A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with EIC of Fevers of the Mind David L O’Nan

davidlonan1 – Fevers of the Mind

with David L O’Nan (interviewing himself?)

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

David: I believe I began writing after having my older brother read his poetry to me. I would constantly read his stuff. He was always obsessed with song lyrics (Prince, U2, The Cure, The Smiths, The Beatles, etc) I really got into the Beatles around 12 years old, and began to write bad love songs & songs against war that were pretty cheesy. I’ve always had a storytelling imagination. I began reading Anne Sexton as a teenager and always have been a big song lyric absorber. With A.D.D. I wasn’t always the most patient with reading.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today? Well once I started writing & reading aloud more at coffeehouses, I began learning & reading more poetry & writers. Burroughs, Kerouac, Sylvia Plath, Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, my favorite Leonard Cohen, Ilya Kaminsky, so many contemporaries I interact with in the Poetry & Writing Community.

Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

David: I still want to be a writer/poet. I am still learning at 41 years old the ins and outs. I guess I had that inkling around 12, then again at 20 writing angsty stuff (mad about women letting me down) and then 24/25 when I began frequenting a coffeehouse in Evansville. I began writing a scrapped up novel “The Bible Belt Bachelor” in the same vain as “On the Road” I had a break in writing through most of my 30s and then when my dad got sick with ALS I began writing more & more. Self published some stuff & began Fevers of the Mind.

Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?

David: My brother, my wife, the Penny Lane Coffeehouse, Reading aloud for several years (not so much anymore), Jean Kizer, Jerry Masterson, Heidi Krause, Twitter vss 365 getting me motivated again, Poetry Community, Leonard Cohen

Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & did any travels away from home influence your work?

David: I grew up in a small town in Kentucky called Sebree.

So, I do have many poems based on small town living in a Southern/Midwestern town. I carry over some personality (ies) from the town and interact them into new characters and situations at times. I have lived in Evansville, Indiana most of my adult life & now in Henderson, KY and I still write the same way. Perspectives from where i’m writing from doesn’t necessarily come from where i’m living. I have visited & lived for a short time in New Orleans, so much of my big city themed poetry comes from time living there, or visiting Nashville, Louisville, Lexington, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Bloomington and other Midwestern cities/towns.

Q6: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far to you?

David: This will be a slightly weird answer. I helped contribute poems to an anthology about ALS “Voices for the Cure” ran by Paul Rowe and the late Eric Valor. I am unsure if it ever came out, but the poems I placed in there are about my father and his battle with ALS. Some of these poems have seen the light of day in my self published work or also on this site. 2 poems by David L O’Nan about my father’s battle with ALS in 2016

I’m also proud of my poems that I’ve since revised for the upcoming Leonard Cohen anthology which the first versions of the poems were in the first Leonard Cohen Anthology “Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen) All of the poems (revised) from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen by David L O’Nan

I’m also proud of my most recent poems that have been published online. “By the Almond Tree” in Anti-Heroin Chic Mag Check out my poem “By the Almond Tree” currently in the new issue of Anti-Heroin Chic (heroinchic.weebly.com)

My beat poem “Clearly” I wrote in 2005ish after reading Ginsberg for a couple of minutes Poem by David L O’Nan : “Clearly!” (2005) (Poetry, writings)

And my story poem “I Honoured You in Pennyrile Forest” a Best of the Net Nominee last year from Icefloe Press

https://icefloepress.net/2020/03/03/five-poems-by-david-o-nan/

I’m very proud of the community I’ve helped shape together with many writers for this site with active contributors, interviews, the Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest Issues/Anthologies.

Q7: Favorite activities to relax?

David: General Anxiety/ADD/OCD/parenthood…relax? I try to read some, I watch wrestling, basketball, listen to music like crazy, taking walks with my wife, play in the park with my kids. Youtube wormholes, research/history.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?

