Category Archives: Field Notes

Field Notes, by Erin Gallery

“Rooms by the Sea, 1951”

This time I’m not going to say a thing

about Blue. It isn’t the logging days,

its centuries after. No dogs tracking out

in the bark-scatter and dust. Pilings stand still

in the lake, waiting to be docked. In New York,

John is at his desk blank words ticking by, and even

money has a seating chart these days.

In the slums of Florida, Hemingway kept

a cellar full of first editions, let them

rot of their own accord. Maybe roaches loved them,

made nests curled up and read. “Start at page one

and write like a son of a bitch” was not something

Hemingway said, it was Harrison

blind in one eye, Indian in the other

but hey, he’s not shot-gun prone

at least.  My father cried when I lost

a tooth. Do not spend a lot of time crying

over lost teeth that aren’t yours, is the mantra. But

I loved him for it, sunk down on linoleum tragedy

in the bric-a-brac and Pine Sol of modern-day.

There are asteroid tumors in the universe

of the brain which start large, shatter into smaller

fragments, spread slowly out. When scanned,

they glow like fireflies in glue. Vanessa told me this

in the waiting room, all its magazines

dirty with staph. One Hopper we saw

opens on sea, no steps down

just water and the doorframe. It’s a surprise

the room doesn’t flood during storms.

for another Field Note by Erin…

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Bodies, by John Campbell

When I sit in my room & the stars burn themselves out
& the celestial collides with the celestial somewhere
outside my window, I am reminded every time,

of how, at age two, Picasso learned to draw churches.
How they were shaped like breasts. How he made them
reach for heaven the same way Pavlov taught his dog

to love something that wasn’t there. Yearning.
That they never called it. But Ursa Major/Minor
call to each other & I never hear them right anyway

like once at a bar when a friend said look at them dancing there
as Zeppelin came on and I heard look at them dancing bears,
which caused, instead of a looking up, a half-thought Continue reading

Thanks a Lot, Margaret Mitchell, by Amanda Halkiotis

I have never been on a motorcycle but I think my hair would look damn fine flying straight out behind me while cruising down a highway.

Red wine makes my skin blotchy but I drink it anyway.

I will marry the man who teaches me how to drive a stick shift. Uphill.

I have fallen in love with more fictional characters than any number of real men.

In the winter I wear a men’s wool fedora and men’s brown leather driving gloves. It makes me feel a very vintage sort of sexy.

My hair on the whole gives me an unprofessional look but I refuse to straighten it or thin it out.

I have only seen suns rising, never setting, over an infinite ocean.

I love mixing indulgent fabrics for outfits. Like corduroy and velvet.

I don’t know what to say when someone compliments my hair.

On summer weekends I go to the park and pretend to read. I just Continue reading

Field Note, by M M Greco

I spent yesterday alone

With John Coltrane.

The sky was a blank canvas,

Low and sad after the rain.

He was the only company I could bear.


His horn’s air blew through me-

Filled the space under my skin;

A sheet-of-sound wetsuit.

He searched and I followed.

He wept and I listened.

He floated away devotedly,

Losing me as the bass rumbled.


A Love Supreme ended

For the third time

And I’d yet to find God

As he’d intended.

Though there was something else,


Because today,

On stairways,


Coffee shops, and


I am unable to look them in

The eyes.

Cherublingo, by Aaron Piepszny

that string can kill, cling, cull; 

we angels’re like butterflies museum fixed under the 

shrill steel pin of English, gunmetal cold,

the symphony stripped from our tongues where 

the Arabs add-dress Allah in silk.


I:  dream 


beyond bounds these words shape

simple geometries  my lobes and limbs take

clack against the iron sides  the angular din of

American , a scalpel in the subways, slices

Cherubic hearts swell from soul to poetry,

the cacauphonic lips chatter  rats lick the winged words

from flight, feathers and hollow bones of light, whole.

Field Notes, by Simrat Kang

“The Clock Moves Backward”


Days measured in stutters,

Arms and legs rustle through a long list of 

Stagnant truths:

A few lines to hum each day.


Cigarettes consumed, roses wilted, cream pots emptied.

The clock moves backward.


A uniform scattering of your laundry line:

Beiges and greys. 

Tiles cracked around the porcelain bathtub,

Scene of so many prayers:

The taking in of men;

Purges from the colorful world. 


Pallor turned a uniform ash—

A doing-over of makeup regiments. 


Runs in stockings, dents in pillows, bent soup spoons,

Ticking slowly down. 


Wrists wrung with artifacts,

Identifying marks, your culture: departure. 

Slippers in the cherry oak doorway— Continue reading

chucks line the hallway, by Michael Crumpton

we are a consequence. our bad ideas brainstorm.
dire mechanisms
twist and turn, give up

the fairy tale mob
born of other’s dreams.
lost on perfection.

deliver me, hungry ego,
blasted rats.
fill my lungs with church smells.

stagnant shortcomings
with pews of dirt soaked wine.
everybody stitch a new skin together

massive sorrow
automatic in being,
geared for getting going on downs

and whales were never part of us.
a result
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