Out Now: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Issue 6: The Empath Dies in The End

(c)HilLesha O’Nan

Out Now! Issue 6 of the Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art is available for purchase on Amazon. This features the collaborations that i’ve (David L O’Nan) have done with several other great writers on “The Empath Dies in the End” series of poems last Fall (the remainder will be placed in future anthologies including The Whiskey Mule Diner for the Elliott Smith inspired pieces) this issue also includes features from poet/writers Christian Garduno, Pasithea Chan, Kushal Poddar, Michael Igoe, also included is our photo prompt challenge poems to a photo supplied by writer K.P. DeLaney. Also included are poems/prose by Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon, HilLesha O’Nan, Ethan O’Nan, Victoria Leigh Bennett, Peter Magliocco, Donna Dallas, Joan Hawkins, Lorna Wood, Matthew Freeman, Lesley Curwen, Tova Beck-Friedman. Collab poems I did with Tony Brewer, Ron Whitehead, Petar Penda, R.M. Englehardt, Spriha Kant, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Amanda Crum, Merritt Waldon, Andrew Cyril MacDonald, RP Verlaine, Oz Hardwick, Stephen Kingsnorth, K.G. Munro, Ava Tenn, Robert Pengel, Dee Allen, K Weber, Maria A. Arana, Aaron Wiegert, C.L. Liedekev, Elizabeth Cusack, John Drudge, Carson Pytell, Jay Maria Simpson, Jennifer Patino, Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, John Grey, Rickey Rivers Jr, Duane L. Herrmann, Staci-Lee Sherwood, Doryn Herbst, Mike Zone, Jessica Weyer Bentley, John Zurn, Jeremy Limn, Lynn White, John D. Robinson, Monica Sharp, James Schwartz, James Lilley, Mykyta Ryzhykh, Gabriella Garofalo, Sandrijela Kasagic, Rachel Coventry, Gayle J Greenlea & Anneka Chambers


U.S.  https://rb.gy/t1w5o

Australia  (kindle) https://rb.gy/ltgj3

U.K.   https://rb.gy/czaad

Canada  https://rb.gy/uqqtn

France https://rb.gy/1ilii

Mexico https://rb.gy/i40ka  (kindle)

Japan https://rb.gy/n2x8j

Italy https://rb.gy/60×45

Spain  https://rb.gy/0nmuz

Germany https://rb.gy/l0m4k 

India https://rb.gy/efjqt  (kindle)

Brazil https://rb.gy/07yqu  (kindle)

The Netherlands https://rb.gy/0vzho 

Check out some links to other

Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Anthology available today!

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

Poetry Showcase: David L O’Nan from Cursed Houses pt 1

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

Bare Bones Writings Issue 1 is out on Paperback and Kindle

https://amzn.to/3tNR3ON Before the Bridges Fell

https://amzn.to/3gt4LDy Avalanches in Poetry Writing & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen (the 1st Leonard Cohen inspired tribute)

https://amzn.to/3i94vKA Lost Reflections

https://amzn.to/3TT0Uxe Bending Rivers

https://amzn.to/3EwKWmU The Cartoon Diaries

https://amzn.to/3XotUjq The Fevers of the Mind Presents the Poets of 2020: The Poetry Only

https://amzn.to/3tTf0nS New Disease Streets

https://amzn.to/3UZwtqB Our Fears in Tunnels

https://amzn.to/3Ey1ivx The Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Digest Issue 1 June 2019

https://amzn.to/3i99ZEM The Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest Issue 2 In Memoriam August 2019

https://amzn.to/3gqq5JX Fevers of the Mind V Overcome

https://amzn.to/3VB74n9 His Last Poetric Whispers

https://amzn.to/3GDgGcr The Fevers of the Mind Presents the Poets of 2020 Deluxe Edition

https://amzn.to/3gtitGC The Fevers of the Mind 1& 2 the Poetry Only

https://amzn.to/3AD0Drl Taking Pictures in the Dark

https://amzn.to/3Otay8E Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest Issue 3: The Darkness & The Light

https://amzn.to/3UXxP4V The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers

Poetry Showcase: Tony Brewer (April 2023)

Bio: TONY BREWER is a poet and audio artist from Bloomington, Indiana. He is executive director of the Spoken Word Stage at the 4th Street Festival and co-producer of the Writers Guild Spoken Word Series. His books include Homunculus, Pity for Sale, psithurism, and forthcoming from The Grind Stone: Fragile Batteries. Tony has been offering Poetry On Demand at coffeehouses, museums, cemeteries, churches, bars, and art and music festivals for over a decade, and he is a frequent collaborator with experimental music & field recording ensemble ORTET.

