March online Anthology “The Whiskey Mule Diner” inspired by Tom Waits

All of March. Send poetry and other writings/art influenced by Tom Waits for the Online Anthology “The Whiskey Mule Diner” to be posted here on Fevers of the Mind. Send to include bio and poems on a word doc or e-mail body.


Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Blog

Our twitter is @feversof eic @davidLONan1 Facebook Group: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Arts Group

Submissions e-mail: 

Please send in word doc format and mostly traditional styles for easier translation to the page if possible. If not pdf will work. Google docs don’t always work so well.

Donate to our paypal also at (anything helps to keep the site going)


We are open for Poetry Showcases for anyone to send 3-5 poems/prose. If not all pieces are accepted. I will post the 1 or 2 poems but will not be considered a showcase.

We are unable to provide compensation at this time contributors. We have to reach out through the year for donations just to keep the site going. This is for the art of poetry, music, art & other creatives.

Some poetry/art published on this site will periodically be taken down if space is running low. You will be guaranteed at least 6-8 months exposure on our website. No promises after that and don’t take it personal.

Themes we are Looking for Poetry/prose/articles/other styles of writing are for Adhd Awareness, Mental Health, Anxiety, Culture, History, Social Justice, LGBTQ Matters/Pride, Love, Poem series, sonnets, physical health, pandemic themes, Trauma, Retro/pop culture, inspired by music/songwriters, artist, inspired by classic & current writers, frustrations.

Online Submissions could include Poetry, Art, submitted Book Reviews, culture pieces, rants, pre-published poetry from self-published materials, defunct lit mags, pieces from other lit mags/books/blogs with permissions. We prefer 3-5 poems sent unless you are sending for a writing prompt. There could be exceptions to this rule of course. If we take 3-5 or more poems from you will we feature you as a poetry showcase on the website.

We prefer submissions with a bio to help promote your work. Please let us know if something has been previously published, we will make a judgment call on whether able to include. I don’t love the idea of sending rejection letters.  If you don’t receive acceptance assume we passed up this time and send something else. If you have simultaneous submissions out there, please keep this in mind. If not accepted at first, Just try again…We will not accept pieces that we deem racist, sexist, homophobic, or have pornographic themes, photos, or any type of nudity in submissions.

About writer/editor David L O’Nan

Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.

My newest book released October 2022 “Cursed Houses”

Out now the Deluxe Edition of “Before the Bridges Fell” for a copy on paperback or kindle (U.S.) please check availability in your country. Some countries take awhile for the paperback to be released. It could be a few days to a couple months until available.

Poetry Showcase: David L O’Nan (March 2023)

from my book “Cursed Houses” October 2022 for a copy (U.S. Link)

Paperback & Kindle version of Cursed Houses is now available from David L O’Nan on this link below

Poetry Showcase: David L O’Nan from Cursed Houses pt 1

A Botched Sunset

We could have had all the colors to hold in our hands as the day ended.
What was to be a clear forecast, 
The hands of time stop and let me sip it all in.
It was just the beginning of a robbery, a botched sunset.
She cries with little painful eyes, 
and I have to hide to adore her from the side.
I’m not able to clear the air, nor wipe away a tear.
I’m not able to speak up and let her know I was there.
I couldn’t disgrace his name, even though he’s to blame,
and you were quilting yourself shut, a kite that wouldn’t sail.

I walk around with the wrong crowd; I watch as they burn out.
I’m thinking that if I stay in the here, I’ll be around for you in the now.
But I’m sorry I can’t stay frozen; I gallop everywhere, 
and I just burn too much –
to inhale the ice of your stare.
I couldn’t just fade into the smoke. 
I couldn’t just laugh at the tasteless jokes.
When the burn for you was real-
around a crowd of fake noise and hidden fear.

Wilting, a fading voiceless, where are the words?
It’s still raining since that day.
The old pictures and old punctures tickles at the brain.
The enchantment is enframed.
Forever paralyzed inside. Where do old voices go?
Unable to conserve the wonders from that first thunderstorm. 
The clouds are forever parading across –
and once in a while the light, the pop, the cracks and crumble.
Repair me temporarily with the glue...
Then wait for the digestive gulp fade awhile once again.
The sunsets just can’t get it right, too ruddy, too nauseating, too lively, 
or too sick.

All I can remember is the near times, not like the first times.
The times we almost shared...but the eyes were never for me, 
at least that’s what the ring said.
Always something to push the buttons for you, 
and always a shell for me to cling to.
The memories will always be inside a confused heart. 
Sitting there in an old photo wasn’t me, 
but there was the goofy, the darling and the preacher of philosophy.

