Lit Pick of the Week: “New Apocalypse” by Russell Jaffe

New Apocalypse

I travel by boat. I let the sea hit me in the face.

I read pages that are crispy. I turn them again.

Again. Again. I plumb the margins. I drink brown drinks

in Scottish rooms that are small and brown. But

this here is the same. Rooms are sequences. I hear fiddles.

They pluck like the wires in men’s mustaches

are wiry. When they turn upwards they are antennas.

When they turn down they are heavy hands. Do not

chain down.

I tell rural friends to try living in cities.

You become a little square nook. Glasgow was the

most angular city of them all. Slowly. Slowly

things are meant to get done. In between bars and the cracks

around the stones in the streets. I am foam. I am something that bubbles

and is slowly blown off. I’m big. A clunky square waiting to be pressed on.

I take manuscript by manuscript down by the banks of the Clyde river.

I relinquish myself to my knees. I tear each one and vomit.

With enough time to reflect. Then auto-reflect. My unwired.

My signal waiting for a signal. The countryside is mulled and pressed.

Juices strained back in. Guts. Haggis again. Try this, rural friend. Made into

something brown. Pulpy.  Serialize your ideas. Between

storefronts. I have watched. This I read.

Scotland is shaped like two lungs, a digestive system, and a remote.

I climb the hill behind a school in Glasgow.

Scotland’s air, gray stone architecture.

it’s quite a view up there. The needy sea.

The man-made peers bordering the warehouses. When

it’s this everywhere it’s the end.

And factories. The tubes poking. the wire chicken

weathervane. A broken tin frame versus

the static of the clouds. Dark grays behind light grays.

The antennae up there. It’s like this


Russell Jaffe is a  graduate of the MFA in Poetry program at Columbia College, where he also taught Writing and Rhetoric and Enhanced Composition. He was a recently displaced Chicagoan living in New York, and now resides in Iowa City.  He is the founder and editor of the poetics blog O Sweet Flowery Roses, and is also a professional wrestling journalist. His poems have appeared in Ariel, Word Curves, The Archive, and Columbia Poetry Review.

To submit poetry, prose, or excerpts of fiction and creative non-fiction for “Lit Pick of the Week” please email your submissions to or

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July Videos: Tara Betts & Timothy Yu

Last month we had the honor of hosting the pre-release party for Another Chicago Magazine ACM50. It was quite a lively night with Timothy Yu, Bayo Ojikutu, Tara Betts, and Quraysh Ali Lansana has features. The night was not without amazing open mic performers. We even had a beautiful rendition of Lena Horne’s “Stormy Weather.” Check out a couple of the videos. More are on the way!

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Lit Pick of the Week: “Tomorrow’s Sermon” by Yvette Thomas

Tomorrow’s Sermon

Ask if the flaming sword is the axis.

Ask if toil means the seasons.

Keatsian envy of the backs of birds.

The spires of churches and all the people.

Out to the horizon: trees!

Like the wood grain of the standing tree means

paper, houses. Under my hand. Under

my feet, dirt. Metal. The city I rise

into, look out from and understand

like the spectre of the blackbird

in Stevens and his oceans

all horizon, for which we have no word.

A bit of sky becomes wind,

while I lie here bridling the image of myself in God:

my power that obliterates.

Yvette Thomas received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago. Her work has appeared in Columbia Poetry Review and other notable literary magazines. She currently resides in Philadelphia.

* To submit a poem, prose, or excerpts of fiction or creative nonfiction for Lit Pick of the Week, please email your work to

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Next Reading Series Installment :: July 28

 Revolving Door Reading Series



   Pre-Release Party!

ACM50 is coming soon! Come help us raise awareness!

Copies of ACM49 & Pre-Orders of ACM50 will be available for sale



Wednesday :: July 28, 2010 :: 9p.m.-1a.m.


Red Kiva :: 1108 W. Randolph :: Chicago 

!!No Cover!!

Drink Specials!
 (So bring your beer guts!)
Music provided by:  DJ Third Degree & Fathom DJ

Featured Readings by: 

Tara Betts

Quraysh Ali Lansana

 Bayo Ojikutu

 Timothy Yu & much more!


RSVP @ or 

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Next Reading Series Installment :: June 16

The Revolving Door Reading SeriesA monthly series of poetry and cultural musings

Red Kiva, 1108 W. Randolph / Open mic: 7:30PM / Features: 8PM

Wednesday, June 16

Michael Bernstein is the author of the chapbooks cinderbook (Gold Wake Press, 2009), the rot to light (Gold Wake Press, 2010), 8s (Scantily Clad Press, forthcoming 2010), imaginary grace (Recycled Karma Press, forthcoming 2010) from “a heap of swords and mirrors” (Bedouin Books, forthcoming 2010), the transit illuminate (mudluscious press, forthcoming 2010),  nanostars (greying ghost press, forthcoming 2010), and the Fire District (Differentia Press, forthcoming 2010). His poems have appeared in magazines such as Puppy Flowers, milk, Moria, BlazeVOX, and New American Writing. He currently co-edits the online literary arts magazine Pinstripe Fedora. Michael lives and writes in Wisconsin.

The evening also includes Ekphrastic Poetry by:

Michael Bernstein (art provided by Derick Burleson)

Ryan Collins (art provided by Ray Pride)

Dan Godston (art provided by Derick Burleson)

Shelley Nation-Watson (art provided by Janne Laurencelle)

Monadnoc Soria (art provided by Ben Foch)



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Join The Circus! :: Art Scene This Week

Encyclopedia Show: Season Finale

Wed. June 9, 2010

Vittum Theatre, 1012 N. Vittum, Chicago

7:30 – 9:30

Chicago, IL – Chicago Slam Works brings to you the season finale of the 2009 Orgie Theatre Award winning Encyclopedia Show at the Vittum Theatre, 1012 N Noble St, on Wednesday, June 9 at 7:30 pm. Tickets $6 at the door. All ages.

