“The Selfie” By Mike Acker


The Selfie

Holding it right is half the challenge.
The other is not to shake before the click.

They say that the aim may change due to
the pressure applied by the finger.

To think that in the old days they had to
handle the powder directly to produce

the explosion, which, of course, also
gave the flash. The modern version

is so much easier; just aim and shoot.
The only question is: the temple, or the mouth.

About the Author: Mike Acker lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has lived in various parts of the world; his early education was in German and French. While living in California, he worked as a professional translator. Mike enjoys writing short poetry, especially with the intent of exploring the possibilities latent in a single image.
Image Credit: “Portrait of a Woman in Bonnet” Jacob Byerly, daguerreotypist (American, 1807 – 1883) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program



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By Joanna Fuhrman and Toni Simon:


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Selections from “Friend of the Dead” originally appeared in Paperbag, selections from “How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You” originally appeared in Talisman, and selections from “The Ruler of Rusted Knees” originally appeared in Posit. These selections appear here today with permission from the poet.

Artists’ Statement: In our mixed-media literary project, Egyptian gods, stripped of their context and role, wander various New York City neighborhoods trying to figure out where they belong, how to make sense of what they have lost, and how to get along with one another.

In the first step of our project, Toni Simon constructs three-dimensional, small-scale figurines out of paper, modeled on Egyptian gods. She then paints them with abstract, graphic details. We then take the little gods out into different neighborhoods and take hundreds of photographs of them. We select eight to ten images, which become the basis for a series of poems written by Joanna Fuhrman.

So far, we have created picture/poem serial combinations in Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Chinatown, the Reversible Destiny Studio, Red Hook and Gowanus. Parts of the project have appeared online in Paperbag, Talisman, and Posit, and in print in the 100th issue of Hanging Loose.

Joanna Fuhrman is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Pageant (Alice James Books 2009). Her fifth book, The Year of Yellow Butterflies, is forthcoming from Hanging Loose Press in 2015. Recent poems appear in The Believer, Court Green, The Brooklyn Rail, and Puerto del Sol. In 2011, Least Weasel published a beautifully printed chapbook, The Emotive Function. She teaches poetry writing at Rutgers, SLC Writer’s Village and in private workshops. Her essays on teaching appear regularly in Teachers & Writers Magazine.

Toni Simon is a multimedia artist living in Brooklyn. Her illustrated book of prose poetry, Earth After Earth, was published by Lunar Chandelier Press in 2012. Over 80 of her illustrations appear in Contradicta: Aphorisms (Green Integer, 2010) by Nick Piombino. She has exhibited her drawings at the Drawing Center and at the AIR Gallery in NYC.

Editor’s Note: What’s not to love? Two stellar artists in collaboration, pairing visual art and poetry. Egyptian gods wandering the streets of New York, searching for life’s meaning. Unique, hand-crafted images. And the words. Yes. The words. After all, this is the Saturday Poetry Series, and as unique as this concept is, it would not be here if it weren’t for the words. “Be honest / like language // is dishonest.” “I am not afraid of you / if you’re not afraid of me.” “One can see through / more than glass.” “You can stand by the window all day, / but you won’t become a window.” “In the beginning, we didn’t need to be friends with all / the parts of ourselves.” These reflections, offered in the guise of meditations of fallen gods, are truly a reflection of ourselves.

Want to read more by Joanna Fuhrman and Toni Simon?
Joanna Fuhrman Official Website
Toni Simon Official Blog

Omar Khadr disrespecting a normal reality

long time , in a yellow history



much more at 5 am

The scene while autumn starts

here and now

it was ramadan

his new look

old yellow sculpture


“Suddenly, lately, very lately, I realized that I love yellow”.

Omar Khadr, a 19-year-old Egyptian photographer, writer, law student at Alexandria University and a jazz enthusiast.

Editor’s Note: It seemed to me (going through his facebook albums) that he’s obsessed with yellow. When I asked him, he said: “it’s a bit confusing. Yellow is associated with depression and sickness, but it could also be vulgar should you, for example, paint your wall yellow. I find it very expressive of any state. Most of the photos I use yellow filters on have different subject matters; I see yellow in everything: in the face of a laughing little girl or a bustling cityscape. Some find this annoying, while others see it as an Omar Khadr trademark. But in recent photos I’ve distanced myself a little from yellow to avoid being limited by a certain approach and vision that will eventually grow tedious to people.”

Evidently, Omar has no respect for “normal”. None of his photographs pretend to depict “real” colors of “real” life in Alexandria or Cairo. Long time, in a yellow history (1st photo) and old yellow sculpture (10th) have the same subject of Orientalist paintings and photographs; yet, while Orientalist art claims to recreate an exotic reality in paintings and photographs, Omar just puts them through a yellow filter that strips them of every “realistic” quality. There’s nothing fascinating or exotic about an alley in Cairo, it’s as vulgar as any other alley on any given day.

Some photographs were shot in Alexandria, others in Cairo.

Omar Khadr on Flickr.

Omar Khadr, by Youssif Mohi.