Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Blog

Our twitter is @feversof also eic @davidLONan1 Facebook Group: http://www.feversofthemind.com Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Arts Group

Paypal & Submissions e-mail: feversofthemind@gmail.com 

We are unable to provide compensation at this time for any postings on this site. We have to reach out through the year for donations just to keep the site going. This is for the art of poetry, music, art & other creatives.

The Goals of 2022: Working on revising own books, any poetry published on this site will be eligible for a Print Anthology during the year (unless otherwise asked not to) Some poetry/art published on this site will periodically be taken down if space is running low. We will try our best to get as many pieces self-published on Fevers of the Mind Anthologies & print/kindle books over the year. Pieces that are up for Best of the Net Nominations and other award nominees will remain on the site longer. There will not be any mass deletions of work. You will be guaranteed at least 6-8 months exposure on our website no matter what!

Submissions open: Looking for Poetry for Adhd Awareness, Mental Health, Anxiety, Culture, History, Social Justice, LGBTQ Matters/Pride, Love, Poem series, sonnets, physical health, pandemic themes, Trauma, Retro Pop Culture Music & otherwise.

Submissions open: Deadline Early March (for now) Writing, Poetry, music heroes of Black & African American Culture. (could be included in a combined anthology if not enough submissions)

Submissions Open: Deadline early May (for now) Writing, poetry, art & more inspired by Bob Dylan. (could be included in a combined anthology if not enough submissions)

*No longer doing Quick-9 Interviews or Book Reviews for the time being

Submissions are for blog only at this time(but could be included in print anthologies) : Poetry, Art, Book Reviews, culture pieces, rants, pre-published poetry from self-published materials, defunct lit mags, pieces from other lit mags with permissions.

All submissions with bio. Please let us know if something has been previously published, we will make a judgment call on whether able to include.  Please give us 2-3 weeks for an answer on accepted/rejected pieces. We will not send rejection e-mails. As long as work follows our guidelines or contests, prompts they have a good chance of being published on our site. If not accepted at first Just try again…but please just send once a month if a piece was rejected at first. We will not accept pieces that we deem racist, sexist, homophobic, or have pornographic themes, photos, or any type of nudity in submissions.

Please donate to our paypal at feversofthemind@gmail.com if you enjoy this site and our anthologies. Anything helps. Thank you!

About Editor David L O’Nan

David L O’Nan has been writing poetry & short stories for 20 years.   He is founder and editor in chief of Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Press with his wife HilLesha.  We have released 5 Anthologies of poetry & art since 2019.   He has also Curated & edited “Avalanches in Poetry: Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen” which he’s about to work on a 2nd Leonard Cohen Inspired Anthology “Before I Turn Into Gold” coming in late September 2021. He has just put out a 500 page book combining 5 of his books available on Amazon “Bending Rivers” Poetry & Short Stories from David L O’Nan.  His work has appeared in Icefloe Press, Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine, Royal Rose Magazine, Cajun Mutt Press, Dark Marrow/Rhythm & Bones Lit, Truly U, Spillwords, Punk Noir Magazine, Eat the Storms Podcast, Cajun Mutt Press features, Ghost City Press, 3 moon Publishing, Elephants Never, Nymphs Publishing, and of course at www.feversofthemind.com

https://www.amazon.com/Bending-Rivers-Poetry-Stories-David/dp/B09QFF55K3/ref=sr_1_1?crid=25YEZAM5Y4EGO&keywords=bending+rivers+david+l+o%27nan&qid=1642523310&sprefix=bending+rivers+david+l+o%27nan%2Caps%2C128&sr=8-1


	

A book review of S.J. Fowler’s “Sticker Poems” review by Samuel Strathman

Sticker Poems by SJ Fowler

S.J. Fowler
STICKER POEMS
Trickhouse Press, 2021
Paperback, 126 pgs.

S.J. Fowler’s visual poetry collection, Sticker Poems (Trickhouse Press, 2021) is any childhood sticker fan’s dream.  The book is a compendium of our favorite stickers, as well as crafty new creations.  There are also many statements within the pages that are meant for humor as well as deeper thought.  A sticker book could not be a sticker book without repetition, but Fowler makes the repetition meaningful in the only way that a vispo (visual poetry) master can. 

The book has a lot of mixed media which helps to elevate the story told within its pages, and unlike his earlier book, Crayon Poems (Penteract Press, 2020) he keeps the mood light.  This is done through using bright visuals as well as different hypnotic mediums that help elevate his sticker world.  This would be considered an adult book by all accounts since there is cursing and violent language used in good fun, not to mention the grammatical errors which are not errors if they are done for creative purposes.  “for here. come I! to kiss arses” or “cuddliest & killingest…the great bear” being some of what is used.  These are short lines of text are oftentimes original as well as paying homage to many of the positive messages used in stickers.  “Make good use of Today” being one of them.  Many of the stickers like the menacing “Zero Medo” are rather menacing and add flavor and contrast to the child friendly stickers. 

Some of the new and exciting stickers that Fowler has created are new troll-like creatures, “Garbage Pail Kids,” colorful blot patterns, and other new and animal felt stickers.  Many of these images we would like to pick from the pages, and fortunately for us Fowler does allow us to take a few off the pages.

The trouble of being an amateur reviewer doing his second review is trying to decipher a storyline within “Stricker Poems.”  Visual poetry, like paintings or other artwork, is often more of a statement than a storyline to me.  After reading the essays by S.J. Fowler and David Spittle, I find that I have more questions and even less answers.  Besides using mixed media, drawings, and repetition I’m unsure as to the technique used here.  In the end, I rather not to try and evaluate the author’s school of thought.  It is better to sit back and enjoy the ride, and a wild one it is.  

Reviewer Bio

Samuel Strathman is a poet, visual artist, author, and custodian.  His poetry has appeared in Pulp Literature, I-70 Review, and Prole.  His debut poetry collection, “Omnishambles” is forthcoming with Ice Floe Press (2022).

A Book Review of Daydreams, Obsessions, Realities from Matthew McGuirk (Alien Buddha Press) review by Matthew da Silva

Bio: Matt McGuirk teaches and laughs at his puns by day and scribbles somewhat coherent words nightly. He lives with his family in New Hampshire. BOTN 2021 nominee with words in various lit mags. Debut collection with Alien Buddha Press called Daydreams, Obsessions, Realities isavailable on Amazon and Lulu.Twitter: @McguirkMatthew Instagram: @mcguirk_matthew.

A Review of Daydreams, Obsessions, Realities (review done by Matthew da Silva)

https://amzn.to/3GPbIX6 for Matt’s book

Mixing poetry and prose McGuirk creates a space like ones experienced in childhood and there’re also speculative stories, such as ‘Imitating Dopamine’, a pessimistic prelude to the future of augmented reality corporates like the supposed Meta (Facebook, whatever) which will recreate something like Second Life, a now defunct arena where people would represent themselves with avatars and type conversations with their clacking keyboards (hands raised like Michael Jackson dancing ‘Thriller’ as they made words to communicate with other avatars among the strange planes and angles of virtual reality). Or they would teleport to digital houses in an endless landscape so that, unlike in the real world, they could inhabit dreams beyond diurnal imagining or nocturnal visions. 

Different personalities awaited their endeavour. But never fear, you can do far, far worse than reading such engaging stories as ‘In the Weeds’ and ‘Mac the Pirate’, garish and bold sorties into escapism. Some of this review was written on a Friday. Where would we’ve been, in lockdown, without Netflix? 

‘Just Leaves in the Wind’, a longer story in the collection, suggests McGuirk watches streaming TV in his free time, but when he’s not imagining a chemically enhanced future, McGuirk’s bursting imagination transports the reader to places everyone who’s had a happy (?) upbringing can relate to. When I was reading ‘Ray and the Frog’ I was back in the park beyond the back fence at 110a Hopetoun Avenue, the house I grew up in from when I was a waddling infant until I was seven years old. Down the back, near the gate, we had a swing set. From the balcony upstairs you could see, to the southwest, the trees galloping away over leafy suburbs where the houses sit right up against the welcoming hollows and bays of the harbour. 

If we went out the gate it was only a minute’s walk to the Rock With the Hole in It. McGuirk’s two friends are just as cruel as we were, or just as heedless. When us kids used to play in the creek that wended its way through the park we’d be watching the fish. They were tiny, no more than an inch-and-a-half long. I recall a delicious stab of pity and regret when I’d brought one of the little wriggling bodies out of the clear stream onto the bank where we played our games, it lay on the grey sand opening and closing its mouth as it tried to get the oxygenated water it needed to flow over its gills so that it could survive. I didn’t really understand how fish breathed in those days but I do remember the pathos of the sight of this tiny creature dying because of an action of mine. And the feeling of shame that came with it has rested among my memories ever since, a plunger over the drain of time.

