Monday, December 23, 2019

Good Hunting by Sarah Hussein

Sarah Hussein is an Egyptian painter and photographer. She earned a Bachelor of Science in 2015.
Sarah has been awarded the Arab prize in fine arts in 2018 for her artwork, the Egyptian farmers. She has been awarded the sponsorship award in the xiv INTERNATIONAL EX LIBRIS COMPETITION "EX LIBRIS - EX LITTER" in Ruse (2018) for her artwork the carrier pigeon and in the International Art and Design competition 2019 (Italy) for her artwork men in the desert, and in the Women in the Arts competition 2019 (Florida) for her artwork, the difference. Sarah has participated in many local exhibitions, such as in the Youth Salon for Art in the Egyptian Opera house, at its 29th session in 2018 with her painting freedom; as well as internationally with her artwork the dancers at the Art Revolution Taipei Fair (Taiwan) 2019 and in the Venice Land Art Prize contemporary art fair (Italy) 2019.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

ANAMNESIS by Abolaji Adekeye & D.C. Wojciech

It wasn't the puppet master driving the birds further south?
Then who stands here in this shadow passing flowers through a black hole?

I apologize if all my advances were read & blue.

The dream body's strait jacket is head to toe & never has a mouth.

Whatever you do to keep civilizations off yr back.
Wherever you may find a night for these words to pass through unnoticed.

I am the flutter of dreambirds, they flatter.

Some soft beds are concrete comfort for some.
Some cumbersome tombstone to lay my hat again.

A thousand-year-old breath pausing in the doorway of an oak tree.

I am the difference between what wolf does & rabbit says.
What was taken in amnesia was given to mountains.

Do you remember the Catalinas before they were the Catalinas?
Satisfaction can only go around peacocking for so long.

I am the melody the songbird failed to learn, the riddle ponder’d
like the waters of the coconut's middle.

I'm the thorn. I'm the blood clot.
A tidal wave of fiery tongues.

"All that I am is becoming all that I am." 

I apologize if I had mistaken a wilting rose for a lovecoat.

Sugarblossoms only bout is a wayfaring drum.
Mine is a boney neck & grapefruit skin.

The secret of paradise
is never guessing the weight of yr tongue.

Abiku came and was gone.

A contradiction of hues is no armor against the amorous bees of still life.

I see what I see.
I am the monocle of Horus.
An acapella requiem to a silenced chorus.

A revolution of colors. Guillotines awash in blood.
Broken gourds & swollen saguaro.

That some come from night & some come for it.
Whether or not a gooseberry explains a promise.
Or a song becomes aperture.

When the fleeing of Wawel refuses monuments.

Was it by sundown or by moonrise—
what was spoken on the hunt will be heard by generations in the future.

Let pompous castles remember Pompeii pummeled by eruption of pumice.
What thresholds pry at the precipice of a reborn Earth—

Within the plumage preening story plucked apart by ravenous eyes.
Flowers assemble, become wreaths—thirsty raven sings a dirge to rainwater suspended midfall.

In the swollen cactus a desert struggles to flourish.

Abolaji Adekeye writes from Lagos.

D.C. Wojciech is from Sacramento, California. He edits Silver Pinion.

Source Materials:

I Am that I Am (Wikipedia)

Blackalicious Featuring Saul Williams & Lyrics Born - Release (YouTube)

Remedios Varo's 'Floral bouquet with birds, 1960' (

Monday, December 16, 2019

Three Poems by Michael Lee Rattigan

after ‘Solo for two voices’, Octavio Paz

Behind your eyes           alone
shaken seeds, white-hot stone,
tawny wheat

daylight hardly wakes
where nothing moves.
Hand reaches for cup,
heard at the back of the throat
a latch          
tiempo petrificado
                             flares up and dies
against the fixed idea,
without ideas except those felt
living the moment          words
tap on your shoulder
“nailed to the center
                               of a whirlwind” –
no one's child,
least of all your own, as in
“that value is not in me”.

Shake the dry branch:
scatter grain, unhusked
on the heels of a hidden sun –
the bone raised,
        airy monument
of untold memory, future form.

