Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Bat's Love Song: American Haiku - by Heather Ann Schmidt (CC#6)

The Bat's Love Song: American Haiku by Heather Ann Schmidt was published by Crisis Chronicles Press on 1 December 2009.


     March 20

     Three golden finches
     sing in the white birch trees:
     pieces of sunshine.

     June 25

     Rain on my roof:
     tears of a goddess leaving the
     world heavier now.

The Bat's Love Song: American Haiku is available for $5 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3431 George Avenue, Parma, Ohio 44134 USA.  You may also order securely through PayPal:

The Bat's Love Song: American Haiku consists of 43 poems on 16 pages.  Injket printed on lavender paper and saddle staple bound using pale gray cover stock.  Cover art also by Heather Ann Schmidt.  Approximately 110 copies in print.

Click here to see reviews of The Bat's Love Song at Goodreads.
Click here to see a clip of Heather Ann Schmidt reading her poetry, including selections from The Bat's Love Song, during the Lix and Kix Poetry Extravaganza in Lakewood, Ohio.

Poet's biography (as of 2009, from the chapbook):
"Heather Ann Schmidt is an adjunct professor at Oakland Community College in Michigan. She edits tinfoildresses poetry journal. Her poems can be found in various online and print journals. Her other books include Channeling Isadora Duncan (Gold Wake Press, 2009), The Owl & the Muse: Collected Tanka (recycled karma press, 2009) and a full collection of poems forthcoming from Village Green Press.  She received her MFA from National University."

Crisis Chronicles subsequently published (or will publish) three more collections of Heather's poems: Transient Angels (2012), Red Hibiscus (2013) and Field Notes (forthcoming, 2014).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Suburban Monastery Death Poem - by d.a.levy (CC#5)

Cover photos by Mark Kaufman

On 19 October 2009, Crisis Chronicles Press was pleased to publish d.a. levy's Suburban Monastery Death Poem.  This epic work originally appeared in print in the late 1960s. I transcribed the text for this new Crisis Chronicles version from the second zero edition, an Offense Fund reprint published in Cleveland in 1976 — a copy of which levy's friend rjs (who edited the zero edition) kindly sent me in early 2009.  First, I made this long poem available in its entirety for free in the Crisis Chronicles cyber litmag, because the point of republishing it isn't to make money.  It's a labor of love, an homage, a way to honor levy's legacy and further broadcast his finest work.  Without d.a. levy, neither our Cleveland poetry scene nor our small poetry press community would be as rich (I don't mean financially) as they are.  And levy's Suburban Monastery Death Poem is, in my humble opinion,  one of the finest pieces of literature to come out of not only Cleveland, but also America.  I feel richer for having read it — and I trust you will, too. 

Originally published 19 October 2009. Saddle staple bound using ivory cardstock. Poems printed on ivory, cream and/or white paper.  First CC Press edition inkjet printed.  Later reprints laser printed.  8.5" x 5.5"  Approximately 120 copies made. UPDATE: This chapbook is currently out of print.

Find more d.a. levy at http://www.clevelandmemory.org/levy/

Friday, October 9, 2009

Elyria: Point A in Ohio Triangle - by Alex Gildzen (CC#4)

Muriel Rukeyser said that the universe is composed not of atoms, but of stories.  Alex Gildzen sees this clearly and is, of all the living writers I've been privileged to know, one of the most adept at putting his life's universe(s) into poetry. 

One of the first things I noticed about Alex's work on the page was his often idiosyncratic spelling.  For example, where you and I write "started,"  he spells it "startd" — eliminating the unnecessary letter.  He's equally economical in his use of words, distilling the essence of champagne stories into high quality poetic cognac.  No mixer, no filler.... 

I then had the opportunity to meet him at Tres Versing the Panda in May, where he read some of his Elyria poems.  I was most impressed.  A week or few later, when he offered me the opportunity to publish them, I was nearly giddy with excitement.

Alex's first chapbook (Into the Sea by Abraxas Press of Madison, WI) was published in 1969.  Dozens of other books have followed.  His most recent, Beth (by Green Panda Press of Cleveland Heights), was released in early 2009.  Now Crisis Chronicles Press is pleased to join in this 40th anniversary celebration by announcing our publication of his brand new poetry collection, Elyria: Point A in Ohio Triangle.