I know you’ve been through the sands, you’ve been through the cold
you’ve been with the devil, and you’ve been with the bells of angelic souls.
You’ve been upset, you’ve been my bridge, 
you’ve been my ladder and my fall.
And I will claim myself unsuitable for your wall, 
and just hang there from the sky like
like a botched sunset. 

From a Motel Somewhere
We were shaken in our radiance, 
A shattering immortality 
corrupted the ripe and sat lonesome against the splintered mahogany door.

I found a letter on the ground addressed to the hierarchy.
The prisoners are at the shore laughing in a fan boat, 
they have smiles like gargoyles
While the dead dance at the ritz and do some sort of cellophane jig.

The gothic greedy mouse goes begging for cash from King Rat.
And I was watching as the bastard child failed to secure the gold.
They just talked to each other like a mumbled muppet behind the walls of these wishbones.

Time stopped and the children did play.  
The wells they wished in was for a forever.
In tiny bits of water they made God into a tadpole...
to give them hope and wait all afternoon.
Watch for the light shoot down like a ladder from the sky.

Then we have all the muscled monsters in the mazes.  
Remember them for strength.
..and their constant need to look just alike and flex for the fantasy in her golden skin.

They will not be remembered for their failures, their miseducation, 
or their sweat.
They still show tears in dramatic flaws when the mockingbirds did come out to squawk.

Let’s look for the glutton sleeping by the tobacco fields,
as he is covered in tics and mites.
He’s moving through this prairie like a skunk, 
just to become a possum city punk.
Carcasses and bones falling off the wagons, driving too fast near the cliffs.
Sunsets seem a little fancy for now, 
and the stars are too bright to tremble for this apocalypse.
Another mystery in a town full of affairs.    
All the sexiest and dreamers decide that in denial 
they can mix in with the lacey foliage.   

Mowing down the vacant lot.
In a distance full of sparrows and woodpeckers shake at the cage.  

From a motel somewhere, the truckers coming in for a night of 
chemical sleep.

If Masterpieces Were Bloodshed

Could I blink out stars, 
with bloodshed blowing from my thoracic aorta.
Like a lightning strike to the wind,
painting a perfect picture to define sin.

Slender wings, fat reptiles
Cold blood mixed in art
A witness will rise,
to slam our faces into this disguise.
Time has slipped and slept
with the stinging breaths.
The witch has left magic for death.

A tiger lily, a mourner binges tears – 
across the ropes
The pulling against the cuts, the scabs itch against the scars
Eternally I have decorated you with my haunt.

Leave everyone curious, all shall see
the visible is in my invisible me
Wish for one last high, we can ride
The flights will rip apart this sky like 
a thin silk, a yarn - 
my frail skin will come down like banners and lay.

Just lying there, cold
So cold, like stones stitched together –
like a masterpiece

Shivering, losing feeling
in fingers, in toes
my cheeks, my lungs
my bones, my heart
My weather-beaten mind –

Literal Picassos, hobo Van Gogh
Dry heaving Monet in a radiation snow.
Art has, art had
our lives, our love,
our waves, all water dried
Emerge from withdrawals
Or silence, I dare your darkness
to ripple in a little sunlight.

Lifelong, gliding
Just hanging on, disappear
Fail the imagination, Fail
Then what is left is pale
watercolors in a shaking hand.
Orbs and nowhere to go.

White Sheet Metal Heat

I guess you’ll just invite yourself in,
Mr. superiority with black eyed, bloodshot, half-crippled

driving severed metal motorcycles with a loaded gun.
A corpse walker with white sheets in America.

Driving till the blood burns to a volcanic metal heat.
You travel with the Sturgis circus

Don’t come near my family, “wise man”
Flask in your hand, 

Crystal Meth bubbling in your head.
Buzzing up bumblebees in your fuzzy dreams, 

swing at the hornet’s nest
and watch the clouds bleed.  

There is no glow for you.

Long grass blades with burnt tips is your energy fuel.

With your solid white sheet, you think you’re a form of king.

Smothering in like funnels obliterating nails 
and shreds of the trailer park
 vacuum up in the flames.  
The pedophile Uncle and his 100-page letters

can’t invent you a new identity.  
They can’t make your potatoes grow. 
And they can’t stalk your women for you full time.  
There’s a burning ball of gas heading your way.

to explode you from rotten to root.
Come on over, Mr. Loaded gun.

See the scars ripping through my skin.

Can you identify me as a fossil that has been eaten- 
from flesh to ghost already?

Bones stripped and my teeth ready to chew.  
I’ve buried rapist like you with the worms.

Crusting off in this white sheet metal heat.

Bravado comes, bravado runs

Bravado comes, bravado runs

Keep the running, bravado when blades chase

Keep the running, ego and greed. It is getting hotter and hotter.

Hide in your hills of dirt, 
ready to strike when the guard is down

I’ve got the battle plan in my head, 
I’ve got the battlefield in the mazes of vessels and neurons

I’ve got the mind and all you have is led and steel, 
swerving mirrors showing a shady fuck!

Drink your medicine for those brain eating “turkey mites”  
with threats and shouts and cuss you outs. 
Swallowing in your drug infected teeth.  
Swallow them down into flakes

into the burning ulcer of your white sheet metal heat.

Your magic wand has left your hand.

Expressway Fade

As loud voices crack in the room of whips.
I have to escape my mind and walk away.
Into the dark, raining or snowing
Shoes or not? 
No physical feeling when the suicides are swirling.

I feel the pain harder 'cause it cuts slower for me.
Rejection sensitivity, empathic.
the ulcers and worries just cause yourself to fade.

I don’t see my reflection anymore on these dark expressways.
Keep on walking with and in my pain.
pray inside for the waves to shave into a stream.
I can swim easier in my vision when the expressway doesn’t fade.

Sinking Prison

I think of life outside
just as chilly and mean
I wonder if there are people
that still remember the
younger me.

Robberies and cowards
overcrowding my feels.
Claustrophobia dancing the 
minutes of sedated thrills.
The pills can’t dissolve the
brain in a sinking prison.

Feeling the floodwaters wrinkle
my feet, the cuts and the
injections never cease. I am
wondering if I could put to
words the voices that scream
to me in this disease.

I can only imagine the trees
outside in full lambada. I can
imagine the touch of love from
another era, that no one
fashions anymore and the
celebrations now are now
brighter and pops!

I would trade my clothes for
the cigarettes and rest. I would
trade my soul for Jesus
beating in my chest.

My heart is made for steel bars
and switchblade threats for a 
little lick of sunshine on a 
follicle of my thinning hair.

Sinking prisons, concrete is
more like barbwire foam.
Years of short circuits and
trampling prisoners to their knees.
We are all in this cave, sinking
And we slowly asphyxiate in
the smoke.

Sinking, sinking prisons
It doesn’t matter your crimes

If you were a magnet or the
hidden star in the sky. You
were found and punished and
become a nameless gazelle.
with a jungle full of hungry
lions on your trail.

17 Fallen Angels

It was a good thing they invented the devil –
on a day that Yahweh was sleeping in the masses of rain
With hissing, conversions, hippy guru cult majesties
the angels begin to fall from the sky to the grass,
the lily pads, the valleys, out of the bars, into the cars
of mouths that drink in their own bibles.

Never to be found, left blind, deaf and touch was no longer a crowning.
Geranium lips. Kisses screwed to mouths, glued in filthy and watch him –
crawl in and out of the light. To knives, rope, tape & a weep from breath
that became a bark, a growl, a demonic quiver. Another angel in the dark.
When will the awakened get off their asses with blades and venom?
And fight out the hushes of the selfish,
the killer’s frail mind, the resonant cutting.

Fallen angels in guillotines being dreamed 
by the assassins and the machines..
they made love to you in the midnight twirling sky. 
Exchanged your evening dressed
for the ripping macabre thread that whips in and 
out of the darkness of eyes and night.
When the devil gets tired and then he forgets he’s just a puny human.
Chairs overturned and speaking in tongues. Foamy and milk. Shaken in silk.

He just knows he’s in love with your memory 
rather than love the hurt of what memories
 were & the love that could have been. 
The reality is that bubble that you choose to not live in
and the bubble he can’t get out. 
They greased him in. The fix was the sin. And the hex was
the insurance. Walk through this glass and nails to save an 18th.

Callie's Dad: Obituary

I found myself an ill mess
sweating all over my bed
switching alarm clocks on and off.
I could swear my heart was
pounding nails in my head
I was all engaged in the world of me.

Well I read somewhere that
Callie’s dad died about 3
Summers ago.
4 Summers since I knew her.
And we had visions of a 
wedding, but July dresses are
much to sticky and itchy.

