Before the Bridges Fell #14 Fumbles Through the Cloverleafs (like Gerard Malanga) by David L O’Nan

photo from Gerard Malanga’s book Incarnations.

I saw you taking pictures of the birds, while the wind whipped around the skin of the street. The nude trees laughed and shook.

A newborn archetype for the devil developed out of the silver screen then became bleeding silkscreens and wonderful fumbling cloverleafs that ran through our feet.

Digest all this rain that falls from the veins of the sky. The corners of the 9 o’clock train stops looked like waterfalls from the orbs of your blackened eyes.

You help the dainty devil, you watch as he shrivels to the wheelchair, and the artistry soapbox he will sit. You read him poetry, he stares at the moon and forgets.

He forgets that he’s a wonder, he forgets he is the Dali, the Picasso of popularity and the silence and the underground all at once.

The invitation to the cesspool, where we dance in the cool. The amphetamines rule and we become angels vacuumed from the ledge.

Some say a little like Malanga, Others say the reincarnation of the myth. Worlds that altered. Worlds that bothered. And worlds that are magical and incensed.

We live now running scared. Feeling shaky and watching as the bullies become our brooms. They sweep us off, take the art we bring and burn it in their tombs.

Caught me as I fumbled over another cloverleaf, into the shadow of old saints. They preached Jesus to the mirror. And the mirror reflected waves of redundancy, slightly altered versions of me.

Take in each cloud and welcome it into the smoke. We weave in the beauty and the broken. Like fashion and death are one in the same.

Love is the party, the shame is the sullen. And the afterglow is the pulling the mussels from the machines. While the Cephalopoda watches us closely and hides all his ink.

Learning bravery from the scared little fish. Learning to be genius identical to his.

And we wonder for hours and hours if this disease is our final bliss.

Wolfpack Contributor EIC Bios: David L O’Nan & HilLesha O’Nan

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with EIC of Fevers of the Mind David L O’Nan

Before the Bridges Fell #13 : A Coffee Shop Chronicle by David L O’Nan – poetry

A Coffee Shop Chronicle

She was born in Houma with her
heart in Metairie.  She would die in
Bloomington or somewhere in between.

She’d drink vodka until 3 A.M. after
Saturday night excursions.  She had men
howling for her and laughing at watered down jokes.

She could play violin like Alice Hartoncourt,
with the beauty of the moonchild spirit.
She will walk right in our favorite coffeehouse
fashioned herself like a pagan hipster.

Through the spiderwebs and the mocha lattes,
I asked her to dance by the molding bookshelf
Full of Dharma Bums and the Slaughterhouse Five in line-after line.  
She stared at me wishing I was the death of the White Oak.

I wanted her heart to beat by mine just for a couple of breaths.
Holding in my choke while she tears up.
And I just want to wipe away the pain in her body, she forces me to give up.
The pain she relies on to slip in and out of the cool unscathed.

While my eyes were hypnotized to her, in love
She escaped into the arms of flight.

We remember the blue.
Like stains to a granite tombstone.
I’m an old man now
Polite and crazy, fizzled in the mist.
All of that coffee has left me hazy.
Has left my memories quite lazy.

At night I thought of her kiss, her knocking,
Her ringing, her breath with my name intwined.
A walk home through the brittle and nebulous past the hustles.
To walk in love and dying with the haunting cities decaying.

And I just remember in the coffeehouse we shared
Was hers for hers and mine for love. 

Before the Bridges Fell #12: Radio Ghosts by David L O’Nan – Poetry

Before the Bridges Fell #11: The Devil’s Beach Sonnets by David L O’Nan -poetry

Before the Bridges Fell #10 : Everyone is Kerouac by David L O’Nan – Poetry

Before the Bridges Fell #9 by David L O’Nan : Living in This Toxic Coalmine – poetry first on Icefloe Press

Before the Bridges Fell Poem #8 by David L O’Nan   “Those Hazels, They Slice” – poetry first published on IceFloe Press.

Poem #7 from Before the Bridges Fell: Scattered Christmas Garbage by David L O’Nan – poetry

Poem #6 Before the Bridges Fell by David L O’Nan : “They Are Running My Prints” – poetry

poem #5 Before the Bridges Fell : Fevers of the Mind to Inspire Artwork Series (2009) by David L O’Nan – poetry

Poem #4 “Before the Bridges Fell” by David L O’Nan Remembering Carol Andersen

Poem #3 from Before the Bridges Fell by David L O’Nan : “They Had Sadness in Their Eyes (like in Littleton)” – poetry

Poem #2 from Before the Bridges Fell by David L O’Nan :Black Jackets and Boneless- Poetry

Poem #1 from Before the Bridges Fell by David L O’Nan: Narcissism Taxi Cab Parades – poetry

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.

3 Re-published Poems from Denise O’Hagan

Between beauty and decadence

Like a shred of satin
Crumpled and creamy
It caught my eye
Lying there, near a clothes peg
Against the brick red patio.