You can see how this sort of feeling (I imagine McGuirk felt something similar to me when, as a child himself, he’d hunt) might transfer itself to a feeling of pity at what is to come.

An author finds a kind of salvation in writing, as though by putting words down, laying down letters one after the other in a dogged sequence – like ants out of the broken head of a dead man on a beach – you were able to process the world more efficiently, with more compassion (the word we all use these days is “empathy” but I’m not sure I endorse its antiseptic pallor) to make poems or stories to understand who you are.

In ‘The Day the Little Mermaid Died’ we’re once again ten years old. Walking over sand dunes. The beach has a competent chronicler in McGuirk but he also does well in suburbia, as in his story about the computer salesman who decides to get a digital implant in order to escape from life. SThe book ‘Daydreams, Obsessions, Realities’ is a hybrid and contains free-verse poetry as well as short fiction, but the idea of bionic implants is as trusty as that worthy TV drama, which screened in the seventies, ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’. I’d watch the show with my brother – who used to go with me also into the park to play at the creek – on the TV downstairs during the weeks when granny was at home.

My brother still reads sci-fi but I’ve largely moved on. Unless, of course, a book like this comes along. I see the appeal, though these days the number of dystopian fictions is almost like a set of waves that threatens to overwhelm Amazon and Netflix, Acorn and Prime, even Binge (who thinks up these names – are we being asked to do something?). 

It’s almost as though, to escape the deluge, you have to take time out by watching the evening news where you’re confronted with a rotating crop of senior police officers or the Minister announcing another spectacular, million-dollar drug bust in another crappy suburban street. The news crew interviews neighbours but where does the fiction stop and reality start? It’s hard to see much difference between the raid on the perpetrator’s hideout in the OTT police procedural and the raid broadcast on the 6pm news and that takes place in an outer-western suburb when police seized $20-million-worth of precursor chemicals. 

“Meth.” “Death.” We use our TVs – another box – to escape from the boxes we construct to contain our errant personalities. McGuirk writes about these boxes in ‘Walls that Make up Boxes’: “Aren’t we all looking for walls around us and / a box to keep us safe from those scary things, / the cold things, / the things that try to get in when the world is dark? / We all have our walls and our boxes, / unless we don’t.” 

The paradox is that the demand for escape is never ending. If you read McGuirk’s work you’ll find something more expansive. It’s time for a different kind of poetry to preside, one that asks you to think.

A Book Review of “Eden” by Robert Frede Kenter. A review by Ivor Daniel

A Review of Eden


Cop 26 has been and gone - and how are things looking in the Garden?
What were the choices for Eve & Adam?
What are our choices now?

Eden, Robert Frede Kenter’s new chapbook, presents a vital glimpse into the work of
 an artist, photographer and poet who has been published and exhibited widely
 during the last 3 decades. In my reviewer copy I only see or perceive partially. This is
 ok, because i. we all know that art is best seen up close (or standing back) in a
 gallery anyway, and ii. the selection here, which is engaging and challenging for
 sure, is a glimpse through the hedge, or broken wall, of the garden. As Kenter writes
 in his Acknowledgements, ‘many of these works also have colour versions and other
iterations’. This Eden makes you want to see them all. To wander through this
 artist’s studio and archives.

The list of Contents is poetic. This excerpt gives a tang;

Slow Jam # 2
Notation
Two Barflies at a Bar, Next Day

In the opening piece, Poem for an Imaginary Landscape, Kenter sets the scene. We
 hear of ‘exhibition dream flowers.......scattering landfill sites’ and ‘a ventriloquism of
 dots, jagged leaves’. This is skillful and vivid writing. Like Kenter’s artworks it leaves
 wide spaces for our own imaginings to run riot in cracks and corners.

Next comes Angry Eden. Perhaps God / Satan in profile. Eve & Adam behind, eyes
 amok, the outlines of their faces curled as question marks.

