ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume X Issue II

The Masthead:
“Girl in Traffic”
Photo Courtesy of The British Library
Graphic Art by Rebecca Anne Banks

“And Jesus was a flower
cast out upon the waters . . .”

(Inspired by Meriem Boundaoui (a 15-year-old killed in a drive-by shooting
in St. Léonard, Montreal - February 2021) and any other youth having met
an untimely death)

“tangled up in blue . . .”
- from Tangled Up in Blue by Bob Dylan

“stone cold bluebird sky
still . . .
the winter trees . . . in still . . .”

born in a drum kit the Muse of the highway not much has changed from season to season the flat wire innocent dayliners a Boston Baton Rouge “koi” boy marks the world needs a day hospital the revenge of in constant drift when men lay in their beds asleep they do no harm just outside of heaven and the rain is coming down chicano d’oré send me an angel . . . she, deep bright water blue blues moniker sad day cold the winter sky sad day high school alms for the poor pretty young things ceci with strawberry flower eyes “it’s quiet here always” everything and nothing and more of the same . . . the shattered mirror the March hare the repo child cries and whispers . . . the battlefield silent in blue the hard winter blues . . . live live in the sunshine . . . in sunlight she runs, the wild horse runs, running in the stream . . .

Subterranean Blue Poetry
Volume X Issue II
(St. Valentine’s 2022)

Subterranean Blue Poetry

© 2022


by Joseph A. Farina

only words again

                    this morning
                                    i saw the dream
                                    once more
                        and captured her eyes
                    in rear view mirrors
                                              of passing cars  

                                i tried to write about
                                her eyes and rain
                                remembered all our sacred lies
                                in a dreamscape of a time
                              i could not capture in my lines

                    she saw me look
                                          did she see me try...


by Lorette C. Luzajic

The hidden place, in full view. Red cliffs above. Teal, peeling, frayed against the day’s blue. You could follow the sound of the silence to find her, or take your bike down the dirt road and park it where the daisies would watch over it. We would scramble up a brick pile and crawl through the window, hearts drumming in the broken light. There were tarps spread across barrels and bags of fertilizer and feed; we imagined they might shroud the bodies of all those missing girls in the news. In the loft, stars and spiders spilled through the missing beams, and we could almost touch the moon. We would unwrap pickle sandwiches and wait for UFOs. Split a carton of chocolate milk. Later, Cranberry Vodka coolers and your guitar. We tried kissing then, and found it awkward. It has been eighteen years since you got sick and had to go. Sometimes I go back, wander under the winding canyon sprawl, to our hiding place. I’m still looking for you there.


by Pd Lyons

I see with your eyes
I sing with your voice
ache with your absence

no longer morning glories
no longer evening peace
oh, so homeless now

today because I forgot that you aren’t here anymore – I cried.

~ ’83 for Flora ~


by Dan Brook

arriving home
he was eager
to see her again
to hold her in his arms
to smell her neck
to have her kiss him
he burst inside
searching, panting
repeatedly calling her name
not yet realizing
she was already gone
having moved on
to someone else’s


by Sergio A. Ortiz

lying /        in the shadows /
                    the sunrise /
              a garden /
                      inside her /
he’s dazzled /
          she blooms /
                    he trembles /
pins her tongue /
                          with his lips /
            papers promises /
dressed up kisses /
she walks
          in darkness /
drenched /          oblivion /
                      who / never left /
          she’s never leaving



by Olivia Gatwood

what I mean is that when my grandmother
called to ask why I didn’t respond to her letter,
all I heard was, Why didn’t you
text me back? Why don’t you love me?

And how can I talk about my grandmother
without also mentioning that if everyone
is a teen girl, then so are the birds, their soaring
cliques, their squawking throats,
and the sea, of course, the sea,
its moody push and pull, the way we drill
into it, fill it with our trash, take and take
and take from it and still it holds us
each time we walk into it.

What is more teen girl than not being
loved but wanting it so badly
that you accept the smallest crumbs and call
yourself full; what is more teen girl than
my father’s favorite wrench, its eternal loyalty
and willingness to loosen the most stubborn of bolts;
what is more teen girl than my mother’s chewed
nail beds, than the whine of the floorboards in her

What is more teen girl than my dog, Jack,
whose bark is shrill and unnecessary,
who has never once stopped a burglar
or heeled on command but sometimes
when I laugh, his tail wags
so hard it thumps against the wall, sometimes
it sounds like a heartbeat, sometimes I yell at him
for talking too much, for his messy room,
sometimes I put him in pink, striped polos
and I think he feels pretty,
I think he likes to feel pretty,
I think Jack is a teen girl.

and the mountains, oh, the mountains,
what teen girls they are, those colossal show-offs,
and the moon, glittering and distant
and dictating all of our emotions.

