Tag Archives: poetry


Joanna C. Valente ~ Four Poems

My Vagina Will Be the Death of MeJoanna-c-Valente

In the morning a storm like breath
dimming in dread, twists like silver
around fingers, a bit too tight
so it leaves a mark, almost stops
blood but faintly quivers back–

larger like smoke from a house
fire–blacker–heavier like
colonial brick. Part of surviving
is to keep moving, grow up
& ignore the distance where

dogs sometimes bark–most
people will try to write a novel
without using their hands, praying
to a sack of human bones dug up
in the sand, asks WebMD if

we’re hypochondriacs, if a man’s
hand at the base of a woman’s
vulva is haunted with alien symbols,
is a weapon salting infertility,
is an abandoned Victorian decomposing

in Louisiana heat, his hand over
her mouth stales her desire for
anything, her mind sets an ultimatum:
Heaven or Brooklyn? When she
gets home she tweets #StruggleCity

& cuts an apple like sun lighting
the holes between maple branches,
a voice wafting a million years homeless
like burning garbage the shape of
woman’s first body, a hole drilled down

the middle of a long damaged earth.

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Jennifer McBain-Stephens ~ Three Poems

Field and Stream:Jennifer-McBain-Stephens
Joan’s Mise-en-scene

She was remembering that she was remembering…

Stallions writhed in the
Sully-sur-Loire muck
Manes tangled up amongst
legs and soap opera sighs
Sunken curvatures, broken
backs backed into themselves

Joan pulls an arrow
out of her own neck
ties bloodlines
eats grub infested porridge
covers her face in mud
Hundreds of years later

The overly footnoted painting
By Ingres
Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII
revered by thousands
Hangs in the Louvre
Glows in red and silver

Commissions made:
Give her long hair
Put her in a dress

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Ali Znaidi ~ Six Poems

The StatutesAli-Znaidi

Enfolding you in the mysticism of ancient epochs
& current times, they talk vibrant history, either
beautifully sculptured or amputated— [a good
exercise in the historiography of resistance]. Don’t
forget they tend to liken themselves to pieces
of literature, too[eloquence w/out words]. They
stretch out in museums’ halls [hallmark of pride].
I can hear them telling their stories of resistance,
reminding people of resisting howling winds,
heavy rain, & wars. Though fragile statutes lost
a hand or a leg, they [oftentimes] keep the head
because their heads are stuffed w/ the dream
of eternity— a resistance against decay, &
a refusal to look back in grief.


Scattered foam, a paroxysm of floating
bubbles. From forgotten surfaces the sea
spits sapphire blaze. The seagulls contour
the sea’s waves like Gothic arches—a shield
against the tyrannical wind/ a C-clamp
holding waves together. & the lumbering
birds cut the sky’s timber, lubricating
an artist’s mind.||Wandering boats, errant
rants, sowing your oats.||
& adventure is not but a boat named courage,
sharing the sea with the Gothic


The eye is not just an apparatus through
which you can see your world.
The eye is something more dangerous
than that because it has a cheetah inside.
The eye is a cougar chasing preys &
always keeps chasing more.
& the more it preys, the more the limitation
thread unravels.
Eye only connotes a power lust—
a cougar w/ paws always sharp.
& the history of eye is the geography of
its stretching gaze.

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Lisa Marie Basile ~ A Poem


I confess dissociative,
swing a heavy summer down on me.            I will not falter
but I am fall.


If it seems I have flowered,    you are mistaken.
Our night attracts
simpler things.         Other things we don’t see.
That I might be bright white,
a visible thing.          I am not a visible thing.


I am steeple, pure, filled of daydead.           I am its pupil.
Not dull, or charred,
or fragment.      Not piled.                 I am
the holder of small things      and the other body
of my body.


I read all the books. I opened them
one by one.        I startled it,             night,               and said sorry.
As if the shapes were not mine,         but a star deflated.
I wished for it to be like this:
The small round table: forlorn as children, me standing
with finger on splinter,           on edge. The table collects us
when we come near it.


We gather around it               and make of
the shapes.

The fountain: I came to it, to throw coins in.
The water was cool
and sullied.                 I saw it and felt it did not see me.
And I see, I saw. I saw, I’ve seen
what the sounds of space have made: a basin of body, a swell, a ravine
where water is water and water is me.


