Poems from the Fevers of the Mind Anthologies & 2 from Avalanches in Poetry by Kari Flickinger

Rest in peace to Kari Ann Flickinger whom passed away on May 2nd of this year. She was a wonderful writer & person whom contributed wonderful poetry to Fevers of the Mind Anthologies & website.

November seventy 2120. day:

you learn that

there are at least fourteen ways of saying the same thing
then more

seen beyond bricks and banks

what kind of bird will shut a mouth
through time and space if shoved far enough

what kind of body shall i wear
find it and i will fix my light to it

thousand and fourteen
dwelling under peat

but perception is a funny carri
-er and some explanations
may never find footing

that invisible host will hold me accountable
even after they find the boulder in my stomach
below the ligaments and tear
for this blurred recollection of how

, and the ways,,,

i have tried to tell what has happened

more boulders in this temple at the base
of my neck
i have become more rock than woman

when i was alive

but that was a long time ago now

nearly yesterday
maybe tomorrow

November seventy2120 night:

spent a few days
years lifetimes

climbing into obsession

the nerdy kind of focused obsess

of people for their work

passion someone once called it more than one
has that word drifting through their lexicon

i find it overwhelm

when people get serious. (never mention polite here)
taken to task

for not taking things seriously
enough i think


this energy
all of these implements that fill me
arehavebeenwillbe inconsequential

and after seeing the same
type of serious

energy go in

to such unimportant things, like rocks
and microwaves and not-quite
-lovers it is hard to take
anything seriously anyway

anything like everything, is useless

November 202020

I’m Raveling

My brain has become a time-bomb. Some days I see cracks
forming, the viscera collects along the edges. I see too many
pictures of a bird and I remember there is a book
I bought about fancy pigeons somewhere
in my house. Somewhere, I begin

cooing. Begin to excavate the stacks and swirl. The books
land around my thighs. I can feel
the sharpest one pressing, but I

only pile more books on it. I turn on the tv.
A woman with a tight blonde bob unravels over
the club music streaming in her car
as her grown son drives her away
from a psychiatric facility. I can feel the neighbors

above jump. Someone is vacuuming. Making tea.
Running the disposal. I imagine the pipes will
soon back up. We share sound and clogs.

Crashing or leaf-blowing presses me like books. Every
constructive image turns my head in a new direction.
Plumage color has meaning. Down. Source. Media
is social whether in a hallway or on a screen.

I recognize the language but feel irrelevant.
The overload is not anything I can express
to the people left in my life. A friend

tells me about a podcast where a man and a woman
discuss a horrible murder, and I
because my brain has become a narcissism device and I start to
a scene around the murder. I tell myself stories
about the characters I place in the
lack of context. I can imagine the knife
my knee, my wild elbow jagging across my left breast. Now I
must leave
the house for quiet, but I am afraid to leave the house for

I tighten
the curtain, sure that

is watching me from the outside. But I cannot
decide who.

My family members call and find themselves confused
when I overwhelm. They do not expect me to become
I have never been a fragile creature. They try to weigh
how much heft I have held with no help before, and think
fakecloneplant from an alien government.
I count my tentacles from my hiding place and wonder
how many holes have developed inside my brain.
Not self. And maybe

there is some truth. I am not myself. I am

broken vase iteration of me. With blemish
and break. Strands grey. Hands tire. My brain says
everyone hates.

She tells me to sleep.
to get out of bed. She places me
on the couch. I place a blanket over my head
so, the person watching me from outside will not know I am
I want to staple the curtains shut. I wonder a hole in
the wall
is really a camera. I think about bowties. Not pasta
A man who is trying too hard at a fancy dinner-party. I fight

with the document about the structure of that last
sentence, of course, that is after
I emerge. I dream I fix a gin. Add lemons
to my ongoing grocery list. Garlic-salt. Ketchup.
The cheapest yellow mustard in the store. Can of tuna.
I think it is weird that I specify the can. Why not pouch?
Why is the can important? It is as if I am trying to
convince the list I am not as fancy as the bowtie.
Jar of Arrabiata sauce. But it is safe
under the blanket

if I cover the phone camera with tape.

