Return to the Gathering Place of the Waters

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Created as a companion piece to the 1983 collection, Gathering Place of the Waters: 30 Milwaukee Poets, this book aims to connect the history and present of Milwaukee’s poetry scene since the 80s by showcasing new works from young poets currently coming up in our community as well as contributors from the original anthology and mainstays of our city’s revered tradition of verse.

Contributors include:

Christina Zawadiwsky, Nicholaus Westfahl, Ed Werstein, Paul Vogel, Angie Trudell Vasquez, Monica Thomas, Harvey Taylor, Nina Szarka, Chuck Stebelton, The Skrauss, Anja Notanja Sieger, Emily Sharpe, Aimee Sellon, Claire Schriefer, Caitlin Scarano, Charles P. Ries, Brian Quinn, Bethany Price, Kristin Peterson, Sam Pekarske, Ivana Osmanovic, Casey O’brien, Rachel Niemann, Roxanne Nickolie, Freesia McKee, Greg Manlove, Ed Makowski, Jonny Lohr, John Koethe, Kavon Cortez Jones, Jenny Janzer, Sisco Holland, Roberto Harrison, Annie Grizzle, daniel grego, Benjamin Gray, Keith Gaustad, Louisa Loveridge Gallas, Susan Firer, Kathleen Dale, Franklin K.R. Cline, Bryon Cherry, Jim Chapson, Brenda Cárdenas, Watt Burns, and Antler. 

Purchase your copy here. Support the small press!

Baptism

Baptism
by Knight Quinn
Art: Dystopia by Maciej Frolow

Dragging hand-me-down virtues
through tunnels of
barbed wire, wrapping
ethic(and morality, some
times)inside oily rags
on the verge of igniting themselves.

we fight and
we spit
and we wild an-
d we spark,
fearful of being over-
heard by glass-walled neighbors:

our louder, American pastime
of digging in our back yards
at midnight for only the latest
psychologies, hoping they won’t
calls the cops. no. we need
something aching, ancient.

pine and hemlock come to mind. and rites
that demand more blood and dance.

to fight and
to spit
and to wild an-
d to spark
is to dig in the back yards of
our ids and our egos regardless of .
philosophy’s agency.

there is no more time to
kneel before, only to rail
against, to lean and press
against, to fight-spit-wild-spark
against,

to share the splinters
from this, our baptism.

Baptism was originally published anonymously.

Great: Poems of Resistance & Fortitude

Authored by An Anonymous Collection

An anthology of anonymous poems saturated with messages of resistance, fortitude, and subversion, dedicated to November 9, 2016. These poems were written and submitted from across the United States: An honest, brutal, determined voice echoes the narratives of women, people of color, assault victims, and working class people.

The revised edition is dedicated to the six journalists among more than 200 people arrested and charged with felony rioting during the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

You may buy your copy here.

New Year

​In these final minutes of the year, we ponder the dreams and poems that brought us here: dreams given life and dreams that remain dreams; poems written and poems that never made it to paper. We then look to the coming year ask ourselves if these un-lived dreams and un-written poems are worth holding onto, or if we need to discover new dreams to live and new poems to write. We must dream; we must write, we muse immerge. So, in these remaining minutes, what will we do to finish out the year, to set ourselves for the coming one? How will we manifest? 

Thus, I wish everyone a Happy New Year, for what is a wish but a dream manifested as poetry.

Baptism

Baptism
-by Brian Quinn
Art: “Breaking Through” by Carne Griffiths

 

Dragging hand-me-down virtues
through tunnels of
barbed wire, wrapping
ethic(and morality, some
times)inside oily rags
on the verge of igniting themselves.

we fight and
we spit
and we wild an-
d we spark,
fearful of being over-
heard by glass-walled neighbors:

our louder, American pastime
of digging in our back yards
at midnight for only the latest
psychologies, hoping they won’t
calls the cops. no. we need
something aching, ancient.

pine and hemlock come to mind. and rites
that demand more blood and dance.

to fight and
to spit
and to wild an-
d to spark
is to dig in the back yards of
our ids and our egos regardless of .
philosophy’s agency.

there is no more time to
kneel before, only to rail
against, to lean and press
against, to fight-spit-wild-spark
against,

to share the splinters
from this, our baptism.

First they came for the socialists…

First they came for the socialists…

-by MARTIN NIEMÖLLER (1892 – 1984)

from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Niemöller was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

drier gods

drier gods
-by Brian Quinn
Artwork: Flora et Zephyr
by William-Adophle Bouguereau. 1875.

catching scent on the wind.
blood hounds harp and
howl.
strain at their leashes.

it’s the Wind
i’m after. an alter
to appease. a face
to curse. a flesh to murder.

building our shelters.
the torches blowing
out. our eyes wide. open.
dry.

wilder hair revealing
(y)our beauty. the truth
behind clouds in this
sober country.

Inheriting Goddess

Inheriting Goddess
-by Brian Quinn
Artwork by Sarah Sadie

 

The strong, raging river of my
birth, several promised lands
away, I can smell its waters.

(but where is
the Sacred Tree
foretold in our
father’s dream?)

Sun-skinned, tongues filling
our mouths, the desire for water
overwhelms the memory of it.

(This is no river!
It is a creek;
a stream;
a mirage.)

Pouring over elementary school
text-books for nomenclature,
you forget the water ever existed.

(We miss the
desert: we
knew when the
sun would rise.)

You ask me for rain, accuse
me when it floods. The
rise of inevitable waters