Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Jukka Kaukinen



Dear François,

I’m writing you this message to say that I'm alive. It was a while ago. Seven years? I was younger then and you looked more attractive, according to your blog. You told me you had more energy than a squirrel when you were younger. According to your last letter (from 2007) that dynamism is fading. I’m a bit exhausted as well nowadays. I want to come and visit you. Your untroubled town seems like fiction to me these days, as I pass my days in this northern part of the disc. I looked at your small town on Google maps and I think I saw you. A rickety guy in a black coat in the middle of the summer. The face was blurred but I think it was you. I send some of my corrupt verse to liven up the sundowns for you.

mountain gone tablets
mountaintop
removal my pencil moustache
disappeared to boot

My girlfriend bought me live candles. She said I needed something “vibrant” in my house. So here I sit among moving shadows. I guess I’m writing you this text to tell you something. The problem is I really don’t know what it is.  It’s not about me, promise. There’s nothing much to write about this male-ego other than I’m older and blanker (and more stupid) than when you last saw me. I’m a materialist who uses matter to fill my void.


The white walls I had around me as a young chap on rehab have crept inside. All the evenings we spent drunk, roaming the darkness in the backyards among livestock. And yet you write you can’t continue like this any longer. I will definitely come and visit you. We will stay in your ménage and drink the local thirst-quencher. It will be a f**ing vacation for me. What's wrong with Dumas? 

dragged to
zombie bar by a
tall 45 yr. old man
sounding like a 90 year old
as he speaks
his pal half the size

You told me in your last letter of some classic (I can’t remember) in which the protagonist fires a gun against his head because he can’t face middle age. Well, that’s a waste. I don’t know if it was Dumas. Probably not since you hate him. I love him. Anyway, as I went off the train in Stockholm at 7.15, I think it was in February, I felt like throwing up. There was frost in my small beard. Snow storms. But then there was something inside me, something capable, which told me and probably most of the people around me (they too looked like they wanted to puke) that life is easier if we stop using most of our right brain half. So I smiled later that day. Chuckled. Normally I don’t use the left brain. Some people say the world belongs to those who give up the waste of sophistication and keep track on rewards. I know you would tell me it would be castration.  But the eunuchs in Turkey were richer than street urchins. I know you hate me for writing this. And I love you for being the opposite.   

You know what? I just killed a fly. It looked quite content in the light. I didn’t want to kill it, but I didn’t want it in the room.  We are both part of that hopeless generation, people born in the 70s who never can find a place. We have the ambitions of the older generations but the prospects of the younger. You dig lilac and never forget when you were a street urchin. I used to play guitar in recreation centres in the 90s and really had chicks. Some of my friends are rich artists but most are just poor. And so there are you, comrade. 




Jukka Kaukinen is 37 years old and lives in Stockholm, Sweden. He writes and dabbles in art in his spare time. He works with maritime education and sales. He is an ex Anglophile turning into a Francophile. 

Philip Byron Oakes




Harkening the Day Away

As in a palindrome without recourse to retraction.
Rutted road to fame in silhouette. Ample fish in
the see. The Hapsburgers grilled with fries casting
grease at squeaky wheels, rolling past the meaning
less to evoke the more the merrier they fall. Sedated
scrum of elders in pose with a past that lost the race.
A conundrum squeezed to a limpid clarity of doffed
hats in the ring of fire, smoke signals sent as valentines
to the nether side of the coin’s realm. A fringe benefit
of being stuck in the middle, of the conveniently
amorphous shaping up as trouble. Putting test to
the gravity of sinking feelings. A retort to the calm
mustered in layers of amnesia, topping off the
ulterior in getting under the radar looking for
the end to rhyme.



Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Philip Byron Oakes




Cry Quiz

Yeoman mourners sensually referred to in the seeming
absence, questioning the lock on comprehension without
losing sense of the pain being pushed aside. The fire ice
counts on to melt into the arms of the enemy. Reading a
road map on a sidewalk skirting responsibility for the traffic
ahead of the curve.  Exploiting the captions to daylight for
what they never say. Putting a peep on a leash to appease
the silence, through a shift work of sands concealing the
rose of the moment. The best foot forwarding messages,
ambling through the woods under glass the light shines
upon but never through. An earthy twist to the voice
thrown from the tallest building to sound as if it’s
coming home.



Leeward 

                                               A peek out from behind a reason for being. 
                                               In answer to a question not asked but in 
                                               body language sweetened with remorse, that 
                                               the quiet poses as a possibility of life stalking 
                                               lesions to their bloom. The indeterminate 
                                               fortitude of remnants shining through a 
                                               taffeta of reasons why. The sweet liqueur 
                                               of acquiescence to orphaned noises settles 
                                               at odd tangents to the roiling in the cul de 
                                               sac. With curling toes in a retrospective, 
                                               intended to capture yet another snowman 
                                               in the wild of reasons the summer never 
                                               seems to end. The harsh muddle of the 
                                               mind folding laundry in shapes to fit the 
                                               verdict not yet rendered fat. The tit for 
                                               tat taking the tot to task for what’s 
                                               filling the box in his noggin. 



Philip Byron Oakes is a poet living in Austin, Texas. His work has appeared in numerous journals including Scythe, Country Music, Moria, Hamilton Stone Review, et al. He is the author of two volumes of poetry, Cactus Land (77 Rogue Letters) 2009 and Sard (Otoliths) 2010. Homepage: Philip Byron Oakes

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Da Capo

Below are some previously published poems from the Rufous Salon archive. These brilliant poems share a theme, in one way or another, namely the elements.


Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal



The Yellow Hills

Let’s meet in the yellow hills
near the sea.  Let’s picnic in
the yellow hills.  We could
look up to the sky and make
small talk.  We could tell each
other our hopes and dreams.

Stretched out on a blanket
under the warm sun.   We
could pretend we’re dead
or like some immovable
force.  Under a leafy tree
in the yellow hills we’ll rest.
In these hills black ants eat
the crumbs we leave behind.
Their tiny shadows could only
be observed under a microscope.

In the yellow hills we leave
our troubles behind.  Not far
from shore we feel the breeze
that comes from the sea.   We rest
here where the leafy tree’s shadow
seems to swallow us whole.
The yellow hills protect us from
the dark times of the world.



Philip Byron Oakes



                                    Sure Wood

A forest stumped for an answer
as to where to sit. From whom
to seek shelter, in houses gutted
by old flames, coming back to
haunt the furnace for the hearth.
Culling the herds of the listless
for the brightest of those eyes
lost in sleep. To separate the
wood from the wooden, when
asked to loosen a grip, on a
hand in the making it what it
is. Confounding the unmitigated
with alloys of discretion, in
fending off the queries from
those who might do some good.
Anchor the garden to the ground.
Meet the qualifications in the alley.
An one for all intents serving
as a purpose, for what might
have been, as well as for what
narrowly is. As good a reason
as any to plant a tree.



Joe Massingham



Terns

Terns climb and wheel incessantly
mewing a lament for lost chicks,
painting patterns on the cliff face
that artistic periwinkles
can study from their seashore studios
and copy in the sculptured shelters
in which they enclose themselves.
Each night the wind wields
nature’s scouring pad
and scrubs the cliff face clean
so that in the morning the terns
must undertake their task again.




Gerry Boyd




murmurs from a perfect afternoon


i. drifting into that hermetic seal

the picket fence stands proudly unwashed
in the three trunk hemlock afternoon:

it is all held together by wispy cables
and the dreamy embroidery of soapy eyelets-
those painted threads of yellow, green, and rust
that are all inside a glassed-washed afternoon:
the clearing fog of then and now and when.

a tempting little drip will propel the suspect elders
to wander into the white promise of the warping slats.

