ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume IV Issue IV

The Cover Art/Photo:

- from Flower House art installation
by Heather Saunders, Lisa Waud et.al.

“somewhere in the anarchy of flowers

daylight spills through an open doorway . . . “


once a conversation

struck by lightening

and time

light into dark,






echoes of the rain

the grey weather board house

missing windows,

garbage strewn,

peeling paint

empty and yawning

the kids would come here to drink

on weekends,

pull up the floorboards

carve out the wall

park your car

make love in an old sleeping bag

dark abandoned, oblivion

in the night

in the dark, you can look for stars

streaks of comets,

the light of the moon

in the nightsky,

past the whispers of strangers.

(love at the glockenspiel diner

the weight of the place)

One day,

looking up the road

someone had painted the flowers,

blue, yellow, orange

large, up the grey weathered wood

to see

then they all came with flowers

the house where love blooms

and fresh flowers grow

in abandoned rooms

sing with flowers

the art of distraction

bar lieberstrauder

his music thunders

the blue delphiniums hang

from the ceiling, the wall is gone

you are the blonde in my coffee cup

drinkin’ in the beautiful cuss

(cursing the blood soaks)

a spiral staircase number

man in the clouds and butterfly dreams

roses and vines with orange berries

entangle a new autumn dress

that hangs in the closet

lilies and roses, grow up from the floor

he thunders

the wanted

cherish the moonlight

blue irises cover an entire wall, a coat

in riots,

the colours of flowers

grow an abandoned window

dahlias hang over a door

nuit blanche

on a dark night

parsimony shelves in the kitchen

with hanging beets, twists of fresh red peppers

orange persimmions hide in corners

1,000’s of you in the streets

but only one Blue


the white bathroom sink is occupied

by forget-me-nots,

blue notes grow

in the anarchy of flowers

still, listen, watch


the shining,

into a blue sky,

the livingroom

from the ceiling in front of the large windows

a wreath

large white snowballs dangle into light

the flowers of a moment,

cast into eternity shines

heaven is for stray cats and blues notes

for my love never changes,

sing, sings with the anarchy of flowers”

(to be continued . . . )

Subterranean Blue Poetry
Volume IV Issue IV
(April 2016)

Subterranean Blue Poetry

© 2016


Trends in Poetry – Travel Writing - The Road

(in honour of National Poetry Month 2016)

“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”
- Matsuo Basho (Poet, Zen Master)

“For the next fifteen days we were together for better or for worse. When we woke up we decided to
hitchhike to New York together; she was going to be my girl in town. I envisioned wild complexities
with Dean and Marylou and everybody - a season, a new season.”
- from On the Road by Jack Kerouac

“All my poetry begins with landscape.”
- Rebecca Anne Banks (Poet/Singer/Songwriter/Musician/Writer/Artist/Philosopher/Counselor/Activist)

Throughout history there have been traditionally displaced people, people on the road. The Jews going to Israel, the Gypsies, the Black people brought to America from Africa. It may have been difficult keeping families together. In England 1800’s, if you couldn’t keep shelter and food, depending on employment, the harvest, if there was a war, families may have become displaced. Often poverty with food security issues in Africa makes people travel. War torn places often create refugees (with what is happening in Syria and the Middle East). The “cult of ego” with shattered love lives in the West may create emotionally displaced people, violence and street people. In poetry, this was brought to the fore with the Beat Poets, Allan Ginsburg, and particularly Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and later Charles Bukowski. With displacement comes new ground, new landscape, often being taken out of the context of “home” and the history of the place of origin, there could be a loss of family/cultural information, a loss of family artefacts, a loss of contacts, family friends, a loss of place. It is important to know who you are, the stories of your family and ancestors, your cultural identity, and what it means (traditionally, cultural protocol can prevent misunderstandings and violence, however in the post-modern world it has also become disabused by chaos operators creating violence.) “Nature abhors a void.” Being an “outsider” can give new perspectives, giving rise to priorities and new ideas of what is important, new hope, new dreams, who we are, perhaps feeding an arts calling and a more peaceful cultural way in the Spirit of Good and the Holy Spirit.

With the 1950’s, after World War II, it became possible to get divorced, there became an experiment with sex and the economy at Rochdale, University of Toronto. People broken by multiple lovers became economic drivers and with the suffering, mental patients, suicides, drug addicts/alcoholics, sometimes becoming violent and being put in the penal system, street people, developed health issues. Giving rise to shock doctrine, a violent unofficial system of government.

