May 12, 2022

“Pain of the Poet,” Assamese Poetry by Guna Moran

“Pain of the Poet,” Assamese Poetry by Guna Moran

PAIN OF THE POET Original: Assamese: Guna Moran Translation: Bibekananda Choudhury Creator means poet So many innumerable poems did my mother write In the fresh leaf of the heart From the date she conceived me in her womb Who has bothered about the silent poet? I don’t know how much help I could be Having now understood the value of labour of the creator At least I could discover my sangfroid brother As I write My mother lovingly serves a cup of tea And says, looking at me From the corner of her eyes “Poem is one only Only writer is different But the pain of all the poets are All the same” The sun is burning to light others— Fuel cannot give light to others Without burning itself Don’t write much My darling I…

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May 2, 2022

Carolyn Adams — Art and Poetry

Carolyn Adams — Art and Poetry

“Epiphany” In the Absence of Red Alarms My blood sisters remember what I’ve almost forgotten, the menses that measure our time. I’ve lapsed my membership in that club, I travel free from the 30-day clock. My time is counted differently now. Days are years, years are millennia, millennia are without measure at all. There is no monthly debt; all accounts have been balanced. I spend myself as I wish now, with no child or threat of one. I’ve reached a bargain with the planets, their moons, the sky and all of its diamonds. I won’t wish on anything anymore. I have what I need. Days pass quietly here in the corner of the universe where I savor the slight air of a spring night, where my steps have taken 60 years to make sense. I…

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April 28, 2022

“Points to Make,” Poetry by John Grey

“Points to Make,” Poetry by John Grey

POINTS TO MAKE Today began like a heart on fire. In between there was this hot-cold-hot-cold movement to establish the fact of me. It ended like a man with something to bury. I woke to the sight of a burning house, instructing firemen where to point their hoses. Family units are brittle. I’ve known this all along. I fell asleep that night like someone on a long, long highway. There must be something here about love – no, yearning – that’s it. In future excavation, you who yearn to uncover the ancient will find nothing but ancient yearning. Today, everything moved. It tried to leave me behind but I kept seeing me by my side. By night, I’d made it. I vowed to teach the light – teach it something new. I’m who I am…

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April 14, 2022

FC Celebrates National Poetry Month!

FC Celebrates National Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month 2022 The Academy of American Poets launched National Poetry Month in 1996 to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry. Celebrated every April, it has become one of the largest literary celebrations in the world. To celebrate the twenty-sixth anniversary of National Poetry Month, we are honored to introduce the amazing poets featured here. Please read their works and support their ongoing projects. Some ways you can participate: write a poem, listen to a poetry podcast, or buy some poetry books (from our list of poets or others you discover). Helpful Links:Poets.orgPoetry FoundationPodcast ReviewPoetry Podcasts ** “Games“Yong Takahashi(From Yong’s memoir, Observations Through Yellow Glasses: A Memoir Through Poems) Every card I put on the table,  you take away in plain sight. At the flop, you say I don’t  need any distractions. Too many…

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April 12, 2022

“Night Skies” — Poetry by Gopi Kottoor

“Night Skies” — Poetry by Gopi Kottoor

Night Skies  And love turned me Into a fish, swimming in your eyes, And I was content, As though your small pools Were more than ocean. And so I swam. How you turned me, just a body, To all of colours, How you blossomed out your heart As a sea flower For its clown fish. And you had me there, Brightening myself for you Over and over, Forgetting the splendour of red sunsets Turning to loss, Eternally in the tossing high seas, Forgetting, That love is but imagination, Put to test for truth In dying night skies.  ** Eyes  Take away from me The nibbles you made on my flesh. All the whispers you made as we sat by the river bank  Making paper boats. And when I came closer, you said,  careful Even the leaves Have eyes. We let the sundown Turn to goldfish And sink down to sea. Back in the car It is me All about you All over you And your words Breathing poetry  Into my face And…

