Poetry from Daniel de Culla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CROW AND THE CAT

          The one was flying and the other walking, when the crow saw a parish garden behind a wall with cabbages and Brussels sprouts, resting on it and telling the cat, who stopped and stared at him:

-What good cabbages are here, don cat.

          The cat approached the crow hiding his desire to extend a scratch, saying:

-For with bird bacon.

          The raven noticing his purpose, wagged his wings, and flew to the parish garden behind the wall.

-Daniel de Culla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel de Culla is a writer, poet, and photographer. He’s member of the Spanish Writers Association, Earthly Writers International Caucus, Poets of the World, (IA) International Authors, Surrealism Art, Friends of The Blake Society, and others. Director of Gallo Tricolor Review, and Robespierre Review. He participated in many Festivals of Poetry, and Theater in Madrid, Burgos, Berlin, Minden, Hannover and Genève .He has exposed in many galleries from Madrid, Burgos, London, and Amsterdam. He is moving between North Hollywood, Madrid and Burgos; e-mail: gallotricolor@yahoo.com

 

Poetry by John Grochalski

the movie ticket cashier has a window

into the deepest fears resting in my soul

 

the movie ticket cashier

sells me a senior citizen ticket

at the age of forty-four

 

this chipper grim reaper

senses the stench of death on me

 

and all it’s worth to him

 

is his cheap smile

and a six-dollar discount.

 

the bather

 

he flushes the toilet

in the public men’s room

more than a dozen times

 

he’s usually in there

a good forty minutes

 

there is generally a line by then

 

an angry-faced mob of men

checking their watches

and doing their pee-pee dance

 

when he finally comes out

his long hair is slicked back

and the beard is gleaming

 

a layer of new york city dirt

is gone from his chapped face

 

the crowd parts for him like the red sea

 

they let him walk back out

into the glare of the sun and the street

 

before turning back to each other

like red-faced idiots

 

with no clue

who was supposed

to get to use the restroom next.

 

the bottle collectors

 

the bottle collectors

are outside my window

riffling through the garbage

 

as i sit in this chair with a hangover

 

they rattle their treasures unmercifully

they’re loud enough to wake the dead

 

i think of all of the years of drinking

 

all of the bottles and cans that i emptied

and threw away like they were nothing

 

hangovers that have become

a goldmine for someone else

 

then i fart loudly into the void

 

and stumble off

to get my broke ass

ready for work.

 

from near the verrazzano-narrows bridge,

jogging, a complaint about the weather, etc.

 

i’m still doing this, why?

dragging myself out of the door at seven in the morning

 

to face the calamity of cars

and high school students

and parents and wailing babies

 

smiling, waxen fellow joggers who feel compelled to wave

 

and dogs who’d rip me apart like captured carrion

should i stumble before their wooly, jagged muzzles

 

what should i think?

that vanity must be the last refuge of a scoundrel

 

i feel scandalous

in an ill-fitting t-shirt

my booze belly hanging over ill-fitting shorts

sweat pouring off of me

 

sore knees and sore shoulder

dying unnaturally in the unnatural heat of april

 

for that matter

where has the spring gone?

 

it comes for a week now

spreads its allergic seeds

and then the summer chases it out of the house

as if it were a philandering prick

 

even the tulips bend under the burden of the sun

 

and the verrazzano-narrows bridge

looks molten in the blood-red haze

 

like it too wants

to give up the game

collapse into the cold belly of the atlantic ocean

 

and drift away as if a dried leaf

leftover from an autumn

that last winter was unable to swallow.

 

thinking about mt. washington (pittsburgh)

 

been a long time

since i thought about cruising mt. washington

 

young, blurry nights behind the wheel

with calvin and steve and colby

 

reckless with cheap beer and cigarettes

and the immortality of a fool

 

as pittsburgh glowed below us

spent from our revelry on humid summer nights

 

chasing women with stale inuendo

 

then going home alone to porn magazines

drunken, horny lotharios with nothing to show for it

but sore wrists and tissue paper

 

before passing out

 

then hours later

leaning over a toilet bowl

convulsing with the morning’s vomitous hangover

 

memory’s cheap regret

and the body’s rancor making us shiver

 

yet planning on calling all of the fellows later

to trade war stories over the evening’s first pint

 

and do it all again.