Luminous, exposed
Halfway between beauty and decadence
With the day’s bruise already on it:
The world’s aches
Perfectly expressed
In the throwaway gift
Of a fallen petal.

First published in The Blue Nib (Issue 39), 15 Sept. 2019  


The silence
Between us
Thickens and grows
And flows around us
Like a third presence
Waiting, malevolently,
For one of us to break it.

How did we
Get to this point?
Is there a line running
From the quickened heartbeat
The clutched hand
Of youth
And easy collusion
Of middle age
To this?
Was the end
Implicit in the beginning?
Or did we
Take a wrong turn
Creating a fault line
Damaging ourselves
And dislocating the ‘us’?
My thoughts are heavy, clunky
And going nowhere.

Years of misalignment
Have made us wary 
Suspicion lies coiled
Between us, serpent-like,
So we take refuge in routine,
Imbibing the evening news
With our chamomile tea
And the other rituals
Of stale, safe domesticity.

But all the while
Nuggets of resentment
Weigh down any deeper disclosure 
And neither of us
Want to admit 
To boredom.

First published in The Blue Nib (Issue 37), 15 March 2019

A journey of sorts

You didn’t see me
But I turned back 
And then for years
Every time I passed that place
I’d see your crumpled form
Wheelchaired across the courtyard
Plastic bracelet pale against your wrist,
Resistance in the set of your shoulders.

Did a lifetime spent abroad
Sliced up between three continents
And all the years of travel
(good luck tiki in your inner pocket)
With their attendant rituals
Of collars pressed and briefcases clicking 
Inching forwards in countless check-in queues
Nodding acceptance of clunky hotel keys
Patient layers of rewritten drafts
Pencilled scribbles up and down the margin
Handshakes, boardrooms, coffee in plastic cups
Inhaling overblown officialdom
With cigarettes over too-long lunches
In that quiet way of yours – did all this
Stand you in good stead?
For this, too, was a journey of sorts. 

The white gash of your hospital gown
The glow of multicolored monitors
Recording your vital functions
While nurses replenished, adjusted and tweaked 
The spaghetti curls of drip lines and silver stands
With which my mother and I did hopeless battle
To ease your situation
Prompting a final, wry quip
And a chuckle from a nurse of stone:
Humour in extremis.

And on the last night 
They gave you the last rites
And then we settled down 
To wait.

First published in Eureka Street, Vol. 29, No. 18, 16 September 2019 

Bio: Denise O’Hagan is a Sydney-based editor and poet, and former Poetry Editor for Australia/NZ for The Blue Nib. With a background in commercial book publishing in London and Sydney, she set up her own imprint, Black Quill Press, in 2015 to assist independent authors. Winner of the Dalkey Poetry Prize (2020), her work appears in many journals, including The Copperfield Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Books Ireland, Eureka Street and Not Very Quiet. Her website is    

Re-published poem from Linda M. Crate “have fun dancing with death” – poetry

red and gold mask with black background
Photo by Joshua Coleman (unsplash)

have fun dancing with death

you say, "it's adam and eve
not adam and steve."
but what if it were eve and lilith instead?
i fell in love with a woman once,
and i know you'd disapprove;
but she woke in me the dreaming when
i thought i was dead-
she reminded me that i do matter,
that my dreams are to drive me forward
not to be forgotten in some abandoned place;
she taught me that my scars make me 
beautiful -
she brought forth fires in my soul when there
had only been ashes before,
a faerie singing songs into my heart i
once knew
before you shut me away in that haunted
dark closet;
we were childhood friends but she was
my twin flame
knew me in ways i thought no one ever could -
i loved a woman once,
and i love her still;
i'm not ashamed to admit that now
won't hide in the closet you would nail
me into
skeletons, spiders, and moths make poor companions
as do you -
stop seeking me
you made your choices,
and i've made mine;
have fun dancing with death!
i choose love, i choose light, i choose rainbows

 2 poems by  Linda M. Crate : Once We Were Sisters & All You Gave Me Was Rage  

New poems from Linda M. Crate “all i wanted is to be loved” “i’ve outrgrown you” and more

Poetry Feature for Linda M. Crate from the Anthologies

A Poetry Showcase by Matthew Freeman


And I’ve seen that it’s possible
to never come out of hell
and that any revisions that are made
are made in the rain.

I knew a guy at MPC on Delmar
twenty years ago now who with trembling fingers
would chain smoke
discarded cigarette butts he found
and whatever was going on in the sky
was contending in his own mind.
He was closer than I can explain.

Other patients would talk about him
and various rumors and reasons
for his condition were passed around.
I felt that they all fell flat.

I don’t know what could explain
the sheer dignity and unutterable grace
of someone so painfully and somehow
beautifully cast about.

There’s somebody somewhere
paying for every little thing that we do.

Repetition (in the Lacanian Sense)

I can write about orchards and vines
and I can write about the Greyhound and the Metro
and I can write about Orpheus going down 
or Red errupting when they
stole his Doritos

and now sometimes I feel like I've been walking
along the bottom of an ocean
for forty long years
with only the Beatles and Jakob Dylan
to comfort me
and how I'm ready to tap out of this wrestling match
but I can't keep the metaphors straight 
and anyway in kicks the Ativan
and we begin again. Okay, that's literal.

