Posted by: tsopr | November 9, 2012

Donal Mahoney, American Poet

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, MO. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Public Republic (Bulgaria), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Poetry Friends, Poetry Super Highway, Pirene’s Fountain (Australia) and other publications.

Featured Poetry of Donal Mahoney

Lifts Her Like A Chalice

The weekday Mass at 6 a.m.
brings the old folks out
from bungalows
around the church.
They move like caterpillars
down sidewalks,
some with canes,
some on walkers.

Father Doyle says the Mass
and then goes back to the rectory
to care for his mother
who cannot move or speak
because of a stroke.

And every Sunday at noon
when the church is full,
Father Doyle, in full vestments,
wheels his mother
in a lump
down the middle aisle
and lifts her like a chalice
and places her in the front pew
before he ascends to the altar.

Sometimes at night,
when his mother’s asleep,
Father Doyle comes back to the Church
and rehearses in the dark
three hymns she long ago
asked him to sing at her funeral.

He practices the hymns
because the doctor said
she could go at any time.
When that time comes,
he doesn’t want to miss a note.
The last thing she ever said was
“Son, I’ll be listening.”

Apple Fritter and a Single Rose

After 30 years together,
Carol tells me late one evening
in the manner of a quiet wife
that I have yet to write a poem

about her, something she
will never understand in light
of all those other poems
she says I wrote

about those other women
before she drove North.
And so I tell her once again
I wrote those other poems

about no women I ever knew
the way I now know her
even if I saw them once or twice
for dinner, maybe,

and a little vodka
over lime and ice.
Near midnight, though,
she says again

in the manner of a quiet wife
it’s been thirty years
and still no poem.
When morning comes

I motor off to town to buy
a paper and a poem
for Carol
but find instead

undulating in a big glass case
an apple fritter,
tanned and glistening,
lying there just waiting.

So I buy the lovely fritter
and a single long-stem rose
orphaned near the register,
roaring red, and still

at full attention.
I bring them home but find
Carol still asleep
and so I put the fritter

on the breadboard
and the rose right next to it,
at the proper angle.
When she wakes I hope

the fritter and the rose
will buy me time until
somewhere in the attic
of my mind I find

a poem that says
more about us than
this apple fritter,
tanned and glistening,

lying there just waiting,
and a single long-stem rose,
roaring red, and still
at full attention.

In Certain Matters of the Heart

It’s a matter of the heart,
the doctor says,
and he can fix it
with catheter ablation.
“It works miracles,” he says,
“in certain matters of the heart.”

He’s been a cardiologist for years.
“Take my word for it,” he says.
“You’ll be sedated. Won’t feel a thing.”

No excavation in my chest, either.
Instead, he’ll make little holes
in my groin and snake tiny wires
to the surface of my heart
and kill the current that makes

my heart race like a hare
at times and mope
like a turtle other times.
He’s never lost a patient.
“You’ll be fine,” he says.
“Trust me.”

Nine out of 10 ablations work.
I’ll save hundreds a month, he says,
on medications. No more Multaq.
No more Cardizem. And I’ll never
have to wear a heart monitor again.

“Shall we give it a try?” he asks.
“I’ve got an opening
two weeks from Monday.
It’s an outpatient procedure.
You’ll go home the same day,
rest for a week and then resume
your usual activities, even bowling.
Do you like bowling? My nurses do.
I prefer woodcarving.”

“Okay, Doc,” I tell him.
“I’ll give it a try, but tell me,
where were you 40 years ago
when the kids were small
and I was young, like a bull,
and a different matter of the heart
dropped me like a bullet.
Are you sure my heart’s still ticking?
Where’s your stethoscope?
I haven’t felt a thing in years.”

Hospice

Listen, Dad,
Mom’s dead, but
you can dance
with her again.

She’s waiting
in the sky, behind
a star, humming
to the music.

You and Mom
can waltz around
the moon forever.
She may even sing

that song you like.
I’ll comb your hair,
shine your shoes
and press your old tuxedo.

There’s no rush.
You know Mom.
She’d never dance
with anyone but you.

Kaleidoscope and Harpsichord

As I’ve told my wife too many times,
the meaning of any poem hides
in the marriage of cadence and sound.

Vowels on a carousel,
consonants on a calliope,
whistles and bells,
we need them all
tickling our ears.
Otherwise, the lines
are gristle and fat, no meat.

Is it any wonder, then,
my wife has a problem
with any poem I give her to read
for a second opinion, especially
when the poem has no message
and I’m simply trying to hear
what I’m saying and don’t care
if I understand it.

The other night in bed
I gave her another poem to read
and afterward she said this poem
was no different than the others.
She had hoped I’d improve.

“After all,” she said,
“you’ve been writing for years
but reading a poem like this is
like looking through a kaleidoscope
while listening to a harpsichord.”

Point well taken,
point well said.

But then I asked her
what should a man do
if he has careened for years
through the caves of his mind
spelunking for the right
line for a poem

only to hear his wife say
after reading one of his poems
that it was like
“looking through a kaleidoscope
while listening to a harpsichord.”
What should he do–quit?

“Not a chance,”
she said this morning,
enthroned at the kitchen table,
as regal as ever in her fluttery gown
and buttering her English muffin
with long, languorous strokes
Van Gogh would envy.

“He should write even more,
all day and all night, if need be.
After all,” she said, “my line
about the kaleidoscope and harpsichord
still needs a poem of its own.
It’s all meat, no gristle, no fat.”

