"Black Lives Matter, George Floyd, Oluwatoyin Salau . . . "Who do you have to talk to, to end the war?", into the streets,
stories of the protests, stories of love, stories of the night, the heat, walking and walking,
bang a gong, make love not war, Summer in a small towne, dance Summer blue . . .
peace to the Angels . . . peace to all peoples"
"These people do not deserve,
See how happy that kid looks
I bet he has a forever lover coming . . ."
"These people do not deserve . . ."
"the poor, the homeless, the Blacks, queers,
trans, mental patients, prisoners, Michelangelo's,
people who don't own homes, people who own homes,
people who are celibate, people who have families, people who live alone,
people who have pets, people who don't have pets,
people who have jobs, people who don't have jobs,
people who have children, people who don't have children,
people who are young, people who are middle-aged, people who are old,
people who are bald, people who have hair,
people who are short, people who are tall
people who wear the colour pink"
There. Is that everyone? Can you see how this spirals out of control?
Maybe over a beer down at the local bar . . .
The collective anger, grief and broken of this society needs to be healed.
weigh it which way,
boundaries are cuffed barrels tongued to a busy road,
oil & hate trickling down to receive migrants in a befitting green.
you would almost beg to carry the whole fun below your chin.
at the steep edge of the bridge, nature knows a little about slave trade.
she lays in blocks,
to break the world into a foreign queue.
rip off those lies in sack clothing,
& the shady officers-- blond mannequins making reckless gains in cheap currency.
what makes you feel the snow kills better over there?
how come you've lost so much weight in chasing a life that feels like yours?
sweet-tongue me into your grief,
how you bear this lesson for someone out there with a black skin,
about to cross a border that is no border.
tell him the truth that is no truth.
that an eruption quaked this land to meet us at both ends.
make a folklore of this,
& watch variety stalk the most of its meaning.
I CAN'T BREATHE
by Jim Hirtle
White on black- black on white
I bow my head to pray
Beyond my eyes
Images linger, stealing my words, muting my God thoughts
Black or White
One kneels to kill
One prays to breathe
One laughs One dies
Beyond my eyes
Dreary eddies overflowing
Images Mister Leary would covet
Ten thousand shadows march across fractured asphalt
Holding his name high, seeking justice for the oppressed one
Tears fall from faceless minions
Beyond my eyes
Colorless fire and ebony clouds fill the night
Shattered glass flashes hues of black and white
Faceless faces scream
Stores looted Pockets filled
No one cries
They have forgotten why they came
Forsaking his memory for a new flat screen
I close my eyes
I can't breathe
by Jonathan Shipley
There is nothing left to write, but then
another black person dies and I'm here
again at the dining room table while black
peoples' dining room tables are emptying.
As if there are a finite amount of words
to write about a life. Brionna Taylor is
beyond the two words say her name.
The King James Bible has 783,137 words.
The shortest verse in the Bible is John
11:35. "Jesus wept." There is no one
way to tell a story. There are four gospels.
What did they sing at Brionna's funeral?
This poem will go until the bottom of this
page. Tell me about Brionna's favorite movie.
Where did she want to travel? What moment
did she understand what love really was?
Tell me about Brionna's favorite Easter
dress; her favorite smell; her worst
There is no finite amount of words to
write about a life. Shakespeare's complete
works consist of 884,647 words. We know
all of them could have been used just on
Yorick. Twice that. Three times as many
How many words are there in every book
ever written? Brionna's life fills every
page of them because every page is written
love and love's leaves don't fall.
