Tag Archives: sixth finch

Best Things I’ve Read This Week: Three New Issues of Rad Magazines

9 Dec

Got all unsituated for a sec but here, I am back. Missed this Vouching raft. A few good mags popped open their newest caps for us recently. ENJOY:

The real as hell Vinyl displayed this big huff thing “Aaahhh” by Steven D. Schroeder, like it too “exhaled jet fuel and ozone holes.” With bottom gut oomph like this issue in general does, this poem brings the noise with the knob turned up two or three spots. And that end squishes the breath outta me.

Here starts the burn:

No, not smell that honeysuckle!
or what a refreshing Coke!
or you solved the equation for oxygen!
As the only plants that manufactured
air outsourced to Singapore,
our breath burst, swarmed, burned,
turned every vowel plosive,
laughed a feral mongrel’s cough.
When it vented verbs skyward,
we exhaled jet fuel and ozone holes.
When it ran low at grocery stores,
the choice was paper or plastic bags
for our faces.

“My Own Dead American” by Matthew Harrison in the new issue of Sixth Finch is its own sort of devil, swaying between truths, singing your name (well, Diana), eating and fucking and losing. I’m awed by this poem’s allure. I am the I and Diana and “the Jacuzzi at the spa where you left/the final body of your message.” I’m broken at the end as we find out America is what we feared all along: “long and lonesome.”

And then there was Laurel Hunt with her own brand of splattering in the 2nd anniversary issue of Smoking Glue Gun. These speakers press a thumb out and down, remain wildly optimistic and charitable. Addicting is what they are, beginning to end.


New Love: Natalie Eilbert

18 Oct

I got embarrassed a recent morning, waking up to a small flood, waking up to this new love Natalie Eilbert. I read two of her poems in this fabulous new issue of Sink Review (below below!) and got twelve (or more!) kinds of shocked as I dug deeper into her work. How had I not perked to this stuff, canvassed in my favorite journals? How does this gal shine so darkly?  “Assembled the ashes like they were a thing/in need of assembly.” That’s one way to put it. In Guernica, she hints at her way of reckoning, carrying the machine, hoisting the flag, creating this new etymology (and further, the new country), with pained story and images of the so cruel is so beautiful variety (i.e. “I carried my machine still//to a bog. Dumped it there the way a bullet/enters say an elephant’s heart.//When the elephant’s heart won’t quit/and we fail again at mercy//this means my country, the sinking/of its metal a new form of prayer.”) In Smoking Glue Gun comes her honest reminder to love the trash of this world, the piles we’d rather not see again, as “like it you didn’t ask to be made.” Or what about in Diagram, did you see that? How she made the anguished ugly blotch roll off your tongue into another portion of the lit world so charismatically, rhythmically, somehow calm.

As if there is need for an alibi,
Say home, mean house. As if neither could burn.
Say fallen, as if it were a branch already
Mulched and turned. (You’re boasted, detached)

Man, I’m pumped at this new love. Natalie Eilbert, I do declare, rocks the poetic boat right with her snapping of plastic forks, daring you to dig into this muck with her, so dangerously enchanting, until like her poem at Sixth Finch begins, “I keep thinking about the sorceress.”

Until I’m back where it started, in the mystifying mist of her poems in Sink Review:

And did it occur to you in all these years that I could speak for myself. You’re a good girl, N, you stick to your books. Let us say I’ve moved on, I’ve rented the city for one year’s time and will not stop fucking these scared little boys. There is a fog over the towers, they hover and putrefy in Ozymandian disgrace. Pastries clog the gutters and I’ve never had such a fat ass fat breasts fat hands, this fat my beautiful beautiful. I’ve gone dizzy with drink, The Philadelphia Story won’t stop playing and I won’t ever get over the bored portrait of godhood in Katharine Hepburn’s waistline. There will never be enough milkshakes so far as I’m concerned.

Best Thing I’ve Read Today: “Scouting” by Danielle Pieratti at Sixth Finch

31 Jul

Quick! Let’s play Two Truths and a Lie:

1. Sixth Finch is one of the coolest journals on the interwebs (and yes yes, I remind this site of that every issue).

2. I once hiked across the entire interwebs carrying only a rooster.

3. “Scouting” by Danielle Pieratti is the best thing I’ve read today.

“She Says” by Brandon Amico at Sixth Finch

17 Apr

You know this, how you return to the poems, the stories, the people, the pictures on the wall, that are somehow surprising each time, a twinkle coming around the edges, a word hidden in the tiny room you didn’t see before, the way that someone bends their words towards an impossible horizon. a weird blur in the corner you keep staring at.

That’s all here in this poem in the new issue of Sixth Finch, this poem called “She Says” by Brandon Amico. I’m enthralled. I’m entrenched. I’m engaged to this poem as much as I’ve seen it lately.

Let’s take a walk. She tells me
there is a river in every town,
and I sincerely doubt this, so

I tell her so. She says she was
speaking metaphorically, and I ask
if the towns are metaphorical

or the river. Is it the same river
or a new river in each town?…

And that’s just it getting good, unshuffling the cards, and you should really read the rest here!


Back Again With Some Sixth Finch

23 Jan

Sorry to sound like the windmill always yapping about that same wind, but gracious, Sixth Finch sure blows some major energy our way, no? Yes! Issue upon issue has me going GOTTA VOUCH THIS. And THIS turns up to be that and that and that. So here I am again, spinning for the new issue of Sixth Finch.

Here are my tip-top wahoo favorites:

Allison Corporation by Julia Bloch: I love how it writes and rewrites itself, twists and turns itself, the poem, I mean, but also the speaker and the situation and the purpose. Mid-poem, it says, “I’m rewriting the plan,” says it twice even, and this, I feel, is key. This poem is that plan, The Act of rewriting the plan. Then, the end, the admitted emotion of it all: “This is a love poem/and I did not do any research.”

The Grip of All We Cannot Grasp by Sean Patrick Hill:

The moon comes on like a cloud of dead whales.

I lie in snow at the curb, and doves build nests in my sleeves.

Baby Toss by Julie Blackmon: This is one of those photographs one returns to, at first enjoyable in its common connection, it’s field and sky, baby being tossed and caught, as is infancy, but why do I keep returning (as the baby might wonder)? It’s the sky doing its magical bluing, it’s my own wonder what happened to the baby as gravity yanked it, or wait, did the baby drop from above in the first place (the magical red shoes and striped leggings), it’s the I’ve-been-here-before-ness of the kid in the green hat. I’m in love with the space this photo provides.

Worthy of It by Nick Sturm:

[…]Wherever you are awake

I want you to know the barn is falling down

slow enough we can sleep on it. It will be

raining, then it will be snowing, then

we will be wet, soaked, swollen, shore

in a way our bodies deserve. I mean

our mouths, our state shapes, our hair

in the morning. The dirt changes color

the closer I get to you. Like I said,

it’s snowing. It’s snowing just enough

it holds together.

We Claim To Be The Only Species Aware Of Our Own Mortality by Amorak Huey:  Wow at the power of these “We” statements, how they jut into, press holes in, strip apart, shine clear our understanding of our limited time here. Second wow at the power of the He coming to do his thing at the end, though we all should have known it was coming, maybe even hoped it so.

Smoke Bomb by Alex Roulette: WOW YES WOW

Read/look at the whole thing now!

“This Time” by Chelsea Witton

11 Aug

Now I’ve been back in Indiana for a bit, just under two weeks but already feeling more home, more settled, more vital green like the country around me, no more grass gasping through sand. Bye ocean, hello fields and fields.

My heart toward the Midwest swirls wild/calm/rusty/glimmer and when I drive past the stalks at night I ask it to unravel.  Lately I want summer’s exiting fireflies to become fire-colored trees like come on already.  Change I know is coming is change that is safe.

This poem from Chelsea Witton in the Summer 2012 issue of Sixth Finch is a bedtime prayer to the graspable, breathable earth. When I’m begging it to be constant in its transformation it feels something like this, the truest words I could chant Please, please, please:

…Please stars. Please stars. Please silver

flask. Please whiskey. Please bullfrogs

back and forth. Please owl, somewhere,

hunting. Please little fire. Please music.

Please singing. Please all imaginary

instruments. Please splada. Please pish.

