ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online)
Featuring the works of Steve Klepetar, John Doyle, Mark Young, Michael Boyle, Jean Tuomey, Gavin Bourke, Milton Erlich, Christopher Moore, Bethany W Pope, Phillip Ammon and Marzieh Mirzayi. Hard copies can be purchased from our website.
Issue 86 November 2019
A New Ulster Prose On the Wall Website
Editor: Amos Greig Editor: E V Greig Editor: Arizahn Editor: Adam Rudden Contents
Editorial Steve Klepetar;
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Resistance Across the Barriers of Time The Hotel of Bad Dreams In a Strange Country Enemies
1. The General Synopsis 2. Waves 3. Registration Plate: JJZ 109 Mark Young; 1. Turning to drones 2. Multiple Choice 3. Dates and Prices should be used as a guide only 4. Combinarhetorics Michael Boyle; 1. Dialing the Wrong Number 2. Bringing the Sheep to Slatabogie 3. At Sir Roger Casementâ€™s Funeral 4. Almost Being Home Jean Tuomey; 1. Cooley 2. Nana 3. Sonata 4. Monochrome Gavin Bourke; 1. Fair Trade 2. The Power in Abuse 3. Beyond Bone White Milton P Erlich; 1. The Ordinary Second 2. The Wounded Soldier 3. My Night in Jail
4. You Must Change Your Life 5. Fountain of Youth Christopher Moore; 1. Yeats Bethany W Pope; 1. Bath Abbey, During Renovation 2. Peony 3. Sunday, After Sweeping the Tombs 4. I will Never Be Caled Mother Phillip Ammon; 1. Lass-Scourned 2. That Kiss was mine
On The Wall Message from the Alleycats Round the Back
1. Six paintings
Poetry, prose, art work and letters to be sent to: Submissions Editor A New Ulster 23 High Street, Ballyhalbert BT22 1BL Alternatively e-mail: email@example.com See page 50 for further details and guidelines regarding submissions. Hard copy distribution is available c/o Lapwing Publications, 1 Ballysillan Drive, Belfast BT14 8HQ Or via PEECHO Digital distribution is via links on our website: https://anuanewulster.wixsite.com/anewulster Published in Baskerville Oldface & Times New Roman Produced in Belfast & Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland. All rights reserved The artists have reserved their right under Section 77 Of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 To be identified as the authors of their work. ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online) Cover Image â€œWatching Youâ€? by Amos Greig
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. ” Aristotle Onassis. Editorial 2019 has been a really rough year I can’t go into all of the details but one of the main issues has been my fathers poor health, he has haemophilia and that has been causing him a lot of issues, requiring a lot of stays in hospital. I have been having some health issues myself and an still struggling to recover from that particular issue, A New Ulster has also been having connectivity issues with the internet after our last Windows update which every single day causes the Wifi card to stop working and requiring a complete reboot of the computer every single day. I’m getting around an hour of use before it collapses which really makes working on the website and the magazine very frustrating. Here’s hoping 2020 is a much better year all round for everyone and not just us. It has dawned on me that I’ve reached the anniversary of my mental health breakdown and subsequent suicide attempt. It takes a lot of strength to recover from something like that and I managed to make that strength both internally and with the help of the local mental health services and my doctor. I think it is important to be open about these things as it could help someone going through a similar crisis. The quality of submissions for the magazine continues to blow me away and I am deeply humbled to be allowed to share that work with the world. We’ve had Pushcart award winners, refugees, exiles and so much more. I’ll continue to operate A New Ulster for as long as I can it isn’t easy at times but I enjoy the challenge. In this months issue we have artwork and photography by an Iranian artist who uses the medium to discuss how women are treated in Iran. .
Amos Greig Editor.
Biographical Note: Steve Klepetar
Steve Klepetar lives in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. His work has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Klepetar is the author of fourteen poetry collections, the most recent of which are A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press) and Why Glass Shatters (One Sentence Chaps).
Resistance (Steve Klepetar) No. Thatâ€™s the answer to night, cold swallower of light, monster chasing the moon. Always in winter, you pull out my eyes. You leave me gasping in frigid air, you lie with me until I wake in the dark, my back throbbing, my eyes returning slowly as I blink into day. No. I reject your velvet mists, your icy clamp on the back of my neck. One day I will trap you in a net so fine and strong you could never break through. Then I will row out to sea, hurl you toward darkness, as the waves pull you down.
Across the Barriers of Time (Steve Klepetar) No no the dead have no brothers W. S. Merlin We have seen them on beaches, our brothers, or on grass with blankets spread out in the sun. Then they were warm and waved away flies. Crickets murmured in afternoon heat, and we drank with them, emptied ourselves of words, sat calm in the bodies we knew so well. Their names stuck in our throats, but we would call to them if we could, across the barriers of time.
