2 Poems from Anthologies from Amy Barnes

(c) Geoffrey Wren
Wonderful Artwork from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen by artist/writer Geoffrey Wren

Making Change with Cohen

Notes fell into my fedora in
Too poetic of a way
Too synonymous with a busker I
once knew
Once was
And his
panhandled songs
Stolen from places
And books and letters and the corners of my mind where music stood at corners
As if there is such a thing as too poetic or too musical or too big of a fedora -
stuffed with first notes and last notes and echo notes and silent notes and end-notes
Left behind by no crowd and all crowds and crowded crowds and invisible crowds
Maybe there is and
maybe there is not but the double f alliteration that rhymes with clef and marches -
next together
in fell and fedora
Almost made me laugh
But I didn't
I inhaled
One more time my notes that smelled of music and sadness and grief and crescendos and
whole notes and half notes and
scribbled idea notes on napkins and marble slabs and cocktail umbrellas and gray -
Not of a million fingerprints on faded dollars left in hats and boxes and must violin -
I hummed a dirge
of faded songs
That made no one laugh
left my fedora empty

The Arborist

My tongue is a root where trees grow at night. I practice play speaking
with a mouth full of trees each day with rapid rhymes and twisters.
The rain in Spain falls mostly on the plains as she sells seashells by the sea shore,
all through leaves and acorns that drop plop into my gut. I cut the maples and oaks -
and aspens down each morning, making paper for haikus and haibuns and stressed-
syllable sonnets.
Before I can swallow the sunrise surprise saplings, a new tree grows to replace it,
branching into my gums and teeth, caught in each birch breath.  I swirl oil colors
to make Japanese paper and anime character letters to speak for me.
I last wrote a love note on mouth paper a century ago. Ocean ink was free from octopus lovers.
I sent them black hearts that bled into the sea, floated away in tiny corked labelless -bottles that flung themselves at the sugar sand shore, to be found by small children I never birthed or loved or taught to climb mouth trees.

Bio from 2020:
Amy Barnes has words at a variety of sites including The New Southern Fugitives, Flashback Fiction, Popshot Quarterly, Flash Fiction Magazine, X-Ray Lit, Anti-Heroin Chic, Museum of Americana, Penny Fiction, Stymie Lit, No Contact Mag, JMMW, The Molotov Cocktail, Lucent Dreaming, Lunate Fiction, Rejection Lit, Perhappened, Cabinet of Heed, Spartan Lit, National Flash Flood Day and others. Her work has been long-listed at Reflex Press (3rd place), Bath Flash Fiction, Retreat West and TSS Publishing. She volunteers at Fracture Lit, CRAFT, Taco Bell Quarterly, Retreat West, NFFD, The MacGuffin, and Narratively. She is nominated for Best Microfictions (Spartan Lit) and Pushcarts (101 Words of Solitude and Perhappened). Her flash collection, "Mother Figures" is forthcoming in May 2021 by ELJ Editions, Ltd. And soon to be an associate editor at Fractured Lit

3 new poems from Linda M. Crate

hope he found joy
thought one day
maybe my uncle
could teach me how,
to paint,
always admired his art;
didn't know how
tortured his soul was-
he was thirty six
when he passed,
he had his whole life
ahead of him;
yet his mind had become 
a prison that wouldn't give
him peace -
so i hope now that he gets
to paint sunsets,
and sculpt stars and flowers;
i hope that he is able to
know joy as he couldn't know
on earth.

my beaches aren't for everyone
i was made to feel like
that nothing i ever did
would be good enough,

and i struggled on my own
to navigate my oceans of emotions;

there was so many tears and so
much anger and so much pain and the
constant question that gnawed at me:
why wasn't i worthy of love?

all i ever wanted was
to be loved,
all i ever wanted was
to be appreciated;
all i wanted was to be seen
for who i was-

& yet everyone wanted me to be
someone i wasn't so they could be comfortable,

but now that i have found my magic
and my power and understand the language
of my heart and soul and know the mythology of
my bones

i have left behind my shallows;
and if they cannot swim in my oceans
then let them sit on the sand and remain there

my beaches aren't for everyone.

beauty in my feathers
i have never belonged,
and there was once a time
i tried;
but i have always been
a wild bird
that never accepted the confines
of the cage nor the necessary

my music wasn't like those
of the songbirds,
and my colors weren't the same
as the canaries and parrots;

i was a raven in a sea
of birds that were taught
never to trust me

just because i was different-
i used to cry thinking i wasn't worthy
of love

but now i realize my weird
has and always will be beautiful
even if i am not always appreciated
there is beauty in my feathers.

Bio: Linda M. Crate (she/her) is a Pennsylvanian writer. Her works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of ten poetry chapbooks, the latest being: Hecate's Child (Alien Buddha Publishing, November 2021). She's also the author of the novella Mates (Alien Buddha Publishing, March 2022). She has three micro-poetry collections out:  Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018), moon mother (Origami Poems Project, March 2020.), and & so i believe (Origami Poems Project, April 2021). She has published four full-length poetry collections Vampire Daughter (Dark Gatekeeper Gaming, February 2020), The Sweetest Blood (Cyberwit, February 2020), Mythology of My Bones (Cyberwit, August 2020), and you will not control me (Cyberwit, March 2021).

2 poems by  Linda M. Crate : Once We Were Sisters & All You Gave Me Was Rage

Poems from Anthologies & new poems from Michael Igoe

Blizzard, City, Cold, Freeze, Frost
The Stellar Marine

I'm having much trouble
weeding out streets unfit to walk.
I tread slowly through the snows
of a recent nor'easterner.
as the recent customer
of a bottle of milk, and a dime newspaper.
I see fit to change paths,
past master of the clutch
a recent jamboree of poses behind me.
In a city that boldly confronts the sea
I stop for the traffic's beat
love letters roast in searing flame
outside the radius of wind and shore
stretching to New Bedford.
There, nor'easterners, I guess,
cease in sumps.
I wake up with your presence on me.
I turn over in the starry wind.
To feel my hands, tongue, and feet hush.
They report through lifelines and sinew,
extremities guide them, 
to recesses and removes.
They chalk up casualties.
Drink in each other's frames,
bound in a spiral,
we see the gust tamed
find ourselves without a rancor.
Gusts across water and sky,
equal to the stellar marine.
We cater to friends, they share
the same downward spiral:
to swap proofs and secret messages.

Highly Visible

We live it out in an era
with ferris wheel tickets.
We stand under viaducts,
paused in our grim march
toward that other Mayday.
A hope continues
for the secret vial
full of evidence
we look hard for.
Every biblical figure,
smashed to smithereens
roams under arches.
They plant a warm horror
on a rebel girl sunbathing.

A Portrait of Ray

Seems like you touched someone,
right near the heart of the Hun.
Those guesses of yours,
as you entertained crowds;
in vogue, lucky, to entertain half price.
You tame them all to start, downtown;
hypnotized crowds, they all wonder
if they're flesheaters, just like you.
They kept a record: an electric image,
of your smiling shattered teeth
the death' head tattoo you got
one day before you shipped out.
You never look at it closely,
instead you collect tin foil wrappers
from under chrome bumpers
to stage your lavish midway spectacle.
Next time I saw you, same as before,
You had long since confessed to eating flesh
it was the color of the rouge on faces
of women who claimed to love you.
Your eyes, also red, both of us knowing,
the hand really is quicker than the eye.
We're so wary of the moves it takes
to heal scar tissue from wounds in the corridor.
And I rifle through the boxes you left
to slip further along the empty aisles.

Rage Between Equals

Do you remember
all what you said:
the electric guitar
is soon to replace
an automatic rifle.
Interlopers clinched
in the heat of battle,
they find out blindly
about greasy bullets.
Success as the fuse
to sites of extinction.
They saw everything
through rose glasses.
Only beleaguered
by the five senses.
The sound of a note
amplifies on strings
representing itself
as a whiz vibration.
It's faster than
a speeding bullet.

Think Of It As Fire

I'm past a barnyard,
that place of slaying.
I will greet there,
blanked children
who all too often
with eyes crossed
fashion phantoms
out of spare parts.
They live certainly
to thrive elsewhere.
A tiny venus as coach
working through mist.

Bio: Michael Igoe, neurodiverse city boy, Chicago now Boston, recovery staff at Boston University Center For Psych Rehab. Many works appear in journals online and print. Recent: Spare Change News(Cambridge MA), thebluenib.com, minerallit.com. Avalanches In Poetry Anthology@amazon.com. National Library Of Poetry Editor's Choice For 1997. Twitter: MichaelIgoe5. poetryinmotion416254859.wordpress.com. Urban Realism, Surrealism. I like the Night.

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Michael Igoe

3 poems by Pasithea Chan : Fist in the Mist, Frozen Smiles & Melting Moons and Threading Stars

Moon, Night, Sky, Full Moon
Frozen Smiles

It took a while for me to learn to smile
from behind a pile of words I kept to myself.
For a moment, I felt them jammed
in my mind's cramped space.

My anger seared my soul waiting to be freed
But I weighed my chances against my defenses
And realized it was a fleeting moment not meant
to last as walked past times I had passed.

It takes a lot to smile when feelings pile
from a heart unto a mind put on a shelf
without feeling trapped or slapped
with a reality making a case go on for days.

But once my heart agreed my mind was freed
from hurt's trenches climbing reason's branches.
I learnt to smile without being bent -
over a past that won't last beyond shadows it cast.

This goes to say it takes a while to file
tone's claws without losing one's self
in cramped spaces from situations based
on erasure when a frozen smile can erase words that debase.

Fist in the Mist

I put my fist into the mist -
and carved a curved sunset's spine.
I aimed high, & bled it dry, across the sky;
like rain blows rainbows across ocean so divine.
It spiraled a crescent ring and pushed -
my soul behind my mind hoping to be whole.

I stepped into the mist to catch what I missed.
But I only watched my heart dart as it chased lonely
thoughts like rain drops falling on time's coats;
bouncing off worries' bejeweled pleats.
I scurried hurt's seams with my dreams -
but it seems what's meant to be must first be free!

Fist or foot, mist or missed are like the sun and sunset.
You can be light and travel the world -
or light your path to create your own world.
Walk or punch your way, but remember
to free yourself from what you miss or think you missed.
Don't stay in the mist but don't forget the sun sets.

Melting Moons and Threading Stars

Thoughts are honeycomb moons
surrounded by passion's stars.
Together they hang in inspiration's
skies threaded by hope's cables.

Minds are painters with ladders
anchored on will's winds.
They paint magenta over black skies
or pale blue over white clouds.

Some painters dab their brushes
in magenta skies other in clouds.
Others spread the spread honey combs
across these skies and clouds.

Many chase the brightest stars
until their moons melt away.
Very few capture the honeycombs
before they fade using starry threads.

I've seen some walk their ladders
across magenta skies with tries.
While others get blown like posters
by blue clouds blocking the moon.

It takes courage to put up a ladder;
determination to hold a ladder;
trust to chase the moon,
and faith to thread stars.

Bio: Pasithea is an impressionist poet who dabbles in art and poetry. She enjoys writing about life and her experiences from different perspectives. She believes in art in poetry as in exploring art to emphasize its role in juicing creativity out of a quill. She enjoys writing poetry in symbolism laced with philosophy and psychology.  Combined with varied styles and topics, her motto will always be: poetry is a passionate expression kindled by an impression unlimited by public conviction.   To catch more of her work follow her on Instagram @pasitheachan or twitter @pasitheachan and on Ello @ello.co/pasitheaanimalibera where you can find more of her historical fiction and mythological or cultural short stories.

New Poems from Pasithea Chan

Poem by Pasithea Chan : “A Stone that Hits Home”

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Pasithea Chan

2 poems by Theresa Haffner ‘Room 203’ & ‘The Black Stars’

stars in the sky during night time
Room 203

I woke in the black of night
In the Universe Hotel, Room 203

I didn't know where I was
Or who I was supposed to be.

I wandered the city streets alone
In the seamier parts of town.

I realized that I had no one to love,
That there was no one who loved me.

These city streets had sold me out.
Sold me cheap, Sold me easy.

Back in the Universe Hotel, Room 203,
The flashing neon sign outside the window.

The empty hallways, deserted doorways,
And I man I did not know.

Might have been a black man
-probably so-

Who made me feel not so alone.

The Black Stars


along the highway
we passed the black holes
of burned out stars

black stars

holes in the universe
where love has gone wrong

and even the light can't escape
and even the light can't escape

and even the time is running backward
and even the time is running backward

and even the time slips away

negative universe
a storm within your eyes
where the weight of dying stars

along the highway
we saw the black holes
of burned out stars

black stars

the light of dying suns
beyond the event horizon
lies a world we can never know

beyond the event horizon
lies a world of beginnings and endings

that we can see but never enter into

for we are trapped by the gravity
of a dead star collapsing on itself
in an orbit growing even smaller

a world so tormented it can not
escape even from itself

a world that has already become invisible
and soon will cease to exist


beyond the boundary
we passed contaminated
oil refineries

illuminated by the orange flare
of petroleum fires

near a deserted train yard
the rusted tracks bear witness
to a world that has never been

our car headlights speed
through pitch blackness
searching for survivors

refugees from a world that
cannot be seen
though it be only a few feet away

a world of singularity
undetectable but by its influence
on surrounding bodies

their orbits distorted by the
massive gravity field


on our way to the city
we saw the black holes
of burned out stars

black stars

the light of dying suns

(c)Theresa Haffner

Theresa Haffner:
Now in her seventh decade, Theresa Haffner was raised in Michigan but moved to California at age twenty one, first to San Francisco, then to Los Angeles to pursue a career in professional music. She is transgender, male to female, having made the transition in 1972. She began writing while still a teenager. She has been a force in L.A. poetry since the early 1980's when she gave a reading of her concrete poetry at the Water Gallery in Hollywood. Also known as an editor/publisher, she edited THREADBARE LITERARY JOURNAL, In collaboration with Albert Crane. AFTERSHOCK MAGAZINE with David Behrens (Bill Bored), and was regional editor for THE NEW PRESS,  a literary journal published in Flushing, New York and distributed nationally. 

To her credit, she has one novel, MACARTHUR PARK CHRONICLES*, (denotes available through Literary Download Center) several books of poetry including ACHERON AND OTHER POEMS*, DIFFERENT DRUM*, THE LAST POETRY BOOK*, THE CASE FOR WISDOM AT 5:00 A.M.*, SURFACE OF THE LAND,  a novella BLACK STAR* a coffee table book, ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM (THE NEW YORK SCHOOL) (In preparation), and various other paper booklets and pamphlets.

As part of her effort to stimulate interest in original literature at the community level, she periodically makes available POETRY SAMPLERS selected from her copious archives of unpublished poetry. Several are available.

Her poetry is archived at www.poemhunter.com

For many years she worked as a professional musician, playing with an impressive array of famous and infamous people. Her music can be heard on Youtube at the Theresa Haffner Channel.

(*Literary Download Center c/o theresahaffner05@gmail.com)

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