The Cenacle | 111 | April 2020 | 25th Anniversary Issue!

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The Cenacle | 111 | April 2020 | 25th Anniversary Issue!

Post by cenacle » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:03 am

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Hello everyone,

Here comes the just-released Cenacle | 111 | April 2020. This is the 25th anniversary issue, & I could not be more proud of those who have contributed to it. Or more thankful to all those who have published in The Cenacle over the years. Thank you all! Contents of the issue are excerpted below.

This issue comes during a global pandemic, & now a time of violence in the streets. A few words about this violence.

If we can't find common ground in this country, it will burn. It is burning. Violence is never the answer, no matter who is causing it.

There are many more on the side of civil rights than against it. But burning stores and police cars is not the way to peace and justice for anyone. Smashing a window and calling people names is a lot easier, and stupider, than sitting across the table from people you fear or are angry with.

Don't let the fools and the agitators distract you from the hard work of social justice ahead.

From Soulard’s Notebooks: [Excerpt]

I think this crisis will teach us new what matters in this world. I think our challenge will be more than to never go back. It will be to recognize, fully & finally, that we can’t go back.

Feedback on Cenacle 110 [Excerpt] :
Sam Knot’s poem “Le Rozel” leaves me awestruck. It humanizes the sun with “footprints which are hard to decipher,” evident in the lacerations on sediments. This poem’s succinct illustrations of natural affect on humanity places him on the literary firmament of bards. [John Echem]

From the ElectroLounge Forums:
Coronavirus Documentation Project [Excerpt]

I don’t want to try to give words of comfort or inspiration to people who are actually suffering from this pandemic while I do yoga, eat papayas, and play with the dogs. However, I can offer wisdom that applies to difficult psychedelic experiences, and I think it applies here as well. Pain is a teacher, if we are ready to learn. Some of the most challenging experiences come from inside of us, not outside of us. This time offers the chance to be with our minds, to witness our emotions, and to hold space for them to arise and pass away in their own time. [Leia Friedman]

Notes from New England by Raymond Soulard, Jr.: [Excerpt]
Dream Raps, Volume Nine

I stand in a room surrounded by frozen rainbow waterfalls on all sides. I peer deep into those waterfalls with my eyes closed, & something compels me to open my mind’s eye, but I still can’t see anything. Something compels me to reach my finger out into the unseeable before me, & draw a circle, big enough to climb through as I push it in.

And I climb through this hole where there is a circle, & there is a room, & there are waterfalls’ frozen rainbow splendor. And I find myself sitting in a city, underground city, on a train platform. Look down, there’s a notebook in my hand, of course; my hand holding a black pen, of course; scribbling away, of course.

Poetry by Joe Ciccone: [Excerpt]

Please, don’t let them put me in the room
with all the dead,

because when you’re dying
you should feel like you’re the only one.

Rivers of the Mind (A Novel) by Timothy Vilgiate [Excerpt]

I strung the blue topaz crystal onto a hemp cord and kept it in a box with the others. That was three days ago. It was the crystal I’d dug out of my things this morning when I needed comfort. The acid from the day before was still lingering, and I felt uneasy. I checked the clock. 34 hours, 9 minutes had gone by since I took it. It had been a beautiful trip, just beautiful—but I was ready for it to stop. The place someone goes with acid isn’t a place they should stay.

Poetry by Martina Newberry: [Excerpt]

Earth is a ravenous animal.
It devours everything that steps on it:
rain, petals, lightning, footsteps, spit, tears, blood.
All that touches it becomes a banquet.

Church in the Greenhouse [Pandemic Journal] by Tamara Miles [Excerpt]

And behold the chair with its Sunday-best cardinal-red cushion. Oh, and that rusty-headed fellow with golden legs (might be an ordained wasp). If the back row beans, the ones who ended up with the prized location in which to climb up the lattice, are gossiping among themselves, they at least have the good grace to do it with subtlety.

Many Musics (Poetry) by Raymond Soulard, Jr.: [Excerpt]

Art & I love you.
Art & I dance you.
Art & you spit me, & smile.
Art & you gesture me near,
nearer, a breath’s closest . . .
Art, you gesture me on!

