Temp Editions 01: POND

 
 

Curated by Miriam Karraker
Web concept and construction by Theo Ellin Ballew

with:
Annika Berry
Sophie Durbin
Mara Duvra
Jonathan Kaiser
Mary Lodu
Gunnar Tchida
Sheila Wagner

*site best interacted with on desktop

 
 

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MIRIAM KARRAKER Miriam Karraker writes, performs, draws, and lives in Minneapolis. She is interested in legibility, embodied experience, long walks, and one particular heron.

THEO ELLEN BALLEW Theo Ellin Ballew has gone home to Los Angeles, CA; Baltimore, MD; Cincinnati, OH; Scottsdale, AZ; Tempe, AZ; Fresno, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; New Haven, CT; Cambridge, MA; Dallas, TX; Brooklyn, NY; Denver, CO; Mexico City, Mexico; and Providence, RI, in roughly that order. She writes short fictional lyric prose, some of which she programs to move, and directs ORAL, which publishes moving/digital literature from the US and Mexico in thorough translation.

TEMP EDITIONS are semifrequent, guest-curated micro-issues from Tagvverk. Each selected curator is given the opportunity to produce a collection of work from 3-6 other writers or artists, to be presented on the Tagvverk site. This presentation can take the form of a PDF chapbook,website,mixtape, email newsletter, or any other combination or experimental reinterpretation of a traditional ‘journal issue.’

Tagvverk is currently accepting project proposals for Temp Editions Issue Two (TE02). Please send proposals or inquiries to the editors at tagvverk@gmail.com.

Former contributors to Tagvverk are given special consideration in the selections process. More information here.

Valerie Hsiung


from The Letter Seven

 
 
 

I’d like to take you to my old home, the home I’ve never been to myself, for it’s very far and hidden.

I turn to look at you, I don’t turn my entire body, only the face, while my body stays facing where I
was.

Why is the water warm? I squat, I press my ear to the rock, I let the wolves tickle me.

 
 

 
 

Listening to her body, she knew what was about to happen.

Listening to her body, she knew what was about to happen though she could not stop it.

Listening to her body, she knew exactly when she would die.

 
 

 
 

She’ll never forget the smell of dog’s cheek or of a dog’s paw-pad.

Once, while opening a trunk for extra blankets for guests, she thought she caught that very scent,
scent of dog’s cheek, scent of the paw pad.

Once, while falling asleep, too, she thought she found her at last.

 
 

 
 

For the afternoon we braid each other’s hair and lick charcoal stones until our tongues are scabby
eels.

Suddenly she remembers him, what he did to her, and she cannot look into her sister’s eyes anymore.

 
 

 
 

This is the world we live in. The moths colonize the bag of flour in a matter of weeks.

She looks at a man’s sweating face and thinks he may be a terrorist.

She writes a letter to her long lost family, explaining her absence but then going on a bit of a rant
about the future of this country.

She signs off,
I’m worried…
it may be the end of it all…
for all of us…

She continues to embroider, to keep the compass wrapped inside the pulpy flesh of her wrist, to
receive death threats if she continued to “ignite” the public, from her own government.

Her body turned up a few weeks later, scrubbed clean of evidence (by the world’s best).

 
 

 
 

She could see in the distance what appeared to be a woman gardening through a fence.

But they kept her hungry, thirsty, and confused, so she wasn’t sure if it all was a mirage in her head or
if—if there could be a good woman not too far from here just through the fence who wasn’t also in on
it.

 
 

 
 

It is a sin
to misguide
a fool
or even one fully capable
to the falls, or to
any other peril.

It is
a sin.
To ruin a family.

 
 

 
 

Well, first it began with an illness and then it would end as such—

uncontrollable projectiles, but
nobody listened.

Your tears sank into the page of the book of losers.

You thought how odd that the one letter should separate loser from lover—it’s just because you could
feel the passion being pushed out of your skin.

One must be so careful how one chooses to spend their time, and with whom one chooses to spend it.
One must ask, Do I love this person less or more than when our love was fresh and unexplored, and
why?

 
 

 
 

We picked food from the ground that we harvested and cared for all year.

It was an experiment to see if we could survive without having to travel and move every other day.

Nature was kind to us, in her bounty, resilience, regeneration (powers I liken to a God or some blood-
work), intelligence, acceptance of death and adversity, and the life force that makes a plant dance and
talk.

In the end, we found ourselves with extra time to cultivate not just food but other than food.

In fact, food would cease to be the focal point of our labor, although it would never cease to be the
focal point of our livelihood, because how ever could it, how could it ever?

 
 

 
 

Perhaps it was then she began to not fully recognize herself. But she was merely a child. It was society
which labeled her a beast, a monster, a specimen.

So, it would be through society that she would enact her perfect revenge.

