Surrender is an ornament…

Surrender is an ornament,
an ivy imagined
as a form of sleep.

Katerina Virvidaki completed her DPhil in English (Film Studies) at the University of Oxford in 2015. Her thesis was published as a monograph by Palgrave Close Readings in Film and Television (Fall 2017).

Advertisements
Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Biting the Skin off My Lips

I don’t want to be an adult anymore.
Will MasterCard take my refund?
Or will life only take checks?
Will I receive a cashback offer for every year I delete?
I want to go back to a time where lonely meant
I was home sick from school and couldn’t see my friends.
I want to go back to a time where sad meant
My dad refusing to take me to McDonald’s because
“Saiu – poukisa? Mange à kay.”*
I want to go back to a time where frustration meant
Not getting what I wanted for Christmas.
Because now lonely means
Finding miniscule moments of comfort
In strangers’ beds,
Being afraid of silence and unanswered texts,
Caring for others who just take and take –
While I just ache.
Because now sad means
Hiding in your room is safer than
What you may face outside,
Crying over being a half-orphan,
Not understanding why some live and others die.
Being your own worst enemy.
Because now frustration means
Just wanting to give up and let go,
But 25 has got me this far and
I can’t stop now.
My curiosity has gotten the best of me and I have to see…
But, if I can get a refund, go back and stay in time
Not have to deal with just how real life got and can get and will get…
Will life take money order
Or is it just cash only?

*Creole translation: Sahina – why? Eat at home.

Sahina Jerome is a lifelong writer and artist who just recently started performing her poems and short essays at open mics in the Lower East Side. Her work explores pain, hope, and the perils of online dating. When she’s not in front of a stage freeing her creative spirit, she can be found teaching students with special needs, and attending swing dancing events in 1950s fashion. Follow her on Instagram (@themoonspeaks) to see what inspires her.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | 1 Comment

Josie

The days, months leading up to her death anniversary
are like being punched
in the lungs.
You’re gasping for breath.
You’re grasping for something that will ever be
unreachable.
The day of her death anniversary, you hear the clock ticking.
You wonder when the bombs of emotions will come.
You attempt to prepare
by letting your coworkers know and reminding your friends.
The day is here.
Nothing happens.
A few tears shed, dinner is skipped.
The next day arrives. Nothing happens.
It is not until the next month or so,
the forgotten bomb hidden in the mines of your thoughts
resurfaces.
You hear your mother tongue on the street. Smell her perfume. See her round face on a stranger.
You explode –
That’s when it comes.
The pieces
rain
down
and
beat the earth.
The shrapnel of feelings beats itself into the earth.
You, mon maman, in the earth.

Sahina Jerome is a lifelong writer and artist who just recently started performing her poems and short essays at open mics in the Lower East Side. Her work explores pain, hope, and the perils of online dating. When she’s not in front of a stage freeing her creative spirit, she can be found teaching students with special needs, and attending swing dancing events in 1950s fashion. Follow her on Instagram (@themoonspeaks) to see what inspires her.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

10 O’Clock

When 10 o’clock comes,
you’ll whisper “Thank you for the pleasure.”
Your taxi will take you away,
second by second, mile by mile,
away from our strangeness, from our touch.
When 10 o’clock comes,
the present will graduate to the past.
The experiment over, the analysis will sparkle
in a flurry of whys, what-nexts, and hows.
But it’s not 10 o’clock
on the garish green screen,
so let me remain snug against you,
under a duvet dotted with dewdrops
in the cool darkness, in the soothing silence,
your protective leg pressing mine.
Let me absorb your warmth
just a few minutes more
until 10 o’clock.

Adrian Slonaker divides his time between Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA and St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, where he works as a copywriter and copy editor, with interests that include nature, 1960s pop music and decaf coffee drinks. Adrian’s poetry has appeared in Red Fez, The Remembered Arts Journal, Squawk Back, Queen Mob’s Tea House, The Pangolin Review and others.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Woman Stands

The woman stands behind a table
selling gadgets no one sees
while a cinder block wall has her back…
guardian bikers shoulder to shoulder.

Dark blue paint edges the wall
in mountain sky hung with white clouds.
Yellow sunshine haphazards a splash,
leaving white edges of aura
that surround the woman.

Inside the burn of yellow paint
a white cross towers so large
one steps back for perspective,
for recognition, for understanding;
a deciphering of tattoo imagery
stitched on flesh or as solid
as the wall trekking behind
the woman.

Diane Webster’ goal is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday life or nature or an overheard phrase and to write from her perspective at the moment. Many nights she falls asleep juggling images to fit into a poem. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia Poets, Illya’s Honey, River Poets Journal and other literary magazines.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Weds. & a struggle

Never an expletive (in mint condition): Nagsasawa ka na ba?*
From the mouth of decadence, the idea of fish balls
                                    & tall tales in the streets. From research-groomed
Quemada dream, a glowing inner circle
                                                            of niceness. From media
to self irrealis & ungrammatical, a bruise
in history-making. From
the R-establishments once called a “(r)ehab”, the “first light”,
“systems spidering”, at the edge
of thirty an ice cream never is, & once more,
                                                                        dirtied; you & I
Wednesdays & a struggle
keeping company
in a small (lonely) drugstore
                                                behind town.

*A trite Filipino expression meaning “Are you sick of things?”

Lawdenmarc Decamora holds an MFA in creative writing and is currently finishing his MA in literary and cultural studies. He is a literature professor in the oldest existing Catholic university in Asia, the University of Santo Tomas. His literary work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cordite Poetry Review, The Ilanot Review, Kartika Review, Spittoon Literary Magazine, Peacock Journal, TAYO Literary Magazine, We Are A Website, The Pangolin Review, LONTAR, Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s Transpacific Literary Project, Rambutan Literary, Shot Glass Journal, Ginosko Literary Journal, Mad Swirl, Chrome Baby, New Southerner, In Between Hangovers, Panoplyzine, The Cadaverine, and many others. He lives in the Philippines.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Labour Day

for my sister, giving birth

A double meaning, I guess. When the effort offers
more wind to the process, a grown-up confusion
depreciates. A day of countless promotions, too,
suddenly glimmers, as seismic as the letters
of your name in the skin of new day. Numbers
reduced into decreed holidays. Once again,
these are the borne context on your head, set
to cradle the perfect word in a tin house we built
for freelance work and exclusive reading repast.
My dear sister, you lie there waiting for now.
My dear sister, you lie there closing your eyes.
Don’t you know the sun is knitted for a pumpkin
hat, its rays the colourful socks for tiny feet
insecure about the dripping weather in September.
Oh, my sister, labour day is all fine with jazz!
Before I forget, just what I heard on the news,
Kim Jong Un loves to play with missiles
with no carrier-propositions. And just so you know,
dear sister, like Kim, I’ve watched the episodes
of The Boy General, expecting that in every
cartoon show, a healthy baby is born.

Lawdenmarc Decamora holds an MFA in creative writing and is currently finishing his MA in literary and cultural studies. He is a literature professor in the oldest existing Catholic university in Asia, the University of Santo Tomas. His literary work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cordite Poetry Review, The Ilanot Review, Kartika Review, Spittoon Literary Magazine, Peacock Journal, TAYO Literary Magazine, We Are A Website, The Pangolin Review, LONTAR, Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s Transpacific Literary Project, Rambutan Literary, Shot Glass Journal, Ginosko Literary Journal, Mad Swirl, Chrome Baby, New Southerner, In Between Hangovers, Panoplyzine, The Cadaverine, and many others. He lives in the Philippines.

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment