“The Devil, Oblique Angles and Polka Dots” by Sue Cosgrave

The Devil, Oblique Angles and Polka Dots

For Grandmother

Your host shimmers
beyond the margin of this page
as my fingers tap-tap you from the dead.
 
It takes you a while to snap into focus.
 
You remind me
of a day when I was eight,
                      or ten, at most,
 
the day I got lost in the woods.
How I blubbered and wailed for you!
 
When you finally found me—
a snot and hiccup spewing fountain
– not pretty.
 
“What took you so long?”
 
It was strange how you appeared, seemingly out of nowhere;
haloed in spring beyond the green fog of young birches,
your sudden presence, not reassuring – not at first –
“why did you leave me?” I cried
 
all the while, you, unruffled, reproached me: “Shame on you. A big girl crying
like a baby. And for no reason at all. Don’t you know that God
is watching over you, Detushka?’
 
Aha! This is where I should invoke the DEVIL.
Yet, there is no need,
for he’s here, already, lurking.
in the detail, wearing

your best navy polka dot dress – what else –
the one you were buried in.
The one you had kept shrouded, when alive,
in a film of translucent tissue.
 
How well I recall the day:
me, six years old and agog
 
for the morbid. For hadn’t you whispered to me:
“I’ll tell you a secret – something you should know
for when I’m dead.”
Of course I was disappointed! A DRESS? IS THAT ALL? Polka dots!
What the devil! I should have / could have exclaimed, but sure,
at that age I didn’t know any better.
 
But no, it is you, not the devil I see hovering just there,
where my eye does not dare
appearing to me as you did that day in the woods:
light streaming over your left shoulder, oblique, aimless—
the light, of course,
not the shoulder, for the shoulder, even lopsided,
 
knew where it was heading.
 
Heaven was always your destination,
              as I knew only too well.
And I knew, equally well, there was no place for me
 
astride a puffy cloud my nose buried in your soft breast
gleaning comfort from your old woman smell.
 
No.
 
My place was in the woods. Kneeling on a bed
of prickly pine needles.
 
Of course I hated that icon of yours;
that dead-eyed, flat-faced Madonna
and her miniature child simpering at me in his nakedness
when all I wanted to do was sleep
while you, awake at the crack of dawn, genuflecting
 
to them,
praying all the while:
 
I hasten to Thee,
O Master, Lover of mankind, and by Thy loving-kindness I strive
to do Thy work

 
… and oh, how you worked!
digging the permafrost. Building His canal,
the one that went nowhere.
 

GLORY, GLORY THE REVOLUTION!

 
and I pray to Thee: Help me, O God, at all times
 
Did he ever!
But, perhaps He did, at that.
What is it they say about God and burdens? He did help,
after a fashion:
by the time I was born, your once dainty feet,
He had magic-ed to the size of a man’s,
and your delicate hands to that of shovels.
 
and deliver me, O God, from every worldly evil thing
and every impulse of the Devil       OHO, HERE WE COME

TO THE CRUX OF IT:
WE CAN NEVER ESCAPE THE DEVIL.
 
Yes, I fed him tasty morsels to do my bidding – unknowingly –
I believe.
 
I made him promises,
offered him rewards,
without knowing I was doing any such thing. Like the time I cut
my Barbie’s hair for him
(he liked her shorn of course, her eyes, hence, more visibly dead).
 
You see; the Devil was honest that way. And a good teacher too:
no more worship for me at the altar of Barbie! That’s why
when your icon fell off its perch
 
I knew IT WAS HIS DOING!
 
So what if it was my rubber ball that hit the shelf where the icon rested,
Madonna and Child no longer serene above the ever-burning flame?
 
Sure,
even the Devil needs a helping hand.

The Devil, Oblique Angles and Polka Dots is © Sue Cosgrave
Sue Cosgrave was born in Russia and spent her formative years in the United States, in Iraq and in Finland. After travelling extensively in Asia and the Americas, she worked in various parts of Africa before settling in Ireland. Her work, drawing on many cultural traditions, appeared in the Cork Literary Review, The Five Word Anthology, Can Can, Abridged, The Bone Orchard and The Irish Examiner among others. She featured as a guest reader at various events both in Ireland and the UK. Sue has a Masters in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and is currently working on a trilogy set in Iraq as well as a poetry and a short story collection. In 2016 she was finalist for the Wisehouse International Poetry Award

“Magic Bullet” and other poems by Rus Khomutoff

 

