Collaboration Poetry & Photography from John Winder & Phil Wood

Portents

This morning the portents are ovular.
Her spoon cracks the crown
with a deft tap like Debussy
orchestrating the life of possibilities
over a freckled sea; as light flickers
her painted nails begin to peel the shell,
an act that's delicate and clinical:
the albumen is pure, an oval of white.
Her palette knife slices the top off
and yolk spills towards the rim
with a slow promise quickening
to stains and stickiness,
a Hodgkin splodge of illumination
spreading over the frame
papering walls with a summer's day.

Butterfly

Within the butterfly net
the black and white 
flickered a film of when
I fidgeted in the leather chair,
where granddad wintered
and fought his ire of clocks 
with a spice of briny tales
to ungrind rainy days.

I chew a Black Jack 
in the fossilized light
of my study, the flutter
of childhood escapes.

She Bought Me Coffee

I shiver in my jumper, the skin
I knitted before she moved in.
The path shimmers. Her diva face
pouts and poses - it's getting late.

The zigzag home: a venture rite
of inclines, a puddle theatre of night.
My jumper snags on fate. I comb
the air and fall. She buys me coffee.

Bio Phil Wood

Phil Wood was born and lives in Wales. He studied English Literature at Aberystwyth University. He has worked in statistics, education, shipping, and a biscuit factory. He enjoys watercolour painting, bird watching, and chess. His writing can be found in various publications, including: The Wild Word, Autumn Sky Daily, the Abergavenny Small Press, Ink Pantry, Fevers of the Mind.

Bio John Winder

John Winder is a creative photographer working in both colour and black and white. He began creative photography 40 years ago and enjoys trudging around outdoors, hauling camera gear, and spending time behind the camera. He has art work previously published in The Bangor Literary Journal, The Fly on the Wall Press and The Abergavenny Small Press.

Amish Christmas Tree by James Schwartz

Amish Christmas Tree

Why can’t we have a Christmas tree?
That is not for Our People, Mom explains.

I beg until she cuts a tree from cardboard,
Spray painting it gold.

We cut up Hallmark cards,
Decorating its boughs. Together.


* Author Note: I would like to wish Fevers of the Mind Readers a happy holiday season & 2023 from Detroit! It has been an honor to have been a Wolfpack contributor this year and publish new and old works at FeversoftheMind.com. Thank you David L. O'Nan! 
 "Amish Christmas Tree" is a decade old nostalgic piece that I'm regifting to you - Happy Holidays & 2023! 🥂 


James Schwartz is a poet, slam performer and author of various collections including "The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay & Amish in America" (available on Kindle 2011), PUnatic (Writing Knights Press, 2019) & Motor City Mix (Alien Buddha Press 2022). On twitter James can be found under @queeraspoetry for a follow.

https://feversofthemind.com/2022/10/10/an-overview-of-james-schwartz-book-sunset-in-rome-from-alien-buddha-press/ https://feversofthemind.com/2022/11/04/poetry-online-anthology-the-artist-never-sleeps/ https://feversofthemind.com/2022/07/20/poetry-video-links-by-james-schwartz/

Poetry Online Anthology “The Artist Never Sleeps”

all artwork sent in by Pasithea Chan for these amazing artists.

“i was a thin sea of blue” by Paula Hayes

didn't you know,  love, i was a thin sea of blue
        waiting for you to come along
                       and fill yourself
                               inside my creases
                                      to drink me in between your restless
                                thoughts

wade inward
                   i asked you to come closer
                         so i could please you
                                but you ignored my pleas
                                       and left like some tug of gravity
                                                                    was waiting for
                                                                           to carry you
                                                                     away

where are the gods, now, to bring the waters back
                up to my lips
                         to give a little salt in return
                                 for all i've lost; is that too much to
                         ask?   just a little salt to take down
                                          even if there is no quenching
                                                               in hapless mornings

there is sky and sea and sun
        all making for soft horizons
              pretending these natural elements
                     are some kind of boundary
                            sealing off what was meant to hurt me
                                            from where i stand now

sucker-punched and drunk in the orange of waves
	light, all light, radiant and forgotten 
while two birds, lovers no less, fly by me
		certain that they are far away 
			from what they once knew
				and even more certain
					they have nowhere left to go 

Bio: Paula Hayes is a poet who lives in Memphis, Tennessee, the same place where rock and roll was birthed and where the ghost of Elvis still hangs around Beale Street. She finds the presence of such a rich musical history in the town she lives in to be right on track with transforming one as a poet into a bard. 

