Courageous and inventive, Matthew Johnstone journeys into the heart of urban dismantlement, nihilism, and downsizing. “I forgotten in city shine in cuban requests,” myriad negations become criss-crossed as quest for time compressed, space illuminated, all-but-enough fragments glimpsed as fleeting ontologies of self, world, sign. The sea becomes an inward thing, the California sky inside darkening, the journey moves from here to here between desiccations of Spicer and vision-hungers of Rimbaud, adjacent to Chet Baker jazz riffs glimpsed as in an “Old Light”: “This is the place to place my tender.”

-- Rob Wilson, author of Be Always Converting, Be Always Converted and Waking In Seoul

Let's be close Rope to mast, you Old light
by Matthew Johnstone
52 pages
Blue & Yellow Dog Press


Available at Blue & Yellow Dog Book Shop


Pudding Pops Y Bueno!

Duchamp typed ‘DUCHAMP’ in 20 fonts
& ran it thru the system
)FRANKRUEHL( wept & went out
)GUL Inche( smiled wryly with porcupine teeth on his ant face,
Kept ranting:


There was this sense someone had SPAM
On the back burner FOR SALE

They’ve got the BEANS! Duchamp railed.
It’s all over but the sentencing.

& so all was done wrongly
& tale ended

But Duchamp refused to relent /
Waited bleached magnificent 7s
for scalpel mIEKAL aND
thin & darkness
stick people people

to archive arachnids
to innovate a walrus
(with accent over oeia) a polyp

& cheap polyesterdays

whose foot
a dream his dream sped up
his animated verse
to UFO

Whose last name was Halibut
His isobars crammed into Io's vibrant light

Duchamp’s peeping PEEPING
perception of
stick figure figures
dotes on messianic messy messes
appears torpedoed

The questions are pop ups
Seem tardy as a rule

some like a cop
who visits the coop

only in shoes in boots
in flip flops
he dreams he has rockets
the piles he downloads

His row boat Duchamp
police dogging
& south of

writing: little little,
these lines are too much fast!

Invent a slow. & mEIKAL aND

I am curtained in BLACK onomatopoeia
I prohibit a stalemate

I am over &
over a hillock

My dynamism DUCHAMP pungent as

I am taunting the bungler

My RUBBER ducky Duchamp
Machined like a sentence
Redacted to bubbles
Of he & I & we
& was & is

My bubble bath as blue as
A Singapore sling

I wander in lathered & mapped & lathered again

& so days follow weeks follow hand puppets.
a fridge
observing the outposts of social disorder

where I am Duchamp
the brain of GUL Inche

I utter
I swim

I am a seal

the tall corn
Of Iowa

My laugh is a life boat
Spritzing witch hazel

I am Duchamp
In a valise
Of Kansas Jaycees

I burn down the cows
At maison
de Gaulle

I sit at the zinc end
of mad raison d’etre in Cabaret Voltaire

My head into solstice
Arrives posing as winter

The voice I allude to
Is the house that I eat at

I eat off the shelf looking up books

I turn looking
to my left

& stand up erect
Twiddling my thumbs

My play is grotesque
an hour
Of tooting

I am 1 cm swinging & swinging
Duchamp overhead

I am basic as cable bag o’cats Duchamp

& singing bohemia

Balls on the mannequins
Balls on the tedium

Duchamp during hours
At the Crocodile Mall

Article of FaithSAUNAKNEECAP
In spanglish drama class: ALE, duckling DUCHAMP,went _ailing:
(s) (missingApril May June July
&… tyPoe
&…What the HELL was going on here?!
Both alfalfa aND omega?!
What did: TROUT BONE as/king FIDDLE TROUT mean?
?a duckling FUCKING artifact / matter of practice
DUCHAMP/ over sensibility? What
DUCHAMP went _ailing; went S-S-S-ing blind as an alphabet
Scold as an ocean? Was it aND / or a shell game?
Was it ’09 ’08 ’07 Anno Domini?
Or 10:52 in the piss of the moUrning?

Duchamp typed ‘DUCHAMP’ in risky flesh
& ran it thru the santa clause

Duchamp ate Nebraska for breakfast
Got heartburn for lunch
Got carry out for supper
In this manner a reverse code
Line 1: HAGGIS

This code breaking lasted all evening,
All August,
All 5th inning,
& Fall quarter
at Brown

EXIT: DUCHAMP [bent as a nail]
EXIT: DUCHAMP [pasty & clammy]
ENTER: DUCHAMP [fat little placenta]
ENTER: DUCHAMP [suppose he is dead]
EXIT: Haggis a pole cat equals (=) ENTERDUCHAMP
ENTER: bodily bodily Joseph Beuys
EXIT: stump the orchestral
equals (=) equals (=) purple purple purple time
ENTER: color the beet people
Equals (=) equals (=) equals (=) equals (=)

a pause

ANDALUS DUCHAMP; kept ranting/repeated:
Equals (=) equals (=) equals a paws

“I’m getting BATANG! BATANG,” shouted Duchamp.
“I’m selling my rotten potatYOES, tomatYOES

to bloviate the charm school
he skites like a ball peen

his rhetoric will spiel duchamp’s own Duchamp
with accent over
child proof

an hour’s the price
he is hopping to safety

In a hiccup of love
& so

soup in a cup
I bury ducHamp,

His remarkable boot into his last favorite foot

what bath in a contest
Was Duchamp in a closet?


Vergil, contemplation

aspice convexo nutantem pondere mundum,
terrasque tractusque maris coelumque profundum –

aspice venturo laetantur ut omnia

look at the starting up world,
lands, sea streams, deep skies,
by the newborn time everything relieved

(Vergil, Buc. IV, 50-52)

picture by giuseppe quattrocchi


Issue #3 of Blue & Yellow Dog Is Out! Go There!

Hi people,

Issue #3, the winter issue of Blue & Yellow Dog has been posted.

Please feel free to read it, reread it, and spread the word about it.

This issue contains poems by the famous and the infamous:

Richard Kostelanetz, Dorothee Lang, Crag Hill, Vernon Frazer, Ricky Garni, Glenn R. Frantz, Joel Chace, Sheila Murphy, Benjamin Nucum, Matthew Johnstone, Felino A. Soriano, Philip Byron Oakes, Dylan Harris, Richatrd Mason, Keith Moul, Adam Fieled, George J. Farrah, John C. Goodman and a review by Nate Pritts of Joel Chace's book Sharpsburg.

If you enjoy reading the poems of Richard Kostelanetz, Keith Moul, Matthew Johnstone, Felino A. Soriano, Joel Chace, John C. Goodman, please browse the Blue & Yellow Dog Book Shop for books by these poets.

Just a note for those of you keeping score: Adam Fieled's Equations is due out in January 2011 from Blue & Yellow Dog Press.

That's all for now.
So get busy reading.


another poem from "Ohio Triangle"


Joel Chace's Latest Chap Book Published by Blue & Yellow Dog Press

"Blake’s Tree begs to be read out loud. Uncanny and spot-on, the repetition of words and phrases which levitate within a controlled form. Lushness in the economy of word. Lyric and narrative commingle. This is serious and necessary fun."

--Kit Kennedy

William Blake played on his own name in “The Little Black Boy” (Blake = Black) and whirled us between nouns and verbs when he wrote, “Damn braces, Bless relaxes.” In these six-line, stanzaic pieces, Joel Chace follows Blake’s example—not only his “tree” but his ”poetree”—and offers enigmatic phrases that tease us out of thought. For a moment we are freed from cause and effect, from everything that insists on logic, and allowed to enter a space in which everything happens at once. “Negative capability” flourishes in this world of beautiful whatevers—where “over the riven and through” is not a typo and “light snapped on off whole city’s ponderable spook” is a perfectly reasonable, complete thing to say. “The world is all that is the case,” Wittgenstein wrote memorably. But he also wrote, “Thought can be of what is not the case.” These poems offer a beautiful release from our everyday sorrows, joys and dispositions. Climb Blake’s tree and see exquisite explorations of “what is not the case.”

--Jack Foley

Blake’s Tree
By Joel Chace
36 pages
Blue & Yellow Dog Press


Colm Keegan: 2010 All Ireland Live Poetry Slam Champion.

Ireland Is by Shirley Chance

Ireland is an on-the-road machine
Ireland is so far gone from Joyce's Dublin
Ireland is Cúchulainn with a hurley
Ireland is English
Ireland is Tír na nÓg
Ireland is a ghost estate
Ireland is a gloc pointed at someone's son
Ireland is a teen-brained new-age lap dancer
Ireland is veins, butterfat with broadband
& self hatred.

Ireland is an on-the-road machine

It's existentially frightened out there
It's got alloy wheels and tinted windows
It can tear ye limb from limb, or stop
& offer you a lift.

Ireland is so far gone from Joyce's Dublin
But still full of the dead, and snow, upon
Quickly snorted cocaine breaths we go.
Ireland is a badly bred famine-stricken
Flea-bitten jallopy of a piebald horse
Galloping down O'Connell Street,

Ireland is Cúchulainn with a hurley
Gurning off his head on creatine, punching
The face off the referee, before sticking
Him in the boot with sectarianism
And the Disappeared.