WENDY'S DRIVE-THRU MENU
by Jonathan Shipley
Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger
10 piece spice chicken nuggets
Chili cheese fries
Cheese baked potato
Homestyle chicken sandwich combo
Asiago ranch chicken club combo
Militarized police force
Summer strawberry salad
A bullet in the back
Grilled bacon jalapeno chicken
Frosty cookie sundae
Another dead black man
Your order will be ready at the first window
AND SOME, I ASSUME, ARE GOOD PEOPLE
by Gerard Robledo
With ever gentle tugs, she opens
the yellowing kitchen curtains, its tassel
looped loosely - a slipknot in the Oklahoma
clearing the dark corners of their home. And her
mother kindly sings, Lord, send the old-time
that mighty power! That Sinners be
and thy name glorified! That twang in her
seizes your ears & spills her words from
onto your plate. Her disdain of those people,
those Natives, or whatever they're called
crowds your plate, rots your breakfast when
you see it
cozied up against the home fries & burnt
All you could do that day was look out the
& let your teeth tear your thumbnail, instead
of her throat.
Over coffee & egg whites, her father passes
his cream and casually asks if, You ever
how purple Obama's lips are? Your body
stiff, only your eyes move quickly onto his
holding your tan baby in her colorless hands
against strawberry hair & freckled breasts.
Your words stumble
out apprehensively, I don't know. Your reflection
lost in the strong brown drink. His words,
I want to see the birth certificate,
widen your eyes & divorce your heart.
by Gerard Robledo
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
...where there is despair, hope; ...
...and where there is sadness, joy
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned ...
- excerpt from the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
My mother made me
recite this prayer daily.
Each morning she impressed
on me the gravity of poverty
for St. Francis, the first person to receive the Stigmata:
visible marks & intense suffering
mirroring Jesus Christ's wounds of crucifixion
- bleeding hands, feet, & sides, sometimes
without end. He lived the pain of someone else,
ardent to aid those in need. Back then, we hung
a large painting of St. Francis next to our front door:
each morning we walked past bloody hands,
then dropped quarters at the unwashed feet of men
massed on downtown corners. Their blackened skin
barren in undeniable heat. My mother gripped
my pale hands & scurried me to safety
behind the locked doors of St. Mary's Elementary School,
before heading to her next job
- she'd say nothing is free, then hand me my sandwich
made from government cheese & food-stamped meat.
When I asked her why
we couldn't help those men on the corner
she answered with another prayer,
because God gives us the serenity to accept
the things we cannot change.
I still wonder when he will
give us the courage to know the difference.
AN ACT OF SELF-DEFENSE
(After Ahmaud Arbery)
by Megha Sood
The exact moment when the grief takes
shelter in your heart leaving you undone
when the emptiness sits in the gaping hole
an abyss of loneliness:
the deafening lull in your mind
stops making sense
Your ears ring with the
lonely wails of the widow
in the apartment above you
Sorrow takes a different shape
tears streaming down incessantly
for the senseless acts of violence and
carried by the very educated hands of this
where life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness
foundations of society, the sidewalks of those
pitted with the black bones of their own
You are not carrying your freedom in your
/your right to bear arms/
when the only right you give to a mother
is to stick a cross in the middle of an
giving a piece of land for her dead son
a parched island of grief:
there is nothing but death at the end of a gun
When the names keep adding to the
Treyvon, Michael, Eric . . . and so on
an ever-growing list of dead and forgotten
where names have to scream out loud
to make their lives matter else all hell will
To hell with your right to the Second
when it's laced with the blood
of a black brother whose murder
you are incessantly
trying to justify as self-defense.
by Kimberlynne Darby Newton
I look down at the
on your neck.
I worry for you,
want to wrap trembling arms
your tender shoulders.
But a grin escapes,
when I see you busy scribbling
explains that it's not me
Wave your magic wand,
take a strong stance,
as I do.
I know the world has thrown so
But you have become
the storm, created your shelter.
clinging to bough,
but true to you.
I can ask nothing else.
Stones thrown at any who dare deny,
an asphalt cloak,
to hide you, baby,
keep you safe.
But you are better than safe,
triumphant in your will
to win this race.
I see a girl, with
thick grown skin,
but an open heart.
Do you know what you have
FEATURED POET: GWENDOLYN BROOKS
THE POOL PLAYERS. SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
Craigslist Montreal - Missed Connections - March 15th, 2018 - Anonymous
You asked me about the tree in the garden - m4w (Montreal)
I worked at that hospital and you came asked me about a certain tree in the garden, your beauty stunned me at the moment but I managed
to tell that if you ever have any other questions about anything to not hesitate to come and ask. You have the most beautiful set of
eyes I've seen in my life! Last time I saw you, you was walking with a resident and we looked at each other. I wish I waived at you, I
wish I asked what your name is.
(N.B.: "and Aubrey was her name . . ." - a note from the editor
"a very special name . . ." - a note from the other editor
"coffee and cake" - says the cat
"cake and coffee" - says the other cat
"you do not have enough time for coffee and cake" - says Simon Le Gris
"go home cat" - says Machiavelli
"here's $50, Machiavelli and Simon Le Gris, get out of my hospital" - says mum)
PoemZ 4 U AND YourZ
Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry
Title of Book: PoemZ 4 U AND YourZ
Author: Zo-Alonzo Gross
Illustrators: Beya Prince Gross (Back Cover Abstract), Michaël Lezay, Alexia Zakariya, Keila Zuniga, Danielle Siegelbaum,
Jahim Trotter, Bum Buniii/Joslyn Tapia, Dwayne Jones, DK Photography,
Adail Dilly-Santiago of Jadil Photos, Alex Gaston Art, Justin Bua,
The Artist Wesley, Stanislav Sidorov, Jason O'Brien, Abeon Hosting,
Kevin J. Taylor, Jahbu Art
Publisher: Subterranean Blue Poetry
Date of Publication: 2021
"All you need is love . . ."
- From All you need is love by The Beatles
PoemZ 4 U AND YourZ by Zo-Alonzo Gross, a Rap music inspired poetry and art/photo event where the blues street meets the
neo-classical, on the wings of doves, creating an original art house poetry offering, A Subterranean Blue Poetry Imprint. Including
an eclectic mix of artwork, the work features 17 illustrators/photographers, particularly Michaël Lezay, Kevin J. Taylor, Jahbu Art,
Dwayne Jones, Jahim Trotter, Danielle Siegelbaum, Keila Zuniga amongst others. Zo-Alonzo Gross (Poet, songwriter, recording artist,
dancer, writer) lives with his wife and children. He has earned a degree in literature at Temple University. He has published short
stories, poetry collections and has poetry featured in anthologies and journals. He is featured in "VOICES" a documentary of
cutting-edge New Age Poets by Gina Nemo. He has received Awards for his poetry from the Lehigh Valley Music Awards (2012), The Poet
Magazine (2020) and Inner Child Press (2020).
This poetry has the power of dream travel, a magic conjuring of a parallel universe, a heaven universe of love, truthtelling, wisdom
and mythos. A spirit call for love and peace that transcends violence. In Beat box delivery that moves and rhymes intermittently at
the ends of lines, in terms of old-world magic it is as if the poetry attempts to reintroduce love and true bright to a conflicted
world. The poetry is a pictograph, in and of itself with creative use of syntax, that at once creates a new vision for our times, an
enlightenment in protest. Written in neo-Shakespeare, Gross uses word constructions in an Old English presentation, influenced by the
writings of the Bard. Images of nature resound in original poetic light.
This poetic gift combined with the illustrations, give a new celebration in ekphrastic poetry. The poetry and illustrations play with
an internal state of ecstatic experience that dances in spheres of love and forevermore. Cuandos Bailamos (When We Dance) with the
illustration by Michaël Lezay is a truly gifted presentation that illuminates an idea of love and respect in love's storybook, as if
alluding to an idea of karma and discernment, much needed in a lost world of hidden agendas. A truly great write, this poetry is an
original creation in style, iconographic.
From "Hymns of Eternity":
"Her Wings Stretched out,
in2 the Dawn of Night,
Her path (From God)
etched out, She's ever Grateful,
4 the Dawn's Invite."
