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The Westwind Poetry Staff loves writing pros. We love to see poets change up their starting lineups. Fresh off the bench, coming in at 5’10”, the twenty-year old shooter out of Charleville, Arthur Rimbaud wrote his best poems in prose. Who doesn’t love the sound of new sneakers sprinting full-court and back again? If you’ve got a problem, don’t hate the poet, hate the game. Even Shakespeare, who got cut from his high school varsity team but went on to be the greatest poet of all time, writing 37 titles and dunking sonnets from the free throw line with ease, yes, even he knew madness knows no bounds. It’s time to get mad poets––step out of line / break the rules. We’re recruiting prose poems for our fantasy team.

 

Don’t brick, get your prose poems in by April 22nd to be considered for the PROSE POEM CONTEST and win superstardom: your poem on the front page of the Westwind website.

 

Ya better bring it. Dammit, poet, just do it!

We are pleased to announce that the winner of our National Poetry Month Prose Poem Contest is Seth Newmeyer for his poem “Bird Shit on a Car Crash, I-V.” Thank you to everyone who submitted their wonderful prose poems. Look out for more writing contests in the fall.

 

Bird Shit on a Car Crash, I-V

I.

Once, you find a flipped one, fresh, wheels spinning still, still dripping rubber hiss. Havoc reeks. There goes the last flatulent creak of metal that had just been flame, the dented pop of swell and shrink like sap in logs. The roast glows your soft red stuff, the mist to floating spray of blood, unless it’s just the taillight dim, those filaments somehow missed and spared. Exhaust blows back through black air, cloudy, waving after all the rest. Smoke signals blink from its upturned base, its crumpled Ouroboros spear.


II.

The coarse sand, sea-glass, the crumbling trail, the wet snow of window-shatter pools below some out-stuck limbs. They twist into a stranger code, a denser network of tangle within. They zipped in cars from thing to thing, and then their spines and veins unzipped, ribs disrupted, organs juiced. Shiny, furrowed bags unfold en route to close on them with vague hands, wrinkled gloves of something stretchy, cheap, some ghost and shadow to protected skin. They’ll be taken to the hospital first, regardless, for hearses have no sirens, and aren’t out this late, or early. But the bodies aren’t there, they’re messages, and they cannot be bagged from you or buried, no amount of earth can cover them or ashes spread, not without your head now too.


III.

You imagine the crash as solipsism, as caravans that swooped from empty night with quick silence, one by one, each never meeting any other. You see the seats stuffed overfull, and filled in heavy whiteness: headlights, skin…. And then you see the teens, waxy as the moon, already almost rotting under a stretched flesh that shines their path; they are surely zombies in a death-drive now, just passengers to that. There’s no loudness of collision, no collusion of two images, too quiet, who remain just that, juxtaposed with no transition. There’s only muddy blood and other chunks, and the projected memory of something else, revealed by this oozing of corrective ink. The stain-blanket shows what’s invisible in blank upholstery, interior leather, pulling it to surface from within, to bloom and drip. It drops up, as it’s upside-down: the roof is flooding with effluvium. The ones that left their seatbelts on are still suspended, hanging, mostly. The Bedouins are of course extinct, but maybe these were their last traces, gone once more, become another Humpty-Dumpty, a Gordian not again.


IV.

You’re standing watch over an absence, guarding what from what? Waiting for the sirens and their wailing wall of light…. You’re no voyeur, no doctor either, so they may need to whisper, croak, crook their stubs at you, until your ear will come. They’ll tell you something urgent, or who to tell it to, before whatever else. You lean closer. You see a clouded sight-ball, sperm-like, floating alone in the gut-mung pool, trailing cartilage of optic nerve, ropy gristle, stringy fat. Its dilation blackness looks like pigeon crap, and you gaze into its reflection: it is their life that flashes before your eyes at the end, and crystallizes into fractals we will never understand, the spider-webs of windshield sheen, the splintering you watch them through. Others must have done this anciently, protecting somethings they could never truly see.


V.

The soft glow of suburban dark, humming a dirty orange, flickers up and down the road, but we’re between those cones of bright. Carrier pigeons flutter by and drop their messages for us, letters that flap and fly in breeze’s breath, in globs, couriers that pop from nothing; they career from blackness, and then back. It’s a sculpture, almost, not a text: a surface that’s its words for us, from some shade above and gone, darker than the dark. The scripture sputters. You can see them, still alive, pale corpses—kids and birds—dodging the dropped lines that others send, stringing, blind. Now there’s only ash, which the sky sighs everywhere, blown away like dry, dry paint, like pure dead dye. The canvas swoops into the empty silence of the night. Shade envelops shade, and fades away with it. You yawn. You walk off into the rising day, and shut their eyes, taking the one that has no lid, no head, soaking through your pocket, drying to it, clung.


-Seth Newmeyer

Poetry and prose for the spring 2013 online journal have been published! Art is coming soon!

(Art for Winter 2013 is also available now!)

Hello everyone! The winter 2013 journal is here, but due to technical difficulties I have not been able to upload the art pieces! There is great art this quarter so I hope to get it up soon. However, there is also great poetry and prose! So check it out! (Scroll to the bottom of the “journal” tab to find Winter 2013.)

The writer’s den is hosting a writing contest! The theme is “the end” and you can submit both prose and poetry!

More information here.

Prizes include publication in the online spring edition of Westwind. 

Check out Westwind’s long-awaited fall 2012 journal! Enjoy prose, poetry, and art from UCLA students!

We would like to award a belated Honorable Mention to Spencer Martin Gauthier for his poem “SEX.”

 

SEX

The sheets are white and pure as skin
I hold her hips in my hands and place a kiss between her eyebrows.
She grips my biceps and I push her down against the bed. I kiss her then remove myself
and stand to gaze in the full length hotel mirror.
I am beautiful. “Prepare yourself.”
I go into the bathroom and rub myself before slipping on a very thin condom.
I rub the latex shell against her, pull away, then kiss her belly.
She is upset. Something washes over me, a feeling of despair. I pull up my briefs
And stand in the doorway of the bathroom looking at her. Am I punishing her or myself ?

 Spencer Martin Gauthier

We are pleased to announce this Valentine’s Day the winner of our Un-Bad Sex Poetry Contest, Carlos Davy Hauser with his poem “Pink.” Thank you to everyone who participated in this contest. We enjoyed reading all of your poems. Look out for more contests soon!

 

Pink

Sometimes I wonder
why she cant be still
wailing fuckoffs from her pink
room after her mom finds the cigarets
in her lunch pale.

Sometimes I wish I still heard
the drop of cuts on a slab in
her pink room and him tripping
out the back window every
time, that sumbitch. I’d get a
call from the butcher’s widow,
asking if her son had been over and I’d
say can’t remember, you doing
anything next Saturday night, but

Most of the time I love the silence
and I love my gray wife. Although,

sometimes I miss bleaching out
the blood and jism gravy from the pink and
purple sheets and smelling them. Thinking
Am I wrong remembering
the wonder of pleased girls
on air mattresses in backyards?

 

Carlos Davy Hauser

Alpha is a science-fiction, fantasy, and horror writing workshop for writers ages 14-19 held every year at the University of Pittsburgh’s Greenburg Campus.  This year’s workshop is scheduled for July 18-27th, in conjunction with Pittsburgh’s science fiction convention, Confluence.    They look for enthusiastic, talented young writers who have a strong interest in science fiction, fantasy and/or horror and a passion for writing.

As a two-time alumni of the Alpha workshop (I applied the summer after my freshman year at UCLA, and was invited back the year after), Alpha provides a great opportunity to learn more about writing, learn from famous authors (including Tamora Pierce), and to meet like-minded writers and life-long friends.

If you’re interested, the application date this year is MARCH 2nd, and all applicants must submit a story of 2000-6000 words.

The daughter of poet Miller Williams, singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams made a tour stop at Royce Hall Friday night. Renowned for her lyrical southern style and country-bluegrass tone, Williams began with a set of solo acoustic songs and was later joined by her band and guest Blake Mills, an L.A.-based guitarist who recently toured with Band of Horses.

Throughout her nearly four decade-long career, Williams has never been pinned down to a single genre. At times country-rock, at times folksy and bluesy, it’s only Williams’ poetry which remains ever present. At the beginning of the night she seemed to dwell on the more solemn country-folk songs of her early career. By the end of the night she had settled in on solid rock; and though a rocker, she never ceases to remain so humble as to seem almost bashful. When it was almost time for the encore she admitted to the audience, “I was a little shy at first tonight, but now I think I’m starting to warm up.”

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