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England versus Italia – A Pretty Kettle of Poetry

Dedicated to Paolo Rossi who died this week

As Geoff Hurst plays a blinder against Germany
The home fans rub their eyes in disbelief.
Italians take their hats off to Paolo Rossi
As scoring a hat-trick, he brings Brazil a bit of quarter-final grief.

In a World Cup of national stereotypes
Only lager louts and greaseballs qualify;
Gazza gets into aggro on the terraces, beating up the wife
As slimy Silvio Berlusconi gets behind Forza Italia in his football scarf and tie.

Mafia bosses with back-handers in their pockets
Grease the palms of players playing on the other side.
A pre-match talk on how they can throw it
Cashing in on slotting the ball wide.

As Sicilian mammas in funeral black
Cry out Avanti! football-stripped to kill,
Elderly English Roses, in baggy pink underwear, go on the attack
Winning the Widows XI, with Stanley Matthews skill.

The Beatles line up against Battisti
Chorusing Hey Jude ; naa-naa-naa, na-n’-na-naa, na-n’-na-naa, Fab Four!
Meantime, Lucio chants, sick as a parrot over the moon with Emozioni,
Liverpool Mop-Tops, non incazzare, l’importante partecipare! i.e. You’re not singing anymore!

Over ninety minutes, pasta and pizza beat traditional eggs and bacon
But a cappuccino doesn’t go down half as well as a good old cup of tea.
Umbrellas in the rain and parasols in the sun
Defend in numbers ‘away from home’ tourists from The English Riviera to Rimini.

Bobby Charlton queues up in the box
As Gigi Riva pushes forward to get in a header.
Union Jack the lads with brewer’s droop have to pull up their red and white socks
As Gli Azzurri as Latin lovers hold a press conference with dressing room tactics on how to bed ’er!

So, with the Heroes of ‘66 matched against Beckham and Owen
And Gli eroi di ‘82 drawing a comparison with Baggio and Del Piero, It’s Bye Bye and Ciao;
I blow the final whistle on my latest poem;
The readers think it’s all over! It is now!


Published by aprettykettleofpoetry

I was born in Oxford but grew up in Devon. Then I moved to Italy at 28 where, to cut a long story short, I’ve been teaching English. I’ve lived in Cagliari, Sardinia since 1995.

For writing, I’ve been influenced by poets such as Phillip Larkin and WB Yeats and lately by Simon Armatage. However my first love is music and I’ve always paid particular attention to lyrics. I got a book of illustrated Beatles lyrics at 18 and that got me thinking about illustrating every poem I would write. I liked that extra ingredient of something visual and have, by and large, illustrated any poem I’ve ever written since.

I don’t consider myself an artist so doing collages with paper, scissors and glue was a great way to cheat a bit! Sometimes I illustrate poems with photos, or drawings and watercolours, and recently a few oil paintings which is very dfficult!

I’ve had exhibitions of my collages which has been an added bonus. These have been put together with poetry readings. I have read my poems and there are examples here, either just audio, or video with my cat, Moony, named after Keith Moon, in tow. Cat’s full name is Moony Gainsbourg Taylor, Telemachus Peter George after other influences! A great influence has been Johnny Morris and his renditions of my poetry. There are examples of his readings here.

I have written songs with Chicco Fresu which appear on this blog. He comes up with the music and then I fit the words and melody to it. I’m not a singer but we’ve recorded the songs because otherwise we would have forgotten how they went! I have also written songs by myself, and there are a few examples here too.

First and foremost, I like writing. Everything comes from that. The main idea is that poetry always goes together with visuals, music and performance.

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My book, Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, featured in Manhattan Book Review #poetry collection #review

 

My Dear Readers,

One of my favorite novelists once wrote:

The profoundest distances are never geographical.
― John Fowles, The Magus

Last night thinking of the friendships I have created on WP I wrote on a piece of paper: The profoundest friendships are never geographical.  Perhaps even the profoundest loves are not geographical either.

I am humbled by the love and the support you have shown me. It is my joy to share with you my work and my journey as a writer. You all enrich my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Below please find the review of my book, Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, done by Jo Niederhoff, and featured in the Manhattan Book Review. I am happy to share it with you with its good and its bad.

“I would expect a collection of love poems to be lush and indulgent… Gabriela Marie Milton’s collection, Passions, is no exception. Though each poem is short—most are no longer than a page—each is also a glimpse into a moment of beauty. Some poems are passionate, heat felt between every line. Others are more sedate, showing a calmer aspect of love. Still others are yearning, either for a love to come or for a love that has passed. No matter what mood you’re in, you’re sure to find something that will suit your need within these pages…”

Please continue reading here.

You can find my book featured in San Francisco Book Review here.

Thank you.
Love.
Gabriela

@short-prose-fiction (Gabriela Marie Milton)

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NO FEE submission call + editor interview – Dear Loneliness (EX/POST), DEADLINE: Ongoing – Trish Hopkinson

Dear Loneliness is an EX/POST Magazine production with the goal to write the longest letter in the world to fight loneliness. They are planning to break the Guinness world record letter length of 290 meters—three football fields’ or almost 1,000 sheets of A4 paper—together. They are currently open through fall/winter for submissions of traditional handwritten letters, artwork, poetry, videos, etc. on the theme of loneliness to include in the project.

This is such a timely and amazing project, I needed to know more, so I asked Editor-in-Chief Sarah Lao some question to find out.  See my interview with Lao and a link to submission guidelines below.


HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about  EX/POST Magazine.

LAO: Founded in the summer of 2020, EX/POST is a nonprofit independent literary and arts journal. We seek to spotlight both the best art and writing the Internet can find and serve as a refuge for underrepresented voices, topics, and genres. We want both great art and reflections on such; we want to publish work at the forefront of today’s trends, but we also want to break down the meaning of those trends to make the cutting edge of “high theory” accessible to all. More than anything, we want to be a home for timely, experimental, and most of all daring writing. Whether it’s avant-garde theater, traditional poetry, a satire of the Oscars, or an essay on any of the above, we believe you have something valuable to say.

HOPKINSON: How/why was the Journal of Expressive Writing originally started?

LAO: Originally, our friend Carissa wanted to create a pen pal program that would connect lonely people while also recording statistics on loneliness, but since there are already some amazing pen pal networks out there, we decided to put a more artistic spin on the idea by compiling the world’s longest letter to loneliness and making an art exhibit out of it. We thought the idea of bridging isolation was more important than ever in 2020 due to COVID-19 and ongoing fights against police brutality, and we’ve been lucky to have some amazing organizations help us spread the word since then—there’s metaLAB @ Harvard, Made of Millions Foundation, Artists for Trauma, Harvard Economics Review, the Concordium and even the Literary Symposium Desk at IIM Ahmedabad in India, just to name a few, though I’m afraid the full list of individuals who have been kind enough to forward our information is too long to list here!

HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?

LAO: For EX/POST itself, we welcome readers and creators of all ages. Even though our masthead is quite young, we didn’t want to be a teen-exclusive publication, as we’ve never really believed in the boundaries between teen/adult or emerging/established. It’s the same story for Dear Loneliness—we want to collect letters from a truly representative cross-section of humanity, so people from all backgrounds are welcome to read and submit!

HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?

LAO: The sky’s the limit—we’ve gotten traditional handwritten letters, but also a good deal of art and poetry. Some people have submitted multi-part graphic illustrations, while others have sent in spoken word and video letters. Topic-wise, anything that expresses how you feel about loneliness fits us just fine!

HOPKINSON: Can letters include poetry, artwork, or comics?

LAO: Yes, absolutely! Many of our most popular letters featured on social media include artistic—it’s actually a bit of a challenge balancing message content with visual appeal when posting letters (only those with permission, of course) on our social media, since people swipe by so quickly.

HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?

LAO: Well, for Dear Loneliness, this is surprising, but we’d like to maybe see more quarantine-specific work. We’ve gotten a few letters commenting on life cooped up at home or cut off from friends during COVID-19, but the vast majority of letters are about more long-standing frustrations and emotions people have had. Not that any letter is more or less valid than another, of course—we’re thrilled that we can be an outlet for people, and some of my favorite interactions to come from Dear Loneliness have been comforting strangers about the loneliness they’ve bottled up for so long in our DMs. It’s also interesting when people interpret loneliness differently from the usual sense to talk about the loneliness of a song ending when you’re wearing headphones, or the isolation of facing racial attacks.

For EX/POST, I’d love to see more visual poetry and underrepresented genres like spoken word, drama, screenplay, comics, etc. I love pieces that give the reader more than one direction to take in their reading, and I don’t think we’ve received any comics at all! We also have a soft spot for experimental work, so anything that’s interactive or pushes the bounds of the viewer/creator relationship is something I find personally fascinating.

HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?

