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Poetry Breakfast

Serving a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry book reviews to feed poets' and poetry lovers' souls.

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All Poems

Where It Hides – A Poem by Samuel Oladele

Where It Hides
by Samuel Oladele

Follow the silence
into the heart of the scream,
the mouthless scream,
the monastery of all pain.

Anchoring on all souls pain lives;
a life without form, gorging all our greenness.

Follow the silence into the base where pain breathes,
where it towers above strength,
where it breaks the backbone of love.

Only those shackled by it know where light ends;
only they know the weight of darkness.

 

 

About the Poet:  Samuel Oladele is a Nigerian studying Applied Chemistry at Usmanu Danfodiyo university, Sokoto. Whenever he’s not thinking of making TNT or thinking about some industrial production processes, he reads and writes prose and poetry.

Poetry Book Review – The Love Songs of Ephram Pratt by Jack e Lorts

Ephram Front-095 We’ve published a few of Jack e Lorts Ephram Pratt poems over the years.  Each one is unique and thought provoking.  They stir the mind and make readers turn their heads to look in a direction they’d probably not thought of looking before.

The Love Songs of Ephram Pratt is a fascinating collection with one unexpected poem after another.  As for the story of how Ephram came to be, we’ll let Jack explain that.

Book Description by Jack e Lorts:

The Love Songs of Ephram Pratt came about as a result of my meeting Ephram Pratt some ten years ago.

I first met Ephram in a poem in 2008; I didn’t know him previously & he is not related to a minor historical figure I’ve since encountered on the Internet. He is, in all likelihood, of the Tribe of Ephraim in the book of Numbers, and I also suppose he may be an alter-ego or doppelgänger of mine who talks and writes about things I may feel somewhat reluctant or uncomfortable in dealing with in my poems. Since meeting him, we have shared in writing some 800 of our “Songs of Ephram Pratt.” Although I have been writing seriously since the late 1950s, the past several years, Ephram seems have monopolized the bulk of my writing time.

Ephram and I deal with subjects about which neither of us knows much of anything, as well as subjects on which one or both of us know a lot. We love to play with words and at times we love big long words that we just love to loll around on our tongues. We love to read them aloud, although I do most of the reading and Ephram just listens.

There are often times we write poems we don’t know anything about, much less what they mean or understand them. Dali says, “The fact I myself do not understand what my paintings mean while I am painting them does not imply that they are meaningless.” Ephram and I strongly agree with Dali, that just because we do not understand what our poems mean, it doesn’t mean they are meaningless.

We believe in stream of consciousness, Kerouac’s spontaneous prose and the dream world of Andre Breton’s automatic writing.

Jack e Lorts – February 2019

Details:

Available through  Utter Chaos Press and Amazon
Paperback: 49 pages
Publisher: Uttered Chaos (March 9, 2019)
ISBN-10: 0999833456
ISBN-13: 978-0999833452

Sample Poems:

EPHRAM PRATT SPEAKS IN THE LANGUAGE OF SEALS
He lived near the sea
and his days were filled

conversing softly with
deceased mermaids,

but from them
he learned

the language of seals,
the grunts, the whistles,

the body language,
the subtle eye movements.

The cottage on the cape
was filled with ancestors,

peopled with tiny clones
of whoever lived there.

Only in the shadows
did he allow himself to speak

the language he knew so well,
he loved so insanely.

Why should he not speak
with seals?

The language known by poets
since time began.

 

EPHRAM PRATT REINCARNATES AS A SPIDER
There are times
when he works and plays

in the childhood
he has forgotten,

when the songs
he thinks he hears

are taken by
the scruff of his neck,

placed securely
in an antique box

and delivered piecemeal
to his imagination.

He may wonder
why the tapestry

he sees in the gallery
is seasoned with

a glowing tripod
of absolute nonsense,

but he sees
the luminous tapestry,

hears it, too,
and it makes him

want to lie down
in silence,

wondering if he will
reincarnate as an arachnid.

 

About the Poet:

Jack e Lorts, retired educator, lives in The Dalles, OR, via 20 years in Fossil, after stops in Kansas and California. He has published widely, if infrequently since the late 1950s, in such places as Arizona Quarterly, Kansas Quarterly, English Journal, more recently in High Desert Journal, Fault Lines, Phantom Drift, Windfall, and online such places as Haggard and Halloo, Elohi Gadugi, Locust, and Eunoia Review. Lorts is the author of three chapbooks, The Daughter Poems & Others and The Meeting-Place of Words (Pudding House 2008 & 2010) and Dear Gilbert Sorrentino & Other Poems (Finishing Line 2011). Active in Democratic and progressive politics, he has run for the Oregon House, served on the City Council and as Mayor of Fossil for many ensuing years.

He first published in the late 1950s alongside Ginsberg, Levertov, Padgett, Ted Berrigan, Russell Edson, Larry Eigner, and Cid Corman; he wonders what the hell happened in the ensuring years?

 

Reviews:

“In Jack Lorts’ latest collection, that poetic madcap and saboteur of the mundane, Ephram Pratt, truly hits his stride as our guide, a flaneur leading us to “brittle midnights” and right through “the invisible door to another childhood.” Pratt’s eccentric fascinations, which include circuses, unusual shoes, thunder-eggs, and a panoply of sirens, mean these love songs host rich strangenesses and ludic surprises. They mean readers may overhear crying trees and talking wood fawns, and may be spoken to alongside deceased mermaids. Writing in short lines like imaginative outbursts, Lorts delivers rare transformative rewards— “tiny chevrons of gold,” “a glowing coal burnt into soft molasses,“ and “a tiny box of hope placed on the cinders” that resists the flames. Readers, too, will bask in the wonders Lorts uncovers in these couplets, heat-driven by the engines of his gifts for phrasing, his surrealist leaps and juxtapositions, and his penchant for continuous poetic discovery.” ~Matt Schumacher, Editor, Phantom Drift and author of Spilling the Moon

“In these buoyant songs of delight and wonder, of mystery and exuberance that grow ever more laced with melancholy, the fictional Ephram Pratt—who once was a boy “with lanterns for eyes,” whose voice was “soft raisins in a box on the dresser,” a boy with hopes of exploring all the world can offer—sings his way through dream-like, surrealist, “minor miracles” that engage all our senses, and into the country of age and reflection, where songs become the memory of songs (though the urge to sing is never lost): a place where song, the “acorns of despair,” and silence intertwine and become one. It is a pleasure and an honor to recommend this luminous tapestry of poems by Jack Lorts, a book I hope to return to again and again.”  ~Ingrid Wendt, poet and Oregon Book Award recipient, author of Singing the Mozart Requiem and Evensong.

 

Sunflower Song – A Poem by Clayre Benzadón

Sunflower Song
by Clayre Benzadón

Bleeding heart, bloodroot.
The boneset of calla shuts

up the body of windflower
chimes, bluebells ringing

inside ghosted globe
thistles, darting

golden buttons. Yellow
archangels trumpet

the mouths of tulips
until they become a sun-

flower, summer
savory, heliotropism,

the way they face day-
light, a sweet asylum

in the symmetrical
stretch toward its golden
+++++++++angle.

 

 

About the Poet: Clayre Benzadón is currently a second-year MFA student at the University of Miami and Broadsided Press’s Instagram editor. 

She has been published by The Acentos Review, HerStory, Rat’s Ass Review, and other literary magazines / journals. Additionally she has had the opportunity of attending The Miami’s Writer’s Institute and The Ashbery Home School, a week-long poetry writing workshop/conference in Miami.

Twitter: @ClayreBenz
Instagram: clayrebenz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cbenzadon

The Stretch of Memory – A Poem by Ann E. Wallace

The Stretch of Memory
by Ann E. Wallace

I can measure out an imaginary yard of fabric pulling
the air, right hand 36 inches from left, the motion
imprinted from one summer job thirty years past, of
hoisting, unwinding, cutting lengths of 45- and 60-inch bolts.

Like walking in sand, some motions are not
forgotten, the sink of my heels down into the cool,
the pull of toes weighted with dampened grains
clumped to the point of heft with each step forward.

Or my left hand stretched across the belly of an infant,
holding diaper in place, the other hand ready
to seal one tab and then the other, fingers stretching
just a little wider each day, until no longer needed.

Never as wide as an ivory octave, mastered as early
as my fingers could span eight keys, made easier
over time with practice and growth, but small hands will
ever ply beyond comfort for the perfect well-known reach.

 

About the Poet:  Ann E. Wallace’s poetry collection, Counting by Sevens,is forthcoming in summer 2019 from Main Street Rag. Recently published pieces in journals such asMom Egg Review, WordgatheringSnapdragon,Rogue Agent, and Riggweltercan be found on her website AnnWallacePhD.com. She lives in Jersey City, NJ and is on Twitter @annwlace409.

The Last Nest – A Poem by Tony Pena

The Last Nest
by Tony Pena

The cat didn’t leave much,
but enough feather on bone
to catch the jet stream
to the shore of every living
thing’s dream where dunes
offer up a bounty of cover
to pull twigs and wait out
the storm until the angels
chime in the chorus with lyrics
of building castles in the sand.

 

About the Poet:  Tony Pena was the 2017-2018 Poet Laureate for the city of Beacon, New York.

Over the years some of his poems and fiction have found homes in Dogzplot, Full of Crow, Gutter Eloquence, Misfit Magazine, Poetic Space, Red Fez, Slipstream, The Dope Fiend Daily, The Rye Whiskey Review, Third Lung Review, Underground Voices, Working Stiff, and Zygote in my Coffee among other journals.

A volume of poetry and flash fiction, “Blood and Beats and Rock n Roll,” is available now at Amazon.

A chapbook of poetry, “Opening night in Gehenna,” is available from author.

Colorful compositions and caterwauling with a couple of chords can be seen at:
Www.youtube.com/tonypenapoetry
Www.facebook.com/tonypenapoetry
On Instagram as tonypenapoetry

From the balcony – A Poem by Sunil Sharma

From the balcony
by Sunil Sharma

The thin mother walks briskly,
Balancing load of tied-up firewood on her little head,
With a thin girl-child perched precariously
On her tiny waist, while a barefoot child walks behind,
On the hot concrete.

The girl-child plays with the ropes
Of the bundle of precious firewood,
The dancing ropes are her new toy and distraction.

The trio runs fast for their hovel
At the same moment—a pink-cheeked, obese girl
In white dress and costly shoes
Cries for a new giant teddy bear
In the nearby two-storied shop
Bursting with toys, annoying her painted mum
Talking on the BlackBerry,
While her smoking fat dad leans
Against the black Mercedes
In a busy street in Mumbai.

 

About the Poet:  Sunil Sharma, a senior academic and author-freelance journalist from the suburban Mumbai, India. He has published 20 books so far, some solo and joint.

For further details, please visit: Website: http://www.drsunilsharma.blogspot.in/

He edits Setu: http://www.setumag.com/p/setu-home.html

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