Three New Poems by Bill Neumire

I like to leave
……………………………………to come back
touched………by the house’s new softness
by the gravel…………..driveway chalked with moon

like a light…………… the little light
above…..the sink is still……….there

…….branches of the birch
mossed with snow

I don’t really ever go…………..anywhere
driving in slow………halos around town

I find myself…………in Hopper paintings
……..I find the interstate & let it pull me

……..I can still see summer’s boys
sweating halos into Carhart hats
one of them unhooking
……..his girl’s bra & lifting her shirt
a curtain over his future

………………………..a rifle fires miles away
& probably strikes……………no oneits wayward streak
through kitchen windows & rock gardens……………….All night

it writes……a little diary of want: all
……………………….night through curled leaves
…………………………through blonde rooms
of delicately balanced heaps of laundry
through traffic………lights whose timers say…….red
even when no one’s moving

………………at home two daughters & a wife
who don’t know me………….as a drifter
so slight is my absence
………………………the ticking furnace covers for me

but the coming……………………..back….slipping
………like a lunar love letter
into the sheets……feeling prodigal
& renewed……..splintering into other lives… almost keeps me whole



Unearth As It Is

They say when Schleimann tried
to shovel up Troy
(he’d been obsessed
since he was a boy
with that first myth)
that he found nine Troys,
one beneath each blessed
wreck of other—

& now I see
the snow’s sag­hearted lifts
where the girls left last year’s sled,
where we used to camp at night
(listening to the sky), the white
rumor of my shovel, a heap of birch
logs huddling in warm rot,
& the slide we bought
the kids last spring
(or is it twenty years
given to this soft map?)

I slow in the faintly
percussive snow. I step inside
its city, my avenues failing,
the great towers falling,
(all my million windows
filling with the sky.)



The Waste

the owls were growing like tumors in the dead elms round the barn & gusts tore away gutters & the news said, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” & we felt our hands round the necks of the owls because we did things long ago, or didn’t, because in the beginning we were caught & the owls said, “what have you done” & we were white as the pages of unprinted textbooks—because because because call the owls again in the book of the law of our old whitened agreement because there’s a fear in the house—it comes from the wind, it comes because things don’t go away the way we paid them to the way we voted to make the game of voting, the way we sometimes climb to the attic when our eyes bleed newsfeed becauses & we open the cedar chest with a fingerbone key & we look at the old pictures of our fathers in their uniforms of skin, in their dead smiles, in their silk, & they say, “what have you done” & they circle us like wings & call us their mice.




Bill Neumire’s first collection, Estrus, was a semifinalist for the 42 Miles Press Award, and his recent work appears in Beloit Poetry Journal, The Awl, and West Branch. He edits the online magazine Verdad, writes poetry reviews for Scout, and teaches in Syracuse, New York.

Two Poems by Anna George Meek


A bricolage of words and phrases from

  • a letter from an old flame
  • the Wikipedia entry on scaffolding

To limit sway, I thought of you.
I suppose everybody has these more doubtful surfaces,
bamboo tubes, couplers, and boards.
Because you sounded adjacent
even hours after our talk the other day,
all I can feel is filament-wound rods of glass fiber.
The spacing between painful tensions:
ladders, ropes, reveal ties, straps tied into knots.
I hope it is possible to go in and come out of
people, not because I want to hurt you.
Between the inner braces, my guess is that
you steel yourself with a matrix of metal pipes
and wedged mesh. I am
a physical structure
caring about you more deeply than ever.
When safety is impossible, a bell tower can be used;
the view is nice from up there.
I emerge from these talks with a capacity
to bear weight
and realize how much I care for you and love you
every ten to fifteen years.
Perhaps in writing, it will sound somehow
different from speech:
composite, modular, temporary.

—from The Genome Rhapsodies


Apparatus for Obtaining Criminal Confessions 

A bricolage of words and phrases from 

  • the patent application for an “Apparatus for Obtaining Criminal
    Confessions and Photographically Recording Them,” filed in 1927
  • a dream journal

I know, in secret, that I’m
an apparition.