This Month – Series 2, Volume 10: The Circus

With music, poetry, visual art and spoken word on the topic: The Circus. Featuring (Contributor – Topic):

Roger Bonair-Agard (Vox Ferus, National Poetry Slam Champion) Flea Circuses
Aricka Foreman (Detroit Public Schools Writer in Residence) The Lions of Gunther Gebel Williams
Patrick Somerville (Author of “The Cradle”) The Bozo Show
Adam Gottlieb (Louder than a Bomb Champion) Showman’s Rest
The Heavy Boxes (Ukulele Cabaret) Elvira Madigan
Ric Ianciotti (Video Artist) Live Circus Deaths
Max Kessler (Boston National Poetry Slam Representative) Family Circus
Andy Bayiates (Playwright, Neo-Futurist alumnus, former astrology columnist for Time Out Chicago) Johnny Eck
Karrie Waarala (Poet, Librarian, Circus Aficionado) Karl Wallenda
Tony Denis (College Slam Champion and Teaching Artist) Tyke the Elephant
Mojdeh Stoakley (Lethal Poetry Productions) Gibsonton, FL
Nina Coomes (16 Year Old Poet) Myrtle Corbin
Kim Saltin (Maker and Breaker of Dreams) Clown College
Melanie “George” Decelles (3rd Place at youth poetry nationals) Juggalos
Josh Boyd (Catacomb Confetti) John Wayne Gacy.

Also featuring jugglers, live animals, and carnies!

With hosts Robbie Q Telfer (Author of Spiking the Sucker Punch) and Shanny Jean Maney (Author of Our Brave Faces Were Just Smiles) and cast regulars: Kurt Heintz ( Fact Checker; Patrick Carberry (Fiction Writer); Tim Stafford (HBO Def Poet); Joel Chmara (HBO Def Poet); Evan Chung (Musician) – House Band Leader “The Encartagans”; and Emily Rose (Poetry Vet and House Manager) –as Jilted Emily Rose.

Chicago Poetry Showcase

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cafe Ballou, 939 N. Western Ave., Chicago

7:00 – 9:00

Join the Chicago Poetry Showcase Series  and host CJ Laity this Saturday for this new groundbreaking event. This first event will feature six diverse Chicago Poetry Voices. Each poet will read their work for fifteen minutes. No open mic for this special “anti-cram event,” but it is free and open to the public.

Donna Pecore
Paul Martinez Pompa
Pete Dederick
Udayan Das
Beatriz Badikian-Gartler

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May Videos! Larry O. Dean & Lauren Pretnar!

Check out videos of Larry O. Dean & Lauren Pretnar from our May installment of Revolving Door! For more videos of our past features visit our PhotoGallery page.

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John Murillo on Blogtalk Radio!

Check out an interview with poet John Murillo. John Murillo is a Cave Canem fellow and author of Up Jump the Boogie, his debut collection of poems. Book review on Up Jump the Boogie coming soon!!

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Rhino Reads! :: Art Scene This Week

Rhino Reads! A Monthly Poetry Series

Friday, May 28

Brothers K, 500 Main St. Evanston, IL

Open Mike 6:00 – 6:30, Featured Poets 6:45 – 7:30

This friday, Rhino Reads! will feature:

Jacob Saenz is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago where he served as an editor for the Columbia Poetry Review. His work has appeared in Inkstains, Buffalo Carp, Paramanu Pentaquark and Poetry. He has been nominated for an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award. He works at a library.

Kimberly Dixon is a Cave Canem and Callaloo fellow. Publications include The Drunken Boat, Torch, Versal, Reverie, and the anthology Just Like a Girl: A Manifesta! from GirlChild Press. She is also a playwright and performer and has given readings and staged productions at Crossroads Theatre Company, Plowshares Theatre Company, Guild Complex and Strawdog Theatre Company. Her comic play “The Gizzard of Brownsville” was a finalist in the Theodore Ward Prize for African-American Playwrights. She recently became Managing Director of the Chicago literary non-profit, Guild Complex.

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Next Reading Series Installment:: May 19

The Revolving Door Reading SeriesA monthly series of poetry and cultural musings

at Red Kiva, 1108 W. Randolph / Open mic: 7:30PM / Features: 8PM

Wednesday, May 19

Larry O. Dean was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. As a young man, he worked with Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Michael Moore, was widely published in the alternative press, and worked as a cartoonist. He attended the University of Michigan at Flint and Ann Arbor, during which time he won three Hopwood Awards in Creative Writing. He holds an MFA from Murray State University, teaches composition, and works as a Poet-In-Residence in the Chicago Public Schools through the Poetry Center’s Hands on Stanzas program.

In addition to writing, he is a singer and songwriter with numerous critically acclaimed CDs, including Fun with a Purpose (2009). Since 2001 he has hosted a monthly songwriter showcase, Folk You! His collections include, I Am Spam (2004) among others. His work has also been widely anthologized. His magazine publications include, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Gryphon, Passages North, Third Lung Review, Black Creek Review among others. He calls Chicago home after living in San Francisco for over a decade. Contact him at

Lauren Pretnar is a writer of short fiction and plays. She was a finalist in the 2007 Sundance Theater Lab for Chicago and her stories have been published most recently by THE2NDHAND. She lives in Chicago with her family.

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