Something much greater than sex is going on.
My nurse thinks the Ativan is causing early onset dementia.
Look, I've been demented since day one.
It's only helped me making verse.
It's been about twenty-seven years
since I could tell you what I did yesterday.
Decades have passed since my community support worker
took me in because I'd taken a month of meds in ten days.

Yes, I know, I suspect 
I've already said all of this.

Forget Whitman

Ah, so it's the moon 
that's been influencing me.
All these years and I thought it was the sun.
What a fool I was !
I mistook being terribly uptight for stability.
I thought letters involved restraint.

I've been thinking a lot about myself
and what I've discovered is
that the structure of my negative symptoms,
the wonder wall,
is slowly coming apart.

I had a pleasant talk with an intelligent 
and amiable older woman today
and when I came home I felt safe and understood.
Maybe later when I put on the Bach some feeling will come.
Maybe I'll feel like going somewhere.
Maybe when I try to take a nap
I'll actually rest.

I'm becoming devout! My mind's still a little messed up
and I'm still writing poems all day with lots of cuss words
and I'm still cussing out the devil
and I'm down with all the forms of witchery 
but Christ is handling my dispossession
and Superman's going to sweep up all my symptoms
and throw them into the sun and then plant my flag on the moon.
Finally, dear Ladylove, it's happening!
The change in consciousness we talked about to change my stance.
There's a sign and it doesn't have to be a sign.
It's all about aesthetics and forgiveness.
Forget Whitman, John Keats is going to be my guide!   


By any sane stable measure
in the heavily belated
late liberal free neo-conservative
I'm an abject failure.

People malign Little Marx
but without him and the mixed economy
I'd be dead meat. On a side note
I would mention 
that I might already be dead meat
because I think
my blood stopped flowing. But
that's for a different poem.

Maybe they should make social programs for
poets. Rotten teeth? Check. Afraid of sex? Check.
But without some capital there'd be no marginal 
friction. And regardless of
whatever psych evals they give
they still don't know where
poetry comes from. You can be a loud asshole
and write quiet poems. You can be
silent for years
and then come out with some 
bombastic revelations. I thank my good buddy
Chief, who remarked when I said I was a loser,
“Artists are held to a different standard.”


Everything's complicated but
I'm doing my best
to sort it out.

Okay, yes, I take a lot of meds and
they've kept me from completely
freaking out and having to hit the hospital.
But there's a grand fake edifice
being built behind me
and I'm starting to believe
that it might, in fact, be real.

As once at Barnes-Jewish
I said to the psych nurse, “So it's true.
The government is watching me.”
“But not in the sense you're suspecting,”
she responded.

But seriously, folks, let's not get
bogged down in the mire of semantics.
Some weird shit is going down
and I'm here to witness it.

My Discernment

My repeated trips
to the Underworld or the Wilderness
or whatever you want to call it
have in some manner left me
weakened. I'm not going to quit
doing what I'm doing but
it would be nice
to say I've learned what I needed to learn.

A huge breakthrough came
when I got up to leave my room
and somehow the door was already opened
and when I got to the elevator
it opened before I even pressed the button
and no one was on it
and my immediate thought 
was not that this was from the devil
but that it was a great
gift and wonderful sign 
from God.

What's to Love

I walk a little quieter when
little Enoch is around.
I have said that he is holy.
I know that you, dear reader,
would probably think
that he's clearly suffering
from some unknown

I can't tell you what we do here all day
but there is a structure to it.
There's a rhythm. You can call me the drummer.

Today I discovered a secret method
for rising out of hell. But don't tell anyone!
It's five hundred milligrams of Clozaril.
I think though I'm not sure that I'm the only one in the know.
Walking in the rain's different from looking out the window.

I arrive later at Tower Grove Park
with my notes
and continue to put down the penetrating paranoid vibe
and so, I can take part
in the psychotic discourse but
what's much more interesting to me
is figuring out those tulips and what's to love.

Loud Bell

Parkview Place has finally grown into my home
after only fourteen years
and I love my beatnik room
and last night on the patio I actually
was thinking
“eyeball” and “eyeball”
because I was noticing the beautiful lights
and the beautiful 70's architecture
and I felt some god was preparing me to roar

and I've slowly come to understand the presence of evil.
I've been so sick
and I just thought that everyone or everything
was sick as well.
I feel like I'm going to a wedding.
Somebody's about to give birth!
There's a beautiful spirit all about us
which is taking its shape in the brain.
Send this stuff to the true psychiatrist!

And speaking of trysts I'm wondering just where
Dr Valentine is now? You get so down 
and defeated and afraid
but you keep on fighting and after fourteen years or so
you enter 
into a positive transactional analysis 
and what freaked you out about everybody 

So don't dwell on that guy running rampant
throughout Manhattan so angry and unconscious 
and just at the beginning of picking up on language
because you know that loud bell eventually came to the fore.

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Matthew Freeman