Poetry inspired by Nick Cave from Elizabeth Cusack

Clubs and Diamonds

You were not there
On the sleeping veranda
When we watched the sundown
You did not see me shiver
In a wet bathing suit
As the sun went down
Grandma was nearly 
Out of her head
As she taught me to balance
The silence and dread
And daddy was in town
Feeling sorry for himself
His immaculate revenue
Dead on the ground
And mama pretending 
Jangling and pushing
Everyone around
Did not see me slither
Watching grandpa
Remembering mama
In her silk nightgown
I want to arrange 
One more vision of you
Lying naked in the sun
On a rock by the sea.

Third War(Colossal)

You knew what an alert was,
You exited when told,
You did not protest,
You covered up quickly,
And left with the rest.

Were the woods radioactive,
Were the corks, were the genes,
Was the glass in the desert,
Were the ways and means?
Were you there when the bomb came,
Did you see it fall,
Did it leave a shadow on your wall?

The man had a blade,
And he cut your throat,
He burned down your city,
And he made you choke.
When you woke with the dead,
Did your heart still pound,
Was it the day of the dead,
The day you were found?

When the innocent bathe in blood,
Is the war over then,
And are you set free?
Breathe in and breathe out,
The night is still here, 
And oh, my darling, you are so near!

Bio: Elizabeth Cusack is a recovering actress. Ever since playing Rhoda Penmark in “The Bad Seed” as a child, deservedly, she has endeavoured to keep up her end of the bargain. Elizabeth has been blessed with the best of teachers over the years, mostly from the school of hard knocks. She has championed and performed in fringe theatre in America. Elizabeth edits her favourite poet while not otherwise inspired by her muse to write. 

New poetry Showcase from Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozabal – September 2022

all artwork by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozabal

It is Hell

It is hell
to live in a place
where there is a big city 
like Los Ángeles.
Brecht had it right.
Los Ángeles can be hell.

I also love it.
I do not want to move just yet.
We have large trees
teeming with fruit,
lots and lots of fruit.

The traffic and smog
is like no other. I own that.
Foolish people behind the wheel,
they are the people of hell,
finding happiness now and then,
even in this hell.

There are lovely houses
and many people stay in the street
because villas are for the rich.
They too live in hell.

A Crow’s Song

Outside my window
the crow sings to me
or rather it mocks me
or it does neither.
It is just singing about
life and its complexities.
Or I am simply grasping 
for straws, trying to
make up my own story
out of a crow’s song.
Hatching a Heatwave on a Hump Day in Los Angeles
for Robert Edwards

In an hour’s time
the darkened skyline 
hatches a heatwave 
over the mountains 
on a hump day in
Los Angeles. 

I drink coffee
and eat an egg with
bacon breakfast 
while the skies fill up
with red, yellow, and
orange sun splash.

If you close your
eyes and take a nap
from five thirty am
to six fifteen, you
miss the sun’s birth
in the distant south.

Beat the Cure into Me
After Robert Smith

Time to open up your mouth
Carry your voice down the street
Converse that conversation 
Raise the volume a little bit
Because I fear it may be fading
I am begging you to shout out
The way you feel about you and me
Take the nail out of the coffin
Yeah, let it all out and be free
Pick up the noise, pick up the scream
Let the words flow from your mouth
I will respond to you in kind
Let’s go out and let’s stay in after
I’ll comb my hair and you’ll let yours down
Put away that pout, let’s twist and shout
Beat the cure into me, beat the cure into me
I fall under your spell when I hear you speak
Put your head on my shoulder
I want to look into your face
Time to open up our mouths
Carry our voices down this street 

Bio: Luis lives in California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles CA. His poems have appeared in Blue Collar Review, Fevers of the Mind, Kendra Steiner Editions, Mad Swirl, and Unlikely Stories. 

A Poetry Showcase from Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozabal 

Poetry from Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal 

Poetry Showcase by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal : Grave Concerns

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with writer/actress/director/producer Laura Cayouette

Bio: Best known as Leonardo DiCaprio’s sister in Quentin Tarantino’s  Django Unchained, Laura has acted in over 60 movies and TV shows including Now You See Me, True Detective and Friends. She’s currently recurring on Oprah Winfrey and Ava Duverney’s Queen Sugar. 

