2 Poems from Ethan O’Nan : Dysphoria & Lake


Cognitive of the day
We tumble ran to the lake
Tripped off pants
Slipped down dress
Frantic laughing to the water 

Control lost, no play cool
Wet lips pressed, slick
Summer hot skin, steam
Dripping lake from strands
Pushed from our eyes

Lure me under again

originally published in Fevers of the Mind Presents the Poets of 2020

I was told this is what I had to do
So my eyes seek a shape, pattern – fixation
Numb the mind
Climb inside the dark circle of the paneling
Twist into the loops & swirls of the curtain
Trace the maze of the tiles on the floor
It will all be done soon
This is what I was told I should do
That body isn’t mine
But I lug it around
And with it a persona to puppet
Who was I with her?
How did I behave around them?
No one really knew…me
I can’t say hello to you of five years ago.
I took this skin out & we spoke words that had meaning then, maybe
I don’t remember them now
How forgetful, unthoughtful, you’ll think
Who was I? How much of me did you really see? 
Better to burn the past than pick through splinters
I suppose this life is akin to living in a suitcase
Taking out this being, this flesh to engage
A misfit to the mind
Desperate to love, but moments of love felt like terror as well
Numb the mind
Find a shape
And if I were to change this skin
Receive stitches and sutures to be a more fitting form
You might be perplexed
You might think it a joke
Those who felt closest
May just deny, grow angry, grow sad
Call on the name of ghosts now gone
But a puppeteer’s arms grow heavy & sore 
After half a lifetime of shows
And once the rubble of the mind is cleared
The choice must be made to live life’s remainder 
In a performance for others
Or to stop staring at patterns

Ethan O’Nan is a trans man living in North Carolina, he has a wife and 2 children. Ethan only 
dabbles in writing these days. His whole life has led to the last few years fully understanding what to do 
to make him feel on the outside like he has always been on the inside. The older brother of EIC David L 
O’Nan, Ethan is a business owner along with his wife Kristi. Ethan enjoys 80’s music, art, crafting, 
making soap, & comedy.

Interview with EIC David L O’Nan with Anastasia Abboud on Grains of Sand : About how I write, my weird thoughts and a few of my revised Cohen Avalanches in Poetry Poems.

Click the link below to check it out 🙂


Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.

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

Bending Rivers: The Poetry & Stories of David L O’Nan out now!

A Poetry Showcase with Pasithea Chan (September 2022)

Author’s Notes:

Ekphrastic Wrap inspired by Chinese painter Liu Maoshan’s La Friterie.
Written in 10 lines with 94 words with the rhyming scheme of aa bb cc dd ee
Credit for the photo goes to: http://pixdaus.com/files/items/pics/6/52/85652_03455f879e6bc09eec67c4a1e426af93_large.jpg
Please visit the Liu Maoshan’s page on: http://www.wanfung.com.cn/eng/tjysj_gh_show.asp?id=275
And a gallery page with clear display of Liu Maoshan’s work on: http://www.wanfung.com.cn/eng/tjysj_gh_zpxs.asp?id=275

Sadness & Loneliness in Color

Cream and beige loneliness cling on sadness in drab buildings,
buildings with windows holding drabness like its belongings

Belongings heavy with gloom spinning a grayish loom,
loom of desolation weaving threads of isolation that loom.

Loom of ghosts and haunted thoughts running in silence
silence that dawns reverence to break dissonance with silence.

Silence that falls on pavements with brackish pigments
pigments segmented with asphalt hues on walls with yellow pigments. Pigments from nostalgic mind figments of scattered leaves on Chinese Firs
Firs daubed in silver pigments to give light strokes showing fading firs

Much or Match

They will tell you:
friends are family
we choose ourselves.

I will tell you:
friends are either
much or a match.

Much in a bunch
gives hurt a punch
from friends in life’s crunch.

A much that burns
with love and care
with kindness so fair
with understanding
before being understood.

Match of disgrace
gives hurt a face
from fake friends in life’s crunch.

A match that burns:
respect with lies
success with envy
love with jealousy
and kindness with hurt.

Between much and match
are fires of desire and satire.
All hearts go down that gyre
until time lets truth transpire.

Much with loving desire
bids respect you can admire
from real friends showing life at its best..

Match with jealousy’s fire
bids disrespect and ire
from fake friends making life a test.

Take it from me:
let much light your match.
Keep those much because they match
but lose those matches like a boring klatch.

Hold on to much to light your fire
with dedication’s matching desire!
Who needs a match when you have a bunch
capable of giving life’s mishaps a punch?

Author’s Notes:
You may not have much friends or your friends may not have much but that bunch is all you need to give hurt and trials a punch. But you may also have many friends that burn your existence with waste and lies like a match. So why keep that bunch? Matches were made to set fires. Hence the poem : Much or Match.

Ships that Never Come

You look behind me
and see potential’s horizon.
But you don’t see
the ocean that divides us.

You look up to the sky
but I look under my feet.
You see clouds coming down
I see the ocean touching heaven.

You chase shadows
but you don’t know I cast them.
You pick up stones
I walk on them.

You go with the flow
a ship I watch from the shore.
You expect me to follow
that’s why I had to let go.

You live in the clouds
parsing stars with scars.
I see you like a farce
masquerading lies as stars.

We are worlds apart
parted by an ocean of thought.
When you arrive I leave
but when you leave I live.

You may be sure
about your ship.
But I am a shore
that’ll never let you anchor.

Some ships never come
because they were never welcome.
Yet many can’t tell
when they’re supposed to leave.

Author’s Notes:
This piece is about emotional and intellectual disconnection between a man and a woman in a relationship. The man sees himself a ship that the woman’s been waiting for all her life on the shore when in fact she sees him a ship that sailed long ago. They are both looking at the same scenery but they aren’t looking in the same direction. People don’t just drift apart, they simply shouldn’t have been together.

Rainbows without Sunshine

Tomorrow seems so grey with clouds so fey
clustered in a maddening fray dragging
souls to fates shaped by those who can stay
under a sky of dreams lost in circumstance raining
hurt and wait for hope’s rainbow to come shining.

Life is a meadow traversed in a bellow shay
bearing lupine smiles, and thistle cries dragging
hurt’s atrocious weeds that spill their whey
on love’s violets and care’s paintbrushes growing
wildly and sparsely dying in winter to live in spring.

Tomorrow is life’s sky overlooking mountains that play
under rainbows on life’s virid meadow showing
souls, that majesty in clay, can rise and have a say
if it can play dreams with actions under an overarching
rainbow even when skies rain and the sun isn’t shining!

Author’s Notes:
A cinquain written in 127 words with the rhyme scheme of ababb in 3 stanzas one for the sky, one for the meadow and one for the mountains.
Inspired by a photo from artist and photographer Candace Diar depicting Colorado’s Wild flowers: 


Old & New Peers

Filter, filter, makes you a trendsetter
hiding the fact that you’re much older.
Sticker and glitter to show you matter
lest you be called a bitter critter.

Slangs, hashtags and comments
define events and moments.
Followers to buy or sell components
otherwise lifetime opponents.

Freedom of speech and gender
to unleash chaos for a new world order.
Because misconduct is the way to be proper,
In a time where being real is harder.

Real issues thrown away like used tissues.
Who needs solutions when we can sell problems?
Why stand together when you can divide and conquer?
Judging is thinking because talking is listening.
New generations claim to know better
because the old ways are no longer
Now that the truth is out of order.

And so we filter pictures creating monsters
because problems create believers
because ideas are dangerous and liars are winners
because politicians have worshipers.
of hashtags and opinions shared as stickers.
Who can afford to snooze when nobody wants losers?

According to the new diction: New generation
are masses in competition choosing a mission
focused on a life based on recognition
even if it leads to self destruction or omission.
With an ideology of indecision
advocating mass incognition,
perversion and corruption define recognition.

Original is a sin in a world of have been.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve seen
because change now comes from a bin
where death and silence are akin
and emotion is a matter of skin
where the truth is a bubble popped by a pin
we call how to be in and stay in.

So cheers, here’s to your fears
having the loudest jeers.
Keep your filters, I have my leers.
You have your eyes, I have my ears.
I guess old and new can’t be peers.

#newage #newgeneration #socialmedia #realissues #life #truth #reality #violence #lifematters #division

Candlelit Ice Rinks

Deep in a cagey cradle
it beats pumping endlessly.
Sometimes it pumps
enough to overflow in words.
Sometimes it skips
a beat killing cries.

You can run out
of paper or ink
trying to be heard out.
Or you could die out
like frost on an ice rink.

Dark or bright
heavy or light
hearts and pens
define right or plight.

Poems are hearts’
desolate skating rink.
Sometimes leaving marks
on moments of fire or ice.

Passion is a candle
burning elusively.
It seeps in cracks
pushing or stopping words
in tracks like small sips
halted by gulps or hiccups.

So let your poems handle
your passions loosely.
Pen your works
as per moments
of cares or hurts.
Like all arts, poetry hurts.

