My poem “Though it is Written” is live at The Winnow Magazine! I greatly appreciate the care that The Winnow editing team took to pair my piece (scroll to page 20…) with such beautiful photography.
My poem, “Elephantine,” has been included with a fine array of poems in Eclectica magazine’s October/November 2019 issue’s Word Poem Challenge feature. The task was to compose a poem containing the words paper, indigo, brew, and cruise. Thank you editor Evan Richards for selecting this piece.
My poems, “Insomniac’s Fugue,” “Terminal,” “Cephalopod,” and “Self Portrait as Ellipsis” are now live at Isacoustic*. Editor Barton Smock is an excellent curator of rich, diverse, compelling poetry, and I’m honored to have my work included among such impressive ranks!
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.
I can’t begin to express how deeply soul-nurturing it is for me to collaborate with such an extraordinarily generous and brilliant man and poet as Robert Okaji!
Dead Rose at 5 Points Local
(A collaborative poem written with Stephanie L. Harper)
Having plucked the disheveled
petals from the core,
for the dead to speak
of last week’s sweetness—
of damp upholstery
and worn-out shoes,
of locked chests
and the faint honey
of unrealized hope.
I twist the stem;
I quarter the seeds and
blemish the plate.
Which north rings true?
bridge reveals the lost
Our ice cubes clink
no answers, as the essences
of hibiscus, lavender,
and mint slip over my tongue,
concealing the cool
tang of her demurring
But when she says whisper,
touching her lips
with an index finger,
I hear distant trains
baying like wolves,
and smell the char of nights
trailing the undiminished
river, its waters flowing
in every possible
* * *
“Dead Rose at 5 Points Local” first appeared in
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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.
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!
Live Feed from the SW Florida Eagle Cam
For E9, Born December 31, 2016
must first have been
a nameless billowing
in the silent house
of before until its voice
yolk-forged could wrest
a pyroclastic mouth
sufficient to speak birth’s
dialect of brokenness
I watched the possibility of you
cradled sixty feet high in a Slash Pine
become a five-day-old
white fluff-bundle of spunk
& open-beaked ferocity You
command the ripping impulse
that strips off the fish’s silver skin
midriff to tail with one swift
grip & flexion exposing
the host’s fleshy glisten
of lipid-pink life to be flaked
& held to your tiny maw’s tip
Before this feeding I think
nothing had yet been born
whose name was Tenderness—
no one to bring this warmth
of tastes & swallows growing ever
heavier in your belly & on your lids
to bear you to your imperative sleep:
Dream Little One in the haven
of your father’s stalwart breast!
Dream of wings outstretched
on the azure’s salt-breath!
STEPHANIE L. HARPER
“Live Feed from the SW Florida Eagle Cam” was first published in the Winter 2017 issue of The Ibis Head Review, and appears in my first chapbook, THIS BEING DONE. If you enjoy my poetry on this blog, you might also consider checking out my newest chapbook, THE DEATH’S-HEAD’S TESTAMENT, scheduled for release by Main Street Rag in March 2019, and available for pre-order sales NOW for a huge discount at $6.50 per copy!
I’M SO VERY GRATEFUL TO OUR COMMUNITY ON WORDPRESS FOR ALL YOUR AMAZING FEEDBACK, SUPPORT, AND FRIENDSHIP! MY LIFE AND MY POETRY WOULDN’T BE THE SAME WITHOUT YOU!
*I’ve been following parents extraordinaire, Harriet and M-15, and their gorgeous eaglets for three seasons now. Check out the stupendous progress being made minute to minute by this year’s little dinosaur siblings, E12 and E13 on the SW Florida Eagle Cam!
Robert Okaji’s poetic tour de force, “Wind,” tops the list of Krista Stevens’ feature, Throwback Thursday: 5 Favorite Posts of 2018 on Discover!
Prepare for your breath to be taken away!