ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume V Issue VIII

The Cover Art/Photo:

"the goddess"

by Rebecca Anne Banks

“live for a moment,

die brightly in the sun”

“the incarnation of the goddess

the last star rounder

how the angels,

quiet by night

quiet by blue


Subterranean Blue Poetry
Volume V Issue VIII
(August 2017)

Subterranean Blue Poetry

© 2017


by M.G. Stephens

The woman associated with the

Moon is the purpose for whom this knowledge

Is relevant, to whom this note I write

Is written, about whom more anon: she

Swims naked in a lake in the moonlight.

She sings naked in the night below the

Moon, a kind of mermaid, a kind, gentle

Person, swimming across the lake at the

Speed of handwriting across a page; it’s

For her lover. To her lover she sings.

Her lover is no man or woman, but

The moon itself for whom she swims naked

Across midnight’s lake, a stroke here, a breath

There, almost as though she were dancing, not

Swimming alone amid moonlight out there.


by M.G. Stephens

The jay sat on the door handle inside

The room, cackling softly as it took

In this surprising human nest,

Its body a tawny color with bright

Colorful wing feathers. The supermoon

Had not yet risen up into the sky,

And my heart was like a stone as I held

My breath and did not move, trying to see

Your lips which was what I was thinking of

When the jay first appeared by the brown door

That led onto a quite small balcony.

I had imagined trying to draw you

When suddenly the jay landed on the

Handle, and it was as if time stood still.


by M.G. Stephens

The Muse and I dine al fresco, Perrin’s

Walk, Hampstead, and I feed her carrot cake,

Pots of Earl Grey (milk on the side), humus

And pita bread, and we talk and laugh and

Wile away the afternoon and our lives,

As if we didn’t have a care in the world,

Which in a sense is true, as it is in

The middle of the week, in the middle

Of the day at a still point in our lives,

So we are sat there eating and talking,

Drinking buckets of tea, the Muse herself

Beautiful and unobtainable, blue

Footed and sure of herself, cool and, like

Maud Gonne, she is there and not there and gone.


by Ojo Taiye

It was a dark night and most souls of the country dawn had become dead logs. Only owls and children of the night kept company in the warm breeze blowing from the tides drawing canoes
farther and farther. And there, at the mouth, beneath the cool shade of a swaying willow tree, was Melli, his eyes closed, giving plaintive, divine notes through his ivory flute.

Unknowingly, while he enchants. The quiet night concealing the lightness of her step as she sits on hook over grass beholding the bird that fills spaces in between the moon and the sun:

She felt the earth move beneath his feet. Her core bleeds.

In the death of his melodic aubade of dusk:

Perfection in the harmony of songs (under eaves of solitude). Perfect melody is a snake, a dragon; perfect melody is half fish and half woman – something difficult to possess, fantastic, yet impossible to forget.

Then, he blinks. Startled at the near naked form. He stood up and erased the few steps that denied power of touch.

His fingers tugged at the jigida beads on her waist.

“What is your name,” he asked to break the flowing lines of perfect silence as his eyes raven salaciously.

“Sibyl”, she said.

Her skin was a distinct, finely pore brown. Her hair cascade down the length like cataract:
the colour of the finest sound he had ever created, the cry on the day of his birth.
It framed the blossom that was her face, a flower long imagined and never seen.
Even with his eyes closed, he still traced along her stomach finding the valley where the oranges parted.

Now, everything, his body, hers, his thoughts, became sinuous, like water, like song. And just suddenly, the eremite knew everything.

“Who are you?” he asked, near tears,

“Where are you from?”
“Why, Why, Why?” “Why this?”

“From there,” she said, pointing towards the river.

“I am a mermaid”,

as the clouds pass over in the darkness and the wind shred them into long unraveled feazings of silver in Moonlight.

Featured Poet: Pablo Neruda

Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks


Pablo Neruda

All those men were there inside,

when she came in totally naked.

They had been drinking: they began to spit.

Newly come from the river, she knew nothing.

She was a mermaid who had lost her way.

The insults flowed down her gleaming flesh.

