eclipsed-time-1989-95
You’re Saying
by Ranney Campbell

nothing

of Sophia Stid
of all that she stated

of fear disguised as indifference

of Haight
of Still the Waiting

of future

of drive away, be driven
of never say never, never say go
because . . . it is
                                   as it once was

of I guess I’ll have to move to L.A.

of four posed questions
or, just the first two, if their answers, no,
                                        and yes

there is nothing you’re saying
there is nothing, you’re saying

yet,

I am still waiting
because there is nothing other to do

work, sleep, work, sleep, work, sleep
in one year, in that June, five years

the best things are those awaited
or, was it meant, the awaiting

or, was it meant,
we have all the time in the world 

IMAGE: Eclipsed Time, sculpture by Maya Lin (1989-1995).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The reference of Sophia Stid was in regard to her work, “I Am Tired of the Movie About Sentimentalized Male Failure.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ranney Campbell earned an MFA in fiction from the University of Missouri at St. Louis and her poetry has been published by Misfit Magazine, Shark Reef, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and others. Her chapbook, Pimp, is published by Arroyo Seco Press.

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Pique
by Joanie HF Zosike

Forget it-No, I can’t-
sit still-any longer
Still is too static-
and stasis, death
Frame—Take 2021-
and—Action!-No-
longer can sit on-
m’duff-Kick myself-
out of bed, get up!
Get an Irish coffee-
at Vesuvius-Write-
lyrical poems, scribe-
brittle prose-This-
species is moving-
too slowly-How can-
it be-I am still wait-
ing, waiting stuck-
waiting How long-
will it take until-
human beings can-
be something better-
than we are now
Ferlinghetti was one-
illuminati, now gone
Pulse of his vision-
lives on, piled onto a-
palette, he messages
Massages our secret-
hearts alive-Scribes-
are what we need to-
describe the antidote
What are we waiting
for? Why a gap?
Mind that gap-Let’s-
boogie along with-
stylin’ verve inspirin’
One more time, revive-
the Renaissance with-
color streamers, music,-
tambourines shaking-
us out of our lassitude

PAINTING: The Painter by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1989).

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I recently wrote a poem that will be included in “Light on the Walls of Life,” coming this summer from Jambu Press (studiosaraswati.com). The book, originally envisioned to honor Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s 100th birthday, sadly will now serves also as a memorial. My contribution was a take on his poem “I Am Waiting,” and now Silver Birch Press, one of my favorite publications, is visiting the fecund field of waiting. In writing my take for Silver Birch, I came up against my own resistance to waiting—perhaps due to the endless isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic—but that aside, just the notion of waiting in general when there is so much to do and so little time, both personally and cosmologically.

PHOTO: Joanie HF Zosike (aka Joanie Fritz) in her solo work, Soph and the Ain Soph Auer at NY Theatre Asylum, NYC, circa 1984. ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joanie HF Zosike is the The Writers Hotel 2019 Sara Patton poetry awardee and was featured in The New Guard’s BANG! (August 2020). She teaches the Pandemic Poetry Workshop in New York City. Her work appears in 11/9: The Fall of American Democracy and Silver Birch Press’s Ides: An Anthology of Chapbooks. Her poem “I Am Also Waiting” is forthcoming in the Lawrence Ferlinghetti Tribute Anthology (Jambu Press). Other forays in print include Alien Buddha, Heresies, Home Planet News, Jewish Forward, Levure Literraire, Maintenant, PIM, and Syndic. Author of seven plays and four solo works, she received an Albee Foundation residence to complete her play Inside (produced at ATA in NYC) and a Foundation for Jewish Culture grant for …and Then the Heavens Closed (performed at The Jewish Museum, NYC). Joanie, a member of The Living Theatre for 35 years, directs the dada/surrealist company DADANewYork and is co-director of Action Racket Theatre.

PHOTO: Joanie HF Zosike, London, 2012.

