ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume IV Issue V

The Cover Art/Photo:

- by Rebecca Anne Banks

“praying for lipstick? no . . . no . . . no . . .

ooo’ leoni

a violent slingblatt society

and everyone’s a mortician

like looking up God with an empty bed

praying for lipstick? no . . . no . . . no . . .

dope girl

the wolf at the doughnut shop

la semiatta

basté blowbitska

the no hoos garu

crime doesn’t pay

praying for lipstick? no . . . no . . . no . . .

just give us what we want”

Subterranean Blue Poetry
Volume IV Issue V
(May 2016)

Subterranean Blue Poetry

© 2016

(from Oscillating Memories)

by Felino Soriano


The friction of moths eloping. Noon, the modest
potential to inflict unseen devotion to correcting
nuance. The hands shook, mimesis of a dancing
child’s joyful scramble. Colors contain flourish,
an abscond of traditional motif, elongated structure.
The wind searched. Each moth a connected fathom
drawing distance paralleling death. The context a
lesson toward believing futurity.


While waiting, an eruption of
turquoise. Winged, jazz-blur
syllables, sayings, —succinct
partitions provide causal pause
to intertwine with sound and
motivated structural inclusion.


     running I
                     antiphonies amid
           splays of

unbroken crows

                                                             sitting I
                                                              hankered resolution between bankrupt
                                                                              colors among
deliberate existence of gray

neither gradation nor
composed calligraphy’s
contouring expression of

                                                  internal collaboration—innate specifics to
altered skeletal becoming
and my watching became
a proverbial verb of
interior interpretation



Colin James

This marijuana induced scar 

was formally an eyebrow,

and before that a rest area                                                    

and before that a nation of malcontents.                         

Only incredibly pure urine rich soil                                                     

need apply for future indoctrination.                                                     

Any self taught musician can sit                                                    

contentedly strumming,

it's the one lone coin in the hat                                                     

that insufferably defies me                                                              

answering back when I can't be bothered.                                                              

I have been scared by the venetian blinds.                                                                                         

My tan is horizontally oblique.                 

I have stood here for too long                                                              

expecting no one, presently.                                                             

I curse the pond across the way I should be kissing.                                                              

Not noticing the slightest movement                                                            

nor pondering its practicality,                                                              

I am within bounds.                                                              

The rules are simple yet precise.                                                             

Stay indoors,

there is a maniac on the loose.                                                           

Featured Poet: Maya Angelou

Caged Bird


Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.  

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing. 

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.   

Missed Connections

Craigslist Montreal – Missed Connections – February 16th, 2016 - Anonymous

M4W - Camus reader on the 80 bus - m4w (montreal)
  Quebec : Quebec

I couldn't help but notice you, your eyes smoldering as they devoured your worn copy of L'Etranger. In that moment, the only crisis I was experiencing was the existential hell of solitude. I wanted nothing more in that moment than to whisk you away, far from the crushing confines of conformity that surrounded us, literally crushing us. I hope that you reconsider Sartre's famous adage and instead realise that other people (some, anyway) are in fact paradise.

(N.B.: “perhaps I should be reading Jane Austen . . . “ – a note from the editor

“other people are in fact hell . . . “ - a note from the other editor

“where’s my dinner?” – said the cat)

Book Reviews

Un/Wired, post-modernist Canadian Satire from the West Coast.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Un/Wired

Author: Stephen Bett

Publisher: BlazeVOX

Date of Publication: 2016

Pages: 121

“Dropkick me, Jesus, through the goal posts of life.”
- from Dropkick Me Jesus by Bobby Bare

Un/Wired is the 18th book of poetry by celebrated Canadian Poet Stephen Bett, is a distinctly Vancouver, West Coast Canadian event, a Poet’s sid criminy. He has been widely published internationally and his personal papers are being archived at Simon Fraser University. He is a newly retired college professor and lives in British Columbia with his wife Katie. This is the third book of poetry This Writer has reviewed for Poet Bett, the first two being Sound Off: a book of jazz and Breathing Arizona.

This book is largely a satire on culture, a sendup of the common man, the unthinking, the state of the unconscious violence of the Western World that feeds into the monied corporate elite. As if the common man is sitting alone in the middle of a vacant lot wondering what just happenned. Un/Wired breaks new ground, trashing sacred cows with a wink and a promise.

The Poet’s roots are in the protest movement of the Hippies and the 1960’s with the Beat Poet’s coming to the fore. In the satire pieces it is as if he is wearing a mask, portraying some good ol’ boy in the shop, somewhat reminiscent of a more sophisticated Charlie Farquharson, a comedic character invented by Canadian Comedian/Writer/Actor Don Harron and portrayed on stage and in books.

