At the storm’s edge always, never knowing if it will discharge and overwhelm, or if it will relent, recede as the season drags itself upstairs and round the cot … At the Storms Edge, Frank McMahon
You’ve packed your bags and checked them in,
been processed through security,
bought some scotch at the duty-free,
then sit, a latte in your hand,
waiting for the final call to board.
Your partner, family, friend exclaim:
The flight’s delayed. How long?
Who knows? Then all the screens go blank.
People mill and swirl, bark down mobile phones,
hover for announcements.
You let it all wash round and wait for news.
There will be news, so just sit still.
Sit still. Sounds evaporate, eyes
evade the strident lights. Deeper
you drift as if drowsing on a beach
or by a pool. Some time, who knows when,
you feel the gentle pressure of a hand.
There is no noise, all screens are blank.
All travellers have gone. Save one.
Vaguely, someone’s face.
AT THE STORM’S EDGE
At the storm’s edge
always, never knowing if it will discharge
and overwhelm, or if it will relent,
recede as the season drags itself upstairs and round the cot.
Or the days may reverse to that moment sundered
between joy and shock, the seconds scattered
across the antiseptic floor, silence drowning
the other’s cry.
………….Light aches on the newborn’s face
in the muffled house. A ghost demands
its feed, forever probing at the teat
with blue, waxed lips, growing thin on dreams.
At the storm’s edge there is always a prayer.
The ghost is clothed, in a shoe-box laid,
carried away, an exit to be registered.
Frank’s poems are shared here with his permission.
FRANK McMAHON is a well-regarded poet in our community, a frequent contributor to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt among other activities. I am awaiting a copy of his collection for review, meanwhile his publisher has announced the launch of Frank’s At the Storm’s Edge, a debut collection.
Frank McMahon’s poems of love and fury revel in a keen sense of the natural world and a stark understanding of humanity’s fragile place in the broad sweep of history. Acutely observed and laced with arresting imagery, his writing is full of “music arcing back to a vanishing world”, in which the personal and the political are wound delicately together and sing out from the page in potent harmony. Never sentimental nor didactic, McMahon is a poet who thinks deeply and respects his readers; a poet who tells the truth but tells it slant.
At the Storm’s Edge is available through Amazon US HERE and Amazon UK HERE.
FRANK McMAHON was born and raised in Birkenhead, Merseyside. After graduating he began his career in Social Work/Welfare as a practitioner and manager, working for three Local Authorities, British Red Cross and ActionforChildren. He also served for nine years as a school governor. His last full-time post was to set up and manage a SureStart Children’s Centre. “There is nothing like working with and for young children. They constantly teach you to look at the world with fresh eyes and be open to new experiences.” Frank is married with two children and six grandchildren. When not writing (plays, a novel, short stories and poems) he enjoys walking, (The Cotswolds are his new playground); his allotment (save for the weeds), golf, chess, travel, music, and counts himself fortunate to have some wonderful friendships. He is a member of Somewhere Else Writers Group in Cirencester, whom he thanks for their patience in reading and critiquing his work. As part of that group, he works with Corinium Radio on programmes and plays.
“What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music…. And people flock around the poet and say: ‘Sing again soon’ – that is, ‘May new sufferings torment your soul but your lips be fashioned as before, for the cry would only frighten us, but the music, that is blissful.” Søren Kierkegaard,Either/Or
MICHAEL ROTHENBERG 100TPC Co-founder with Terri Carrion: Join Michael in support of this worthy cause from which so many poets benefit as they use their poetry for peace, sustainability and social justice. Michael is raising money for 100 Thousand Poets for Change (a modest $1,000). Whether you donate $5 or $500, your contribution will make a difference. Details HERE.
MOE’S BOOKS, Berkeley, CA is one of the most interesting bookstores. It has a long history.
“Since its inception back in the heyday of the Beatnik era, Moe’s Books has managed to become more than just a great bookstore–it has achieved the rarified status of a beloved landmark institution as well. Situated just four blocks from the University of California campus, Moe’s has managed to mirror the often turbulent and triumphant times that have come to epitomize all that is exciting and unique about Berkeley.”
Currently, novelist Todd Stadtman (Dec. 6) and poets Kevin Lozano, Jacob Kahn, and Shiloh Jines (Dec. 7) are scheduled to do readings. Details HERE.
The last time I was able to visit Moe’s there was a reading of Philip Whalen’s poems from Prolegomena to a Study of the Universe with photos by Tinker Greene. Michael Rothenberg and Tinker Greene were among those reading that day. (The woman in blue with the camera is Terri Carrion.)
