September 2017 Vol. II No. IX
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!
General Poetry Page with Suzanne Robinson
Use links below to connect to other poetry sections
I remember sitting with you
not too long ago
London Fields, Summer,
everyone was hurrying out of the rain
while we sat still under your umbrella
taking turns as shelter delegate
after the roast
it wasn't long ago
I was talking about something, anything
we perused the book shop
you picked out Leonard Cohen
we made a concrete plan about
moving to Paris
then fell apart with laughter
you brought the Autumn
just by smiling
your iris, an auburn cochleate
under the alphabet of lightning
Venice in Your Eyes
the way they´re lowering his coffin
looks so careful, far from final,
as if he was just testing
the old wooden boards leading down-
stairs to the gondolas
selling ice-cream to cool-looking Germans
giving his soul to this strange wailing sect
made him look like a fish
out of the waters of the old Italian town
down by the lagoon
while they´re chanting on about
the protection of angels, the kingdom
being as imminent as
‘this poor sinner´s death’
I´m discovering new depths of emotions
behind your black widow´s veil
deeper than the shallow surface
of public mourning
deeper than the memories of
your shared exiled life
deep-sea blue in your beautiful sadness
transcending the masquerades and the masks of death
which you know well enough,
those Venetian blinds for the soul,
the Masque of the Red Death,
the Mask of the Black or White Death,
all changing into
the Masque of Sudden Death
hiding, all of them, the despair
of the heart
and the beauty of the soul
till we have briskly crossed the water,
walked across the dove-littered square
and are standing at the altar
to discover the true gold
behind the cross.
Acknowledgement: first published in Big Pond Rumours (Canada), editor: Sharon Berg.
Frank Joussen is a German teacher and writer. His publications include two selections of his poetry, one of them being a bilingual collaboration with Romanian poet Ana Cicio. He has edited two international anthologies of poetry/fiction in India. His poems and short stories have also been published in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies in G.B., Ireland, Germany, Romania, Malta, the U.S.A., Canada, India, Thailand, China and have been translated into German, Romanian, Hindi and Chinese.
Call no man happy until he is dead —Solon
Rather than try to join the diligent honeybees
who toiled away on the pink tipped flowers
to store grains into the pollen baskets on their hind legs
while thrusting their shimmering reddish brown proboscises
and sucking the golden liquid from the innards of the blooms
the idle drone bee was glad to feast on their royal jelly
before he lifted up to fertilize a virgin queen on the wing.
And though he did succeed in mating with a monarch
the other bees still resented him for having emptied their honeycombs
and before he could gorge more on their precious bee bread
the whole swarm of bees came streaming into the straw skep
to condemn the parasitic bee by stinging him without pity.
Previously published in the Deltona Howl Magazine.
Anum Sattar studies English at Ohio's College of Wooster. Her poems have been widely published. A Vonna Hicks Award winner, she frequently reads out her work at Brooklyn Poets in New York City.
SITTING FOR RAOUL
Amid dangerous clutter, a scatter of wet tarps,
glass bottles and bent frames, I sit on a rickety throne
in black leather jacket, left hand clamped
on an ancient armrest, the other welded to a daybook
bought in Venice—Moses posed by Michelangelo—
until my legs locked under go numb as marble.
Raoul dances before me, sways with the weight
of a large wooden palette built by a shipwright,
its iron disc countering his wrist strain.
Not allowed to turn, smile or open my mouth,
let alone twitch a look at the northern facing window
or up at the half-occluded skylight, by which
a noon-day winter gray looks through dirt,
I return his piercing gaze. Often he ignores me.
In the first stage, he under-paints a ghost’s drawing
of my face, burnt umber, sallow orange and ochre scrawled
on an easel where my nose melts like tallow.
We pause for pizza and Cokes, then my Rembrandt does
as his idol did four centuries ago—
smears fresh medium mixed that very morning
to cover my shadow, slurries varnish and linseed oil
thinned by eggs into which he works the colors.
