experiential

The Metropolitan of Wallace Street by Arthur Turfa

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The Metropolitan of Wallace Street

by

Arthur Turfa

 A few Baltic households remained,

Interspersed throughout the barrio:

Bodegas and the Roberto Clemente Center

Between churches built by Russians,

Swedes, and Lithuanians two generations ago.

 

Re-gentrification rolled slowly from the west

Around the Art Museum, heading

Block by block toward North Broad,

Adding another ingredient to the mix.

 

In the 1600 block of Wallace Street

Gold-blazoned letters and Slavic cross

Announced the Holy Resurrection Cathedral

Inside the red-brick row house next to the

Vacant lot and music-blaring bodega.

 

From what once was a living room

The Divine Liturgy was served weekly to

Family and anyone who wandered in.

Metropolitan Trevor, Archbishop of Wallace Street

And renegade non-canonical Orthodox

Held forth with bargain-basement vestments,

A button-festooned miter and minimalistic icons

 

Late evening, humid or frigid, he walked

The nearby streets, consoling the

Derelict and drugged,

Pressing five dollar bills into hands,

Offering brief words of consolation,

A shooting star over a desperate earth.

 

During daylight standing with

Those who tried to temper abuse and

Ravages of urban living and

Herding the far-flung cats of

His nebulous jurisdiction.

 

On my last visit, again pleading with me to

Follow his course in any way I chose,

Standing with him at the altar for

The first and last time

Presiding over a dwindling flock on

A sweltering August morning.

 

When newsletters and notes no longer to

The Land of Enchantment came

I called to learn why, never expecting to

Hear how cancer short-circuited

Career and family to oblivion.

Halfway-reconciled to all he loved,

And to the God whose light nonetheless

Shone through the fully-human

Yet touched by the divine,

Metropolitan of Wallace Street

Asked for a cigar and soon

Passed from one life to the next.

 

Bio: Arthur Turfa lives in the South Carolina Midlands, but his poetry contains influences of his native Pennsylvania, California, Germany (where he has also lived), as well as other places. His first book of poetry. “Times and Places, Reflected”, will be released in the Spring of 2015 by eLectio Publishing.   Published in theMunyori Literary Journal and South Carolina English Teacher, he also maintains a personal blog, Some Poetry at aturfa.blogspot.com, and is an Owner at Words on Fire on Google+

Poetic Statement: Essentially I think Wordsworth had it right, although I do not always find long-lasting tranquility. Something or someone grabs a hold of me, and lingers until I recapture the moment, the glimpse, or the time from my life. My poetry attempts to include the reader into what I experienced, rather than telling the reader all about it or me. At times I strive for a sense of closure, at others I want to preserve something (more as a Symbolist than an Imagist). Whom do I read; Eliot, Auden, Rilke (in the original), Frost, Updike, Shakespeare, Bukowski, and others.Language that sings is more important that language that rhymes.

Lodging by Stephanie Kaylor

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lodging

by 

Stephanie Kaylor

 

the other world rewards me

with memories

blank eternally

as a photograph,

shapes and colors

 

the remnants of their explosion

out of context

 

at land

there was a flock of starlings,

I could not tell you anymore,

 

not even if the creatures,

breathing,

surrounded me again, here,

 

now

I would only see a monochrome

grouping, I would only see

the whole

 

what more could you see

when one of us breaks

 

or cloaks herself in new silks?

the great changeover armed itself

in nothing but the delusion

that you were always master

and these are all your tools

 

far-sighted

I see myself at your side, eye

-to-eye, inside which is still a tincture

of the time before you and I

 

in my eye too

was the house, the glorious

overthrow of the ledger

the markings of our losses

 

I never saw

the inside but as spectator

I knew, with all the windows

leading to all the rooms

that I could house them together

there were no padlocks

here nor a single car

not a telephone wire, a time

or a name or a face misplaced.

 

Poetic Statement: Let me mourn. Let me dream. Let me see you not as how you present yourself to be but how I envisage. Let me write my story, let me turn the pages, let me bridge subject and object with my own brand of ink. It isn’t white ink, ink of life, the glorified rape of the canon, sowing its seed in anyone’s lap. It’s the red ink, the ink that transcends the permanence of the whole thing and rewrites, retells, the nagging voice in the background your history sought to cut out. It’s the ink that seeks not to hide glitches but to bring them to the center light.

 

Bio: Stephanie Kaylor is based in upstate New York where she is completing a MA in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies. She is also a current MA student at European Graduate school, concentrating in narrative structure and desire. Though her musings are not political in content, she is an ardent supporter of activist causes, including sex workers’ rights and prison abolition.

 

Three Poems by Arthur Turfa

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Three Poems

by

Arthur Turfa

 

Late Afternoon: the Pilgrimage Church

You asked me to explain to you a past

the always-correct Party had chosen

to hide from you. Yet in a new place now

you wondered about the saints and angels

within and without of Maria im Sand.

Willing I went with you over the

hills on that grey day, October fading,

winds bringing in clouds into the valley.

I pointed out the Virgin’s deep blueness,

the smooth apostolic face at the cross,

the font, pulpit, altar, sunless stained glass,

the mixture of styles, depending on time.

In the cemetery an old man spoke

about previous warfare’s heavy toll;

we exchanged a glance thinking of new deaths

and walked the streets of the closing-down town.

Interest does not always lead to belief.

But each November you light a candle

for your mother. You are a pilgrim

pursuing an uncertain goal as you

seek for answers to your unvoiced questions.

I think back to this day, and wish you peace.

 

Sunday Morning at Beech Island

Sunny morning on the crest of the hill,

Slightly-cold wind in this January

Blowing down the slope toward the Savannah.

Red-doored neo-classic chapel readied

For weekly glimpse of transcendent grandeur.

Uncertainties hover here over us,

Somber occasions, enduring concerns.

During flow of familiar devotions

Light transfixes heavenward-pointed Host

Suffusing unveiled glory over all.

Some linger later outside on the porch

Viewing the landscape with improved vision,

Savoring the moments they wish would endure.

 

A View Backward from the Bend

Every now and then, my path will bend.

If no mists fill the valley, if cloudless

Skies permit, I can gaze where once I went.

On ribbons of path straddling the ridge

Were elusive apparent destinies

Downward sloping toward sunset beaches,

That so thinly disguised a cul-de-sac.

Stretching to the sky, several towers,

Some unfinished, others now collapsing,

Their classrooms with closed windows preventing

Fragrant air to alleviate the staleness,

Not knowing the land where lemon trees bloom,

Scholars scour the text repeatedly

For some non-existing enlightenment,

Refusing to look at the external.

Occasionally a face that I see,

Or a song wafting melody to me

Reminds me of my travels on that path,

Reconnecting me to what I had loved

Even if no longer can be found

Even if it no longer can be loved.

As quickly as it comes, it disappears

And I follow the bend to straighter paths.

 

Bio: Arthur Turfa lives in the South Carolina Midlands, but his poetry contains influences of his native Pennsylvania, California, Germany (where he has also lived), as well as other places. He is working on an e-book of his poetry, scheduled for release later in 2014. Published in the Munyori Literary Journal and South Carolina English Teacher, he also maintains a personal blog, Some Poetry at aturfa.blogspot.com

Poetic Statement: Essentially I think Wordsworth had it right, although I do not always find long-lasting tranquility. Something or someone grabs a hold of me, and lingers until I recapture the moment, the glimpse, or the time from my life. My poetry attempts to include the reader into what I experienced, rather than telling the reader all about it or me. At times I strive for a sense of closure, at others I want to preserve something (more as a Symbolist than an Imagist). Whom do I read; Eliot, Auden, Rilke (in the original), Frost, Updike, Shakespeare, Bukowski, and others.Language that sings is more important that language that rhymes.

Three Poems by Ankita Anand

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Three Poems by

Ankita Anand 

Fillers

Interlinked fingers
A face buried in the hollow of a neck
Lips tracing the meanders of an ear
The swirl of a tongue around a navel

An embrace erases the gap between arms
An entry swallows up the chasm between legs

 For love is all about filling the void

As is sex

Roman Holiday

 

They were accosted on the gondolas of Venice

The honeymooners, and asked, ‘Why must you love, if you please?’

They hemmed and hawed, made much ado

And then decided to do as Romans do,

Finally declaring, ‘Let it suffice, O Rome

That we think of each other when we think of home

And if the home and the heart live together

It means we have homes everywhere.’

 

Quarter-Life Crisis                                                                                                                                             
when the years

spent

in

making

frantic

efforts

at

self-realization

finally begin

to throw up

results

that show you

are so full of

stuff and nonsense

that

to make

an altogether new

you

you

need

to begin

a-new

beginning

to

start

all

over

a-gain

Bio: Ankita Anand has been secretary, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, editorial assistant, Penguin Books India, coordinator, Samanvay: IHC Indian Languages’ Festival and member, People’s Union for Democratic Rights. She is the co-founder of a street theatre group called Aatish, which produces plays on socio-political issues. As a freelancer she writes and edits. Her primary interest lies in working for the prevention of violence against women.

Her poetry has been chosen for publication by The Indian Review of World Literature in EnglishThe Riveter ReviewPapyrus-The Poetry JournalFirst Literary Review-EastEm Dash Literary MagazineSugar MuleThe CriterionWriters Asylum,LabyrinthLakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts and DeltaWomen Magazine. Some of these can be read at anandankita.blogspot.in. She wants, through her poetry, to make the felt read.

Poetic Statement: My poetry occurs when multiple layers of feelings simultaneously get entangled with each other, when I am feeling, and strongly so, but do not know what, why and how. In the process of putting my finger on the spot, poetry happens, as it does when I experience beauty and am compelled to share it, to reassure the word that it shall exist as long as we do. The hope is that as poetry helps me define my self and feelings, it will create connections and identifications in the readers’ mind and help them understand and articulate their own feelings better.