Poetry: Raw by Monica Kagan Inspired by Plath & others

I long for magic in my life…
Does that sound silly?

I long for wings and wands
Instead of claws and sores.

Flesh strips, flayed
Vultures lay bare
A raw heart– 

Shrapnel shreds sisters, mother, father
A familial holocaust
A bone tableau

Sylvia, Ingrid and Virginia
Weave their wounds into words
Spiralling down a well

I long for wings and wands
Instead of claws and sores.

I long for magic in my life…
Does that sound silly?

*Previously published on Elephants Never on (Oct 7 2019)*

Bio: Monica Kagan lives by the sea in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in New Coin Poetry Journal (ISEA, Rhodes University), Crack the Spine, and Anti-Heroin Chic, and among others.

Twitter: @MonicaOFAH

Instagram: @monicakaganpoet

Poem by David L O’Nan Writing Suicide Notes in the Bluebird

Writing Suicide Notes in the Bluebird

(this version originally published in Elephants Never December 2019)

I was writing on notebook paper
Red-bumped tongue sticking like glue to the roof of a dry mouth
December weakens me
My bones and all my thoughts
Can’t dream in the pillars of orgasms
When our ecosystems begin crashing in declining health

I freeze to your scars
And grew hungry in all of your fears
The stairs and the elevators
The storms and the sun

While around me walks all the men in current disguise
They seem to have decided to join the Ted Bundy billionaire boys club
Suave and sadistic, leave women puking or pouting
I stand upon a damnation hill
Watching the moon fail me, to bring a slight light to the loneliness
As my pen weakens in ink.
Thoughts begin to melt over the table like a shot snowman onto the windshield
Of frosted over flash,
Streetlamps coughed dim light over white pruned-in roads
Mushed in and slick

While the feeling of we all die dance like a parade
That is not a lie as we hold the umbrella and march
Sometimes, we can cartoon our own demise
We can shovel the dirt
Missile into our lungs the cold breath
The air of an avalanche lingers over our heads

All of the loves I’ve had
Are banshees of screams
That are cynical in their echoes
The beauties, the art, the maniacal inkblots
The dresses always sway off into the wind
Becoming bare skeletons that merged into a God-claw cloud
Away from me at least,
In their own heaven
In their own world wherever that could be
With other voices that know more poetry than I
That sing sweeter than the last drop of red wine
It’ll hit the glass

I would kneel these weak legs down to prayer
Only to feel the spikes
And God was left baffled by the shaky knees
As you try to lead love back to a lie
Your bravery feels lost
And look at the cost
Now look whose skeleton is beginning to show through
Your bare soul, do you have a claw to reach for?

I look down to the letter
It is empty of content
And the body is hungry
Stomach feels crippled
Order the special
Worry about the demise on
A different lunch hour. 
 “Before the Bridges Fell” by me David L O’Nan Poetry book is out today on Cajun Mutt Press 
Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren 
Bending Rivers: The Poetry & Stories of David L O’Nan out now!  
Bio: David L O'Nan is a poet, short story writer, editor living in Southern Indiana.  He is the editor for the Poetry & Art Anthologies "Fevers of the Mind Poetry and Art. and has also edited & curated other Anthologies including 2 inspired by Leonard Cohen and an upcoming one inspired by Bob Dylan. He has self-published works under the Fevers of the Mind Press "The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers" "The Cartoon Diaries" & "New Disease Streets" (2020). A compilation of 4 books "Bending Rivers" a micro poem collection "Lost Reflections" and new book "Before the Bridges Fell" (look under books tab in Amazon) under Cajun Mutt Press & "His Poetic Last Whispers" (2022)  David has had work published in Icefloe Press, Dark Marrow, Truly U, 3 Moon Magazine, Elephants Never, Royal Rose Magazine, Spillwords, Anti-Heroin Chic, Cajun Mutt Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Voices From the Fire.  Twitter is @davidLONan1 and for the book @feversof     Join Facebook Group: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Arts Group .   Facebook Author page DavidLONan1   and goodreads page is https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18366060.David_L_O_Nan 

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Neel Trivedi

with Neel Trivedi:

Q1: When did you start writing and first ifnluences?

Neel: I started writing from a very early age when I was around 7 or 8 years old. Because I was born with severe asthma and other medical complications, I wasn’t able to play football or freeze tag with other kids in the neighborhood. To compensate, I would play by myself with my toys and make up back stories for my action figures. That’s how the basic creative spark in me was born.

My earliest influences were children’s authors Louis Sachar and R.L. Stine. When I look at some of the short stories I write in my adolescent years, I can see their influences all over my writing.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Neel: Being involved in the online writing community for the past 3 or 4 years ago has introduced to all kinds of independent writers, some of whom I’ve even had the privilege of becoming friends with. Strangely enough, at this point, they remain my biggest influence rather than a mainstream author. It would be impossible to list them all but names that immediately come to mind are are Neil Clark, Jana Jenkins, Negeen Papehn and DeRicki Johnson.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Neel: I was born in Stamford Connecticut and lived there till I was 8. After my family moved to Texas, where I’ve been ever since. I can’t say the locations themselves ever really influenced me. But my circumstances definitely did in a big way because as I stated earlier, when other kids were involved in physical activities, I would sit and read or write something. Those moments gave me lots of time to hone and sharpen my imagination that later proved to be highly advantageous in my writing.

I can’t say travel has influenced me in any major way. There is one period of my life, however, that stands out. In 2001, right after high school, I took a 6 month trip to India to visit my family over there. I was staying with my grandmother and I discovered many old books of my grandfather’s, who had passed away years ago. That was when I discovered a whole bunch of Indian authors like Bharati Mukherjee and British authors like James Hadley Chase who’s works weren’t so easily available in America back then. I also discovered these really old anthologies of works compiled from the Alfred Hitchcock Magazine from the 1950s and 60s. That also was a huge influence in my writing afterwards.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work that you’ve done creatively so far?

Neel: I think there are a couple of pieces that stand out. One is a short story called RX: Ear-Twist. That particular story stands out for 2 reasons. Firstly, it was the first time I wrote fiction with Indian characters, which despite being Indian, I had never done before. And secondly, that story was rejected by 5 magazines but eventually appeared both in a digital publication as well as a print anthology. It taught me never to give up in work I believe in.

The second story that gave me a lot was a story called Blueberry Waffles & A Side of Poignancy. It was published in Elephants Never magazine and earned me a Pushcart nomination in 2020 which, until then, I never thought I’d ever be capable of. It was also the first time I took a real life incident, the passing of my dad, and weaved a fictional tale around it. https://elephantsnever.com/blueberry-waffles-a-side-of-poignancy/

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Neel: While I started writing at a very young age, I only started taking it seriously in my early 20s. So perhaps it was around that age.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Neel: I love watching movies and TV shows. No particular genre, just anything that stands to me personally. Another activity I love is taking long walks while listening to music or podcasts. I love doing that because it’s my time alone, which I always cherish.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Neel: I just recently started co-hosting a podcast called the Daily Wisdom Words Podcast which can be found on YouTube. I’ve done 3 episodes so far and it’s been a blast. Link: https://youtube.com/channel/UCD0W0UduUYQgauLwmTxQlCQ

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?

Neel: There’s a poem I once wrote called “The Invisible Aura” which talks about what my depression is like. A couple of stanzas from that poem are:

This is my universe where:
Depression is not a mere mood swing
It’s an actual chemical imbalance

My facial expressions are not always
Gateways to the feelings of my heart
Sometimes they are merely decor

Obviously this is subjective because I’m the writer but even objectively, many who have read the poem told me that those stanzas very effectively sum up a major aspect of any mental illness.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Neel: This might sound like a cliché but all the publications that showcased my work because they gave me the confidence to keep writing. Just some of them are Fevers Of the Mind, Elephants Never, Mojave Heart Review, Dodging The Rain and most recently The Bitchin K in which I have a poem coming up sometime next month.


Poems from Neel Trivedi from Fevers of the Mind & Avalanches in Poetry Anthologies

3 poems from Neel Trivedi in Fevers of the Mind Issue 2(2019) “the Invisible Aura” “Soul Whisperer” & “the Midas Scratch”

2 new love poems by Neel Trivedi : Then Aroused, Now Devoted & Casket to Universe



Bio: Neel Trivedi is a writer, editor and artist and in the advertising business in Dallas, TX. He was a Pushcart Nominee for 2020 and has been published in several online magazines as well as several print anthologies. He can be reached on Twitter @Neelt2001.