About Ron Whitehead: Kentucky Legend & Poet First: It is hard living the life of just one poet at times. Always a rush of creativity and ideas to try and stay stabilized, is not always the easiest task. So, what would you do if you have lived the life of 1,000 poets? Ask Ron Whitehead A Kentucky born, and current Beat Poet Laureate of Kentucky for the years of 2019-2021. *note* as I was putting together the first edition of the Fevers of the Mind Anthology Mr. Whitehead was the first ever Writer from the United States to represent as a writer-in-residence in Tartu, Estonia as part of an International Literature residency program. Ron has been a poet, a professor at several universities, has held lectures, workshops, has founded a music & poetry marathon called "The Insomniacathon" which is perfect for all sleep deprived poetry-eaters. For endless inspiration, just attend an Insomniacathon, and walk into a new world where words are the images, and the world outside becomes silent. Ron has produced the official Hunter S. Thompson tribute. Ron knew Hunter S. Thompson & has many stories about hanging out with him and other poets from the Beat Generation and beyond. Ron Whitehead is not just a poet, he is a lead man of "The Storm Generation Band" a band with him chanting out his poetry & lyrics. You can see him at big festivals, or you might see him at a small bar or coffeehouse in a small Mid-Western city like Evansville, Indiana. That is where I met and listened to Ron's poetry. He appeared humble, generous, kind, helpful and poetry driven in messages to inspire for a better world. his website is www.tappingmyownphone.com Excerpts from an Interview with Ron Whitehead (2019): Q: Hi Ron, Thanks for granting me this interview for Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Digest. First off, I without all the merits that you have see many parallels in our poetry upbringing. I grew up in a town (not a farm however) in Western Kentucky in Webster County. My father & grandfather grew up on the farms of Kentucky, and I'd always hear the stories. I lived a small amount of time in the city of New Orleans in my early twenties. Maybe, this is where most of the parallels end. You have lived most of your life in Kentucky, so what about Kentucky do you love? Ron: Hello David. I come from a long line of farmers, coal miners, and strong women. I grew up on a beautiful old ramshackle Kentucky farm. A wild nature boy, when I finished my chores, I roamed the dirt roads, the rolling hills, and the woods. I love Kentucky. It's in my DNA. I've lived and traveled all over the world and wherever I go I preach the Kentucky Gospel. There's no place on earth like Kentucky. Kentucky is the land of freedom fighters and original independent creative artists! It is my land, the land I love. Q: What influences do you attribute most from having lived in Kentucky? When traveling to other states & countries do you ever run into people that put a stigma on Kentucky, and make unnecessary assumptions about the state? Ron: When I arrived at the University of Oxford, for studies at the International Graduate School, and knocked the Head of English Literature Valentine Cunningham's door we shook hands, exchanged names, he looked down at my feet, looked back up and said "I didn't know people from Kentucky wore shoes." I stared deep into his eyes and laughing I said "Haha, A smartass. We'll get along great." And we did. ...... Q: After many awards, honors, years of teaching, writing, What would you consider to be the most rewarding? Ron: All of it. I love and embrace in all of its terrible beauty. Q: You have edited works of many poets. Whom in particular did you say WOW to, when you were asked to edit their works? Ron: I never imagined I would edit and publish so many of the world's leading poets, writers, musicians, cultural figures. Lordy, the list is too long to mention here. I edited William S. Burroughs' Remembering Jack Kerouac from prose to poem form and published it. He gave me permission to publish the prose piece, but we hadn't discussed transforming it into a poem, which I did so I could include it in my Published in Heaven Poster series. Burroughs asked me to get a photo from Allen Ginsberg, which I did. When I shipped Burroughs his copies on the poster I was sweating, worried he'd be pissed, maybe even ask me to recall the posters. He loved them. Whew. Major relief! Q: What is a classic story you could tell, in which you had a long night hanging with Hunter S. Thompson, Gregory Corso, or Allen Ginsberg? Ron: Oh God! Too many stories, about all three of them. One night, after driving 24 hours non-stop from Kentucky to Owl Farm, Woody Creek, outside Aspen, Colorado, I'm standing in the kitchen with Hunter S. Thompson. He's signing Published in Heaven Posters of He Was a Crook, his Nixon obituary. I told him I was driving straight on, after my visit with him, to San Francisco to have dinner the next night with my friend Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Hunter became reflective and started talking about Ferlinghetti and how much he liked and respected him. He said "I'll write a message on one of the posters for Lawrence and you give it to him tomorrow, Okay?" I said "Okay." Hunter was a deeply reflective person. Despite his sometimes fierceness, he had the soul of a poet. Q: How long have you been doing Insomniacathons & also can you tell the readers about Gonzofest in Louisville during the Summer. ... Ron: Kent Fielding and I produced the first ever 24-hour non-stop music & poetry Insomniacathon in 1993 at