“Corporate Verbs On Hold

“We are leveraging our core competencies
to meet our customers [sic] needs [sic!].

Can you ballpark that low-end little hanky-pank toy for me?
Yes, done, & I’ll stick it up yr third base.

Can you dialogue on this lefty-lucy screwed up itsy-bitsy nutball for me?
Surely can, I’ll break it down in threads & boot it over your discretely stained lover-lie logbook, little puss.

Could you dis ambiguate this foamy wet freakin’ frontal screen for me?
Yes, surely I’ll spank it right through your wide open tailgate, little beav’.

Will you facilitate this toxic little bo-jingle-jangle wrangled wrinkle for me?
Yo (& yo again) I’ll wax your face up stiff & botox your wee mouth shut.

Won’t you pul-ease ideate this knotty smokin’ cracker-jacked idee fixe for me?
No can do, I’ll just toss it in your thought-box to ripple rot, little bindipper . . . “

The Poet plays with language, sometimes inventing new words, tangles and repeats words, dangles words in escarpment, an event. Most of the poetry is short tight sentences, minimalist, turning the words in on themselves with an edge of humor, a sawed off shotgun delivery, a projection of the violent culture. A jazz beat. “a bar, a bar, a bar . . . a bar harbour”

“Brought to You By . . .

You use a product to wash out the grey
you get laid

You eat a slo-fry soul food
you get laid

You buy a so badass Euro-zone car
you get laid

Drink a snappy nafty micro brewski
you get laid

Swallow a lil’ lite blue pill
you get laid (repeatedly)

You watch co’mmercial after co’mmercial
you get laid (& laid)

you get

The book has a fantastical blue, black and white cover with binary numbers. It is divided into 4 chapters, “Pre-Wired”, “Soft-Wired”, “Hard-Wired” and “Un-Wired”. Reading the book cover to cover, it starts slow and builds into a crescendo. Beginning with satire and then in the last chapter some love poetry that highlights the emotional violence of having had too many lovers. Themes include, his grown children, his wife, the Internet, gun violence, corporate America, jazz music, American politics and culture, world politics and more.

There are at least 3 poems that touch on gun violence in the United States, a send up of the not too smart politics/attitudes that perpetuates a war culture, “Some Forms of Insanity are Instantly Insaner than Others”, “A-muricondo.edu” and “April 12th Another Day in Cleveland”. In the United States a significant number of people are murdered by gun violence; in 2013, 33,169 died by gun violence (excluding death by legal intervention).

“Some Forms of Insanity are Instantly Insaner than Others

The NRA back in the dark
& dusky shadows again
after the latest massacre
in the U.S. of A Minus
(twenty 5 & 6 year olds):

Guns don’t kill people;
People kill people!

Here’s your upgraded semi-
automatic 100 round per
nano-second bumper sticker
for folksy woodsmen &
wigged-out 2nd Amendment
minutemen pro-tectors:

People with guns kill people,

And for all the young & wacked-out
gun totin’ American-o desperad-o
shooters out there let’s update
another lil’ “teacher certified”
Sartrified bumper sticker
for y’all . . .

Hell is – other people’s

I once had a conversation with a friends older brother when in high school that went something like this, I said, “Who needs to buy a gun, if they’re not hunters, hunting animals, who would need a gun?” He said, “People buy guns because they’re going to kill people . . come on” and he looked at me as if I was stupid. And I looked at him in my naive green teenage youth and thought he was insane and indeed if this was true the world was insane. “what did this mean?” Thirty-five years later with a better understanding of the cultural malaise and “the cult of ego”, I have a better understanding of why, but I still think the violence of the United States is insane.

A subtle, raw edge, jazz to jazz in the N.A. street. A fantastical work of post-modernist satire exposing the bones of the violent Western malaise in an exciting evolution of the Beat Poet tradition, Un/Wired by Stephen Bett.

Available @ Amazon.com.


A journey in the aftermath: snake charmers: a cycle of twenty poems.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry 

Title of Book:  snake charmers: a cycle of twenty poems

Author: Kristjana Gunnars

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2016

Pages: 30

“go on take the cake,
go on take the cake . . . “
- from Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd

A song of the Middle East, a song of markets in the desert, snake charmers: a cycle of twenty poems, presents a journey, perhaps in the aftermath of a great love. Kristjana Gunnars is a Poet, Artist, Novelist, Translator, Essayist and Educator born in Reykjavik, Iceland. Her family emigrated to the United States, she married and they moved to British Columbia. In 1980 her marriage broke; her works are noted for themes of dislocation, exile, loss, desire and longing. She is a retired professor of English from the University of Alberta. (emeritus)

This fantastical poetry in New Age Renaissance, has Imagist influences, yet rolls through landscape in full, rich cycles. The image cycles are descriptive based in nature and travel in long, slow motions. It is a story of Casablanca or indeed Andalusia, desert places haunted by rosemary, saffron, lavendar, orchids, jasmine, fig trees, the river and more, and perhaps memories of love. The romance of earth beauty, in revolving images is presented as if she is walking through a Middle Eastern Market, or traveling in a car, watching. As if she is somehow disembodied, an observer, in the aftermath, creating poetry through her observations and a deep Zen, of wisdom, the sorrow of a sage. The creation of art in the long silence, perhaps in her wandering she is lost in the crucible of time. In a certain cast of sunlight, perhaps she is walking in the post apocalypse village, that longed for place of peace.

