Yes, it’s cranky poetry, with a few shots at millennials– they can take it– but it’s also great poetry containing energy and rhythm, a delight in using words spouting them shouting them no matter who it enlightens or infuriates, which is what poetry has always been about. Not polite, you say? Impoliteness a small price to pay for passionate language. Read these words– Two Poems by Mather Schneider— and hear them echoing in your head.
For a shadow-being,
it’s bizarre how you know
everything about everything
to social media’s lower orders
smirking behind that sweet ironic
(By the way, Mather has an Op Ed– opinion column– about poetry in Literary Fan Magazine. Have you read it? Don’t miss out!)
(Art: “Ancient of Days” by William Blake.)
WITH all the hating going on right now coming in from every direction, the universe could use more love.
Positive loving vibes issuing forth into the atmosphere to transform one and all.
With this in mind we offer before St. Valentine’s Day six love poems by Toronto musician/writer Tom Preisler. They well cover the inevitable ups and downs which come with loving someone.
(Tom will be featured in an upcoming print publication of ours, Extreme Zeen 2, due in April. We’ll also have a photo of him in our next print zeen, due soon. We like to spotlight the best new writers, and Tom Preisler is a good one.)
There is this loneliness everywhere,
You can see it in the front door of a supermarket store, its reflecting in your beer and untouched whisky,
It’s in the face of a woman waiting for a telephone call that never comes, in a one bedroom apartment with plastic flowers in waterless vase, untouched, unloved,
faithfully waiting for each night to pass.
(Art: “The Dancer” by Andre Derain.)
DILEMMAS OF CORPORATE CULTURE
ARE fast food poems pop? Or art? Andy Warhol would argue they’re the essence of pop art.
Corporate culture is ubiquitous and it’s also America’s addition to the culture of the world. Coca-Cola wasn’t simply a brand. It advertised American populist ideology to the planet. Some might call it cultural imperialism and others would say it’s only a soft drink.
Jimmy John’s is just a sandwich.
Where do we draw the line? Is the intersection of art and commerce allowable? The bigger question: Is it avoidable?
Our take: If a competing literary site can dedicate their entire oeuvre and reason-for-being to a fast food taco chain, then we can present three terrific prose poems about Jimmy John’s.
Chelsea Sieg is one of the best young writers we’ve come across in a while. A writer with the rare ability to combine humor and poignancy with a perfect flow of words so that afterward you shake your head at the accomplishment. Three prose poems: “The Jimmy John’s Poem Collection.” Read them.
it was a simple, quiet, two am kind of happiness, the kind you don’t have to think that hard about. it was a small, soft hope. and I would have eaten every sandwich on the goddamn menu, mustard and all, to keep it alive.
(Art: “Still LIfe with a Beer Mug” by Fernand Leger.)
HALLOWEEN draws closer! So today we present at least one poem with a Halloween theme, along with another that’s creepy, and a third which, well, you’ll have to read it. The feature is titled “Life of Murder Ballads and Other Poems” and the poet is John Tustin. Please enjoy.
Living my night of murder ballads, Frankenstein’s Monster
And the poetry of Poe
While you imagine your heart rests in black lipstick and torn fishnet hose.
(Art: “I Love Eva” by Pablo Picasso.)
We’re on a mystic hunt for better everything, including better language, better writing, better art. Are those unicorns which don’t exist– or can they exist with the right drive, plans, imagination? Latest in our quest is a poem by Chris Vola, “Impractical Taxidermy.” His view of the world and this crazy society encompasses plants, personas, rap, bulldogs, video chat, Whole Foods– and a whole lot else. We think you’ll enjoy it.
your eyes as downtrodden
as my social media presence
frozen fingernails waiting to flatten me
like last birthday’s Perrier-Jouët
against the darkening pavement
(Art: “Mystic Hunt of the Unicorn” by Martin Schongauer.)
ANOTHER TALENTED ZEENITH WRITER
Holly Day is one of the poets featured in ZEENITH (available here).
How talented a poet is she?
