Melodic Virtue has been featured in Rolling Stone, SPIN, Los Angeles Times, Paste & Pitchfork for the work they’ve accomplished ever since Aaron Tanner began what was a Graphic design company that now also puts out very interesting “photographic history” of some of the best bands of the last 40 years. These coffee-table books have rare photos, behind the scenes looks at the bands, set lists and so much more. Melodic Virtue also has a wonderful web page with merchandise and check out which books are currently available and see the awesome bands such as Butthole Surfers, Pixies, and Ministry. Aaron also has a history of working with Ween throughout the years. Aaron is also a wonderful musician himself in bands such as Stationary Odyssey and Off-Ox (check out their music as well)
These lovely poems reach out with straining hands to touch the infinite, to press between the pages of a book a moment in time, to capture forever a thought that might stray across the frontal cortex of any person’s racing mind. Or perhaps a lazy, resting mind, as when you’re surfing the internet eager for distraction. The attempt is usually successful, as in ‘404’, which invites us to see the failures of community as it exists online, a place of fear and foolishness where people resent connection before they find the fractured peace they secretly desire. In this experimental poem, Maskery alternates between a more conventional poetic diction and snatches of computer code, suggestive phrases (“HttpResponseMessage Get / (string connection))” that draw you into the authored, mechanical realm lying between everyday utterances written in cyberspace as part of a flame war held any morning of the week in Atlanta or Abu Dhabi. The internet “decays” but “I don’t exist without” it seems, the poet reflecting on the ephemeral by trying to nail down fleeting instants that disappear in the ether as soon as they come into stuttering existence.
A disconnect also exists in ‘Do not enter’, a monologue by a person meeting a visitor at the door. The invitation appears sincere although there is a sign on the door telling people to keep out. Why has the visitor come? It’s not clear. There are no clues as to how this person decided it was apposite to knock – though life is like this, isn’t it? – but what he or she hears should, perhaps, reassure. Questions are raised and some are answered but the sense of foreboding that rests once the poem ends suggests that something is amiss.
This dislocation is repeated in poem after poem, for example in ‘make me’, which is, again, about the internet. Here, in a few words, Maskery tries to understand – and to communicate to the reader – something about its allure, but while the outlines of debate are defined there exist by the end of the poem – which is not long – more questions than answers. What is virality? How does this rare exposure help us to become more completely ourselves? Or is that not the appeal? Perhaps the answer lies in the message of the previous poem, ‘Prayer’, which is addressed to “gods of the ephemera” so that “sins may be sold” (if they could be, we’d all be rich) and “let us devour” the body “sacred / scarred” that we worship.
I really enjoyed reading these digestible items, and the collection often veers off into the inexpressible, as in ‘i’m so sorry, it’s just’ where it’s never clear exactly what the narrator is talking about, just “one sweetness / one beauty” “residue / from its grind / smirching / the smell of small things” though “why / pretend all is well” in this world of destruction and release, of small things broken apart and devoured (looking back to ‘Prayer’) by anonymous crowds of people (looking back to ‘404’)?
Surprises lend their appeal to the chorus of sorrow Maskery unmasks, so in ‘Thread’ the message is thin but eloquent, a single phrase written down to look like a pair of threads – perhaps a strand of DNA encoding our identity – that sit upon the page like flags flying above a parapet on a windy day.
The waves of the lines are enticing and strange. In ‘Beginnings’ an uncommon enticement reveals the outlines of desire, a moment rendered in words like a synapse firing, “The first time we meet the shock / is there but small” and the poet goes on to lay out in miniature the universe of the mind that that instant unfurled. This is a masterpiece of expressive competence, a very strong poem that unearths worlds that are normally buried in the vast wildernesses of memory. As I read I started to recall things that had happened to me, a night when I was maybe 21, a day I went to a party in Double Bay, various times that happened in my life – so long ago – arose to conquer my attention in the flickering present where images combine with the pulse of the computer screen to reveal the mind’s frail existence in all its broken lightness and sorrow.