Fucking Indianapolis

Neither of us addicts
more like applicants
locked into maintenance now

the jungle of easement
like the buffer non-park
problems squat in

Eyes open in the big chair
wide with puppet holes
where the show begins

Making complex art
for a city wall
while houses flipped go greige

so sick of handouts
naturally color fades away

one weather for me
one weather for you
Just don’t look there

so common
we keep it going as if
there is no other way

How Did I Get Here

Dad watches her
take every toy out
of the Walmart cage
counting 1 – 2 – 3

Amber you know how this works
& she just giggles
I know she tells him
never pausing 
her misbehavior

Toys she doesn’t want
litter the intersection
of doll & robot

It’s a free country
Mom thinks walking
just out of earshot
browsing for a little
something for herself

Labor of Love

Maybe a way to build temples with all the wonder without the slavery – though it has been debunked – that slaves built temples ever – not slaves in our conception – people who do what you say or die – more like wage slaves – sweat equity investment – like the cutters who had graduated high school and then straight to the quarries – backs bent from decades of shimming blocks – they stroll around campus with a sense of pride – and relief – you could put kids through college by building the buildings – at first a steady paycheck – then seed money for that starter home – etc. – back then such things were possible – now only imagination is enslaved – builds no temples unless a J-O-B is attached – imagine a church built on tithing you – no one would pray therein – more a series of knowing nods as the parishioners run their hands lovingly along the walls – they’d just hire the lowest bid today – which is an observation not a judgment – still well-built but corners cut – people have unanswered questions – which is why so many churches now resemble barns – something raisable – can be put up in a day – belief the fleeting commodity – always another brick –another swing of the hammer – another day closer to paying off that debt

Prose Poem by Joan Hawkins : Family Secrets

photo from pixabay

Family Secrets

"Your Great Uncle Mott died in a Nazi work camp," my mother tells me. 
It's my 30th birthday, and in my mother's fashion there is a party atmosphere. 
I'm wearing a gold-paper crown, there are streamers, those little party horns. 
And a dinner of Hawaiian pork chops, a cake, champagne. I wonder why 
she has waited until my 30th birthday--the age when Jesus set out to 
redeem humanity-- to tell me this. "We just never talk about it," she says, 
pouring more wine. 

I think about the Holocaust movies I saw at school, 4th grade, 6th grade, and every 
year after. Sobbing for the people who died and the cruelty, but also for myself 
because my family came from Germany. If she'd told me before, I wouldn't have 
felt like a Nazi, I said. Searched the faces of cinematic SS officers for family 
resemblance, thought I caught a glimpse of an uncle, worried about the relatives 
my parents never mentioned. They who talked so often about the War- but always 
Stateside. My father's service, air raid sirens, blackout curtains, food rationing. 
"You were always tender-hearted," my mother says, and I wonder what that has to 
do with keeping secrets. 

When I'm 35, she tells me we're not 100% German. This is in a Hungarian 
restaurant, and she recognizes the dishes because her mother made them. 
"Where do you think you and I got our cheekbones ?" she says. "My mother." 
"I thought your mother was German." Well, Mom tells me, Austro-Hungarian, 
she spoke German. 

When I'm 40 my brother begins a family tree. Traces my mother's lineage back 
to Hungary. Some drunken uncles who tried to raise silkworms, and my grandmother 
leaving with a wealthy family, working as an au pair. In the manner of all old timey 
family trees, names appear and reappear. "Saved," my mother said. But other names 
fall away--Old Testament names like Esther and Ruth replaced with the names of Saints. 
Maria, Anna, Christine. I think I spot a surname-- lost in marriage to one of my mother's uncles. Glassman. Then another. Hoffman. Jewish names. I wonder about my mother's maiden name. Keller. German name, yes. But also Ashkenazi, like the others. And I wonder when I'll be old enough for her to tell me.

Bio: Joan Hawkins is a writer and spoken word performer, who focuses mainly on creative memoir.  Her  poetry and prose have appeared in Avalanches of Poetry, Fevers of the Mind, the Performing Arts Journal, Plath Profiles, and Sand.

Two poems are forthcoming in a special poetry issue of The Ryder Magazine. She and Kalynn Brower have co-edited an anthology called Trigger Warnings, which contains one of Joan’s stories; it’s currently under consideration by Indiana University Press. “My Writing Teacher”  comes from a manuscript in progress– School and Suicide.

Joan lives in Bloomington, IN with her cat Izzy Isou. She is currently the Chair of the Writers Guild at Bloomington.

Jennifer and Bukowski by Joan Hawkins

Jennifer and Bukowski

We were in the Ladies Room—the Ladies Lounge—of an old school, high-end San Francisco Restaurant.  The kind of place where waiters wear white jackets and long aprons, where tablecloths are starched and pleated just so.  And linen napkins stand at attention as far as the eye can see. 

And it was there, in the Ladies Room—the Ladies Lounge—, that my 16 year old granddaughter told me she’d been reading Bukowski.

Now you might wonder what 2 Bukowski-loving women were doing in a place like that.  I wondered the same thing myself—But Jennifer was in town for the weekend and she’d been curious to see how the other half lived.  And so she’d asked if Skip and I would buy her dinner —“at a nice place,” she’d said laughing.  This place. The place where Scotty first saw Madeleine in the movie Vertigo. And people still partied like it was 1958.

And so, after Jennifer ordered dessert, we went to the Ladies Room, the Ladies Lounge, as women in 1958 movies do.   I was putting on lipstick, leaning into the mirror.  Jennifer stood beside me, neon light cueing in from a street sign across the alley, cutting her face into cubist planes and casting a red halo around her.  Edith Piaf songs wound their way up from the sound system downstairs. Some women, draped in fur stoles—little animal heads and feet fastened at their necks– came in, complaining about the lobster.

When they left, I cocked an eyebrow at Jennifer.  “I guess the surf and turf is off tonight,” I said.  And that’s when she told me she’d been reading Bukowski. 

Now Jennifer lived in a small town in Northern California, a prison economy town that had been dying on the vine until the State started locking people up for minor drug infractions.  First the prison, then—suddenly– a whole service economy shook Janesville into the postwar era–a hotel, a coffeeshop, a Thai restaurant that doubled as a jazz club on the weekends. Janesville was booming. But there was still no bookstore. And I couldn’t imagine Notes of a Dirty Old Man in the local library. So I asked how she’d started reading Bukowski.

She shrugged.  Turns out Janesville had its own youth Underground.  Curious kids in souped-up trucks and landrovers—who drove north to Reno or—once a year—south to San Francisco for drugs, which they sold—and books, CDs and DVDs that they passed around like Samizdat. Jennifer had gotten Ham and Rye during one of those trips and was anxious to read more.  “Come on,” I told her.  “After you eat your dessert, we’ll go to City Lights.  I’ll buy you a book.”

“Do they have Bukowski?” she asked.

I thought of City Lights with its cantilevered side room full of Beat-and-friends literature.  Its shelves of Black Sparrow Press books, and the way even the cookbook section maintained a kind of Boho charm.  Its little corners where you could sit and read—and nobody bothered you or asked if you were planning to buy that book.

And the photographs—taken at readings—up on the walls, Charles Bukowski’s photo prominent among them.  I thought of the way I discovered Bukowski, back in the day when I was not much older than Jennifer– book crawling my way along the shelves, moving toward Diane Di Prima and getting distracted along the way.  

“ The difference between a bad writer and a good writer is luck, “he’d written. Cutting through all the romantic ideas I had about tortured genius with a meat cleaver.

For some people, discovering Bukowski is a rite of passage.  And he has to be discovered.  You have to find the lonely volume on the shelf, lean up against the rack,

open the book at random, and let that growling voice inhabit you.  Colonize you like a vampire.  It’s not the same, if your grandmother seems to know all about him, gives you carefully chosen, expurgated, cloth bound volumes to read, marks her favorite passages.  Too much like Nana giving you drugs. Kind of a comedown from the necessary cool.  And Jennifer is my favourite grand daughter. Because Jennifer is a lot like me.

So I dissembled.  Bukowski would say I lied—but it was in service of the greater good.  “I don’t know,” I told her, checking my mirror reflection one last time. “Let’s go see.”

Bio: Joan Hawkins is a writer and spoken word performer, who focuses mainly on creative memoir.  Her  poetry and prose have appeared in Avalanches of Poetry, Fevers of the Mind, the Performing Arts Journal, Plath Profiles, and Sand.