Copyright © 2012 Donal Mahoney

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Posted by: tsopr | October 8, 2012

Rina Angela Corpus, Filipino Poet

Rina Angela Corpus is an assistant professor at the Department of Art Studies, University of the Philippines where she finished her BA Art Studies (minor in Comparative Literature, cum laude) and MA Art History. Her research interests include feminist aesthetics, dance history and alternative spiritualities. She trained and danced with the Quezon City Ballet and served as cultural editor of the Philippine Collegian. Her first book “Defiant Daughters Dancing: Three Independent Women Dance” (UP Press, 2007) is a groundbreaking feminist research on Philippine contemporary women dancers. Her essays have seen print in Bulawan: Journal for Philippine Culture and Art, Transit, Humanities Diliman, Diliman Review, Philippine Humanities Review, Review of Women’s Studies, Research in Dance Education, Peace Review: Journal of Social Justice, Philippines Free Press, Manila Bulletin and the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Her poems have been published in the Philippines Free Press, Philippine Collegian, and forthcoming with the Philippine Humanities Review and Tayo Literary Magazine.

Featured Poetry of Rina Angela Corpus

After Amorsolo’s Woman Cooking in the Kitchen

The master painter received brickbats
posthumously. Not from present-day
modernists of Edades’ lineage but
from known assailants armed with
the feminist, if not Marxist stance. Why render
the dalagang bukid as delicate, pristine, fair
when she labored hard in the house,
and got sun-burnt in the farms?
It happened after a war that sent
the men scurrying in extreme
directions: the boondocks as rebels,
or the cities in search for the colonial job.

But in one work he rendered her,
squatting low, totally taken
in the act of stoking fire embers
in front of her an earthenware stove.
Her rosy brown face lost
in the industry of managing concoctions
in her kitchen, in the bahay kubo
where she remains – with or without a male denizen —
its most protective
and its most masterful presence.

Angels

An army arrived, dressed in white,
embracing the entire space
with light.

Like phantom vestments,
the first sugar crystals of dawn
suspended itself over the whole world
still ensnared in cavernous slumber.
The evening’s fog, filled with despair,
was slowly lifted.

And light shone in all four corners
for nearly an hour
of luminous quiet. Their foreheads
phosphorescent with knowing gazes
as they communed with
a commander Supreme.

After which they slowly stand
only to wear costumes
so everyday, so various
animating them only to consecrate tasks
with a remembrance of the luminescence
from an empire of light.

In their wake, a fragrance,
an unspoken benediction
for men and mortals to take from:
Over the earth, an unseen
fortress of peace.

Confluence Age

This is the time to awaken
the memory of perfection. Now,
the time of the great quickening
from iron to gold,
from shadow to light,
when small men must
rule over small men
they who wield the strangest, terrifying
of fires destined to consume
the face of the earth.

This is the season to emerge
an incognito army of great, unnamed
warriors, they who march daily to a pilgrimage
place, soundless refuge beyond time
empire of boundless light
where their weapons are unfurled
as edicts of merciful justice,
their thoughts re-sharpened
into wings, armory becoming light,
their might gathering away from men’s minds
an accumulation of centuries of dark lies
etched behind every rust and dust
in the deepest bowls of earth.

They have come to revive
the remembrance of a miracle of sun, luminiferous
in its perfect ordination
of catapulting humanity from inferno
to reborn us to a world
more original, more magical
that it will again be called
Paradise.

Evening Meditation in Rajasthan, India

It is nine p.m.
and the cool breeze
carries the mind to a soundless chant
as ancient as time
primeval as the love
I have carried
in the folds of this heart
through birth after birth
a love for this One
whom I have named
My Beloved.

So I, oldest of devotees
sit under the bare stillness of jasmine trees
as the wind scatters
the scent of frankincense
across the mountain ashram.

Dust finally settles down
like a royal mantle
under my feet.

And the indigo sky is lit
with stars softly brimming
in aureoles of joyousness
and with a love
that I have always known to be
of the Divine.

Evening Time

Tonight, the cartography of stars
widens the night scape
beckoning me to observe
and just sit still.

Before me
a royal vestment has unfurled
from an extra solar fairyland
inviting me to be its prince
in this one childlike moment.

So I gaze steadily,
enthused to greet
the next apparition

As luminous
as the supernova
of God’s ever-lit eyes.

The Jeweler
(For Prajapita Brahma, 1876-1969)

As he lay on bed, his mien
faded into pristine light.
The blue of night peered through
his lowly hut on the mountaintop
while the world whispered a silent ode
of love to this man.
For he had completed a full cycle.

The fragrance of his deeds surrounded him
like petals of summer jasmine.
And the children he cared for,
though not his own, stood before him
now grown women with faces luminescent,
as the diamonds he had polished all through his life.
For to them he stood as parent,
teacher, companion, friend, trustee,
yet also just a fellow pilgrim on the path
of their chosen life — numinous, rarefied,
offered only to the Divine.

They were ready for this moment,
rehearsing daily the hushed ways of angels
diurnal moments beyond sound.
At 93, the soul they fondly called Baba
easily tugged away from the ballast
of matter, only to fly back
to a light-filled region
where he is to fulfill his greater charge:
To awaken more children who are to be the jewels
of his Beloved’s eyes.

Moongazing in Manila

The air is stripped of inanities tonight
as the city sky reveals
a golden host
aureoled in light.

From my window
I decipher the profile of a man’s face
etched on her cheek.

But the towering condominiums
that now mushroom the city
Diminish her to a minute disc.

I go to sleep with an image of her in mind:
Infinitesimal like the tiny point of light
Now resting
behind my eyes.

Original Dance

I.

This pilgrimage being unique
you ready yourself
from the point of departure
the cusp of the heart
where resides
an original desire
to return to roots
and be unmoored
by wings of light.

You travel easy
slipping away
from transient costume
and mask of clay.

And you become a tiny point
of conscious light
the jewel behind the eyes.

You transform to become
once more
your own eternal king
in an original dance
with your Supreme.

II.

Your remembrance is a force
that resists the buoyancy of air
like a rocket, with lightning speed,
catapulting you
to timeless space,
empire of luminous light
where the Lord of Light resides.

And He fills you, and He sweetens you
with a fragrance
that quenches your every longing
to belong
to the Father, Mother,
Friend, Teacher,
Guide, Healer,
Beloved…

And the Lord of Light
responds with the sweetest of songs:
My child, you are mine
and I am yours.