David: From Leonard Cohen’s “Stories From the Street”

We are so small between the stars
So large against the sky
And lost among the subway crowds

I try to catch your eye

Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

David: Why Sure! Thanks for asking…ummm Fevers of the Mind Anthology Issue 5: Overcome will be coming out soon (currently editing) I have 6 self-published books that i’m revising (added pics to the poems, changing them up some, some revised poems) “The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers” “Our Fears in Tunnels” “Taking Pictures in the Dark” “New Disease Streets” “The Cartoon Diaries” “Lost Reflections” still on Amazon currently…will be replaced by new versions when announced. Stay tuned. Raw forms of these books are still out there for now. There are several past issues of Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest: Issue 1 (June 2019) under Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Digest, Fevers of the Mind Issue 2 In Memoriam, Fevers of the Mind Issue 3: The Darkness & the Light, Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020, the aforementioned Leonard Cohen inspired Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen with artwork from Geoffrey Wren Wonderful Artwork from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen by artist/writer Geoffrey Wren

The 2nd Leonard Cohen Anthology will be worked on in the next month “Before I Turn Into Gold” and also Fevers of the Mind Anthologies will be coming out at least every other month as far as I can keep it going.

Personally, I have more poems/stories coming out soon with Icefloe Press. A project on facebook “Curved Air” edited by Theresa Haffner. Possibly something with the Midwest Writers Guild. I’ve recently had work in Anti-Heroin Chic, Punk Noir Magazine. In the past I’ve had stuff in 3 Moon, Nymphs Publishing, Royal Rose Magazine, Elephants Never, Headline Poetry & Press, Dark Marrow, Voices for the Cure ALS Anthology, Spillwords, Ghost City Press, a feature in Cajun Mutt Press, I’ve had some stuff of mine read by Damien Donnelly on his podcast “Eat the Storms” https://eatthestorms.com/ and will have more read by Damien in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

I don’t send too much out due to RSD and I put tons of time in editing, writing, my brain scrambling in and out of exhaustion. Follow us on twitter @feversof @davidLONan1 Facebook Author Page is DavidLONan1 (I don’t use it much) I don’t have Instagram…sorry.

Here are some links:

There are a million I think on this site… just search my name if interested in my poems.

https://headlinepoetryandpress.com/author/feversofthemindfa86cd6e60/

https://punknoirmagazine.com/2021/07/05/4-poems-by-david-l-onan/

https://thepoetryquestion.com/2020/02/05/tpq5-david-l-onan/

https://nymphspublications.com/new-blog/miracle-white-by-david-l-onan

https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/freedom-rapture-edition (a review by me about this within)

https://cajunmuttpress.wordpress.com/2021/07/24/c-m-p-saturday-special-feature/

https://amzn.to/3Alh74S

https://amzn.to/3xC1Hr8

https://amzn.to/3jEUGAR

https://amzn.to/3lMJeWM

https://amzn.to/3lIMJxm

https://eatthestorms.com/2020/11/07/eat-the-storms-the-podcast-episode-10/

https://www.facebook.com/davidlonan1/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18366060.David_L_O_Nan

https://ghostcitypress.com/poetry-60/2019/8/2/david-l-onan

https://nymphspublications.com/new-blog/wild-hearts-by-david-l-onan

http://heroinchic.weebly.com/blog/poetry-by-david-l-onan

https://icefloepress.net/six-poems-from-new-disease-streets-by-david-l-onan-w-a-digital-collage-by-robert-frede-kenter/

https://royalrosemagazine.com/2019/10/30/issue-four-unrequited-love/

“Before the Bridges Fell” by me David L O’Nan Poetry book is out today on Cajun Mutt Press

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

Bending Rivers: The Poetry & Stories of David L O’Nan out now!