Therefore the camera and projector
may be operated by means of diaphanous veiling.
I am trying hard to describe
a box-like structure in which the suspect is confined.

Aperture: I let my vision blur.

It is immaterial as to whether
The photography of guilt is gorgeous.
I love it, and I love being

an illusory effect of electrical impulses. Thus transmitted,
the meaning is clear to me.

By means of the microphones and selenium cells
I desire to illustrate the prisoner’s features and voice—
and to so work upon his imagination (not shown). The culprits,
perhaps I am one of them. We are all

singing the hymns enclosing said body,
in testimony whereof I have affixed my signature.

—from The Genome Rhapsodies



Anna George Meek has published in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Seneca Review, The Missouri Review (where she was awarded the Tom McAfee Discovery Prize), Water~Stone Review, Crazyhorse, and dozens of other national journals.  She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and two Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowships.  She has also been a finalist for the National Poetry Series (three times), the Minnesota Book Award, and the Yale Series of Younger Poets.  Her first book, Acts of Contortion, won the Brittingham Prize in Poetry; her chapbook Engraved won the Snowbound Chapbook Competition.  Her second full-length book The Genome Rhapsodies won the Richard Snyder Prize and was just released from Ashland Press. Meek lives with her husband and daughter where she sings professionally with the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and is a professor of English in the Twin Cities.

Two New Poems by Jessie Janeshek

Crow Funeral One

Two little girls………………      …….use newt-haunt and ice cream
purple lard……………..say let’s play school

w/ lemons………blue glasses……..unfortunate latitudes.
You’ve been gathering pills…………… your ghost pails

as you water the house…………. …living off ides
cynosure bedstraps.……………….  .Ghostbusters are free

and sows are not trite…………….. .as our sweetmeat is buried
and our steeple rots………………..  .under the cradle

……………….as you say you were raped
……………….behind the black Plymouth

streetlights painted on                      as you say
suicide…………………..cross-stitched pentagrams

two beasts died in your spine.
You cleared setbacks and split…………liquefied.

I was pissed…………I was vapid
and sometimes I plushed

and now is the time
to pump your breasts full of my blood

………………………………….but you’ll say Queen’s meeting
…………………………no teat and no tongue

and I’ll learn to love
your silken twin and my crime.


Our Braids Are Clean, Our Peace Interactive

……..and lodestars cut into our fat.
We show our preference by how hard we suck

……..and maybe our thoughts of the father
……..or maybe our alien antlers

and maybe the father                    could be our matrix
……..a hibernate crime                or a chainsaw alarum.

……..But let’s stick to gateways
bald wolves and blowing the handguns

……..New Year’s Eve                     our fox panties
……..always on too tight

how we’re being subjected          to eternal damnation
……..fur coats          no faces          no thrones

…… Dad looks like a skeleton
……..just opening his sack          fire-eyed and tying our hands

how I realize the succulent         what it must feel like
…… hook in Antarctica

as our bodies, child actors
……..lean into their final cocoons.



Jessie Janeshek’s full-length book of poems is Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010). Her chapbook Rah-Rah Nostalgia is forthcoming from dancing girl press. An Assistant Professor of English and the Director of Writing at Bethany College, she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and an M.F.A. from Emerson College. She co-edited the literary anthology Outscape: Writings on Fences and Frontiers (KWG Press, 2008). You can read more of her poetry at

Review of Über Compressor by Sonalksis

Sonalksis was formed in August of 2002 in Liverpool England by R&D engineers originally employed by AMS-Neve. As the company grew, they added people from Sony and Focusright. With a pedigree like this, good things are bound to happen. Their first plug-in was released in 2003, and since then they have grown into a highly-respected company with a world-wide user base.