Refuse

My weekends are repeated scenarios of refusals.
After a week of heady trysts with theories and texts
In the university
I get home from the dorm
and find mother in the kitchen

I buss her and she begins
quizzing me for the umpteenth time now
how I’d have to feed my future hypothetical hubby
when I simply come to barge in
to her domain
only interested to devour her dishes
with nary the wish to ever learn
how to specialize in concocting
her gustatory recipes.

I manage to smile
and keep on munching the repast
as sumptuous, I must note
as the servings of Cisneros, Irigaray
and Cixous
from feminist lit class.

Then mom points to me her apron
with her primary spiel:
“When you’re done dear,
please wear this and clean up your mess,
that’s the least you can do, sweetie.”

And the most I do
is to finish to the last sweet bite,
and say my graces, with eyes closed.

Then I stand up to throw
a whole week’s worth
of refuse.

Shiv Shakti

Her heart, pristine as the full moon
a third eye perpetual
watching over mortals kill sweet time
in a deathless stupor.
And she sends signals
for their great moment
of awakening.

Her name, she has shed her many other names
and their intricate tales
only to give birth to a newer self.
Her newborn spirit a benediction
cascading through the ages
from an ancient birthplace,
cradle to humanity’s oldest language:
She is power, God’s creative energy,
the divine feminine in India’s Sanskrit.
Combined with God Shiva
she is His Equal, Friend,
Companion, Right hand.

Her mind, filled with luminous ruminations
growing into wings resplendent
phosphorescent, igniting others in the path
of return to an original place
of dignity, of peace, of love.
For she has experienced that point of stillness,
quintessence of pure being.

Her intellect, a razor-sharp sword
cutting through illusions, separating jewels
from the counterfeit
seizing those of eternal value
from those with short-lived luster.
Unveiling fiercely the excessive
weight of layers
only to reveal her essence
seeing the luminiscence of her truth
by whose sacramental light she walks
the many nights by.

Her language, silence, from the Home of Silence
fortress of boundless space,
timeless, soundless, light-filled
refuge. Her point of origin is now
her same point of destination
and she dies from her many selves,
and sheds off their variegated veils.

And she becomes the jewel of light
communing with the Supreme Light
in a meeting culminating
all meetings.

Now, she is with her One Mother,
One Father, One Teacher, One Guide,
One Beloved, the One who fills her
with absolutely everything,
everything.

Copyright © 2012 Rina Angela Corpus

Posted by: tsopr | September 9, 2012

Neil Leadbeater, Scottish Poet

Neil Leadbeater is an editor, author and poet living in Edinburgh, Scotland. His poems and short stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines and journals both at home and abroad. His first full-length collection of poems, Hoarding Conkers at Hailes Abbey was published by Littoral Press in 2010 and a selection of his Latin American poems, Librettos for the Black Madonna, was published by White Adder Press in 2011. Recent work has been published in Sur y Sur (Chile); Red y Acción (Colombia); Challenger International (Canada); The Seventh Quarry -Swansea Poetry Magazine (UK); Cyclamens and Swords (Israel) and Orizont Literar Contemporan (Romania). Some of his work has been translated into Spanish and Romanian.

Featured Poetry of Neil Leadbeater

Sea Cucumbers

Any dictionary worth its salt describes them as
holothurian;
“one of a phylum of radially symmetrical marine animals
such as the brittlestar or the sea urchin,”
and then, almost as an afterthought,
“also known as the sea gherkin.”

Your shock when they coughed up their guts under threat.
The string of thread ejected from the mouth –
white fibre flying off the reel.

Strip them down to the chassis and you will see them
in the raw –
or maybe not, as the case may be,
since they’re hard to spot, obscure to see, holed-up in
hide-outs, starting-holes, lairs;
a lurking-place for living in; lumber under stairs.

Sea Squirts

Tides will blow their cover. They will make you privy
to every place they hide in
which is the hard edge of harbours, pilings, piers;
caves where the waves wash in food –
a meal of tidal plankton.

But it was the way they forced out water that took you
by surprise.

Back home, you did your best to imitate their kind:
it started with the soda syphon, your elder sister’s
Revlon spray,
aerosol cans, mosquito repellent –
whatever your five-year-old hands could find
until you were comfortable with the fact of brine
shooting from the gut.

Sacrifice of the Cork Oak

If someone came to rip off your skin
would you run away or stand still
rooted to the spot?

Would you get used to it over time?

To have your cells pared off
like the zest of a lemon
and then to feel the outside air
raw on the inner wound.

How vulnerable you must feel;
reaching out for your
hard exterior; your disembodied bark
in the shell of the ear for love.

Oranges Coming of Age

Somehow the whole hesperidium
comes into its own.

It shrugs off that hard exterior;

wears its skin without blemish;

is heavy for its size;

has a thin peel;

exudes scent;

is neither pomelo nor mandarin

but “China’s apple”

a fire-burst of summer segments
squeezed out and citrus-cool:

the juice in the glass beside you.

Montesinho

Montesinho, behind the mountains,
is rugged
-a remote and exiled outback, the last outpost
of wilderness;

is the cold land of independent spirit;
the inaccessible region
where the long-distance loneliness
of the Rabaçal river
holds a passage of snook and bass;

is the last refuge of the Iberian wolf;
the prized domain of the golden eagle.
Its scented scrub
the home of the rock bunting and the
red-backed shrike;
wild boars, otters, cats;

this habitat of light.

Alexanders

Each plant demands to be looked at, noticed
for what it is worth. Introductions
are numerous.
Their real name is Smyrnian olustratum,
black lovage in the vernacular,
but they would like you to invent
a tenuous link
to the Emperor.

Their one statement
is that the world is largely YELLOW.

It is a sun-filled, fun-filled thing.

On a practical note, the roots
are good for colic.

After the harvest
their black seeds are sold in shops
as a prophylactic for snake-bite.

