Poetry Showcase: Elena S. Kotsile

Bio: Elena S. Kotsile (pen name) is a scientific editor (B.Sc., M.Sc, PhD) with a background in molecular biology and immunology and a writer based in Berlin, Germany. Her creative words have appeared in Acropolis Journal, The Bear Creek Gazette, Grim & Gilded, Air & Nothingness press, Rabid Oak, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Greek journals and anthologies. Apart from scientific articles, she writes poetry and speculative fiction in English and Greek and queries for her first speculative novel. SFPA member. Twitter handle @Elena_Beate

Ursa Major gliding over pines

Eonian darkness
Embraces my scattered

Below, Cimmerian 
Sea mirrors my seven
Stars as my

Eighth concealed light meta-
morphoses sacred springs
                                         frozen lakes 

Last known occurrence

I hover over structured assemblages;
stalagmites made of faunal deposits,
tectonic teeth consisted of artefacts,
plastic, damaged tissue and decaying rain-
forest—spatiotemporal lithic ruins
from five hundred thousand years ago when
the Sea rose up under a burning Sun
carrying away skulls and leg bones, hoarding 
death over newly-formed steppes. I bestow
my shadow upon the last dying remnants
of earthlings once inhabitants of this
island, as we are now in this frail speck
of Space—I shiver fantasizing about 
future floods eroding my aching skin

Sweet-smelling Mentha

you dry me, you dilute and drink me
you rub my oblong leaves on your chest
did you know I became small for love?
I used to swim in lamentation’s deep

waters, flowing cold under the 
earth, before I danced naked 
at the mountain’s foot,
before I fell in love

—melancholy and 
unseen soil
my chthonic king
my dark ruler—

I used to swim with the dead
in the abysmal caves of my sorrow

                                       Kallisto was here

Dismantle my person
Disperse my pieces
What do you see?

placenta                   torn
          claws                     broken  

Relentless lake, cruel lake 

I could tell (this) tale, I could Listen       Once, in Arcadia–

Before being a beast, a star, a mother

I was me, myself I was

2 poems by Jessica Weyer Bentley “Transience of the Empath” & “Flora’s Hierarchy”

photo from pixabay

Bio: Jessica Weyer Bentley is an author, poet, and photographer. Her first collection of poetry, Crimson Sunshine, was published in May 2020 by AlyBlue Media. Her chapbook, Down Below Where the Canary Sings was published May 2, 2023 by Sage Owl Publishing in Massachusetts. She has contributed work to several publications for the Award-Winning Book Series, Grief Diaries, including Poetry and Prose, and Hit by a Drunk Driver. Jessica’s work has been anthologized in Women Speak Vol. 6 (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions), Summer Gallery of Shoes (Highland Park Poetry), Common Threads 2020 and 2022 Editions (Ohio Poetry Association), Pegasus 2022 Journal (Kentucky State Poetry Society) Appalachian Witness Volume 24 and Appalachian Unmasked Volume 25 (Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel) and Made and Dream (Of Rust and Glass) 2021 and 2022. She has been published in several publications by Alien Buddha Press including anthologies and magazines. She has contributed work to online blogs including Global Poemic, Lotherian Journal, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and was a Wolfpack contributor for the online journal, Fevers of the Mind. Jessica currently resides in Northwest Ohio.

Transience of the Empath

I see the fade,
the ellipses on the lavender horizon.
The calendar years collapse,
sharp burnt vegetation of a majestic oak.
I detether from this round indigo orb,
a rogue hot air balloon,
a brain full of helium.
The mortar and brick have dissolved to mere chemistry,
the nativity lay open.
The bone and sinew years fragment, 

Flora's Hierarchy

Does the willow weep,
or simply bow in admiration,
of summer’s warming ages,
bending in gratitude to the crimson cardinal,
as he ushers it in with a summoning call.
The willow offers a curtsey to the queen of terms,
the blades shine in an effervescent tone.
The humble and sage guardian is not weeping,
 kneeling to allow those in its eclipse to rise. 

A Poetry Showcase from Christian Garduno inspired by “Heartworn Highways”

soon to be in Fevers of the Mind Issue 6: The Empath Dies in the End

Jackson Square

I was 1989 + you were Red
how are we ever going to make this work?
You can read my thoughts
but never my handwriting
you say it looks like Chinese chicken scratch
& I don’t suppose I can say you’re wrong
Spending nights in your room
trying to memorize the exact diameter of your heart
taking measurements with my soul
the candle flickers
everytime our eyelashes mesh
you blush like the burgundy in our cups
our kisses play on an endless loop
in my best dreams

Lower Nob Hill

Across a cold open field
reading Adrienne Rich
on angel-less streets
faded hearts chasing 
underwater moons
this is what happens
when nothing happens
it feels good when you
push up the volume
it’s like a warning shot
across my bow
and you’ve gravel in your coffee cup
when you stay up so late that it’s morning

Islais Creek

I remember I was listening to the radio
and it was especially distinctive because I hadn’t
heard that song in a very long time
and I was sort of driving along while my mind
was strolling down Memory Lane
I was making turns and stopping at red lights
without really noticing at all
I was singing to myself out loud a little bit
remembering and then forgetting some words
here and there

There’s something in the melody line
we were melting in the middle eight
approaching the original light source
the chorus breaks down the construct
there’s a ghost-note in there somewhere
I opened my eyes and I was parked in front of your house
these memories have crossed the line
I follow the sound down another
worm hole through the center of my memory
back to the end of the beginning of time

16th Avenue Tiled Steps

Wagon wheels & satellite dishes
Alexa, adjust the weather vane
Telephone poles line the road
like repetitive crucifixes leading the way
in the land where cotton still grows
and nobody knows
the names of the trees anymore
Going 85 in opposite directions
less than six feet apart

