The Re-Invention of Papier Collé
It all started with simultaneous perspective.
Braque and Picasso retreating to the Pyrenees.
The Spaniard told how he had learned to paint
ugly, even if it was young lady prostitutes
and the Frenchman said that he could now paint
beastly, turning an entire village into squares.
They shared a villa, but faced different sunsets.
They shared their work, but kept separate studios.
Then one summer morning at the breakfast table
Pablo put on an African Mask. Georges puffed his pipe.
Pablo danced around as Georges blew smoke
at the chipped fruit dish and both rushed back to work.
They cut up the wallpaper, gathered some scrap wood.
They mounted an easel in the center of the kitchen.
Braque scrawled and shaded a bunch of grapes
and a lemon, a pear, and Picasso paced around
the still near-blank canvas and then charcoaled “BAR”
then “ALE” in block letters in two of the corners.
When they finished, the fragments were bizarre.
Gluey radicals pasting together in the Pyrenees.
Austin Sanchez-Moran received his MFA in Poetry from George Mason University, where he was a Laanan Fellow and then an Honors Fellow. His poems and short fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Catamaran Literary Journal, Denver Quarterly, Laurel Review, and Salamander Magazine, among many others. Also, he had a poem chosen for the anthology, Best New Poets of the Midwest (2017).
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The man in the portrait, birthed by the sea,
presumed his existence a fait accompli
in spite of the howlerwind's ominous song
and thunderbolts hurling through break of dawn.
But the sea level rose as the tempest rolled-in,
and soon the earth's tears flowed up to his chin,
creating a stir. As swim bladders hummed
and tiny claws clicked amid pops and thumps,
a chatter of chirps joined burbles and yaps
while amphibians croaked and pincer-tips snapped.
Whisker-like barbels and tentacles twitched
as the torrent unleashed and floodwater drenched.
The man in the portrait, birthed by the sea,
reconsidered presumptions of fait accompli.
As arms of the octopus loosed their grip,
the eel and the lionfish started to slip.
Inspiring a mutinous seaside revolt,
the Dungeness crab decided to bolt.
And all in due time, yet before very long,
with the turn of the tide, man's profile was gone.
This poem was first published in Blast Furnace.
dl mattila is the author of Quietus, a collection of poems. Her work publishes nationally and internationally. She holds an MA in Writing (poetry) from The Johns Hopkins University.
nineteen millennia ago
Behind the great hall of the bulls
hidden in a small recess
a woman used moss, colored ochre,
sticks of charcoal to send a herd
of spotted horses galloping across a wall.
Working in a flicker of light, the artist
traced a curve with a shaved, chalky twig,
filled in with a paste of charcoal
and two kinds of hard, dark earth.
She ground red ochre to a powder
with mortar and pestle,
picked up a hollow bone, spit
then blew, mouth filled with bitter taste,
using her hand so thick lines of colour
could meet without blurring, horses dappled
by stenciled dots and fingerprints dipped in paint.
Always in motion these ponies thunder
across the rock face, fresh as if just drawn.
I think I hear them snort and gnar,
feel their grassy breath,
or someone blowing pigment in the dark.
Was the painter surprised by what emerged?
Would she be amazed to know they are still here,
cantering in the dark, in the dawn?
Mary Kay Rummel
Mary Kay Rummel was Poet Laureate of Ventura County, California from 2014-16.
Her seventh book of poetry, The Lifeline Trembles, won the Blue Light Poetry Prize. A new collection, Cypher Garden, has just been published by Blue Light Press. Her poems recently appear in Nimrod, Askew, The Ekphrastic Review, Miramar, Pirene’s Fountain, and AMORE: A Collection of Love Poems. She teaches at California State University, Channel Islands and lives in Ventura and Minneapolis.
Studio in the Asylum
I am surrounded here
by the painter’s commonplace,
the half- filled canvases
that dot the ochre walls and
those ornaments of still-lifes--
the vases and jars standing
to attention on the sill,
empty of colour and purpose.
