Tom O’Bedlam Reads Poems.

According to Wiki:
The term “Tom O’Bedlam” was used in Early Modern Britain and later to describe beggars and vagrants who had or feigned mental illness (see also Abraham-men). They claimed, or were assumed, to have been former inmates at the Bethlem Royal Hospital (Bedlam). It was commonly thought that inmates were released with authority to make their way by begging, though this is probably untrue. If it happened at all the numbers were certainly small, though there were probably large numbers of mentally ill travellers who turned to begging, but had never been near Bedlam. It was adopted as a technique of begging, or a character. For example, Edgar in King Lear disguises himself as mad “Tom O’Bedlam”.
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Gold: (PoeimaPoetry) A New Book Of Poetry by Barbara Crooker.


Barbara Crooker’s poems have appeared in magazines such as The Green Mountains Review, The Hollins Critic, The Christian Science Monitor, Smartish Pace, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Nimrod, The Denver Quarterly, The Tampa Review, Poetry International, The Christian Century, America and anthologies such as The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Good Poems for Hard Times (Viking Penguin), Boomer Girls (University of Iowa Press), and Commonwealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (Penn State University Press). She is the recipient of the 2007 Pen and Brush Poetry Prize, the 2006 Ekphrastic Poetry Award from Rosebud, the 2004 WB Yeats Society of New York Award, the 2004 Pennsylvania Center for the Book Poetry in Public Places Poster Competition, the 2003 Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, the 2003 “April Is the Cruelest Month” Award from Poets & Writers, the 2000 New Millenium Writing’s Y2K competition, the 1997 Karamu Poetry Award, and others, including three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, fifteen residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; a residency at the Moulin a Nef, Auvillar, France; and a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. A thirty-two time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and five time nominee for Best of the Net, she was a 1997 Grammy Awards Finalist for her part in the audio version of the popular anthology, Grow Old Along With Me–The Best is Yet to Be (Papier Mache Press). Her books are Radiance, which won the 2005 Word Press First Book competition and was a finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize; Line Dance, which came out from Word Press in 2008 and won the 2009 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence; More (C&R Press, 2010); and Gold (Cascade Books, a division of Wipf and Stock, in their Poeima Poetry Series, 2013). Her poetry has been read on the BBC, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company), and by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. She has read her poems in the Poetry at Noon series at the Library of Congress, in Auvillar, France, and many other venues.,

Barbara Crooker appeared frequently in the old Poetry Life & Times over the last decade & at present her works can be viewed at the New Poetry Life & Times   I am pleased to introduce yet another and her latest book of poems, which has already received good reviews, so there is little more that I can add to that.


Boron from the Big Bang, “Periodic Table of Poetry” poem from Chicago poet Janet Kuypers

Boron from the Big Bang

Janet Kuypers

from the “Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#005, B)

The Higgs boson,
the Higgs particle.
The God particle,
as some have called it.
It’s an elusive
elementary particle
theorized about
for nearly half a century.

They call it the God particle
because it might have created
all matter.

You see, scientists
are trying to figure out
how the Big Bang
started to evolve.
You see, the theory
is that all of the universe’s energy
was created
from this massive explosion
But the question remains:
how did any
of that energy
turn into matter?

Because during the first
few minutes of our universe
after the Big Bang,
the temperature was so hot,
that it was too hot
for any binding energy
that could have supported
any matter, even hydrogen
or it’s isotope deuterium.
With temperatures so hot,
this bottleneck
delayed the formation of anything
until the universe
was cool enough
to make anything
out of anything.

But just a few minutes
after the Big Bang,
elements burst forth,
because the universe
suddenly got cool enough.
But at twenty minutes
after the Big Bang,
the universe was suddenly
TOO cool for nuclear fusion
or nucleosynthesis,
and THAT is when elemental
abundances were nearly fixed…

That means
hydrogen, helium
and trace anounts
of lithium, beryllium
and Boron
were the elements formed
in those first three minutes
of the Big Bang.
(Sorry, any elements
starting at carbon or higher
were only formed
after stars were around
to create them.)

…So the creation
of matter out of energy
during the formation
of this universe
only happened
in an insanely brief period
of the universe’s history.
Was it just
the insanely hot temperature
in this insanely short period
that did it?

And what does this
have to do with
the Higgs boson particle anyway?

Well, scientists believe
this Higgs particle is a part
of the Higgs field,
an invisible field of energy
throughout the entire universe.
That Higgs particle
interacts with whatever energy
passes through the Higgs field.
And with this interaction,
massless particles,
they trade their energy
to gain mass
when passing through.

And this Higgs field,
in the beginning of the universe,
helped create matter.

Which helped create us.

Higgs helped create matter,
including the first elements
in the universe,
from hydrogen
to the comparatively heavy

five electrons is heavy
in the formation of the universe.

Yeah, Boron,
which helps keep our bones strong.
Boron treats osteoarthritis.
Boron builds muscles,
and when it comes to
trying to understand this science,
it even improves our thinking skills.

We’ve known of Boron
for thousands of years,
from the deserts in Tibet,
or from China in glazes
through to Persia
before it got to Italy,
where it was used
for medical purposes.

Well, knowing how long
we’ve used Borax for cleaning,
or even that Boron’s used
to make the strongest
magnet ever made,
it’s nice to know
that we also understand
how much this
is vital in everything in our lives,
from our muscles and bones
to the very creation of the universe.

Yeah, it’s cool to see
how scientists
are starting to piece together
how matter came to be
in this universe,
because without that Higgs field,
and without that Higgs particle,
energy would never
have turned into
to create any


or even create us.

To a Young Marble Aphrodite.Prologue: 1. Translation of Thierry Guinhut Sonnets by Jo-Elle



C’était il y a dix ans : ou ce marbre ou ta vue…
Tête blonde étudiant aussi l’agrégation,
Tu me troublas. Seuls des mots ourlés d’émotions
Attardèrent tes traits, durant des mois diffus,

En mon ambre mémoire. Où je te revois mieux
En cette Aphrodite capitoline aimée
Qui s’impose à mon art, qui coiffe mes sonnets,
Emprunte ton visage et l’approche des dieux.

Transposant en l’IPhone aventure ténue,
Ces vers entre âge mûr et ta jeune étincelle
Où j’invente piano, amant et entrevues,

Il me faut te chanter sans prénom retenu.
Marbre si pur du temps et Muse fictionnelle,
Où est la faille abrupte ? Au langage, au réel ?

Thierry Guinhut

To a young marble Aphrodite


It was ten years ago: either this marble or your sight …
Fair head also studying the agrégation,
You moved me. Only emotion hemmed words
Lingered your features, during diffuse months,

Within my amber memory. Where I see you better
In this beloved Capitoline Aphrodite
Who enforces my art, who covers my sonnets,
Borrow your face and approach it to the gods.

Transposing in the iPhone a tenuous adventure,
These verses between middle age and your young spark,
Where I invent piano, lover and encounters,

I must celebrate you without remembered name.
Marble so pure of time and fictional Muse,
Where is the steep fault? In language, in reality?


L’ossature sensible aux tempes et au front,
Le crâne si mortel sous la diaphane peau,
Le regard hirondelle ont la pudeur du beau :
Caresser l’idéal, mes respects le sauront.

Praxitèlienne icône en blondeur incarnée,
Où charmer l’impossible, où les Moires calmer,
Pulpe d’ardeur sensuelle, hellénistique don,
Constante cosmologique et joie sans affront…

Or saurais-je, enthousiaste, à la sculpture absente,
Immobile, des seins, leur tendresse et frisson,
Mieux offrir que grise esquisse pour vie décente ?

Au souffle d’intellect, à ce marbre plastique,
J’offre Amour distillé, sa promesse lyrique :
Pour l’ourlet de ta lèvre et l’esprit de ton front.
Thierry Guinhut


The sensible frame at the temples and forehead,
The skull so deadly under diaphanous skin,
The swallow-like gaze have beauty’s modesty:
An ideal to caress, my respects will know how to.

Praxitelian icon in fairness embodied,
Where to charm the impossible, where to calm the Fates,
Pulp of sensual ardour, hellenistic gift,
Cosmological constant and joy without affront…

But could I enthusiastically to the missing sculpture,
Still, of breasts’ tenderness and quiver,
Offer better than grey sketch of decent life?

To the breath of intellect, to this plastic marble,
I offer distilled Love, its lyrical promise :
For the hem of your lips and the spirit of your forehead.

