Monthly Archives: April 2019

Extinction Easter, by Marc Woodward

I am not a silent poet

After this ’hottest Easter Monday’
I sit in my garden at night
hearing the roar of a motorbike
revving through the curves
way over on the coast road.
The noise shouldn’t carry this far
but tonight it stretches through the dry hills
drawn by the density of the air.
Rain is coming soon, I can feel it
in my nose, my ears, weighing on my skin.
The grass will suddenly remember,
the trees sit up and pay attention.
..
But now I’m sitting with a beer
and a chapbook of poems
sent to me by Stella in France.
Lovely as they are I can’t concentrate.
My shirt smells of old sweat,
the beer tastes like tin and her words
melt and run before my stale eyes.
Over the distant glow of town
a muffled helicopter churns
the gathering clouds like a milk whisk.
Thunder will burst this bubble tomorrow;
temperatures…

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Four poems by Dave Medd

I am not a silent poet

Cartoonist

Draw me a laughing Word I can chuckle at.
Draw me a joke with halo and wings
I can cackle at. In your great witness,
draw me a holy guffaw from your boots
or the bile of my belly.

Draw me the rape of reverence. Draw me
a man with a beard, a cross and an ark
full of rainbows. Draw me pillars of good
intentions, columns of justice. Draw me
his engines of comic dominion.

Draw me a child whose head your pen
can explode like a diagram.
Draw me a Laugh
I can strap to my wheels like a butterfly.
Draw me a heretic smile whose punchline
squibs flame like Roman Candles.

Draw me a Laugh I can wear on my sleeve,
a Laugh I can crucify with ridiculous
nails. Draw me a Laugh
on the business end of a missile. Draw me
a landmine of obscene…

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Five poems by Alisa Velaj

the curly mind linguistically innovative poetry - weird & risky

HRABAL*

It’s so cold that breaths are freezing up,
pigeons are numb under roofs,                                                                                                          the mist o’er the snow mums in unbroken silence…

One bygone February, in Prague,
Hrabal had a vision of the most peaceful season,
while trying to feed the poor pigeons…
Then…cherubim simphonies blasted from heavens!

Hrabal     Hrabal     Hrabal                                                                                             …

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Wen da hurricane come, by Joe Balaz

the curly mind linguistically innovative poetry - weird & risky

Wen da hurricane come
you going look at yourself differently

and da image of wun ant
going be impressed in your head.

All da trees going be bald

along wit da shrubs
and da fruit trees too

so if you nevah share
wit neighbors or friends

da big wind going even tings out.

Wen da hurricane come
you going hope dat you no get hurt

cause all da stuff dat going be flying around

not going care if you live in wun nice house
or wun moa smaller one.

Da telephone poles and wires
going be wun tangled mess

and broken glass going be everywheah

as rooftops across da land
get peeled away in da stormy frenzy.

Wen da hurricane come
you going realize how fortunate you wuz

in da previous years of near misses
wen nutting wen hit.

Foa sure in da day aftah da disastah
you going be…

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Three poems by Jess White

I am not a silent poet

I listened to Halsey

I listened to Halsey’s speech at the women’s march.
I’ve played it at least a dozen times.
Thinking how every woman has a story just like hers, just like mine.

How I cannot think of a single woman who has; never been catcalled, never been touched by grubby hands.
I’m the biggest believer in equality, a daily advocate for all rights not just women’s rights.

Yet when I wake up after my drink was spiked, when I hold my best friend after she was raped walking home, when I read yet another story about a woman being assaulted, if feels like women have no value and no voice.
Like it really is a man’s world.

Every night I walk home with my keys in my hand.
My mum gave me my first rape alarm when I was twelve.
When the #metoo campaign began, so many women…

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Wen I Get to Heaven, by Joe Balaz

the curly mind linguistically innovative poetry - weird & risky

Wen I get to heaven

if I get to heaven

dey going give me
wun pair of wings.

Wen I have dem attached

I going soon find myself
in front of wun towering podium

wheah wun seraph
wit wun lawyer’s necktie

will begin to present
all of my devilish deeds.

On each reference

wun baldheaded cherub
smoking wun cigar

going come up behind me
and pluck out wun feather.

No doubt
wen my session is ovah

I’ll find myself

stuck on some isolated cloud
wit aerial nubs

watching everyone else
fly around in evahlasting bliss.

To make mattahs worse

even my harp strings
will be broken.

Wit such anticipated
good fortune

I would probably
be bettah off in hell

shooting craps
foa wun glass of watah.

..

Joe Balaz has created works in American English and Hawaiian Islands Pidgin (Hawai’i Creole English).
He presently lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and he…

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The Wrapped Hedges, by Emma Lee

I am not a silent poet

It looks as if a fog has whirled around the hedges,
wrapping them in a swirl of candy floss like a fleece
protecting them from frost. The implication is the hedges
will be unwrapped to show a healthy growth, firm stems,
perfectly green leaves, branches stretched in welcome.
The covering takes on the texture of a regular weave,
as if a team of spiders had worked solidly for months,
but the structure is too crude to be natural, too regular
to constructed by anything but a programmed machine.
It reflects a grid of lines running from left to right
with rectangular holes. If laid flat, it would represent
a map of a housing estate, plans made by those seeking
to enrich themselves on the grounds councils cannot
demonstrate they have an adequate housing supply,
that somehow executive, four bedroom homes,
beyond the pockets of those on waiting lists, will meet

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Three poems by Cynthia Blank

I am not a silent poet

American Woman

 

The joke is familiar:
a girl has had too much to drink.

She lets the bottle lick her lips,
the alcohol sour her throat.

She blacks out, but not enough
to forget the invasion.

She refuses to vomit (and admit
something foreign needs extracting.)

She falls asleep in the bathtub,
scrubbing away the evidence.

She wakes up naked, dangling
over the red-hot coals of shame.

She remembers the laughter now.
She was the joke.

..

..

Bleed
..

I have been silently screaming for seven months
trying to rid myself of the rot
building inside me.
But every time I vomit up a shot of tequila,
or cry while investigating myself in the mirror,
nothing is excised.
I am always brought back to a little white room
in which screaming, silently or not,
offers nothing but indignity.
He touched me against my will, but I prompted his…

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Four poems by Caroline Johnstone

I am not a silent poet

Solvitur ambulando

Sleep eludes me for we wait, and still we must wait;
for change comes slowly, slowly, in drips
of sweetened milk and force-fed quiet protest.

We must be ladylike as we rock the status quo.
Resistance must not stamp its feet, flaunt itself,
give anyone excuses to blame our sex.

They waved their placards, politely petitioned
for rights, took toffee hammers to shop windows,
set fire to the establishment –

yet still we pick our steps through cacophonies
of wolf whistle stares, sexist shaped salaries,
misogyny that chokes us, clings like muck to our souls.

It is not us who needs to clean our act up.

The moon turns the pages of a new century,
reaches to the corner of my room, shines
on my soft leather boots that sit, tongue silenced.

Worn out and ready to be polished, their impotent gaze mocks
my rage that this…

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