Untitled

for Andre Breton
 
Nostalgic sentiments and new wave nocturnes
intersecting in a normal chaos of life
an hourglass of neglected affinities
idols of saturated phenomena
night of filth, night of flowers
the aporia of revelation
 

Magic Bullet

(for Tristan Tzara)
 
 Smell of death
smell of life of embrace
a medicine of moments
semiquavers and sundial conductors
of the postspectacle
deposits of legitimacy left behind
sortilege of the divine decree
words in blood like flowers
 

Grand Hotel Abyss

 
 Selenophilia of our being
the obscuring of the queen
vexed in your hollow divine
incipience of the notable nonesuch
like fragrant paperwhites in the
corner of the transcendental frame
pleasure ground of annulled pretext
in hysterically real daymares
everyday extraordinary
grand hotel abyss
 

Masque of the minutes

for Adam Lovasz
 
 Masque of the minutes
like a red psychotonic cry
agnosia of the just interloper
scarlet bellowing of the deep end
excisions on vacuous origins
temporal flight of the elemental route
 

Hygge

 
 A sense of timelessness surrounds her
mistress of malfunction
platinum god afterbirth
countdown to zero
inferior rhyme over the threshold
redux and progression
 
Magic Bullet and other poems are © Rus Khomutoff.

dsc07827My name is Rus Khomutoff and I am a neo surrealist poet in Brooklyn, NY. My poetry has appeared in Erbacce, Uut Poetry and Burning House Press.Last year I published an ebook called Immaculate Days. I am also on twitter:

“One Has To Admire His Ability As A Poet” by Kevin Higgins

One Has To Admire His Ability As A Poet

“I was struck by … his courage in speaking out to defend the memory of Charles Haughey”
Vincent Woods, RTE website

To defend the memory of Boris Yeltsin’s
vodka bottle. To take money from both the late Benito
Mussolini and, when pragmatism demanded it, those
who spat on him when he was safely
hanging upside down outside an Esso station.
To put in the proper context of realpolitik
as practised in parts of County Wexford
the late Father Fortune’s harem of boys.
To share a Ouija board with President Duvalier
while supping rum from the skull of an infant
who was always going to come to this
because, in the words of W.H.Auden,
‘poetry makes fuck-all difference’.
To share a roast leg with General Amin
and not mind which of his enemies was being eaten.
To recite even his longer poems
to a musical accompaniment of Vladimir Putin
twanging his jock-strap, like a rude balalaika.
To roll around wrapped in the French flag
with Marine Le Pen, whispering
in her cockle shell the words ‘Barbie, Bormann,
Goering’, because that’s the sort of thing
an advocate for the arts must sometimes do.

KEVIN HIGGINS

kevin-author-photo-december-2013-1Kevin Higgins facilitates poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre and teaches creative writing at Galway Technical Institute. He is also Writer-in-Residence at Merlin Park Hospital and the poetry critic of the Galway Advertiser. He was a founding co-editor of The Burning Bush literary magazine and is co-organiser of over the edge literary events in Galway City. His first collection of poems The Boy With No Face was published by Salmon in February 2005 and was short-listed for the 2006 Strong Award. His second collection, Time Gentlemen, Please, was published in March 2008 by Salmon. His work also features in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (ed roddy lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010). Frightening New Furniture, his third collection of poems, was published in 2010 by Salmon Poetry. Kevin has read his work at most of the major literary festivals in Ireland and at arts Council and Culture Ireland supported poetry events in Kansas City, USA (2006), Los Angeles, USA (2007), London, UK (2007), New York, USA (2008), Athens, Greece (2008); St. Louis, USA (2008), Chicago, USA (2009), Denver, USA (2010), Washington D.C (2011), Huntington, West Virginia, USA (2011), Geelong, Australia (2011), Canberra, Australia (2011), St. Louis, USA (2013), Boston, USA (2013) & Amherst, Massachusetts (2013). Mentioning The War, a collection of his essays and reviews was published in april 2012 by Salmon. (SALMON)
It Was For This by Kevin Higgins

I. Am. Straight. Are you ? & other poems by Lisa Lowther.

Dedicated to the many people all over the world that cannot live liberally & authentically for reasons of culture or other. May you find a path that frees you to be true to your beautiful intrinsic self, whatever that may be.

Closet

Ivory Solid Wooden Door –
unbreakable
Shining Gold Handle
protected by two
one on either side
admittance – speaks quietly
the other will decide
as you attempt to open
not just anyone is welcome

White Backless Gowns
on shining skin
Chiffon, Encrusted Diamonds
heels that can match any
Elegant Masquerade Masks
green eyes of foreign waters
pearls, bright & round as the moon
reflected
only to the celebrant

By Invitation – The Other
Vintage Lace
some roses too
For Your Entrance –
not an exit of mine, this time
do close the door on leaving
the two shall rest awhile

A little like my own

Even I did not feel invited into this poem

I. Am. Straight.

Are you ?

