Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Blog

  • *Donations for maintaining website costs & to help with Print Anthologies go to our paypal feversofthemind@gmail.com*
  • Submissions e-mail: feversofthemind@gmail.com  Twitter: @feversof please include an author photo, a bio, social media info if any.

Fevers of the Mind July Themes including new *Writing Prompts*

Anything unless published elsewhere will be eligible for our Fevers of the Mind Print Anthologies in the future.

Upcoming Fevers of the Mind Press Anthologies

*Fevers of the Mind Issue 5 (probably in August)

*Fevers of the Mind Issue 6 (Probably in October if not sooner)

*A Sequel Anthology to Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen: Submissions end on September 1st 

*Poetry, Haikus, Sonnets, Poetry book Reviews, Music Reviews, Essays, Art promotion photos, Photography, Interviews*

Open submissions with bio. Please give us up to a full month from your sent e-mail date for acceptances/rejections.  I will answer any status questions but remember to give us at least 1 month from your sent e-mail. Please let us know if something has been previously published, we will make a judgment call on whether able to include. 

Themes in addition to General Submissions could include,  #StoptheHate Social Justice Poetry, The Audrey Hepburn Challenge, LGBTQ Matters/Pride, Avalanches in Poetry 2 Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen, Mental Health, History, Old Hollywood poetry, Influenced by Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath,  Jack Keroauc, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, artists, Instrumental music, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Nikki Giovanni, Rita Dove, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, William S. Burroughs, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bukowski, Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Keats, W.B. Yeats, E.E. Cummings, James Joyce, Ginsberg, Lorca, Henry David Thoreau, Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, Ted Hughes, Elliott Smith, Tori Amos, Ani Difranco, Marvin Gaye and many more.

*New submissions will only be accepted for a future print anthology except from our current Wolfpack Monthly contributors, this does not include interviews and book reviews. We are now sending rejection e-mails (not a favorite thing to do) but will be necessary in this process. After a month some of the Anthology poetry could be added to the blog.*

About Editor David L O’Nan

Follow me on Twitter @DavidLONan1 

For More go to Amazon and look for the Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 Deluxe Edition paperback & kindle  Split editions Volumes 1 & 2 from the Deluxe edition available on paperback (look for post on Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 to know who are contributors in each book), Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest Volumes 1-3 available on paperback and kindle. Also there is a Poetry Only combination book of Volumes 1 & 2:  Avalanches in Poetry: Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen available on Paperback & Kindle.   My poetry books (David L O’Nan) New Disease Streets (November 2020) The Cartoon Diaries (2019) Taking Pictures in the Dark (February 2021) Our Fears in Tunnels (2021) The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers (2018) Lost Reflections (2021) are all also available on Amazon.  For my Amazon Author Page (may not have all listed at first)  I have had work published in Icefloe Press, Royal Rose Magazine, Truly U, Dark Marrow an offshoot of Rhythm & Bones Lit, Ghost City,  3 Moon Publishing, Elephants Never, Nymphs Publishing, Anti-Heroin Chic & more. I have edited 5 Anthology editions & have poetry, prose, short stories, photography in Fevers of the Mind Poetry (&Art) Digest/Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen.  A Best of the Net Nominee for 2021.

An Old Dancer’s Memories of Youth by David L O’Nan

Ballet Dancer, Ballet, Old-Fashioned

An Old Dancer’s Memories of Youth

In a melting synthetic glow
Eyes shallow, following shadows 
Crying in the underbelly of the circus 
Dancing on top of a burning cloud
Dancing over the feet of fools, 
clinging to their sticky bodies with your clammy hands. 
Your smooth swaying hands
You old, dancing spirit
Born several years after the year of desire

Remember those top hat daddies and the beer stench cigars Tattered clothes that rip from the dance
In the mornings you would awake nude in the arms of a hairy giant
Those nights before you went to sleep held tightly in the drunk arms of a dwarf.
You poked your head out of the bathroom
Then you smiled, your short red curly hair popping around your head
Dancing scantily  in  a  plaid  swimsuit, 
talking  like  Ann-
Margret
“Who wants a classy lady?”
“Who dares to want the R-rated femme?”

