This beach is more frightening The waves drag the stones The collisions adding up To a furious cacophony Turn my hearing aid down Then it gets freakier The noise quietened To a bag of bones
Used to love magical realism Until it all became too real Younger me Would hope for the jellyfish cadavers To rise upon their tentacles And tell me I’m the one Before opening the waves To a Miyazaki city Full of the unexplainable And nonsensical
Now I just run away Because I’m pretty sure one of the suckers moved.
Bio: Scott Cumming unsuspectingly went to see Garden State wearing his Shins tee. He has been published at The Daily Drunk, Punk Noir Magazine, Versification, Mystery Tribune and Shotgun Honey. His poem, “Blood on Snow”, was voted the best of Outcast Press Poetry Things We Carry issue and nominated for a Pushcart. His collection, A Chapbook About Nothing, was released in December as part of Close to the Bone’s First Cut series. Twitter: @tummidge Website: https://scottcummingwriter.wordpress.com/
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Jeremy: Thank you for giving me this opportunity. This is truly an awesome moment for me. I started to write back in 2016 when I was trying to get myself out of high school. It was a tough period for me. I was coping with the deaths of a few of my childhood friends that died in the earlier part of 2016. My first influence as a writer was when I lost my uncle to death. In order to express my grief about his death, I became a writer. My uncle’s death was the biggest influence on me becoming a writer.
Q2: Who is your biggest influence today?
Jeremy: Today my biggest influence is my mother. Whenever I look into my eyes I am urged to write more. I want her to see the best in me as I tell our stories. My mother has been my first supporter and she remains my biggest influence. I believe her stories of motherhood need to be heard.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?
Jeremy: I grew up in Logan Town, one of the many slum communities situated in Monrovia, Liberia. In Logan Town we struggle to survive everyday and the reality of you being a dweller in Logan Town comes with a lot of consequences. These things have shaped and influenced me in being honest and real when telling a story in a poem. Nineteen years of my life were spent struggling to withstand the outcomes of a slum dweller.
Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced your work/describe?
Jeremy: Yes, my father leaving Liberia for Ghana when I was still a baby trying to plant the word “mama” on my tongue has influenced my work. My childhood was centered mostly on my mother and her sister. I don’t have any childhood memories with my father. My father plays no role in my childhood. I have tried my best to write about these things in my poems. I have tried to write how I longed to have a father in my childhood. My father’s travel to Ghana was a major turning point in my life.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a poet/writer?
Jeremy: Yes, after my uncle’s death. The period after his death I told myself that if I want to tell a better story of my grief and pain I need to become a poet. And today I am a poet.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Jeremy: When I am not writing, I am reading. This makes me feel more relaxed. Also, I find myself watching legal movies and documentaries, especially the OJ Simpson’s Trial. These things help me to relax when I am not writing.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming work you’d like to promote?
Jeremy: In a few months my chapbook, Miryam Magdalit, will be out. Miryam Magdalit was selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani (The African Poetry Book Fund), in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2021 New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set. It can be pre-order through this link: http://www.akashicbooks.com/catalog-tag/jeremy-teddy-karn/
Q8: What would be one of your favorite lines from a poem of yours?
“We have swallowed this country down our throats with the blood of those shot dead, and rebuilt it on unmarked graves.”
Jeremy: My writer friends have helped me the most when it comes to my writing. Their critiques on my works have helped me in becoming a better poet now than I was before.
Jeremy T. Karn writes from somewhere in Liberia. His work has appeared and is forthcoming in 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry Volume III, The Whale Road, Ice Floe Press, ARTmosterrific, The Rising Phoenix, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Lolwe, Minute Magazine, FERAL Poetry, Liminal Transit Review, The Kissing Dynamite, Ghost Heart Literary Journal, and elsewhere.
His chapbook, Miryam Magdalit, has been selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani of The African Poetry Book Fund, in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2021 New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set.
Bio: Jeremy T. Karn writes from somewhere in Liberia. His work has appeared and is forthcoming in 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry Volume III, The Whale Road, Ice Floe Press, ARTmosterrific, The Rising Phoenix, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Lolwe, Minute Magazine, FERAL Poetry, Liminal Transit Review, The Kissing Dynamite, Ghost Heart Literary Journal, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Miryam Magdalit, has been selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani of The African Poetry Book Fund, in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2021 New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set
I saw you and I soon wanted you.