LAO: Many of our staff listed their favorites in the staff spotlight series we’ve been doing recently, so I’ll just list them some here—Middleground Magazine, SPAM Zine, Split Lip Magazine, the Adroit Journal, Half Mystic, (mac)ro (mic), Prolit Magazine, diode journal, Dialogist, Winter Tangerine, SIne Theta Magazine.

HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being on staff with the EX/POST?

LAO: Our staff is just the kindest, most fun and supportive group of people to be around, and our work chats are honestly always popping with memes, song suggestions, and general chaotic energy. We try to repost any good news that’s happened to our staff and general community when we hear about it, and we like to think that we’re producing good work but not taking ourselves too seriously!

HOPKINSON: Where can we send submissions?

LAO: For Dear Loneliness, you can upload your letter here: https://www.dearloneliness.com/submit.

For EX/POST, our submissions for ISSUE II are reopening on September 1, and we recommend checking out  https://www.expostmag.com/submit when that time comes for more information on how to submit. In the meantime, you can send any inquiries to expostmag@gmail.com and check out our first issue for inspiration!

HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?

LAO: Our email expostmag@gmail.com is always a safe bet, but we’re very responsive on our IG and Twitter too!


Click here to read submission guidelines.

DEAR LONELINESS DEADLINE: Ongoing until Fall/Winter

EX/POST Magazine re-opens for submissions on Sept. 1

SUBMISSION FEE: None

PAYMENT: None

FORMS: traditional handwritten letters, artwork, poetry, videos, etc. on the theme of loneliness

FORMAT: online

SUBMISSION METHOD: Dear Loneliness via online form; EX/POST via email

DUOTROPE: https://duotrope.com/listing/29702/ex-post-magazine

SOCIAL MEDIA: 

Dear Loneliness: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

EX/POST Magazine: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


If you like this post, please share and/or follow me on Facebook or Twitter. You can find all resources for poets/writers on my Start Here page. 

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For Summer: Poems by Latina/o/xs: Edwin Torres

062D3B54-DFFA-4682-BCF3-1D357FB09AEA_1_201_a
Subordinate Volca  
(after the eighth elegy)

by Edwin Torres                                                        

I dreamt I was holding a sea creature, tightly, in bed, the room was not mine, but a long darkened space with no walls, almost a bottom of the ocean with no water, it was mid-dawn or dead at night, we were under covers, in the dream, yet exposed, in the dream, engaged in what might be considered aggressive cuddling, up there, on the surface, social distance was law, humanity had ascended to avoidance for survival, in the dream, violence was carried out without leaving home, using language, crimes were committed in every sentence, isolation, no longer a mandate, but a guided meditation, under the rendered open, I was released in slippage, as the shadow keeping me warm, kept floating, and settling, back, on whatever it was I had become, the creature in my arms, was cocooned in translucent answers, hints of the binary defined our encounter, my masculine had nothing to do with our need, as if I were holding a giant bean bag, protected in a clear sack, we were viral tentacles, un-limbed by reciprocal touchlings, hovering over each other, the head was a protrusion where the neck should be, encased in hermetics, agoraphobic aurora, effable sock mask, secured by assyrian tendrils buckled on each side, with features pulled back, the face was a cross, between a pucker and the luminescent temporal within, conundrum of the sentient, what counted for something, remained there, a clear latex funnel appeared where the mouth should be, bright red lips at the base, in my barely contained appendages, with no trace of longing, I was holding this unformed plastic sack of flesh, while listening closely to words, spilling slowly, from the inverted triangular mouth funnel, I would in turn, open my mouth over the funnel, guiding droplets of silver to engorge themselves around the cochlea, organ finding organ, we were patient, catching what bits of frenetic arousal would conjure themselves, into each other’s available orifi, we remained like this for years, in the dream, swaying to non-existent water, spilling the secret of poems, without fear of hierarchy, or promise.

 

EdwinTorres-authorphotoEdwin Torres is the author of 10 poetry collections, including XoeteoX: the infinite word object (Wave Books), Ameriscopia (University of Arizona Press), The PoPedology of an Ambient Language (Atelos Books), and is editor of the inter-genre anthology, The Body In Language: An Anthology (Counterpath Press 2019). He has performed his multi-disciplinary bodylingo poetics worldwide. Fellowships include NYFA, The Foundation for Contemporary Art, and The DIA Arts Foundation. Anthologies include Fractured Ecologies, Who Will Speak For America, American Poets In The 21st Century: Poetics Of Social Engagement, Postmodern American Poetry Vol. 2, Kindergarde: Avant Garde Poems For Children, and Aloud: Voices From The Nuyorican Poets Café.

