Newsletter #136 December 2022

Newsletter #136 December 2022
March 13, 2023 Christina Mullin

Brian D. Cohen, Martyr, etching and drypoint, 5 x 5″, 2017

December, 2022

Welcome to Plume #136 –

December, and the semi-final promotion of our print anthology Plume Poetry 10, with a marvelous upcoming reading (details below) and this poem from the book, to whet your appetite and open your purse strings, Daisy Fried’s “My Destination”:

My Destination                                 

There’s a green hollow where the river croons,
madly hanging silver rags on the grasses
hanging its glad rags on the grasses
and there’s a museum crouching on the ridge
like a woman trying to unhunch her shoulders
after long difficulty. There’s a river undulating,
a limb turning from a body, a silver river
trickling, not much rain of late. On the bike trail
I smashed my behemoth rental on purpose
into the foldable a man with padded shorts
dragged into my lane to show he doesn’t
notice rules. Unhurt by the impact, he vibrated
outrage at my audacity, he shivered
with umbrage derived from his abilities
picking stocks and inferiors, a tale
of his own deserving. I sped away and docked
my bike and my iPhone beeped confirmation.
In a room behind a room in a room of the museum
I arrived at my destination: two eyeholes bored
in rustic doors: the Duchamp peepshow Étant Donné—
Given—“a picture without a picture plane”—
“a surprise attack” by naked genitals. Supine
nude’s mannequin hand—all out of scale
as if Mona Lisa reached behind her to scrabble
in distant hills—raises a trickling lantern,
glimmering lightfall. Feet in the gladioli…
Feet in wild violets…cresses…in chicory…
Nature, nurse her warm; she’s cold. Frightening,
the gash hooked, hairless, between her legs,
question between her legs. Berce-le…
Lustrous, she’s dead? Only sleeping?
I tried to move my eyes, I really did,
to see her face, this moved them
off the eyeholes, then I saw nothing.

            after Rimbaud’s “Le Dormeur du Val”

note: Italicized lines are my versions of lines from Rimbaud’s “Le Dormeur du Val” (“The Sleeper in the Valley”), in which a young soldier appears merely to be sleeping. The phrases “a picture without a picture plane” and “a surprise attack” are from Pia Høy’s article, “Marcel Duchamp—Étant donnés: Deconstructed Painting,” trans. John Irons, from tout-fait: The Marcel Duchamp Studies Online Journal


I should repeat, too, I suppose, that Plume Poetry 10 is available for purchase at  SPD and the Plume Anthologies Store, (with discounts for orders to be used as texts), Amazon, etc.

A visual to refresh your memory:

Profound Gratitude Dept: Many thanks to Martha Rhodes & Rushi Vyas, and Kelli Russell Agodon Katerina Canyon, host extraordinaire Nancy Mitchell, and all the smart and generous folks at the Writers Center in Washington, D.C. who made our reading there on the 29th of October possible.

Also many thanks  to all the good folks at  Beyond Baroque in Los Angelesfor our reading featuring Elena Karina Byrne & Cathy Colman, Ramón García & Ata Maharreri, and Shamar Hill Carolyn Joyner.. Nancy Mitchell once again performed the moderator duties, admirably as always.

And, about that soon-to be reading with the Writers Center: Mark your calendars for December 3rd. Featured readers will be Daisy Fried & Glorious Piner, and Gregory Orr & Safiya Sinclair, again pairs in Plume Poetry 10Amanda Newell will emcee. You can RSVP for this FREE event at  Here’s the flier:

Our cover art this month is Brian D. Cohen’s etching, Martyr”  For more information on the artist and his work, a good start might be made here and here

Finally, as usual, some recently published/forthcoming books from Plume contributors:

Martha Collins                    Casualty Reports
Soren Stockman                 ELEPHANT
Mark Jarman                      Zeno’s Eternity
Carl Phillips                        Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2002 – 2020
Gerald Stern                       I.
Katherine Soniat                 Polishing the Glass Storm

That’s it for now.
I hope you enjoy your holidays – and the issue!

Daniel Lawless
Editor, Plume