A derelict cave lurks under my rib cage, holds years of ragged breath, smothering kudzu,
and time-laden clay, hides the hammering of living things near dead, the dawn of every morning
sucked up into prayers. In a firestorm of words, terror waited in silence,
air washed in red like Mars, like blood, like the shredded heart of a broken child.
Swaddling the Beast
Why do the blues creep up my spine on the most glorious days? Balmy spring in its best finery, riotous
color, silken breezes, benevolent sunshine – why does it mock me, tease me, test me? Sometimes there’s loneliness
in so much beauty, despondency in such perfection. The whole of creation is indifferent, has no reason to consider
my blue moods so I hold on for storm clouds, their shades of purple and gray, their softness of light, how they swaddle my bête noire.
Charlotte Hamrick’s creative work has been published in numerous online and print journals, most recently including The Citron Review, Emerge Journal, and New World Writing. She’s had nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best Microfiction 2021, and was a Finalist for Micro Madness 2020. She reads for Fractured Lit and was the former CNF Editor for Barren Magazine. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and a menagerie of rescued pets where she sometimes does things other than read and write.
1) Please describe your latest book, what about your book will intrigue the readers the most, and what is the theme, mood? Or If you have a blog or project please describe the concept of your project, blog, website
Abuh Monday: My latest book is Piary . It was published in 2019 in Ibadan, a city in Nigeria known for it’s aged lifestyle and beautiful rooftops. Intrigue? Hmmmm…it is a poetic diary. Who doesn’t want to take a peek at ones diary?
2) What frame of mind and ideas lead to you writing your current book?
Abuh Monday: Basically, Piary , is an anthology of poems that houses the mind blowing experience of poet who tries not sell his humanity to feminism, sexism, culture, lewdness and a whole lot of things you may want to tag as frivolous in the society. As a way of spicing up the art of reading and understanding poetry, I gave explanatory notes for some poems in the anthology.
3) How old were you when you first have become serious about your writing, do you feel your work is always adapting?
Abuh Monday: I really do not know. Sometimes I feel it was the need to hold on to a strong resolve which keeps me from frivolity but most times, it all comes down to the one who created me. I feel him greatly inspiring. 12 years old, i guess. Yes! It is adapting.me to write, then, I write.
4) What authors, poets, musicians have helped shape your work, or who do you find yourself being drawn to the most?
Abuh Monday: William Shakespeare, Bob Marley, Asa, Buju Banton, Stormzy, Chinua Achebe, Festus Iyayi, Frederick Forsyth etc The list is quite long but these are the people who inspire me when I write.
5) What other activities do you enjoy doing creatively, or recreationally outside of being a writer, and do you find any of these outside writing activities merge into your mind and often become parts of a poem?
Abuh Monday: Emmm… Podcasting, Singing, and Video/Sound editing. Yes.
6) What is your favorite or preferred style of writing?
Abuh Monday: For that I have no preference. Style to me is based on how I feel. I may end up using a free verse today and end up with a sonnet or series of couplets with rhyme scheme.
7) Are there any other people/environments/hometowns/vacations that has helped influence your writing?
Abuh Monday: Yes. For each place( city, town or village) that I visit in Nigeria I write. The place that influenced my writing mostly is Daily Wisdom Words. An online writing community I joined some years ago.
8) What is the most rewarding part of the writing process, and in turn the most frustrating part of the writing process?
Abuh Monday: The most rewarding part of writing is getting thoughts out on paper and the frustrating part of it all is inability to get it out. It is damn frustrating.
9) How has the current times affected your work?
Abuh Monday: Not so badly, if I must be sincere. It may have limited or changed the focus of humans but all we can do is try.
10) Please give us any links, social media info, upcoming events, etc for your work.
Abuh Monday: Yes. You can read my articles on Daily Wisdom Words and listen to my podcast on poetry on soundcloud . I am working on my first novel. Three more chapters to go and it’ll be sent for proof reading.Find Abuh Monday on Instagram & Twitter at MondayDPoet
Hugging the vast bulk of the continent the range extends its fat botanic paws. Their scrubby sides are thick with such ancient, grey species of kindling as follow laws
inscribed in larval marks on peeling trunks. They softly swoon amid peals of bell-birds, an aural liquor that may make you drunk. You steer your big machine by cautious thirds
up the road to Cunninghams Gap; past that, you shoot through the tablelands, retracing passes forged by hardy knaves who worked flat-chat to fashion them into the bones we sing.
The squatter’s curse was once lord of the realm, a safer pair of hands at nature’s helm.
Matthew da Silva was born in Brighton, Victoria, and grew up in Sydney. He has Bachelor of Arts and Master of Media Practice degrees from the University of Sydney and lived for just under a decade in Tokyo. He has two adult children and lives in Sydney.
In a narrow space, nothing space, an overflow of emotion turned
into a deep marsh
weightless and heavy at the same time
as a collapsing star
swirls into oblivion
of a black hole.
Pools of rainbow glitter-gel
Catherine Wheels in the blackness
of space –
I let it take me
lights mesmerise and hypnotise
so I welcome
KC Bailey is a writer/poet from the UK. Publication credits include The Ekphrastic Review, The Hellebore, Black Bough Poetry, Monkey Kettle, The Tide Rises, Black Flowers, The Failure Baler, Idle Ink, CaféLit and the BBC. Twitter: @KCBailey_Writer.