Bio: David L O’Nan is a poet, short story writer, editor living in Southern Indiana. He is the editor for the Poetry & Art Anthologies “Fevers of the Mind Poetry and Art. and has also edited & curated other Anthologies including 2 inspired by Leonard Cohen and an upcoming one inspired by Bob Dylan. He has self-published works under the Fevers of the Mind Press “The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers” “The Cartoon Diaries” & “New Disease Streets” (2020). A compilation of 4 books “Bending Rivers” a micro poem collection “Lost Reflections” and new book “Before the Bridges Fell” (look under books tab in Amazon) under Cajun Mutt Press & “His Poetic Last Whispers” (2022) David has had work published in Icefloe Press, Dark Marrow, Truly U, 3 Moon Magazine, Elephants Never, Royal Rose Magazine, Spillwords, Anti-Heroin Chic, Cajun Mutt Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Voices From the Fire. Twitter is @davidLONan1 and for the book @feversof  Join Facebook Group: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Arts Group . Facebook Author page DavidLONan1 and goodreads page is https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18366060.David_L_O_Nan

Books to read for 2021: Things My Mother Left Behind by Susan Richardson (Potter’s Grove Press) with “Leaves” from the book

The first thing I noticed when reading Susan’s writing is the descriptive imagery, she makes you feel every emotion she feels.  This is a trait in writing that I admire and her telling of loss and depression at times returns me back on imagery I rarely see outside of Anne Sexton or Sylvia Plath.  The poetry reads like the story of her life through the love, loss, grief, the screaming pinches in the soul that losing a parent, child, or sibling staples-in forever.  She also hauntingly describes the progress of losing her sight as she has gone from a sky full of stars both sentient and still to the ones who blink out erratically til there is nothing left to burn.  These are not just some poems.  These are her life.  Emotions are hers.  When you read this collection of poetry the Emotions are yours too.  “Between Sight and Blindness” “Stitching Bones” the loves that got away “Cactus Garden” the pains that diseases bring, the people they take away, the hearts that feels like a car puttering out over the rainy bridge with nowhere to go, these poems will “scatter into the sky” scratching at the stars looking for the brightest one yet receiving in return a turning off the lights inside of Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory, in demure breath wanting the world see the pain. A wonderful read.  A wonderful trip into the mind. We need more of her poetic vision.

Susan Richardson is an award winning, internationally published poet. She is the author of “Things My Mother Left Behind”, from Potter’s Grove Press, and also writes the blog, “Stories from the Edge of Blindness

”. She lives in Ireland with her husband, two pugs and two cats.  You can find her on Twitter @floweringink, listen to her on YouTube , and read more of her work on her website

Leaves

Another hospital room,
another chair holding the weight of my sorrow.
His breath is almost soundless,
mouth open wide
as if inviting god into his lungs one last time.

His eyes flutter awake,
startled.

Is it my face he sees,
dulled by time,
or a face that once held the sun?

He smiles and strokes my fifty-year old hand,
all the years drifting away.
The blues sit perched on his dry lips.
I am his child,
four years old singing Lead Belly
at the top of my tiny lungs

I am a drop of his blood
spilling out onto the Earth,
a fracture of his bones
stuck into the ground with paper spikes.
I am the tear from his eye,
heavy, 
reluctant.

His hands are a whisper that tell a story,
a smattering of leaves on his palm,
fingers plucking at things only he can see,
my mother,
my brother,

both long dead.

I watch his chest barely rising,
each small breath
a forest of words trapped in the mist of his memory.
I wait for his stillness,
for the breaking pieces of his mind to be at rest.
He sits in my palm now,
softly,
frail like the wing of a sparrow.
He folds into shapes
so tiny
so quiet.

Poem by Susan Richardson : “Mean Girls”

5 Poems by Ankh Spice : That which can be made visible, Hold the river, Feeding the koi, Act like you were never for sale, & Hathor’s gift

*From the Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020*

All of the poems that follow first appeared in their original, unedited forms on the WombwellRainbow blog. Thank you to Paul Brookes for curating with such care, and the artists (Mary Frances Ness, James Knight, and Sue Harpham) who provided images for the month-long ekphrastic challenge which inspired them

That which can be made visible *

Sun’s first sleep-breath
sweets the dropped shoulder

of Te Puia o Whakaari, her bones
in early mistlight all grace

and delicate pickings, gulled
clavicles of a hard dancer, stilled

Coiled tension is resting. It is hard
to recognise a haunting

in the rose-gilt of a sunrise. Do you know
her name, when you recognised it

did you forget to exhale? Release
your living now to cloud

the pane we do not see – deep
scratches creep across this vision.