Remember all the phone calls from the gentlemen, 
the doo- hickeys, the born out of the trash bins
The bruised greasers with the cologne smells?
Oh, now remember then the tire swing, 
tied  around a 
weathered tree in your grandparent’s yard?
You rolled around in the clover, 
looked eye to eye with a monarch butterfly.
You asked if it had ever met Cinderella before 
You tried to kiss it when the dinner bell rang

Mmmm…cold cuts, mashed potatoes, chug-a-lug milk, 
Corn beef hash & hot muffins
Grandpa has outdone himself again
Scrappy and toasty he was in his chicken feather kitchen 
Grandma singing Bessie Smith to an owl magnet -
on the
 fridge
Remember all those circus clown Uncles 
who used to eat the peanut butter straight from the mason jars, drank all the whiskey?

That one who told you that you were sprouting a hint of a mustache even though you were pre-pubescent.
You rushed to your ghost filled room, 
and smoked your 4th ever cigarette
Flicking ashes at the dog you hated You put on your ballerina shoes
And there you are again, you dancer, you movie star 
Dancing into the toyboxes filled with teddy bears with
cheese stained hair.

Bruising your knees even more
Tap into the kitchen, breathing maple syrup air, 
burnt pancakes on the kitchen counter.
You’re too busy drawing freckles on the ugly baby dolls and hiding from the chattering echoes surrounding the kitchen table.
You borrowed your cousin’s little red wagon to push around
the dog that you liked
The golden retriever pup you named Baryshnikov.

That same red wagon you pushed your little boyfriends in,
sharing M&M’s
The same red wagon you procured from the cellar on a drunken night or two in the teenage years
Pushed hormone driven pimp wannabes in, calling them assholes.

Remember telling stories to the rest of the crowds in the bars?
Telling them how much you hate life after 30
But, then how much you loved beating the infancy, 
the illnesses of an earlier mind
That belched out maturity and left only a toothless smile with knowledge.
And how much you enjoyed each Summertime tan despite how much your skin became leather.

How you rediscovered your gift of dancing as you began dropping your credit cards into the laps of thieves.
They made sure they took you home on those nights,
To take advantage of a liquored dream.
Meanwhile the dancing was more like a scene from Grey Gardens.
A truck driver would chew on a peppered steak stick 
and hoot and holler.

But, they were just a heart juggler
Played with fire while you dreamt in gold.
So, was it worth it?
Dropping tears into the stale cotton candy 
As the curtain closes
All the rings will fade to black 
The spotlight is on you
Dance away or act shy, it’s your final call.

Wolfpack Contributor EIC Bios:  David L O’Nan & HilLesha O’Nan

Poem “Alone In My Car” by David L O’Nan

EIC: David L O’Nan is the Saturday Feature on Cajun Mutt Press with old storytelling poetry







Poem by Theresa Haffner : Hollywood, 3 a.m.

city with high-rise buildings during night time

Hollywood, 3 a.m.

1.

Bits of newspaper and the tattered remains of porno pictures blow across the pavement flutter in the 3 a.m. wind a lonely taxi cruises empty streets discarded flyers of forgotten rock and roll bands fall to the ground and cover the sidewalk like autumn leaves

2.

Hollywood,3 AM. all night diner a Styrofoam coffee cup sits on a folded napkin circular stains round its bottom a jelly donut in the display case the door is open and everybody here the cripple, the beggar, the homeless, the thief and even though they have never met they still know one another with the unerring knowledge of all late night diners and people who were ever too poor to buy a meal unread newspapers open to the want ads wait the dawn

3.

Hollywood,3 AM walk of fame stars line the sidewalks with the names of celebrities from a bygone era and those who walk these streets with worn out shoes who do not even recognize many of the names immortalized beneath their feet sleep in doorways or on the sidewalk covered up with cardboard or wrapped in blankets like shrouds haunt the dark recesses of alleyways and deserted buildings they say, “do you have any spare change, mister? ” “brother, can you spare a dime? ”

4.

