A Poem inspired by Andy Warhol from Lynn White

Off the Wall

“Ceci n’est pas de la soupe de tomates”
Magritte might have said with irony.
But even off the wall 
straight from the can 
the same may be said!
And language spills out
with the contents.
“Quelle horreur!” 
say the gourmets in French.
But Warhol was as American
as Magritte was Belgian.
Irony on irony.

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/

Poems inspired by Prince from Jackie Chou

Starfish and Coffee
(inspired by Prince's Starfish and Coffee)

I wake up to coffee I make,
Nestle instant with green tea,
powdered creamer,
and a dash of Sweet and Low.
It tastes crappy,
but I love the feeling it brings.

I cannot afford Starbucks,
miss the whipped cream,
the caramel swirls.
Don't like maple syrup and jam,
or ham, or tangerine,
but orange marmalade with butter,
on crusty biscuits from KFC.

My mother clothed me 
in mildewed sweaters.
I wouldn't be surprised,
if she fed me starfish for breakfast.
She'd pack it in a grimy tin box,
for all my classmates to see,
just like the song goes.


Raspberry Parade: A Ghazal for Prince

On my way home from the cabaret,
I realize I've lost my beret.

The street is an endless parade,
raspberries on my float, not a beret. 

Vagabonds crowd the sidewalks,
wrapped in colorful rags, but no beret.

I wear a red dress my mother bought,
with a crystal tiara, not a beret.

She passed away in 1994, 
and the song isn't about me but a beret.

Bio Note: I write free verses, rhyming poems, and Japanese short form poetry, some of which saw the light of day in journals like Alien Buddha Zine, Spillwords, and Cajun Mutt Press, Fevers of the Mind Press. I am also a Jeopardy fan.




Poetry inspired by Leonard Cohen from Ivor Daniel

(c) Geoffrey Wren

Memory Flames 
(after Chelsea Hotel #2, and other songs by Leonard Cohen)

If you remember the Sixties
you were not there, some bore said
later, at a clever dinner.

The Sixties, yeah.
We were there
and we remember it well.
I went down on you
while the limousines still waited
and the afternoon light
fell, slatted gold
on our emboldened bodies.

Now that we are both
passed
I think of you more often.
And you, Suzanne.
And Marianne.

You are all hot flames to me still.
And your light still gets in.

And not one of us is mentally aching now.
Or ill.

Bio: Ivor Daniel lives in Gloucestershire, UK. His poems have appeared in A Spray of Hope, wildfire words, Steel Jackdaw, Writeresque, iamb~wave seven, Fevers of the Mind, The
Trawler, Roi Fainéant, Ice Floe Press and The Dawntreader,
After..., Re-Side, Alien Buddha, The Orchard Lea Anthology (Cancer) and The Crump’s Barn
Anthology (Halloween). .
@IvorDaniel



	

A November 2022 Poetry Showcase for Elizabeth Cusack

Dragonfly

inspired by writer’s prompt “The Artist Never Sleeps”

It was a dream
The sand, the wind, the future
It was always only you
My eyes are prisms now
And that is all
I am tripping through the universe
Where love began
You have the power
To throw me off
And you don’t
You are a hard man
With your bit in my mouth
I hang on for one more ride
I am your kind
I am welcome 
In the lost and found
I am crazy
I hold on tight 
Am I irrelevant now
Am I going blind
Am I seeing double
Am I going clear
Baby, we’ll be alright
Baby, you’re whispering
What are you thinking
Baby, I’m not blinking
Everything’s tied up
In a little bow
Baby, keep relaxing
No need to ask me
Anything further
Dinosaurs feed us
Fumes of death
Fumes of greed
I love that I love
I am that I am
I watch the centers come and go.

That is All

We write, we waste, and we suffer
That is all we do
There is nothing
There is just you
Someone has made a hell out of heaven
That is all
Stray dogs love us
They guard and follow us
Mountain goats call our name
The world is turning
And no one’s to blame
Hell is here, and we don’t know why.

Already Dead

When you know you are already dead
That’s when life begins
Before was all a dream
We visit the graveyard in Paris
Or the graveyard in the desert
It’s all the same
We are living on the graves of sheep or kings
That too makes no difference
When you are born already dead
The undead, well, they just harvest
The bodies of the poor
The dogmen keep crying
But it’s just for the show
The fraud is most dangerous
When he’s exposed
The world is more dangerous
When it’s exposed
Dangerously complicit
Like Cohen on the wire
I will return to Ireland to expire
The last champignon bitten
With love in my mitten
I will follow love home
I do not screech into the void
There’s no point to getting a cross
You were born this way
Your children are lambs of the damned
There is no place for a poet on your street
I get enraged because I know
You earned your place from a slave in her grave
Your screaming hives will not redeem
Your lives spent tossing the poor another bone.

Lost and Found

Going to sleep with games in the lost and found 
All the artists have their knives drawn
Ashes, ashes, that is all I am fed
So what? I am spent
The darkness cannot come too soon for me
Nor for you and your thickening lovers
Averaged by comparison.

But I have eyeglasses, and I can pretend to begin again
But right now, I’d rather sleep
I am much more than an emollient 
A fly on your window screen
An unfortunate consequence waiting in the hereafter
But it’s so hard to make ends meet until we are complete
And the whales are circling around our boat
It can’t make up for my heart that’s broken
So I sleep with vultures from the beyond
And I catch them in radiators on Highway 1.

I am used to all this
There is nothing you can do to surprise me
I was born this way, with Morrison and Grandma Jane
Out on the highway, the suspense is killing me
But I’ll wait awhile longer, just until I die
To see once again your outlaw smile
Who cares, I’m just a lonely flame in the fire
Looking for an ash in a funeral pyre
It’s been a day for licking trash cans
And finding what’s true
It’s a bloodborne disease, and I’m feeling blue.

