After the Heaven had been raised over the Earth
After the god Lil had breathed onto the land
From the depth of the primeval sea
After the father of the gods, Enlil, had cast stars in the night sky
After the sun god Utu had brought summer to the day
After Enki, the god of wisdom, had provided
The food of life from the banks of the twin streams
After the black headed people had crossed the great mountain
After Nammu, the mother goddess, had then led them into the garden;
Then the goddess of love, Inanna, had arrived to reign as mistress
Of the ‘world above’.
Then her sister goddess, Ereshkisal, had departed from Heaven
To become the queen of the ‘world below’ where
The shadows of the once living had been gathered.
Then Ereshkisal had commanded the gatekeeper, Neti,
To strengthen the bolts of the seven gates to the underworld
So that none who entered her domain would ever escape.
Then Inanna had been compelled to visit the ‘world below’
After she had given instructions to her loyal vizier, Ninshubur.
Then he had inscribed these words on clay tablets
Since they had told the story of Inanna’s journey
Into and from the netherworld.
Then these writings had been hidden for millennia
Until they had been uncovered in the ruins
Of the palace Ereshkisal had named Ganzir.
In the beginning ...
After the Heaven moved apart from the Earth
After the name of mankind had become fixed
The god Enlil whose decisions are unalterable
In order to bring about what was useful
Settled abundance on the land of his people.
He directed the plow and the yoke during planting.
He heaped up grain in the silo at the harvest.
He made fat the cattle of the pasture.
He ripened the fruit on the trees of the grove.
Because the god Enlil declared that the age
When men ate plants from their mouths like sheep
And drank water from the ditch like dogs
Was now at an end.
Then the god Enlil sent to the long bearded people
Of the delta, Lahar, the god of the shepherd, and
Ashnan, the god of the farmer,
To teach them.
Now men could eat of unleavened bread.
Now they could wear robes of cloth from the loom.
Then the warehouses of the poor became full.
Then the city washed by much water was made clean.
Then the god Enlil dispensed the seven divine laws
To act as a steadfast light from sunrise to sunset.
Laws that seemed as unfathomable as the abyss.
Laws that were exalted, untouchable, and profound.
Laws with a heart as perplexing to the people as Heaven’s zenith.
Then the father of the gods, Enlil, directed the goddess Inanna
To have the people ascend the mountains of their highland
In order to bring back stone from off of their heights.
Then Enlil said, “ Urge them to build a shrine to the gods.
Urge them to place in it a chapel.
Place in the chapel the seven divine laws
So that they might flower like the boxwood tree.
Adorn the threshold of the shrine with a design
Of lapis lazuli.
Decorate the door of the chapel artfully
With scenes in gold and silver.
Then let the people prostrate themselves like the young singer.
Let them celebrate with hymns in the courtyard of the assembly
Of the shrine. Let them look reverently on what they have made
With a joyous eye.”
Then Enlil said to the black headed people whom he
Favoured, “Listen to Inanna for she is the royal
Who rides the seven divine laws.
She is the queen of the realm of what is good.
But know also that the goddess Inanna will rise up
In arms against the evildoer so that he must flee
Like the bird disturbed from the nest.
It is Inanna who can turn the city into a desolation
Returning to dust that which came out of dust.
Surely I will destroy all who turn their backs on my works.
The goddess Inanna shall maintain my peace.”
Then the goddess Ereshkisal was jealous of her sister Inanna,
In whom the father of the gods, Enlil, placed his trust.
Then Ereshkisal bit her thigh in anger.
She wondered for a time how to attain a measure of revenge.
Then Ereshkisal asked the god Enlil whether
She could descend from Heaven to the ‘world below’
Where she might rule the spirits of those once living
Gathered together in this netherworld.
Then the god Enlil agreed because it is he
Who perfects the decrees of power, lordship, and princeship.
It is he to whom the earth gods bow down in fear.
It is he to whom the gods of heaven humble themselves.
It is Enlil whose seat is on the high mountain, the pure place.
It is he whose net spans across all of the primeval sea
So that nothing can escape the mesh.
