July 24, 2019

Benjamin Aleshire | @benjamin_aleshire

Good Manners by Benjamin Aleshire, poem written in red type on yellow paper

benjamin_aleshire Wept with a customer, clutching each other in the street while no one understood what was happening between us. She’s in love with a 62-year-old man, and even tho he’s so much older his muscles are tight from all the work he does and it turns her on. But at first he kept saying, Hey, I’m just using you. Like he was pushing her away. They fell in love anyway, and he finally told her the truth: leukemia, maybe a few years left—the doctors are helpless, there’s nothing for them to even cut out. So in a letter she joked with him that living too long is bad manners, anyway. Now I feel empty and full at the same time. But you can’t carry this around with you and be as lonely as I am; I had to exorcise it with a ritual of words to wash it away, and then a whiskey in Vesuvio that tasted like water or somehow, sand. I bought a white rose from the bum sucking his gums at the other end of the bar and didn’t even know why—gave it away to Tony across the street at Specs who looked at me all strange. City Lights again today, it’s not like I have a choice. #poetry #poem #poetforhire

from Rattle #64, Summer 2019
Tribute to Instagram Poets


Benjamin Aleshire: “I make my living by traveling around the world and writing poems for strangers on a manual typewriter in the street. I post on Instagram to let people know where I’ll be setting up, and also as a way of sharing some of the stories behind the poems in the caption, the reasons why strangers wanted what they wanted—which I see as an opportunity for flash-prose, and also a method of exorcising people’s stories, so I don’t have to walk around with their pain clanging around in my skull.” (web)

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June 11, 2001

Every second Sunday Rattle presents a reading featuring poets from the current issue at the Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse. Admission is free. Scheduled poets are subject to change.

Flintridge Bookstore & Coffee House

Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse
1010 Foothill Blvd.
La Cañada-Flintridge, CA 91011 (map)



Sunday, May 12th, 5 p.m.

Timothy Green & Quincy Lehr
(Download: Flyer)

Quincy R. LehrQuincy R. Lehr is an American poet who was raised in Norman, Oklahoma, and presently lives in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in print and online venues in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, and the Czech Republic, including American Arts Quarterly, Cadenza, The Chimaera, and The Raintown Review. His first book of poetry, Across the Grid of Streets, was published by Seven Towers (Dublin) in 2008, and his second, Obscure Classics of English Progressive Rock, also by Seven Towers in 2011. His book-length poem Heimat is now available from Barefoot Muse Press. He is also the editor of The Raintown Review. His poem “War Song” appeared in issue #53 of Rattle.

Timothy GreenTimothy Green has worked as editor of Rattle since 2004. His poems have appeared in many journals, including The Connecticut Review, The Florida Review, Mid-American Review, and Nimrod International Journal. Green has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award, and his first book, American Fractal (Red Hen Press, 2009), won the Phi Kappa Phi award from the University of Southern California. He is a contributing columnist for the (Riverside) Press Enterprise and co-founder of the Wrightwood Literary Festival. He lives in Wrightwood with his wife and two children.



Sunday, June 9th, 5 p.m.

Benjamin Aleshire, Alexis Rhone Fancher, & Pavana Reddy
(Download: Flyer)

Benjamin AleshireBenjamin Aleshire is based in New Orleans and travels the world as a poet-for-hire, composing poems for strangers on a manual typewriter. His work has been featured in The Times UK, Iowa Review, Boston Review, El Mundo, London Magazine, and on television in the U.S., China, and Spain. The second edition of his artist-book of visual poems, Currency, was released in 2017. An excerpt of his novel, Poet for Hire: Kismet of a 21st Century Troubadour is forthcoming in LitHub. Ben serves as assistant poetry editor for the Green Mountains Review. His poem “Good Manners” appears in Rattle #64. For more information, visit his website.

Alexis Rhone FancherAlexis Rhone Fancher is the author of How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen and Other Heart Stab Poems (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies (2015), Enter Here (2017), and Junkie Wife (2018). Her chapbook, The Dead Kid Poems, debuted in May 2019. She is published in Best American Poetry 2016, Slipstream, Plume, Nashville Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Diode, Glass, and elsewhere. Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. She lives in Los Angeles. Her poems appear in Rattle #41, #52, and #61. For more information, visit her website.