Though they are primarily known for their studio staple plug-ins, you may be using Sonalksis effects already, without knowing it. Their insert effects—hi-pass/low-pass filter, 5-band EQ, compressor, gate and transient—are included in Toontrack’s award-winning Superior Drummer. Sonalksis plug-ins sound great, are relatively inexpensive, and are very CPU friendly.

FSU plug-ins are kind of unique in that they focus on ways to manipulate and destroy sound. Generally, these are of the glitch / delay /granular / bit-reduction / buffer variety, sometimes modular, often combining effects and sequencing. Sonalksis offers a kind of sound-design / sound-destruction suite that has one foot in the FSU category, but focuses mainly on dialing in sonic extremes without complicated bells and whistles. Three plug-ins—Über Compressor, Creative Filter, and Digital Grimebox—are a unified toolset sharing the same look-and-feel (and MIDI functionality), designed mostly for exploiting, shaping, and coloring sound. They are capable of everything from mild coloring and enhancement to complete sonic mayhem. This review will focus on Über Compressor, a very unique and useful compressor for enhancing, coloring, and grunging up sound.

Uber Compressor

Not Your Mother’s Compressor

The Über Compressor is a specialized compressor that is very different from any other compressor I’ve tried. For one thing, it is adaptive. There are no attack and release settings, no separate input and output controls; instead the two attack and release stages adapt according to the sonic material, controlled by a “Timing” switch (whose four values, “instant”, “pop”, “slap” and “pump”, approximate increasing attack and release timings with words that illustrate typical behavior of the settings) and an “S/C Bias” switch. Under the hood is a transient designer that allows everything from a fat punch to complete destruction of audio. According to Sonalksis, the compressor utilizes “state space analog” technology to model real-world analog circuits, but these circuits, modeled to include noise (which can be switched off, if desired), can be pushed to digital extremes.

The controls are few, easy to understand, and placed in a logical order. Right in the middle of the plug-in is the ratio control. I’m not really sure why it’s so huge, but, hey, it looks like the other two plug-ins in the suite, and it certainly draws the eye.

The Timing and S/C Bias Switches

As I mentioned, there are no attack and release settings, which is, in my opinion, both bad and good. It’s bad in the sense that you really can’t anticipate how the compressor will act by making minor adjustments. What you have, essentially, are switchable behavior characteristics. So, for example, if you want no delay in the attack, you’d choose “Instant”; if you want a pumping sound, you’d select “Pump”. The two in the middle are a little less obvious, but with use it becomes fairly easy to anticipate, in a general sense, how the plug-in will react and what type of setting to try out on what material. In fact, one of the nice things about all the plugins in the Creative Suite is that with few controls adjustments can be made quickly to try out different settings.

Right below the Timing switch is the S/C Bias switch. Like the Timing switch, these settings are labeled with words that describe their behavior. Each of these settings selects a different filter circuit that affects the behavior of the compression. Several of these settings, like the Timing switch, are easy enough to understand: “None”, “Bottom”, and “Top”. The other two, “Scoop” and “Lump”, are a little more difficult to imagine, but once you hear the effect a few times you understand the general principle. The S/C Bias switch is intended to mimic side-chain compression, and is more subtle than the settings with the Timing switch.

The “Noise”and “Fierce” options

Two really interesting features of the Über Compressor are the “Noise” and “Fierce” options. By selecting the “Fierce” option (whose default on or off state is configurable in the plug-in settings) the plug-in is kicked into Über mode – that is, extreme compression. It’s like a turbo on a car, and just as wild. This is the setting you’d want to experiment with on anything that requires controlled sonic destruction (massive pumping, controlled clipping, etc.). Using this option, it really becomes imperative to coordinate the settings already mentioned along with the “Input” control, which controls the volume of the incoming signal, and the selectable “Output” control. Not only is it great for creating instant mayhem, but it really augments material that may not be apparent in quieter audio, such as field recordings. The “Fierce” setting is especially effective with along with another FSU-type plug-in in the chain (the Digital Grimebox, for example)

Along with the atomic compression values comes more noise (as part of the analog modeling process). If you find this undesirable, you can remove it by deselecting the Noise option.


