Emil Nolde, The Prophet (1912)
He has gouged the future out of wood,
crucified his own face –
brow and nose a cross, eyes nails,
beard a modern Golgotha.
He cannot say: Father, forgive them,
for they know not what they do,
because his mouth is carved shut,
chiselled by himself into silence.
He has no wish to hear
what his self-portrait has to say
and cannot bear to know
what he sees beyond the frame.
Jonathan Taylor is an author, critic and lecturer. His books include the poetry collection Musicolepsy (Shoestring, 2013), and the novel Melissa (Salt, 2015). He is director of the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester in the UK. His website is www.jonathanptaylor.co.uk.
Let us meander, shall we, through the tall
Fox gloves, the larkspur, the holly hocks, on
The herringbone brick path that anchors all
The mayhem of this wild cottage garden.
Let us wander by the sections, each bed
A riot of green with lavender, blue,
White, and pink spilling out of petaled heads
And unfurled buds to catch each other’s view.
Let us listen for the drone of the bees
Deep at work within each flower’s heart, their
Sunny hum the backdrop of this lively
Yard of blooming fragrance that paints the air.
Let us rejoice for blossom and for leaf--
Twin antidotes to misery and grief.
Juleigh Howard Hobson
Julie Howard Hobson's poetry has appeared in many print and online publications, as well as anthologies, including The Alabama Literary Review, The Lyric, Able Muse, The Raintown Review, Sugar Mule, Mezzo Cammin, and The New Verse New. The poet has also served as assistant poetry editor at Able Muse. A poetry collection, Remind Me, is forthcoming from Ancient Cypress Press
Head to the Sky
— after Elizabeth Bishop, “12 O’Clock News”
Vince Gotera is a Professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa, where he served as Editor of the North American Review. Recent poems in The American Journal of Poetry, Star*Line, Parody Poetry Journal, Altered Reality Magazine, Eunoia Review, and Inigo Online Magazine, among others. He blogs at The Man with the Blue Guitar.
With Van Gogh, I Hear Music
Outrageous whorls, Vincent,
cochlear want-daubs in whispers -
a spirited thirst
a scream of controlled turbulence
Echoes of whirling dervish poets
who kick up earthy pigments
of raw umber -
taste their swirled words.
My lover says, look -
the sun sets,
back into the day.
But I say
swirl perpetual indigo
an eternal starry night.
Crystal Snoddon is a Canadian writer who feasts upon art to make sense of the corporate. Most recent publications of poetry include Tuck Magazine, The Light Ekphrastic, Communicator's League, The Quarterday Review.
Reflections on Going to the Kunsthalle in Mannheim, Germany
Through the steady drizzle
Waiting for the streetcar
Mutti brings me to the Kunsthalle
I’m nine or ten I think
We walk through rooms of massive sculpture
All “modern” hinting at form – essence – not realism
At last past all the art referred to by Hitler and his sycophants as
Afterkunst –Anal Art
We stop in front of the Manet – a giant canvas
The Execution of the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico
It is overwhelming, realistic and yet not
The hapless Max being shot by a group of soldiers
But one is in the background
Checking his rifle or reloading?
Why put him there?
Is he not sure about shooting poor Max?
Mutti makes a comment about how all autocrats should be shot
What did this Austrian relative of Napoleon III think?
What qualifications did he believe he had to rule the people of Mexico?
Naïve and perhaps innocent
Another hapless, feckless dictator disappears
Alas, many others not so naïve or innocent take his place
Strange that after sixty plus years I should think of it now.
Peter Balint is the son of a victim of the NAZI regime, whose father was killed on a death march from the Mauthausen, Austria concentration camp to the Gunskirchen, Austria concentration camp just a few weeks before the collapse and surrender of the Third Reich.
He was born in Budapest, Hungary and fled to Germany in 1946 with his mother and older sister, before coming to the United States at the age of 13.
He holds a BA degree in French, and served for three years on active duty as an officer in the US Army, leaving the service as a Captain in the Adjutant Generals Corps. He attended what is now Verizon, where he was at one time Managing Director-Europe based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Balint is currently working on his memoir of his years in Germany and the cultural disconnect experienced in making his transition to becoming a successful American. He cares deeply about freedom of expression and civil liberties.
Old World Map
What a life to live,
a sailor on that sea:
the mind’s deep fathoms
Dark Lands and Dragons
as far as the eye can’t see.