The idea of place and/or home has come to be a fragile concept in the Transition Economy (with the change to the Computer-based system) with less employment and a streamlining of systems. The Old Economy focuses on monies, defines people through monies rather than happiness, a majority of people find themselves in rotating marriages, an unnatural state according to the tenets of the Holy Spirit (many Signs from God are about discerning happy longterm marriages). The vast majority of people should not be without a happy longterm covenant marriage on a Sign from God, most people have at least one Starcrossed Lover, the happy marriage the cornerstone of personal and Community peace. If God had wanted us to be whores he would not have sent a simpatico lover on a Sign from God for a longterm marriage.

An Arts Calling, Poetry as celebration and healing despite horrific circumstances, provides a record in time and place. All art tells a story, and is an Archive, a truthtelling of life's journey. Keeping a poetry record is a gift of time and place to future generations. If you are stationed in one place it can be good to travel by train or bus, to see how the new day unfolds, how the different karmic colours of other places, the architecture, the landscape, the people can affect and be reflected in the poetry offering. Getting on a train and traveling to a destination point, perhaps staying for a few days, and the return trip. Like a traveling writing residency. The train is so romantic, going across country, the big windows, the sleeping berths, ordering food, chatting up fellow travel companions and sitting in the quiet, writing. Amtrak (American Passenger Rail) offers a Residency Program for writers, giving away a long-distance round trip that includes sleeper car accommodation, the only requirement being that you are a writer and an American citizen. VIA Rail (Canadian Passenger Rail) offers a music/performance residency to Canadian citizens who are musicians.

Travelling to different places and practicing an arts calling, gives new inspiration, can give the artist/writer new landscape, new possiblilities, a new audience. The artist/writer as the “outsider” can be a new truthtelling, a new impression of culture and being. Poetry as a diary, can be like memoir writing, descriptive and experiential, a photo in time. The truth telling and creation of new mythologies, a cultural artifact, a work of art that tells a story of what life was like in the 21st Century, a gift to generations to come.

Weeding the Bittersweet

by Lynne Viti

Sneaked in from Australia or Asia, settling
wherever it could, not minding poor soil,
rocks, sand, clay. Conquered woodland and garden.
We used to love the bright orange berries
popping from their yellow shells.
We used
to cut it
at the roadside.

Across her dashboard,
one of my housemates
strewed the stuff, the berries
would dry out and roll around, fall into our laps.
We’d find crisp yellow bits in our sweaters.

We didn’t know it would take over, strangling
the sacred blueberry bushes along country lanes,
digging deep into maple saplings. So insidious,
this woody invader, and overnight—or was
it decades?—claimed territory, and more again.

Today, I’d had enough.
Armed with clippers, gloves,
Twine and saw,
I pulled, dug, cut,
harmless branch from berry-laden twigs,
up the stuff by the roots,
yanked it down
from struggling small trees
freed blueberry shrubs
Invited bearberry and young oaks in freed-up space.

Tomorrow for this interloper, it’s the trash.
You fooled us into thinking your orange and yellow
was harmless, was innocent.
We twisted your vines into November wreaths,
hung them on doors, brightened our winter tables
against nights that arrived earlier in our march
towards the shortest day.

Shades at the Reunion

by Lynne Viti

When we gather like this around the table,
Every five or ten years
Drinks in hand, raising toasts,
In the back of our minds, always, are the ghosts:
The cousin who died at forty, when the cancer flared.
The school friend, gone at barely fifty–she loved her smokes.
Toxins and her genes teamed up to do her in.
The rest of us—we’ve survived so far, though we’re not sure why
or how. We dare not probe.

My friend the hard-edged newsman
laughed when he told me his on-air transition phrase
“elsewhere in the news”—as if we could
move from tsunami to oil spill to death of an ex-president
with any kind of grace. When he lay dying
in his hospital bed in Croton-on-Hudson
this old journalist stared at tv images of Baltimore burning.
It’s all like it was before, he murmured.

Knowing all this, we sit in the cool air,
September sun on our faces,
hearing the songbirds carry on
like Yeats’ miracles in Byzantium.

Nickel Dreams

by Lynne Viti

Along the Fuller Brook path wending
through backyards, there’s no one about
except a few women with
small dogs on leashes. The brook –
not as high as I expected.
The blackened piles of snow
all melted away, roof rakes,
ergonomic shovels, the chemicals
we strewed on sidewalk and porches.
Mere memories of winter.

The sun strains to appear.
It warms the day but I can hardly
see my shadow, perhaps only faint
suggestions of a shadow, a darkening,
barely perceptible.

On a day like this, full of spring’s promise,
I cut an armful of jonquils from my mother’s garden
wrapped them in newspaper, a cone
around the butter yellow blooms
so fragile, their stems easily snapped or bent.

