Sunday, November 5, 2017

Poetry By Megan Denese Mealor

Megan Denese Mealor has been writing her entire life. Language has always been a confidant and conduit to be counted upon in both her best and worst of times. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, most recently Literally Stories, A Long Story Short, and The Scarlet Leaf Review. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her partner and son. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at fifteen, Megan hopes to inspire those suffering with mental illness and to bring recognition to the importance of the arts as potent medicine.

Manic Blues

i should stop hiding
behind futile doggerel

alleviating icy inclinations
with morsels of discord

leaving my fragility
stripped of all eruptions
(who are we without
our wieldy eruptions?)

we are wendigos
breathing in
our own black deaths
that’s who

i never stop speaking
soon enough to fill
these jilted echoes.
do i, dearest dust
dearest desk?

dreaming is like sowing rotten roots

Poet Megan Denese Mealor

A Makeshift Sky

no allegory left
in the seeping spoilage
of your ramshackle grin
rusty vibrissa scour

no bee sting promise
for your star-washed cities
or smoking cedar bridges
shuffling the dawn

no bird cherry silk
for this swain of anew
your apologue pallor
blackberry eyes bereaving

our retelling, now unsold

Friday in October

The keepsake pond teasing
these bitter lime curtains
twinkles with tenacity:
sleek silvery minnows
greylag goose warming
a clutch of golden eggs
an alabaster ibis contemplates me
through the screened portal
tangled rainbows reflecting
in the shimmering breeze
climbing fern unleashing
lawless shade for keystone turtles
peeping past feathery veronica
to imbibe the lounging sun

Circa 1950

i remember you against the feral sepia tree

the sunset dazed around you
leaves like burnished prisms
eyes a dappled echo

we still meet there
long ago

Green River Eulogy

don’t search for me on neon streets
don’t long for me come christmas eve
just think of soaring honey trees
drifting in the spangled breeze
and you will hear that where i go
has no more rules to ebb or slow
the embers i once called my heart

now a matchstick in the dark

Poetry By James Diaz

James Diaz is founding editor of the literary arts & music journal Anti-Heroin Chic. His work has appeared most recently in Psaltery & Lyre, The Ekphrastic Review, Quail Bell Magazine and Autumn Sky Poetry Daily. He is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (Indolent Books, 2018.)  He currently resides in upstate New York. 

The Perils of our Youth

must have been an awful thing
then, when you were young
and left to die, how little 
filled your body and your world-
father absent even when 
he was around / something
about him was seriously vacant
everyone else's needs
were suddenly bigger than your own
and there was no reassurance
that what you were experiencing 
was valid, so you hugged into your
trauma for years without the kind of love
people need to get through
and by the time the narrative changed
your body had forgotten the story
sometimes all you have is the pain
other people gave you to identify
yourself by, and sometimes that pain
becomes something else
and you learn to live
by such a light.

Poet James Diaz doing a reading

A Poem Like Crying in the Night

I noticed first
how the hills
of your body
sunk towards
the floor as if
every step you
took was its 
own burial and 
how, when you
felt gazed upon
for too long
you turned to 
ash, took to the wind
and held your own voice
back from ever saying too much
too loud, and alone-
at the end
no one could tell you
how precious you were
or how much you had to live for
there was only the breaking
and no real place to put it.

How Would I Know

i could leave you the weary stuff
amber shell caulking, division of palm
frost up beating in second hand stores
periwinkle twilights 
nothing good happens
when two people are dancing 
and no one is watching
you might say look how the magpie lark
has no place to call home
eyeing the hem of your dress
mud splattered, a memory foam
between fingers twirling nervous in the cold
you might burrow down all winter
leave the phone off the hook
and claim no one tried to call
but we all go voiceless sometimes
and the rescuer is internally 
stripped bare, no place like home
for any of us, 
sometimes, it's only the idea
of where we came from
that sustains us.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Poetry By Donny Barilla

Donny Barilla, age forty one and born in Dallas, Texas, weaves around common themes, such as:  mythology, nature, human intimacy, and theology.  He writes on a daily basis and engages in the beautiful landscapes that surround him in his home of Pennsylvania.  His first book, “Treasures”, was released in August of 2016.  He currently works on his next book and has published in numerous journals and magazines.  Donny, an avid reader, is passionate about female Japanese poets as he finds them to have a masterful poetic voice that resonates throughout the ages.

Shards and the Crimping Earth

I spoke to the death of the old woods, so slowly
each dash of the falling leaves
scattered across the frozen dirt path
scouring through the ancient forest.


With the eager lift of my aching neck, head
I softened to the spread of snowflakes
fumbled in shards upon the crimp of gnarled earth.

Sulking at Nightfall

The sky bloomed in delicate pinks and bled
the color purple.  Soft winds slumped
across my face, neck, and torso.  From these distant horizons, cliffs
which slung from neighboring mountains, I watched
the hawk scour the landscape, hunting.

Alive, the most paused breeze
kissed me upon both mouth and cheek.
Her spiced perfumes, heavy like musk, towered
across me.  I felt this craving for her
and the damp grasses hugged my foot, roamed
across my ankle.

Before nightfall, I sulked as I yearned for the press
of her abdomen and breast.

Until the Close of Day

Treading the palm of my hand
with a slight direction across these patches 
of emerald clovers, I sopped so slowly the dew
trembling beneath the earliest of daylight showering upon
both creek and somber close of flowers at Autumn breath.

Removing the pouch of shoe and sock,
I slipped my pale, soft feet through the mumbling
meadow.  Eager morning daylight
smashed across the paleness of my face, I-
swallowed the powdery breeze, gingerly turned away.