Akhal Teke Autumn

She canters freedom like wind
Gallops wilderness like fire
And into metallic dreams
She blazes banter with reverence-
Only to chute through life’s greenbrier-
letting seasons mark her deviance!

As she gaits, bittersweet love is dinned
with a shako of loss and a whimsical rouleau!
She caulks impressions from semblance-
Halting anguish with mystic desire!
Denying cant from reinters is a gyre-
she perfectly forms as she trots!

In her cremello eyes is a mundane escape
from all that is eidolon and bemire!
Waiting for her rider, she dismounts-
popinjays with utmost countenance!
Mettlesome is her autumn full of satire!

Tequila lit Akhal Teke you sire-
Autumn’s passions so Bordeaux-
For your love’s winter pines
my heart with perseverance
overcome with awe and surefire!

Author’s Notes:
Akhal Teke(Turkmenistan Stallion): A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence

Magician’s Ombre

He trumps with masculine beginnings
under Mercury’s will to command
Renegados: heart, mind, and soul

He is skill’s regal teacher
playing will’s red suit
against a black intellect.

His motive is untainted innocence
draping red passion and experience
unto humans’ conscious existence.

He belts his waist- a divine bridge
for both worlds: spirit and human
manifesting desires into reality.

Eternity is his tiara shining
over elements of an alchemist table
fit for a banquet for three players.

Wearing mismatched red and white lilies
for slippers of majesty: good and evil
He leaves you plagued with creativity.

Drinking a cup of emotional fulfillment
filled with imagination and beauty.
He will dance you to productivity.

He eats from a pentacle of brilliance
molded for perfection, baked in patience-
to serve you excellence and practicality.

Armed with the sword of mental clarity
his judgments are sound and canny
with ideas so profound with relativity.

He is master of illusion and duality
a shaman and a charlatan prodigy-
who’s game only for the witty!

Author’s Notes:
Tarot cards have been associated with card games all over Europe mainly the 3 player game “Ombre” of Spanish origin- known as well as Renegado”. This poem discusses the traits, personalities and behavior of the tarot card ” the Magician” as part of a reading and the personality of the zodiac sign or person it is associated with.

Love and War

Love a child with tantrums
makes demands that are costly.
Like a child taking a stride
wearing your mind
in its little feet for a feat!

Before you know it
the fire around you is lit.
You find yourself waging war
on its behalf and eager to enlist
for proxy wars that may exist.

Love a child with tantrums
plays pretend around family.
Like a child it hides behind
you as you face canons so snide
not knowing defeat is your only treat.

Before you know it
you no longer fit
anywhere except out the door
of loved ones for whom you slit
your wrist as they vanish like mist.

Love a child with tantrums
builds and destroys family.
Like a child it will leave your side
and refuse you if you backslide.
So watch your step and mind your feet.

Without you knowing it
you will get hit
with words that score
your value as per a list
tweaked with blame for a twist.

Love a child with tantrums
never plays fair around family.
Like a child it will deny you’ve tried
and bid you farewell saying you pried.
It’ll run you over like an ironed pleat.

Before you know it
you will be called a dimwit
for choosing love over war.
Do you get the gist
of Love and War’s whist?

Author’s Notes:
Inspired by: Sting- This War https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsPnF2EawxM
They say All is Fair in Love & War. Love between two people is a messy business but love among family is way messier. You tend to protect and defend and support family but these gestures are sometimes the cause for families to dissolve. Many times the saying: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is a reality. This is when you realize that it’s hard to watch someone you love outside behind a glass window but sometimes it’s great because that’s the most you can get close.

Stem Gem Schlemm

Put them anywhere and they will grow
into anything you want them to be.
Whether you are gunning for cancer
cells or growing new limbs!
They call them stem cells
because life stems from them.

Put your heart on anything and it will flow
with passion opening doors like a key.
Whether you are after danger
or fostering love or making sacrifices.
They call it a heart because life holds
unto it like a chord for rhythm.

Hearts’ dynamics stow
fit or misfit attitudes for free.
Whether in severe anger
or one sided compromises.
Qalb in Arabic or heart comes
from the verb “yaqlib” as in flips.
Hearts are thereby a stem gem.

So safeguard your cord from envy’s blow
Mind your heart’s beat from pity.
Such keen cleat can fetter
the art of beat and feat with regrets.
Beat for what’s right with right moves
but choose your feat for the right reasons!
Don’t atrophy your cord with confusion’s hem.