I watch these actors kiss in a rainstorm through the weave.
and wonder how my life would change if
I could kiss in a rainstorm. I look
down at the rolls and creases in my body. I pretend
myself a mountain. Though I am more
a sun-bleached hill. I try to extract tears as
if they were solid implements.


writing exercise

I was standing in a mall parking lot looking up at the sky
at just the right moment to glimpse orange through clouds.

make soup—cut
onions / peppers / ckn /
sliced end
off / pull husk / slice down
to the bottom—almost
again again
again long
on side & cut down—watch

all the layers fall into tiny separations

Book launch
book launch
tired. afraid
afraid to go to the store for yogurt
cat wakes me up after four hours of sleep
infected rise
like some zombie wave of coughdeath
afraid I am being watched
all the time then my sinus sets off and
I Sudafed to sleep

something unbalances deep in the gut.

balancing / diving

I have frozen at the diving board since
I was a kid, there are so many possibilities

in that deep water and I have always frighted
pushed away

connection really, more
than love, it is people. calmed

myself w/ slow rocking. I think

people do not know what it is like for mass like mine to hit water
from any height and forget frozen water how

did anyone ever traverse frozen water? who was the first
person to try to dip their toe in the freeze and say
hey guys the water is fine!

come on in?

much less have the mettle to dance and swirl the surface
that might not hold?

what trust / shadow lives in that kind of blind belief?
I do not trust my body to move me
in regular ground. if I cannot trust open

water / closed
water / regulated
water—how should I be

expected to trust frozen water?
how does water freeze? how do I?
have I frozen water?

November Fortið

people I love keep saying goodbye to me
in ways too subtle to keep me around


past creatures divine a future where there is no them
before I can know they are absent

there is something
miraculous about catching a neighbor’s light

as it flicks off in the dead of night

in an apartment complex
other people’s lives swirl around

in a pandemic any one of the people we see
collecting their mail every day

could wind up dead
yet somehow

some ghosts do not understand
death means forever

And 2 poems from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen

His Woman is Free 

My enemy is blue
building books
from deep
shaded nests - from
the silence of a rising
falling chest - curling
hollows of breath
holler from the
grasping future.

My enemy sends winged
winded messages
as sound funnels
into my eclectic sphere.
The atmosphere
of curbed longing is

I hollow out for him
Bees perch
piston-petal covered
legs through my ribcage.
My own legs lack
hair for the first time
in a year. I feel too young
as they build comb.
Honeycomb me
of all
this stinging
slow hum
down the pane
of the hairless leg.

How quick the cold
loss of love comes.

My enemy is no good.
He shows how I am no
good too.

I Have Tried in My Way

This corvid keeps plunging
her lungs to the break - to the tongue
she alarms her songbird friends.

Invasive sound warns
in ever-expanding circle-chirps:
darling, that chill on the cusp of
morning is brimful sickly love.

But song
bird falls
into Autumn
the way
most do
in spring.

Spring is cotton-sweet on the sticks
of old birds. Blue gum. Kernels
clasped in her claw.

Change twirls around the edges
of September. Feasible feast.
Insurmountable mountain.
Thick leaves. Swell. Breathe.

Sun-winds battered
thrust. Is
it this

shape of Fall that twists her?

Bio: Kari Flickinger is the author of The Gull and the Bell Tower (Femme Salvé Books, December 2020). Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and the SFPA Rhysling Award. She is an alumna of UC Berkeley and the Community of Writers.

Interview  with Kari Flickinger from the Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 Anthology

5 poems inspired by Leonard Cohen by Robert Frede Kenter

art by Geoffrey Wren (c)

(Passing Through) (for L. Cohen)

Crossing laneway between old colonial buildings,

remember reading about L. Cohen discussion of discipline

in his family before (leaving) his shoes neatly beneath the bed,

lined in rows the Westmount childhood house of  his

textile-merchant father.

Blossoms on the Plateau

      scatter towards St. Laurent. 

At a café, grab a late coffee, Mile End.

 – Elated. Artwork to hang at Gallery ___  of

new punk energy competing with empty lots.

A poet encountered Cohen right near here  chaotically sprawled

on a bench, static hat, shins crossed, 

institutionally bemused.

My father knew clothing, my father knew hats.

In every secret life,

Danceclatter   spirit  memories, 

Reanimated, the dead  no longer leave

Gather  under pelican shaped eaves

Refugees  –  taking leave, returning quickly as they arrive–

By harbour,  ships,  disembarking planes

At official hearings  destinies decided  by immigration board

 on appeal. O, CanadaWe  who betray everything

 –what are

We doing?

Searching landscapes  beyond mythic voice, 

first languages, anthologized wards

of mothertongue,  come alive

to holy gathering,   catchments of double-rainbows

above camera shop,

on The Main,    to St. Catherine’s Street, 

expanded histories,

Banging hammers,

gauntlet to throw  down   bargaining  for life

observing, photographing,

the Ascending of the

descending notes,

at the gated freight elevators

in a cessation of rain,  orchestral loft curtains

and a cacophony of rattling glass

in choreographic time,

threaded hum of industrial needles,  machines,

for fancy fabric, the manufacture of

ghost suits in factories.

 Did the street lineaments of longing  shape

an arc to the sun in melodic time,

Word became difference

– without a promised pound of flesh —

each visioning, wisteria proposing

darker awakening.  To bow and Curtsy.  The

– Oars of the St. Lawrence remaining as if

 Hallucinatory – at a farther reach –


Continuance.  Swirling,

persuasive designs for some new disguise.

                     In rupture             rapture————


the needle in thread, the lacuna.

 Stitches of erasure,

(by attendant lay  kept at bay)

  a homonym in nominal  space



When You Carry the Flag of Surrender

We aim for song. 
Tilt to embrace.
First embouchure, embrace of red, then blue, 
a burning white beneath the stair corrodes coruscating struts.

You waited to come back too long,
already threat gave you a name.
Beneath eyelids, the mourning bruised fifth notes.
Minor armies, advancing packs of card sharks,
upon arrival, slight a flock of black birds, ravens,
and your sister’s husband’s brutal conundrum commences. 

It’s a war against nature.
We guessed wrong.

Planning for a siege at a craps table
along the loneliest strip 
where hummingbirds dance a devious fandango,
on with nightclub nightmares. 
You lifted up with urgency,
the urge, to surrender,
to carry the flag of surrender.

 (And safely, the albatross of snow
glides ascending beyond Blake, 
rising to the Gate of Hell
Wings shorn with fire).
The yellowing book, it’s pages.

If you are tired enough, you will fall asleep,
fall into the arms of a boulder,
spreading the night moth’s wings around you.
On the ocean, the burning partisan’s ship 
sinks behind another neon moon.


Between the odd and even
I shall be a tailor, sewing pockets
with a wretched hand. 
A corruption,  failure 
of the terms of service. 

I gave them nothing, willingly,
I gave them nothing, undue dress.
A shaky signature,  handshake
under duress, erasing 
distressed seams.

The Committee of Horsemen
and their capital wives
Flying to a ceremonial, under
cloak, the war’s convoy’s coverings

Blanket the skies with parachutes.

I shall be the uninvited guest,
these twisted hands trembling, 
winter branches at calico windows, 

Obscene broncho –
of obstreperous lineage.
Startling twilight of starlings.
Sinking Hesperus. 



