ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume III Issue VIII
 
CoverforIssue25


The Cover Art/Photo:

by Rebecca Anne Banks





“song, song in the Summer wind

cold hearted sky,

the blue of lilacs . . .


i wish i walked in covered walkways

the lilacs fragrant in blue

white faced

a white faced blues card

and coloured fireworks by the roadway,

on this afternoon

found ins at the Biltmore

echo vendeggio

sky and music

a starling factory

i quietly become lost in the crowd”










Subterranean Blue Poetry
Volume III Issue VIII
 
(August 2015)










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Subterranean Blue Poetry

www.subterraneanbluepoetry.com
 
© 2015










Migraine

by Lana Bella


My migraine presents itself as an old woman, with heavily
wrinkled face, traveling in a taxi. Fever of a century and a
half old settles on her eyelids, jockeys over the haggard face.
Handkerchief white as the snowflakes peeking out from her
deep dress' pocket, soaks in crusty flesh. With the wind snakes
through the half-rolled window and the sun a brilliant streams
of gold, prickly thoughts spill across the left temple. Leaving
scribbles in stark spool of light. When the wheels pull to a
stop at the curb, she lets the words trickle down the wet side-
walk. Drain away into a strung elegy of incoherence. Its supple
spine caresses the end of her linen on the way down, spilling
of pity and sulfur air. Wagging its autumn tail on the skirt of
her bent torso, a silenced nerve center of ghosts. Turning from
voices and echoes she rarely infers that are flecked with ill-mercy,
she scours with alarm the spewing clumsiness on spent legs.
Held on ambiguous sensations of conflicting senses and scenery.
Hunting down release. Hunting for vacancy. Suspends between
sky and dust. And she, a speck of grain dangling on the theft of
wit. Limbs numbed and dragging, cradling madness in her bone.









Bedtime Story

by Lana Bella


Coax that part of yourself, you say.
Let it dances as the years ripen in
your loins, a sequence of fused limbs
and released dreams. The stitched
days of girlhood course through the
back telling of your story, pulling it
from the needle's eye. One third of
life is sewn with the cold wind's howl,
twisted into crimson whorl of dignified
rose. There must be cries worn upon
the continent of your skin, soft and
ruptured, the melodies once held the
sing-song voice of your mother. Sun-
carried particles of centuries old's
tradition, hauntingly gone yellow at
the seams. How lovely is the salvage
of your body, bending over the tender
wisdom that amends history. Holding
for the first time in years, litanies of
stain from your own making--migrate
at the heart of your imagination to the
shadows leaping shadows on the wall.
Giving birth to a fresh skin stretching
again over the wounds. The story begins.










 
Featured Poet: Colleen Thibaudeau

Inwhich I Put On My Mother’s Old Thé Dansant Dress

by

Colleen Thibaudeau



“Yes,” said Janos, “you can put on a costume!”

So I go for a favourite, my mother’s old thé dansant dress

(black georgette and hand-made lace). When I was a child

I looked through snowy windows, seeing her leave

for “Tea For Two.” Leaves whirled, the hem dragged

in the mud when granddaughters sortied out for Hallowe’en;

and then I rescued, laundered, aired, and pressed

(black georgette and hand-made lace). Now it’s a humid Sunday

in the scorching summer of ’88. Jamie retreats to the doorway.

Janos, taking the photos, says, “Nearly done now.”

I think, my whole life-span is in this dress.

And, as I strew these words,

rose petals are falling from the matching hat she made.










 
Missed Connections

Craigslist Montreal – Missed Connections – June 9th, 2015 - Anonymous


Ω - w4m


Maxime,

How are you?

Your old friend.

P.S., is your hair long again? Have you killed yourself yet?


N.B: “perhaps rumors of your death are untrue and you are merely staying at the
Biltmore. Peace and Love” - a note from the editor

“o’ Maxime! . . . muther is watching” – a note from the other editor










 
Book Reviews



Waltzing with Horses, New Age Americana poetry.


by: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title: Waltzing with Horses

Author: Felicia Mitchell

Publisher: Press 53

Date of Publication: 2014

Page Count: 86


“Take me home, country roads,
to the place where I belong"
- from Country Roads by John Denver


Waltzing with Horses by Felicia Mitchell is a series of poems that tell the story of family and rural life America inside days of jewelry, the poems like flowers, highlight where to look. She is a poet, teacher, mother who as well as writing poetry, has written scholarly articles, fiction and creative non-fiction. She has been published in many journals, nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net and has published chapbooks, including “Earthenware Fertility Figure”, “The Cleft of the Rock” and “Case Hysteries”. This is Poet Mitchell’s first full length book of poetry and the first poetry collection This Writer has reviewed for her.

“Take me home, country roads” . . . a song plays on a warm, warm Summer afternoon. The allure of the American Midwest, the Smokey Mountains of Virginia, full of nature imagery and the rural milieu haunts this poetry, dressing the stories of family life. The poems unfold like stories, the death of her father, the death of her mother, stories of her son, stories of the past and stories of her cancer treatment. Living inside a deep spiritual conviction, the poems, the stories, create beautiful jewelry, a love chain of people, family and community.

Bird in Flight

There is a bird nest
where other women would keep porcelain,
crystal, Hummel figurines.
Next to a child’s plaster of Paris mask.
Above an old wallet.
Some ghost bird has been flying
in one house, or another,
for almost fifty years.
My mother is never lonely.
When a cricket sings in her house,
I hear about it in a letter.
Every time I visit,
I leave with another treasure:
Colonial silver, blown glass water pitchers,
my father’s frayed nightcap.
A bag of tomatoes.
She does not want us to clean house.
By the time she dies,
there will be little left: a bird nest,
an old wallet, lipstick on the bathroom counter.
We will bury the nest with her.
Her bird will fly.”

The poetry is ripe with rural images, flowers, hobblebush, violets and phlox; cats, birds, horses, green herons, raccoons, lakes, dragonflys, cherry trees and more with images of baking in the kitchen, making bread and biscuits, it is a life set inside context, landscape and an idea of God.

I Remember Biscuits

This is how it begins,
the long decline to a time
when a sweet potato becomes a novelty
and bread crusts make a woman marvel
at the cleverness of bread.

Before milk turns to water,
or Brussels sprout to something inedible,
biscuits can make as much sense as newsprint.
Cooking up a pan is like opening your eyes
or shutting the kitchen door at night
and going to sleep in an old cotton gown.

There are some things a person can do
with her eyes closed, like pray or measure flour
or wait twelve minutes for biscuits to rise
in a hot oven.

And then she can’t.
She just can’t remember some things,
not where to write a row of numbers
or what to wear to bed
or how to put together four - no, five – basic things:
flour, salt, baking powder, shortening.
and milk.

It goes from there, it goes.

A person can live without biscuits.
Years can pass without numbers that figure
or sweet potato soufflé.
But I wish I could go back in time
to a day my mother remembered biscuits
and write everything down.”

As well as stories of family, is the archetype of death, the life cycle and celebration despite the losses. The poetry unfolds as a story of a matriarch, the story of continuity inside the natural forces of the universe. The personal narrative style is a post-modernist evolution, the domestic themes of Waltzing with Horses is in league with the poetry of Colleen Thibaudeau, an American version of the Canadian Muse.

Specimens

My son traces the bird claw,
his left hand holding the black marker
like a magic wand that will fuse life and death
right in front of my skeptical eyes.

Upstairs, on my desk, my father’s poems wait
as fragile as the butterfly wings
pinned to my son’s bedroom wall.

Each night, I slip upstairs to these poems.
I type their words, my fingers tracing my father’s,
rhymes about swamps, night skies, and lost love
flashing fast and black on my computer screen.

On his desk, my son keeps a cat skull
in a box that delivered a Mother’s Day orchid.

Sometimes we take it out and marvel at it.
I remember my son pulling it from a pile of leaves,
his hands holding up this perfect specimen.
I remember my mother handing me my father’s poems.”

Waltzing with Horses, Americana poetry inside the landscape of the mountains and the sky of Virginia is a cinematic discourse in family and the healing of losses. A beautiful first book of poetry from Felicia Mitchell.

Available @ Amazon.ca.











 


Forms of Distance, the Zen and Shadows of the Poetry of Bei Dao.


Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Forms of Distance

Author: Bei Dao

Publisher: New Directions Books

Date of Publication: 1994

Page Count: 87


“Cold as the northern winds,
In December mornings . . . “
- from Exile by Enya


The voice of a new generation calling out for freedom, Forms of Distance by Bei Dao, a book of poems published in 1994, is a reflection of his life in China and his exile after the violence of Tiananmen Square in 1989. He is a citizen of China who was recruited for the Red Guard, later re-educated to be a construction worker and his years as a member of The Misty Poets, publishing a poetry magazine for 10 years that was banned. Currently, he is a university professor in Hong Kong.

Of the Summer, the dark and beautiful music of Enya rolls out, into the night. This poetry of exile, he was reunited with his wife and child 6 years later, writing and living in Europe and the United States. The images are haunting, the development of the industrial economy in China, the machine age and the shadows of the cityscape, the modern are juxtaposed with traditional nature images (flowers, sea, birds, fire, snow etc.) and the Poet’s everyday. Influenced by the rich and powerful history of the ancient civilizations of Asia, the mystique and enigma are coached in the political realities of a country with a huge population, and the contrast of personal freedom vs. social control. Highlighting the fracture or “absurdist theatre” that can come with being only one of 1.3 billion people, the poetry is broken and exists as a voice within silence. The broken poetic images of the modern contrast with beauty and create violence, existing as protest and as “Apocalypse Poetry”.

Lament

incandescent arc welding the sky
like long-lost passions
searching for new wounds
searching for blizzards amid archives
sparks in the bellows-chamber

dreams drop with sweat
like underwater mines longing for a ship’s touch
now the sea’s gone suddenly dry
a forest of tents appears
and we wake like wounds

dignitaries speaking some other language
stroll through the refuge camp”

Also, the idea of violence and the monolith, the state, infuse the poetry with death imagery and the Zen and healing of voice, speaking the truth.

Apple and Brute Stone

in the prayer ceremony of ocean
a storm bows down

stone watches over May in vain
guarding against that green contagion

as the four seasons take turns axing huge trees
stars try to recognize the road

a drunk using that talent for balance
breaks out from the time-siege

a bullet soars through the apple
life’s on loan”

The poem, Exit is based on an old Chinese saying, “that if you fall into a well, people will throw in stones.” This Writer interprets that to mean when there are enough stones thrown in, you can climb on top of them and get out of the well.

Exit

for Donald Finkel

nearly everyone’s
tossing stones into my dream
wellwater and I rise together
and people find that thirst moving

like an alarm startled awake
he’s smiling at us
a moon leading the heavens away bails out of
dawn’s emergency exit
where his visa’s expired”

As New Age thought through the magic of the Internet recreates the thinkspace of the people of China, self expression, see and be seen, the arts may help create personal and actual peace. The poetry of Zen and shadows, Forms of Distance, helps create a new way, the way of the artist as truthteller, healer and peacemaker in the New Age. A brilliant read.

Available @ Amazon.ca.











"and falling birds

the Summer sky quiet . . . "
 
so the tears fall

by

Rebecca Anne Banks



so the tears fall

in the pavilion house for lost souls

all stark and mad and bone

in the nightquiet

sheratz


so the tears stop

in the nightquiet

in the poetry of words

the photos


master bergdorff

and ruby white flowers

cabouchon in my hand

your hand

caresses my hair, my face

the days like jewelry

i give back to you.










 
Biography


Rebecca Anne Banks lives in Montreal. She is the author of 25 books of poetry, a family cookbook, a book of children’s stories and a primer on marriage discernment all available at (www.amazon.ca). She is also the CEO/Artist at Tea at Tympani Lane Records (www.tympanilanerecords.com) and The Book Reviewer at The Book Reviewer (www.thebookreviewer.ca).

Lana Bella. I have a diverse work of poetry and fiction anthologized, published and forthcoming with Aurorean Poetry, Eunoia Review, Mothers Always Write, New Plains Review, The Criterion Journal, Featured Artist with Quail Bell Magazine, and many others. I live bi-continents, in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where I am a wife of a novelist, and a mom of two frolicsome imps.

Bei Dao is a renowned Poet from China. His first occupation was in the Red Guard, and he later became a construction worker. He formed the writer's/activist group The Misty Poets, who published a poetry magazine for 10 years, the magazine was banned by the government. He was exiled after the violence of Tiananmen Square in 1989, spending time in Europe and the United States. Currently, he is a professor at a Hong Kong university and a serious contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is most noted for, The August Sleepwalker, Old Snow, Forms of Distance, Landscape Over Zero, Unlock, The Rose of Time: New and Selected Poems, Green Lamp, Blue House, Midnight's Gate, The Gate Opens, Waves.

Felicia Mitchell was born in Sumter, South Carolina. She is a poet, teacher, mother, wife, daughter who is a scholar with a BA and MA from the University of South Carolina and a PhD from the University of Texas. She has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, been published in many journals and has published chapbooks. Waltzing with Horses is the first full collection of poetry she has published.

Colleen Thibaudeau. Poet and short story writer born in Toronto, she earned a Master’s Degree in English at the University of Toronto. In 1951 she married famous Canadian Playwright, James Reaney. Her poetry was most noted for celebrating the extraordinary in the everyday. She is best known for Lozenges: Poems in the Shapes of Things, Ten Letters, My Granddaughters Are Combing Out Their Long Hair, The Martha Landscapes, The “Patricia” Album, The Artemesia Book, amongst others.