It’s easy to lose tomorrow
with circumstance’s eye.
For when trials’ lenses blur
truth’s lights;
Value’s aqueous humor leaks
out of self respect’s Schlemm.

Author’s Notes:
Inspired by
 : Lindsey Stirling’s Hold My Heart, youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCTWBHP6lV0

The first Chord is for rhythm of vitality the second cord is for the etymology of the word heart which comes from the EU word Kord to indicate lifeline= cord.
Schlemm: a circular canal lying in the substance of the sclerocorneal junction of the eye and draining the aqueous humor from the anterior chamber into the veins draining the eyeball — called also Schlemm’s canal, sinus venosus sclerae.

Bio: Pasithea is an impressionist poet who dabbles in art and poetry. She enjoys writing about life and her experiences from different perspectives. She believes in art in poetry as in exploring art to emphasize its role in juicing creativity out of a quill. She enjoys writing poetry in symbolism laced with philosophy and psychology.  Combined with varied styles and topics, her motto will always be: poetry is a passionate expression kindled by an impression unlimited by public conviction. To catch more of her work follow her on Instagram @pasitheachan or twitter @pasitheachan and on Ello @ello.co/pasitheaanimalibera where you can find more of her historical fiction and mythological or cultural short stories.

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Meg Tuite

1: When did you start writing and whom influenced you the most now and currently?

Meg: I was a kid when I started writing. The beauty in that is that a kid does not edit, attain writer’s block, stop, unless lunch is ready or Mom made cookies. My mom was definitely my influence! She was a librarian. Our house was filled with books and she read every one. Then each book was passed down from oldest to youngest. She had five kids who were all obsessed, invested in reading.

Currently, I find poets and a few non-narrative writers the most inspiring. Here are a few:

Bruno Schulz, Janet Frame, Anne Sexton, Clarice Lispector, Garielle Lutz, Morgan Parker, Dominique Christina, Jeanette Winterson, Lidia Yuknavitch, Lucia Berlin, Olivia Laing, Kate Braverman, Tove Ditlevson….

There’s never an end to the list.

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

Meg: My mom bought me a desk for 5 bucks from the local grade school’s rummage sale. I sat there daily. She told me I had been writing a novel about a kid running away. I would love to see that rambling run of sentences. Nothing exists, but her memory of it. I had a book in my arms wherever we went. Our family wasn’t so much talkers, as readers.

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

Meg: I was living with my mom when she died in her early 60’s in Santa Fe. I needed escape. My older brother was teaching in Montreal so I rode tripped out there and he gave me a place to stay and some cash to eat. I went to the library every day and wrote/read for 5 or so hours. It was calming for me and engaging at the time. Another route to honing in on emotional constipation.

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

Meg: I grew up in Chicago and yes, I’ve been working on a novel for over 10 years on aspects of it. Still fiction, but there are what feel like authentic moments. I have traveled quite a bit and now have lived in Santa Fe, NM for over 30 years, but still go back to the roots. Chicago is the heartbeat of my writing.

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

Meg: My books. I have published five story collections and five chapbooks of poetry/hybrid/poetic prose collections. It’s definitely where my head is at when I want to produce something.

6: Favorite activities to relax?

Meg: Reading, kissing on and walking my dogs, and I’m a serial napper with 4 cats and 3 dogs spread out around me.

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

Meg: “But then time was its own sorcerer, sealed with the blood of whole civilizations that rose up and buried themselves in the bitter song of a single hour, and one could remember almost anything if they looked back far enough.” –Meg Tuite, Bound By Blue

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

I hope you don’t mind if I give you a few YouTube links of some ‘time triggers’!

The Roches – Hammond Song

Hurray For The Riff Raff- St. Roch’s Blues

Buffalo Springfield: For What It’s Worth

Nina Simone: Ain’t Got No, I Got Life

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

Meg: My latest collection is titled WHITE VAN published by Unlikely Books (New Orleans) in March 2022:

Blurbs for WHITE VAN:

Gorgeously brutal, jaggedly mattering, Meg Tuite’s incantations crackle with the clarities of a true visionary.  White Van treats the trample and grime of trauma with cleansing ecstasies of language.  This book will turn you inside out. –Garielle Lutz, author of Worsted

Meg Tuite takes us into the dark hallways of American life with this harrowing, incredible collection of prose. Women, children rise to rattle the walls, rub fire into the “cold cases.” Pronouns shift, images scald, memories glimmer near “some shrieking puck of a moon”; a blanket, a pillow, a muffled scream. This book ruptures the silence with language that holds a knife between its verbs. “We rock handjobs and blowjobs in the dark from boys who buy movie tickets,” Tuite writes, and we are left to wonder if the price of entry for women in this country has always been too much, too much. A monster of a book for the silence of the monsters in us. I can’t recommend it enough. –Alina Stefanescu, author of Dor

