percent age scribbly gum

lost 33 percent age scribbly gum

we cut nature up. humour me, predict when caravans will fly; it’s a test, eggs laid between layers of old and new bark, the tracks of her gravid roaming revealed. words in wrong and senseless combinations, pacific plastic patch as big as texas; still the frantic crawl collide and crash headlong into the walls of the tract, head-butt into each other, push on past, stop, swerve a little, hit each other from behind. words beginning with /b/ in every language involve explosions, birth and loud noises, zigzag tracks. prey plankton, fish eggs, sea skaters, larvae of the scribbly gum moth. light flimsy flakes. tunnels whirl, accelerate and decelerate. scribbly gum moth, slang-worded as soon as she hits bark, the. gnomonicity by a percentage of pavement; self-similarity in upside-down scale. as in fractals the bark falls away– no practical obstacle now to the creation of an efficient index to all human knowledge, ideas and achievements―to the creation of a complete planetary memory.

if ‘nem’ were a size, what size would it be

small; small; little; little; little; little; little;
small; little; little; small; little; little; little; little;
little, of course; little; little; little; little; little; little; little; small;
small; little; little; medium small; small; small; little; little; little;
little; little (size of a mouse); little; little; little; little;
little, n implies negation; small; small; small but not tiny;
med-small; little; little; little; little; little; little, little, little; little;
little; little; little; little; small; small; little;
little; little; little; little; little; little
or maybe medium; medium small; med-small
or maybe
big; big; big; big; big,
neither, na, both

Found poem based on the work of Margaret Magnus,

(Photo:foramin, very very very small, maybe nem-sized.)

If you are interested:

Poetry Parnassus interactive map: a verse from each olympic nation…

Two poems, a longer one and one nem-sized:

Many of us know Rick Black as a haiku poet and publisher but here is a lyric poem from Before There Is Nowhere to Stand, an anthology of poems arising out of Israel / Palestine. Rick is a book artist and poet, and the founding editor of Turtle Light Press. He lived in Israel for six years, studying literature at Hebrew University and then working as a journalist in the Jerusalem bureau of the New York Times..


Candles are not yet
aglow like sapphires,
the braided challah is still uncut,
quiet beckons

and the last #18 bus
is packed.
People are returning from Mahane Yehuda,
the outdoor market of Jerusalem —
inhale the scents of cinnamon, cardamom and curry,
piled high in mounds,
the barrels of pickles, sour and half sour,
the pickled herring, creamed herring, matjes herring
and piles of fresh dates, smooth and sweet,
and chocolate ruggelach and babke, oval sesame rolls
challahs with raisins, and hot pita

and crowds shoving, bustling, hustling, bargaining, shouting, mobbing,
elbowing each other, shuffling along beneath the bare electric bulbs
suspended like the lights of the George Washington Bridge
above the ducans,
“Melafifon — 40 shekels.”
“Tut, tutim — fresh strawberries. Pilpale — peppers.”

Dressed in streimels, flowing robes, silk skirts, pushing
baby carriages, shlepping plastic shopping bags,
speaking a mélange of tongues — Hebrew, Arabic, French, English and German —
shoppers ebb and flow like waves rushing and receding
from shore,
from one merchant to another. They gather like flocks
of seagulls, then disperse past the green-leaved clumps
of garlic, bulbous clumps, dry, hard like the noses of passersby,
bright, shiny eggplants, globular. Go ahead,
imbibe the scent of fresh cut oranges, tongue the bits of halvah,
gently press the avocado skins and squeeze the tomatoes
at dusk on Shabbat,
and taste the loaves of challah woven into the prayer shawl
of our people’s history.

Emitting plumes of black diesel smoke
the bus leaves the market, stops at the Central Bus Station
and chugs up Mt. Herzl into the ethereal, blood-soaked air
of Jerusalem
and there —
in the fading, tarnished light descending
on the city and the Jerusalem pines —
just past Yad Vashem —
the bus, its red and white sides gleaming,
clinging to the hill stubbornly
and climbing it like bougainvillea,
the bus explodes:
skewering flesh, shattering glass, shrieking in the quiescent streets,
and sobbing,
overturned like a beetle
helpless, writhing, unsilent

like a crushed violin
its mangled strings
shrieking in the sky
and the ambulances wail
“Holy, holy, holy!”

and the pines
in the golden, Sabbath sunlight,
(for candles will soon be lit),

glow ineffably, more beautiful
than ever,

and God remains
in his own way, silent.

We are near Ein Kerem,
Ein keloheinu, ein, ein, ein…
There is no
like our God.

There is no
like our king.
There is no
like our redeemer.”

And the angels cry
and the ambulances wail
and survivors lie on the pavement, wounded,
having fallen back down
in the Vitebsk street,

a violin’s strings
broken. But, if you listen
perhaps you’ll hear wind
in the pines,
perhaps you’ll see
starlight glisten
off shattered glass,
and off bougainvillea petals
that are still climbing,
reaching up

in prayer.


New Rooms

By Kay Ryan

The mind must
set itself up
wherever it goes
and it would be
most convenient
to impose its
old rooms—just
tack them up
like an interior
tent. Oh but
the new holes
aren’t where
the windows

Source: Poetry (July/August 2012).

Please leave comments! About anything!


lost 20: shrewbots

this tool has no options. fartlek fatuous filibuster firkin quarter barrel small cask; get hold of a skull; describe the tongue of a woodpecker and the jaw of a crocodile the flying fish so popular it knocked principia mathematica off the production line inspiration no laws of motion or gravity. fagotto bassoon the reed chorus, extremely soft stop delicate, airy tone single, or double-rank aéoline celeste string, and the salicional future celibate salacious gelatinous ocean and cretaceous of 600 million years ago wind chests enter stage right no, left, you little etruscan shrew divisions back to 1425 – 1430 there’s more to nothing than we know why is there something rather than nothing at all? 68-year-old patricia tabram- the cannabis grandma – charged with intent, viewers shocked by rhoda morgenstern’s abrasive tongue, oh morning star, who why ironically buys vintage star wars figurines, or i’m the type of person who appreciates homemade lamps made from mason jars, william and kate go plastic will and kate go wax the duke and the duchess go all in the family, a catalogue of mary tyler moore abdomens, extremely rare albino ruby-throated limited edition barbie collection in white feathers, pink bills and legs. the red eyes. there’s just no accounting for happiness or the way it turns up like a prodigal ghost ants translucent shrewbot those synthetic whiskers work in the dark like the real thing, catch the moon drifting darkly, city chicken. as billy wilder called it (in the closet) magniloquently, van gogh’s ear for music. those armoured catfish wreaking havoc in the south – we were once published in an anthology together. i’m the type of person who. and american nuns chastised chastitized charitized shafticized satirized listen to the rattle of old bones the colour of the food you eat their fusiform gyrus and inferior emporial appeal.

there’s just no accounting… from ‘happiness’, by Jane Kenyon, Poetry Foundation blog

Also, this week on the BBC you can listen to Jane Kenyon, from Scotland, talk about a trip to the Arctic: Thank you Ray Battams for the tip. It was a good listen.

From Grant Savage: These new poems, well I’ve been enjoying them.

Juxtapositions IX


half full
half empty

in or out
of tune

with/in my mouth
throat singing

for my supper/eat
off the fat

of the land

is it these pills

with my/your

long hair

of lilies
in the breeze


the outward

curve of hips
of flowers

sacroiliac/liliums kiss
sex to sex

for the moments’
summer of flesh

in the mind’s …

rain’s decomposition
these lines

young and gleaning
but the sadistic

the astringent
and the favourite vintage

the black bottles of Samos Naxos
vintners to the gods

sweet since
one thousand B.C.

sex of american novels
the libraries

the couplings
on and beneath

the covers
of paperbacks

the whips on
or the corsets containing

either spill
or prevent

the jiggled

sharp or flat

or full/round

of milk
and honey

via Zach Wells on facebook (no pun intended, Zack works for ViaRail) here is Kay Ryan, former Poet Laureate of the United States.


Nothing whole
Is so bold,
we sense. Nothing
not cracked is
so exact and
of a piece. He’s
the distempered
emperor of parts,
the king of patch,
the master of
pastiche, who so
hashes other birds’
laments, so minces
their capriccios, that
the dazzle of dispatch
displaces the originals.
As though brio
really does beat feeling,
the way two aces
beat three hearts
when it’s cards
you’re dealing.


The Poetry Conversation:

Continuing the conversation with Shai Ben-Shalom:

Shai: Susan’s words (See ynklings April 22) resonate with me, as my writing is often in an attempt to deliver messages. If I don’t have a message, I don’t usually have a poem. Only on rare occasions I may play with words in order to come up with something that sounds good, or reads well, without including some messages in it.
In this regard, most of my poems are built around narratives and I view them as tiny vehicles of communication. Whatever they carry could also be carried by other vehicles, such as short stories, short films, etc. Perhaps my limited command over the English language does not allow me to truly enjoy poetry that revolves around shapes, sounds, tongue-twists, etc. Perhaps my training as a scientist is reflected in my poems, as if I am on a quest to formulate a new hypothesis and support it with data with each new poem.

I don’t know if poems need to be overly balanced. There should be room for personal variations, in a sense that one may write primarily with his ‘logical tools’ whereas another one may be more attentive to his heart, but the two may still live side by side, even within the same poetry collection or during the same open mic session. I don’t see a problem with a poem that is too clever, or too sentimental, although I may wonder about poems that sound too stupid or too disconnected from emotions…

Thank you for sharing this thought-provoking piece!

In a further email, he adds:

 I looked at ynklings; an interesting site that offers plenty of food for thought! I had a special interest in what Grant wrote about homeostasis in nature and the need to have some imbalance in order to preserve life. How true!

As far as your own thinking goes, well, I have had the opportunity to listen to you on Open Mic sessions, and to read a few of your poems in chapbooks, and my impression is that a lot of thinking goes into your writing! You may avoid the formalities of putting down your thoughts on a paper for all to see, but this is different than avoiding the thinking…

I hope the discussion will continue. I was just starting to get engaged…

From Pearl Pirie’s Pesbo blog:

What’s the use(fulness) of poetry?
At best it may bump and knock loose something else in someone else that dislodges a hidden brick of meaning. Then their chimney falls in and there’s a house fire. Then you get on like a house on fire. No, that’s not it.
A poem is a synthesis of all that’s come before. Copy, combine, transform. It’s remixing and perpetuation of some part of something. It’s the outcome of perceptions.
I like the idea of poem as by-product, like paper scraps cut off after the real product of text is printed. It isn’t useful as by-product, if not used. Unless it existing is a use. Which it is. Is it sufficient leveraging of the gift of living? Poetry is a thankfulness, a paying back, the gift of being alive.

Yeaayyy!!!! Carol A. Stephen and Luminita Suse!!!! Finalists in the 2012 Canadian Authors National Capital Region Poetry Contest!!!!

A last note: Tomorrow’s ynklings will be posted late as I will be in Montreal. My overnight holiday!