Two poems are forthcoming in a special poetry issue of The Ryder Magazine. She and Kalynn Brower have co-edited an anthology called Trigger Warnings, which contains one of Joan’s stories; it’s currently under consideration by Indiana University Press. “My Writing Teacher”  comes from a manuscript in progress– School and Suicide.

Joan lives in Bloomington, IN with her cat Izzy Isou. She is currently the Chair of the Writers Guild at Bloomington.

An Interview with Indie Musician Austin Lucas (2020) Fevers of the Mind Press Presents

Austin Lucas has a new album “Alive in the Hot Zone” which many have in their year-end best of 2020 award nominees.

 (Cornelius Chapel Records)

First off Thanks Austin for granting an interview with us at Fevers of the Mind Press for the Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest: The Poets of 2020.

Austin: Thanks so much for including me

Q: It has been over a year since the last issue.  It is weird, it seems like something might have happened to try to jog away from the creativity into a slow depression month after month as this has continued.   The year 2020 has been some work, and it has taken nearly a year for me to fully get my creative fuses (mostly out of the anger of this year) to feel like there has to be another edition!  There are many voices out there that have been writing through the year, and their voices all need to be heard. 

With that, how have you kept your creativity with writing songs & putting out a new album? Was it any different going into the studio and recording the new album in the wake of the pandemic.

Austin:  I have found myself baffled by the disconnect from reality among my fellow americans, along with their seemingly limitless capacity to entirely abandon reason.  As for inspiration and the process of staying active in song writing, it seems that I was able to have even more time to exercise my capacity for creation with so much time off the road.

Q: I was a huge fan of Immortal Americans & Shallow Inland Sea after hearing your appearances on the comedy podcast Improv4Humans with Matt Besser.  Even my 8-year-old daughter became a fan of “Immortal Americans” and I love that song and Shallow Inland Sea) How is Matt Besser and the Improv4Humans experience?

Austin: I love Matt and all the I4H crew so it’s always so cool when I get to collaborate with them and also when I hear that someone discovered me through that medium.

Q: I’ve been listening to the new single “Drive” on repeat listens, and watching the interesting Pandemic feel of the video on Youtube.   Where was it filmed?

Austin: Well it was shot in Berlin during the pandemic, so what you were seeing is life as it is currently lived. That video was a phenomenal experience because I was able to cast a bunch of my favorite people who I honestly don’t get to see often enough.

Q: How are you maintaining focus and coming up with new creative endeavors without the touring and the availability of concerts?  Tell us a little about the Save the Stage movement also.

Austin: As I mentioned before, I seem to have almost boundless creative energy when so much of my time isn’t spent traveling and feeling worn down by life on the road. Sometimes I get incredibly tired still, due to my intense training and coaching schedule with Muay Thai but even that doesn’t distract me and leave me feeling so depleted as constant travel.

Q: When I heard your interviews regarding your songs in the past, I was excited to learn that you grew up in the Bloomington, Indiana area.  I grew up in Western Kentucky and lived in Evansville for nearly 20 years.  I’ve spent many nights visiting Bloomington.  Always good shows up there.  What was it like growing up in the Midwest?  What about the Midwest do you love, and what part of it makes you shake your head?

Austin: I don’t know, there are so many things I both love and hate about the Midwest but honestly, I don’t find much more wrong with the Midwest than I do with any other part of the USA. There’s good and bad and the bad things are found in literally every corner of the United States. I do love how direct people are in the Midwest vs. other parts of the US though. We’re polite but we won’t bend over backwards and bullshit you if we think you suck.

Q: I know you have many roots in punk music and for most of your career, you have spun punk ideologies into an Americana/rock-folk carving.  So, who were your heroes musically, and inevitably with writing song lyrics that maybe have helped you weave the two musical styles into your niche?

Austin: His Hero Is Gone, Discharge, X, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, The Beatles. Jason Molina is probably my greatest lyrical influence but there’s a lot in my repertoire that’s derived from my upbringing in the Bluegrass and folk lineage.

Q: What is your process when you write a song?  How long does it usually take to come up with a full song to your liking, music and all?

Austin: It really depends, I’m a notoriously furious and extensive self editor so it can take anywhere from hours to years for me to write a song. I generally begin with a riff and build words and melody around the first riff that I write and go for there.

Q: I’d like to congratulate you on your nomination in the category for  Americana Song of the Year in the upcoming AMA-UK Awards in 2021.   How do you handle the recognition that you deserve for your work? 

