Poetry Showcase: David Dephy (March 2023)


Memories flow around our bodies
from the heart of the rain this morning,
we are empty. Sorrow pulses through 
memories, swallows up our noisy minds. 
We are absorbed by water,
and can feel the sounds of ocean, 
as something familiar is dawning 
deep within us every morning, 
then it disappears again. Memories of us 
have the roots right in the air.
We were the wings for each other, 
but stillness breaks before dawn, 
in the name of all that’s hailed, 
and face it all— 
the past remains unclaimed, 
driven forth by faith.


“Walk on,” I said to myself 
and turned around, when the wind blows, 
the shadows change.
“Walk on,” I said and continued 
the path, we know the rules— 
the light’s gate trough the wall of darkness. 
So, goodbye all the leaves under the turquoise sky, 
goodbye all the leaves above the emerald land. 
I walk with silence in my heart 
there is no room for words anymore, 
what’s done is done. 


Language, the spirit of silence. 
Each word, the heart of silence.
Without hearts we are sightless,
with fingers searching for rays. 

I was circled by the cutlery of 
emptiness, but I felt your breath 
one day and realized my existence. 
Essence emerged from emptiness,

all the mysteries of our century
and all the answers flew with us.
Silence. Language of understanding. 
Meanings, only. No words. 


Long ago, the wind knew my plans. I asked myself: 
“If the wind knows our plans who can defeat the wind?” 
Long ago, I knew the answer. Silence.

I always knew that we all are going to the garden, 
and there was a street, empty, tiny, calm street, 
with the tiny wall, at its very end, and a garden 

beyond that wall. Ruins, as precious dust of hope, 
and wishes. Long ago, in noisy night I was attacked. 
I don’t remember those faces, voices, I left for dead. 

All I remember is my own breath, 
strangely telling the truth— meaning of loneliness, 
as if that garden beyond the wall 

was the sanctuary of my own heart, always alive, 
always beautiful from the very beginning of time.
I lived to revenge myself against my enemies, 

not for what they were – for what I was, 
from the end of childhood, friendship, war, 
from the beginning of understanding— 

when we all were created as a crown of the world, 
I thought the loneliness, and even that pain meant 
we were not loved, but standing on the other side 

of alone, I felt the cold breeze of bay shore, 
and took a deep breath, I heard the seagulls up above, 
“it’s all over now,” I realized, and it meant we loved

Bio: David Dephy (he/him) (pronounced as “DAY-vid DE-fee”), is an American award-winning poet and novelist. The founder of Poetry Orchestra, a 2023 Pushcart Prize nominee for Brownstone Poets, an author of full-length poetry collection Eastern Star (Adelaide Books, NYC, 2020), and A Double Meaning, also a full-length poetry collection with co-author Joshua Corwin, (Adelaide Books, NYC, 2022).  His poem, “A Senses of Purpose,” is going to the moon in 2024 by The Lunar Codex, NASA, Space X, and Poetry on Brick Street. He is named as Literature Luminary by Bowery Poetry, Stellar Poet by Voices of Poetry, Incomparable Poet by Statorec, Brilliant Grace by Headline Poetry & Press and Extremely Unique Poetic Voice by Cultural Daily. He lives and works in New York City.

Poetry influenced by Sylvia Plath & Anne Sexton from Rp Verlaine

For Sylvia Plath

I wish you had taken
a final impossibly tall
glass of whiskey.

Though I believe
you preferred wine
a slower phantom escape.

For the deeply troubled
before taking a final walk
through an abyss of cut glass.

I wish after that drink
you'd looked at the papers
that would become Ariel.

Piled in a neat stack
while your children slept
and you put head in oven.

Having written a classic
brutal and devastating
candle to a reckoning

between life and death
by one not fully in either
drained of blood and hope.

Yet last week, within days
I saw both a comedian
and a movie use you

as punch lines to cheap
jokes mocking the somber
savage music of your work.

That took all you had
making me so angry
I wanted violence.

But I poured a tall glass
let the whiskey transport
me to a calm cool place.

As I wish that you had
that morning and smiled
with a new thirst for life. 

Transient Bliss

We kiss
to advance the plot
surprises remain.

And the red neon
makes everything look
like glass.

Where I can see
I'm far more

Self defense
escapes me
when her

pierce me
and yes
ask for more.

Ah transient bliss.

Until the next day
both having had
this fragment we
call enough...

The edge of a star
which eviscerates
us to let go...

Hanging on
to memory
a door
closed forever.

Every Fix

She's always
almost/not quite
on the corner or
between as she slides
in and out of cars that
barely register like
revolving Johns, Joes,
Jims who pay
the fare.

Nameless as any
butterfly in stolen
doomed flights
to bed sheets
absent of warmth
in well titled no
look no chance motels.

Until fate
strangles the chase
with death, O.D. or prison.
The lean obituaries  
are grim
for girls of streets
they do not own.

I've watch her
as any sinister doubt
endemic in an overdose
laid bare then lost.
Lost forever as
she leaves  to fall
in deeper  chasms of ruin
as days fall to the warmth
and delusion inside every fix

Distance of The Bees

She says the bees ruin her flowers
I say nothing and drink the air
the sun gives no life to in the shade.

We dance around every empty space
allowed us by former lovers
accounting for denuded dreams we
circle each other with.

Much like the the bees content
with the succulence of
a flower unable to resist

She's an actress when she can
find work worth her time.
A large inheritance takes
care of the rest which she hints
includes me.

At 34 she says she is too old
for all of this, then says
nothing more.

Enters the house and slams
the door after I mention the arbitrary
vortex of spending time apart.
While the bees circle from a distance
I've come to understand.

: Rp Verlaine lives in New York City. 
He has an MFA in creative writing from City College. 
He taught in New York Public schools for many years. 
His first volume of poetry- Damaged by Dames
& Drinking was published in 2017 and another – Femme Fatales
Movie Starlets & Rockers in 2018. A set of three e-books
titled Lies From The Autobiography vol 1-3 were published from
2018 to 2020. His newest book, Imagined Indecencies, 
was published in February of 2022.

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Karol Nielsen

with Karol Nielsen:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Karol: I started writing my first memoir—about my marriage to an Israeli man and the trauma of the Gulf War—in the 1990s. I kept a journal to process intense feelings and poems came out of that. My first influences were Shakespeare and Hemingway.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Karol: Billy Collins’ short, humorous poetry has had a big impact on me. I initially wrote long, anguished poems, but as my work evolved I began to write shorter, lighter poems.

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

Karol: I grew up in the Connecticut suburbs and I dreamed of big adventure. Then I traveled through Europe, South America, Australia, Israel, and Vietnam. I wrote memoirs about living through Scud missile attacks in Israel and traveling to Vietnam with my father, a Vietnam War veteran.

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

Karol: My first memoir, Black Elephants, was a challenge to write and publish, but once it was out it was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing in nonfiction.

from Karolnielsen.com


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

Karol: In the tenth grade, my English teacher had us keep a journal. We were reading Emerson and I wrote in my journal that I wanted to become a writer like him.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Karol: I used to do marathons and triathlons, including the Ironman race, but now I find inspiration in taking long walks.

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

Karol: I have a poetry chapbook coming out next year about random, often humorous encounters in New York City before the pandemic and my small life in quarantine.

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

Karol: I have a long poem about a teenager who was stabbed in a gang attack in the Bronx. I covered the story as a stringer for The New York Times, which didn’t publish the story because he survived. The last line of the poem goes: “And he lived.”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Karol: I took a handful of creative writing courses with Adam Sexton at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop in the 1990s. I learned the craft of writing from him and now I use that knowledge in my lectures as a creative nonfiction and memoir writing instructor with New York Writers Workshop.




A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Shawn Berman

with Shawn Berman:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Shawn: I started writing around my freshman year of college. My first influences were my favorite comedians: Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Demetri Martin, Larry David, Conan O’Brien, and Mitch Hedberg. I wanted to be a stand-up comedian so bad, and to an extent, I still do. A lot of my work is my stand-up act, condensed into poetry.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Shawn: All these people are still some of my biggest influences, especially Adam Sandler. I think it takes a lot of talent to make people laugh and to be yourself. I’m not writing about serious things. It took me a long time to realize that it’s okay to goof around and to not be serious.

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

Shawn: I grew up in Albany, NY. There’s a real working class mentality there. That definitely influenced my writing. Has made it more grounded in reality, I would say. I’m living in New York City right now. There’s so much talent around me. It really forces me to keep pushing myself and to expand my comfort zone.

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

Shawn: I just put out my first collection of poetry called Mr. Funnyman. I’ve been working on this project for about 5 years. It’s all my material that I would love to perform in front of people at the Laugh Factory one day. I’m very proud of the work in this book.

https://amzn.to/3yrVhvx Amazon link

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

Shawn: I would say performing stand-up for the first time in college. Being able to make people laugh was addicting. I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Shawn: I’m a pretty big movie buff. I’ll watch anything. The crappier the better.

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

Shawn: I just released Mr. Funnyman and that’s available for only $5 on Amazon! Next month, I have a collection of humorous cinema-inspired essays, At the Movies, dropping with Alien Buddha Press. The magazine I run, Daily Drunk http://thedailydrunk.com/, is doing a lot of kick-ass things. We recently released Nostalgic AF: A Video Game Anthology edited by Nick Olson https://www.amazon.com/Nostalgic-AF-Video-Game-Anthology/dp/B0972ZS8GX. We are in the process of putting together One Anthology to Rule them All (which, of course, is a LOTR anthology edited by Josh Sippie). We have a lot of cool projects happening at DD. It wouldn’t be possible without the awesome community that we’ve built there!

Q8: What is one of your favorite lines from a poem/writing of yours?

Shawn: From my recent collection, Mr. Funnyman:

“there’s something to be said about destroying the system, but i’m not equipped enough to talk about that mostly because i’m pretty clueless when it comes to economics.

but you know what i am good at?

picking out the right hashtags to use on a selfie to ensure maximum exposure on social media.

did you see how many people liked the photo of us sharing a giant ice cream cone

under the moonlight

on the brooklyn bridge

with the caption: we were mint to be?

like 15.

i’m surprised the algorithm didn’t explode

right on the spot

after exposing its one and only weakness:

couples in love,

feeling hopeful after a first date

has gone well.

it’s truly a remarkable thing

if that mushy concept was actually real. Suckers.”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Shawn: Probably my dad. He’s a comedy nerd and knows what works in regard to joke formats. He’s pretty honest when it comes to writing. It’s good to have someone in your corner rooting for you who’s not afraid to tell you something sucks.

other links: