Mini Poems Chapter 2 el al by Michael T. Smith.

Chapter 2

Moving forward, I want my disease to be my companion,
so she can help me write my canon.

Eclipse

I borrowed the eyes of an eclipse,
to wink Eden under the table,

I saw a secret, which is to say –
I didn’t see it:

to borrow eyes from not a friend, but Mother
Nature,

to see what I can’t see unseen.

Gunshot romance

There’s a girl sitting next to me,
belongs in a Tarantino movie.
But I’m not dodging bullets;
I’m only dodging a longshot kiss.

How Terrifying…

How terrifying death is
in the middle of a thought.
My eyes wanted to slam shut
such that they could defend
against what I know not.

Kindness

Sometimes human kindness
to one another
is so short
as to be nonexistent.

Nausea

There is nothing more repulsive
than the smiling photo of a politician
in their ad,
those papers glued to surfaces many,
like a parasite —
those who themselves are but a surface plenty.

Waterfall

I want my thoughts
to descend
like a waterfall,
such that the droplets form
an image of you.

When…

When every word you’ve used
Too much —
It’s a hollowed word,
Sans thought.


Word Map of a Cat on a Mat

Putting the indexes out,
I saw the cat,
Sleeping with torso outstretched
While I, unheimlich, rushed to and fro;
On a mat, it sat — in peace,
And I said sighing, what I want is that.


 
 


 
Bio:
 
Michael T. Smith is an Assistant Professor of English who teaches both writing and film courses. He has published over 150 pieces (poetry and prose) in over 80 different journals. He loves to travel.
 
 
 
 

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

PALM LEAVES. A Poem by Abigail Ayornu

The beautiful leaves lingering like a genius
With its branches having an earring
As the fruits ripe
Her appetite whets to eat the fruits of her labour
Is like a youth springing to maturity
With all her sparkling features
Having hairs on the stem is natural
As it unveils the beauty of womanhood
Not to talk of the roots
Having meritable feets
Standing in one location
Trapped in the middle of the forest
 

 
 
Bio: Abigail Ayornu is a Ghanaian and student of the University of Cape Coast offering B.A English and linguistics. She is a writer of short stories and has recently written poems for 2020 namely: Palm leaves et al.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Chores & Crickets. Two Poems by Kushal Poddar

 
Chores
 
The humdrum of humble chores
hunted by us both
because the syllables,
stressed and unstressed, of gardening,
dusting, washing, doing the dishes
or fluffing those instruments of sleep
lullabies our nervous system.
 
“Which song did your great grandparents
sing during the old pestilence?”
You shake your head. The scattered music
migrated to the concentration camp of Lethe.
 
During shoveling snow that swirls
to sheath
the ground beneath for the first time since
the glacial maximum I discover
my grandmother’s canticle – half ember,
half skeletal, some canary’s bones
asleep in its circle.
 
Crickets
 
Crickets mark the absence of silence
or noise, and the wailing sirens.
We count them pass
as if they carry silence
in body bags.
 
“One.”, I say in a singsong way;
“And two.” You croon. The lullaby
or the urgency of sirens
burkes the insects; something
gnaws the roof, makes one itch
to touch the ceiling
with his tongue and to lick
it clean.
 
If you think we’ve lost our minds
welcome to the house of quarantine;
the border of the lands all indoor,
we play with our chores to stay sane.
One flipped and crossed the border.
We are yet to hear the rests.
Something gnaws the roof. I hope it has life.
 
 

 
 
Edited the online magazine ‘Words Surfacing’. Authored ‘The Circus Came To My Island’ (Spare Change Press, Ohio), A Place For Your Ghost Animals (Ripple Effect Publishing, Colorado Springs), Understanding The Neighborhood (BRP, Australia), Scratches Within (Barbara Maat, Florida), Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems (BRP, Australia) and Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems (Hawakal Publishers, India) and now Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse-A Prequel (Alien Buddha Press)
 
Author Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/KushalTheWriter/
Author Page amazon.com/author/kushalpoddar_thepoet
Twitter- https://twitter.com/Kushalpoe
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Dying with the Evening Gown. A Poem by Fabrice B. Poussin

 

Standing before the long mirror she wondered
to hide this nakedness in the dark of fancy velour
or to wrap those limbs in worn out denim.
 
Cocktails to be served at five in the eve
in a room ornate with illustrious chandeliers
imported crystals shining of artificial suns.
 
Boasting pearls, diamonds and rubies she descended
princess among royalty in make believe worlds
her breast heaved with the power of intimate convictions.
 
A deep breath held within her chest
pleading for patience in a room stuffed with smoke
pretenses and empty vanity she dreamed of freedom.
 