The white plate,         I broke it.
I mean, I dropped it,
and it broke.      One piece is here,
the other buried                      as a sick lover
in the meadow.                       It is meaning, the meaning of something
that kills me: this porcelain thing.                 That it is,
and is not,         that it lives and does not.


A little blood in the cracks,
a spoil of self,    all made to say hello
I am here.                   

© Lisa Marie Basile

Lisa Marie Basile is the author of APOCRYPHAL. Her poetry and other work can be seen in the Best American Poetry, PANK Magazine, Tin House, The Nervous Breakdown, Johns Hopkin’s The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, The Huffington Post and Prick of the Spindle, among others. She is the editor-in-chief of Luna Luna Magazine and a co-curator for Diorama, a NYC-based collaborative poetry/music salon. Stay Thirsty Media recently featured her as an emerging poet worth reading. She is a graduate of the New School’s MFA in Writing program, and works as an editor.  







The Art of Poetry, with Julian Peters


In 2013, when Julian Peters, a comic book artist and illustrator living in Montreal, published the first nine pages of his yet unfinished visual adaptation of T.S. Eliots’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock on his website, poetry and art buffs all over the internet rejoiced at the lyrical and seemingly effortless quality of the images. Peters’ works, which have been praised for both their faithfulness to the original text and their innovative, original aspects, are evocatively in perfect tune with the verses they attempt to describe. Those impressed by the aforementioned adaptation, continued on to devour the stunning interpretations of Keats, Yeats, Rimbaud, Nelligan and more, published on his website. Here, in conversation with Eye, Peters discusses his art, his inspirations, and why the juxtaposition of the visual and the verse is more relevant than ever.

1. Tell us about Julian Peters the man- where you come from, what your story is. If you had to sum yourself up in a short, autobiographical comic strip, what would you choose to draw?

I was born 35 years ago in Montreal, the son of two biology professors. My mother is Italian, and I spent a great deal of time in Italy as a child; I even did a year of elementary school over there, and one year of high school.

If I had to do a comic strip about myself (a project that, in truth, I’d rather avoid), I’d probably focus on those childhood summers spent in Italy, at the family home on the hills overlooking beautiful Lake Orta, in Piedmont. That’s my Eden, and probably the greatest repository of artistic inspiration I have. Perhaps the day will come when I will tackle the memory of those sensations head on in a comic, although it’s more the kind of thing I picture myself doing as an old man.

It’s also in Italy that I developed my passion for comics, starting with the wonderful Disney comics that they have over there (Oddly enough, Italy is the world’s largest producer of Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse comics!). Then, later, my mother’s cousin, who had studied comics in Milan and who amassed a vast comics collection throughout his life, introduced me to what I consider the golden age of Italian comics, those from the late sixties to the mid eighties. These are still my favorites. Those are the comics that revived my childhood passion for the medium, and set me down the path I’m still pursuing to this day.

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Kris Saknussemm ~ A Poem

What’s on my mind this bright sunny morningkrissaknussemm

Well, I’ll tell you.
I’m thinking of Moirés, an interference pattern
created when two grids are overlaid at an angle
or when they have slightly different mesh sizes.
I’m thinking of two headed marine worms, slime
molds and Pavlov inserting a window into a dog’s stomach
to observe its digestion, for which he won the Nobel
Prize in 1904.
I’m thinking about Moosbrugger, the psychopathic killer in
The Man Without Qualities. I’m thinking about Schoenberg’s
renunciation of melody,
Wittgenstein’s beetle, Gertrude Stein’s perpetual poodle
basket, the gargoyles of the Chrysler Building and
the swan that carries the Grail Knight to heaven
I’m thinking I’m glad there are Crayola Crayon
colors called Inchworm, Neon Carrot and Macaroni & Cheese—
and how sad I am at how even stupider
America has become since I went walkabout.
Oh, wenn ich schrien könnte!
Un carnaval desesperada de imbéciles.
Mi go pas.

© Kris Saknussemm


Kris Saknussemm is a cult novelist and multimedia artist. Born and educated in America, he has lived most of his life abroad, primarily in Australia and the Pacific Islands. He has published ten books that have been translated into 22 languages.

His science fiction themed novel Zanesville, published by Villard Books, an imprint of Random House in 2005, was hailed by critics as a revolutionary work of surreal black comedy. It has attracted the devotion of outsider artists like the Legendary Stardust Cowboy and was the inspiration for Michael Jackson to want to have a giant robot of himself constructed to roam the Las Vegas desert.

Another key novel, an erotic supernatural thriller Private Midnight is set in a noir crime world of jazz, junkies and shadows from out of time.




Justin Lowe ~ Four Poems


I believe I have moved
beyond the shouting now.

the lines are nicely blurred,
the corners rubbed smooth.

cohesion, let’s be frank, was
never my guiding principle,

the better to watch
and count where others name.

the shouting was a gasp of air,
not of a man held under,

but like someone passing a mirror
in a cobwebbed hall.


gazing out at the rain
only seemed to make it angrier.

he is still to learn
how tempers fray in the tropics,

how tin pleads
like a parrot in a cage,

and night crawls
under a rock with the lizards.

you cannot live here
with your nose in a book

now matter how hard he tries
something is always tugging at his sleeve.

this is his one revelation.

he knows eventually the rain will stop
because they built a city here.

The text that never comes

it is the blanket draped
over an old piano,

the dead bird
still clutching its perch.

it is the stone rolling
down a deserted hillside,

the cat purring
as the needle goes in.

it is the sound
of dust gathering on a book,

the funereal hunch of the uninvited,
the arrow quivering above a sleeping head.

it is the picnickers trying to beat the storm,
like waders suddenly drowning.

it is the question put to a dying man,
the lone comma on a bathroom mirror.

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Michael Farrell ~ Three Poems

michael-farrellThe Concept Of The Queue As A Justification For Linearity

Catching a bus offsets the cost of addiction. The Australian
Stands at the front yet belongs at the back. Things
Can be learned from browsing the fronts of books, but
There’s no free ride when it comes to
Entering a bus in the middle’s
Like an operation and causes rage from the Jonahs inside
Trying to escape. Being nervous like a word expecting to
Be edited, finding that it’s shifted place. No one takes
Logic that seriously; they take breaks and find themselves
Refreshed and to some extent alive. When translating we consider
The age of each word and the relative respect due
Yet a bus may come at any
Time and even on arriving refuse to go
Further or in the right direction. At the end of
The night’s service, most passengers have been shifted around and
The stops are empty, except for those who don’t want
To go anywhere. They are the full-stops
The ones insisting on shelter. In the line-up
There’s one maroon coat or the drabness is relieved
By a scarf printed with tulips. When did they arrive?
Will we see them again? Perhaps in a much larger
Space, where the scarf will appear like a foreign
Word or note of light and not as it does
Now, a fireplace

The Blue Wheelbarrow

I wake and I take my waking pillow
& cover it with warm milk. Things
Are not as they
Black chickens are popping on the piano lid
Again; Canto V Dorothy says dragging
On the chords. Years of widening
Undies, Canto LXXI drones Olga. Anything, anything
Under a bridge can be a giraffe
A blue wheelbarrow can become a platypus, barking
At a viper
In the night. The viper too cold
To respond. Some people make images, others swallow them
In the background – though life is not
A stage. When we read we put our hat
Under the pew and reach for
Its felt when done. Our hand is bitten, glazed
A blue chicken. Things are – perhaps
In reverse. Canto minus I snaps Mary. The foreheads
Of the National Front. The ideograms
Of purification. The nougat scene. There is a way
Of saying that may result in laying
A boy runs around, or boys, scared
Of talk, weather, tools, shit
Aesthetics, music, stories of paternity. It’s not that
I disagree, it’s that I don’t find
It meaningful. I didn’t want to open up because
Of the smell, which became an
Analogy that you found in a dream, but
I found in
A hymn, being the beneficiary of so much holiness
I mean so much finger. I am
A sick biscuit, tracing the expressions of windows
In the aftermath of friends mating
In the ashes. The blue wheelbarrow decides … Everything is
As they were and are. The War
Of 1812. The Coniston Massacre. Honour the method that
It’s not what I’ve seen that counts: emu wrenches
Off spinifex like they were chewing firecrackers
Giraffe pulls screaming wheelbarrow around the yard or rain

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