Just when you think you are becoming acquainted
they jump into another word
to try to describe
their colour:

lemon, say, or saffron.

Another “take” on yellow.

Frederick Street

was the axis of all things electrical –
old wind-up gramophones,
the home of broadcaster sapphire needles
that would play
The Laughing Policeman
5,000 times without replacement
priced six shillings and sixpence
(tax paid).

Days like this
we’d cross the street
with our brightly coloured towels and trunks
rolled into cylinders of equal lengths
headed for the baths.
The air was electric. Sparks flew
with the thrill of who could do the crawl
or dive from the highest board.
No-one there could
pull the plug on our lives.

Knowing where we were going
we felt the hum of danger
singing down the wires –
it broke inside us like sheet lightning
and lit us up for miles.

Days when the Schools were Closed

Days when the schools were closed
we never gave a thought for the levellers, the green-fingered
conjurors with their heavy-duty boots;
men who came in the name of Grounds Maintenance
majestic through the gates –
or guessed how the sod-cutters with their ride-on mowers
gave the pitch a run for its money
top-dressing for games
or how when the posts were up on their feet
the men were suddenly scoring goals
against imagined sides.

Copyright © 2012 Neil Leadbeater

Posted by: tsopr | August 10, 2012

Satish Verma, Indian Poet

Satish Verma is ferociously original. You feel resentment, outrage and violence, cannot pin it down but wonderfully spin your brain. Satish has the greatest sensibility, which sweetly exploits the delicacies of human conflicts. You are taken aback. This is magic, profoundly soulful. In a lone, long journey Satish Verma is still discovering himself. Beaten, betrayed, felled, he comes back with fierce velocity. His childhood was traumatized by India’s partition. Terror, violence and death were witnessed, which built the morals of poet. Becoming defiantly reclusive Satish Verma pursued his value based life on the path of truth. Teaching Botany for 35 years he was writing poetry, privately and solemnly and published twelve collections. Worked silently with social causes. His scions, doctors and engineers are living in USA. He chose to live back in his beloved country and resides in Ajmer (INDIA) with his spouse Kanta running the Charitable Holistic Institute of SEWA MANDIR FOUNDATION.

Featured Poetry of Satish Verma

Latest Woes

Like a jellyfish,
in raw pain
you descend abruptly,
in abyss of peace.

There was a streak
of animal in silicone.
The matchmakers will
rub the sparks.

The cauldron was
simmering with tension.
Was ready to engage
a chemical warfare.

You are sitting on
a medusoid robot.
A replica of non-god’s
creation.

Now synchronized contractions
will start to deliver a new baby.

In Deep Conversation

Again,
a hunt will start,
incognito.

Uncorfirming
a freak. A zipless encounter
without a knife.

I am not going
to lose a blue peacock .
Light will not come.

Into the dark recess
I had planted
a time bomb

in the womb.
Give me a blight,
if you want.

Yet I am going
to sail, combing
the moon.

Sleepwalking

A haunted moon,
sauntered into the woods,
slogging again and again
to pass the gender test.

There was a fear of
abduction. Orange
and blue, where it ought to have
been absolutely white.

I don’t think She can
become a He, shedding
the robes, crossing the time
zones, in hurry.

A moon should
behave in a celestial manner
becoming a fluid lover
to kiss in dark.

Composing

Beyond dreams,
a wise lake, watching my absurdity,
of playing with the tyranny
of absolute. And I am trying
to remember, who had said,
that the core victim was me;
in simile,
to a drowning boat.

I remained,
a small seed, still
waiting till eternity to find a
thread of light, which should reach
the depth of the dust, the stone
the water, awakening me to
send my radical, going down,
down into the evasive words.

Scourging

A relative lie,
becomes the truth.
Will you meet me, on the
cobbled street, where the gospels
are cowering in terror;
to find the style.

Becoming; to be a void. As if
I was not there. Unpetaled,
the ovary will ask
the bees to land immediately
on open mouths.

From the veiled moon,
comes a stifled cry.
Do not collect the peaches.

Copyright © 2012 Satish Verma

Posted by: tsopr | July 31, 2012

Diogen Haiku: An Invitation for Submission

Diogen Haiku: An Invitation for Submission

autumn arrived
its cold breath moved
the curtains silently
Hattori Ransetsu (1654-1707.)

You may send up to 5 haiku, waka, senryu, hiaga, photo/haiga, haibun for publishing in Diogen pro culture magazine to e-mail address: dvrozic@optinet.hr

Theme:

Migration of birds / Migrating birds(Haiku World, An International Poetry Almanac, William J. Higginson, Kodansha International, Tokyo, New York, London 1996., p. 205)

and/or

Autumn mist / fog (Haiku World, An International Poetry Almanac, William J. Higginson, Kodansha International, Tokyo, New York, London 1996p.191)

Deadline: September 10, 2012.

Your work may be unpublished or published. If published please give details.

In further publishing of your haiku please give credit to Diogen pro cultura magazine. All languages are welcome; if possible, please give us an English translation.

Đurđa Vukelić Rožić
Deputy editor in chief for Haiku poetry

To find out more about Diogen haiku, click the image above or this link http://diogen.weebly.com/poziv-na-saradnju-haiku-ii.html

Posted by: tsopr | July 27, 2012

NaHaiWriMo in August 2012

31 Different NaHaiWriMo Prompters in August 2012

An announcement from Michael Dylan Welch – creator and organiser of National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo):

Dear NaHaiWriMos,

I’m pleased to let you know that, for the month of August, 2012, I’ve asked 31 different people to provide a single writing prompt for reach day of the month. I’ll be announcing the prompts each day, so you’ll discover not only a new writing prompt, but also learn who the day’s prompter is for each day. These 31 prompters include many of our past monthly prompters, plus a number of new folks. The prompters and prompts have all been selected, and the prompts are varied and fun, so August should be a particularly enjoyable month — and hopefully a little different, to shake things up a bit.

