when I was thirteen a thesaurus lied to me

ataraxiaContrary to the alleged wisdom of Roget’s Super Thesaurus 1995 edition (what deemed it “super” the tome never explained): “poetry” and “prose” are NOT synonyms. Thirteen-year-old me did not realize this. I trusted the almighty power of the printed word. Old notebooks now hold embarrassing hand-lettered titlepages. Of course, by “hand-lettered,” I mean letters cut from Seventeen magazine like a ransom note.

I digress.

Full disclosure: I don’t write poetry very often.

Any more at least. Between the ages of twelve and seventeen, I filled nearly a dozen hand-written journals with my awkward, adolescent odes. In some of the earlier volumes, I hadn’t even mastered the dexerity required for elegant cursive writing. And I consulted the aforementioned thesaurus far too often, believing this great book to be the key to it all, thus peppering my poems with endless malapropisms.

I don’t think I’ve gotten better with age.


I’ve written a total of about four poems in the last seven years. Two are terrible. Another two, not so bad.

One of those not-so-bad two, Madrid, Before a Recession, appears in Ataraxia Vol. 4, available here.

When I first wrote this poem, nearly six years ago, it was simply titled Madrid.

I sat on it for a while. Years passed.

Looking at it again, it suddenly became something of a time capsule. (Like a thesaurus from 1995.) And a rather accidental one at that.

Thus, the renaming.


– Tony Benn

hark! a prophecy!

1979738_10152198477557550_1451357022_nIn the hallowed halls of Main Street, in the aptly named Cottage Bistro, there shall be a gathering, and this gathering shall be called “The Launch! with PRISM, Event, poetry is dead, and Room Magazine.”

The date of this party shall be the seventeenth of April (a Thursday, methinks), in the year of 2014.

And the time of this event shall be seven in the evening.

And there one Ashleigh of House Rajala shall go forth and read aloud the words issued by her own hand.

Or, in the words of the event organizers:

Please join us as we celebrate our latest issues and the spirit of literary magazines in BC!! With special musical guests ‘Vocal Jazz Jam with Woolysock Band.’ Readers include: Billeh Nickerson, Dina Del Bucchia, Ashleigh Rajala, and Karen Lee. Our MC is Elizabeth Bachinsky!

In other news, I’m running out of creative ways to make simple announcements.