Remains the Dark
“How I wanted to be that sky—” ~ Ocean Vuong
What is want, if not the forsaken
self’s inexorable reversion to self?
Just as your virtual arrival at the event
horizon must propagate only departure
this eternal leaving you actually are
is the mouth’s forgotten swallow,
is sustenance un-sought,
is your every trace & its antithesis
at once ceasing to mean.
Though emptied, you are no less
unfathomable: the black belly remains
the dark you’ll never grasp how to be.
STEPHANIE L. HARPER
“Remains the Dark” was published in the Spring 2019 Showcase at The Zen Space, among a gorgeous collection of poetry, along with haiku and *tiny poems* by Lynne Burnett, the late Ron Evans (curated by Robert Okaji), and others, expertly edited by and adorned with the original black and white photography of the brilliant Daniel Paul Marshall.
My poem, “Understory,” is now live in issue 13 of the fantabulous online journal, Panoply Literary Zine! Thank you to editors extraordinaire, Jeff, Ryn, and Andrea, for selecting this piece. I’ve begun the absolute pleasure of delving into the fresh and evocative writing contained in this issue, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’m honored to have my work appear among such impressive ranks.
My poem, “Lament on Mayuary” (modeled after John Keats’s “Ode on Melancholy”), is featured in the Kosmos journal July newsletter’s Summer Gallery of Poets (scroll to the bottom). Thank you to Kosmos Poetry Editor Carolyn Martin for selecting this piece!
My poem, “Psychedelic,” is enjoying some lovely company during this week’s installment of Poetry Wednesday at Prometheus Dreaming! Thank you to editor David van den Berg for selecting this piece.
My poem, “Salt,” (just scroll down) is live at the Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, the “love” issue, just in time for Valentine’s Day! Many thanks to editors Steve Gordon and Terri Lynn Cummings for sensitively engaging with and selecting this piece for publication.
Concerning the Delay of My Self-Immolation
“Ich kenne nichts Ärmeres
Unter der Sonn’, als euch Götter!”
_______________~ J. W. von Goethe’s “Prometheus”
when i sacrifice myself
as a gift to my fellow humans
i promise it will be for nothing
so hackneyed as to protest
some hypoxic septuagenarian
hunched on a mountaintop
mistaking every garish tendril
to wisp from his head
for a well-honed lightning bolt
not that i imagine
there’s any portion of my no-longer-
combustible flesh i might set
upon the balance that could be
tendered for passage to Elysium
but you can believe i’d pluck my own eyes
from their conceding sockets send
the fabrics from my padded scaffold back
to China & traipse forever a blind
naked-as-a-mole-rat gnome in the garden of
unscented flowers if the stygian prophecies
were to divine any semblance of purpose
in chaining my corpse to the cliff face
& though these desiccating seasons
have yet to assemble
me into fuel for Helios’ pyre
if ever my splitting spurs should cease
to cry out dragon’s blood
i will crescendo
my twilight’s fury on the horizon—
my flames will soar
like an eagle on a Titan’s breath
STEPHANIE L. HARPER
“Concerning the Delay of My Self-Immolation” made its debut appearance in Robert Penick’s fabulous literary journal, Ristau: A Journal of Being, in January 2019. It also appears in my new chapbook, The Death’s-Head’s Testament, scheduled for release in March 2019! Please check out sample poems and early praise for this collection on my Author Page at Main Street Rag, and consider purchasing a copy at the terrific limited-time discount of $6.50!
I wish I had words to express how much your support of my work means to me. Please just enjoy the poems, and know that I’m immensely grateful!
I’m honored that my poem, “Family Road Trip” was published by Eclectica journal. I’m grateful to editors Jen Finstrom and Evan Richards for selecting this piece to help their fantastic publication kick off its 23rd year online!
My poem, “In Praise of Reason,” has been published in Panoply’s themed (“untamed”) and first-ever contest issue! I’m thrilled to have my poem appear with Robert Okaji’s contest-winning effort, and I’m grateful to editors Jeff, Ryn, and Andrea for selecting my work!
Thank you to editor C. M. Tollefson and the poetry editing team at CatheXis Northwest for publishing my 3 poems, “Aubade with Smoke,” “Dilated,” and “What a Patriot Dreams.”
The latter two poems also appear in my newest chapbook, The Death’s-Head’s Testament, scheduled for release by Main Street Rag in March 2019, and available now for advance order @ $6.50 per copy.