Featured Poem of the Month​

       

Strange Fathers

 

Oh, what a strange father

Walking around the house

In his underwear

Eating ice cream

Calling you by his name

“Daddy, would you turn on the T.V?”

Asking me to rake leaves

Cigar smoke and whiskey-breath

 

Then, your dad

Living off worker’s comp

Replacing his lawn with rocks

So he could spend more time

Shooting his bow and arrow

In the backyard

Where he chased foxes

Telling you to “come on, beat me!”

When simply shooting baskets

For fun

 

And your “new” dad

Wheeling around

In his chair

Calling your brother

The literal red-headed step-child

“Red”

Not allowing us to be boys

Because of what the elevator did to him

Jealous we could wrestle

In the backyard

Steven Haberlin is a PhD student at the University of South Florida, who explores poetry as part of his research. His work has been published in the Journal of Poetry Therapy and recently accepted by the journal Asian Signature.

Featured PoemEditor's Choice

this month’s poem is

VENDOR AND CHILD

by John Eppel

read it in African Poetry

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!

The Interview

with Julia Gordon Bramer

by S. Ye Laird

Julia Gordon-Bramer is the author of Fixed Stars Govern a Life: Decoding Sylvia Plath (2014, Stephen F. Austin State University Press) and the Decoding Sylvia Plath series, including Decoding Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” and Decoding Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus” both published in 2017 by Magi Press and available on Amazon. Her recent articles appear in Ms. Magazine, AWP Writer’s Notebook, The American Journal of Poetry, and more. In 2013, the Riverfront Times called her “St. Louis’ Best Local Poet.” For more information, visit www.juliagordonbramer.com.

“. . . And now you try

Your handful of notes;

the clear vowels rise like balloons.”

     Sylvia Plath, “Morning Song”


Decoding Sylvia Plath's “Daddy”: Discover the layers of meaning beyond the Brute

by Julia Gordon-Bramer

S. Ye: Why is Sylvia Plath’s work and life important to us today?

JB: Sylvia Plath’s work and life are still important today because she made a model of what poetry can do through mysticism. Each one of her Ariel poems are perfect multi-dimensional works of art with at least six different meanings: spanning tarot, alchemy, mythology, history and the world, astronomy and astrology, and the arts and humanities. It is astounding how this woman made her words work, and how many layers of meaning she packed in. She was truly a genius’ genius. And yet few people realize this and they just focus on her drama and her suicide. Such a waste!

S. Ye: What can we learn from her poems?

 

JB: The poet and reader of poetry can learn through Plath what poetry is capable of; it truly is a kind of magic all its own, which is why the god Hermes was the god of Poetry in Ancient Greece. The follower of mysticism can see not only a practical application of the occult, but evidence of a divine order through the universe. Mind-blowing stuff.

....and now...

...from the mind of...

the Mad Poet 

poetry magazine, editor, Anthony Uplandpoet Watkins, Anthony Watkins

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