Now, to make this idea even more fun, I’ve asked each of the 31 daily prompters to monitor all poems posted and to select at least five favourite poems written in response to their prompt. I’ve asked them to select haiku and senryu only (no haiga, but poems used in haiga can be considered). To be selected, poems should be previously unpublished (we’ll assume so). So please post your best haiku and senryu, because the daily prompt providers will be on the lookout for their favourite poems from what you post (prompters, please also include one of your own poems if you write about your own prompt). If all goes well, I’d like to turn this into a PDF-format book that everyone can download for free. How does that sound?

In case you were wondering, I’m still working on the February book, which will be a grander and much larger print production. I plan to get that wrapped up by the end of August, but there are still a lot of variables. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for your patience on that project — I’m making progress.

Meanwhile, regarding the August project, I’m mentioning it now in case any of you have questions. Ask away! And maybe mentioning it now will also build anticipation. Shucks, you might even want to encourage friends to join us. Please do!

Thanks to all of you for your enthusiastic ongoing participation in NaHaiWriMo! Isn’t this place a hoot?

Michael Dylan Welch

To find out, and to join the NaHaiWrimo facebook page, click the image above or this link http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/NaHaiWriMo/108107262587697 , enjoy!

Posted by: tsopr | June 16, 2012

Syed Faizan, Indian Poet

Syed Faizan was born in the city of Mysore in Karnataka, India in June, 1987. After completing his schooling in Mysore he commenced his Medical education at the Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMC&RI) in 2005 and graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S) degree in 2011. He intends to pursue specialized training in Psychiatry.

Faizan started writing poems when he was eleven years old, nature being his first muse. He has continued writing poems ever since and this cacoethes scribendi has over the years resulted in an oeuvre comprising hundreds of fugitive sonnets and other poems. His poetic efforts have been primarily directed at attempting a fusion of Western and Oriental, particularly Indian, ideas of Poetry and he has, to this end, experimented with Oriental forms like the Ghazal. Apart from writing he loves philosophizing, playing the Violin, painting and travelling.

Featured Poetry

Crime and Punishment

Crime

What creature was it? Filthy, old and wretched,
A beggar woman squatting ‘long the way,
She saw me too and then with hands outstretched
She cried for alms- I briskly walked away.
I snuck a glance at her- The sunken eyes,
The windows to a mutilated will,
The rotting nose, deformed, devoured by flies,
Fingerless hands outstretched, she pleaded still.

I walked away: I have to stay ahead,
The ‘healthy competition’ is too steep,
I have to fight for my own daily bread,
Have I the time to look around and weep?
A hard day done, I slouched, at last, to bed,
I saw her pleading still- I could not sleep.

Punishment

I saw her in my mind- her bony frame,
Wrapped up in dark and crumpled, sagging skin,
She bore only a face, no life, no name,
And yet I knew, somehow, we were akin.
I saw her pleading still, ev’n as I lay,
Couched in the cozy comfort of my bed,
Should I have flung a coin and walked my way
Or spoken to her? What would I have said?-

What words could soothe her in her misery?
What could I say that was not vain pretence?
Can words surpass her forced sincerity,
Or match her hoarsest pleading’ eloquence-
‘My crime and punishment is poverty,
Your crime and punishment is indifference’.

The Mystic’s Way or The Sufi’s Argument

I only know too well the preachers God:
His faith is fear, his prayer is desire,
The hankering for heavenly reward,
The hapless shuddering at hellish fire.
Come walk, my friend, the fearless mystics way,
Our God is truth and beauty is our creed,
Love is the prayer that we daily say,
Our only ritual is the noble deed.

Each sacred thread and each rosary bead,
Is but a fetter to be cast away;
An artless heart the highest heavens heed,
The true believer has no need to pray!
Our God is one and one Community
Is all that he hath made: Humanity!

A Sufi Poem: Earthly love, Godly love, Agnosticism

In spring I loved the fragrant flower too,
But then I saw the ever rending thorn,
In youth I was a perfect lover too,
But then I saw the proud beloved’s scorn!
I saw the wholesome warmth of spring depart,
And found that fairest flowers do but wilt,
I turned to Godliness with pious heart,
Until I heard the secret shrieks of guilt!

And now I know why our Creator hides,
Behind the flimsy veil of his creation,
So we may deem perfection there resides,
Where we may never see his imperfection;
If we could gaze into the eyes of God,
Would we not find that even he is flawed!

The Star

I trembled in the bracing wind, the dark
Enclosed me all around. The prison of
Many a dream unlived, forgotten love
Held all my hope –and then I saw a spark,
Trembling with hope like me, forgot, forlorn,
While all the bustling earth below it swirled,
Who cared when it will die, when it was born?
It lived and died unknown to any world.

Lost in the sea of forced similitude,
So much like us, O secret sun! O star!
Hidden and disfigured by altitude,
How dare the world judge you, thus from afar?
Save in the sadness of our solitude,
We wonder not wherefore or what you are.

The Book of Life

What if each breath that every being e’er took,
Has been recorded in a library;
What if each human were a secret book,
Bound in the covers of eternity.
How would we read? At first our infancy,
Bottomless babbling; then the naughty child,
Whose innocence writes all that he can see;
And then the adolescent bold and wild

Bursting free verse; and then the lusty youth,
Declaiming to his love in stately rhyme;
Then middle age, essays enjoined by truth,
Then dotage, babbling again one last time;
But ‘fore we’ve written all that we would wish,
Death scrawls abruptly in one stroke “finish”.

A Recipe for Revolution

First add the secret spice of discontent,
And mix it in the blood of innocence;
Now stir the pot, until smells violent,
Assault your senses. Now add eloquence,
The soaring flavors of a poets ink;
Upon it pour the bitter paste of hate,
The most important; now be calm and wait
And stoke the fire, till it boils to brink.