The themes in the work celebrate the life and love of the poet in his journey. A truthtelling for peace that shines within the
eternal magic of New Age poetry, PoemZ 4 U AND YourZ by Zo-Alonzo Gross.
"We fucked a flame into being."
- from Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
And beautiful anarchy, as if an entire suite of poetry written in bed, CLASP or The Pink by Kimberlynne Darby Newton and Subterranean
Blue Poetry is an event in love in black girl beauty, an original in New Age erotica. Kimberlynne Darby Newton lives and works in
Montgomery, Alabama. She is a retired history professor, a prolific New Age poet who is always writing a great book of poetry.
An exciting play on love and the erotic, Kimberlynne Darby Newton is the Helen Gurley Brown of romantic erotic poetry. Helen
Gurley Brown was the editor-in-chief of the popular magazine Cosmopolitan for 32 years, happily married she famously celebrated
the positive of a fulfilled sex life.
This Beat Poetry progression lives in neo-classical images and allusions, gods and goddesses with Black meme consecrates love names,
Erzulie, Oshun, Yemeyah, Yemeya, Ogun, Bastet, Anulis, Prince, Vishnu, Djinn, Houri in a love offering for a healed universe. Sweet
talk with intellectual elements, a great poet writes pink.
The suggestion of the physical love that tempts, taunts and captivates, not only does Darby Newton expertly craft the romantic
poetic form, CLASP or The Pink also on occasion offers more than suggestion. This play on romance is a quiet anarchy considering about 1/3
of the N.A. population lives alone. In a complicated world of politics and romance, Darby Newton illustrates. In exultance, health
and healing there is nothing ordinary about having a happy longterm lover and this poetry celebrates of the goddess of love.
"When hard and hot meet,
Beautiful brown Piscean
eyes, promised different,
1,000 pledges of eternal
swept aside barriers,
inside cradling arms.
"Sorry for skies,
This poetry lives in fantastical poetic climes. A beautiful seduction in pink. Bring out the wine and chocolate, turn down the
silk bed sheets, a night of passion and CLASP or The Pink by Kimberlynne Darby Newton.
RESIST: INCANTATIONS FOR PEACE, LOVE AND PROTECTION
Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry
Title of Book: Resist
Author: Kimberlynne Darby Newton
Publisher: Subterranean Blue Poetry
Date of Publication: 2020
"The world so fine
And Eden not so far away . . .
- from As Darkness Reigns by Oracle
"Black is Beautiful", in response to the ever-present violence in the United States against our brothers and sisters,
RESIST is a brilliant write from Kimberlynne Darby Newton and Subterranean Blue Poetry. Kimberlynne Darby Newton, a
Poet and retired history professor from Alabama is famous for being a consummate Poet, writing the poem, "Song of the
South." She is one of the highlights of post-modern American Poetry.
RESIST, a Chapbook of the cause for love and freedom, is at once empowering, an inspiration and a truthtelling. As if
the Black Poet goddess preaching good gospel, this poetry raises the Spirit to heaven, in positive affirmations. A
heart weave, a love song, a Neo-classical war chant for love. Calling on Artemis, the goddess of love and Erzulie,
she of water, she of life in incantations for peace, love and protection. Newton calls her people "Children of the Sun"
and the poetry spills forth like fresh, clean water for Black suffrage and freedom. This writer can remember being at
a friend's house when a teenager and listening to Malcolm X recordings on vinyl. This poetry has the essence of that
From "Where I Lived":
"Let pride run you,
sweet made baby,
shout and slander
Got people depending on you,
and people that will never.
Sing your freedom, girl!
I did like they told me to.
Loving, laughing, liking the me,
they believed in.
Where I lived."
A Beat poetry progression in the New Age Renaissance Republique. Perfect bound Chapbook candy, a celebration of life
and love in the face of violence, RESIST by Kimberlynne Darby Newton. A Subterranean Blue Poetry Imprint.
the servant girl would not wash her dress she took her dress
at the Beekeeper's it is night
down to the washing well Andromache the good sees her
the women enter the bee yard on a table
she gives Hélène's dress to her servant girl to wash
are a pile of secondhand dresses it is night
"what if we don't win the war?" "of course we will win the war"
in silence quickly they each pick a dress
"our men are the best fighters" "what if we don't win the war?"
in their favourite colour dress themselves
"He has so many clothes, what will I do with his clothes?" the war, the seasons
there are only 2 dresses left a light dusting of snow
she had never seen snow before
the yellow dress is her favourite colour yet might be too small
she walks into the snow covered yard in barefeet
she dons the brown dress she is the only one
Paris said something she didn't understand they formed a circle
not wearing her favourite colour he laughed
around her inside, outside belittling
not understanding she begins to cry as her tears fall
catcalling laughing shaming inside outside
small yellow flowers sprang up through the snow
he picked them their mouths curl behind their hands
gave her the flowers he smiles "for the elecampane" . . .
the war o' raged . . . his older brother war-murdered by the prize fighter the horror the horror at dawn the body of Hector is burnt
in the towne square Hélène through a long looking glass darkly his wife Andromache brings all of his clothes down to the square in
cacophony Hélène attempts to talk to her "What is that?" she has a firelighter in her hand, "What is that?" she mimics "Maybe
we should have one in every household - leave me alone" she lights the clothes on fire . . . Paris goes insane with tragedy, his
brother dead . . . in the night takes Hélène roughly she cries sleeps sleeps into the late afternoon he does not return rings her
heart out turns cries like a broken bell the sun sets he does not return rings out the long twilight . . . she imagines he has gone
to the bed of the beautiful maid, he is angry with her, he will not talk to her . . . day in day out the night . . .
a man appears at the door she doesn't remember him
she is the only girl in a brown dress the women reel
spin and taunt her back to the fire
Ulysses tries to talk to her lost in miasma she doesn't understand
calling down the moon the night the stars calling
his language she will not sleep with him she is married to Paris
the night falling falling
he goes away . . . the Sun Le Roi does not like the battlefield, disguised, slips into the city, Troy
dance hall victims she cries cries looking for the moon . . .
learns the language, ferrets information, barters for food
she begins to sing sing sing
Hélène alone alone those long afternoons she begins to sing into the silence . . .
sings the women go silent the women stop
the music beautiful the music drifts up into the sky slip away in a breath,
the women begin to cry slowly they take off their dresses
gone in a breath . . . day in day out sing singing . . .
one by one throw the dresses in the fire one by one the last sacrificial virgin
day in . . . day out where is the sun? . . .
the angel she is the only one left wearing a dress
he discovers where Hélène is where she lives alone . . . he visits her
in the firelight the dress shines shines golden
she is lost inside her mind she does not want to sleep with him
the Angel dresses her
she is married to Paris vaguely the memory of the summer Le Roi at the wedding day . . .
a fresh flower wreath over her hair skyclad
he takes her roughly to bed . . . in quiet she sings singing quiet
the women wander out into the night . . .
into the silence
(To be continued . . .)
Charles Kinsey: "Sir, why did you shoot me?"
Policeman: "I don't know."
- Channel 7 Miami, Florida
Rebecca Anne Banks
somewhere in sunlight
are out of the life of harbour
the Drew Petersons
too many silicon baskets
a rat bare wire
and pinko Disney
a Westchester cracker
no colours on dime sledges
and pinafore dimes
"where's the camera"
"i can't find the camera"
bad bohemia ville
to the child in the corner
"love you Geobonetti"
(my Julian choir)
the madness of Jacques Louis Stevenson,
the madness of the gathering crowd.
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
CD's of Folk/Rock music and has 17 CD's 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.)
Gwendolyn Brooks (Poet, teacher, author) born in Topeka, Kansas, when young, her family moved to Chicago. Brooks wrote about
the experience of urban Blacks. She was highly celebrated, notably being the first Black American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize (1950)
and to become a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters. She was the Poet Laureate of Illinois amongst other honours. She
is best remembered for writing the books, A Street in Bronzeville, Annie Allen and Winnie amongst others.
Zo-Alonzo Gross is a songwriter, Dancer, recording artist and writer. His short stories were first published internationally
in 2005, and in 2006 in the Staying Sane book series published by Evelyn Fazio. Staying Sane when family comes to visit (2005)
and Staying Sane during the Thanksgiving Holiday (2006). After having many of his poems featured in anthologies, he released
the 5-star reviewed book of poems entitled Inspiration, Harmony and the World Within in 2012. Also, in that same year, he was
awarded "Best Spoken Word Poet" at the Lehigh Valley music awards. In 2016 zO was selected as a featured poet in the film "VOICES"
directed by Gina Nemo filmed in Los Angeles California and released in 2017 in select theatres as well as Amazon Prime. Then in
January of 2018 he released his second book of poetry entitled sOuL eLiXiR: The writingZ of zO which also received a
5 out of 5-star rating. In November 2020 zO was named one of the best poets of 2020 by Inner Child Press where his work was
featured in their Anthology. In December of 2020 zO was named "International Poet of The Week" by THE POET MAGAZINE. zO is a graduate
in the field of Literature from Temple University.
Jim Hirtle has spent the last dozen years writing about faith and addiction, exploring how the two intertwine seamlessly.
His first book, Going Numb tells the story of life with an addict. His poetry is a recent literary and somber passage
into the world of addiction, the challenges of being a cancer survivor, a life of faith, and the world we live in today. His
work has appeared in Capsule Stories', With Painted Words, and Touched by an Angel the anthology. You can read more
about J. Hirtle and his work at http://addictedtofaith.blogspot.com.
Kimberlynne Darby Newton is a Poet and a retired professor of history, a native of Montgomery, Alabama. She
hopes that her writing will help someone; with a smile, a shared experience, and hopefully, an inspiration. She is
happily writing her next book, and lives with son, Isaac and husband, Barney.
Gerard Robledo is a Latino social justice poet from San Antonio. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas
at El Paso, and teaches creative writing at San Antonio College. His Spanish language poetry translations, poetry, and book reviews
have appeared in Voices de la Luna, the Texas Poetry Calendar, The Texas Observer, Pilgrimage, The Thing Itself, Outrage: A Protest
Anthology for Injustice in a post 9/11 World, and Poetrybay, among others. Robledo is also one of the first sixteen poets to be
archived in the newly established San Antonio Poetry Archive at Palo Alto College and is a Macondo Writers' Workshop Fellow.
Nnadi Samuel is a graduate of English & literature from the University of Benin, who lives in Lagos (Nigeria). If he is not
writing, you find him reeling out memes on Facebook @ Samuel Samba.
Jonathan Shipley is a freelance writer living in Atlanta. His writing has appeared in such publications as the Los Angeles Times,
National Parks Magazine, and Drift. He can be found on Twitter (@shipleywriter) and Instagram (/jonathanshipley).
Megha Sood lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A. She is an Assistant Poetry Editor for the U.K. based Arts and Literary Journal
MookyChick. She has been widely published in over 430+ journals Free Verse Revolution, Heretics, Lovers and Madmen, Sudden Denouement,
Whisper and the Roar, GoDogGoCafe, Better than Starbucks, Gothamist, Poetry Society of New York, WNYC Studios, Kissing Dynamite,
American Writers Review, Setu Magazine amongst others. And has been celebrated winning NAMI Dara Axelrod N.J. Poetry Contest
(2018/2019/2020), National Winner Spring Robinson Lit Prize 2020, Honorable Mention Pangolin Poetry Prize 2019, Finalist in
the Adelaide Literary Award 2019, Shortlisted for the Embracce Prize 2020, Nominated for the iWomanGlobalAwards 2020 amongst
others. She blogs at meghaswordsite.wordpress.com and