The Persistence of Memory
could not tell time at all.
Dalí knew it.
and hung like laundry.
Dalí counted on it.
his dream memory
and persisted in
the clocks that needed
to cool off.
tick tock, Dalí mumbled
as he worked.
the clocks amusing and
soft to walk on.
Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, born in Mexico, lives in California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. His first book of poems, Raw Materials, was published by Pygmy Forest Press. His poetry has been published by Alternating Current Press, Deadbeat Press, New Polish Beat, Poet's Democracy, and Ten Pages Press. His latest chapbook, Make the Light Mine, was published by Kendra Steiner Editions.
Witch Hunt: Salem
Step in. It’s cooler in here.
Darker, too, though.
She must have heard them coming.
Men. Horses. A wagon. A righteous mission.
They came by night, cloaked in darkness.
There. By the fireside.
She must have waited there.
The fire warmed her pill box house
as her family gathered around her
seeking solace and strength.
She was a good Christian woman.
She must have been praying to God --
to a god whose Bible
said she must die.
For a mark. A mumble. A rat. A cat.
She had them all.
She must have known it was useless.
She was helpless against them.
They had power. Zeal. Torches. Rope.
She must have gone calmly and piously.
That was her way.
She had gotten old being that way,
day after day, faithfully.
She had tended the fields, the flowers, the fires,
but mostly her family --
her straitlaced husband and her eight children.
who now gathered around her,
struck silent by fear.
She must have realized
she would be jailed, whipped, starved, tortured,
then hanged from the gallows,
left to swing there in the dark night
until she was cut down and buried
in the hard, cold earth.
No one knows where.
Step out, now.
Watch the light. It can hurt your eyes.
Editor's Note: Rebecca Nurse, 71, was hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. The poet visited her homestead and was moved by the experience and the cover art, depicting Nurse's home, of the book she bought, first published in 1930.
Cynthia Pitman has had poetry published in Literary Yard and Right Hand Pointing. The title of the RHP issue, The White Room, was from her poem, and the artwork was designed around it. She has poetry forthcoming in Amethyst Review and Postcard Poems and Prose, and a short story forthcoming in Saw Palm: Florida Literature and Art.
after Kara Walker’s artwork by the same name
A midnight woman in the shape of a monster takes center stage. Master of ceremonies
Shrinks in her radiant shadow, though still wields the sting of his tiny stick
Like a promise of rage unstrung. Is she revelation or divination? Is she embodiment
Of her own, or our salvation? Has she read the quilted maps of her own star-crossed palms?
Master shrinks in her pulsated shadow, becomes little man gripped in one
Hand, while pinstruck voudou child rides the other. Mother/Destroyer, Mama Oya.
Her dual nature compels her still: squeeze the pale life from him, throw his husk to hogs.
Be rid of his ever-present will; lift the chains of his privilege. She knows she can
Take his wand, break that hated stick by sleight of her gifted hand. Her revenant laugh
Cracks the air, blows back the dusty curtain of history to reveal power: her long repressed,
Her stereotyped, her hungry, her abandoned, her mythical sex. Once called succubus,
Wanton, witch, unsexed field-hand, now she channels hidden centuries of womb wisdom.
She’ll teach master his true size; this is not his show. The show must go on and will repeat
Like syncopated refrains of ancient songs. Far from copasetic, yet it will do. It will do,
Cake-walking its steady road through cotton-pricked fields of pain. She tacks a scrap of her
Scarred heart to the magic doll: pain she wants to give that little man, a sharp knife serving
Soured fruit. She knows pain can teach, reach beyond mere truth. She offers her own
Needled coming-of-age, keloided ebony skin as proof: pain alchemized her power. Behold:
She is fabled vision, no mere ingénue. Her breasts should sag with weight of long labour, famine.
Her beauty, defiant rides high. Colossal, her sex yields rivers of pleasure above his shrieks.
She speaks: I am a multitude, the only one, made anew each hour, each moon;
I eclipse your every imagination. I birth myself without respite.
I name myself: The Stillness and the Dance
I name myself: Mother of Nations
I name myself: Hope of Warriors
My name is Confluence, Convergence: my powers multiply.
I transform the small world in my mighty, mighty hands.*
Maura Alia Badji
*Source for last two lines: Lines 37 and 38, Exquisite Corpse 032015, Strange, and Tribble.
The poet was inspired by a particular work of Kara Walker, called You Do. Click here to view it.
Maura Alia Badji is a poet and writer. Her poetry and essays have appeared in many publications, including Cobalt, The Delaware Review, Pirene’s Fountain, The Skinny Poetry Journal, The Good Men Project, This City Is a Poem, Barely South Review, Red Flag Poetry, The Phoenix Soul, The Buffalo News, and The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. Her poems are in anthologies from Liberated Muse, The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Night Ballet Press, Yellow Chair Press, and others. Maura earned her MFA from University of WA, Seattle where she was also an editorial assistant at The Seattle Review. She is a member of The Watering Hole, an online community for poets of colour. A NY state native, Maura lives in Virginia Beach with her son, Ibrahim.
Theo, what good news!
You're a father and everyone
is healthy. I imagine
little Vincent's finger
clinging to yours, like
a new tendril hooking
a stem for support.
It lifts my spirits
to know, no matter how
my mind wanders,
you are forever
The orchards were flowering
when I first arrived in Arles.
This almond tree
captures that moment,
its milky blossoms lit
the only way happiness
can be, from
Bob Bradshaw is recently retired, and living in California. He is a big fan of the Rolling Stones. Mick may not be gathering moss, but Bob is. Bob's work can be found in many publications on the net, including Apple Valley Review, Eclectica, Loch Raven Review, Peacock Journal and Pedestal Magazine, among others.
Lounging lord and lady they are today
Makers of their own realms and in-between.
The drama of lover and libertine,
Locked in passions draw, its hold, its replay,
Dazzles the audience with golden touch
Of Midas, the king of all our metals.
Earth, who I chiseled into place, settles
Her accounts, peppercorns for such and such.
Sea creatures toss up their ready sovereign
To direct the tempests with trident wand.
He metes out his hoard of riches in salt.
Together the sentient world they govern,
As inlets and ridges entangle a bond
That pleasures them both. Our lives they exalt.
Dennis Daly lives in Salem MA. He has published six books of poetry and poetic translations. His 7th book, The Devil's Artisan, Sonnets from the Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini is now seeking a publisher.. His blog site Weights and Measures is dennisfdaly.blogspot.com.
If you let go of your Halloween
peanut and candy corn coated breath,
it will become a ghost in the city of Odessa.
Not like that cheery chubby Casper cartoon
or those grotesque movie ghouls.
Rather a spirit of relief floating in an October chill.
Is this how we make the world small?
Through breath and air?
Maybe the redwoods in California
will smell the sweet aroma of your release.
If you dress yourself in a coat of curiosity
while driving around these overcrowded concrete streets,
you will see the city’s dress is summer green
with a hem of frightened yellow, drab brown
and a collar of panicked orange.
Munch mimics fall with the same hues
in Der Schrei der Natur.
This contorted face he sketched
in his whirlwind of colours
is no more terrifying than my dreams
rummaging through the darkness, fishing for stars.
Is this what fear looks like,
a distorted jaw and murky shadows?
If so, does a violet scream joy?
If we wait until tomorrow to remove our masks,
truth will follow us into November.
You will see beneath this flesh I am a pole.
Your words lean against everything you once feared.
Loretta Diane Walker
This poem was first published in Ilya's Honey Literary Journal.
Loretta Diane Walker, a multiple Pushcart Nominee, and Best of the Net Nominee, won the 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Award for poetry, for her collection, In This House (Bluelight Press). Loretta was named “Statesman in the Arts” by the Heritage Council of Odessa. Her work has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies including, River of Earth and Sky, Her Texas, and Concho River Review. She has published four collections of poetry. Her most recent collection is Desert Light, Lamar University Press. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award. Naomi Shihab Nye states, “Loretta Diane Walker writes with compassionate wisdom and insight—her poems restore humanity.”
Two Seamstresses in the Workroom
"I wonder: are my limitations ours?
What can my hands produce which yours cannot?
These shears - a polished steel interface
between me and the cloth - could you not use
their intersecting contours to trace
the same patterns I find carefully wrought
in chalk along this silken organdy,
its plain weave balanced by complexity
of printed roses, petals, green-veined leaves
falling away along a future seam?"
She answered: "When all patterns interfuse
their borders into one, roses redeem
all our divisions, and the eye perceives
no separation, even when the stem
turns back upon itself beneath the hem,
our vision follows, crafting it complete.
And so my hands are yours, and yours are mine
and all these roses, ruby or chartreuse,
repeat what they conceal: curve or line,
the flowing border or the gathered pleat,
until blossoms, transformed, become earthstars.
W.F. Lantry’s poetry collections are The Terraced Mountain (Little Red Tree 2015), The Structure of Desire (Little Red Tree 2012), winner of a 2013 Nautilus Award in Poetry, The Language of Birds (2011). He received his PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. Honors include the National Hackney Literary Award in Poetry, Patricia Goedicke Prize, Crucible Editors' Prize, Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (Israel), the Paris Lake Poetry Prize and Potomac Review Prize. His work appears widely online and in print. He currently works in Washington, DC. and is editor of Peacock Journal.
For Roland Barthes and Crockett Johnson
The punctum is his red toe
Not August in Maine
Not his blond hair turning wheatish in the back
Or the frowsy sweep of the home haircut
Not the jump
Or the big weird rocks
Ok maybe the rocks play a role
But not the one we thought
Not his age, 5
Or time passing, now seven months
Here in Perkins Cove the garbage cans sport aspirational messages
Here are ice cream cones blueberry infused
Wearing his sister’s old sweater
Maybe the punctum is his ear
Maybe his tiny, delicate profile
Not the cowlick cut by his father
But the gentle closing of thumb and forefinger on his right hand
Unconscious signifier of balance and grace
Picking up the ocean like a curtain or a blanket
Drawing to its fold
Allison Moore teaches contemporary art and photo history at the University of South Florida. Her criticism has been published in Artforum, among other places, and her scholarly book on Malian photography is forthcoming with Duke University Press.
A Moment at the Mirror
That moment when we separate: as form continues with its sinews, mind diminues to within while pondering what may be fate until reminded to begin once more to congregate.
That other, who looks out at me,
so indifferent, does she see uncertainty
beneath my smile, realizing all the while
this makeup hides so much below,
those essences which must not show
when on the street I chance to meet
someone that I might know.
And did she notice, moments past,
I hesitated, paused to wonder--
would my guise be put asunder
at the moment that’s my last?
Tonight, perchance, that solemn dance;
my will succeeded or surpassed.
This breast and neighbor pass the test
which carries them among the best
of youth and those still at their peak,
although an aging gent might seek
a matron who can patronize,
who’ll lie, in spite of every lie,
who’ll realize that wealth and power,
name and fame, a healthy dower--
not her flower—keeps her in their clique.
But someday might I find a lump
while their firmness mesmerizes
young and old,
those very bold who might apply,
or even those still very shy
who need my wile and loving smile,
not aware that all the while
darkness keeps my heart at bay,
controlling all I do and say.
Yet flattery o’er many years
may flatten chests upon which rests
the privilege gained from these amours,
whether one is truly yours
or just another tête-à-tête,
a chance to fête before the fate
of aging causes to abate
those passioned nights and daily fights,
revulsions and delights.
I noticed, looking back at her,
my pondering did not deter
the tasks which render her expressions,
hiding any indiscretions, beautiful,
full dutiful to those who seek
a face which pleases and appeases,
never dark or bleak.
Anointing face with many hues
of red, perhaps a touch of blues
around the eyes, a fair disguise,
and euphemistic beauty mark,
a mole (so droll it seems a lark);
some reflexed, some with practiced skills--
for many years they’ve been the shills
of beauty’s commerce wont today.
Once makeup’s on, I’ll start my day.
Ken Gosse writes poetry using simple language with traditional metre and rhyme, often filled with whimsy and humor. First published in The First Literary Review–East, November 2016, his poems are also in The Offbeat, Pure Slush, Parody, The Ekphrastic Review, and other publications. Raised in the Chicago suburbs, he and his wife have lived in Arizona over twenty years, always with a herd of cats and dogs underfoot.
Not all magic
drains into the pool of exploitation.
She sees a remnant,
to bring forth through
that help her forget skin-deep and,
focus on what the mirror doesn't reflect.
In 2015, Tim Philippart sold his gymnasium equipment sales and service business. He started writing poetry, short fiction, non-fiction and ghost blogs. Since then, over 60 of his pieces have seen daylight in publications like Gravel, Magnolia Review, Saltfront, Chicago Literati, and Third Wednesday. Chances are, if you are reading this bio, you are about to encounter something Tim wrote. Feel free to email him (email@example.com) with questions or comments. If, perchance, you have answers he always enjoys receiving those too.
After Woman in the Mirror by Cagnaccio Di San Pietro
At your vanity in the blue room
Soft and naked as a mollusk
In its pearl walled shell
Your rosy flesh a reflection
Of your red rouge pots-
Creams and unguents
Ordered before you
Like the words
Of an alchemist's equation
You lean forward
As if to protect your own
Image in the glass
As yet unpolished
To bear the touch
Of any man's
The figure in the mirror
Watches the door
Fearful of intrusion
And hides in the border
Queen of sorrows
Mary McCarthy: "I have always been a writer, but spent most of my working life as a Registered Nurse. My work has appeared in many print and on line journals, including 3Elements, Praxis, Verse/Virtual, and Third Wednesday. I have an electronic chapbook Things I Was Told Not to Think About available as a free download from Praxis magazine online."
Why would he make her paint herself
and leave so disarrayed the shelf
on which he put her arm to rest
in pose as if by thought possessed...
...of scent he had her atomize
as aura he could improvise
to layer, in transparent veils,
the earthiness that art entails...
...by tease of beauty both exposed
and yet still left to be disclosed
to yearning and bewildered eyes
left solely to their mere surmise...
...of all that he had fully seen
and so admired to see her preen?
Portly Bard: "Old man. Ekphrasis fan."
The Woman in the Mirror
She struggles to the parlor,
sits half-naked in front of
the vanity with a clinical
look that realism always
Her eyes are heavy with
fatigue—she was sleeping
on the floor with the others,
wine bottles, poker cards
and cigarettes scattered
eye shadow, and rouge
attempt to cover up
regret and the lingering
loneliness after the orgy.
She slips on fresh lipstick,
the color of her nipples
still perked on her ample
breasts, supple, waiting
for her John to take her
John C. Mannone
John C. Mannone has work in Blue Fifth Review, Poetry South, Peacock Journal,Baltimore Review, Windhover and others. He won the Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and served as the contest’s celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). His third collection is Flux Lines (Celtic Cat, 2018). He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other journals. he’s a retired physics professor living in east Tennessee.http://jcmannone.wordpress.com
He didn’t even bother to shut that front door
quietly. Slammed it shut.
I followed him with my eyes
as he walked down that dark and wet street,
his coat collar turned up
against droplets from the skeletal trees.
Mirror, mirror… the eyes were clear once,
once there was not one line around the mouth.
My breasts are still where they should be,
my arms still solid. But I have seen him with her.
One night, near Seven-Eleven.
She was so young. And his paunch
hung over his belted trousers.
How will loneliness feel?
Once upon a time, we loved each other.
Rose Mary Boehm
A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of two novels and three poetry collections, her work has been widely published in US poetry journals (online and print).
Act II Scene VI Line 138
Shakespeare wrote--All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players--centuries ago. Imagine the increased depth of meaning had he given that speech to a Jacqueline instead of a Jacques.
But there you have it—patriarchal platitudes. Metaphor masquerading as truth. We are not considered equal in that phrase. Men might be players, but we are the game pieces.
Or returned with care.
Every day I sit with paint, powder, and perfume—preparing for a gauntlet of judgment on the world stage. A better comparison might be that I prepare to stand trial every day in the court of public opinion—where the jury catcalls, the judge leers, the lawyers make baseless accusations, and the gallery tries to pretend everything is normal.
My war paint mask must be attractive, but not desirable; my odour pleasant, but not intoxicating; my dress fashionable, but not form-fitting if I am to hit all my marks, deliver my lines, and arrive home after five unassailed.
Mirror, mirror, ...I am exhausted in the act of merely existing.
Jordan Trethewey is a writer and editor living in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. His work has been featured in many online and print publications, and has been translated in Vietnamese and Farsi.
the tenement museum
after a photo by Simon Watson
this is it then, the single photo
that describes my private heart
a lone chair for a solitary man
bare wooden floor, well worn
a mirror, dark with sorrow
that cannot, will not show my face
whatever reflections may be had
must be pulled from somewhere else
fireplace, half seen, but full cold
no passion there for so long
no one even bothers to lay a log
not even at yuletide
paint and plaster left untouched,
unattended, are leaving
not in leaps and bounds, no
but in daily dissolutions
fueling the dust that settles
daylight, yes, but muted
as though the sun is unwilling
to put too much effort here
or maybe unable to penetrate
the grayness of late life
even the blue trim has faded
testament to fleeting joys
finite moments of pleasure
of peace, of contentment
and almost as an afterthought
a single candle stands
half-used, half waiting,
ready at the smallest spark
to flare into active hope
ready to say "i am not done"
to say "i am not gone"
The image shown to illustrate this work is an amazing photo by Christian Holmér (Sweden) but it is not the image that inspired the poem. We were not able to get permission for the photograph by Simon Watson (USA) that prompted lewis's poem, but invite you to see it by clicking here. It is the second photo from the left in the top row.
j.lewis is an internationally published poet, musician, and nurse practitioner. His poems have appeared online and in print in numerous journals from California to Nigeria to the UK. His first collection of poetry and photography was published in June 2016, and is available on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/clear-day-october-j-lewis/dp/168073055X). A chapbook "every evening is december" was published by Praxis Magazine (http://www.praxismagonline.com/every-evening-december-j-lewis/) in February 2018.
Scroll down for writers, archive by month, and categories
(use search box above)
Sherry Barker Abaldo
Meghan Rose Allen
Maura Alia Badji
Mary Jo Balistreri
Karin Wraley Barbee
Janée J. Baugher
B. Elizabeth Beck
Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Karen G. Berry
Susan P. Blevins
Rose Mary Boehm
Charles M. Boyer
Marion Starling Boyer
Catherine A. Brereton
Charles W. Brice
David C. Brydges
Betsy Holleman Burke
Mary Lou Buschi
Danielle Nicole Byington
Wendy Taylor Carlisle
Fern G. Z. Carr
Tricia Marcella Cimera
SuzAnne C. Cole
Gonzalinho da Costa
Robert L. Dean, Jr.
Joanne Rocky Delaplaine
John Scott Dewey
Marc Alan Di Martino
Catherine Ruffing Drotleff
Kari Ann Ebert
Suzanne E. Edison
Kurt Cole Eidsvig
Tara A. Elliott
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Ariel Rainer Fintushel
Jordan E. Franklin
Jen Stewart Fueston
Edward H. Garcia
Adam J. Gellings
Steven Wittenberg Gordon
Grace Marie Grafton
Emily Reid Green
Rebeca Ladrón de Guevara
Laura Quinn Guidry
Andrea L. Hackbarth
Matthew E. Henry
Judith Lee Herbert
A. J. Huffman
Pat Snyder Hurley
Arya F. Jenkins
Brandon D. Johnson
Crystal Condakes Karlberg
David M. Katz
Christopher T. Keaveney
Olivia J. Kiers
Loretta Collins Klobah
Kim Peter Kovac
Jean L. Kreiling
Stuart A. Kurtz
Tanmoy Das Lala
Fiona Tinwei Lam
John R. Lee
Clarissa Mae de Leon
David Ross Linklater
Gregory E. Lucas
Lorette C. Luzajic
M. L. Lyons
Ariel S. Maloney
John C. Mannone
Diane G. Martin
Mary C. McCarthy
Megan Denese Mealor
Patrick G. Metoyer
David P. Miller
Stacy Boe Miller
Mark J. Mitchell
Sharon Fish Mooney
Thomas R. Moore
Diane V. Mulligan
Mark A. Murphy
S. Jagathsimhan Nair
Heather M. Nelson
Casey Elizabeth Newbegin
James B. Nicola
Bruce W. Niedt
Kim Patrice Nunez
M. N. O'Brien
Pravat Kumar Padhy
Andrew K. Peterson
Laurel S. Peterson
Daniel J. Pizappi
Melissa Reeser Poulin
Rhonda C. Poynter
Marcia J. Pradzinski
Anita S. Pulier
Molly Nelson Regan
Amie E. Reilly
J. Stephen Rhodes
Jeannie E. Roberts
Ralph La Rosa
Mary C. Rowin
Mary Kay Rummell
Mary Harris Russell
Janet St. John
Lisa St. John
Kelly R. Samuels
Christy Sheffield Sanford
Pamela Joyce Shapiro
Courtney O'Banion Smith
Janice D. Soderling
Helen Leslie Sokolsky
David Allen Sullivan
Kim Cope Tait
Mary Stebbins Taitt
Mary Ellen Talley
Liza Nash Taylor
Memye Curtis Tucker
Janine Pommy Vega
Loretta Diane Walker
Sue Brannan Walker
Joanna M. Weston
Martin Willitts Jr
William Carlos Williams
Morgan Grayce Willow
Shannon Connor Winward
Amy Louise Wyatt
William Butler Yeats
Abigail Ardelle Zammit
Our primary objective is to promote writing, art and artists today and through history. All works of art are used with permission of the creator or publisher, OR under public domain, OR under fair use. If any works have been used or credited incorrectly, please alert us so we can fix it.