A box of pizza in the backseat
box of ashes in the trunk
box of rain on the radio
Mimi’s final road trip

Lazy cows with their four stomachs
grazing in the shade
Jesus Saves- written in dust on the back of an eighteen-wheeler
the hills are rolling
clouds lilted to the side
Trump-Pence yard signs faded by the sun
condemned to stare across the roadside forever

Mission Dolores Park

I know you blank a lot
that’s why I let you play Elaine
and I think you put it on a bit
when you go and kick the rain
you pull back your hair
and it gives me the swirls
still, I know I’m someone else’s
but you mistake me for yours
you make me feel like the sun on your skin
and with the rain that you touch
the words cant fall down fast enough
my sweet, you talk and knock me right over
and I just cant find my mind
I really fall when I think of it all
it’s all right, it’s summertime
and you know what?
I’m feeling so good now
I don’t think I’m anyone’s else anymore
come on and walk me to the corner-store
it’s only sometimes that I’m shy
like when I’m deep down in-between the stars
up in the middle of the sky

Bio: Christian Garduno’s work can be read in over 100 literary magazines. He is the recipient of the 2019 national Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry, a Finalist in the 2020-2021 Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Writing Contest, and a Finalist in the 2021 Julia Darling Memorial Poetry Prize. He lives and writes along the South Texas coast with his wonderful wife Nahemie and young son Dylan.

2 poems by Spriha Kant inspired by Anne Sexton

Author’s Notes:

"A Downward Spiral" is inspired by Anne Sexton's poem "The Addict"I added the reason leading to drug addiction and the person responsible for it, and also his role and response to knowing about the addiction. However, I was highly inspired by the details that Sexton gave about her addiction phase so I followed my inspiration, again, I opted to choose my way of expression different from Sexton's in this case since I wanted my soul to linger in this poem.        

" A Marred Loyalty" is inspired by Anne Sexton's poem "For my lover returning to his wife"   The difference is that I didn't put the role of a wife in a man's life in my poem and extended it to the next levels; the betrayal by a man to a woman and the outcome of the affair
which was becoming the mother of that man's child. & also I wrote the intimate details of that affair that weren't in Sexton's poem. So, I took the "affair" theme from this poem and directed it. That's because I wanted to show inspiration but also didn't wanna lose my originality.


To induce my mind 
to turn a deaf ear to the 
reverberations of 
your taunts
on my unsuccessful career 
I blended in with a flock of wild-spirited dancers 
Emitted smoke through my mouth 
Consumed a peg of alcohol and a snort of cocaine
in that late-night party
and my body 
kept on augmenting to
the dependency on the doses of 
serotonin, endorphins, dopamine, and nicotine
for survival.
Cigarette wrapping papers, pipes, syringes, soiled cotton swabs, cut-up straws, lighters, bongs, razor blades, burnt spoons, burnt bottle caps, and cut-up lined mirrors started depositing like algal blooms in my bedroom.

Mercurial temperament and kaleidoscopic hallucinations often grasped me with their glutinous grips for extraordinarily long hours.
Doses reigned over the production of my melatonin hormone recklessly.

Whenever I tried to untether myself 
from the tenacious grips of narcotics:
Nausea greeted me each morning
My body burned in aches 
I oscillated between hot and cold every few minutes
Intense cravings shimmied in my body
compelling me 
to take any of them that I could lay my hands on.

Bloodshot covered my scintillating eyes like a quilt.
Unkempt appearance cloaked my elegance.
Slurred vocal cords took over my melodious vocal cords.
Bad breaths and unusual body odours glued to me.

You, busy basking in your success 
never noticed all the messes encompassing me.

When the messes barged out of control
you sent me to the rehabilitation centre
but you did not even visit me there once.

When I recovered 
you left me saying,
“You tarnished my reputation.”
But you did not wonder why and how I was trapped in that downward spiral.


I was attracted like an iron piece to a magnetic charm.
Constant friendly gazes and WhatsApp chats
shaped to 
watching cinemas, casual long drives, and dinner dates
leading to
a late-night tryst where I swam in a passionate sea with him:
Romantic chats 
Sips of beers
Wetting of parched lips 
Duet by the tied tongues
Crawling like snakes in
birthday suits 
deep sighs 
to crescendoed deep trills
inside a thin white sheet.

His marred loyalty 
is swelling inside my womb.
As for him, women are sand dunes.
And he 
a windstorm 
who impersonates sun
till the quench of his sensual thirst. 

Bio: Spriha Kant is a poetess and book reviewer. She has been published in six anthologies out of which the anthology “Hidden in Childhood” became the #1 Amazon bestselling book. She has been a part of events celebrating the launches of the poetry books “Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow” by Jeff Flesch and “As FolkTaleTeller” by Paul Brookes. She has been featured in interviews on feversofthemind.com and brokenspine.co.uk. Her quotes have been published as an epigraph and a blurb in the books “Magkasintahan Volume VI” and “Swiped Right” respectively, both books published by the publishing house “Ukiyoto Publishing (Philippines).” She has been a guest of honor in the award-winning show “Victoria in Verse” on Bloomsbury Radio, London. 


Poetry by Colin James inspired by Tom Waits

Irony’s Fall From Grace

The singer's orgiastic phlegm hung in the air
long enough for most to see it coming
heads down, esoterically complaint.
Except for our spiritual leader, Smegma
who agreed to wear it as a badge of honor.

Bio: Colin James was born in England but lives in Massachusetts. He works in Energy Conservation. Some of his poems have appeared Waterlogged August, The, Sage Trail, 88, The Ottawa Review and others. He is a member of The Brothers Of The Endemic.