3 re-published poems from Stephen House

“her seagulls” published by Albany Poets USA / Literary Veganism USA

“rock” published by Broadkill Review USA

“salvation” published by Global Poemic / experimental-experimental-literature USA

her seagulls

if i’m heading to my room late
or grabbing food or a beer
i always say hello to a tall woman
who stands by the corner on and off 
from midnight until dawn most nights
outside of a burger shop 
and she always says hi back to me 
or we just smile and wave
 
she usually wears the same maroon dress
short with a plunging gold neckline
and red boots with stiletto toes and heels
with her thick long blonde hair dropped
over one shoulder in front
and there are always seagulls around her
 
last night i bought a vegan burger
on my way home from a bar
and sat inside the shop 
though not purposely but in view of her spot
and she didn’t mind me there and gave me a nod
as she chatted to passing men
and then leaned in the window of a black car 
to talk to the driver before he pulled away
 
a guy in the shop near me 
finished his burger and left 
and she came inside immediately as he did
and checked his scraps and what was left 
took outside to the squawking flapping seagulls
that had followed her to the door
and fed them chips and bun remains
 
and then came back inside again and took scraps
from another spot where a woman had been eating
and i commented on her feeding seagull activity
and she said in her deep voice “i do it between customers
because i love the seagulls and they love me”
 
she then went back outside as a silver car stopped
and fed her seagulls 
got in the car and it drove away
while the seagulls and i watched her disappear
all of us knowing our friend would soon be back 
standing on her corner

rock

i place a large rock on the footpath
and sit in a park to watch 
a woman with a child approaches rock
child stands on rock and mother takes a photo with her phone
they walk away from rock

an elderly man with a ginger dog pass rock
man glances at rock and dog pisses on rock
they walk away from rock
dog’s piss on rock dries in the sun

two teenage boys attempt to jump rock on their skateboards 
one boy does it successfully
other boy tries several times but does not make it over rock
he falls on rock and path
successful boy laughs at failure
they skate away from rock 

a young woman with bare feet stops at rock
she sits on rock and lights a cigarette
takes out her phone and sends a text message
she stands and makes a phone call
starts shouting into phone and kicks rock
i think she is crying
she limps away from rock still shouting into phone

i go to rock and cover rock with flowers i picked in the park
i can smell dog’s piss and cigarette smoke
i leave rock and go back to the park

a man dressed in an orange gown passes rock
he stops and looks at rock and walks away from rock
he returns and places flowers on rock 
lights a stick of incense and lays it on rock
holds his hands in prayer and walks away from rock

i go to rock and on my knees i worship rock
a rat peeps at me from under a bush near the footpath
i think he says something but i can’t be sure
rat and i stare into each other’s eyes
i cry and rat cries
we stop crying and smile at each other
i thank rock for my life
rat thanks rock for bringing me to meet him

rat can speak 
rock is god

salvation

hopeful genius dirty collar 
situation wonder claiming 
biting pencil scratching guess 
crossword puzzle giving answers
chewing gum tied back hair 
fiddle greasy grey pot smoking
is anyone granting wish on hope 
be it lost or found in this

pink-lipped mummies designer gym suits 
platform sneakers outing granted  
selfie shots gossip babble 
murmur giggle text on phone 
takeaway coffee gripping sipping 
keeping fast step separate pacing 
walk hard team power beauty temple 
pouting flee delivers health   

deal constructed business suits 
let’s go hey mate cool in awesome
check out new porn up online 
no lunch spot sit down here allowed
in shut down mode pull compensation 
feel strange new life in whine
did you see gay dude look at you 
paranoia sings fear gamble

and them dot tightly small group thrice 
on well-mowed lawn hedge square 
as kids run shouting cake shop gifting 
waiting birds squawk hopeful scrap 
day party happen easy rules 
social distance not held why
new work style no job or school 
manipulation welfare scandal 

and me alone same time day night 
no change i still cruise wander
a swim they say no too cold bloke 
gape smile back on chat concern
in plunge to sea remind my real 
salvation claim i scribe own journey
pack my bag when restricting travel lifts 
gain back my queer life amble



Bio:  
Stephen House has won many awards and nominations as a poet, playwright, and actor. He’s had 20 plays produced with many published by Australian Plays Transform. He’s received several international literature residencies from The Australia Council for the Arts, and an Asialink India literature residency. He’s had two chapbooks published by ICOE Press Australia: ‘real and unreal’ poetry and ‘The Ajoona Guest House’ monologue. His next book drops soon. He performs his acclaimed monologues widely



A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Prosper Ifeanyi

Q1: When did you start writing and who has influenced you the most?