We now have three other poems of hers readily available to read at our site: “Summer Love and Other Poems.”
They show a wide variety of themes. Each of them give a piece of a picture of the crazy sad beautiful world we live in now, and so their overall effect, one might say, is three-dimensional. Worth reading, if you love summer, love life, love words:
I hear radio reports reporting, television shows broadcasting
school janitors with secret torture chambers
and I wonder how they can ask me
(Art: “Composition V” by Wassily Kandinsky.)
INCLUDING “I’M NOT GOING TO MAKE YOU SICK”
THE ONLY good thing which can be said about a pandemic– there’ve been many over the centuries– is that it occasionally inspires or encourages due to lockdowns the creation of great art. Has any been created during this pandemic, this lockdown?
We have three very good poems by L.A. poet Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, which capture the reality of life in America now. Worth reading.
I see Gary for the first
time since the pandemic.
He is still living
in the streets,
looking a little
He tells me Luis,
can you help me
out with some money
to get a coffee,
some sugar, or
a cigar? I’m not
going to make you
sick, I promise.
ALSO, don’t forget to purchase a copy of Extreme Zeen at our POP SHOP
(Another high quality, hand-crafted print journal is in development as I type this.)
(Art: “The Fifth Plague of Egypt” by Joseph M.W. Turner, and “The Triumph of Death” by Pieter Bruegel.)
SNOW IN APRIL?
THE QUESTION BECAME, when we accepted two poems from Erin Knowles Chapman for the Poetry Month of April, “How to finesse a poem about snow which is being published in April?”
Fortunately, nature and Michigan’s always-unpredictable weather came through for us with three inches of snow this past Friday. There you have it. Proof! Sometimes it snows, in Michigan, in April.
Anyway, we give you the reader two new poems by Erin Chapman which are reader-friendly, thought-provoking, mood-invoking, entertaining– if not exactly topical and timely, other than being poetry presented in the poetry month of April. We trust you’ll enjoy them.
What needs to be done
Is attainable here, a way of earning more time
Alone. (Their home is really her home.)
(Art: “Watercolor Landscape” by John Marin.)
DOES THE WORLD NEED POETRY?
The world right now more than ever needs poetry! We all need a few timeless bards speaking universal truths to take us away from those ills that– literally– plague us.
Today we present one of the best in the person of Frank D. Walsh, who’s been for decades an iconic figure on Philadelphia’s poetry scene. More than this, no one anywhere is a more dedicated student of the craft of, nor fiercer advocate of the necessity for, the magical musical undefinable phenomenon known as poetry.
We’re fortunate to present at this site a fragment of one of his works– “Spectre of the Rose”— BUT, you’ll be pleased to know, we’ll soon, perhaps in a couple weeks, be presenting more of it, inside a demo of a lit journal/print zine hybrid we call a “zeen.” Stay tuned for that. In the interim, dive into Walsh’s poetry. . . .
I have raked in your ashes
from the kiln of love gone cold
and dared your thorns,
and whirlwind of lips but
the gun sounded or time summoned
me to the arcade of its shrine;
still you arranged sanctuary for my kind.
ALSO, check out our new “Pop Quiz” Q & A, this one with talented young writer Fran-Claire Kenney. We’re out to locate and spotlight new literary talent before anyone else.
(Art: “The Bard” by Thomas Jones.)
NEW POETRY 2020
POETS traditionally have written about their relationship with nature– undoubtedly because it’s when we’re in nature, communing with the actual world, that the music of poetry comes naturally into our heads. The oldest art? The art most attuned to the rhythms of the world and the universe. Or the mind of the universe.
Our first poetry feature of the new decade spotlights that relationship: “Into the Depths of the Trees” by C.A. Shoultz. We hope you like it.
I wandered further, past the noise of cars,
Until great silence came around my ears,
And I could feel the hairs raise on my neck. . .
(Featured art: “The Park at Carrieres-Saint-Denis” by Georges Braque; “The Forest” by Natalia Goncharova.)