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Thursday’s Gone
by Steve Bogdaniec

Last night
old cassettes and records came to me in a dream
they all ganged up on me
spinning me around
asking me how I liked it for a change

Then CDs and DVDs came by
all shiny and proud
they scoffed at me too
talking about me like I was no better
than outdated magnetic tape technology

The cassettes and the records pushed stop on me
and asked the CDs and DVDs who the hell they thought they were
like they could bully me
but no one better try it

The CD pulled knives
the records had chains
and they started dancing about
in a tightly choreographed fight scene
which is weird, since I’ve never actually seen West Side Story
and yet I knew enough to reference it in my dream

I need to see West Side Story some time
I don’t why I am still waiting
the dream might be my subconscious trying to get me
to finally track it down

In the chaos of the rumble,
I got free
and for some reason God winked at me
I’m pretty sure he started out as a big screen tv
but as he spoke
he morphed into the written word

He told me I was right for standing up to those bullies
and that I was a good kid
by this time, I actually was a kid again
maybe 10

He typed he was proud of me
and that I could be whatever I wanted to be

I woke up crying

It was my radio alarm clock
my parents bought it for me in 1984 from Sears
it still works
the radio was playing Lynyrd Skynyrd
whining about Tuesday being gone
even though it was a Thursday morning

I clicked off the alarm
gave my media collection a sneer
and got ready for work

PAINTING: Eyes That Dream by John Hoyland (2008).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steve Bogdaniec is a writer and teacher, currently teaching at Wright College, Chicago, IL, U.S. Steve has had poetry and short fiction published in numerous journals, most recently in Eclectica Magazine, Silver Birch Press, and Jellyfish Review. His work can also be found in the Nancy Drew Anthology: Writing & Art Inspired by Everyone’s Favorite Female Sleuth. Check out stevebogdaniec.com for links to published work and updates on new stuff!

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Isabel
by Giovanni Mangiante

My first love’s name
was Isabel. I was 3 years old.
she had bright green eyes
and a bowl haircut.

I never talked to her,
and after the year was over,
I never saw her again
at kindergarten.

I’m 25 years old now,
and throughout my life I’ve encountered
other Isabels
who went away as swiftly
as the first one did
back in 1999,
and much like my 3-year old
self,
I stood confused
and babbling
like a complete idiot waiting
for one of them to stay.

I am still waiting. I don’t know what for:
if waiting for another Isabel,
or just waiting for someone to stay,
but I’m still waiting nonetheless.

PAINTING: Dona Isabel de Porcel by Francisco Goya (1806).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Giovanni Mangiante is a poet from Lima, Peru. He has work published in Newington Blue Press, Rusty Truck, The Daily Drunk, Anti-Heroin Chic, Heroin Love Songs, Rat’s Ass Review, Three Rooms Press, and more. He has upcoming work in The Piker Press. In writing, he found a way to cope with BPD. Visit him on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Seventh Spring
by Ranjith Sivaraman

I saw the dark pillars and boles
And my body was darker than normal.
Fire apples were hanging
from the leafless trees
and the breath tasted
like searing fragrance.

I was in this burning forest
as far as my evanescent mind flies.
The forest remembers everything,
the first raindrop that kissed me
and missed me forever,
the second cloud that rained over me
and stained me forever,
the third drizzle that danced with me
and replaced me forever,
the fourth lightning that struck me
and shocked me forever,
the fifth flood that drowned me
and crowned me forever,
the sixth river that washed me
and baptized me forever,

Then I saw a white little angel
holding her magic wand,
wearing the cutest smile
and a few ephemeral snowflakes.
She was an ethereal moon
set aflame in a tragic sky.

I know she is on the other side of the fumy river
But I am still waiting like a phoenix who outlived nine ravens.
And I know she is the seventh spring that will transform me
and dissolve in me forever…

PAINTING: Forest Fire by Mark Tobey (1956).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ranjith Sivaraman is an upcoming poet from Kerala, India. His poems merge nature imagery, human emotions, and human psychology. Sivaraman’s English poems are published in international literature magazines and journals from locations such as Budapest, New York, Indiana, Lisbon, Colorado, California, and New Jersey. Find more of his work at ranjithsivaraman.com.

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Stopover
by Rikki Santer

Drop me off somewhere in suburban Ohio
where nostalgia conjures me with a topaz
wand and I am still waiting. Not hometown,
call it tabernacle where a front yard cloak
of dogwood blossoms stands in for the whole,
where tame childhood in peach gingham thrills
when concrete mixer truck in striped churn
rattles past the playground, when glint of Girl
Scout compass nestles in Mill Creek silt. Yet on
bedroom wall a doe-eyed Keane reminds
that timidity is a false-bottomed boat. Black Leather
Jacket grinds his body into mine in a tufted field
behind the school. Terrier’s neck snaps broken
in a neighbor’s backyard. Suicide note on dresser,
feet sway like the tongue of a bell. Memory blows
on ashes to scatter them—give & take.