Hollywood 3 AM between buildings along driveways and across parking lots floodlights direct their beams along light corridors carefully monitoring all activity within their radius and transmit their information to other vigilantes, agents, operatives and police organizations by means of high pitched variations of the light frequency phenomena that should be happening all the time becomes most pronounced between between the hours of 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.

observing them in a red tinted mirror discovers further activity otherwise undetectable when the surveillance helicopter flies overhead everything gets crazy on the roof an unrecognizedfigure is seen climbing up wearing infrared goggles and carrying a two way radio he won’t be there when morning comes

5.

Hollywood 3 AM nobody on the street just an old alley cat arching his back he says “me-ow” go home you old alley cat! and two or three guys on the corner selling cocaine as we approach, they say “what do you want? ”

“what do you need? ”

Poem by Theresa Haffner: Reality Doctor

3 poems by Theresa Haffner : word decyclotron, word underworld, Dwarka

2 poems by Theresa Haffner ‘Room 203’ & ‘The Black Stars’

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Anastasia Abboud

with Anastasia Abboud

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Anastasia: I’ve loved writing ever since I could write. Growing up, I was especially drawn to poetry and lyrical prose. When I was small I was partial to Emily Dickinson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Robert Frost. As I grew older, I fell in love with the English romantics and then Gibran Khalil Gibran. But while I wrote countless poems as a child, I haven’t tried as an adult. I love poetry and actually feel quite intimidated to try it myself. So far, I’d rather read it and I appreciate your website and posts for introducing me to the work of some marvelous poets.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Anastasia: There is not one specific, biggest influence. I like the passion and intensity of a well-crafted romance, so I would say that I am encouraged and inspired by other romance authors.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?

Anastasia: I grew up in Texas, surrounded by immigrants who were living in very different surroundings from those they were used to. The stoicism of the elders and the tempestuous lives of their children (who were also my elders) taught me that there is so much more to a person than meets the eye. To this day, I try to reflect that in my writing.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Anastasia: Trips to Lebanon and Turkey particularly and directly affected my writing because I returned home wanting to write about them. Lebanon is so tiny and Turkey so huge, but both are ancient lands with dynamic, multi-cultural histories, beautiful people, and stunning geography. But while some intrepid and savvy travelers understand this, most of the world only sees the problems and politics. Again, it’s my desire that people see more than the surface. It’s not very realistic of me, but the beauty is real. 

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Anastasia: No, not really. It’s always been in me. In the past few years, there have been times that I was actively searching my soul, asking myself if I really wanted to keep writing. My life is full and busy without it. But the question only made me sad, and the answer was always that my life was more full and authentic with it. I suppose that sometimes other creatives might feel the same? I haven’t had that discussion with myself again for quite a while.  

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Anastasia: Fun question! 😊 There are so many things! I love spending time with those I love. I enjoy yoga, swimming, museums. But to really rest, to forget myself, spending time out in nature is key – whether my garden, the mountains, or shore. I also love reading and find it very relaxing.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Anastasia: I would just like to say that my latest book Tremors, a time travel romance, has been picked up by The Wild Rose Press. It is not available at the moment and will be re-released later this year. Very exciting! 

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem/writing of yours or others?

Anastasia: “When you reach the summit, memorize the view before you so you can tell us if it’s still the same. Send our thoughts, our kisses, our tears to the mountains and valleys below. Remember us there, habibti, and know we are with you. Our hearts never left.”  – from my book Let Us Not Live in Ignorance

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Anastasia: Not any one person. The dear ones I hold closest and all those who have shown me love. Every person who has uttered praise or encouragement. Fellow authors and other creatives I know who have inspired and celebrated little victories with me. Teachers and editors who have shared wisdom. They have all helped.

www.anastasiaabboud.com

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Z.R. Ghani

with Z.R. Ghani

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Z.R.: I started writing at the age of 16 when I read Jane Eyre and fell in love with it. I started off by writing surrealistic short stories and planning epic novels which never saw the light of day. Poetry always fascinated me and I was drawn to Shakespeare’s sonnets and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, but I didn’t start writing poems until my English teacher at college read a sonnet I wrote for my homework. He was impressed and encouraged me to keep writing, so I did!

