Jay Mandeville

Jay Mandeville Poems

when war was first invented,
it was jealous of
the bridegrooms -
it left envious ruins

Enduring hot weather
is like avoiding a visitor's call:
stay hidden beneath
Infinity's shade, keep quiet and still.

MICROGRAPHIA catches its prey-
a spider's fate enlarged upon...
a mini-drama commemorating...what,
exactly? The spider is 'small...


Deep are the woods
but for wit's wild sake
I'll change my shape
discard my hesitant

Who killed the printed book?
Why and where for the answer look?

Not we, say the publishers,

We are the children of the Midwest sun:
its light has weight, measured musical tones.

'Come along, ' sang Empedocles,450 BCE,

As thickly hangs
the shadow of a pear,
as echoes strange
remain clinging to a wall,

What is the nature of
this sacrifice?
Perception's doors pried
open wide...

This for certain, Keats has a temper;
he knows how to take it and dish it out.
Mark well when he warns us,
Keats will decode our doubts.

The hearts of proverb covet
unattainable ideals.
May blossoms might uncover what
December will conceal.

behold these inanimate signs
on a page of unlooked-at lines
concealed from the world by mass neglect
skipped by browsers that never connect

the mountain enters the house
through a maize ear.
the river brings back planters' soil.
blue night shimmers with heat


The bee in a moment's transparence
Unhusks with its flight the Abyss
And from me care and desire shifts

Today, come with me,
and we'll stake our claim:
a hiding place
in a quaint, abandoned sawmill,

Through storm and sun
a stone slab preserves
the impression of
an antediluvian fish

Not to know
someone from Adam...
how long ago that takes us.
The sword-plow and


Marilyn the unprofessional
highly personal description of herself

What sacrifice decreed -
the evil done, the heart
resisting - has spoken
plainly in this

green in the midst of drab desolation
green ‘til the tide in the street overflows
green that preserves green's green reputation
green behind curtains, like cellist & bow

printed books run a risk:
silent, while life shouts.
neglected, despised,
yet a quiet surprise,