Laura is also the author of 8 books including Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career with a foreword by Richard Dreyfuss and endorsements from Kevin Costner, Lou Diamond Phillips, Reginald Hudlin and more.

Writing Unblocked: How I Went From Writing 1 Book In 20 years To 5 Books in 4 Years helps writers of all skill levels tell their stories and create their projects. The accompanying 6-video Creating Characters course is designed to help writers develop individualized characters that come to life. 

Her 5-book Charlotte Reade mystery series is a love letter to the people and culture of New Orleans starting in 2009 as the Saints are headed to the Super Bowl. 

An award-winning filmmaker who’s produced a feature film with Quentin Tarantino, Laura is currently working on a documentary about overtourism and the French Quarter – finding a balance.

Cayouette earned her Master’s Degree in creative writing and English literature at the University of South Alabama where she was presented the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. She’s taught both English and acting/directing at various universities. 

A member of the Pussyfooters dance krewe, you can find her parading in Mardi Gras and working with local non-profits.

Links after interview:

Q1: When did you start writing and who influenced you the most now and currently? 

Laura: I remember loving to write in grade school. I created my first book with covers made of construction paper and tied together with red yarn bows. I drew a pyramid on the front cover and entitled it something about Egypt. It was a homework assignment in 4th or 5th grade and I remember loving to research Egyptian history and mythology. 

Back then, I loved The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill, and the Nancy Drew series. In high school, I fell in love with the Existentialist Jean Paul Sartre, sci-fi-ish author Ray Bradbury, and a lifelong favorite – William Faulkner. By college, I favored southern writers like Faulkner, Walker Percy, Carson McCullers, William Styron, Tennessee Williams, and I’ll include Ann Tyler since Maryland is below the Mason-Dixon line. In graduate school, I discovered Toni Morrison and she and Faulkner remain some of my biggest literary influences. 

Now, I’m influenced by more forms of storytelling, especially films. I’ve tried to bring some of the aspects of filmic storytelling into my writing – a focus on capturing a visual expression of a moment, a reliance on good dialogue to reveal character and move the story along, playing with juxtapositions, soundtracks and other editing elements, and an attempt to bring characters in my head to life in the way actors do. 

In that way, I’m most influenced by Richard Dreyfuss, Kevin Costner and Quentin Tarantino – all of whom appreciated and invested in my storytelling. 

Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer? 

Laura: I was 11 years old when my parents split. It was 1975 and many of the other families in our suburban neighborhood were also divorcing. My mother moved us into a 200-year-old farmhouse with several of the broken bits of those families and we formed a collective, a commune. I knew at the time that I was living a truly unique experience set against the backdrop of the Bicentennial – and I was certain that it was my purpose in life to be the one to tell the story of Lemonade Farm. 

Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career? 

Laura: Richard Dreyfuss, Kevin Costner and Quentin Tarantino all contributed a lot, as did author, Tom Franklin, my uncle Gerald, my mother, and several of my friends. 

If I had to choose one, I guess I’d have to say Richard Dreyfuss. He sponsored me to attend Writer’s Bootcamp screenwriting programs for over two years. He commissioned me to write a script for him. He wrote the foreword to my acting book, Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career. He even got me a laptop. And when I wanted to shoot eight minutes of a script I was looking to direct, the Oscar-winner played one of the leads for free. 

Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work? 

Laura: Lemonade Farm is set in Maryland, where I mostly grew up. In the 18 years I lived in Los Angeles, I wrote screenplays set in L.A., Maryland, the desert, coastal towns, my family’s home of Louisiana, and more. In 2009, I moved to New Orleans and my 5-book mystery series is set there. If you’ve ever spent any time immersed in the local culture of New Orleans, you know the city is a full-on character in the story. 

I’ve traveled the world since I was two and that has certainly affected my perspective, but I usually set my stories in the U.S. 

Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you? 

Laura: That’s a truly tough one. I find great meaning in being able to pay forward my experiences, especially when it helps someone. In that way, my acting book has been truly meaningful. I get a lot of feedback about helping someone get work or make informed career decisions. 

I’m starting to get great feedback about helping people be able to write their stories with me new e-book, Writing Unblocked: How I Went From Writing 1 Book In 20 years To 5 Books in 4 Years. One client who’d always had ideas but no idea what to do with them said that now he can tell his stories forever and he couldn’t express how much it meant to him. I live for that kind of feedback.

