November 29, 2020

“Memories Like Scars,” Poetry by Topper Barnes

“Memories Like Scars,” Poetry by Topper Barnes

Memories like Scars    There is a 22-year-old somewhere   Buried beneath the layers of abuse  Curled up like a starving street cat  Its fur caked with grime, oil, and feces   Those star speckled marble eyes  Bulging from the frail skull   And the shy stomach purring   While the confident takes its milk  With a trowel she can be found  A bit of digging and smoothing over  With time  Her blistered lips that have been  Bitten by glass roses  Will heal  The gory craters dotting her face  Torn open during 4am battles  With invisible insects  Will recover  Her skeleton will grow a new coat  Night by night  Day by day  Meal by meal   A shape will appear where a spike  Once stood  And those tear tracks dipped  In mascara   Running down her cheeks  Simply vanished  With a…

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November 22, 2020

“Letters” and Other Poems by Morgan Bazilian

“Letters” and Other Poems by Morgan Bazilian

LETTERS    The economists argue  about the shape of letters.    They consider  V and U and even W.    The letters, though  have their own ideas    about their shapes, and futures  and destinies.     The experts try to force them  to fit a mold    or a pre-conceived notion  related to time and space.     Ultimately, the letters  dance    across the graphs, unencumbered and  uncaring of the constraints    placed on them by nearly everyone.   ** DAYS    A day transitions  under its own  volition,     without heralding   anything  of consequence.     And then, two more  or three  in an un-syncopated beat.     Boundaries do not exist,  even circadian rhythms  are not respected.     This time has no empathy,   no forgiveness  as the fourth dimension.     ** The LAWN    The grass is blooming.   It looks haphazard  and unkempt.    The sun is mixing with the rain  and producing poppies  and dandelions.    Weeds…

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November 17, 2020

“Your Rising Moon,” Poetry and Photos by Jon Meyer

“Your Rising Moon,” Poetry and Photos by Jon Meyer

Editor’s Note: We present the poetry and photos of Jon Meyer, paired together as he has done in his book, Love Poems from New England: reflections on states of mind and states of heart. *** Jon Meyer‘s previous book “LOVE POEMS FROM VERMONT: reflections on an inner and outer state” has won these awards: Reader Views Choice: Best National Poetry Book 2019/2020 Best Regional Book 2019/2020 Best Northeast Book 2019/2020 2nd Place Travel/ Nature 2019/2020 Next Generation  International Indie Book Awards: Finalist: Poetry 2019/2020 Finalist: Gift/ Specialty 2019/2020  This is his first feature on The Fictional Café.

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November 11, 2020

“Teddy Levine,” Poems by Robert Cooperman

“Teddy Levine,” Poems by Robert Cooperman

Teddy Levine, on Line to Buy Girl Scout Cookies, Outside the Wild Weed Dispensary:  Denver    “The Girl Scouts of Colorado have decided it’s now cool to peddle their baked goods    outside marijuana dispensaries.” —The Denver Post    Jesus-freakin’-Christ,  this woman’s taking all day,  can’t make up her mind,  so she’s demanding free   samples of every variety.    The girls behind the table  roll their eyes, but afraid   to tell her to screw off,  so the scout leader informs her,   with a smile tight as a dolphin’s   rear end in a rip tide,    “I’m so sorry; we can’t   break open boxes.”  Madam Entitled stalks off  as if a butcher had tried   to pass off gristle for T-bone.    Finally, it’s my turn!  But I forget what I want,  the kids snickering  like I’m already stoned,  which, I confess, I am, a little.    I point, while the ounce   in my pocket gets hot   as a fired .45 on old TV westerns,  when cowboys rode off  into the sunset, free as mustangs,   and schoolmarms waved goodbye  and tried not…

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November 3, 2020

“Black Oranges,” Poetry by Mbizo Chirasha

“Black Oranges,” Poetry by Mbizo Chirasha

BLACK ORANGES  Xenophobia my son  I hear a murmur in the streets  A babble of adjoining markets  Your conscience itching with guiltiness like  Genital leprosy  Your wide eyes are cups where tears never fall  When they fall the storm wash down bullet drainsand garbage cities  ii)  Come nomzano with your whisper to drown,  Blood scent stinking the rainbow altar.  Darfur, petals of blood spreading,  Perfume of death choking slum nostrils  Slums laden with acrid smell of mud and  Debris smelling like fresh dungs heaps  Fear scrawling like lizards on Darfur skin  Kibera. I see you scratching your mind like ragged linen  Smelling the breath of slums and diesel fumes  The smoke puffing out through ghetto ruins is the fire dousing the emblem of the state  iii)  Belly of Zambezi ache with crocodile and fish  Villages piled like heaps of potatoes against the flank…

