Shenandoah Tramps by David L O’Nan (Before I Turn Into Gold)

This is the revised version from Before I Turn Into Gold: Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology.

Shenandoah Tramps

You walk the streets like you are still in Tabriz
You miss the Iranian Summers
While fumbling full of wine
you feel the prickly goosebumps from the breeze.

And we begin to walk with a squint
as the sun masks the city
eyelids bouncing,
and quivering drunk lips.

You desire the kiss when the night stirs
dressed in scarlet red

looking for that efficacious effect
We are like the stars in the sky
celebrities in meteoric flash

We are just lost
from the waste to the lakes
trying to unlock the code
to flee us from the beams of Heaven's Gate

We can wish on these wine bottles
throw in the pennies for a little luck
we can invent beauty
out of the contagious Shenandoah muck.

Our city is just a bullet town
Our love will fall like tramps in the rain
with our hands becoming umbrellas
trying to protect us from the downpour
awake our celestial shine with this oncoming train.

And here come the dollies 
and all of the sheepmen
who gather ours fossils
and they use them for swanky chaotic sin
our rose is a misery 
burn the shell right off this redolent city.
The streetlamps are as dim as a yellow puddle
with a hint of chickweeds growing around the blacktop tumors.
And all we can talk about all of the music,
and hum until poetry rifles through our brains.
Studying the fallen art stuck to the limbs of trees
On the edge of what was Calliope.

When all was tame and flowery,
The strong was not frail without a care
Our frames were not broken, just skeletal grey

And we would dine on evening air
and dance to the melody of church bells 
the hymns were our parade. 

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

Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Anthology available today! 

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

 Bare Bones Writings Issue 1 is out on Paperback and Kindle 

The return & revised version of “New Disease Streets” by David L O’Nan Poetry and stories 

Poetry from David L O’Nan in the Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers

Poetry Showcase for Owen Bullock

Bio: Owen Bullock’s most recent publications are Impression (Beir Bua Press, 2022), and Uma rocha enorme que anda à roda (A big rock that turns around), translations of his tanka into Portuguese by Francisco Carvalho (Temas Originais, 2021). His other titles include, Summer Haiku (Recent Work Press, 2019), Work & Play (Recent Work Press, 2017), and Semi (Puncher & Wattmann, 2017). He teaches Creative Writing at the University of Canberra. His other interests include juggling, music and chess. @OwenTrail @ProcessPoetry 

Latest found

drink a tankard of sweet Williams

spin-passing a rolled-up blanket

hide –

a common bird

lands miraculously


skim dark water –

set resin

he’s caught a tree

will sending flowers to myself boost my serotonin?

no more crossing the suburbs

except for old pebbles

and lines the birds brought

cloud on cloud

I dream I’m dreaming

you might not have any eyes

a bouquet of orange

You hold out your hands & take it. It collapses, spreads, your feet soaked with the colour, you start running, running over day, you lose weight, you feel great, you’re young again. Some of it splashes off on your friend Serafim & she’s climbing, climbing the ladder to put the finishing touches to her sculpture, a thousand pom-poms made of wool, one bounces down & bobbles to the feet of a child, who picks it up & gazes, suddenly her hand is sore with hope, her eyes gleam seablue, seablue rides a sleek canoe in no time over rapids, lands at the base of the mountain, meets a boy in a barrel, gives him a bouquet of pink.

ghost bears

dressed to the teeth

guilt mechanics

the consequences are not immediate

it’s a work on

the hardest step is over the threshold

squeezing the stone


online psychic’s side-kicks

the orthopaedic surgeons are more like carpenters


on the power box

open your 3rd eye

the architect thought of the building as a sculpture

the sculpture thought of the architect as a building

the building thought of the sculpture as an architect

the thought of architect as a building, the sculpture

of the thought as the architect building a sculpture,

the sculpture building a thought as of the architect

of the building, as a sculpture the architect thought,

the thought building as a sculpture of the architect,

the sculpture of, as building the architect a thought

a conversation with the garden

what do they do when they’re a fuckwit?

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

(Fornication Under Consent of the King)

or Old High German: to strike

(tips, golf and posh also aren’t acronyms)

I’ll just give you the wave tops

skype call unanswered –

not one of Philip Glass’


somebody came into my house and used my deodorant

I linger

For a word. For eye contact. For the assurance I’m not crazy. For the knowledge that you had something like this with your mother, with your father. Mother comes first, always. Mother. I linger in the hope you’ll need a hug of comfort. I linger so you know I’m here, listening, even to the trailing off sentence. I linger because you were kind to me once.

Sweating in the sun of summer.

Noticing the age of autumn.

Accepting long nights of winter.

Walking in the meadow of spring.

Poems are easier than small talk.


did you ring the hospital?
did you phone the dentist?
did you book for Monday night?

I dare do all that may become a man

you could pull the curtains . . .




this morning’s

graffiti wisdom

Feelings of power deactivate parts of the brain responsible for ‘mirroring’, which underscores empathy.

I like to autumn through my schedule

my other life as a teacher

kiss the grim reaper

a new comprehension

poorly equipped poem

on a bus with nine other poems

making unreasonable demands on the commuter

collected in lever arch files

linger   long after day

   evening moon

admin –

you gotta go through us

to get a patch


at the Buddhist Training Centre

everything is offensive to someone

Australians all let us rejoice

For we are old and . . .

de-emphasising the ego

preparing for death

I’m the one who goes around

turning the lights off

take the frustration out

make notes for the anthropologist

I let my music take me

where my heart wants to go

They say losing love

is like a window in your heart

Men wanted

for the Alpaca a cappella group

To save a day

the deejay said Karm
I say ‘deejay’, it was
the graffiti artist
MC of the street

The phone rang. It was a diptych. I eyed it with both eyes. The phone rang again. A triptych. I got confused (though dramatically satisfied by the hint of three-act structure). I went to the window, one scene: trees, mountains, grass. I took several paces back, a run up, crashed through the glass. Out. 

I get in step with the water dragon . . . twitch my tail like it . . . tilt my head . . . scamper forward a few centimetres . . . I am old    I watch the water   I turn my head   I watch the water   skittle forward & when the crow comes I run a while and hey a cormorant pops up and I watch and scoot on the red gravel     people talk in the park, the cormorant dives   ripples spread till you can’t see anything   except the ripples that were already there     a pukeko struts, coots bob     the water dragon comes back     I’ll have to go soon     the water dragon edges close   waddle-walking    green bobbles   its jagged crown

I fantasise telling them the only way to make amends for this latest round of time-draining admin cock-ups is for the boss himself to come over with a handmade fruit cake. When I come back from lunch there’s a cake sitting in the kitchen. I missed the boss, it’s a bought cake and it’s not fruit, but . . .

it helps to know
that in some parallel world, 
some memory or Youtube clip
Roger Daltry is still running on the spot
Pete Townsend swinging that arm
for the power chords
and the crowd taking up the chant
of teenage wasteland

be careful crossing the road, she says
forgetting I usually pole-vault over

so much to be
anxious about
the floodlights
reflect in the lake
like magic wands

Alone in the Tower from Andrea Lambert

Andrea Lambert is a queer writer, artist and filmmaker with Schizoaffective Disorder. She lives in Nevada with her four cats. Site:

Alone in the Tower

        I live in a castle in the sky. The House of the Rising Sun. No men are serviced here. I only live out my days alone. In an ivory tower. My moon-colored bob too short, to let down. 

	I am not interested in men. Only a woman. Who is dead. I still wear her wedding ring. Diamonds on my hand. I am alone in grief.

	Once we ate strawberries. Wasabi peas mixed with kisses. She. My domestic partner. My wife. Taken too young at twenty-seven. By her own hand. She took all of my psych meds. Left me alone. It is no wonder I am poisoned. For further love. My heart shattered.

	That is what comes after being widowed, correct? I wait to die. Between these walls. Like a queer Miss Havisham. When’s the special day? Death is always a surprise. I will wait.

	When my ghost wife comes. In her black Louis Verdad wedding gown. Black veiled hat. To carry me away. I shall go willingly. Peacefully. For only then will I be free. Of this worm like meat tube. I must feed and toilet. All for naught. I attend to the needs of the body. Because I must go on. 

	I am too cowardly to hasten to process. Of waiting. For death. I lie in stasis. In wait. In this locked tower. No air comes in. Only bursts of electricity. Flaming sparks. Will explode.

A Grammarian’s Love: Poetry by Matthew McGuirk

A Grammarian’s Love

I can’t write about you:
sentences don’t fall like your hair does,
fragments are too short to describe the big moments
and run-ons can’t even start on the small ones.
Transitions can’t bridge milestones
with any authenticity,
like the boxes from our last apartment shifting to our first house
or a ring that means so much
or our family expanding from 2 to 3 in the matter of hours
or 3 to 4 in just as long.
Exclamation points are nothing like your laugh
and semicolons connect clauses,
but it isn’t like your fingers in mine.
The only one that seems to make any sense is the question mark
because to me you are all the answers,
but maybe
I should just pick up photography
at this point.


Bio: Matt McGuirk teaches and lives with his wife and two daughters in New Hampshire. He was a BOTN 2021 nominee, is now a regular contributor at Fevers of the Mind and has poems and stories published in 50+ literary magazines with 100+ accepted pieces. His debut collection, Daydreams, Obsessions, Realities with Alien Buddha Press isavailable on Amazon, linked in the bio and also on his website.Follow him on Twitter: @McguirkMatthew and Instagram: @mcguirk_matthew. 

Website: Daydreams, Obsessions, Realities:

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Matthew McGuirk

New Poems from Donna Dallas

Half a Hole

Turned out
when the din
the twisted neon lights
the swaying bodies
all evaporated into
green sulphury ghosts
into boredom
into heavy - meaning the fatness
of calling it quits

Turned out
that when you turned up
I threw in the towel
it was wet and matted
stank like mildew
squishy under my feet
I, just as squishy
trampled it good though

I became the harpsichord
played to broken
dilapidated elephant in the room
withered and rusty brain
tilting to one side
a good lean into a hole
but just
half a hole


Everyday day at 1:45pm
we kick off
another round of silence
I head out the door
drive to the bay
watch the waves cut into each other
all the seagulls in swift play
lurk for lunch

Avoidance and I - we get along quite well
I’ve stuffed my pockets with hurt
they bulge in distress
try to conjure up a way
to transfer this awful distress
pass it onto these ravenous gulls in waiting hunger
but to no avail
I find myself back home gorged with sadness
only to run the gamut again
it’s this ritual - this addiction 
that keeps me going

Ride or Die

In between your legs
sits the red eye of a loon

hungry and wanting
behind your eyes

dwells the mind of a bat shit waif
ablaze with envy over the filthy loon

hobbling alone along the edge 
of the storm ridden shore

pecking and sifting
ready to launch at any movement

even a sand worm
you’ve seen the shift from glazed purple skies

all through speckled stars
along the skyline and think

the loon has it better
in between your loathing and longing

lives the ever-slightest seedling of good
some little pocket of hope

that pulls you along
day after scarce day

as if you didn’t long so loosely
for the loon to be yours

for the moon to be yours
for the hole in your tainted head 

to close in the palm 
of your sweaty hand

The Residuals

Feel the cold against my skin
icy slaps
could have driven
walked instead
to Maritza’s salon
can’t do my own hair
this is a necessity
every four days

Today the child is there
in the chair
agonizing screams
while I sit and watch in horror
I know something is wrong with her
realize she is not a child at all
but a little adult

I’m late now
stare at a roach creeping its way
up the wall
screams turn to howls
the poor creature struggles 
to twist out of the grasp
of her nurse
she growls low and long
Maritza picks up her left foot 
crushes the roach
with her bright yellow 
patent pump

I walk outside
the growling rises 
into a high-pitched laugh 
a row of pigeons perch on the phone wire
ascend in unison from the vibrations
of this cackling 
pigeon shit on my windshield
a ripe smelling homeless person 
walks by rolling four connected carts 
each filled to the brim with plastic bottles

I just want my hair done
I don’t want this cross
nor to think of these horrors
that are as real as these fierce gusts of wind
real as those haunting bellows
and my roots that also need a touch up
I wish I was next in line for Maritza
that nice nurse - taking the poor creature to the salon to get her hair done
holding and stroking her bony hands
cradling her fragile body
Maritza trying so hard to apply the color in quick strokes

Sky dark and deadly to a grey black
if this were the end of the world
who or what
homeless people
and pigeons
would replace these screams
and where would I go
for a blow-out?


You’re going to hate him again
and again
his calloused hands
initialed shirts
perfectly shined shoes
Saturday stubble
morning erection
the way the dog cuddles into him

His muscular legs
that long winded conversation 
he took over at that godawful dinner party
to save you from stumbling into yourself
his deep voice
you know where this is going

When Catullus said odi et amo
(I hate and love)
thousands of years ago
you think Catullus didn’t know what he was talking about
back then?
before chivalry
before sexting

It’s as obvious as which cup you know 
your lover will choose in the morning
glimpse his deep blue eyes
as you pour his coffee
this is a tragedy of torment
that you love 
to play over 
and over

Bio: Donna Dallas studied creative writing and philosophy at NYU’s Gallatin School and was lucky enough to write under William Packard, founder of the New York Quarterly.  She has appeared in a plethora of journals, most recently The Opiate, Beatnik Cowboy, SpillWords and Phantom Kangaroo.  Donna serves on the editorial team of Red Fez and New York Quarterly.