The plane goes down
It goes down

It makes the sun
turn a pale green
a pale green

Packages of jealous
nauseous waitresses

That know no limits
know no limits

In the charnel house
in the charnel house


Confusion of smoke
Bodies alight
by the fairgrounds
All the kisses you can 
punch for a dollar twenty
five don’t be shy step
Right up 


Bop bop  bopping
for the wormy wordy words
worthy apple of the jaundice
eye  another round 
of Government Propaganda
For the Shiny Happy People


Free line dances
for the people
By the acid river backside
pouring out toxic sludge


Captains of Productive 
Industrial stewardship
on sacred ground whose
ground sacred check
the grainy almanac
in the gun-sites of the 
Military Industrial complex


We capture captions 
speak in thought balloons
Sometimes arrogant
overtalking even
The gentlest Master
slips outside benign
speaking behind a billboard
for mouth wash 
cattle in the fields, lowing

“It will rain soon,”
Mommy says to 
her six year old in Khakis
amidst the smoke beneath
the chocking ruins -- rains
down historical memory

Insects rub their tentacled principal 
legs together make the beat
of some new music written
by the Karaoke Moon


We can count 
all of the ways 
that what was once here 
no longer is.

 Using an app with magic markers
 we make asemic marks 
on photographic paper.

 Is there hope of change?
 Are we impassioned? 

Poisoned?   What lies beyond
belief is belief in 
our own ability to change 
out of clothing

make the New Man
look possible 
fallible as Merchandise.

1985 (A Drum)

A Leonard Cohen concert 
New York, Carnegie Hall, 

At performance end, more people
than one might imagine prepare for Rapture. 

From handbags & from under
winter coats they rush towards the stage.

A price of admittance.
Recognizable is ritual.

My old friend, with whom I attend,
I shall never see again, while,

Field Commander Cohen,
Working for the Yankee Dollar,

Takes Manhattan. 
Graciously bowing,

catching in light and furious,  bouquets
of cornflowers and roses. The clarion call,
in spot lit time trumpet flowers 
opening up pollen in a thousand-handed balcony.

Twitter: @frede_kenter @icefloe_P

Instagram: @r.f.k.vispocityshuffle

Poems 2, 3 & 4 are inspired by Cohen’s poetry book “The Energy of Slaves”

Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren

4 poems by Robert Frede Kenter published in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

4 poems from Robert Frede Kenter in Avalanches in Poetry

A Spotlight on IceFloe Press : Poetry, Art, Photography Creativity Sponge

4 poems from Fevers of the Mind Poets of 2020 by Moira J Saucer

2 new poems by David L O’Nan on IceFloe Press (click links) today “Those Hazels, they Slice” and “Living in This Toxic Coalmine”

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

Avalanches in Poetry 2 Entry: Peter and the Sea of G by Carrie Sword

Peter and the Sea of G

He said all men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them
But he himself was broken, long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human, he sank beneath your wisdom like a stone.

[from Suzanne by Leonard Cohen]

A sparkling crown arcs our horizon at night. By day, we skim the ripples and swells of a liquid desert. We sail
back and forth across the Sea of G all the time. We risk being swallowed by it every day, and I usually love that.

Eashoa said he’d meet us on the far shore after he’d calmed the crowd and had some time alone. But on the
boat, none of us slept and the ocean roiled more than usual. It was like how I felt earlier that day.

We’d led hundreds of beginners into the desert to hear him. They sat rapt until dusk. Then they were thirsty,
feint, and I felt their eyes on us like we’d know what to do. He prayed, and I found that frustrating considering
the danger of being mobbed. Then it turned out there were people with food in the crowd. Actually, a lot of
food. Everyone ate and felt abuzz about the future. So the trouble in my mind was no trouble at all.

And then we sailed out ahead of him with the sea like a cat taking our boat in her cold teeth like a mouse;
shaking it; then spitting it out to watch it spin. I felt the thrill. But then things got serious, and I figured we’d die
this time. So then he walked right out to us as a ghost and said, “What’s the problem?” He said, “It’s me. Let’s
talk about the day. Come on out.” Then the sea went friendly. He stood there waiting, sure I could walk on
water. I felt like I should.