Go to 30th Street Station, Mike said, for the transfer
But watch out if you’re there right at six, when
the dogs are let off their leashes,
dogs in gray flannel suits, carrying
smart leather briefcases. I understood.
He loved to quote Dylan: I don’t want to be
A singer in the rat race choir.

As I rose near my stop on the Paoli local
an old man glanced at my flowers.
I withdrew one and handed it to him,
without a word, hopped off at Haverford.
Mike stood on the platform, his long scarf
artfully draped around his neck,
tweed sport coat festooned
with buttons of Lenin, Freedom Now, Stokely
Carmichael. We walked through the campus,
his arm around my shoulder.

This will be my life, I thought.
His roommates were out. We
skipped dinner, built a fire. We
Talked about the war, about Yeats.
When it was late and
we were so hungry we couldn’t stand it
we strolled to the Blue Comet
for the cheeseburgers—I can remember
even now how good they tasted.
We took the back way to the women’s college
—I‘d set up camp in the guest lounge.
Mike kissed my cheek, handed me a nickel
the Paoli local had flattened into an oval,
Washington’s head all distorted.
I carried it around for years,
that talisman of my life to come.

Featured Poet: James Dickey



James Dickey

Out finding herself      with the plane nowhere and her body taking by      the throat

The undying cry of the      void      falling      living      beginning to be      something

That no one has ever been and lived through      screaming without      enough air

Still neat      lipsticked      stockinged      girdled by regulation      her hat

Still on

Missed Connections

Montreal Craigslist – Missed Connections – November 10th, 2015 - "M"

i was always late - w4m

but you always waited.



(N.B.: “because the plums were always cold in the refrigerator” – note from the editor

“you’re also the only girl I ever met who has better hair than me” – note from the other editor

“them plums is long gone, again” – a note from the cat)

Book Reviews

the vitamins of an alphabet, exciting New Age poetry synergies from Sean Braune
and above/ground press

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: the vitamins of an alphabet

Author: Sean Braune

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2016

Pages: 24

“Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?”
- The Sesame Street Theme Song

the vitamins of an alphabet, stretching the bounds of poetry into a wild experiment in New Age surrealism and visual poetry, the work is enigmatic, mixing mathematical equations with words and pictures with new word constructs. Sean Braune is a graduate student in English at York University who has been invited to speak to Yale University graduate students on his avante garde poetry and theories of reformation of semiotic signs. His research papers have been published in Postmodern Culture, Canadian Literature, Journal of Modern Literature amongst others. His poetry has been published in ditch, Rampike, Poetry is Dead, The Puritan amongst others.

Of the biggest excitement for This Writer, and indeed, I suspect for any publisher is the discovery of new poetry synergies. “That’s not poetry” begs the question “is that poetry?” and with great delight after some reflection elicits the response “that IS poetry”. This is the essence of Poet Braune’s mysterious off road journeys. The first part of the vitamins of an alphabet is reconstructed language synergies, new juxtapositions and conjugations that play on words and meanings, surreal, inflight language with occasional rhymes that play with the light. Perhaps conjuring a more sophisticated child than the DaDa movement of World War I with totally nonsensical art without meaning in response to the atrocities of war. As if a children’s game of rhymes only more intriguing, more enlightening, as if a response to some hidden dialectic of violence.

“My grapheme is a grape for a hematoma is a grappa opa in oneiric states of

aire. Rerum the reruns against stairs:”

“Your hair looks like a green, leafy vegetable

or the vitamins

of an alphabet”

Perhaps alluding to power constructs, “the alphabet”, a loose construct of international conglomerates running the world, the violence of shock doctrine (a violent unofficial system of government) and “the cult of ego” values of the West.

“We are all little flowers tended by arrogant gods     and galoshes,


My ants

             Paints monsters.”

As the cultural matrix in the West implodes from the weight of chaos and violence, stress from miscreant personal/political agendas, a burgeoning population and the Transition Economy, out of the Existential darkness, a new direction emerges in the light of understanding the cultural milieu and the Holy Spirit paradigm.

The second part of the Chapbook is titled “Three Poequations (After Smithson)” and presents a series of mathematical equations woven with words and ideas. Perhaps an experiment in poetic enlightenment for math/physics scholars.

The third part of the Chapbook is titled “Four Variations on the Signifier” and presents a definition of signifier in relation to semiotics. “ a sign’s physical form (such as a sound, printed word, or image) as distinct from its meaning.” Playing with the word signifier and morphing it into 4 new words each with its own picture, perhaps an experiment in poetic enlightenment for English majors and artists. Playing with language, weaving mathematics with words/ideas and new word constructs with pictures, Poet Braune enlightens and recreates the magic of poetry in New Age synergies. the vitamins of an alphabet, enlightening and innovative, a brilliant poetic event from Sean Braune and above/ground press.

