December 2017 Vol. II No. XII
Not your ordinary poetry magazine!
If good coffee (or just the concept of coffee), great books, sharp wit, and great authors excite you, we are for you!
Regular Features Pages
General Poetry with Suzanne Robinson
Haiku with Kevin McLaughlin
Formal & Rhyming Poetry with Vera Ignatowitsch
Poetry Translations with S. Ye Laird
with Rameeza Nasim, and Tendai Rinos Mwanaka
Sentimental Poetry with Anthony Watkins
ModPo & Experimental Poetry with Anthony Watkins
Better Than Fiction!
Featured Poem of the month
SOOKEYS CREEK COAL MINERS
From the bowels of Kentucky mountains
miners with blackened faces
come to squat together in the dusty road
unwinding from toils in the labyrinth.
They tell tales of meandering darkness,
of who hurt his back today
speculating on how long he'll be laid up
and whether he'll get his bottom land plowed.
As dusk descends they lighten the mood
swapping for boot a hound or a jackknife
they joke and laugh as they cough and spit out
the approach of black lung disease.
The smell of carbide lingers
on their sooty clothes and hair
the carbide that burned
in their hard miner's hats
to cast their pale lights
through dark dank caverns
as they searched for glistening coal
with shovels, picks, and mattocks,
coal to be trucked up north
to heat the furnaces of kin
who fled the harsh miner's life
to work Detroit car factories
in another dark and dusty labyrinth.
This poem won First Place in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies
Competition-Kentucky State Poetry Society award (1998) It was also published
in the NFSPS annual anthology.
Pamelyn Casto, a Pushcart Prize nominee, has published feature-length articles on flash fiction in Writer's Digest (and in their other
publications), in Fiction Southeast, in Abstract Magazine, and in OPEN: Journal of Arts & Literature. Her essay on flash fiction and myth appears in Rose Metal Press's Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips From Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field and her 8,000-word essay on flash fiction is included in Books and Beyond: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of New American
Reading. Another of her articles is the lead article in the new book
Critical Insights: Flash Fiction (2017). She's now a contributing editor for flash fiction for OPEN: Journal of Arts & Literature http://ojalart.com/
The Interview with Mbizo Chirasha
by Tendai Rinos Mwanaka
Mbizo Chirasha in an Internationally published poet, writer, blogs publisher and Citizen Justice Activist. He is the Originator/Instigator of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign (Brave Voices Poetry Journal-Tuck Magazine, Word Guerrillas Protest Poetry Journal - Zimbabwe Sphere ,Poets Free Zimbabwe- MiomboPublishing). His poetry, writings, and blog/journals are widely published across the globe. Mbizo Chirasha is the founder /creative director of GirlchildCreativityProject. He is the Zimbabwe Resident Coordinator of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change- Global and the WomenScream International Poetry Festival, and has led a number of creative interventions and arts based projects.
Tenadai: Who is Mbizo Chirasha?
Mbizo: I am griot born out of the sound of the wind of the village drum, I am a griot who became an international word carver. I am griot whose voice was shaped by the giant leap and the crackling smile of the sun birthed out of the serrated misty village hills. I am griot whose rhythm and metaphor was chiseled by snores, smoke and soot in the peasantry rondavels, I am griot whose imagery was baked into true poetic hot buns by cow-dung, fire made clay pots of home- I am the word slinger. Mbizo Chirasha was born in Zvishavane rural district of Zimbabwe, 39 years ago. I work as performance poet, Writer, Social Justice Activist, Blogger, Writer/Poet in Residence and Publisher. I am published writer and works are popular in a number of journals, anthologies, collections, reviews, ezines and websites around the globe. I am a Writer in RESIDENCE AND A CREATIVE PROJECTS CATALYST who has worked with NGOS, UNITED NATION S, EMBASSIES from AFRICA AND ABROAD. I am beelike –a tireless blogger who is self-taught and blog on almost all critical matters that roast my country and other nations. I am a brother, a father, a teacher and a cultural activist. I have invested all my life and time in what I know best and what I wanted to be. I am not a fortune-teller but I am a truth-teller.
Tendai: Describe what inspires you to create, when and how you got to be a poet.
Mbizo: I became a word slinger when my eyes first met the giant rays of the sun on this temporary beautiful earth, I became a Word singer the day I first know how to smile, and smiling to the mist dressed hills of home. I became a griot when I first danced the beat and the wind of the village drum, the day I heard the echo of the sound of yap, yelping baboons and the bellow of sacred ritualistic village bulls. I became a poet the day I breakfasted with first WORDS (a e i o u)
I am inspired by poverty, peasantry, injustice, corruption, violence, images of war, dictatorship, cheap gossip and propaganda, I am humble and an ever happy person but my writings are never jovial. Nothing to write of happiness in this bovine and moron world! I am the Voice of the Voiceless. My real self cannot be drawn from what I say at beer drinks but is what I write. I am tired of seeing writers pretending. I am inspired by the STRUGGLE to change, to expose all the rot above, I cannot take a back seat any longer. POETS need to be true Voices, to rise up and refuse to walk on the edges of peripheral mats. No, No, No.