The Über Compressor comes with only a handful of presets. I understand the point of this – it’s really not a Swiss army knife type of effect, after all – but it would be nice to have more of them to quickly try things out, particularly when you first start using the plug-in. For example, there is a preset called “Smart” which is great for drums and percussive type basses (anything that needs a “popping” kind of presence), but I’m not sure I would have tried those specific settings quickly without initially taking the plug-in for a sonic test drive with different types of instruments and audio files. The few other presets included are also one-word descriptors, which seem helpful but don’t really indicate what type of material they’d be good for (“Colour”, “Filth”, etc.). Again, I get this; the point is to encourage experimentation. It would still be nice to have another 10 – 20 presets that essentially tour the plug-in (it comes with 8). Another possibility would be to include a “Suggestions” section in the manual, which is also a bit weak.

A Few Last Words

I really like this compressor, which is very creative, fun to use, and most of all, great-sounding. Aside from the too few presets and weak manual complaints, it also doesn’t have MIDI learn. The MIDI settings are listed in the manual, which you need to download separately from the installer. For me, this is not a huge issue, because the controls are all labeled and easily accessible from the automation menu of a DAW. However, if you’ve just installed the plug-in and/or want to play live, you need to setup whether the plug-in parameters will be controlled by “wheel” or “key” in the configuration menu and use the MIDI chart in the manual for specific CC values to manipulate the plug-in parameters with an external controller. It’s not the kind of compressor you’d want to use for one-size-fits-all track or bus compression. It is, however, a great tool to add punch to percussion and bass, extreme compression for FSU applications, enhancement for ambience (by itself for added character or as part of a sound-design chain to augment the characteristics of another plug-in). A very unique compressor that sounds great and is a steal for the pricepoint Sonalksis is selling it at. Definitely worth adding to the arsenal.

Price: $40 plug-in only or $100 for the Creative Elements suite (Über Compressor / Creative Filter / Digital Grimebox)

Rating: 9/10


Two Poems by Dana Levin


I was tracking the stars through the open truck window,
       my friend speeding the roads through the black country―

and I was thinking how the songs coming from the radio
       were like the speech of a single human American psyche―

the one voice of the one collective dream, industrial, amphetamine,
       and the stars unmoving―

the countryside black and silent, through which a song pumped serious killer
       over and over―

and I could feel the nation shaping, it was something about the collective
       dream of the rich land and the violent wanting―

the amphetamine drive and the cows sleeping, all along the sides
       of the dark road―

never slowing enough to see what we might have seen if the moon rose up
       its pharmaceutical light―

aspirin-blue over the pine-black hills what was rising up―

mullein or something else in the ditches their flameless tapers―

world without fire the song heralded a crystal methedrine light―

while the sky brought its black bone down around the hood of the truck
       the electronic migration―

       we were losing our bodies―

       digitized salt of bytes and speed we were becoming a powder―



       what we might have seen, if we had looked―


Originally appeared in Wedding Day (2005 Copper Canyon Press)


Above the Neck

Little winks from the tips of silvered tools―

you sat in stars.

Garaged dark.

And a skein of bandages on a little stool.

Wrapped you up, my       mental pupa

On a metal folding chair.

And all around you synapses
       pop and flare―

I’d been talking the walk called
       Head Bobbing on a Font of Blood―

I couldn’t believe I had legs

as the ditch streamed by―

spider-egged in a web of squares: chair, house, mind…

Iron-press of your mummy-suit.

Head free
       to swivel and churn, if you could
break your neck
       and be alive, head a lit house
sweeping its beam
       through the constructed real, I

tied you up―

inside my mind―

where you’re sweating now, fisting under the bands―

Salt in your eye, can’t lift a finger.

What use had I for hands.


