Only sunlight crowds
the unfilled pool at the old YMCA
deep in silence
White tiles once bright
young swimmers long dead
ghosts of immersion
On the wall the words
do not swim alone written in red
The scent of chemicals lingers
like incense around the hollow well
empty of its blessing
This water too has joined the river
no children diving down to touch the drain
open valve of its tiny heart
Kim Lozano teaches creative writing workshops in St. Louis and co-directs the River Styx at the Tavern reading series. Her work has been published in Poetry Daily, The Iowa Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Journal, Midwestern Gothic, Denver Quarterly, Valparaiso Poetry Review, New Poetry from the Midwest, and elsewhere.
– Atelier Cezanne Aix en Provence
Hidden behind high walls, Cezanne became;
his eyes clamped to a stretched canvas frame
for substance began where his vision ended.
Bottles—of red wine, ripe fruit—in a bowl,
set his horizontal stage, when indoors.
Circle and cylinder shapes; he explored,
then the square—boxed-in for days untold.
All of life reduced to its core, dissected,
each plane a screen, a bizarre dream upended.
Each petite mort reflected, then resurrected
as earth turned beneath a Provencal sun,
seared sharp by a pallet-knife’s flexible blade,
bounced back from a titian-blue the sky was arrayed,
and the edges of nature were redone.
Disheveled, and gaunt often times shunned,
he toiled outcaste not a part of the charade;
the worth of his work out-staged, underplayed,
but, ah the days, and the light of the sun.
Driven geometrical, his synapses flamed;
the angles positioned; the curve unstrained.
The hues clean, scraped, scratched, falling forward.
Analogs tumbled; his third eye took a toll.
He shied from contact which gave no succor,
but the layers, the layers of paint, he adored.
How the brush, the knife and the paint consoled.
With a knitted brow and a too soon bald pate
a lone wolf grew beneath Picasso’s gaze
fathering Cubism with the art he created.
First Published Voices de la Luna Oct. 19, 2015
The fireplace with its dying fire, the green patterned wallpaper curling at the molding, the soft bed which has lately been stingy with dreams—the painting has made a painting of the room. The awkward stems in the awkward vase and the last flare of life in the darkness. Just a study, no subject but that which can be arranged on a table. No subject but experience, the weight of my blood in the darkness, my throbbing arm. The fire snaps and throws a flare on the hearth, the pattern on the wallpaper rising like bubbles in a fish tank. Workmen call to one another; a new dumpster clangs on the street. Life pedals on in the dark, lighting its dynamo. The blooms, now, there’s courage.
Paul Barron received an MFA from the University of Michigan, where he teaches writing. He currently serves as the director of the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program, a living-learning community focused on writing and the arts. His short fiction has appeared in Pretext and is forthcoming in The Nottingham Review.
No. 61 Rust and Blue
catching comet sounds
with the distance
of frozen things
Joshua McGarry currently lives in Norfolk where he studies poetry in Old Dominion University's MFA program.
or, An Eye for an I
Moot point: equipotentiality;
whether, indeed, to have is to be had.
Given that take: to be, or leave it be?
Comeback or no, the seen stays in the head,
or in the inner eye, a fixity:
her, self-composed, and you, discomfited.
Shame takes no shape; her shape takes latency
and makes shame manifest in you instead.
Come as you are, do we keep company?
Passive-accusative; asleep, not dead.
Each self-abandonment has gravity:
one falls, one’s fall so far has been delayed.
An object lesson in convexity--
whose force is human nature, magnified--
her place is to be seen. Can she not see?
In my submission, you have been misled.
Philip Quinlan is the author of a chapbook, Head Lands (White Violet Press, 2012). His work has appeared in: The Flea, The Chimaera, Lucid Rhythms, Lilt, Soundzine, Numinous, The Avatar Review, The Centrifugal Eye, Sea Stories, Shit Creek Review, Shot Glass Journal, Snakeskin, Victorian Violet Press, Whale Sound, Studio 360, In Stereo Press, The Hypertexts, Lighten Up Online, Antiphon, Raintown Review, Kin, Unsplendid, New Trad Journal, Atavic Poetry, and Life and Legends. He is also co-editor, with Ann Drysdale, of Angle Journal of Poetry in English, www.anglepoetry.co.uk. He lives in the UK.
Gustav Mahler, Symphony 10, 1910
Once written that nine-note discord –
a wound in A-flat minor
cut open by high-A on trumpet –
can never be un-written
never be unheard
never be exorcised
haunting everything after it
like the annunciation
of a wife’s infidelity
like an orchestral unconscious,
the dissonant repressed liberated
by a visit to Freud in Holland.
It lurks round the corner of every phrase
in the remainder of the Adagio
is lying in wait in the Scherzos
is something to trip over in Purgatorio,
is unleashed again in the finale
and even reminiscences
of long-ago Adagiettos
cannot stop it bleeding out of the score
into the twentieth century beyond.
Jonathan Taylor's books include the novels "Melissa" (Salt, 2015) and "Entertaining Strangers" (Salt, 2012), the memoir "Take Me Home" (Granta, 2007), and the poetry collection "Musicolepsy" (Shoestring, 2013). He is Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester. His website is www.jonathanptaylor.co.uk.
note from the editor: The author, David Brydges, is the artistic director of poeARTry North, an annual competition of painting and poetry. "Spring Pulse Poetry Festival is Northern Ontario’s first poetry/arts festival, which partnered in 2008 with Tyna Silver and Temiskaming Palette& Brush Club to solicit paintings/poems under the title “Poetic Visions.”We then created a competition/award ceremony during the festival to reward the best paintings and poems. The artists were colouring their words well. Its success spread and artists outside the local art club wished to participate. Since 2014 PoeARTry North has been open to all Northern Ontario Art Association members and non-members. Our vision is to expand in 2018 to all Ontario painter/poets. In 2020 make it a Canadian competition with invitation for painter/poets to submit to an eventual 2022 biannual international event."
Writing Down the Coloured Bones
The Art of Writing on Art
"Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it”.
- Vincent Van Gogh
Poems are the literary skeletons for inspirational flesh to hold upright the paintings’ body of expression. Both share a common heartbeat alive with juices from the muses. Group of Seven artist J. E. H. Macdonald writes, “A poem is a perfect moment of time with a heightened sense of heart and pulsation in it. A picture is a perfected enclosure of space seen with heightened vision.” The two genres engage and interrelate on canvas and paper the dual direction of where this creative pulse will finally rest in form and feeling. One spirit envelopes the process, giving coherence to what finally becomes a finish work of art.
A technical simplicity is demanded to capture with precise order aflame perceptions sparking from mysteries source. Illustrated in the book, On the Art of Writing, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch states a useful metaphor for painting. "You gather as you read that economy of words with 'concrete nouns and active verbs' is what gives writing clarity and merit." He continues, “If you think of this in terms of painting and drawing you see that economy of line and colour holds just as important a part in art”.
One danger is the painting overpowering the poem. Or the poem overpowering a painting. I co-judged one competition and sensed one of the strongest poems didn’t have a technically accurate painting to match its poetic backbone. Another time one of the strongest paintings had an inferior poem that just didn’t move the judges to reward a twofold vigour. Proportion is of upmost necessity in defining an award winning painting/poem.
Every movement and stroke is coordinated to craft a well -formed picture. There is adventure in continual creation beyond just a painting. Rich rewards await the artist who keeps fueling the original fire, enabling another avenue of expression to impress itself. Revealing multiple details and cross- meanings to the paintings' first formed dimension. A twin light burning extra hours of illumined gifts adding balance and delight.
When the urge to be poetic arrives, it is an intuitive dance that the artist brings to interplay. Words are not the first medium of comfort for some artists. One artist who won a painting/poetry competition said: “I now know what you writers struggle with when composing.” He spent three months crafting his very short almost haiku-style winning poem. It perfectly mirrored word for word a parallel connection to his visual story painting.
Words tied with equal precision are ribbons of reverie complementing the paintings formative visuals. Once completed a certain tension diffuses enabling the artist a more vibrant vista. When you saw the painting you heard the poem and vice versa; when you read the poem you saw the painting. Simonides the Greek poet said, “Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting with the gift of speech.”
Imagery, the great equalizer, is deeply conversant and at home in both realms. Using different senses causes an appreciation of its fused merging. Each must divide “space to be” in order to reorder its route back to wholeness. You the reader and observer is drawn into an emotional dialogue. Felt connections quietly harmonize the eye and ear. Our frame of reference has shifted and reshaped itself into a more enlarged spatial canvas of aesthetic possibilities. Retraining to view/read with singularity and perceptual purpose a blending of mutual beauty. As William Blake says, “The eye altering, alters all.”
At a painting/poetry competition award ceremony two years ago we had the people’s choice award. The general public is encouraged to be the judge and vote for their favourite. At the end of the night with ballots counted the winner is announced. That year the art loving public along with artists picked the painting /poem that won first place in this blind judging competition.
A kinship of knowing had warmed everyone. The artist had done their job in conveying a cohesive brilliance. How a painting paired with a poem can unite the spirit of truth transcending its division of discipline. With an elegant intercession both are silent testaments hanging on the galleries walls. Pleasure extends to the audiences unique viewing perspective.
The abundant journey favours all with rich rewards. A natural return to the complexion of creation. Art and writing co-existing in the same body of being. It’s muse voice says “write down my coloured bones so I can double the gifts”.
David C. Brydges
"Each of my collages is a letter composed in colour, form and pattern. The recipient of a letter might be real or conceptual; a person, a feeling, a place, a song. I consider what I want to say and to whom I´m saying it, but instead of communicating through text I translate my thoughts and emotions into an arrangement of shapes and colours."
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