So the positive dwells in this collection of short poems – many are one page long, some are two pages long – alongside the negative (see especially ‘Networking’), the euphoric (see for example ‘Art’) with the base, the high with the low, the thing to be celebrated with the pain of despair. I was struck by the flexibility of Maskery’s evocative voice, its ability to accommodate a range of ideas and to give utterance to an array of different feelings. This is a memorable book.
This is a review of Robin McNamara’s debut chapbook “Under a Mind’s Staircase” under The Hedgehog Poetry Press (c) 2021.
As I was reading Robin’s poems I first felt like this was a lost journey, a poet seeking answers. Diving into every emotion and trying to absorb them into words. To be in a lonely state of mind, a scared state of mind, a worried state of mind (religion), to take in the beauty of nature. To be in panic and seeking quick answers. I identified most with the imagery of this poet as they try to figure out love, lust, lost, what’s left, then death. I appreciate the influences expressed in the poems such as Sins of Soul & Soul of Dust inspired by T.S. Eliot. I am often inspired in my own writings with T.S. Eliot’s inklings left for us to read.
“Sins of Souls” is one of my favorites because it dives into the unknown whether you’re wants might be the lust that the world impulses you in. How you are made to feel ashamed to sin, when hidden. While everyone is behind the curtain mimicking the same sins with a ridicule.
The language in these poems I can deeply feel such as in “The Devil’s List” “Have the angels fled?” …. “The angels have fled” I often dive into this same interesting dialogue within poems that leaves questions and ultimately a realization, or an answer from the poet’s perspective, however this leaves the reader pondering if they truly have found the answer at the end, or are they still searching.
Life being so complex. Figuring out what is real, what is ideal, what is surreal, and what is just a feel. This is what this journey is trying to lead you through.
With eyes: observations of nature “Blackbird on the Hill”, “Tides and Seasons” “Apple Picking Season” “Dusked Evenings” “The Fold of the Seasons” this leads to observations, to the mind, what do these images conjure, how can you relate to what you see?
With the mind in static: “It’s Quite Mental, Really” a trip through moments of insanity. Everything that surrounds is surreal, nothing is real, what can I do? To make it real? What does loneliness cause a person to be?
Explore this journey of humanity and take in the beautiful words, relatability (if you’re empathic) and realize we are all hidden and we are also all in front of those curtains in display. Soul and all for the pickings and the observation.
And if you’d like a PDF copy of Fevers of the Mind: Overcome or any prior Fevers of the Mind editions on PDF or Avalanches in Poetry: Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen donate to our Go Fund Me Page. Send us your e-mail and I’ll send you some pdfs.
https://gofund.me/765879f5 email firstname.lastname@example.org in subject put amount donated (I can verify) which issues you want (pdfs) Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the poets of 2020 is at least $5 itself due to the size. Overcome is at least $3 due to it coming out today.
Overcome includes: Fevers of the Mind 5: Overcome is the 5th Anthology for poetry, writing that generally themes of anxiety, social justice, overcoming adversities and more. Fevers of the Mind has been built on this concept of fully understanding great writing, creativity, mental health therapy and showcase wonderful poets and writers. Faye Alexandra Rose, HLR, Lisa Mary Armstrong, Charlotte Hamrick, Z.R. Ghani, Kushal Poddar, Lawrence Moore, R.D. Johnson, Paul Brookes, Stephen Allen, HilLesha O’Nan, David L O’Nan, M.S. Evans, Annest Gwilym, Pasithea Chan, Matthew da Silva, Rosie Johnston, Amanda Crum, Barney Ashton-Bullock, Elisabeth Horan, Peach Delphine, Coby Daniels, Rose Knapp, A.R. Salandy, Tim Heerdink, Catrice Greer, Margaret Viboolsittiseri, Martins Deep, Stephen J Golds, Anisha Kaul, James Diaz, Charles K. Carter, Linda M. Crate, Vicky Allen, Charlotte Oliver, Ryan Flett, Samantha Terrell, Robin McNamara, Anneka Chambers, Maxine Rose Munro, Gayle J. Greenlea, Elizabeth M Castillo, Sarika Jaswani, Sarra Culleno, Ethan McGuire, Georgia Hilton, Briony Collins, Bruce McRae, Shiksha Dheda, Michael Igoe, Dai Fry, Scott Christopher Beebe & more
All contributions go back into this website & hopefully able to put out more content because of this. The more you send the more pdfs I will send out to you.