So I think I remember the man
vaguely, Callie’s Dad.
Met him at a family barbecue.
He seemed drunk and rude. But he shook
my hand and informed me there was still some catfish bites on the grill.

So I remembered your mom,
always answering the door, a
little teary, a little dreary. A 
dirty rooster t-shirt and makeup
many hours worn and hair she
combed flimsy.

I once gave Callie a school ring
and said with this we’ll forever be.
And like a dumb young boy I skipped
home or drove in some out-of-date car
with neurotic loud voices and
shredding guitars. Callie ignored me and kissed
my cheek. And she said  “goodbye” as I was still developing a 
personality designed for her.

Now, with cloudy coffee, a
wasp in the room. I am
thinking of our drive-in movie 
date, and her daddy threatens
her with the tricks that a full 
moon will bring. "All the men
are searching and hunting and
the women are the prey" he says.

He wanted her to always stay.
But she strayed to another.
A blonde combover 27-year-old, Miller Light addict
A town boy with no city, no artistic aspirations.
He could read the hell out of a TV guide.

In her father’s obituary I find 
out he left this Earth with 5
different wives. I am sure the bills
will never end. And Callie surely doesn’t remember me
more than a 2-week boyfriend.  Her and blonde Dennis
have 6 mouths to feed and I’ve got a closet full of magazines
with cracks in the seams.

It Hasn't Rained in Spanish Harlem for about 100 Days

There is a tarantula running rampant through a Baja desert 
with blue moon light.
A crowd of lucifers play the fiddles in Kentucky mud, 
they live for the fight.
Wine is spilling from the lips of the rain – 
and she knows that we all become drunk
while the grain is burning from barn to barn
the glass shatters from traffic jams. 
A watchful crowd of hitchhikers look on stoned.
Lined up on the interstate they just stand while the plague is in full ruin... 
and on each hand.

The sweat of lovers has painted the windows and the heat of passion falls off the buildings and mold the sandy concrete.
A railway with a lawyer walking in a dirty suit. 
He’s dressed up and thinks he defines cute.
He’s bland, full of cocaine and he’s a clumsy sloth...
with lipstick puked on by a prostitute.

Pistols going off and the whole city is afire
Everyone’s flesh is damaged, 
and everyone’s uncle is conspiring
... about the world being a wholesale of tramps 
It has risen enthusiastically while all the coffee has burnt, 

and their biscuits are stewing.
They want the fancy, but the streets want to stain them. 
The world caresses the old with new
visions of death.  Generic black to Generic blue.

Joyous and decorous, the sidewalks seem like a puzzle.
To the bouncing balls and the jump ropes shredding like old bones.
Where are these gunmen coming from? 
I smell their scent, but their fumes are camouflaged.
So we can ask ourselves to meet God and the wisdom tree. 
We ask the foolish to feed the machine. 
We find that fools are nothing more than an ocean without waves.

Look over there everyone is milk white as heartbreak thrives in their chest. They can’t fathom the drought or the dust that simmers instead of treasures. A society of soundless, watching people can be so boring. 
Letting another nerve weaken.
The wheels fall off and your left running unrestrained with no moon light.  A tarantula follows
..and you divided your blood and your might. 
Lethally injected with the fuzz and the haze. 
You have failed to realize that the thirst is real, 
and it hasn’t rained in Spanish Harlem in 
about, a hundred days.

Living a PTSD Scandal in Newport

Well, it must have been a break in the clouds when Dylan plugged in.
Well, your day must have been ruined when Maggie’s Farm was brewing.
Well, you could have got over it and jumped from your sunshine window but didn’t.
When civil rights leaders were being shot, 
you have sung about it but didn’t really change it.
Changing things for the better, 
or did you really just want to stay stagnate.
As Kennedys came and Kennedy’s went, Malcolm X and MLK, John Lennon.  The assassins kept bidding.

Well, now today we have parasitic new kids with assault weapons and wanting quick copycat fame.
Well, we got old men in diapers waving the death of their old glory flag. All torn and weathered.
They are screaming until tears, but not for lost lives.  
Seeming more like a revival of a Third Reich.
They want to keep watching the court dramas of pirates and glamorizing mamas on their flashing 
screens in front of them.
July 24, 1965, January 6, 2021  Some of them can’t figure out which one was worse than the other.

Well, have you ever met George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor or even Aura Rosser?
Well, probably not…maybe not but you’ve met the abuse of your neighbors.
You’ve met the stalker’s eyes, the wicked smiles with rebel flags. Pretending it’s about pride.
You’ve seen the whimsy stickers, 
the scare tactic flags daring people not to cross them.
Threaten us with the spells of evil in yellow and black and green, 
The Gadsden Flag comes flying 100 mph in some aggressive move-while in a truck to cause 100 collisions.
And they say they know God better than you.

Well, too much bleach drank in the mansions and the motorcycle villages by the stained trailer.
Well, Jeff knows Jim and Jim knows Randy and Randy knows Carol, but does Carol know anyone with darker melanin than hers?  
Has she ever had a real conversation with someone that isn’t exactly
like her?    
She’ll talk about the soldiers that returned home.  
Maybe they have secrets, maybe they just 
don’t want to marry your cousin Tara and not go out on dance night in a cutesy neon glow.
So that her eyes really burn when you don’t introduce yourself in their vision of you.

Well, we’ve got a whole lot full of Americana showing muscle cars like White Horses.
Well, they’ve got the “Southern Charm” and the beers “keep on chuggin”
They converse over Hooters waitresses and decide to body shame a local stripper.
They get all bent out of shape that the gentrification isn’t really helping them.
Just more hipsters to pay wild money to keep a controlled art scene rolling.
Worried about a woman’s right or an all-encompassing freedom. Continually making them feel lesser than them.

Well, they would storm that capitol like a reptile and hoped the bankrupt billionaires would give them a thumbs up and a promise.
Well, they hoped he would release them from their “prisons” and in the end they’d get the virgins.
They would get to cross-over to their Epstein heaven.    
The marigolds just fall to shame being paid to stay silent.
Take your hat off and place your hand on your heart while a burnt-out cocaine mustache sings the national anthem.

Well, they can’t decipher in this world what is a zombie apocalypse from the beauty of real people walking in front of them.
Well, they think that they don’t have that dollar to spare the poor when they’re begging, but they have plenty to spare to funding DeSantis or another cloned failure. 

To be the next television robot president, 
To be the next Hollywood hitman.
Well, I see that the money shortage hasn’t hit the mega churches when it comes to buffet picnic day.
To sneering looks and turning blind eyes to the fast-talking creepers watching the short shorts volleyball  game.

Willingly to spend $30 on a t-shirt that isn’t just for Jesus, but a little for waterslides, BBQ, and maybe to get Lee Greenwood to play a tune.

Well, then we have our small-town boys, driving their new cars and feeling alright playing all the latest rap songs.  
Still they have the American Flag vibrating on their windows.   
Well, all the laughing girls think they can sing like Rihanna, 
but they live for cowboy hats behind the scenes and live for designer jeans.
They think they can say any derogatory word and believe they are being “cool” and not offensive.
They are protected by the police, the lawyers, the daddies, the town, and the money.
Protected by the town’s tradition of 4th of July Fireworks and beauty pageants.   
For some it’s not a celebration it’s a stoning.

Well, let us see how the Cold War, a Civil War and a Vietnam War looks like wrapped in the same Christmas wrapping.
Well, let us see how Uvalde, Columbine, Sandy Hook, Minneapolis, la Drang Valley and Tulsa look in unison.
Well, that is where the world is headed.  
And we become enraged with our starvations.
and just think we cried over a little electricity in Newport.
and just think we cried over an award show tragedy.
and just think we cry over a delay every single day just to move 1 inch in a line.

Well, we are always worrying about political or gang affiliations.
Well, we can’t just put our brains together and try solving this cursed dissolvable nation.
We built this dirt on scars and stolen goods, 
too hard to repurpose the greed.
We just rebuild into new narcissisms.   
We feel we must revolutionize our way from our own suicides.
We still feel that they are coming for our malnourished taste.

Well, will it rain, or will it burn? 
Well, will the cars die, or will the wheels turn?
They say not to worry about the future on “our” borrowed time 
“But please let me control the present with my bleeding idealism”
Please hand me some form of uniform or costume 
so I will know my identity.   

I guess they’ll send out the Mark David Chapmans 
and they’ll send out the mob
they’ll send out the flags, and they’ll send out the dogs
They’ll send out the grim reaper to stick his sickle through 
your upper back.
They’ll come after you with their rights to bring artillery.
Forget Newport and let’s see if we can rust the machinery.
For all of those we can picket out whispers of “do you remember me?”