Luigi Coppola teaches and writes in London, England. Poems have/will appear in: Acumen, Anon, Equinox, Fourteen, The Frogmore Papers, Gold Dust, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Iota, Lighten Up, Magma, The Ofi Press, Orbis, Other Poetry, Pennine Platform, Poetry Digest, The Rialto, THE SHOp, Snakeskin, South, Strange Poetry and Stride Magazine.www.luigicoppolapoetry.blogspot.co.uk
Afternoon in Edinburgh
Your eyes pull me across the room, past the milling tourists, to where you wait, mouse-velvet collar turned against the stubble, brown beret atop your wild hair. You gaze at me across three hundred years.
Once, you painted burghers, their black robes shimmering like water, ruffs starched by obedient maids. They paid you well for their memorials, and it was they who tittered when they heard what was to be sold: the Mantegna, the Giorgione and the Raphael, objects of your lust. Inside the house, their wives ran fingers over fabrics that would no longer drape your rooms as they dreamed of their own parlours. Even with everything gone, there still was not enough for you had sinned gravely, loving Saskia beneath your class while living above it.
My sins are different than yours but sins nonetheless, so long as it is wrong to hide under guile, turn away toward ease and refuse to feel the weight of our lives.
Though you once preened like a cock, you never pretended the weight was not there. Even as a youth you felt it. Still in your twenties you squinted and saw Judas in the temple imploring the priests to take back their silver. They refused, of course, and turned their backs, and we know what came next – the hanging, the lynching, the digging in the potter’s field – but in the studio you lingered on this moment and felt its crushing weight. Now, you challenge me to be so brave.
You will live twelve years more and paint yourself again, with sallow skin and wiry hair. Defeat will hover but arrogance will save you. A delicate balance, it is, to teeter between what you know and what will save you.
If I could, I would reach under the crumpled velvet to embrace and comfort you, but there is no refuge for us, hubristic comrades, fellow penitents.
Kathleen Stone in a writer from Boston. Her critical art reviews and personal essays have been published in Arts Fuse (artsfuse.org) and Points East and she is at work on several longer projects. She co-hosts a monthly literary salon in Boston called Booklab and holds graduate degrees from the Bennington Writing Seminars and Boston University School of Law. Her website can be found at www.kathleencstone.com.
I'm still waiting
for a girl
who looks like a woman
I saw in a painting
in a gallery
when I was 17.
Her name was
and she adopted the features
of her Chinese Mother
but it wasn't the way she
it was the way she
that made me feel
for ten minutes
several times a week.
If I had a house
and a job
and $10,000 to burn
she would have been mine.
It was the first time
I had a way of measuring
the reasons I could not
be with someone.
I have never forgiven her for this.
Caesar Kent is a semi-nomadic California poet, living around the Bay Area and dividing his time between open mic stages, dive bars, and clouds.He also sits on board of directors for Poetry Center San Jose, acts as co-editor for the literary magazine, Caesura, and studies English at UC Berkeley.
In a Sentimental Mood
Thin Lip presses down.
Fatty never had a chance.
Angels dry an eye.
Sunday dreams dried up.
A cold train collects you.
Song rasp sneaks away.
Who’s a sax? Oboe?
Blue notes bend over Manhat--
An old lonely night.
Siân Killingsworth is a poet and copywriter. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as The Oakland Review, The Columbia Poetry Review, Mudfish, and Eunoia Review. She founded and ran the popular open-mic poetry reading series hosted by the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, where she worked on the staff of Lit. She lives in Northern California.
Only In Aggregate
does sharp focus crystallize big pictures, untold
stories of the many and the more.
Migrating feet in mis-matched shoes,
tossed-aside wet socks. Border-crossers
stumbled through the dark.
No more weight wanted
for uncertain crossing.
Confiscated burdens of backpacks.
Someone stitched those seams.
Someone guaranteed the zippers, others
shut them on what could not be left,
a milagro, a full water bottle.
Someone chose pink, purple, neon
orange and green, or camouflage.
Someone stitched a heart,
embroidered the cringing angel.
Aggregates suck our breath away,
stillpoint between rage and love.
One witness museum after another.
Someone stitched a heart. Someone
embroidered a cringing angel.
Two weeks ago a man in my neighbourhood was picked up by immigration officials for deportation after having lived here for twenty years and having supported his wife and three American-born kids with a landscaping service. I am a poet and have been responding with social justice poetry. Website: triciaknoll.com
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