ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume IX Issue I

The Masthead:

"Four Trees of Park Hill: angels in the forest"

Art/Photo by Denny E. Marshall

"For those who see Angels, Angels and vampires in the forest, the open hospital
gowns, the New Gothic cathedral, the bells of Angels, the velvet
flowers at midnight, in the winter midnight . . ."

"inside the nightsky,
                                                 perfectly                    alone . . ."

nightsky parlour I watch T.S. Eliot tv blue night pictures blue night love o' Siam warning, warning vampire tik lik someone who attracts vampires rant and rave and kiss the sky, a wedding dress for a funeral a wedding dress for . . . maybe we could hire some guests for the wedding? people without names and faces . . . disappear into the night communion of the Easterhouse Freetowne free range Honda coming out of the trees a serious tramp in the moonlight o' sweetheart music a butterfly carousel what the moon eclipses soft flesh over bone snow and snow the springtime killed time the seasons numbered come and go from the bed a blue inning and sweet blue eyes let the trees breathe, watch the trees . . .

(once I dreamt of summer . . .)

Subterranean Blue Poetry
Volume IX Issue I
(January 2021)

Subterranean Blue Poetry

© 2021


by Natascha Graham

Sunset. Mid-July with a cloudless blue sky electric pink and flared with gold
The window frame of the caravan digs into my elbows
I lean out further
My best friend squashed against me
Side by side
Watching our dads sitting in brown and yellow-flowered deck chairs sipping beer out of clear plastic cups and smoking rollies that burned our noses and made us cough.
Later we ran between the caravans whilst the sun burned up the whole world, a brilliant orange
between each caravan
Blinding us until we stopped
Breathless, heartbeats louder in our ears than the cries of the seagulls
we sat in the dust on the kerb by the side of the road
The pavement still hot, the gravel hard
and we sat pulling dead grass from the cracks and flicking it into the road
And made up nicknames for passers-by,
Like "beachballs", the woman with the big boobs
We sat and played games until it was almost too dark to see
We stood in line at the big white trailer that made the air smell sweet and burnt and salty and good
We bought hot dogs that burned our mouths and dropped fat and ketchup down our chins and wrists,
we ate candy floss that caught at our hair and coaxed the lazy evening wasps and those hard red candy lollipop dummies in clear cellophane that crackle and we paid with sticky coins from the pockets of jeans we'd worn for two weeks straight.
Then, with our backs to the stars, we pushed grubby fingers between the cracks in the white tarpaulin tent
and watched red-faced women and men with beer bellies smoke and drink

and sway to a woman with short red hair singing
I'm walking on Sunshine
until her voice was gone.


by Natascha Graham

She's got brown hair and eyes the colour of a bleached winter sky.
She's about 5'5, but she's tough.
I met just after I met my girlfriend.
My girlfriend was a narcissist.
She didn't like me having friends, or seeing family.
So, I didn't really.
Gillian stuck around, though.
In fact, that's when I first met her
A few months in
She was standing in a driveway nudging gravel with the toe of her Converse.
I asked her if she'd lost something.
Her wedding ring, she said. Not that it mattered.
He was a cheating bastard.
We walked to school together.
She wore dark jeans and a plaid shirt over a long-sleeved top with four buttons at the neckline.
She was self-destructive.
I liked that about her.
She'd help me put the shopping away when the Tesco delivery arrived.
It wasn't my house,
but I did everything in it.
She expected that of me.
My girlfriend,
The narcissist.
Once when my girlfriend went away,
we used her land to have a bonfire in the old metal drum that was full of weeds and earth and crap.
Gillian joked we should get all of her clothes and stick them on the fire,
but burning her clothes wouldn't do any good, we decided.
She had enough trouble keeping her clothes on,
having less of them would only add to the problem.
We cooked our lunch on the bonfire.
Potatoes baked in tin foil.
Their skins were black but we ate them anyway,
and inside they were smoky and white and good.
Gillian would be there in the evenings, too.
I'd make my excuses and slip to the garage for another bottle of wine,
and Gillian was there,
back against the wall, picking at the fraying edge of her sleeve.
She'd tell me about her day, the sheep, the farm.
She'd hug me, properly, hold me until I'd stopped shaking,
or near enough.

