Poetry/Songs inspired by Leonard Cohen from Benjamin Adair Murphy

Small Florida Towns

I wish I’d filled the car with gas
I wish I’d had a piss
I wish I’d grabbed some coffee
at a place that was well lit
I’m rolling through the swamplands
And there all these signs for Trump
I thank the lord my little girl’s
Too young to know what’s up
I sure don’t want no trouble
Or bad shit to go down
So I’m following the speed limits
Through these small Florida towns

I’ve got miles left to go
But I keep my speed in check
I’m coming to complete stops
When I make a right on red
My plates say New York State
You can see them from miles off
I cross my fingers and say a prayer
Every time I pass a cop
I know they think I’m just
Some sort of Northern hippie clown
So I’m following the speed limits
Through these small Florida towns

Bugs splat my windshield
And I check my mirror often
I blast Tom Petty so they know
We’ve got one thing in common
I wish I could hit the gas
I wish I could put some space
Leave behind these gun shows
And be miles from this place
I’m not sure what these people want
But it ain’t having me around
So I’m following the speed limit
Through these small Florida towns

Yes, I’m following the speed limit
Through these small Florida towns

The World’s Most Profitable Prison

In the world’s most profitable prison
The men have lost their souls
But they’ve keep their arms and legs
They’ve kept their backs and bones
And they still have all their muscles
And they’re held together by skin
And they live the length of their lives
In the world’s most profitable prison

In the world’s most profitable prison
The men are guarded by guns
And they work from dusk till dark
As they move to beat of a slave drum
Their food is mixed with sawdust
And they’re always razor thin
And there’s never an empty prison cell
In the world’s most profitable prison

The Hills Have Blindsides by David L O’Nan (poetry)

The Hills Have Blindsides

also published in IceFloe Press

A flock of hideous birds float through the wind. I feel these crows in shriveled fur,
Their flight, an old man’s crippled slur.
They congregate together
Cross-eyed and angry
To yell from the diaphragm,
Your rebellion is based on ignorance!

These were feathers from the same war. All brewed up and steamed together, Before peace became a relevant idea.
In caskets, they lay
All purpled – in art
Waiting for someone to dance and sing –
With the bells ringing from the heart

After all the diseases sink in their talons Then gnashing and biting begins.
When the prettiest star waves you in
To meet God or the jealousies of all sins, They roll up those hills to see clarity.
The problem in all the darkness
Is not within your peripheral understanding. The hills have blindsides,
When you’re looking for Jesus
When you’re looking for Jesus

Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren

Bending Rivers: The Poetry & Stories of David L O’Nan out now!

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

The Truth About Farewells by Sher Ting

The Truth About Farewells

As you grow older, you realise there are many ways to say goodbye
The eyes that used to meet along the length of an empty
hallway, now averted to admire the distance
The phone that used to ring, now swathed in silence
The smile that used to slip through a sea of faces, now retreated
into an escutcheon of thin-pressed lips

Unfinished sentences, unspoken prose, expired hopes –

You learn that goodbyes never come wrapped
in red and neon on the tail of caution
but show up uninvited at the door

They rarely come in conversations
but in the earth-shattering wordlessness
of a turned back receding into
distance and time;

never live up to expectation
but leave with questions in their wake

and when they arrive, always late, incessantly messy,
you can never make these guests feel at home—
They open every door and trammel through every room,
leave the doors open for the nights

when you’ve strung up
enough courage and even then,

you shake at the sound of their breath,
quiver at the thought of calling them by name
so you trap their whispers in your mind,
in the bitter aftertaste that lingers in your
mouth, the echoes that shake up your thoughts.

There, they resound endlessly till they
have robbed every breath from your lungs, seared
themselves into the pages of your memory

and you learn the hard way that goodbyes are never easy
but the nights—
the nights are the hardest part.

Sher Ting has lived in a land of eternal summer, otherwise known as Singapore, for 19 years before spending the next 5 years in medical school in Australia. She has been published in Trouvaille Review and has work forthcoming in Eunoia Review, Dreich magazine and Door Is A Jar Literary Magazine, among others. She is currently an editor of a creative arts-sharing space, known as INLY Arts.

photo by Tandem X Visuals

2 poems from A.R. Salandy in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 : “An Ocean” & “Ephemeral Realities”

An Ocean

Rage through the mighty current
Of the darkened blue of an ocean so vast
Yet just as intriguing for in it swirl
The tides of destruction & reclamation-

So powerful in their innate prowess,
But above these waves
Sit a sky that trembles and howls-

At the sight of the angered ocean-
For it is much like the varied sea-
A tempered power beyond the mortal
Concepts of time and place-

For an ocean rages
As we fight to hold on to all we claim
So viciously from what it always had-

Whether through levee or canal
We try in vain to reclaim all we can
Against the rage of an ocean immortal,

But as it consumes the coastal towns
We fought so hard to preserve-
One can only bear witness to destruction
Which we can only mourn as our own betrayal.

Ephemeral Realities

Some cold days bring a sense of longing
That spills over into empty weeks
That fill the calendar of an isolated life-

So strongly stained
By the self-conscious worries
That derive from years of fighting-

To look all the more like the ideal
Of the society that exists so ephemeral
That its remnants only survive in the void

That is the empty web
That does little to subtract
From the ever growing reality-

That although the notion of living
Is as perpetual as the time
Created by our complicated mind

The slow movement of the clock
That exists to give order
To our mundane lives-

Will stop promptly before we will it.

Bio: Anthony is a Black Mixed-race poet & writer who has spent most of his life in the Middle East jostling between the UK & America. Anthony’s work has been published 215 times internationally. Anthony has 2 published chapbooks titled ‘The Great Northern Journey’ 2020 (Lazy Adventurer Publishing) & ‘Vultures’ 2021 (Roaring Junior Press) as well as a novel ‘The Sands of Change’ 2021 (Alien Buddha Press). Anthony’s Chapbook ‘Half Bred’ is the Winner of the 2021 ‘The Poetry Question’ Chapbook contest. Anthony is the Co-EIC of Fahmidan Journal & Poetry Editor at Chestnut ReviewTwitter/Instagram: @arsalandy https://arsalandywriter.com/

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

2 poems by A.R. Salandy : Mom’s Cranberry Cake & Rage Poem

Reyna Elenita by Karlo Sevilla (poetry)

Reyna Elenita

Our little Maleeha raises both arms,
pirouettes and a bejeweled crown
springs up from the orbit outlined by her fingers,
which rises and shrinks until it settles upon her tiny head.
She slows to a standstill,
then extends her arms overhead, palms together.
She parts and gently lowers her straightened arms
and a halo of iridescent hues cascades.

For our quarantined Flores de Mayo, our little queen is crowned
and aureoled by a rainbow for her unmanned arch
right in our living room.

Bio: Karlo Sevilla from Quezon City, Philippines is the author of the full-length poetry collection, “Metro Manila Mammal” (Soma Publishing, 2018), and two chapbooks. Recognized among The Best of Kitaab 2018 and nominated twice for the Best of the Net, his poems appear or are forthcoming in Philippines Graphic, Revolt Magazine, DIAGRAM, Eclectica, Better Than Starbucks, Radius, Matter, Small Orange, and elsewhere.

Bio: Karlo Sevilla of Quezon City, Philippines is the author of the full-length poetry collection “Metro Manila Mammal” (Soma Publishing, 2018). Recognized among the Best of Kitaab 2018 and shortlisted for the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition 2021, his poems appear in Philippines Graphic, Philippines Free Press, Fevers of the Mind, DIAGRAM, Black Bough Poetry, and elsewhere.