Featured Poem of the Month​

 

For Sherri

 

November 17, 2017 was the ten-year

anniversary of her death.

 

Cancer riddling my aunt’s breasts,

gone for a year,

it came back the next.

 

Her funeral was held in a small, dim-lit

brick Baptist church.

My father dragged me out

for turning my coloring book

pages too loudly.

 

The next day I was

sitting by myself in my grandparents'

living room sunken into the couch crying.

 

Ten years later all I have is a picture from an artist at a mall

that hangs in my grandparents'

family room. It stares at me

every time my grandfather says the blessing

for our Sunday lunch.

I stare right back at her

 

Wishing I remembered the Easter egg hunts

where she held my pink basket and I ran

around the yard being pushed

over by my favorite black lab, Dixie.

 

Her picture sits in a scrapbook

lifeless.

 

Just like her body does under rotting

flowers that I have to pass by.

Caroline Adams is a rising senior at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida where she studies creative writing. She is excited to have her first poem published.

Featured PoemEditor's Choice

this month's poem is

Wallets and Wallowings

by Pamelyn Casto

read it in Prose & Form Poetry

The Interview with  William Blake

An Imagined Conversation by Kevin McLaughlin

Closeup of 1807 portrait of William Blake by Thomas Phillips.

Forward: Three months ago I had the opportunity to pass through a time-space wormhole in the Cosmos, and travel back to England, the year 1825, to conduct a brief interview with visionary poet, painter, and printer William Blake. In many parts of this text I took the liberty of updating Blake’s words as spoken into the style of 2018 English.  I sat in their small parlor. Blake and his wife were in the nude à la Adam and Eve. They had been reading Milton’s “Paradise Lost” when I popped in unexpectedly. The Blakes were unfazed by my appearance, the poet having had extensive experience with heavenly visions. -Kevin McLaughlin

Please note that any direct quotes and more than one paraphrase were derived from “The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake” edited by David V. Erdman, Doubleday Anchor Books.)

Blake:  Welcome, Archangel. And what might be thy name?

McL: I am Kevin Mclaughlin. Ive come from the 21st century to interview you for BTS magazine. Your work is enormously popular in our age.

 

Blake: A petty sneaking knave I knew, why Mr. McLaughlin, how do ye do? I am not fond of critics. As for my influence and fame in future centuries, I am not surprised. Great things are done when men and mountains meet.

McL: By way of introduction to our readers, I am going to quote some of your work, and ask for your comments.

 

Blake: Fair enough. Degrade first the arts if you’d degrade mankind. And in my era, the arts have been slandered. (Note: During his lifetime Blake was largely ignored by all but his most savage critics.) Let me introduce my work with selections from an early piece, “Proverbs of Hell,” an excerpt from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Typically, I wrote the poem on sheets of illustrations I drew and my wife and I colored. I borrowed stylistically from the Bible, and some of Dante’s devices.

Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.

Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of                religion.

The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.

The nakedness of woman is the glory of God.

Better Than Starbucks 2018 Haiku Contest
sponsored by John DeCesare and CraftekDesign

                    First Prize $50
                    Second Prize $30
                    Third Prize $20

We’re delighted to announce that Better Than Starbucks has been named a finalist in the Best Debut Magazine category of the Firecracker Awards. The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) sponsors these awards each year to support and celebrate independent publishing. Thank you CLMP and judges for recognizing our publication. And thank you to all of our poets, creative writers and editors who have contributed so much great work!

....and now...

...from the mind of...

the Mad Poet 

poetry magazine, editor, Anthony Uplandpoet Watkins, Anthony Watkins

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