Once, on fireworks night,
She had a party.
My girlfriend,
the narcissist.
Everyone was there. All of her friends, family, neighbours.
Her dad made the bonfire bigger than was safe.
She poured everyone drinks and looked for me to give me something to do.
I stood in the shadows with Gillian.
She was all nervy, jittery, bristling with energy, possibility, magic....
She was wearing wellington boots.
Green ones, but they weren't Hunter boots, and I was glad of that.
They were bog-standard boots from a garden centre.
She had one hand in her pocket, I could hear the clink of the keys to her Land Rover.
You need to get shot of her.
She said, looking at the bonfire, into the flames.
Her face was warm, golden, fire-lit and beautiful.
She's going to kill you if you don't.
She looked at me then, Gillian did.
One way or another you'll end up dead.
She was right. I knew she was right.

But Gillian only existed in my head.


by John Grey

It's Providence.
Amy is a skinny teenager
who sees angels.
Her parents have arranged
an appointment for her
with a psychiatrist.
She dresses in white,
longs for wings,
and prays that she
remain a virgin forever.

She tells her shrink
that she imagines
being married
to the angel Gabriel,
at night,
in a lamp-lit ceremony,
and that,
after they their "I do"'s,
they will not bed down
but soar off into the heavens.

She informs the man
that she finds earth
foul and demeaning.
The stars are more to her liking.
Perhaps she and her angel
could dance on the moon.

The psychiatrist suggests
she get involved in charity work,
like feeding and clothing the poor.
It isn't what she wants to hear.
She attacks the doctor
with a letter opener.

Her parents have her put away.
She tries to hang herself.
But an angel saves her,
so she says.
She sings a lot, hymns mostly.
But then she succumbs to anguish,
fear and grief.

She's given electric shock treatment.
The angels depart.
They are truly fed up with humankind.
Gabriel is the last to leave.
He apologizes that it didn't work out.
But then he too is gone.

She's discharged eventually.
Back into the real world.
She lives at home
where her parents watch her carefully.
She seems domesticated.
But she's a wild beast.
They must keep that in mind
at all times.

Amy is a young woman by this.
She doesn't work.
She has no friends.
Not even of the ethereal kind.

She finds a dead bird in her backyard.
The wings bring back memories.
But bleak unfeeling eyes keep their distance.
The bird's excuse is death.

(For R.J. Dent)

by Peter O'Neill

The contagion of time, its PANDEMIC.
The past is a lie when there is only the
PAST PAST then to get to the PRESENT.
Such is BEING, scrawled in Heideggerian

BLOOD, as procured from the snows of
Ou sont les neiges d'Antan ?
As appropriated from the ROMAN.

Bio-philosophy; Agamben's hallucinogen.
The Complete Words of the politicised Body.
David Hume meets the Marquis de Sade

All orchestrated to Poe's inexorable
Pendulum, with Kafka coughing
Under a blanket in the sanatorium.


by John (Jake) Cosmos Aller

One night
After falling
into a deep sleep

I woke up
standing in a long line
with people of all nationalities
in black uniforms

I look up
and see a giant Screen
showing scenes
from past lives

I ask the person
in front of me
where was I
and what was happening

he merely grunted
and pointed to a sign

The sign
said in multiple languages

No talking
No smoking

No eating
No sleeping
Be patient

Your turn for judgement
Will be soon

No one can escape their fate
For this is your judgement date

A punk rock band
Was playing
Screaming out
No sleeping
No eating
No talking

Be afraid
Be very afraid

The hour is getting late
God is on the make
The devil is on the take

No one can escape their fate
For this is your judgement date

I watched the various condemned
Walking to the front of the room
Step by step

When they got to the front of the
They were shoved into a chair
And straped to a machine

And the grim reaper
Would bark out a few questions

Then their life would flash by
On the screen
Then the screen would flash
A simple symbol

either a green light
A red light
A yellow light
or a black light
would appear

and the grim reaper
Would pronounce sentence
In the language of the person
In front of him

Then sentence pronounced
The body would disappear
And the grim reaper
Would bark out


Soon it was my turn
The grim reaper barked out
name: John (Jake) Cosmos Aller

Date and place of birth October 30,
1955 Oakland, California

There is a discrepancy here
Your birthday is listed twice as
either October 29
Or October 30
Which is the real date?