Today you are separated
by your own voice
                              and others’.
Today is ice, steam, clank, psalm,
toddler-talk, overflow, world.
Against the current, with it
broken bread, an unseen drop
“girls of the grain” in procession –   
bleached skull, seed, scream,
wandering root in upheaved earth.


This moment uproots another
in unblenched voice, tree-strode pitch.
Bluish gaps tear and close.
Beaks quiver to beaded view.

Gusts again and again.

Beginning End

no longer supports    wind-fingering
coral buds of grass    remnant
under our heels    passage
never closed    gleam and shadow
written    in body's reflection

from the ashes    division
without sum    air and light
is not ended    more powerfully
broken    in every atom
palimpsest    of eternal drafts

Unfound was originally published in The Sunday Times.

Michael Lee Rattigan is a poet and translator based in Caterham, Surrey (UK). He has translated the complete collection of Fernando Pessoa's Alberto Caeiro poems (Rufus Books, 2007). His poetry collection Liminal was published in 2012 (Rufus Books). His latest collection Hiraeth was published alongside its French translation in 2016 (Black Herald Press). 


Friday, December 13, 2019

Four Poems by Bobbi Lurie

freeing need this talisman to survive count me in

the many of them just like you, abused by this world
and its systems, art the sacred place we go to hide
there is a we of us here making life new with our wares
secrets and lies if need be or breaking the gate
and we are numerously longing to be loved
everything is yourself reflecting yourself back onto you
to be one seeking everything the everything seeks
this disease you speak of is your life


the neutrality of the universe doesn’t care
who you think you are
its indifference should alarm you
don’t force yourself to believe in
benevolence only see
you must be neutered too
neutralized made into com-
post like the rest of the dust
covering us

Be alive Be real Be alone

The hive diminishes you
the tribe does
the lies do
you’ve been stripped of dignity by
no one in particular by
the collective
by the global
conspiracy of
this dimension of forgetfulness

heart attacks more likely 9 a.m. monday

thought flow this imaginary being
all things come from seeds
it’s time for the seeker to stop

Bobbi Lurie is the author of The Book I Never Read, Letter from the Lawn, Grief Suite, and the morphine poems@BobbiLurie

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Excerpts From: & Idle Aegis by Patrick Redmond


Whereas, the kiss was denigrated when the rhythm of it kept time with thought
Whereas, Mary saw her son in a Rorschach and we only ambiguous nipples
Whereas, we spent a year medicated—underwater hearing voices that wanted us to be holy
Whereas, we no longer want to eat the self with the mother tongue

Whereas, recorded sounds of urgency were people forcing themselves on each other
             —not eroded tile silhouetting birds in the subway
Whereas we felt like our first erection
—wanting but not knowing where to place it
—wanting nothing more than hair on the navel and the sex of the animal made to leather

We are each other’s cistern   
We board our past weather after spreading citrus on our clitoris
We want to buy our friendly druggist a bouquet of valleys
We want our necklace of teeth to mean something
We wish our eyes xanthic
and envision our insides as paint
We wish every raw color were crushed to velvet and used as salt

—to wilt leeches from the aria’s in our stomach
We decide what the light looks like

We, Euclidean algorithms tattooed on a hip
We, impassible bridges over milk
We, displacement
We, weight of precious metals overflowing clawfoot baths
We, thumbprint angels made when climbing out steam drunk

We, chattering teeth pressed in linoleum


Whereas, Mary Accepts the Ambiguity

White linen-ed aureoles pierced with cubic zirconia,
I whistle the same three notes to announce a latent presence
as personable. I’ll admit there is art,
a monetized experience if you hide
the drugs when the plumber arrives.
The critic discusses the plumber as an interlocutor
in the aftermath. They do not get arrested when the heat is fixed.
Hallelujah! The peasant finds survival, hunkers down
till abandoned. Progress measured through memory
burying a horse shot out of compassion.
Of singing with a throat like a mastiff. Of dreaming
of owning a throat large enough to throw a heart.
Of mouths washed out with dove.

[My horns have gone the way of the Auroch]

My horns have gone the way of the Auroch
I’m ceaselessly milked of any small inherence

for food and housing. I must speak about death at 31,
but why?—I ask—the body—I’m reminded—
is exciting!
It needs to exist. You can feel

orgasm at the feet of pain
the body leaves when lending its hands, after chasing

abrasions, lips, hair
sultry rejectamenata cleaved—in the biblical
sense—in reduction of longing. Ain’t sex

sad now? Ain’t sex all milk baths and lilly
on the nipple? As if the perennial is an accessory

to the breast, as the Black Sea
whispering to sunken 9 B.C.:

I shall hold you because I’m worried. They’ll scavenge

all they thought renewable. You
the remnants

 of a privilege asking,
What is that animal outside?

How on Earth did it find its way
into the city?

Patrick Redmond received his MFA at Brooklyn College. He currently teaches composition and creative writing at CUNY. Recent poems may be found in Bomb Cyclone, Prelude, and Paragraphitti.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Two Pieces by Toti O'Brien

Out of the Blue

Seas of Shadows

Toti O'Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. She was born in Rome then moved to Los Angeles, where she makes a living as a self-employed artist, performing musician and professional dancer. Her work has most recently appeared in Colorado Boulevard, Thin Air, Wilderness House and the Hamilton Stone Review.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Two Poems by Mark Young

at least six toxic gases

The Galaxy came to Toyota
Stadium on Saturday after-
noon. This was their chance,
as we embarked on a new
century, to give a gift of great
value to future generations.
Turned out our browser
didn't recognize any of the
video formats currently avail-
able & the opportunity was lost.
Spectators under the control
of the Post & Telegraph depart-
ment were forced to pay a fee.

A line from Clara B. Jones

Death begins prior to death. Swimmers
perform synchronized routines that
mimic those playful crayon lines little
brother uses. It interrupts itself inter-

minably. The ecological correlates of
these patterns are marked in black ink,
sourced from lampblack, a substance
made in turn by burning tung oil or

pine resin, & produced for decorating
screens that were salvaged & remounted
as hanging scrolls because their usage dam-
aged them. Those very books themselves

record their own deaths, but also note
their reformation as a kind of resurrection.
Evoke the phoenix, hoping that, like the
terracotta warriors, they will return to life.

Mark Young lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia, & has been publishing poetry since 1959. He is the author of over fifty books, primarily text poetry but also including speculative fiction, vispo, & art history. His work has been widely anthologized, & his essays & poetry translated into a number of languages. His most recent books are The Perfume of The Abyss from Moria Books; A Vicarious Life — the backing tracks from otata; taxonomic drift from Luna Bisonte Prods; & Residual sonnets from Ma Press of Finland.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Three Poems by Connie Backus

white paint on walls

almost everything is doubled up
socks pants shirts

the mule deer are favorites
w/their own warm coats of chocolate
ice cream swirl

turkey mothers/fathers run close behind poults
always in a hurry playing in the park/the yard

& then

all the time

off the side of a hungry canyon

I.                grand coulee separates
she is aloof
she will claim
she is not in a serious relationship

II.              although osprey nests are empty
atop silos they still echo

leaves falling
if you are interested/

if you look close enough

III.            you might see canadian lynx/thick coated coyotes

& cackling geese arrive at banks
for winter

badgers hang out in large rocks
by the ball fields

then there are those rarely seen
but everyone has a story- & what to do
if you see bears & cougars


if we must have fairy circles
give them peals of wedding  bells

wedding mushrooms wedding
vows oaths explanatory phrases

& they don’t  promise marriage
from an old maple

you don’t care close you
are so mad at the rain in the lake

enough w/feelings enough
circles of greyish day

how about that how
about crying  rings
as a sign of commitment

circles of hollow
on the ocean walk

how about too much before
over & over

the same kind of what happens
give me a hidden tree umbrellaed

& I’ll see the allergies
in a forest of fairy circles

if it still feels if
it still smells sweet
what about circles 

Connie Backus was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She loves to write about nature and run along the coulee with her daughter. 

Friday, November 29, 2019

MBARI 7: Excerpt by Uche Nduka

Jean Genet is buried in Morocco. He is my out-law brother. Your swag in an airport security line.

A touch of bells. The clarinet has other things on her mind. Browning my bells.

A spine of steel or a spine of straw? A clown nose making a power grab. Or when your eyes change their minds about wonder.

He can’t look away. Who cares if you are distracted by the strolling moon. Telling us about a schlub as much as he knows.

Pitch-bending was a logical choice. They laughed at me when my lust got heard.

The external justifications for our existence are all conundrums. A slide into the sweetness beneath your clothes. Having fun sharing a laugh.

Spread on the surface of the mysteries that entangle us. Making sure the stiletto shoes stayed on point. I didn’t give you shit for doing that un-pop thing, saying that un-pop thing.

In the beginning was a playhouse where peace of mind became an evolving art project. Stressing people out with hopeless explanations. Remembering forgetting slow jams.

Depends on our knowledge of the pages just read. Oblivion without coating does look cool. Breaking water: junketeers, nestseekers, parachutists. A couple of death threats spotlit.

I serve you soup under pine trees. In search of what clarity is hiding. Idealism is not obsolete. Every living thing sings beyond railroad crossings.

Body of proof? Throes? Those drones sent to your cities. We waited until we couldn’t wait any longer to decompress, to deepen the shadow.

That juggler’s vertigo cuts to the bone. Pork cooked in its own fat. The air braids a mood. Floor sanding, dusty grooves. I’m alive because I was rocking away.

Breaking my vow to verbs. This exposure to the fabric of my life. Rubrics bristle, expecting rain. Gone missing, cylinders in a tunnel.

Ridiculing the placid screen. Plunging into fury, again and again. Driftwood teased the storm. You sauntered through the snarl of the storm.

I have placed saltlicks on foreplay and fellatios. You felt you belonged to another planet. You weren’t doing what you were supposed to be doing the way you were supposed to be doing it.

I needed to hear why you felt that way. Daylight threw us over the edge. By no means did everyone agree with the agitating slob.

Horses soaring through clouds. The chamber we share. It’s a little too late to walk away.

They claim they don’t want to take sides yet they crave awards/prizes for their photographs of your drowned bodies.

Boardwalk, mezzanine, past deception. Mountains are our neighbors. The aloof astronaut became cuddly. A pretty serious matter.

Beside the hardware moons locked eyes moons kissed. Beads of sweat on marked-up galleys. We really care about this place so now we shall take dissent to the extreme.

Stoking the lunar module. Even poetry is grist for their commercial mill.

Not the first of their moments together. Crowds gawk at colorblind lovers. It was once a safe landing spot. Orbiters in crescent curves.

Blemishes on lens. A testament to three moon globes. Those bombed out sculptures those bombed out statues those bombed out paintings in Iraq and Syria.

The squirrels and a canon of their own making. Marching music, footwork, watershoes. Too sly to be held back by mere exposure time.

This earthrise is an evidence. A flash fire breathing inside a muscle. Night again in a hand-corrected manuscript. Walking a runway: controversy still coming into focus.

Those broken manacles in the constellation of lovers. I can fuck myself up sometimes. I’m cool about it. You can’t say the dance-off doesn’t love you.

Uche Nduka is a Nigerian-American poet, essayist, collagist. He is the author of twelve volumes of poems of which the most recent is titled LIVING IN PUBLIC (Writers' Collective of Kristiania, Inc., 2018). Some of his writing has been translated into German, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Arabic, Spanish, Serbo-Croat, French. A 2017 NYFA Poetry Fellow, he presently lives and teaches in New York City.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Ra Blues by Shaimaa Abdelkarim

re/iterations of black gather around 
     our wailings

demanding flesh pain

as if we, black 
     not enough. 

remains of our white shadows,

affirming: we black 
     not us 

black is not echoes of you you you y o u y o u

black echoed in wewewe w w e e

black echoes tr us t

forged deep, 

clouding white skies with blues. 

we hail


opening our door
         to the cosmo s.

Shaimaa Abdelkarim (@shaimabdelkarim ) is currently a PhD student mostly researching into the resistant and idiosyncratic desires of legalists and human rights activists. She has some poems at Burning House Press.