Month: November 2013

The Bomb

by Marge Simon


New Mexico Sizzle

by Kevin Bray


Scene & Said: Jackson Pollock’s Hi Fi

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: 1, 2, 3, 4]


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.

Circuit Theory

by Emma Bolden

Bolden.Circuit Theory

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

Emma Bolden is the author of Malificae, a book-length series of poems about the witch trials in early modern Europe, published by GenPop Books in April of also 2013. She is also the author of four chapbooks of poetry — How to Recognize a Lady, published as part of Edge by Edge, the third in Toadlily Press’ Quartet Series; The Mariner’s Wife, published by Finishing Line Press; The Sad Epistles, published by Dancing Girl Press; and This Is Our Hollywood, forthcoming in The Chapbook – and one chapbook of nonfiction, Geography V, forthcoming from Winged City Press. Her poetry has appeared or will soon appear in such journals as Prairie Schooner, Conduit, the Indiana Review, the Greensboro Review, Redivider, Verse, Feminist Studies, The Journal, Guernica, and in Copper Nickel. She has been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. Currently, Emma is an assistant professor of creative writing at Georgia Southern University, and she maintains a blog at A Century of Nerve (EmmaBolden.com).

What do you make of your triptych experience?

When I was a senior in college, I took a drawing class because I thought that I was pretty good at drawing. After twenty minutes of our first class meeting, I started thinking that I might not be pretty good at drawing. After thirty minutes, I started thinking that I might in fact need to drop the class. We were all drawing a column of desks stacked on top of each other. On my classmates’ drawing boards, I saw columns of desks stacked on top of each other. On my drawing board, I saw several squares and several lines. Things were not going well.

I started thinking that there must’ve been something I wasn’t doing. As the class went on, I started thinking that perhaps there was also something I wasn’t seeing. When my classmates talked about their drawings, they talked about shadow and texture. They talked about gradient and light. When I talked about my drawing, I talked about tables. I talked about several squares and several lines.

Because I am a very stubborn person, I stayed in the class. I am also a very curious person, and I wanted to know what my classmates were seeing. I wanted to know if I could see the same thing, if the tables would ever turn into shadow and texture and gradient and light. I failed at the tables, and miserably. I failed at the potted geraniums. I failed at the series of bottles and at the series of chairs. I failed at the seashell – at first. And second and third. But some time around the sixth seashell, something changed. Suddenly, I wasn’t just looking at the seashell: I was looking around the seashell. I looked at the space it occupied, at what the light did in that space. I looked at the seashell and I saw what the light did there, too. Suddenly, there were so many kinds of light. The object was important, yes, but the light and space around the object were every bit as important.

This is exactly the experience I had when writing the triptych. The central piece was important, yes, but so what the space around it. I could use that space to open up a moment, to show how thought and narrative aren’t isolated elements, to show how one moment and one thought and one narrative can create more moments and thoughts and narratives. I could let the reader in on that process; I could show how the mind words, how it connects and re-connects, how it creates and re-creates new meaning. Suddenly, there were so many new possibilities of and for and in language. There were so many kinds of light.

Upon Awakening

by Floyd Cheung

Microsoft Word - Floyd_Cheung-Upon_Awakening.doc

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

Floyd Cheung teaches at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. His poetry has appeared in such journals as Mascara Literary Review, qarrtsiluni, and Rhino.

What can you tell us about your triptych experience?

I enjoyed trying to balance the tension between letting the centerpiece speak for itself and providing resonant tidbits in the left and right panels. One never knows what references a reader will understand, but the panels provide an opportunity to elaborate without, hopefully, ruining the fun. I don’t think that the panels can stand on their own, but I hope that they add emotion and humor to the triptych as a whole.


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.


05/27 • Claudio Perinot
06/03 • Amanda Chiado
06/10 • John Davies
06/17 • Lynne Jensen Lampe
06/24 • Valerie Valdez
07/01 • Carlin Katz
07/08 • Meg Eden
07/15 • Tim Raymond
07/22 • Mike Itaya
07/29 • TBD
08/05 • TBD
08/12 • TBD
08/19 • TBD
08/26 • TBD
09/02 • TBD
09/09 • TBD
09/16 • TBD
09/23 • TBD
09/30 • TBD