July 10, 2023

Pierre Gervois


Income I by Pierre Gervois, glitching gif of text: I would have liked to have friends with a similar income (+/- 10%), the same equally socially valued type of job, the same car category, the same moderately high professional expectations, the same upper-middle-class type of home in the same relatively affluent neighborhood, so we can have open conversations and share authentic smiles.

objkt.com | image/gif

Pierre Gervois is an NYC-based crypto artist using language to describe our society without judgment, emotion, empathy, or stated point of view. The elements of language appearing in his works are physically embedded in geometric figures of undefined scale, and lose their meaning should they be considered separately. His work explores the relations of power between humans, as well as between humans and their favorite physical object-markers of social status. This series is part of the inaugural collection of theVERSEverse.

from Rattle #80, Summer 2023
Tribute to NFT Poets


Pierre Gervois: “I started painting abstract geometric shapes in 1988 and created around five hundred paintings and drawings of the very same rectangular structure. In 2018, I started to paint elements of language in my work. In May 2021, I minted my first work as an NFT and became part of this rich and diverse community of crypto poets. It changed my life as an artist. On the blockchain, in a double simultaneous motion and collision of two artistic traditions, conceptual artists using language are starting to think they might be poets, and poets realize their poems are artworks. With a gentle and loving hand, crypto poets extract words from their paper pages and give them new cozy homes in NFTs.” (web)

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July 9, 2023

Angelica Whitehorne


Orcas are taking back the ocean. Let’s kiss.
Social learning for social good? Sailed over our heads. Let’s kiss.
When serve the people sounds more like suppress the people.
Judges. Justice. Just us. We’re on our own. Let’s kiss.
Under the rainbow, pot of gold? No, an unhoused man.
No, 500 thousand unhoused men.
Let’s kiss, under the rainbow, until we turn to gold—
then maybe, we can be of use.
The sea is full of titanic revenges.
Did you know dollars bills can’t produce oxygen?
Fuck, we’re all going under. And we aren’t coming up.
Let’s share the last of our air. Let’s kiss.
More ghosts to dance with ghosts in the deepest depths.
My ghost asks your ghost for a dance. They go in for a kiss.
Bezos, no beso, no bisous. What I’m trying to say is let’s kiss rich,
until we’re poor. Let’s kiss ourselves to rags.
Piles of rags, Shein’s shiniest, shipped out to overseas,
on ships orcas are striking down:
second-hand fashion shows in the dying coral reefs.
Guilt is our style choice of the season. Chic and shit out-of-luck.
Fuck, we’re all going under. Let’s kiss.

from Poets Respond
July 9, 2023


Angelica Whitehorne: “I read a tweet about kissing as you watch Orcas take back the ocean. I thought it captured the humorous gloom of our time. Let’s find romance while things are going down. It’s a celebration when Earth fights back. This poem is a conglomeration of a lot of news I’ve been digesting in the last couple weeks. Shein corruption, submarine explosions, the Supreme Court being supreme weeney heads. It always feels never-ending. It’s going to bring us down one day, hopefully we find time for some good kisses before we do.” (web)

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July 8, 2023

Roselyn Chen (age 12)


you could say it was
the death that started
a great war
a life dropped
on a tipping scale
sending it crashing
until you could
barely see
the shards of brass
a life dropped
followed by millions more 
he was merely a student
when he pulled the trigger
making the move
that launched armies of soldiers 
filled the air with gas
that could drown you on dry land 
sent shipments of lives
to the underworld
you could say it was
the death that started it all
but the world was already
a pot of stew, a few bubbles
away from overflow
two ropes tied together
with threads, one tug
away from tear 
and when it breaks 
the ropes strain 
almost unwinding into threads
until they are only a shadow of themselves
yet they continue
tearing each other apart 
the great war, it was called
the war to end all wars
but it didn’t
though we all wish it had
          … right?

from 2023 Rattle Young Poets Anthology


Why do you like to write poetry?

Roselyn Chen: “I like to write poetry because it’s one of the few forms of writing where there aren’t many rules. You can express yourself however you like, and be as precise or flexible as you want. I think it’s the freedom and the fact that I can do whatever I want that draws me towards poetry. Poetry is a river, and there are an infinite amount of lakes it can flow into.”

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July 7, 2023

Angela Russo Gartner


Decades past the little girl
who swam in the pond filled
with lily pads and minnows.
I remember how mom’s skirt  
hung with pockets of mint candies,
to make me practice the piano keys.
The day I met the dark-haired boy
who picked me up in his red car.
The pillow on his side of our bed
has long lost the smell of his skin,
like the numbers that are my birth.
I forgot how to worry about drowning.
I’m on my couch, living in death’s time
wondering when I will see who’s gone.

from Rattle #80, Summer 2023


Angela Russo Gartner: “My grandfather was turning 97 that winter and we all gathered at his house to celebrate, which ended up being his final birthday party. His wife (my grandmother), siblings, and close cousins had all passed away. He remembered a lot of stories from his past and would share those with us every time we visited. When I wrote this poem, I thought about him, and tried to imagine how it would feel to be the last one and carry all those memories.”

