Thursday, June 29, 2023

GAS Featured Poet: Craig Kirchner

"I have been writing all my life and think of poetry as hobo art. I love story-telling and the aesthetics of the paper and pen, I’ve been 
nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. After a writing hiatus I was recently published in Decadent Review and have a book of poetry –Roomful of Navels."

George Clooney

Driving west from the beach,

it could have been George Clooney,

head and shoulders draped 

backwards over a chaise,

napping and sunning at the pool – 


if it weren’t for the bus stop bench 

identifying itself as Bus Stop

and the Winn-Dixie cart

full of worldly possessions

sitting along-side – 


instead of the coaster glass top table, 

the morning bloody-Mary

and the designer umbrella.


George could most certainly 

look this content,

snoring, feet up, as though 

he had a Golden Globe

and owed himself this decadence,


if it weren’t for the holes 

in the muddied boots, 

the grease stains on the cargo shorts 

and the distinct need for a shave.


It seemed poignant that

the high-end condos just behind George 

most assuredly had the same sun, 

clouds and blue sky, 

as well as the same choreographed 

‘v’ of geese flying north overhead 

as his siesta stopover.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

GAS Featured Poet: William Waters

William Waters is an associate professor, in the Department of English at the University of Houston Downtown. Along with Sonja Foss, he is coauthor of Destination Dissertation: A Traveler’s Guide to a Done Dissertation. His research and teaching interests are in writing theory and modern grammar.



For Burt Hatlen

After all that thunder,

You remained


A room after

Mozart ceased;

A room still

Without distraction;

A space


With shadows.

I think of you

I think of you

though this hasn’t happened--


alcoholic, and alone.

I think of you


in a room

in the


--tugging hard

a beer. -- turning

back again

to your father,

too drunk to get out

of the flames.  Identified

by teeth.  Your mother, 

a picture taken

before you learned

to walk. -- your


I think of you, 

almost empty,

pushing hard

the typewriter


your last effort

an explanation.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

GAS Featured Poet: Jim Murdoch

Jim Murdoch grew up in the heart of Burns Country in Scotland. Poetry, for him, was about irrelevance—daffodils, vagabonds and babbling brooks—until one day in 1973 he read Larkin's 'Mr Bleaney' and felt as if the scales had fallen from his eyes. How could something so... so seemingly unpoetic be poetry? He aimed to find out. 

Now Then 

We say things aren't as bad as 
we remember but mostly it's 
the other way round because 

no one recalls hurt or pain with 
any degree of accuracy and why 
would they want to? 

We're fighting a losing battle 
on two fronts from an 
untenable present. 

Wondering what we'll 
misremember tomorrow is the 
least of our problems. 

Expectation is the Mother of Disappointment 

"A poem is a small (or large) machine made of words." - William Carlos Williams

Williams was right, half-right at least, 
although a poem is less of a machine 
and more of a tool: 
closer to a backscratcher 
than a two-stroke engine. 

True, there are simpler machines— 
pulleys and screws, 
wedges, wheels and axles— 
but no one thinks of them. 
We expect too much from our poets. 

Poems, most poems, are a 
means to scratch an itch 
and little more 
and it's never even the reader's itch.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

GAS Featured Poet/Artist: Vernon Frazer

 Vernon Frazer has written more than thirty books of poetry, three novels and a short story collection. His poetry, fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Aught, Big Bridge, First Intensity, GAS, Jack Magazine, Lost and Found Times, Moria, Miami SunPost, Muse Apprentice Guild, Sidereality, Xstream and many other literary magazines. He introduced IMPROVISATIONS at The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in Manhattan.  

 Working in multi-media, Frazer has performed his poetry with the late saxophonist Thomas Chapin, the Vernon Frazer Poetry Band and as a solo poet-bassist. His jazz poetry recordings and multimedia work are available on Youtube.


Frazer's notes about his work:

I consider poems such as “One Experienced Consequence” a fusion of textual and visual poetry. The textual and and graphic elements are equally important. The work is abstract. The reader can assemble the textual and visual elements in multiple combinations and make multiple interpretations. Each completed poem carrries a thread of interpretation—to my mind—but the reader can find other Interpretations that suggest a “meaning” inherent in the poem’s “being.”

As long as I’ve written these pieces, poets have debated whether I’m a visual poet. About ten years ago, I published T(exto)-V(isual Poetry, a phrase I use without feeling fully comfortable. I’ve heard “verbovisual”used in relation to other poets, but it could apply to my work as well. I don’t seek to define the work I do; I seek to do it. If I’ve actually created a new subgenre, I’d feel good about making the contribution.

Its origins, like my life, aren’t simple. At 15, Charles Olson was the first poet to influence my style. Then, my poetry frequently used the page as a “field” before I knew Olson in greater depth. When I studied bass with Bertram Turetkzy in the mid-1960s, he introduced me to the experimental arts of the era; through Turetzky I learned John Cage was an innovative writer as well as composer. When some UConn students were assembling a college literary magazine that seemed to break every rule the English deparment could propose, I had a flash “sixties” vision that my writing would “look the way it does” today. But it didn’t start to happen until the late 1990s.

In 1998, I reached a creative crisis. To remain fresh, I had to use language differently. Henry Miller repeated his “rosy crucifixon” story a number of times in his long lfie. Retelling my life didn’t challenge me. Once was enough. Then, a confluence of sorts immersed me in language and visual poetry while the computer’s resources widely expanded my notion of Olson’s “field” of composition. After Free Fall, a 30-page improvisation of textual and visual fusion, IMPROVISATIONS opened what became a floodgate. Its progression grew increasingly visual. After I published it in 2005, several book-length poems I wrote led me into desktop publishing, which offered more ways to combine text and image on the page. 

The poems in Memo from Alamut stand by themselves.  When compiling them in book form, I arranged the titles of the poems in a sequence that suggested a narrative thread. Although the poems address different areas, some readers might perceive a narrative thread. It’s as valid a perception as any other.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

GAS Featured Poet: Rp Verlaine


Rp Verlaine lives in New York City. 
He has an MFA in creative writing from City College. 
He taught in New York Public schools for many years. 
His first volume of poetry- Damaged by Dames
& Drinking was published in 2017 and another – Femme Fatales
Movie Starlets & Rockers in 2018. A set of three e-books
titled Lies From The Autobiography vol 1-3 were published from
2018 to 2020. His newest bookImagined Indecencies,
was published in February of 2022.

Thanksgiving Prayer 

To charity

and the abandoned

in city streets.

To dogs that follow

taillights blinded

with hunger.

The winos who’re

pissing themselves in

the drunk tanks.

The abandoned

baby carriages

near the hospitals.

The preacher walking

last miles with

smiling murderers.

The harlot who has

used all her kindness

left only with hate

The cartoonist

alone with laughter

of others.

The window washer

no longer careful

after a divorce.

The actress who

died in a hundred

films afraid of death.

The wine that keeps

these thoughts at bay

or brings them fourth.

A concluding whisper that

eyes opening to another

day- is still a gift.

You're My Daisy

Yet tonight 

I think of churches with doors closed 

to me forever.

The getaway driver 

finally seeng holes in the plan 

as bullets whizz by.

The depth of dreams 

shallow as a mirror 

reflecting chaos.

Debauched youth and loss

dancing together drunk 

enough for laughter.

The missing electric hum 

of ghosts in circles 

of thought.

The door slightly

ajar to invite chance

to play another card.

Boredom like a virus 

gaunt with need 

and hunger I 

no longer know well.

A daisy in the garden 

facing the sun 

afraid of nothing