My lover’s tender but heavy breath while she sleeps
is a teen girl, how it holds me and keeps
me awake all at once, how I sometimes wish
to silence it, until she turns her body and
the room goes quiet and suddenly I want it back.

Imagine the teen girls gone from our world,
and how quickly we would beg for their return,
how grateful would we be then for their loud
and ability to make a crop top out of anything.

Even the men who laugh their condescending laughs
when a teen girl faints at the sight of her
favorite pop star, even those men are teen girls,
the way they want so badly to be so big
and important and worshipped by someone.

Pluto, the teen girl, and her rejection
from the popular universe,
and my father, a teen girl, who insists he doesn’t
believe in horoscopes but wants me to tell
him about the best traits of a Scorpio,
I tell him, We are all just teen girls,
and my father, having raised me, recounts the time he
found the box of love notes and condom wrappers I
hid in my closet, all of the bloody sheets, the missing
the radio blaring over my pitchy sobs,
the time I was certain I would die of heartbreak

and in a moment was in love with a small, new boy,
and of course there are the teen girls,
the real teen girls, huddled on the subway
after school, limbs draped over each other’s shoulders
bones knocking, an awkward wind chime

and all of the commuters, who plug in their
to mute the giggle, silence the gaggle and squeak,
not knowing where they learned to do this,
to roll their eyes and turn up the music,
not knowing where they learned this palpable rage,
not knowing the teen girls are our most distinguished
professors, who teach us to bury the burst

until we close our bedroom doors,
and then cry with blood in the neck,
foot through the door, face in the pillow,
the teen girls who teach us to scream.


Craigslist Montreal – Missed Connections – June 14th, 2020 - Anonymous

Looking for Roses

I’m 22 year old female

Looking for gentlemen

Minimum 300-400 roses

Message me for more details

(N.B.: “dear girl you should have a home . . .” – a note from the Editor

“and a wedding ring . . .” – a note from the other Editor

“roses for the sweet” – says the cat

“roses for the rose” – says the other cat

“here’s $500, buy all the roses you want” – says Machiavelli

“why don’t you marry her?” – says Madam X

“sweet jazz sweet” – says Machiavelli

“under the strawberry moon” – says the cat)



Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Gone South

Author: Barry McKinnon

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2021

Pages: 19

“And I miss you
Like the deserts miss the rain . . .”
- from Missing by 48th St. Collective

An exciting evolution of Imagist and Beat form, a desert flower song, that celebrates New Age poetics, Gone South by Barry McKinnon and above/ground press. Barry McKinnon (poet, teacher) lives and works in British Columbia. He has studied at Mount Royal College, took coursework with Irving Layton at Sir George Williams University, Montreal, earning a B.A. and then studying at the University of British Columbia, earning an M.A. He is widely published and was awarded the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award (1991) and the bp Nichol Chapbook Award (1994). He teaches English in Prince George.

At the beginning of this Chapbook is an introduction that explains that “Gone South” is a Native American euphemism for dying coined in the 1700’s. What follows is a broken introspection within the desert with nature images that flower and fall like the rain. A travelogue of daymares, bars, “America”, children, dogs, girder bridges and steamboats, an 88 Buick, pools, canals, range music, Slab City . . . the images woven with the natural world in a profound melee of “sang the broken heart.” A deep brooding riff in truncated thought forms that almost borders on the nonsensical creating mystical blues and water in a desert landscape, often exploring the nature of love in the post-modern world.

A fantastical transcendental Beat, the short thought forms strung together across the page play with the light and heat as if baking in the desert sun. Like a Muse that lures in the hope of Nirvana, “Love in the Time of Cholera”, the boat that sails up and down the river and never stops.

A beautiful study in original New Age poetics, Gone South by Barry McKinnon.

Available @ above/ground press.


Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: The Northerners

Author: Benjamin Niespodziany

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2021

Pages: 23

“Oh, our love is like the flowers
The rain, the sea and the hours . . .”
- from The Village
by New Order

The Northerners, a Chapbook by Benjamin Niespodziany and above/ground press is a brilliant Haikuesque evolution in New Age poetics. Inspired by De Noorderlingen (1992), a Dutch movie by filmmaker Alex van Warmerdam. The film is set in Holland in a new small rural village that is one unfinished street where the villagers have problems with their love lives portrayed in absurdist dark humor. Benjamin Niespodziany (poet, librarian, arts editor, former Peace Corps volunteer) lives and works in Chicago. He works in a library and curates an online arts site. He is a published poet and has had his work nominated for Best of the Net, the Pushcart Prize and Best Microfiction.