Jay Mandeville Biography

By age 14, I had already begun spontaneously immersing myself in the crafting of satirical short stories & Ogden Nash-style verses, the publication of an 'underground' school newspaper, & the creation of handmade, illustrated books. I began then, & have continued for most of my life, to self-educate myself in subjects I found far more attractive than those I usually encountered in the classroom. Early readings in authors like Poe, Twain, Bradbury, Conan Doyle, Saki, e e cummings, Lear, Carroll & John Lennon were a source of wonder & admiration. Later on, Joyce, Hesse, Dickinson, Whitman, Shakespeare's comedies, Rimbaud & Baudelaire, Borges, Blake, Mencken & Robert Benchley sealed my fate as a lover of inventive language, humor, & iconoclasm. The sounds of Erik Satie, Debussy, Bach, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, John Cage, Fats Waller, Dylan, Motown, & the British Invasion, along with the 1920's through 1940's American Songbook, Johnny Cash, Calypso, Zydeco, & a form of Lounge called Exotica, have become my listening mainstays. In the visual arts I'm devoted to an equally eclectic mix, including Art Nouveau, Symbolism, Expressionism, Photorealism, & late 18th to early 19th century caricaturists like Hogarth & Gillray. In film, I love Keaton, Chaplin,1940's noir & B-mysteries, screwball comedies, Marx Brothers, Val Lewton, Busby Berkeley, & just about anything with Humphrey Bogart in it. As may be surmised, I'm also a passionate connoisseur & collector of books. Gradually synthesizing these literary/artistic enthusiasms into a personal vantage point, I've continued along my developmental path as a stubbornly persistent writer of radio programs, essays, Modernist poetry, light verse (if such is still possible) , & other 'belles lettres', as the relentlessly antiquarian among us still call them. My life seems destined to embody the traditional, legendary attributes of the self-actuating Poet: I'm frequently short of funds, but bold in spirit; Time & Love have tinctured me with melancholy. Yet I sometimes find myself filled with ecstatic feelings of heaven-sent power when I've conjured forth a unique, sincere, well-worded, concise, living thought - whether in friendly conversation, over the radio airwaves, or in alphabetic signs on a page such as this, that may reach a receptive individual anywhere. For further consolation, I have a delightful, intelligent daughter dwelling in a far away land called Austin, who helps me along with her own hard-bought wisdom in this earthly journey. Spiritually & philosophically, (if a native Missourian may use such lofty terms) I seek - with an all-too-human awareness of tragedy, laced with irony, humor, & stabs at optimism, & a fully-earned understanding of my own imperfections - to learn as much as I'm able in this incarnation, from the transparency of Lao Tzu, the laughter of Buddha, the compassion of The Sermon on the Mount, the company of Allah where known as the All-Merciful, the prankish persona of Krishna as the blue sprite frolicking with the Gopis, - & through other words & deeds of great religious thinkers & utopian dreamers, - to live & practice a belief that each person I meet, howsoever troubled, is potentially reachable through - & personally capable of - kindness. tolerance & psychological transparency, if only each inner self (non-judgmental witness) could become fully awakened to its own secret reality, where malice, prejudice & violence are understood as too embarrassingly ignorant, & ultimately pointless, to perpetrate. ________________________________________________ HIGHLIGHTS FROM ARTIST'S RESUME ________________________________________________ ART RESEARCH CENTER,922 East 48th St., Kansas City, Mo.: I was designated co-curator of the TELIC International Exhibition of Visual and Systematic Art in 1976, at the behest of ARC's director Thomas Michael Stephens. I selected participants for this exhibition from among scores of internationally-based writers & poets, & supervised the arrangement of the works in the exhibition space. David Perkins, editor & publisher of the Chouteau Review, (and in whose literary journal I was published in 1976 & '77) was co-curator. Richard Kostelanetz (NYC) & the Ascher-Strauss Collective (winners of the Pushcart Prize) were among those represented. ________________________________________________ In 1976, I began collaborating with Dwight Frizzell at the Kansas City Art Institute (a student at the time, Dwight is now an associate professor at the school) to create & stage a series of art events, live music performances & original plays on campus over a period of several years, meanwhile exchanging ideas with students & meeting visiting artists like Duane Michals. Similar creative efforts outside the confines of KCAI have persisted up to the present. ________________________________________________ KC PITCH, entertainment tabloid: Editor, designer, feature writer (1980-82) . With my creative collaborator Dwight Frizzell as co-editor, I wrote feature stories, revised & edited contributor copy, designed article layouts & advertisements, proofread all articles, and completed final preparation to camera-ready stage of every issue. Also during our tenure with the Pitch, Dwight & I personally conducted & published original interviews with Tony Bennett, Iggy Pop, John Cage, John Cale, KC legendary jazzclub owner Milton Morris, & Carla Bley, among others. ________________________________________________ KCUR-FM, KKFI-FM (1987 to date) . Beginning in 1987, an original radio-theatre program, 'From Ark To Microchip', began being recorded, & broadcast weekly each Thursday afternoon (just before 'All Things Considered') on KCUR-FM in Kansas City, Mo. Later, an expanded version of 'The Ark' moved to a Saturday night spot, just before Chuck Haddix's popular 'Fish Fry' program. As time went by, select episodes were also broadcast in London, England (Resonance FM 104.4) , New York City (WKCR-FM) , Paris, France (Radio Nova) , Montreal (CIBL-FM) , & Boulder, Colorado (KGNU-FM) . Currently, classic shows & brand new episodes of the series are heard each Wednesday at half-past noon on KKFI-FM Community Radio in Kansas City, & once a month on KOPN-FM in Columbia, Mo. Dwight Frizzell & myself are the writers, producers, directors, & often the principal voice performers in these numerous 28-minute programs, on such varied subjects as (to name a few) , Charlie Parker, Elvis Presley, John Cage, Orson Welles, Harry Truman, Philip K. Dick, Emanuel Swedenborg, Duke Ellington, Sun Ra, & Laika the Spacedog. Individual episodes in the series received a Golden Reel Award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, shared a Peabody Award in connection with NPR's Lost and Found Sound series, & were made an Audio Works Special Selection. Funding by the National Endowment for the Arts & the Missouri Arts Council was provided to assist production of a number of From Ark To Microchip broadcasts. www.kkfi.org/streaming.php ________________________________________________ SELECTED PUBLICATIONS ________________________________________________ 'Early Radio Bigwigs', an article in Radiotext(e) , a special issue of Semiotext(e) magazine (#16, Vol.VI, issue 1) devoted to Sound Art and radio history, edited by Neil Strauss (Columbia University, New York, N.Y.: Semiotext(e) /Autonomedia Press,1993) . ________________________________________________ 'Inaudible Postscript: A silent coda on the disembodied voice and the subsequent unwriting of history', an article in The Drama Review, Vol.40, no.3, Fall 1996, which was republished in Experimental Sound and Radio, an anthology edited by Allen S. Weiss (Cambridge and London: The MIT Press,2001) . ________________________________________________ Mischmasch Magazine (1977 to date) , an experimental art & literature magazine, designed & edited by myself, that is included in the permanent collection of the Kansas City Art Institute. ________________________________________________ Leaves From the Diary of a Would-Be Initiate, a chapbook micro-novel, n.d. ________________________________________________ 39 POEMS, and 12 Glimpses, a signed, limited edition chapbook,2012. ________________________________________________ AWARDS ________________________________________________ Winner, Einstein Centennial Festival Essay Competition,1979, for 'Note On the Poetics of Einstein'.)

The Best Poem Of Jay Mandeville

War Is Jealous Of The Bridegrooms

when war was first invented,
it was jealous of
the bridegrooms -
it left envious ruins
in place of wedding blooms

conflict after conflict
war bestowed in blood
on the countenance of beauty
destruction's kiss
delivered to flame the tears
of daughters and favoured sons -
their blessed vows cast down

ambitious for power
war made justice blind
to the spirit's essence
dispossessed with dark funds
the fruitful eloquence
of a peaceful life well led -
ransacked each ripening season
of mated loves, and callously
murdered the wedding doves

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