The Hotel of Bad Dreams (Steve Klepetar) The cup of astonishment trembles by night’s fissure, near the back door of obscurity, where black wasps nest. Iron doors open to the Museum of Dogma. Who will ignite a torch? When will orphans laugh in the blue blizzard? When will their tongues take flight? The wizard of disguises plots the clown’s demise. All night he weaves his spells where cosmic somersaults avoid mediocrity’s embrace. No one can deny that these are strange times, full of shaky principles and fraudulent results. Twice a day the clocks are proven wrong by half-mad logicians with their niggling whispers and jumbled notes. Beasts roam over acres of unmapped silence. We all blunder backwards towards deep pockets of paradox, our words tangled in trees like some exhausted alphabet. Gobsmacked again, we row out in the optimist’s dingy, steering toward silence and the Hotel of Bad Dreams.
In a Strange Country (Steve Klepetar) I was born in a strange country, with armies moving over the hills. Artillery thundered in the distance, and a river wound through the city, dirty and slow. Since it was winter, smoke poured from the chimneys in every house, and wind howled around lampposts and leafless trees. Crows flew above the snowy yards, shadows black against the drifts. For days there would be no mail, then suddenly a sack would appear, mostly misdirected. Sometimes a letter would bear our name and an official seal. My parents made their way down to the government office to wait in line for hours, only to be sent away with orders to return in six weeks with a certificate of health. They left me with a woman who painted her nails red and stared into the mirror as if looking for her twin or her lost child. She sang arias about dying for love. She smoked and sat in a big chair as I played on the floor. I recall that she had hair like mist. My father opened a bottle of beer, sipped and passed it around. He told jokes, and everybody laughed. My mother started dinner on the stove as night came on. Stars burned above, and the moon rose. Buildings trembled in the cold. Every day, the enemy came closer. Around the city, the hills flamed red. It was nearly time to go. Soon the ocean would boil and in the harbor, all the ships explode.
Enemies (Steve Klepetar) â€œMy father fought their war four years or so, And did not hate or love his enemies.â€? Yehuda Amichai What if you went out into the field to fight your enemy, and he was there before you bathed in light? What if his eyes shone with love, not for you, of course, but for someone waiting in a house somewhere for news of his survival? What if he sang or laughed with his companions? What if you learned he hated onions, used too much salt, worried about the size of his nose? What if he played the violin, even badly, like an amateur? What if he had a cold, or stubbed his toe? What if his skin itched and ached? What if he loved math? If there were angels, which I doubt, if there were beings made of light, would they see blisters on our feet, broken nails, those unlovely insects everywhere, mining our flesh for blood?
Biographical Note: John Doyle
John Doyle, from County Kildare, has had four collections released to date - "A Stirring at Dusk" in 2017, "Songs for Boys Called Wendell Gomez" and "The Buildings Are Red Like Electricity" in 2018, and "Nova Lumina" in 2019. He is at present studying to be a librarian after his previous career as Charles Hawtrey's stunt-double proved to less fiscally rewarding than he had hoped.
The General Synopsis (John Doyle) For Michael Corrigan No poetry, not for a while, just the frigid waves of North Utsire, the cold whisper of Valhalla teaching Fitzroy to speak Galician. No poetry, my love, my bluish lung of missing speech; there are warnings of gales in several outposts, those faraway places with strange sounding names; German Bight, St. Catherine's Point and Boomer, Jersey, Ronaldsway; I was 14 years old on a beach in Dorset in the summer of 1990, and every atom that Wight and Portland could tribute me with was laid down like slaughtered soldiers on my tongue, soon I became the ocean, amphibious, a lightning bolt that shot through longwave transmissions, resting with her on a swollen sky that sneaked its will and testament through harbour cafes in Finisterre. No poetry, Laurie McMillan is here somehow. That will do. He made my soul an inferno, that wild-white, ashen-bushed man who briefly traded turf-spade and viking corpse to perch his wings beside me; I am close to full-speed, my pistons like locomotive, I am not in need of poetry, these outposts are enough for me - never slight, never moderate
Waves (John Doyle)
Radio signals explode into sonic molecules, the trees are batons,
the river's tang fills our guts. It reminds us of towns in Catalonia, the first time we ventured from our terrain's clutches
and the lights were like Fred Astaire all down the silent coast, a few ships miles out at sea,
the cool calm stillness of night, and some avian noises, rustling a clatter of trees drooping like hunchbacks.
Life is an unfinished script from longwave radio, maybe Catalan or Spanish, sometimes even Basque sounds the same,
like these birds assume all humans look the same. The flick of spent invisible smoke enters the creep of morning, imagine what its sparks would be like on the oil-slick of outer-space...
Registration Plate : JJZ 109 (John Doyle) A full moon switches lanes, a dreary chorus of singing cars confess to crimes no-one will ever commit. A full moonâ€™s nearing third gear. I move like a sphinx between the canine-chew of number plates, some - out of state. I know someday I'll tame it, five cars ahead of me a Mustang purrs, impervious to my command; When I reached the corner of Taylor and Clay there she was, prowling. In The Daniels Hotel the fire alarm screamed and the street filled with Gary Larsonâ€™s teflon faces then I blinked...