Obscenities drowned her golden breasts.

Not knowing tears, she did not weep tears.

Not knowing clothes, she did not have clothes.

They blackened her with burnt corks and cigarette stubs,

and rolled around laughing on the tavern floor.

She did not speak because she had no speech.

Her eyes were the colour of distant love,

her twin arms were made of white topaz.

Her lips moved, silent, in a coral light,

and suddenly she went out by that door.

Entering the river she was cleaned,

shining like a white stone in the rain,

and without looking back she swam again

swam towards emptiness, swam towards death.

Missed Connections

Craigslist London – Missed Connections – November 21st, 2016 – “x”

The blue haired girl - m4w (The chamberlain)

age: 38

I stayed for 2 nights and so much wanted to take you up to my room but didnt think you wanted that, would be great to know if you did ... I am the bearded, tattooed exec and live in hope


(N.B.: “Dear "x" . . . sleeping fountains lay silent” – a note from the editor

“creep de creep”- a note from the other editor

“what have we got?” – says the cat

“cold pasta, blechhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” – says the other cat

(“any pasta is good pasta” – says Machiavelli))

Book Reviews

Slaves to Do These Things: dark shadows in Neo-Classical hallways.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Slaves to Do These Things

Author: Amy King

Publisher: BlazeVOX

Date of Publication: 2009

Pages: 94

“Blackness, blackness draggin’ me down
Come on light a candle in this heart of mine”
- from This Flight Tonight by Nazareth

Slaves to Do These Things, is poetry that flies in dark, fantastical spaces a progression in Goth, a new take on the New Age Renaissance Republic of Poetry. Amy King (Poet/essayist/teacher) teaches English and Creative Writing at a New York College. She ran “The Stain of Poetry” reading series with Ana Bozicevic (2006 – 2010), administrates the Women’s Poetry Listserv (WOMPO) and is on the executive board of VIDA: Woman in Literary Arts. She has written books and Chapbooks and has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes as well as winning other awards.

This poetry plays within dark shadows in Neo-classical hallways. Images of death, the earth and the body transpire in realistic dark and fetid places, the places no one usually celebrates or dwells upon. The contrast in life is the nature imagery, the worship of God and His creation, the interplay of dark and light images suggest a dialectic, as if a battle cry for the soul. Just as the poetry begins to fly into heaven, it falls to the ground and then the cycle begins over again. The scorched pages of poetry are caught, as if roiling in a Satanic forecourt, with glimpses of the Spiritus woman seeking redemption. As if paradise lost, love lost, the violence in death wish when it flies into nature imagery, flies into the light.


Buried by midnight

I am a warm

fly in amber.

A reflection buzzes

against my wings’

vision quest:

this window square

above the Atlantic,

leading me down the lane

by moonlight’s hand

beneath the shadow’s sun

in oil-blue water,

a darker planetary hug

of crooked limb

with etched-on hand.

You have not listened

to the tones of trees,

our branches, our trunks,

calm as axes,

gathered roots beneath

a sheer drop of future stars,

at least.

We flicker too,

stone-white skeletons

modeled on the earth’s

black-bloated heart,

her skinny boots

that march circles

on the universe.

We go around in them,

meeting ourselves

behind our backs,

knocking the boney

knockers of spines

with parading breath.

One side strikes

the other: language cheapens?

We speak where all symbols

want power

such as a door which opens,

takes persimmons to its lover,

the other side, to no knock.

We can’t remind the lover

to love any more

than we can love ourselves

without the lover,

borne by the landing of light.”


Beneath cabbage wings I lie,

attending midnight.

Your garden breathes.

Such spongy soil bed

enfolds & opens –

earthworms poke my legs,

knee high socks,

a way in.

This delinquent disguise

as you sleep away,

air-conditioned strip

of earth behind

burnt building, Brooklyn

sidewalk and me,

lost weed, skulled

tulip with scalloped eye.

A view to escape within.”

