Growing up by the trashcans and the ditches
The land fields and the garter snake grass and the bugs that itches.
He was pimpled faced ,freckled and fare
Wanting to be Andy Warhol in a town of 833.
So where can I escape, or can I build my factory?
Out of these cutting glass pool halls, grease stained floors.
There is art in these doors, let’s pretend Margie is a model.
And we can walk up and down Main Street. Leather jackets to our feet.
We can put on sunglasses and all talk about what is vague and eat some drug store ice cream.
Brickwalls, fucking sun. The enemy and I are one.
Pull up your truck a little more, shade in the neighbor kid who is confused if he’s
Lou Reed or Candy Darling.
Throw the paperplates and cans in the air, sit down in this cemetery and stare.
Record me humming into the silent night. All nude and badly tattooed on one side.
Let’s evolutionize this applecore, return in to red but before
We must make it green and ripe. And paint it with all the bugs and mites.
Then we’ll get some screenprint and this will go up near the Antique store.
So the decaying man who owns it can nod his head and lock the door.
Little man, discovered a band. A couple of cousins and a troublemaking mugger.
He’d slip his mom’s valuables to the highest bidder. He is a badass and has the drugs.
He can sing like Frank Stallone. But he doesn’t feel like anything New York City that I know.
He huffs paint and smokes weed. The only thing about art he knows is about his motorcycle speed.
How the hell am I going to get this guy to do a psychedelic opera?
First Greyhound bus, I slip in and fall over all my hoarded jewels.
A mask, A hat, a billion acrylic glues, a ghostly wig, a walk like I’m falling into the wall.
And 2 women named Deena and Dusty, twins, who possibly are really daughter and mom.
They know all about city art, They know all about the heart, it takes to make it.
On these wild wild west streets as we travel East.
Three poems by Peter Hague from his new book: ‘Summer With The Gods’, which will be available in paperback and hardback. 184 pages 73 poems.
The backbone of Peter Hague’s work seems to be at least in-part, driven by an intriguing autobiographical investigation – part confessional, albeit developed with imagist coding. Much of this ‘search’, as we may call it, is based on the endless cycle of proactive yearnings for the simple truths about life and the role that reason and understanding play in our thoughts, as well as in our daily discoveries and awakenings. One thing is certain though, he manages to inject into his work a constant newness of unfailing excitement.
Mission and Beyond
My solitude is manifest in a cold corner of the Moon.
I am limp in a crater; abandoned in black and white –
weak and tight amongst the seminal debris
of a rain of stone. The horizon seems too close here
and space appears more dangerous than on Earth.
It is bigger and more valuable – uncomfortable too,
where the mood of infinity
calms the rattle of local chaos.
It is an immense cave,
stacked like a warehouse full of stars,
and with me, a dim workman on the loneliest night shift,
looking for orders to assemble and despatch.
Playing that ignorant game of efficiency,
with its worn rubber-stamp.
We are allowed to forget the other, tormenting present,
even if we still harbour a nightmare past.
But for all my authority with wires and beams,
I cannot play them far enough
to span the common sense
of this boundless brain of space.
I feel more alone here with each silence –
as empty as Lee Harvey Oswald
in the Schoolbook Depository –
down in the restroom, drinking Coke –
trying to look natural – as someone shot the President –
as if he ever could look natural, with a face like his –
a face chosen for guilt.
He was conscripted by suspicion itself
to look through the square window of his alibi
and wait for the police to bestow brief innocence
upon his awkward head. Just as I look now,
peering through a culpable visor that hides my truth –
both suspected assassins
expecting a light debriefing back on Earth.
Oswald was not a natural man,
as I am unnatural here,
in the dry Dallas, Texas of the Moon.
No one knows if I shot out the sun,
or claimed this shadowed crater for its creeping cold,
but I will be blamed anyway if the mission fails –
“I am a patsy.”
Mission Control are drinking beer and champagne
and celebrating a victory which is all their own –
happy their precocious rocket worked at all,
with its overrated technology of tin cans and fire.
I have lost everything by coming here.
I have lost my way. I have lost my keys.
Though I may have found the meaning of austere.
I am losing my faculties too –
I am a shivering loon on a derelict moon
in a spacesuit sealed with glue.
My memories have leaked past this polymer skin
and filled a virgin planet with their unique plague –
making an atmosphere of suppressed guilt
or at least something irresponsible and vague.
And although it may seem to register
as weak, or vacuous, or impossible to measure,
I can barely get my breath above this pressure.
I cannot see a single thing in a suddenly laden air –
it is like a fog to me and weighs me down,
tired as Ophelia, beneath a watery film –
almost clear, but undeniably there.