Biographical Note: Mark Young Mark Young lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia, & has been publishing poetry since 1959. He is the author of around fifty books, primarily text poetry but also including speculative fiction, vispo, & art history. His work has been widely anthologized, & his essays & poetry translated into a number of languages.
His 2019 poetry books are The Perfume of The Abyss from Moria Books; A Vicarious Life â€” the backing tracks from otata; taxonomic drift from Luna Bisonte Prods; & Residual sonnets from Ma Press of Finland.
turning to drones (Mark Young)
The Dutch pack up. The exodus gathers pace. Now there are empty houses & jobless maids.
The funerals begin. Allow ample time for parking & to rubberneck the tornado damage. Studying
bees could help. They understand zero & can do basic math. They deserve respect, say the scientists.
multiple choice (Mark Young)
How are you meant to react when your neighbors â€” who have five children between them that cry all day, & two rottweilers which appear to be his but bark all night as if they were ownerless, & who have a CD playlist that seems to be comprised solely of Madonna when she's home, & country when he's alone, & whom you hate for all the above plus a couple of hundred other reasons â€” suddenly decide it's time to split the afternoon with Aretha Franklin singing You make me feel like a natural woman? Do you:
(a) go next door shouting "Give her back. She's mine!" (b) decide there's now someone else living there as well, & ring up the landlord to complain about the overcrowding. (c) sing along with Aretha for four brief shining minutes, insecure in the knowledge that it won't be long before it's back to Papa don't preach or Down along the dingo fence? (d) grind your teeth at the inequity of it all, then reread C. M. Kornbluth's The Marching Morons & start to feel superior once again.
prices & dates should be used as a guide only (Mark Young)
Any self-assembly of living matter that can eliminate both noise from the
optical field & erosion caused by repeated firing in the vent of a gun
redefines a market segment that would otherwise have little value.
Combinarhetorics (Mark Young)
It is a Friday, the 3rd of May, & I am watching a YouTube video of Bowie in Berlin, singing Heroes. I am also thinking of Frank O'Hara â€” which is why I started off this poem that way, even though I don't know why
I started thinking of him â€” wondering if he wished he could swim like dolphins as he walked the sands of Fire Island, until he was tired, & lay down to rest.
In the Still Room (Mark Young)
Talk of crystal chandeliers. Did I ruin my chances by jumping into bed with my online lover? It is often considered a difficult & painful topic. What many have done is to go into the backyard of their critics, & examine, mechanistically, why refuse from the home
garden is useful to the dyer â€” everything from spinach to the white blossoms that Yasunari Kawabata wrote about, that were past their prime & in the warm sunlight beginning to look dirty.
Biographical Note: Michael Boyle Michael Boyle is a native of Lavey in South Derry N.ireland .He has number of poems published in the “The Antigonish Review”. “ Dalhousie Review.” “Tinteain” and “New Ulster Writing.” In 2014 he won “The Arts and Letters” prize for poetry. He is working on completing his first poetry collection “Drummuck.” Michael is an Irish Language speaker and has also written articles for the Irish language magazine “An t-Ultach In June 2017 he presented a paper in Magee College Derry on the Irish poet Seamus Heaney. In 2018 he gave a talk “Echoes from the Barn Barrel.” to the North American Celtic Language Teachers Conference. Boyle is an independent scholar and he operates the famous historical walking tours in St.John’s Newfoundland. www.boyletours.com
Dialing the Wrong Number at Gander International Airport. (Michael Boyle)
My sweaty hands fumbled with loose change I didn’t know what were nickels, dimes and quarters. I started to press Button A or Button B. and I began to run out of money Finally I got a kind phone operator who told me -only to put money in the slot when my caller answers. I got through, heard a voice, put my money in. I got the wrong number for the wrong place OR had I called the right person at the right time. He had a cab pick me and provided me lunch. I didn’t know it then this was the start of a journey Today, I wonder still what really would happened if I hadn’t dialing that wrong number
BAPTISM AT SLATABOGIE (Michael Boyle)
“All sheep in this jurisdiction are to be chemically treated for the serious infestation of the blow–fly maggot.” declared the Ministry of Agriculture. Shepherds gathered their flocks in Murray’s the big field. Sheep from Carrick, Curidain, Drummuck and lower Mayogall. came for this roll call.
All raddled, tagged, notched and earmarked. More like Duffy’s circus or a rodeo. The cloth cap brigade had short tempers and long alder sticks. bitching, barking and bellowing orders to everyone.
Owners whistling, cursing, shouting and waving to Flash, Power and Rover. Runners got ahead and manned sheughs ,slaps and gaps.
The woolly cavalcade moved around Arthur’s corner up Gulladuff brae and out on the white cemented Bellaghy- Maghera road.
The farmers had no protective masks or goggles. Ministry men like astronauts with white sterilized plastic gloves poured cans of pinkish chemicals into the water at Slatabogie dipping pool. Shorn sheep and lambs trembled bleating in pens waiting their turn to be baptized. A summer’s day of guldering and gatching was not over.
