Dear Ekphrastic Challengees,
Thank you all so much for submitting your Bowie pieces to The Ekphrastic Review. I have read and re-read your amazing words with admiration…and then read 'em again, such pleasure! This fascinating challenge has yielded a really beautiful compilation indeed, so: enjoy. Congratulations everyone, and three cheers for TER and the amazing Lorette!
Thank you all, be well, Kate Copeland
Now Bowie, ten, a Bromley lad,
just as was I, but up the street,
a crow’s fly mile at most I’d say.
My class desk in a row beside
his Burnt Ash School; like Brixton’s fires,
the riots of a bile unjust,
piles pillars, bricks from racist wiles.
Graffiti there, the poet’s tool,
and walls, illumined manuscripts
bloom words and storeys of new ways;
a due home for once aliens,
‘no dogs, blacks, Irish’ labels gone.
In inner city, outer strife
gives way to carnival of life.
They, Wolf Cubs, his gyrations thought
were from another planet moves;
from group to band, encore, again,
most missing, songs of early years;
would Bowie sheath or flick that knife,
in search from Iggy, Ziggy flame
with paranoia of his genes?
Space oddity, an odyssey,
to find his hunky dory name,
androgyny to mask within
his clouded eye from fist of friend.
Cracked actor, music of the spheres,
too many balls hang in the air,
sheer stardust coming in to land.
Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales, UK, from ministry in the Methodist Church due to Parkinson’s Disease, has had pieces curated by on-line poetry sites, printed journals and anthologies, including The Ekphrastic Review. His blog is at https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com
What if I had stayed, joined the magic dance with you, left my infant brother to be raised by your bat-faced beasts? What if we played Marco Polo in the stone maze and let your voice draw me to you? What if I chained you up in the oubliette, and made you wait, made you beg? What if we had fucked in the tunnel of Helping Hands, and I couldn't tell who or what was caressing me? What if we threw our heads off and swapped them and kissed each-other and ourselves? What if we rode into battle on huge rolling rocks, and drove our enemies into the Bog of Eternal Stench? What if Escher’s floating stairs were a Tetris game we solved? What if the Venetian ballroom shattered into tiny stars around us, and we escaped together back into my suburban bedroom? What if you lost the wig and the leggings, nibbled my ear with your crooked teeth, and showed me modern love?
Bayveen O'Connell is an Irish writer who has fiction in Centaur Lit, The Ekphrastic Review, Erato, Backwards Trajectory, Switch, Splonk, Janus Literary, MacQueen's Quinterly, The Forge, Fractured Lit, and others. Her micro fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best Microfiction. Her writing is inspired by history, folklore, art, and travel, and she loves scouting for Sile-na-Gigs in situ.
This face of Bowie
amidst cosmic spheres
lets him be heard
on painted, torchable brick
and long after I pass
to that stardust.
Spare me from languor.
The Spotify playlists.
Keep my voice raw
like the roaring boys
bedded like rock stars
until their time is up.
If you are still
amidst the lightning
hear my songs, living
echoing on these bricks
Royal Rhodes grew up listening to Bowie through those many, creative transformations. Like the "Man who fell to earth', he lifted us all to see the stars.
Call Me Dave
came to me
in a great big dream.
I’d just finished talking with Salvador Dali,
he’d been teaching me how to make a million
by signing empty sheets of paper
he’d left all his stuff
sorry ‘bout the mess
call me Dave
He threw his guitar into the air
it shattered into a hundred stars.
Look isn’t that beautiful
I had to agree
I hadn’t seen anything as beautiful
since I’d seen a Sorolla
burning in the middle of Madrid.
We stayed a while
watching the falling stars
floating to the ground like butterfly's wings
until he caught one
in his open white hand
and passed it to me
smiling from his eyes.
Art is nothing more than this
Marc lives in Spain and when he's not teaching English he sits around drinking tea and dreaming.
David Bowie wall,
duality of the mind,
lightning and chaos.
Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher
Lightning bolt mural.
Living in duality,
of vibrating minds.
Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher
Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher has been writing since 2010 and has had many micro-flash fiction stories published. In 2018 her book Shorts for the Short Story Enthusiasts, was published, The Importance of Being Short, in 2019 and In A Flash in 2022. She currently resides on Long Island, New York with her husband Richard and dogs Lucy and Breanna.
Bowie Wasn’t Just An Artist, He Was A Lifestyle
I knew many people obsessed with recording artists in the late 70s. There was Fran, who punched a girl in the face for disagreeing that The Stones were the greatest Rock ‘N Roll band to ever have existed, period. And Penny, who convinced me to go to a party dressed exactly like her, twin Alice Coopers, garish eyeliner dripping down our excessively painted faces, scaring all the children. But my devotion to Bowie was at another level, way up in the stratosphere with Major Tom, a copilot, trying my best to right the rapidly swirling tin-can airship. Dashing home from the bus stop down the dusty country road with Amy, a semi-willing potential convert to Bowiemania, I dragged her down the hall to my room, where I blasted The Thin White Duke to “10” on my record player, mother and brother be damned, screaming out every nuanced, perfectly set lyric just in case my dumbfounded hostage couldn’t understand. Every. Single. Word. I cut my hair in the front to approximate the feathery style of “Ziggy Stardust,” and wore gold lame’ tops to school. My shoes were huge platforms, an homage to David in cracked rust leather, one of the many items I’d copped from Vital Vintage in “The City.” It was a way of being bigger, more daring, taller even. I stood out in our rural high school, and in retrospect, I wouldn’t change a thing.
“All night” Bowie crooned, in his stupendously sonorous mix of Baritone and Tenor, “I want the Young American.” And we were them! We were Young Americans, Amy and me! “Where are the lyrics?” She asked, transfixed. The very next weekend, we hitched to Vital Vintage, twin feathered haircuts blowing in the gritty wind.
Debbie Walker-Lass, (she/her) is a poet, collage artist, and writer living in Decatur, Georgia. Her work has appeared in The Ekphrastic Journal, Poetry Quarterly, Haikuniverse, The Light Ekphrastic and Natural Awakenings, Atlanta, among others. She has recently read live for The Poet’s Corner. Debbie loves beachcombing on Tybee Island and hanging out with her husband, Burt, and dog, Maddie. Big love to all Ekphrastic writers!
When We Still Had to Adjust the TV Antenna
When we still had to adjust the TV antenna
I was a child in the 70s-glam rock era
audiences loved him almost reverently,
David Bowie's songs were otherworldly.
People spoke often about his clothes, his hair,
Famously, his two-coloured eyes, he had such flair:
He'd split particle atoms with a purse of his lips,
his fans were junkies; they were all absolute addicts.
David was a visual artist, extraordinaire
a meteorite from another stratosphere;
characteristically charming and debonair
a liberating experience back then and there.
Said-to-have a voracious sexual appetite.
He made love to a groupie, who lost her virginity,
called Lori, guess-he-had-to later-expedite:
Once he'd said ‘Lori-darling,' can you come with me?
What a 'Space Oddity' it must have been when Apollo 11
launched with Neil A. Armstrong, to a new ascension,
Oh, someone to follow, some brave Apollo
but all I ever got from you was sorrow, sorrow.
Mark Andrew Heathcote
Mark Andrew Heathcote is an adult learning difficulties support worker. He has poems published in journals, magazines, and anthologies both online and in print. He resides in the UK and is from Manchester. Mark is the author of In Perpetuity and Back on Earth, two books of poems published by Creative Talents Unleashed.
To James Cochran, Regarding Bowie Wall, Brixton London
Pop culture you so well declare
is common sky of planets where
the stars aflame that rise and fall
still loom as icons eyes recall
that saw first hand the moments dared
of brilliance they forever shared
as music molded into soul
of generations rendered whole
by legacy and circumstance
entwined uniquely shaping dance
becoming step by step defined
through luminaries you've enshrined
in fittingly theatric art
emerging drop by drop from heart.
Old man. Ekphrastic fan.
Prefers to craft with sole intent...
of verse becoming complement...
...and by such homage being lent...
ideally also compliment.
Ekphrastic joy comes not from praise
for words but from returning gaze
far more aware of fortune art
becomes to eyes that fathom heart.
"The world is full of magic things
patiently waiting for our senses
to grow sharper."
William Butler Yeats
"I was born upside down (I'm a star-star)"
David Bowie, Blackstar
If I could wake up with my head among the planets
would I be seduced by cosmic music?
Lyrics threaded in a rosary created by the stars?
And if I could make a memoir with travel
& devotion would I unveil that old black magic,
Venus dancing much too close to Mars?
Chaos in the heavens and we were walking
down a street in London looking for information:
The Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley who,
in the Battle of Blythe Road tried to put
an astral siege spell on William Butler Yeats.
The result (occult) was mayhem a brawl in 1900
with members of The Golden Dawn; Rider and Waite
aligning planets when police came...
And in the modern world
where I was doing research for Yeats & The Tarot,
my daughter said "Crowley's dangerous, Mom!
He uses bad magic! I don't want to go there!"
The earth was clearly full of clashes even in the world
of mystical perception called the magic of Magick --
good or evil, black and white -- that same ol' same ol' story
of earthlings' oppositions -- like immigrants vs. the nouveau
riche trying to gentrify Brixton: Survivors of WWII sailed
from the Caribbean on the HMT Empire Windrush, bringing
the advent of the multi-cultural Windrush Generation
to Brixton Market; to Brixton, where David Bowie was born...
the year my daughter was born; and the year Space Oddity
hit the charts -- David Bowie's first big hit, lyrics
"born" to commemorate the first walk on the moon,
a voyage that questioned terrestrial reality and the laws
of universal gravity -- a Challenge to eclectic lineation,
Tarot cards and the enchantment of surreality -- the reason
I'm writing this poem to investigate critical questions:
Do Tarot characters wear space suits? Do lyrics and spirits
pass like fireflies in outer space their lights winking
on a midnight canvas -- star-stars passing through the stars?
Starman giving directions,
Detach from station
and may God's love be with you!
The Empress answering
with lyrics from Lucky Star
And when I'm lost
You'll be my guide,
I just turn around
And you're by my side!
& The Magician (aka Starman) (aka David Bowie)
(aka The Man Who Fell To Earth) has a few words to say:
Some cat was layin' down some rock'n'roll --
Up front with his planetary guitar he's the singer on the wall --
the Bowie Wall -- a painting like a photograph of the musician,
larger than life, standing face-forward so he can watch
the people on the streets of Brixton. Like an audience,
do they stop and imagine they can hear extraterrestrial
sound emanating from his memorial his head, surrounded
by dancing balls, the planets? Wonder why his face
is slashed by colour, awakened by a bolt of lightning? & do
they recall his lyrics -- glam rock and graffiti -- pop star,
rock star, blackstar --
Planet earth is blue, and there's nothing
left to do; I want eagles in my dreams and diamonds in
my eyes --
to reach a universe of crystal clarity.
Notes: David Bowie was a pioneer in rock music. Influenced by the first moon walk in 1969, "Space Oddity" was his first pop hit. "Blackstar," with the line "I was born upside down (I'm a star-star)" was released two days before he died at 69 in 2016.
The Rider-Waite Tarot aligned planets, astrologically, with Tarot characters.
The "placement" of some of the smaller planet-balls in the Bowie mural are placed on impulse points and chakra spots on David Bowie's head, a human/astronomical connection.
Quotes: Starman, Space Oddity, Blackstar, David Bowie; Lucky Star, Madonna.
Laurie Newendorp lives and writes in Houston. She studied Yeats and early Irish legend extensively when on her degree path in Creative Writing, Poetry, 1992. Her book, When Dreams Were Poems, 2020, has ekphrastic poetry that won a place in the Houston Poetry Festival, nominations for the Ekphrastic Reviews Best of The Net; and "Orpheus In The 21st Century" was listed as a Fantastic Ekphrastic. An earlier poem, "Forgive Us", written to memorialize the lives lost during 911, was a runner-up for the Pablo Neruda Prize.
Sound and Vision
"blue, blue, 'lectric blue"
lightning flash, I see you too
floating orbs, points of light
shimmer-glimmer glowing bright
it's a galaxy in thrall
conductor there, midst it all
Jimmy C, no novice he
master of iconography
depicts the trippiest ace of space
to put his drip wall art in place
colours, shapes seem to sway
Bowie, central, defines the way
his come down from Mars, far away
"nothing to read, nothing to say
Bowie sound and vision true
Note: quoted sections are excerpts from "Sound and Vision" on the album "Low" by David Bowie (1977)
Emily Tee writes poetry and flash fiction. She's had pieces published in The Ekphrastic Review for its challenges, in Gypsophila Zine, Aurum Review and elsewhere online, and in print with Dreich Mag, with further work pending in other publications. She lives in the UK.
It’s the mid-90s, my best
mate and I are sitting cross-legged
on the carpet of her living room -
vinyl all around us like scattered leaves,
her dad’s old record player between us
like a warming fire. The playlist
so far has been Annie, Tina, Debbie
Lionel, Lou, and Rod…
My mate flips through the collection,
lands on an absolute gem.
Slips it out its snug sleeve,
delicately places it on the deck
like a delicious meal on fine china.
The needle slowly lowers,
brief crackle and static then suddenly
We’re up on our feet,
cotton socks leaping about
on soft beige carpet,
It’s Sunday evening, we’ve got school tomorrow
lights up your face…
but this is a proper education.
Claire Thom is a Scottish poet based in the south of Spain. She is EIC & founder of The Wee Sparrow Poetry Press. She has had poems published by a variety of presses, she was shortlisted for the Erbacce Poetry Prize in 2021, 2022 & 2023, and she is a Touchstone Haiku Award nominee.
a Golden Shovel
from the mural, Bowie Wall, by James Cochran,
and the song, Space Oddity, by David Bowie
Murals roll through the middle of town. Here
tagged trains are exhibited, and I am
sitting, stooped, idling on the porch, where I
am zeroed-in on a red ball floating
orbiting a pothole rain filled in.
Would it fly out if it had wings? It’s my
creative mind thrashing against this tin
man skull, rusted, like that tin water can
full of rain I dumped on the roses last
night, when I saw him on the tracks, a glimpse
of a man, guitar slung, pale face full of
pain, his body a rail, in came the
army issued to fly across the world
to another desert. Is this Planet
Mars, Hell, or the new St. Giles Rookery? Earth
is the next-door neighbour’s backyard; it is
wrecked with trash, a rusted swing set, a blue
tarp over the roof of the meth shed, and
one masking the weed-grow from the street; there’s
crude music blaring from red-light cars, nothing
but strikethroughs on paper. I am left
with cool ashes, empty glass, no mood to
write, only questions about what to do.
Robert E. Ray
Robert E. Ray is a retired public servant. His poetry has been published by Rattle, Wild Roof Journal, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, and in five poetry anthologies. Robert is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University. He lives in rural south Georgia.
colorful Velcro balls flung at a wall
shedding stardust and sparkles
falling to the floor
lost in a maze shouting goblins,
chasing childhood memories,
haze of make believe
way out in the stars, not stardust
but empty space floating alone
let’s dance, across the floor,
Jared and Sarah or as himself
stardust playing across his feet
Julie A. Dickson
Julie A. Dickson loves to write poems to prompts as in music, environment and especially ekphrastic. Her work appears in various journals, including Lothlorien, Misfit and The Ekphrastic Review. She has served on two poetry boards and as a guest editor. Dickson holds a BPS in Behavioral Science, advocates for captive elephants and most recently can be found learning dinosaur names with her grandson.
I think of you often, in summer
when the stars are warm, and the skies are blue,
(blue, electric) blue, and Mars sings out
red and raunchy.
I watch the sky, looking for you,
floating, not in a tin can,
but on all the waves of all the seas
and all the beams of light that stream,
laughing with dolphins.
I think of you when my face is a mess,
and planet earth is too,
and wonder if we even have five years.
Because you can’t say no
to beauty, beast or black star.
My years are silver now,
the golden ones wrapped in tissue paper
with my red shoes, but not forgotten,
as bright and tremendous as when we danced,
because that was all we could do.
Pushcart Prize nominee, Jane Dougherty’s poetry has appeared in publications including Gleam, Ogham Stone and Black Bough Poetry as well as the Ekphrastic Review. Her short stories have been published in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Prairie Fire, Lucent Dreaming and Enchanted Conversation among others. She lives in southwest France.
Discovering the Door (for David Bowie)
Planet Earth is blue,
but let’s dance. Put on your red
shoes, turn, face the strange.
Planet Earth is blue,
floats inside the cosmic mind,
looking for portals.
But let’s dance. Your red
lipstick follows my heartbeat--
step through the mirror.
Shoes turn, face the strange
future that orbits, singing.
Stars glitter us home.
Kerfe Roig lives and works in NYC where the strange is a daily occurrence. Follow her explorations on her blogs, https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/ (which she does with her friend Nina), and https://kblog.blog/.
Millions Weep a Fountain, Just in Case of Sunrise
Title after David Bowie, "Aladdin Sane"
For what is the point of wasting tears
when the final day arrives?
To cry is to feel, and with good fortune, arise.
Millions laugh and trip the light
with exactly the same intention.
Contemplate Aladdin Sane, Bowie’s
post-Ziggy shooting star; face
Kabuki brushed with white rice powder,
split jagged by a bolt of red paint,
head crowned with a glam-rock shag.
On a Brixton wall his dissociative stare
attracts the curious and fans alike to flock
like those to Strawberry Fields.
In time, murals fade, become graffiti obscured.
Fame rises like soap bubbles,
each iridescent sphere complete and intact
until a wisp carries it aloft and away,
and watchers feel a rumbling
thrum under foot, as one by one
the fleeting rainbows burst and disappear.
Nancy Sobanik is a registered nurse who writes and finds inspiration in the extraordinary beauty of Maine. Publications include Triggerfish Critical Review; Sparks of Calliope; Verse- Virtual; Sheila-Na-Gig ; The Ekphrastic Review and One Art Poetry Journal. Other selections can be found on poetscollective.org and The Maine Poet's Society Stanza.
June 16th, 2000, Roseland Ballroom, NYC
A mural across a wall stared back at me
The night Bowie filled the stage
Spheres of song tumbled along the ballroom walls
Inside the galaxy of Roseland
I was there
Dancing on the shoulders of time
Legs dangling over Jimmy’s shoulders
Holding me above the crowd
So I could see
Waterfalls of lighting lit the band
Sweating planets of 3000 bodies
Turning pink and blue, yellow too--
Is that a fern dangling from the sky?
In pointillist shimmer androgyny abounds
With a multi-coloured bolt of lightning
My arms rose in the wake of the warbling
The crowd was one, then,
In a flash radiating out to all of us
Bowie pointed over the crowd
To me, a dancer elevated in a magical realist dream,
And through the pulsing sound system with eyes wide
And lips still moist from Rebel, Rebel, he sang out,
“See her out there, that’s where I want to be, dancing with you,
On those generous shoulders. I love you so.”
The waterfalls of lights that night never died,
And years later when Bowie returned to stardust,
So gracefully saying goodbye,
My broad-shouldered friend, now older, like us all,
Reminded me of the nod that night to our floating joy,
Orbiting and glistening, like a mural rising with our memory
Of the night Bowie played for hours painting the walls of Roseland with love.
Emily Rubin’s debut novel, Stalina (2011 HMH/Mariner Books), was a selection in the Amazon Debut Novel Award Contest. Arecipient of a NYSCA 2022 Literary Arts grant, the Sarah Verdone Writer’s Award, a finalist in the International Literary Awards, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She co-founded Dirty Laundry: Loads of Prose, a reading and performance series that takes place in laundromats around the country. Her short stories and essays have appeared in journals including Good Works Review, Litbreak, Confrontation, IceFLo Press, Poets & Writers, and elsewhere. She founded the Write Treatment Workshops in NYC and upstate NY cancer centres, and has taught fiction for Bard College’s LifeTime Learning Institute and Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine Program. She is working on a novel about urban homesteading and lives in Columbia County, NY. http://emilyrubin.net IG: emilyhrubin
Tiny Bubbles, In The Air
In the heart of Brixton, London, on the grand canvas of a wall, the spirit of David Bowie comes alive through an extraordinary mural by a native-born England, James Cochran, known as Jimmy C. Among the splashes of colour and the cosmic dance through his unique painting technique known as "drip painting," Bowie's visage emerges as a daring and tender tribute. The aerosol spray pain, a medium known for its urban and street art associations, was likely sourced from local art supply stores, contributing to the connection between the artwork and its environment. The purpose of the creation was to celebrate Bowie's legacy and connect it to the local community in Brixton.
And there, upon this urban stage, Bowie's makeup design takes on a life of its own.
Imagine standing before this colossal portrait. Bowie's eyes, twin galaxies of expression, windows to the cosmos, are adorned with a celestial palette. His eyelids are galaxies painted in swirls of metallic gold, like treasures stolen from the heart of a sun. The universe swirls within his gaze, inviting you to lose yourself in the depths of his artistry.
His cheeks - ah, his cheeks - are adorned with ethereal hues reminiscent of nebulae and cosmic dust. Lavenders and lavas blend seamlessly, a testament to his ability to fuse the supernatural and the earthly, the mythical and the mortal. A playground for blushes borrowed from the gardens of distant planets.
And let's not forget the alchemical kiss of his lips, bearing the colour of enchantment. A shade that hovers between the blood-red of passion and the soft blush of vulnerability. They are a melody frozen in time. A kiss that lingers in the minds of all who gaze upon this mural.
The pièce de résistance is the lightning bolt- a jagged streak of red and blue crashing across his face like a cosmic collision frozen in time, symbolizing transformation, and reinvention. It is a bolt of artistic lightning, a thunderous declaration that here stood an artist who defied convention, an oracle of the avant-garde. The bolt crackles with the electricity of his music, a visual riff echoing through time and space.
Bowie's face, a canvas of contradictions, was a masterpiece of rebellion and a declaration of vulnerability. His makeup designs are a symphony of paradoxes, a harmonious collision of the ethereal and the earthbound, the extraterrestrial and the intimate.
Every stroke of colour on Jimmy C's delineation reflects Bowie's story—of a man who dared to be different, who reveled in the art of self-expression. Bowie painted not only his face but the very essence of his being. His makeup was a map of his journey through sound and time, a testament to the power of self-expression, and an invitation to all to embrace their inner oddities and flaunt them with fearless pride.
As you stand before this tour de force, you can almost hear the echoes of Bowie's music carried by the wind. It's as if his spirit, persona, and art have all converged in this vibrant tribute. The makeup on Bowie's face isn't just pigment; it's a proclamation of creativity, a challenge to norms, and a celebration of individuality.
It's a piece of the cosmos transposed onto a city wall, an invitation to explore the extraordinary within each of us. Ultimately, "Bowie Wall" is a vibrant symbol of artistic homage and community connection in the heart of Brixton.
Judith Elaine Halek
Judith Elaine Halek embarked on her writing expedition through a program called The Write Treatment and other local cancer writing workshops after being diagnosed with Stage III Lymphoma in August 2014. Compiling 350 plus compositions set in motion a collection of the pieces into a memoir documenting how a Stage III diagnosis propelled Judith from surviving to thriving. Peeking through the lens of self-publishing, Judith will be debuting her Heroine’s Journey when the book is ready to birth. Originally born and bred in Minnesota, Judith has nestled in New York City for four-plus decades.
Coming Down From a Creative High and News of David Bowie
for the dazzling incomprehension of what it all means.
Maria Popova on artists, creativity and Bowie
January 10, 2016
Last night I lit candles
and became the midnight sun. A carousel
of planets spun around me. The rings
of Saturn sparkled with dust;
and that face on Mars
(formed from red clay)
turned pale and became the face
of a china girl --.
prompting me to write
poem after poem
invoking the grace
of Lady Li Yi'an
in her mother of pearl skin
and silken gown. I understood how
she moved from line to line
and how the blank space
surrounding the text
was sacred as the words. A white flock
of birds hovering
over her ink-filled universe. And I wondered
how long she would stay, or what
might happen next. Yet
at the momentum's height,
dawn broke through the dream
spitting out the first
sprinklings of the year,
while the soul of a musician
crossed his final bridge
in the damp and mist-swabbed
With the rain, I fell to earth
inheriting my shadow and the chill,
the smell of sour milk and candle smoke.
Whatever I let spoil or burn-out
before I woke. And now
the mirror's overcast
with my image, a mood neither dark nor light
just a desolate, still gray --
the winter woods, the sea gull
on a lake of ice. the ashes of a moment
left scattered on my windowsill.
Wendy A. Howe
Note: Lady Li Yi’an, is one of the most famous poets among Chinese women of high rank who wrote verse during the 12th century. Her poetry is celebrated for its original imagery, emotive language and lyrical pathos. At a time, when women were objectified as beautiful vessels meant to ornament the home and supply an heir, she, as David Bowie said of an artist in one of his last interviews, "steps beyond the water into depths of risk and stays afloat without letting their feet touch bottom".
Wendy Howe is an English teacher and free lance writer who lives in Southern California. Her poetry reflects her interest in myth, diverse landscapes, and ancient cultures. Over the years, she has been published in an assortment of journals both on-line and in print. Among them: Strange Horizons, Liminality, Coffin Bell, Eternal Haunted Summer, Silver Blade, The Poetry Salzburg Review, Eye To The Telescope. Carmina Magazine and Corvid Queen. Her most recent work has appeared in Indelible Magazine and Songs of Eretz.
The Man Who Fell to Earth
after the 1976 film starring David Bowie
The alien said Yes to disco balls
and audio waves and shiny, happy
people wearing boots for glam,
late-night benders. Maybe
we clamor for more saxophone
since listening to our tongues
only seems to benefit the devil.
This is just to say take good notes
before returning home.
At the library, he said Amen
and again to books. We tend
to ruin things here when we borrow.
We wear wristbands to show we
belong to something. Like a hospital
or a concert outside at a ranch.
The cashier at Cracker Barrel,
where breakfast is all day, mentioned
belonging. Like places inside
us living in celestial space. Also rings
to show commitment. Do you have
this word? For the sweet everloving.
For who we’re gone for.
Gravity is different. And those other
balls, Yes, look like planets but
more like giant ice cream dots.
Strawberry. Lemon. Blueberry.
And the wall is the bottom curvature
of a tangerine cup you hold.
Let me show you. Take my hand.
Crash landing in New Mexico
is rough if you want to ship
all that water back. Drought is yellow,
a mouth that hardly speaks but
its speech has seen plenty of distance.
And don’t forget to take note of one,
whole life. When we extinguish,
we leave behind dust clouds,
zigging in and out.
John Milkereit resides in Houston, Texas working as a mechanical engineer and has completed a M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the Rainier Writing Workshop. His work has appeared in various literary journals including Naugatuck River Review, San Pedro River Review, and previous issues of The Ekphrastic Review. He has published two chapbooks (Pudding House Press) and three full-length collections of poems, including most recently from December, A Place Comfortable with Fire (Lamar University Literary Press).
Ziggy’s Last Act
to the architecture,
this aerosol impromptu shrine
an oddity of dots
and colorful spheres
in a most peculiar way,
Bowie’s signature lightning bolt
a nod to duality of mind,
this fresco, just doors down
from 40 Stansfield Road.
was he under pressure
or did internal desire
move him to create
this worldwide phenomenon?
Rest easy now, Starman.
Elaine Sorrentino, communications director by day, poet by night, has been published in Minerva Rising, Willawaw Journal, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Ekphrastic Review, Writing in a Women’s Voice, Global Poemic, ONE ART: a journal of poetry, Agape Review, Haiku Universe, Sparks of Calliope, Muddy River Poetry Review, Panoply, Etched Onyx Magazine, and at wildamorris.blogspot.com. She was featured on a poetry podcast at Onyx Publications.
it happens like this in the star dusted multiverse
i was drifting on
an astral plane
that special man
except the fiery glow of spiders
just beer lights
when i floated away
they flowed with me
i sucked them
into my mind
were there laws
in the corporeal free world
laws of relativity
the stars twinked
our astral bodies of light
with my ego
i'm not really female
i'm not really
taking my turn
looking after it
the spiders from mars
when will it be our turn
your times are coming
gazed into space
from his screwed-up eye
this is like a fairy tale
in sweet alto tones
that i have done
that i am about to do
the spiders from mars
away we floated
as ones do
in the bowie regions
of their multiverse
(With many a nod of appreciation to David Bowie and James Tate.)
Donna-Lee Smith is an old Bowie fan and her ragged old heart did a wee flip when she saw Cochran's piece!
Ziggy Stardust Erasure Poem
Margo Stutts Toombs
Songwriters: David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust lyrics © Chrysalis Music Ltd., Tintoretto Music, Chrysalis Music Ltd, Rzo Music Ltd
Margo Stutts Toombs enjoys creating and preforming flash and poetry. Her work lives in FreezeRay Poetry, Untameable City - Mutabilis Press, the Texas Poetry Calendar, Love over 60: An Anthology of Women’s Poems, The Ekphrastic Review, the Friendswood Library Ekphrastic Poetry Contest, Equinox, and Synkronicity. She performs spoken-word poetry and monologues at fringe festivals, art galleries and anywhere food and beverages are served. Margo loves to craft video poems for film and video festivals. She recently won first place in animation at the Caucasian Short Film Festival in Lake Charles, Louisiana (2023).