Twice Told Coffeehouse on Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky. I produced many after that, with Kent, Doug Brinkley, Andy Cook, and others. .... Gonzofest is a celebration of life and work of Louisville native son Hunter S. Thompson. On December 12, 1996 I produced the Official Hunter S. Thompson tribute, at Memorial Auditorium in Louisville. I brought in Hunter, his mother Virginia, his son Juan, Johnny Depp, Warren Zevon, Douglas Brinkley, David Amram, Roxanne Pulitzer, and a host of others. It was an amazing 4-hour event. The Insomniacathons and Gonzofests are filled with creative energies and expressions. Being part of them always inspires me to create new work. And, from what folks have shared with me, the creative spirit is contagious. Q: How do you find time to do all that you do and have done & still be generous enough to answer questions for a small publication like this? Ron: I was born with a high metabolism. I love collaborating with folks all over the world. Boredom is my greatest enemy. Having several creative projects going on simultaneously helps me stay healthy. New creative work inspires new creative work. Mama and Daddy taught me not to look up to or down to anyone. We're al in this together, eye to eye, shoulder to shoulder. When one of us is lifted up we are all lifted up. Thanks Ron, for taking time out of your very busy schedule and answering my interview questions.... Ron: Thank you David! See you at Gonzofest!! Ron Whitehead bio & links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Whitehead https://www.outlawpoet.movie/ron-whitehead https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mDPdYrjSN4 http://gonzotoday.com/author/ron-whiehead/ links to his books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=ron+whitehead&ref=nb_sb_noss https://www.amazon.com/View-Lawrence-Ferlinghettis-Bathroom-Window/dp/1732209715/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=ron+whitehead&qid=1621453356&sr=8-3
Book of Longing Even before I began to write poetry I spoke to blue, sat in my garden reading his 'Book of Longing, ' 'This Isn't China' 'Now In my Room' spoke to blue white sky of Forget-me-Not, 'How Could I Have Doubted' recited his words to birds, bluetit, chaffinch, blackbird, 'You'd Sing Too' early spring, chill in the air, a sea of bluebells sway in wood left of my house, delicate petals tended with care wished for myself, still do, 'If I Could Help You' wild blue geranium wave in breeze, sun breaking through cloud, shimmering shades of cobalt, 'A Thousand Kisses Deep' light penetrates blue mop head hydrangea, azure aubrietia, my garden alive in chorus, 'Dance me to the end of Love' whisper to ethereal ears, if I could be anything in this moment, other than you my beautiful blue I would be his poem, one of his songs, and he would sing me. Bio from Avalanches in Poetry (2019) Attracta Fahy's background is Nursing/Social Care. She works as a Psychotherapist, lives in Co. Galway, and has three children. She completed her MA in Writing NUIG in 2017, and participates in Over the Edge poetry workshops. Her poems have been published in Banshee, Poetry Ireland Review, Poethead, Orbis, Impspired, Honest Ulsterman, The Cormorant, and several other magazines and journals at home and abroad. She has been included in the Blue Nib Anthology, shortlisted for 2018 Over the Edge New Writer of the Year, and a Blue Nib nominee for Pushcart.
Aside from the Flowers Babylon-sized spirits of silent birds, winds, and clouds cover every stone and blade of grass you can see. They banish all meaning from the valleys and canyons, they look for hidden eternities of dead tree branches, for dancing trunks in the wooden afterlife on the hills, and discarded life forms stuck in the brittle twigs. How often do you expect to walk this dusty path, hearing the posthumous music of renegade souls and greetings of the neighbors under the ever gentle sun? Before and After We talk about snowflakes and death in the cold, bottomless rooms of itinerant prairie dogs. Some doors and windows are really butterflies in disguise. You can’t open them without killing the little things. They help to keep the emptiness and the dust intact. Wasted centuries and bogus UFOs distort their wings, but look at the birds of the sun and their feeders - brimming with wine. Bio: Ivan Peledov lives in Colorado. His poems have been recently published in SORTES, Mad Swirl, Arc Magazine, and Angel Rust. He is the author of the book Habits of Totems (Impspired, 2021). He can be found online on Twitter @habitsoftotems or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ivan.peledov. Poetry by Ivan Peledov: Places They Don’t Mind
Light Drizzle In Turkey/ a sheep stepped to air off a cliff/ flew with one bleat the first drop of wool/ sixty thousand hooves followed to the lip/ loose clods of grass crumbled/ where one nibbling drip slipped The first four hundred fluff balls fell/ in plumes of splintered marrow/ staining gritted rock/ with bone mud/ and loosened tongue flop/ leaking wet innards of pink/ cracking as a spatter of dusk The storm that followed/ from ridge throat/ tumbled to earth as thunder pillows/ thudding wheezes/ from dead fleece puddles before rolling to scrapes/ as split feet bellowed to sky/ a clattering rain A fog had descended that evening/ when one fence peeled away/ its barbs from post/ the dying heat warping wire/ four hundred dead and the rest cushioned/ but closer to home/ I look at flaking rust boundaries/ and wonder when they will break Mirror The tap ran into the bath and in a