Monthly Archives: December 2013

Online Feature: “A Taste of Gin” Issue One


curated by Janelle Fine, Bombay Gin’s Art Editor, 2013-2014

Bgin with Ginsberg Circle no grey

Editor’s Note

I wanted to create a collaborative space between artists and writers. I asked the artist Taylor Dow to create artwork that interpreted the theme of metamorphosis. I then sent out his visual art to writers and asked them to respond in their own way to one of his images. I am interested in the conversations and play that came about between the text and images. Enjoy.

Featuring work by: Cara Benson, J’Lyn Chapman, Brendan Constantine, Taylor Dow, HR Hegnauer, Juan Felipe Herrera, April Joseph, Jai Arun Ravine, and Gail Tremblay.


A Taste of Gin Online Editorial Feature

Each month (or so) Bombay Gin Literary Journal presents an online feature by one of our editorial board members. We call this: “A Taste of Gin.” These tastes give us, as editors, the opportunity to share our individual artistic and aesthetic visions. We split our Bombay Gin third-mind temporarily in order to show you the nuances, quirks, and concerns we, as an editorial board, comprise. We hope you enjoy these future tastings.


Online Feature–Micro Book Review of Texture Notes


Micro Review of Texture Notes by Sawako Nakayasu

Texture Notes
Sawako Nakayasu
Letter Machine Editions (2010)

Texture Notes by Sawako Nakayasu was published in 2010 by small press, Letter Machine Editions. It is Nakayasu’s 4th book of poetry (most recently Hurry Home Honey, Burning Deck, 2009) and mimicks the form of both diary and prose poetry. Each prose poem is entitled after a date ranging from May of 2003 to September of 2004. The book uses both command and manual-style to invoke the reader’s thought process into a world of dreamscape and memory. For instance, “7.9.2003” catalogs “ant-sized objects, in the order received,” with everything from “microchip” to the “hour hand of my watch.” It lists both the absurd (“the pinky nail of a 5-month-old baby”) to the mundane (“the back to an earring”). But, what Nakayasu really invokes are instances of deep observation, whether it be of a dream, a vision, or an ethical play on human nature. Andre Crodescu once said that the poet’s most useful tool is observation: the ability to overhear, people-watch, and the subsequent creation of images and stories for each of these observations. Nakayasu takes these sightings and spins into them a fantastical “field of umbrellas.”

Review by: Jennifer van Alstyne


(Soma)tic Review of Companion Grasses by Brian Teare


Before you leave your home, collect a few materials. You will need a container of some kind (i.e. bag, small bucket, or jar). Bring a bottle of water with you as well. Begin by walking to a long forgotten piece of land, the further away the better. Once you have reached your destination, find a place to sit down. Dig your fingers in the dirt and pull out a handful. While the dirt is in your hand let it run through your fingers into your other hand. Do this for five to ten minutes. Then take the remaining dirt and place it in the container. If most of the dirt has slipped through your fingers, take a moment to grab some more and place it in your container.

The next step is to place the dirt you collected into the container you brought with you. Add some water and begin to work your fingers into the mud, until it begins to stick to and in between each finger. Do not clean your fingers, pack up your belongings. On the walk home, pay particular attention to how the mud feels at it begins to dry on your fingers.

When you reach home, wipe the perspiration from your forehead with one of your muddy hands.  Put the container in the sink and grab a pen and a piece of paper, write, don’t think just write for 15 minutes.

Once you’ve completed this, go to a bathroom sink with a mirror and begin to wash your hands. Look at yourself in the mirror as you do this. After your hands are clean, wash the dirt and perspiration from your face. Then write again for fifteen minutes.

Review by: Mikiel Ghelieh

Bombay Gin Reading Series this Saturday at Innisfree!

What’s happening on the local poetry scene?

Bombay Gin Reading Series featuring Andrea Rexilius, Tim Hernandez, Noah Eli Gordon Saturday, Dec. 14, 7 P.M. Innisfree Bookstore and Café (1203 13th St, Boulder)


Online Feature: Book Review – Then Go On

Mary Burger
Mary Burger Then Go On
Litmus Press
ISBN-10: 1933959142
ISBN-13: 978-1933959146
93 Pages

Micro Review of Mary Burger’s Then Go On

The avant-garde style of Mary Burger’s writing arrives as a contemplation of the space between sending and receiving. The prose poems, or essay-like poetic explorations demonstrate a close attention to reality. The voice that guides the text is one of ebb and flow towards the cultural, philosophical, and social realities of modernity. In the poem “Orbital,” “A certain comfort with motion, at any scale, lets you shift between here, in this kitchen, and here, in this coastal weather pattern, and here, in this planetary orbital path, and here, in this unfurling galaxy.” The poem unfolds upon itself in moments like these, as if to illustrate that multiplicity is indicative of the human condition. To exist one must occupy numerous places all within the confines of the present moment. Writing towards the continuous epiphany of what it means to be fully alive, “The Current” shows Burger writing of that liveliness as “And our existence here due to the act that there are those willing to work for the only-imaginable.” The implication is that the dreamy state of one human being’s imagination leads to a sense of progress for society. Of the hope for humanity, the prose poem continues with “This paradigm shifts so that words are as nimble as neurotransmitters. Like a small chemical messenger, a word can do anything you can think of. A word can move muscles. A word can hold eyes.” Just like speech, the poetic prose located on the space of white pages bound in book form help to awaken the reader. Returning to that sense of ebb and flow, the reader is asked to think towards “A risk. To risk a little every day. To make sure you want it still. Invite opponents to attack. Risk gravity, velocity, impact, mass. Some can’t live without challenge. Some can’t ask.” As if to pull on the glorious idea of what it means to be fully able to create a once wild and precious life, the intention seems to be one of igniting a passion for luminous elements: speech, movement, art, nature, and even the seemingly ordinary right to dream.

Mary Burger is a writer, editor, and publisher. Her books include the following: Sonny (Leon Works, 2005), The Boy Who Could Fly (Second Story Books, 2002), Thin Straw That I Suck Life Through (Melodeon, 2000), and Then Go On (Litmus Press, 2012) amongst others. She is co-editor of the anthology Biting the Error: Writers Explore Narrative, and of Narrativity. She also edits Second Story Books.  She lives in Oakland, California. Her work may be found at

Reviewer: Melissa Barrett-Traister is one of  Bombay Gin’s Audio Archive Editors. She is a second year MFA candidate at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

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Call for Submissions (Issue 41)

BOMBAY GIN 41: The Walls of the City Shake

“When the mode of the music changes,
the walls of the city shake.” –Plato

We live in a moment of continuous flux, constantly under construction and in progress, an amalgamation of histories and futures meeting in a metropolis of being; perhaps this is the being you find yourself existing in, right now.

One might call this a city.

Cities are constantly becoming the city they will someday be, perpetually reimagined; the city shakes with sunlight each morning, unfinished. What is it that shakes the boundaries, the borderlands, the lines and angles of your city? Is it constant hum of robots or insects; does your city sleep?

Where might you reside?—What is your city? Perhaps you live in a metropolis. Perhaps you are an itinerant vagabond traveler, always somewhere other than where you began. Perhaps you inhabit a virtual city. Or a city of dreams.

Where are you now? What is a city for you? Are the architectural structures of your city (of your body) vibrating with the memories, histories and reveries imbued through their durational existence? How has the mode of the music shifted around you? Do the lights flicker, or blur?

As we enter into our 41st cycle, the Bombay Gin seeks to shift the mode of our music; we want our walls to shake; we want our cities to burst.

Send us your field notes, your guides, your manuals. Send us your resonant flashes that hold what trembles. We want your field notes. We want to feel the textures of your city and the way it can breathe.

Send us a map of what vibrates. What reverberates. What reforms.

The Bombay Gin seeks work that transforms, that mutates, that transgresses, that revolutionizes. Send us your artwork, book reviews, prose, poetry, cross-genre, and cross-disciplinary investigations.


  • File size should be 300dpi at 6X9 or greater.
  • Submit images in color for the front & back cover. In CMYK.
  • If your artwork for the cover wraps front to back it needs to be 13” wide x 9.25” tall. File format of jpeg or tiff.
  • Submit images in black& white for the inside folio.


  • Reviews should be 2-3pgs, double-spaced.
  • We are looking for work that in some way speaks to the above theme and reviews that critically engage the text.

Contact us for Available Review Copies at

The Tales, Jessica Bozek, Les Figues, 2013

Sped, Teresa K. Miller, Sidebrow Books, 2013

Beyond This Point Are Monsters, Roxanne Carter, Sidebrow Books, 2013

The Next Monsters, Julie Doxsee, Black Ocean, 2013

Creature, Amina Cain, Dorothy 2013

Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge, Renee Gladman, Dorothy, 2013

Coming Events (Collected Writings), Susan Gevirtz, Nightboat Books, 2013

Cunt Norton, Dodie Bellamy, Les Figues Press, 2013

More Radiant Signal, Juliana Leslie, Letter Machine Editons, 2010

Haute Surveillance, Johannes Goransson, Tarpaulin Sky, 2013

Samsara, Erica Anzalone, Noemi Press, 2012

Videotape, Andrew Zawacki, Counterpath, 2013

154 Forties, Jackson Mac Low, Ed. Anne Tardos, Counterpath, 2012

Submission deadline: August 15, 2014

In general, we welcome manuscripts of prose, poetry, and cross-genre work. Poetry submissions should be comprised of 3-5 poems; prose and cross-genre manuscripts should generally consist of no more than 15 pages. Please include a 100 word bio, email and mailing address with your submission. Submit here.

Book Review: Fledge: A Phenomenology of Sprit


193765804X, paper. 90 pp.
Nightboat Books 2012

Micro Review: Fledge A Phenomenology of Sprit

A Spirit That’s Not What It Seems

Judging this book by its cover, one might call Stacy Doris’ posthumous poetry collection whimsical. The white cover with childlike outline drawings of foliage, birds and beasts, as well as the name, evoke innocence and the imaginative. Opening it up and reading its first lines, one learns that Fledge: A Phenomenology of Spirit is “a log of disasters,” a register of miracle,” and “a bunch of love poems of undying love.” It is a book filled with “six-syllable lines” and “mostly no two-syllable words.” Within this stripped down structure lurks complexity. Playful words like “shine,” “slide” or “smeared jam,” seem an allusion to nostalgia at a time when love complicates life. For instance, Doris writes, “To sink to a field warm/not dragonfly where if/hung there can you get to/ask everything to ask/for both? If not or stilled/can you get everything/save for both in asked where/the rope of me by me,” and captures the simultaneous experience that is the desperation to hold onto what one loves and the desire to escape it. These poems capture what happens to the spirit when autonomous beings intertwine. As Doris writes, “[…] Play ends when two/shapes are forced to match, drop.” While the whimsy is indeed contained within these playful, musical poems, it is weighted by the grown-up reality that is love, a la “I want what you want in/your want of it, but what/we want isn’t the same.”

Stacy Doris (1962–2012) has been called “a poet eager to fly in the face of convention always with the most delicate of manners.” Born  in Bridgeport, Connecticut, she received a BA in literature and society from Brown University and an MFA in English and creative writing from the University of Iowa. Her work includes poetry, short stories and translations from French and Spanish. She taught at the University of Iowa and San Francisco State University, among other institutions. Fledge: A Phenomenology of Spirit was her final book.

Somatic Book Review

To read this book, find a whimsically simple place—a spot of grass, a porch swing, a hammock, a creek shore, a rocky overlook atop a mountain. Inhale. Begin. Begin to appreciate the complexity within the stripped down. And in it become a student of the spirit—yours, Stacy Doris’, the slice of world in which you sit and study a “book of six-syllable lines” containing “mostly no two-syllable words.” Can you feel their rhythm, taking you both away from and deeper into place?

“To sink to a field warm/not dragonfly where if/hung
there can you get to/ask everything to ask/for both?
If not or stilled/can you get everything/save for both
in asked where/the rope of me by me” writes Doris
on page 58.

Close your eyes. Are you there? Sinking into it with the sun upon your face? Where is your consciousness now? Ascend the layers. Descend them. Read out loud. Listen to hear if someone reads back. Complicate things with another voice. Where do you feel the conflict in your body? The resolution? Does it resonate? Is there desire? Dissolution? These are, writes Doris, “a bunch of love poems of undying love.”

“I want what you want in/your want of it, but what/we
want isn’t the same./A strain of rows then, us/thread
so we determine/I’ll take everything you/slurp up the
drip offs, plus/you can watch. Everything/means
wraps and envelopes,/you get the productions,/gloss
pocks of minerals”

As your recite them aloud to the spirit surrounding or silently read them to the spirit internal, act out her playful words. Slide. Rumble. Squat. Grow. Shine. Watch. Leave. Arrive. At higher consciousness. Become one.

Reviewer: Jenifer Kay Dorsey holds a BA in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago and is now a second year MFA Writing and Poetics candidate in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. She is  Bombay Gin‘s Distribution and Managing Editor.


Book Review: The City She Was (Somatic)

Carmen Giménez Smith


Publisher: Center of Literary Publishing at Colorado State University

ISBN: 978-1-886535-19-8

ISBN: 978-1-885635-23-5

Somatic Review of Carmen Giménez Smith’s The City She Was

Carmen Giménez Smith’s The City She Was (Center for Literary Publishing)
Around eleven o’clock in the evening, take only your house keys and walk
through the city. Smell the air, feel its breath on your skin. Watch strangers,
identify a beggar. Imagine you are the beggar. Watch the buildings watching
you. Wonder what they have seen, what they know. Allow a mild paranoia to
build. Take the long way home. Walk under unkempt trees. Once home, turn
on only a strand of red mini lights, find ambient music. Take a moment to
FEEL. FEEL the city moving around you. FEEL how empty and alone you are.
Pick up the book, begin to read. As you read recall the WHISPERS from the
buildings and how the trees watched you. This book needs a background,
you are that background. Be subsumed into the poems. Remember, you ARE
the city, “…You’ll smell it in my black fur./ I’ll be the apartment ghost: pass
through walls, /through realism, but smaller, quieter,/ the tumor in the center
of your heart charka.” Pause. Take a moment to soak in the ambient music.
Let yourself become UNCOMFOTABLE. Resume reading allowing the book to
lull you into its complexity, its compassion. This book FEELS for you, “Even
for a bad zoning decision, I’ll bleed so much you’ll be bleeding,/ all of us
bleeding in and out like it’s breathing,/ or kissing and because it is righteous
and terrible and red.”

Reviewer: Aurora Smith is a first MFA in Writing and Poetics at Naropa University