1st issue includes interviews with Paul Gilmartin of Mental Illness Happy Hour, Aaron Tanner of Melodic Virtue Books, and Kentucky Poet Legend Ron Whitehead. Contributions by Tianna Hansen, Paul Rowe, Kristin Garth, Helena Fools, Scott Christopher Beebe, Abuh Monday Eneojo, Guy Farmer, Eli Horan, Guy Farmer, Rockshow Gimmicks, Heidi Miller Krause, Kara Beth Rasure, Roberto Zariskeeni, Jerry Masterson, Kimberly Cunningham, Christopher (C.L.) Belcher, John Everex, David G Lee, Amanda McLeod, Neel Trivedi, Jennifer Hibbs, Al Matheson, Christopher Osswald, Linda Crate, Elizabeth York Dickinson, John Ogunlade, Matthew Calmes, Matt Seeley, Paul Gilmartin, Aaron Tanner, Ron Whitehead, Mary Jones, Ruth Cheruto, Hillary Behsharam, Juliette Sebock, Anne Paulet, Chloe Gorman, Abigail Swire, Anna Nash aka diD (c) Kaleidoscope, Christian Gould, Megha Sood, Samuel Guest, Colin James, Stephen Morgan Woodworth, Jinn Bug, Hillesha D O’Nan, David L O’Nan
Poetry, Short Stories, Interviews, Art, Photography with interweaving moods of humor, anxiety, happiness, love, sadness, mental health awareness, hope, faith. Many creative poets, artists, photographers, lyricists in each issue. Issue 2 includes interviews with Brett Siler of Rebore Records, Jessie Lynn McMains Poetry/Editor at Bone & Ink Press, Matthew M C Smith, Brunette Glassco, Judge Santiago Burdon, Rachael Ikins, Justin Karcher, Helena Fools, Jackie Chou, Akapo Elizabeth, Christopher Osswald, Amanda “Enola” Reeves, Elizabeth Moura, Barbara Avon, Anne Paulet scripta 21, Anna Nash kaleidoscope diD, John Everex, George Miller, Stephen Watt, Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon, Scott Christopher Beebe, Jennifer Hibbs, Jennifer Carr, Juleigh Howard-Hobson, Rachel Cunniffe, Kushal Poddar, December Lace, J Matthew Waters, David Fladger, Ana Lorenza Jimenez, Lynn White, Norb Aikin, Doug Polk, ps pirro, Anna Rozwadowska, Ellen Kirkman, Demi Whitnell, Paul Brookes, JDG, Jesse Falodun, Jamie Routley, Rickey Rivers Jr, Robin Ray, Ulane Vuorio, Samantha Merz, Abuh Monday Eneojo, John Ogunlade, Amanda McLeod, Neel Trivedi, Paul Robert Mullen, David Milburn, Pasithea Chan, Michelle Nadasi, Megha Sood, David L O’Nan, Hillesha O’Nan, Roberto Zariskeeni, Paul S Rowe, Eric Valor
Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest Issue 3 the Darkness & the Light contributors include Hillesha O’Nan, David L O’Nan, Cee Martinez, Scott Christopher Beebe, Peach Delphine, Richard Waring, JP Meador, Stephen Sherman, Jack Bowman, John Everex, Ann Hultberg, Matt Duggan, Cara Bovaird, Foy Timms, Megha Sood, Ulane Vuorio, Raine Geoghegan, Iona Murphy, Kaitlyn Luckow, Ivan Peledov, Joan McNerney, Karen Mooney, Rumillenial Poetry, Niles Reddick, Jackie Chou, Jennifer Criss, Linda Crate, Chris Maxwell, etc
Close your eyes and meditate on what was this year.2020 became the most difficult year for most humanity to handle –Emotionally, mentally, socially, physicallyThe many challenges have caused the world to spin in all these hardships.Resulting in both the best in humanity, but also an influx of bullying Amongst the people. Civil Unrest, bigotry, racism, conspiracies, a plague among us that many rejects and spread without fears of the outcome. As thousands if not millions began to die. The excuses and lies spread through the governmental figures.They were not ready to handle or