Harp & Altar
Cynthia Arrieu-King is an assistant professor of creative writing at Stockton College. Her book People Are Tiny  in Paintings of China will be published by Octopus Books in 2010.

Ana Boičević was born in Zagreb, Croatia, in 1977. She emigrated to New York in 1997. Stars of the Night Commute (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2009) is her first book of poems. Her fifth chapbook, Depth Hoar, will be published by Cinematheque Press in 2010. With Amy King, she co-curates the Stain of Poetry reading series in Brooklyn. She works at the Center for the Humanities of the Graduate Center, CUNY, and lives in Huntington, N.Y.


Edmond Caldwell writes fiction and drama, and lives in Boston. His work has appeared in DIAGRAM, SmokeLong Quarterly, Word Riot, 3:AM Magazine, Sein und Werden, among others, and his short play, “The Liquidation of the Cohn Estate,” was produced in the 2009 Boston Theater Marathon. “Return to the Chateau” is a chapter from his novel-in-stories, Human Wishes.


Susan Daitch is the author of two novels, L.C. (Lannan Foundation Selection and NEA Heritage Award) and The Colorist, and a collection of short stories, Storytown. Her work has appeared in Conjunctions, The Brooklyn Rail, Bomb, Ploughshares, Failbetter, Tin House, McSweeney’s, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Fiction. Her novel The Dreyfus Book will be published by City Lights later this year. She can be found at www.susandaitch.com.


Luca Dipierro is a writer, visual artist, and filmmaker born in Italy and living in Brooklyn. His short stories have been published in New York Tyrant, Lamination Colony, Gigantic, Everyday Genius, No Colony, and elsewhere. His latest films are the documentaries I Will Smash You and 60 Writers/60 Places, and the full-length cut-out animation Dieci Teste. His art has been exhibited in galleries in the U.S. and Italy. Luca’s website is www.lucadipierro.com. For some biscotti go to blackbiscotti.blogspot.com. His life is based on a true story.


Brandon Downing’s books include Lake Antiquity (Fence, 2009), Dark Brandon (Faux Press, 2005), and The Shirt Weapon (Germ, 2002). Dark Brandon: Eternal Classics was released on DVD in 2007.  Photographic work can be seen at www.brandondowning.org, while recent video projects can be found at www.youtube.com/user/bdown68.


Farrah Field’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many publications, including Mississippi Review, Typo, Pool, La Petite Zine, Ekleksographia, Effing Magazine, and Ploughshares. Rising, her first book of poems, won Four Way Books’ 2007 Levis Prize. She lives in Brooklyn and blogs at adultish.blogspot.com.


Craig Foltz is a multimedia artist and writer whose work has appeared in Chicago Review, Octopus, Ninth Letter, and others. His first book of poetry, The States, is out from Ugly Duckling Presse. He currently lives and works on the slopes of a dormant volcano in New Zealand. Critical Focus? Depends. Mist? Well, of course. More info: www.craigfoltz.com.


A.D. Jameson is a writer, video artist, teacher, and performer. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Fiction International, The Brooklyn Rail, Mississippi Review Online, elimae, Caketrain, PANK, Mad Hatters’ Review, Action, Yes, and elsewhere. He has two books forthcoming later this year: a novel, Giant Slugs, from Lawrence & Gibson, and a prose collection, Amazing Adult Fantasy, from Mutable Sound. In his spare time he contributes to the group literary blog Big Other.


Matthew Kirkpatrick’s writing has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Conjunctions, PANK, Action, Yes, and Hobart, among other journals. He lives in Salt Lake City where he is working on a PhD in literature and creative writing. He co-edits Barrelhouse and can be found on the internet at www.mattkirkpatrick.com.


Matthew Klane is co-editor and founder of Flim Forum Press. His book is B______ Meditations (Stockport Flats, 2008). Recent work can be found online at Absent, Open Letters Monthly, Otoliths, and Word For/Word. He currently lives and writes in Iowa City.


Patrick Morrissey’s poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, New American Writing, Typo, and Tarpaulin Sky, and his chapbook Transparency was published by Cannibal Books in 2009. His critical writing has previously appeared in Harp & Altar. He lives in New York.


Michael Newton’s gallery reviews appear regularly in Harp & Altar.


Michael O’Brien is the author of Sleeping & Waking (Flood Editions, 2007) and Sills: Selected Poems 1960-1999 (Salt Publishing, 2009). He lives in New York.


Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi received her MFA in fiction from Brown University. Her work is forthcoming or can be found in Sleepingfish, Paul Revere’s Horse, Xcp: Cross Cultural Poetics, Encyclopedia Vol. 2 (F-K), and State of the Union: 50 Political Poems (Wave Books, 2008). She lives in Providence and teaches literature and creative writing at Rhode Island School of Design.


Alejandra Pizarnik was born in Buenos Aires in 1936. She studied philosophy and literature at the University of Buenos Aires and later pursued interests in painting and religion. Her books include the poetry collections Works and Nights, Extraction of the Stone of Folly, and The Musical Inferno, as well as the prose work The Bloody Countess. In 1969 she was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, and in 1971 a Fulbright scholarship. She died in 1972 of a drug overdose.


Brett Price is an editor of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, and Light Industrial Safety and the author of Trouble With Mapping (Flying Guillotine, 2008), a chapbook. He lives and writes in Brooklyn.


Jason Stumpf is the author of A Cloud of Witnesses (forthcoming from Quale Press). He is also the translator of Aurora by Pura Lopez-Colome and The moon ain’t nothing but a broken dish by Luis Felipe Fabre. He is on the faculty of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts.


Jared White’s chapbook Yellowcake was included in the hand-sewn anthology Narwhal from Cannibal Books. He has recently published in Coconut, Laurel Review, and Boog City, with other work forthcoming in Action, Yes. His essays have appeared in past issues of Harp & Altar, as well as Open Letters Monthly, and he blogs irregularly at jaredswhite.blogspot.com. He lives in Brooklyn near two bridges.


Pattern Recognition
Craig Foltz


They say stick to what you know. What I know is this: The lettuce is in the nest. There it is neatly rinsed & folded, like blankets, around our springrolls. Ever since summer started there have been fireworks every night & crazy men being chased around by helicopters. Somebody, I can't see who, is behind the wheel. Is that you?


*   *   *



The one thing I can’t seem to transcribe is the words. Whether or not I hear them correctly or not, it doesn’t seem to matter. Another statistical occurrence overtakes us in the fast lane. Now that I’ve been removed from the poem can I still call the ocean a lover? There are two people here. One of them looks like me.


Oh God, I hope that’s right.


I just remembered what you said. That rectangular terrain beneath the clover of your eyes? Sure. Hold onto the sun, the scaffolding of clouds. Why not. Compression? Only when I breathe out.


*   *   *


Dear T,

Suddenly, there is another man here. To say that he reminds me of your husband, is to admit that I can speak with the dead. In order to look in his eyes I had to replace the diagonals of high-fashion with the homespun curtsy of the rocky mountains.


Did I really say lettuce? I meant savoy cabbage.


*   *   *


Not again T,

Did you hold your breath when you crossed the international date line? Somebody is burning kimchi in the kitchen at the back of the restaurant. All of our eyes water now. It looks like we're crying. This is what happens when we get together. The woman across the table says, “Pass the salsa please.”


This message may contain privileged & confidential material & the information within it is intended only for the use of the addressee named above. As for me, I swim in the steam above your soup.


*   *   *



Any critical focus at all will gather in the eyes of our softest viewers. I take the photographs while the models pose nonchalantly. I distribute them in emails and on cheap, silvery CD-Rs.


Having been made the subject of our gazes, the mysticism surrounding their beauty evaporates, like mist. Note the lack of circulation in their extremities & how their sentences bifurcate before we can process them.


Something breaks this earth. Another dispatch from the dressing room? Perhaps. Is your husband still here, rattling around in the corners of our memory? It seems that way.


*   *   *


Dear friend,

When startled will you still retreat to the comfort of tilted poplars?


Will you still ram the hooks of one word into another to form the next sentence?


Will you still take the expressway down to the ocean to watch the tide slowly recede?


When I finally do see you again, will you still be bundled in vines of olearias?


*   *   *



The problem is that when I want to see you I can’t open my eyes. The problem is that when I want to conjure up the memories of you, I dredge up a whole galaxy of black holes with them. Large swaths of fabric that I have no recollection of whatsoever. In them, the helicopters have landed safely back on their pads, leaving the streets to the clean-faced men who randomly appear at our windows.


Needle in the hay? You betcha. The source of light & energy? The sun, if you must know.


Lastly, let us not dream of epiphytes. Let us not dream of divining water from the veins of air & dust. I’ve got a feeling that we’ll be going at it for a while.