One of my favourite works is Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
2 sidewalk signs announce

                                THE HERE AND THE NOW

ARRIVED

A series of mathematical numbers appear in the perhaps apocalyptic margin.
If we can only work out this equation. Just maybe. We might know what to do.

In Raw: Fetish I see anonymous block buildings and collage dislocation. Maybe I
am trying to drive out of town to escape some contemporary doom? Or, is it just the
Friday afternoon rush? How do I feel when I see these 2 road signs?

RAW

     NORTH ON FETISH

Some of the works use the techniques of erasure poetry. Some words are harder to
 make out. Some are wilfully defaced or obscured. Like a Banksy shredding itself, in a
 way. Kenter’s techniques also remind us that some of these words are found text.
Found, random, powerful, poetic. And, as in gardening and poetry and art, the
 question - what to leave in and what to leave out?

Smudge is one of these erasure works. A written passage entitled Mathematics
 Educators is partly obscured by abstract swirling marks, and collaged part-words,
 part-sentences. It is impossible to read the main written passage. This resonates
 with me as I could never do the math anyway.

I am now looking at The Tree.
I cannot tell what the medium is. I have a black and white image on a computer screen. Nevertheless, after some of the other, harder, images in Eden I can actually feel the almost iconic furred, woody, reassurance of putting my palms on the vast
bark of a redwood tree. This is for well being. This is what we Need to Save. And need is an anagram of eden.

As Joni sang ‘ we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden ’.
And then what do we do?

Who gets to go on the rocket ship up to space? What does our earthly paradise look like from up there? Will they do anything differently, more responsibly, more equitably, when they come back down to earth? And how long will they keep that up for?

If poets and artists had been in Power since Nixon, would the world be in a better state? Hard to think it would be worse, anyway.

Robert Frede Kenter’s work smudges and illuminates the air here on planet Dollarama. It is informed by his openness to collaboration and community, and his experiences of travelling and living abroad. Kenter is a survivor, and this is good. Eden leaves us wanting more.

On a road trip with Kerouac, or with Cormack McCarthy. Even on your daily commute. You might want this chapbook in your backpack.

O brave new Eden that has such work in it.

Paradise Lost. Paradise Regained? Eden Reviewed.

2 Poems for Lou Reed by Robert Frede Kenter : Variance (2 parts)

5 poems inspired by Leonard Cohen by Robert Frede Kenter (Before I Turn Into Gold Day)

Poem for a Russian Grandmother in Exile by Robert Frede Kenter w/ A Painting by Moira J. Saucer

4 poems from Robert Frede Kenter in Avalanches in Poetry

An Interview with Robert Frede Kenter of Icefloe Press

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

A Poetry Showcase for Ivor Daniel

Bio for reviewer Ivor Daniel:

Ivor worked as a street-based youth worker, and then as a team manager in the youth service. He lives in Gloucestershire, England, where he now does sessional English tutoring.

His poems have appeared in A Spray of Hope (an anthology of pandemic poetry published by Liverpool University) wildfire words (the ezine of Cheltenham Poetry Festival), Steel Jackdaw Magazine, Writeresque Magazine, iamb ~ wave seven, and Fevers of the Mind

@IvorDaniel

A Book Review of “Love and Metaxa” by Christina Strigas

a review by Matthew da Silva.

Love and Metaxa Review

When I was reading this book I was reminded of Billy Joel. I felt like I was seventeen again and listening to records downstairs at Vaucluse, the stereo leaking out its sweet sounds like glass through which I tried to see the outlines of my own face. Strigas uses poetry to make sense of her life like I used to use music to make sense of mine, but her enterprise is more real. As she writes in ‘Ugly is Beautiful’:

In a poem you look for peace.
In life, all you find is chaos.

But like Billy Joel the suburban magic of Strigas’ apotheosis – if you read the introduction you can get a history of the book’s becoming, and of Strigas’ journey to becoming a published author – rewards particularly because of the familiarity of the tropes, even though, as a man myself, some of the insights must be outside of my understanding from lived experience. I could never write a poem like ‘A man’, where the poet conjures up a masculine reality as a response to feelings that work to form her but that she seems to resent.

