Saturday, April 30, 2022

Saturday, April 30, 2022: Julia R. Lecrivain's poem "Where I'm From"

I am from the loss of words.

From the work hard and think harder

I am from the paper shredder

I am from the rose bushes

the perfectly pressed pavement

the one that sat for three days

I am from the chlorine and sweat

From sunup to sunset

I am from the strong

And the weak

From hop up! To dive in!

I am from those who aren’t always around

But still care more than anything

I am from the smell of wood work on the weekends

The taste of spicy food and sweet sugar

From the strings of my guitar

The ground under my wheels, the sun setting off to the west

Locked away in a room

hanging plants

the sound of music

The lights fading through the window

I am from these moments,

And the past ones as well

I am from a family that is unforgettable


© 2022 Julia R. Lecrivain

(previously published in Mosaic, Issue 1, 2022)


                                                               © 2022 marie c lecrivain

Bio: Julia R. Lecrivain is a high school student, competitive swimmer, and emerging poet. She lives with her family in Santa Clarita, CA.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Friday, April 29, 2022: Gabriella Garafalo's poem "Untitled"

Out of a pesky arthrosis time is forced

To stand still, he is bedridden so can’t dash

To centuries and millennia, to wolf them down-

The soul is gently soothing him, with those platitudes

Eerily akin to a generous dollop of salt on infected wounds-

Soul, don’t waste your time with him, better for you

To look for a light blue sky, where light stands as a survivor

Along with lighter colors, maybe blue, maybe desire-

And she suddenly raids him, touches his lips, a biting cold

Breaths life to your winter, but, oh, those hands, them

And primary colours, such a bore-

Never complain, never explain, just remove them quickly,

No good for you to end up like her

For a cheap sunset, too much sorrow, and hot tears,

What’s the bloody point?

Listen, be wise, grab a reliable night, a pocket gift,

Don't you know the roots of your being are born blue-

Wasted, unstoppable, they show

The weird rhythm  of your days to a lover who always

Dodges a bit cagey-

However, that’s very much for him

To get in touch and say ‘hello’, he usually dodges

Dirty jobs, if the soul stares in awe at briars,

The sunset hides to ravage them-

Long story short, you too hide in the blue

The soul desires-all right, all right, no choice for you

If your places don’t live in you so they reject

A rendezvous with you-

Well, Father, to be honest even the moon rejects

To quench her thirst, maybe it’s the right time for sounds

To fade away, not that you like them, as the days from the mothers rape

Your winter, same here, same here.

The point is, one fine day the roots of your being

Would like to wither away leaving no trace-

Great, but your body your limbs are set on

Making it hard for them-

They might just love life, or they can’t wait to ground

Father who threw them at you in bulk.

Hers was the sort of kindness born out of fear,

The soul was a scared lady:

Particularly when in the morning the grudge of the light

Was quite a piece of work:

No depths of an abyss for shaken souls,

They might get excited, and anyway

The swamps weren’t that dangerous-

Those problems apart, her days made the clouds blue-dust,

And did justice to the blazing beings-

Maybe God in spite of everything? -

But blue was the dawn of words, when she was listening

To her myths, where even the waves are wild,

Stronger than the shocked rhythms

In a tangle of matching reds-

Meantime, for his part, the angel of secrecy,

So very sick and tired of his aging Eden,

Breaks in your house and shuts

All the blue hours in your days.

Awful, isn't it, mainly because you have

No moors at hand, no wild grass, no stray leaves-

Just make do with your wistful stones,

A betrayed green if the water stays still-

What a foolish makeshift, what a waste of limbs,

And you’d love to swap them

With meadows, rapids, streams-

Oh, don’t I know, you look for green

As the father of every tale, but your search is tangled up,

Even words meddle in and cut up, my soul, your grip.

© 2022 Gabriella Garafalo






Born in Italy some decades ago, Gabriella Garofalo fell in love with the English language at six, started writing poems (in Italian) at six and is the author of Lo sguardo di Orfeo; L’inverno di vetro; Di altre stelle polari; Blue Branches, and  A Blue Soul.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Wednesday, April 27 2022: Jeanne Marie Spicuzza's poem "The Mirror"

 The Mirror


The mirror

polishes itself

against itself

and discovers itself.


The mirror

polishes itself

against another

and learns desire.


The mirror

polishes another

and finds love.

But only the mirror


who forgets itself

and reflects

another

reaches union.


© 2022 by Jeanne Marie Spicuzza






Jeanne Marie Spicuzza is an award-winning actress, writer, director, producer, and performance artist. She is also a visual artist, composer, and master herbalist. She has received awards, placings, and nominations with The Pushcart Prize, Shepherd Express, Fade-In Magazine, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Vatican Division of Arts and Culture, and others. She is published in Shepherd Express, Blue Fifth Review, A Gathering of Tribes, and more. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Tuesday, April 26, 2022: Anne Huang's poem "Sometimes Earlier"

Sometimes Earlier

Whales and birds for love and a human race. Human race and a preposition. They sometimes take in good deeds. She gave them up and she did not know then. Human race and she was still young. Human race and she was still in love with life. Human race somewhat sold. The cause was that the other race took them and she already knew it. 

© 2022 Ann Huang


Ann Huang is from mainland China. She has immersed herself in high school theater classes in Mexico and enjoyed reading feminist writers during her college years in the US. After receiving her MFA degree in poetry from VCFA, Ann undertook her exploration on the interpretation of distinctive facets of femininity. Ann adapted her award-winning poetry collections into cinema, with notable accolades in the film festival circuits as well as museum showcases.


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linkedin.com/in/ann-huang-56620526

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Saturday, April 23. 2022: Ann Tweedy's poem "Sometimes"

 Sometimes 


Her ex-husband’s family put the dog down 

after she lost him in the divorce. 

I see him now guarding the youngest child, a toddler-- 

my uncle–after he fell into a ditch 

at the construction site across the street. 

The public housing they moved to wouldn’t 

take him. 



My grandfather tarnished her reputation

in revenge for leaving him or to get off 

cheap in alimony and child support. 

His stories of seeing her out on dates, 

legs pressed against car windows, 

are hard to fathom now. What if everyone 

considered that each little meanness 

might be puzzled over sixty years down the line 

by his children’s children? 



But she wasn’t always downtrodden-- 

resplendent in glass stones 

or enameled metal 

her soft voice almost cooed. 

Sometimes she was a politician, gushing-- 

how pretty someone looked, 

how beautiful the choir sounded-- 

getting everyone to like her.


© 2022 Ann Tweedy




Ann Tweedy's first full-length book, The Body's Alphabet, was published by Headmistress Press in 2016. It earned a Bisexual Book Award in Poetry and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. Ann also has published three chapbooks, Beleaguered Oases, White Out, and A Registry of Survival. Read more at www.anntweedy.com.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Friday, April 22, 2022: Lisa Marguerite Mora's prose piece "Velocity"

I felt powerless as a child. My family was unusual, especially my mother. We didn't do things as other families did. Odd, eccentric, my family was actually kept afloat by the vivacity of my mother who had a need for endless creative expression. Music – Debussy and Chopin on the gramophone, The Beatles on her transistor radio – art – her art, her canvases and drawings stacked against the living room walls. And our home was never beige. She picked vibrant colors to decorate our beachside apartment and romantic touches that probably looked quite strange. But to me as a small child, I thought it was fun. She brought enchantment to my life.

Later, as I got to that age where you desperately want to fit in, I hid my mother. And our poverty. Our cold rooms. I hid my parents' struggle with their trauma and mental illnesses brought upon them by the Second World War. My fire was banked and my creative expression which I inherited from her and also from my father --- but that's another story – lived quietly in me like coals. Dark and hot and unseen. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I read. Quietly. Voraciously. Silent on the rubber soles of my tennis shoes I made my way across the cool linoleum of the local library. Studied the shelves, the titles, choosing almost by intuition what books I would read next. Three, four a week. I had no guidance. Except my mother did encourage me to read Jane Eyre. And I found the hardcover on the shelves of the Children's section and it pulled me, its thick pages, its blunted corners, its heft. I didn't understand everything. The sentences were often a mystery. I was ten. I persevered.

I felt powerless as a child to the difficult circumstances of my family life. So, I stoked what mattered to me in words. I shoved the spoken word deep inside me, though I loved to sing. I sang in Chorus. But often didn't anywhere else, though I could hear the melodies, the layers, the harmonies in my head. They'd travel through my finger tips as I lifted my hands sculpting the music silently in the air when I was by myself at home. Eventually I learned to dance. No. I already knew how to dance. Just like it seemed I already knew how to read by the time I got to school. And I knew how to sing. These mysteries unfolded quickly. And I thought for me, maybe this side of life could be easier. These gifts had raised me in the eyes of those who were watching. But you come in with deficits to balance what may be extraordinary in you. I longed to be well-rounded. Later, and at a cost, I found that was just another term for mediocrity and a tamping down of vitality. The road to a kind of purgatory often labeled depression.

Well-rounded meant you could speak a smattering on many subjects and be comfortable in all kinds of company and not stick out. Which kept you safe. Well-rounded meant you had white straight teeth and an easy expression. Comfortable in your skin. Well-rounded meant a balanced kind of limited power. But that is not the kind of power I have. The scales weigh heavy on one side and if you ever think they do not, then I have fooled you.

I wonder if within my black coals of heat and fire, if there is a diamond yielded yet from that weight, that pressure. For a long time I did not know this is what could happen with the progression of time and evolution. We live at the speed of 67,000 miles per hour around the sun. It is this dance with the sun and this struggle with gravity that keeps us alive. I am the balance of trauma and healing, gifts and deficits, shame and love. The balance of a human being who lives with immense gravity and tremendous speed. My power is in the tension of the bow that pulls and pulls and pulls so far back into the shadows – stockpiling velocity, aiming for the light.

© 2022 Lisa Marguerite Mora







Lisa Marguerite Mora has been published widely including in Chiron Review, Rattle, Literary Mama, Public Poetry Series, California Quarterly, Rebelle Society, Serving House Journal, Galway Review, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, semifinalist Tom Howard Poetry Contest 2020, First Place winner Micro Fiction for Dandelion Press. Nominated for Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize. She can be contacted through https://www.lisamargueritemora.com where she offers literary services.

 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Tuesday, April 19, 2022: Patricia Carragon's poem "Solitude"





Eugene Robert Richee/Deutsche Kinemathek - Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin / Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery



Solitude


Solitude plays film noir—

her haute couture wears despair

like satin pumps.


She is Marlene Dietrich—

elegant black feathers

cast a veil across her face.


She walks beside me—

extends in sunlight,

moves inward at night.


She is like me,

can survive

without your support.


She sits beside me,

explains that not all firestorms

are alike,


that dark rainbows

come in various shades

of lies and abuse.


Billie Holiday

sings a silent prayer

for you to return.


The room’s stillness

collides with the one within—

a storm brews between the past and present.


Solitude argues with night,

and the gap between logic and absurdity

makes this room smaller than it is.


© 2022 Patricia Carragon



Bio: Patricia Carragon latest books from Poets Wear Prada are Meowku and The Cupcake Chronicles, and Innocence from Finishing Line Press. Ms. Carragon hosts Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology and is an executive editor for Home Planet News Online. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Friday: April 15, 2022: Giorgia Pavlidou's poem "disfigured dreaming"


disfigured dreaming


though i was walking as fast as i could, the hospital hallway seemed endless. my best friend had just become a father. while running, i sensed i was dreaming and i knew i’d see my oldest friend for the first time. i also understood once i’d wake up, i’d never see him again: this friend did not exist in physical reality. when i had finally reached him, his face looked joyous and proud, holding his newborn baby up in the air. when he passed the infant to me, it gradually became clear that its head and face were horrifically deformed. observing its massively disfigured face and skull, i expected to wake up. to my shock, the baby gently snuggled against my chest. with a never felt before sense of exhilaration, warmth and love, i looked my oldest friend in the eyes and said, this baby is absolutely gorgeous. i could feel it in my bones that i truly meant it. perhaps that’s why for the days afterwards, i was haunted by the thought that it should have been him to dream this dream and not me.

© 2022 Giorgia Pavlidou


Bio: Originally trained in clinical psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, Giorgia Pavlidou is a Greek-born American writer and painter intermittently living in Greece and the US. She received her MA in Urdu literature from Lucknow University, India and her MFA in Fiction from MMU Manchester, UK, (though her meetings with visionary LA poet-philosopher Will Alexander have been and still are exceedingly more impactful). Her work has recently appeared in such places as Caesura, Lotus-Eater, Zoetic Press, Maintenant Journal of Dada Writing and Art, Puerto del Sol and Entropy. Trainwreck Press (trainwreckpress.com) launched her chapbook inside the black hornet’s mind-tunnel in 2021. Ireland-based Strukturriss Magazine selected her as the featured visual artist of their January 2022 issue 3.1. She’s an editor of SUL╬ŽUR online literary magazine. Additionally, her book of poems and paintings, “Haunted by the Living – Fed by the Dead,” is forthcoming with Anvil Tongue Books, and she'll be "featured femme artist and poet" of Clockwise Cat Magazine's 2022 spring edition. Before devoting herself full-time to painting and writing, she worked as a clinical psychotherapist for about ten years.