Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hereafter Landscapes by Jody Azzouni

Hereafter Landscapes
by Jody Azzouni
The Poet’s Press
Providence RI
Copyright © 2010 by Jody Azzouni
ISBN: 0-922558-42-6
Softbound, 55 pages, no price indicated

Review by Zvi A. Sesling

Always a sci-fi fan, always concerned about the environment, I found myself fascinated by Jody Azzouni’s Hereafter Landscapes. He has visions of the future, the Earth in its final days, the apocalypse of war, the pathos of hunger, nuclear winter – a nightmare of possibilities, a prophet of things to come. Hopefully not in our lifetimes or even in the distant future.

Here are some lines from a few of the poems (I indicate title and lines):

Title: And yet we still wonder where all the fish went
lines: We eat bushmeat now/(with our gloves of blood)

Title: We are trolls
lines: so we live in cans/(like snail)/like hermit crabs

Title: When cardboard will be a step up
lines: (I keep telling you the news no wants to share.)/The extinction wars/(the acid of
ocean; the absence of frog).

Title: When even hurricanes get really big
lines: Shivering our timbers into crunch.
(Can we hear the warnings yet?)

These are just a few of the titles and opening lines of Azzouni’s poetry, more like Nostradamus telling a future we cannot comprehend. Think about it, when Nostradamus wrote 500 years ago only DaVinci could envision airplanes, but no one could foresee atomic bombs, satellites, the weaponry of today, the billions of people, rocket ships tothe edge of the solar system and beyond.

I dare say people can see, even predict, the future Azzouni writes about, but not with his bleak view of mankind, the animal/fish kingdoms and the visions of the horror of the end of not only humanity, but Earth itself.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Decades: A Poem from Jason Wright

( From the 50's-- Horn & Hardart)

The Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene got the poem "Decades" from Somerville, Mass. poet Jason Wright

Jason Wright lives in Somerville, and is the Founder and Editor of Oddball Magazine. His goal is to live on a boat some day with his beautiful love Lisa. He enjoys writing poetry, playing music and long walks on the beach. He has written over two thousand unpublished poems. He will be famous for sure posthumously, but does his best to live a poet’s life. You can see more of his work at Oddball Magazine, where he welcomes submissions.


For Mom


The Sultan of Swat, the King Supreme

The Prince of swing, it’s in a dream.

Fedoras and three-piece-suits,

double breasted

gangsters not arrested,

money golden crested.

Do the Can-Can to a 20’s beat

dance the Charleston, with these swinging feet.

The dance is grooving, a sophisticated cat

Money is swindled, like wood being kindled.

It’s rich in here, poor over there.

Gangsters didn’t worry. Gangsters didn’t care.

The Chicago hit list was growing and thriving

When you pay your debts, the Mob isn’t dying

You’ll live to swing on the dance floor

That’s the roaring 20’s the first of 4.


The Worlds hung-over, and colder then ever

The people look hopeless, they’ll never get better.

More people homeless, due to lack of money

It’s the great depression, cloudy not sunny

The War time boomed, and now were broke

For many living, life is just a joke.

The stock market is crashing, Uncle Sam’s dying.

Depression runs rampant, no one’s trying.

It’s a lowlight, broken wings when birds don’t fly

The 30’s decade (when baby hope cries)


What a decade were starting

With the troops departing and

Our business is booming once again

Our heroes they‘ll fight, and many will die

But well see them all again

Such proud men, proud for the U.S.A

Fighting the Anti-Christ

every single day.

Baseball hasn’t stopped playing

Although our troops are gone

Music hasn’t stopped playing

Although our troops aren’t here

The heart still sings a song

And they know that we all care

We all know where they are

But when will they come back,

To all the men, we’re fine back home

Drop the bombs, Attack!


Be-Bop du bop, singing on top

Elvis, a Nashville boy

Climbing the charts, and breaking the hearts

Rock and Roll can never stop

With a slick hair style

and Chevrolets shining

Parents don’t like this jazz

And they won’t stop pining

Black and White T.V and the Sullivan Show

Keeps us entertained through

Rain, through snow

Baseball, the All American dream

Everyone wants to be on the team

The Beatles, haven’t yet arrived

Probably just forming

“Johnny and the Moondogs”

How long can this dream last?


Started off innocent enough

The Beatles stepped off the plane in 64

Brought history to music

Ellis Island, just off the shore

But something’s changed

Beatniks and Hippies,

Poppers and stoppers, pot and trippies

The President is dead. His brother soon after

What the hell happened in this chapter?

The Civil Rights Leader, when he made the change

He said We had a chance. He said we had a dream!

Birmingham’s child killed

Time heals all pains, but killed in your prime?

Just like the Civil Rights leader

we were ambushed somewhere every day

The Government brought us over there

and that’s where our bodies will lay

Back home their celebrating “Free Love”

Woodstock, and Pot smoking

Over here they don’t support us

And don’t care that we are choking.

Stimulating their minds with music and peace

I want these things, can I have a piece?

So this is what’s happening

Free love and War

Our government corrupt, our hippies too much

our leaders are gone, a new decade

God, we’ve had enough!


Wow, are we hung-over!

The jungle strike has left us spent

and has left love a loather

Our Beatles are broken up

They just don’t care to be together

Bob Dylan sings of “Hurricanes”

But not an anomaly of weather

Jimi and Janis, and the Lizard King

Drugs, and alcohol have taken away all these things

Bell Bottoms are still around, but now they’re even neater

Disco fever is running rampant with Saturday Night Fever

Welcome Back Kotter, where did you go?

A new series of shows, no one cares

And this hangover grows

The Black Panther party is aggravated and with every right they should be

Remember we killed their leader, and time heals everything?

Political Prisoners, and nothing is tolerated

Freedom is dead and in place instead

Free love has become the leader

And don’t forget the pills pink, blue, red

the spoon, the lighter, the acid queen

pass out, the morning after.


It’s a Digital Age, when Pepsi makes commercials

Tight jeans, and Bright threads

The punkers, and the poppers

The rocker non-stoppers

Big hair bands, and lots of hair spray

Men wear the make-up when they’re on the stage

Roller Skates and Mini-Boomers

Carry the boomer over the shoulder

Listening to Billy Jean, Billy Ocean, Billy Joel, Billy Idol

Billy’s run rampant. This is the Digital Age

Hi-tops, Hi-fi speakers, drive-in movie theaters

The losers, the tweakers, and the football team.

Society is colorful, so colorful

The Sugar Hill Gang keeps the teens dancing

And New Age classics appear on the movie screen

Fab Five Freddy delivers the message

Gets rap going into the next dimension

This is the time when they dropped the Bomb

But the bomb was just a song

When the Artist was known as Prince

Michael J. Fox and Michael J

Back to the future, and the future back to you

The Ricker rocked on the Silver Spoons

This is the 80’s like boom boxes and digital tunes

1980 the year this poet was breathing through.


The Time is changing but the future isn’t so shocking

The clock still digital. Still tick-tocking.

By this time, thoughts of flying cars

Hover boards and Stations on Mars

But our cars are on wheels

And big money deals

No space suits, but plenty of lawsuits

Lots and lots of Baggy clothes

Instead of moon boots I suppose

So the future still looks real

So what’s the Big Deal?

with 2000 approaching

Will we be soon flying?

With Robot butlers

with gold plated pilings?

Remote control TV’s all

replaced with RC rooms,

like escalators in every home.

But one thing will change

And that’s the truth

The music will change

will change the youth

The drugs will be more commercial

the THC rising

The Government will still lie

And will never stop lying

But one thing will change, and will change the most

With the ozone gone this world will roast

The heat will rise, and lower the sky

It’s no disguise

The future is in the hands of the youth

It’s sad but that’s the truth.

Jason Wright © 1998

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Review of “the zoo, a going: (THE TROPIC HOUSE)” by J. A. Tyler

Review of “the zoo, a going: (THE TROPIC HOUSE)” by J. A. Tyler, fiction, Sunnyoutside, Buffalo, New York, 23 pages, 2010

By Barbara Bialick

Isn’t it practically archetypal to compare one’s family to a zoo? Especially when they behave badly in public, such as at the zoo itself? J.A. Tyler’s new chapbook, is a glimpse into his upcoming book, “The Zoo, A Going” set to be published by Dzanc Books in 2013. But don’t wait till then to check him out.

In only 23 pages, Tyler gives us a mélange of Freudian and probably Jungian symbols, and just plain cursing and speaking, that help this neurotic little kid figure out how he fits in with his folks and the animals.

