Prudence of Anguish by David L O’Nan

Prudence of Anguish

I want you in my arms
To hold you stronger than all anguish
You became Prudence,
The dancer in circles
The impiety in hidden ballet flats.

You leave me in vertigo,
And you leave me screaming
You break all my bottles
And you broke my swampy heart – When I was laying in the bed wailing
With wiry blankets of heart shooting into my arms.

You left me in this Mahogany depression
From all that is seen, the paradox of your possessions And I feel that poltergeist living inside me.

My Prudence of anguish
My flushing beats in my blood
And they whisper me sweet curses Into the tiny hairs of my ears.

Will I wilt, will I dance with I Will I flip, will I twirl, will I die?

A Bent Photo With a Red Moon Featured by David L O’Nan (from New Disease Streets)

I want the eclipsing sky
To polaroid my demise
On the suicide beach
Where they buried the slithering waves
Full of secrets,
They are lost

We failed and became only lust
Not love
As we promised ourselves
Flew kites in the storms
And ran like hyperactive children
Fondling through the sands
As the devil watches with rapture

We built bonfires with the driftwood
Smoked grass and watched the seagulls collapse into –
An evening snore
We ate and drank and joked about unknown mysteries You tried to lift my drunken body
And tickled my sides ‘til I was sick.

It was only a night
That depression tries erasing
All the false love promises
That the red moon sweeps in and erases
With its scarlet filled tease

And you know I travel there every year
And a bipolar night,
He can swim through all the tides
All alone
Years of confusion
Women and wine
As my death awaits
The photo is bending
The romantic moon drowned
With a floating bottle
With meaningless hearts drawn on the seashells.

photo by Kelly Sikkema (unsplash)

The Truth About Farewells by Sher Ting

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

One Week Away from 40 (written June 2020) by David L O’Nan


As I feel the drums are silent
I want the drums to be pounding
As voices have become silent
I want the voices to sound human
All I see is the suicide villages.

The bloody ink smiles with corporate glamour
With loneliness of fear –
Trying to sever the flash from my being.

One week from turning 40
The mind is jaded
The body feels the breaking
The moonlight is not swimming in the veins
Society is translucent
Imaginary is much safer
The corners aren’t as closed in as reality

Enchant me with clouds NOT full of dysfunction
Paste my paper doll body into security
And out of this demonic-wet unknown
Where I’m the fish,
The temptation is the hook
And the bait is hollow and not fulfilling.

photo by David Monje (unsplash)

2 poems from A.R. Salandy in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

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.

Anthony is a mixed-race poet & writer whose work tends to focus on social inequality throughout late-modern society. Anthony travels frequently and has spent most of his life in Kuwait jostling between the UK & America. Anthony’s work has been published 86 times internationally. Anthony has 1 published chapbook titled ‘The Great Northern Journey’.
Twitter/Instagram: @anthony64120

photo by Jesper Brouwers (unsplash)