After Ereshkisal arrived to govern the ‘world below’
After she built the face of the underworld in her palace Ganzir
After the chief gatekeeper, Neti, placed strong bolts
On the seven gates through which each departed soul
Must pass so that no being who entered this domain
Could ever hope to return.
After the passing of her husband, the lord Gugalanna,
After Ereshkisal arranged that his funeral rites
Should be held in the underworld:
Then the goddess Ereshkisal asked her sister,
The goddess Inanna, if she could attend them
In the land of no return.
Then the goddess from the ‘world above’
Set her mind toward the ‘world below’.
Then after Inanna abandoned Heaven,
Abandoned the Earth, to go down to
The underworld, the goddess
Inanna attached two of the
Divine laws to her side, gathered three of
The divine laws in her left hand,
Then set the last two of the divine laws on her foot.
Then Inanna placed the crown of the plain on her head.
Then she fixed a necklace of lapis lazuli around her neck.
Then she fastened twin breastplates of silver over her chest.
Then she put rings of gold on her fingers.
Then she covered her body with a pale garment.
Then she settled the locks of hair along her forehead.
Then she took the measuring rod up into her right hand.
After Inanna began to approach the first gate of the netherworld
After she daubed the perfume ‘let him come’ about her person
Then she gave these instructions to her loyal vizier, Ninshubur,
“After I have entered the underworld, if I have not returned
In three days and three nights, then you must set up a lament
For me in the courtyard of the assembly of the shrine to the gods.
Beat the drum for me in the house of the gods.
Lower your eyes for me, lower your mouth for me.
Like a pauper in a single garment dress for me.
Then weep before the father of the gods, Enlil.
Plead that his daughter, Inanna, not be lost
In the realm of the netherworld.
Let not what is precious metal become tarnished.
Let not the lapis lazuli be broken by the hammer.
Let not the flowering boxwood tree be split by the axe.”
After Inanna came to the portal of the first gate
After she knocked on its door requesting to be let in,
The goddess Ereshkisal said to the gatekeeper, Neti,
“When my sister knocks on the door of the first gate,
Allow her to enter only if she removes the crown
Of the plain from her head. Then at the second gate,
The necklace of lapis lazuli around her neck.
Then at the third gate, the twin breastplates of silver
Over her chest. Then at the fourth gate,
The rings of gold on her fingers. Then at the fifth
Gate, the pale garment that covered her body.
Then at the sixth gate, the locks of hair
Settled along her forehead. Then at the seventh
Gate, the measuring rod from her right hand.
Only then can my sister, Inanna, enter the
Face of the underworld the palace Ganzir.
She must come naked except for the seven divine laws.”
Then the gatekeeper, Neti, heeded the words
Of his queen. He lifted the seven bolts of
The gates of the ‘world below’ after each of
The demands of his sovereign had been followed.
Then he pressed open the last door to the
Face of the underworld the palace Ganzir
Saying to the pure Inanna, “Come. You may now enter.”
Then Inanna bowing low was brought naked
Before her sister, the goddess Ereshkisal.
After Ereshkisal seated herself upon her throne.
After Ereshkisal summoned the seven judges
Of the netherworld, the Anunnaki.
After they pronounced their verdict,
The eternal sentence, on the goddess Inanna.
Then Ereshkisal fastened her eye on
Her sister, the eye of death.
Then Ereshkisal spoke the word against
Her sister, the word of wrath.
Then Ereskisal uttered a cry against
Her sister, a cry of guilt.
So that the goddess Inanna became
Like a sickly woman.
Then she fell to the ground like a corpse.
Then Ereshkisal directed the Anunnaki
To place Inanna in a cell in the dungeon of the
Face of the underworld the palace Ganzir.
After the passing of three days and three nights,
The loyal vizier, Ninshubur, the vizier of
Favourable words, the knight of the true words,
Followed the instructions of his mistress, Inanna.
He set up a lament in the courtyard of the assembly
Of the shrine to the gods. He beat the drum
For her in the house of the gods.
He lowered his eyes for her,
Lowered his mouth for her.
Like a pauper he dressed in a single garment.
Then he wept before the father of the gods, Enlil.
Then Enlil heard the pleas of the loyal vizier,
Ninshubur. Then Enlil told him to go to the city
Where the god of wisdom, Enki, was to be found.
Then the god of wisdom, Enki, explained
How the goddess Inanna could be saved.
After Ninshubur came into the city of the god Enki
But before he inscribed on clay tablets
The story of the goddess Inanna’s
Journey into and from the ‘world below’,
He wept before the god Enki crying out,
“Let not your sister, the goddess Inanna,
Be lost to the netherworld. Let not the
Precious metal become tarnished.
Let not the lapis lazuli be broken by the hammer.
Let not the flowering boxwood tree be split by the axe.”
Then the god Enki replied with some concern,
“ What has happened to my sister? I am troubled.
What has happened to Inanna? I am troubled.
What has happened to the queen of the land above?
I am troubled.”
Then the god of wisdom, Enki, brought dirt
From under his fingernail to fashion the Kurgarru.
Then he brought dirt from under the red painted
Fingernail to fashion the Kalaturru.
To the Kurgarru he gave the food of life.
To the Kalaturru he gave the water of life.
Then the god Enki directed the Kurgarru
And the Kalaturru to go down to Ganzir,
The palace of the goddess Ereshkisal.
Then he cautioned them,
“Do not listen to the shades who have been
Gathered in the ‘world below’. They will offer
You water from their river. Do not drink it.
They will offer you bread from the grain
Of their fields. Do not eat it.”
Then the god Enki continued,
“Ask for the body of the goddess Inanna.
Sprinkle upon her the food of life.
Sprinkle upon her the water of life.
Then my sister Inanna shall awaken.”
After the two beings came into the land of no return
After they had made their request,
Then Ereshkisal brought the body of her
Sister Inanna to them.
Then they revived her with the food of life
Then they revived her with the water of life
Sent by her brother, the god Enki.
After the mistress of the ‘world above’ awakened
The goddess Ereshkisal ordered the return to her
Of the crown of the plain for her head,
The necklace of lapis lazuli around her neck,
The twin breastplates of silver over her chest,
The rings of gold on her fingers,
The pale garment that covered her body,
The locks of hair settled along her forehead,
The measuring rod from her right hand.
Then the goddess Inanna daubed the perfume
‘Let him come’ about her person.
But as she began to ascend from the ‘world below’
The seven judges, the Anunnaki, who pronounced
The eternal sentence upon her declared,
“Who of those who have descended to
The ‘world below’ ever can return
From its domain.
If the goddess Inanna is to go up to
The ‘world above’ she must provide
Another as her substitute.”
Then two demons like the thick reeds
To be found in the shallows of the
Twin streams latched onto the sides
Of the goddess Inanna.
One demon held a scepter in his hand.
The other demon had a weapon
Fastened about his waist.
They were creatures that knew not
The sifted flour to eat nor the sweet
Clear water to drink.
They were the things that stole
The child from the nursemaid’s breast.
Then Ereshkisal allowed the gatekeeper, Neti,
To open wide the door of the face of the underworld,
The palace Ganzir, along with the strong bolts
Of the seven gates so that the goddess Inanna
Was released back into the ‘world above’.
Because of these events …
After Inanna rose from the netherworld,
The two demons remained by her side.
The smaller demon was called Shukur.
The larger demon was called Dubban.
Shukur, though not a vizier, stood in front of her
With a scepter in his hand.
Dubban, though not a knight, had a weapon
Fastened about his waist.
Neither ate of the sifted flour
Nor drank of the sweet clear water
For they were the things that stole
The child from the nursemaid’s breast.
Then Inanna went to the city where
A king by the name of Dumuzi ruled.
He put on a fine robe when he saw her
As she had once been his betrothed.
Then the goddess Inanna handed him over
To the two demons saying,
“You may have this one as my substitute
For he was never faithful to me.”
Then Shukur spread wide his wings
So that the king grew terrified.
Then Dubban changed his hand into a snake,
Turned his foot into its tail.
Then he struck the man, Dumuzi,
With its deadly venom.
Then the king Dumuzi wailed,
“The day that shone over the land
Has turned black for evil holds me
In its grasp. Evil wants to carry off my life
Breath. A poison now washes over my body.”
Then the goddess Inanna said to him,
“Never has a sinless child been born to
His mother. Never has a sinless man
Not existed from of old.”
Then the king, Dumuzi, called out again,
“Why am I to be counted among the cursed?
Why is my allotted share this suffering?
Why has my heart been oppressed by the
Let not my wife mourn for me.
Let not my children bemoan the fate
Of their father.”
After the two demons, Shukur and
Dubban, seized him,
After they tried to drag him down
To the underworld, the king,
Dumuzi, was taken by his family to
The courtyard of the assembly of
The shrine to the gods.
There he begged the sun god Utu,
The god of his household, that the god
Might go and plead his case to
The father of the gods, Enlil,
Hoping that his life might be spared.
Then the sun god Utu went to the high
Mountain, the pure place where
The god Enlil kept his seat.
Then the sun god said to Enlil,
“The king of the city, the man Dumuzi,
Came to me hoping that you would
Cure him of his sickness. He called
Out to me saying that he increases
The bounty of the sheepfold each year,
That he keeps the decrees of the gods,
That he honours the seven divine laws.
Why then should he be chosen
For nothing but tears?
Why should an evil fate seek
To carry off his life?
Let the god who begot him
Have pity on him. He begs that you
Fold up the wings of the demon Shukur.
Remove the hand of the demon Dubban.”
Then the father of the gods, Enlil,
Gave his reply, “Tell the man that
I, the god, Enlil, brought all things into being.
I made the god of the wind Lil who breathed
On the land from the depth of the primeval sea.
Then Heaven became raised over the Earth.
I cast stars into the night sky.
I fashioned all the other gods.
I created mankind to serve the gods.
I chose the goddess of love, Inanna, to reign
Over the ‘world above’.
I granted her sister, the goddess Ereshkisal
Dominion over the ‘world below’.
It is I who perfects the decrees of
Power, lordship, and princeship.
It is my net that spreads across the primeval sea.
Nothing can escape the mesh.
Say to the man that,
What is meant to be must be.”
After the sun god Utu spoke with the god Enlil,
After he descended from the high mountain, the pure place,
After he repeated the words of Enlil to the king, Dumuzi,
That what is meant to be must be,
Then the two demons, Shukur and Dubban,
Seized the man Dumuzi by the thighs.
Then the two demons rushed upon the heart
Of the sick man so that no one played
The flute or the pipe for him any longer.
Then the goddess Inanna cast her eye upon him,
The eye of death.
Then she spoke the word against him, the word of wrath.
Then she uttered the cry against him, the cry of guilt.
Then the man Dumuzi was taken down to a cell
In the dungeon of the face of the netherworld
The palace Ganzir as the substitute for the goddess Inanna.
Then as the scribe of the black headed people,
The long bearded people, favoured by Enlil,
Inanna’s loyal vizier, Ninshubur,
Looked up to the stars in the East,
Looked up to the stars in the West
To seek the auspices of the gods
That are written in Heaven.
Then he inscribed these words on clay tablets
Since they told the story of the goddess Inanna’s
Journey into and from the netherworld.
Then the goddess Ereshkisal took these tablets
To her palace Ganzir where they remained
Hidden within its walls until the present day.
Featured Poet: Homer
The Odyssey: Excerpt from Book V
He found her at home. There was a large fire burning on the hearth, and one could smell from far the fragrant reek of burning cedar and sandal wood.
As for herself, she was busy at her loom, shooting her golden shuttle through the warp and singing beautifully. Round her cave there was a thick wood
of alder, poplar, and sweet smelling cypress trees, wherein all kinds of great birds had built their nests- owls, hawks, and chattering sea-crows that
occupy their business in the waters. A vine loaded with grapes was trained and grew luxuriantly about the mouth of the cave; there were also four running
rills of water in channels cut pretty close together, and turned hither and thither so as to irrigate the beds of violets and luscious herbage over which
they flowed. Even a god could not help being charmed with such a lovely spot, so Mercury stood still and looked at it; but when he had admired it sufficiently
he went inside the cave.
Calypso knew him at once- for the gods all know each other, no matter how far they live from one another- but Ulysses was not within; he was on the sea-shore
as usual, looking out upon the barren ocean with tears in his eyes, groaning and breaking his heart for sorrow. Calypso gave Mercury a seat and said:
"Why have you come to see me, Mercury- honoured,and ever welcome- for you do not visit me often? Say what you want; I will do it for be you at once if I can,
and if it can be done at all; but come inside, and let me set refreshment before you.
As she spoke she drew a table loaded with ambrosia beside him and mixed him some red nectar, so Mercury ate and drank till he had had enough, and then said:
"We are speaking god and goddess to one another, one another, and you ask me why I have come here, and I will tell you truly as you would have me do. Jove
sent me; it was no doing of mine; who could possibly want to come all this way over the sea where there are no cities full of people to offer me sacrifices
or choice hecatombs? Nevertheless I had to come, for none of us other gods can cross Jove, nor transgress his orders. He says that you have here the most
ill-starred of alf those who fought nine years before the city of King Priam and sailed home in the tenth year after having sacked it. On their way home
they sinned against Minerva, who raised both wind and waves against them, so that all his brave companions perished, and he alone was carried hither by
wind and tide. Jove says that you are to let this by man go at once, for it is decreed that he shall not perish here, far from his own people, but shall
return to his house and country and see his friends again."
Calypso trembled with rage when she heard this, "You gods," she exclaimed, to be ashamed of yourselves. You are always jealous and hate seeing a goddess take
a fancy to a mortal man, and live with him in open matrimony. So when rosy-fingered Dawn made love to Orion, you precious gods were all of you furious till
Diana went and killed him in Ortygia. So again when Ceres fell in love with Iasion, and yielded to him in a thrice ploughed fallow field, Jove came to hear
of it before so long and killed Iasion with his thunder-bolts. And now you are angry with me too because I have a man here. I found the poor creature sitting
all alone astride of a keel, for Jove had struck his ship with lightning and sunk it in midocean, so that all his crew were drowned, while he himself was
driven by wind and waves on to my island. I got fond of him and cherished him, and had set my heart on making him immortal, so that he should never grow
old all his days; still I cannot cross Jove, nor bring his counsels to nothing; therefore, if he insists upon it, let the man go beyond the seas again; but
I cannot send him anywhere myself for I have neither ships nor men who can take him. Nevertheless I will readily give him such advice, in all good faith,
as will be likely to bring him safely to his own country."
"Then send him away," said Mercury, "or Jove will be angry with you and punish you"'
On this he took his leave, and Calypso went out to look for Ulysses, for she had heard Jove's message. She found him sitting upon the beach with his eyes
ever filled with tears, and dying of sheer home-sickness; for he had got tired of Calypso, and though he was forced to sleep with her in the cave by night,
it was she, not he, that would have it so. As for the day time, he spent it on the rocks and on the sea-shore, weeping, crying aloud for his despair, and
always looking out upon the sea.
Calypso then went close up to him said: "My poor fellow, you shall not stay here grieving and fretting your life out any longer. I am going to send you away of my own free will; so go, cut some
beams of wood, and make yourself a large raft with an upper deck that it may carry you safely over the sea. I will put bread, wine, and water on board to
save you from starving. I will also give you clothes, and will send you a fair wind to take you home, if the gods in heaven so will it- for they know more
about these things, and can settle them better than I can."
Craigslist Montreal – Missed Connections – April 12th, 2016 - Anonymous
Croissants lightly dipped in honey – m4w (MTL-NYC)
You are perfect.
I dream of spending lazy Sundays with you in Central Park, eating fresh croissants lightly dipped in honey, assorted nuts, peaches and reading beat
generation books. We nap on the grass, I sporadically shoo away the squirrels trying to steal our nuts. After we wake up, almond milk lattes become
a priority so we can aimlessly wonder from gallery to gallery. The sun starts to fade, we climb onto a rooftop and just sit next to each other, in
silence, listening to the traffic as the rosy clouds dim into the night.