Originally appeared in Wedding Day (2005 Copper Canyon Press)



Dana Levin is the author of three books of poetry: In the Surgical Theatre, Wedding Day, and Sky Burial, which The New Yorker called “utterly her own and utterly riveting.” Levin splits her time between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Maryville University in St Louis, where she serves as Distinguished Writer in Residence. Her fourth book of poetry, Banana Palace, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in Fall 2016.

Lee Chapman’s Beautiful “The Common Silence” uses chance and introspection as composition elements

Eilean Records is doing something unique and interesting with exploratory ambient and minimalist releases. The word “eilean” is a Scottish Gaelic word for “island”.  When label maven Mathias Van Eecloo, who, having a background in art and being displaced and in love with the wild country of Scotland, encountered this word, he associated it with Pangea and an idea began to form in his mind. Conceptually, he would create an imaginary island inhabited by musicians whose releases corresponded with 1 of 100 points on a map. The island would be a new entity, “a new world without the borders that we know” a land, beyond a physical or temporal location, whose features would be loosely defined but completed in the relationship between musician and listener. To begin, he created a map approximately 1 meter x 1 meter and marked 100 points blindfolded, in keeping with the idea of a marriage of intention and chance. The map was then designed by a professional artist.  Each musician picks a number between 1 and 100, which corresponds to a location on the map. The map colors represent seasons and distinguishing land-based features: white / grey for ice lands and mountains, green for lowlands and countryside, blue for water,  orange / brown / yellow for desert and rocky areas.  Having a location and some notion of the general terrain, the musicians describe their space with a unique approach to sound manipulation and composition. Rather than releasing completed works from submitted demos, Mathias likes to work with  musicians through a dialectic of ideas during the process of creation. They discuss the cover art, tracklist and other pragmatic considerations, as well as matters of theme, style, and sound. Each release comes in two formats: digital and limited-edition hand-numbered CD. Mathias has committed the label to 100 releases, 1 – 2 per month; after the project is complete, Eilean Records will be done conceptually.

One recent release is Lee Chapman’s amazing The Common Silence. Chapman is a self-taught composer from the Northwest of England who works “in the fields of ethereal, organic and accidental compositions.” His process is well worth noting because it is uniquely suited to music “of the moment.” Formerly an Ableton user, he drastically simplified his process and now uses a dual battery-powered tape setup. He creates loops from instruments and found sounds and uses a variety of methods — tape loops, vocal loops, feedback loops, segments manipulated with a loop pedal, etc. — to coax patterns of sound both during the idea/creative process and during the recording process (whether live or in his home studio).  Often his tapes are unlabeled. The different speeds of the tape decks provide interesting sonic changes (as well as the possibility for one or the other to actually “eat” the tape). Loops are often set against each other without a sense of preplanning. Intuition, experience, and accidence are guiding tools.

The Common Silence, to be sure, is an introspective journey through the dark territory of a heart crying out, in one man’s spiritual sense, for understanding. It is a record of his personal journey into the self, coupling music, process, and spiritual seeking to create a unified, purposeful work of art. It is a musical document of uncommon darkness, stillness, openness, and light.

The album opens softly with the song “Prunus Padus”, a plant known locally as Bird Cherry or Hackberry in northern Europe and northern Asia. You hear rain, ambient chords stretched into dronelike washes that are slightly grunged up with distortion, and birdsong. There is an aged beauty to the sound, almost a kind of immortality, with stretched bells and feedback behind the more natural sounds. It is a long piece that is mesmerizing in its attention and care, a prelude to the kinds of textures and long musical “breath” of pieces to come. It is also deeply personal to Chapman, providing both a natural center for the recording but also an invocation to a loved one. To be fair, there is a kind of muted random beeping tone that appears throughout this song, like a quiet wakeup tone on a clock or a soft sound in your car that lets you know you are getting too close to something that I find distracting, if not mildly irritating. This is an artistic choice, one among several on the album that I, as a listener, might not like but am willing to give the artist as a creative decision.

