Masks

everyone is wearing them now

before this pandemic we wouldn’t even know

the truth from the lies

how lovers should understand more

how lovers should never be bored

with each other. with their skin

yet here we are in masks worn thin

and we have not even left the house.

You’re on my mind, like a song that plays

a guitar that keeps bleeding.

a flower constantly blooming

all the impossible events

like skies that cry

words that matter.

You know what I mean

when I don’t mean it.

Yet you make me feel like a coccoon

stuck in one phase

or a glass butterfly

that never changes;

a gift from my birthday

you never wrapped up.

You should have done all the things

you meant to do.

not merely talk about them

drunk one night

that doesn’t count.

Poignant, passionate poetry book review of FLASHES & VERSES…BECOMING ATTRACTIONS by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

Adrian Ernesto Cepeda’s poetry book Flashes & Verses…Becoming Attractions is a book that took me into a world of pop culture, passion, erotic love, pop icons, and Latin love. I enjoyed this collection, this array of poems that narrates diverse stories of common themes; namely, how love, romance, and ideology affects our daily struggles.

Cepeda’s romantic language and images leave you wanting more and more. This is a poignant, passionate, poetry book that is long overdue. If you love to read Neruda, this is the book for you. From rock to the brat pack, to pop music, music is a theme throughout the book. Cepeda has many muses, but you can tell the heart of this book lies in the spiritual connection the poet has with human beings, whether they are pop icons or his first lover, the attractions are the love and bond of human emotion and desire.

“We Couldn’t Even Afford To Go Inside” is one of my favorite’s in the book. A poem about an old lover, a connection that is hard to replace or feel again, a nostalgia of a past love affair. I folded way too many pages in the book, but a few more of my favorites: the sexy “Hotel Room,” “She Pours Me with Her Eyes,” “Book Like My Woman,” and of course the ode to Jim, “Stoned Immaculate: Jim Morrison Lies Here.”

Adrian Ernesto Cepeda’s poetry has been featured in over one-hundred different publications. One of his poems was named the winner of Subterranean Blue Poetry’s 2016 “The Children of Orpheus” Anthology Contest and two of his poems, “Buzz Me” and “Estranged Fruit” were nominated for Best of the Net in 2015 and 2016. You can connect with Adrian on his website:  click here to visit his website

You can purchase his book here and other bookstores:Flashes & Verses…Becoming Attractions published by Unsolicited Press

Adrian can be found on Twiter @PoetNotRockStar

Facebook and Instagram.

Every Woman

Christina Strigas

I am not every woman
I am an extraordinary one
because I am not a beauty queen
or a wanna be a porn queen
no queens live inside me.
Also, I am not into princesses
who claim to not carry their crown
but act like they own the internet
with no graceful words.
I like to party and suck words out of worlds.
I live like every woman
managing love and kids
and work and asking the mirror
why do I look so tired?
I don’t ask who is the fairest
that question stopped at seven.
I am weird and quirky
and I eat in bed.
I like to read books
and watch the sunset
pull dirt out of sentences.
Pouring my heart out at cashiers
is what I do best.
I keep the lid on at all times
and laugh out loud
at slang and such nonsense
to keep us guessing at how
everything changes.
How long has it been since
you loved me?
I am right here.
I am every woman
and man.
We all want the same things
only we ask for it differently.

Ariel Poets

The exciting part about social media is networking and meeting like-minded people, especially if you are a writer or poet. A writer is a poet.

I first met Alexandra Meehan on Twitter. We have never met in real life, but our souls have probably met before. We became friends and we have come to appreciate each other’s poetic styles. I approached her a few weeks ago with the idea to open an account for lovers of poetry. We are both immensely inspired by Anne Sexton and Syliva Plath, who are two women who wrote about their turmoil life experiences. Men and women appreciate reading these two poets because through these women’s tough eyes the shape of humanity and relationships unfold in unique, female, poetic voices.

The pursuit of writing is an on-going struggle for writers and poets, especially women. Since Sappho, women have come a long way in poetry, but still struggling along. Emily Dickenson and Christina Rosetti are female poets who are world-reknowned and admired, but Sexton and Plath are still not a household name. In America they are. Just pushed aside for contemporary crap. The dark side and mental illness that haunts their literature takes too much of a front seat. Deconstruct it. Their brilliance shined among all. It seems there is so much more to their writing– to being women– that continues to fascinate us.

We created The Ariel Poets account on Twitter to further explore the inspiration that Sexton and Plath have given us throughout our studies of English literature. To be honest, when I was a young graduate studying English literature, in downtown Montreal; at Concordia University, my professor of modern literature did not even have them on our reading list. I discovered them on my own, like a deep secret you could not contain. That was the early 90’s. Ironically, Alexandra’s college experience has been similar, whereas the only poem ever covered was “Daddy”, which according to her, was not even taught properly.

 

Alexandra Meehan and I hope to inspire you with this account. We want to combine our efforts in writing, and give you some inspiration so that you never stop writing or reading.