Tuite’s White Van is a work of startling lucidity. She captures the myriad of frightening, familiar figures who stalk lunch counters and verge on small town edges in masterful language. This is elbow to the mouth, a merciless howl in the face of a world given up on the Disney version of fairytales. Tuite’s characters persist in the reveries of the loner. Buy this book. She knows her beat, this appalling world of solitary pathos. It is a starkly eruptive world of words beyond death, beyond decay. – Clementine E Burnley, poet, reader, writer

The poems in White Van grind and seethe, creep sweltering out from the backseat of the van. With razor tension, Tuite circles the globe of abuse, trauma, and what it is to dissociate from violence inflicted upon the self. This is a hammer-hard voice, decisive in its ability to smash together the tragic and familiar, the familial and societal, language of both predator and survivor. A raw and urgent collection, steady in its honesty, as present in its performance as a siren. –Colin Pope, author of Why I Didn’t Go To Your Funeral.

White Van is in Tuite’s terms a “predarectomy” – the removal of the predator. The book follows the “endless line of girls” who have “stepped here before.  She never realized how easy it was to disappear.”   We climb inside the white van and come face to face with terror: the serial killer rapist – his family – his victims and the writer who is able to create “conflict, action, and resolution in each scene. A story must parade in this order across the well-eaten page.  This is exactly what Tuite does – each chapter is its own seamless chilling narrative – and we are there with the speaker riding inside the White Van, a witness to evil.  “Blood on paper is a bad joke,” but this collection of fiction and poetry is both remarkable and disturbing.  White Van is a book you can’t put down, a book you will forever remember.

–Annie Pluto, author of The Deepest Part of Dark.

“I’m convinced nobody on earth writes with quite the same level of passion, verve, candor, dark humor, electric intensity, and HEART as Meg Tuite. I’ve pronounced this collection my favorite of her works (and I have a bunch of them). Why? It’s the experience of reading it. You read the first sentence. Stop. Read it again. Shake your head. Read it out loud. Marvel. Feel. Look out the window. Read the whole tiny piece (a poem? a story? you’ve long since stopped categorizing these stunning mash-ups). Whisper: damn. You gasp, you sigh. You read more. You start to gobble these. You mark ones to go back to. Realize you’ve marked them all. A master, a maestro, Tuite is the kind of writer who can balance a jetliner-sized story on the tender tip of a blade of grass and not you or I or anyone else has a clue how she does it. Get. This. Book.” ~Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life: Collected Works

I will be reading from WHITE VAN and other work at the Chicago Sunday Salon on September 22, 2022 at 7PM at The Reveler in Roscoe Village.

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

Meg: The first time I read “Creep” aloud was here in Santa Fe. It’s a story out of my collection ‘Bound By Blue’. This guy, who I’d never met before, came up to me and said, “How the hell did you write my father? That was him, every part of it.” He was crying and I was blown away. The amazing beauty of a deep connection with a stranger is everything to me. He said he was going to write his memoir that he’d been afraid to write before then. That is as HUGE as it gets for me. I will never forget that. He is now writing that memoir! And I’m thankful the protagonist in “Creep” didn’t come off as two-dimensional. I believe we humans carry our loads of fear, grief, and trauma, but also love and connect with some more than others.

Here is the link to CREEP:

Bio: Meg Tuite is author of a novel-in-stories, Domestic Apparition (San Francisco Bay Press), a short story collection, Bound By Blue, (Sententia Books) Meet My Haze (Big Table Publishing), White Van (Unlikely Books), won the Twin Antlers Collaborative Poetry award from (Artistically Declined Press) for her poetry collection, Bare Bulbs Swinging, Grace Notes (Unknown Press), as well as five chapbooks of short fiction, flash, poetic prose, and multi-genre. She teaches workshops and online classes through Bending Genres and is an associate editor at Narrative Magazine. Her work has been published in over 600 literary magazines and over fifteen anthologies including: Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good. She has been nominated over 15 times for the Pushcart Prize, won first and second place in Prick of the Spindle contest, five-time finalist at Glimmer Train, finalist of the Gertrude Stein award and 3rd prize in the Bristol Short Story Contest. She is also the editor of eight anthologies. She is included in the Best Small Fictions of 2021, and Wigleaf’s Top 50 stories of 2022. Her blog: http://megtuite.com

%d bloggers like this: