Sunday, June 28, 2015

Tip of the Knife, Issue 20




Tony Rickaby
Dan Raphael
Leanne Bridgewater
Oscar Towe
Steve Perkins
Alexander Limarev
Bill DiMichele

Hermann Hesse on Visual Poetry

“Sometimes I’ll be writing a Greek letter, a theta or an omega, and tilt my pen just the slightest bit; suddenly the letter has a tail and becomes a fish; in a second it evokes all the streams and rivers of the world, all that is cool and humid; or it becomes a bird, flaps its tail, shakes out its feathers, puffs itself up, laughs and flies away. These are the letters with which God wrote the world.”

Narcissus and Goldmund

“On his knees was a book of parchment in which he was writing; dragons flew out of the letters, and colored snakes reared themselves. He did not look at me; he went on writing, absorbed in his colored shapes.  I saw the snakes and dragons emerge from his writing, whirl about and silently disappear into the dark wood.”

Journey to the East

Tony Rickaby

Among Small Spaces

Filling a Plain Rectangle

Smashed Silver Spreading

White Lines Wavering Through

Dan Raphael

The World We Know

step out of the world we know
body of interstices
no one hit
the wall comes right up hello

the way you rise
room in so many breaths
bread in so many hands
half the windows spread their wings

today a blanket tomorrow dinner
if I don’t gather the water
split   smoked     stirred several times a day
wandering on the 5th side of the house 

as a chair
from a tree
as our legs
into music

I Love Geography                  

A map in shreds
Map shreds made into a globe
Light shines through
Improper projection
Right side up—ask the sun
No stars below


The map behind the map
A virgin grid
Crow vs. car
Bicycle with pogo stick wheels to jump cars & fences
Streets not on the map
10 google camera cars exploding on the same day
The satellite realized it was orbiting the wrong planet
Map gift wrap, lamp shade, hemispheric pajamas


A map of reeds & shells
My palm maps my life
4 colors to avoid adjacent bleeding
A 19th century map
A map of the land beneath antarctica
For a week the earth had no magnetic lines--
  they came back with new assignments & uniforms
My nav system only speaks korean
I spent days origami-ing the map into an almost sphere


When land and ocean were in separate huddles
When it rained dirt
Shoveling water that’s not frozen
Road paved with maps
The square tattooed on his bicep is the outline of his home state
If the mountains were pressed flat & the land allowed to flow freely
Soon china and india will overlap
As ice shrinks borders swell


Instead of “Oregon” the  map says “mine”
Photoshopped the map to take out topographic wrinkles
You cant spell check a map
The map of where we’re going won’t come out ‘til next summer
With my magnifying glass i eliminated st louis
From free maps to maps that charge every time you look at them
         Homing shoes—never get lost
Asked the map for directions, got no answer
Put a tin foil map on my head & had no where to go
Roll up that 100$ map and rail some mileage
All the names have been replaced with coordinates
Is that the horizon or a fold

Collide Here Now

when i have an accident
when the other car backs into me
when a clear intersection suddenly has a plymouth 2 feet in front of me

an accident in my pants
an accident waiting to be asked in
by accident i met the woman of my dreams
a dent in a fender, a dent in normality

i only eat meat from animals i’ve killed.
when is open season on cows. why are crows and robins protected,
when we hear a gunshot outside we first do a roll call.
the gun may have discharged accidentally but the gun was there on purpose.

some cities you can make 4 left turns and be nowhere near where you started
out rural each turn may be miles apart
chambered nautilus cul de sacs
sounds go into the ear and never come out

when i walk i think like  a cab with my own voices in the back
sometimes i’m in the back seat too and my body drives itself
fueled by coffee & promises, the meters always running but the odometer
 is easily distracted---i waited through three green lights before  i was threatened.
one night i left my lights on and my room mate had to jump me in the morning,
running in place while humming a led zeppelins guitar solo.

i claim every accident i’m near, the lack of cause, the clamor of redistribution
 retribution---render to chaos the things of chaos. I’m an eager witness,
improvising what i didn’t see or hear. a compass on every corner,
a camera i can back date, cameras implanted in feral cats  .

the new burger joint has four drive up windows and no doors.
is anyone inside, how do we get them out. i try not to hear the people
in my engine screaming when i turn the key, the gas goes directly from
under north dakota to a catheter on my leg

every year half a million cars are made and never sold
a river of dead cars flowing to the moon to change its gravity and our weather
when mountains forget to sweat. what will come to nest in those open pits
of montana and alberta—put a hole in my face and something will grow there

if i don’t drive if i dont walk if i always order the same thing.
buying in bulk reduces mistakes. if i refuse to give directions,
if i keep my shoes in separate houses. you call and say i’m late, where am i.
the corners are scrambling like ice floes. my car won’t start ‘til its done talking, 
reupholstered in vinyl maps, cow hides resembling continents and waterways, 
an LED in the passenger seat blinks to show me where i am

That plane falling across a freeway in Taiwan (2/4/15)

A plane could fall from the sky, my car could start constricting like an anaconda
thats already swallowed me without my wings

A sun that smells like a sewer, a swimming pool where people
hold their breath for a half hour or more—i cant see the bottom.
someone else’s clothes are in my locker, her face in the mirror

When opening a door is like entering a busy freeway,
yield signs are popular in bedrooms and keep disappearing
I mime starting a car until a key appears in my hand, keep turning the key
until a steering wheel,  i reach over my shoulder and grab someone’s tie.
the street is mirrored; the bridge surface is mesh—hundreds of aluminum ears
catch the wind and hold up this bridge—six lanes in the middle but only one at each end,
clear tubing with miniature people in scale model boats racing across the river & under the street,
every time i bleed i smell the ocean and hear a seagull trying to say my name

To change your beak is to change your diet is to transform your body chemistry
and turn the flag of your colors into the map of a different subway
where you can walk directly from one train to another, never touching the station.

The elevator door opens into my apartment rises to the 7th floor and slides into its nest.
the duvet intensely quilted to resemble an ocean of meringue, starched to crackle
like egg shells in an art gallery where anything you say is owned by someone wealthier.
some shop for eloquence, some only buy words they don’t know. context is way out of my price range.
i got a grant to “collect”  bumper stickers from bumpers and patch the arts commissions roof. 

This drug may cause an  uncontrollable urge to run north.
it’s raining warm fat. the traffic light oozes ketchup, mustard & salsa verde.
warning gates cascade like a chorus line seen through a fun house ceiling.
all the clouds look like fish while the river has streets & neighborhoods.
one downtown bridge so conflicted not even bicycles will cross 

Leanne Bridgewater

a fre

a gheather

a leather



Oscar Towe




sketch under highrise newcastle

Steve Perkins

Alexander Limarev



Bill DiMichele

From the Netherworld

Send submissions for TOK 21 to  Submissions are due by Labor Day, 2015.

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