The cover, designed by Anna Mutzes of Birdfish Studio, is just what the little volume needs—an old fashioned drawing of a woman, man, and boy’s eerily embodied-looking clothes resting near blue striped wall paper, as if for a photo, without any heads, feet or hands…

I wouldn’t even begin to analyze these individual vignettes, which include, for example,
“The Tree Snake”, the “Bird-Eating Spider” and “The Turtle”. The sign in front of the turtle says he’s 110 years old. To the boy, “People lie and I don’t think this turtle can be three or four times my dad or my mom. It is a turtle.” Lying is the point in this one. He quotes his mother in italics, “So help me god Jonah put your fucking toys away for once. I am going to step on them and break my fucking head.” But the boy is quick to point out his mother has never broken her head open nor stepped on his toys, except for one mini drumstick that cracked.

The boy is afraid to tie his shoelaces near the Boa Constrictor. “I could throw you in there. I could if I wanted to,” his dad says. “You want me to throw you in there?” The dad then says “Don’t worry…I won’t throw you in there today.” The boy concludes,
“he doesn’t say anything about tomorrow, which is somehow just like my dad.”

J.A. Tyler is the author of several novellas, including “Inconceivable Wilson” (Scrambler Books, 2009) and “A Man of Glass & All the Ways We Have Failed” (Fugue State Press, 2011). He is also the founding editor of Mud Luscious Press (

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Endicott Review: Volume 27, Issue 1

The Endicott Review

Volume 27, Issue 1
Spring 2010
Copyright © 2010 by The Endicott Review
ISSN 1548-5242
96 pages,

Review by Zvi A. Sesling

One tidy little journal put out by a college is The Endicott Review from Endicott College in Beverly, MA. The issue is divided into sections entitled College, Family, Artwork, Nature, Childhood, Love, Artwork, Self, Death and Dreams/Future, each section providing writing by, in some cases, young, enthusiastic writers with promising futures and lots of talent.

Some poems jumped out at me like Richard W. Moyer’s Movies, Youngstown, Ohio, 1940. Having lived in Youngstown in the 1950s and even written a poem or two about it, I wondered who Moyer was, certainly not 84 years-old, I think. Anyway, it was interesting nostalgia.

Marcia Molay wrote Poetry Class with a first stanza that states:

Some topics suggest
the life stories
of all the students.
Deep feelings are
best expressed in
a kind atmosphere,
good work encouraged.
Poetry class is that.

Or you can revel in Lauren Fleck-Steff’s short piece I’m jaded

There’s a gold ring
around the moon.
I’ve been told it
forecasts love.

The moon has lied before.

Among the better poems in the journal as those by Jim Mullholland (Witnessing A Blue Morning Sky), Emily Braile (Fight), Lauren Peterson (Barbie’s Dark Side), Janine L. Certo (The Hamster), Doug Holder’s two poems and Chad Parenteau’s three poems. Lest anyone not mentioned think their offerings are not held in the same esteem, they should not fear. The poems in this review just happened to catch my fancy.

The magazine also contains excellent artwork, the favorites (again, those not mentioned should have no anxiety at being less talented), being Johnny Bonacci touching photo of a mourner at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C., Ripley Doten’s almost surrealistic photo by the ocean which leaves the viewer to ask: person or statue? and Kristen Bernard’s photo entitled “Face.” Some of the artists have also contributed poems to exhibit their multifaceted talent.

The Endicott Review is a bundle of talent that I highly recommend to any reader looking for talented writers of poetry and prose, art and photography.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rattle Issue #33 Summer 2010

Issue #33
Volume 16, Number 1
Summer 2010
Alan Fox, Editor-In Chief
Timothy Green, Editor
12411 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City CA 91604
Single copy $10, 1 year (2 issues) $18

Review by Zvi Sesling

Here is a magazine worth every dollar invested in good reading. Starting with Tony Barnstone’s noir sequence, Jack Logan, Fighting Airman, through the tribute to humor, Rattle provides non-stop entertainment with poets I have heard and not heard of, read and not read before. None of the writers let me down. Editor-in-Chief Alan Fox contributed to the compendium as did Tomaz Salamun, Aram Saroyan, Tom Myers, and nonagenarian Ed Galing. The Tribute To Humor is intelligently introduced by Editor Timothy Green. I was especially taken by Toi Derricotte’s six line killer entitled Rome. It shows she understands men perfectly (and maybe some women too). Richard Garcia comes in with the ultimate play on TV’s Sixty Minutes curmudgeon with A Poem By Andy Rooney. He nails the old man perfectly. There are plenty of other bone tickling offerings as well.
For those who have enjoyed Rattle through the years, this is a more than satisfying issue.
If you have not read Rattle before, you too will become a fan.