Maria JastrzebskaMaria Jastrzebska was born in Warsaw, Poland, and came to the U.K as a child. She was co-editor of Queer in Brighton (New Writing South 2014) and has translated the work of Polish poet Justyna Bargielska with The Great Plan B (Smokestack 2017). Her drama Dementia Diaries toured nationally in 2011. Her work is widely anthologized and features in the British Library project Between Two Worlds—Poetry and Translation. For the last six months she has been working on Snow Q, a collaborative project funded by Arts Council England: www.snowqproject.wordpress.com. The True Story of Cowboy Hat and Ingénue (Cinnamon Press/Liquorice Fish 2018) is her fourth and most recent collection. She lives in Brighton in the U.K. Her poem “Dear Mama” appeared in Rattle #59. For more information, visit her website.

Pavana ReddyPavana Reddy is a Los Angeles-based poet and songwriter. She is most well-known for her first book of poetry, Rangoli, as well a song called “Remain the Sea” written for the critically acclaimed album Land of Gold by Anoushka Shankar. She is currently set to release her second book of poems, Where Do You Go Alone, and is already working on her third. She was interviewed for and has two poems in Rattle #64. For more information, visit her website.

April 28, 2000

Instagram Poets

Conversation with
Pavana Reddy

Rattle #64 cover, woman with umbrella against yellow wallThe Summer 2019 issue features a tribute to Instagram Poets. Much has been written about Instagram poetry over the last several years, and we thought it was time to investigate for ourselves. We received both submissions and recommendations and read through thousands of Instagram accounts, choosing the best 18 poems we could find. Some of them are Insta-famous, with hundreds of thousands of followers on the platform, while others have as few as 20. As with all things, we’re interested in the quality of the poems and not the stature of the poets. The styles span the range, too, from visual poems to epigrams to more traditional poetry that just happens to fit well with the media.  Learn more about the nexus of poetry and Instagram as Timothy Green talks to emerging star Pavana Reddy.

Meanwhile, the open section features two dozen eclectic poems, including the return of previously unpublished poet Marvin Artis, with a second round of his hidden gems.


Instagram Poets

Audio Available Benjamin Aleshire Good Manners
Christopher Cioc He Don’t Love Me
Luigi Coppola Find
Lauren Eden I’m Not Confused
Vini Emery All of the Things
Raquel Franco You Are More Than Paper Thin
Jade Homa I Need to Stop Looking
Mack Jarvis Imagine a Violin Bow
Audio Available Kat Lehmann Taxonomy
David Lukas Cider
Christopher McCurry Simple Prayer
Audio Available LQ McDonald III No Gold Pursues the Dawn
Gabrielle Nelson I Should Change the Light
Eric Peterson Thus
Pavana Reddy There Is No Poetry in Loving Someone
Eva Simmons One Smile
Brian Sonia-Wallace My Gift Is the Sculpture


Audio Available Amy Alvarez How to Date a White Boy
Audio Available Chris Anderson Misreading Darwin
Audio Available Marvin Artis Poetry
Audio Available Two Lovers Standing on the East River …
Audio Available New Negroes
Audio Available Bruce Bennett Comforts
Catherine Bresner Canvasser
Audio Available Susan Browne Strange Ode
Audio Available George David Clark Sun on Your Shoulders
Audio Available Matt Farrell Sky Blue
Alan C. Fox Full Disclosure
Audio Available Kate Gale Sit on My Lap, I’ll Show You Happily Ever After
Audio Available Stephanie A. Hart The Purse
Stephen Kampa To Keep the Day
Audio Available David Kirby Little Movies
Lania Knight Susurration
Morgan Kovacs An Abecedarian for the Unmentionable
Craig Kurtz Life Before the Internet
Audio Available Derek Otsuji The Whale Watchers
Audio Available Catherine Pond Star Signs
Audio Available Carol Potter In Which I Get Out of a Speeding Ticket
Aarti Rao Dear Payaswini
Audio Available Pavana Reddy Tirupati
Craig van Rooyen Siege Machinery


Pavana Reddy (web)

Cover Art

Edu Lauton (web)