On the return home the adult herders set up camp at Gulladuff. Youngsters were given a half crown to bring the drowned sheep home again to Murray’s field. Meanwhile all the elders in smelly clothes dipped themselves with a bottle of stout or two in Josie Donnelly’s public house.
At Sir Roger Casement’s Funeral (Michael Boyle)
Historian of Irish trivia will ask. Who was the only one of 1916 rebels that had a State funeral in Dublin? I was at his funeral Mass at the Pro Cathedral And I walked with the procession along the crowded streets.
When I was five I asked our neighbor Cassie Murray Why she called her dog “Sir Roger?” She answered me in Irish. But later she declared. “Sir Roger Casement was the greatest martyr for Ireland.” At university I ran for the Casement running team. and I represented the Club at the funeral. I took the train from Belfast. With fifty thousand others I joined the cortege along O’Connell Street. I waited as the gun carriage with his coffin halted outside the GPO. The aging Dev Valera took the salute. And in this silence I knew history was made.
Almost Being Home. (Michael Boyle)
Neighbors and friends say hello. You have a cup of tea and join in the chat. New bits added on to the old stories. Farming and football are the main topics
I know the names of the old fields and laneways. Even old trees planted a century ago. In the mornings I see the lowland mist begin to hover as a foggy blanket
I want to help on farm and take part in the round up of the animas for TB testing. I put on old trousers and boots and I am ready. But my nephew and brother Brian give me a red card.
My services not wanted for a really good reason. They said the animals would panic with a stranger
Biographical Note: Jean Tuomey Jean Tuomey has been published in Crannog, Fish Anthology, The Stony Thursday Book, Poetry Ireland Review, and Washing Windows? She trained as a writing facilitator with the National Association for Poetry Therapy in The States. She currently lives in Castlebar, Co Mayo
Cooley 1960 (Jean Tuomey)
Days stretch into Mr Macâ€™s Green field. Fuchsia grows in abundance. I squeeze its tips, squirt juice into my palm; magic liquid as I travel around the world on my tricycle. Sunshine, school buses, hens, the occasional shower, measles, toy cigarettes, bed time stories. No bad news.
Nana (Jean Tuomey) i.m. M T 1893-1966
Always coiffed, never caught in a crumpled blouse, creased dress or shoddy shoe. I have no picture of her hearsay style, green Austin Morris Mg, sniff of disapproval, fold of determined armsbut now she is leaning over the half -door, handing me down an Easter egg in a yellow mug, and now her deft fingers wrap Christmas parcelsindividual gifts for adults, and a Santa filled with named games for us, her five grandchildren.
That hot day in August, each rib was perfect, every curl in place, before her planned walk on Inch strand. My father kept his last unopened letter, it landed quietly on her carpet in the afternoon post.
Sonata (Jean Tuomey)
â€Śwe have estranged ourselves from Nature, it is nonetheless thereâ€Ś Steiner
I open the door of the greenhouse, metres from the kitchen and walk away from news, and enter elsewhere.
The fruit on each tomato plant, flowers on the creeping cucumber, strawberries hanging in the heat, swollen courgettes, are scrutinised.
Their harmony, conducted by bees, fills my suitcase.
Monochrome (Jean Tuomey)
Whichever way he looks it is black. He does not notice
the misty blue line on the horizon contrasting with the navy sea, the uniqueness of the gulls standing side by side as the tide comes in, one a dark spot on his wing, the other, pure white.
the reflection of the full moon on the bay, the street lights twinkling on the other side, the shiny seal that pops up between grey rocks, and the orange of the sun as it rises behind the green hill near the beach.
He only sees that he is always right and she is always wrong.
Biographical Note: Gavin Bourke
Gavin was born in 1977 in Tallaght, Dublin, where he lived for twenty-four years. He holds a B.A. Degree in Humanities from DCU and a Masters Degree in Modern Drama Studies from UCD. He has worked in Library Service for twenty years. He has worked in Mobile Library Services for both South Dublin County Council and Dublin City Council serving some of our most marginalised communities. He worked as a librarian and outreach manager in Coolock Library for eight years. He was appointed as a Senior Librarian in 2017. He was shortlisted for The Redline Book Festival Poetry Award in 2016. His work covers a broad range of subject matter including nature, time, memory, addiction, mental health, human relationships, politics, contemporary social issues and injustice as well as urban and rural life, both past and present. He is married and lives in County Meath.
Fair Trade (Gavin Bourke)
Glacial culture, immersed in four corners, living in front of a mirror, too dear to crack. A mind of oneâ€™s own anymore? Silent interaction, adaption, influences from a million somewheres. Reflections, nonetheless, nonethemore. Prediction, influence, conditioning, biasing, animalising. Mass reduction of attention spans, takes ultra-extremity now, for any kind of novelty, money made cleverly.