"the brilliance of the flower

“something that goes beyond advice, but does not reach the point of
being law . . . .”
- Candido Mazon

“while I was gone the Saharan light changed,

everything darkened, the sunrays fall

slant onto the mud brick walls and scalloped ceilings,

the whole sky is still, as if arrested

without movement, without clouds, hardly

even sky at all, and the crowned ochre dome,

the star in its eight directions, and its tears,

a quiet pool to mirror the honeycomb ceiling,

the plane trees, the seasons, still overlap,

still point into the air, but from further

away, and the acacia trees have grown

taller, they straddle the walls like fugitives.

while I was gone, and I have been gone from you

a long time, long enough for silence -

for silence to extend its tenacles into emptiness,

where life is an art, life itself is the art:

seven days, seven planets, seven petals -

stars inside stars inside stars -”

Poet Gunnars speaks five languages, on coming to America at 16 years she also learned English. Learning a new language is difficult, a test of memory and new semiotics of understanding. The quest into silence is full, filled with longing, perhaps the unsettling feeling of estranger, poetry, a celebration of new lands, the character of “outsider” with new eyes, the exile from home.

The Poet’s aloneness is juxtaposed with images of great beauty, as if in forgiveness, the world, although a foreign country, turns into an arrival, the poetry a place of healing in the Spirit.

“those who live

“The exposition of the ‘perfect life’”
- Jean Cassien

bird cages without a single bird

palm trees in white pots, multi-

patterned rugs and white blanched rocks

rocks of chalk, and suspended toy airplanes

poised for descent at all times

all things slanted, bent, crooked

on the way over, down, to the side

the perfect life cannot be had

the perfect life is not in your hands

the perfect life is in the thought you think

the sundance yellow clay under your feet

the bleach-white sky above your head

the long, long march from door to door

the carpet is long because the hallway is long

the doors are tall because the ceiling is high

I will go through the small door inside the big door

I will light my home with the open airplane

I will cook my rice under a stone arch

there is a price on all things beautiful

there is a cumbersome price on all things perfect

Great wisdom weaves in and out of sunlight, a beautiful, imagist, holistic women’s lament in the vein of W.B. Yeat’s Sailing to Byzantium. A story of a long journey in celebration, a brilliant offering of the New Age Renaissance, snake charmers: a cycle of twenty poems by Kristjana Gunnars.

Available @ above/ground press.


A Copyist, an Astronomer, and a Calendar Expert: exciting New Age Renaissance poetry from above/ground press.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry 

Title of Book: A Copyist, an Astronomer, and a Calendar Expert

Author: Sarah Mangold

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2016

Pages: 17

“Let me sail, let me sail,
let the orinoco flow,
Let me reach, let me beach
On the shores of Tripoli.”
- from Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) by Enya

An exciting New Age Renaissance Chapbook from above/ground press. This is the third Chapbook by Sarah Mangold published by rob mclennan, the first two being Parlour (2012) and Cupcake Royale (2012). She has published 3 books of poetry and numerous Chapbooks winning prizes, residencies and financing from the Seattle Arts Commission. She lives in Seattle.

A Copyist, an Astronomer, and a Calendar Expert, “the language in these poems is extensively borrowed, erased and glossed from A Theory of Cloud: Toward a History of Painting by Hubert Damisch, and Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting by John F. Carlson” states the liner notes at the end of the Chapbook. Reminds This Writer of the theme of the novel To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, in the background is the main female character outside painting a landscape. However, in this long poem as she stands before her easel, thoughts tumble in truncated freefall. The language is stilted, discombobulated and it is as if the Poet is talking in walls that manifests a violence.

“Linear perspective has a history

Every kind of feeling     and affection

              thunder blasts & lightening

        devoted pronunciation              speak

and I shall baptize you

               Reveal      our spatial unease

                            adapt common frontiers     cloud

                                          projected               pictorial

                         bend boughs     reverse their leaves”

As if a type of DaDa, a nonsensical stringing of thought fragments, you get a glimpse of a thought that is dashed into the next non-linear thought, with the surreal nature and religious images it is as if she is speaking in tongues. It is almost child-like, a wise child painting a landscape with words, the capital letters like playing with children’s toy blocks.

