Month: September 2013


by Martin Heavisides

I’d been giving bears for years to the mothers on our guest list—my mother in law Zosia and Christine Pawelik’s mother Helen–at Christmas Eve dinner (in Polish, Vigilia) so the year mother’s Toronto visit coincided with Christmas I gave her the biggest bear in my current collection—a plush chocolate brown one with soft black eyes. (more…)


by Robert Bradley

Microsoft Word - Bradley.Beatific.doc

[Editor’s Note: Click on the triptych for a full view.]

Robert Bradley has confined himself to a smallish room in a beach town to think about what he’s done. You can email him for more details.

Describe, if you would be so kind, the your process in approaching the triptych.

My process was this: the first sentence popped into my head and the rest followed like ducks. The trick was to have a smiling cashier. There’s no story if she doesn’t play along. Then I thought up a title. Then I googled the phrase beatific vision. Then I had a profound understanding of God and Life. Then I combed the story for its salient features. Whatever jumped out at me I either googled or else I strafed my memory and came up with something to say about it.

Scene & Said: Fortunate Waterfall

by L.S. Bassen and Mike Stanko

Author’s Note: The hybrid collection of 30+ ‘poem paintings’ grew organically in fertile cyberspace. Creating an annual calendar for gifts and gallery-goers, the Artist saw that his June Cold Fish went well with a poem he liked, Silver Trout, that appears in this sample from SCENE & SAID. Thereafter, the Artist sent the Poet jpgs of his new paintings just as she was writing a review of Weegee Stories by Robert Olen Butler (Narrative Library, 2010). Butler created prose poems for Wee Gee photographs, and the Poet was inspired to do the same for Stanko. For over a year, the artist & poet worked together, choosing his images that fit her poems or prompting altogether new ones, like the other four in this excerpt. The idea was to create a collection of poems/paintings people would want to own and to encourage art lovers to find their own (well under) 1000 words that every picture is worth.

[Editor’s Note: Matter Press will be publishing five (5) single-pages, from the Scene & Said Project.]

Fortunate Waterfall

L.S. Bassen is the SAID half of the SCENE & SAID collaboration. She was a finalist for the 2011 Flannery O’Connor Award and is a fiction editor for http://www. prickof thespindle.com/. Her plays and poetry have won some prizes and she writes reviews for a several journals and zines like http://brooklyner.org/, http://therumpus.net/ , http://ciderpressreview.com/, and http://smallbeerpress.com/. You can hear her read two poems at http://2river.org/2R View/15_3/poems/bassen.html.

Mike Stanko, who creates the SCENE(s), is a lifelong Long Islander (NY) who began painting and showing his work over 20 years ago. His paintings have been exhibited throughout the tri-state area, including shows at the Elaine Benson Gallery in Bridgehampton and the Empire State Building in New York City. He has been interviewed numerous times on tv and has donated his artwork to many causes over the years such as Breast Cancer walks , Art for ALS, and The Waterkeeper Alliance, to name a few.

Something the Cold Leaves

by Wendy Blankenship

A bird, its breath still (more…)

Triptych of the Tower

by Bruce Boston

Microsoft Word - Boston.Triptych of the Tower.doc

[Editor’s Note: Click on the triptych for a full view.]

Bruce Boston is the author of fifty books and chapbooks, including the novels The Guardener’s Tale and Stained Glass Rain. His poetry has received the Bram Stoker Award, the Asimov’s Readers Award, the Rhysling Award, and the Grandmaster Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. His fiction has received a Pushcart Prize, and twice been a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award (novel, short story). His latest collection, Dark Roads: Selected Long Poems 1971-2012, is available from Dark Regions Press.

How did you approach the challenge of the triptych?

Actually, I don’t find triptychs particularly challenging. One problem I’ve always had writing fiction is the linear nature of the beast. When I’m in a creative mind set, my thoughts tend to take off in many different directions at once, all relevant to the piece on which I’m working. With fiction, and most poetry, you can’t include them all, usually only one. In contrast, a triptych allows me to combine three trains of thought in a complementary way. I would no doubt write more triptychs if their were publications open to them.


by Tereza Joy Kramer

a creek’s broken ice reflects
the chipped whiteness
a lone sycamore trunk
utterly unself-conscious
reaching up
holding on inside

Tereza Joy Kramer was a news reporter in Mexico and the U.S. before turning to poetry and an MFA at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies such as Cicada, The Iguana Review, 103: The Image Warehouse, Re)verb, Little Pear Press’ Regrets Only: Contemporary Poets on the Theme of Regret, Haven Books’ Not a Muse: the inner lives of women, Women Made Gallery’s Her Mark 2004, and Gival Press’ Poetic Voices Without Borders.

This poem led me to think of that idea of the objective correlative, that object that gives access to some deep other thing. How, if at all, is that idea at work here and how does this idea of the objective correlative work with compressed poetry?

This question cannot really be answered, or perhaps the question itself is the answer. Compressed poetry is objective correlative—it is turning the 21 characters of our alphabet into access points to something indefinable, into little stick-figure frames for immeasurably expanding windows.

July 4th

by Lucinda Kempe

Kempe.July 4th.2

[Editor’s Note: Click on the triptych for a full view.]

Lucinda Kempe lives in an Arts & Crafts house on Long Island and exorcises with words.

How did creating the triptych inform your own understanding of the piece?

Creating the triptych was a blast. The idea of dissecting the language and imagery led me to the universals in the piece: fireworks, independence, war, militants, destruction, disruption, holidays, cats, a good night’s sleep, peace, etc. By googling July 4th, I found a mother lode of fascinating facts, some of which relate to America but also to the world beyond and are no less germane. This was a great exercise in examining the meaning and redolence of the language I’d used. Beyond telling me I’d chosen a good subject, the triptych made me examine the resonance and scope of the subject matter I had written about. Further, it told me that all my work should be able to stand up to such scrutiny and be of similar scope and resonance. (Secretly, I thought, Gee, this is a pretty good piece!)


by Richard Kostelanetz


But Yearning Still

by Claire Guyton

Her postcards never said “Wish you were here.” They said, “Wondering why that guy stopped me in the street yesterday—was my skirt too short?” (more…)

End of Days

by Mark Budman

Microsoft Word - Budman.End of Days.doc

[Editor’s Note: Click on the triptych for a full view.]

Mark Budman was born in the former Soviet Union. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in such magazines as Huffington Post, World Literature Today, Mississippi Review, Virginia Quarterly, The London Magazine (UK), McSweeney’s, Sonora Review, Another Chicago, Sou’wester, Southeast Review, Mid-American Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, the W.W. Norton anthology Flash Fiction Forward, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure, Short Fiction(UK), and elsewhere. He is the publisher of a flash fiction magazine Vestal Review. His novel My Life at First Try was published by Counterpoint Press to wide critical acclaim. He co-edited flash fiction anthologies from Ooligan Press and Persea Books/Norton. He is at work at his novel about Lenin running for the president of the United States.

What did you think of your triptych experience?

A good writing is often like stacked matreshka dolls: a meaning within a meaning, a symbol within a symbol and a hint within a hint. It seems to me that the triptych format helps the writer to steer the reader in the right direction, so it becomes a useful tool in the writer-reader cooperation. It’s here not to impress and bewilder but to enhance the story.


by Richard Kostelanetz


by Karrie Waarala

A man who should know better
says, Write a poem about me.

The notes of a train whistle
crowd against each other just
so, refracting bone-dark howl
or slow summer escape with
a harmony of river
depending on which angle
you hold your ear to the light.

Karrie Waarala’s work has appeared in journals such as Iron Horse Literary Review, PANK, The Collagist, Vinyl, and Southern Indiana Review. She serves as a poetry editor at the museum of americana and holds an MFA from the Stonecoast Program at University of Southern Maine. Recipient of the Pocataligo Poetry Prize and a multiple Pushcart nominee, Karrie has also received critical acclaim for her one-woman show, LONG GONE: A Poetry Sideshow, which is based on her collection of circus poems. She really wishes she could tame tigers and swallow swords.

“What can you tell us about the origin of this poem?”

I was simultaneously working on a “30 poems in 30 days” challenge and beginning to date a younger writer one April. The latter had this recommendation about the former. The former turned out more successfully than the latter.


Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.


Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now closed. The reading period for standard submissions opens again March 15, 2023. Submit here.


07/08 • Meg Eden
07/15 • Tim Raymond
07/22 • Mike Itaya
07/29 • Eric Steineger
08/05 • Baylee Less-Eiseman
08/12 • Rae Gourmand
08/19 • Chiwenite Onyekwelu
08/26 • John Arthur
09/02 • TBD
09/09 • TBD
09/16 • TBD
09/23 • TBD
09/30 • TBD