Like a sucking hummingbird
Your stream, I celebrated
In a pity
In the Inner Unit
From the improper saying
Between entail and graces
We laugh at each other
Only you put me up
Wrapped in a prayer
That we were looking for
Do what we want
The night encompassed
And you laugh at the sun
The charm of your being
You rolled like a sunflower
To me, to reap you.
Slaving is living
When everything erupts from you
Sunshine that makes us see
Time that does not corrupt
Prayers hallelujah sing
To the creation of your being
In sharpening spells
The treats of seeing you
In a dream journey landed
Boil the warm nights
And it is transfigured there
That the hours are valid.
The feeling prevails where lack of lucidity
In the interpretation of the symbolic
That surpasses us in tasty acidity
In a melancholic and urban trance
Sound characters can be seen
Between plasma decompositions
The hertzian curvature of the carbons
Juxtaposes annoying cognitions
And it is said in passing here present
In the skewed prism that links
We seek within us the fiery
Daring moment that sets us on fire
Januário Esteves was born in Coruche and was raised near Costa da Caparica, Portugal. He graduated in electromechanical installations, uses the pseudonym Januanto and writes poetry since the age of 16. In 1987 he published poems in the Jornal de Letras, and participated over the years in some collective publications.
I slept wet, drenched, dripping splashed into a pool of hot water boiling Had to feel the bubbles rising from the bottom hot waterbed head towards ‘A look’ but not the sense to know slow dreams (on my own) clock stop time not wrinkles or Father Time, but appreciation (these words are mine) I’ve learned enough to know Jack Crap and that’s a fact check these turning words into Poetry…give thanks and glory to Hughes, Angelou and Gorman for this
your remnant shred of cleaved sentience,
its integral winnowing downforce; whorling
from pioneer skittish flakes to full-sketch sophomore,
from freeze-dried petrichor to bombrush, snowfield fuzz
eddying in fleeting, fitful plenitudes ‘midst our want for more -
your intercession; awed exfoliant of tepid vacuities -
your tufting micro-ministrations mush sombre vastnesses;
your crystalline emboss/deboss of serene, splayed splenetics,
your fluffy flux of fractious loads that witter down
the last winsome aspects of icicle throtted flora -
we await our snow-capped causeway’s re-emergence,
we approximate the wherefores of the tufted tracks
we trekked the day before within these subsumption
frontiers of distal, mulched horizons you’ve presently
so presciently blurred; you, slawing radiant as
a brilliance of moonbeam, as distill, as a manifest
granularity smunched, in desiccate compact of frenzied
flurries seemingly cemental and yet, so soon, so sunlit,
flailing, expiring, revealing that now’s all is muchly more than
the fallow-followed, drear furore of bored, workaday before -
renewed point and purpose to that watchful, lapping shore,
your selfless blanch to meltwater and our hallowed eyesmeet;
its ice-break whip-crack of quench and thaw and that’s when,
dear friend, we’ll go rafting again, our buoyant brusque laughter
in spindrift skim on those much missed lakes of deep azure.
Bio: Barney Ashton-Bullock, is the poet/librettist in the ‘Andy Bell is Torsten’ music-theatre-poetry collective and he narrates his own verse on the Downes Braide Association albums. He is the founder of Soho Poetry Nights. He has poetry published, or pending publication, in a wide range of cult poetry journals**, in the ‘Avalanches In Poetry’ tribute anthology to Leonard Cohen, in the Dreich pamphlet ‘Famous’, in the Pilot Press ‘Queer Anthology Of Healing’ and in the 'Soho Nights' anthologies published by The Society Club Press who also published his first collection ‘Schema/Stasis’ in 2017. His latest poetry pamphlet ‘Café Kaput!’ was published by Broken Sleep Books in 2020.(**the Wellington Street Review, the New River Press Yearbook, SPAMzine, Re-Side Magazine, -algia Press, Scab Mag, Pink Plastic House Journal, LuckyPierre Zine, Poetry Bus, Neuro Logical Magazine and the Babel Tower Notice Board)