Often there seem to be two voices, one rendered on the page in italics. This second voice is like the poet’s conscience. In ‘Rinsing’ we see romantic love compared to washing clothes. This is an effective strategy as it allows the poet to boldly step into a place where the reader can also share her feelings, and possibly add some of his or her own. It’s a bright-lit room we can both inhabit at the same time – the writer and the reader – as we participate in an act of imaginative reckoning (this is what poetry’s for). You have some predictable tropes (stains, cycles) and though the poem is not long, you feel as though a considerable distance has been travelled. After all it’s thousands of miles between my house and where Strigas lives. But “step‐by‐step you know / what will come next, / then repeat.’ That final line, the last line of the poem, is an invitation not only to contemplate one’s own life, the many times you’ve thought about love as laundry (love as laundry) but it also prompts the reader to do some more work. You might even, the next time you do laundry, think about past girlfriends, past wrongs, mistakes that you thought had been left behind but that, you know, leave their traces on the fabric of your memory.

The two voices form a harmony, as though the poet were two people or one person at different times in her life. In ‘Not a love affair’ there’s the poet of the present (“You feel love to be a phantom. What if that person never destroyed you? What if that spirit wasn’t deserving? Love? What is that?”).

So different from the hard present where the poet is forced by circumstance to put words down on paper in order to come to terms with what’s happened. “Decades later, when you run into an old ghost, you will feel frightened—fifteen with acne again. You’ll know.” It’s almost as though, in her busy mind, the poet were talking to her younger self.

It makes no sense. It terrifies your logic. What does logic have to do with phantoms? You intend to get to the bottom of love. You approach and ask the ghost to sit down, you smile, and then you say hello.

While in this poem the italicised words seem to come from the past, perhaps 20 years earlier, a time of discovery, of shame, of becoming, in ‘I want to be her’ they belong to a woman the poet sees outside her hotel room. In ‘Stranger at parties’ it’s the thoughts of a stranger. In ‘The galaxy of you’ it’s the poet herself in her writing present who’s talking in italics.

Italicised parts might be the thoughts of another person or of 15-year-old Christina, in other places they seem to be the conscience of the poet sitting alone in her room typing, and, for example in ‘Lacustrine’, it’s sometimes not clear who’s saying the italicised words. This multiplicity of voices is characteristic of Strigas’ method. We come close to a source where, we know, many voices combine in our minds as we go about our daily business. The postmodern additions – the references to poetry and writing – are aspects of the same faceted reality Strigas inhabits like a mage. Poetry is like a window opened into a room as we walk, thinking, remembering, hoping, on a quiet, dark street. We can hear the sound of Billy Joel leaking out of a lighted room while, in another part of the same house we’re passing by on soft feet, the flickering blue light of a TV screen forces out images we cannot see. We only know we recognise the tune playing. Is it for us that it plays?

It’s as though Strigas clothes her ideas in words. Clothes figure again in ‘Inheritance’. Here there’s a stain of another kind, but her relationship with money is complex and nuanced. Thankfully it’s not a matter of baldly rejecting, nor is it a covetous link tying the author to the subject, rather it’s an imaginative bond made up of complex feelings that we’re invited to survey as though at an auction where we can bid on their remains by promising our attention for a few moments. (Do I hear fifty?)

It’s in this realm of exchanges and of feelings, things that leak across the borders set up by agreed-upon referents, where we can deliberately tug garments for our intuition and take them off their hangers out of closets, perhaps put them on for a change – will the weather be too cold? is this style right for the occasion? – so that we might step out onto the broad expanse of existence manifest in the vibrant concurrence of consciousness and page. Digital reality a PDF more flexible by comparison to paper, able to be sent at the speed of light, faster than cathode rays spreading out of a bungalow on the dark street. Money isn’t everything

But if I turn it into a poem
it does sound lovelier

though Metaxa is a harsh word, its suggestive weight seeming to drag the poet down. Those memories possibly including ones where the girl was asked to wash glasses. It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to. The self-reflexive moment of poetry – the (re)lived experience, the past crumbling like broken bread – surges like a wave over the beach of the present. It’s a summer’s day and we’re again on a family outing

But real love bleeds in inks
with an old fountain pen

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Christina Strigas

From Avalanches in Poetry writings & art inspired by Leonard Cohen (2019) How Leonard Cohen Kept Evading Me by Christina Strigas

https://www.facebook.com/christinastrigasauthor/

https://www.instagram.com/c.strigas_sexyasspoet/?hl=en

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/christina-strigas

https://tinyletter.com/christinastrigas

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