[Abigail Brown is a lover of creative ways of to express the “self.” She seeks to find ways to tell a story and eliciting feeling through her work. She is a a mother by day and a poet by night. She is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.]
It must be nice to see one’s work issued by the government.
You have to give her credit for it, she made an industry
out of having had a hard time of it, even if today she lunches
with the likes of Oprah and Jessica Mitford.
Had there been enough good parts, she could have
made a fine actress. She would have made a powerful Josie
Hogan, you know, from that play by Eugene O’Neill, or that
haunting wife of Macbeth, or, better yet, Hamlet’s dear mother.
Instead, she became a bestselling poet.
Something about her reminds me of a circus, a tented
carnival with a snake-man called Scaly and a three-breasted
lady. Step right up and hear her tale of unparalleled woe.
Avoid the door on the right, or you might get her confused
with the tattooed midget in yellow tights and his aqua tunic.
Tell the tale of your miserable past: how
you were beaten and mistreated, and how
you experienced unwanted advances. Why not
explain once again what it was like to have to eat
barbecued bologna on Christmas morning?
Now there’s human suffering.
The royalties mount beyond anyone’s count.
Rake it in while it lasts. There’s the 5-bedroom townhouse
in a fashionable part of Harlem, the mansion down
in swampy Carolina, a wee property along the Hudson
and, rumor has it, a pied-á-terre in a posh section of Paris.
The newest new book is just coming out in a new
waterproof edition. The text, it is said, glows in the dark,
so it can be read underwater, or you can get one that floats.
It is scheduled to appear later this month in coordination
with her new show, Big Woe, the new Broadway Musical.
Have your say, as they say, but be sure to count your earnings.
Some might say it is too much to dare. When you wear earrings
and things from Tiffany’s, it gets harder and harder to ask for
sympathy. You might wind up like some of your devoted readers,
much too rich to notice a little girl in need of affection.
David Lohrey’s plays have been produced in Switzerland, Croatia, and
Lithuania. In the US, his poems can be found at the RavensPerch, New
Orleans Review, Nice Cage, and The Drunken Llama. Internationally, his
work appears in journals located in the UK, the Netherlands, India,
Malawi, and Hungary. His fiction can be seen at Dodging the Rain, Terror
House Magazine, and Literally Stories. David’s collection of poetry,
MACHIAVELLI’S BACKYARD, was published by Sudden Denouement Publishers.
He lives in Tokyo. You can read more of his writing at Writing, Musing, Poetry
All roads lead to Rome
All words lead to Love
And the poetry in the afterLove
I wish I wrote poems
For the dreamers of barren lands.
They do not go to Rome
They go to places
That cannot be.
Maybe love is a colorless, odorless
We see through
with the eyes of
the bricked sky,
streeted lunarian trails
breathing and tingling
In the perfect nightmare
Vines reward our sun
with the sweetness
wedded in perpetuity with
the linear shades of amber.
From the Good Place
Where joy is an illumination
To the Place that Cannot Be
They would have worn
The silver claw
of the Moon
above their heads
Art by Ellen Rogers.
“Writing is an Iron Tale, must be tough and sincere to the core of human perception of pain as valor. I am the grumpy T-Rex who started writing out of pain, not because of a polished world. Writing out of love is painless and herbivore. As we sometimes taste blood, ours or others’. Nevertheless, some words are so expensive that we are better left with them unspoken or write them with the ink of a Ghost…” She is a teacher, small entrepreneur and cyclist.
I remember she once told me; the funny thing about endings is that they never happen. By the time you reach it, you’re already past it. Likewise we can never experience tomorrow, it is always just out of arms reach. She was always saying stuff like this; it sounded profound but then she once told me that only men die, women just sleep until it is time to wake up. I was having a panic attack at the time and this apocalyptic vision of women emerging out of a cemetery did nothing to help.
I hurl another rock into a jet black ocean. She’s running late but I have a comfortable spot, several small stones and pebbles, three pathetic little flowers clinging onto the pier and a few thousand miles of uninterrupted empty horizon to stare into.
I dangle my feet over the edge and feel a vertiginous swelling in the pit of my stomach, up my esophagus. I feel top-heavy as though I might topple forwards, and I’m aware of my shoes being loose on my feet. The stones of the pier sink into the silt below and I think I am sliding forwards so I grab hold of the ground either side of me and cling on. Below me the water laps, disinterested in one more fragile little soul. No birds in the sky today, just heavy bloated clouds fighting through a film of brown pollution.
When I stare at the sea for too long I see faces in the waves. Often they protest or cry out, so many drowned sailors and regretful suicides, but sometimes I see a beatific face beaming out, inflected by the rays of an underwater sun, a soul at peace with itself and its journey. When the wind whips across from the frozen North the faces sink away for the white horses to gallop and crash, falling over each other and throwing their jockeys into the ether.
She tells me often that my eyes are like the sea; still and grey or furious and white. She cups my hands, blows warm air into my palms and kisses my forehead. In those moments I forget that I have ever felt cold in my life. When they arrive I run to the storms to watch the sea clawing at the land, allowing huge waves to crash over the defenses soaking me, and I feel the warm furnace beating inside my ribs evaporating the water from my body and leaving a film of salt. In those moments I am untouchable, unsinkable, invincible.
I throw another rock and I see faces scrambling to devour it like so many hungry fish. The ground feels steady now and I am brave enough to rest my hands in my lap, to kick my legs freely knowing that I won’t lose my shoes. To my left I can hear the crunch of a pair of sneakers approaching. A pair of legs appears in my peripheral vision and a familiar hand tousles my hair and strokes the back of my neck.
Crouching onto her haunches she asks me; what are you thinking about?
And so I rest upon my one, good, in inverted commas,
right eye and it works harder
and I work harder,
maintaining slices of routine.
amidst all those banks of fog.
Morningtide, I pray, eveningtide, I pray.
I think for now, that’s all I can do
and hope, the good hope.
“I guess you might describe me as a semi-nomad, at the moment . . .
and in the moment, I might change. I am transitioning into a creative
life, blogging, photography and, significantly, the publication of my
first two photographically illustrated poetry anthologies, this year.”
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In the green and gallant spring: In the Green and Gallant Spring by Robert Louis Stevenson
When birds do sing: It was a lover and his lass by William Shakespeare
The pine-wood grows alive with wings: Spring in the South by Henry Van Dyke
Basilike Pappa is a bookmonger and a wordcubine. She believes that in poetry an image must montage the mind with false cognates, and that god is sun on a copper coffee pot. Her prose has appeared in Life & Art Magazine, Intrinsick and Timeless Tales, and her poetry in Rat’s Ass Review, Surreal Poetics,Bones – Journal for Contemporary Haiku and in Nicholas Gagnier’s anthology All the Lonely People. Most of the time she can be found reading near a window in Greece. You can see more of her work on her blog Silent Hour.