21 October 2022

Five Poems by Gabriella Garofalo

To M. W.

Oh, the sweet white lies lovers indulge in-
Yet she lives a scant summer warmth,
Maybe the sun, while the symbols of her failure
Are showing off, the skinny salesgirl smiling on her bike,
A handful of wealthy bimbos
Tasting oysters, caviar, and avocado
Close to a weird underground slyness,
An early silence aimed at comets, souls, graves-
Grab the gifts, say ‘thank you’, and dive
Into the scent from cupboards,
The shabby memory of your eyes,
But don’t get mad at words, if a blue fire
Keeps stalking you, just hide symbols,
And wasted features, it’s nonsense
Like frayed rags in the street,
Vines all over the walls,
They can’t stop you from striking
Light, or dark-
Oh, fancy that, she moves time
At her own rhythm, she believes in grass,
Even in harvests, and no borders
To her words, no sympathy
For a riotous blue whenever the moon warns:
You own her, but she sets a high price
For all those colours shrieking for a bit of attention,
Brambles, briars, red, green-
Shun them, your mind screams,
But shut her out, my soul,
Get up, dive into die-hard seeds, and mind,
Heaven’s gonna hit you with jolts of stars,
And what’s worse, you’re bound to call them life.

To S.

Help silence grow like a blue flower,
It’s so sensitive-
Father, never in my life she’ll be able
To utter the very words your Son did,
Please don’t ask me why, can’t you see
That every watch goes on its own,
Limbs have no sound if her soul lifts up
As hard as summer grass, greedy for rain-
But stay put, your fears will die says the moon
Who looks so very unfazed,
But why can’t she lose the old habit
Of lighting you up with random words,
Why can’t she argue
With stars fed up with their job?
Just a waste of time,
Like all those mazes against rocks,
Roots, the green hoping to rise
In a near future, maybe next week-
Move, see the light, your land is angry,
You have no shelter, no rocks,
As they’ve fired you, you rib of Adam,
You crashed womb,
No god will hit your land-
He’ll cast out the moon, the grass,
Claims, emotions,
As soon as the tents make room
For a feeble sky,
Only then life will hold your hand,
How very unusual, and, as ever,
How very wrong her rhythms, and choices-
Yet you don't feel like shooing her away,
She isn’t a nuisance, only shadows are,
All that white burgling you
In railway stations, waiting rooms,
If nobody cared, particularly the trees
Going wild in dances all over the garden,
How you hated ‘em,
To think that now you are staring
At an almost lovely demise,
At least fantasy breathes in her, along with words-
Or the flower you mentioned, a hushed silence.

To S.

Was she thinking of blue screens, or last words,
When fleeing heaven, or deserting dark thingies?
Three blue hours ago she set
To lend each awakening his breath
While the Angel was touching waves,
And moving his hands to the source of life,
And in her dream clear, and so deceiving
She was healing, maybe getting into the green,
Sounds engraving on her mind for good-
If only she didn’t hate sudden lights,
And her infinite was different
From a wild lava she didn’t ask for,
The rust of flowers when it clings to limbs,
A sky dodging blue fires, hers,
Her birth, her colours held back by weeds
And a smashed clingy blue-
But regret is stalking her, that cursed evergreen,
Anytime she looks at words flowing all over limbs-
Father of the first seeds, every slight feels like a danger,
So hold your waters, give your heaven
Another look, whenever her soul whispers
That light screeches, then turns out to be
The sister of grass, and earth,
When fields grab her if she gives her words,
And breaths exist, the many red bruises
Already taken for granted.


Gossake, light, give ‘em some slack,
Let rocks spring, and water see for herself-
While you are at it, my light, go get
Some nice answers, and throw ‘em ‘round-
Know what? A wannabe Amazon was her mother,
She a dead ashes’ daughter, that girl, yes,
Stranded all over God’s blue land,
Where she madly wishes for blades of light,
Are they God’s fingers? -
But blind stares she gets,
Fallen stars the sky’s eager to bin-
Hey man, hold on! You still falling for those fibs?
Gosh Blimey, it’s just fake news,
See, only the nights are real, those tools
Great for the henchmen
Snared in sweet saintly limbs-
Shame they sting worse than crabs,
Shame we get ‘em blessings ‘n’ food-
And where are words in this whole shebang?
Oh, yes, words, Adam and Eve in the garden,
A nice thingie, sure, the magical touches at the end-
Point is, God, I’m afraid you went bit rogue
When giving them limbs and edges-
And see you what’s happening?
Some lost side shambles losing out,
While Medea gets nothing but her bastard heart,
My name, of course, or a dying woman
Hyped on benny, the nutty lady
The nutty lady who’s gonna get her shot:
Fire or jinx?
Nope, only a demure girl who hides
Behind too many clouds-
Sometimes your mother, sometimes the moon.



Out of a pesky arthrosis time is forced
To stand still, he is bedridden so can’t dash
To centuries and millennia, to wolf them down-
The soul is gently soothing him, with those platitudes
Eerily akin to a generous dollop of salt on infected wounds-
Soul, don’t waste your time with him, better for you
To look for a light blue sky, where light stands as a survivor
Along with lighter colors, maybe blue, maybe desire-
And she suddenly raids him, touches his lips, a biting cold
Breaths life to your winter, but, oh, those hands, them
And primary colours, such a bore-
Never complain, never explain, just remove them quickly,
No good for you to end up like her
For a cheap sunset, too much sorrow, and hot tears,
What’s the bloody point?
Listen, be wise, grab a reliable night, a pocket gift,
Don't you know the roots of your being are born blue-
Wasted, unstoppable, they show
The weird rhythm  of your days to a lover who always
Dodges a bit cagey-
However, that’s very much for him
To get in touch and say ‘hello’, he usually dodges
Dirty jobs, if the soul stares in awe at briars,
The sunset hides to ravage them-
Long story short, you too hide in the blue
The soul desires-all right, all right, no choice for you
If your places don’t live in you so they reject
A rendezvous with you-
Well, Father, to be honest even the moon rejects
To quench her thirst, maybe it’s the right time for sounds
To fade away, not that you like them,
As the days from the mothers rape your winter,
Same here, same here.
The point is, one fine day the roots of your being 
Would like to wither away leaving no trace-
Great, but your body your limbs are set
On making it hard for them-
They might just love life,
Or they can’t wait to ground Father
Who threw them at you in bulk.

14 October 2022

Three Poems by Tim Suermondt



At the South Portal

two house painters across

the narrow and rutted dirt road

sit on an outcropping of rocks,

each one eating a sandwich.


Standing near the stern, elongated

Martyrs in stone I give the painters

a Bonjour and they do the same,

lifting their long sandwiches like

a sword in greeting.


The temptation to ask the Martyrs

to come to life and join us is as strong

as it is silly, but if the miraculous

is not here, where is it, and why not

invite them out of simple kindness.


Same for the Apostles at attention,

even for Christ who doesn’t seem

to be enjoying his stone perch, ready

to appear again as a man to bless us

and the sandwiches that look so good.






The serrated light of the sun

cuts each one of us—


affairs of the Heart, affairs of the State,

no place to hide.


Boats navigate the nearby canal,

a woman carrying a parasol

gets lost in the labyrinth of the garden.


Flashback to the world as it was,

as it never was—you knew, you knew—


what sadness, what happiness.






Often in the hope

that the intellectual heft in the air


will make me smarter. It hasn’t,

in just the same way a boy failed

to solve the easiest of equations.


No genius tramping in his shoes,

no matter how certain my parents


were that I was one, readying to spring

my abilities on a stunned world.

Yet maybe it’s best to be content


with the knowledge of the geniuses

around me, especially of those


who ascend and travel over the Arts

and Science Buildings like a gang

of campus surrealists, those geniuses


I can’t see but know are there,

a sort of genius only I possess, after all.

08 October 2022

Four Poems by Mark Young



The piece was brief & gossipy,

though bivalent, which can often


cause heavier rainfall. That upsets

the maxim “what's good for the


worker should also be good for

the nightingale.” Then she smiled


& said “But you shouldn't judge

the characters by their mustache.”



Domestic Tranquility

for Yumi Janairo Roth


Wash your hands before

you leave, but before

you change the towels

please read the message

on them — In case of fire,

please autoclave all medical

waste — & act on it. Other-

wise. The writing on the


wall that wasn't there be-

fore you came — what-

ever it might have been —

will come barreling down

from the sky & stencil itself

in place in indelible pencil.



5 Speed Ultra Power


The soft organic cotton

baby's bodysuit was


illustrated by hand


as an educational

aid for the clinician.




In the artifact lab


The fill has some cracks. Termite

radiographers gather there. A long,

spidery vein is inching its way across

the surface, takes on a squiggly shape

& begins to cause other symptoms

like itching & swelling with only 11


minutes left in the quarter. Drinking

& sometimes smoking are often

released in serial format. That can

mean a bigger story arc is revisited on

a regular basis. Leaves you hanging.

Chas. Dickens has a lot to answer for.