Poetry Special – Five Poets (October 2018 / 18.7)
Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and dozens of other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, San Pedro River Review and more than 300 other publications.
Safety and Evacuation Notices
Attention drawn to same, ears bleeding
revising the necessary literature, for the likely,
being stonewalled for a valid point
being hit repeatedly, walking in the water.
Psychotic associates beloved of some time
being fantastic under cover of alcoholic
burning ears in the corridor, fearfully staid
coffee as salvation through a pint glass.
Favourite art forms pass steadily by,
residual cakes under time constraints displayed
asymmetrical paintings forestall damage
pitying those underneath a ghostwritten life.
Hit and miss medicine residing as high art
framed as high as possible, poisoned at will
getting better at speaking, delivery doing well,
better for eating through the mothballed glory.
Archaeological failures patted on the head,
sick of same and health reasons wholly sink in
philosophical arguments too careless to answer,
pedigree hardness its surely all that matters.
Learning from mistakes, staring eyeball to eyeball,
flying away in haste from the morning
married to perfection, a model worth ringing
incessantly, over intimacy, lumbering fire.
Patricia Walsh was born and raised in the parish of Mourneabbey, Co Cork, Ireland. To date, she has published one novel, The Quest for Lost Eire, in 2014, and has published one collection of poetry, Continuity Errors, with Lapwing Publications in 2010. She has since been published in a variety of print and online journals including Crossways, Ygdrasil, The Fractured Nuance,, Revival Magazine, Drunk Monkeys, Linnet’s Wing, Narrator International, and The Galway Review.
Resurrected Angels Singing Holy Holy Holy!
Up there we sing nothing but belief; dry martyrdom
slain on nihilistic plains stretched beyond insanity
contained in human cocktail sprites between aluminum,
there we meditate out space in time to sing infinity
cooling free humility in levitations of Laughing Buddha
disconnecting Wi-Fi chains adrift the sober cosmos mentis
waiving blue down Amazon rivers routing Electra Alexa
praised by internet disciples who deify our silicon devices—
unreality autocorrects opposable thumbs—installs our DNA—
consuming Apple to enshrine our sinful codes of knowledge.
Here we are nature’s castoff primates craving Siri’s sunray.
Wet brain wikiholics #insane from social media carnage.
Viral sacrilege. Those impaired who worship artificial light—
repair with natural thoughts of outer heaven—believe in God—
Andrew Hamilton, a professional writer with academic awards in creative writing, received an MFA from Saint Mary’s College of California. His poems and short stories have appeared in The Saturday Evening Post’s Great American Fiction Contest, Reed Magazine, BlazeVOX, Glassworks, Crack the Spine, PQ Leer, and Mary: A Journal of New Writing. Hamilton currently lives in Seattle, where he teaches and provides service work for the recovery community. For more information, visit his website.
You’ve come out looking like a criminal.
Like a prizefighter dragged through the mud.
Caked all over with red streaks, like blood,
And water, like salty, salty sweat,
The kind of sweat you wear when
You’ve done something wrong. Boiled down,
Pungent, sexual. Unforgiving and luring.
Then there’s the crime itself, which nobody knows,
But you swear that everybody must know
Or soon will. The crime that never occurred,
But you feel its guilt. The strong words
Of the sentence. The penitence and the shame.
No one wants to feel like that, but you’ve roiled
In the mud too long. Beautiful mud, but mud
Nonetheless. This blessing without a name,
Except what you call it: Creation.
Karen Poppy’s work has been published in MORIA, Wallace Stevens Journal, Plath Poetry Project, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, The American Journal of Poetry, and Degenerates: Voices for Peace. Her poems, “Austria by Train” and “Walt Whitman Celebrates Himself,” are included under Holocaust Poetry in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Library and Archives in Washington, D.C. Poppy has recently compiled her first collection of poetry, written her first novel, is at work on her second novel, and is an attorney licensed in California and Texas. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In a Holocaust photo
I saw you wave shyly
as the streetcar glided
a corner of the Warsaw Ghetto
A six-year-old boy
in a ragged black suit
A man aimed a camera
at your paper-thin figure
and you hung like a flag
from the rear of the car
clowning, teasing, risking a fall
The centrifugal force
of the wheels changing course
threw you outward
grinning, payis awhirl
Later you stand
at a cloth-bound book
and close your eyes
You do not yet know
You are made out of rags
And rags are doomed to burn
Martin Golan’s poetry has appeared in many publications, including Poet Lore, Pedestal, and The Dos Passos Review. He also published a novel, My Wife’s Last Lover, and a collection of short stories, Where Things Are When You Lose Them. His first book of poetry, A Note of Consolation for Lucia Joyce, will be published early in 2019.
From Just a Glimpse
it could be a light to nations
if it weren’t so local,
didn’t burn exclusively
in this life we’ve made
it effortless avoids
the slow decay of its surrounds
it opens memory
suffocates my years of pain,
so I can plainly see your words
lit like altar candles
I’ve learned your splendor
over many thousand nights,
am so fortunate that
my ordinary life
can’t get any less ordinary
so here’s to
the poignantly honeyed, crushed-rose perfume of love
my capitulation was easy
could turn the head of a snake
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Evening Street Review, and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East, and Midwest Quarterly.