If you are there,
I cannot venture closer.
My body can only handle so much loss
across this grand continent,
and the northeast has reached its quota.
Maine has the most coastline
of any U.S. state. Off one of those coasts,
you tried to teach me how to swim.
You never believed my fear of saturated oceans,
of unidentifiable insects, no electricity.
You assumed anyone can get used to anything -
in that cold Atlantic water,
you said I would never drown.
One summer, we snuck into Canada in a canoe.
No one was looking for us.
You promised to save me if we capsized
but I was more concerned with my blood -
if dark blue love was enough to keep veins filled
after the adrenaline of dying reabsorbed.
You promised to save me,
the odds stacked against eternity
since that first hesitant I love you.
I used to search for you between heartbeats
and in songs played backwards.
The trick to living forever is to never fall
— overboard, out of line, in love too soon.
This map wears your last few fingerprints,
saying, There, outside Newport, somewhere
by a lake—that’s where we’ll disappear.
Now, your version of safety includes
cryptic letters with generic stamps, no return address.
I imagine your fire, your axe, a cabin
made of broken vows, careful lumber
peeled by softened callouses on tired hands.
We don’t talk about how you used to touch me.
My dreams find you in those woods, whisper, We belong -
But I can’t get used to it—bright fields,
big trees, air so fresh my lungs burn.
I can’t get used to not loving you,
to all these months without a word, to staring
at open skies and blowing kisses in hopes
some passing angel will deliver them to you.
I never learned to swim.
Where you hide, I hope your sorrow
does not suffocate you like painted nail beds,
that your body remembers me briefly
after brewing tea or kissing the ground
during morning salutations.
I hear Maine is beautiful in the fall.
No one is ever looking for anyone there,
too distracted by syrup, leaves falling in their eyes.
NYMPHS OF THE SCREENS
by Michael Rather, Jr.
An aged man’s fingers aren’t nimble enough to evoke
them. Unbidden they often speak back our words,
and say “I didn’t catch that.” But they learn from our
tongues bouncing in the palette. Such dreams
as where to find the nearest Dairy Queen,
or how do I get home? We even ask them “What
is the meaning of this life?” And get the Delphic
response: Life: the condition that distinguishes
animals and plants from inorganic matter, including
the capacity . . . before the screen grows dark
and the insight is lost, unless asked again.
O’ fabled nymph of the screen, your soothing
machine voice sings clarity when you are sorry.
No human woman is ever as sorry as you are,
ghost who we hold and ask for our lover’s
numbers from. Ghost who reminds us we are alone.
Featured Poet: Li Ching Chao
THE SUN SETS IN MOLTEN GOLD
Li Ching Chao
The sun sets in molten gold.
The evening clouds form a jade disk.
Where is he?
Dense white mist envelops the willows.
A sad flute plays “Falling Plum Blossoms.”
How many Spring days are left now?
This Feast of Lanterns should be joyful.
The weather is calm and lovely.
But who can tell if it
Will be followed by wind and rain?
Craigslist Montreal – Missed Connections – February 1st, 2016 – Anonymous
100 bus - m4w
body: average height: 6'1"(185cm) status: single age: 29
Hey there, you used to take the 100 bus on de Reims and cremazie around 1 o'clock I used to flirt with you and tell you that you are beautiful,
I don't see you there no more . . .
(N.B.: "she’s got another lover . . ." – a note from the Editor
"I don’t know how I’m going to survive" – a note from the other Editor
"Fritos . . . " – says the Cat
" . . . and Coke" – says the other Cat
"No Fritos and no coke for you Cats" – says Machiavelli
"hugs, Machiavelli" – says the Cat
"F#!* you" – says Machiavelli and leaves by the back door)
Flashes and Verses . . . Becoming Attractions, inside L.A. blues
Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry
Title of Book: Flashes and Verses . . . Becoming Attractions
Author: Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
Publisher: Unsolicited Press
Date of Publication: 2018
"Time it was,
And what a time it was
It was . . . "
- from Old Friends/Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel
A New Age blues cover, Flashes and Verses . . . Becoming Attractions poetry that lives inside Hollywood, poetry that connects the stars at
night by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda. Adrian Ernesto Cepeda is an Hispanic Poet living and working in L.A., studying at Antioch University. He has been
widely published in anthologies and poetry journals, including Subterranean Blue Poetry, Blog Nostics, The Fem, Journal of Artistic Creation and
Literary Research, Luna Luna Magazine, Nonbinary Review, San Diego Review, Silver Birch Press, Spilt Ink Poetry, The Yellow Chair Review amongst others.
He has had a Chapbook published with Red Mare Press and Flashes and Verses . . . Becoming Attractions is his first published book of poetry.
In the tradition of the great Spanish Poets, this poetry lives inside the passion of hot Summer, automobiles and highways by the ocean. At its best the
love/sex imagery drifts in and out of pictures, in and out of ecstasy, the poem as lover becomes. The disjointed thought train weaves elegantly in
mystery with original use of word juxtapositions and original stories.
The Poet does homage to Hollywood greats creating sketches in poetry, including Dizzy Gillespie, Michael Jackson, Billie Holiday, Muhammad Ali, David
Bowie and particularly Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando amongst others, the stars of Hollywood nights.
He uses inspiration quotes as lead ins to some of his poems, including quotes by Curtis E. Mazie, Marilyn Monroe, Philip K. Dick, Tom Robbins,
Laurel K. Hamilton, Rae Armantrout amongst others. Particularly good is the poem “She Returns Framed in Darkness” with the lead in quote “As for me,
I am a watercolor, I wash off” by Anne Sexton. This Writer also loved the poem “We Couldn’t Even Afford To Go Inside” about the financially struggling
artist’s life, his Artist lover Ivy how they would roll blunts with the pages of their books and only enough monies for one of them to go to the Art
Museum, so one of them would wait outside as the other filmed the exhibit on their cell phone. A beautiful sepia picture poem of a lover, a time,
The poem, “Buzz Me” is about his barber Chau, a time piece caption of L.A., the 21st century man and the thinking machine.
“I nod like a catcher
waiting for the heat, buzz me –
last week felt like a losing streak
I need a victory, I say Already
like my superhero, he knows, the sign;
No miracles man, I’m feeling invisible –
Just resurrect me, this time.”
A New Age Renaissance Republic work, the life of an L.A. Poet inside the days and Hollywood nights, inside the L.A. blues. A beautiful first collection
of poetry, a true poetic talent, This Writer is looking for more from this Poet, Flashes and Verses . . . Becoming Attractions by Adrian Ernesto
“A kiss on the hand may be quite continental
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend”
- from Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend by Jule Styme and Leo Robin. Sung by Marilyn Monroe.
small bed & field guide is a rhythmic offering in the ontological, a Beat poetry tradition progression that rails and falls by Valerie Coulton
and above/ground press. Valerie Coulton lives in Barcelona and has written 3 books of poetry published by Apogee Press. She has co-authored lirio
and anonymous (published by Dancing Girl Press) with her Poet husband Edward Smallfield.
The long poem is a series of short blunt lines in fantastical, that fall to the ground as if not expecting to take root, as if in trepidation.
The blunt stilted rhythm reminds This Writer of a tedious crossing of long time. The words in images hang in the air in a subtle violence, a quiet
liturgy of plaint, dark imagery weaving. The disjointed thought train is mystery, that builds a hidden story of all is not well, an allusion to
cultural mishap, love life mishap. It is as if someone was expected to apologize for not being blonde.
"Green as reddish pomegranates outside
wall’s authority. Hour for choosing is
brief and breaking into briefer. Forsaking
jewels for sweetness: day closes over.
When memory of a lover surges up, turn
your head. Brush brittle bodies of beetles,
etc. from windowsills: always seek
definition of clean.
Go into sea’s bed and sleep"
The broken images roll out, sometimes allusions to broken love affairs, considered in layered pictures of nature, the home and the machine. It is
an inside story of as the day passes, a truthtelling. Images of the weather, sky, trees, butterflies, on the homefront food, language are expertly
woven with photos, the auto, the machine. The image created is often fatastical with DaDa influences, often surreal.
"Blue plastic, green glass. Hunt
unwanted filaments by magnifying
mirror. Gamified, chooses patterned ice
cube tray at German house wares shop
under high flourescents."
An original brilliant work in the magic of New Age poetry shine, small bed & field guide by Valerie Coulton.
Rebecca Anne Banks lives in the New Age Renaissance Republique of Poetry. She is the author of over 30 books of poetry, a guide 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.ca and other Amazon Stations. She has produced 3 CD`s of Folk/Rock music and has
17 CD’s of music awaiting production. She is also the 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
Adrian Ernesto Cepeda (Poet, Teacher, Student) lives in L.A. He is an Hispanic Poet studying English and
Writing at Antioch University. He has been featured in anthologies and poetry journals, including Subterranean Blue Poetry, Blog Nostics,
The Fem, Journal of Artistic Creation and Literary Research, Luna Luna Magazine, Nonbinary Review, San Diego Review, Silver Birch Press,
Spilt Ink Poetry, The Yellow Chair Review amongst others. He has published a Chapbook (Red Mare Press) and his first published book
of poetry is Flashes and Verses . . . Becoming Attractions (Unsolicited Press).
Le Ching Chao (Poet, book collector, art collector, antiquarian, calligrapher) was born into an elite family. She wrote 6 volumes of lyrics,
of which only 50 survive until the present day. Her husband, Chao Te-Fu collected art, he would purchase a piece and fruit and together they would
eat the fruit and admire the new treasure.
Valerie Coulton an American Poet, lives in Spain with her Poet husband Edward Smallfield. She has published 3 books of poetry
Open Book, The Cellar Dreamer and passing world pictures (Apogee Press) and is co-author of lirio and
anonymous (Dancing Girl Press) with Edward Smallfield.
Monica Prince received her MFA in poetry from Georgia College & State University. Her work has appeared in MadCap Review, Texas's Best Emerging
Poets, TRACK//FOUR, The Shade Journal, and elsewhere. Her creative nonfiction essay, "How to Survive a Break-up: Quit Smoking," was nominated for
Best of the Net 2017 by MadCap Review, and her choreopoem, Sestina: A Black Woman in Six Parts, will be produced in April 2018. She writes and teaches
at Susquehanna University.
Michael Rather, Jr.’s poetry has appeared in Star82, The Concho River Review, Borderlands, The Rio Grande Review, Suburban Diaspora, and
The Greensboro Review. His work has also been published as limited edition broadsides through Yellow Flag Press. He teaches composition, literature,
and creative writing at Lamar State College-Orange in Orange, TX.