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Z.R.: So many poets come to mind. However, I’ve always loved Carol Ann Duffy, Pascale Petit, and Ezra Pound. When I read their work I just want to grab a pen and paper and start scribbling away. Influences are great but I do believe in getting to know yourself, finding your voice so you’re not copying someone else but being true to who you are.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Z.R.: I grew up in Mauritius and moved to England when I was 8 years old. I tend not to write about Mauritius as much as I’d like to. Not sure why that is, it’s not a subject matter I automatically turn to. London, however, inspires me to no end. I love the diversity of the city, and the contrast between quiet parks and concrete jungles. At the same time I still feel like a stranger in London. It’s probably why I explore themes of self and identity in my work. I also like to write about where I am in my life right now, how I feel about myself at this point in time. Poetry is about confessing your truth – at least for me it is! I’m also inspired by Greek mythology, art, and fairytales. 

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work that you’ve done creatively so far?

Z.R.: I’ve put together a poetry pamphlet recently titled ‘In the Name of Red’ and looking to get it published. It was put together during the first lockdown and that was the first time I dedicated myself to a body of work when I felt as though I was being completely honest about my past and the events that have shaped me.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Z.R.: When I was studying at university, I chose the poetry module in my second and third year as a last resort. I thought, “how hard can it be?” and didn’t fully understand the work that goes into writing poems. The first few poems I wrote were badly received and I wanted to give up. After a long period of doubt I decided to read more poetry and be less forgiving with the editing. This not only improved my work but I realised that poetry was a crucial part of my life and I could never abandon it. 

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Z.R.: I like sewing, drawing, cooking, and going on long walks.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Z.R.: n/a here are links to some poems

Poem by Z.R. Ghani : “Heart Shaped Wreath”

Poem by Z.R. Ghani : House on a Tightrope

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Z.R. Ghani

https://www.thewillowherbreview.com/winter-crow-zr-ghani

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?

Z.R.: These lines are from an unpublished poem I wrote about Elizabeth I:
“Her beauty retreats as she looms near,/ becomes so rare it never existed –”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Z.R.: All my university tutors were amazing in helping me to develop my voice, I wouldn’t be writing now if it wasn’t for them. I am eternally grateful to Matthew MC Smith, an accomplished poet and the Editor of Black Bough Poetry, who believed in my work even before I had a Twitter account and was just a wannabe Instagram poet. I’ve still got a long way to go but I believe in myself because of him and owe him a lot for motivating me. 

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Rosie Johnston

with Rosie Johnston:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Rosie: As soon as I learned how to hold a pencil, I escaped the family ructions around me by writing on my own on the upturned base of a doll’s cot. That absorption in writing is where I’ve felt at home ever since. At school, I loved writing, even though they called it homework, but then sensible things got in the way like earning a living and having children. I couldn’t finally give myself permission to write until I was around 40 and my kids were all settled at school. I had waited so long, I’d lost focus and had no idea where to start, so I took a journalism course and swore I’d write anything and learn as I went. My first influences were what journalism teaches us: to get it written, get it right and keep it short, in plain, unstilted language being aware all the time that our readers have other pressing things to do.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Rosie: I’m most impressed by plain-speaking poets who keep strictly to their chosen form. Seamus Heaney and his old friend Michael Longley come to mind, and Edna St Vincent Millay. I turn to Basho in quiet moments, and Rumi. There’s an American master of short poetry called Samuel Menashe; I wish he were alive today, still writing.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Rosie: Born in Belfast, I grew up during what we euphemistically called The Troubles. Times were turbulent in my family too as my mother contracted breast cancer when I was 17 and survived until I had just become a mother for the first time aged 30. Northern Ireland used its ‘troubles’ to foment a golden age of poetry. I used mine to escape (with my parents’ blessing) to England with those home poets (Heaney, Longley, Meehan, McGuckian, Hewitt, Muldoon et al, and Yeats of course) packed in my bags.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work that you’ve done creatively so far?

Rosie: It’s tricky for a writer to assess their own work but I’m probably most proud of Six-Count Jive (Lapwing Publications, 2019) which brings together around 90 micro-poems charting my recovery from a diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress disorder in 2010. With a sense of women of the past urging me on in the writing, I found these two little stanzas arriving as introduction:

So many words.

Sung, scribbled, told

by the fire, by the cradle. Vanished.

