~the magazine~

June 2008                                                                                                                      issn 1488-0024

We don't think of June as a month of transition but it truly is.  We have survived the winter, done the work of early Spring and now we enjoy the approaching summer.  It is the month of lengthening days and interesting weather.  It is the month we move outside and begin to enjoy the days more then we did before.  

It is my pleasure to present to you the June issue of the ezine.  I don't know if you will step outside and read it on your laptop, or print it off so that you can sit in your easy chair and listen to the crickets and the birds while enjoying poetry from around the world.  However means you do, take the time to read, appreciate the literary ability of the artists who contributed to making this issue come into being.

I'll have more to say at the end, so please, read on.


Josiah Bullock returns with these poems.  He sent this introduction to them: The Sparrow is a poem that imitates William Blake, and that also comes from Bible, Matthew 10 : 29 (Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.) another verse from Matthew 10:31 ("So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.) High as the Eagle Flies is totally my own creation, but Anger is an imitation of John Donne's work.

High as the Eagle Flies





High as the eagle flies

Low as the waters flow

Wide as the mountains rise

Far as plants grow.


God’s love shall arise,

For all to see and for all to know

God’s love shall decorate the skies

It is greater than any treasure of old.


High as the eagle flies

Low as the mines do go

Wide as all land’s size

Far as rivers flow.


God’s Salvation shall arrive

For all to feel and freely know

God’s Salvation is along the sunrise

It is greater by far gold.








Anger bane of my sanity,

How you like to fell the peace within my resolution!

How you love to disturb the brooding waters of my heart with an intrusion!

Anger, bane of my being, disturbing my lucidity,

Why do you make the brooding waters of my troubled mind bind in knots of stupidity?

How doth my mind trick me with its store of aggravation?

Why doth it torture me so, with its imagination?

Anger, follow me not, for thou would lodge in my being a vile core of profanity,

Hasten from me, you shall not find a pleasant home within me!

I loathe your being, your clever, black hand clutching my heart.

Oh, how I should like to tear you and me apart,

For there are others that cling to you; but not me, for I see.

Apart from me! for you shall soon see the power of my Master.

Strongholds He shall take, and thou shalt be left not without fetter.



The Sparrow



Little Sparrow, how much does my God love thee?

He watches as thy little wings fail thee.

He reaches His hand down and touches thy being;

With a shock thy body is in movement, flying.


Oh Sparrow, little Sparrow, how did He warm thee?

He touched thee.

How were thy strengths refined?

Through the power of His mind.


Why, Sparrow was your being of importance, and your life besought?

Why did one of the smallest of His creations receive His thought?

Though none of us are worthy,

Why would He want thee?


Who would care about thy pitiful situation?

Why would thy God not care for my condition?

Oh how I envy you!

Oh how much I wish that I were you!  


How much more important in the Father’s eyes am I?

I say, how much more important in the Father’s eyes am I?

He sees everything, even me!

Nobody among us has the importance to be bought back too!


Why should He not care about me and mind the situation of thine?

Why should I be in the thoughts of His mind?

He chose us, we are in His mind; and He does what is best,

Though it may seem good to save those of most importance first, he always does what is best.


Josiah Bullock

Philip Ellis' biography appears at the end of his contribution:

Fog of a Mountain Town

The fog shifts its way through
the mountain town.  It curls
around the houses, bending down
with its weight the smoke from chimneys.
To walk outside would invite the smell
into oneself, as it would the fog's
coldness and silence.  All blinds
and curtains are drawn against
it, even in rooms untenanted.

The fog passes through eventually,
leaving full traces in the wearied lace
of spider-webs and on dormant spiders.
Where it has rubbed against the grass,
it leaves frost to form, thick
and bitingly cold.  The frost's mantle
eventually thins, sometimes by midday.

Only by dawn do magpies speak
invisibly in choirs and epiphanies
out of silent, white movement.


Looking North

Looking north,
out of the bedroom window,
over the backyard,
all I saw
was sky.

I was so small,
then, that I could not see
over the sill,
so all I remember
is blue.


This is how I Find myself Reading

Lying, head propped,
clock making
its mysteries
and noise,
volume opened
to the Bayeaux tapestry,
words and writing

this is how I find
myself reading.


To a Friend

How shall I start? Nothing witty, wise,
and nothing too dull or drear
to prop the eyes open with. Nothing
seeking newness above all--

no restless running after the new,
only to find we've not moved.
After all, Lewis Carroll said it
a century, more, ago.

And there is no use running after
trains: the platform will grow short
and the rubble will be hard upon
the feet of the runner, hard

and malicious, barking its rumours
of pain through the nerves,
so that the runner will fall behind,
nothing come to fruition.

But stay still a moment, the magpie
is singing in the shadow
of the fiddle-leaf tree. It's as fair
as the way you say "Thank you."


A Free Verse Ballade of New England

The clamour of magpies in a pre-dawn fog,
the boulders the bones of a threadbare, worn earth,
the towns that emerge from the dusk, to squat
humped over the mysteries of human existence,
the dragonflies of a front yard walled with warm, yellow brick,
the solitary lights of kilometres-distant farmhouses
turning against the coaches of early evening travel,
these I shall remember of you, mysterious country.

When I have felt that I have had time enough here,
here in the Northern Rivers region of the same state,
and, contemplating again the winters of fires heaped
in state against the pallidness of the frozen plateau air,
then I shall turn my thoughts to you, O my country,
then I shall return my feet to the paths they have strayed from,
and my mind shall return to these, these and other thoughts, and
these I shall remember of you, mysterious country.

The waters may fall into gorges, the roads may wind around
the mountainous passways towards you, and I may see
a solitary eagle in flight over the land, that has known death
and whispering winds, that turns away from the habitations
of man, into the realm of a country that is haunting, the way that
a memory, half-unfolding, creates a primal scene, a haunting
image, a fist splintering a window in a movie half glimpsed--
these I shall remember of you, mysterious country.

And in the winter, I shall remember these, and in the autumn also,
but the summer is warm in me, and the blood has yet to grow cold
within my veins; these I shall remember, and in remembering return,
these I shall remember of you, mysterious country.

Phillip Ellis

Phillip A. Ellis is an external student
studying English Honours at the University of New England, over 2008
& 2009. Collections of his poetry will be published by
Hippocampus Press, and Gothic Press, with a further collection due to
be published in Denmark by Henrik Harksen. Phillip is contemplating a
book of essays on Australian poetry.


Ashok wrote this: The file is called ‘08- Ganges Poems’ and are the result of a trip up the river Alaknanda in the Garwhal Himalayas.
These have never been published in any form before. I would be grateful to have your reactions.
As always, I am also giving below a brief bio.

It is a pleasure to read these works  -Paul


this river
is heavy with breast milk
incense boats made of
expectant upturned leaf
wax candles dripping wax
swim up
a river of vermillion
this river is married
to flotsam
to plastic bags
emptied of contents
this river is obtuse
with galactic meaning
this river is waves
from river into river
this river is damned
for electric
this river is cold
and old
this river is woman
mother wife daughter
lover whore
divine but soiled
with want
always something
to beg for
some spectacle to behold


into the sun the river flows
against the wind
she stands up
foams froths defeats
and passes under the water-gates

under Gulmohar
I stitch fig leaves
for my evening float
for white sun
the saint wears sunglasses
hung on an ochre string
sundry birds
go about their afternoon meeting
their uninterrupted hunt
for pilgrim scraps

Narcissus is small blue
yellow butterflies
get heat stroke
earthworms come up
from the boiling bowels of earth
and bake and dry
immunity is a house-fly
with an uncommon sense
of garbage smell


fish moss rock grit
this water will flow
past reflection
yellow halogen
white neon
hits stands froths
while you and i
will slowly be eroded


the rafters are in chain
steps with moss
a slip hurts the hamstring

the water is very old
and rushes
so much water
beneath sluice gates

fish dive
and optically motivate
mountains to undress
and fold gowns
into sunset clouds

the monolith stands
naked and dying
without sun
the river turns on itself
and runs on
sewage midway
and silt
which makes flowers wilt


there is this verdant peepul
beneath which
renunciates smoke cannabis
its root system laps the river
now fast and serpentine
with sounds
of very heavy tropical rain