This collection of poems is particularly meaningful to me because, like Alex, I was raised in Elyria, Ohio.  Albeit in different generations,we grew up in the same neighborhood — even lived on the same street (Lexington Avenue, only three blocks from my current home) at points in our respective childhoods.  In Elyria, Alex writes about Cascade Park, where as a young man I slept on picnic tables and wrote poetry on post glacial boulders; about Ely Park, where I waded in the fountain with friends while listening to Prince's Around the World in a Day and drinking Wild Irish Rose; about Black River, which runs behind my dad's old house; and about Kenyon Avenue, where my now-wife lived during the first few years I was in prison.  Alex's poems aren't about my experiences with those places.  They're about his own.  But that makes them all the more evocative for me.

Not only does 2009 mark 40 years since his first chapbook.  It also marks 60 years since Alex's first ever published work — when a painting he made of his grade school at age six (now gracing the above cover) appeared in a 1949 Elyria City Schools publication called We Go To School.

I invite you to join in this celebration of Alex's fine work, our unique city of Elyria, and these two very special anniversaries by getting your hands on a copy of Elyria: Point A in Ohio Triangle. The poems in it are perfect true story microcosms of a universe I've always enjoyed exploring.  And I believe you'll enjoy the journey as well.

Elyria: Point A in Ohio Triangle is 14 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", inkjet printed on alternating white and ivory paper, and saddle staple bound using beige card stock.   Cover image is from a watercolor Alex Gildzen painted of his school as a child.  Approximately 200 hard copies of this chapbook in print. We are currently sold out. But....

In the summer of 2013, Crisis Chronicles Press published a newly revised and illustrated edition of Elyria exclusively via Kindle.  Click here to get yours. Then in April 2015, Crisis Chronicles published a 75-page perfect bound edition of Alex Gildzen's complete Ohio Triangle (including Elyria, Cleveland, and Kent).

Click here to see reviews of Elyria: Point A in Ohio Triangle at Goodreads.
Click here to read reviews of Elyria at Amazon.com.
Click here to read Steven Allen May's thoughts on Elyria at chap*books.
Click here to see and hear Gildzen read "Ford in Cascade Park" from Elyria at YouTube. 

Sample poem from Elyria: Point A in Ohio Triangle:


    on the swing
    Mother spots
    chipmunk & squirrel
    Betty next door
    every car that turns
    on to Winckles St.
    since all politics
    is local
    she’s the mayor
    of the block
    & knows
    her constituents
    she tells
    me the stories
    of each
    who pass
    then goes inside
    to stir the stew
    she shares
    with half
    the neighbors

Poet's biography:

Alex Gildzen was born in California in 1943 but took the train to Ohio at two weeks.  He grew up in Elyria — moving from Lexington to Warren to Winckles.  He began school at Garford which he painted at age 6.

He attended Kent State, where he was drama critic for the student paper and began the little magazine Toucan with R.L. Carothers.  Later he taught English at Kent and became curator of special collections, cataloguing the papers of James Broughton and Jean-Claude van Italie, and the archives of the Open Theater.  There he co-edited the bibliographic journal The Serif, with Dean Keller.  He also edited the library's Occasional Papers which published poetry by John Ashberry and Gary Snyder, prose by Richard Grossinger and Anais Nin, and art by Alex Katz and Robert Smithson.  He took an early retirement so he could move to Santa Fe to write full time.  While serving on the board of the local AIDS organization, he produced the first pop concert in the history of Santa Fe opera.

One of Gildzen's works in progress is Ohio Triangle.  The other points in the collection are Cleveland and Kent.

Find Alex Gildzen's
blog: http://arroyochamisa.blogspot.com
videos: http://youtube.com/gildzen
papers: http://speccoll.library.kent.edu/faculty/gildzen.html

Saturday, July 4, 2009

6/9: Improvisations in Dependence - by Jesus Crisis, a.k.a. John Burroughs (CC#3)

6/9: Improvisations in Dependence is a chapbook by Jesus Crisis published on July 4th 2009 by Crisis Chronicles Press in a limited edition of 69 signed and numbered copies. It consists of poems and prose associated with June 2009, the fifth anniversary of the author's release from prison, and addresses the recent deaths of celebrities like Michael Jackson and David Carradine.  It also touches upon what it's like for a man who knows he poses no threat to society to have to register as a sex offender.

Jesus Crisis 6/9

After the initial print run, we printed a number of unnumbered copies on demand. Thus there are approximately 200 total copies in print.  As of May 2014, we still have three copies left for sale, and when they are gone we will not reprint it. UPDATE: This chapbook is now out of print.