After the mixture has cooled down a while,
Add just a pinch of tasteless penury;
And lots of oily anger and the bile,
Of malice; don’t forget to add envy.
Now add the sauce of idealistic guile,
And illusions meat. Then, burn the recipe

The Mystery of Man

I saw a shiny shell rest on the shore
I picked it up and placed it to my ear,
What sounds were those, O never heard before,
Mysterious sounds that only I could hear.
What sounds were those? I blankly looked around,
But found no one who could enlighten me,
What sounds were those whose vastness could confound,
A soul immured in worse cacophony.

I felt as if some long forgotten land,
Had mummified its anguished cries for me,
As if some trembling voice had stretched its hand,
Above the roaring waves of ‘ternity,
To teach me that which I could never see,
Or hear, or feel, but had to understand.

Perhaps

Perhaps behind the blinding veil of fate,
There lies the face of some famous future,
Perhaps somewhere in loneliness my mate,
Repines for me as I repine for her.
Perhaps my life is but a waking dream,
And I shall into wisdoms kingdom wake,
Where all this ceaseless suffering will seem,
A fabrication something false and fake.

Perhaps this dun despair is but a cloud,
That blocks but only momentarily,
Within the womb of its translucent shroud,
The dazzling glory of my destiny.
‘Perhaps!’ Alas! How may lives elapse,
Intoning this one hope, one word, ‘perhaps!’

Tragedy or Travesty

I walked the labyrinth of a Supermarket,
It would be long before I would again see,
These markets so, on every pack or packet,
Box or bar I sought a warranty.
So “best before six months” one said,
And “best before twelve months” said another,
I smiled in smug contentment as I read,
These warranties, ‘why not “best forever?”’,

I asked myself in jest. I paid the bill,
And stepped outside, just then, a honk, a shriek,
An old lady lay on the road, stone still,
The people rushed to her, her chances bleak,
They hauled her into an ambulance. Who cares
To look for warranty on earthen wares!

Copyright © 2012 Syed Faizan

Posted by: tsopr | June 1, 2012

Seeking Poetry for Anthology of Short Verse

Seeking Poetry for Anthology of Short Verse

Karen O’Leary and APF Publisher, Patricia Simpson are seeking short verse for a new anthology with the tentative title of Snippets…an anthology of short verse. We are targeting a general audience of all ages. With that in mind, we are looking for poetry that is easy to understand while still creative. Imagery is a plus.

We will not be able to provide free copies to contributors but hope to offer books at a reasonable rate. The book will be available online at www.lulu.com which is the company that will be printing the volume. It is not necessary to purchase a copy to be included in the book.

Submission Guidelines

1. Submissions of unpublished and previously published work are acceptable. Please include the name of the initial publisher with any poem that is a reprint. We would like to include a special acknowledgement at the end of the book to recognize the publishers that have previously published any poetry within the book. It is up to the author to obtain permission if needed for reprints.

2. Send up to

3 poems 5-10 lines
and/or
5 poems 3 lines or less

We will try to give as many people as possible the opportunity to share their words in the book, so please understand if we cannot accept every poem we receive.

3. Preferred method of submission is to send your poetry as a Works Document-wps, with your name, address and phone number on each page. We would appreciate it if you would send as many poems as possible on one page to conserve the amount of paper needed to print it for review. Please email your submission to Karen O’Leary at gksm@cableone.net . If it is not possible to attach the above document, you may paste it directly onto an email. Snail mail submissions are acceptable–please email Karen for her address. Please enclose an SASE if you are submitting by snail mail.

4. No profanity, erotica, or violence will be accepted.

5. There is not theme for the anthology. Religious poetry will be accepted but we would like to have a variety of poetry that will uplift and inspire the reader. Humor appreciated too.

6. The deadline is June 30. 2012.

7. Please email Karen at the above email address if you have any questions. We look forward to reading your words.

Posted by: tsopr | May 18, 2012

Book Review: “Bread of Tears”

“Bread of Tears”
by Nathaniel S. Rounds
Published by Fowlpox Press
Published: May 16, 2012
Words: 3123 (approximate)
Language: English

 

Book Review:

“Bread of Tears”
A review by Patrick Stevens

“Bread of Tears” is at once engaging and unsettling. It’s not a “one read and done” collection. On my first pass through Nathaniel K. Rounds’ work, I found myself wondering just what had happened to Rounds to make him create such disjointed, almost crestfallen characters and imagery. It was like someone woke up Ezra Pound, made him read the collected works of Bukowski, and then dosed the guy with some serious depressants.

My first clue into Rounds’ motivations came with some research into the title. The phrase “bread of tears” is taken from Psalm 80. The verses around it say the following:

How long, Lord God Almighty, will your anger smolder against the prayers of your people? You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the bowlful. You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors, and our enemies mock us.

It was then that I began to understand the subjects of Rounds’ poetry. They are not the subjects of love, objects of affection, or esteemed champions of victory that are the subjects of so many poems before. They are not even the hard-working, salt of the earth people whose praises are sung throughout the verses of Whitman and others like him. In a way, they are not subjects of anything. They are people so defeated by life that they are never mentioned at all.

Understanding this, Rounds’ poems go from appearing disjointed and melancholy to pointed, unsettling, and often uncomfortable. From Dina the bloodied washerwoman to the overbearing Timothy Hay to the twins literally left to sea by their more accomplished brother, Rounds forces the reader to stare at the figures in the background of the painting and face the truth: the reason they are back there and not in the foreground is because their lives are so ugly, downtrodden and meaningless that we as polite observers of art would rather ignore them.

I was desperate for a moral center in the work. There had to be a moment, however brief, where Rounds gave me the lens through which to view these poems and not feel entirely disconsolate. With a good deal of relief, I found it in the poem Surreal Estate (Antic Loo, Antic Loo). In it, Rounds invites the reader to “Graciously barge through the/Sugar-coated throng/Of fair cousins speaking of the weather/To fair weather cousins/And punch holes/Through the local headlines”. In the end, he says, “All that remains/Is an empty pit/Coated with sugar”. So it is with the message of “Bread of Tears”.

The object of poetry, all too often, is to spread a coat of sugar over the world. It is not quite good enough to call a thing by its real name; some metaphoric replacement full of flowery adjectives must lie in its place on the page. Rounds is not afraid to call these things as they are; there is no hesitancy to deconstruct people, places and things to simply what they are. Trees stripped to their raw flesh, a Mossberg 12 gauge, a destroyed mud-caked piano – these are the sights to be seen.

“And the world is an upturned tree/Of repurposed copper coil and aluminum”, Rounds declares in The Garbage Tree. Seeing the world through the eyes of these cast-off people, one finds it hard to tell Rounds that he is wrong.

So what is there to say about “Bread of Tears”, in the end? It is stark, it is unsettling, and it is a place turned on its head by life itself. Yet somehow, as Rounds forces us to look at the rusted out corners of the world, we may just realize that these are the places unencumbered by congeniality, pleasantries, and all the other trite bullshit that makes our own lives often unbearable. Upon first glance at the people displayed within this collection, I felt sorry for their lots in life. Yet in the end, the one question I am left with is this: between them and me, who should really have my pity?

Patrick Stevens is an author, poet, and scriptwriter from New Jersey. His upcoming poetry collection, “Rebirth Under Dead Trees”, will be available from unbound CONTENT in the fall of 2012. His poetry has appeared in such journals as Assaracus, vox poetica, Ascent Aspirations, Breadcrumb Scabs, and Instigatorzine. Patrick was a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee for his poem “Calamity Rani”. His novel “The Spins” is currently available for download, and his short film “Last Call” will be featured in international film festivals in late 2012-2013. For more information, visit www.ThePatrickStevens.com.

Posted by: tsopr | May 15, 2012

Jovan Vuksanovich, Canadian Poet

Jovan Vuksanovich is a Canadian poet based in Montreal, Canada. For the past 7 years, he has been presenting his poetry mainly in Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa. In 2008, he recorded a CD of 9 of his poems entitled Deviant Melody. In October 2009, Jovan was invited to Warsaw, Poland as ‘Feature Poet’ (in English) to perform at 5 literary events over a two week period. Recordings of several performances can be viewed at www.youtube.com/rollingzenpoet .

Jovan’s poetry has been ascribed to the lineage of symbolists and surrealists, with cascading, provocative images oscillating between vivid imagined landscapes and bitter doses of reality. His poetry brings paradoxes to light through a noble rebellion cross-hatched with irreverent humour.

Featured Poetry

brand opia

bmw
range rover
mercedes benz
rendezvous to boast
who possess the most

tame bodies
tame brains
so tame tame
tame bodies
tame brains
so vain vain

I mercedes
lust of ladies
especially THAT one
boutique lovechild shopping for coco chanel
botox forehead
platinum highlights
nose job
bleached teeth
collagen lips
silicon tits
tummy tuck
liposuctioned ass
rolex wrist
obsessed by my logo since preteen
drive her and her girlfriend
everywhere
silent witness to their after hours sex in MY backseat
what gorgeous unsuspecting blonde accessories
complementing my champagne beige exterior
sleek lines
unrivaled power
elite class

bmw chimes
I’m no nickels and dimes
check out my stud striking a pose at the bar
corvoissier in hand
cartier cuff links
armani suit
boss shirt
versace tie
gucci shoes
cavalli cologne
cancun tanned face
oh my grinning urban narcissus
flashing my fog lights
revving my pistons
ramming my stick shift
burning rubber all the way down rodeo drive
so totally under MY spell
always takes me and trophy girl to the best restaurants
jockeys me right up front on the curb
blatantly flaunts my downtown sexy cool

bogus logos
look at me
range rover suv
you can’t compare THEM to MY love slave femme
look at her
ms. high maintenance
prada eyewear
lululemon form fitting yoga slims
pilates lean body
silver bellyring
golden retriever
corporate hubby
private school brats
I LOVE her endless surface
nouveau riche bravado
nowhere does she motor without ME regaling her pedigree

Yo!
what’s this?
class warfare?
I’m made in the shade cadillac escalade
white as blow
idling in front of a beverly hills starbucks
spinner hubcaps whirling like sparking diamond fans
check out MY hip hop antihero
projects diablo
wit da bling bling
strutting inside for his L.A. latte
scarface digs my dolby surround sound
smell of luxurious leather
narcotic for his ghetto pain
I just ride him everywhere
dominate his ass
mr. product placement himself worships the asphalt I roll on
I’m pope of pimps
heaven on wheels

ssshhhhhhhhhhhh
they’re coming back
act like objects

tame bodies
tame brains
so tame tame
tame bodies
tame brains
so vain vain

mindring

m i n d r i n n n n n n n n n n g
thought stop
b l o o d r u s h
brainword
b r e a k
b r e a k

dream wake
dream sleep
snakejaw s o r a w
moon silver
sky black
sky d e e p
d e e p
b l a c k
b l a c k

s o u n d s e e
green eye
brain snake
tongue slither
w e t
w e t
cry out
LOUD soft
s o f t
s o f t

clear hear
eyes shut
eyes open
space you me
wide open
w i d e r w i d e

gone image you
gone image me
gone sink
f a l l i n g
f a l l i n g
sink sink
f
a
l
l
i
n
g
gone
gone
d i s a p p e a r

skin sex soft
taste new wet
thrust trust
s l i d e i n s i d e
wake dream
hot wake
m o a n
m o a n
love pleasure again
m o r e m o r e
I you look you see s m i l e
I you look you see l a u g h
suck wet feel
love wet wet
soul suck tongue
d e e p
d e e p

s o u n d h o l l o w
blood blind
suck breath
life death
cradle birth
daily day
blood lip
most ghost
lonely open
l o n e l y
l o n e l y
o p e n
o p e n