The guardians are always here to remind you –
this light, it may change any moment.

*(In memory of those lost in the eruption of Whakaari on 9 December 2019. One translation
of the te reo Māori name of this volcano forms the title of this poem)

Hold the river

You told me you haven’t been outside in 57 days
and tonight the river is a dropped ribbon, limp and lost
and the sharp stones of the trail as I begin to run
become the sound of something chewing. The faster
we go, the faster we’re eaten. You are moving,
in the lines of your confinement, so slowly now
you’ve become a painting in my head – static –
existing never to be touched. And in the guilty, lucky air
down here we’re starting up the engines
and on my knees in the soft mud I can hear the first plane
for months, idling beyond the water. I’d wish
you were here, but the wind is whipping up cold,
and the coming dark is frantic
with sudden birds, woken startled
from their neat new nests along the runway.

Feeding the koi

You save the crusts from the good brown loaf,
not truly stale, but tired. On your early walk

through the city gardens, there is a patient round mirror
to crumble them into, and in it an unfamiliar creature,

folded and loose in his aspect. He watches you from the water.
You have never met his eyes, although you sense they are kind.

This morning, autumn has nodded last orders at the trees
and the ember of the squalling sun catches

a plume at his throat, and his blur blushes bright — young
with reborn flame. In the dry world the wind arrives

to spread the blaze outwards in ripples
from the man standing, the man lying, with his hands full

of burning bread, and when the fish surface
their mouths make round holes in his body.

In one tiny circle after another the fire
goes out. Cool water — O O O —

welling dark and smooth
from the gut. It was always the truth.

What feeds on us that steals our fire.
What we feed to remember what we are.

Act like you were never for sale

On those days we were flutter and varnish. Time blown
on the tradewinds — toys for the updraft, downdraft, too hard

and brittle-bright for any landing but the spurt and gasp
of applause. And on those days we painted the unspeakable

feelings, the ones that never made it
into the script, on hot ripe faces with palmed-

palm-sugar and unguent-of-anthers, and on those days
those same faces slipslid their gaudied eyes and touched their cheeks

together intimately, brief and baked electric with proper unsaids, and on and on
arced those spat-out days when the electric that moved us

moved us wet with big colour in that little pond of footlights
all thrashing pick me from the swirl of young eels, him so slender, her good

bright needle-teeth, and on those days company meant
only that we played together well, that even the most badly bitten didn’t drop

a word or miss a step, or when they did the faces they’d loved-by-painting bled
laughter tainted kindly, and not yet like they smelled a life dripping away

into the water or as if they’d finally bumped against the glass, seen the strings
of our dangling tags, and some of that last part

is a lie. But who doesn’t want to lie just as pretty
as something made to end up in a prettier box, for now

sticky with the ghosts of fertile anthers, and so we bite
into recall again and again, this cake now invisible on the pink plastic

saucer so sweet, so sweet and fallen to bits
in the grass. And these days we know the magic

poured out of that flimsy doll’s teapot’s more real
than you’ve been in your life. Don’t ever act

like it didn’t — like it doesn’t —
make you sick.

Hathor’s gift

Last night you called me from the bottom of a well
and I pictured the signal between us as a rope ladder
woven from a bunch of old strings attached. A bit frayed,
this connection, and this wry analogy, but both holding together
just enough for you to see the ladder a little bit more clearly
than you were seeing the rope. And I don’t care if we’ve not spoken
since before the world cracked its lid, I’m just grateful
I still look like some kind of stick when the alligators
find the ass. Often it’s hard to respect the tree in someone who’s fallen
in an indifferent swamp, over and over, they think
that makes you soft wood. But it was you who told me Hathor
kicked out the crocodile god even though she was
at least partly a cow. I bet they underestimated just how fierce
a prey animal waxes when her herd is in the dark
and feeling the closing teeth. I bet they underestimated her
even after she teamed up with the sun itself
and gored the darkness threatening her loved ones on the tips
of her kind, soft horns. Stabbed it until it was striped
with secondhand light, then drowned it
in her milk of most inhuman kindness.