Even now, she locks the doors at night because her wolf mother taught her better than that.

She realized, then, that to be naked was
to be most pure.

 
 

 
 

During times of war, we’d see the theater become even more packed than usual. That bed beneath the
theater was, of course, an odd prop bed before the war which was, of course, someone’s actual bed
during the previous war.

Once she reached the window, she would climb in, without expectation, receive her drink of water
and her charge. They would lift up her shirt, plug into her belly button—into the outlet that was her
belly button—until she had all that she needed before embarking again, to walk back on the string,
back to the other window again.

To live with the feeling that a shadow of a martyr walks beside your own shadow, masking you from having to
sacrifice too much.

To live with the feeling that one is not alone, that the shadow of a soul goes with you.

 
 

 
 

Will you do me this favor?

No, I don’t want your pity…

She slides down the muddy hill.

Sometimes a good night’s sleep is all that’s ever needed to get on from a toxin ingested.

And they’re selling that now.

Why, are some memories more vivid than other colors? Tell me then

I felt that… I had to make up for it… I had to fix it, I had to improve my self, cleanse myself, with
dirt…

Though refusing to ever give up this dirty mind…

almost
like a killer
except
not
a killer.

 
 

 
 

You’re saying all these names.

But I don’t recognize them.

And you can do whatever you want to do with me, you can keep doing what you’re doing, but my
answer will never change…

 
 

 
 

Occurred along the carousel…

This song

This song because it reminds me of standing somewhere in spring without loneliness

Why did you say that? Why did you say that to me? Why? Most

importantly. If now you

say you never meant it

And we could finally get lost here…

You see that’s the thing.

I don’t want to think about your tragic life anymore…

But, I guess, I never knew and we’ll never know anymore

how much and for how little, or who those women even were

 
 

 
 

We can’t help but wait. And then laugh, hysterically, when I say,

you’ll be sorry.

It’s not that you don’t take me seriously but you aren’t sure whether

I’ve ever truly forgiven you.

 
 
 
 

**

VALERIE HSIUNG is the author of three full-length poetry collections, the latest of which is e f g (Action Books). Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in The Nation, Gramma, Denver Quarterly, Poetry Northwest, Pinwheel, VOLT, Hayden’s Ferry Review, FANZINE, PEN Poetry Series, American Letters & Commentary, Foundry Journal, Prelude, No Dear Magazine, New Delta Review, Tammy, and Yes Poetry. She has performed her poetry theater at Treefort Music Festival, DC Arts Center, Common Area Maintenance, Leon Gallery, Poetic Research Bureau, Rhizome, and The Silent Barn. Born and raised by Chinese immigrants via Taiwan in southern Ohio, Hsiung is nowadays based out of New York. She serves as an editor for Poor Claudia. http://flowersintheirmouths.com

Bahaar Ahsan


condolence theatre

the ritual carries with it a sense of grandeur, extravagance even
more sincere than spectacle and yet presenting a reality heightened enough to pose a disruption
to the city’s usual order

a man in a gold helmet with two large green feathers on the top mounts a large white horse
it must be a man and he must wear a green feather
the other details are inconsequential

in a different city square in a different time and a different land my sister hands me a candle at
the vigil
and a different kind of spectator watches a different kind of performance with less grandeur but a
similar sincerity

scale is a question not easily grappled with
40,000 in Khoramshahr in one day alone, 23 of us in this country last year
it was not the imam but the coroner who declared a universality of death
an abstraction of one body into another into another

witnessing the reenactment places both the citydwellers
and the band of sisters in communion with their mythical subconscious
to reenact is to make sacred a space otherwise pedestrian, impersonal
a body gone is a body remythologized

it is permissible to use a camel in place of a horse or a silver helmet in place of a gold one
but it must be a man and he must wear a green feather

 
 
**
 
 

exercises in diasporic simulacra

all of my relationships are mediated by commodity
i only feel sad about it sometimes

to trace a genealogy of sisterhood would be as unfruitful as it would be exhausting
an email from my mother with the subject line Salaam reads
Are you coming home next weekend?
By the way, have you heard this song about Spring. It was very popular soon after the
revolution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OC6lP09Xx4

golden prunes are a good substitute if you can’t find the real ones

i call khaled and ask if i can spend the night
we both decorate our rooms with suboptical reminders of our own mortality

i place the glass tea set and kettle in my kitchen to remind myself that home is not only tangible
and tactile but also collectible
a carpet once told me that i am only here because somebody else isn’t

 
 
**
 
BAHAAR AHSAN is a writer, student, performer, and community member based in the Bay Area, with roots in the South of Iran. She studies Persian Literature and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Grappling with ideas of history, embodiment, migration, and mourning, Bahaar’s work aims to interrogate ontologies which separate the ideological from the somatic, the aural from the visual, rage from softness, homeland from host-land, past from present from future. Her writing was published in the anthology Tender (Foglifter Press, 2018).