hawk’s beak mind speak
ice child
lost
p a s t
p a s t
p a s t

follow lead
lead follow
mother tongue
old young
ash mind
corpse think
back dance
sexhead
rain blood
d o w n r a i n
d o w n d o w n
r e d r a i n

feel with
deep feel
joy happy
s l i d e i n s i d e
wet warm
wet love
I you play w o r d
I you deep l o o k
I you deep b r e a t h e
easy e a s e
s o e a s y e a s e

many too many mouth words
many too many low high low
many too many night sleep
many too many dream day
time
tick
time
tick
time
time
many too many time tick time
spinning round round
spirit me body me
come g o
g o

many too many days dead
many too many laugh cry face
again
again
many too many never again see
many too many
live die
die live
love no
love yes
again spinning
again
m o r e
m o r e
many too many
break heart
pain flesh flesh
m a n y t o o m a n y

dharma drums

anorexic idealists
anemic moralists
mummified dadaists
sterile surrealists
post modern hypochondriacs
mourning the death of an imaginary god

mama’s got dementia
rage in absentia
papa’s dead dead in his grave

cheap thrill hedonists
spotlight hooligans
mainstream hoopla
literary lickspittles
midair cliche collisions
parallel uni verses
carnage on the rampage page
whirling carousel of the damned

mama’s got dementia
rage in absentia
papa’s dead dead in his grave

gold diggers
fast cars
venus mars
bourgeois barbies
hollywood harpies
airbrushed mongrels
frozen souls in starched armani
low-rise high rollers
pussy-whipped sons of nuns
happy-go-lucky crucifix airheads
cult of celebrity spit lists
retro roulette
age of pimps
whores
sycophants
bores
drunken sailors on a ship of fools

mama’s got dementia
rage in absentia
papa’s dead dead in his grave

facelift jehova
botox redeemer
saintly psychosis
pious neurosis
priestly lust
ashes dust
pope opium with an epistle in his pants
ride ride cardinal jekyll
bishop hyde
parsifal awaits you
sporting anna sui eyeliner
christian dior rouges brilliant lipstick
sipping dom perignon at the grail castle after hours bar

mama’s got dementia
rage in absentia
papa’s dead dead in his grave

hell is for liars
no vacancy today
blink of an eye
madness reigns supreme
but look! look who’s dancing in the inferno!
holy rimbaud!
saddle the sabbath
gallop across satori savannahs
forget yesterday
remember tomorrow
french kiss buddha in his canary yellow
perched on eggshell blue
celebrate
celebrate
celebrate fate you irreverent few
forever creating the always new

mama’s got dementia
rage in absentia
papa’s dead dead in his grave

the new normal

never met a woman looks like you
eyes dark as night
mind
body
soul
so right
in love
so in love with you

girlfriends
boyfriends
husbands
wives
stop
smitten
transfixed
mesmerized by the sudden shock of you

conventional morality
sexual orientation
fall away like broken chains
men
women
equally aroused in your presence
heart pounding erotic freedom
raucous rebellion against the status quo

even God
the Devil
flee angels
demons
virtue vice
all heaven hell
mad mad fools at the sight of you
delirious devotees chasing after you

never met a woman thinks like you
innovative
creative
rapier wit
mocking vain intellectuals
zero tolerance for arrogant dogma thugs
yet listening deeply to genuine seekers of truth
supportive of their search
island of solace against alienation
chilling loneliness
inflicted on courageous exiles
who dare eat forbidden fruit
champion of free thinkers everywhere
in awe of you
respect you
totally in love with you

never met a woman smiles like you
laughs like you
moves like you
so alluring
enchanting
seductive
wicked
fun!
I dance
spin spin with you
entranced by you
out of control
drunk on you
inspired by you
in love
so in love with you
so wildly
insanely
ecstatically
in love with you

trailing scent of a hidden prey

whirlpool of deepening shadows
audacious call of the wild
masked mystery cloaked in randomly directed unspoken methodologies
spacious subterranean silence amid the constant clutter
clatter of everyday life
absence present
deadpan peepshow
rebellious clairvoyance eyeing the forest for the trees
tumultuous evocative whole
minus the bleating parts
we
without mine or yours
renegade thoughts rushing upward like mad niagaras
ancient cock eyed sun rising backwards in a bipolar west
setting defeated in a catatonic east
counterclockwise return to nowhere
androgynous sundial of blazing paradoxes
one pointed irrational arrows
speeding towards the ailing heart of staggering status quo
echoing dark side bowstring humming
humming
quieter
quieter
reverberating endlessly

look
see
smell
slippery underbelly of humanity’s slithering past
vanishing footprints of legless warriors
trailing scent of a hidden prey
seductive mirage of forgotten accusers
enemies of a recurring leap of faith
first hopeful cries of the last humans
painful memories of myopic sycophants fading
fading
sinking
sinking oblivious below waves of soothing amnesia
retreating murmurs of these blind deaf deniers
delirious with modernity’s malaria
feverish to the decaying marrow of disappearing yesterdays
ominous
like morbid laughter of hysterical circus clowns
innocent
like sudden death or miraculous birth
bewildering
like barking cats or grinning mules
shocking
like hard cold steel piercing pompous pride

beware the leopard skinned techno vampires
wandering lost the back roads of silicon valley
möbius strip teasers all
giddy giggling soul sucker brains
cliche graveyard gender blurred zombies
their awaiting tombstones begging fascist chisels
craving permanent goosestepping identities
roadside idiot savants swearing their pledge of allegiance to nobel prizefighters
warring in revolving octagons of irreversible fate

across the spinning globe
beyond forgotten hinterlands
light years below icy blinking stars
still further
towards an ancient meadow beyond the cyprus trees
twanging irreverent gypsy banjos
mocking bedouin moonlit crimes of fashion
lost senile arthritic cows stumbling on the rocky hillside of sinai

Copyright © 2012 Jovan Vuksanovich

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