Autumn fills the kitchen –
golden onions and Ma’s copper kettle
warm the dimming light.
makes me cry, she says, but I know
Soon the savory aroma deepens.
Carmelized onions turn the broth a beefy
brown. She adds thyme, a splash
of apple cider, starts the slow simmer.
Our noses feast long before our tongues.
The memory makes my eyes water.
This poem was written as part of the 20 Poem Challenge.
Alarie Tennille was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. She became fascinated by fine art at an early age, even though she had to go to the World Book Encyclopedia to find it. Today she visits museums everywhere she travels and spends time at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, where her husband is a volunteer guide. Alarie’s poetry book, Running Counterclockwise, contains many ekphrastic poems. Please visit her at alariepoet.com.
Blue Green and Brown
She wonders what is intimate
about an enormous canvas hung
up on a museum wall.
Museums are silent except for
garbled conversations, docents’ lectures, spills
of sound from someone’s device.
Nothing is intimate, not even
silence, the pristine space between
each person in a public place.
She sits at home with
the image on her screen,
all other lights off. In
twilight, blue, green, and brown
envelop her, keeping her company
in this humidity. Cicadas call
each other. Indoor and outdoors
blend : buses’ wheeze, the washer’s
slosh. She feels the space
between her and them dissolve.
This poem was first published in Setu.
Marianne Szlyk is the editor of The Song Is... , an associate poetry editor at Potomac Review, and a professor of English at Montgomery College. Her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, was published by Flutter Press.
Her first chapbook, Listening to Electric Cambodia, Looking up at Trees of Heaven, is available through Kind of a Hurricane Press: http://barometricpressures.blogspot.com/2014/10/listening-to-electric-cambodia-looking.html .
Her poems have appeared in a variety of online and print venues, including The San Pedro River Review, Cactifur, Of/with, bird's thumb, Truck, Algebra of Owls, Setu, The Bees Are Dead, and South Florida Poetry Journal. Two poems have received nominations for Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize respectively. Recently she was artist in residence at The Wild Word: http://thewildword.com/artist-in-residence-marianne-szlyk/ .
She hopes that you will consider sending work to her magazine. For more information about it, see this link: http://thesongis.blogspot.com/
György Ligeti, Lontano
There is micropolyphony
a fractalic geometry
of canons in canons
faraway echoes of Bach
on the horizon
massive clouds of Mahler
(all the right notes
but not necessarily
in the right order)
e lon gat ed
and I wonder
what it all adds up to
until I look up
and see my daughter
in the eye of the storm
Jonathan Taylor is an author, lecturer and critic from the UK. His books include the novel Melissa (Salt, 2015), and the poetry collection Musicolepsy (Shoestring, 2013). He is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester in the UK. He lives in Leicestershire with his wife, the poet Maria Taylor, and their twin daughters, Miranda and Rosalind. His website is www.jonathanptaylor.co.uk.
Rockets and Blue Lights
Close at hand to warn steamboats of shoal water,
flares like fireworks stage this catastrophe.
A palimpsest: a sail rides where once were two,
the second sunk under a quagmire of pigment,
which insists in and through its provenance.
Blues: azure, ultramarine, sapphire,
fuse frail chromatics; they babble from the shore,
where a daubed shadow holds a telescope:
no steamboat, just an implosive vortex of light,
purblind to its white hole heart.
How it beguiles, this hinter-world.
Up close, the canvas hides not quite wholeness
with brushstrokes, which despite brio, bravura,
reveal themselves as such: handiwork.
To the left, a mast-shroud ship’s translucence,
half lost in steam, spray,
once again the underpaint disclosing itself:
the tones, crude retouchings, the uppermost
layers of glaze. They shore up figure and ground,
stir the wreckage, keep it in abeyance.
To the right though is the most sundered,
most torn, and the thing itself pierces
through the multi layering, braid of authorship.
All is a gyre, which marks the brink
of memory. Fog funnelling centripetally
staves off the risk of everything folding in
on itself. All is, after all, restoration, stripping
off a surplus of harmonies, atmospherics;
staying within the frame, obeying its edges,
till all that’s left is one axis: that of metaphor.
Patrick Wright has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. His poems have been published in several magazines, most recently Agenda, Poetry London, Iota, and Brittle Star. He teaches Creative Writing at the Open University.
The pretense of sleep gives way to trusting slumber
under a cloud of black, a grey wall, that low, dun
wreck of a ceiling. The rise of her hip makes my breath catch.
It squares, slopes to the fall of rounded buttock.
Her legs are positioned to ease the pain of knee on knee
Like an expectant mother. Such inviolate privacy.
The brush licks sacral shadows, private hollows,
her rough and callused heels. Still she sleeps,
a monument in milk and twilight, flesh and stone,
chalk and ink, ash and linen.
Karen G. Berry
Karen G. Berry is a writer who lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Her poetry has appeared in Goblin Fruit, Prairie Poetry, Fireweed, Dream Journal, Napalm and Novocaine, and numerous themed print anthologies. She's the author of one novel and co-author of another. She gave up telling lies for telling stories in her early twenties and has never regretted the choice. She blogs at https://karengberry.mywriting.network/
Interior of a House in the Yoshiwara
My face is drawn a hundred times the same –
the same slant eyes, the brow as light and
insubstantial as a moth, the lips like blood,
a hundred of us, glowing sisterhood,
we scratch and squabble for the same prize.
It is an eternal art, our heart-shaped faces
and the way we make them smile, a thing
so practiced it consumes the soul. My lovers
flash and are gone in an instant like lightening
bugs in the thick of August. I remain.
Margaret Wack has been previously published in Strange Horizons, Liminality, and Twisted Moon, among others. More can be found at margaretwack.com.
This Family Called Apple
Plumped up and pinched,
rosy-cheeks of a kind,
ample curves, breasts
and buttocks nestled
side by side, silent
picture of health,
what could be growing
wrong on the inside. When
lost in thought in the orchard
I plucked their glossy bodies–
let them fall into my canvas
apron– ignoring your warnings–
invisible bruises show up after
the snap of leaf and stem. Now
which will go first? Taut
skin resists, shines
against the bite
that changed paradise–
sudden waters, flesh, seeds,
unlocked stars– the secrets
of many in this chaste household.
First published in Language of Color: Writers Respond to the Paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe (Big Pencil Press).
M.J. Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. She is Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor at St. John Fisher College. Her lyric essays have appeared in In Brief: Short Takes on the Personal, edited by Mary Paumier Jones and Judith Kitchen (Norton, 1999), Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction, edited by Judith Kitchen (Norton, 2005) and Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction, edited by Judith Kitchen and Dinah Lenney (Norton, 2015), and her recently released third full length poetry collection Small Worlds Floating, Cherry Grove Collections, August 2016.You may follow her on mjiuppa.blogspot.com
de Kooning, the Dutchman at MOMA
Epigram: He was lucky in being by temperament, chronically hungry and omnivorous.
First, great yellows
swathed, brushed, smeared,
streaks fat and thin
The circus is in town.
Second, slashes of red
drawing the eye to corners
for no particular reason,
I spot them and follow.
Red, my favorite colour
as a child, tomatoes,
heart-shaped Red Hots,
a red velvet dress.
Third, riotous pink
His busty Pink Angels
a hint of wicked wings
escape from layers of paint
He drew, he painted, he scraped
Feminists derided him, never
dismissed him, impossible
Venuses of Willendorf –
on muscular legs, giant bottoms
Fellini-esque, shouting sirens.
Fourth, pink and red together
To form giant mouths,
barracuda grins he once saw
on a ladies’ magazine and could never forget.
They say he lost
his mind, the canvas is clear
but for ribbons -- red, blue, yellow
banners fat and thin across white snow.
Maria Lisella is the sixth Queens Poet Laureate 2015-2018. Her Pushcart Prize-nominated work appears in Thieves in the Family (NYQ Books), Amore on Hope Street and Two Naked Feet. Her work is also included in The Traveler''s Vade Mecum (Red Hen Press, 2017). She co-curates the Italian American Writers Association readings on 2nd Saturdays. By day, she is a NY Expert for USA TODAY and a contributor to La Voce di New York.
The Ekphrastic Review
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