“Let us dissect our feelings

Trees-How to understand them

Clouds-How they float

The Extraordinary and Bizarre

Painting from Memory”

Images buried within the freefall include the clouds, the sky, the forest, a tree, a rock, a mountain, angels, a unicorn and saints. A play on earth worship and the discovery of Holy Spirit tenets that recreate the society in the eye of the Creator, yet the mythical images woven in the violence of the offering (perhaps a reflection of the violence of the times) creates tension as if there is a colossal battle forming between the forces of good and evil. It is as if she is commenting on her “painting” including thoughts about painting, about the landscape, about the world, about society, as if she is going through what she knows and comparing it with what could be. She mentions “the system” and there is the idea of a Renaissance, a new reckoning of forces with a breath in reformation, an incredible lightness of being that imagines a dance with peace as the Spirit intended.

“Anticipate     imminent          revolution

            our exhalation     condensation     stripped          proof

                         veritable taboo        fill it with gold      thwart      horizontal

                 prepositional      scales like statements      drown outlines”

Brushing with Apocalypse Poetry, the ethereal essence cached in violence is an expression of experiential form, celestial, sings with angels. A fantastical New Age Renaissance read, A Copyist, an Astronomer, and a Calendar Expert by Sarah Mangold from above/ground press.

Available @ above/ground press.

“pink almond skyclouds

I walk the underground,

look for you

evening falls . . . “

goodbye is . . .


Rebecca Anne Banks

goodbye is just a 4-letter word for f*&^

a boxspring at the Siennetta

muther john in nightmare

on a blind Sunday

somewhere on prue street

(i take some art photos)

junk drawer people

a bang room

some blackjack and karaoke

from a small town, the prisoner

a coffee at the café

(i take more art photos)

i look for you

the musician, my friend

un jour c’est liberté un jour

un jour c’est egalitaré un jour

un jour c’est fraternité un jour

un jour c’est sororité un jour

the night is my friend.


Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a Poet/Singer/Composer/Writer/Film Director/Human Rights Activist, working with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. She could speak French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and the West African language Fanti. She was an unmarried teenage mother who later married Greek sailor Anastasios Angelopulos. Her second marriage was to civil rights activist, Vusumzi Make. She read her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton (1993). She won the Ford’s Theatre Lincoln Medal and two American Presidential Medals. She wrote over 30 books and is best known for, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die, Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now, Even the Stars Look Lonesome, The Heart of a Woman, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, A Song Flung Up to Heaven amongst others.

Rebecca Anne Banks lives in Montreal. She is the author of 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).

Stephen Bett lives in Victoria, British Columbia with his wife Katie. He is widely published in journals both in North America and internationally. Bett is a recently retired college professor from Langara College, Vancouver. His personal papers are being archived at Simon Fraser University and he has written over 18 books of post-modern poetry. Some of his best known works are 3 Women, Track This: a book of relationship, Breathing Arizona: A Journal, Sound Off: a book of jazz, The Gross and Fine Geography: New and Selected Poems, Un/Wired amongst others. www.stephenbett.com.

Kristjana Gunnars was born in Reykjavik, Iceland. She is a Poet, Novelist, Translator, Essayist, Artist and Teacher, her family emigrated to the United States when she was 16 years old. She married Charles Kang and they moved to British Columbia. She is a retired professor of English and Creative Writing from the University of Alberta, currently living and producing art in British Columbia. She is most noted for the books One-Eyed Moon Maps, Settlement Poems I, Settlement Poems II, and Wake-Pick Poems amongst others.

Colin James has a chapbook of poetry, A THOROUGHNESS NOT DEPRIVED OF ABSURDITY, from Pski's Porch Press. He lives in Massachusetts...

Sarah Mangold is an American Poet/Editor/Publisher and lives and writes in Seattle. She has a BA and MFA in creative writing. She has published 3 books of poetry, numerous Chapbooks, has won prizes and residencies and was granted financing from the Seattle Arts Commission. She is the founder and Literary Editor of the print journals Scout (2000-2002)and BirdDog (2002-2009). Her books of poetry include Household Mechanics, Electrical Theories of Femininity and Giraffes of Devotion.

Felino A. Soriano is a poet documenting coöccurrences.  His poetic language stems from exterior motivation of jazz music and the belief in language’s unconstrained devotion to broaden understanding.  His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net anthologies.  Recent poetry collections include Forms, migrating, Of isolated limning, Mathematics, Espials, watching what invents perception, and Of these voices. He edits the online journal, Of/with: journal of immanent renditions. He lives in California with his wife and family and is a director of supported living and independent living programs providing supports to adults with developmental disabilities.  Visit felinoasoriano.info for more information.