Musings

Welcome to the insistent muse.

Heralded like a monostich.

Terse, unannounced, irreverent.

This is the second festival of anxieties to remember.

The first was equally remote,
bereft of the familiar and familial.

The distinction must be made.

Between presence and absence.
Between the first calligrapher and the next.
Between milk and coconut and white.

Not a definition of etymology.

Not the stuff of origins;
what origins?

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé is the author of an epistolary novel, two hybrid works, and nine poetry collections. A former journalist, he has edited more than fifteen books and co-produced three audiobooks. Among other accolades, Desmond is the recipient of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, Independent Publisher Book Award, National Indie Excellence Book Award, Singapore Literature Prize, Poetry World Cup, two Beverly Hills International Book Awards, and three Living Now Book Awards. He helms Squircle Line Press as its publisher and founding editor.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Beyond Logocentrism

Today, Gleizes knows the garden will percolate
                        a warmer summer and unwrapped nudes,
new world of sunnier days, an open esplanade,
its champagne the shade of stratus clouds.
Two builders downing their beers.
            At noon, the women in denim
                        walking into the virtual museum.

Emblazoned on signposts are words of significance:

            Money, Market, Prestige, Power Repurposed,
            Class, Status, Fashion, Identity, Gender, Gestures,
            Sex, Race, Sex and Race, Convention, Counterculture,
            the Assembly and Assemblage, Diversity, Deferral,
            Deference, Difference, Différance, Onward List.

            Logocentrism: arciform and auriform,
            now lost forever, with sound, shape, signifier —
            alongside any real idea of phenomenology.

What nature of memory, what slashed function?
What origins from which to emerge the true-originary?
What lengths of perception, what remains unknowable?

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé is the author of an epistolary novel, two hybrid works, and nine poetry collections. A former journalist, he has edited more than fifteen books and co-produced three audiobooks. Among other accolades, Desmond is the recipient of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, Independent Publisher Book Award, National Indie Excellence Book Award, Singapore Literature Prize, Poetry World Cup, two Beverly Hills International Book Awards, and three Living Now Book Awards. He helms Squircle Line Press as its publisher and founding editor.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Our Perfect Saturday

This might just be the perfect afternoon after all.
Rahel Senn is playing an old song in her head, on stage.
Printemps does sound like spring,
            its pastel palette, and you on arrival.
Not the atonal, but a soft trickle of notes, verse in mid-air.
The amphitheatre is awash with colour, faceless people.
Over their jagged shape, the jagged horizon of trees.
One child falls into the pond, soft splash as he disappears.
The water lilies are large discs — circular, rafts of green.
The screaming mother, halted music, us as onlookers.

After midnight, there’s the story of Ignatius Loyola.
The spiritual exercises, and the tragedy in the film, Silence.
After an hour, two new deaths of anonymous, known persons.

Ten minutes later, a gif of welcome repeated movements.
As if to say play again this love story of ours —
                                    Rahel Senn’s Eté, its beginning.
Play again Rahel Senn’s Automne, grey skies and clouds.
Play again your laughter, and my punching you in the arm.
Play again our walk, far end of the gardens suddenly near.
Here, like our hands touching, then holding,
            and a kiss, the way you wanted it two years ago.

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé is the author of an epistolary novel, two hybrid works, and nine poetry collections. A former journalist, he has edited more than fifteen books and co-produced three audiobooks. Among other accolades, Desmond is the recipient of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, Independent Publisher Book Award, National Indie Excellence Book Award, Singapore Literature Prize, Poetry World Cup, two Beverly Hills International Book Awards, and three Living Now Book Awards. He helms Squircle Line Press as its publisher and founding editor.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Afterparty

No content, says the subject.
No content, says the subject heading
                                    of my astrologer’s email,
as if to say this year commences terribly
and unremarkably — terrible, terrifyingly so,
because of the unremarkable worldliness,
the workaday humdrum —
and there’s no fanfare or pageantry
                                                worth watching.

