Touch Wood by R.G. Evans The poem/lyrics below were inspired by an interview about songwriting with Leonard Cohen. The first line and refrain or both quotes from that interview Raise an altar of unhewn stone One gate of horn one gate of bone Touch wood Come on touch wood Black ball white ball juggle them both Look to the one that you drop most Touch wood Come on touch wood Say a prayer cast a spell One goes to heaven one goes to hell No way of telling what’s bad from good Only thing a soul can do and that’s touch wood Come on touch wood Black cat howling on a gravestone stump Watch where you step and how high you jump Touch wood Come on touch wood Midnight crossroads meet your man John the conqueroo and glory’s hand Touch wood Come on touch wood One thief on your left and one to your right Only thing to do is hold on tight And touch wood Come on touch wood Bio: R. G. Evans is a poet, fiction writer, and songwriter from Southern New Jersey. He teaches creative writing at Rowan University. Website: www.rgevanswriter.com Lookout by Clive Gresswell dedicated to Leonard Cohen the holy war metaphors are in wages of the pentecostal sin harbingers of every thin reprieve soldierless fortunes armies on their knees recalling from fixtures the broken cry of hymns the rattle of the mounting mourning violins & stretchers from across the chimes of winds the solitary burgeoning of terrestrial times the tinkling emergence of solitary rhymes beside the lakes & the burial of mimes we seek the hope & glory of appeal the work towards the journey of it all & where the men stood motionless on the hill gathering up the writing on the wall. Bio: Clive Gresswell is a 64-year-old innovative writer and poet who has appeared in many mags from BlazeVOX to Poetry Wars and Tears in the Fence. He is the author of five poetry books the last two being ‘Strings’ and ‘Atoms’ from erbacce-press (see their website for more details).
Every morning she’s down there
on the verge, barefoot and swaying her weight
like her holy soles are slow-burning
The light here is an old violin, cracked
scratching bars through the watcher’s window
and her grey head bows angel time while she dances
if that’s what this is
By the eighth morning I’ve composed her life
from scraps, quilting her song
with real wild bright minors
I toast her with coffee
and sing her down ribbons
The day I leave she treadles the gutter
stormwater, kicks up sticks and feathers
cursing the rain
cursing the pigeons, the windows, the watcher
wearing a whole different heart
and the light is more hammer than strings
Photo by (c) Ankh Spice
Bio on mini interviews blog http://poetryminiinterviews.blogspot.com/2022/01/ankh-spice-part-one.html?sm_au=iVVrjf8kjTJ8DssVHtJqHK0qJ6jF1
@seagoatscreams on Twitter
2020 Pushcart Nominee
Ankh Spice is a poet from Aotearoa (New Zealand), who has an abiding love of the sea, and story-songs that include small mysteries. His poetry has been recently published in Black Bough Poetry, Burning House Press, and Pixel Heart Magazine, and has recently completed his first chapbook. @SeaGoatWhoScreamsPoetry on Facebook.
art by Geoffrey Wren (c)
(Passing Through) (for L. Cohen)
Crossing laneway between old colonial buildings,
remember reading about L. Cohen discussion of discipline
in his family before (leaving) his shoes neatly beneath the bed,
lined in rows the Westmount childhood house of his
Blossoms on the Plateau
scatter towards St. Laurent.
At a café, grab a late coffee, Mile End.
– Elated. Artwork to hang at Gallery ___ of
new punk energy competing with empty lots.
A poet encountered Cohen right near here chaotically sprawled
on a bench, static hat, shins crossed,
My father knew clothing, my father knew hats.
In every secret life,
Danceclatter spirit memories,
Reanimated, the dead no longer leave
Gather under pelican shaped eaves
Refugees – taking leave, returning quickly as they arrive–
By harbour, ships, disembarking planes
At official hearings destinies decided by immigration board
on appeal. O, Canada — We who betray everything
Searching landscapes beyond mythic voice,
first languages, anthologized wards
of mothertongue, come alive
to holy gathering, catchments of double-rainbows
above camera shop,
on The Main, to St. Catherine’s Street,
gauntlet to throw down bargaining for life
the Ascending of the
at the gated freight elevators
in a cessation of rain, orchestral loft curtains
and a cacophony of rattling glass
in choreographic time,
threaded hum of industrial needles, machines,
for fancy fabric, the manufacture of
ghost suits in factories.
Did the street lineaments of longing shape
an arc to the sun in melodic time,
Word became difference
– without a promised pound of flesh —
each visioning, wisteria proposing
darker awakening. To bow and Curtsy. The
– Oars of the St. Lawrence remaining as if
Hallucinatory – at a farther reach –
persuasive designs for some new
disguise. In rupture rapture———— Graffitied, the needle in thread, the lacuna. Stitches of erasure, (by attendant lay kept at bay) a homonym in nominal space Ofidentity en/closures.