Its Eyes

Its eyes are extraterrestrial
But its mouth is from this pissing planet
Its nose has no consequence
And its hair is perfect
It is a werewolf
Ready to bite
Cracking lines with cheeks
The color of pie.

Love is a phantom dancer
An illusion with a voice
It spins you around
It’s a cruise, a fantasy
Just close your eyes
It’s a window that is viewless.

Just stay inside
Don’t blow its bubble
Or it’s up in smoke
Don’t kill it
Before it kills you
Just take a pill
And have another drink.

Bio: Elizabeth Cusack is a recovering actress. Ever since playing Rhoda Penmark in “The Bad Seed” as a child, deservedly, she has endeavoured to keep up her end of the bargain. Elizabeth has been blessed with the best of teachers over the years, mostly from the school of hard knocks. She has championed and performed in fringe theatre in America. Elizabeth edits her favourite poet while not otherwise inspired by her muse to write. 












A Book Review of “Anatomy of a Storm-Weathered Quaint Townspeople” by Mandira Pattnaik reviewed by Sara Dobbie

“Anatomy of a Storm-Weathered Quaint Townspeople” by Mandira Pattnaik

The twenty poems of this debut collection illustrate a world of simple people with complicated undercurrents. Drawn together through hardship, toil, and natural disaster, they strive to find strength and joy in one another. “Anatomy of a Storm-Weathered Quaint Townspeople” by Mandira Pattnaik, launching on November 20, 2022 from Fahmidan Press, is a study in provincial struggle, both heart-warming and wrenching at varying points.

     From the first lines of the title poem Pattnaik takes us by the hand to guide us with stunning imagery through the small-town India of her heart and memory. The forces of nature play a large role as an overall theme, and immediately the tone of this ceaseless tug-of-war against the weather is set:

we barricade the windows, against a lashing undue storm,

and on the edge of land

hope for, just hope for, sunshine.

     Like a cross-section of the elements of community, Pattnaik puts her imagined town under a microscope slide by slide, beginning with the terrain. A major strength in these poems is an ability to paint a scene so vividly that readers are immersed in vision. The beauty of the landscape contrasted against the hard labor of the townspeople mixes a love of home with the effort to survive, allowing us an almost visual experience:

it’s an ancient metaled road

curving through Sal and Mahua, upon

the foisted earth and down the seasoned bend.

     Layers of nuance are defused through these pieces, perhaps the most powerful of which being the conflict of femininity. The soul of womanhood is woven throughout, from mothers calling their children to come home, to wives cooking “a watery broth” for their families, from a young woman yearning for a child, to an old woman looking back over life.  Feminine roles, duty and obligations are part and parcel of the storm-weathered quaint town. The woman in “Forever Afternoon” bemoans “I scoop the soil in our backyard, as wives are expected to do.” These subtle reminders of female contributions waft through rhythmic lines, creating a strong impression of deep roots. In “Woman Alone, on a Balcony” Pattnaik disarms us, hailing our attention:

hey there! woman alone!

distracted by fescues and

bleached days.

     Fading youth is transformed into a beautiful moment, a commendable one, and we feel the power of the “woman alone” growing as the poem progresses. It is clear that the foundation of community and family begins with women, as they knit together families with years of love and care.

Family too then, must be addressed and Pattnaik offers a darker portrayal in the haunting “Abeoji” when a girl meets up with her father:

it’s an accursed appointment

late on Sunday night

in streets without names

A boy journeys from the confusion of childhood to become a man in “Erosion.” Again the tone is suffused with a bleaker view, a profound sadness permeating the lines:

Hereto writes,

to his dead mother

unsure of the weave of words,

on parchment paper saved from

the last millennia.

Not lyrics, only cries.

This feeling of impending adversity is expanded on throughout Pattnaik’s exploration of the inhabitants of her storm-weathered quaint town. In “Correlation Between Fatigues and a Simple Cotton Dress” a woman laments the difficulty of separation from her soldier husband. In the ominous “Empty Pitcher in a Flooded Coal Pit” a trapped miner hopes for rescue, contemplating those who wait for him at home.

If they discover him drowned,

this yawning chasm will delicately wrap the

fabric of space for light years to come.

     The promise of this collection is its link to the future. In the closing poem, ‘Now and Beyond” the collective voice is almost chanting a vow, “we, the history of tomorrow, sow and reap the harvest of our deeds.” There iscomfort in the time-honored knowledge that through life’s arduous journeys, through toil and trouble, people can unite and take heart in their homeland, their community, and their family. Perseverance grants endurance and can be attained through joining hands with our neighbor. A part of the self is embedded in its original home, and the lure of ancestry will both pull back and push forward, into the next generation.

Bio: Learn more about Mandira with interview with Fevers of the Mind https://feversofthemind.com/2022/11/08/a-fevers-of-the-mind-quick-9-interview-with-mandira-pattnaik/

Bio for reviewer Sara Dobbie: Sara Dobbie is a Canadian writer from Southern Ontario. Her stories have appeared in Fictive Dream, Sage Cigarettes, New World Writing, Bending Genres, Ghost Parachute, Trampset, Ellipsis Zine, and elsewhere. Her chapbook “Static Disruption” is available from Alien Buddha Press. Her collection “Flight Instinct” is forthcoming from ELJ Editions (2022). Follow her on Twitter @sbdobbie, and on Instagram at @sbdobwrites. https://feversofthemind.com/2022/09/08/a-fevers-of-the-mind-quick-9-interview-with-sara-dobbie/