Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

the moon
cradled in elm
branches

plastic ghosts
sway on the wind

long autumn
shadows

full trees still
cling
to summer

a sulphur butterfly
rides prairie wind

late sunflowers
lean heavy
against a barbwire fence

everyone’s asleep
my footsteps in the dark house
the box fan rattles

autumn grass
sunglare scattered
in dry fields

Along the Forest Parkway (Videopoem)

This is a video I made for a Tim Suermondt poem at The Poetry Storehouse. The readers are Nic Sebastian and Amy Miller. The music is “Simple Delayed Guitar + Violin Loop” by Candle Nine from Soundcloud. All of the pieces that comprised the video had been released under a Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license (the same one used here at Coyote Mercury). That license makes projects like this possible.

The video came about quite by accident. I was playing with Hyperlapse on my phone while at ACL Fest, just experimenting during Gaslight Anthem’s set. Later I came across the Suermondt poem and thought that some of the images might work with the poem.

I also liked the fact that the poem had multiple readings because I wanted to see what would happen with two different and distinct voices. I tried them both, and opted for Nic’s as the front in part because it was shorter, and I didn’t have much footage.

I edited to the rhythm of the words and the video. Then went searching for music. I wanted something with guitars, and the Candle Nine piece at Soundcloud worked well, and was the correct length. This was a fun one to put together, and I’m pleased with the result.

starlings
swirl from highway signs
southbound traffic

Live Oaktoberfest

A few years ago, I took a photo of the live oak tree in our front yard every day in October. Today, I’m playing with the gallery feature in WordPress and so, here they all are in one batch. One of these wound up in the logo art for Gnarled Oak—my new project, an online literary journal, and the other serves as the header image for Gnarled Oak on Twitter and Facebook.

ACL Fest 2014

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Another wonderful ACL Fest. The weather couldn’t have been better. It was reminiscent of 2010, though without that year’s amazing, awesome lineup. I do miss the old days when there were more jam bands, jazz, and alt-country. The hip-hop doesn’t interest me much, but the upside was that with none of the nighttime acts being particularly compelling, it made things easier to do with with a three-year-old in tow. Still, another great weekend of music in the heart of Austin. And, finally, I got to see The Replacements.

Fri: Capital Cities, Paolo Nutini, St. Vincent, Foster the People

Sat: The Rosebuds, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Zoé, Interpol, Icona Pop, The Avett Brothers

Sun: KONGOS, Jhenè Aiko, Cults, The Gaslight Anthem, Real Estate, The Replacements

Gnarled Oak: A New Start

I used to have two blogs, but a few years ago that stopped making sense. At the time, I could barely keep this one going so I closed up a gnarled oak and started publishing my micropoems here. After two years, I’ve decided to do something new with the site so I relaunched it as Gnarled Oak, an online literary journal:

The idea developed as I was putting together a new poetry collection, and while proofing the acknowledgments page, I realized that most of the journals that had published some of the poems in that collection had shut down: qarrtsiluniouroboros reviewBolts of SilkThe Houston Literary Review, and a handful of stones. Literary journals are often transient things, but some of these were true favorites, and a handful of stones was where I got my first acceptance for a poem.

Now, I don’t know if the world needs another online literary journal, but I’m pretty sure it won’t hurt anything to add a little literature, art, and beauty to the web, and anyway I had this site and URL doing nothing, so I figured it might be fun and worthwhile to see what might grow here at this old Gnarled Oak. And if I can do this even half as well as the editors of the above-mentioned journals did, I will be very happy indeed.

I hope you’ll check it out and consider submitting. I’m reading for the Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 issues. The first issue will be a micropoetry, microprose, micro-whatever issue. Go, on, now. Check it out.

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