The power in and of the black mirrors, a reflection of a business model, not a face. Who is your digital self? Them or us? us or them? who is us? who is them? is there a them? is there an us? Within the midst of this, mythic, golden-haired Lynne, always a heart of hearts, right from the start.
From head to heart, robotics? artificial intelligences? intellects? vested interests? fillet-steak-holders? unpredictable futures? constant commoditising of every human? Taking our time and attention and giving back something relative?
to the rich takings of social dataâ€™s? A fair deal? Machine-humans, for the future?
The Power in Abuse (Gavin Bourke)
Begins slowly, as it always does, impulse control issues? The reaction of some minds to wealth, status and powers of the right. Changes in clothes, hair, cars, houses, holidays, wives, partners in crimes, childrenâ€™s lives. Ceasing to collect copper and gold-coloured change. Cantankerousness and tyranny, lies, deceit and empty promises and threats, lapped up by the false tongues of lickspittles, rewarded by the herd somehow, followers.
Stuffed to the gills from the night before, shoe-horned into suits. Insincere self-righteousness, demotic speeches. Sitting for eyelevel, portly, partial to the rasher and the rind. Filled their pockets with legal defamations and bullyingâ€™s, with the aim of feeding off riches, ending up on Olanzapine expresses with the others of their lowliness.
Begging to be satirised along with his willing lady-boy, over-dressed in the finest bib-n-tucker in the middle of summer.
No consolations to their victims, gaslit by their manipulative, pathological, self-interest shenanigans. The walking crippled, Sentenced ‘to walk the night’, with self-inflicted gunshots, never fired.
Beyond Bone, While the Jackdaws Watch On (Gavin Bourke)
Breathing slower day by day they won’t meet us in a laneway. Blood drips from both wrists into tarmac pits coagulating among last night’s diamonds. Kneeling on broken glass on bare knees, looking to the sky, while the sharpest of blades gyrates in some of our heads and skulls. Stigma, stigmata, stigma, forgiveness. God is not dead because someone said. They keep at it from the pulpit, for any good it could do and there are no atheists trapped down the mines. Superman couldn’t save us, helpers are helpless.
Slashed to the valves of the heart, followed by the scythe, until your looking into the eyes of the dead inside. Individual time consumed by social time, stress polarising minds. Harvesting, listless slowly dying. No stars at pauperâ€™s graves. Down blind alleys of degradation where talent lies dormant and street lights are fitted with coin slots. Escape is to hope you wonâ€™t wake up. Unlettered, fettered from their manner born, knights discreet. Insularity, the equation is long division. Splatter our hearts, uncomprehending of the comprehensible, half alive synthetic. A battle for meaning, cracked in half, sailing on ghost ships with severed connectivity from transcendency. An ounce of feeding is worth a pound of breeding, where moral-compasses encompass, genuine as a broken record. To find the human in the human before extinction and the re-birth of the heart.
A need became a want. Nature chosen? Whoâ€™s to say? Like the day a crow got trapped in our chimney shaft, maniacally flapping, louder and louder, as the feathers continued to fall on the hot ash, as the beak repeatedly cracked against the ceramic. Attacking self, fighting for breath, for life. No vision in a dark tunnel, forced to see without eyes to think again, getting off a barbed-hooked tongue liquored. Flying hawks trained to come back, crosses by roadsides, as some fall off cliffs. The price of a bath where water is needed most. Knights wear disguises. Acceptable to the respectable, left with little. No aurora borealis taken for granted. Crippling into nothing, caring less and less, sleepless, no mindfulness in hellâ€™s compass, meaninglessness. Inescapable uncertainty, an unfair price. No bind, with a transcendent to bring us back before a lens took our connectivity.
Gone inside not far flung from the shiniest brass, etched in faces hopeless in in the shadow of the courts of morality of the prince. A beautiful idea could never work, insular worlds â€˜cannot holdâ€™, panic without alarms, goodbye.
Biographical Note: Milton P. Erlich
Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 87- year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published many poems in periodicals such as the London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.
THE ORDINARY SECOND
Happens when you least expect it. The distracted driver blabbing on his phone sails through a stop sign as you cross the street. Your life ends in a heartbeat. Chest pains, almost always due to the pickled herring you love to eat, can sometimes be the ghostly voice of the widow-maker and not just the belch of Gurd. Even when you’re not doing anything special on a routine Tuesday—tectonic plates shift under your feet, open wide, and swallow you up hook, line and sinker. It only takes a second to turn your life upside down. We’re here until we’re one second away from not being here—no different than any combat soldier who waits for the bullet with his name on it.
(Milton P. Ehrlich)
THE WOUNDED SOLDIER
He and his fellow members of the 8th Cavalry Regiment were overwhelmed by surprise when the Chinese swarmed over the Yalu river blowing bugles and firing burp guns at them as if they were celebrating New Yearâ€™s Eve. He and his unit ran for their lives in a frantic retreatâ€”shrapnel from friendly fire sheared off a chunk of his eye socket gouging out one eye for good. He was nicknamed, Cyclops, by medics who loaded him on to a MEDEVAC M-3 helicopter.