The poetry is considered, it spins out in full thought forms in broken transgression. A broken thought tree, each line carries a different image, at its best it is fantastical and then spins into Surrealist nightmare, in dark flights of fancy. The original use of language and presentation of form make this a new take in poetic climes. This Writer celebrates the spins into light, the art nouveau in fantastical places. Slaves to Do These Things by Amy King.

Available @ www.amazon.ca.

Invisible Wife: spinning Symbolist mythologies.

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Invisible Wife

Author: Sarah Fox

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2017

Pages: 30

“Take your baby by the wrist
And in her mouth an amethyst”
- from Dance Hall Days by Wang Chung

A dance with the carousel, Invisible Wife, a symbolist dance that lives on the edge of ecstatic experience, a woman’s scream that bangs in the New Age Renaissance Republic of poetry. Sarah Fox (Poet, writer, teacher, astrologer, worker, placenta encapsulator, artist, grandmother, resister) lives and writes in Minneapolis. She has published two books with Coffee House Press.

The cover of this Chapbook is an excellent introduction, an art nouveau piece, the head of a woman seems to be screaming over enlarged legs, and if you look again, in a trick of the light, it looks like she is a dancer with arms in an arc over her head. Both states are intertwined in this Art Nouveau poetry Chapbook, at once a protest at the state of power conundrums that hurt us and at the same time a dance with darkness, light and the state of serial relationships.

The poetry begins with a poem about Frida Kahlo, as if spinning mythologies and stories, about the Symbolist painter who was in a severe trolley accident and spent a lot of time in a body cast, painting from her bed. A controversial relationship with the painter Diego, Frida Kahlo did not have any children although she had several miscarriages.

“Don’t take the bus. Order burritos.

In Mexico City and Chiapas, women’s

rights. In Frida Kahlo, Diego. In Diego,

Marxism and a few babies.”

Poet Fox is spinning a symbolist poetry confection with edge, a blue rendition of a song.

The title itself, Invisible Wife, touches on the lost woman inside the darkness of her husband’s psyche, his power and his disconnect, someone not fully in her power, at the behest of the patriarchy. He is represented by snake imagery and as someone lost in a forest, suggesting violence. The wife is redemption, “My heart is also invisible, to me. But it sings in tune.”

Symbolist imagery of the goddess, the crone, nature, the body, birth, death and dancing, this poetry sings. Cadence is achieved through repetition, and spins into dialectic, spins into wholeness, spins into magic. A truthtelling, that haunts the nature of intimate relationships, serial marriages, the old school advice from Good Housekeeping magazine in 1955, the reality of power conundrums in intimate relationships and the effects of broken marriages on the body and the psyche. From First Aid Kit

“Radical lying is an unimaginable violence –

a violence now imprinting in psyche everywhere:

I hear the leader speak or see his words and I bleed

through my outerwear. I bleed all the way

back through my wedding day. I wore

blue velvet. Lol.”

“I’m imagining a tail on the wedding dress.

A whip. Something ugly like driftwood.

Something like a deer climbing out

of driftwood. Someone lifting

the driftwood up out of the river

they were crying into. Someone

lifting medicine out of the bride and

lifting the bride out of the ghost.

Someone exorcising the ghost from the truth.”

Enigmatic, as if clothed in mystery, a story is being told in broken thought forms, sometimes in narrative, a one-sided conversation. The story itself lives in symbols and pictures.

In Save Me – for Worldwide Discotheque, it as if the poem is set in a dance hall, people are dancing, the lines of poetry are people dancing and saying “Save Me”. An ingenue poetica of truth and protest,

“We need to think up better endings for our stories.

These tears of mine are justified. To be honest, every Jesus

is terrible. What’s another word for dance? Mother’s milk.

Save me. Endless darkness that is not darkness.”

A brilliant invocation against the violence of the war economy society, the brokenness in ended intimate relationships, the poetry spinning mythologies into dance. A brilliant read. Invisible Wife by Sarah Fox.

Available @ above/ground press.

