Art & literatures emerging from everywhere in this planet

Past Issues

Volume 04 Issue 01

Con Los Muertos and Other Poems by Mark Nickels

in Poetry by

CON LOS MUERTOS

I’m with the dead today. It is true they smell like
creek flow, mildew, church wood, & funny their
funny names, “Lord Byron”& “Myrtle Bump”.

And what to say about their faces that gel in darkness,
turning mineral in color, glowing blue in the mind,
flesh emblems in a dry box, distant, morphing

into a piñata in cold confinement. They don’t beckon
from the ground until you think of them,
even for an instant. Think of them but once

& they are on to you— you are on their radar, so to speak,
so lonesome they are, their faces lighting
the coffin lid, traces of love in a vast underground net,

batteries of love of a very low voltage, sensitive
to the living & the pitch of interest or ardor
popping off all over the globe. The blinking dead

sparking in the rain, like when Petula Clark goes down
town. Very nearly festive, this opulent blinking. How
they need us. How they need not to be forgotten.

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James Goddard photographs

in Art & Photography/Poetry by

UNSEEN

Red, yellow,
the colours of spices,
the colours of nature,
dust, burnt orange, umber,
brown, green,
sky blue, water flowing,
ice cold, air cold,
people talking, voices, music,
silver, gold, the colours of greed,
withered black the colour of seed
wanting needing all that is,
sweat on skin, the colour of skin,
red, yellow, white, brown,
red, red, red, red,
blood only has one colour,
bodies together, performing acting,
never, never, all is real,
stories whisper, memories whisper,
tears congeal,
footsteps echo, life in transit,
ideas die, nowhere to go,
stars shine, sun shines,
light blinds,
I see nothing….

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Chanukah Lights and other poems

in Poetry by

Three poems by American poet Richard Levine selected for this issue by Djelloul Marbrook:

Portraits of Unrequited Love

What of the woman on the park bench,
staring up, her face an inflated tear?
Of all the mild beasts in our community,
her story grieves me.  I think heartbreak.
I think loss.  In my mind, I write her biography
of unrequited love.  I don’t know anything,
but writing hers keeps me from wishing
I was happier with my own heart’s chapters.

In that way, at least, she is so good to me.
I see the age-sag of her breasts.  Other than that,
what can I know of or hope for her?  I jog
by, but she doesn’t notice me noticing her.
How can she know how much she has
meant to me, or what I’m running from?

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Glossary of Loss and Other Poems by Dean Kostos

in Poetry by

THE TENDER

a small boat that ferries people to a port

A bed sails down a river, a name carved
into its headboard. Floating
from Amherst, Emily Dickinson unlaces
her coutil corset with a quill, scrawls:

A bed is not a boat, twinned
in water’s reflection, but a vessel
into Mind. When hallelujahs echo
from distant hymnals,

she recalls mulberries
in May, fingers blued. Today, she tastes
the burn of absence, metallic
on her tongue. Dust darkens

beveled windows, ghosting panes, each one
a quatrain onto Paradise. Squinting
through history’s glass—future,
past—she knows the bed

will arrive, sheets embroidered
with eglantine. Unbraiding
her hair, she’ll dip its strands
to inscribe her stanzas in water,

words that will unwrite themselves.

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The Difficulty of Being Oneself and Other Poems

in Poetry by

Password

Every morning a new word escapes me,
its meaning defined only
by the light between morning and now
that sinks down into soil,
boxed and stored in magma
and subterranean channels.

I don’t have the vocal mechanism
to pronounce this word that seems
meant for someone else, and who might not
be human after all, and who would
be condemned for uttering it, perhaps sent
to live in an abandoned steel mill.

I try to shape my tongue to accommodate it
by placing a sugar cube in my mouth,
though no amount can sweeten the losses.

In my backpack, I carry a thesaurus,
looking always for the alternative,
that other word that carries time’s texture,
the slow drift of departure, this light, sprinkled
over the sidewalks of each day, seasoning
meanings that will only unlock
when I’m wide awake and eat my words.

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At the gates of Remembrance and Other Poems by Christiane Conesa-Bostock

in Poetry by

At the gates of Remembrance

Here I stand at the gates of Remembrance
between those who remember everything
and amnesiacs who forget it all.

Some days, you’re allowed in and today I
see my grand-father. He kept verbena
lollies and biscuits in his suit pocket.
His moustache bestowed him a Dali look.
His grey eyes could detect little lies and
at times, dreaming of mantillas, guitars
and black castanets his feet and his hands
stuttered a Flamenco. Olé chicos!

But now inflexible ushers of Time
have barred this lovely path to Remembrance.

Tomorrow I’ll stand again at these gates
between those who remember everything
and amnesiacs who forget it all.

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