GUEST POST // You Will Be Gone by John Feaster

My life goes alone

But it is not a safe life for anyone,
I just hold on to all that I can …
Try this or that, but I am a lost boy.

And when you say, “Maybe, I will read you
In a book store one day” …

I know you are gone.
I am a lost boy writing my life in a song,
And that is all I will ever be.

That is all I will ever have
To give you my darling lady. I will
Always love you, and you will be gone.

 

by JOHN FEASTER
© All rights reserved 2017

GUEST POST // A Game of Look and Find for Poetry and the Blog that Hosts it [Q&A]

Dear Readers, we are lucky enough to have become acquainted with Franki Hanke, a student administrative assistant with the Hamline University English Department. She also writes for its in-house blog Hamline Lit Link, and we’re thrilled that she decided to conduct an interview with us recently. My, oh my! Isn’t that exciting? We’re going to be on the front page of the University wall newspaper! So lean in, Dear Students, and squint your eyes to catch all the fine print. Oh, and please, do be polite and don’t spoil our beautiful faces with scribbled moustaches and shiners, okay?

FRANKI: Describe your site unbolt in its entirety? What is it? What does it hope to accomplish or what do you hope to accomplish through it?

TONY: Hi, Franki. Thanks for interviewing us. This should be fun!

TATI: Yes, let’s play!

TONY: Unbolt Me is a literary blog. It’s an online repository of poems, prose, and anything else we decide to try.

TATI: We have made art and audio recordings too. And a video! But Unbolt Me will always be about the writings.

TONY: As for what we hope to achieve with it, we just want fame and fortune, man. Like Scrooge McDuck, we wanna dive into huge piles of money and see how far we’ll sink!

FRANKI: Your web design leaves links all over the place to new creative work. What is the reasoning behind this feature?

TATI: Unbolt Me is a live organism. Beating. Throbbing. Breathing. Links are its circulatory system. They bring the oxygen of readers to every nook and cranny so there’s no necrosis.

FRANKI: What feedback have you gotten from readers about this feature?

TONY: They seem to like it. It can be fun to follow the links around… like a trail of breadcrumbs really. Just don’t gobble ‘em up as you go. Don’t want all our other readers getting lost!

TATI: Well… I remember one person said it’s rather annoying. But hey, don’t like, don’t click!

FRANKI: Throughout the site, do the links lead only to poems by the two of you or also reader submitted work?

TONY: It’s mostly only to our own poems, isn’t it Tati?

TATI: Yep, but not always. We’re not greedy.

TONY: Folks will just have to click around and find out for themselves. Ha ha!

FRANKI: Tell me about your writing challenges. When did they start? What’s the reasoning? How do you design them?

TATI: Actually, my writings were started like challenges, but maybe that’s off topic…

When I joined WordPress, I started to receive many awards and writing challenges. At first, I diligently tried to fulfill every challenge I received, but I later realized that I no longer had the time to get them done. They were growing in my to do list like a snowball. When I started to pay more attention to my writings and books, and when I started to work with Tony, these writing challenges became secondary.

One beautiful day, I decided to release them, and gave our dear readers the opportunity to raise this fallen banner of challenges themselves. We created a special page. It was my idea, but Tony’s brilliant execution. I’m very grateful to Tony. His mastery helps me to fulfil many bold ideas, and to create a modern design for the blog.

FRANKI: You currently have eight challenges, correct? Do you typically add more or is this typical to expect to see these same ones?

TATI: It’s actually a good idea! We should create some new challenges, Tony. Shouldn’t we?

TONY: Oh my god! A resounding yes!

TATI: By the way, I have an idea. What about a special bonus for readers of this interview? The ‘Create Your Challenge’ challenge and the ‘I would never write about…’ Challenge? How does that sound?

TONY: Yeah, totally! And our readers can make up their own rules for those challenges too!

FRANKI: For the Ears Wide Open challenge, are readers invited to offer their own readings too? Where should those be submitted and in what format?

TONY: We encourage it. If there are any poems we’ve written that tickle the fancy of our readers then we’d certainly love to receive their audio renditions of them. We accept mp3s and mp4s. Failing that, delivery via carrier pigeon in ten foot high braille is also acceptable.