AM Ringwalt

**

 

AM RINGWALT is a writer and musician. Called “unsettling” by NPR, her words have appeared in OCCULUM, Hobart and Vinyl, and vocalized at the Watermill Center and the New Yorker Festival. Like Cleopatra, her debut poetry chapbook, was published by dancing girl press.

Janelle Effiwatt


Guy In Your MFA

i’m stuck
in the beforehand

like i
said. ambitious

market grilling us
real community-like.

shit be cut pie. be
bald white boys lyin out

the teeth cause based on
the way the trees sit up

against this entire blackass
face I mean. the clock
gets hype when we fuck off.

you deadass wrapped up. I’d
like to make your eyes

gawk for real. pull those
lips up pinocchio-style.

we’ll all slip on
in with you tall

boy, all the shit that
comes in behind you.

 
 
**
 
 

rain poem

believe in hiding
currency. how you keep
a thing you can’t

touch ? people in the desert don’t exist

without water

so I tenant here— play
pretend. you ask
to rub my titties again so

I might be the book you like. I had you
pinned up so ugly the roof

of my mouth buzzed— made folks
get up and leave. this is another rain

poem. it would be crazy not to

boogie while we’re
here and leave after.



 
 
**

JANELLE EFFIWATT is from Tucson, Arizona. She is an MFA candidate in poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her work has appeared in The Volta.

Catherine Vidler


 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
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CATHERINE VIDLER‘s recent publications include lost sonnets (Spacecraft Press, 2018), table sets (no press, 2017), lake labyl and table set poems (Penteract Press, 2017), table set poems (Spacecraft Press, 2017), lake labyl and chaingrass errata slips (SOd Press, 2017), and chaingrass (zimZalla Object 039, 2016). A book of the original series of 155 lost sonnets is forthcoming from Timglaset.

Adam Greenberg


from Fortune 1989

 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 


Author’s Note: Each poem has been assembled using only language from the names of companies found in the Fourtune 500 list from 1989.

 
 

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ADAM GREENBERG‘s poems and translations have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Chicago Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Columbia Poetry Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, and Asymptote, among others. He holds an MFA in poetry from Brown University and currently teaches writing at American University.

Alyssa Moore

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ALYSSA MOORE is a writer and visual artist from Austin, Texas. She has received degrees and fellowships from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Harvard University. Her work has appeared or forthcoming in Boston Review, Hyperallergic, The Harvard Advocate, and The Bennington Review.

Patricia Hartland

 

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TRISH HARTLAND is learning about poems in Notre Dame’s MFA and enjoys translating works that insinuate themselves into bendable tongue-borders. Recent samplings can be found on the Internet and elsewhere.

Tracy May Fuad


Terms of Syllogism

I was sure that being in between meant being nowhere
I was sure, too, of scissors that could cut me off the grid

I hoped there was a key, but sure the void was serious,
virulent and spreading. I was sure alone, mostly.

Surely I was right on some accounts, a logic that left me
pounding. Was intimacy, by nature, grotesque?

Those intimate with me were divided. Where was I,
young and with my mother, running in the drenching rain?

Sometimes it is that which is most anonymous and cinematic
which is preserved, pressed between two panes and sealed.

The ambulance carrying my father at three in the morning struck
and killed a black bear. The beast wore death’s fur in my father’s place,

had to be hauled off the ribbon of road before the vehicle
could pass. I know there is a door in the exact shape of my body.

That when I go through it, I will know by how perfectly it licks the rim
of my perimeter. I am certain. On the phone, my mother told me,

island. That is where I’ll go when I am gone. Be certain,
I told myself, to be ready for the door when it opens.
 
 
**
 
 
Poem with Inflammation

And who am I to have such bold intentions?

I peeled myself off for the ship slitting the ocean to you

The sea’s big mouth yawning wide for me

We wept to keep it full

I keep making a door of myself and people come right through

A crowd erupting behind another door or was it jeering?

A thin line: I recognized that summer’s screaming as belonging to a crime scene

To embroider the pelt, it must be pierced at point blank range

There are rooms lit from the inside with no one in them and I have been one of these rooms

Again and again

A cousin coughing me out of my sleep all night

How pithy, my bald resentment of her body trying to heal itself

Of love’s repentant and evaporative act

The simulacra coo to my reducing scalp

So I live here now beneath a crown of pink synthetic flowers

For you: I scrape my face off the glass to wear my self today

I am so automatic

Scarf stitched to every crenulated thing I see with eyes

Encounters that sting as an acid bath must

She reached for the iron bare handed and exclaimed how could a woman ever set herself on fire?


 
 
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TRACY MAY FUAD is a writer and artist living in Brooklyn and a recent graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program.