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Improvijazzation Nation poetry - Issue # 65

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ALL artists!  I am very, VERY happy to announce that IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION is ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS again.  I have been granted a (possibly long-term) stay of execution for my trip to Iraq.  I will still  be traveling all over the U.S., so new issues may be a little less timely, but (as always), we will review your materials as soon as possible after we receive them.  Look at the guidelines for submission below, please:


MUSIC:  All formats accepted.  Snail mail to:  Zzaj Productions, c/o Dick Metcalf, 5308 65th Avenue, Lacey, WA 98513  The only criteria for music you submit is that it MUST HAVE high performance energy... if you submit lacklustre material, it will be reviewed accordingly

POETRY:  Poems are accepted for publication ONLY via e-mail.  Poems submitted in any other fashion will NOT be published.  Poetry that includes some reference to music is granted first priority for publication.

BOOKS:  We will review some books; books about music are PREFERRED.  We will NOT return any books submitted for review.  Snail them to the address listed above for MUSIC.




skull scan

the skeletal anomalies
of my 3-D skull.

linked to a computer
searching - searching - searching
for lost cells.
eyeing my grey matter.

sitting in a chemical clean
gel-walled womb.
temperature constant.
air pure.

Light a Kubrick white
except my eyes and
the hot infra-red screen.

scanning the scan.
input memory
to wonder where I am.
where we are
connected by dissection.

still searching for

- Timothy Jos. Nelson



You said I was below the salt.
If you were the base
I was the acid.
No harmony in our salt box.

Imbalance of electropositives
and electronegatives.
Unsavory and unsalvageable.
Few saltatory moments.

Except for the one we rubbed
in salt.
A belated beautiful salvation.

- Timothy Jos. Nelson



I  S C R E A M
because You
overload Me
the world overloads Me
with images,
chimes, bells, dings, buzzes,
rings, yells, talking, talking, whispers,
baby crying, why is baby crying

I spell my name with
my hands
it makes sense to me
Your words come too loud
too fast
too soon
too often

the music, the beat
the rhythm rocks Me
I rock into comfort
sense only the music,
My body rocking,
fingers dancing before My eyes

You can be Me with the music
the rocking
like the pendulum of time
swinging rocking swaying

I am dizzy with life
I smile
hold me! let Me go!
let Me rock, rock

replay My memory
out loud
to You:
ocean, candy, fries, Jim
baby crying, laughing,
ride a long time

I can't forget
you - I replay Your movie
moving in My mind
I have new friends

- Timothy Jos. Nelson


Imagination Train

My brain is a superphysical
imagination train

rolling enduringly along
well-traveled tracks.

Bluesmen live in my soul.

Dogs bark at my passing,
afraid of my energy.
Cities and towns falling
behind as I move forward

to the setting sun.
This day gone but just

This train never stops,
clacking along,
riding iron rails,
through tunnels of dreams,

and over bridges to new

- Timothy Jos. Nelson


THE ABSENT HERO        by Luke Buckham
from the blades that the sky makes I call to you.
from the universes stranded
unreaching in a salt-shaker,
the broken gatherings of stars
where no new light breaks out
until a thunderous birth,
I call to you without raising my voice,
and my call is the breath of a canyon,
the pure teeth of snow lashing against life
in a deep valley between deep pines,
my call is the cutting plow in all the skies,
the night's fire and the day's rain,
whirlwind of human flesh, living echo.


TRANSCENDENCE, ETC.   by Luke Buckham
because I've been homeless
I smile at the hard-earned shape of a house. 
because I've been sexless
I weep on the shape of a girl. 
because I've been friendless
I make a home in the air for a friend's face,
and frame it in a light like wine from the sky.
because I've been starved and cold
and felt the moon kill my words above
branches that held nothingness up
to the rippling black-purple sky
and had no food to stop my spirit
from quaking in my body
I torch each gram of food with tastebuds
made sensitive to the air itself.
I can taste the shape of the earth and each footstep
is a probe into frightening silences where voices
bubble like boiling tar to burst and be heard again.
because I've been asleep for deathless centuries
I laugh with joy to be dying and so awake
for one mortal minute at cleansed midnight
in this boy's body on an empty sidewalk
where the tides of the sun
set fires to the trees and leave my flesh alone
to make their homes in my awoken nerves.



the dry lusts              by Luke Buckham
you spoke,
and all the world was a flight of geese.
you walked,
and all the world was a heap of stones.
all of earth's force gathers
and trembles in your nerves to reach me.
the unhappy workplaces in a rainstorm of dried rice,
the newspapers crumpled like dead pigeons on every sidewalk,
do not touch you, they relinquish their hold on your race
as your walk commands them to draw back their ink-stained hands.
you speak like a dry space of quiet in a heavy rain
birds grow eyes in their sleek bellies
to peer down at you through crimson air
the orbits of moons serve you quietly
in their chalky climb through voiceless space
and my mortal arrogance bends
like a straw in warm water
to follow their paths around you
daughter of oceanic silences
I will cup your pale feet in my hands
and with a waiting mouth
blow all the dust from your skin.


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