Perhaps another would appear rejected next door
too attached to the liberty of youthful years
choosing instead to shred the tuxedos of success.
 
She imagines herself atop desolate islands
near and far without lace, precious metals or fame
free in a white shroud dedicated to the world.
 
Mingling with the semblances of peers
they brush against the pure skin of her innocence
unable to make contact as she continues to the gates.
 
A gaze constant upon the abandoned domains
her soul smiles for she steps into her dream
made of pains joys and true healings.
 
Without a look back to those well-dressed ghosts
she shed the million-dollar evening gown
to enter as upon her birth within a fitting kingdom.
 
 

 
 
Fabrice B. Poussin is the advisor for The Chimes, the Shorter University award winning poetry and arts publication. His writing and photography have been published in print in the United States and abroad. He teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, La Pensee Universelle, Paris, and other art and literature magazines, where he has also featured here at Poetry Life and Times & Artvilla.com. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Approach. Audio Textual Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop

Robin Ouzman Hislop is on line Editor at Poetry Life & Times at Artvilla.com. His numerous appearances include Cold Mountain Review (Appalachian University, N.Carolina), The Honest Ulsterman, Cratera No 3 and Aquillrelle’s Best. His publications are collected poems All the Babble of the Souk, Cartoon Molecules, Next Arrivals & Moon Selected Audio Textual Poems. A translation from Spanish of poems by Guadalupe Grande Key of Mist and Carmen Crespo Tesserae, the award winning (X111 Premio César Simón De Poesía), in November 2017 these works were presented in a live performance at The International Writer’s Conference hosted by the University of Leeds. UK. A forthcoming publication of collected poems Off the Menu is expected in 2020

You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

BlackMan Sitting on the Rock. Essay & Poem by Aberjhani

BlackMan Sitting on the Rock of American History

(1992 edition of the African American Review featuring Harlem Renaissance artist William H. Johnson’s 1944 oil painting “Moon Over Harlem.”)

Some people like to say history is repeating itself when we experience extreme events similar, or almost identical, to incidents which have occurred before. I prefer to think of history as a teacher who gives us repeated opportunities to correct ourselves.

Take, for example, the protests and riots which have followed the death of African-American George Floyd after white American police officer Derek Chauvin took an unpatriotic knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck. It was something much of America’s diverse population found almost impossible to comprehend following recent killings of two other African Americans: Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.

The riots themselves bring to mind the Red Summer of 1919, when tensions created by years of lynchings, chronic unemployment, population migrations, and Jim Crow apartheid exploded in the form of riots all over America. What happened in the 1960s and 1970s (not to mention the 1992 Los Angeles riots) is also well-known.

We like to believe the dominant theme of American History is the quest for a practice of freedom framed within refined concepts of democracy. And that may very well be so. But such a noble theme becomes meaningless without mindfully recognizing the need to always strive for equal rights and opportunities for all of the country’s culturally unique communities We are aware of the errors of racism, sexism, and other regressive isms of the past. Over the centuries, our good teacher history has sat us down, or sometimes made us stand up, and pay closer attention to how and why we can and must: do better to get democracy right.

The image shared with this post was previously included in a visual bibliography shared on Facebook. It is the cover of a well-preserved 1992 copy of The African American Review featuring Harlem Renaissance artist William H. Johnson’s 1944 oil painting “Moon Over Harlem.” Johnson’s painting is eerily similar to too many real-life scenes experienced this year alone.

My poem “Blackman Sitting on a Rock” was published in the review and reads like this:

BLACKMAN SITTING ON A ROCK
(from I Made My Boy Out of Poetry)

madness like a sugarcoated bruise
paints your face the same
color as frozen lava.

affection is a dead angel
adding up history’s betrayals
in the center of your soul’s ponderings.

your smile a poem
sung in languages
you have never understood.

I thought about this poem partly because of the almost overwhelming sense of grief and despair many are experiencing right now and while the late musical genius Prince’s beloved Minneapolis, Minnesota, burned like Rome. Partly because of the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and any number of others whose lost lives were not recorded on video. Partly: because of the disproportionate number of black and brown lives claimed by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Although the tone of the poem reflects some of that, it has never been intended as a definitive statement on the African-American or general American story. It was and is a response to something we are still trying to get right.

Bigotry, xenophobia, and chaos cannot be allowed pull off a coup and label it patriotism. As I said in my response to noted author and humanitarian Frederick Joseph‘s Twitter video commentary on George Floyd’s murder, African Americans are not just one more minority demographic in America. Regardless of whose names do or do not appear on the United States Constitution and The Declaration of Independence, African American men and women are co-founders of this great country admired by so many across the globe.