I have tried my best, as we all must.
I have tried to swim in this dry dust.
I have attempted to photograph my presence here,
out on this unforgiving, bony limb.
I have tried to crack my helmet
and make my mind go dim.
In light of this, I have decided to explore
the value of my own existence –
a gross deviation from the scientific mission,
but the Moon is not the stone on which
this corporate adventure shall be written.
Earth’s guidelines seem so rigid and futile here –
a plan, emphatically briefed, but never discussed.
In truth, it was little more than a rude intention
to take some snapshots and collect some dust.
I am going to push off this planet now
with the easy gravity of my new frogs’ legs.
I am defying my superiors and going on –
to search for the remains of God instead.
(c) Peter Hague 2021
My house is like a ship.
It creaks as I walk in its bowl of wood –
especially at night,
in the sea-quiet atmospheres
that fold thick and deep;
that haunt the air of plastered walls –
these sheer cliffs, painted white.
The journeys I make
are simple, yet profound.
One voyage takes me to a lower floor
to find a ship I hear-tell has run aground.
Its captain replaced by blesséd bone –
a shipwrecked sailor, swimming home.
And behind the noise
of all this wood and wave and stone...
I am a splash,
that otherwise makes no sound...
the last, lingering thought
of a persistence, unbound.
(c) Peter Hague 2021
The Importance of Clouds
I could attempt to disperse the clouds
but clouds do not listen to lesser gods –
self-proclaimed gods, who rule by chaos –
yet prove weak and powerless
when countering the manifestations of clouds.
To transient clouds we are conceited meddlers –
scribbling fools seeking majesty in poems.
Or some other improvisation of impatient thought
that turns our rutted cogs a measure.
Clouds do not move aside for poetry,
they are the scenery of its highest domain –
shifting or still – glorious or dark –
without clouds, we would not have found
our breath of words –
these fleeting animations we must name at once,
using reflexes forged in the hearts of the ancients.
It is an aura of sound without formal structure;
a synthesis of moods, seething in rapture;
a momentary recognition of glimpsed potential,
lending brief clues and mysterious epithets
to the vague identity of fleeting gods.
And that is where poetry ignites into song –
with playful clouds full of words and faces.
All looking back with liquid stirrings,
The blue sky and sun are intruders in this
and have never been part of poetry at all.
They are a skulking happiness, hidden in vagary;
a deluded world we cannot connect with;
a lingering place where all time waivers
and the parched dictionary slams its words shut.
It is an iron mouth in futile meditation;
a proven stage for the thinking of nothing;
a distraction of belongings and soothing heat.
It rubs its lotions of desire and silence
into the accepting canvas of our translucent skin.
This is the silence of sun and beauty –
an easy page, neither turned from, nor begun –
the host of paradise in one long sigh,
parching our living entity into a husk.
The sun and the sky are a lasting covenant,
hiding behind the cloudy words of night –
when the smoke moves aside for the poetry of stars,
revealing the eloquence of our darker terrors.
(c) Peter Hague 2021
A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Peter Hague
Here is the amazon link to Peter's new book:
The Doorway to San Francisco
The doorway is shrouded
in pink daffodils the walk long the journey
astray the swiftness of Kerouac and honeyed boulevards with
the last letters of Ginsberg ringing in your arms, and wild is the whiskey
in Nashville you of petite legs and lissome hands shadowed, the path
to San Francisco is long and we are wayward I wonder
I ponder The sunset rivets me and I got no dimes left
only the sweetness of your breath
perched on my shoulders and your
marrow glossy and true an acoustic
glue, I got your saliva pressed on
my notebooks, and the ink is still wet
and I don't want it to go dry
and I want to reach the canyons
with enough crayons to forget time
and do you have an Irish coffee with you?
Will we meet somewhere beyond Boulder
or we will bivouac where
the nothingness is ovulating sweetly
like Henry Miller's Sexus, I got you
and we will wonder and ponder
yonder, where naught is my epigraph
and you are candid, and your are carousing
moonlit, and snuff, I can't be defeated
I am breaking all the rules of grammar
and I have conveyed a mirror of plastic
sirens, and none of this is supposed to
make sense since we are waiting for Godot
I will evaluate your heart soon as I levitate
in the Colorado sun and I remember The
Grampians in Victoria how wonderful are
they, psychedelic and crisp the sweat
that lingering bliss natural rhapsodies
and long is the path to San Francisco
where the leaves of
lost art is slumbering good
Bio: Jeremy Limn is a 28-year-old poet who has published three books of poetry, Raining Poems, The Auguries of Lost Lilacs, and The Roses Forget You, his work also appeared in the 2016 July Issue of Infernal Ink Magazine, and the Yearbook for the University of Tasmania 2015, and published twice with Vext Magazine, The Ernest Becker Foundation.
