Category Archives: Issue #12 Poetry

The Extra/CynthIA, Sam Moon

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The Extra

The work is continual,

to fill the spaces around you like air,

the backdrop influence of the wind,

the tide. Lifeblood of the day-to-day

flowing downstage through streets,

stores, out of mind the way sea

evades the hand. I slip through

the set, through memory,

and construct an ambiance

—The coffeeshop businessman too crisp

for his slouch, for the casualness stretched

in his chair, failing to smother a grin—

With careful randomness,

I populate every set-piece,

blending conversation dotting

the scene like wallpaper

flowers behind a portrait of you

—The kids at the mall, uniforms pressed

against the stairway handrails, singing

to the height disparities of adolescence—

Surrounding you, I deliver

the background heartbeats;

footsteps of the world-builders

echoing across the stage,

your stage, breaking

like waves on the shore

of your soliloquy

—The matching smiles between a father

and the toddler who hangs on his arm

like hope, laughing like a wish—

I weave between spotlights

that know you like a lover, love you

like a savior, starring in my landscape

of the brushed shoulder;

the lullaby that fills a city,

that settles in a story

—The single exposed head in a blooming

field of umbrellas, hunched over

pinstripes grey as the falling sky—

A reassuring movement

suspended on the coast of your eye,

I sing familiarity on a stage

that never ends. The quiet solace

passing like savored time, purrs

the way a hearth-warmed quilt

adores the shoulder, all-encompassing

in the warmth of ovation

—The girl whose shoes glittered like the idea

of summer as she bounced by your window

on your last lazy Thursday—

Safe in realism, confidence,

the triumph of the quest

that calls you like the curtain

calls encore, you march

a finale in monologue.

My silent role in union

of the stage, in the bowing

cut to black, we live.

 

CynthIA

Count 1 1 2

Listen

Through the filters

And hear the air

In your mouth

Counting stiff

seven

The message

That slithers in skulls

And states

The air in your lungs

Is not yours

nine

The skywave intercepted

By flesh

Frozen tongue

Across your skin

Whispers to the nerves

two

Not alone

You have never

Breathed alone

Always borrowed air

Always gasping

Wavelengths of voice

Without you

Instructions beyond you

Saying always

Nothing except

three

To the one

Who knows

zero

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Do NOT Read This, Alexander Lafazanis

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Totally like

 

The thing is like

people in the 90’s like

literally laughed at like

the idea of bottled water.

Who would actually pay

for something you can totally like

get for free

out of a tap?

Would you pay for petrol

if you had a pump in the kitchen?

I mean

a plastic bottle of water is basically pure EVIL.

When empty and crushed like a shackled lung

its shriek is sour

wincing and tart

When left forgotten

chosen and rotten

the water runs down like stale saliva.

Not to like

totally mention

the plastic ocean is

strangling the whales

creating one big watery grave…

And like

call me a hypocrite

but I could totally set sail on

a raft made from the plastic bottles

I’ve consumed in my life.

But I only buy them when I’m not at home

on the road

on the go.

It’s convenient

cold water from any corner

and it’s only a coupla dollars.

And as cars grow motors

bigger than their bonnet

and trees bow down to quick copy printers

publishing: ‘a million and one ways

to get a minute back.’

I swear that like

I can hear my time clock ticking

at a pace I just can’t catch.

 

The Dog Days

 

-1-

A young woman reaches up

freckles light brown as coffee grains

hanging sodden laundry

along a backyard clothesline.

On the woodshed windowsill

the radio melts amongst the ancient chattering

of cicadas tree to tree.

A female broadcaster announces:

‘Total fire ban on the hottest day of the year.’

 

-2-

New day spreads a baby

blue sky like an oil painting,

shining on crocodile grasslands

that simmer below.

Even the summer flies are resting in the shade

she smiles

pressing her face against the

shirt, cool and damp.

 

-3-

The danger signs have been red

no water, nor rain

commemorative minds

drift along to the torrid hum of Christmas holidays.

Hark! Hark! Murders siren strong winds

of fermenting dog days.

White iris above white flame

perched on dead wood.

 

-4-

Heat rising and night falling fast,

firefighters drenched in sweat

sail towards the sun.

The flames fleet marching up the frontline

halts in the machine gun fire of a pumper’s

spray, momentarily.

 

-5-

Red alert, pumps engaged

flames turning with the wind.

The Guv’s dashboard dispatch

inhabiting the blurred chaos of yells and groans.

No candles are held in a firestorm

fear smoulders inside bunker suits.

One fighter

face ashen as a tablespoon

sent to the sea

drops a knee to the whimsical chimes

of Nero’s lyre, off in the distance.

 

-6-

A wildfire in a torrent of flames

razes a forest flat into a charcoal graveyard.

At the heart of its heat

stubborn trunks explode like a gut punch

waves of embers washing over

a town of dreadful thirst.

 

-7-

Down by the billabong

far from bloody gums

a sandy kangaroo sits hidden underneath

a glowing whisper.

The trees breathe a charcoal breath.

Below, her joey dangles over the pouch

its thin skin ethereal

translucent grey.

 

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Tagged ,

The constant., Masumi Atul Parmar

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In science we learnt about
white noise.
How it is several noises at different frequencies.
How it drowns out sound because your brain can’t decipher it all simultaneously.
How it’s loud and meaningless.

My head, dense and heavy
saturated beyond comprehension.
I can’t take in anymore noise.
I cannot understand anymore noise.

But outside it is quiet,
my mother cannot comprehend what I mean,
when I say it’s too loud,
in my head.

Because all she hears is
the cars driving past our
red mini cooper;
the only car parked at the side of the road.

All my mother understands is that her daughter
does not remember how to use
her hands.
I can’t lower them from my ears.

They’re still soft to touch but stubborn,
they’re begging whoever has snuck into my head
to stop,
to stop the constant buzzing so I can remember again.
I hear my heart beat loudly in my ears,
my cupped hands only making the thuds
echo.

That’s always one of the first signs other than
the constant
roaring.

The chattering,

the whirlwind of

a few hundred frequencies

in a red room.

Too many aspects of life trying to be the most prominent.

Only to be drowned out by another.

The spotlight shifts from

the lights of cars driving past,

to the sound of my mother’s voice

to the shape of my hands,

to the feel of my hair tickling my neck,

to the smell of the new leather seats

I can’t focus on anything.

And that
is how you end up on the floor of a parking lot.

A version of myself
stares back at me
from the chrome in the tyre–

I can’t comprehend who that girl is,

my mind is fighting to slow down.
My tears start to drown me,
I just can’t understand.

Then almost like it never happened,
my mind is clear
like a pearl being washed
by the gentle waves of the shore;
surface clean and shining-

The switch clicked back into its spot

“Was it because I focused on my breathing?

Was is it because I self-medicated?

Was is it because I’m thinking of the woman I love?

Was it because I found the knob in the dark?

All by myself?”

I can hear
the cars softly driving past ours;
the red mini cooper parked at the side of the road.

It’s like the noise never existed.

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