Cursed Houses by David L O’Nan coming out next week!

Here what several important great people have to say about this upcoming book by editor/poet/writer David L O’Nan

Writings by David O’Nan is a special treat to poetry lovers. He often uses prose-style openings to draw in the reader, such as “I met the supernatural near this river by Osage Mint on a wet June day, fertile ground full of footprints” (from “The River Near the Osage Mint”). Then just as we start to get comfortable, O’Nan has a certain knack for dropping in piercing lines such as, “Our moment became shrapnel” (from “Noah and Satchmo”), or “Love like the sad” (from “Cardiac Weekend”), that becomes a sort of push and pull technique, moving the poem and reader along on the evocative journey each of his poemsprovides.      –Samantha Terrell, Author of “Vision, and Other Things We Hide From” and “Keeping Afloat” among other books and creator of the poetic trinitas style of writing.

David O'Nan is an artist, a poet who explores the interesting and sometimes astounding facets of life through his work. In 'Cursed Houses' David writes in a style that is immediately engaging, sometimes humorous, always thought provoking. In his poem 'Utopian Window Blinds', he writes: "Beautify my broken heart. Look into my mind and tell me. I am Magical." That is precisely what David gives us, the reader. – Jay Maria Simpson  is a published Australian Poet out of Perth, Western Australia who loves poetry, art, music, satire and dark comedy.

Cursed Houses by David O’Nan swirls with dynamic imagery at a manic pace. Its long probing lines are propelled by maddening spirals of rhythm and rhyme. These poems bob and weave, teasing dreamscapes out of rich details inhabited by a host of characters and situations earthly and un-. Love, lust, loss, bewilderment – degradation of the human spirit coupled with the uplift of having experienced something wholly holy. Cursed Houses offers room after room of astonishment wrapped in acute observations: standing outside, lonesome and creepy, a piercing inward gaze.
-	Tony Brewer, author of psithurism and Pity for Sale

David O'Nan's poems are beautifully haunting, a landscape of Historical and Pop Culture memories. From death to Sunsets to homes of broken glass and even Andy Warhol, O'Nan's poetry will shake and stir you as the colors of his rhymes will resonate long after you devour each one, with verses like "The Feast" you will be craving a taste for more.  
-	Adrian Ernesto Cepeda, author of La Belle Ajar & We are the Ones Possessed amongst other collections.

The willpower is a long highway.” ~an immortal line, akin to Tom Petty’s But love is along, long, road.” David O’Nan has rock and roll in his soul.
“Spending nights in plastic neon blue and wondering why you didn’t know who’s hand was the knock on your door. Was it Mr. Peasant or Mr. Posh? All that you knew was a new daughter was calling you a mom.”   
Like no other, David understands and exposes the plight of a runaway mother, perhaps a fixture of the 1980’s, the unsung heroines, the debris of the 1970’s 
“I paint pictures for the cages of silence” 
David O’Nan speaks for a disinherited generation left to suffer the sins of parental and cultural disintegration

“Old Satchmo at 49 smells vaguely of gasoline and some extinct cologne from 1989” 
David O’Nan captures the zeitgeist of the crumbling American west, it’s bravado on it’s knees, still trying to please some long lost need.
“The devil has your shoelaces tied to the wrong feet” 
An apt description of a runaway on the streets struggling to find their footing. An epic and strong poem describing what happens to the disinherited, disenfranchised in American society.  Thrown out, as Jim Morrison said “like a dog without a bone.” Better than any other poet living, O’Nan describes the struggle of losing in a pre-apocalyptic America.
“We are powerless and the army has no artillery.”
Reminiscent of Neil Young’s “Helpless” lyrics is O’Nan’s vision of a dystopia left to carry on alone, abandoned and helpless, it’s government having long abandoned the field.
“All You see is the bones rise up when the moon hits the shine of the lake”
O’Nan describes perfectly the perfidy of the illusion of normalcy in what is in fact the toxic waste dump of America’s forsaken landscape.
“Maybe the king lives within the waters to drown your narcissistic glare. The River, the River near Osage Mint” 
O’Nan reflects tangentially on the tortured history of the rivers cutting through the heartland of America, how they meander, the dangers they pose,  the dams that feed them, while soul searching and reflecting on the American dream, much like a latter day Jack Kerouac. One wonders what chain of events drew the poet to leave near this place. The nameless “River near Osage Mint.”
If you were to read only one poem from David O’Nan, I would suggest Mandolins and Shrapnel. I personally find it on a level with Ginsberg’s best exuberant howlings. Mandolins is a tour de force. One feels oneself spinning with the poet down the highways and through the wastelands of post-industrial America  littered with billboards proclaiming hell and damnation, torn through the middle by predatory birds, symbolic of lives shattered and scattered like shrapnel on a battlefield. 

“Oh, those billboards by the way are just a hole for the vultures to fly through. listen to the breaking Mandolins, as our skeletons become shrapnel.” 
-	Elizabeth Cusack -Poetry on the Rocks for Lonely Hearts, a poet/writer traveler from Los Angeles. A recovering actress.

"David’s worlds always open new channels for looking at life. They are so often inventive stories that hold a spilling of truth – like the hull of a ship sloshing about on an unpredictable ocean – a world with a multifaceted cargo, perfect in every detail – in fact, a fusing of all details – making them oil each other to enhance their experience and their free passage. They are a generator of energy for the listening ear. From lyrical and beautifully sung – to hard and colourful poetry, told "like it is" – and that "is" always leaves me thinking I have moved forward in life’s puzzle of experience by reading these poems. So many wonderful lines – so many wonderful characters and their various situations – whatever your interest in poetry, you will need to read these poems to pass go. 
David L O’Nan is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best poets of this moment and due for greatness in the longterm.  – Peter Hague author of Summer With the Gods, Gain of Function,  Hope in the Heart of Hatred & more.

David O’Nan is a poet but he may be a sorcerer in his Cardiac Weekend. Or into a world of dreams in Screams, Tears, Tennessee Voodoo. In Small Deaths and My Burning Bedsheets, he fashions his death and exhorts us to give a reason for him to continue his furtive imaginings in word and paintings. Do you have the power or are incited to provide reason for such as him? In Noah and Satchmo he colorfully tells a story of two grimy men in a way that MUST make you feel better. It is a story of confirmation, to send you on your way of superiority, as you love their place, so much lower than your own. Love Thy Neighbors describes a region of hell… Of voyeurs with horns and long tails being forced into your face. This is the world of O’Nan in fantasy and grime, incitement, and torment. You were minding your own business and this magician named David came along. Watch your step.

We are thankful no heaven can control or manage David O’Nan’s poetry. His work is not designed for the comforts of heaven or the torments of hell. David’s poetry breathes with us, and sustains our present, that we may whisper our lives to one another.  – Giulio Magrini is a longtime writer living out of Pittsburgh and is receiving wonderful reviews on his new book “The Color of Dirt” 

Having elsewhere demonstrated his prowess and capability in shorter forms in this collection prolific poet David L. O’Nan proves definitively he is every bit as skillful and interesting with more substantial, robust constructions, applying his inventive flair for language and provocative willingness to delve deeper into the fecund muck of Americana than the majority dare, exposing our culture's at times less savory underbelly in a manner which is never dull, but rather consistently as thrilling as it is in equal measures illuminating. Through diverse approaches and fearless examinations of subjects deeply personal as well as endemic of societal concerns, rooted in the immediate and timeless both — harkening back occasionally at, paying exciting homage to our era’s most qualified bards and lyric laureates, from Cohen to Dylan to Joni Mitchell, in the most constructive, charged manners — readers will be hard pressed to find a finger more firmly pressed to, descriptive of the stilted, erratic pulse of Western ennui and the dark winter of postmodern societal discontent embroiling contemporary existence than in the pages of Cursed House. In our age of urgency and desperation, David L. O’Nan emerges resolutely from the fetid swamps of struggle with an important viewpoint and mission which our imperiled species would be well served by reviewing and reflecting upon mindfully at length. A rousing book of works appreciative of the gravity to our prevailing crises, by a poet who twigs well there is not a moment to lose. 

 – Jerome Berglund is a writer and has worked in Cinema-Television production and worked in the entertainment industry before moving back to the Midwest. Jerome writes many haiku, senryu and haiga online and in print. He is an established award-winning fine art photographer, whose black and white pictures have been shown in galleries in New York, Minneapolis & Santa Monica.

"When I read a rational, well reasoned, logical, objective argument I laugh and sing and dance through the gaping holes. 
What fools we are to stand pounding our chests preaching to the sun and everyone else that we are right, we have the truth. 
What is truth? Do you know? We move forward by the aid of created symbols and we change those symbols as we move forward. 
What gives you the right to deny the beauty, the honesty of poetry. There is no such thing as an endless straight line. 
The shortest distance between two points is poetic distance. Poetry is the way. No one makes it through any black hole of night
without the morning light of poetry. The debate over whether formal or informal, Latinate or colloquial is best is meaningless. 
Critics and Judges are the greatest fools. Poetry is the journey, the adventure in and through the valley of the shadow of death. 
Poetry is birth, the journey, and death. Poetry is Alpha and Omega. Poetry is life. Life is poetry. The word was the same 
in the beginning as the word is now. Say the word. Be the word. Be poetry. Be the poem you write. What else is there? 
In his brilliant new book, CURSED HOUSES, David O'Nan is the poet of birth, the journey, and death. 
David O'Nan is an original. One of a kind. I can't recommend his work highly enough."

--Ron Whitehead, Lifetime Beat Poet Laureate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Whitehead


"David L O'Nan's Cursed Houses is a lyrical poetry book that carries so many themes, it's hard to select a few. O'Nan transmits storytelling, narratives, and short story genres within his poems with brilliance. Poems about love, society, death, loss, small town Americana, and loneliness stand out the most. At the heart of these poems is O'Nan's ability to make you feel how the memories of past loves can still be felt in the present time."
                                       
 - Christina Strigas, “for all the lonely hearts being pulled out of the ground”

David L O’ Nan’s new book, Cursed Houses, from it’s haunting spooky cover to the end prose-piece,  is a scorcher – a work of narratives and lyrics, an anxious mythic exploration of  landscapes of broken shattered people; some likeable, poignantly portrayed, others monstrous, the walking-living Dead; their political screed like larvae spreading hate, the drunk military fathers, farmers, drifters and grifters, the abject young women and older matriarchs, full of hope and lies. Almost Biblical, its a book of character studies exploring upended toxic glamour, hopelessness, the cracks inside America where people fall. 

The book richly escorts questions and trades in entropy, about the lives lived in adrenaline-fueled fantasy where excess drugs, false promises, hallucinations, and lament intersect. In Sinking Prison the narrator’s pain and violence follows him right into the afterlife:  “You/were found and punished and/ become a nameless gazelle/in a jungle full of hungry/lions on your trail.” Ruminative and ferocious, David exposes families, meditates on life-lessons, draws from the personal, revels in a search for metaphysical meaning.  The lines are alternately clipped and expansive, musical, Intuitive, folk tales told by a raconteur for a lion’s den.

We see ourselves and others, our stories and-our-not-stories in a calm-frenzy of bardic, balladic currency and lyrical leaps. In a poem to a dead brother, the narrator speaks beyond despair, of “Popping firework amphetamine pills, dragons watch the alleys/The abusive and abused in corners and in jars./Oh lonesome traveler, a blood kissed jewel.” Tangled and mournful – this book’s rapid-fire pulse is a circling, uniquely crafted, blistering collection. Bite down hard, get one, roam through its outlaw pages. – 
-	Robert Frede Kenter, author, visual artist, publisher of Ice Floe Press. 

I assume no impartiality as I sit to write this acknowledgement and blurb for David. Having known David the editor, the poet, and the human has been the best creative gift of creative brotherhood I’ve grown to treasure and proudly parade. Cursed Houses is a world on its own folded neatly into a book cover waiting for you to unfold like a handkerchief concealing delicacies. Forget what you know about titles foreshadowing content and even casuistic usage of natural elements to convey sentiments as metaphors or similes because David layers natural elements to give you poetic suspense in every piece and theme. He is the magician’s tarot card of allure and demure – yes because poetic talent is in strategically controlling your subject’s emotional experience. Clarity is nice but with David, heavy and surreal is the vogue because Cursed Houses is a hex that will keep your mind spellbound as your lips pitter patter with magic, nature, love, mentality, and life’s other themes on duality. Cursed Houses is a book of personal causes for both the empath and the introvert as well as the curious and the bratty. In this book, his styles vary in tone and emphasis in a manner that gives symbolism and personification another dimension one that is holistic not elemental. The power of his imageries are not localized in a stanza or a part but throughout the whole piece. Have you seen a mood unfold like a jalousie window controlled with two lines to control shadow and light? David’s poems give out this effect because the first time you read a piece, you read it to take in the meaning trying to coin the aesthetics with what you’ve seen previously. However, upon reading his work for the second time, you will realize your heart and mind are the ones controlling what you are seeing whether they be extremes of light and shadow or even pain and beauty. For instance, in his piece “Womanizers”; David allows the reader to explore his subject’s cares and sentiments by showing how their antagonists envision or deal with them. By doing so he reveals his subjects’ points of strengths, advocates for them and showcases them in the light of humanity. Meanwhile in his piece “The Whole Mythology is Collapsing” David’s musings of spirituality are inclusive of dallying in engaging activities whilst touching base on the struggles of finding balance between the material world’s circumstances, the people’s expectations and prejudice and his desire to find peace and clarity. In this vein, the piece “If Masterpieces Were Bloodshed”, has left me in awe because If brushes had hurricane categories for thickness and aftermaths for handles; this piece is the epitome of the creative mind’s agony. He is able to take elements of magic and nature to project anguish and struggle for perfection. And last but not least in “A Botched Sunset”, David’s piece offers a lover’s despair as a palette of experiences in shades of confusion, denial, and unrequited love. Elements of nature speak in this poem for the poet’s lack of visibility and his reluctant bitter surrender to accepting the fate of being forever invisible and rejected like a sunset that was botched. My only wish is that everyone who stumbles upon Cursed Houses gets cursed with awe from David’s work. So, there you have it, Cursed Houses, your new poetic dopamine. Now go and get yourself a copy because you deserve it. With my Utmost Poetic Respect

Pasithea Chan (poet, contributor, artist)

David O’Nan creates mesmerizing imagery throughout Cursed Houses with lines like “You popped bubbles in the hot flames,/in flamenco streets with bleeding trains that lead you/from the whistles to the cheating rainfalls.”  It’s easy to want to savor the poem 10 Years “We Are Hummingbirds in the South Wind” with its haunting stanzas that contain potent prose “Through Winter roses and the bleeding Spring flowers,/the Summer storms and the Autumn leaves rustling/Each with a threatening torch in our blessed hearts.” This collection is a must read.

Marisa Silva-Dunbar, author of Allison, and When Goddesses Wake

Bio: David L O’Nan is a poet, short story writer, editor living in Southern Indiana. He is the editor for the Poetry & Art Anthologies “Fevers of the Mind Poetry and Art. and has also edited & curated other Anthologies including 2 inspired by Leonard Cohen (Avalanches in Poetry & Before I Turn Into Gold) and Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Inspired by Bob Dylan. He runs the http://www.feversofthemind.com website. A wordpress site that helps promote many poets, musicians, actors/actresses, other writers. He has self-published works under the Fevers of the Mind Press “The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers” “The Cartoon Diaries” & “New Disease Streets” (2020).”Taking Pictures in the Dark” “Our Fears in Tunnels” (2021) a collection of poetry called “Bending Rivers” a micro poem collection “Lost Reflections” and new book “Before the Bridges Fell” & “His Poetic Last Whispers” (2022) David has had work published in Icefloe Press, Dark Marrow, Truly U, 3 Moon Magazine, Elephants Never, Royal Rose Magazine, Spillwords, Anti-Heroin Chic, Cajun Mutt Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Voices From the Fire among several other litmags. He doesn’t enjoy the process of submitting constantly however. Twitter is @davidLONan1 @feversof for all things Fevers of the Mind. Join Facebook Group: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Arts Group .

Blurbs for my (David L O’Nan) upcoming book “Before the Bridges Fell” from Ron Whitehead

*Announcements for October including release of Deluxe Edition of Before the Bridges Fell (Fevers of the Mind Press)*

A Review of “Before the Bridges Fell” by David L O’Nan (review by Ivor Daniel)

Poetry: They Had Sadness in their Eyes ( Like in Littleton) from David L O’Nan

Panic…Attacks by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda – poem

from Free Images.com

first published in Rhythm N Bones Lit

Panic…Attacks

It comes with the shivers, goosebumps hairs stand up, already rising, demanding my attention, on my skin, so familiar, feeling the invincible onset simmering, my torment returns, loudly like a kettle boiling over the stove, too late to catch my heaving breath, my throat clenches, restlessness invades me, unable to sit, still...gasping in blasts of hyperventilation there is no shelter, give me some refuge from this invisible guided missile landing inside my chest. My once beating heart now faintly pulses defeated by my inner explosions, with all these exhales, trying to grasp this unshakable terror, faceless gripping my circadian is out of rhythm as this constant worry becomes my monster leaving teeth marks, chewing calmness, devouring serenity out of my skull. This anxiety lives for biting scars that keep screaming Goblins, leaving so many demons like dragon fires gusting my wheezing breath, so many screams inside, feeling the burning of worse than the devil in hades, seething more fear underneath my flesh, even when I try to fight off this Evil, with the flashback of these lightbulbs keep shattering scorched thoughts shadowing me, as I try to turn off these intense little frantic voiced suggestions that sparks reignition of devastation, ideas keep coming back, return within my inner temple always haunted with more waves of sweats, drowning my voice, swimming inside this sea of darkness always leave me dousing in pain. In the dark, all those cackling echoes always surround, my panic keeps attacking setting off implosions, leaves me beaten, reliving all the faces, lost within unshakeable places, tracing my failures, storming the return of these unstoppable tears reawakens all my doubts that I've suppressed, as I try diving under these sheets, there is no cover for this endless ruination, I believe this agony will last forever, my chattering breath prays for some kind of salvation from my gripping chest, under my covers this cursing shadow always feels worse than death.

Before I Turn Into Gold Online Anthology: 4 poem showcase by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

Nick Cave Inspired poems by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

Spotlight Links to the Poetry Question

Nick Cave Inspired poems by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

He’s a ghost, a holy godlike guru

Like a preacher 
mad with a microphone
on stage black dressed
unbuttoned cross hangs
chained to his open chest.
Cave’s his name—
through his dark accent
you feel his plight.
With every chord,
the riffs he plays—
the crowd ignites.
He stands like a God
in this house, auditorium,
arena from Jubilee Street
to Tupelo. His British band
plays so loud they can hear
from the clouds all the way
to heaven. Even Methostopolies
loves to feel the burning fury
of his Southern refrains. 
With Cave’s Northern soles 
he prances and romances 
while towering over his disciples
owning this stage; 
when his voice rises—
raging poetry, bible verses
he spits out grooves of insanity
from her to eternity
some of his stanzas 
will save your sins
with the rhymes, epic anthem 
odes to Johnny Cash.
This son of an English professor
pens songs like sonnets, so sinfully
sweet, dedicated for the drowning
and defeated Cave will Nick
your scars as his guitar bleeds.
When you see him live
applause from his electric pulpit
and always scream. Lovers
addicts, tattooed outcasts
heed his choruses, spotlight
untamed. Mad like a preacher
Cave faith has him dropping needles
on vinyl skin, instead of veins. 
Let Nick’s sermons and hymns 
send you inside the skies 
his church is at night
for the price of a ticket
more than a show 
before leaving
all you disbelievers 
definitely will understand—
as this singer extols
spinning reprieves
of his holiest refrains;
as each riff resounds
you can feel Nick’s soul
was saved by the beats as
each night Cave rolls his
tongue with the confessional 
kiss of rock and roll. 

Nick Cave's Spotlight Craving

From a photograph by Ted Grudowsky

He sat at the piano, fingers
touching black and white
keys, matching his tuxedo
colored suit, dark tie and   
an alabaster shirt stained
with sprinkling sweat.
The singer put an Australian
Dunhill cigarette, letting it
dangle in his mouth. After 
playing a few notes, 
he stopped, looking for 
a match under the spotlight,
but there was nothing but
baggage claims, loose leaf
lyrics he scribbled in limo
on the way to the show. 
As the singer fumbled,
in the front row, my balding
friend got up and hurried to the
side of the stage. Taking out his 
antique silver lighter from his 
torn blue jean pocket, Martyn 
in his faded blue Leonard Cohen
t-shirt, reached up from 
seats and magically lit King 
Ink’s ciggy—Cave winked 
and mumbled Thanks mate! 
Looking back down, towards
the keys, the singer grinned 
eyes closed, beginning 
the notes to “And No More
Shall We Part” he exhaled 
smoke— savoring the nicotine 
on his lips, the music echoed 
reigniting the quiet the halls;
as the singer played, we all sat 
mesmerized, watching Nick Cave’s 
fingers becoming entranced again.


Why Fear Her Tears?

Why are all the women weeping?
…They are weeping back at them
—	Nick Cave

Every night I hear La Llorona
grieving outside la Ventana, 
I no longer close the blinds
or cover quivering under
How to sleep, how to sleep
Instead, I take in the chorus 
of her lamenting wails, 
and then una mañana
desperté to find her weeping
like a song spinning on 
an endless vinyl trying to find 
a place where her cries can no 
longer feel dethroned. Cada 
noche, I rise from bed and stroll 
descalso barefoot to la concina, 
reach up for a bowl in la alcana 
cupboard and bring it back 
to my bedroom, leaving it
under my cama mattress,
so, when I hear La Llorona 
weeping, I make sure the bowl 
is empty, if it’s full I pour 
out the pain into an empty
botella, corking each one, 
And when the wind does 
howl and cuando el viento
sopla, bottling every sob, 
I always save for her, keeping 
Them safe as she leaves me
the sweetest of invisible beso 
where her rosas grow wild
kisses on the floor. She knows
I am no longer afraid each night 
I feel her medianoche refrain…
as I quidado carry, trying not
to spill nor leave any trembling
tracks, protecting every huella 
drop of her lagrima tears. 
 
Don Quixote Driving His Truck

Navigating their way 
on N. Buena Vista Ave 
to Hollywood Airport, 
Burbank, CA…with 
Sancho Panza in 
the passenger seat,
using his iPhone, Don
keeps waxing quixotic
about directions, which
way they should turn. 
Wishing he was still 
on his horse, doesn’t 
like how the truck tries
to swerve onto oncoming 
traffic, Listening to Ghosteen
while scratching every
Nick and scar on his chin
following his inner Cave
imagination, picturing 
bright horses, unholy Jubilee
street corner spirits standing in  
front of the Jesus graffiti on 
the Hollywood sign, Don
loves pushing the sky away
past the skeleton tree, 
as another airliner lifts 
off above them, Sancho 
says go ahead, let’s take 
the fork and see where 
the road leads us towards
our latest mapquest, seeing
the fringy lunatic gaze on
Quixote’s wandering eye,
Don pushes down on 
the pedal like he’s galloping
on his favorite caballo, Yes, 
derecho, my friend, no longer 
lost, with the windows rolled 
down, the maniacal driver roars 
it is time we become legends again. 


Before I Turn Into Gold Online Anthology: 4 poem showcase by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda


A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

Bio: Adrian Ernesto is the author of Flashes & Verses… Becoming Attractions from Unsolicited Press, Between the Spine from Picture Show Press and La Belle Ajar & We Are the Ones Possessed from CLASH Books and Speaking con su Sombra with Alegría Publishing. 

His poetry has been featured in Harvard Palabritas, Glass Poetry: Poets Resist, Cultural Weekly, Yes, Poetry, Frontier Poetry, The Fem, poeticdiversity, Rigorous, Luna Luna Magazine, The Wild Word, The Revolution Relaunch and Palette Poetry. 

Adrian lives with his wife and their adorably spoiled cat Woody Gold in Los Angeles.

“Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.”
― Sigmund Freud





Before I Turn Into Gold Online Anthology: 4 poem showcase by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

(c) Geoffrey Wren

I Always Daydreamed of Running Into Leonard

Outside a café table 
somewhere in Los Feliz, 
the poet in his vintage blue 
suit with his fedora tilted 
over to keep the LA sun 
from hindering his already 
wrinkled skin. While sipping 
a rare blend of European tea, 
I notice the way he flicks 
his cigarette ashes into the air, 
as he, slyly grins, Cohen
waves me over, “You must
be a poet.” he whispers 
in his deepest voice. 
“I can tell…” he says, 
as I sit down, I stammer: 
“I love the way you smoke 
that cigarette…” Glancing 
back at me, through his mirror 
shades, I picture Leonard 
delightfully giggling, 
“Each ash flicked 
is my way…” he begins to say 
while taking a giant drag 
of his already vanishing 
cigarette, he declares: 
of thanking her for the gifts 
that came like a seductive 
prayer” like an expressionistic 
memory filled with poetic 
smoke, as his aura clings—
Leonard disappears

4 AM rewakens like Leonard Cohen

He wakes up early as darkness 
shadows at the monastery in 
the Los Angeles mountains, 
peaks of monks chanting, 
even amid his resilient vows 
Leonard sparks lighting her 
cigarettes with his mind 
in the dark, blinking back 
his eyes begin to sing, remembering 
her lips ready for wordless 
conversations flashing back 
from the spotlight so smoky 
she returns… again and again, 
coming like a reimagined passion 
play, the roles between the sheets,
bodies of poetry believe they
were more than making, recreating  
love. Before their dance climaxed
and he woke up alone, only 
her ashes remain, flickering 
in his mind, she arrives before 
the light of morning, she reaches 
inside reawakening the match
between his half-closed eyes, 
the poet exhales, reliving 
the stars from their last night 
together, her drags rise from 
the floor, merging with shadows 
even more ashes from her 
smokiest flame this Lady 
Midnight reappears—glimmering
candles ripple as his glowing skin
loves to remember every space
she loved to explore.


She asked, why Leonard Cohen preferred his walls, empty and white?

When he glares, in between
sips of wine, Beaujolais 62,
he loves imagining movies
emotion pictures from his
imagination coming alive 
his eyes, the blinking 
projector focusing 
daydreams, each scene 
becomes a poem, the pen
and paper on the table, 
always there to recreate 
lines from the memoria 
verses he transcribed
just by sitting starting
at the walls, never white
and empty, to Cohen’s 
eyes they filled up
painting his mind 
with colors, resurrected 
focusing her glow Marianne’s 
body naked, wires filled
with birds chirping waves 
of laughter, Hydra isle reawakening
morning embodies the fantasies 
from his favorite shadow 
play, his mind dancing 
with the sun, Leonard 
loved watching his 
imagination rhymes
coming into light. 

The Chills

Standing in the vacant 
kitchen in his newly 
inherited home, Adam 
recalls the last night 
together drinking as
father and son, asking 
the poet where he could find 
the last bottle of Tequila. 
Opening the fridge, he 
remembers discovering one 
of his father’s holy Cohen
notebooks, rhymes 
frozen inside with so many 
little freezer burning icicle 
crystals on every page. 
Feeling the cold from 
the fridge, he doesn’t 
close the door, the son, 
Adam wants to stay here 
and inhale the freezing steam 
inhaling the verses chilled
by his father, wanting to 
be thawed out waiting 
for the voice of The Flame
deep dark smoking to reappear 
reliving the last moment
discovering the last notebook
his father the Poet—left with
with the bottles and ice cubes,
knowing each stanza inside
he would know the stranger
behind the father, with even 
one poem could he discover
a line would that we answer 
so many lyrical labyrinths 
melting so many paradoxes 
glimmering inside. The Poet 
now gone, the house is even
colder. But as Adam finds 
the tequila bottle with his
father’s fingerprints back 
in the fridge, he clutches it 
and pours one last shot, 
although this “lost” notebook 
has only half-filled in  
elegiac treasures, with 
a toast he can still 
feel the chills, as Adam 
drinks, no chaser tears, 
missing Leonard the Poet  
his father, the son declares—
“I wish I knew him better.A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

Bio: Adrian Ernesto is the author of Flashes & Verses… Becoming Attractions from Unsolicited Press, Between the Spine from Picture Show Press and La Belle Ajar & We Are the Ones Possessed from CLASH Books and Speaking con su Sombra with Alegría Publishing. 

His poetry has been featured in Harvard Palabritas, Glass Poetry: Poets Resist, Cultural Weekly, Yes, Poetry, Frontier Poetry, The Fem, poeticdiversity, Rigorous, Luna Luna Magazine, The Wild Word, The Revolution Relaunch and Palette Poetry. 

Adrian lives with his wife and their adorably spoiled cat Woody Gold in Los Angeles.


Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
poetnotarockstar@gmail.com
www.AdrianErnestoCepeda.com
twitter.com/PoetNotRockStar
instagram.com/thepoetnotarockstar/
facebook.com/poetnotarockstar/





A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

with Adrian Ernesto Cepeda:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Adrian: Mi Papi gifted me his antique typewriter and I would write Star Trek stories and Sports Newsletters. It was later on, during my undergrad when my first poetry started to flourish. I was influenced by Pablo Neruda, Jack Kerouac, Jim Morrison, Lou Reed, Liz Phair, PJ Harvey.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Adrian: Sylvia Plath, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Patti Smith, Sandra Cisneros, Gris Muñoz, Carmen Maria Machado, Anaïs Nin, Anne Sexton, and Alfredo Aguilar said it best: “Read other’s work as generously as you’d like your own work to be read.”

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Adrian: I was born in Detroit, Michigan and grew up in South Texas, specifically Laredo and San Antonio. Being the only member of mi familia who was born in the United States, I mostly spoke English to my parents in the house. Much recently, I have embraced and honored the bilingual aspect of poetic voice in my latest collection de poesias Speaking con su Sombra. Bilingual poems inspired by and dedicated to mi Mami who passed away in 2017.

Living in New Orleans, Chicago and visiting South Carolina, Portland and Paris, France has influenced the way I hear language. Being someone who stutters with a speech impediment, I am fascinated with dialects, accents, and languages different from my own. Reading poets like Leila Chatti, Naomi Shihab Nye, Amy Shimshon-Santo, Tiana Clark and Forough Farrokhzad has influenced me to honor my own voice, cultura and lenguas in my own poesia.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Adrian:

My latest collection Speaking con su Sombra that will be published this September with Alegría Publishing. This collection is a passion personal project that I have been writing for over five years. It is only recently that I have discovered the strength to finish these poems that were influenced by mi Mami who’s guidance and inspiration are the reason Sombra is finally being published. I am so proud of this new book. The poems in this collection reflects the true me that I have been afraid to show to the world as a poet. The bilingual aspect shows who I am, where I came from, how I was raised. Sombra is a poetry collection 50 years in the making. My true bilingual voice appears on every page in a personal voz that I hope these poemas will connect universally with my readers.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Adrian: For years I experienced fear and self-doubt that I could actually make a living as a poet. It did not help that when I attempted to read my poems aloud in open mic readings I would stammer and stutter over almost every line. But something changed, one day, at the San Gabriel Poetry Reading, I was in the middle of reciting one of my most erotic poems and something mystical happened to me. As I read, this poem, the words flowed out merging so powerfully with my voice. I realized as I walked away from the mic and when someone in the audience whispered to me after I finished reading, “That was the best poem I have ever read in my life.” This started the path of me making a career as a poet. Soon after this reading, I was accepted and earned my degree from Antioch University’s MFA program, publishing my first book Flashes & Verses…Becoming Attractions with Unsolicited Press. I always was ashamed of my stutter, but after that reading and all I learned while earning my MFA degree at Antioch LA is the reason, I have a career as an award winning/published poet today.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Adrian: Walking with my wife in nature. Reading UK music magazines and biographies on my favorite artists, writers, and musicians. Watching Jeopardy.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Adrian:

I am preparing some readings promoting my latest poetry collection Speaking con su Sombra with Alegría Publishing. Things are still in the planning stages. I will post more info on my social media accounts.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others? A favorite piece of art?

Adrian:

“I am blessed with impulses. I reproduce myself. I love.”

— Julia de Burgos

My favorite photograph is one my wife and I took, when we were first dating, in front of this glowing fiery fountain at Pat O’Brien’s in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Legend has it if a couple take a photo in front of that fountain, you will marry each other. And it came true.

One of my favorite art pieces is The Blue Boy (1770) by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) oil on canvas, on display at The Huntington Gallery in San Marino, CA,

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Adrian: Mi Mami, my esposa Michelle, mi Papi, my mentors: Silke Feltz, Dr. Kirsten Ogden, Alma Luz Villanueva, Gayle Brandeis, Carol Potter, Bart Edelman, Richard Garcia, Juan Felipe Herrera, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Francesca Lia Block and Lidia Yuknavitch. They have believed in me and have been a part of this journey that I continue to thrive on and off as a poet of my live on and off the pages I write, every day of my vida as a proud poeta.

with Clash Books

https://www.adrianernestocepeda.com/

https://www.frontierpoetry.com/2018/06/14/the-creative-muscle-an-interview-with-adrian-ernesto-cepeda/

Twitter: @poetnotrockstar

https://www.clashbooks.com/new-products-2/adrian-ernesto-cepeda-la-belle-ajar-preorder

http://www.lunalunamagazine.com/blog/poetry-by-adrian-ernesto-cepeda

Short Bio:

Adrian Ernesto is the author of Flashes & Verses… Becoming Attractions from Unsolicited Press, Between the Spine from Picture Show Press and La Belle Ajar & We Are the Ones Possessed from CLASH Books and Speaking con su Sombra with Alegría Publishing.

His poetry has been featured in Harvard Palabritas, Glass Poetry: Poets Resist, Cultural Weekly, Yes, Poetry, Frontier Poetry, The Fem, poeticdiversity, Rigorous, Luna Luna Magazine, The Wild Word, The Revolution Relaunch and Palette Poetry.

Adrian is an Angelino Poet who lives with his wife and their adorably spoiled cat Woody Gold in Los Angeles.

“Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.”

― Sigmund Freud