3 poems from M.S. Evans from Fevers of the Mind Press Anthology

Cicadas Said Kaddish

I tried to give The Universe a nudge,
packed a few boxes.
Just things we could do without:
tchotchkes, reference books.

I needed to prepare for something.

Now boxes with no destination
line the hall, reminds me of
late summer in Chillicothe,

packing up Suzanne’s life:
her cherrywood pipe, the glass eye
of a man she’d wanted,
a pistol, and love of books.
I herded together
stray tarot cards; a psychic’s closure.

Cicadas said Kaddish with mermaid sisters,
beautiful creatures from LA,
beached in a second-floor apartment
alongside cardboard shells.
All of us out of our element.

I padded the painted urn,
crumpled newspaper, back page sex ads
(to make her laugh).
An outer layer of t-shirts;
¼ of her ashes formed the
nucleus of my bag.

Still, I return seashells to The Pacific,
smooth stones from her pocket.

What comes next?
Her altar will be the last thing I pack.

Cedar Park, Seattle

How can you be nostalgic for a dirt hill
and cruel boys,
but they were the only boys I knew.
Twilight, hunting rats in an empty lot.

Before Mr. Coffey lost his house
to a Starbucks exec.

Red Cedars, hemlocks,
kept watch, with nodding heads.
Dark green, the color of
patience.

Only the boys were allowed to sled
down Sunrise Hill.
I didn’t want to, but
felt I should.

Sometimes people on horseback rode by;
enough to make me wonder
about time.

At the top of the hill,
The Tootsie Roll Lady gave
just one a day,
if you asked nicely.

Pops Jones let me roller skate
on his driveway. Said,
girls can go to college now.
I didn’t want to, but
wish I had.

The old apple trees still grow there,
but I can’t pick ‘em.
I had assumed their pale fruit
my birthright.

After a Wedding

The welders moved in unison,
leaving behind the pier.

Wordless and smudged
they approached me.

Searching stained pockets, on beds
of pink and black palms,
they revealed gold rings.

A journeyman knows to cherish.

M.S. Evans is a writer and visual artist living in Butte, Montana. Her work has appeared in Black Bough Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, The BeZine, Ice Floe, and more. Twitter: @SeaNettleInk Instagram: @permacrust

photo by Karsten Winegeart (unsplash)

Visual Poetry by Maggs Vibo : the Year of the Ox

Maggs Vibo (she/her) experiments with glitch films and folklore imagery in the fringes of the art
world. In 2020, her cinepoems debuted with Army at the Arts at the Virtual Fringe Festival and
her visual art showed at the Poem Atlas exhibition ‘Escapisms.’ Her latest poetry is available in
the anthology Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 (January 2021). She has
forthcoming and published war poetry in Afterwords (Spring, 2021), ‘My teeth don’t chew on
shrapnel’: an anthology of poetry by military veterans (Oxford Brookes University, 2020), and
O-Dark-Thirty, 5.3 Anthology (Spring, 2017), 4.2 (Winter, 2016); and 4.3 (Spring, 2016). She
tweets @maggsvibo and her website is poemythology.com.