Ankh Spice is a queer-identified, sea-obsessed poet from Aotearoa (New Zealand). Almost 100 of his
poems have been published internationally, online and in printed anthologies, over the last 18
months. He’s been incredibly grateful and a bit astounded to have four poems nominated for the
Pushcart Prize, and two for Best of the Net. His poem ‘New Cloth’ was selected as a winner of the
World View 2020 competition run by the Poetry Archive, and he’s really delighted that the video
recording of him reading this work now appears in the archive in perpetuity, along with readings
from other winners from all over the globe. He’s also very proud that audio recordings of his work
are held in the first wave of Iambapoet, an audio archive of poets reading their own work, created
and curated by Mark Antony Owen.
It’s been a very busy year — Ankh accepted roles as a Poetry Contributing Editor for Barren
Magazine, and as co-editor at Ice Floe Press. He was also a guest reader/editor on EIC Matthew M.C.
Smith’s team for Black Bough Poetry’s Amazon best-seller, ‘Deep Time’ — two volumes of poetry
from hundreds of poets inspired by Robert Macfarlane’s ‘Underland’, and was part of the early
editing team for ‘Black Dogs, Black Tales’, a horror anthology produced in Aotearoa by EIC T Wood,
to raise money for a local mental health charity. He’s also found time to edit innumerable stories for
popular dark-fantasy author C.M. Scandreth (aka his incredibly talented author spouse, Caitlin Spice)
for the NoSleep Podcast, and is grateful to have appeared (in virtual guise) as headline poet at two
sold-out sessions of Cheltenham Poetry Festival.
At the time of writing this, Ankh is also working on several collections of his own poems. One of
these is a collection of his shorter ekphrastic and vividly imagistic work and photography — Ankh
calls these ‘gift poems’ as most of them are uploaded to social media rather than being held for
traditional publication — that’s been picked up by a small indie press as a two-volume deal for print.
Further details will be released in early 2021. He’s also working on a very short volume of poems for
Hedgehog Press’s ‘Stickleback’ series. His larger collection, which was picked up by an independent
press earlier in 2020, but which he withdrew when behaviour damaging to the poetry community by
person/s working for that press was uncovered, is being reworked for re-submission elsewhere. He
very much hopes that 2021 will be the year for this book to make its way into the world.
Ankh’s poetry explores a wide range of themes close to his heart – environmental/climate change,
mental health, identity, queerness, body politics, mythology, natural science, spirituality, ‘the
persistent briefness of being human’, the landscape and environs of Aotearoa and of course, the
ocean. His poetic lens, which often employs strong derealisation and very flexible language that
purposely opens up multiple interpretations, has been described as oracular, reverent, and
visionary, and his poetry has been most often compared to G.M Hopkins and Dylan Thomas. Ankh’s
favourite recent compliment about his work is that it feels like walking a tightrope over the abyss
between two worlds — being forced to look down into the dark but with an awareness that balance
is possible, and that there’s a new place on the other side, beckoning us on. Ankh’s favourite recent
compliment about himself is that he’s a walking Mary Ruefle poem. (With great thanks to Sarah-Jane
Crowson and Julia Beach).
If he’s not out running the coast of Te Whanganui-a-Tara sporting alarming neon and sparkly cat
ears, you’ll find him and his work at:
Twitter: @SeaGoatScreamsPoetry
Facebook: @AnkhSpiceSeaGoatScreamsPoetry
Linktree: https://linktr.ee/SeaGoatScreamsPoetry
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-448322296
Iambapoet: https://www.iambapoet.com/ankh-spice
Poetry Archive: https://poetryarchive.org/poem/wordview-2020-new-cloth/

Feature photo by Ankh Spice

Holiday Interlude by Ankh Spice from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen

Poems from Kelly Marie McDonough in Fevers of the Mind Anthologies: “Galaxy Rest” “Radium Girls”

Radium, Old Fashioned, Under Light, Moustache, 19

Galaxy Rest

1.	I slink deep, slide into the inky black sky, slipping into velvet black and thick, where no one knows my name; no one demands anything from me.

Will I ever come back?

2.	There are no needles, no pokes, no tests and endless pain.  I’m floating in a galaxy of stars, light as a cloud, swimming through the ether, just drifting in the blank, black abyss.

Do I even want to?

3.	Pin pricks of light and stars swirl around my body and I am free.  This is where I can truly rest.  My escape into the firmament keeps me sane. The night floats behind my eyes, full of shining constellations.

Is this the other side?

4.	Stars burst, flame bright, and then flicker away.  Others take their place and the cycle continues.  Yet I remain, drifting softly. 

Do I have more time? 

5.	Daylight and the nurses come, my sanctuary shatters, and I grasp at the darkness as it slips through my fingers and the unwelcoming light of the sun burns my eyes.  Daylight breaks, and my galaxy is gone.  

Was it always inside me? 

Or do I belong amongst the stars? 

Radium Girls

Tick, Tick, Tick
Make those watches, double quick!
Point your brushes with a lick.
Of course, it’s safe for use, 
Would a company like us lie? 

Tick, Tick, Tick,
Now the paint is getting thick, 
and our hands 
and our eyes are getting dry.

Tick, Tick, Tick, 
Now our jaws, they make a click.
But our dresses sparkle 
in the dance-halls every night. 

Tick, Tick, Tick
Our bones have begun to split,
Glowing ghost of girls, 
Walking dead, yet still alive.

Tick, Tick, Tick, 
Your wallets getting thick,
While the girls are getting sick
And the time flies by as we die. 

Wolfpack Contributor: Kelly Marie McDonough

Bio from 2020:
Kelly Marie McDonough is a two-time cancer survivor, avid reader, and makeup enthusiast.  She is working on building her poetry portfolio and is influenced by Poe and Anne Sexton.  Murder, madness, and literary references are her passion. She is a writer and part-time student at Southern New Hampshire University and works customer service for a call center. She lives in Illinois with her supportive husband and their four mischievous cats. Her poetry will be published in the upcoming winter issues of The Bitchin' Kitsch and Poetically Mag.

Poem by Ann Hultberg : “I Prefer the Clouds Over the Sun” from Fevers of the Mind Anthology

Sky, Clouds, Sunlight, Atmosphere
I Prefer the Clouds Over the Sun

A reality which wants to remain buried 

Sunlight guides me toward the dirt, 
              The faded paint, the cracks in the seams of the walls as the house shifts, 
The gray carpets, now the dog’s canvas, stained to swirls of brown shadows,
The windows old and dirty –
 Panes with cracks as thin as dental floss,
Coal dust caked on furniture and in every fiber of cloth,
A film that says we are poor--
Or lazy.
The black dust inhabits. 
The clouds hide all of this
And lets me imagine that I live in a palace like all the others
Where there is space and light
Shouting “I am Proud to be here,”
And not ashamed as I am with the sun showing me what is instead of what -
could have been.
It’s easier to hide under the pretense of clouds
So all seems fine,
Without looking at truth as it cries through the windows
Forcing a reality which wants to remain buried.
I can’t see the flaws when the clouds hide the sun. 
I can go about my day looking straight ahead, 
But when the light shoots through the sheer curtains,
              My mood shifts to anger.

Bio from 2020:

Ann Hultberg of Northwest PA and Southwest Fla is a retired high school English teacher and currently an adjunct composition instructor at the local university. She writes nonfiction stories about her family, especially focusing on her father’s escape from Budapest, Hungary, to the United States. Her essays have been accepted by over a dozen magazines and journals including Persimmon Tree, Fevers of the Mind, Drunk Monkeys, Thorn Literary Magazine, Her View from Home, Moonchild , Mothers Always Write, and various publications on Medium. You can follow Ann on Facebook at 60 and writing.

%d bloggers like this: