“I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.”
– Jack Kerouac
"Walking With the Ancestors in Detroit"
I find myself in love
With my lost lineage
Before my ancestors
As Anabaptist heretics
The statuary smashed
Generations of conformity
Against the present
Predecessors of a
Donning buttoned costumes
To our forefathers.
I find myself walking down
John R past midnight
To the gas station
On 6 Mile
The street is deserted
Only a lone sex worker
Huddled in winter shadows
& her coat
First snow of the season
I give her $5
& tell her to go eat
A dead rat
A broken bottle
In my hoodie.
Bio: 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.
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.
all artwork sent in by Pasithea Chan for these amazing artists.
“i was a thin sea of blue” by Paula Hayes
didn't you know, love, i was a thin sea of blue
waiting for you to come along
and fill yourself
inside my creases
to drink me in between your restless
i asked you to come closer
so i could please you
but you ignored my pleas
and left like some tug of gravity
was waiting for
to carry you
where are the gods, now, to bring the waters back
up to my lips
to give a little salt in return
for all i've lost; is that too much to
ask? just a little salt to take down
even if there is no quenching
in hapless mornings
there is sky and sea and sun
all making for soft horizons
pretending these natural elements
are some kind of boundary
sealing off what was meant to hurt me
from where i stand now
sucker-punched and drunk in the orange of waves
light, all light, radiant and forgotten
while two birds, lovers no less, fly by me
certain that they are far away
from what they once knew
and even more certain
they have nowhere left to go
Bio: Paula Hayes is a poet who lives in Memphis, Tennessee, the same place where rock and roll was birthed and where the ghost of Elvis still hangs around Beale Street. She finds the presence of such a rich musical history in the town she lives in to be right on track with transforming one as a poet into a bard.
Alice Checks the Queen by Lynn White
in response to Anita Arbidane artwork
‘Your time is up’ said Alice.
She knew it didn’t matter
how big she was
or how small
in the end.
She knew it didn’t matter
in the end
whether the queen was red or white,
whether time moved backwards or forwards.
In the end
there was still no stopping it,
still no changing it
however many time-pieces the Queen owned,
however many times she moved the hands
on or back on the clock-face.
It made no difference.
‘You’re just a pawn
on the wheel of time’
‘No wonder you look glum’
Bio: Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and a Rhysling Award. Find Lynn at: https://lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com and https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-White-Poetry-1603675983213077/"October Hardcover" by James Schwartz
Shifting season of melancholy,
Dark bark decay,
Lighting of lamps,
In the v
Against frosted fog,
Shorn corn stalks,
Lost leaden leaves,
Cafe au lait,
Notes of nutmeg,
Victor Hugo hardcover.
Bio: 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.Art inspired by Clive Gresswell
life’s ballet cycle
causes me to pause
in the twinkling of a romantic pose
inherited by nature’s mystique
the floral fauna and reddening leaves
flutter inside my mind’s eye
caught in the season’s harsh mirror
light infernal, light eternal
rays of the insect fanning down
the earth’s delightful eternal gown.
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).
The Great Blizzard of '78,
Rivers of coffee,
Biscuits and gravy,
Amish buggies bumping techno,
Model T Town,
Industrial Era hangover,
6 Mile sex workers,
"Working on the night moves"...
2. Indiana (David L O'Nan)
Larry Bird flat foot jumpers
The Great Blizzard of ‘78
The Ohio River flowing and suicide watches
Donald Trump really won
On big trucks blasting rap music
Drive by white racists who justify using profanity
By lyrics, by tiktok
Elitists walk by you, the trash and the preppy
Wal-Mart days, Wal-Mart nights,
And speaking of nights, we had Bobby Knight
Now we’ve got memories of floods and tornadoes
We’ve got Holiday World.
The Meth Crisis to Fetanyl Crisis
David Letterman went to Ball State
Festivals in the fall. We eat garbage upon garbage and smile.
Vomiting in cornfields,
Hey Gary, Hey the Jacksons, Hey nevermind.
Indy 500’s used to be a grandpa’s deam.
But I also know of Kentucky and I know of New Orleans
I the the hatred someone from Southern Indiana has
For a Kentuckian just a bridge away.
With the same accent they mimic what they think is different, but really the same.
We’ve got Hoosiers
We’ve got Bloomington, actually a fine town
We’ve got Wineries and
We’ve got Falling Rock Zones.
We’ve got an escape to New Harmony.
A dystopian town for prayer.
Do we have Indiana Jones or that just a name?
We had James Dean and then he left to escape the curves around cornfields.
We’ve had Fairgrounds Coliseum Gas Explosions
We had Mike Pence and was saw him dispense.
We have John Mellencamp wandering around like Springsteen in New Jersey.
Dan Quayle, Dan Quayle, fuck that. Steve McQueen , Steve McQueen.
Oh and don’t forget John Dillinger.
Don’t forget the programmed corn, the factories pounding out super pollution.
Steroid chickens, 9 mile Chic-Fil-A lines that tells you to have a good day.
While they racially judge you, while they investigate your sexual preference.
Well they never know that over half their staff is to be cautious and close to the closet.
All for those French fries that shape like waffles, chicken sandwich nights.
Super churches across from Super churches.
Envy the bully, rampage the road, defeat the enemy, defeat the empathy.
Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.Poetry Preview “American Linden” from “Sunset in Rome” from James Schwartz
James Schwartz “Sunset in Rome” is part novella/part poetry and is a satirical approach and tackling the subjects of growing up both gay and Amish all the while while paying homage to Denham Fouts, Arthur Rimbaud & “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
James has been contributing poetry and spoken word to Fevers of the Mind for close to a year, and since then has sent in some unique and thought provoking poetry & stories, and this book is no different than that.
This book begins as a story/play that displays in words the feelings of having to be told to keep secrets. Not only are you discouraged to be yourself. You are abandoned and rendered almost obsolete to those that supposed to have cared for you. So a strong sense of rebellion just to be yourself is born. This unfortunately isn’t the safest path for the character “Jakob” in this novella as he finds himself in a dire situation with some shady characters looking to take advantage of him. So, “Jakob” is always searching for a new way to get to a “home” and to be accepted since the old home isn’t accepting of him. Jakob however, is looking to change the dynamic and expose that there is more like him out there, even in the shadows of secrecies.
The poetry is outstanding from James in the book. “American Linden” which I posted on here as well a month or so ago
There are so many wonderful sad stanzas in “The Ninth Garden (9 vs The Garden of Night) “My step falters in the garden of night. I have not the strength left to fight.” “The night is old: I scream, I scream. I am youth: I dream, I dream” “I seek shelter in the beauty of night. I seek sanctuary by autumn orb’s light” “A ribbon of wheat the moonlight paves. Illuminating the garden of forgotten graves” “Leaving behind her heart with mine. Buried in the box of pine.”
There is a sleepcast poem (an audio/visual presentation) which includes lines such “I met a guru by chance, as one does at Kehena Beach…he wore flowing robes & flowers & told me Shiva was the god of both marijuana & tobacco”
Please read more about James and his book “Sunset in Rome” with Alien Buddha Press and please purchase yourself a copy of a very unique style of writers out there. James has got the spirit of many writers flowing inside his blood.
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.