I feel a tension, as if
a single dazzling orange
would shatter the calm
I have finished “Studio in the Asylum.”
It is a soothing depiction,
like a setting for a prayer.
Yet, I might well have named the piece
“The window in the wall”--
that brightness that separates
the therapeutic room
from the glory of the garden
and the grounds.
I shall make my way outside.
to paint the olive landscapes
and pasteled huts
and to colour
the stars of the night sky.
Steve Deutsch, a semi-retired practitioner of the fluid mechanics of mechanical hearts and heart valves, lives with his wife Karen--a visual artist, in State College, PA. Steve writes poetry, short fiction and the blog: email@example.com. His most recent publications have been in Eclectica Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, New Verse News, Silver Birch Press, Misfit Magazine and One-sentence poems. As an adult, Steve had the good fortune to sit in on two poetry classes taught by first class poets and teachers. He has been writing poetry ever since.
Reflections on the New Parts of Old York
Like most things from the late 20th century,
ugly and unforgiving as spirits mangled
by the outrageous and the not outraged enough,
in a growingly undisciplined frenzy
these ad hoc collections, buildings and art,
were also born of self and selfishness,
subscribing and promoting so-called ‘freedom,’
the expressive lack of principle of the age.
But what else, after the bomb, could humanity bear?
We live like Catholics post-King Henry’s purge,
and like the Dissolution, dissolute,
regaling in such aftermaths. What now
but modern paucities abutting ruins?
I perch beneath the fallen Abbey stone:
one wall, two rows of ogives, low and high,
the grand flaps of two others, west and east,
tracing the audacious nave, now all but air.
Around the lawn, imperious pillar stones
start their ascent, now stumps and sittable.
Then a flock of bright blue-capped children, pads poised,
come gallivanting, gleefully. ‘Are those initials
your school?’ I ask an intrepid Aramis,
indicating his brow’s insignia.
‘Yes!’ he replies, to which D’Artagnan scolds,
‘College!’ ‘Ah, college.’ ‘Yes that’s right.’
A female Colleague’s voice from yonder hails
(they must be twelve, the girls are two hands taller),
‘Sir, are those arches?’ Munching scone, I nod
to part the air, so she can see, and know.
‘Brilliant!’ And off the schoolgirls scurry, sigh,
and in their ardor scratch, pubescent, glorious,
reminding us the future’s on its way.
James B. Nicola
This poem will appear in James B. Nicola's upcoming poetry book, Out of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists, from ShantiArts.
James B. Nicola's poems have appeared recently in The Ekphrastic Review, the Antioch, Southwest and Atlanta Reviews, Rattle, and Poetry East. His nonfiction book
Playing the Audience won a Choice award. His two poetry collections, published by Word Poetry, are Manhattan Plaza (2014) and Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (2016).
at the marriage supper
A choral progression
Pachelbel’s Canon in D
polyphony of angelic voices
singing the same psalm--
Holy, Holy, Holy
—each entering in sequence
with the Lord God Almighty
Who’s singing too
in basso continuo,
His Holy Spirit repeating
the same two-bar line--
Worthy is the Lamb
Who was slain.
And the everlasting trees
by the riverbank sway
to His aeolian wind, Ruach,
waving the branches
to the Canon—to the written word
to the canon—to the music in D,
the beautiful sound of creation.
Adam must have heard
somethng like that symphony
in his heart when God formed
his wife. And the man said,
Bone of my bone,
flesh of my flesh.
He was so empty, so incomplete
before then, but he didn’t need
a reason to believe or to feel lonely,
yet he did, even when God walked
with him in the cool of the garden.
But there’s always a snake
in the grass to uncoil
that perfect union. It tried
to constrict the innocent
lamb, swallow him as well.
But the serpent didn’t see
the mother’s hooves,
the father’s teeth.
The Lamb of God
wouldn’t lie down
except for us.
For us: the man, the woman,
all of us—the church.
No church is complete
without a lamb on its altar.
It used to be by the blood
of bulls and goats filling
the cisterns and chalices,
but now, it’s the Lamb
who will marry to the Church.