 

I am a published writer whose poetry has appeared your journal as well as in several online and print publications including:  Red Fez, Rusty Truck, Outsider Writers Collective, Underground Voices, The Lilliput Review, The Main Street Rag, Zygote In My Coffee, The Camel Saloon, and Bartleby Snopes.  I am the author four books of poetry The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch (Six Gallery Press, 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Press, 2014), and The Philosopher’s Ship (Alien Buddha Press, 2018).  I am also the author of the novels, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press, 2013) and Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press, 2016).

Poetry from Denis Emorine

 

Author Denis Emorine

Author Denis Emorine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I beg your pardon Carmen

for crying more and more

remembering your pain

after his death.

 

22 y.o.

You were so young Carmen

and so pretty

I definitely love you Carmen

but you are dead

while I try to stay alive

with your ghosts

they  are mine now

forever and ever

till my death

but you are not guilty

please believe me

I would like to remain your

little boy

nestled in your arms

like a born kitten

covered in blood

your blood

*

 

Carmen

I am your motherless child

give me your sorrow one more time

Please try again

I (just?) want to be strong for you

only for you Carmen

don’t look at my face now

never

I want to be stronger

even if I am a weak person

as you probably know

Carmen

Carmen

give me your sorrow

nothing else

I beg you

on bended knee

*

 

 Beloved Carmen

life is  a black hole

without you

I would like to hear your voice again

closer to me

and your blow on my cheeks

and on my lips

I would like to forget your name

and my pain

I have loved you for a long time

in vain

today

I can’t reach you any more

with my tenderness

Beloved Carmen

the piano is dead

gone

definitely gone

*

 

Too often

the sky is grey inside me

closer to my heart

beating too fast

I was born on a windy day

the snow was falling in high flakes

inside my head

I always have a headache

thinking of the past

 

Time goes by

life is a clepsydra

*

 

Carmen

Thinking of you

is so difficult

but I can’t forget you

Facing your grave

makes me cry

Give me your arms again!

I don’t want to be a wise man

just follow your steps

right till the end

*I wish I were dead

could you understand

but

I don’t want to upset you

What to do?

*

Carmen

my sweet fairy

I remember your words in English

my mother’s tongue

the  music of my childhood

that I both hate and love

Sometimes I should love

to lose the French tongue

keeping  you closer to me

but this is an illusion

It’s so hard loving you now

crossing the beyond

*

 

Living with you

was a fairy tale sometimes

Now

I can’t reach you

my arms are too weak

and  evanescent

is your shadow

*

 

Carmen

so difficult

to find the rights words

to remember you

even in French

Doors are double-locked

Sweet Lady

I need your arms

to live a little bit

please don’t abandon me!

*

 

Words

only words

that’s all

Words

only words

nothing else

but

believe me

silence is better

silence

and your smile forever

*

 I would like

to have

a heart of gold

or

preferably

I would have liked

to have one

but it’s too late

I am now living

with  fear

with

fear

*

 

 Carmen

how deep

was your pain

how deep

is mine

thinking of you

Carmen

you are my love

but

you are dead

d

e

a

d

….

*

 Give me your arms again

to fight against death

your death

*

 

Carmen

sweet Carmen

give me your Cross again

I know it’s useless

but who cares?

this is a pact between

you and me

Sometimes

I feel misunderstood

since you’ve been gone

*

 

February, 28, 2018

 

Today

I’m 62 y.o.

Nothing else

White  my hair

and my heart

I try to live as well

oh yes

I would like

to be stronger

with death in my sights

*

 

 Hold me tight

sweet Lady

my life

is hanging into the balance

I’m always complaining

since you are dead

I am unable to

put one  foot in front of the other

my life sways

and sways

*

 

I stay

your dreamy boy

at least I try

in memory of you

but

it’s over

life fled

*

 

Carmen

What could I add to my pain?