TATI: Usually we use SoundCloud, and combine the reading with a fitting picture.

FRANKI: Which challenge is your favorite?

TATI: If I needed to pick a challenge for myself now, I would grab the ‘In Ten Sentences’ one. I think it’s because of my tendency to be laconic. Tony can confirm this. I’m not a chatterbox. Not in life. Nor in my writings.

TONY: Which is a boon since I’m deaf and half blind. As for me, the ‘Read Our Poems Aloud’ challenge would be my pick. Why? Because I’m an insufferable narcissist.

TATI: Deaf and half blind? Are you sure you’re human, Tony? You sound like a mole. A mole-narcissist. Really cool! Yep!

TONY: Careful! You don’t want me digging a hole beneath you…

FRANKI: How do you hope readers will interact with the challenges posted? What do you hope they gain from it?

TONY: Sexual prowess? Untold levels of virility? I’ve no idea. I guess all I want is for them to have fun with it. Writing is a chance to be creative, and we should all be given that opportunity at least once in our lives.

TATI: Finally, Tony said something valid. Amen to that!

FRANKI: What have you thought yourself doing these challenges (as they come from other nominations)? Has good work come out of the inspiration they stir up?

TATI: Every challenge forced me to think outside the box. To extricate myself from it. And challenges with a strict time frame also helped me to realize one interesting thing… Once, I wrote a piece in Russian in 10 minutes because rummaging in a dictionary would have devoured time if I had started to write in English. But the translation back into English took much longer than I had anticipated. Actually, I then wrote this piece again from scratch. It was a valuable lesson for me. Now, I never use Russian or Ukrainian drafts. I always write in English. Every language has its own logic and structure, and if you want to get a nice result then you need to think on this language, not just translate your own thoughts.

TONY: I believe challenges come from everywhere. Life itself goads one into writing something, anything, just to make sense of it all, don’t you think? I’ve never needed to look very far for my inspiration. By the way, Tat, good essay there!

TATI: Exciting.

TONY: Hey you, stop yawning already!

FRANKI: If someone was only willing to check out one challenge, which would you recommend as best for spurring some writing?

TONY: They should pick the challenge they’d hate the most. Methinks that’d really stretch out the old writing muscles!

TATI: Tony, what happened? The second reasonable thought during one evening!

FRANKI: Running a blog is a lot of work, what makes it worthwhile for you?

TONY: Writing and spending time with Tati is reward enough, but I do also have ambitions for our words to reach a wider audience. I feel we both have a lot to offer the literary world, so I’m definitely interested to see how far we can push this.

TATI: Yes, blogging is a great springboard. The more you shake it, the higher you jump.

FRANKI: What do you think are the benefits of writing for your own blog space versus other “goals” for writing: like writing in attempt to publish to other spaces or writing only privately, etc?

TONY: If I only ever wrote privately, then nothing would get done. I wouldn’t achieve a damn thing. That’s why I like to blog it all. This forces me to keep to a schedule, and it keeps me accountable to our readers. I feel this is the key to successful and productive writing for me.

TATI: I think it depends on goals, actually. There is nothing bad in private writings. But, yes, blogging disciplines you. It helps you to assess your efforts adequately. And the fact that I’m sitting here, struggling with my answers, means that I have made some steps toward my dream to be a famous writer. God bless you, blogging.

 

Interview by FRANKI HANKE
Image by TONY SINGLE

© All rights reserved 2017

GUEST POST // Wonder by megdekorne

rare things are growing
the moon is moving , shalom
fly the burning flag of freedom
do you know what it’s like
to be almost swallowed home ?

he pours the tea
gold sugar , emotional weight
unfurls her hair
upon dew shoulders , a soul
scratching in the still and quiet
she is scared
and not scared
an amateur actress standing bare
first on center stage fore square.

” Mary did you know ”
you have a regal stance ?
all mutate in your presence
the camera clicks
she turns her head
and when she sees she does transfix
her human vanishes
the bleak cold winter
a bountiful banquet
shattering dry in the rain debris.

Mary don’t dye your hair
wanting to change your wild esprit
I too am thirsty seeing you there
the moon is moving the tall pine tree
over passing Traverse Bay
glory joins utopian pupils
the lake of her eyes my northern stay .

a spaceship jolts
Issa is here and
he is calling for you
Mary , do you know what it’s like
to be swallowed home ?
I am scared
and not scared for you alone .

 

by MEGDEKORNE
© All rights reserved 2016

GUEST POST // A Diptych for Pain by Krishna Prasad

Words after words double march
in not just your war
Unwritten poems upon poems pile up
in bleeding hearts
…the squeaking hinges
let love in through the leaves
seize your pen my co- warrior
Press the ink, take a hit
This war soon be over
Heals writing; you are worth more than this

 

by KRISHNA PRASAD
© All rights reserved 2016

GUEST POST // The Sea is Watching by Mario Savioni (with commentary by Marta Pombo Sallés)

In some complacent nest,
I saw the open door –
The extraordinary field of innocence.

She weeps having not expected
To be a party to purity.

It is a field of fog at the end of the lake,
Where the weeds swirl.

He says, “I do not need tea.”

Again, the swirling field.

He walks alone along the edge.

Do you know the sound of water lapping?
A sun setting behind reeds?

He hears laughter not meant for him
And words:

“Death waits not on age.”
“The young sometimes die before the old.”

She loves him, this slayer of rice paper.
She races in winter to free him.

They cry on a bridge.
She is shadowed.
Young lovers.

Spring comes.
Spring is the answer.

Or is it summer?

In it, I see the weakness of men,
And a woman’s burden is to trust.

But we are not strong enough
To carry the weight of ourselves
Through this eagerness.
Laughter there is none.
A bloodied mouth, the searing wind,
As if evil came,
Then rain, a purity.

The field weak now,
Showers pouring,
A storm,
Things breaking,

And then suddenly it stops.

Who is the wiser?
So much lucky red silk –
Floating debris.

Two women wait,
While the sea is watching.

It is like Noah,
And so they sit
Looking at stars from a rooftop.

It is about men and their gentleness,
As she waves the lantern in space
And sees the shooting star.

 

by MARIO SAVIONI
© All rights reserved 2011

 

A review of Mario Savioni’s poem, “The Sea is Watching”

I was rereading Mario Savioni’s book entitled After and had a closer look at poem “The Sea is Watching”:

I like it very much as a poem having found inspiration in the Japanese movie with the same title.

The whole poem sounds very musical, especially when I read the words from the book and, at the same time, listen to its author, reading it aloud on youtube.

This is how I interpreted the poem at first sight:

The “complacent nest” could be a euphemism for the word brothel. The “field of innocence” is something I associate with Oshin. She is an innocent prostitute because she still believes in love although she is a sex worker. She falls in love twice. She weeps because the promise of marriage with Fusanosuke has not been fulfilled. She is not “a party to purity.”

There seems to be a he, not wanting tea and walking along the edge, either Fusanosuke or maybe it is the second chance she gets when she falls in love again with Ryosuke. The word “edge” suggests risk. Could they be the “young lovers”? There is death, someone younger dying that could refer to Ryosuke killing Kikuno’s customer.

The coming of spring suggests the lovers’ season par excellence. The beginning of love. Summer would mean this love is already ripe, like fruit.

I also see the traditional men-women roles. “The weakness of men” who are supposed to be so strong but they are weak with the pleasures of the flesh as they need prostitutes and sex, often abusing women. Luckily the rain and the storm seem to come as an opportunity for purity, for the prostitutes to clean themselves and to get rid of this life. The “lucky red silk” appears to me as the symbol for the brothel, now a “floating debris”.

The two women sit and wait on the rooftop, a symbol for an anchor where they can hold on to. “The shooting star” means hope, a wish that someone will come and rescue them from the flood, maybe the second he, Oshin’s second opportunity in life, that is, Ryosuke coming by boat.

 

by MARTA POMBO SALLÉS
© All rights reserved 2016