Sunday, 25 July 2021

Mis Verdaderos Amores
(My True Loves)


(An Ekphrastic poem based on the painting
Me and My Parrots, by Frida Kahlo, Mexico 1941)*

by Lisa Molina


Ah, mi vida-


Do you see my true loves
stare into you?
They, like me, see you,
Ah sí.


They whisper truths
into my ears. 
What they see.
What they hear.


When I believe 
your fidelity,
they tell me truth:
You betrayed me.


See how they huddle
to my breasts;
hearing my heart
shatter in its chest?


They stay always
to protect and guard
this nest from its
exploding sharp heart-shards


that would slice your hands 
until they bleed;
body maimed forever,
just like me.


On my shoulder 
my two other loves
hold me tight with
their sharp talon gloves.


Remember when your
arms held me?
Our eyes of fire?
Intensity?


No mas, mí vida.


Now watch these loves
spread open their wings,
never, never letting 
go of me.


Oh, how they
lift me up


Off
Off 
Off


the ground.


My open
heart-wings
now
soaring


Passionately 
Painting 
Pain-


Para que tú
y el mundo


will forever see,


how I rise 


above you


for 


eternity.


* * * * *

*Here is a link to Me and My Parrots, by Frida Kahlo, Mexico 1941: https://www.fridakahlo.org/me-and-my-parrots.jsp

Lisa Molina is a writer and educator in Austin, Texas. She has taught high school English and theatre, served as Associate Publisher of Austin Family Magazine, and now works with students with special needs. She enjoys reading, playing piano, singing, and marveling at nature with her family.  Her writing can be found in numerous online and print journals, including Beyond Words Magazine, Trouvaille Review, Amethyst Review, Neologism Poetry, Ancient Paths, OVERTHINK zine, and The Ekphrastic Review.
lisalitgeek.wordpress.com

Saturday, 24 July 2021

This month, an additional Moon Prize, the 79th, goes to Emily Black's poem "Moon Over Ninomiya Beach."


MOON OVER NINOMIYA BEACH*

by Emily Black

I look deeply at a Japanese woodblock print,
and almost become the small figure standing
on shore surrounded by frothy sea foam.
A graceful evergreen perched on a craggy
cliff bends its boughs in prayer over a curving
coastline far below. Clouds in the night sky
appear to be tangible like spun sugar.
 
I don’t know where I must have seen this print
before, but every aspect of it rings in my soul
like a bell that tolls to call me into that world.
I must have been a painter or a photographer in a
past life. I see things as though a frame encompasses
my view and gives me a unique perspective, a place
to focus. I sink into the viscous texture of this print.
 
A full moon over low, striated clouds illuminates their
ghostly presence and turns the sea’s horizon silver. A
solitary figure, in silhouette, walks along a sage-green
shore, embraced by heaven and earth, kissed by moonlight.


* * * * *

*Here is a link to a print of MOON OVER NINOMIYA BEACH.

Emily Black, the second woman to graduate from the University of Florida in Civil Engineering, engaged in a long engineering career as the only woman in a sea of men. Lately she’s been busy writing vignettes of her life and has two poems in the March issue of Verse-Virtual and more to be printed in the June issue of Door is A Jar and the October issue of Sac Magazine. Emily was selected as Poet of the Week by Poetry Super Highway for the week of March 22-28, 2021.
 

Friday, 23 July 2021

This month's Moon Prize, the 78th, goes to Alexis Rhone Fancher's intriguing "Larceny: A Story In Eleven Parts."


LARCENY: A Story In Eleven Parts

In Which 18 Year Olds Victoria and Debi Flee Los Angeles In Debis Blue Toyota Camry, and Take the Pacific Coast Highway North With Only a Smattering of Stars to Light Their Way…

by Alexis Rhone Fancher


Into The Dark
The night highway crawls with creatures. Moths headfirst into the windshield, lizards, mice,
besotted by headlights, crush flat beneath their tires. Sheltered. Stupid, the girls pick up a stranger. Thinking this is his lucky day, longhaired Davy tumbles into the back seat.

Back Story
When Victoria moved in with Debis family, junior year, her mom never realized she was missing. Now Victoria surveys her flawless skin, full lips, and thick blond hair in the rearview mirror; sees instead her mothers eyes, her dead daddys smile.

Just Outside Of Pismo Beach: An Adventure!
Their route mirrors the shoreline. They speed to outdistance the past. Victoria tallies roadkill. It makes her think of her dad. When she tosses their purses in the back seat with Davy, he recalls
the first time he snapped a cats neck, but stops short of telling.

Luck Of The Draw
Debis fingers run through her kinky black curls. Shes ironed her hair into submission, endured the dryer, hair rolled large in rinsed, frozen orange juice cans. Jagger struts out of the radio. Debi hums off-key.

Choices
If he has a choice, Davyd go for the brunette. The blonde is hotter, but she looks like trouble. Somehow, trouble always finds him. Where you headed? Victoria asks. Davy looks from one girl to the other. Hell in a handbasket, he grins.

The Low Down

Debi wants Victorias beauty. Victoria wants Debis mom. Each dances in the others castoff, each glows in the dark. Davy susses their singular affection. Hes a good observer, an only child. Davy wants only their wallets.

Night Swim
The Lorelei moon lures the trio off-course. Tempted, they exit the highway, strip down to their skivvies, hurl themselves into the sea. Davy revels in the half-naked beauties, cavorting just for him in the moonlight. Out of their depth, Debis fingers accidentally brush Victoria’s left breast. As they come together, breathless, past the breakers, the peace is almost unbearable.

Truth or Dare
Midnight confessions. Davy never finished high school. Victorias afraid of men. Debi takes the dare. Climbs the retaining wall and howls like a lunatic. Better this than her secrets spilled. When the big wave washes over her, Debi stands her ground. When Davy grabs her, anyway, she licks his face.

On The Road Again
Debi tends to dwell. Night driving clears her head. She chews a strand of her hair, sips vodka out of an Evian bottle. She misses Freddys thick cock. Wonders why she ever left him. Approaching Morgan Hill, Debi finds a motel, reckons Davy owes her and Victoria for the ride.

Karma: The Condensed Version
Its the best day of Davys life. In slumber, he looks like baby Jesus, Victoria sighs. Debi rescues their wallets from Davys backpack. His, too. The North Star beckons. Theyll make San Francisco by morning. The motel air conditioners rattle masks their departure.

The Last Leg
Victoria drives while Debi counts Davys money. The Toyota eats up the highway, a rocket to their nascent future. Shell buy souvenirs in the city, maybe a gift for her mom. When Debi sticks her head out the window, even Victorias chatter cant drown out the sound the wind makes.


* * * * *

©Alexis Rhone Fancher. "Larceny: A Story in Eleven Parts was first published in Café Reader, New Zealand (2015), and is part of Alexis Rhone Fancher's 2021 poetry collection Erotic: New and Collected (New York Quarterly Books).

Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry, Rattle, Hobart, Verse Daily, Plume, Cleaver, Diode, Duende, Pirene’s Fountain, Poetry East, Pedestal Magazine and elsewhere. She’s authored five poetry collections, most recently, Junkie Wife (Moon Tide Press, 2018), The Dead Kid Poems (KYSO Flash Press, 2019), and EROTIC: New & Selected (New York Quarterly Books, 2021). Another, full-length collection (in Italian) by Edizioni Ensemble, Italia, will be published in 2021. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Daily.
www.alexisrhonefancher.com

Thursday, 22 July 2021

This is Hard to Admit
1955-1981

by Carolyn Martin


I married and divorced,
not once but twice,
the same womanizing man.

It would take more
than a poet ­–
a novelist, playwright,
and psychologist, perhaps –
to explain twenty-six years
of taunts, abuse, and misery.

All he left behind:
three cherished children
who became my life.


* * * * *

Written in the voice of Therese Kolbert Dieringer. Reprinted with permission from Carolyn Martin, Nothing More to Lose (Beaverton, OR: The Poetry Box, 2020)

From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin is a lover of gardening and snorkeling, feral cats and backyard birds, writing and photography. Her poems have appeared in more than 125 journals and anthologies throughout North America, Australia, and the UK. Her fifth collection, The Catalog of Small Contentments will be released in 2021. Currently, she is the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly: journal for global transformation.




Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Pecs, Hungary, 1939-1944*

by Carolyn Martin


I was raised to be afraid.
­– Therese Kolbert Dieringer
           
First came the drunken Serbians –
ugly, border-crossing hooligans –    
pillaging the little life we owned.

Next, peddlers of cloth, wooden spoons,
pots, and pans in child-stealing caravans              
doing what they’re bound to do.

Then air raids ripping through a town
not worth a bomb, scurrying us               
down cellar steps where mother slept

with her satchel full of documents,
father with his file-cutting tools.
I filled the darkness in between.      

Last: Nazi soldiers marching through
our streets with voices so beautiful
I fell in love with songs I didn’t understand.  

How could a child of seven know death
comes disguised as melodies playing
over cracked cobblestones?

                         *
I want one
! I cried in my mother’s arms:         
the yellow star I tried to rip off a playmate’s coat.
This: the morning playing outside ceased.

                         *
Trucks rolled through every night,
muting screams of yellow stars.

Why do stars disappear? I asked.     
My Catholic mother could not say.

Three officers – blond, blue-eyed,
armed –  quartered in our home.

No children of his own, the eldest
sat me on his lap and sang.

Hitler lost, he knew. Stalin on the way.
To Dresden: his plan for our escape.   

Warm clothes, poultry, flour sacks, butchered
pigs in a railroad car marked “Classified.”

Money gets you nowhere,
blue eyes said. Food is currency.    

A 10-hour trip took three weeks.
My father stayed behind.


* * * * *

Written in the voice of Therese Kolbert Dieringer. Reprinted with permission from Carolyn Martin, Nothing More to Lose (Beaverton, OR: The Poetry Box, 2020)

From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin is a lover of gardening and snorkeling, feral cats and backyard birds, writing and photography. Her poems have appeared in more than 125 journals and anthologies throughout North America, Australia, and the UK. Her fifth collection, The Catalog of Small Contentments will be released in 2021. Currently, she is the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly: journal for global transformation.


Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Raven            
(Birds, Frogs, & Clouds Cento #2*)

by Mish (Eileen) Murphy


Raven would
fly in circles over land and sea
with the sound of wings

beating
and twirling.
She smelled of

perfume,
saffron,           
and smoke-filled flames

in a circular box.
She was a woman
who could

at the same time be
both old and
young.


* * * * *

*Translator: Ian Johnson

Mish (Eileen) Murphy is Associate Poetry Editor for Cultural Daily magazine and teaches English/Literature at Polk State College, Florida. She just published her third book of poetry (fourth book overall), the collection Sex & Ketchup (Concrete Mist Press Feb. 2021). Fortune Written on Wet Grass (Wapshott Press April 2020) was her first full length collection. Her second book Evil Me was published August 2020 (Blood Pudding Press). She’s had more than 100 individual poems published in journals such as Tinderbox, Writing in a Woman's Voice, and Thirteen Myna Birds, and many others




Monday, 19 July 2021

 

Smells Like Teen Spirit

by Mish (Eileen) Murphy


Mary Anne was prima in a pink tutu
and pink toe shoes with crisscross ribbons.
I wore a black leotard and pink tights,
black slippers with elastic bands.
Sliding glass doors let Florida
sunlight into her living room.
She was the swan
and I was the chorus,
but it was glorious, her mother,
father, and mother’s friend,
clapping.

When Mary Anne moved away
I barely ate. I lost weight.
Mother praised my slim figure.

I lay awake late at night,
wishing I could dance
away from my bedroom
with its high jalousie windows.
I eavesdropped on snippets
of my parents’ conversation
mixed with laughter
from The Tonight Show.
I said hello
to the death songs inside me.

I caressed the safety razor
I shaved my legs with.
I couldn’t force myself 
to carve the flesh of my wrists.

I asked my mother
to move so I could reach
the cabinet under the kitchen sink:
I’ll drink Drano.
I’ll kill myself.


No, you won’t, said my mother
and told me to set the table.


* * * * *

Mish (Eileen) Murphy is Associate Poetry Editor for Cultural Daily magazine and teaches English/Literature at Polk State College, Florida. She just published her third book of poetry (fourth book overall), the collection Sex & Ketchup (Concrete Mist Press Feb. 2021). Fortune Written on Wet Grass (Wapshott Press April 2020) was her first full length collection. Her second book Evil Me was published August 2020 (Blood Pudding Press). She’s had more than 100 individual poems published in journals such as Tinderbox, Writing in a Woman's Voice, and Thirteen Myna Birds, and many others