Contemplation of what life once was & could have been
momentarily fills my heart with sadness
I could have chosen that path
the superficial comfort of what society states is my success
I now would be dead
a funeral
that I alone would have attended
privately & inside of me
a society that conditioned the belief amongst many
that my ‘type’ would only have a marriage to a ‘He’
that very poison choking the core beauty of some other ‘females’
Thankfully, that wasn’t me

I too could have taken that pride…. in a husband
a free ticket to shield my secret
My.
Secret.
To bury –
present us both as a society success
but Girlfriend, Fiance & Wife
I understand you
Without a judgmental nor a critical weight
for you & I are both the same
We are straight
‘Ssh’traight

A path interrupted by authentic desire
many a beautiful night
sharing a wild & deep embrace
of soft satin skin
& bright white lace
between the sheets with a natural beauty
to wake with the sun filling a room
illuminating the exquisite reality
for the torture of acceptance
to cut the presence of it, her & the sun
as easy as a knife would cut a single green blade of grass
& that torture ?
for simply being ‘Ssh’traight

‘Ssh’ traight
‘Ssh’traight
‘Straight’! – Presumed by many
always followed by
“Who is the lucky man?”
to scream inside
but I am in the sun with ‘her’
where I am alive & feel more like me
not dead to ‘Him’ or worst again
Dead to me
Dead to me
Dead to me!

The morning passes
with the fading sun
let go of my grasp
look deep in her eyes
share a warm kiss
this always suggested our departure
‘Ssh’traight reflection in the mirror
take a breath
rouge lipstick I paint
mascara to darken my lashes
on opening that door
remember to lift my head
clicking my heels into the engulfment of society again

until the next time
I am straight
Are you?

Here

So you’ve left ?
sorrowful mess
alone in mind of how & what
weeping heart
no matter what
full –
yet void of why

So you’ve left
& my heart to love again –
impossible
to what it was
& IS
is rare
is rare

So you’ve left
maybe, once again
for I knew you, before we met
‘a first uniting?,’ the lady asked
to reply ‘No’
simply

Our eyes had met
with a familiar gaze
time stood I’m sure
moved by smiles
to the beauty of ‘Hello’ again
softly.

So you’ve left
from that hello
& in between –
the love
the years
& everything
to this goodbye?
Good bye?!
So you’ve left
well, so you say! –
I see you smiling
in the hallway
to catch a moment of me smiling back
& realise
it’s just

So you’ve left
to hear your song
I tilt my head to hear some more
to recognise myself
with company –
a  sudden silence

So you’ve left
to see you sitting in the sun
& reach toward you
with falling tears
an empty chair

So you’ve left
while your arms hold me
an intersilient cold air
no words spoken
just traffic passing by

So you’ve left.
then tell me
how I hear you call my name?
pause & listen
to hear just the night

So you’ve left
then why visit
when I’m sleeping
& rise to see you smile in bed
to turn
to nothingness,
again

So you’ve left
yet, I see you
look deep in my eyes
With much light &
feel your hand
mind mine

So you’ve left ?
why is it
You’re still here
still here
here.

(LL 2011)

The Wake

Ticking clock
between the silence
 the intermittent noise
TicK – TocK – TicK – TocK
cracked ceiling
splitting view of complete darkness
1 hundred beautiful memories
visit

Moonlit windows
white sheets of warmth
TicK -TocK – TicK – TocK
Remembrance
of patchouli
a beautiful haunting
Still

Vacant presence
to a time of us
TicK – TocK – TicK – TocK
now dead
without attending
buried by us both
separately –
An empty wake

TicK – TocK – TicK- TocK
All the while
Awake

I. Am. Straight.
Are you ? & other poems are © Lisa Lowther

Lisa Lowther lives in Cork City. She is a mother to one daughter. She has written poetry intermittently and increasingly over the years, previously not submitting any of her work. She has a passion for reciting poetry as well as reading. She holds a Business qualification & has previously worked in the University College of Cork for a number of years as well as other companies within the Business sector. She subsequently trained in sexual health and was involved in the promoting of sex education on various topics including sexuality awareness. This is Lisa’s first published work. She is presently dedicating time to her love of writing poetry and she is working on her first collection.

“Kafes” (The Cage) and other poems by Müesser Yeniay

Carvansarai of Night

Tonight
here should be
dance of words

-in the carvansarai of your glory-

tonight I am as joyful as the grasses
that saw the sun

and full with the existence of my dream.

 

Kafes (The Cage)

Like a bird looking for its cage, 
                    I am flying around time

In my chest, human voices…
Then an army of ants dissolving

-an ant is eating another-

 They call it a proverb 
                    as they pound on the country

 

Menstruation

                  Postfeminismus

Silence becomes word
drop by drop

I am a woman, a poet
in this nothingness 
that batters my body

egg that leaves my womb
every month
has a legend
in my body

it has a trace

my womenhood
my Achilles toe

my dog that barks every month

                          a man can't be a poet
                          a man can be a pen for a poet

Kafes (The Cage) and other poems are © Müesser Yeniay, translated by the poet.

MÜESSER YENİAY was born in İzmir, 1984; she graduated from Ege University, with a degree in English Language and Literature. She took her M.A on Turkish Literature at Bilkent University. She has won several prizes in Turkey including Yunus Emre (2006), Homeros Attila İlhan (2007), Ali Riza Ertan (2009), Enver Gökçe (2013) poetry prizes. She was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Muse Pie Press in USA.
 
Her first book Darkness Also Falls Ground was published in 2009 and her second book I Founded My Home in the Mountains, a collection of translation from world poetry. Her second poetry book I Drew the Sky Again was published in 2011. She has translated the poems of Persian poet Behruz Kia as Requiem to Tulips. She has translated the Selected Poems of Gerard Augustin together with Eray Canberk, Başak Aydınalp, Metin Cengiz (2011). She has also translated the Personal Anthology of Michel Cassir together with Eray Canberk and Metin Cengiz (2011). Lately, she has published a Contemporary Spanish Anthology with Metin Cengiz and Jaime B. Rosa. She also translated the poetry of Israeli poet Ronny Someck (2014) and Hungarian poet Attila F. Balazs (2015). She has published a book on modern Turkish Avant-garde poetry The Other Consciousness: Surrealism and The Second New (2013). Her latest poetry book Before Me There Were Deserts was published in 2014 in İstanbul. Her poems were published in Hungarian by AB-Art Press by the name A Rozsaszedes Szertartasa (2015).
 
Her poems have appeared in the following magazines abroad: Actualitatea Literară (Romania), The Voices Project, The Bakery, Sentinel Poetry, Yellow Medicine Review, Shot Glass Journal, Poesy, Shampoo, Los Angeles Review of Books, Apalachee Review (USA&England); Kritya, Shaikshik Dakhal (India); Casa Della Poesia, Libere Luci, I poeti di Europe in Versi e il lago di Como (Italy); Poeticanet, Poiein (Greece); Revue Ayna, Souffle, L’oiseau de feu du Garlaban (France); Al Doha (Qatar); Tema (Croatia); Dargah (Persia). Her work appears in the following anthologies: With Our Eyes Wide Open; Aspiring to Inspire, 2014 Women Writers Anthology; 2014 Poetry Anthology- Words of Fire and Ice (USA) Poesia Contemporanea de la Republica de Turquie (Spain); Voix Vives de Mediterranee en Mediterranee, Anthologie Sete 2013 ve Poetique Insurrection 2015 (France); One Yet Many- The Cadence of Diversity ve ayrıca Shaikshik Dakhal (India); Come Cerchi Sull’acqua (Italy).
 
Her poems have been translated into Vietnamese, Hungarian, Croatian, English, Persian, French, Serbian, Arabic, Hebrew, Italian, Greek, Hindi, Spanish and Romanian. Her book in Hungarian was published in 2015 by AB-Art Publishing by the name “A Rozsaszedes Szertartasa” She has participated in the poetry festivals like Sarajevo International Poetry Festival, September 2010 (Bosnia-Herzegovina); Nisan International Poetry Festival, May 2011 (Israel); Belgrad International Poetry Festival, September 2012 (Serbia); Voix Vives International Poetry Festival (Sete), July 2013 (France); Kritya International Poetry Festival, September 2013 (India), Galati/Antares International Poetry Festival, June 2014 (Romania), Medellin International Poetry Festival, July 2014 (Colombia); 2nd Asia Pacific Poetry Festival 2015 (Vietnam).
 
Müesser is the editor of the literature magazine Şiirden (of Poetry). She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Turkish literature at Bilkent University, Ankara, and is also a member of PEN and the Writers Syndicate of Turkey.
 
“Phoenix” and other poems by by Müesser Yeniay
An Index of Women Poets