“Do you know why the San Francisco Chronicle said ‘India has the Taj Mahal. Berkeley has Moe’s?’ Moe Moskowitz of Moe’s Books [est. 1959] was a kind of loud mouth beatnik father to a generation. Moe embodied radical politics, radical theater, and radical bookselling. He put fun into being an intellectual and helped democratize literacy. If you were young in the 1960s in Berkeley when he held court at his counter, sharing jokes and politics, opinions, both warm and offensive, maybe you have wondered why he opened his monumental bookstore?” Moe’s Books on Radical Bookselling: A Life of Moe Moskowitz
Radical Bookselling by Doris Jo Moskowitz on her father offers a wealth of images, event posters, “happenings” on Telegraph Avenue through the 60s, and memorabilia from Moe’s life prior to his Berkeley days in 1955.
BRAVA! Amy Berry for the successful launch of Spearing Dreams on November 17 in Ireland and as reported by James Fogarty in the Rosecommon Herald, her hometown paper. Direct message Amy on Facebook for info or check out the FB page dedicated to the book.
I am tickled to note that Amy quoted me (Sweet, my friend. Thank you!) in her presentation:
SEQUESTRUM 2018 EDITOR’S REPRINT AWARD is open for submissions and deserves breakout from weekly Sunday Announcements because it’s rather unusual. There’s not all that much by way of opportunities for “reprints” and this one awards $500 to writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. There will be a first-prize winner and “a minimum of two runners-up per genre.” $15 entry fees. Deadline: April 30, 2018. Details HERE.
GLASS: A JOURNAL OF POETRY, poetry that enacts the artistic and creative purity of glass, was Founded in Toledo, Ohio, the Glass City, by Holly Burnside and Anthony Frame, Glass: A Journal of Poetry (ISSN 1941-4137) was published online twice a year (June and December) from 2008 until 2014 by Glass Poetry Press. Beginning in 2016, it became a weekly online publication. Currently the editors have a call out for submissions for a special feature in response to the June 12 shooting at the Pluse Nightclub in Orland, Florida. Details HERE. Submissions close on July 15.
RALEIGH REVIEW LITERARY & ARTS MAGAZINE “is a national non-profit magazine of poetry, fiction, and art. We believe that great literature inspires empathy by allowing us to see the world through the eyes of our neighbors, whether across the street or across the globe. Our mission is to foster the creation and availability of accessible yet provocative contemporary literature.[The editors] are looking for poetry, flash fiction, and short fiction that is emotionally and intellectually complex. We read every piece for its intrinsic value, so new/emerging voices are often published along nationally recognized, award-winning authors. Details HERE.
INDIANOLA REVIEW has a reading period from April 15 – December 15. It accepts fiction, nonfiction and “poetry: 3 – 5 pieces in one Word Document. We want our poetry to matter. We want to invest ourselves in the voice of the narrator. We welcome all forms, but generally speaking: if you make it a point to impress us with your format alone without investing yourself in the content, we’ll know. Of course, if you can break these rules and break them elegantly, we want your work.” Details HERE.
CREATIVE NONFICTION, True Stories, Well Toldsays: “Unlike many magazines, Creative Nonfiction draws heavily from unsolicited submissions. Our editors believe that providing a platform for emerging writers and helping them find readers is an essential role of literary magazines, and it’s been our privilege to work with many fine writers early in their careers. A typical issue of CNF contains at least one essay by a previously unpublished writer.” Details HERE.
BRAIN MILL PRESS “is a small, innovative publisher actively dedicated to producing a catalog of human experiences of love — all kinds of love — with a story-first approach in multiple genres. We have open submission calls a few times a year, and we host the Driftless Unsolicited novella contest in the late spring. At other times, submission is via invitation only. We are particularly interested in submissions from people of color, LGBTQIA+ writers, and women.” DETAILS HERE
Brian Mill Press was founded “in 2014 by two bestselling authors with over twenty years’ experience in the publishing industry, Brain Mill Press is a midsize independent publisher of “love books for humans.” Our goal is to build a catalog of radically authentic stories and poetry about all facets of the human experience with love, understood as broadly as possible.”
BLUE LYRA REVIEW, A Literary Journal of Diverse Voicespublishes “poetry (short, longish, free, narrative, lyric or prose), creative nonfiction, translations, art, fiction, and book reviews. Second, what we are looking for is simple: something that burns us, moves us, and makes us want to reread it. However, we are not looking for horror or erotica or western or something that will be offensive (use your judgment!). Every editor says it but this should be your goal: leave us desiring more. Send us your very best!” Details HERE. Pay attention to their reading periods and submission deadlines. Details HERE.
HEEB MAGAZINE has a sense of humor and is a Jewish magazine born in Brooklyn, NY with straight forward, no fuss guidelines. It’s editors welcome “your submissions, but we can’t promise to love everything. For best results: Keep it short and sweet. Aim for 500. The MAX is 1000 words! Your submissions should fit into one of these categories: News, Culture, Israel, Food, Urban Kvetch, Shtick Write for the universal reader. Heeb is to Jews, as ketchup is to hot dogs. We’re not interested in feeding hot dog(ma) to anyone. Don’t upload photos you don’t have the rights to. If you’re using a Creative Commons image, make sure to provide us with the photographer’s name and the original source. Thanks!” View and Submit HERE.
AMERICA MAGAZINE, The National Catholic Review accepts submissions including poetry. Details HERE.
THE BeZINE, a publication of The Bardo Group Bequines is currently reviewing submissions – including poetry – for its July issue. The theme is “Faith: In things seen and unseen.” Submission guidelines are HERE.
CLMP, Community of Literary Magazines and Presses announces its “Chinese Food Under the Manhattan Bridge: a fall gala” scheduled for November 2nd. Details and tickets HERE.
FIRST SATURDAY POETRY IN BAY SHORE, LI, NY hosted by Matt Pasca and Terri Muuss – food, fun — OPEN MIC — bring your instruments and your poems. Saturday, July 9 at 7 PM – 10 PM Locations: Cyrus Chai & Coffee Company, 1 Railroad Plz, Bay Shore, New York
POETRY MAGAZINES “contains Poetry Library’s free access non-profit-making online archive of English 20th and 21st century poetry magazines which is part of the library’s ongoing digitisation project funded by the Arts Council England. The Poetry Library launched in 2003. It aims to reach new audiences and preserve the magazines for the future. It already holds more than 6,000 poems published in over 50 different magazines, with work by Fleur Adcock, Jen Hadfield, Seamus Heaney, Michael Horovitz, Jackie Kay, Edwin Morgan, Paul Muldoon, Les Murray, Sheenagh Pugh, Owen Sheers, Fiona Sampson, Penelope Shuttle and many more. The website has been selected by the British Library to be archived by its digital heritage web archiving project, the UK Web Archive.”
THE LONG ISLAND WRITERS HOUSE, established in Huntington in 2014, announced its transition to the Karen Rae Levine Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit. The goal is to foster literacy, creativity and creative writing, and to encourage literary, performing and visual arts. Our concentration will be on the underserved. As an alternative to the a commercial space in Huntington (Long Island, New York), the foundation will connect Long Island’s talented artists with each other and with the community with programs across Long Island and through social media such as a Facebook group, a blog and YouTube productions. If you know of a community in need or if you’re an author or artist with insights to share, email Karen@liwriters.org. Support the arts on Long Island! Membership rates will be announced shortly. Donations can be made on the website or sent by check, payable to Karen Rae Levine Foundation, PO Box 2011, Huntington, NY 11743. Thank you!
Karen writes, “l started the Long Island Writers House on a wing and a prayer. I missed the camaraderie I shared with other writers while going to school in Manhattan for my MFA in Creative Writing. Back home, I recognized that Manhattan was not an easy trek and that was no center on Long Island where writers could learn and network. There were many places for visual and performing artists to congregate, but none for those who created their art with words. I started the Writers House at my home, offering seminars and readings. I combined genres by including performing and visual artists and explored learning methods like Yoga and writing. There were no celebrities and no red pens. My philosophy was and is that we are all in this together. When I saw interest grow, I moved it to a commercial space in Huntington. So many people walked into the space, excited and grateful. But excitement and gratitude couldn’t pay the rent. Meanwhile, I had applied for nonprofit status. With the 501c3 Karen Rae Levine Foundation, I shifted the idea of a physical meeting space to cyberspace. Writers and other artists could still network online, blog, and share their insights on YouTube productions. An as funds grow, I can reach out across this big Island, connecting experts I’ve come to know and respect to aspiring wordsmiths at any level, in their own community.”
CONGRATULATIONS TO MYRA SCHNEIDER on the publication of her twelfth collection, Persephone in Finsbury Park (Enitharmon Press, 2015). More news to come and apologies that I could only download the back cover.
THE POET BY DAY SUNDAY POESY
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