Thierry Guinhut, born in Poitiers, France, in 1956, is an art and literary critic, who has frequently contributed to the journals Art Press, Calamar, La République des Lettres, La Revue des Deux Mondes, Encres Vagabondes and Edelweiss. Lately, his articles researching literature in foreign languages have appeared in Le Matricule des Anges, Europe and L’Atelier du roman. He has also exhibited his photography of the ponds of la Brenne and la Montagne Noire (The Black Mountain), and has held vernissages of his paintings and collages he calls “geographical triptychs”. His photograph, Le Marais poitevin (The Poitiers Marsh), well received by the press, was acclaimed winner of le Grand prix Hippolyte Bayard de Photographie 1991 (The Hippolyte Bayard Grand Prize in Photography 1991), earning him his place among the 70 modern Masters of Right Brain Left Brain Photography (Amphoto, New York, 1994). As a prose writer, he is working on a huge “polymorphous” novel, La République des rêves (The Republic of Dreams), and another novel, Les Métamorphoses de Vivant (The Metamorphoses of one’s Life), which is a mixture of fantasy, social criticism and philosophical dialogue. We are publishing a few of his lovely sonnets in his series, À une jeune Aphrodite de marbre (To a Young Aphrodite in Marble) from his anthology, Muses Academy, TBP. For more information, visit his blog,



Jo-Elle (re-)discovered writing very recently, when an accident put her professional career on hold for two months. She has been writing poems since, mostly to learn English as a member of, but her best poems are in her mother tongue.
An analytical mind and an eternal learner, she writes about any subject, from nature to the human condition, which she observes from a detached point of view, and even more so when the subject is close to her heart.


Why Me by Seymour Shubin a Review

Why Me

In 1953, Seymour Shubin published his first novel, Anyone’s My Name. It was a New York Times bestseller, published in numerous international editions and taught in college courses on both literature and criminology. Subsequently, Shubin wrote more than a dozen other novels.

The effect on me of Anyone’s my Name and other Shubin novels  was more like Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart”. The struggle inside the mind of the killer predominates Anyone’s my Name and has stuck in my mind like the beating of that heart. Shubin stays with you and you know you haven’t read just a crime novel. He portrays the inner thoughts of a character and makes them your thoughts. That can be disturbing and enlightening. That’s literature. Anyone’s My Name and The Captain don’t leave me. They don’t stay where you put them, they don’t stay in their genre.

Rod Lott says, “Few writers can make you feel that kind of pain.”

Why Me is a book of poems, Seymour Shubin’s first glimpse into his life which began in 1921. These poems give us a glimpse of growing up in the Great Depression. They are free of the feeling of wading through it poesy. They are personal, autobiographic, and downright readable.

The storyteller manages to tell a story in each poem, a tiny little story that is a glimpse of his life, little snapshots like tiny books in a nutshell. “Cod Liver Oil” is such a poem. His parents gave him a nickel for drinking cod liver oil. He put his nickels in a “bank”.

But then one day my father
came home and announced
that the bank was one of many banks
that had “failed”
in the Depression
we were living in.
And my money was gone,
along with a lot of other people’s money.

I never drank cod liver oil
after that.

In a poem called  “The Reunion”,  Shubin ends with:

And his sister, she’d had such pain,
is she smiling again?
But do they even know
that I am
I leave a stone in case they do.

As he does in his novels, Shubin takes you into his thoughts and you get a glimpse of the alter ego in the books but, once again, it’s the storytelling that makes these poems stand out. The dude can write.

A poem called “Half Ball” sent me scurrying to Google and Wiki. Stickball is played with a ball up and down the street. Half ball can be played from curb to curb and has imaginary runners. The poem has images of this game interlaced with the death of one of the “kids”. Glimpses, memories which make you want another.
Says Steve Hussy in his introduction, “Why Me communicates complex ideas with simplicity. As a result, it’s yet another form of writing that Seymour Shubin has mastered.”
Why Me is a book of poems published by Murder Slim Press. By their own admission, “This is the first –and probably the last– poetry collection we’ll publish at Murder Slim Press.” Actually I adore their name and think it’s the perfect name for modern poetry but I also admire their business sense. They published it because it was so damn good. Now ain’t that a hoot!

It’s simplicity, honesty, and straightforward storytelling that count in a poem. The poems in Why Me are autobiographical, personal, and give us a glimpse inside Seymour Shubin. I read it in one sitting and now seem to pick it up and open it at a random place, “Oh I remember that one.”

Bravo Mr Shubin Bravo. You captured me again. More!

david michael jackson