All of that said, I think the project I’m working on now might be my most meaningful and creative in the truest sense of those sentiments. I wrote a screenplay, The Source, years ago about the children of Eden – two immortals and two reincarnates. It’s the furthest from writing my own experiences that I’ve ever gone – way outside of my sweet spot of “writing what you know.” I researched for eight months before writing a word. 

After finishing Lemonade Farm, I decided I’d eventually turn The Source screenplay into a short book series – two or three books long. Writing the mystery series gave me the confidence to finally take on the short fantasy series of The Source. I’m excited to break The Source out of the tyranny of the 2-hour-max storyline. I can finally write whatever I want – dive into character development, dwell on backstories, and include details I had to cut for time. I feel so energized just thinking about getting back into research and brainstorming – especially all the Egyptian stuff. I’m hoping to jump in before the end of the year. 

Q6: What are your favorite activities to relax? 

Laura: Puzzles. Big time. I usually do at least one 1000-piece every weekend. 

Q7: What is a favorite line/ stanza/lyric from your writing? 

Laura: From my own writing? I don’t even begin to know how to answer that. But it’s probably something in Lemonade Farm. I spent a lot of time wordsmith-ing that one.

Q8:What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that always come back to you as an inspiration? 

Laura: I used to be a D.J. so music has always been fairly important to me. Lemonade Farm has a soundtrack. So do the mysteries. Those each have a playlist on YouTube. Pinterest pages too. I like to share all of my senses with my readers, immerse them in my mindset and the world of the story. Even as an actor, I often have a theme song for the characters I play. 

I like a lot of genres, but when I was working on the mystery series, I had a lot of fun finding the perfect New Orleanian music for each book. Book three, The Missing Ingredient,  also had a movie they were filming in the book. The soundtrack for the movie in the book was mostly 70’s funk – that’s definitely a favorite for me.

Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, etc that you would like to promote? 

Laura: Definitely the e-book, Writing Unblocked: How I Went From Writing 1 Book In 20 years To 5 Books in 4 Years. I took everything I learned from getting my master’s in creative writing and everything I learned from my nearly 30 years as an actor/writer/director/producer and created a faster, easier way to write that can even be fun. It makes me so happy to be sharing my methods and help people past whatever’s hindering their writing process.

I also created a 6-video course, Creating Characters, that helps writers create textured, individualized characters – no matter their writing skill level.

Bonus Question: Any funny memory or strange occurrence you’d like to share during your creative journey?

Laura: Too many to mention. I will say that The Source started out differently than anything else I’ve ever written. In L.A., I used to crochet and craft every Sunday with my best friend from high school, Angela. Since we first met decades ago, we’ve always made each other better as artists and craftsmen. 

One weekend, I decided to see if the same would be true of writing a screenplay. It was a long shot since Angela’s not a writer of any kind, so I decided we’d start by naming all the things people love in movies. By the end of that day, we had an outline for what would become The Source

I’d research all week then present my findings every Sunday to help us brainstorm story ideas. Sometimes we’d get so excited to share our ideas that I’d have to write notes as we were talking so I could listen to her without forgetting what I had wanted to say. 

One Sunday, we both got so hyped up about a vision we’d had that week that we decided to stop talking and draw what we wanted to share so we wouldn’t forget. She started telling me about her vision and showed me her drawing. I turned mine around so she could see that we’d both drawn the same unusual vision. It was one of those moments where we felt like we were being guided by the muse and it felt both spooky and incredible.  


Website: https://lauracayouette.com

Twitter: @KnowSmallParts

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lauracayouettepublic

Amazon Author’s Page

Writing Unblocked E-Book


Creating Characters Video Course


Blog: https://latonola.wordpress.com

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/latonolawordpress


Website: https://lauracayouette.com

Twitter: @KnowSmallParts

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lauracayouettepublic

Amazon Author’s Page

Writing Unblocked E-Book:


Creating Characters Video Course:


Blog: https://latonola.wordpress.com

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/latonolawordpress

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/latonola/

A Poetry book Review of “Afterglow” by Michelle Marie Jacquot


copyright (c) 2022 Michelle Marie Jacquot

“Afterglow will be releasing on 9/17/2022” Pre-order info is available within links on Michelle’s site and Barnes & Noble listing on bottom of page.