When You Carry the Flag of Surrender
We aim for song. Tilt to embrace. First embouchure, embrace of red, then blue, a burning white beneath the stair corrodes coruscating struts. You waited to come back too long, already threat gave you a name. Beneath eyelids, the mourning bruised fifth notes. Minor armies, advancing packs of card sharks, upon arrival, slight a flock of black birds, ravens, and your sister’s husband’s brutal conundrum commences. It’s a war against nature. We guessed wrong. Planning for a siege at a craps table along the loneliest strip where hummingbirds dance a devious fandango, on with nightclub nightmares. You lifted up with urgency, the urge, to surrender, to carry the flag of surrender. (And safely, the albatross of snow glides ascending beyond Blake, rising to the Gate of Hell Wings shorn with fire). The yellowing book, it’s pages. If you are tired enough, you will fall asleep, fall into the arms of a boulder, spreading the night moth’s wings around you. On the ocean, the burning partisan’s ship sinks behind another neon moon. Affair Between the odd and even I shall be a tailor, sewing pockets with a wretched hand. A corruption, failure of the terms of service. I gave them nothing, willingly, I gave them nothing, undue dress. A shaky signature, handshake under duress, erasing distressed seams. The Committee of Horsemen and their capital wives Flying to a ceremonial, under cloak, the war’s convoy’s coverings Blanket the skies with parachutes. I shall be the uninvited guest, these twisted hands trembling, winter branches at calico windows, draperies. Obscene broncho – of obstreperous lineage. Startling twilight of starlings. Sinking Hesperus. Rain 1. The plane goes down It goes down It makes the sun turn a pale green a pale green Packages of jealous nauseous waitresses That know no limits know no limits In the charnel house in the charnel house 2. Confusion of smoke Bodies alight by the fairgrounds All the kisses you can punch for a dollar twenty five don’t be shy step Right up 3. Bop bop bopping for the wormy wordy words worthy apple of the jaundice eye another round of Government Propaganda For the Shiny Happy People 4. Free line dances for the people By the acid river backside pouring out toxic sludge 5. Captains of Productive Industrial stewardship on sacred ground whose ground sacred check the grainy almanac in the gun-sites of the Military Industrial complex 6. We capture captions speak in thought balloons Sometimes arrogant overtalking even The gentlest Master slips outside benign speaking behind a billboard for mouth wash cattle in the fields, lowing 7. “It will rain soon,” Mommy says to her six year old in Khakis amidst the smoke beneath the chocking ruins -- rains down historical memory 8. Insects rub their tentacled principal legs together make the beat of some new music written by the Karaoke Moon 9. We can count all of the ways that what was once here no longer is. Using an app with magic markers we make asemic marks on photographic paper. Is there hope of change? Are we impassioned? Poisoned? What lies beyond belief is belief in our own ability to change out of clothing make the New Man look possible available fallible as Merchandise. 1985 (A Drum) A Leonard Cohen concert New York, Carnegie Hall, At performance end, more people than one might imagine prepare for Rapture. From handbags & from under winter coats they rush towards the stage. A price of admittance. Recognizable is ritual. My old friend, with whom I attend, I shall never see again, while, Field Commander Cohen, Working for the Yankee Dollar, Takes Manhattan. Graciously bowing, catching in light and furious, bouquets of cornflowers and roses. The clarion call, in spot lit time trumpet flowers opening up pollen in a thousand-handed balcony.
Twitter: @frede_kenter @icefloe_P
Poems 2, 3 & 4 are inspired by Cohen’s poetry book “The Energy of Slaves”
Here are the U.S. Links for Kindle & Paperback. Please check for availability for the links in your country on Amazon.
Features artwork by Geoffrey Wren, poetry & stories from David L O’Nan, Ethan McGuire, Tom Harding, Joe Kidd, Robert Frede Kenter, Joan Hawkins, Ankh Spice, Arthur L Wood, Sadie Maskery, Kari Ann Flickinger, ps pirro, Peter Hague, Lorna Wood, Benjamin Adair Murphy, Attracta Fahy, Christina Strigas, Barney-Ashton Bullock, John W. Leys, Amy Barnes, Jim Young, Elizabeth Cusack, Richard LeDue, Michael Igoe, Samantha Terrell, Lisa Alletson, Carrie Sword, Samantha Merz, Janet Beekman, Lennon Stravato, Catherine Graham, William Taylor Jr, Kat Blair, Adrian Ernesto Cepeda, S. Reeson, Shane Schick, Gerald Jatzek, Merril D. Smith, Jim Feeney
(c) Geoffrey Wren
I Told You I hung us. I strung us. The rope-a-dope stylist is the real alchemist. Did you think it gave you a new instinct? I’ve knives made from railroad ties and seen things besides the truth and its lies. I tried to warn you before but you wrote your life unsure of its contents and missteps and flagrant regrets. The stylist is upset by things she can’t reset while you sit knowing a youth misspent that you won’t accept and we all have the proof. I can cut you or cut you, or cut you and cut you but nothing will stop me from you as I tell you I told you so. Twitter: @aikonnorb Norb Aikin is the author of Mutants and 100 (Eliezer Tristan Publishing). He is a Mental Health activist originally from Buffalo, NY and now lives in Cortland, NY. His work has appeared in various online publications, including Pink Plastic House and Fevers of the Mind. A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Norb Aikin 3 Poems from Anthologies by Norb Aikin 2 Poems from the Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 by Norb Aikin BOOKS to Read in 2021: Mutants by Norb Aikin