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July 6, 2023

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz


In a fit of gloom, I googled the word failure,
just to see if my name would come up. Instead,
Google told me I misspelled the word failure.

Recounting this makes me feel like I’m starting
a very weepy poem, or a very dull suicide note.
Never begin a wedding toast with the dictionary

definition of marriage, and never begin a suicide
note by saying you googled the word failure.
These days, the number one thing preventing me

from killing myself is likely the idea of people
learning of my suicide via Facebook status updates.
There’s no dignity in that eulogy, its collections

of sad face emoticons, studded with apostrophe tears.
This is a dumb reason to keep living, but it is a reason.
I’m sure all you other sad sacks have your reasons too.

So let’s all cling to them. Let’s all agree that living
for a dumb reason is better than killing yourself
for a dumb reason. Let’s feed tears to the dragons

of misery, but let’s never crawl into their mouths.
Let’s write terrible poetry, dress like late-era Rothkos,
wear out the relentless hate machines of our brains,

but let’s never break. Let’s just keeping living. We can
do this. Trust me. Yours Sincerely, Me, A Poet Who
Doesn’t Even Know How to Spell the Word Failure.

from Rattle #34, Winter 2010


Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz: “‘Op-Ed For the Sad Sack Review…’ was inspired, as the full title suggests, by a series of suicides that hit our community in 2008 and 2009. On the Best American Poetry blog, poet Jennifer Michael Hecht pointed out that ‘[o]ne of the best predictors of suicide is knowing a suicide,’ postulating that ‘every suicide is also a delayed homicide.’ At the time, I was feeling rather low, having experienced an epic number of career-stopping rejections without any signs of relief on the horizon. But Hecht’s essay reminded me I was part of a larger community, one that has never been guaranteed the easiest road in life, but is nonetheless beautiful and filled with people absolutely worthy of good and long lives. And if Hecht is right, the best way that we can prevent the poets and writers we love from killing themselves, is to make the promise to ourselves to keep living. And hence, my ‘Op-Ed’: a loving shout into, and hopefully out of, that void.” (web)

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July 5, 2023

Katie Dozier (KHD)


Em Dash by Katie Dozier, poem text written over black and white photo of a mine shaft

objkt.com | image/png

Like studying the root origins of a word, I like to trace the stem of NFT poetry backwards through the centuries. What would Emily Dickinson have minted if she lived in our contemporary world? Perhaps instead of locking her poems up in a trunk, we would’ve been treated to Dickinson Discords and more quatrain creations than we could even keep up with! This Little Poem, my first mint of 2023, looks back at one of my favorite poets, in order to celebrate the immense opportunities alive in poetry today. In a sense, we are just em dashes sliding through time.

from Rattle #80, Summer 2023
Tribute to NFT Poets


Katie Dozier (KHD): “I write NFT poetry because every poem that flies out into the world encourages more to leave their nests. Poetry can change the course of humanity, and with the stakes so high we need fewer poems locked in the confines of minds and notebooks. We need poems hanging on walls (both digital and physical) to be lauded for their vulnerability and empathy. Poetry is art, and minting it as such on blockchains has the potential to bring poems into conversations yet unentered.” (web)

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July 4, 2023

Lee Stern


It was my job to determine who the marchers were.
And how long they had practiced the different steps they were used to making.
I wouldn’t say that it was a hard job.
Only that when I grew tired of doing it,
nobody else volunteered to take my place.
As it was, the marchers recognized me even from a great distance
and applauded when they realized
that I was counting the people in each one of their lines.
It had been years since anyone had done this as rigorously as I had.
And their confidence in my counting them
left me at the same time actually content and fairly amazed.
I remember one line of ten men, when I said later that there were eleven of them,
smiled, and thought that it was a joke.
But, of course, it wasn’t a joke.
And the eleventh man, who claimed that he resembled me
even down to the color of my hair, when he put his tunic down,
lapsed into the kind of a coma I recognized
fitfully from months of pouring grease over my head
and years of placing birds in the sky.

from Rattle #31, Summer 2009


Lee Stern: “For years I have had the same nightmare, that I am standing in a line of people who have just been instructed to march off a cliff. So I wrote this poem, thinking the nightmare would go away. But it didn’t. In fact, the laugh track that carried it along got a little bit louder. And in the accompanying music, I found, the part for the bassoon was taken over by a drunken band of clarinets.”

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