And the bridegroom said,
Bone of my bone,
flesh of my flesh.
about my sack of bones,
my pound of flesh?
Why am I so special?
Afterall, I am nothing
And before I could finish
the sentence, a voice lifted
out of the music, growing
louder in my soul, until
it shook my heart with
these words that He said
to me, they—Elohim--
said to me in sequential
But you, my love,
are my very breath.
John C. Mannone
John C. Mannone has work in Blue Fifth Review, NEJM, Intima, Amsterdam Quarterly, Peacock Journal, Gyroscope Review, Inscape Literary Journal, Baltimore Review, Pedestal, and Pirene's Fountain. He’s been awarded Weymouth writing residencies (2016, 2017) and has three poetry collections: Apocalypse (Alban Lake Publishing, July 2015), nominated for the 2017 Elgin Book Award; Disabled Monsters (The Linnet’s Wings Press, December 2015) featured at the 2016 Southern Festival of Books; and Flux Lines (Celtic Cat Publishing, Spring 2017). He’s been nominated for several Pushcart and Rhysling awards. He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other venues. He teaches college physics near Knoxville, TN. Visit http://jcmannone.wordpress.com
after it all becomes too much, the girl begins to run.
she is running away from her past life,
running away from her future life, her death.
she is running away from those that ruined
her brothers, her fathers and mothers,
running away from the those that would ruin her.
she is running away from everything
she knows to be good and right and true,
toward the great unknown
with no one beside her.
she is running away
and she does not know where she is going –
she does not want to know – it does not matter.
they begin to follow, give chase,
but then they stop,
smile, laugh, smile all the more.
they do not need to shoot her,
do not need to do anything.
they have done their job.
the world will take care of her, they think,
and they are right, of course.
the girl is running away, and maybe
she is even making good speed,
making progress, but
she is running toward nothing,
and she has nothing,
and she is nothing.
they know this.
they forget, however,
the running girl is not just one thing.
running girl can write. running girl can sing.
This poem was inspired by the film, Inglorious Bastards.
Jordan Makant is a senior at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC. He is an Assistant Editor for Scott Owens' Wild Goose Poetry Review and a co-founder for the Hickory, NC based theatre arts charity, the Hickory Playground. Previous publications include Rat's Ass Review, The Main Street Rag, and Winston-Salem Writers' Poetry in Plain Sight project.
Francesco de Mura as Seen by His Goddess
What a proud bird he is, with his preen gland working.
In this portrait my Francesco is no longer bronze,
but has given himself the pearly silk cheeks
of an aristocrat. Bourbon kings
smoothed that dusk-dark velvet over his shoulders,
a laundress put her dreams of butterfat and lily buds
in the angel white of his neckcloth.
Another woman went blind embroidering garlands of red flowers
on his waistcoat, and a tailor eased it over his elegant paunch,
the very best gut one could have, refined plenitude
of fat wild boar and prized stinking goat cheese.
To look this good, he needs them all: tailors, shepherds,
farmers and kings, and they need him.
But I’m the goddess in his hand,
his woman in the pink landscape he gave me.
He dreamed me, birthed me,
set me on the young trees of my legs,
planted my foot with its tender pink veins,
he wove every thread in my goddess clothes.
He gave me a shield and the arm to bear it.
Because of him, flesh and muscle red as his chalk stick
stride up and down from my powerful neck to my heel.
He placed my war helmet with its plumes, made my curls rise
like hackle feathers.
All of me, crown to toe,
is the same soft burn of red he gave
to his own drapery and his mouth.
He signs our portrait with his seal, not his name.
We don’t need to speak in human.
But I know his hand, so when he presses down
with his red seal, we’re palm to palm. Then he puts his mouth
to the nape of my neck and breathes:
All you ever needed to live was me.
Margaret Benbow's award-winning poems and stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies. She recently won the Many Voices Project Award in Fiction, and her story collection Boy Into Panther will be published this fall by New Rivers Press. Her poems may be seen in the book Stalking Joy, which won the Walt McDonald First Book award.
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