At the finish my arms deliquesce like beached combers,
my legs are stumps. Below the hairline lightning flashes
blue and green, my forehead a scarp in the Flemish muck,
a darkling cliff shining in the sun. He kept it a few months
then used the canvas for someone else. So much for fame.
MICHAEL SALCMAN's poems have appearred in Alaska Quarterly Review, Hopkins Review, Hudson Review, New Letters and Poet Lore. Books include The Clock Made of Confetti (Orchises, 2007), nominated for The Poets' Prize, The Enemy of Good is Better (Orchises, 2011), Poetry in Medicine, (Persea Books, 2015), and A Prague Spring, Before & After, winner of the 2015 Sinclair Poetry Prize from Evening Street Press (2016). His web site is www.salcman.com or Necessary Speech.
We are spilled ink, a sentence hand-
written and hidden on some page in
some closed notebook. They are together,
complete, and I am the parenthetical
thought which divides their sentence; their
sentence enigmatic and ended somewhat
with a question mark.
Ashes on the Ganges
Sometimes the phoenix rises
slowly. And the ashes, left
behind, float like leaves down the
tributaries of the Ganges river.
This is the second
coming of Icarus; the meta-
morphosis of the wingless insect
and its emergence from
Lou Graves is a writer, poet, polemicist, and music and literary critic. Published in over forty magazines and journals, Graves is a monthly contributing author to Narrow Magazine.
She penned the life that was to be;
naivety and bliss of youth
furnished its tone and hue.
Then life, the chameleon, reared its head,
smudging the masterpiece.
A good educator but
an ethereal marriage but
a beautiful baby but
the marauding twins—
pain and abuse invaded her lair,
eventuating the destruction
of almost everything
issuing forth from this paramour
her lone Romeo
throwing her empire into chaos.
The action never follows
the script the author pens.
The Dwarf (2003)
I fear the power in your eyes.
At the moment of your wrath,
the woman in me shrinks
to be the child you demand I be.
I fear the death in your eyes,
but this dwarf must hero be,
cowering, placating, martyring her soul
so her kids won’t have your eyes.
I fear the power in your eyes
and your machismo ministry.
I swear I’ll cease to be the other
who threatens your fragility.
I fear the death in your eyes,
so I’ll pay tribute to you,
O mighty one, plunderer of youth
murderer of dreams on a platform of rebirth
Ingrid Rizzolo is an educator and an emerging writer of lyrical verses. She is also a wife and mother of two young adults. Rizzolo as one of the millions of women who have been victims of domestic violence opens her heart and her life in her poetry to honestly and authentically reveal the pain, fear, and confusion born out of such abuse.
Would that my father was a carpenter
growing up with the smell of wood
watching shavings curl and fall
feeling the lumber’s smooth core
his rough hands no less gentle on me
than upon the spindles he carved
sawing sounds celebrating
the gift of the nearby trees
would that he carved chairs
where I could sit and watch
as trunk became plank became table
learning the secrets of transformation
My father had nothing to teach
save the cutting away of joy
a world where love starved
thin bones reflect a death by neglect
I wished for magic to be amazed
but was overwhelmed by comedy
For The Ordinary Man
the face in the mirror
does not belong
this invading stranger
have we met?
from the benign
there is no answer.
is he the one risen
of spent passion
of misspent youth
where once he dreamed
of standing above the field
claiming victory over enemies
hearing cheers from admiring troops
good at many things
great at none
wishing once to feel
worthy of applause
an ordinary man dares
to wake each day
battle shadows of foes
invisible but for the light they bend
the only accolades awarded
the chance to rise again tomorrow
Allen Plone lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Carol & his dog Rufus. He draws inspiration from both. Professionally, a screenwriter, he's published several poems and short stories. Creely, Yates, Plath and Wallace Stevens are his favorite poets as well as the Tang Dynasty Chinese poets.