Nascent Black-Market Entrepreneurship and the Tides of the Sun (Travel Journal) by Nathan D. Horowitz: [Excerpt]

It’s 13:11. Newsflash: the boa with two mice inside has turned around, heading back into the basket, moving as if in slow motion as I write these words! It’s like a 3-D Discovery Channel in here! Wild, wild animals on the little table by the couch! 13:13. Why are these minutes flying by so fast? Stop. Cut. Freezeframe. Slowdown. Stop. My neck aches. A plane’s flying by overhead, or is that a truck with no muffler? Pause to breathe, scratch, write about the gooseflesh on my arms—simbolo convencional, leyenda explicative—to borrow a couple phrases from the map of Ecuador on the wall.

Poetry by John Echem: [Excerpt]

My woman:
Murmurous voices of bees,
the cracking of raspberries,
fleeting glances of birds—
My land.

The Man Who Hid Music (Fiction) by Tom Sheehan [Excerpt]

One day at the little house where the dowser used to live, a kind-looking man with a beard came carrying all he owned on an A-frame on his back. He set the A-frame on the ground, and looked at the small house needing much work. Muscles moved under his shirt.

Poetry by Judih Haggai: [Excerpt]

for each ache or pain
many possibilities
not just corona!

The Pervert of Pickett Creek (Prose) by Charlie Beyer: [Excerpt]

When I ran out of stolen wood, the remaining walls were constructed out of cheap Chinese tarps, which inflate and collapse with each new zephyr. Not unlike living inside a breathalyzer test. The dog often sits in the car, wondering when we are going home. I have to explain to him that we are perpetually camping now.

Poetry by Colin James: [Excerpt]

This was before they finally found Bigfoot.
Hired him as a greeter
at the local Wal-Mart.
Ma said he would be moody,
and she was right of course.

Notes on Artificial Intelligence (AI) by Jimmy Heffernan: [Excerpt]

I specifically think that AI will be the only thing that can save us from ourselves, and that without AI gaining power over our emotional drives, we will probably suffer a nuclear holocaust sooner or later.

Bags End Book #15: It Was a Dream of Rain, Part 2 by Algernon Beagle [Excerpt]

I cannot say that I understand so very much of this story so far. The beagleboy journalist part of me has been chasing after it very curiously, but the heartbone part of me has felt tricked at every turn, like I am stumbling again & again.

But then I have had to learn that the answers that are more solid & true are not always the easy ones. And sometimes yes & no have to stand at the back of the line.

Poetry by Ace Boggess: [Excerpt]

Yesterday, a tulip
began its run into bloom,
orange & yellow,
like the fountain-pen blade
of a candle’s flame.
Isolated in its bed,
socially distanced
from other flowers,
to avoid the spread
of death among
last week’s lilies,
it rose like a rocket’s trail,
bright in the moment,
scale model
of a burning bush.

Twice Visiting the Guardians of This Sacred Thai Waterfall (Travel Journal) by Leia Friedman: [Excerpt]

I had intentions of doing some deep reflection and some writing on this journey, and I had an image in my mind of a bungalow overlooking a peaceful field with a nice porch to sit out on. When I arrived at Sabai Gardens, the huts were a lot more shabby than I had bargained for. No porch to sit on, no field to gaze at, and the palm frond roof was leaking dust and crumbly pieces of leaves onto the bed. A bit dismayed, I left. I wandered down the road, feeling the weight of my heavy pack and the heat of the noon sun.

Poetry by Sam Knot: [Excerpt]

Knots. Knots that we can tie our minds up in, knots that can manifest
muscularly, knots that might be necessary, contingents of hearts,
the slow musics of untying oneself deep in the bowels of thought,
where thought becomes feeling I mean, and feeling fights to become
known, no resistance but itself, or self itself, know resistance.
A sacred profanity, an insistence on quest
on questioning—resistance
itself an opening

The Metamorphosis (Classic Fiction) by Franz Kafka [Excerpt]

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, armor-plated back and, when he lifted his head a little, he could see his dome-like brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly keep in position, and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes.

Labyrinthine [a new fixtion] by Raymond Soulard, Jr.: [Excerpt]

And humans, facing this situation, this profound & intimate crisis that nobody is immune from, above, below, have responded better & worse; with resentment, feelings of inconvenience, wanting to blame someone; calling it a war as though the virus thinks like that, like humans—

Send comments here—or reply to me directly & off-list at [email protected]

Peace,
Raymond
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