Often accompanied by allies of European, Hispanic, Asian, or Native descent, we have put in far too many centuries infusing the concept of democracy with flesh and blood struggles and sacrifices to help make that abstract dream for billions of people: something closer to a measurable concrete reality. History has been a very patient teacher and now is the time to become more committed students and graduates.

Aberjhani
author of Dreams of the Immortal City Savannah
co-author of
Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance

Creds etc: This is the cover of a well-preserved copy of the 1992 edition of the African American Review featuring Harlem Renaissance artist William H. Johnson’s 1944 oil painting “Moon Over Harlem.” Inside in the review’s first poetry section is “Black Man Sitting on a Rock” by Aberjhani.

 

Bio:

The American-born author Aberjhani is a widely-published historian, poet, essayist, fiction writer, journalist, and editor. He is a member of PEN International’s PEN American Center and the Academy of American Poets as well as the founder of Creative Thinkers International. He launched the 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance Initiative in 2011 and during the same period introduced netizens to concept of guerrilla decontextualization via a series of essays and website of the same name.

He has authored a dozen books in diverse genres and edited (or sometimes co-edited) the same number. His published works include the Choice Academic Title Award-winning Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, the social media-inspired Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry, the modern classic ELEMENTAL The Power of Illuminated Love (a collection of ekphrastic verse featuring art by Luther E. Vann), and the frequently-quoted poetry collection, The River of Winged Dreams.

Among his works as an editor are the Savannah Literary Journal (1994-2001), plus the Civil War Savannah Book Series titles: “Savannah: Immortal City” (2011), and “Savannah: Brokers, Bankers, and Bay Lane-Inside the Slave Trade” (2012). In 2014, Aberjhani was among a limited number of authors invited to publish blogs on LinkedIn. You can learn more about the author at Creative Thinkers International, on Facebook, Twitter, or his personal author website at author-poet-aberjhani.info

 

 

 

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

 

Golden Cage. A Poem by Debashish Haar

 
A man rubs honey on his eyelids
before going to bed
to dream ants and spiders.
In the morning his eyes weave
webs of silver and gold,
and mind stretches wings.
 
Each evening flying
with the birds his mind enters
itself in a golden cage lit
by honey lamps.
 
Originally Written in 2006
Published in Manifold Magazine of New Poetry
Editor the late Vera Rich.
Editor’s note: Vera Rich is also published here at PLT
where you may also read the bio of her fascinating life
https://www.artvilla.com/plt/conformal-mapping-poem-sonnet-vera-rich1936-2009
 
 
 

 
Debashish is a machine learning scientist, who has been published in literary magazines several
times across the globe, including Poetry Life & Times, where he was interviewed twice.
He is currently contending with a severe writer’s block spanning a decade, when he has hardly
produced any publishable content. He is also losing emotional connection with his own work
gradually, and spends more time to edit/tighten his old poems than creating any new content.
 
Editor’s Note: Debashish Haar was interviewed twice in the old Poetry Life and Times, once by Sarah Russell then Editor & later by myself as a new Editor before it folded in 2008. The New Poetry Life & Times restarted in 2013 at Artvilla.com site, Admin David Jackson.
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

ON OVERCOMING GAMOPHOBIA. A Poem by Despy Boutris

 

Since your silence scares me, be roadkill,
be oil spill, be the elevator that stalled
 
on its way down. Let me learn to love
the quiet; let’s learn to speak without noise.
 
And since I despise tight spaces, locked
doors, uncertainty: lock us in a room in the dark,
 
or in a storm shelter—love, take me
subterranean and then take me, let me
 
take you. You know odd numbers make me
nervous, so how about I ghost the five fingers
 
of my left hand over all seven bones of your neck?
If I’m bonnet, be breeze and blow me
 
away. But take me with you. If I’m blind,
be shuddering breath, be the sound you make
 
when I touch your chest. If I’m oak, be Spanish
moss so we can grow together, so I can grow
 
rings to give you, so you can wrap yourself
around me. If I’m weed, be gardener
 
and uproot me. If I’m week, be -end
so we can spend Sunday morning in bed,
 
so we can bake bread. If I’m night,
be nightlight so I can find you in the dark.
 
If I’m crocus, be rainfall, be honeybee
and, honey, come be with me.
 

(first published in Byzantium)
 

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

 
 
BIO:
Despy Boutris is published or forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, The Adroit Journal, Prairie Schooner, Palette Poetry, Third Coast, Raleigh Review, Diode, The Indianapolis Review, and elsewhere. Currently, she teaches at the University of Houston and serves as Assistant Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast.

 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)