Stimulus: Costumes and set designs by the Greek Painter Nikos Hadjikiriakos-Ghikas.

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Issue 18 · April 2020

Old Folk for New Poets – Part II

Old Folk for New Poets – Part II

Short Days - By Peter Engen they’re cutting down rows of corn at the knees separating pieces of gold from outgrown garments gathering seed and leaving thin feathered battlefields my father’s soft eyes resting in a buried oak box coffined long enough that I’ve...

The Sick Child and Silent the Sun Falls

The Sick Child and Silent the Sun Falls

The Sick Child   You didn’t see her - behind the door, but your mother bowed her head and wept when you left, or Her white knuckles, slim clasped when fever took you down in cold rattled sweats, as she tamped your forehead with the one soft rag left in the...

The Numbers Vendor

When Nelson el Raro walked out of his house the morning heat had settled on the cobblestone. Breakfast was sitting nicely in his belly now and his second day without sleep was but a faint unpleasantness under his skin. Most of all, he felt lucky today, an altogether...
All may, none must

All may, none must

The landscape lured the willing feet, the thoughtful mind. It was framed by asymmetrical elevations, sometimes reminding a cradle, sometimes, a fortress. The foundations of man exist on those mountains and it’s men that bear those mountains on their shoulders....

Smoking Mirror, Turquoise Light

Smoking Mirror, Turquoise Light

I Here he comes, that wicked Tezcatlipoca With his rotting leg, those yellow teeth! Creeping slyly through the jungle, Crouched in humid rank of loam and thunder Smooth eyeballs, so sharp and round and blue, Polished clean with prickling dust— Beneath the paper bands...

Poems, the Ideas for them & The Temple

Poems, The Ideas for Them   I think they come from the land of transfiguration. The poet builds clumsy tents, as Peter wanted to for Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. I cannot picture that land having anything to do with perfection. So, more in keeping with the poor in...
The Titan’s Goblet

The Titan’s Goblet

Dropping from the circumference And bent by wind, waterfalls From brim hedged in thicket. A temple on the north bank, A villa on the south. Paracelsus Made dizzy by the stem, emblem Of the fountain, Mount Athos Reaching fastigium of Tristan chord. Cole’s vertex, such...

Rumi’s Flute of Fire

Rumi’s Flute of Fire

“This pliant of flute is fire, not mere air. Let him who lacks this fire be accounted dead!” (Book I, Prologue, Masnavi of Rumi) None but the one with a fiery core Can explode in nuggets of gold And calm the wuthering harrows Heralding from the crimson osier bed; A...

How to be naïve

About the artist himself I knew very little, except that he was considered to be naïve, anda genius. “Naïve about what?” asked a journalist. “It means untrained,” someone said. “Formally.” The journalist frowned slightly as he digested this information, and sat like...
Serenity

Serenity

Serenity The silence was so clear, Speaking in long-forgotten words. The sounds of the empire drowned out, By the flood, It rushed over me, Pulling me, Flowing past the walls, Of our own creation, Through false gardens, Where only temptation grows, I could not see,...

The Warm Welcome of a Neglected Garden

The Warm Welcome of a Neglected Garden

talora ci si aspetta di scoprire uno sbaglio di Natura, il punto morto del mondo, l'anello che non tiene, il filo da disbrogliare che finalmente ci metta nel mezzo di una verità. - Eugenio Montale   To pull the morning in smoothly, past the barb on the wire each...

Astonishing Lovers

Note the porticos, the stairways and alleys of this unusual city. Its crumbling white outer walls stand resplendent with covert spots of sunlight, with dirt. The denizens of this city nod off in corners, deliver papers, shout and smoke delicious fumes from long...
Thick-Coming Fancies

Thick-Coming Fancies

‘He apprehends a world of figures here, but not the form of what he should attend’ (Henry IV Part One, Act I scene iii)   Memory haunted the woods where everything smelled of cedar and the cave where her father taught the rough youths of generations before had...

I believe in few things & Any-much-more

I believe in few things & Any-much-more

I believe in few things   I believe in few things: the shyness of the crown when trees hold back their fingers, Nestor, the Gerenian, guiding his mounts so no hooves touch the ground, the distance between things sacred kept just so, as twins remove their city...

Oats and Ashes

And neither was Lady Liberty in their depictions shown only as Amazon with single breast exposed, but also as astonished and trembling muse, adumbrating by her hanging lamp the timid beginnings of wisdom with a waxy light down the dark corridor of some ancestral...
The Black Butterfly and the Mirror

The Black Butterfly and the Mirror

ACT I   I felt a slight chill as I watched the young boy, his frail body wrapped around in a dark cloak, and his face pale in the soft white light, slowly brightening from a spotlight at the centre of the ceiling. I found myself holding my breath. I am here, the...

Spo-de-odee

Spo-de-odee

  It's funny how the old arts persevere, and in the quaintest bunghole of suburban Minnesota, some fetid gutter in a Korea Town slum, an insignificant pool of standing water in Iowan flyover country, on a nursing home curio shelf, ancient traditions life on,...

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