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)

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)

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)

Liberty Atoms 26/30. Poems by Christopher Barnes

26.
Gagged, straitjacketed effigy
Blinked an impenetrable announcement.
Thunderbolt frogged a lump-cloud windpipe.
Maisie galloped circles –
Haunting our bathmat.
Sitars wanted to decline.
Nail-varnished on the record’s label:

“A shadow fell beside him
And he jumped up”.

Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good

27.
Polkadot-lens specs
Invariably gaze at TV.
Our unbolted laboratory kitten
Spasmed on Maisie’s dirndl, clucking.
Teardrops flick window
Impeding distinctness.
Blazoned across yellowing t-shirt:

“When Stuart had left him
Thomas sat motionless at his desk”.

Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good

28.
Ballerina gyrated
In musical box
To some neglected chorus.
Logs glistened, infuriated.
Maisie slung cellophane bellflowers,
Hexing between yaps.
Needled into throwover:

“You lack the gift of ordinariness,
Perhaps essential for your programme”.

Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good

29.
The clamped philanderer
Wouldn’t flap athwart the screen.
Draughts gave netting persuasion
To choke Maisie.
Tight-lips earnest, vernal.
Sheer-drop chess pieces in relief:

“One has to learn
To read it”.

Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good

30.
Ferroconcrete soufflé
Nadirs light hearts.
Convivial wasp
Burned out on pillow,
Had shed gravity to emptiness.
Maisie tut-tuts at aerospace
For dissembling blue.
Ransom note leftovers inform:

“We always change in the evening,
We put on our pretty dresses”.

Quote: Iris Murdoch, The Nice And The Good

 
 
 

 
 
In 1998 I won a Northern Arts writers award. In July 200 I read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology ‘Titles Are Bitches’. Christmas 2001 I debuted at Newcastle’s famous Morden Tower doing a reading of my poems. Each year I read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and I partook in workshops. 2005 saw the publication of my collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.
 
On Saturday 16Th August 2003 I read at the Edinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St.
 
Christmas 2001 The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored me to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North. I made a radio programme for Web FM community radio about my writing group. October-November 2005, I entered a poem/visual image into the art exhibition The Art Cafe Project, his piece Post-Mark was shown in Betty’s Newcastle. This event was sponsored by Pride On The Tyne. I made a digital film with artists Kate Sweeney and Julie Ballands at a film making workshop called Out Of The Picture which was shown at the festival party for Proudwords, it contains my poem The Old Heave-Ho. I worked on a collaborative art and literature project called How Gay Are Your Genes, facilitated by Lisa Mathews (poet) which exhibited at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University, including a film piece by the artist Predrag Pajdic in which I read my poem On Brenkley St. The event was funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bio-science Centre at Newcastle’s Centre for Life. I was involved in the Five Arts Cities poetry postcard event which exhibited at The Seven Stories children’s literature building.
 
REVIEWS: I have written poetry reviews for Poetry Scotland and Jacket Magazine and in August 2007 I made a film called ‘A Blank Screen, 60 seconds, 1 shot’ for Queerbeats Festival at The Star & Shadow Cinema Newcastle, reviewing a poem… On September 4 2010, I read at the Callander Poetry Weekend hosted by Poetry Scotland. I have also written Art Criticism for Peel and Combustus Magazines. I was involved in The Creative Engagement In Research Programme Research Constellation exhibitions of writing and photography which showed in London (march 13 2012) and Edinburgh (July 4 2013)
 
 
 
 
 
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)

COMMUTE. A Poem by Juanita Rey

 
An alarm clock rings on the side-table.
My head rings in harmony.
 
The cat jumps upon
my curled-up body,
tears my dream to shreds.
 
I flick on the radio for company.
The station plays a song
I’ve heard a thousand times before.
The thousandth and one time
knows no better.
 
I pour coffee into
the unwashed cup
I retrieve from the sink.
 
Yesterday’s stains
meet today’s fresh blend –
that’s always the way.
Like a new start
that knows how all the old ones ended.
 
I dress, bundle up until
I’m bear shape and size,
head out for the freezing bus stop.
That feral cat of a temperature
still finds a way to scratch at me.
 
It’s another day just like any other.
I haven’t it within me
to make it any different.
 
For the life I’ve planned
is like a car stalled out in the driveway.
 
Here comes the bus.
 
