Posted in Fiction, Wednesday Writing Prompt, writing prompt

FROM THE BUTCHER’S BLADE … and a Wednesday Writing Prompt for You

Arriving at our stop, it would spit us out … so much cattle, the regimented and the ragtagged, tired and numb.  Once dumped, the rail-car doors would close behind us and we were whirled in the wake of the train rushing to the next station. Then, a sudden silence, and we were free to plod our way home, a final few blocks in Gravesend, a new ‘s-Gravenzande*, if you will, but an old irony. I’d stop at the bakery first and go on to Paul the butcher and his merchant’s rictus. His beef, he told me, “is like butter,” perfect for my carnivore husband. Paul’s face seemed bloodless to me, as if in some moment of devotion he chose to infuse the dead. Still more child than woman, I would study the varied cuts waiting to be bought, waiting to be devoured. I’d fancy their missing eyes, bones, and very lives crying out. These offerings of body and blood from Paul’s steel blade to my tattered tin chalice fed me for two years on the futility of hope.

– Jamie Dedes

* ‘s-Gravenzande – the place in Holland that some believe gave its name to Gravesend, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York that was “settled” by the Dutch.

WRITING PROMPT

Write a poem or flash fiction piece that describes someone’s trip home from work – triumphant, grateful, used-up or bitter.

© 2013, flash fiction, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; cattle photograph courtesy of morgueFile

Posted in 100 000 Poets for Change, 100TPC, General Interest, The Bardo Group, The BeZine, virtual poetry event

THE BeZINE, July 2016; Vol. 2/Issue 10; Faith in Things Seen and Unseen

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake

This is the original Table of Contents from the July 15 issue.  Working links to all the pieces are included here.

Faith! In the discussions here you won’t find consistent perspective or theology. You will find faith explored in its many manifestations, religious and otherwise. You’ll find it both shaken and unshakable and in things of the spirit, in nature and humanity, in intuition and in self and family. Unity here is not in things creedal but in the shared values of peace, sustainability and social justice and for many of us – implicitly – in ultimate salvation through artistic expression.

Unitarian Universalist Minister, Rev. Ben Meyers, starts us with an appeal to religions to give their prayers and vigils legs, to befriend one another into the groundswell of local social justice initiatives that ultimately help to inform and bolster global efforts toward equity, justice and peace.This couldn’t be more appropriate as The BeZine “went to press” amid news reports of yet more violence.

You will find our usual diversity represented: skepticism and atheism, the three Abrahamic traditions, shamanism, and the mystical perspectives of Buddhism, Hinduism and Sufism.

Our special selection of lead features and poems are by: shamanic practitioner and psychotherapist, Michael Watson; resident skeptic, James R. Cowles; the always engaging and level-headed analyst, Priscilla Galasso; the fallen altar boy, poet Joe Hesch; professional story-teller and photographer, Naomi Baltuck; our renaissance man in Sheffield, John Anstie; and university librarian, poet and artist, Corina Ravenscraft, on the ultimate triumph of the Universe.

Speaking from positions of their unshakable religious faith are: Algerian poet, Imen Benyoub, on the spiritual joys and family and community connection she finds in the holy tradition of Ramadan; Catholic Theologian, Fr. Daniel S Sormani, theology professor at Ateneo de Manila University, warmly writes about lessons learned from the homely life of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and our gentle Italian literary contributor, Mendes Biondo, tells of inspiration from the Bishop of Hippo Regius (current Annaba, Algeria), St. Augustine. Imen and Mendes are our two student contributors.

Two of our contributors allude to child sexual abuse but a third, Terri Muuss, addresses it head-on and in depth. These are experiences that can strengthen faith in self, though that doesn’t come without pain and work. Terri is featured this month in our popular “Getting to Know You” section.

Our July poetry collection covers matters spiritual, emotional and environmental with excerpts from published collections by Zine regulars: Matt Pasca, Terri Muuss, Myra Schneider, Silva Merjanian and Michael Dickel, contributing editor to The BeZine. With joy we welcome back two lights: German poet, photographer and educator, Dr. Aprilia Zank and English poet, Patricia Leighton.

New to our pages in this issue are:

  • Connie Spearing  who writes of finally “seeing” her Irish grandmother with the accidental discovery of her family’s history during and after World War 1.
  • Sandra Renew’s‘s poetry expresses her opinions on the state of the world. She wonders who sleeps at night? Who is lucky enough to live in safety and peace?
  • Anca Mihaela Bruma, citizen of world, educated in Rumania, is a poet who writes spiritual autobiography. Anca wanted to incorporate some lovely music and art into her posts. Due to copyrights in one case  (Dorina Costras’ art) and technical incompetence (mine) in the other, we are unable to share Dorina’s paintings or Anca’s soundcloud recordings. However you can view Dorina’s work HERE. You can listen to Anca on soundcloud HERE.

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One last word: DON’T FORGET TO SAVE THE DATE Saturday, 24 September 2016 is The BeZine’s 100,000 Poets for Change, an event which we host virtually.  This event is part of an  important annual arts initiative for global solidarity and peace, social justice and sustainability. Reader participation is invited and encouraged. This is a good time to share your work in the service of a worthy cause.  As is our tradition, all submissions will be archived here and at Standford University. Instructions for participation will be provided on our blog that day with Michael Dickel serving as Master of Ceremonies.  Between Michael and me, the event will run from morning in Israel to midnight in California. The theme this year is Environment/Environmental Justice. More detail HERE.

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Now, come friends.  Read.  Nourish yourselves at our table …

In the spirit of peace, love and community
and on behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines,
Jamie Dedes
Founding and Managing Editor
The BeZine

EDITORIAL

The World in Vigil, by Rev. Ben Meyers

THEME: FAITH IN ALL THINGS SEEN and UNSEEN

Lead Features

Knowing, Michael Watson
Varieties of Faith – Rational and Religous, James R. Cowles
Faith Means Making Choices, Priscilla Galasso
A Perfect World, Naomi Baltuck
Falling But Willing, Joseph Hesch
The Pine Cone Project, John Anstie
Regarding Faith, Corina Ravenscraft

Essays

A Month of Light, Imen Benyoub
The Blessed Mother: She Reminds Me of Who I Am and Who I Should Be, Fr. Daniel S. Sormani, C.S.Sp.
A Little Story of Faith, Mendes Biondo
NOTIONS OF THE SACRED: Poetry as Spritual Practice, Jamie Dedes
The Grandmother I Didn’t See, Connie Spearing

Speculative Flash Fiction

Moshe’s House in Space, Michael Dickle

Poetry

Rhetoric Introspection, Anca Mihaela Bruma
Our Autumn Spring, Anca Mihaela Bruma
Hindsight, Anca Mihaela Bruma

Unidos en Cristo, a poem in English y en español, Jamie Dedes

Three Poems, Michael Dickel
En Gedi, Michael Dickel
Hybrid: Warm Hunger, Michael Dickel

Lost Behind Clouds in Skies of Blue, Joseph Hesch
Hang in There, Joseph Hesch

And the Village Still Sings for Taha Muhammad Ali, Patricia Leighton

Coverage, Silva Merjanian

Passing, Terri Muuss
What Heals, Terri Muuss

Tanyou (In Search of Quietude), Matt Pasca
Silence, Matt Pasca
Toll, Matt Pasca
When Joy Breaks, Matt Pasca

Bring all those who where lead astry out of the desert, Sandra Renew

3 a.m., Myra Schneider

prayer for shadows, Aprilia Zank

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

Terri Muuss, Over Exposed

CONNECT WITH US

IMG_0234Beguine Again, Spiritual Community and Practice

Facebook, The Bardo Group Beguines

Twitter, The Bardo Group Beguines

Access to the biographies of our core team, contributing writers and guest writers is in The BeZine blogroll where you can also find links to archived issues of The BeZine (currently in the process of updating), our Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines.

Posted in Poem/Poetry, She-Poets, Writers/Poets

THREE by the mighty Aprilia Zank

Poet, Writer, Linguist, Photographer and Educator, Aprilia Zank at play
Poet, Writer, Linguist, Photographer and Educator, Aprilia Zank at play

Malajusted

I had put on
my reddest dress
to spread brightness
on my arrival
but these women were rabid
had crawled to the drug locker
with their pee bags
trailing behind
and their white gowns
open at the back
for ease of examination
I tried to stop them
screamed for the nurse
but they were already
devouring
the coloured pills
and celebrating
their ephemeral victory
over doomed
maladjustment

untitled

this is an ugly poem
this is a wicked poem

this is a poem
about corpses lined up
in antiseptic bags
in the basement

this is a poem
about weary customers
drawing numbers
for refundable purgatories
on the ground-floor

this is a poem
about a young girl
on the third floor
pulling tight
at the pink of her hoodie
to conceal
the baldness of her head

this is a poem
about an old titan
on the ninth floor
reading instructions
how to grow titan vertebrae
from his Phoenix wings

this is a poem
about the twelfth floor
where hurrying visitors
carry intricate flower bouquets
for newborn cherubs

this is a poem
about hell and heaven
this is a love poem

Tintagel refunctioned

King Arthur’s men
having reached a certain age
are sitting
in the renovated Tintagel
two or three at a table
not round but square

flipping
through glossy magazines
peeping
at anorexic models
unaffordable sports cars
fitted zen gardens

considering
past steps
in hard to reshape dust
decisions not taken
missed opportunities
acts
that could have been done better

trying
to tame becquerels
to conceal
intimations of diapers

having fought
so many battles
against knightly opponents
looking straight
into their eyes –

but now
the sniper
hits from the inside
with no warning
except for occasional
hardly detectable
tracks of occult blood

– Aprilia Zank

These three poems were Aprilia’s response to last Wednesday’s writing prompt: Mighty (that’s you and me) …

DR. APRILIA ZANK is a lecturer for Creative Writing and Translation in the Department of Languages and Communication at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, where she received her PhD degree in Literature and Psycholinguistics for her thesis THE WORD IN THE WORD Literary Text Reception and Linguistic Relativity. She is also a poet, a translator and the editor of two anthologies: the English–German anthology poetry tREnD Eine englisch-deutsche Anthologie zeitgenössischer Lyrik, LIT Verlag, Berlin, 2010, and the anthology POETS IN PERSON at the Glassblower (Indigo Dream Publishing, April, 2014). She writes verse in English and German, and was awarded a distinction at the “Vera Piller” Poetry Contest in Zurich. Her poetry collection, TERMINUS ARCADIA, was 2nd Place Winner at the Twowolvz Press Poetry Chapbook Contest 2013. Aprilia Zank is also a passionate photographer: many of her images are prize-winners and several have been selected for poetry book covers.

Aprilia is a friend of and frequent guest contributor to The BeZine. You can find more poetry by Aprilia in the last two editions.

COMING TO THIS SITE SOON: A review of The Word in the Word Literary Text Reception and Linguistic Relativity (don’t let the title throw you) along with an interview of Aprilia.

©2016, poems and photograph (published here with permission), Aprilia Zank, All rights reserved

Posted in General Interest

THE SUNDAY POESY: Opportunities, Events and Other Information and News

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EMBEDDED MEDIA MAKER

Opportunity Knocks

NOT POETRY BUT I know a lot of readers here are multitalented. This just came across my desk and it sounds like a wonderful opportunity for someone. It’s “a project of PBS/POV and the New York Times. The Embedded Mediamaker project will allow a documentary filmmaker, creator or creative technologist rooted in documentary storytelling to work for 20 weeks at The New York Times alongside some of its most creative journalists. The mediamaker will work with The Times and POV to create new forms of documentary and interactive content with a team of Times writers, editors and visual storytellers involved in Race/Related, a newsletter and reporting project exploring race as it is lived today.’ Details HERE.

CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Opportunity Knocks

NEW YORKER Poetry submissions: Poetry is reviewed on a rolling basis. Send up to six poems per submission, but please submit no more than twice in twelve months. We do not consider work that has appeared elsewhere (including Web sites and personal blogs), or translations that have already been published in English (the original text may have been published.) Simultaneous submissions are welcome; please notify us promptly if a poem is accepted elsewhere. Response time averages two to six months; after three, you are welcome to query the status.” Details HERE.

THE ATLANTIC “is always interested in great nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. A general familiarity with what we have published in the past is the best guide to what we’re looking for. All manuscripts should be submitted as a Word document or PDF. Succinct pitches may be submitted in the body of an e-mail. To submit nonfiction, send your manuscript or pitch to: submissions@theatlantic.com. To submit fiction, send your manuscript to: fiction@theatlantic.com. To submit poetry, send your manuscript to: poetry@theatlantic.com.” The Atlantic

THE APPLE VALLEY REVIEW welcomes submissions of poetry, short fiction, and essays and submissions are open year round for work that has both mainstream and literary appeal. “In other
words, please send us work that is both accessible and finely written. . . . This is not currently a paying market. However, all work published in the Apple Valley Review during a given calendar year will be considered for the annual Apple Valley Review Editor’s Prize. From 2006 to 2015, the prize was $100 and a gift of a book of poetry or fiction.” Details HERE.

STORM CELLAR “is a national literary arts magazine with a special emphasis on the Midwest, appearing in print and ebook editions. We want your prose, poems, chimeras, and ideas penned on envelopes in buses and train cars. The magazine aims to publish amazing work by new and established writers and artists, present a range of styles and approaches, and be as un-boring as it can. If you write one thing to be read while waiting for the all-clear to sound, send it here.” Details HERE.

CICADA YA (14+ years) lit/comics magazine “is looking for fairy tales and folklore with a twist—we want you to take familiar stories and dress them up; dress them down; give them some bite; shine a different light on them. Tell us a dark and weird tale from your culture, or show us something new. Let the wolf win. Stick all of those tired old folktale tropes in a blender, add genre-savviness and a dash of hot sauce, and serve over ice.” Deadline for submissions of short fiction, poetry, essays, and comics pitches is August 20, 2016. Details HERE.

POETS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE (reminders)

Lifting the Veil: Artists in Support of the Tahirih Justice Center:

The Tahirih Justice Center stands alone as the only national, multi-city organization providing a broad range of direct legal services, policy advocacy, and training and education to protect immigrant women and girls fleeing violence. Come out and support some of New York’s most powerful artists as they perform to raise money for a worth cause. $10 suggested donation all going to the center. Thanks to Terri Muuss for sharing this with us. Lifting the Veil Facebook Page is HERE.

August 7 at 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. EDT at BrickHouse Bewery & Restaurant 67 W. Main Street, Patchogue, New York 11772.

RUMOR proceeds go the Syrian-Armenian Relief Fund. The collection is by Silva Merjanian. “Rumor is a stunning tour de force of passionate, life-affirming poetry. Silva Merjanian evokes time and place with both grace and authority. Poetry is obviously a tool for her own healing and in that she brings us face to face with the human condition in all its complexity, beautiful and loving and devastating cruel, and she does so totally without pretension.” excerpt from CELEBRATING AMERICAN SHE-POETS (19): Silva Zanoyan Merjanian, Borrowed Sugar, Borrowed Time – War-torn Lebanon to Peace in California

HANDS & WINGS, Poems for Freedom from Torture (White Rat Press, 2015). The poems in it are freely shared by A-list poets. The proceeds go to help with the rehabilitation and support of torture victims seeking protection in the U.K.  For purchase contact Dorothy Yamamoto: dorothy.yamamoto@whiteratpress.co.uk

100,000 Poets (and other artists) for Change, 2016

AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM 100TPC COFOUNDER, MICHAEL ROTHENBERG: “On September 24, 2016 poets, musicians and artists around the world will be organizing poetry readings, parades, gallery exhibitions, music and dance performances focused on issues of peace, justice, and sustainability. This important annual global act of solidarity is the core activity of 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a non-profit organization.

100 Thousand Poets for Change offers an opportunity for a peaceful global discussion of issues such as war, global warming, poverty, racism, gender inequality, homelessness, gun violence, police brutality, lack of affordable medical care, censorship, and animal cruelty. Individual organizers are free to choose the specific topic and focus of their local event. If you are interested in participating in this global action please post sign up HERE.”

THE BARDO GROUP BEGUINES will host a virtual 100TPC event on September 24 with American-Israeli poet, Michael Dickel (Fragments of Michael Dickel) as Master of Ceremonies. Between Michael and me the event will run from morning in Israel to midnight in California.  You can share your work through Mr. Linky (instruction will be provided) or in the comments section of the blog post that day at The BeZine where you can also enjoy the work of other artist activists.

Work may include anything on topic: poetry, essay, short fiction, video (music, mime, dance, dramatic monolgue), art and photography and so forth.  The topic we’ve chosen this year – selected by Rev. Terri Stewart (Beguine Again founder) – and supported by our core team of poets, writers, story-tellers, artists and photographers, musicians and clerics is  Environment/Environmental Justice. As is tradition, all work will be archived on the site and at Standford University in Stanford, CA.

FOR YOUNG POETS

STONE SOUP is a magazine founded in 1973 to encourage children ‘s creativity. It focus is “to inspire young writers by publishing the best work by their peers. We have published over ten-thousand pages of writing and art by children.”  Submission details are HERE.

STRIVE FESTIVAL (England) Friday 5 August 2016 – Sunday 7 August 2016 “Calling all young thinkers, dreamers, movers and shakers: unleash your creativity at Strive festival. Strive is Southbank Centre’s festival for 15- to 25-year-olds. Curated in collaboration with our Youth Ambassadors, the festival celebrates and showcases the creativity, new ideas and artistic passions of young people today.Whether you love music, dance, poetry or visual arts, Strive is packed full of performances, practical workshops and careers advice to inspire and empower you. Details HERE.

THE POETRY SOCIETY (U.K.) is “committed to supporting poets at every stage of their career – many now established poets began taking part in our events and competitions as children, through teenage years and into adulthood. Our Young Poets Network, and events for emerging poets mean that you always have access to advice and company as you develop your craft. . . . We are committed to supporting poets at every stage of their career – many now established poets began taking part in our events and competitions as children, through teenage years and into adulthood. Our Young Poets Network, and events for emerging poets mean that you always have access to advice and company as you develop your craft.” Details HERE

YOUNG AMERICAN POETRY DIGEST, National Schools Project encourages “student writing and provides an audience for student poetry. We want kids excited about writing . . . The National Schools Project, initiated in 1994, is designed to share our youth’s talents with others, supply a national audience for student writing, and provide a publishing opportunity for young poets. Schools around the nation are invited to participate in the project by submitting their students’ most creative poetry. A panel of educators reviews the poetry submitted and selects poems to be published based on a list of literary criteria.”  Details HERE

A POETRY PLAYGROUND 

Youth and Adults

POETRY SOUP “is simply the world’s best and most comprehensive poetry website and poems resource…with quotes too. PoetrySoup™ is an easy-to-use, comprehensive, interactive, and fun international poetry community for all poets and lovers of poetry. Read, search, comment on, and share quotations, short poetry, funny poetry, love poetry, sad poetry, friendship poetry and more.” Details HERE.

TIDBIT

ZEN and THE ART OF ARCHERY: Paul Muldoon – Advice for Young Writers (If you are reading this in an email, it is likely you’ll have to link to the site to view this video.)

PAUL MULDOON (b.1951) is an Irish poet with some thirty collections and a Pulitzer Prize. His bio is HERE.

THE POET BY DAY SUNDAY POESY

Submit your event, book launch and other announcements at least fourteen days in advance to thepoetbyday@gmail.com. Publication is subject to editorial discretion.