IMAGE: The Waiting Room by Nieves Mingueza.

Rikki Santer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rikki Santer’s poetry has received many honors, including five Pushcart and three Ohioana book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her next, full-length collection, How to Board a Moving Ship, is forthcoming from Lily Poetry Review Books. Find more at her website,  rikkisanter.com.

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100 Years of Wonder and Words:
Thinking of Ferlinghetti on His 100th Year

by Laurie Kuntz

March 24 2019

Just to live to be 100,
one would think is enough,
or too much.

To be a poet
at 100, to see the world in daily
verse, in metered awe, every
day an enjambment, spilling

years of words into understanding
what saves us,
from lies, and bad
governments, and all the hype.

I am still waiting for an end-stop, making us pause
and ponder the words of an old man,
who, still, can take a daily walk,
hear the squawk of crows,

and notice the yellow primrose peeking
through cement, an old man, who still believes
poetry can heal, and lives year after year,
convincing us with words.

PHOTO: Lawrence Ferlinghetti with his painting van Gogh #2 (Arles n’existe pas), 1994, represented by Krevsky Fine Art. 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am still waiting for my inner muse to appear. This poem, an homage to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, gave me inspiration for finding my inner and outer muses.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laurie Kuntz is an award-winning poet and film producer. She taught creative writing and poetry in Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines. Many of her poetic themes are a result of her working with Southeast Asian refugees for over a decade after the Vietnam War years. She has published one poetry collection (Somewhere in the Telling, Mellen Press) and two chapbooks (Simple Gestures, Texas Review Press and Women at the Onsen, Blue Light Press), as well as an ESL reader (The New Arrival, Books 1 & 2, Prentice Hall Publishers). Her new full-length poetry collection, The Moon Over My Mother’s House, was published in 2021 by Finishing Line Press. Moment Poetry Press has published a broadside of her poem “The Moon Over My Mother’s House.” Her poems, “Darnella’s Duty” and “Not Drowning But Waving” have been produced in a podcast from LKMNDS, and her poem “Darnella’s Duty” is published in a new Black Lives Matter Anthology. Her two ESL books have been featured on the podcast ESL for Equality, Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her chapbook, Simple Gestures, won the Texas Review Poetry Chapbook  Contest. She was editor in chief of Blue Muse Magazine and a guest editor of Hunger Mountain Magazine.  She has produced documentaries on the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Law, and currently is a researcher/producer  for a documentary on the  Colombian peace process and reintegration of guerrilla soldiers in Colombia. She is the executive  producer of an Emmy winning short narrative film, Posthumous. Recently retired, she lives in an endless summer state of mind. Visit her at lauriekuntz.

robin by a michael brown
Under Construction
by Kim Klugh

I watch a robin gather small sticks and stalks
from the rain-soaked garden. As she walks about
the muddy soil, she plucks up twigs in her beak
until her bundle is sticking out from both
sides of her bill. She flies to the juniper bush
and disappears into the thick cover it offers.
There she adds to her nest’s construction,
poking and nudging into place each new piece,
rounding out the cup she’s fashioned
with the wrist of her wing.
She’s built her nest from inside out,
adding dead grass and moss then soft mud
for underpinning. Then she sits and waits.
Her industry reminds me of my attempt
to build a different type of construct,
for like the robin preparing for her clutch, I root
and rummage among the muddle too, plucking
snippets of language overheard here and there,
found words and discarded phrases to arrange on my pages
I stretch and twist and mold these into place hoping
a vessel takes hold so that after breaking
through its pale blue shell, a small egg
of a poem, laid with care, hatches
and flutters its new wings like a fledgling lifting
off into air. And like the robin, I am still waiting.