The 30th

And he pointed
his handheld computer

And I saw my life flash by
30 seconds later
The screen flashed green

You have been given a reprieve
And will be returned to your life
Line space

But with a warning
Your time is limited
As is it
For all of you

Make the most of it
Someone upstairs has marked
Your file

For positive review
On your next judgement date

Good luck
I asked
How much time do I have

He smiled

No one is allowed
To know the date
That they are scheduled
To meet their fate

That information is classified
Q level top secret ultra

Only St. Peter knows
And he does not tell me

You have no need to know
And neither of us
Are cleared for that

So just go back
And make the most
Of the time you have

I found myself in bed
The sun was coming up
I looked at my wife
The love of my life

And vowed to make
Every moment count
Until my next date
With the grim reaper




Susan Stewart

You should lie down now and remember
the forest,
for it is disappearing -
no, the truth is it is gone now
and so what details you can bring back
might have a kind of life.

Not the one you had hoped for, but a life
- you should lie down now and remember
the forest -
nonetheless, you might call it "in the forest,"
no the truth is, it is gone now,
starting somewhere near the beginning, that

Or instead the first layer, the place you
(not the one you had hoped for, but a life)
as if it were firm, underfoot, for that place is
a sea,
nonetheless, you might call it "in the forest,"
which we can never drift above, we were
there or we were not,

No surface, skimming. And blank in life, too,
or instead the first layer, the place you
as layers fold in time, black hummus there,
as if it were firm, underfoot, for that place is
a sea,
like a light left hand descending, always on
the same keys.

The flecked birds of the forest sing behind
and before
no surface, skimming. And blank in life, too,
sing without a music where there cannot be
an order,
as layers fold in time, black hummus there,
where wide swatches of light slice between
gray trunks,

Where the air has a texture of drying moss,
the flecked birds of the forest sing behind
and before:
a musk from the mushrooms and scalloped
They sing without a music where there
cannot be an order,
though high in the dry leaves something
does fall,

Nothing comes down to us here.
Where the air has a texture of drying moss,
(in that place where I was raised) the forest
was tangled,
a musk from the mushrooms and scalloped
tangled with brambles, soft-starred and
moving, ferns

And the marred twines of cinquefoil, false
strawberry, sumac -
as a kind of limit. Sometimes I imagine us
walking there
(. . . pokeberry, stained. A low branch
swinging above a brook)
in a place that is something like a forest.

But perhaps the other kind, where the
ground is covered
(you can understand what I am doing when I
think of the entry)
by pliant green needles, there below the
piney fronds,
a kind of limit. Sometimes I imagine us
walking there.
And quickening below lie the sharp brown

The disfiguring blackness, then the bulbed
phosphorescence of the roots.
But perhaps the other kind, where the
ground is covered,
so strangely alike and yet singular, too, below
the pliant green needles, the piney fronds.
Once we were lost in the forest, so strangely
alike and yet singular, too,
but the truth is, it is, lost to us now.


Montreal Craigslist - Missed Connections - November 15th, 2017 - Anonymous

Metro Papineau - m4w (Papineau)

I was going up the escalator and you were going down, we locked eyes for a moment and you looked like you had a bad morning. You had a light green coat and a yellowish scarf. I wanted to hug you and tell you that everything will be ok.

I had a bad start too.

(N.B.: "I think I have died" - a note from the editor

"I think I have died, too" - a note from the other editor

"Don't worry there are angels and stuff, singing" - says the cat

"And cats can be angels too" - says the other cat

"There will be no dying . . ." - says Machiavelli

"We're already dead" - says the cat

"hold me" - says the other cat)



Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Ariel: The Restored Edition

Author: Sylvia Plath

Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics

Date of Publication: 2004

Pages: 211

"I'd sing until the world fell dead asleep . . ."
- from Ariel by Elway

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
- from Hamlet by William Shakespeare

"All suicide is murder"

Sylvia Plath. And all that the name conjures. Poet, iconoclast, an innovator of new poetic form, wife, mother, a woman with a conflicted love life, a woman in trouble. Sylvia Plath. A literary light, an intelligent, one who is beautiful, as if struck by lightning, in her words "with my 60-watt light bulb head." Raising questions about the elite, about how people treat each other, about the treatment of smart beautiful women, about bed rites, about the dominant culture, the Old Culture oeuvre and the abuse of innocents.

Ariel: The Restored Edition is an all-inclusive republication of Ariel with 13 new poems, poems from the original manuscript that had been edited out. This new Edition was authorized by Plath's daughter, Frieda Hughes.

These new poems are of the quality Plath trademark and contain a marked increase in the level of subtle emotional violence. This poetry dwells in a conflicted personal landscape, someone with a mental health history, 2 young children, a conflicted intimate relationship, perhaps other conflicted intimate relationships. Coming of age in the 1950s in a society of distance, the close virtual world of the New Economy does not exist yet, the world was not cognizant, an experiment with the economy and open bed rites was just coming to the fore. It was a society steeped in the Old Culture, of one-upmanship and secret ballistics, love lives in corrals, a society with rules that were easy to withhold as they are unwritten and may have been largely lost in the morphing to the industrialized society. An unhealthy pall of broken, an oeuvre of secrets, what is hidden, an old man stands in the hallway, garbled speech, talking, his face behind his hand. Overconstructed, a society that controls for outcomes, manifesting suffering, people were cogs in the machine on a good day. A society of hidden crime. Psychiatry was anti-diluvian, often based in political ascription, people medicated and given electroconvulsive therapy, insulin coma treatments when the vast majority needed better mentoring and discernment in life and love, an understanding of The Holy Spirit Way and effective therapy, Deep Process Work (not invented until 1981). When people control for special information and or lie, compromising their reputations, it is easy for the "victim" to be caught out, out of the loop which has severe negative consequences in violence in the dominant culture, often manifesting human rights abuses, suicide and compromising safety. A world of overconstructed personal lives and hidden agendas, the karmic dissonance of a missed Starcrossed lover on a SignfromGod translates as chaos.

Plath's writing itself is iconoclast, telling the barest truth, a dark emotional landscape in broken neoclassical forms. A certain truncated delivery in parallel with the growing Beat Poetry genre just coming to the fore in the United States. The poetry is driven by broken nature images and a dark Medieval mystery that manifests in the symbols and archetypes of the Old Culture. The royaume symbols, the bees, Victoriana, rabbits, candles, the moon, keys, flowers, gods and goddesses, the dark of mystery within the historical oeuvre that brilliantly dresses the work. The hidden essence, a conflicted past, the push and pull of a conflicted intimate relationship, the poetry drips with depression that soothes with the written voice.

The images, the tone and the magic of the woven are a sophisticated progression from the works of the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, William Shakespeare and perhaps Virginia Woolf. With her incredible offering she is an iconoclast in her own right and she has joined the greats as one of the percursors of the New Gothic Literature of the New Age. Ariel: The Restored Editon by Sylvia Plath.

Available @ Amazon.com.


Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Burials

Author: Jessica Drake-Thomas

Publisher: CLASH Books

Date of Publication: 2020

Pages: 84

"You strange as angels
Dancing in the deepest oceans . . ."
- from Just Like Heaven by The Cure

Like all science-fiction is true, all New Gothic literature is true. Time travel, inside the translocated Old World village, Victoriana in a modern context, the New Gothic cathedral writes in Burials by Jessica Drake-Thomas and CLASH Books. Jessica Drake-Thomas is an emerging Poet and writer. Burials is her first book of poetry, she is published in poetry journals including Ploughshares, Coffin Bell Journal, Three Drops from a Cauldron amongst others.