i can taste it... feel it in my bones.
i want it so bad it hurts... to play music.
i watch bands play like a predator stalking prey.
watch them set up, break down...
check the sound, load the van...
like a hawk when they’re playin’.
every instrument, every note...
i watch the bends...
how is it that they make that shrill tremolo sound???
with those shaking wrists and fingers...
like b.b. king and those HUGE wailing notes!
his hand looks like a wing flapping...
pivoting on one finger... one note... beautiful.
i watch the bassman slap and pluck and slide.
all so simple...
like he’s barely touching the strings...
but from the amplifier comes this great booming thunder!
i watch the audience...
and how each individual has his or her own unique
personal style of flailing funk!
i watch to see what moves people...
and to make sure that i am not the only one who cannot
resist the imperious urge to shake and thrash every
part of my body like i have suddenly become victim to
a spontaneous exorcism and at any moment a little red
demon is going to **jump out** through the center of my
chest and start eating people!!!
and sometimes... when i look up... i am the only one.
and sometimes... i do feel like i am undergoing some sort
in African tribal culture, they believed that the sound of
booming drums drove out Evil spirits...
and i believe it too.
it was Hendrix who invited us to the Electric Church,
and i have been a believer ever since!
what it’s like to want to die
when you no longer hurt and you no longer cry
pain you can handle
but pain without emotion is unbearable
the emptiness is uncomparable
when you finally hit bottom
and there’s nowhere left to go
eternal loneliness plagues your mind
a loveless life is all you’ll ever know
so your thoughts turn to death
you’re battered and broken from the fall
suffering the pain and anguish of hell
is better than feeling nothing at all
lying on my back staring at the skies
my legs crossed in front of me,
my arms spread to each side
i’m ready to die on my fallen cross
the only thing to gain is loss
oh lord please understand
i didn’t pass the test, nor did i survive
but know that i only take my body
so that my soul may be alive.
~ may 1997
Photography by Roberto Zariskeeni at Rob Z Photography in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020
Rob Z is a writer, photographer, musician living in Southern Indiana. He has had work published in our print editions of Fevers of the Mind Issue 1 June 2019.
Let go the pain you are holding
After Joy Harjo
This morning I walked my back garden, the air thick with lemons and ligustrum, a breathless night of fog horns and train whistles calling away the shadows,the sun shivering and glittering promises. My mind is quiet, clear of technology’s demands, notifications, buzzes, & bells, all the stuff that doesn’t matter anyway. I am tired of it, of its time-sapping nonsense & attention
seeking, its lectures & lies. I will speak to the cardinal pair visiting the feeder, watch my little squirrel friend eating peanuts, water my collection of vegetables— a daily miracle of growth.
I will remember what sustains me, what thrills me, what heals me.
I will walk the earth in my spirit feet.
Inspired by “For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet” by Joy Harjo
Each Day is Another Scar
We place the russet pavers
in the garden one by one
in between discussions of surgical drainage,
ct scans and ventilators.
Six one day, four the next, none for a week
when her fever rose, blood pressure dropped,
and her white count was more
than twice the normal value.
I watch as the path grows longer and
think a lot about the color of the pavers
like the color of her heart,
the toughness of the brick like the toughness
of her character and the slow progression
that mimics her daily life in ICU.
The garden path and her path are intertwined,
the physical toll scarring my hands,
the emotional toll scarring my heart.
start off heavy and never lighten up. Bones and spirit ache from years of giving and bending and lifting up, reminding me that I’m not a malleable 23 anymore. Some days, no matter my wants or intentions, I simply can not muster diplomacy, end up being blunt instead of kind then worry about it at 2 a.m. when sleep skulks in the shadows, an elusive stalker. Some days I can not make one more compromise, say one more smiley yes, wash one more dirty, smelly bathroom or even my dirty, smelly self. Some days the light is too bright, the dirt too deep, the smell of struggle too sharp for my migraine-filled head. Some days I hold hard to the horizon’s thin edge.
Charlotte Hamrick’s poetry, prose, and photography has been published in numerous online and print journals, recently including Emerge Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, Reckon Review, and New World Writing. She’s had nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, Best Microfiction, and was a Finalist for the 15th Glass Woman Prize and forMicro Madness 2020. She is Creative Nonfiction Editor for The Citron Review and reads flash fiction for Fractured Lit. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and a menagerie of rescued pets where she sometimes does things other than read and write.A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Charlotte Hamrick3 New poems from Charlotte Hamrick: Holding On, Head Above Water, It is what it is