PHOTO: North American Robin Building a Nest by A. Michael Brown, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Spring’s arrival is always welcomed, but particularly after this winter, I have been waiting to observe signs of life and renewal. Many times the chances come when I linger in a moment and snatch the opportunity to witness nature right before my eyes. One morning while watching my husband drive off to work, I caught sight of a robin collecting nesting materials from my flower bed. Before long, she was sitting on the nest, waiting. Her flurry of activity spurred this poem.

kim klugh

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kim Klugh’s poetry has appeared in two craft books edited by Diane Lockward and published by Terrapin Press: The Practicing Poet and The Crafty Poet II. Her work has also been published on Vox Poetica and Verse Virtual. Her haiku has appeared in her local paper in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In May 2020, she was a contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition community poem for Ahmaud Arbery “Running for Your Life.” She also enjoys writing silly short stories and poems for her four-year-old grandson.

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Binary Nodes in Space
by Aakriti Kuntal

I’ve waited—
like a child does,
the flavor of ice cream in its curly head
     pista pockets/ rains of croissant light/
Imagine it enough times
and reality seems like the distant star
The body sleeps in the fatness of music,
the enormous distance between notes
If I could, I would flee,
     dis pe r se,
become water or ice, or perhaps, starlight
Stare endlessly from between the two notes
that mold the geometry that is music,
its Archimedean nose, its giggling in space
I’ve waited. I am still waiting.
The body is a bee.
It imagines all living things are.
It imagines all to be tiny dots
with bright, bright eyes—
insects/ men/ lizards/ women/ children/
All are always birds and bees
shifting through the hair of agitated space
The body sleeps in the current.
It is the flatness that none can knock at
A soft line—
“If you stare long enough at the sky,
you will create it out of simple suspension;
a dreaminess that only resignation begets”
The body has waited,
waited for its kind.
It sits in the garden
and watches the tiny stubs of hair
on its thigh;
the dance of all life within it.
The body participates in its sadness.
It is compelled by the vowels of its being.
It’s only so wise as it is naive
It holds the entire earth—
like a croak
One day it imagines
it will detach its earlobe
and put it      against the naphthalene teal ice,
the stretch of superconductors
Scratch water with nails,
become an architect of things that do not stay
hold the warm ear—
     gushing,      purple with curled life,
slurp the eternal howl of pearl lakes
The body will disperse—
strip by strip
It knows it is more fiction than reality
It has always lived in the land of the imaginary
The body holds a single tear
It will never let it apparate
It will hold it,
like the saw that separates worlds
Keep it floating in the breast
A bubble, a stone      both, both
glistening/ quaking/ staring
The body is a spring sienna—
in it all must sleep
All must inundate
All it waits for
is a single bow in the crevice of time—
a thin ribbon, a stray petal,
a kindness in time
that will negate all else
A single day of endless staring
beside the warm smell
of a living body
and the body will know,
it will confirm—an effulgence in the nine senses,
an entire existence

PAINTING: Yellow & Blue 16 Multi-Dot Circles by Herbert Zangs (1969).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Aakriti Kuntal is a 28-year-old poet and writer from India. Her work has been featured in various literary magazines and journals, including Rasputin: A Poetry thread, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, The Blue Nib, and The Hindu and Poetry at Sangam. She was awarded the Reuel International Prize 2017 for poetry and was a finalist for the RL Poetry Award 2018.  Her poem “Lilith” received a nomination for the Best of the Net 2018-19 by the Pangolin Review.

the-birthday-cake-1975
dreams I dreamed
by Mark A. Fisher

I am still waiting
for a future I’ll never know
like the ghost of this house
lingering with unfinished business

I am still waiting
for a past that fades
like the sepia-toned photos
of people without any names

I am still waiting
in a now that hurts
like a sunburnt back
always peeling away in layers

I am still waiting
to be remembered
like the words on a page
in a universe doomed to forget

the wishes of a child
of blown out candles
like the dreams I dreamed
all this time I’m still waiting

PAINTING: The Birthday Cake by Le Pho (1975).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I started this poem, the tenses just seemed to come naturally, since “waiting” implied a tense, as did “still.” The other stanzas mirrored back at me, and so the last stanza became a mirror too.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark A. Fisher is a writer, poet, and playwright living in Tehachapi, California. His poetry has appeared in Angel City Review, A Sharp Piece of Awesome, Altadena Poetry Review, Penumbra, Young Ravens, and many other places. His first chapbook, drifter, is available from Amazon. His second, hour of lead, won the 2017 San Gabriel Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest. His third, rain and other fairy tales, can be downloaded here. His poem “there are fossils” came in second in the 2020 Dwarf Stars Speculative Poetry Competition.