(Milton P. Ehrlich)
MY NIGHT IN JAIL
Time seemed to have stopped as I clung to cold steel bars. It felt like I was held in chains in the Inquisition’s private hell. Sleep was not a possibility, and my shoulder still hurts from a thwack by an angry cop who hated me for marching with “Veterans For Peace.” I couldn’t get the stink of shit out of my nose from a toilet that wouldn’t flush, while I waited for Lenny, my college classmate, an ACLU lawyer, to get me out.
Milton P. Ehrlich
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
Every time I pass a pond, lake or fast-moving stream, I draw a deep breathâ€” remembering my Father.
He looked half his age when he fished for trout. Lines in his worried face melted away, fully absorbed in the moment.
Serene as Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Vipassana meditation, he focused like a laser beam on speckled trout in the stream.
He fly-cast like a seasoned Orvis-trained fisherman, casting a nymph-baited rod with the artistic finesse of an Alvin Ailey performer.
Bottles of Rheingold beer cooled in the stream,
and a salami sandwich, held him until savoring Momâ€™s trout amandine after he got home.
He never grew old clinging to his rod, as if it were a youthful extension of his manhood.
Milton P. Ehrlich
Biographical Note: Christopher Moore Christopher is a graduate of English from Queen's University Belfast, and of the MA in TV Fiction Writing at Glasgow Caledonian University. He is also an alumnus of the Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing course, and the Fireworks programme for young writers with Tinderbox Theatre Company. Alongside a number of playwriting achievements, Christopher has had short fiction accepted for the Octagon Theatre’s ‘Best of Bolton’ day (2017 and 2018), Pendora literary magazine (2018), Flash Fiction Armagh (2018), including a published anthology of that event’s stories, ‘The Bramley’ (2019), Nightingale & Sparrow literary magazine (2019), The Mark Literary Review (2019), and Naked Frank Theatre’s ‘Tales of the Monsters in my Head’ event at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London (14-16 August 2019).
Am I a fraud? I sometimes think I must be. I wander these paths, these woods at Coole, this tranquil refuge from the cares of life, so many times, so many days, with none but my own thoughts for company, and I lose myself so deeply in my own imaginings, my own dreams, my own image of the world and my life as I would like it to be, that these thoughts, these dreams take on a life that seems to make them real. I find myself passing by the lake, peering at the lonely man staring up from the unspoilt surface of the water, disappearing into incoherent ripples as the swans come in to land, and the whole mirror before me is broken and disturbed, and for a moment, itâ€™s like I receive an epiphany. A moment of perfect, unkind clarity, where I see just how alone I have made myself- on these walks, in this seclusion. How hermetic, how reclusive, how hidden away from the truths of life I have allowed myself to become. And the dreams, in that instant, seem foolish. Because she has refused me. More than once now. Has been graceful, has been kind, has been charitable about it, has remained in my company and on at least the periphery of my life, but she will never be mine. If her inclinations towards me had anything approaching the strength of mine towards her, it would not require more than one attempt to convince her to accept me. Nothing had changed, for her part at least, between the first and second asking. So, I have no right, there is no logic, in expecting that a third or fourth entreaty would result in a different outcome. She has made her feelings, however kindly or graciously, perfectly clear. This is a one-sided infatuation, no matter how strong. And deep, deep within, when examining the honest truth in my heart, I know this is not going to change.
So, then, does that make the rest of my life, my leanings, my outlook, fraudulent? Does my interest in, my being drawn towards, that revolutionary spirit she so passionately embodies, stem solely from my love for her person? If she were not leading, not advocating, not striving for her political purpose, would I feel that purpose compel me as fiercely? Am I not, in truth, seduced to its purpose, to the zeal of its followers, merely because of her? This does bother me. Of course it bothers me. It would affect anyoneâ€™s conscience, if they stood and thought about it for long enough- a possible untruth at the core of their very being, their very life, their very worldview. If one had the time and the space to stand and think about it. But, the truth- the enduring, powerful, perhaps pathetic truth- is that I do not have that time, and that space. For as I stand here, by this water, by these magnificent creatures, with all the freedom to contemplate that any man could reasonably ask for, all I can continue to think about it how my soul aches for her. How I long for her with every waking moment and breath. It has been a gift from Heaven for my writing, for my work. As an artist, I can have no complaint about the inspiration she has afforded me. But, as a man, as a human being, as an aching soulâ€Ś I fear it is an emptiness that will never be filled.
Biographical Note: Bethany W Pope Bethany W Pope has won many literary awards and published several novels and collections of poetry. Nicholas Lezard, writing for The Guardian, described Bethany’s latest book as 'poetry as salvation'.....'This harrowing collection drawn from a youth spent in an orphanage delights in language as a place of private escape.' She currently lives and works in China.