weird twist of current the water bulbed out and back in to form a liquid champagne glass I felt the rumble on my toe tickling with indeterminate blast of hot-cold numbing skin before sploshing it back at sight of steam Berry bubbles popped coastal vineyards into the mist, but more emerged and flew kissing softly as butterflies Hip deep in imagined mid summer I led back into the Mediterranean before the spell was broken and small hands tested a catch Hopping frogs ready to burst I hunkered propping onto elbows cleared froth and took one last look marked the years of pretend toil and the final exhale of a vintner Mourning This is the last day/ I will see her I feel her leave/ on a lily pollen breeze herring gulls yelping/ the houses innards gurgle/ as copper pipes wake The kitchen is warm and empty spiders silently scuttle/ hide and sleep my lips dry/ throat out of practice/ unable to call for my mistress A family clambers/ laughs around a table smiles shout/ through the lounge all the windows are opened/ but/ no butterflies pulse in/ only flies They circle/ around the/ cooling/ unlit bulb that hangs/ as a glass corpse the last of its/ night/ heat dissipates just as my creativity/ festers in dust as my muse abandoned me Survival Strategy (Owl studied success) He didn’t know what it was but trees rained spiders sideways glances thrown as skimmed pebbles The venom bags hung separate on spaced string suspended in nothingness a limbo of arms loaded All predators, pendulums in unison, pulsing in air not tangled by touch spinning under own weight Until a bat swung, plucked the lowest hanging berries that had no time to climb up the rest left, toiling, fed Owl Learns Magic Three women grinned through fire at the core of ember, a bird head pressing into tough tracks Owl approached, a forge of beak He kicked a mumble at the Past where she stood growing a spell cast, warmer by the second he drank all of her to memory Ravenous, he salted Present as he feigned all and no hunger looking into unconscious eyes pathways deep into emptiness Until, unsatisfied/fulfilled he looked through smoke to Future, her face a flickered blur of strung white noise/black silence knowing/ignorant of what to do Bio: Z. D. Dicks holds an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire. He often works with other poets locally and nationally to create events and to work on poetry projects. In 2016 he founded the Gloucestershire Poetry Society and the Gloucester Poetry Festival. He has had his work accepted by many publications including Ink, Sweat and Tears, Sarasvati, Obsessed with Pipework, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Words from the Wild, Outlaw Poetry, Fresh Air Poetry, I am not a silent poet, As it Ought to Be, Nymphs, and Stride (plus many more and anthologies). He currently has three collections ‘Malcontent’ and ‘Intimate Nature’ with Black Eyes publishing (2019) and ‘Vexed’ with Hedgehog Poetry Press (2020). Dicks has a keen interest in imagistic poetry and his work has been described ‘muscular language’ by Helen Ivory and has himself been described as ‘a gothic Seamus Heaney’ by Anna Saunders. In 2019 he was appointed Gloucestershire Poet Laureate and works in various settings to promote poetry.’
This, my most honest of poems I wish I was like you, not as simile but as metaphor – as an 'I am' type thing. Not because of your tall which juts above my short when I am juxtaposed with you. I will not compare and contrast our hair, noses, mouths, your hands that enclose mine. I'm satisfied with my physical body: all that's lumpy, scraggy, wobbly, and, yes, even my strange, way too-long toes. But I envy you your emotions, the way your head and heart hear what each has to say. Never does one drown out the other, or sulk in silence. You always say only what you mean. And you mean everything with the words you use. You are perfectly composed. Like I made this poem to be, like I myself want to be but never am. Babel I watch them skim, lizards almost the colour of my mother's panstik, twitch-jerk among crumbled dirt also shaded lizard. The lizards look and move unlike anything I've seen. Fast, faster than the eye can measure, but still it seems in my grasp to speak with them, as if we could commune as one, shared ancestry loosening our tongues, letting us laugh together, swop tales of differing views of a same world. Later, my toddler daughter will stumble into a shelf of milk, a bottle will fall, tumble to shop floor spilling out everything, and I will be unable to make myself understood to the French shopkeeper. On a hillside, bed-time approaching, a child sits in a garden deep inside of memory, loans me her ears. I hear sea waves that come and go, a bumble bee I know is tied to there and then, but its toilsome droning could be any other bee just to listen to it, and echoes, there are echoes for every sound there's another just behind it/slightly overlapping it, boys in dinghies ahoy to each other hear themselves answer before they're prepared a heart beats twice breath goes in and out a gull's cry sounds so close just over there then there, it stretches back out to its own echo, nothing ever ends, the tide turns again, echoes are calling me home. Bio: Maxine Rose Munro is a Shetlander adrift on the outskirts of Glasgow. She writes in both English and her native Shetlandic Scots, and is widely published in the UK and beyond, both in print and online, including in Acumen; Ink, Sweat and Tears; and Southlight. Find her here www.maxinerosemunro.com 2 poems by Maxine Rose Munro in Fevers of the Mind Poets of 2020