Alice Checks the Queen by Lynn White
in response to Anita Arbidane artwork

‘Your time is up’ said Alice.
She knew it didn’t matter
how big she was
or how small
in the end.
She knew it didn’t matter 
in the end
whether the queen was red or white,
whether time moved backwards or forwards.
In the end
there was still no stopping it, 
still no changing it
however many time-pieces the Queen owned,
however many times she moved the hands
on or back on the clock-face.
It made no difference.
‘You’re just a pawn
on the wheel of time’
said Alice,
‘No wonder you look glum’

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/

"October Hardcover" by James Schwartz

Shifting season of melancholy, 

                            Dark bark decay,


Lighting of lamps,

In the v

                a
     
                     l  

                         l  

                             e 

                                  y    
    
                         Against frosted fog,

Shorn corn stalks,


                         Lost leaden leaves,

Cafe au lait, 

Notes of nutmeg,

                Window seat, 

Victor Hugo hardcover.


Bio: James Schwartz is a poet, slam performer and author of various collections including "The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay & Amish in America" (available on Kindle 2011), PUnatic (Writing Knights Press, 2019) & Motor City Mix (Alien Buddha Press 2022). on twitter James can be found under @queeraspoetry for a follow.


Art inspired by Clive Gresswell

life’s ballet cycle
causes me to pause
in the twinkling of a romantic pose
inherited by nature’s mystique
the floral fauna and reddening leaves
flutter inside my mind’s eye
caught in the season’s harsh mirror
light infernal, light eternal
rays of the insect fanning down
the earth’s delightful eternal gown.

Bio: Clive Gresswell is a 64-year-old innovative writer and poet who has appeared in many mags from BlazeVOX to Poetry Wars and Tears in the Fence. He is the author of five poetry books the last two being ‘Strings’ and ‘Atoms’ from erbacce-press (see their website for more details).













A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Richard Cabut

Q1: When did you start writing and who has influenced you the most?

My first paid writing job was in 1982 – I was 22-years-old – freelancing for the NME, under the pen name Richard North – after New North Road (near Old Street), where I was squatting at the time. London back then was characterised by wrecked and abandoned property, corrugated iron, fires burning in rusty metal barrels in empty yards, wasteland, toxic clouds of tobacco smoke in the dole office, on the top deck of the bus and in one smokers’ carriage on the tube, darkness. It was an environment which you could truthfully run wild in, to paraphrase Malcolm McLaren. And I did. I loved it. I guess I was taken on at the NME to write about a particular type of post-punk bands sometimes called Positive Punk, the name of a front cover piece I wrote about the movement, which wasn’t particularly a movement – just a loose collection of reckless feckless glam soaked musicians, squatters, urbanites, trash clubbers, punk nostalgics, dopers, no hopers. It didn’t last long – satisfying a need for vitality for a mere few months, and then we all moved on.

I carried on writing for the NME as well a number of other magazines and papers, before taking a writing job at the BBC. Which I quit after ten years or so, to carry on with my own projects – journalism, theatre, and authoring a number of books, e.g. Looking for a KissPunk is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night (Zer0 Books), Dark Entries, etc.  

Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

As a very young kid, I was looked after by my grandmother, while my parents worked. I come from a Polish background and my babcia (granny in Polish) amused me and herself by telling stories all day –  fantastic Polish tales of dark foreboding, dire warning, dislocation and disaster, fortitude and survival, of how the cold will settle with deathly embrace around our shoulders if we forget for one single moment to beware, to be constantly on your guard. Folk stories, and family history of how, during WWII, my family had been ethnically cleansed by the Soviets from our home in Eastern Poland to labour camps in Siberia, and then, after amnesty, to the middle east, Africa, and, ultimately, England. A true odyssey. My babcia placed these tales in a mythological context. Similarly, her descriptions of current affairs were akin to the telling of contemporary fables. I guess knew then that I wanted to tell stories like her.

Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career?

I suppose those editors and publishers who have, over the years, recognised my wild and raging talent. I humbly thank you.  But, in my experience, writers rarely  help one another and are mostly fuelled by ego, jealousy and hatred of other writers, especially successful ones. I’ve seen friendships end overnight after a former pal has had a good review or a few sales. The writing scene is characterised by vanity, rivalry, and bitterness. As Gore Vidal said, ‘whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.’ Ha. I also like the line ‘succeeding is not enough, others must fail.’

Q4: Where did you grow up and how has that influenced you? Have any travels influenced your work?

I was born in Aylesbury, Bucks, and grew up in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. Thirty miles up the M1 from London. Suburbia largely. There, kids left school and went on the track, the production line, at the local factory, Vauxhall Motors. If you got some qualifications you could join the civil service. Meanwhile, some couples had been going out with each other since 3rd Form and watched telly round each other’s house every night, not saying a word. I didn’t know what I wanted, but I knew I didn’t want any of that. Instead, I was in love with punk rock. I was in love with picking up momentum and hurling myself forward somewhere. Anywhere. Rip up the pieces and see where they land. Which, for me, at the age of 18, in 1978, happened to be London the traditional refuge for suburban refugees – people who felt disaffected by life in the sticks: the treadmill, the mores, the conservatism, the repressive nature of family life. We wanted to tip all of this upside down, assert ourselves and fathom the world. There, in London, I wrote and produced my punk fanzine Kick.

Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you?

I always think of my latest work as the most meaningful, for obvious reasons.

Q6: Favourite activities to relax?

Procrastination, prevarication, seeing people, avoiding people, bad language, bad behaviour, hanging out, talking shit, fucking around, shopping for clothes, lying on the sofa, lying in the sun, lying, being boring, yoga.  

Q7: What is a favourite line/ stanza/lyric from your writing?

The End. Obvious huh

Q8:What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that always come back to you as an inspiration?

While working I usually listen to Mixcloud – mostly dub, low event horizon music, spiritual jazz. Music always keeps it ticking along – the heartbeat, the soul and all.

Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, etc that you would like to promote?

Yes please.

I’ve signed my second book contract of the year – with the notable New York publishers Far West Press, purveyors of fine literature, who will put out my book of verse entitled Disorderly Magic and Other Disturbances in Spring 2023– available nationally in the States, select shops in the UK and Europe, and online worldwide.

Disorderly Magic is post-punk, dark jazz, pop art verse. Essential beat up/down, free-fall, free-for-all poetry for people who don’t particularly like poetry (and who do, of course).

Disorderly Magic features subterranean scenes, picturesque ruins, neon glowing, faded glamour, Chelsea Girls, the damned, the demimonde, the elemental, being on the edge of being pinned down by our ghosts.

Also, memory, magic, mourning, worlds and words that are desperately fragile –mapping the loneliness and expression of private sorrows, some peculiar energy from the streets, hidden and brilliant corners, ‘well of course I liked Godard’s films before 68 but…’

And, a graveyard of myths, nostalgia, ‘the problem is: to get back to zero’, image of nylon, sur et sous le communication, folk devils, alienation – full face or in profile, the Scala cinema London 1983, the Zone, the consumer society, concrete brutalist situations, that which doesn’t exist.

Plus, French film slurred, correct sounds for a new audience, POV shots, reverse shots, absolute technical precision, brand new revenge, compartmentalisation of our lives, everywhere at once, ‘“I prefer American films… they’re prettier” – “Yes, but less arousing,”’ invisible people in homes, in other words no normal life.

Additionally, blocks of flats, signs of repression, reality of reflection, very little ideology, juices stirred, dilation of the pupil, Polish mysticism, passage of a signal, pop blow jobs, pravda, overlaying one image onto another, all in black and white (black and white is fast – colour is slower) – standard speed for capturing abrupt movement, madness.

Set in full moonlight, before the Flood.

Disorderly Magic and Other Disturbances will be available for pre-order March 2023, and published May 2023 by Far West Press.