Ireland is a copper who looks like Brendan
Gleeson in Into the West, in a chopper,
Who'll put heroin in your hands and say:

Grand so, thanks for the fingerprints
don't let the coffin door hit ye on the way
out, after ye hang yerself, with your shoelaces.

Ireland is English, whether it likes it or not
'Cause it's laughing at Newswipe & Mock the Week

Choking on M&S food and ruining
Its new Debenhams' top,

Ireland is a gloc pointed at someone's son
or a Christian Brother, or its own mother
because she won't move into the nursing home,

Ireland is Tír na nÓg, Oisín saying doh!
When his saddle broke, vikings raving
On Wood Key Hill, monks driving Hum-vees
Through round towers they built,

St Patrick standing with his fire on the mound

honestly now that money was just resting in my account

Ireland is a teen-brained new-age lap dancer
Getting drunk, getting chlamydia of the soul
From too much unprotected facebooking
Down the boreens of a ghost estate
Searcing for Foxrock.

Ireland is veins, butterfat with broadband
& self-hatred, caught in the loop
Of a money shot lasoo, faux-hawked Pentecostal
Iconoclast, yahoo, a liar, in flames, in denial,
In the X Factor final of bullshit, Gerry Adams
is kissing Barbara Streisand, Bertie Ahern
on-screen crying, suicide, alcoholics, junkies,
Gunmen, dying & dying and dying, and it's all so
Fucking electrifying, coz we're fumbling blind,
We've no idea what we're doing, no idea where
We're going, and we're almost there.

Ireland is an on the road machine
Ireland is so far gone from Joyce's Dublin
Ireland is Cúchulainn with a hurley
Ireland is English
Ireland is Tír na nÓg
Ireland is a ghost estate
Ireland is a gloc pointed at someone's son
Ireland is none of the above,

Coz we're fumbling blind; we've no idea
What we're doing, we've no idea where
We're going, and we're almost there.


Shirley Chance is a soundcloud account hosting a powerful version of the poem above, Ireland Is, by its author, Clondalkin poet Colm Keegan, one of two contestants representing Leinster in a live poetry competition, reciting this one that, along with two other poems, got him placed first, at this year's All Ireland Poetry Slam Championship, 30th October last, at the International bar, Wicklow Street, Dublin; in the full ninety minute video of this live poetry competition you can enjoy when watching the video below.

Keegan is a very talented live poet and writer, three times shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, for both poetry and fiction. In 2008 he was shortlisted for the International Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition, and is currently working on a first novel and a collection of poems.

The event was organised, hosted and MC'd, by Tallaght poet, Stephen James Smith, whose Glór poetry and song Sessions facilitated both the Leinster heat, on Monday 25 October and the final on Saturday 30 October - Samhain Eve.

Traditionally in Ireland, during the bardschool era, at this cardinal, three day transition phase from the three prior months of Beltaine, to Samhain, summer's end; assemblies from the five Irish provinces at Tara Hill - the seat of the Irish high king - gathered in a grand annual meeting, where they celebrated with horse races, fairs, markets, political discussions, ritual law making and poetic court hearings, mourning for the ending of the light half of a bardic year, and an ushering in of the colder, harsher half of the Irish filidh (poets) year. Lighting a flame from the high king's fire, it spread across this country in a time now gone, long past.

Samhain eve also marked the beginning of a student bard's six-month academic year, taught, learned and practiced from sunset's end to Beltaine (bright-half) May 1, on a fixed, singular, island-wide course of dán (poetry), in which the memorisation of 350 seperate ficticious and factual narratives, constituted the core & key a bard needed to unlock their skeletal selves, during Samhain-Imbolc winter/spring - when they studied, worked on and progressed through, a 12 year course.

From word-weaving beginner foclo of the first grade, through seven semesters spent acquiring the five, 'universally' recognized poetic grades, Macfuirmid, Dos, Cano, Cli, arriving at the penultimate, sixth grade of Anruth - 'great stream' - five years away from attaining their final, highest, most sacred, profane, sorrowful & comedic poetry professorship of Ollamh (pronounced ulav) when their log n-ech 'face-price' for spinning bardic dán, brought to them the collective cultural memory - On Coimgne - of bodies and souls formed by his or her Sidhe, stretching far back to a famine daze easy to forget, pay lip service to, losing the run of ourselves and tripping into a delusionally induced debt-madness, created in brief bursts of abundent imbas, its repercussions felt for decades to come in Ireland and elsewhere, possibly, people in it, a ship of state heading straight & staggering to one thing, some claim, is the most deleterious to them - Sovereign you, 'us' people waking to the outline of an iceberg this year's winning rhymes tip thru, lighting autumn's winter portal-point and practice for the good of natural unity, in these unprecedented times, an artist-pool making broke in Ireland Is, poetic magic.