1 even when can’t see them chirping cheers me 2 new life among the mud, last year's leaves — welcome the rain 3 tinnitus not the midnight special hoping for 4 visit my old hood through Google maps, tent cities far as arrows go 5 planting time passes quickly sow oats if you like bread Bio: Jerome Berglund graduated from the University of Southern California’s Cinema-Television Production program and spent a picaresque decade in the entertainment industry before returning to the midwest where he was born and raised. He has exhibited many haiku, senryu and haiga online and in print, most recently in the Asahi Shimbun, Failed Haiku, Scarlet Dragonfly, Cold Moon Journal, Bear Creek Haiku, and Daily Haiga. Jerome is furthermore an established, award-winning fine art photographer, whose black and white pictures have been shown in New York, Minneapolis, and Santa Monica galleries.
photo from pixabay
Masses Weathered stones decorate the borderlands Of mental doldrums coated in jagged glass And feverish searching for finite validation, Capital lavished on those that contort, Those that bend at will, A brutal submission Where tarnished ethics Disappear in hordes of seekers Each within their own cerebral cage Delicately hidden from the collective longing Piercing through momentary discourse. Impassioned monologues spewed At cloaked beings illuminated Only by constructions That feed into a deluge Of romanticised experiences Futile, and fanciful. For the living now long For an ultimate journey Unknown and unexpected, Lost somewhere in grand darkness. Bio: A.R. SALANDY: Anthony is a Black Mixed-race poet & writer who has spent most of his life in Kuwait jostling between the UK & America. Anthony's work has been published 230 times internationally. Anthony has 3 published chapbooks titled 'The Great Northern Journey' 2020 (Lazy Adventurer Publishing) & 'Vultures' 2021 (Roaring Junior Press) as well as a novel 'The Sands of Change' 2021 (Alien Buddha Press). Anthony's Chapbook 'Half Bred' is the Winner of the 2021 'The Poetry Question' Chapbook contest. Anthony is the EIC of Fahmidan Journal & Poetry Editor at Chestnut Review. Twitter/Instagram: @arsalandy https://arsalandywriter.com/
Once my eyes were sea-blue and seeing And my breasts were round and full of milk. I breastfed Thebe with my wisdom, I lived and loved as a man, then as a woman, And again as a man, and saw All sides of the world, and the underworld. My wrinkled breasts stayed with me To remind me of life and the world, Of gods' flaws, spite and envy, And how blindness helped me see Beyond the gaze of mortal eyes. I saw my past and felt every hand on my naked body, Lust and love entwined, reason blurred by lechery, I recalled each sigh caused by the touch of Soft and rough fingers, lips and tongues And how happy my life was Before I became the seer. Then I learned that life's secret was in the readiness To embrace whatever was inevitable. Bio: Petar Penda is a professor of English and American literature (University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina), literary critic, and translator. His translations have been published in renowned journals in the USA and the UK. His poetry and flash fiction have been published in "Fevers of the Mind", "Lothlorien Poetry Journal", "A Thin Slice of Anxiety", "Trouvaille Review", " Amphora", and other journals.
Blue Devil Compulsion
I dare to bask in the wake of you, your experience of a thousand little things. Broken glass. Malt whiskey. Riven seams. To witness the eclipse as it casts away, to ruminate that labor, embracing the shards. So intimate, so dear, I procure a thousand cuts. Mae On any given Saturday at the corner of the local IGA, Mae would pace as she grasped her ivory clutch purse, cursing the brisk wind anticipating her next ride. She would step inside his Chevy Impala to earn her first pack of Marlboros, a rosy plastic barrette in her matted hair. A 52-year-old deaf mute with no other way to persevere, destitute and flailing through the rotted planked gaps of society. She would stroll the coal tracks to our back screen door, giggling as she gazed toward the little ones playing house. She caressed a baby doll against her lime polyester blouse. In this twinkling of glee, she eluded the reality of her next meal, then would steel away back to her space, of brake lights on hushed backstreets, another day of revolving existence. A rusted Ford would stop to sway open the heavy steel door, Just one more day. Mae, just one more. Archer Park He had my skate key, hand in hand floating, to Bon Jovi. We were living on a prayer, there in that desolate landscape- puppy love against poverty. We pushed against the despair, a pair in love’s delusion. That steel building and wood floor kept at bay the decaying storefronts, set against the aging tracks- permanent coal gons sprouting golden rods. Bio: Jessica Weyer Bentley is an poet, author, and public speaker. Her first collection of poetry, Crimson Sunshine, was published in May 2020 by AlyBlue Media. She has contributed work to several publications for the Award-Winning Book Series, Grief Diaries, including Poetry and Prose, and Hit by a Drunk Driver. Jessica’s work has been anthologized in Women Speak Vol. 6 (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions), Summer Gallery of Shoes (Highland Park Poetry), Common Threads 2020 Edition (Ohio Poetry Association), Appalachian Witness Volume 24 (Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel) and Made and Dream (Of Rust and Glass), Psalms of the Alien Buddha Part 2 (Alien Buddha) and online blogs including Global Poemic and Fevers of the Mind Poetry Showcase and a Wolfpack Contributor 2022. She recently was featured in her first magazine entitled Summer 2022 (Of Rust and Glass). She is currently penning her second collection, Down Below Where the Canary Sings slated to be out in 2023. Jessica currently resides in Northwest Ohio.
The Grey People
After Diane Arbus
Such greyscale smiles All wheel-chaired ones
worn by aristocrats in bag-head costumes
who’ve passed by privilege gathered for Samhain
Blank as a clock face Thumb over her lens
under midnight fluorescents Sword-swallowing albino
Her cripples, her stars Christ tattooed, arms wide
This giant stoops low Twins side by side
Light bulb scorching curls eyes unblinking
parents small as dolls Hands: resting damselflies
Nudists in armchairs Girl with a cigar
lounge beside blinds in Washington Square Park
Flash: atomic sunlight Ash about to fall
Hermaphrodite and A dwarf, butt naked
lapdog in a carnival save for trilby and tache
house, lips behind glass escaping her circus
Adore the drag artist Flaws blown up large
dancing with suited guy through her aperture
Face lost in her breast this closed-door sideshow
for me: the sole voyeur
The sea has no reply—& I’m devastated. The sea is easily equated with God. It ushers the waves towards me. I want to know why the sea is reticent. Even the sea won’t accept my roses. Each year at Perranporth it’s the same. I lay out the roses & the waves don’t seem to care. I can’t say which way the tide is turning. My fingers are dinted by thorns. No, even the sea won’t accept my roses. It keeps giving them back, each wave returning the gift—like she often did. Was that generosity gone too far or a kind of self-hate? A dozen roses on the sand. A grief unresolved since God has refused to bear witness. Are you not yet ashamed? I am stood Canute-like. I am a dolt. How can I expect to shame the sea with my tears? The sea is making me wonder if the sky & stars are really the inside of my brain. In which case she’s out there, I think. Why do we say the sea is blue when it’s really grey? It recedes now—one immense field of consciousness. I ask the sea again to give her back, please. The plea of mortals in their millions. It’s familiar to the sea. I believe the sea will make an exception. The only way to know for sure is to wade out & find a rip current, evade lifeguards between flags. The surfers are souls having a near death experience. They’ve risked jellyfish & sharks, joyous in wetsuits, halfway towards the empyrean. A friend says my only hope is immanence. I am privy to the knowledge of what’s happened. Ashes in the mica. While she’s in everything—from beach huts to kayaks to Alsatians on leads—while the sea is a sadist & says: now it’s time to leave.
Concerning the Spiritual
After Wassily Kandinsky
are you in this image
making it sing
while eyes are blind
lush colour harmonies
sunlit through blinds
a music box plays
reds and yellows
hemmed in by a frame
how your genius
finds itself blind
like a lone beggar
with open palms
seeing where lines go
whether they join stars
while my love
you were never blind
an artist living off
your quantum mind
giving the impression
of seeing while blind
seeing through one eye
your world like this canvas
in patches and shards
just mute to the outside
Kim you were loveable
due to your limits
your work unfinished
you’d say open your eyes
throw open your blinds
Vir Heroicus Sublimis
After Barnett Newman
Forget meaning for the Greeks & Christ the man or Christ who is God
or cathedrals conceived as such; witness one field of consciousness
where zips are light beams of mortals. Perhaps heaven is like this & colour
goes on till colour has nothing to fall upon. Ask yourself about ‘red’ & qualia.
Some would see ‘blue’ here. When we perceive a magic trick takes place:
the image gets flipped & thrown & appears on the back of the brain.
No conjurer in the occipital lobe or ghost in the machine, no homunculus.
So much beyond the visible surrounds the frame & yet so little
like seeing only a single strip when gazing across the Mississippi River.
Dark Clouds Storm Blue
Another cloud is the archive of photos. I upload them with voice files & they’re fragile. They live not in heaven; they’re in the desert & can burn anytime. If they were in a hard drive, I’d send them into orbit around Saturn— out of reach of when the sun expands. They say grief is like a cloud & though it stays the same size we somehow grow around it. I strain hard to find a face—then, glowering eyes & mouths. They move like boxcars. Dark clouds on my ceiling hover so close & the storm is blue, this shade of blue always sounds like a cello or jazz in the early hours. In my sleep I saw her corpse turn into snow, & I worry over where the self goes. When the merging comes. On sailing ships these clouds cast shadows & drag like bedclothes over my back. Meanwhile, the sun is a great absence: an eye gazing through the cloudiness of its cataract. I am a fool to look for patterns where no patterns reside. I am sucker they say for confirmation bias. I can no longer laugh at these legless sheep. Behind the clouds is the mirror of the Pacific in the evening, miles from the nearest atoll. I am shrouded by the sky. I foresee lightning; it comes like scissors down silk & rips as hands rip a dress. I see lipstick on the mirror— a kiss—her deliberate phantom. Someone should be answerable for this.
Bio: Patrick Wright has a poetry collection, Full Sight Of Her, published by Eyewear Publishing (2020). He has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at the Open University. He is also currently finishing a PhD in Creative Writing, on the ekphrasis of modern and contemporary art, supervised by Jane Yeh and Siobhan Campbell.
https://tinyurl.com/2v26mwuj for Patrick’s book “Full Sight of Her”