Available @ above/ground press.


panpiped panacea, the dialectic of love and war in New Age Ukrainian Poetry by Yuri Izdryk.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: panpiped panacea

Author: Yuri Izdryk

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2016

Pages: 24

"it was a prayer directed at the virgin mary
but it was heard all around the world"
- from Pussy Riot by KMFDM

panpiped panacea, Ukrainian poet Yuri Izdryk writes a prayer for peace. Yuri Izdryk is a Poet, Writer, Artist, Musician born in Kalush, Ukraine, 1962. He is best known in the West for his novel Wozzeck, an English translation. Poet Izdryk’s latest collections of poetry are IO and Ab Out, he publishes poetry regularly on his online blog. This Chapbook of poetry was translated from the Ukrainian by Roman Ivashkiv and Canadian Poet/Translator Erin Moure.

Russia and the Ukraine, has a rich history in dissident poets, people who are writers who report on human rights abuses. In the Ukraine in the 1800’s to bring down the wrath of the Russian government, the closing of pressworks, the banning of books, all you had to do was print your writings in the Ukrainian language (rather than the official Russian language). (e.g. Poet Taras Shevenko (1847) and Poet Leonid Hlibov (1863)). In 1923 Ukrainian Poet Pavlo Tychnya was forced by the Russian government to write a letter rejecting his opportunity for the Nobel Prize. (and he was not the only Poet/Writer that Russian government did this to). In the 1930’s many Ukrainian writers were murdered under Stalin’s Russian government. Ukrainian Poet Mykola Rudenko published details of human rights abuses, was arrested by the Russian government, only to be awarded by the Ukrainian government in 1993. Human rights abuses in the Ukraine have also been a concern in the mid-20th century and there are many more contemporary activist Poets/Writers/Artists. Currently, human rights abuses in Russia are reported in the mainstream media, particularly notable are murders of political rivals of Vladimir Putin and anyone who defects from his inner circle who criticizes him, the murder of Russian journalists as well as the incarceration and rape of two dissident members of the rock group, Pussy Riot. The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, with many of the outlying states declaring independence, including the Ukraine. In 2014, violence in the Ukraine was sparked by a pro-Russian faction, perhaps backed by the Russian government – Volnovakha bus attack, 2 battles at the Donetsk airport, battle of Debaltseve, the Mariupal attack and more insurgencies that have been spelled by peace talks and ceasefires.

Poetry as an artform in the Ukraine has evolved through pro-Ukrainian lyric poetry with rhyming (Taras Shevenko, 1847) to Russian socialist realist literature of the mid-20th century. The latter type of literature was in support of the communist government, an essence of a false and mandatory optimism. Contemporary poetry evolved into free verse and a type of Modernism, that became more of a truthtelling, often dwelling on the darkside, the violence and crisis of the Postmodern Ukraine.

The poetry of Yuri Izdryk is an evolution in form for Ukrainian poetry, embracing the New Age in free verse with occasional rhymes perhaps influenced by the American style in hip hop and rap music. The poems are presented in the Ukrainian language on the lefthand side of the page, This Writer’s eyes gaze on, the elegant hieroglyphs weave, perhaps like some half-forgotten dream, a life in mystery, to drift to the English translation that reveals the cloth. The repetitive words of synopsis creates a lyrical cadence like a prayer, as if rocking the cradle, as if God is not dead despite the violence, there is hope on the wind.


to close this world like a book half-read

where the author clings to a cumbersome plot

where hordes of heroes are sold at a discount

where the heroes’ sorrow is elevated to the imperative

where each page resembles all its predecessors

where all that’s precious is buried in footnotes

or is buried in a flower bookmarking the middle

or in someone’s grey notes left in the margins

to close this trash to slam it shut throw it in a heap

or deep in the river – let the current take it

to save only the flower shriveled and shortlived

to have faith in it . . . – to rewrite everything"

A play on violence, perhaps hatred, the violence of negating a written work, throwing it away only to be saved by a dried flower “to rewrite everything”. This poem sets the stage for what is to come. In the background appears to be an argument in a broken love affair, a love interest that leaves, a reflection of the hell of a broken covenant. Perhaps a parallel for the violence of the Russian government against the sessionist Ukraine.

In look, folk, erorythmia, a prayer, des-pair is the Poet’s wish for love, for communication with the parting lover, an end to the war. In anamnesis the violence of the ended love affair, forgetting the past, plays out in images of strangulation with allusions to alzheimers disease and the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. (Martin Heidegger was alive during W.W. II and is best known for his treatise “Being and Time”, philosophy that brushes with phenomenology and existentialism).