I have taken from him
a perfect leaf
shorn it of life
and kept it pressed
in folds of Radhakrishnan’s
‘The Principal Upanishads’
a heavy tome

when the flesh has wasted away
and it is skeletally exquisite
I will inlay it with gold
suffocate it in glass
bordered with walnut
Kashmir woodwork

will you keep
this inlay box beneath the Rajasthan
framed ornaments
so ethnic

this leaf once or twice
when you open the box
will talk unabashed
in the language
of rain
or a small waterfall


she cupped the river in her hands
and touched it
to his heart and brow
she was very young

this cardiac catheter oozes memories
green and yellow
like pus
life is fallen Sal leaves
brown and russet

the road mercilessly twists and turns
at this rate
I will descend
from mongrel to mouse
such costly sunsets

so much avarice
with dawn

Ashok Niyogi

Ashok Niyogi, 52, graduated with Honors in Economics, from Presidency College, Calcutta University, India.
He has been an International Trader for 30 years and has traveled the world many times over. Since 1985, he has lived and worked in the Soviet Union (CIS), Eastern Europe, South East Asia.
He is now retired, and divides time between California, US, where his daughters live and Delhi, India, where his wife is a Corporate Manager. He still travels extensively in the Indian Himalayas, the Sierras, along the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal.
Ashok has published a book of poems TENTATIVELY (ISBN-0-595-33935-2) and has been published extensively in print and on-line magazines and chapbooks in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Turkey, Hong Kong, Netherlands, etc.

Robert Demaree



In the attic, three generations of packing boxes:

Snapshots of mothers and babies, vintage 1940.

We do not know them,

Or anyone who does.

Aware of the risks of cutting a link

In the chain of years,

We have presumed to discard

What someone had meant,

With the click of a Kodak Brownie,

To seize forever:

Foxing on lives

Now vanished into a sepia past.






Younger daughter’s youngest child,

Unlooked for joy:

Now two, he squats at the water’s edge

And pats sand

Earnestly, carefully,

Into the trench his brother has dug.

The world he grows into

We will watch through the filter of years.

Who can say what will be required?

Will it be enough to cut channels,

Or to fill them in?






The school where I worked:

Those pin oaks planted back then

Now shade the walkway.


Bitter boxwood smell,

Wet green leaves on marble steps:

Funeral in May.



Robert Demaree is a retired educator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. His most recent collection of poems, Fathers and Teachers, was published April 2007 by Beech River Books and is available through Amazon.com.

Taylor Graham bring us these three:


Fanfare of trumpets, parade
with bunting, silver-studded horses
and strutting majorettes,
potluck picnic in the park,
fireworks and a patriotic band.

She walks by flashlight home where,
all this week, she’s been
labeling things. As tho’ to breathe
were life
, she thinks. Life piled
on life
, flies smashed against the screen.

At last, a bit of breeze. Or
is it only a blue reef of imagination
stirring a salt tang, tug of tides
and deeps, the restless drawing
of the sea?


Who could believe healing
might be defined by medicine –
the names of bones in the body, or
drugs compounded by mortar and pestle?

His country-doctor physic tilted
a degree off vertical, a dare
against the demons
wrestling for our lives.

He dispensed wholeness
as a gardener mixes soil
with water, till it blooms
a red-ripe melon.

For eighty years he kept
one thrifty coin, never spending.
Now, it lightens the pocket
of his old bathrobe,

which you pull about your
own stooped shoulders, breathing
its nubby warmth, its worn


We slow to make the turn from asphalt
onto washboard gravel; For Sale
sign by a gate that gives. Green
runs out of pasture into live-oak shade.
Its spikes gone brittle, buckeye
roots in rocks where snakes
stay out of sight.

Cool-parched in a season of forecasts
we can't count on, foxtails
are pressed in circles where the deer
bed down – an 8-point crown-prince
in exile with his doe
among poison oak, vert-trefoil,
twining barbwire unstrung.

On the hilltop, a vacant house
that echoes weather through
its portal. No name above the door
that's barred and bolted.
Someone planted flowers and left
them to dry; left this
history the earth writes.

Taylor Graham

Dr. Wayne Crawford, a newcomer to these pages brings three works to this issue.  You can read his biographic sketch at the end of his works.

The Course of the Rio Grande

A hundred years ago, the Rio Grande flooded
its New Mexico banks near Las Cruces, wiped out
a colony of agrarian philosophers
experimenting with an alternative life style.  He asks why
I don’t love him.  Should I explain
that the Rio Grande has emptied of water every winter
for the last dozen years, that it cannot fill
and flow again unless substantial snows
cover the mountains further north and melt
into the river that curves
around cliffs, fields and groves, and divides
cities all along its route?  That dams must
open and melted snow and spring rains must drive
through turns and narrows and unexpected
arroyos before it arrives here?   Shall I remind him
he has seen couples in December
carrying their folding
chairs and their aluminum table
midway between the waterless banks, spread
their red and green tablecloth, and picnic
on a sandbar for the novelty of it,
and probably for them, once
will be enough?  Of  course, there are years
when the river seems safe, alive with current,
debris drifting south, winter with water, summer
without flood.  Should I expain that its course
doesn’t change?  It flows into the Gulf
and its composition alters with each new fish,
bird, raft, ship, fisherman, each child splashing, each
manufacturer dumping, each floating
dog someone has drowned, and by the fierce sun and wind,
the erosion of soil, oil spills that float
on its rapids, fallen limbs that adhere to its floor?  How
do I say he is not the first to lie in my bed,
make an imprint and see it wash away?
How do I say my course is set?  I spill
into the body that never reverses its flow.

Open Text

The other night while my partner slept,
    I walked down the hall
  on my way to the refrigerator,
    and bumped into our commitment
certificate. I needed a drink. Our house
    is very dry.
I caught the certificate before it fell.
    The glass it is under
needs to be dusted, but I could read
     the text.
I coughed one of those catch-in
    -the-throat coughs.

For several weeks, I imagine buying
    drinks for the red-head
who sits alone in the resturant
    near the window
where the shades are always pulled.

I notice that words, those that seem fixed
     with meaning in your life,
can become unfixed. Shakespeare.
    Stocks and bonds. Legal
documents. And words with unexamined
    meanings become inflated:
indifference, depression, withdrawal.

On paper, words don't carry the baggage
     of fixed meanings,
meanings coughed out of the windpipe
    or muffled in a hallway.
Readers add that. Paper is a quiet cough
    that shrinks the big picture
    into a small frame.

Empty Bed

Lying in bed, nothing on but a hard
drive humming in tune
with an overhead fan.
She, in the next room, fingering
his remote control,
watching late, late night plans
for losing weight, buying real estate,
removing stress lines from his face.
Maybe I am dreaming
someone wants to love me tonight.

She will join me for coffee in the morning,
hair styled by sleep, unattended gray,
eyes like bowls, lids that snap,
lips that crave only bagels.

Her language doesn't know
the paths through her body
I retreat from her heart,
but it tells her she is empty
when I pull out.


Wayne Crawford lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico where the desert  landscape often but not always inform his poetry. A former university  professor in Illinois, he edits the online journal, Lunarosity.  His  poetry has appeared in many journals, among them, Sage Trail, Manequin  Envy, Shampoo, Concrete Wolf, Eureka Literary Journal, Language Arts,  NewVerseNews. His most recent book, Sugar Trail, (2007) is published by  Sin Fronteras Press.


LUNAROSITY, presents in May:  Poetry by Ann Applegarth, Gary Beck, Gary  Brower, Taylor Graham, John Grey, Tammy Ho, Kevin Paul Miller, Steve  McLary, James Penha, and David Rushing. Managing Editor Wayne Crawford  with Joanne Townsend on Poetry and Rus Bradburd on Fiction. 