This exciting original “Haikuesque” poetry is evocative of a new form Haiku. The poems are short, anywhere from 4 to 7 lines, with at least one Kiriji and a twist of black humor. Each poem is a story in and of itself, strung together they suggest the inner life of a village, where the ordinary becomes the extraordinary. Presented in the spirit of magic of the original film, there is a certain sendup of the absurdist that becomes a surrealist twist in an uncertain universe. The montages of people and place shift with each poem as if shifting scenes in the movie.

The themes and people of the poems are based in universal truths, are personifications; “the saint”, “the butcher”, “the forester”, “two monks”, “the son”, “the boy”. . . have no names. The images also become personifications, “the neighbourhood”, “the coat rack”, “bird bones”, “trench coat” as if the work exists within archetypes. The two or more lines of the poem include nature imagery as well as a storyline in a broken presentation that borders on DaDa, perhaps suggesting an underground violence, as if alluding to a parallel universe and ultimately the land of what could have been.

“The forest is like
a camp, he incants,
I still can’t make fire.
He says the saint’s name
until she withers away.”

Accentuating vulnerability, the innocence, the idea of life as a story, enigmatic, something may be wrong but hard edges are softened through time and the synchronicity and healing of the Holy Spirit.

The Haikuesque poems suggest parallel lives, lives through the walls as if lovers are not at home. Perhaps the idea of broken personal lives, the violence of mismatched romance, of broken romance, the hidden violence of the archaic Old World village in the New World age. A riveting play on the traditional Haiku form, The Northerners by Benjamin Niespodziany.

Available @ above/ground press.





Rebecca Anne Banks


“heat shimmer greens
the trees
blue evening . . .”

Ellie, the elder girl cousin neighbour, comes to the door brings some homemade sweet bread introduces herself to Rain babysits me in her home the yellow brick white kitchen old fashioned home a place of flowers in pots sitting on her estagerie she used to stand on to reach the highest shelves of the cupboards we sit and drink lumpy chocolate milk and talk her husband drives a little red MGB works down at the newspaper shop, angry, told the dark he, he had the wrong idea, would not talk to him again . . .

(someone takes me over to be held by Ellie in the dark) so lonely, so lonely i . . . jangle . . . mother Sunshine Rain’s mother visits from the ocean towne she knows about children she has 9 she holds the girl talks to the girl . . . straightens her out . . . they dress her in a little blue and white skirt suit with a black patent purse black patent shoes she walks in the front yard by the tree it is silent there is nothing they take photos . . .

one day Rain finds and brings old books given to her by Grammy and Grampy, The Story Girl, The Bobbsie Twins she teaches me to read i begin a sounder the words fall stone falling through water . . . in the quiet she teaches the magic the words escape and fly like butterflies i read everything . . . live in the secret garden . . . the dark she takes me to the library “She likes stories” the librarian “Perhaps we will begin with fairytales” and reading, reading fairytales, the blue book, the yellow book, the green book all the colours in books the sad, the happy, the dark . . . one Saturday morning she says, “I am sorry to say there are no more fairytales to read, you’ve read them all” . . . i drift over to the other children’s books . . .

the kids play x’s and o’s the drawings on paper 2 players one with o’s one with x’s 3 across wins the game a quick game checkers sans pieces and board the dark she supervises letter writing to Grammy i put oxox at the end . . . Grammy visits she asks what oxox means i say hugs and kisses . . .

the dark he, swipes his hand over Sunshine’s nose balls up his hand, shoots his thumb up through his closed fingers “I got your nose” . . .

cursed by the old lilac trees that would not bloom close that blocked the window of the back bedroom where she stays . . . she arrives burgeoning with sadness, the teenaged aunt, heavy with child quiet stays a few months one day she is thin Sunshine “but where is her child?” the dark she “shh, don’t say anything” the young woman stands in the kitchen with a towel over her head her face over a pan of boiling water hydrating her perfect skin a certain blonde triste and into the quiet disappears again . . .

“sky wash
and blue
quiet . . .
the stillness . . .”



Rebecca Anne Banks

“comment le meteo?” “quelque quoi le meteo” the vapid embrace over hot coffee born in exile we wish on daylight days past lives accepting grace hold, hold onto time open up your head and spill a few words o’ the gods of Sayam if you don’t think if you don’t think . . . the girl cathedral perfection is just breathe writing writing sad notes two-faced animal crackers shoot boxes for a 5 cent song worship the cathedral the bells that toll and on a blue bright day winter . . . shadows the beauty of small things shadows she is the end the end itself . . . o’ macabre dance dance the shadows dark in the hallway the latch unlatched in the morning although the new lock still holding . . . peace and peace I reckon the lodestone the blue bird blue slip knot like water live in a box die in a box live and die in a box dance in shepherd downs the night minister dance in shadows ghost girl white light in the street snow byte wind the history of people love, no love, love . . . she is written in the sky . . . heavy with snow we sleep . . .