For Summer: Poems by Latina/o/xs is a curated collaboration between Francisco Aragón at Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, and Emma Trelles at the Best American Poetry blog.

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The Reading of Fiction | JD DeHart

Best Poetry Online

Updike never sold me a day,
but I can get lost in his descriptions.
Similarly, pages of Faulkner can
bury me in dialogue.
I can coast along the erasure
of a graphic novel about Derrida.
Or I can get lost in Billy Collins’
description of getting lost in a poem.
Or listen to the verse conversation
of James Tate.
Then what race occurs
to construct my own fiction, to view
and understand the fictions others
are creating, even as I walk by them,
even maybe about me.

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The Skinny on Fatty’s Cafe | Donal Mahoney

Best Poetry Online

Here’s the skinny on Fatty’s Cafe,
a grubby diner on a snaky street
under the El in dark Chicago
where street lights flicker
and the hungry descend from
the flophouse above the store.

If you have a yen for a BLT
and Fatty is workin’ the grill,
the hungry say don’t go in,
be patient and wait outside
for Fatty’s brother, Skinny,
to wield the spatula.

Skinny has a way with BLTs,
piling bacon and tomato high
on a triple decker, with a hint
of lettuce and a swipe of mayo
on all three slices of bread.
No extra charge to toast it
when Skinny’s workin’ the grill.

Ignore the rain, sleet or snow
and wait outside with the hungry
till Skinny starts flippin’ the bacon.
He takes over at midnight when
Fatty flops into his Lincoln
and heads for his castle.
Then Skinny lays out the bacon
and the hungry outside march in.

More at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com and http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com.

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My book, Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, featured in Manhattan Book Review #poetry collection #review

 

My Dear Readers,

One of my favorite novelists once wrote:

The profoundest distances are never geographical.
― John Fowles, The Magus

Last night thinking of the friendships I have created on WP I wrote on a piece of paper: The profoundest friendships are never geographical.  Perhaps even the profoundest loves are not geographical either.

I am humbled by the love and the support you have shown me. It is my joy to share with you my work and my journey as a writer. You all enrich my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Below please find the review of my book, Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, done by Jo Niederhoff, and featured in the Manhattan Book Review. I am happy to share it with you with its good and its bad.

“I would expect a collection of love poems to be lush and indulgent… Gabriela Marie Milton’s collection, Passions, is no exception. Though each poem is short—most are no longer than a page—each is also a glimpse into a moment of beauty. Some poems are passionate, heat felt between every line. Others are more sedate, showing a calmer aspect of love. Still others are yearning, either for a love to come or for a love that has passed. No matter what mood you’re in, you’re sure to find something that will suit your need within these pages…”

Please continue reading here.

You can find my book featured in San Francisco Book Review here.

Thank you.
Love.
Gabriela

@short-prose-fiction (Gabriela Marie Milton)

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For Summer: Poems by Latina/o/xs: Joshua Escobar

 

Trade?-markers, pen, paper-2017-Joshua Escobar

everybody in general
by Joshua Escobar

let’s kiss
Frank as in Frankenstein

let’s kiss
people in cages

let’s kiss
nebulae double-crossed

let’s kiss
straight people mauling whatever they love

let’s kiss
the sexuality of other cities

let’s kiss
unused doctrines & volumes of knowledge

let’s kiss
lovers playing up the doom

let’s kiss
feathers vs. chasm

let’s kiss
chasm vs. feathers

let’s kiss
Saint Francisco of the Latin Exes

let’s kiss
agony to death

let’s kiss
R.A.’s BOMBNESS

let’s kiss
a baby queer’s hoe streak

let’s kiss
another sexy guy’s disinterest

let’s kiss
the fruity aftertaste of Lucifer’s skull & bones soup

let’s kiss
youth drilled anew

even as it’s impossible to see each other
let’s kiss

 

Joshua Escobar

 

Joshua Escobar is the author of the chapbooks Caljforkya Voltage and xxox fm, as well as the new full-length collection about being a deejay in a queer dystopia,  Bareback Nightfall (Noemi Press, 2020). He holds a Master’s from UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, as well as from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. He is a regional chair (California) for CantoMundo, and the co-founder of the all-ages zine, Orange Mercury. He teaches at Santa Barbara City College, and reviews poetry collections in his free time.
IG: djashtrae17. “everybody in general” was previously published in the Brooklyn Rail.

 

For Summer: Poems by Latina/o/xs is a curated collaboration between Francisco Aragón at Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, and Emma Trelles at the Best American Poetry blog.