SIN FRONTERAS: Writers Without Borders:    Our reading series for this  season ended at the Branigan Library in April with Larry Goodell and  Ellen Roberts Young.  Journal 12 was released in April. Submission for  # 13 are now being accepted through June 30. http://www.zianet.com/lunarosity/sinfronteras.html

http://www.myspace.com/waynecrawfordpoetry  Posted are a few poems, my  first and second poetry videos, and a blog

Christopher Barnes  brings these selections



The oil is geriatric medicine,

A tenderness down in the boilers.

My nativity was crabwalk cranes, pummelled metal,

Rivet pimples at my sides,

Snug against the oceans.


At Hartlepool the foundry’s dozy,

The engine’s idling.

My dripping hull jerks wishy-washy tide.

The cabbala’s in silt

Even if I’m in malaise,

Too sousing-world weary to shimmer,

To start humming.




His boy’s tight-lipped,

Sullen in the mateyness of he-men,

It’s a solitaire voyage,

The lighthouse unmanageable dimensions off

-         Great turbines driving

Four-strike screw propellers.


He draws back

From an all-round draft of my space –frame,

Rope and tar pinpoint his nostrils

And the great crescents of anchor chain

Take the shape of a twist.


But he has no fastening to his dad

Buoyant only when left

To shove chow mein with a fork,

Porthole-gazing a hard-luck dock.



6 Sides Of A Fete’s Dice


  1. As a God above

I narrowly allow them.  His hair

Has ripened – shipwreck webbing,

Four winds strewn across the island

Of his jealous brow.

The blackout of her sweater

Is a blimp of jellyfish.  The sting

Just about to form harsh-stabbing words.

They will remain together

With years of mutual mistrust.


  1. The teacups storm

May soon diminish.

Love will misrepresent

The end-all in his eyes.

Here she is, meniscus.

I see lagoons,

Spat-out foul tasting fruit,

His early death

My misadventure.


  1. The u-shape of his foot

Unveils a bell-bottomed view.

There’s a sway of sun.

Eye up his loins, does he want her?

And she is split

To the hilt, to the beating shine

Of her monkey-jump heart.


  1. Clouds splodge

Firm as trees against orange sky.

He has mountainous shoulders,

Torso of microfibre purl stitch.

She has a pull of gravity on the face

The weight of the sea in her eye.

They will live an exciting life.


  1. She is a shore of tidal humours,

He a staggered-nosed devil

In amongst the birds of prey.

They will grow alike,



  1. Six is death.

He becomes a dried-up Neptune

And she his Philomena.

They will live in the other world

Where fidelity is expressively tedious.




Saucer Slime


If letter-of-law diagnostics

Were The X Files,

Fox Mulder would tilt the beaten track,

Hiccupping their sublimations.


NASSA white-lied em in,

Mashed with atoms to Special Ed.

Terraqueous-globe faces,

Meteor-metal scooters,

That’s just it Brazoooooom!

Don’t open the door to moon-hop rabies

From evil star electron goggles.


Pin The Whitehouse

A crimp of radionics,

Moulding ant-tactics into doers.

In a curfew they’ll bag you,

A nip-bud twitch’ll be your last.




Save The Children


Ali crossbars a footy

Mass-machined by toddlers in Lahore.

Thumbs and grubby coins.

Half the earthly have-nots

Are in made-use-of nursery days.


Money-mongers have a ball at quick feet

So Joshua squanders latte, fags, imported orchids.

They privatised Mombassa’s landocracy

Rupturing health care, snake-strangling education,

Numbing wages.


We’re a bighearted persuasion,

Bonused seemly pay-offs for this performance,

Grant there’s zero undeserved in principle

-         That’s Globalisation!






Telestial Kingdom light guides

Expose us through curtains

Check in and click-cam

-         We’re Epsom-print comely.


Pick-ups that vibrate

From eaves

Will wink in the flap-flops

Of damnable hearts.


Glamorizing floor lamp, such a glory-blaze

Will make us meet love

In the untouched-up horse opera

Of our lives.


Machine-minded tags

Will tweeze us

MI5 blessed, behind shields

Hidey-holed from everyone

But ourselves.




Siamese Hubert


A blooming rim of the bypass is mine;

Eye-catching my claimed right arm,

Heaving a pulse by the waist.

He gallops in silhouette,

A cut-out quarrelsome percussion.


By Christopher Barnes, UK

Some bio details...
in 1998 I won a Northern Arts writers award.  In July 200 I read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology 'Titles Are Bitches'.  Christmas 2001 I debuted at Newcastle's famous Morden Tower doing a reading of my poems.  Each year I read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and I partake in workshops.  2005 saw the publication of my collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.
 On Saturday 16th Aughst 2003 I read at theEdinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St.
I also have a BBC webpage  www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/gay.2004/05/section_28.shtml and http://www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/videonation/stories/gay_history.shtml (if first site does not work click on SECTION 28 on second site.
Christmas 2001 The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored me to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North.  I   made a radio programme for Web FM community radio about my writing group.  October-November 2005, I entered a poem/visual image into the art exhibition The Art Cafe Project, his piece Post-Mark was shown in Betty's Newcastle.  This event was sponsored by Pride On The Tyne.  I  made a digital film with artists Kate Sweeney and Julie Ballands at a film making workshop called Out Of The Picture which was shown at the festival party for Proudwords.  The film is going into an archive at The Discovery Museum  in Newcastle and contains my poem The Old Heave-Ho.  I worked on a collaborative art and literature project called How Gay Are Your Genes, facilitated by Lisa Mathews (poet) which  exhibited at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University before touring the country and it is expected to go abroad,  funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bioscience Centre at Newcastle's Centre for Life.  I was  involved in the Five Arts Cities poetry postcard event which exhibited  at The Seven Stories children's literature building.  In May I had 2006 a solo art/poetry exhibition at The People's Theatre why not take a look at their website http://ptag.org.uk/whats_on/gulbenkian/gulbenkian.htm
The South Bank Centre in London recorded my poem "The Holiday I Never Had", I can be heard reading it on www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=18456
REVIEWS: I have written poetry reviews for Poetry Scotland and Jacket Magazine and in August 2007 I made a film called 'A Blank Screen, 60 seconds, 1 shot' for Queerbeats Festival at The Star & Shadow Cinema Newcastle, reviewing a poem...see www.myspace.com/queerbeatsfestival

To conclude the works of this issue, I present Felino Soriano

The Gift

You told me silence was a chore,
a decadent dress for an occasion
improper for an earth damaged
by man.  I proposed a whisper,
a clarity of sound able to fit
within the crease of conditioned
air.  Too you advanced a wall
of disagreement, specifying
whisper was akin to crawl,
which condensed stretched ability
into compressed isolation, a brand
of greed, inferiority of posited
bodily ability.  With my leaving
I expressed civil disembodiment,
a becoming refreshed,

your staying created the original
desire, the sound of my wounds healing
after your voice.

Solidified Liquid

I read all truth is interpretation.
       If locked into this definitional
capture, what is the face within the morning
mirror, the contents concocted at 6 a.m.?  Are
the eyes anger-[red]
                       from misplaced sleep,
devotional dreams, contemplative thought processes
carrying the mind within myriad of mazes?—

the encrusted corners of the redolent
mouth, what are the [white] contents
across the emblem of the body's speech?

       If this truth is interpretation,
is an apparition adjacent to the conclusion
of our apparent questionable

Segregated Nuances

You or you in a different reflection,
light, time spent ascertaining a butterfly's
revolution around an oak's deformed
lowest branch.  You in a different time
is me.  Watching a hummingbird catapult
off an invisible to my dissipating vision
branch, toward an unknown tower,
or, wilderness palace.  Your watching
could have been specialized; mine was
average, for my sight was damaged, incorrect.
Among the species of intellect, the butterfly
draws an amazing array of intricate shapes
atop air's silent stillness.  The hummingbird,
with dazzle, confirms superlative speed,
freelance feeding, yet without sight of the inviting,
I no longer capture contemporary solace,
only by cognitive memory.

Biography Note:

Felino Soriano, from California is a philosophy student and Case Manager working with developmentally disabled adults.  His chapbook "Exhibits Require Understanding Open Eyes" was published by and is available through Trainwreck Press, 2008.  The juxtaposition of his philosophical studies with classic and avant-garde jazz explains his poetic stimulation.  His poems appear or are forthcoming at BlazeVOX,Sugar Mule, Zone, Unlikely Stories 2.0, Clockwise Cat, and elsewhere.Visit www.felinosoriano.com for a complete publication history and formore information.

Book Review

As many of you know, I am a regular subscriber to the magazine Broken Pencil.  It is a magazine that examines underground, alternative, DIY culture throughout Canada and the world.  In other words it covers all that mainstream media will find in about a year or so.  In the most recent issue, a chapbook was highlighted.  It is a collection of poetry, edited by Sandy Alland called " Poems from People I Like".  It is simply that, a collection of poetry from people Sandy enjoy reading and people she likes.  Let me tell you, I would want to be in that company;  I would also like to be friends with these people because they are fascinating.  The poets in this collection come from Mexico, Canada, Sri Lanka and Bermuda.  The also come from a very diverse background in gender, orientation, culture and race so you are getting an ecletic mixture of thought and political views.  Yes politics plays an important part in the theme of this collection.  It is politics of the fringe, where real politics take place, there is nothing conventional about their views and I have to believe about the lives of each poet.  They are sensitive to their communities and bring the rhythm of their lives to their works.

There are so many good poens and I wondered what one I would share, so I decided to take the first one, by Andra Simons entitled " P.M."

8:42 p.m.
on oprah
i'm watching
a white woman's story
ushockingly like my own.
we make music as we weep for ourselves

through television glass
a moon in vertical hope
white conclusion to the depth of night

I could have chosen any one from any poet and you would have enjoyed it.

It is a book you will want to read to gain insight and inspiration when you day needs either.

If you visit her excellent website  you can follow a link to the homepage of the book.   The cost is $7.00 Cdn and with postage it cost me $8.50 Cdn.  If you are interested I would suggest you send her a letter and she will give you the information.  There is a limited number of 200 published so if you are curious I suggest contacting her as soon as possible. When you do, please mention abovegroundtesting.

Closing Words

I decided to stick some background on this issue for simply something to do.  Do remember June 22nd, in fact make it the weekend, take your camera and take some pictures.  I want to call the weekend 'A Day in the Life of abovegroundtesting' and I need your help.  So I suppose it will be "A weekend in the life of abovegroundtesting".  Celebrate the change of season by sharing that which is around you.  I want to encourage and challenge each artist to expand their views and also perhaps use the photographs as inspiration for poetry or short stories.  Be it nature, a street scene, a quiet neighbourhood, a person you love, let's see it and share it.

Speaking of photographs, I've been ask to be the photography editor of the sister ezine avantgardetimes.  Co-editors Charles Frederickson & Saknarin Chinayote are working very hard to put together a truly fascinating combination of poetry and short stories from around the world and pictures.  I invite you to find out more of this ezine by following the link.  Issue two is now available and issue 3 is due in September.   If I can share the notice:

The third issue of  avant garden of di-verse-ity, mousetifying cosmonet EZine AVANTGARDETIMES, online September 1st, features the theme – Perverse HumAnimals. Global in scope, mission and outlook, contributing writers for this issue avec pizzazz hail from Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macedonia, New Zealand, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, UK and USA. Eclectic, original cutting edge submissions (art, music, poetry, short stories, whatever) for Issue #4’s December theme “DiVerse Kinsfolk: Our Global Family” are now being accepted à avantgardetimes@gmail.com.

Believe it or not, this issue concludes 9 years of publishing abovegroundtesting.  It's been a great time everybody, thanks for making it all possible.

As always, if you want your work included in future issues, send them to abovegroundtesting@yahoo.com  and place in the subject "Submissions".    If you have anything else, short story, or artwork, that's the address to use.

I'm on Twitter and Plurk so you can make me a friend in both if you want to follow the posts I make.   I'm also on Flickr and there you can find some of the photographs I took during the first Photocrawl sponsored by the Brantford Arts Block.

All submitted work is copyrighted by the authors, do respect their rights.

This is whole issue #110, June 2008

editor/ publisher Paul Gilbert