So next thing I knew I was near the exit door to this life and felt like I was ten mountains above the Earth in my
mind’s eye. I saw myself below, flailing in the water and gulping for breath. I saw my life with clarity I’ve
never had, my decisions winding and curving through years like a signature I’d been signing all my life. I
leaned toward the possibility of continued time. I grasped at it, and the water slipped through my hands. I
thought, ‘This is what it’s like to be dying – to be out here alone.’ But then I saw his hand reaching out. I took it
and he walked me back to the boat like I just needed a little support.

So far my initiation has gone like this: I went looking for my soul in the countryside one afternoon and
stumbled into a sinkhole. The cave had its way with me. It synced my inner clock with the slow drip of
evolution. After ten years I recognized myself as the apparition of a human, but in more ways like a cockroach.
That was how I found the heart of hearts below my feet, laying down like Shiva while I stood on top with my
mouth open.

Once I recognized I’d never find my way out of the cavern, Suzanne brought the crystal and led me up inside
the mountain into the tower overlooking the coast. She said the sea aches to be walked on. We prayed, and she
left me to my work.

So then I was thinking, my subtle-body has already been taken apart in the cave. The quartz has been inserted in
my belly. The Earth lights up my insides. I must be able to walk on the sea. I must be able to break out in
miracles like a Magnolia tree, and leave the ground covered in magenta.

My wisdom is water. His body the wiser sinks in abandon.

At the start of my career I earned a B.A. in English and worked as a journalist, freelancer and public relations writer. I studied French literature and traveled in France. Later my personal experience with dreams led me to pursue an M.A. in counseling psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. I’m currently a Jungian psychotherapist with a specialization in dreams and a private practice in Minneapolis. I write fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry. I hold an award for excellence in writing from the Associated Press, and my writing has appeared in Sky Island Journal and Ink Drinkers Poetry: A Quarterly Chronicle. My blog can be accessed at https://dancingonmoonlight.com. I can be found on Twitter at @DrCarrieSword.

photo by Nathan Dumlao (Unsplash)

Poetry Showcase for Merril D. Smith (including some Leonard Cohen inspired poems)

(c) Geoffrey Wren

Rhythms of Time

Birds on a wire
gather like clouds before a storm,
like thoughts flocked together,
perched before they fly shadow-winged
toward the blazing sun

gilding the rooftops--and the fiddler—
with his burning violin, 
sings the songs of stars—

the endless cycle of before
and after love and beauty, constants amidst the fleeting. 
And so, we waltz, three-quarters beyond time,
pausing like birds, then soaring high again,
in rhythm, feeling the universe’s beat.

*Inspired by Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” and “Dance Me to the End of Time.”*


Star-dusted primordial seas birth dinosaurs,
who emerge to fly back toward the light.
From river shore, I watch them
in bobble-winged flight,
twinkling silver above the sapphire waves.
Now, there, in the crisscross currents, 
the osprey sights a rainbow beneath the surface. 
A dive and splash, his taloned toes grab
the flounder--
who only sees white wings,
the Angel of Death, carrying him home.


There’s a space in the tumble of a wave
 just before it hits the sand, 
when you can see the fold of time--a fraction of a second
that vanishes with the evanescent sparkle
of spindrift in the air,
a synaptic connection made and gone,
winged on white gull against grey-blue sky. 
As a strand of seaweed twines around your ankle, 
the moment passes,
and the next --
and you remember him,
and that space between heartbeats, 
when you listened, waiting for the next one--
that never came.

Short bio: Merril D. Smith is a historian and poet. She is inspired by nature, particularly her walks along the Delaware River. Her poetry has been published recently in Black Bough Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, Nightingale and Sparrow, and Fevers of the Mind.

Twitter: @merril_mds

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Merril D. Smith

The Wind Whispers Storms by Merril D. Smith   (poetry from her webpage)

3 poems from Merril D. Smith in Fevers of the Mind Poetry Press Presents the Poets of 2020

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