Bio: David L O'Nan is a poet, short story writer, editor living in Southern Indiana.  He is the editor for the Poetry & Art Anthologies "Fevers of the Mind Poetry and Art. and has also edited & curated other Anthologies including 2 inspired by Leonard Cohen (Avalanches in Poetry & Before I Turn Into Gold) and Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Inspired by Bob Dylan. He runs the website. A wordpress site that helps promote many poets, musicians, actors/actresses, other writers. He has self-published works under the Fevers of the Mind Press "The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers" "The Cartoon Diaries" & "New Disease Streets" (2020).”Taking Pictures in the Dark” “Our Fears in Tunnels” (2021) a collection of poetry called  "Bending Rivers" a micro poem collection "Lost Reflections" and new book "Before the Bridges Fell" & "His Poetic Last Whispers" (2022)  His latest book is "Cursed Houses" David has had work published in Icefloe Press, Dark Marrow, Truly U, 3 Moon Magazine, Elephants Never, Royal Rose Magazine, Spillwords, Anti-Heroin Chic, Cajun Mutt Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Voices From the Fire among several other litmags. He doesn’t enjoy the process of submitting constantly, however. Twitter is @davidLONan1 @feversof for all things Fevers of the Mind.    Join Facebook Group: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Arts Group .   

A Super Deluxe Poetry Showcase from David L O’Nan (from several books pt 1)

Poetry Showcase: Stephen Kingsnorth (March 2023)

All pieces previously published, though rights remain with the author.

Bio: Stephen Kingsnorth, retired to Wales, UK, from ministry in the Methodist Church due to Parkinson’s Disease, has had pieces published by on-line poetry sites, printed journals and anthologies.   

His blog is at

Lengths for Width

It lies beneath her surface sheen,
the real disturbance of disease, 
dementia spread, synapse collapse,
while outwardly she knows the rules -
the courtesies to strangers shown,
as even dares to hold her hand,
mutters sweet nothings to her lobe.

He daily comes from swimming baths,
stiff exercise for sinew strength,
some lengths of pool as butterfly,
prior to residence - not home -
the space where breast-stroke tackles width,
that gap between her mind and his;
from highest board, diving for love,
through water for the flower God,
his Lily, surface tension float.

Tomorrow it will seem the same, 
unless more fumbles locked in brain,
meniscus broken, given way,
as lightest touch may break the skein.
Pale sunshine may give way to rain,
endearments whispered, leaning in,
cold shoulder proffered in return,
stare, a rejected sacrifice,
this diamond wedding alien. 

The House that Moved

Told moving house a major stress, 
but where the emphasis? 
My relocation, focal site, 
transferring home from house. 
The change was of my fixed mind-set, 
with salt drips reaching tongue, 
half-empty cup now overflows, 
I feel it in my bowels.

Never chessboard gambit, clever,
nor shift, a change of gear, 
timely initiating - but 
fresh rhyme, new paradigm. 
Stone lintel long-divorced from wall, 
each hang had its own song, 
put-up-with hatch that I moaned, now
anointed without oil. 

The tin bath is my jacuzzi, 
gas ring my Aga range, 
my outhouse mangle, laundromat, 
sea shanties I sing there. 
Before door shaped the bell lost flex -  
but like the clapper swing;
beneath, the scraper where I tread, 
soiled boots swop for my soul.

Still sat, I stare through the pained glass, 
cracked, garden, easy whin, 
built on dolerite foundation, 
now this my box on sill. 
Kites pennant, hawks stoop, thermals swoop, 
vigilante cloud patrol,
while even storm petrel coastguards 
serve lookout for my byre. 

Fisher King

Where ash and bullfinch, 
kicking the curl dust-desiccated floor
bedding conkers, to collect,
and learn why candelabra die,
the seasons passing, marking dance?

Tell the mistle from the song,
know more than robin’s easy blush,
the finches beak from starling stab,
enjoy the dripping on the crust
before we shared the fatty stub;
now thistles gone, greyed decking sum,
concrete for rims, wheel mowing lines.

Bruised reeds, unbroken, layabout,
minnows, a jam jar, string around,
tadpoles, toads and newts nearby,
seen thread or clump, we gathered spawn
to grail the jellied specks with awe.
We early reckoned death with us, 
fashioned cross where goldfish earthed,
more celebrated brought to birth.

That what early learning meant,
reading lines thought heaven sent,
dandled, dawdling, driven less,
halcyon, raft calming seas. 


What was the moment you arrived,
when you, the child, could be shown off,
and they seemed proud to name you theirs?
That liminal, transition point,
when you know more than they, for sure,
and they know that, with awe, inside,
not adolescent in pretence;
for it’s your ground, they visitors,
not entertainers, entertained.