ii. the trifurcation is an amusement that briefly matters

she dances in the chartreuse lemon spring,
is the green summer of our frothing joy-

she flutters again in orange leaves,
that, saintly, burst and burn in autumn:

ironic words of appreciation always seem to fail
in a way that is pervasive and, oddly, geometric
on the tear-stained Appian Way of patio pavers:

there are many things that cease to matter
in the Euclidian formulae of wind-swept leaves.

yet, we try, and try again, to simply find the point.

iii. back to the idle rust of dropping cones

each shadowy dot of near and distant leaves
is bartered by the tricky once-washed slats,
traded for a moment that waves good-bye, well met:
saplings proudly foil the coniferous quivering-

the compost can, always, existentially blue,

a calming retreat from the obscenity of now
that is telegraphed by this obstinate relic-

boasting of a clarity almost reached
if, indeed, it was reachable at all.

the rest just freezes,
impotent in the set of choices and meanings-

what is the course beyond the fence?

through the unwashed slats there is only:

the soothing green of the distance mown,
the windy rhythm of dappled seed,
the promise of pale berries, lush and sown.



Isaac Levitan

Friday, 19 August 2011

Andreas Andersson



Poem from a hotel room on the way back from fishing at my brother's


Two nights ago the stars were violent dancers,
godlike, crushing whole worlds underfoot.
An insect with horn-rimmed glasses
I sat on the blunt edge of the sword
that cut the perfect pieces of cloth -
dark and unremembered as the void -
from which creation was pieced, a patchwork.
This morning I sit on a bed, minutes
after the day woke me up with its mist-
colored breath light on my face,
thinking of the fish I didn't catch
and the words that slipped through
the widening meshes of my mind.
I had to put my pen down, shut my notebook,
and go back outside. Midnight.
The stars were violent dancers.
Not a cloud in sight, blue skies.
Ten straight days of heat
and the endless turning
of the world that sits
on top of my shoulders.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Jesse S. Mitchell



Pitchfork and the Wicked Twirl



“Surrealism is the magical surprise of finding a lion in the wardrobe when you were sure of finding shirts”- Frida Kahlo

Most of this life is prophylaxis,
Most of this life is percentage points,
Most of this life is prophecy
And most of this life is future tense
And most of this life is over…
Over 
Over
Gone forever ever ever…
Most of this life is nighttime
Most of life is thousands of stars
Most of this is “get behind me Satans”
Most of this life is mayhem
But I cannot stand movement
Over
And over
Again.
Much of this life is whirling iron
Much of this life is spin, spin, spin
Much of this life is molten rock
And animated film, reel to reel,
Over 
And over 
Again.
Most of this life is staying alive
Most of this life is disease.
Most of this life is picking the right words to hear,
Most of this life is arcade knives
And ugly spires at night
And drip dry sheets
And most of this life is water
Cutting open the ribcage shore
Most of this life is skeleton bones/keys
Most of this life is bleeding out
And most of this is static radio
And television shows, cigarette burns
And much of this life is growing thin.
Over 
And over 
Again.

“No one has his feet on the earth among all this bunch of coo coo sons of bitches of the surrealists”
-Frida Kahlo

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Rhoda Penmarq



this is my first affair








the indigo sunset slowly seeped away
the lion stared at the disappearing bush
the cowboy tuned his guitar around the campfire
the snake slithered through the dust


the flounder avoided the hull of the boat
the yak waited patiently in the shadows
the janissary gave a lusty full-throsted yell
joey made a face as he ate his yogurt


the porcupine rested by the side of the road
the aardvark watched him from behind a large rock
the rhubarb grew wild
the undertaker broke off a stalk


he had never eaten wild rhubarb before
his grandmother's exhortation to be careful what he ate surfaced in his brain
the orangutan repressed a chuckle
but quickly scampered away when the undertaker's baleful gaze fell upon him


the bug crawled up the vine
victory was in the air
the gravy train pulled into the station
the jaguar watched from behind the dumpster


the bobcat gave the jaguar a wide berth
and headed down the highway
an apple fell from a tree
at zero hour


the walrus went back to sleep
after eating the eggplant

piano legs hickman stroked the ball to right with crisp authority
and big ed delahanty came lumbering home