Walking Is Still Honest Press & The Southern Collective Experience

Jeremiah Walton:

Thanks to The Southern Collective Experience, we’re back, with new spine, new editors, and new walks to publish.

Originally posted on Nostrovia! Tavern:

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ATTENTION ALL:

Walking Is Still Honest is up & running with new spine. The initial domains acquired to manage the website expired.  I’m currently writing this in Tucson, Arizona, where Nostrovia! Poetry has been hosting shows, is preparing for the 2015 NYC Poetry Festival, and relaunching its love.  There’s a lot of pancakes stacked here.  Having gotten off the road recently, the financial stability of work has eluded me, and we did not have the funds for a new domain.

Yet, Walking Is Still Honest Press is alive & kicking, thanks to the assistance of The Southern Collective Experience, who stepped forward to purchase a new domain for us, and joined on board with the project.  For that, we are grateful.  W.I.S.H. is still a sub project of Nostrovia! Poetry, but is now under the protection & guidance of a grounded publishing press that isn’t managed out of a…

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Heart’s Honest Kiss

Poem 3.
by Joseph Altamore

[When We Made Love]

when we made love
I had copulated 

before

but hadn’t

touched
kissed
stared
held

panicked inside
wanted to vomit
to cry

terrible 
tears
of fear

anxiety

I had never wanted to

take our hearts
rip them from our

quivering
chests
dry them out

in the torrid sun

and pulverize them together

our dust mingling 

in the languid 

breeze

so that

come oblivion we may be

as one
if only in a

gasp of ether

when we made love

it was my

first time

—–

Joseph Altamore is an emerging poet from Rockford, IL. His work is usually prose style poetry. He has been writing for four years but only very recently decided to submit his work for publishing. So far, he has been published in an online publication named Dead Snakes.

Soul’s Tainted Security

Lascivious Grace
by Curtis Whitecarroll

1

The art of growing up is teaching your skin to become a mask factory
All the orifices stuffed with paper, tainted with vulgar poetry

My transgression is to pretend a part of me is still innocent
calling back to my own instinct, be as dead as a statue

2

Some nights, I am left in moods
I thought I have left behind ,
guilty feelings over my wife
mopping up the mess
of my self-evisceration

I remember as a child I would feel
bad for standing outside
obstructing sunlight from
a boy shaped patch of grass

now, in my mid-thirties,
a part of me still has not
grown secure,

wanting to stay quiet
about wounds, who
still sometimes
feels the echoes

of being told
how worthless I am,
at nine after
harvesting a whole
onion field by hand,

or the times younger

left with the responsibilities
of alleged adults,
the pedophile who hated
his life and fatherhood,

or the mentally ill woman
who would’t get off the couch
to do anything except kill
my pets in front of me
when I was behind on chores

they are the ones who called
themselves farmers

and they have left seeds
which I have tried pulling
out of my bones,
but you always look insane
when trying to circumvent
your own skin

sometimes at night,
I can feel a bumper crop
coming on

3

Because I love to be not loved

they will ask me what my damage is

and I will say impiety is a comfort

when one was raised with grace used as a weapon

my future is a success if others fail to make sense of me

4

I learned what innocence is,
birth throws us into a world
gentle and illiterate,

we age, hording weaponry
our skin turns to armor
by reading sharp edges,

this is a world of broken glass streets
every human soul a bottle ready
to fall off its shelf

—–

Curtis Whitecarroll lives in Portland Oregon as he has for the last 13 years.
He is a poet, published in many various magazines. He is most proud of being the host and producer of Ink Noise , and other readings around town , devoted to giving young poets their start in live readings and publishing.

The Turn of a Tryst

A TRYST
by Darius Stewart

I tried to be a gigolo once,
but neither of us knew why
I thought I’d ever be good at it:
I almost made a castrato of him
when I went down on him,

because it was my first time.
When we passed each other
beneath that barely luminous light,
I knew he’d think I’d be spectacular—
how we circled each other like secrets

circulating amongst people who refuse the truth,
needing, instead, to make up fictions.
& I’ve never blamed him
for sitting next to me, grimaced
& slump-shouldered in the motel,

in the well-lit savage part of the city
listening to the couple behind the paper-
thin walls fucking the way strangers do:
nothing but limbs hyphenating other limbs,
hands palming pelvises, bodies flickering

in spotlight of cars passing by their window,
their muted screeches like traffic
of alley cats . . . I wanted to fuck him
then & there just thinking about it. & I tried,
& smiled at him, but he turned away—refusing

even a glimpse of me,
& I’d never felt so unconsidered—
as if I were a bench on which he could rest
his disregard: that this was a mistake,
that we could be nothing more than passing

acquaintances. So I waited in silence until he fell asleep—
the room being paid for through the night—
& listened to him make a noise like a walrus’s
skin sliding into the muck of wet sand,
slowly circling deeper into delirium,

like his sleep, but not like sleep. Like death.
I imagined his body slowly decomposing, each chest fall
& rise another second ticked off his life.
I whispered to him, Are you dying, leaving me,
as if we were lovers. But he was silent despite his noise,

& I confused by how much I admired his tranquility,
how he shone in the moon’s light casing
his skin, the bones of that room. I wanted to sidle up against
his body, find comfort in his stillness.
I wanted to pull him closer, to visit his body

a while. The way long-time companions hold
each other in a swallow of light & think nothing
of the silence, how noisily its absence of sound compels one
to find comfort in the simplest gestures. But we were strangers

meeting for a quick fuck that never happened.
& I was no gigolo—
though it was a small price to pay
simply to be beside him,
covers pulled to my chin, waiting out the night

—–

Darius Stewart was born in Knoxville, TN, in 1979. He holds degrees from The University of Tennessee and the Michener Center for Writers (a B.A. and an M.F.A., respectively). He has been previously anthologized in two volumes of The Southern Poetry Anthology series, The Best Gay Poetry 2008. He’s been published elsewhere in Callaloo, The Seattle Review, Meridian, and dozens of other journals. He has authored three chapbooks: The Terribly Beautiful (2006), Sotto Voce (2008) and The Ghost the Night Becomes (2014). He bartends for a living because it makes more money than teaching, and lives with two dogs: Fry (his) and Waffles (his housemate’s, who doesn’t think he’s an artist, but he is).

Sparks Amidst Browning Frost

“Nail beds nearing frost”
by Franci Revel

Here is the nail of my index
crawling out
the raggedy cuticle,
topographic, manic, stagnant.
It’s a not-so-final
attempt at development,
what with the slice
of spark by spark of
leaf through the puddle’s mirroring glaze.
And nearby, the rabbits’
nails are chipped
too, and caked
with hurry
and hectic, we bury
stone eyes, stripped hair.
Three hands
lean, lazy on the wall
only shifting
to catch them, me
by thumping,
craggily clawed feet
and toss us
back into
the browning grass blades.

—–

Franci Revel is a 19 year old studying at Bennington College in Vermont. She hopes you enjoy her wordplay and can be reached at franciann.wordpress.com