It took no craft, but punt and pole,
a bridge of sighs to navigate,
a competence few strangers find,
and shirt, bought Delhi, on my back. 

The Snicket

I walked hedged in, the uniform,
longed for school grounds, too long for run; 
inviting thump, in chest, on ribs, 
caged in, the strain for flight not fight, 
adrenaline, hormone within but all about.
Face front, two privet edge, alone,
onward, knew paired, voices behind,
told sniggers dare not look or turn.

I heard cleared scouring mouth for spit,
and knew the score, gob land in hand,
its filter, fingers, slow to land.
Steadfast unaltered gaze and pace, 
slight swing of arms, chain necklace chime,
aware its drip, strings to the slabs,
that snicket path, where dawdled fast. 

2 poems from Michael Igoe: “Intermittent” & “Cast in Another Life”

photo from pixabay


I'm sure the main distraction                                                                                                                           is the fan blades gentle whir.                                                                                                                       They always seem much faster                                                                                                                                                                if you stab your finger through.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Eventually in empty gray skies,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      it’s high time we show promise.                                                                                                                  At times we are warmer                                                                                                                other times in wet snow.                                                                                                                                                                         We were eating just a little,                                                                                                                                                                            but now we eat much more.                                                                                                                    The smells of cooked fish                                                                                                                    assaulting me after I wake.                                                                                                              It’s in the pan without a handle,                                                                                                                                assumed by a grip of her finger.                                                                                                              In the house like a cave                                                                                                                                              with a roof full of holes                                                                                                                                          time passes in a lullaby.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 We’re looking to regain                                                                                                                                                a mostly serious magic,                                                                                                                                          in all its sundry brands.    

Cast in Another Life

Things will never be better                                                                                                                                      than the way they are now.                                                                                                                      We’ll see no better                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
dizzy from the sun,                                                                                                                                                 than it’s panoramas.                                                                                                                                   It has its impossible obligations,                                                                                                                               at high noon shirked and denied.                                        
                                                                                                                                                                            Because it’s unbearable,                                                                                                                              the wait for bright light,                                                                                                                               when you lose eyesight.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As desperate compensation,                                                                                                                  there’s redness in both feet,                                                                                                                                  and more redness in hands.                                                                                                                                   More from frost,                                                                                                                                                    than warm coals.                                                                                                                                     Charred coals                                                                                                                                         like cat's eyes                                                                                                                                fiery to touch.                                                                                                                                        The touch like a gladhand                                                                                                                                  from estranged neighbors.                                                                                                                                             

Bio: Michael Igoe, neurodiverse city boy, Chicago now Boston, recovery staff at Boston University Center For Psych Rehab. Many works appear in journals online and print. Recent: Spare Change News(Cambridge MA),, Avalanches In Poetry National Library Of Poetry Editor’s Choice For 1997. Twitter: MichaelIgoe5. Urban Realism, Surrealism. I like the Night.

Poetry: “Older” by Anthony Agbo


As a child, all she ever wanted was to travel around the world
but as she gets older, she realizes that wishes weren't actually horses
so she settled for the only place she could go without actually travel- Utopia
Everything was perfect there, she was happy and fear was something she conquered over there
but after each trip out of Utopia,
it becomes sadder and scarier for her
because she knows that just Alice in wonderland, she always have to return to the real world.

When she was just a child, she expected the world to be perfect just as she imagined it.
As she gets older, she doesn't know what she wants me what's she stands for anymore; and this scares her.
Embarrassed by her fears, she made defensive scarecrows that scared away the things and people she loved.

As she gets older, life sat her down and made her realize that life was way beyond the borders of Utopia
Now, she knows she has to face her fears before it burns her out,
she has a lot to do! Yet only so many hours in a day.
She now understands that life is cruel 
and that things mostly don't go as we imagined
but one still has to live in the real world and not Utopia.

Ever wondered why we get sad and more scared when we get older?

Bio: Anthony Agbo, a law student at the Benue state University, Nigeria.  A poetry & script writer.

