contributor to Fiction Writers Review.
died for your sins
he made the teenage dream explode
on the corner of maple street
while devouring neon women
fast car speedy death
james dean myopic
wet with gasoline,
caril sat down to meditate.
wrapped in the american flag,
lit the match
-death flash -
to punish herself for
her family’s murder.
love is strange:
ruptured in the whirlpool
the spree was over
he climaxed with
an electric bolt and the oceans
turned red and the sky
wrenched purple rip
they took him away.
and she denied him
run to the church
smack your face
against the door
at dawn she crawled slowly
and eventually circled around his remains
the itch and
to lie down
in cool dirt.
Peter Marra is a 51 year old writer living in Williamsburg Brooklyn who supports himself by computer-related work while trying to write and create music and art. He is a fan of “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” general grindhouse fare, and art films. He has also been published in amphibi.us, Yes,Poetry, Maintenant 4, Beatnik, Crash, and Danse Macabre and is working on his first collection of poems.
Our Own Red Sea
Kissing was the prophecy,
a bud we took
to a garden
where love's cultivar grew
too profuse for pharaoh.
He dismissed this
sleight of hand
not the work of prophets
but magicians on a fling
since he could not cross
the rununculus rolling
like a carpet for our feet.
Ashley Martin is a librarian, runner and mother. Some of her poems have been published in Quadrant Quarterly.