I have nothing to say

I’m unable to shout

neither in French

nor in English

Sadness has no language

you probably know

Give me your own words

to fight again!

*

 

 I’m shivering

because I’m  coward

I beg your pardon

Mother

Is it enough?

Obviously not

I was expecting you

Maman

 

*

 Sweet Maman

my love remains the same

but

this is a song of death

how could I express

my pain?

 

Carmen

I want to forget your name

because I’m facing the past

but

whatever happens

I can’t

I can’t… 

Day is over

night is over

and

the world is closed

* 

 

Où es-tu Carmen

où te caches-tu?

Il y a si longtemps

que je suis à ta recherche

Il y a eu trop de sang dans ta vie

et trop  de douleur aussi

tu ne m’entends pas hurler

depuis que tu es morte

je ne retrouve plus

le chemin de ta tombe

je suis démembré

I don’t want to play hide and seek anymore

I miss you sweet Lady

*

 

Denis Emorine  is a French writer. He was born in 1956 in Paris. He has an emotional attachment to English because his mother was an English teacher. He is of Russian ancestry on his father’s side. Writing, for Emorine, is a way of harnessing time in its incessant flight. Themes that re-occur throughout his writing include the Doppelgänger, lost or shattered identity, and mythical Venice (a place that truly fascinates him). He also has a great interest for Eastern Europe.

His theatrical output has been staged in France, Canada (Quebec)  and Russia. Many of his books (short stories, plays, poetry) have been published in Greece, Hungary, Romania, South Africa, and the United States.

His first novel La mort en berne , 5 Sens éditions, was published in Switzerland, in 2017.

An English translation Death at Half-Mast is forhcoming in the USA https://www.experimentalfiction.com/

In 2015, Denis Emorine was awarded the Naji Naaman Literary Prize Lebanon (honor prize for complete work)

For more informations, go on his website  http://denis.emorine.free.fr/ul/english/accueil.htm

 

Cristina Deptula reviews Magdalena Garcia’s poetry collection ‘The Madness Inside My Head’

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Magdalena Garcia’s The Madness Inside My Head

 Magdalena Garcia is complex. Her new collection The Madness Inside my Head celebrates romantic love and raw sensuality while confronting us with the domestic violence and cruelty she has endured. She’s got determination to live and to care for her children, whom she makes a definite priority and refers to as ‘kings and queens.’ For their sake, and her own, she speaks out about child abuse and intimate violence, about looking to men hoping for the care and love she never found from her father as a child.

As many people may ask, ‘why didn’t she just leave?’ she replies, tellingly, in a poem: ‘bad love was better than no love at all.’

She encourages and patiently waits for loved ones to get help with their substance abuse problems and criticizes the damage she sees drug and alcohol abuse doing to those around her. Yet she acknowledges that she herself has struggled with an addiction – sex. Perhaps this shared experience is a source of compassion for her, helps her to love those around her who are addicted while still hoping that they get the help they need to change their behaviors.  

Also, a poem in the ‘Bad’ section suggests that she herself has not always been entirely honest with everyone in her dating life, and she can now own up to that without hiding it. That is courage – that she’s no longer afraid, not of the brutal men who have hurt her, or of being alone, or even of owning up to her own past. She can now revel in beauty and strength, her own, and that of her mixed Puerto Rican-Black heritage.

The Madness Inside My Head is conversational, with punctuation and varying sentence lengths. Garcia’s writing expands to reveals the depth of her pain and solitude when she’s got nothing but uncomfortable time to think, and bursts forth in staccato exclamations to highlight the urgency of her survival instinct during immediate danger. At other times, particularly in the first section, her rich, flowing language revels in passion and pride. She now knows the difference between an abusive situation and a mutually consensual, caring relationship, and has the resources to be able to choose the latter with joy.

There’s a trajectory towards hope in Garcia’s story: she leaves, or throws out, the men who harm her, realizes ‘there’s therapy in her future’ and becomes okay with that, sets up a safe and caring home for herself and her children, and gets the medical help she needs to live a healthier life. Yet, not every poem reflects that movement towards hope. At times, several poems in a row convey nothing but fear, rage, and graphic images of violence. This is realistic in that there are moments in life when we feel hopeless, and Garcia lets us sit with that.

And, Garcia honors the struggle of her fellow domestic violence survivors by refusing to allow her story to seem a simple and straightforward path towards healing. It’s not always so easy to ‘just leave,’ and she isn’t putting out a step by step guide for everyone, because that doesn’t exist. The book isn’t organized as a chronological memoir, but rather in sections: the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So, rather than leaving on a note of definite, prescriptive, expected triumph, we see the hope at the beginning, which draws us into the story and makes the book more approachable. Then the book reveals the life Garcia has survived, making her joy and pride all the more compelling.

The collection ends, as indicated, with the ugliest, most brutal parts of her story, leaving readers uneasy in a way that echoes the lived experience of many survivors. Overcoming domestic violence isn’t always a linear journey, but can involve making many attempts to finally end a recurring cycle of mistreatment.

I recommend this collection for all adults, not just survivors of abuse, but those who wish to deepen their empathy for those who have survived challenges of all sorts. Magdalena Garcia has a rich, thoughtful, and strong voice and is capable of deft writing on a wide range of moods and themes, and I would love to see more from her.

The Madness Inside my Head can be ordered here. 

Poetry from Diarmuid o Maolalai

Primary colours.

 

the mountains

were blue all over

and the grass was green

and white clouds

cast without shadow;

this picture

so simple, like a child

with poster paint, and sometimes

there really

are no words for the countryside

beyond speaking slowly

in primary colours.

 

we sat together

on the sheet

wooden pine, unvarnished since winter

and staining

with sunlight,

drinking our coffee

and eating

oatmeal toast

and marmalade. looking down,

across the hill

which made a lawn

and on which the grass flowed

windblown,

like the surface

of a rolling sea. one car, a silver fin,

patrolled the roadline, gifting us

with easy demarcation;

 

a way to decide

the end of land

and the beginning

of landscape

you can’t touch.

Continue reading

Poetry from Bethany Pope

Passport

Some people never leave their own backyards,

not really, not in any way that matters.

Even if they get the visa, get on the plane,

they land in Nanchang airport with a year’s worth

of purified water and dehydrated

North American-style macaroni;

fifty aluminium packets of fake cheese.

This kind of person only sees the cracks

in the cement, only notices flaws,

blind to all but the myth of their own country —

a dream of some imagined, singular greatness.

I’d offer to take them out for breakfast

porridge: ground rice, spiced beef, tender slices

of peanut and garlic, served out of

a terracotta urn the height of a child,

but they’d never agree to it and I

lack the patience. Besides, they never last,

not for long, and I’m enjoying my time.

The Undiscovered Country

There’s an unbroken blue sky underneath

the weak-plated shell of my cranium.

Lying on my stomach, beneath that sky

(those skies)

hooking my fingers into the scree

of loose, golden sandstone at the edge of a cliff,

I can peer down into the rotting green breath of the earth

which seeps up from between the fat, dry lips of the crevice.

Tree-tips, curling, fern-like and ancient,

push themselves up from their secret, fertile roots

— just within brushing-reach of my fingers.

This forest has been growing in me for a very long time.

I cannot trace the trunks to the bottom of the loam.

There are animals, possibly monsters, moving,

down there in the dark.

Millions of them, swarming.

Occasionally, I’ll glimpse a flash of bright fur, or

the spark of a scale. I can hear them,

circling the branch-strained remnants of light,

calling,

calling to me,

‘Come home! Come home! Come home!’

and I grip the parched, craving lips of the earth,

until my nails tear and bleed,

clinging to this sunlit, imaginary safety,

to keep myself from jumping.

It gets harder, every day,

to resist.

Bethany W Pope has won many literary awards and published several novels and collections of poetry. Nicholas Lezard, writing for The Guardian, described Bethany’s latest book as ‘poetry as salvation’…..’This harrowing collection drawn from a youth spent in an orphanage delights in language as a place of private escape.’ She currently lives and works in China.