A dark romanticism, dislocated loves and lovers, poetry dressed in black velvet and lace, the wolf howls in the forest under the waxing and waning moon. A full-blown New Gothic write, as if written inside the seers room for readings, silk curtains, a crystal ball, the Ouija board and Tarot cards to be divined in the candlelight, the incense rising. The poetry is. A Beat poetry progression that lives in a psychic overlay of Victoriana, inside the Old World cultural œuvre. The misunderstandings in love relationships open into a world of zeitgeist, of healing into the place of the secret garden. The images are rich in Old World imagery and nature, stones, arrows, swords, snakes, moths, fire, a romanticism of the past with elements of horror, an interloculator for a battle of good against evil, inside violent emotional images. The dark fantasia is brooding, the images flower and break as if illustrating a new dance in symbolist and surrealist nightmare. The poetry dwells in death and ashes, in its ecriture a celebration that rises like the Phoenix.

From "Queen of Sticks"

"Above is the sound of the stars -
bells and breaking glass

This is where
we come to die."

From "The House-Woman"

"In time, I grew hollow - I became a house.
Like all houses,
I was a shelter, inhabitable.
My mouth became a door,
A large, round Hello
For anyone to walk in."

Thomas' inspirations include Anne Rice (The Vampire Lestat), Virginia Woolf, and Shakespeare amongst others. As if a modern day Ophelia, she drowns metaphorically in flowers and woodsprites in a river of poetry to become the Prophetess/Artist.

A very promising first book of poetry, I look for more from this writer. Burials by Jessica Drake-Thomas.

Available @ CLASH Books and Amazon.com.




Rebecca Anne Banks

(A serialized long poem in cycles)

Paris and Hélène                         sit at table                                         perhaps a large gift
                          inside the hive                      the bees gather at the entrance

the wasps the intruders                                        swarm at the entrance
                                 crafted gold jewelry, a statue                                could be given, would send him back to Greece

the drones encircle                                   the drones swarm                                     spin spin spin
                             but what could they give?                          that he didn't already have

                              the cousin she moves the shuttle across                                     battens with the heddle
they ate very little                                                 the breath the rite of love

                                 weaves the shuttle back                                   at night                          the drunken suitors asleep
the food for the others                                 the hens stop laying eggs                  sense the trauma

                  she secrets into the drawing room                           to the loom                                           in the silence
the dead                                            the women without                     Paris holds and sings to the hens

                                she unravels the cloth                     in the silence
so they lay eggs again                                the silence                        at first she did not speak his language

in the morning                       she cards the wool                                she sits at the spinning wheel
                        he taught her                            she spoke only Trojan

                                       smoothing the wool                                             spins spins spins
forgetting her first language                            she worries about becoming pregnant

                                      the thread gathers on the bobbin                               she sits at the loom
the war no place for a child                                          there are no mirrors

                                                 winds the thread on the shuttle
she could not see the great celebration                                                   she could not go down to the ocean

moves the shuttle across                 battens with the heddle
                                  to swim                                how she loved the ocean . . .

"I walk the parapet today . . . in the grey, a single seabird flies forlorn calling . . . calling rake ridden the sea rings bangs consoles not in gentle sting I dream of him the carebidden tide in ringing red calling . . . calling a weeping siren roiling down the walls this cacophony cannot stop the sound of the killing . . . I cannot walk here anymore . . ."

the battlefield outside the large metal gates the walled city Troy the battlefield consecrated the Enfer soldiers in lines by their ships the Trojans in lines on the opposing side the soldiers fired spears to wound hit the jugular vein in the neck of the opposing soldier a group of enemy soldiers move in on the wounded victim cut him down with swords the leaders survive with a phalanx of their own men who surround them fighting . . .

the village elder after the days battle                               negotiates for                          the return of the dead                                                  the drones the drones                        repeatedly sting                              the return of the concubines                          the return of the bodies sting the intruders                                      crawl off to die                                  swarming the wasps sting the bees to the lost Summerkand                                the dead are mounted on pyres                         in the towne square                                 their bodies grow cold                                       the dead bodies                                     are burnt into sunrise . . . the battle waxes and wanes

(To be continued . . .)

"rose baccarat                               sky dreams
                    amongst the
                              dark shadowed trees . . ."



