--After Seeing Ingres’ "La Grande Odalisque" Online
I love how O starts low in the belly
like Om, arises in the throat with da,
and eases past my grinning teeth with ee.
These sounds to me are succulent soma,
physical drugs, so Odalisque can’t trick
in her light manner, staring in the raw
all nil. She must lay in sounds we can lick,
sounds we can kiss with open mouth. Her hue
must not convey or feign in pixel talk,
but shout at dilettantes who dare subdue
her lines. Her peacock eye, the one that’s blind
at night, must not elude one part of you,
art lover; it must roil the blood in kind
and compel the sound madness of your mind.
Gregory Palmerino’s essays and poems have appeared in Explicator, Teaching English in the Two-Year College, College English, Amaze: The Cinquain Journal, International Poetry Review, The Literary Hatchet, The Courtland Review, Shot Glass Journal, The Lyric, the fib review, The Road Not Taken, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, The Ekphrastic Review, Lighten Up Online, The NewVerse.News and The Asses of Parnassus. He teaches writing at Manchester Community College and writes poetry in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner, where he lives with his wife and three children.
Leaves bursting like blossoms,
Sprung from the first
In seven years,
Grace a thousand slender fingers.
Those emerald wreathed fingers
Weave morning light into life,
And stretch toward a new moon
Fleeing west -
A crescent cup
Holding its stolen treasure
Of lucid sky.
Robert Walton is an experienced writer with several dozen poems published. His novel Dawn Drums was awarded first place in the 2014 Arizona Authors Association’s literary contest and also won the 2014 Tony Hillerman Best Fiction Award. He is a retired teacher and a life-long rock climber.
Smoking death through a cigarette, he passed the time-
his eyes: glazed over with the look of the dead; his cheeks:
the hollow worm meat long vanished from the sordid frame
of his chiseled face. He was once so great, but I cannot
remember what he did and now nobody would answer to his
name, also forgotten, apart from existing, inked, on the slowly
burning carcass in between his bony, blackened lips. He had
written it there before, when capable, and now it burnt like his
life before his glassy eyes, twisting and screeching, in agony
at the horrors that were seen and the nothing he was to be.
He was not yet put to rest, the dagger remained tattooed in
his shrivelled veins; the day had not yet terminated but hung
like loose threads before his head and fluttered in the wind,
tormenting him in the everlasting light and the evanescence
of before’s and again’s which now forgot to haunt him in his dazed
state in which he remained, until the rain came down and covered
his bones in mud and darkness, stamping out his smoky
friend forever. He was left tearless in his grave of faeces and mud
to spend eternity being the food for plants.
Jasmin Deans has been writing for three years now. She is eighteen. She has recently moved to Dubai but will be attending university in the UK next year to complete an undergraduate degree in English Literature. She has previously been published in Rat's Ass Review.
Isn't it funny the way light plays,
how hiding it inhabits other faces and
sheds like skin, clings save for my skeleton
shell. I am left with scraps only,
the dripped leavings of ancient candle.
Maybe I could fight for morning light.
Maybe I could filter the blue hour haze,
rearrange my gaze beyond empty glass,
even momentary glimpse another ending.
Would I own the outcome? Recognize
this quality of light? I fear blindness so
downward glance to spite the dawn.
Still sun will rise above hurt feelings and
leave me shadow slouching, let me to
my work, my private war waged over
tabletop, elbows stabbing. Silence another
casualty– I am not immune to sleep
walking, to nightmare games.
I could hang myself on this hand,
surrender to solemn requiem, fingers
finding prayer in the starved darkness.
Emily Reid Green
Emily Reid Green's poetry, creative non-fiction and flash fiction have appeared in publications including: Skipping Stones, Common Threads, The Font, The Linnet’s Wings, Khroma, Gravel, and Skive Magazine. An unabashed bookworm and avid knitter, she lives with her family in Toledo, Ohio.
Study Guide: “The Fall of Icarus” for Ms. Hansen’s English 9 Power Slide 7
I like the ploughman’s head pointed
down to earth just like his horse looks
down to see where to step. Everybody
says look up, lift your gaze, look ahead,
see what’s going on when ploughing
the earth up for spring planting.
If he doesn’t look down he won’t see
a big old rock that might bust his blade,
and then what’s the horse good for?
I like the plowman’s shirt.
They’re all going about their business,
Though I don’t know much about the
Businesses. Haven’t you noticed,
nobody notices what everybody
else is doing isn’t that what we notice?
The guy with the red head who points.
He’s not about to jump into and save
The poor nincompoop, he just wants to point,
Like the guy who says I’m just a monitor,
He’s the monitor who sees a boy falling,
With wings of hot wax and charcoal feathers.
But maybe he just sees two legs in the ocean.
The other day I read about a body pulled
Out of the lake and nobody helped him out.
As soon as that leg sinks below
Everybody’s going to turn around
And just keep on doing what
They were doing before the
Big tragedy, though no one
Really thinks it’s a big tragedy.
Maybe even the painter didn’t
Think it was such a big tragedy,
Maybe he just had some extra
Red paint he wanted to get off
Of his brush, who really knows.
Well, a lot more things are noticed
By the artist, for example he likes
White cliffs, and white clouds, and
White sunlight, and white sails and
White sheep and white shirts and
White towns but he did a pretty
Good job with a couple of dabs
Of red, where did he get that red?
DeWitt Clinton is Emeritus Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, and lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin. He continues to write and publish short creative non-fiction and poetry in in Wise Guys: An Online Magazine, Negative Capability, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Verse-Virtual, New Verse News, Peacock Journal, Ekphrastic Review and Stark: The Poetry Journal No. 1 which featured a “shortlisted” poem for the Wisehouse International Poetry Award.
fingers raw, for
I’ve scrubbed, scoured and mopped all
but my brow,
as she soaked.
Eyes closed, head back,
hair a glowing stream of sunset
running over the side
of the porcelain
gleaming from my morning’s work.
She is done now,
with her Sunday bath,
and these raw-rubbed hands
of a fiery forest of knots.
Taming, tending, touching –
these are my skills,
is the work
of the handmaid.
Lisa Conquet was lucky to grow up in NYC -- a place that mirrors her spirit, energy and mix of cultures. The city fed her soul and her love of words. As a copywriter for a Madison Avenue ad agency, she utilized her psychology degree to entice consumers, then went back to school and turned the tables. Now she is a psychotherapist who uses poetry to help her clients.
The Whiteness of Bone
White on white. Was a time I wouldn’t
have seen it, a little snort bursting
from my nose, up-tilted, at the greyish-
white square, askew on the cream ground.
Suprematist Composition, 1918, indeed,
war’s end, and that is all Malevich could
come up with? So much nothing, a long
Sunday, hours mounded like dune sand,
the upward slog, the endless back-sliding.
Then, I was all noise, rushing to get somewhere,
not realizing the deception of motion,
Self always shrouding like the linen skin
of a dressmaker’s dummy. Now I know:
this as far as far as I’m going, this the end
of my leap, all the time in the world
to explore the gradations between pearl
and cream, paper and bone, milky and
opalescent. The dead in the trenches, bone
white against the bleached scroll of years.
The pitted surface, the brushstrokes, the
canvas poking through, plenty for the eyes
of one grown old enough to glean.
Devon Balwit is a writer and teacher from Portland, OR. She has two chapbooks forthcoming--'how the blessed travel' from Maverick Duck Press and 'Forms Most Marvelous' from dancing girl press. Her recent work has found many homes, among them: Oyez, The Cincinnati Review, Red Paint Hill, Timberline Review, Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Trailhead Review, and Oracle.
Resurrection of the Bird
It will fly into the oblivion it knows
rather than the one it doesn’t
willingly, composed, at ease,
as if returning home
the prodigal child of the sky
forgiven at last
conceived in a whim of light
absolved by the sun
reconciled with its destiny
as certain as the stars
so far from land
it doesn’t know its way
it waits for resurrection
as its primal right.
Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has published more than 1,000 ekphrastic poems in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world. His collections include chapbooks devoted exclusively to the works of Paul Klee, Matta and others.
The Replicants in Question
"Every angel is terrifying."
—Rilke, The Duino Elegies
What’s this? Deckard asks: not who.
Clever bit of exposition, to reveal the quarry
to us and Deck together, let him query Bryant
for us, our proxy, blue membrane
of smoke haze rising between them.
Nexxus 6. Each description straight
from dimestore pulp, a reduction
to function, the body’s brute
uses. The heads, factory fresh,
spin as in a shop window. Skull-capped,
mute and gazeless, a sameness.
No snake tattoo, no shock of white hair,
no hate love fear anger envy yet.
Transformation, the interpreted world: time
cut off as failsafe. And if
the machine doesn’t work?
Flight, light: Deckard narrows his eyes.
Spinners flare out their flame-red haloes.
The score recalls its daring first notes --
a kestrel keening—
This poem is from the author's in-process manuscript addressing the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner. Envisioned as a sort of "poetry commentary track" for the film's Final Cut version, the poems address the movie's themes of memory, the body, and what it means to be human by weaving screen action and imagery with personal memory, interpretation, and a splash of Rilke.
Jan Bottiglieri lives and writes in Schaumburg, IL. She is a managing editor for the poetry annual RHINO and received her MFA in Poetry from Pacific University. Jan’s poems have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies including Harpur Palate, Court Green, Bellevue Literary Review, and Rattle. She is the author of the chapbook Where Gravity Pools the Sugar and the full-length poetry collection Alloy. Visitjanbottiglieri.com.
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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John R. Lee
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Mary Kay Rummell
Janet St. John
Christy Sheffield Sanford
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Liza Nash Taylor
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Martin Willitts Jr
William Carlos Williams
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William Butler Yeats
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