Poetry Special – (December 2012 / 12.25)

Homme à la marguerite by Francis Dennis

Artist, Francis Denis: Francis Denis is a semi-professional French painter. One reviewer states emphatically: “Francis’ abstract figurative paintings evolve around the single theme of emotion. Everything in these mysterious works is centered around the humble and sad angst that the figures portray. How Francis does this is quite spectacular. Set on a single tone backdrop, an immediate mood is set by the colour of these bold platforms. The expressive brushwork uses contrasting tones and the white outline of his subjects creates an almost collage-like aesthetic. [His work] allows for a playful and engaging guessing game for the viewer.”


Peter Schwartz

variations on the theme of ‘bed’

bed as woman

your bed has hips like any woman
your sheets are love letters written, folded and forgotten
as you turn into yourself like anyone

with nowhere else to go, as you sweat in foreign languages
in a place too big to pretend back from, a sad bed
that’s become your everything
bed as ship

honesty works in a variety of ways; you lie on your barely
swaying mattress and push out thoughts like a midwife
but they have no hot spot, no breaking

point to send them flying to the furnace, so you cling to
the fog around your wrists, cloudy as a sailor locked
inside a landfill, imitating yourself

to death.
bed as grave

sorry, but your bed’s been growing plants nobody wants
your entanglements were not provocative
the sky was meant to stay that way

the mud you never loved was your best and worst flaw
how cleanly you imagined the rain, how you mixed
your feelings with your blankets

to fall asleep.

Peter Schwartz’s words have been featured in Wigleaf, Opium, and the Columbia Review. He’s also an artist, comedian, and dedicated kayaker. More at Sitrah Ahra.


Kelley Jean White


This is the story where the little girl buries
her brother’s heart under the doorstep,
you know, after the father, drunk, has beaten
him to death, and the heart beats
with the life of the house and the child talks
to it each day, morning and night
as she sits on the stoop
and slowly the walls learn the story
and the birds, of course, the birds learn,
always in this kind of story

and they sing the truth tree top high
and into the valley of the king and he knocks
on the drunkard’s door
(make it a stepparent if you want
the story to sell) and digs and digs
and finds the heart now turned to gold
and carries the faithful sister back
to glory on the front of his saddle

(And she gives birth to a child
that the father fears and beats
and the song of stones,
gold hearts burn
under every threshold. . .)

Pediatrician Kelley Jean White has worked in inner-city and rural settings. Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle, and JAMA. Her most recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds In Flame (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 PCA grant.


My Nguyen


to an old life
That life-

I was
fried chips
but not

garlic is my soul

I have a lot of

I mortared his

mashed his gristle
fufu! fufu!

into my own
en pilon

scooped our innards
made my very own


My Nguyen is a writer living on words, culinary motions, and tribal noises in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She earned her MFA from Louisiana State University, where she currently works as an instructor..


Lyn C. A. Gardner

December morning, 5 a.m. (Blue Prelude)

Still. The rustling of my thesis sounds loud enough to wake you in the next room. Loneliness spreads like the cool blue beneath the blinds, and I slip back into bed, sliding up through the cold sheets to the center of your warmth, where you wake long enough to pull me close. You mold me to your back, your warm ass, the downy bristle of your legs, the feather-float of your soft blonde hair getting in my nose, my eyes. Below, pots clang, muffled, like iron bells, like the first pre-dawn stirring in the kitchen of a Paris cafe. My hand nestles in the soft haven of your groin, your warm, tender flesh. In the faint scent of our pasta dinner last night I can still taste your satisfied smile, as we float in the long white bed with winter trees beyond the blue mist of the window, a light snow on the ground. You thaw the chill of frosty air on my naked limbs, as I relax at last in this small center of peace and happiness, willing this moment not to shatter, though we will rise all too soon, the cold morning air cutting our lungs like heartbreak.

Lyn C. A. Gardner’s first poetry collection, Dreaming of Days in Astophel, is now available from Sam’s Dot Publishing. She is currently catalog librarian at Hampton Public Library and has also served as editor at The Mariners’ Museum. She’s had over 170 poems published in Cabinet des Fees, American Arts Quarterly, The Cape Rock, Bibliophilos, Bellowing Ark, Z Miscellaneous, and more. Gardner is an active member of SFWA with stories in Daily Science Fiction, Challenging Destiny, and the Green Knight Press anthologies Legends of the Pendragon and The Doom of Camelot.


Jay McCoy

defining mad

it is more crazed
inspiration than not
happy – that gut-wrenching
satisfaction deep inside
when you first notice amber
arachnids in inky summer sky
circling lapis roman candle

until everything settles
like ash caressing brilliant tongues
of a beach bonfire

Born and raised in Eastern Kentucky, Jay McCoy now lives in Lexington, where he actively writes with the Poezia poetry group, teaches a Poetry as Healing workshop, and co-created the Teen Howl Poetry Series. His work has appeared in Still, The Single Hound, anthologies including Bigger Than They Appear and Motif 3, and is forthcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Now & Then, and Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel.

About bluefifthreview

Blue Fifth Review, edited by Sam Rasnake, Michelle Elvy, and Bill Yarrow, is an online journal of poetry, flash, and art.
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2 Responses to Poetry Special – (December 2012 / 12.25)

  1. Pingback: Archives for 2012 | Blue Fifth Review: Blue Five Notebook Series

  2. Pingback: “Draw” by Jay McCoy | Accents Publishing Blog

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