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BURNING HOUSE PRESS

Not For Profit/For Prophecy

Author

Amee Nassrene Broumand

Writer & Photographer

The Wolves Ripen: A Gothic Halloween Interview with Poet Kate Dlugosz

During my tenure as BHP’s Guest Editor in March 2018, I was lucky enough to publish many gifted writers. One of these was Kate Dlugosz, whose mythic poetry stayed with me long after my editorship was over. Earlier this month I invited her back onto Burning House Press for a gothic Halloween special. She agreed. Take note, this interview is merely masquerading as an interview. What follows is a gorgeous helping of dark prose poetry for those of us who have October in our bones.  Enjoy!  —Amee Nassrene Broumand

In your poem “Springtime,” you write: “If nothing else, I know owls come from flowers.” Tell us some more origin stories. Where do bats come from?

Bats come from song, as the shape of music from the cords formed of autumn constellations played by the wind upon the harp of the waning crescent moon. It is from the stars and the moon that the bat took flight from the night sky, the space between the stars where they learned to see by shape. And released by moonlight, through the darkened canopies of wine-red treetops they fly as hordes of poppy seeds, scattering over the moon as grey clouds, and the world below them becomes strange and wild and unknown in the dark. The bats echolocate the moths and the beetles in the night, and in the blindness of their own vision seeing with clarity the worlds of ghosts and spirits that pass over our own. You feel the first chill of autumn is the hiss of the bat as it grazes your neck. At times the bats hang down from the banisters of old barns, the wooden planks slicing the moon to shreds like a white moth between their fangs. And sometimes they sleep hanging from the limbs of oak trees by their claws before taking flight into purple dusk in search of blood, the moths and monsters prowling under moonlight. Bats suck the red from apples and rosehips and would consume the sun if they could sink their teeth into flame. Should you stare into the vast night sky on a clear autumn night, you are stargazing through the blackness of their wings. Continue reading “The Wolves Ripen: A Gothic Halloween Interview with Poet Kate Dlugosz”

Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge by Amee Nassrene Broumand

Broumand_Gorge1Broumand_Gorge4Broumand_Gorge5Broumand_Gorge6Broumand_Gorge7 Continue reading “Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge by Amee Nassrene Broumand”

Photos of Astoria, Oregon by Amee Nassrene Broumand

Broumand_Astoria dBroumand_Astoria c.JPGBroumand_Astoria eBroumand_Astoria fBroumand_Astoria j Continue reading “Photos of Astoria, Oregon by Amee Nassrene Broumand”

Masks, Transformations, Cosmos, & Personal Myth

March 2018

Guest Editor: Amee Nassrene Broumand

 

4 March

 

Professional Mermaid by Megan Dunn

After the 10th Date by Sam Frost

gibbous moon waxing by Lewis Ellingham

Three Poems by Jared A. Carnie

Charon’s Amusement Arcade by BR Williams

 

 

10 March

 

Three Poems by Laura Potts

Plastic Eggs by C.B. Auder

Night Photos of Newstead Village & a Poem by Sophie Pitchford*

L’Idole by Laura Izabela

Two Poems by Annette Skade

A Bacon Sandwich by Jim Gibson

Solitaire by Attracta Fahy

 

 

17 March

 

Three Poems by Ivan de Monbrison

Forgotten Astronaut by Spangle McQueen

What Else Can I Do? by Rob True

How to Tell Men Apart by Breslin White

Invitation To Move On by Jonathan Humble

Two Poems by Kate Garrett

Stealing Sleipnir by Alison Lock

The Transformation by Emma McKervey

 

 

24 March

 

Three Poems by Samuel J Fox

Sing a Song of Ever Changing Perception by Michelle Diaz

Photographs of Bristol & a Poem by Jason Jackson*

When Food Goes Bad by Kelly Froh

Two Poems by Anna Wall

7yrs bad luck by Richard Biddle

Jack by Gene Farmer

 

 

30 March

 

Two Pieces by Erin Calabria

genesis by Clark Chatlain

Baroclinic Instability by katillac tweed

A Catalogue of Small Shatterings by Makensi Ceriani

Bear off a Leash by Stephen Lightbown

Photographs of New Orleans by Julia Skop*

Two Poems by Kate Dlugosz

Interminatus by Cory Willingham

The Boyfriend Pinch by Christopher John Eggett

Dissociation in a Museum Café by Belinda Rimmer

Two Poems by Soodabeh Saeidnia

The Linen Man Suite by Lorie Broumand

An Interview with Poet Laura Potts by Amee Nassrene Broumand*

 

 

 

Featured Image: Solar Eclipse from Salem, Oregon 2017 by Amee Nassrene Broumand

Individual featured images by Amee Nassrene Broumand unless marked with an asterisk

An Interview with Poet Laura Potts

by Amee Nassrene Broumand

 

Hello Laura, thank you for taking the time to speak with me here on Burning House Press! I love the complex music of your work. What’s your relationship to sound and the oral tradition of poetry?

Always, in testament to its fundamentally oral heritage, sound has stood at the forefront of my work: that is, I have always tried to pay homage to the ancient verbal roots of poetry with an acute focus on just how moving sound can be. It is probably, in the words of Harold Bloom, my own anxiety of influence: the writers that haunt me the most are those who expand the malleable state of sound. There is no single prescriptive path which sound can take in poetry, and I think that appeals to the rebel in me. And I’ve studied it quite intensely really: I often apply scansion to Latin poetry to see the specific moments of gravity and levity which bring a line alive. And, of course, I always read my work out loud as I write: it may have one life on the page but it has another one aloud.