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October 26, 2020

“Baba Yaga” — Poetry by Raquel Dionísio Abrantes

“Baba Yaga” — Poetry by Raquel Dionísio Abrantes

Baba Yaga    He needs to learn to respect your no;  He needs to learn to hear your yes.  If he does not let him go;   You do not want a vile head upon your chest.    Unleash your Baba Yaga, the one  Who leaves scars.  You will rise from red-hot sun  And no one can tear you apart.    Believe me;  You are ready to forge your throne.  In you there are the seven seas  Beneath your growing skin of stone      Your Perseus Face    Dream after dream you split my  Soul like a glass of rum.  I spend the night by the bed,  Restless seeing your Perseus face.  But I do not have Medusa’s head  Nor any body to offer you    You are a man in the shadow  Of a lost fire. How many times  Have you seen the blaze…

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October 19, 2020

“Unendurably Gentle” – The Poems of Alan Cohen

“Unendurably Gentle” – The Poems of Alan Cohen

Unendurably Gentle  From the upstairs  Room, one could not tell  Cloudy from clear  Until the sun was  Well up into the leafy  Metacoloring limbs of resolute  Trees; by that    Time, a skein of noise had  Cracked like a whip and lingered like  Sustained applause, up  Over the roof of the   Room, quite invisible, in its  Passage south–voices  Of the atmosphere calling  As, one suddenly  Imagines, voices may   Also call us from water or fire    It is only later, while  Digging shallow  Trenches for spring  Bulbs, that one looks    Up over one’s   Shoulder to seek the butterfly casting  That wavering  Shadow and is surprised to see  A single red leaf hovering  On the wind  Voiceless    A handful of bulbs,  Sunlight  And the leaf-swept air    Circadian Rhythm    Receptive to a fault  The mind composes an…

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October 11, 2020

“Tumours on My Chest” —Poems of Anindita Sarkar

“Tumours on My Chest” —Poems of Anindita Sarkar

   Tumours on my Chest    Tear drops, popcorn, kidney peas,   red ants collectively navigating  through a complex quarry,   a fable of sequins,   or say like the child   with knotted limbs  who couldn’t make it   till dawn break.   Is it vitriolic?  Not like the toothache that barges in  when we are mid-flight into our dirty deeds,   but like the cramps  on arcane purple mornings  when you are buried in deep sleep.  Will they appear again?   You mean like the hairs  on my bald terrain?   Theory says yes  like uneasy questions  searching for meaning  I hope this time they are photogenic.        Robot Mom     No girly time  but a relic of disenfranchised relationship.   She weaves the worn-out pillowcase  with my butchered dreams,   ignites the chipped tile fireplace   with paper-cuts from my Origamis   she wouldn’t let my art…

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October 5, 2020

“E T R A H” — The Poetry of Michael T. Smith

“E T R A H” — The Poetry of Michael T. Smith

E T R A H      During the moon landing I was on earth   But ever asked: how subjective is ‘here?’  At what point does famil’rity have birth?  In a dark side of the sun place a hearth.  Because a home of heart is without peer  During the moon landing I was on earth  Beg with a Styrofoam cup of such worth:  Spacemen in a fishbowl of walls not clear.  At what point does famil’rity have birth?  For space to be on a premium dearth   On a TV screen wide enough for cheer.  During the moon landing I was on earth  Hands held across a million miles in mirth  Static dances for grains of a soiled year  At what point does famil’rity have birth?  Our empty hands surround a riddling girth   A small doubloon of proximity ne’er near  During the moon landing I was on earth …

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September 24, 2020

“Love on the Road” — The Poetry of Irving Glassman

“Love on the Road” — The Poetry of Irving Glassman

               Love On The Road    We hug and kiss in the fast food parking area   From their SUV my family waves farewell to me  We are on the same road until they slow to approach their exit  For an instant we are side by side  Everyone turns in their seats and throws me an extra kiss  They look like any other family  Except they’re my family                   #   #  #                        Crossing Over               My daughter runs, hops, and skips        To the curb’s edge        For her ritual rite of passage               I assure her it’s safe to cross        She runs, hops and skips        To the opposite curb        “I’m a grown up now,” she yells           I yelled back, “Don’t grow up yet. You have time.” …

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