Rebecca Anne Banks

falls falling into the blue night wild things are meant to be home (in the wild night) springer boards there's life and then there's life there's death the reluctant Muse a few kicks from the sidelines is the longing as I watch him on the stage swimming light in his face in light and half with the angels he made me remember to taste the last of Summer rain in the trees the longing, he rises up from the bed I watch the day inside turn into the inside of nothing as you leave ghosts in the house whisper write and write heaven graffiti walls stone blue and golden pictures and someone lost their hospital gown behind the piano the burn the summer an imprint casting imprints how quiet in quiet . . . after awhile I just curl up in the bed and try to sleep . . .

(the memory of time and blue, Blue out of mind . . .)


John (Jake) Cosmos Aller is a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer currently living in South Korea. He served in ten countries over a 27 year career with the Department of State. Prior to his diplomatic career, he taught ESL, Government and Asian studies in Korea with the University of Maryland and Kyunghee University. He served in the Peace Corps in Korea. He graduated from the University of Washington with a MPA egree and a MA in Korean studies. He did his undergraduate work at the University of the Pacific in Political Science and Psychology. He grew up in Berkeley, California and Washington, D.C.

Rebecca Anne Banks lives in the New Age Renaissance Republique of Poetry. She has been writing and producing artistic content for 38 years and is the author of over 30 books of poetry, guides to the Holy Spirit, a primer on marriage discernment, a family cookbook, a book of children's stories, a book of World Peace Newsletters, all available at Amazon Stations. She has produced 3 CDs of Folk/Rock music and has 17 CDs of music awaiting production. She won an IARA Award for Top 55 Internet Airplays for Angel Song (2010). She is an Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets. She is also the Poetry Editor at Subterranean Blue Poetry (www.subterraneanbluepoetry.com), CEO/Artist at Tea at Tympani Lane Records (www.tympanilanerecords.com), the Book Reviewer at The Book Reviewer (www.thebookreviewer.ca)and the Quilt Artist at Kintsugi Art Quilts (www.kintsugiartquilts.com.

Jessica Drake-Thomas (poet, writer, book reviewer, PhD student) has degrees from Tulane University, Emerson College and the University of Arizona. She is published in journals and has a Chapbook, Possession (dancing girl press) and her first collection of poetry, Burials (CLASH Books).

Natascha Graham. Raised simultaneously by David Bowie and Virginia Woolf, Natascha Graham writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry, as well as writing for stage and screen. Her plays How She Kills and Confessions: The Hours have been performed in London and are included in the First Time Filmmakers Festival (2020) by Pinewood Studios. Her poetry, fiction and non-fiction essays have been previously published by Acumen, Litro, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Yahoo News and The Mighty. She lives with her wife in a house full of sunshine on the east coast of England.

John Grey is an Australian poet, U.S. resident. Recently published in Sin Fronteras, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Plainsongs, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.

Denny E. Marshall has had art, poetry, and fiction published. One recent credit is interior art in Midnight Echo #14 2019 Issue. See more at www.dennymarshall.com.

Peter O'Neill is the author of five collections of poetry, the latest being Sker (Lapwing, 2017), a volume of translation, The Enemy, Transversions from Charles Baudelaire (Lapwing, 2015), and work of prose fiction More Micks than Dicks (Famous Seamus, 2017).

Sylvia Plath (Poet, short story writer, novelist) born in Boston, Massachusetts. She is credited as being one of the first confessional poetry writers helping to create a new genre and the trend of truthtelling in poetry. She is considered an iconoclast writer. She studied at Smith College, Massachusetts and Newnham College, Cambridge, England. She married poet Ted Hughes and had 2 children, committing suicide after her marriage broke in 1962. She won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry posthumously in 1982. She is best remembered for the collections of poetry, The Colossus and Other Poems, Ariel and the novella, The Bell Jar.

Susan Stewart (Poet, literary critic, professor) and recently teaching at Princeton University. Widely published, her poetry has appeared in The Paris Review, Harper's, Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review amongst others. She has won numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1986), Pew Fellowships in the Arts (1995), Christian Gauss Award for Literary Criticism (2003), National Book Critics Circle Award (2003), Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism (2004). Her books of poetry include Columbarium (University of Chicago Press, 2003), Yellow Stars and Ice (Princeton University Press, 1981), The Forest (University of Chicago Press, 1995), The Hive (University of Georgia Press, 1987), Red Rover (University of Chicago Press, 2008) and Cinder: New and Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2017).