Saturday, July 17, 2010


It's the 17th again.... so here's your scheduled teaser, this time from Kim Keith of Gold Canyon, AZ:



That's all you get.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Review: The God of Small Losses

Crist, Darla. The God of Small Losses. Georgetown, KY: Finishing Line, 2010. 28pp.

Something has irked me recently as I've been perusing the world of literary haiku: nobody seems to give the rigid 5-7-5 form much love. It's not so much that I want people to slavishly obey it (because, yes, it's only an adaptation of the Japanese rules). But I just don't tend to see many journals that actually print something that fits the pattern. We can serve art and meter at the same time, no?

Darla Crist seems to think so.

Her chapbook, The God of Small Losses, does examine the traditional nature themes of haiku, as in an excerpt from her series "The Insect Suite":

The firefly lodges
His complaint in the barley,
Sparks of loneliness:

Fireflies are scholars
of the language of lightning,
the Morse code of love.

But instead of allowing these natural observations to remain in the detached world of "nature poetry," she examines nature in situ, complete with the people who actually live in rural areas. And it's this quality of Crist's work that makes it so refreshing. Cherry blossoms and crocus bulbs are nice, but the impact of humankind dwells in that same landscape.

What It Means to Be Haunted

Solitary shoes
Asleep on the road's shoulder--
Whose feet once wore them?

One of my favorite poems from the bunch, "Powerball," is set not in an orchard or a meadow but in a mini-mart. Still, the levels of attention to detail are impressive, like the man "rubbing the tickets/ like rosary beads" and the description of "dreams and quarters together--/ mixed with Mountain Dew." She then makes a sweeping statement that could well be one of the best definitions of the Hoosier experience I've heard:

In lottery land,
Powerball is king, sporting
A belt made of corn.

The peace of traditional haiku is replaced with an anxious yearning to fill a spiritual void. Because the idyllic countryside that so many tourists come to visit during the Covered Bridge Festival hides poverty and stagnation beneath its rustic charm.

Trees and flowers and hills, yes. But also mini-marts and coal mines and laundromats.

The name of the book can be found in the poem "Laundromat," which I think is a good way to wrap up the review. Check out The God of Small Losses. It's a superb collection of poetry and a positive example of Hoosier regionalism.


Perfumed with soap, cheap
Cigarette smoke, many lives
Tumble together.

Children scrawl their names
On slates of glass and steam--
Tabula rasa.

The neighborhood creaks
With the weight of wet laundry,
Cylinders and drums:

A place of prayer
To the god of small losses--
Stockings without mates.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Associate Editor - Caitlin Martin

We here at High Coup Journal (who am I kidding? It's just been me up until now) would like to welcome our new associate editor, Caitlin Martin.

We'll get you a bio as soon as she does. :)


EDIT: Caitlin's bio is available here.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Oh America,
I love you from sea to sea:
let me blow shit up.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

High Coup Journal - July 2010 Issue

(Photo by Ann Wright, Plymouth, IN)



Rosemary Foster (Bloomington, IN)

Marti Fuerst (Rapid City, SD)

Quinn Gilbert (Shelburne, VT)

Jacob Glenn

Aaron Owens (Terre Haute, IN)

Eli Van Sickel (Terre Haute, IN)


Editor’s Note:

A time for new things,
like picking a new ice cream
or dropping the soap.


Jacob Glenn

Feb. 23

balloon removal
can i borrow your blow gun?
goodbye helium

Feb. 23

oh my sweet coffee
make me a jitterbug pro
my blood is creamy

Jan. 19

I sip my coffee
say goodbye constipation
my bowels are moved

Jan. 19

such a peaceful rain
I do value your effort
but my grass is dead


Aaron Owens


Debbie can’t find out.
Long. Firm. White cream fills my mouth.
Gotta love Twinkies.


Marti Fuerst

Mucus advances
seizing nasal passageways.
I wave white Kleenex.

Dog barks at darkness.
Alarm must be on the fritz.
Cyborg-vet needed.

Take solace in that
when the zombies rise to feed
these dopes will die first.


Eli Van Sickel

Submitting this work
For your consideration
Please show me some love

Dog shit and flowers:
Two things that smell different
-ly to me at night.


Quinn Gilbert

Signal from a Shattered Earth

Last vestige of us:
You the plumber?...Yeah babe, I'm
Here to lay some pipe.


This is my treatise
on life, and it’s pretty deep:
Alarm clock rings…Fuck.


Rosemary Foster

Hearing you have sex
Makes me want to fucking puke
So please mom shut up

OMG goth kids
Scary ass mother fuckers
Done up like corpses

Public swimming pool
Chemical filled oasis
Bikini clad whores

I know it says to
taste the rainbow but could you
stop licking my shirt?


July 2010 AWESOME SAUCE: Aaron Owens

The Little Boy’s Nightmare

Surrounded by balls
A dozen sweaty bodies
Trapped in the “Ball Pit”


Send in your haiku!
August won't just write itself
(unless I'm on crack)!

highcoupjournal {at}