 
 

 
 
Juanita Rey is a Dominican poet who has lived in the USA for the last five years. Her work has been published in Pennsylvania English, Opiate Journal, Petrichor Machine and Porter Gulch Review.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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, and the recently published Moon Selected Audio Textual 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)

Withdrawment & Poems by Sanjeev Sethi

(i)
 
Withdrawment
 
Campaigning without connections
is an exemplary pursuit.
To one sans options
this is senseless.
Ideas chassé on the semi-sprung
of choice. I go with inner sequences.
 
To be in sync with similar beats
is the right swing.
Silence draws in contagion
of concepts
some worthy of chase.
In the hush-hush I unearth handles.
 
(ii)
 
Iciness
 
Backer is harpy, recipient always ravenous.
Different show different setup.
 
Like a forsaken sloop led by Pharos
your vowels fuel a balefire to intent.
 
Emptiness scans more meaning than there is:
like a literary egghead evaluating belles-lettres.
 
Boozed up you withdraw from our bull session.
This tells me your endearments are an evasion.
 
On her podcast, the diva inquires of her spouse:
hex to bring back spice? His comeback: role play.
 
(iii)
 
Aberrance
  
Every ply is elbow-grease: when
even an earworm is inert, when I
wish to lam out I garner I hold no
eye-catching selfies.
 
Sacred they will be skewed I seldom
click any. I’m my worst ambassador.
An unlawful being is as unsmudged as
his solicitor. Close-ups soil some of us.
 
(iv)
 
Blackball
 
One may have envied it
had you laid out less:
your sojourns and the whole shebang.
Happiness fulfills inner chinks.
Mailing close-ups suggests other motives.
Is it an end run?
Slainte for something
more special
is a flawed premise.
Lapses are latent.
Errors are acceptable
so are fender-benders.
Manipulating emotions
for a payoff:
a thumbs down.
 
 

 
Sanjeev Sethi is published in over 25 countries. He has more than 1200 poems printed or posted in venues around the world. Wrappings in Bespoke, is Winner of Full Fat Collection Competition-Deux organized by the Hedgehog Poetry Press UK. It’s his fourth book. It will be issued in 2020. He lives in Mumbai, India.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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, and the recently published Moon Selected Audio Textual 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)

Poem by EVA MARÍA CHINCHILLA on a homage supplement published in “Cuadernos del Matemático” Nº 56-58, dedicated to Leonard Cohen,Translated from Spanish by Robin Ouzman Hislop & Amparo Arróspide

          We are the lesser who will never be able to write
          a good love poem than those of us who will never
          be able to write a love poem in time.

 
 
I love your temperature. That’s what I love,
not you
 

Gentle, gallant, it keeps the milky warmth of a blade of wheat
offering itself at dawn
breaking earlier than myself, heralding
— from its delta-
 
the descent of dreams
 
I love your eyes. For their sea, for their fairy
for their
id
 
and whilst each time i shatter the image of blue cliches
you invade that which has no colour, each time leaving it within
that which i’ll never
discover
 
not you
 
I love your caligraphy. Remains of eternity, my inheritance
that you pretend as yet yours
 
voice that sweetly swathes me
and tungsten. Impossible firefly, there
I love your caligraphy because it cleanses each time the wound of having thought i knew you
 
(and the treasure of the hidden note in the third stanza, when id
shipwrecks
where we read
because it cleanses each time the wound of having thought i knew you
 
to read again now
 
because it gently opens the wound whether i knew
how to love
despite not knowing
 
I love your caligraphy because it lets me recognise you
a balm which you prepare for me, it says
 
to recognise has been to know
 
so
 
there exists the possibility that i have
you, that´s what your caligraphy says, it says my
my love for you
that i have not yet known,
 
it extends before my eyes and on my skin bares – a code so familiar as to be indeciph–
sunsets and a bond of views without other qualification than their
certainty
 
this breeze that rustles my skin, carouses my blood, tempers
and forgives me
me, you, me
 
 
 
 

          Somos menos quienes nunca lograremos escribir
          un buen poema de amor que quienes nunca
          lograremos escribir a tiempo un poema de amor

 
 
Amo tu temperatura. Es lo que amo,
y no a ti
 
Suave, donosa, guarda el calor lácteo de la espiga. Se entrega de madrugada, antes
que yo amanece y anuncia
–desde su delta—
 
la bajada de los sueños
 
Amo tus ojos. Por su mar, por su hada
por su
id
 
y mientras yo destrozo cada vez la pantalla de los tópicos
del azul, invades lo que no tiene color, lo dejas dentro cada vez jamás
encontraré
 
no a ti
 
Amo tu caligrafía. Restos de eternidad, herencia mía
que simulas tuya aún
 
voz de tela que me arropa
y wolframio. Luciérnaga imposible, ahí
 
amo tu caligrafía, porque desinfecta, cada vez, la herida de haber creído conocerte
 