(N.B.: “ . . . then begin . . . then we write poetry Ranga’s long into the night” - a note from the editor
“the sun rises, the sun sets . . . our love stays the same” - a note from the other editor
“me want candy” - says the cat)
Grapple: a study in Existential power paradigms.
Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry
Title of Book: Grapple
Author: Carrie Olivia Adams
Publisher: above/ground press
Date of Publication: 2016
"Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love."
- from Dance Me to the End of Love by Leonard Cohen
Grapple is fantastical experimental protest poetry that was originally created as a poetry-dance multidisciplinary work with the Coincidentals,
Chicago based dancers and choreographers Lydia Feuerhelm and Jamie Corliss. Influenced by videos and photos of street protestors being arrested, including
a photo of the arrest of a young African American man, Shayna Stacy, the tension of the poetry and the dance fuses in the push and pull of intimacy and
aggression. “It examines how physicality in protest exists in seemingly contradictory ways: bodily weakness can be an act of strength and physical closeness
can unify or it can assert power hierarchies.” Carrie Olivia Adams lives and works in Chicago. She is a publicist for the University of Chicago Press and
the Poetry Editor at Black Ocean. She is the author of 3 books of poetry and 3 Chapbooks, this is her second Chapbook published with above/ground press and
the first book of poetry reviewed by This Writer.
The poetry reads like the violence of conflicting power pardigms in open spaces, the push and pull of divergent wills, citizen against state, racist
against innocent, and perhaps within the intimacy of personal/sexual relationships, lover against leaving lover, reflected in the poetry and dance.
As if playing into the “theatre of the absurd” the existentialist paradigm, of the violence of one body/personality inflicting its will over another,
the second party having a differing opinion, and the often paradoxical conflicts that inflict pain upon innocents. To be fully appreciated I suspect
it would help to experience the dance as well as the poetry, I suspect the dance and the poetry plays off each other, not unlike the art and the
poetry of William Blake. This work is a ground-breaking experiment of multidisciplinary dimensions.
The poetry itself rolls out across the page in blocks, creating tension and the violence in ended, unended conversations. Also, there is the original use
of syntax. On one level, as if the re-enactment of a take down by police in a street protest, the intimacy of physical closeness in this power paradigm,
perhaps the violence of the will of one lover over a lover who wants to leave. Images in the work, are an interplay of movements of the body and emotions,
a psychological treatise on power at the primal corporeal level.
“Come back to the space
Where we were so close
Tell us again how you know
how you submerged us
how we re-wrote the movement of sidewalk and street
how it bent up to meet us
how our cries made a body an earthquake
What was that chain reaction?”
At once too easy to cut,
too difficult to break
:to put an end to a siege by withdrawing
: to steal”
In the design machine of power and paradox, it is interesting to note that when enough people think the same way, things change. An exciting study in poetry
and dance, highlighting struggle in conflicting power paradigms, Grapple by Carrie Olivia Adams.
Reframing Paul Cadmus a poetic treatise on magical realism.
Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry
Title of Book: Reframing Paul Cadmus
Author: John Barton
Publisher: above/ground press
Date of Publication: 2016
"Tightly closing eyelids
Heights; and cloudy spheres
Rivers. Waters. Stones.
Centuries and years."
- from Fairy Tale by Boris Pasternak
Reframing Paul Cadmus is a brilliant montage of post-modernist poetry inspired by the works of American painter Paul Cadmus by Canadian Poet John Barton.
Paul Cadmus paints male-centric paintings with elements of the classical nude in fantastical spaces, often titled magical realism: “painting in a meticulously
realistic style of imaginary or fantastic scenes or images.”* He painted throughout the 20th century in oils and particularly
egg tempera, erotic landscapes often with elements of social critique. Egg tempera is a medium requiring some alacrity, the paint medium used by the old masters
before the advent of the Renaissance. He lived in New York city amidst a circle of gay artists, dancers, musicians and actors and his work is held in high regard,
collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art amongst other Museums and private collectors. John Barton (Poet, Editor, Poetry
Editor, Librarian, Educator) lives and works in Victoria, British Columbia. He has been published in anthologies, journals and newspapers in North America and
internationally, producing 6 Chapbooks, and 11 books of poetry and has won many awards, including the Archibald Lampman Award 3 times, a CBC Literary Award,
a National Magazine Award amongst others. He is the Poetry Editor of the Malahat Review since 2004.