Austin: Thanks so much, I honestly just smile and feel grateful. I’ve been in this songwriting game for a very long time and have yet to receive many accolades. Which means that while I appreciate it all the more as a result, I also have a hard time imagining that it will be a regular occurrence. At the moment I’m just gonna soak it up and be grateful that some folks cared enough to nominate me for an award in the first place.

Q: You’ve worked with many great artists on albums such as Lydia Loveless & John Moreland.  Is there a musician out there that you would love to work with, or came close to working with that once (hopefully) someday when COVID is gone that you’d feel like this could be the ultimate collaboration?

Austin: I’d honestly love to work with several artists but the dream for me would be to just sing duets with Dolly and Emmylou or Gillian Welch. My other biggest dreams are to make albums with Baroness and Neurosis and also to make an album with Blitzen Trapper would be an absolute dream.

Q: Out of the many, many songs you’ve written.  Which do you feel the most complete lyrically let’s say, or just satisfied with the outcome.  Do you ever feel like hey, where did these words come to me from?  I think lyrically Monroe City Nights resonates with me so well.  I can feel the sadness of the Midwest & the vulnerability to adapt and so everything just seems stagnant (in the solitude of okay, I guess this is how my life has to be?)

Austin: To my mind, that song is absolutely one of my crowing masterpieces in a lot of ways. I’m honestly very proud of my body of work overall but my last 2 albums have probably had the most of what I’d consider “me” in them.

Q: Tell me about the new album “Alive in the Hot Zone” released this Fall.  What about this album is getting the buzz of Austin Lucas out there in the Americana & Indie scene.  What about this album, do you feel is different from your other albums? 

Austin: I honestly don’t know, I guess it’s the fact that I managed to write about what everyone was going through in the world right now and actually release it while we were still experiencing it as a global community

Q: Finally, the dumb question.  Let’s say some bozo with some weapon comes up to you.  Let’s say He’s like I’ve got 2 albums that you have to re-make, and you have to choose one to cover completely (no matter what it does for your career) and hey maybe you can change the dynamic of people’s minds about the albums, Do you cover Milli Vanilli’s “Girl You Know It’s True” album or Debbie Gibson’s “Lost in Your Eyes”?

Austin: I’d personally rather cover Go Go’s “Beauty and the Beat but I think I’d go with the Debbie Gibson album, if those were my only two options.

Q: No really, we’ve seen like full album covers by artists like Beck, the Bird, and the Bee, and ummm…yeah Ryan Adams do such, if you ever went that route with an album what would you consider an awesome honorable album to cover?

Austin: Oh, haha, I guess I already answered that question but let me say two things. 1. Ryan Adams is a creep and 2. I’d also really love to cover the entirety of the Cure “Pornography” or “Darklands” by Jesus and Mary Chain

Q: Thank you, Austin for spending a little bit of your time with Fevers of the Mind, and much success on the new album & good luck with the award nomination.

Austin: Thank you so much for sitting down and asking me these questions.

Bio Courtesy of Austin Lucas.com

Austin Lucas is a punk journeyman, activist and songwriter from Bloomington, Indiana. Consumed by an overdeveloped sense of wanderlust as a young person, Austin spent his formative years in the driver’s seat of various beat-up Ford Econolines. Burning through countless miles and living the world over, he’s made his home everywhere from the American West Coast to the Czech Republic.

As a young person, Austin worshipped a diverse mixture of Classic Rock, Country, Punk, Psychedelic Folk and Mountain Music, and has made a career by successfully fusing these disparate influences into something uniquely his own. Emerging as a prominent and revered talent among his fans and peers, Austin has stood shoulder to shoulder with some of the most recognizable icons of Folk, Punk, Indie, Country and Americana, all the while uplifting the traditions of Roots Music and holding true to the attitude and ethics of political DIY Punk and Indie music as the lifeblood that runs through his veins.

Releasing albums since 2006, Austin Lucas has been a fixture in the worlds of Alternative Country and Folk Punk for nearly two decades, having sang alongside and toured with everyone from Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson, Ray Price, Brent Cobb, Frank Turner, Chuck Ragan, Dawes, Langhorne Slim, Joe Pug, John Moreland, Lucero and many others. To hear Austin Lucas or see him live is to discover the type of well-kept secret that can only stay that way for so long.

During the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown Austin Lucas has sheltered in place in Mainz, Germany. Although growing homesick far away from his home and family in Indiana, he has successfully used this extra time and inspired energy to prove that it’s impossible to keep a good troubadour down, writing and recording songs for his forthcoming album, “Alive In The Hot Zone!”.