"This is literature as salvation, or as a secret garden, a place of private escape. " "In modern poetry, let’s face it, not a lot happens, unless you are writing a novel in verse or updating The Iliad. Musing tends to be the order of the day. This collection is different... You do not expect to come from a poetry collection shattered, but I emerged almost a wreck." – Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian Book of the Week https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/16/silage-bethany-w-popereview-poetry-as-salvation http://bethanywpope.com/ http://www.culturedllama.co.uk/books/a-radiance
Bath Abbey, During Renovation There are Jackhammers in the crumbling nave, blocked off from the sanctuary by squares of plywood decorated with scenes of singing children and the individual panels of a quilt which was created to celebrate the lives of the saints. I came to listen for the voice of God, but the air reverberates with shattering Bath-stone and the mechanical drone of an audio tour that is blaring without headphones. Perhaps that is the voice. Destruction. Creation. Didactic explanation of history as seen through one particular lens. The Church is God and Mortal, stiltedly conversing. This Abbey is Time, layered like paint. The ceiling is carved into the white, fanned shape of prehistoric coral. Geometric branches flower from the head of every pillar and meet in the centre like a canopy. Our creations imitate the world. In the Lady Chapel, the Altar is swagged in a beige cloth, embroidered with a gold Mandala that hovers within a crown of realistic thorns. It's possible to see something like that, outside, if you lie down in the dirt, the right, dry dirt, sometime around sunset, when you can hear the ants humming beneath the topsoil scrim, ignorant of you. The church is alive, with a mechanical pulse. Something thrumming beneath the surface. God knows what bones the Jackhammers are turning up, hidden behind their frail petition. The vibrations are stuttering those dusty jaws open. Quiet. Listen. They're shifting. Maybe we can hear them sing. (Bethany W Pope)
Peony There will always be flowers. As long as man has had a mind to mark them with, there have been blossoms to pluck and strew on dead, ochre-smeared skin; on bodies (curled up, foetal) in the womb of the earth. Flowers will linger, somewhat, after the bees, after the brushes which will replace them once the last pollinators dry to husks in the fields. There are stone roses carved into the lintels of doors whose makers coughed their bloody plague-breath into the soil, and golden florets wound around the empty skulls of saints which gather dust in reliquaries. I remember the texture of the dew-wet peony, petals that bruised (like baby skin) between my fingers the morning I was raped. The blossom was a bolus as large as my head and when I pressed my nose into its moist centre I could almost pretend that it was another face, stained as mine was, who understood. It felt nothing, of course, beyond its own suffering (which I caused) but neither did the posies found strewn among neanderthal bones, though they speak of grief to us, through layers of time and dirt. Suffering is endless, yes, but there will always be flowers.
(Bethany W Pope)
Sunday, After Sweeping the Tombs We followed the old woman on a whim as she padded down the brand-new path leading to the ancient river. The path was the shade of red that China loves (blood, with veins of gold) constructed from recycled tyres so that the ground greeted each step with knee-preserving gentleness. The old woman was short and broad: a wide, flat bottom and rough, knotted hands, swollen from work. She wore a pink prarie hat, black pedal-pushers, a pair of rubber galoshes — robin's egg blue, crimped at the calf, and she carried a white plastic bucket that swung against her hip. ‘Look.’ Lydia said, 'She's doing her laundry, like my grandmother.’ I love the sound of wet fabric slapping rocks, the heartbeat murmur and organ-rush let out when human salt meets water. We followed the old woman to find this sound and she ignored us, winding her way down a long flight of stairs (poured concrete) where a boy fought some demons with his phone and another, slightly older, picked the tender green shoots which sprung up, unbidden by anyone, from scattered tea-shrubs. Down by the river, we sat on the stairs, a few risers above the cool green water. Lydia said, ‘She does this because she thinks that the water is cleaner in the river than it is in the tap. My grandmother washed her clothes like this.’ The sun was hot, above our heads, the air blood-warm and rich with flavours. Butterflies with crow-feather wings flashed blue and green when the hard light hit and I gave myself over to drowning in the sound I remember from before my own birth, when the universe was warm and China red. The world around us moved, and did not move, as the old woman slowly made love to the water and rock of the river. (Bethany W Pope)
I will Never Be Called Mother Lydia's mother reminds me of my own — as she would be in another universe. She has a similar brand of preserved beauty, albeit in a different style, and without the corruption of illness. My mother had the ice blonde, airbrushed edge popularized in the 1980’s, a beauty exemplified by plumped lips and hard angles. Lydia's mother is in another mode — pale skin, wide eyes, and a melon-seed face — but the effect is the same. Beauty held over into middle-age, like yellowing shots in a model's portfolio. They also share a similar attitude towards men. They'll bend over backwards to please one, shifting their opinions in the fickle wind of male favour. They make me angry and protective in equal measure. I want to shelter them with one arm and slap their faces with the other, forcing them to wake up into the altered world they made for us where men are friends, or sexual partners, but not God's, and we can go out wearing the bare faces we were born with. When my mother is well, she sews embroideries of Bible scenes. Lydia's mother paints scrolls with watery ink and sings Buddhist hymns, accompanying herself on her grandmother's Zyther. Lydia and I sleep on their beds and eat the food that they make or buy for us. We hear their voices echoing, loud, in our strange, modernized, terrible heads.