(y la nota del tesoro escondido de la tercera estrofa, cuando naufrague
id
donde hemos leído
porque desinfecta, cada vez, la herida de haber creído conocerte
para ahora leer
 
porque abre con suavidad la herida de si supe amar
lo que conocía
a pesar de no sabr que lo
 
amo tu caligrafía porque me deja reconocerte
un bálsamo que tú preparas para mí, dice
 
reconocer ha sido conocer
 
entonces
 
existe la posibilidad de que te haya
a ti eso dice tu caligrafía, dice mi
te amo a ti
que yo no he sabido saber,
 
extiende ante mis ojos y en mi piel expone –en un código tan familiar como indesci—
amaneceres y miradas en unidad, sin otro calificativo que el de
 
indudables
 
esa brisa se extiende por mi piel, navega por mi sangre, me templa
y me perdona
 
a mí, a ti, a mí
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eva Chinchilla, evachin. Poet. Author of Años Abisinios (2011), Verbo rea (2003), and a third poetry book currently in production. Participant in anthologies such as La noche y sus etcéteras. 24 voces alrededor de San Juan de la Cruz (2017), Hilanderas (2006) o Estruendomudo (2003). She is also a board member of poetry magazine Nayagua, which is a publication by the José Hierro Poetry Foundation, where she was a teacher from 2007 to 2016. Member of the Genialogías Association and the 8que80 collective of female poets; co-editor of Diminutos Salvamentos poetry collection. She walks along the haiku and flamenco lyrics paths. A philologist (hispanist), with a degree free master in continuous training and questioning. Born in Madrid (1971).
 
 
Eva Chinchilla, evachin. Poeta. Autora de Años abisinios (2011), Verbo rea (2003), y un tercer poemario en prensa; incluida en antologías como La noche y sus etcéteras. 24 voces alrededor de San Juan dela Cruz (2017), Hilanderas (2006) o Estruendomudo (2003). Forma parte del consejo de la revista de poesía Nayagua, que se edita desde la Fundación Centro de Poesía José Hierro de Getafe, donde fue profesora desde 2007 hasta 2016. Integrante de la Asociación Genialogías y el colectivo 8que80 de mujeres poetas; coeditora de la colección diminutos salvamentos; andariega del camino del haiku y de las letrillas flamencas. Filóloga (hispanista), con master sin titulación en formación y cuestionamiento continuos. Nació en Madrid (1971).
 
 
 
 
 
 

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, and the recently published Moon Selected Audio Textual 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)

I Think My Cat Pi Chi. Poem. Excerpt from Moon Selected Audio Textual Poems by Robin Ouzman Hislop


 
http://www.aquillrelle.com/authorrobin.htm


i think my cat pi chi is dying he's very neurotic not his usual self  
anymore     weak   scruffy   following me closely   look at his  
eyes      he knows    when a cat dies     nobody takes him 
out       it's always been hard   seeing death around
so   tell me it gets worse   we're gonna sit it out
because   you choose me   purr a bit   stack it
it's catastrophic    my little wild sniffer
would you like to sky rocket
into the abyss of death with me
float in outer space amidst the dead stars
knowing   there were forever galaxies beyond 
reach    beyond this miniscule bubble we call life
there  where  there's only the wilderness of the dead
shall we blow   as some stray bacteria on a magnet comet
to implode   as if on a planet's barren plain   to rise to flourish
again in the frenzy of the stadium where they buy & sell the moment
where Samson pulls down the walls   where Goliath topples and cities turn 
to salt    gladiatorial epic scenarios    lunacy of the bloodbath    the aftermath
a scared dancer in clown's mascara    darts to & fro   disappears lost    we sit 
in the audience    sweat our fate betrayed    the mockery of doom    i cross 
the bridge    but not the sea    walk down the avenue     under the screen 
where   highways stagger their junk   where the last card played is fake 
&  the 2nd coming's a dystopian banality groping a theme to go soap 
then the music   children from the valley of the blind   craving the 
nourishment of adulation   when you get your eyes cleaned out    
there's no call of the wild    only a wild call    the naked gaze

 

 
 
 
 
 
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, and the recently published Moon Selected Audio Textual 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)