Michelle Marie has many avenues pointing her in many different arrows in her career. As an actress in Los Angeles, to a singer, to having a comedic sense of humor. She has also had a Barnes & Noble best-seller in “Death of a Good Girl” and I interviewed her for a quick-9 interview last year around the time “Deteriorate” was released. A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Michelle Marie Jacquot (Poet, Actress, singer/songwriter)

The most interesting thing you find from Michelle’s personality is through her writing. Poetry in quick deep thoughts, a comedy (at times a dark comedy), a reality of false absurdities of some of the people that surround her, mostly though she is a thinker. I may be outdating myself but her new book “Afterglow” reminds me of a pandemic vision through the old Jack Handey “SNL sketches” written through the beginning of pandemic times to the current and her observations of whatever a “new normal” is.

The book includes a quick excerpt to the recently passed poetic genius “Lawrence Ferlinghetti” and from there you are fall into the mindset of how these changes have everyone scurrying to the zone of “Where the fuck do we go now?” and are we still supposed to think for ourselves or for the masses.

This book reminds everyone to be themselves. Write out your feelings. Don’t feed a populous ego. An excerpt from Alfred D’Souza sets the stages on how during a couple of years of unknowing can shape your personality and vision for yourself and for beliefs.

These poems are real! Comedic, sarcastic, sadness at times, loving at times.

The familiar feeling of poems such as “Party of One” we got older and did anyone including ourselves notice?

Familiar and deep thinking short poems “Wherever She Went” “I Used to Have Dreams” “My 2020 Presidential Run” Here We Are Now, Entertain Us”, “Customer Service in May”, “Where is My Mind” all play upon this idea of the every day during the pandemic. Is this a normal day, or is this weird, or does it matter? Answers? Well hmm…We can write at least. And these poems are done with a quick flare of deep thought comedy that inside feels a sadness as well.

One of my favorite poems in this collection is “Maybe Heaven Got Boring” as Michelle goes into deep thinking watching an ant on her balcony ledge and comparing that to wondering if decisions such as brushing an ant away or letting it be is the same as how God would feel trying to make a decision on anything. Ants, humans, days, nights, sun, planets, oceans, otherwise?

“I Can’t Stop Reading My Horoscope” brings me back to my childhood and constantly reading my horoscope and thinking I am supposed to be feeling exactly as this writing is saying, or hell i’m nothing like this at the moment. Horoscopes always used to feel like an exact and ruled out any other possible characteristics that are passed to us.

Anger and boredom such as “Today I Wanted to Break a Plate” makes you wonder if hmmm…a metaphor can be a reality according to a moment’s notice of anger or an energy.

This is a collection of poems (comedic, pandemic, sad, happy, mad and wonderfully crafted)

Excellent, smart, metaphoric, quick/deep thinking brilliance from Michelle.

follow her on instagram @michellemariejacquot

twitter @michellejacquot

Cover photography by Marg


Border Crossing by Andrea Lambert

Border Crossing

I was born in Los Angeles.

November 2018. The sky is white. My skin is brown. The air dips below freezing at night. I carry my passport and birth certificate in my purse. In case I must prove citizenship. There are checkpoints all over Reno. Those who cannot show the right paperwork in time? Caged.

The only stamp on my passport is a honeymoon in Tulum. 

2005. Despite immaculate paperwork, a Border Guard in Tijuana refuses my return crossing to the United States. With my parents. After attending my father’s friend’s baby shower. In a black velvet floral party dress. Red lipstick. Heels. California summer tan. 

The Guard thinks I am a Mexican prostitute this swinging baby boomer couple picked up for a threesome. Preferring poly fun in their own waterbed stateside. Counterfeit passport for the whore. Fear eclipses multiple levels of ick in lizard brain.

I speak very fast. In unaccented English. Give exact dates and locations for my birth and education. My words spill like water. 

I am a woman of ambiguous heritage. Mixed race. Whether I’m white depends on who you’re talking to.

My words mean nothing to the Border Guard. He does not believe that this plump pink man could possibly be my father. Believes him to be simply a John. 
The Guard asks me my father’s birth date. I understand how tenuous my position to white America in stark blazing lights.

“January,” I say. So I can go home. 
Land of the free, my ass.

Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Andrea Lambert

Andrea Lambert is a queer writer, artist and filmmaker with Schizoaffective Disorder. She lives in Nevada with her four cats. Site: andreaklambert.com