No matter how a poet dies, it is how they live that matters most.

We both admire the bravery in Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath’s writing style, and the brutal honesty.

Our Twitter account: @ArielPoets from:@ArielPoets
Thank  you so much for your support,
Christina Strigas and Alexandra Meehan

http://www.alexandrameehan.com

Book Review of Pulling Words by Nicholas Trandahl

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Pulling Words is like Pulling Weeds for Nicholas Trandahl

Rating: Five out of Five stars

Nicholas Trandahl is one of my favorite contemporary poetic voices. I have read his poetry books before and every time I am amazed at the simple brilliance. His approach is methodical, reflective, environmental and brutally honest. Trandahl’s new poetry book published by Winter Goose Publishing is his best yet. Trandahl captures, nature, war, peace, love and family life in such divine poems that reflect nature and the beauty of everyday life. He finds the extraordinary in the ordinary and this is what makes Nicholas Trandahl a true poet. His ability to see thunder, rain, war zones through his quiet eyes. He is a peaceful man, and his beautiful soul is pulling words out of the universe with exquisite gestures.

There are so many poems in this collection that reached out to me and touched me. In particular, “The House on Pine Street” this poem describes the poet and his childhood home, how memories of riding bikes with friends, first kisses, innocence and that unique bond we have with our first home. Some memories are cherished and some we try to forget. His attention to detail and imagery is so accurate you feel as if you are looking at the home standing right next to him. You are observing and feeling his memories too. This is the the true nature of literature to share your art through the magic of words.

Here are the poems I read over and over again and will continue to do so.

“Maybe Poets Are Not Liars” just by the title I knew I would love this poem as a poet I understood it.

“Decaying Qualities”

I’m reading Mary Oliver

because there is no poet on earth

better to read

in the quiet sunshine.”

This poetry book is a must read for readers who adore Mary Oliver and Jim Harrison, this genre of poetry brings reminds me why I love poetry so much.

“Belgium”

The swell of time

is illuminated with

terrible moments-

more being born

each golden morning. ”

In “Things To Appreciate” Nicholas Trandahl shows us once again how to appreciate the moment, the objects that bring us joy in that moment, such as a book, a typewriter, smoking a pipe, having a cocktail. We see throughout his work that capturing these moments in poems is his forte. The times he is surrounded by his family and feels the love, these are the moments we all go through but rarely stop to think that it is fleeting. This is the magic of being a true poet, living in carp diem and writing about it. Trandahl captures these moments and paints them on his poetic canvas. Time and place is essential, his poems visit Wyoming, Martha’s Vineyard and deep forests. As someone who spent many childhood summers in The Cape, I understand the beauty of Martha’s Vineyard and relate to the scenery described, as well. Towns, cities are also relevant to Trandahl’s poems. The feeling one gets upon looking at quaint towns in the New England coast, can also bring back childhood moments.

 

Another theme throughout this book is war and the brutal nature of it. Equally, solitude and finding yourself as an individual by being truly alone and listening to yourself. This is so hard for most people to do, but as a poet, this is essential. The escape from the every day life and the solitude required to write, the discipline, the calmness. Trandahl evokes that calmness with his description of nature and his walks with his family and daughters. Everyone is in this book whom he loves. There is no particular order, there is only the poet’s observation.

 

Trandahl’s reflective poems makes the reader think about all that is important in the universe and not once is money brought up. This is the wisdom and power of words that have experience. When a poet has so many experiences in his or her life, there is more to discover about human nature and our motivations. If there is anything positive I can take from reading Pulling Words, it is to appreciate the moments that we have with our family, the universe and our own life experience.

 

Nicholas Trandahl writes at the edge of the Black Hills of Wyoming, where he lives with his wife and children.

Twitter: @PoetTrandahl

Facebook: Poet Nicholas Trandahl

You can purchase his book here:

 

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A punch drunk poet: Book Review of Stupid Flowers by Brice Maiurro

IMG_42595 out of 5 stars.

I have to say receiving a signed copy of this book in the mail was a real treat. I loved it from the first page and the first look. I know when a poetry book will be one of my favourites or not, by the feel, look and glancing at a few poems,  I instantly knew this one would be one of them. Brice Maiurro’s debut poetry book, Stupid Flowers is a poetry book with a certain rawness to it that I could relate to.

Brice Maiurro brings in actual events, whether true or not, and combines them in every day poetry. Written in lowercase and with unusual witty titles each poem stands out for its own quirky themes. Titles such as, “Talking to God Over Shitty Coffee at Denny’s” make you smile and by the end of the poem, make you reflect on life, destiny and society as well as church. Maiurro has a way of stirring the poetry pot with the important ingredients floating on top and the mundane sinking to the bottom. In the poem “3015 Kamia” there is a section that I read over and over again.

“i’ve been taught to look at the mountains

the sky the trees the murals on the sides of buildings

but you reminded me how god hides

in the places you’d least expect to see her”

What I adore about these four lines is how poetry, the way it is supposed to be written, should not tell you what the poem is about, but should hint and leave it open-ended. First off, he compares man made art, such as murals, to the sky and in doing this he includes the concrete with the abstract, to emphasize his point of beauty and attraction is not limited to nature, as most poets feel; in essence, we see it as we drive or walk in the city. Murals are an oddity, because people do stare and love art on walls; the grandiose and mystery of it, the colours and the talent, this alongside god being a woman, is a poem that leaves you in a reflective mood.

Each poem and use of stream of consciousness leaves you to interpret this poetry book with all its implications. Poetry is ambiguous, this is what most people find hard to understand about poetry. By leaving some things unsaid, you, the reader, fill in the details, and Brice Maiurro, does an exceptional job of this. The interpretation of his poems leaves the reader to imagine what and this is what literature is all about.

There was one poem, “dear maria” which especially touched me and made me cry. Not only is my daughter’s name, coincidentally Maria, but she is also going through her own little turmoil as a teenager, and this poem was reflective of all the maria’s. I made her read it, and at sixteen, she wants to read this poetry book. It is an outstanding poem, and by far, my favourite of this whole collection.

Brice Maiurro makes up his own composition of life with these poems in Stupid Flowers. This is a debut collection of poetry by this poet out of Denver, Colarado, and I am looking forward to reading more of his work in the future.

I think this is a valuable book, in consideration of what other poetry books are out there circulating in the poetry section.  This book reflects the heart of a true poet with a talent to see the unseen.

Short Bio:
Brice Maiurro is a poet out of Denver, Colorado. Stupid Flowers marks his first full collection of poetry, published by Punch Drunk Press. His poetry has been featured by The Denver Post, Birdy Magazine and Suspect Press. His poetry blog, Flashlight City Blues, was recognized as one of the top 25 poetry blogs online by Feedspot. Brice also enjoys road tripping. His goal is to visit every National Park in the United States.
Link to purchase Stupid Flowers: http://www.lulu.com/shop/brice-maiurro/stupid-flowers/paperback/product-23194066.html

Published by Punch Drunk Press Ltd.IMG_0800

Instagram: @maiurro

Twitter: @IAmBricesTweets

 

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Poets sleep awake

Photo by @dan_cretu from Instagram

 

I need my naps

I am a modern poet

in semi-deep sleep

never fully awake

dreaming about pre-raphaelites and the Rosettis

still thinking

in all the colors

you left behind.

I hug you close

yet you disappear

into orange clouds

and sunset lawns.

I want to forget

the long trails

to your heart

and climb up

your mountain

to kiss your eyes

to sleep.

Alas, I slumber awake.

Awake, yet not.

A poet with a deep voice. Book Review for “Together and by Ourselves” by Alex Dimitrov

 

Book Review

IMG_71355 starts out of 5

What I like most about Alex Dimitrov’s poetry book, Together and by Ourselves, is the simple yet brilliant one liners amidst the narrative poems. First of all, I am a big fan of full length poetry books that contain long poems. Here, I am not ever disappointed. Each poem will take the reader into a world that inhabits poetry, the world of outward circumstances meeting the inner workings of the mind.

This poetry book is divided into five sections. In the first part there are poems that reach deep into the psyche of human motivation and relationships. In the poem, “Champagne,” there is a line that stand out for me, “Believe me, he said, every hand finds the right door without keys.” The poem continues in this manner of interrupting your thoughts once you grasp his meaning, then we jump to actions and sequence of events that makes the poet question and answer existential questions. Dimitrov is a poet that does not stop questioning.

Most of the poems fit precisely on one page, this book is wider than traditional poetry books, to enable the reader to feel the full effect of each sentence. I love the formatting and presentation of each poem. I enjoy the visual, artistic cover of a girl hanging from a door frame, her feet not touching the ground, she could be interpreted as some kind of muse or a human wall in front of a door. I connect with the girl instantly, and perhaps feel a kindred connection to her as I, myself, have felt that disassociation from society and people as if I was floating in space, yet at the same time, in a home, together among objects and people. You can probably write a whole article on the cover alone.

The second part of the poetry book takes us to Los Angeles and the power and the glory of stardom, dreams, illusions and the human condition. On of my favourite poems is in this section, “Jesus in Hollywood,” and the brilliant poem, “American Money.”

“If you die enough times, you become your own saint.” This line is taken from the poem, “Speeding down PCH.” As a true poet’s poet, Alex Dimitrov, reflects on nature and life with hard facts. His unique poetic voice captures your attention and requires the reader to stop, pause and reflect or regret on the philosophy behind his poetry.

The rest of the book I enjoyed on a slower pace. Reading a few poems every day up until the final one, which was epic in its masterpiece way of combining human frailty and emotions.

This is a poetry book to have and to cherish like a marriage of true minds.

I have selected a few pieces but nothing could give this book justice, besides holding it in your hands, and reading a true poet’s mind.

 

If you would like to read more by Alex Dimitrov, see below
http://www.alexdimitrov.tumblr.com
Twitter: @alexdimitrov
Publishers: Copper Canyon Press

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