Poetry By Mark Fleury

Mark Fleury lives in St. Paul, MN. He has had poems published in Counter-Example Poetics, Of / With: a Journal of Immanent Renditions, Altpoetics, Experiential-Experiential Literature, Altered Scale, Vext Magazine and many others. Mark's fifth volume of poetry, The Eight Wheeled Doorway of Serpent's Head, was published by Scars Publications and Design in March of 2017

Nursing Rivers from Speech’s Sun

Dirt: grass scalped off the suburban sun’s
Landscape, houses dust-swirled like skulls

Bulldozed. And a garden grows photographs,
Lined up like rows of corn; green memories

Full of baby teeth, yellowing to black. The sun thinks space;
And in between, speech is abandoned

And streets are crossed to reach landfills and graves.
Stalked. And I wait for permission to grow.
The sun’s yellow paint stretches my shadow, that
Just quit smoking, across the asphalt as it

Turns around the nervous breakdown
On the other side of speech: bright, the taste
Of withdrawal fills the sun with the smashed
Windows of totaled, rusted solar ships in junkyards. The sun’s open.

The machine brain rises, its chipped yellow
Speech lands on the wedding cakes of widows’ memories.

Too young to be picked, the garden grows clocks
In the photographs, yellowing to green grass of spring.

Licking Up the Grail's Fractured War

Its liquor stores fall down the sides of chins, vampiric,
From mouths of shivering rivers, lips quivering open

For drops of moon tide, glimmering chest caves. Beating
Down the dark walls of the hallway toward living on

The earth floor, vibrating the diamond's sideways
At the base of spines, chess board blood falls, showing

The hall's gauzy moon fog, stretched
Across the labyrinth of my head, and filling
My body with the open mouths of screams;

Makes it hard to get to the window. Speech,
On the ground layered with snakes, must be crossed
At a pyramid's tip to catch the descending

Solar Ship. But the mist on the fog has
The dying beats of star hearts, steeped in
Blue blood leaked from steeples onto
My hands. I raise them up, fingers stretched
Toward the sun's open space high above
The moon at the top of my head. And as Earth

Cracks open its seprateness from the sun
At the base of my spine's pyramid bottom, its
Diamond door is for breath's heart to give

Speech its ground. Birth means the 4D Window
Looks into its own rising vision, beyond compass
And Cross, sunrise in my left hand, sunset in my right.

The Phamacist Peddles Lack

Of pain. The aisles of shelved
Absence of it, bottles of yin
And yang variations, are asymmetrical
With the side-effect tongue bumps.

The Padlock On the Halloween Gate

Is an antenna eye. The mental hospital
Meant entering the sun from its outside.

But the eye vibrates into shape
A mind that sees from within Muse's
Solar womb the bones in my own grave.

The Benches Between the Trees

The light drizzle brightens enough
To mist for rainbows,

Seen from the narrow, barred windows.
Wrists shackled to pure id.

The contents of garbage cans out back
Are inventoried on clipboards, held by
Goggled, white-clad, bare-footed asylum
Security guards speckled with lamb's blood,

For fair distribution to piano players
In attics singing Imagine.

Skeletons of poems are
Boxed individually up there, lined up
Like the crosses on soldiers' graves,
And each one casting the shadow
Of a different hunted animal.

Trying to eat commercials instead of food
The poems are counted, but the math is wrong:
Their yellow, karmic-wheeled, out-of-body
Experiences are rolling down the stairs to
The benches between the trees.

Unique Christmas Gift For Poetry and Bird Lovers

First time author Stephen Schreiner is a retired welder from Northern Illinois. When he approached Zombie Logic Press book designer Jenny Mathews the idea for his first book was quite a bit different than what we're used to hearing, in every way. First of all, the subject matter of lonely bird: a whimsical flock of birds encountering misfortune after misfortune on their way to a secret destination was funny and unique. But the construction of the book was to also give us a challenge. He wanted a wooden front and back cover. Here at Zombie Logic Press we're always up for a challenge, and new and unique ideas, and we have tons of talented friends working in all kinds of mediums, so we said challenge accepted and began the process of making Lonely Birds.

Lonely Bird By Stephen Schreiner

Here in Rockford a good general rule is: when in doubt, call in Jeremy Klonicki from Mainfraim studio. Which Jenny did. Normally if you tell someone you'd like to make something that sounds impossible they either shrug and say it can't be done, or laugh in your face. When you say such a thing to Jeremy Klonicki he just goes to work. 

Another thing that happens when you work with the Mainfraim crew is that at some point you'll end up in the shop working yourself. It's so motivational and inspiring to be surrounded by other talented crafters that I decided to help stain the cover of these books (not pictured, Jenny Mathews applying the stain and handing them to me to be smoothed with a towel). 

The printing was also done locally in Rockord, and the most intricate part of the process, the gluing and binding with leather, was done by the fabulous staff at Mainfraim. 

And we had a book! Completely designed and assembled here in Rockford.

The pages in the book are hand-lettered, because of course they are, and all the illustrations are original. 

Illustration from Lonely Bird by Stephen Schreiner

All that was left to do was to celebrate the realization of a wonderful collaboration with so many good artists, and the only place to do that was Luna Datura's Curious Gifts

Stephen Schreiner and Thomas L. Vaultonburg at the LOnely Bird book release party hosted at Luna Datura's Curious Gifts

It was shortly before this picture was taken that I discovered Stephen already has completed his next book, and wants the cover to be... wait for it... plexiglass. I think we'll be giving Jeremy another call sometime soon. That is after Jenny Mathews finds a way to design another amazing and unique book, all of which are available at Luna Datura's Curious Gifts in Rockford, Illinois.

But if you're not lucky enough to be in Rockford, Illinois anytime soon, you can buy Lonely Bird here