Please terrifying stories that could be true.

But please not…

Go here, read the rest.

Score for the New Cotillion by Allyson Paty

30 Jul

I am barreling down the highway and it rains for a second then not for a few moments then another second of rain then just a brief time of the road spitting up on me. I’m on the edge of a storm cloud, the road’s unraveling weaving me in and out of nature’s grumpiness.

This morning after that journey, I reread this poem by Allyson Paty from the always working it Sixth Finch. This song for the new dance bursts, but key is the white space in between, those moments to see the wicked shaking that is going on, the wind or the music (depends on your perspective), pushing life around, its hits popping in its prepositional phrases, its dance steps in strange commands.

Here’s how it gets a-kicking:

do the knees of the brother in a stranger’s home video
when he chases the dog pulls the dog’s ear
do the left wrist of an anchor the right arm of the riot cop
and the scalp of the crowd


19 Apr

Maybe it’s rude or not cool to talk like this, but who am I so I’ll say it: my last three rejections from Sixth Finch have echoed “These are so close! Keep trying!” which could mean any number of things, but after reading that new digital stack of goodness the Sixth Finch crew has assembled, I’m kind of like “Shooo-weee, I’m glad they said no.” Sincerely, honestly, down right, my poems don’t belong in this issue, or any of their issues yet. Sixth Finch is one of my two or three go-to-the-day-it-drops poetry journals and they haven’t let up, man.

Like “Lying” by Molly Brodak, fleeting and contemplative, and I feel kinda how I feel in a big used bookstore, the centuries of thoughts in stacks, the unending search, here collapsed, compressed, into this neat little pile.

Like “The Seep-Child” by G.C. Waldrep, a growing flame about fire and the burning and people, how they burn, and here in this word hunk, I follow, amazed at how it moves and shines, this idea of fire pushed and pressed on and on.

Like “from Pink and Grey” by Dan Boehl, this reminder of how inside a simple scene, a moment, always this hulking gap, this hunk of missing.

And the art, too, snagging its own rightful spot alongside the words, always crisp, startling depictions of thewhat’s up.


Rob MacDonald at La Petite Zine

6 Apr

Take a moment on this fine Friday afternoon (windy here in central Florida, but fine nonetheless) to travel over to check out Rob MacDonald’s poem “The First Girl” over at La Petite Zine.

(That’s right, as in Rob MacDonald from Sixth Finch.)

Here’s just a taste to whet your appetite:

When I say that she was the greatest,
I mean that she resembled a circus.

10 Oct

I saw that one of my favorite journals, Sixth Finch, had a new issue out. With the online journals that I read most of the work from every issue, I like to take an evening to sit down and read it, instead of reading a few pieces here and there like I do with other journals. Tonight was my date with Sixth Finch, and as usual, the thing delivers! Below are some reactions on the issue.


Cover art feels a little grittier, a little edgier than I’m used to seeing when I pop up Sixth Finch. Rad.

I dig dig dig the color schemes they use.

The first piece, “Summer Camp for Sirens” by Kathleen Balma, takes some serious strides. To go from “We get a new flag for everything we learn. There’s even a new flag for learning how to earn a new flag!” to “We are taught never to talk about this. Our organs do the talking for us. The mouth of all pain is called the brain” (and have it work so well!) is just fantastic.

I’m glad to see Sasha Fletcher continues to refuse to tame his imagination. Gorgeous leaps and laps in the poem here, “Let Me Tell You About My Day.” 

I don’t know what to say that would sound cool or smart about “Butterfly” by Elizabeth Hildreth, but here’s a part from the middle that I can’t stop thinking about:

         Being inside the sea

if you like the sea must be

like being inside a body

you like, inside hiding,

inside a song you like,

the motor running,

hanging in the trees.

“TMI” by Dara Wier reminds me why human interaction is so beautiful. The strange flow of conversation. The awkward moments and how we handle them. The unrelenting desire to say what we think, what we know. GOODNESS.

I don’t know much about visual art, but I think Sixth Finch is trying to change that, not letting me skim over this section ever. I particularly enjoyed Family Day’s eeriness, Canopy #4‘s movement, and Finding Balance‘s difficult-to-place endearing strangeness.