“I wanted to paint
a Victorian picture
of what the crossing
would be like”
-from Lamentations by Robert Hogg

"apres midi

d'hiver blanche en blanche

le ciel sait . . . "

in cinematique


Rebecca Anne Banks

how she waves by the door

selling antique porcelain dreams

in cinematique

in greys

the silence


fades to black

portrait of alien nation

through the greys

entire years of black and white

a forgotten television

static in the early hours of morning

the wedding dress in St. Paul’s Cathedral, walks

vaguely the ghosts whisper

“someone is coming”

i wait by the river

longtime passing

i wait

Lady Panedano

the ancient wonders,

hanging gardens

some Damascus storybook

love, love takes no prisoners

takes no prisoners

(they hurt you,

they hurt you

the silence

this ain’t love)

how she waves by the door

selling antique porcelain dreams

in cinematique

in greys

the silence


fades to black

anyone that mattered

they took away

anyone that didn’t matter

they took away

i have no love to give

strangers in a movie

they walk in, sit down, have a meal

all in cinematique

shades of grey

no one stays in touch

past introductions,


in silence, in greys

how she waves by the door

selling antique porcelain dreams

in cinematique

in greys


fades to black

i wait by the river.

(the orange in slipstream,

swim fish swim)

(and something out of an Edwardian wardrobe

blue velvet and songs

a Reichstag purse in winter

and sympathy in widows weeds


i could whisper my poems to you

keep you warm on cold winter nights.

blue, blue velvet

i sign your name to every prayer

i ever had, poems

send them in a boat on the wind

and orange in slipstream

i live by the river)


Rebecca Anne Banks lives in the New Age Renaissance Republique of Poetry. 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).

Sarah Fox (Poet, writer, teacher, astrologer, worker, placenta encapsulator, artist, grandmother, resister) teaches Creative Writing and Poetry at the University of Minnesota, a high school and various community organizations. She has won numerous grants and fellowships and has been widely published in journals. She lives in Minneapolis. She has 2 books of poetry published with Coffee House Press, Because Why and The First Flag.

Amy King American Poet/essayist/teacher teaches Creative Writing and English at a New York College. She administrates the Women's Poetry Listserv (WOMPO) and is on the executive board of VIDA: Woman in Literary Arts. Between 2006-2010 she ran "The Stain of Poetry" reading series. She has written Chapbooks and books of poetry, including I'm the Man Who Loves You, Antidotes for an Alibi, The People Instruments, Slaves to Do These Things, has won awards and been nominated for The Pushcart Prize several times. Forthcoming is I Want to Make You Safe.

Pablo Neruda (Poet, diplomat, politician) born in Parrol, Chile. His real name was Ricardo Eliecer Neftali Reyes Basoalto, his family disapproved of his writing and he wrote under the name Pablo Neruda. He served as a diplomat in Burma, Argentina, Spain, Mexico and France. From Paris, after the Spanish Civil War, he helped resettle Spanish refugees in Chile. He was married and divorced from Maria Antonieta Haagenar Volgelzang and Delia del Carril. His third marriage was to Matilde Urrutia. He was known as the people’s poet and awarded the International Peace Prize (1950), Lenin Peace Prize (1953), Stalin Peace Prize (1953), and the Nobel Prize for Literature (1971). He is best known for 100 Love Sonnets, Winter Garden, Stones of the Sky, Memoirs, The Yellow Heart, The Sea and the Bells amongst others.

M.G. Stephens is the author of nineteen books, including the recently published short poems in Occam's Razor (2015), as well as the critically-acclaimed novel The Brooklyn Book of the Dead; the award-winning essay collection Green Dreams; and the memoir Lost in Seoul (Random House, 1990). Recent work has appeared in Missouri Review, Ploughshares, Hollins Critic, Rain Taxi, Notre Dame Review, PN Review (UK), and Brooklyn Rail, which monthly serialized his boxing novel Kid Coole from May 2015 to June 2016.

Ojo Taiye is a young Nigerian who uses poetry as a handy tool to hide his frustration with the society. I’m a twenty- three-year-old microbiology graduate from Tansian University. I love books and Anime in that order. Taiye, has some of his muddled thoughts published and forthcoming in a few e-magazine such as Kalahari Review, Tuck magazine, Lunaris Review, Elsewhere, whispersinthewind33 and so on.