“the writers that haunt me the most are those who expand the malleable state of sound”

You had the chance to work at Dylan Thomas’s birthplace in Swansea. What was that like?

My summer there was the single most academic season of my young life. At first I’d planned to stay for a week or so, but that soon turned into a couple of months and I’m sure I learnt the equivalent of a whole degree in that time. I travelled from a small village in Carmarthen to Swansea each day, where I walked up the old hill of Cwmdonkin Drive and through the small black gate of number five which Dylan had pushed so many times. My time was largely spent reading, writing and researching his work. I wrote essays for The Dylan Thomas Society and saw a performance of Under Milk Wood. I drank in the pubs he drank in. I slept in his bedroom a night or two, with the old gas lamp still burning. I visited the boathouse in Laugharne which he shared with his wife, and even interviewed an old neighbour once. Yes, my broken old bookcase still models three rows of Dylan and always will. It was the summer to always remember. Continue reading “An Interview with Poet Laura Potts”

The Linen Man Suite by Lorie Broumand

The Sale

 

The linen man was having a sale. The townspeople got up early to buy linens.

The linen man had boasted of his sale for seven years, and the townspeople were driven by a rabid impatience. They’d pressured him to hold it now, and then now, and so on.

On the day of the sale, the town was caught up in a colossal heat. It was uncommon, so early in the summer, and the townspeople swung their limbs in wretchedness. Henny and Ida claimed the temperature had increased daily as the sale neared.

Others noticed this, too; worse, the air took on a density that smelled of flowers. It was clear from the smell these flowers had flourished in the heat, grown large in it, and died. The townspeople chose not to say anything, as it was unpleasant in a variety of ways. They held handkerchiefs over their faces as they walked to the linen sale.

The sun hadn’t come up yet, and all but one of the streetlights along the linen man’s street had gone out. It was too hot to fix them, so no one had, and the solitary light turned the air an uncomfortable green.

“There’s something linen-like about that shade of green,” said Mrs. R.

“It’s not the shade of green you’re noticing, it’s that machine sound,” said Mr. L.

“It’s the smell,” said Ms. X, “which is clearly linen in nature.”

Mr. L and Ms. X were notoriously confident about the superiority of their perceptions.

Townspeople streamed into the linen man’s street. The machine sound was very loud there, and a large object shook under a piece of plastic.

Near the object was a crate of cubes.

The townspeople needed dishcloths, bedclothes, curtains, and shirts. But they saw none of this—merely the cubes, and the density in the air.

Mrs. R drew a line through the air, an involuntary motion.

“Linen sale,” called the linen man. He ushered the townspeople with his hands.

 

 

Continue reading “The Linen Man Suite by Lorie Broumand”

Two Poems by Soodabeh Saeidnia

Punctuality

 

This

This is

This isn’t

This isn’t a

This isn’t a nice

This isn’t a nice, cool

This isn’t a nice, cool dream

This isn’t a cool dream

This isn’t a dream

of a sunny day in

a Cimmerian

night

This may

This may be

This may be even

This may be even worse

This may be even worse than

This may be even worse than a nightmare

This may not be worse than

This may be the worst

This is the worst

ever

the worst ever monster

the worst ever monstrous

the worst ever monstrous, cool

the worst ever monster, nice, cool

dream, which turned into a

nightmare, since we

didn’t wake up

on time Continue reading “Two Poems by Soodabeh Saeidnia”

Dissociation in a Museum Café by Belinda Rimmer

I can pinpoint the moment.

A sudden silence of traffic,

and voices

weaving a scary tale,

far away,

then further still.

 

Under the fluorescent lights,

I folded.

 

I didn’t catch anyone’s eye

but breathed deeply.

It didn’t help.

I’d ended up on the ceiling

looking down on myself.

 

My heavy blue beads

clunked and swung

with each swivel of my neck.

No one noticed.

 

Below, the other me had finished her tea

and was sorting change from her purse.

I called out. She didn’t glance up.

 

Rivulets of condensation

on the steamy window

seemed to tell me to follow, follow

as if droplets of water

could guide me home.

 

Continue reading “Dissociation in a Museum Café by Belinda Rimmer”

The Boyfriend Pinch by Christopher John Eggett

It was a surprise to see the danger red, tango orange, white mottle. All the other shellfish she had seen that day in the rock pools had been dark browns, some black elegant creatures. This was a lobster that looked like it was half-cooked, but alive and well, a naturally appealing dinner invitation.

She felt like a child squatting down next to the rock pool. How had he got washed up here, so beautiful against the wrinkled rocks and sighing sand. The day, sunny but with a wind that ran through her ankles and up her skirt occasionally, should have been about observing. She thought she would spend some time looking at the rock pools, looking at the creatures in them, grey and black and brown—crabs moving amongst the husks and wrappers of their dead comrades. Never take a step back, pick up claw from a fallen brother.

She was going to be detached today, she’d promised. She wasn’t going to get involved with anything, she said the creative writing course was helping, but there needed to be more material, more distraction. She’d been told by the tutor that she was a natural journalist, scornfully. Always ready to get involved and meddle in someone else’s story, rather than secretly skimming off the best bits from a distance.

So she would observe today. It was a bit like when she had been dumped by her boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend. The idea was to stay single for a while, to observe the others doing the dance and check she knew the steps.

But here, with this orange lobster in the black bowl of a Welsh rock pool, she decided to engage with it. She started by giving it a nudge with a stick to see how active it was. It was beautiful, so could be dead. It moved and whirled around to look at her, pointedly. She was surprised, and didn’t expect it to be so forward, it was a rare thing and therefore should be shy in her world. Continue reading “The Boyfriend Pinch by Christopher John Eggett”

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