Book Review: Demitasse Fiction (One Minute Reads for Busy People) by Roberta Beach Jacobson reviewed by Jerome Berglund

Tapas Plates:

the Sweet and the Savory in Roberta Beach Jacobson’s “Demitasse Fiction: One-Minute Reads for Busy People”

Alien Buddha Press, 2022, 61 pages, 5.5” x 8.5 ISBN 979-8377304104, $10.99 on Amazon

Reviewed by Jerome Berglund

Possessing a highly original voice and enviable dynamic range spanning the full, impressive gamut of civilization from its most worldly urbane (pride marches, the jet set of society, La La Land) to superbly prosaic and folksy pastoral (encompassing agrarian antics, an unforgettable peacenik chance encountered, life slices from widest assortment of less represented or examined vocations and departments, including custodial, sales, stenography), whatever your personal preference be and tastes steer you, all can find many things to admire and savor in the light, extremely pleasurable, captivating and readable pages of Roberta Beach Jacobson’s debut – one may also discover her prolific writing published elsewhere in over ninety print anthologies! – short fiction collection from Alien Buddha Press.   

            Throughout, irreverent, cheeky, thought-provoking and inventive, always entertaining and stimulating scenarios, approaches to often tremendously serious (overcoming physical and mental illness, existential angst, the search for meaning, ego and class struggles; overcoming grief and different forms of loss figure prominently, as do profound moral and environmental questions and concerns) subject matter are readily displayed across a veritable curio shop of Lilliputian morsels artfully sketched.

            Rarely can one observe individual foibles, society’s ills so endearingly and relatably satirized, skewered, and memorably mused upon with a wry smirk, particularly with such hard-boiled brevity and punchy immediacy.  Jacobson locates droll humor, brings the levity, irony and pathos to even the darkest settings and situations, introducing welcome doses of alien into things mundane – and conversely, finding trace dashes of integral humanity amongst the elevated sublime. An economic literature of yins and yangs is this, cleverly discerning that blot of darkness in the light, speck of illumination glimmering about those shadows too, deftly seizing upon such disparities and artfully directing the reader to ponder their significances carefully at length.  To accomplish such a feat in a few sentences or paragraphs is no easy task, something an audience can truly commend and learn from.  

            The author furthermore has a special gift and penchant for things Absurd, often embodying and exemplifying that dreamlike quality and character startlingly consistent with the French schools of surrealist dada, prose poets and existentialist writers — Camus and Kafka come swiftly to mind frequently, as do Apollinaire and Verlaine —but with a distinctive buoyancy (referred to in the Eastern short form traditions, which this collection’s creator has also distinguished herself as a master and authority in, as the ideal of ‘karumi’, argued thoughtfully for by such pillars as Matsuo Basho) strikingly evinced, in pure and unadulterated form. 

            Roberta Beach in Demitasse Fiction: One-Minute Reads for Busy People establishes herself as a literary alchemist of sorts, able to wield word and idea and transmute them unexpectedly at will, shape story and tone, regulate pacing and scope with the flair and command of an orchestra conductor.  Chimerically, she slips in and out of new disparate skins one after another, with the ease and panache of a host’s outfit changes at an award show ceremony, or shifting voices between alternating personalities (and each one’s peculiar attendant idiosyncrasy, neurosis, core fallibility, depicted warts and all beside their equally identifiable saving graces and redeeming qualities, articulated with remarkable sensitivity, empathic finesse) in a one-woman show — that the author has a standup background should come as no surprise, is on constant remarkable exhibition. 

            Micro fiction, in its contemporary analog and electronic incarnations, is an exciting and promising emerging form, essential for our harried modern citizen of necessarily limited time and attention span.  From an egalitarian standpoint, it is uniquely accessible in ways more verbose genres of literature shall never manage, and thus as mode presents a wondrous and pivotal opportunity of synthesizing and transmitting meaningful concepts, information and messages to masses scrubbed and unwashed alike.

For those who relish the advantageous prospect of experiencing emotional rollercoasters capable of condensing the overarching thrust and zeitgeist of War and Peace or Huckleberry Finn into their daily commute, you don’t want to miss this stunning exemplar of the form at its most dexterously applied.  An important and riveting contribution to the prose landscape, as well as a generous gift and boon for the world’s many Busy People craving stimulating culture and narratives delivered in manageable, meticulously honed tidbits of delicacy. 

Roberta Beach Jacobson is drawn to the magic of words — poetry, puzzles, song lyrics, short fiction, stand-up comedy.  Her work has been anthologized 90 times.  She is the Fleakeeper at Five Fleas (Itchy Poery) and lives with her husband and three cats in Indianola, Iowa.

Jerome Berglund (USA, @BerglundJerome) has published book reviews in Frogpond, Fireflies Light, Valley Voices, GAS: Poetry, Art and Music, Setu Bilingual Journal, he has also shared short form poetry in the Asahi Shimbun, Bottle Rockets, Ribbons, and Modern Haiku.