(Bethany W Pope)
Biographical Note: Philip Ammon Philip’s poems, stories and essays have appeared in Rhein!, tabula rasa (Germany), აფრა (Georgia) and Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland). He has lived and studied in Russia, Germany and Georgia. Philip holds an MA from Humboldt University in Russian Literature and History and resides in Berlin. He has published a book on the history of the Russo-Georgian conflict (Kitab, 2nd edition Vittorio Klostermann).
Alas! my lass was hubris-hurt And forth she went, Away she turned: “And ne´er e´er see me mo And shun ye me, Far, thither be!” A crime, it seemed, had I peformed And clogged her ear from all my talk. She scorned my heart, Its swell and naught. The haughty look And way I walked Was spelled to nil And killed in thought: “I curse at thee, Hurl ye from me, Pray, curl away Like mist and fog!”
Aye, I for me
That kiss was mine
That kiss was nice I had a dream I felt the touch Whose lips on mine? Methought, benign Your lips I felt… on mine And I was loved by you at last Beloved, bedeared by you at least… And glad I was, I thought of thee… How sure I was it real to be! ´Twas not a crime: That kiss was mine!
If you fancy submitting something but haven’t done so yet, or if you would like to send us some further examples of your work, here are our submission guidelines: SUBMISSIONS NB – All artwork must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Indecent and/or offensive images will not be published, and anyone found to be in breach of this will be reported to the police. Images must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Please include your name, contact details, and a short biography. You are welcome to include a photograph of yourself – this may be in colour or black and white. We cannot be responsible for the loss of or damage to any material that is sent to us, so please send copies as opposed to originals. Images may be resized in order to fit “On the Wall”. This is purely for practicality. E-mail all submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org and title your message as follows: (Type of work here) submitted to “A New Ulster” (name of writer/artist here); or for younger contributors: “Letters to the Alley Cats” (name of contributor/parent or guardian here). Letters, reviews and other communications such as Tweets will be published in “Round the Back”. Please note that submissions may be edited. All copyright remains with the original author/artist, and no infringement is intended. These guidelines make sorting through all of our submissions a much simpler task, allowing us to spend more of our time working on getting each new edition out!
November’s MESSAGE FROM THE ALLEYCATS:
We had to take down the issue twice health issues caused delays and then one of the Alleycats wiped the file typical really. Where does the time fly? It seems like it was only last week when we were busy making the January issue meow!!. Well, that’s just about it from us for this edition everyone. Thanks again to all of the artists who submitted their work to be presented “On the Wall”. As ever, if you didn’t make it into this edition, don’t despair! Chances are that your submission arrived just too late to be included this time. Check out future editions of “A New Ulster” to see your work showcased “On the Wall”.
We continue to provide a platform for poets and artists around the world we want to offer our thanks to the following for their financial support Richard Halperin, John Grady, P.W. Bridgman, Bridie Breen, John Byrne, Arthur Broomfield, Silva Merjanin, Orla McAlinden, Michael Whelan, Sharon Donnell, Damien Smyth, Arthur Harrier, Maire Morrissey Cummins, Alistair Graham, Strider Marcus Jones Our anthologies https://issuu.com/amosgreig/docs/anu_present_voices_for_peace https://issuu.com/amosgreig/docs/anu_poetry_anthology_-april
MARZIEH MIRZAEI NIGJEH Tehran-Iran ®+989394728473 ®email@example.com
Educational Records _Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts, Miremad art University of Qazvin _ Associate's Degree in Painting, Azad Art University of Eslamshahr _Pre-University in Visual Arts, Saipa’s Art School of Tehran
Work Experiences _A member of human-based designing exhibition in Culture Department of Alborz state, 2017 _Typography exhibition in Culture Department of Qazvin, 2013 _A member of Abrang workshop, 2013 _Poster designing for several playwrights, 2013 _Psychotherapist for two years in Atieh Mental health clinic, (2010-2012) _A member of Identification-based workshop, 2007 _A member of postal card designing exhibition in Bahman Community Center, 2003 (Total Work Experiences: 14 years, Total works of art: more than one hundred)
Skills _ Advance visualizing in different representations, e.g. Expressions, Surreal, abstract, figurative, etc. _Sculpturing _Photography _Painting
Favorites Expressions photography
By Marzieh Mirzayi
By Marzieh Mirzayi
By Marzieh Mirzayi
By Marzieh Mirzayi
By Marzieh Mirzayi
By Marzieh Mirzayi
Issue 86 featuring the works of Steve Klepetar, John Doyle, Mark Young, Michael Boyle, Jean Tuomey, Gavin Bourke, Milton Erlich, Christopher...
Published on Nov 27, 2019
Issue 86 featuring the works of Steve Klepetar, John Doyle, Mark Young, Michael Boyle, Jean Tuomey, Gavin Bourke, Milton Erlich, Christopher...