Prosper: I started writing at a very tender age. Since I was in primary school, I would scribble names of imaginary characters in the back of my book and try to piece a dialogue or two. When I had nothing doing then, in school, I would curl up reading the novels of James Hadley Chase, and marvel at the cadence of language, and the way stories and events were interwoven to form an extended narrative. Chase was one of my foremost influencers, up until my university days, when a lecturer of mine, Mr. Mathias Orhero, introduced me to the American poet, Charles Bukowski. My first encounter with Bukowski was with two poems, “Bluebird” and “Cows in Art Class,” and then I knew…I knew I wanted to write beautiful poetry just like that! 

Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Prosper: I subscribe to the idealist notion that art, and the writing process is inexhaustible. If everyone tells their story right, the issue of “wanting to be a writer” will be non-existent. Everyone has a story to tell, not everyone has to be a writer to tell them. For me, writing is just one out of the many ways to get my message across.

Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career?

Prosper: I’d say my mother. My mother is a magic lamp. When gently stroked, she releases a genie of untold stories. 

Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work?

Prosper: I grew up in the city of Lagos. The bustle and hustle of the town has been one of the things that has kept me alive and better equipped in this part of the world. I tell people who care that: “Lagos wrings you dry,” and they never really do not understand what I mean. I like to see Lagos as a confluence, a potpourri or melting pot for language (especially as regards Nigerian literature). Lagos affords you that neo-liberal opportunity to subscribe to key tenets of a language in Nigeria, be it: Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa. This is because of its metropolitan structure in society. Lagos is what New York is to the US; and I consider myself lucky to be able to weave the languages I have accumulated, in such tangible time, to the kind of poems I write. 

Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively?

Prosper: My most meaningful work is the poem, “I Know the Knife Scars Serrating Down Their Backs,” published in Feral Poetry. I think the meaning this poem carries can be alluded to the fact that I laced it with lots of emotions and empathy. 

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Prosper: Playing video games. Reading thrillers, and watching movies.

Q7: What is a favorite line/stanza from your writings?

Prosper: My favourite line from my writing is culled from the last line an unpublished poem “all I will leave behind are a pair of starry eyes—/my nude hanging/on air like jobless memory; mourners sabled/ & the song falls from/ their mouth like untrimmed grass: hallelujah!/ latched in me.

Q8: What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that come back to you as an inspiration?

Prosper: Funnily enough, I don’t really have a taste for a special variety of songs. I can listen to anything that isn’t garbage; but I must admit, I have always found peace in listening to Hindi (Tamil) singers. Especially the likes of Shreya Ghoshal, Arijit Singh, and Aditya Roy Kapur.

Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books or events that you would like to promote?

Prosper: I have written quite a number of chapbooks; nothing that needs to see the light for now. I am just hopeful that one of these days, I will be ready to let go. Sometimes, even art is a responsibility to be saddled, and I understand this well. I am a bit hopeful about the year 2024. You never know. You never know.

Bio: Prosper Ìféányí is a Nigerian poet, essayist, and story writer. An alum of Khōréō Magazine, his works are featured or forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, New Delta Review, Parentheses Journal, Identity Theory, and elsewhere. Reach him on Twitter and Instagram @prosperifeanyii

Amish Christmas Tree by James Schwartz

Amish Christmas Tree

Why can’t we have a Christmas tree?
That is not for Our People, Mom explains.

I beg until she cuts a tree from cardboard,
Spray painting it gold.

We cut up Hallmark cards,
Decorating its boughs. Together.


* Author Note: I would like to wish Fevers of the Mind Readers a happy holiday season & 2023 from Detroit! It has been an honor to have been a Wolfpack contributor this year and publish new and old works at FeversoftheMind.com. Thank you David L. O'Nan! 
 "Amish Christmas Tree" is a decade old nostalgic piece that I'm regifting to you - Happy Holidays & 2023! 🥂 


James Schwartz is a poet, slam performer and author of various collections including "The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay & Amish in America" (available on Kindle 2011), PUnatic (Writing Knights Press, 2019) & Motor City Mix (Alien Buddha Press 2022). On twitter James can be found under @queeraspoetry for a follow.

https://feversofthemind.com/2022/10/10/an-overview-of-james-schwartz-book-sunset-in-rome-from-alien-buddha-press/ https://feversofthemind.com/2022/11/04/poetry-online-anthology-the-artist-never-sleeps/ https://feversofthemind.com/2022/07/20/poetry-video-links-by-james-schwartz/

Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Blog

Our twitter is @feversof eic @davidLONan1 Facebook Group: http://www.feversofthemind.com Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Arts Group

Submissions e-mail: feversofthemind@gmail.com 

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 feversofthemind@gmail.com (anything helps to keep the site going)

*WEB SUBMISSIONS ONLY*

We are doing an online anthology on the blog for Langston Hughes. Send poetry submissions inspired by Langston to us by February 10th.