“Let Me In” opens with a vibrating sound that might be a note of repurposed birdsong heavily processed with spring reverb so that it sounds like a whip of electricity or might be something else entirely. It’s a kind of dark violence that might become annoying if, behind the opening sounds, a soft chord didn’t appear like a second thought, an act of calming. Distortion enters the left side. Soft chords appear in the background. The whipping sound is dragged out into a kind of ambience that is clearly a reconsideration. Low vibrating tones, distorted, dreamily anchor the violence. Tones pop in and out, interspersed with noise, panned at various places in the aural spectrum. At all times, Chapman’s work seems like it is on the verge of completion, but there is always a continual brokenness, as though on the verge of the liminal. The length of each piece reinforces this, as well as the evolving degraded textures, which might be rust, imperfection, self-doubt, or just the beingness of life or memory (this is most apparent in the long meditative piece “Let a Song Speak for Itself”, which is a series of overlapping chords feeding back in waves over and over). Halfway through “Let Me In” there is a transition in which monk voices break through the cracks, glitching, with volume swells, some of which feel uncomfortable. Despite the ineffable beauty, there is also danger here, an imperfect connection.

Completing the album is a bonus track, “Kyrie Eleison”. At just over 14 minutes, it is a long, dark piece that slowly develops over several minutes to a looped and glitched refrain. Along the way, heavily reverbed chords and a singing voice are nearly lost in abstraction. The darkness is a kind of lament that Chapman says is missing from much Western music, which has lost its capacity to appreciate dissonance. Two influential books he notes are Noise: The Political Economy of Music by Jacques Attali and The Sound Is Our Wounds by Lucy Wicket. Chapman is an artist who considers every element of his craft.

My only real complaint about this release is the mastering. There is nice detailed depth, but there are spots where the signal gets too hot, creating some uncomfortable changes in volume and, at times, clipping. I know that the idea was to preserve the unpredictable characteristics of the analog original, but there are moments when something like a transient shaper would have helped tame the peaks. Still this is a deeply satisfying release that is well worth checking out.

Listen to Lee Chapman:

Two New Prose Poems By Theodore Worozbyt


Tinged autumnal, his jaw bolus ruptured again and drained along his chest. I am so happy. I wash it from a lettuce clamshell. The meat is still resting. Think of what runs down a runnel. Look behind the pages of a magazine; the grass chases him down the hill and the knife gets picked up. There has been a death in the family recently each time Pinnochio wore a medal and a sailor’s suit. Slush hisses over the curbs and it should have been another limo, not just a four-door car. Quarters clattered and rolled under the bed like a dog in a bed of clover as though one dog were many. Between those sentences thirty years. The swell of light on the woven chair that seems to be his port haunch turns out to be impossible unless it is understood as the foyer of the sliding and silently clicking people who are helping you toward the corner behind the corners.


This Room

Something in the valves impersonates rain, not its flavor but makes the sound. It isn’t in the lamps or what pretend to be our pictures, but I can see why my pit bull—that is not one word—at 14 wants to lick around the slick tiles where his feet splay vowels in need. Something in me wants rain, rain the shape of red lamps, gentle and soft as lamprey gloves made of kid. I would be some glistening the dark can’t account for if I could wear those. No matter what I say, whether I say anything, he walks out of the room.

Theodore Worozbyt’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Antioch Review, Best American Poetry, Crazyhorse, The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review 30 Year Anthology, New England Review, Po&sie, Poetry, Sentence, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, TriQuarterly Online and Quarterly West. His first book, The Dauber Wings (Dream Horse Press, 2006), won the American Poetry Journal Book Prize, and his second, Letters of Transit, won the 2007 Juniper Prize and was published by UMass Press. The City of Leaving and Forgetting, a new chapbook, is just out in Country Music. His third full-length collection, Smaller Than Death, is forthcoming from Knut House Press.