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).

Dan Brook PhD teaches in the Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at San Jose State University, from where he organizes the Hands on Thailand program. His most recent book of poetry is Sweet Nothings.

Joseph A. Farina is an award-winning poet. Several of his poems have been published in Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, Ascent, Subterranean Blue Poetry, The Tower Poetry Magazine, Inscribed, The Windsor Review, Boxcar Poetry Revue, and appear in the anthology Sweet Lemons: Writings with a Sicilian Accent, in the anthology Witness from Serengeti Press and Tamaracks: Canadian Poetry for the 21st Century. He has had poems published in the U.S. magazines Mobius, Pyramid Arts, Arabesques, Fiele-Festa, Philadelphia Poets and Memoir as well as in Silver Birch Press “Me, at Seventeen” Series. He has had two books of poetry published — The Cancer Chronicles and The Ghosts of Water Street.

Melanie Flores is a Toronto-born writer, editor, and poet. She is the Copy Editor at Subterranean Blue Poetry. Her award-winning work has been described as provocative and has appeared online, in print journals, and in various international and national anthologies. Her poem “Nameless” will appear in the (M)othering Anthology published by Inanna Publications (Spring 2022). Melanie has been a member of the League of Canadian Poets since 2017. Visit her websites www.melanieflores.net and www.mdfcommsvcs.com to see her work and learn more.

Olivia Gatwood (poet, writer, teacher, activist) was born in New Mexico and lives in California. She is widely published and has been featured in Muzzle Magazine, The Missouri Review, The Winter Tangerine Review, Poetry City U.S.A. and Tinderbox Poetry Journal. Gatwood is known for themes of coming of age, feminism, crime and gendered violence. She has published 2 poetry imprints, New American Best Friend (2017) and Life of the Party (2019). Forthcoming is the novel, Whoever You Are, Honey in 2022.

Lorette C. Luzajic is the founder and editor of The Ekphrastic Review, a journal devoted entirely to literature inspired by visual art. She earned a degree in journalism from Ryerson University, but went on to pursue a more creative path. Her prose poetry and small fictions have been published widely, including Brilliant Flash Fiction, Unbroken, Cleaver, New Flash Fiction Review, Bright Flash Review, Flash Fiction North, and many more. She has been nominated for several Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes. Her flash story recently won first place in a contest at Macqueen’s Quinterly. Her work has also been translated into Urdu. Lorette’s most recent book is Pretty Time Machine: ekphrastic prose poems, and she is at work completing another collection of prose poems and small stories that respond to art. A greatest hits collection is forthcoming from Cyberwit Books in India. Lorette is also an award-winning visual artist with collectors in 25 countries from Estonia to Peru. She lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit her at www.mixedupmedia.ca or www.ekphrastic.net.

Pd Lyons. Born and raised in the U.S.A. Travelled and lived abroad. Since 1998 residing in  Ireland. Pd Lyons began writing long ago in the dream time and hopes to continue for even longer. Received The Mattatuck College Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry. U.S.A. Received Bachelor of Science with honours from Teikyo Post University, Connecticut, USA. The work of Pd Lyons has also appeared in many magazines and e-zine/blogs throughout the world. Poetry collections have been published by Lapwing Press, Belfast and erbacce Press, Liverpool. Winner of 2019 erbacee press international poetry competition. http://pdlyons.wordpress.com/about/.

Barry McKinnon (poet, teacher) born in Calgary, lives and works in Prince George. He has studied poetics with Irving Layton at Sir George Williams University, Montreal, earning a B.A., and an M.A. from the University of British Columbia. He was nominated for the Governor General’s Award (1980), won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award (1990) for Pulp Log and the bp Nichol Chapbook Award (1994) for Arrhythmia. His latest works include, In the Millennium (2009), The Centre: Poems 1970-2000 (2004), Into the Blind World (2012) and & What Desire It Was (2012).

Benjamin Niespodziany (poet, librarian, former Peace Corps Volunteer, editor of multimedia art blog) is widely published. His work has appeared in the Wigleaf Top 50, Fairy Tale Review, Fence, Salt Hill Journal and more. He has been nominated for Best Microfiction, the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Currently, he works at a Chicago library and is the editor at neonpajamas.

Sergio A. Ortiz is a retired English professor and gay bilingual Puerto Rican poet. A Pushcart, Best of the Web, and Best of the Net nominee. He took second place in the 2016 Ramón Ataz annual poetry competition, sponsored by Alaire Publishing House. His recent credits include Spanish audio poems in GATO MALO Editing, Maleta Ilegal, Frances House, South Florida Poetry Journal, Communicators League, RatsAssReview, Spillwords and several other journals.