No content, but that of assorted numbers.
No content, but a strange rearrangement.
No content, but a quaint repetition, soft murmur
                        to say there’s no fin de siècle, no room
                                    here for that cloying
                                    sentiment, how revealing.
Number One is a cage of old branches.
Number Two is the Minimalist seated on a stool.
The stool is made of bent wire,
            its contours shaped into a kingfisher’s heart,
two heaving lungs and a hunky slice
of grey whale liver, pushed into this small space.
Between them and you, oh Oracle of Imagism.

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé is the author of an epistolary novel, two hybrid works, and nine poetry collections. A former journalist, he has edited more than fifteen books and co-produced three audiobooks. Among other accolades, Desmond is the recipient of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, Independent Publisher Book Award, National Indie Excellence Book Award, Singapore Literature Prize, Poetry World Cup, two Beverly Hills International Book Awards, and three Living Now Book Awards. He helms Squircle Line Press as its publisher and founding editor.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | 1 Comment

“I love you” and other declarations of war

You sit next to me on the train
close enough to look like friends
far enough to not get strange looks and you
lean over to whisper in my ear
you look so nice today.
I hiss back
we can’t afford your blasphemy.
You just laugh.
You have always been less careful than I.

At a coffee shop when we’re sat
across the table from each other
our hands reach for sugar and yours
lingers just a little too long next to mine
and I want to smack the smile off of your face
you don’t know what you are risking here this
is your first time out in the open you
have never known what it is to be hated for your love.

Being with you is knowing that any moment
could be our last and you
are not careful enough with that knowledge.
you hold hands with reckless abandon
kiss without care while I
make sure to check over our shoulders I
am starting to resent being the bodyguard for
everything we are.

At home when we are
finally alone you smile and press
kisses into my collarbone and you whisper
I love you
and I whisper
don’t say things like that.
and I wonder when you will stop
finding novelty in our hiding place.

Amanda Brauchler is a literature student from New York who aspires to use poetry as a way of finding meaning in the world and as a way of connecting with others and trying to make sense of the odd and beautiful thing called the human condition.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | 1 Comment

My Ex-Partner

My ex-partner profited off the Napoleonic Wars.
They insisted that their shoelaces were tied.
Their moon was the size of a pair of blue eagles
And they couldn’t construct a proper cheesecake.
I sat and listened to their droning about Neptune,
Felt their long whiskers pat me on the back
As if I could afford to drink ginger tea.
Their dog whistled sweet nothings into the void.
Everyone loved them except for you.
You didn’t know how to play the triangle.
That’s why I left them for your house of books.
Don’t you understand? They were an octopus,
And you were always seventeen minutes away
From the pit of an avocado’s frustration.

This is a reprint of work originally published in The Opiate.

Catherine B. Krause is a queer, disabled, and polyamorous transgender lunatic living in Niagara Falls, NY. Her poetry appeared in Eunoia Review in 2014 and has also appeared in Rabbit Ears: TV Poems, The Opiate, and The Lake, among other places.

Posted in Poetry, Reprint | Tagged | Leave a comment

To The Next-Door Neighbor

I’m glad you think I’m pretty
and I really did like
the little ceramic cup with my name on it,
but you voted to zap me straight and cis,
deport the scared closeted trans girl
with no memory of the country she was born in,
take away our health care,
send the harmless theology student in Ohio
who loved to talk Semitic linguistics
and the guy down the street who hosted the car wash
for the Red Cross the Sunday after 9/11
into a war zone of America’s creation
that your vote has only worsened,
and enable a confessed sexual predator
who thinks it’s me and the people I love
who shouldn’t be allowed in public restrooms,
so you can love the sinner from a distance.

This is a reprint of work originally published in Social Justice Poetry.

Catherine B. Krause is a queer, disabled, and polyamorous transgender lunatic living in Niagara Falls, NY. Her poetry appeared in Eunoia Review in 2014 and has also appeared in Rabbit Ears: TV Poems, The Opiate, and The Lake, among other places.

Posted in Poetry, Reprint | Tagged | Leave a comment