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March 27, 2022

“I Hear Yes,” Poetry by Vera West

“I Hear Yes,” Poetry by Vera West

i hear “yes” I jokingly have asked my husband: “Do you feel like I’m a gallon of milk you got home only to find out it’s expired?” He knows I’m referring to how I used to be pretty but now feel curdled. He laughs—not a real laugh but a confused nervous one I’ve forced out of him by knowing he loves me and asking him a ridiculous question like that anyway. You might focus on the fact that he did in fact laugh—coerced or not—but what you should really be focusing on is how only a sad insecure person hiding behind pain in humor would make that joke in the first place. It says so much and for the record, he always answers no but I always hear yes. ** affect and effect  No one…

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March 16, 2022

“Catch the Spring Young,” Poetry by Sunil Sharma

“Catch the Spring Young,” Poetry by Sunil Sharma

Catch the spring young! A brief season that brings vitality to the faded flowers the wilted gardens and fields. The spring! It removes the effects of the winters in the frosty climes or the harsh sun in the moody tropics and ushers in dappled days dipped in fresh hues and light restores smiles on the  tired lips. Also, significantly, the young spring revives a hibernating artist by replenishing Within! ** The Snow the snow is deep outside the door shut inside in Toronto in the winter a whole world opens up Inside! ** Deep Darkness Evening no longer signals the darkness that thickens quickly, these days the tired eyes have seen darkness descend in the daylight also darkness that shines on despite the bright sun In a bleak country, where folks die quickly, fires burn merrily…

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February 23, 2022

“Peter Roget,” Poems by Charles Rammelkamp

“Peter Roget,” Poems by Charles Rammelkamp

Little Red Man My minister father composed sermons. My uncle praised their “taste and elegance”: a word man long before me. Son of a Geneva clockmaker, mon pere, Jean Roget – “little red man,” from the French rouge – immigrated to London at 24 to become pastor at Le Quarré, the French Protestant church in Soho. Papa preached in the little Huguenot church on Little Dean Street, a few blocks north of St. James’s, the colossus near Piccadilly Circus, Christopher Wren’s  largest church – where I was christened in 1779. Papa’d married Catherine Romilly a year before, in St. Marleybone Church, welcomed into their family without reservation. My uncle, Samuel, rhapsodized about our happiness, “as complete as is ever the portion of human beings,” but only months after my birth, Papa was “seized with an…

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February 8, 2022

A. Rayan El Nadim Presents Performance Poetry

A. Rayan El Nadim Presents Performance Poetry

Editor’s Note: A. Rayan El Nadim is an Egyptian poet whose work has been translated from Arabic into English here for your enjoyment on The Fictional Café. He categorizes his work as conceptual and performance poetry, specifically, “a deep dive into myths, folklore, and the secrets of inherited improvisational folk songs that deeply express pain, suffering and dream; the history of the Egyptian folk treasures; the songs of Rababa, a rediscovery of the true history buried in the walls of Egyptian houses; and the rituals of joy and sadness that lived for thousands of years on both banks of the Nile.” My name has been crossed out a long time ago on a brick wall  -1- I searched for my name in my body  I found it engraved in aversion, estrangement, and revulsion  I searched…

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January 26, 2022

“A Sad Tale,” Poetry by Vera West

“A Sad Tale,” Poetry by Vera West

Editor’s Note: This is Vera West’s first full poetry post on The Fictional Café as our new Poet-in-Residence for 2022-2023. Please help us welcome her to the Café and be sure to read her haunting, heartbreaking trilogy of poems at the end, called “A Sad Tale.” loneliness It’s an odd thing to grieve in advance, to let your mind give you a sample taste of the things you fear; the most flavorful being: loneliness. I’m anxious about the day when my loved ones are all gone, and I’m truly alone. between sisters the first time I told her our father had killed our dog, she hadn’t believed me. Perhaps it was the way I’d said it; “he killed our dog,” was all I’d said. the second time I told her she asked our father and…

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