In addition 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”

https://amzn.to/3TPIPAv

Out now the Deluxe Edition of “Before the Bridges Fell”

https://amzn.to/3ftkxNX 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.

A Poetry Showcase from John Grey

photo from unsplash

THE SHIP-LOVER

I love ships. I love true super liners.
I love all thirty-one thousand tons of the Lusitania.
I love its four funnels, steam turbines, 
that quadruple screw, the 25 knots at which
it traverses the water.

I love the Vestris though it’s only a single-stacker.
And the Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft
because its someone’s name, 
a name I would be proud to bear 
if I was making the Amsterdam-East Indies connection.

Of course, I love the L’Atlantique
because it sounds as French as coq vin and Andre Gide. 
It’s a dreamboat with insides that can’t decide
whether they’re Art Nouveau or Art Deco.
I just love dubiety in a ship.

I even love the President Hoover 
though Hoover himself is tough to like.
And the Paris…ah the Paris…
Moroccan décor, such fancy glass and metalwork…
if she was a woman I’d…but she is a woman.

And the Empress of Britain –
glamor and the Brits, 
an unheard-of combination and yet…
And give me the Bremen any day,
though it started out working for the other side.

I love the Viceroy of India – so exotic.
The Rex – those Italians sure do know how to
concoct a lido.
And the Empress of Canada, a little cold at first,
but eventually as warm and comforting 
as anything out there with a twin screw.

And then there’s the Andrea Doria.
I simply love the Andrea Doria.
If I ever met someone called Andrea Doria,
I’d propose on the spot.

And just because every time, I said her name
it would conjure up visions 
of her graceful lines, exquisite shape, 
and so smooth glide across oceans.

And yet all of my loves are dead.
Some blown up in warfare.
Others destroyed by fire 
or wrecked in a collision.
They lie on the seabed
or have long been scrapped,
their parts reused or discarded.

But I still love to stand 
atop the Newport cliffs
and look out to where 
my refined and nimble, 
elegant and exquisite lovers run.
I do not love death.
But I love whatever it has to show me.


THE CIGARETTE SMOKER

There was a time
he lit a cigarette  
the moment his eyes opened.
Before coffee.
Before shaving.
Before his shower.

He’d totter downstairs
trailing that tiny glow,
his face a cloud of smoke.
He’d puff between sips of java.
The razor would have to cut its way
around the dangling Camel.
He didn’t smoke in the shower
but there was always a lit one waiting 
on the sink.

He’d smoke in the car 
on the way to work.
Even in speeding traffic on the highway,
he’d find a way to light another.  
Butts littered the floor.
Ash dropped like fall leaves on his shoe. 

His hands, his teeth,
boasted a permanent yellow stain.
But he never shook hands, never smiled.
He was too busy getting his nicotine fix.

He smoked during meals.
He smoked watching television.
He smoked just before bed.
He even smoked in bed,
singed his lip more than once.

In hospital, 
he had to sneak a cigarette.
When that didn’t work,
he puffed on the tube in his mouth
and imagined.
On his last day,
he begged the nurse 
for one more cancer stick,
the first time he had ever used that term.

SOMEONE JUMPS FROM THE BRIDGE


The moon lurks high above the town.
Its indifference is a thing of wonder.
It saw the boy leap but after that…nothing.

The woman with her apartment window wide open
only thought she heard something.
A guy working late in his fish store 
figured it was some louts dumping garbage.

The surface has settled back to stillness.
Trees stand tall, even in shadow,
prime examples of long-lived lives.
Only the willow droops in sympathy.

The moon settles into a slow arc,
dispenses scattered light
that illuminates the bridge, darkens the waters.

USUAL HEADLINES

Another climber dead on Denali.
So the highest is the deadliest.
Mist lifts.
Mountain emerges.
For a moment I can feel
the lofty aspirations.
Don't try for that summit
and you may as well
be a convenience store clerk
in Anchorage.
The vista may be heaven
but the story is human.
Had to do it, planned for weeks,
nothing would stop him.
Lost his grip, fell from a ledge,
took a week to retrieve his body.
The news is stunted
like tundra spruce,
the implication as long as the days.
There's a risk
even to paradise.
Bui the death's more certain
in what might have been.

MY MOTHER WORKED IN A CANTEEN


she brought home
folded cash
in an envelope

every note 
carefully allotted
for food or rent
or utilities

with a few coins
tossed my way
for pocket money –

she never held
a check in her hand

I never paid 
for anything
with paper –

we were poor –

we had the money
to prove it


Bio: John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Washington Square Review and Floyd County Moonshine. Latest books, “Covert” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the McNeese Review, Rathalla Review and Open Ceilings.