In dreams, I hear whispers, women

long gone:

‘Find our lost poems. Write them.’

I’m also very proud to have poems included in some wonderful anthologies recently: Places of Poetry (OneWorld, 2020) and Her Other Language (Arlen House, 2020).

Places of Poetry by Paul Farley, Andrew McRae | Waterstones

Her Other Language by Ruth Carr, Natasha Cuddington | Waterstones

Books & anthologies – Rosie Johnston (rosiejohnstonwrites.com)

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Rosie:

Those moments wrapped in my own world at the upturned cot gave me an early sense that writing was the place for me. But it wasn’t until my youngest (of three children) was a year old that I had a sort of eruption of energy emotionally and mentally telling me that if I didn’t start writing then, I never would. So, I took a journalism course in the evenings and learned how to churn out the words on time, see them edited without dissolving in tears, felt the thrill of watching strangers engrossed in my words, and the even greater buzz of getting paid. Heady days. I developed into writing drama and fiction and never intended to write poetry but as CPTSD began to make its presence felt in 2009/2010, I found tiny poems coming to me, always in 17-syllable stanzas with a short middle line. Luckily, Dennis Greig of Lapwing in Belfast saw something in them and published my first pamphlet in November 2010.  

Rosie Johnston (google.com)

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Rosie: After forty years in London, I moved in 2018 to the English seaside and bought myself a beach hut. It’s a little shed on the shore where friends, family and I can change for a wild swim, have warm drinks and meals and chat the day away. Any tension around? The beach hut and the waves defuse it in no time.

Poems and Pictures – Rosie Johnston (maryevans.com)

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Rosie: In March this year, roof repairs were going on in the teeth of Storm Christophe and heavy snow (there’s never a perfect time to write) and I produced my first fiction in over ten years. On my last trip abroad before the pandemic, I met a lovely old man in Paris and knew there was a story there waiting to be written. Laughing and Grief is about love and loss without straying into the usual territory of Parisian romance and I’m proud to say it was published last month in American Writers Review 2021, available here American Writers Review 2021: Turmoil and Recovery: Ferrara, D, Louise, Dale, Talarigo, Jeff, Florio Founder, Patricia A.: 9780999880869: Amazon.com: Books

 On 23 October, 2021 between 14.00 and 16.00 GMT, I’ll be reading my poetry at Gloucester Poetry Festival online. I will have half an hour all to myself, quite a challenge for somebody who specialises in short poems, and I can’t wait. My website Blog – Rosie Johnston (rosiejohnstonwrites.com) will have details closer to the time.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?

Rosie:

In 2016, to celebrate 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, Greenwich publisher Live Canon commissioned responses by living poets to all the great man’s sonnets. Project 154 (livecanon.co.uk) Mine was 126, a rather snarky sonnet written in elegant balance-sheet language about, essentially, being dumped. Uniquely, and possibly to annoy every sonnet fan who can count, sonnet 126 is two lines short, as if the affair it describes was cut unfairly short. Well, that took me to my own, too-hot-to-handle, first love:

My boyish love. Your solemn

tacit beauty

enchanted even Time

till in this willowed place you

chose to wane

in earth, while my heart waxes.

Your stone preserves your name,

once mine.

Chiselled dates belie vitality.

We linked hands and birled in

Nature’s blessings,

Snubbed her warnings, let them swirl.

Love led us from discredit to

debit. Time

divided us in two.

I survived the severed decades

to unite here

stricken at your grave.

My heart still whirls with

precious, youthful

you.

Yes, that ‘stricken’ is a nod to Edna St Vincent Millay’s wonderful sonnet about grief: Time Does Not Bring Relief. “Time does not bring relief; you all have lied”… | Poetry Foundation

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Rosie:

Undoubtedly my greatest poetry debt is to Dennis Greig of Lapwing Publications in Belfast. He has published four books of my micro-poems since 2010 and, in spite of his own immense health difficulties, always finds time and energy to nurture my style and confidence. A thousand thanks to you, Dennis.

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Rosie Johnston

3 Poems by Rosie Johnston : “Blood Stains on the Stones” “Other-Mother” & an extract from “Six-Count Jive”