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)

Somewhere over. An 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)

Motifs. Poems by Gary Beck

&nbsp
Motifs is an unpublished poetry collection that looks at instances in the human experience Gary Beck
 
(i)
 
Hard Times
 
On many street corners
of my fair city
the homeless sit
resources exhausted,
the tattered cardboard signs
requesting aid
the last connection
between abandonment
and termination,
alternate options
totally expended.
 
(ii)
 
Sustained
 
I do not need
intimations of mortality,
my frailty so burdensome
I never forget
each day a miracle
of continuation,
for which I give thanks
that I can still function
and appreciate beauty,
weeping willow, Beethoven,
the wondrous creations
of man and nature
 
(iii)
 
First Contact
 
Several times daily
I look up at the sky
expecting an alien spaceship
to suddenly appear.
Logically it shouldn’t be
invaders or traders,
but eager explorers
urgent for discovery.
If we are fortunate,
their advanced technology
will stimulate our sciences
for rapid innovation,
so when the merchants and soldiers
arrive for the next visit
we are not as ill prepared
as primitive tribesmen
who were devoured
by Western appetites.
 
(iv)
 
Machine Learning IV
 
The latest business venture,
the Discreet Android Delivery Service,
satisfaction guaranteed,
all major credit cards accepted,
all languages spoken,
will open a new window
to A.I. profit.
Preliminary surveys
indicate a big market,
as long as the company controls
proprietorial software.
They’ve vowed great rewards
or dire punishment
to employees
to maintain secrecy.
Prospects are glittering
and to encourage clientele
corporate accounts welcome.
still enriching my life.
 
 
 
 

 
 
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn’t earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 26 poetry collections, 10 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 1 collection of his one-act plays. Published poetry books include: Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings, The Remission of Order, Contusions and Desperate Seeker (Winter Goose Publishing. Forthcoming: Learning Curve and Ignition Point). Blossoms of Decay, Expectations, Blunt Force, Transitions, Mortal Coil and Temporal Dreams (Wordcatcher Publishing, Forthcoming: Redemption Value and Fractional Disorder). Earth Links and Too Harsh For Pastels (Cyberwit Publishing: Forthcoming: Severance). His novels include a series ‘Stand to Arms, Marines’: Call to Valor, Crumbling Ramparts and Raise High the Walls (Gnome on Pig Productions). Acts of Defiance, Flare Up and Still Defiant (Wordcatcher Publishing. Forthcoming: Until the Bell and Pirate Spring). Extreme Change will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His short story collections include: A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing) Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). The Republic of Dreams and other essays (Gnome on Pig Productions). The Big Match and other one act plays (Wordcatcher Publishing, Forthcoming: Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume 1 and Four Plays by Moliere – Translated and Directed by Gary Beck)). Plays of Aristophanes will be published by Cyberwit Publishing. Gary lives in New York City.
 
 
 
 
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)

Cyber Madonna. A Poem by Sterling Warner

 

Strategically stressed denim garnished by
random sweatshop tailored holes
adorn wafer thin sheaths that
bond practicality and beauty,
encase the streetwise goddess’s
thighs—accentuate long legs,
enhance airy, sylph-like movements, while
her satin skin peeks through weathered threads
rises above, basks through the frayed fabric’s weave,
when early morning’s warming rays touch
her strapless back, kiss soft shoulders,
bathe them in deep, moist, honey breaths.
 
The cyber Madonna fingers fine pearls,
plucked from the buxom ocean’s bosom,
like meditation beads,
gives every cultured orb an identity, blesses and
eternalizes each mollusk’s enterprise; the
world begs to be her cybernetic oyster, so
she invites men and women to
text her, tweet her, love her; horny, she
longs for enduring chat room romances…
as she types, her heart hangs over parted lips
like an engorged keystones above
Aphrodite’s passionate arches.
 
Environmentally friendly lifelines
hold their shape then creep like
molasses along a steamy plain:
dignified, resolute, as determined as
the sheer force of gravity,
she bends her elbows, folds her arms,
camouflages self-consciousness solemnity
as loving as a preying mantis’s gaze
whose frozen posture like an invisible cloak
becomes one with surroundings—
cautious as a vigilant caretaker
guarding the tomb of an unsung savior.
 
All want to lie in the virgin’s lap
while she cradles tired heads in the
deep valley of her skirt, connecting
without speaking, a million miles
from another’s thoughts, yet
united in a common denominator:
transcendental intimacy—calculable regret; the
Madonna stokes each lover’s hair that
settles across her body as if petting
an exquisite ermine or sable stole, while
every race, color, gender, creed, lifestyle
coax another Immaculate Conception or ascension.
 
 

 
Sterling Warner’s Brief Biography
 
An author, poet, educator, Sterling Warner’s poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Flatbush Review, Literary Yard, The Fib Review, “Street Lit: Representing the Urban Landscape and The Atherton Review. Warner has published five collections of poetry: Without Wheels, ShadowCat, Rags and Feathers, Edges, and Memento Mori: A Chapbook Redux.
 
 
 
 
 
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)