6/9: Improvisations in Dependence
is 14 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", inkjet printed on white paper and saddle staple bound with pale blue card stock.  Design and cover photo by the author/publisher.

Contents include:
Karma Souptra
"One of the Most Illuminating"
Tol' Story
Met a Mat, a Door I Didn't Like
17 June 2009
Do Dew
Rough Love
Preacher Gunn
Tell a Vision

Poet's biography (as of 2009, from the chapbook): 

Jesus Crisis, a.k.a. John B. Burroughs, is a playwright, pacifist, composer and seeker in Elyria, Ohio.  His work has appeared in dozens of print and online publications since 1983, and his first chapbook, Bloggerel, was published by Crisis Chronicles Press in June 2008.  His second, Identity Crises (with Doug Manson and Bree), was published by Green Panda Press in February 2009.  Founder of the Crisis Chronicles Online Library and co-host of the Lix and Kix poetry series in Cleveland, JC is in the process of writing a book about his 11 years in prison.  Discover more at www.crisischronicles.com.

Click here to read "Met a Mat, a Door I Didn't Like" from 6/9 at Other Voices International.
Click here to read reviews of 6/9: Improvisations in Dependence at Goodreads.
Click here to read reviews at Amazon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

HardDrive/SoftWear - by Dianne Borsenik (CC#2)

HardDrive/SoftWear is a chapbook by Elyria/Cleveland poet Dianne Borsenik, published 10 March 2009 by Crisis Chronicles Press. Refreshing as a mint julep, it features some of Borsenik's tastiest early poems.  

HardDrive/SoftWear is 30 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", inkjet printed on cool mint green paper, saddle staple bound using speckled cream card stock.  Design and cover photo by editor John Burroughs.  Approximately 250 copies in print (we've lost count).

Here's a sample:  

   She has been with you again,

   I can tell.
   You have that furtive look
   about you, and you have the smell

   of ink on your breath.
   I know that she has taken you
   by your thin white wrist,
   and caressed the fine hair
   that furs your arm.  I imagine
   her guiding your hand
   to her lap, you touching her,
   her touching you. 

   I close my eyes, and I can see
   her moving closer to you, whispering
   in your ear, her exhalations
   hot on your stubbled cheek.
   I know
   you took her
   in your arms, opened your lips
   for her kiss; I know you let her
   explore your teeth, the roof of your
   mouth, your tongue.

   And I am quite certain

   that when you wake up
   in the morning, the indentation
   of her wanton form
   will be reflected in the crumpled sheets
   of your poetry.

Poet's biography (as of 2009, from the chapbook):

Dianne Borsenik, former flower child, current redhead, and Ohioan born and bred, lives in a temple of happiness with her husband James.  She is active in the Cleveland poetry scene and attends as many local readings as possible.  She has been the featured reader at Mac's Backs in Coventry, Borders in Akron, the Collingwood Arts Center in Toledo, Bela Dubby in Lakewood, the Poet’s Haven podcast at Phoenix Coffee in South Euclid, and was the "house poet" at Northrops Books in Olmsted Falls, Ohio.  Her signature poem "Lovechild" was chosen by the RTA "Moving Minds" Project to ride the buses and trains of Cleveland in 2008, and her poem "HardDrive/SoftWear" was chosen for inclusion in the 2009 Cleveland RTA project.  She is also co-founder of the Lix and Kix poetry series.

Her poems, haiku, and lyrics have appeared in a number of publications, including: the Voices of Cleveland anthology, The New Haiku anthology (Great Britain), Slipstream, Nerve Cowboy, Ship Of Fools, Blue Unicorn, iota (Great Britain), Modern Haiku, Frogpond, Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac, Ko (Japan), Lyricist Review, The Magnetic Poetry Book Of Poetry, The City Poetry, Zygote In My Coffee (online), The Cartier Street Review, and Naturally magazine.  Actor Jonathan Frid, who played "Barnabas" on Dark Shadows, used three of her poems in his one-man performance Genesis Of Evil.

Find Dianne Borsenik at www.dianneborsenik.com and www.nightballet.com.

Click here to read the title poem from
HardDrive/SoftWear in Mnemosyne.
Click here to read "Greenheart" and here to read "Blue Moon" in the Crisis Chronicles.
Click here to see reviews of HardDrive/SoftWear at Goodreads.