unwilling to handle what their narcissism would not allow them to handle.Many sick, many deprived, many feeling unwanted by their country, unable to trust figures to help them feel safe & secure in an unknown world.Through this year. The ebbs and flows of creativity have hit. Sometimes you can’t do anything but stare at walls and ponder life. Sometimes though, we began to write, write about what is real, what is ideal, and writing can be therapeutic when you need it. The following is the Poets of 2020. Survivors through thought. Interviews, Essays, Poetry, Prose, Sonnets, Prayers, Memories, Dreams, Uniting, Eradicating fears, Living instead of Dying. We will come through and get over this foggy road.Just a Poetry Anthology really with an interview with musician Austin Lucas. Featured Poets: Ankh Spice, Steve Denehan, & Jenny Mitchell. Spotlight Poets Catrice Greer, December Lace, Kari Flickinger, Kushal Poddar, Raine Geoghegan Megha Sood, Damien Donnelly, Linda Crate, Matthew M C Smith & Black Bough Poetry, Icefloe Press with Robert Kenter & Moira J Saucer, Mela Blust and dozens of other poets & writers. A Massive collection. Contributors: Troy Jackson, David L O’Nan, Ankh Spice, Hokis, HilLesha O’Nan, Susan Richardson, Catrice Greer, A.R. Salandy, Sher Ting, the Poetry Question, Chris Margolin, Norb Aikin, Jenna Faccenda, December Lace, Ken Tomaro, Kushal Poddar, Ethan Jacob O’Nan, Tan Tzy Jiun, Icefloe Press, Robert Frede Kenter, Moira J Saucer, David Hanlon, Amy Barnes, Jason DeKoff, Darren Demaree, Abdulmueed Balogun, Steve Wheeler, Raine Geoghegan, Jim Young, Bradley Galimore, Anisha Kaul, Tim Heerdink, Damien Donnelly, Maggs Vibo, Mela Blust, Kristin Garth, Rickey Rivers Jr, Foy Timms, Jackie Chou, David Ralph Lewis, Paul Brookes, David Hay, Austin Lucas, Kari Flickinger, Sidney Mansueto, John Ogunlade, Lawrence Moore, Karen Mooney, Jenny Mitchell, Z.D. Dicks, Will Davis, Julie Stevens, Mukung Gnanadesikan, Gail Sheridan, James Lilley, Samantha Merz, Richard Waring, Iona Murphy, Vern Fein, Gerald Jatzek, Ediney Santana, KC Bailey, Samuel Strathman, Rachael Itkins, Mike Whiting, Linda Crate, Steve Denehan, Samantha Terrell, Peter Hague, Al Matheson, E Samples, Ann Hultberg, Ceinwed C E Haydon, Jane Dougherty, Michael Igoe, Will Schmit, Dai Fry, Megha Sood, Barney Ashton-Bullock, M.S. Evans, John Everex, Maxine Rose Munro, Jane Rosenberg LaForge, Lacresha Hall, Lucy Whitehead, Merril Smith, Kelly Marie McDonough, Gabe Louis Matthew M C Smith, Black Bough Poetry & more.
This bookzine is a book dedicated to the Inspiration of Leonard Cohen has left on many lives. Poetry, Quotes, Artwork photos, stories. It has been 3 years since his passing, and it is still hard to come to full grip with this. Contributors include Geoffrey Wren, Paul Robert Mullen, Attracta Fahy, John Everex, Lennon Stravato, Joan Hawkins, Christina Strigas, ps Pirro, Sarah Marquez, Xerado, Norb Aikin, Ediney-Santana, Neel Trivedi, Amanda McLeod, Robert Frede Kenter, Jack Bowman, Ryan De Leon from Sons & Daughters Journal, Ellen Kirkman, Greg Santos, Kari Ann Flickinger, John W Leys, Pavlina Marie, Amy Barnes, Michael Igoe, Kushal Poddar, Gerald Jatzek, David Mellor, Ankh Spice, David Grant Lee, Shauna McGuiness, Peter Hague, Samantha Merz, Tim Heerdink, Madison McSweeney, Kimberly Cunningham, Barney Ashton Bullock, David L O’Nan, Hillesha O’Nan