In nomen, and panpiped panacea he is so tortured he feels rejected by God and as the bombs fall in inferno images, you can imagine the violence. This poetry inculcates the hell of a war zone. Perhaps he is confusing God with the Russian government, uses the allusion to represent the psychological malaise and a lack of beauty and peace. No doubt, The Holy Spirit will be revealed in the wartorn Ukraine, after going through hell, the light and peace at the end of struggle.

The broken romance reaches new heights in “pacific dreamer”:

“and sometimes a tail

my dreams are filled with floods and flows

the moon the sun and the peach –

are often the same thin”

The images are those of nature and violence and the psychological torture of being in a war zone. Despite the darkness, in the Spirit of the New Age, the flowering of the New Freedom, the joy of playing with language, the cadence and occasional rhyme, occasionally new word constructs emerge. One of the poems is named “des-pair”, perhaps highlighting the brokenness of love. He uses the word "supergeil", a half German word (meaning super cool/horny) in relation to the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. The last word of the last poem in the work is “z.e.e.n.d” perhaps a play on “the end”.

Shining through the darkness of violence, the poetry is in the tradition of Ukrainian spiritus, “we shall overcome” and peace, an end to war. As in the words of one tired feminist protestor “I can’t believe we are still protesting this shit.” An exciting evolution in New Age poetry, panpiped panacea by Yuri Izdryk.

Available @ above/ground press.

The House of Flowers:

a memorial to love


Rebecca Anne Banks

(inspired by Flower House art installation by Lisa Waud et.al, The House of Flowers
by Truman Capote, the death of Antonio)

(continuation . . . )

(sky into evening blues

“how good to be back in Montreal again,

after all these years”

(he helps me,

take off my coat

opens a bottle of wine)

-it is possible to cry too hard-


tea shots, the cat and tea shots

o’ the wee furry beastie

suns himself in the kitchen)

time takes no

win some

o’ blue, blue, blue violets

you lose some

you lose some

you lose some

buckminister straits

ric toad, ric toad

we were waiting for the bus to cherry lane

the dreadnought factory

a factory of secrets

time takes no

by the walkway

the large black crow, the messenger

watches from its place in the tree

the shine, the winter calling

a brick in the stoneward

time takes no

one more time

once whispers

the quiet from the walls

one time more

the cold swept under my feet

and sleep, to sleep

more one time

I think we will be sad today

one more time

“I would have liked to have seen him one more time.

he was my friend”*

all the shades of pink,

magenta, the salmon Christmas flower and gifts of Mary

so blue

so quiet sia matti

that stage of letting go the horse

so Blue,

the sky blooms

blues into nightsky)

* A quote from Frank Bertone in The New York Times. N.R. Kleinfield,
The Lonely Death of George Bell. October, 2015.


Rebecca Anne Banks lives in Montreal. She is the author of more than 26 books of poetry, a family cookbook, a book of children’s stories, a book of World Peace Newsletters and a primer on marriage discernment all available at (www.amazon.ca). She is also the CEO/Artist at Tea at Tympani Lane Records( www.tympanilanerecords.com)and The Book Reviewer at The Book Reviewer (www.thebookreviewer.ca).

Sean Braune is a graduate student in English at York University. His thesis is on the reformation of semiotics in poetry which he has been invited to speak about at Yale University as a guest speaker. His papers on the study of poetry have been published in Journal of Modern Literature, Postmodern Culture, Canadian Literature, amongst others. His poetry has been published in The Puritan, ditch, Rampike, Poetry is Dead, amongst others.

James Dickey was born in Atlanta, Georgia and was an American Poet and Novelist. He played varsity football and did tours of duty for the United States Air Force in W.W. II and in the Korean War. He was Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress (1966) and won the Order of the South Award. His first marriage was to Maxine Syerson producing two sons. After she died he married Deborah Dodson who gave him a daughter. He taught as poet in residence at the University of South Carolina from 1968 to 1997. He is best known for the book of poetry Buckdancer’s Choice: Poems and the novel Deliverance.

Yuri Izdryk is a New Age Poet/Writer/Musician/Performance and Visual Artist born in Kalush, Ukraine. His novel Wozzeck was translated into English in 2006. He publishes his poetry in a blog on the Internet almost daily. His latest books of poetry include IO and Ab Out.

Lynne Viti teaches in the Writing Program at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, where her courses focus on law, media, and bioethics. Her poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction has appeared online and in print journals. Her poem “Pâtissière” was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest. She blogs at stillinschool.wordpress.com.