The poetry is experiential portraits in intimacy and exigencies, the push and pull of the disembodied soul. It is almost as if all the subjects in the
poems/paintings are dead and the poems are charcoal renderings, memories touched by sunlight. It is as if Poet Barton is painting disjointed landscapes
with words in elements of violence, imaginings that use the Paul Cadmus painting as an edge to begin. Each poem is presented as an inspiration of one of
Paul Cadmus’ paintings, the title of the poem is taken from the title of the painting with a brief description. The poetry weaves images and imaginings
from the paintings, descriptions and details, masculine, heavy with sexual raffing, the pull outside of open spaces under the starlit sky.
The poetry is written in short groups of lines, with a blank line, that as you read causes you to take a breath. Often the last word/thought runs into the
next line after a line break. It is as if he is pulling a horse’s head up, in dressage, to get it to pay attention. This Writer, as if mesmerized, caught
at the scene of a tragedy and a celebration, cannot look away. Themes include intimate nude male spaces “The Bath”, “The Haircut”, “Self Portrait, Mallorca”,
“Bicyclists”, “Study for a David and Goliath”, “Book Buff”, “The Fleet’s In”, “The House That Jack Built” amongst others.
Egg tempera on pressed wood panel, 1945
1.5 x 1.25 inches
Sprawled in tights
On floor boards in a tiny
Square of time drafted between
Rehearsals near the end
Of the war, the page
After page he browses so
Distracting from start
To finish, the spine
Of his book broken
His shoulders exhausted
Foreshortened by the score
He has all morning bent
His essence to, the music’s dark
Remorse forcing his world in
To step with its own, as
No longer lithe, he removes
Himself, gives in, pas
À pas, to oblivion
Reading himself beyond
Men yet to return and others
He loves who never shall
The precise squares
Of time he borrows
So seldom spared.”
The paintings begin at 1934 and work through a progression to 1994 as if a chronology of years in the life of a male liason. Also taking in the years of
World War II, the military establishment, the artists milieu, a reflection of the life of Paul Cadmus. Riveting post-modernist spaces in fantastical poetry,
Reframing Paul Cadmus by Canadian Poet John Barton.
Carrie Olivia Adams lives and works in Chicago. She is a public relations person for the University of Chicago Press and the Poetry Editor for
Black Ocean book publisher. She has published 3 Chapbooks, An Overture in the Key of F (above/ground press 2013), A Useless Window (Black Ocean
2006) and Grapple (above/ground press 2016), as well as 3 books of poetry Operating Theater (Noctuary Press 2015), Forty-One Jane Doe's
(Ahsahta 2013) and Intervening Absence (Ahsahta 2009).
Rebecca Anne Banks lives in Montreal. She is the author of over 27 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 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).
John Barton (Poet, Poetry Editor, Librarian, Publisher, Educator) lives and works in Victoria, British Columbia. He has been published in anthologies,
journals and newspapers in North America and internationally, winning many awards, including the Archibald Lampman Award 3 times. He has published 6 Chapbooks
and 11 books of poetry including, West of Darkness: Emily Carr, a Self-Portrait, Designs from the Interior,Hypothesis, Hymn,
For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems and Polari amongst others.
David Hobberlin. The first poem I published was in an anthology "Canadian Poets of 1969”. In 2000 the Indian Heritage Council of Morriston, Tennessee,
published the chapbook "The Pipe Maker and Other Poems". In 2012 the poem "On the Waterfront of Toronto" won the inaugural Monica Ladell Award presented by
the Scarborough Arts Society. I recently took part in the spoken word at the annual Niagara Falls Night of Arts held each fall.
Homer is estimated to have lived between the 12th to the 8th centuries B.C. (his existence predates the use of calendars) born on the Asiatic Coast.
He is known for having written the story of the Trojan War (The Illiad) and the story of the wanderings of Ulysses back to Ithica after the Trojan War
(The Odyssey). The written version may have been collected from the oral tradition of the times.