Moreover, my current novel Looking for a Kiss has been picked up by the exciting publishing company PC-Press.

It will be re-published next Spring (2023) in an extended and amended edition, with new text additions, artwork and cover. There will also be an audio book version. The paperback and hardback versions will be distributed to shops nationwide, and will also be available via the usual online outlets. Until then, Looking for a Kiss is no longer for sale.

PC-Press released Melissa Chemam’s book Massive Attack: Out of the Comfort Zone, the history of Test Department, Total State Machine, etc.

Pete Webb, who runs PC-Press says: ‘Looking for a Kiss is a post-punk masterpiece. The book presents a particular slice of Post-Punk London in its brutal, negating and bleak narrative that brilliantly evokes the time.’

Looking for a Kiss remains a ‘fabulous’, poetic some would say, chronicle of speed and madness in the London/NY 80s post-punk milieu.

It was described in the programme notes of this year’s Lewisham Literary Festival, where I appeared, as ‘a cult classic post-punk pop art novel.’

Author Biography

Richard Cabut is author of the novels Looking for a Kiss (PC-Press, 2023. Previous edition: Sweat Drenched Press, 2020) and Dark Entries (Cold Lips Press, 2019), co-editor/-writer of the anthology Punk is Dead: Modernity Killed Every Night (Zer0 Books, October 2017), contributor to Ripped, Torn and CutPop, Politics and Punks Fanzines From 1976 (Manchester University Press, 2018) and Growing Up With Punk (Nice Time, 2018). 

His journalism has featured in the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, NME (pen name Richard North), ZigZag, The Big Issue, Time Out, Offbeat magazine, the Independent, Artists & Illustrators magazine, thefirstpost, London Arts Board/Arts Council England, Siren magazine, etc.

Other fiction has appeared in the books The Edgier Waters (Snowbooks, 2006) and Affinity (67 Press, 2015). As well as on various internet sites.

He was a Pushcart Prize nominee 2016.

Richard’s plays have been performed at various theatres in London and nationwide, including the Arts Theatre, Covent Garden, London.

His poetry has appeared in An Anthology of Punk Ass Poetry (Orchid Eater Press, 2022), and magazines such as Cold Lips, Foggy Plasma, 3:AM Magazine, etc.

Richard exhibited as contributing artist (textual) to Always On My Mind, an exhibition in aid of The National Brain Appeal, the Fitzrovia Gallery, London, July 2022.

He published the fanzine Kick (1978-1982), and played bass guitar for the punk band Brigandage (LP Pretty Funny Thing – Gung Ho Records, 1986).

richardcabut.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Cabut

https://linktr.ee/richardcabut

Poetry Collaboration Carson Pytell and David L O’Nan : On the Edge of Water near Wyngate Mansions

On the Edge of Water near Wyngate Mansions

from the series “The Empath Dies in the End”

1 (Carson Pytell)

How far is far?
Pat your head and rub your stomach,
but do it from the inside of your skin.

Near is never enough,
like Bermuda or the Caribbean
or the houses you pass on your way to work.

Mist your days, if you'd like,
under envy. Motivation leaks
out of you like piss if not.

2 (David L O'Nan)

I was and always that most dangerous jewel box
Slightly cutting colors out with each touch.
I am swinging from your eyelids trying to lift them up to see me.

I will dip in from the edge of the water.
I come up splintered, thorns inside
Punctured me to insecurity.

I don’t have the strength to understand the distance anymore.
I don’t have enough care to understand the smiles that run slim.
Over the Wyngate Mansions on hills full of sad old travelers.

I confess that is where I’ll be
With stories of lost mates
With the chants in my head, promises of endless ruins.

The whistles in the distance run to cold air invitations.
Biting through heat on the way.
Love was given, love was failed at Wyngate on a-
troubled Godless day.

Ashamed, pathetic voices paddled out half-truths.
Was it rain or sun or was it the new flood as fate,
My body near, far, an imitation of a water’s edge.  
Visually vacant.  

Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog. 

Paperback & Kindle version of Cursed Houses is now available from David L O’Nan on this link below 

Carson Pytell: Best of Poetry Showcase