The Quarterday Review: Volume 2, Issue 2, Beltane 2016

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Volume 2, Issue 2 May 2016

The

ISSN: 2397-8481 (Print) ISSN: 2059 0938 (Electronic)

QUARTERDAY Review

Beltane 2016 Edited by LJ McDowall and Leslie E. Owen



THE QUARTERDAY REVIEW The Poetry of Mythic Journeys Vol. 2 Issue 2 Executive editor: LJ McDowall Consulting editor: Leslie E. Owen Beltane 2016 Poetry By |R.W. WATKINS|LIUSAIDH| WILLIAM RULEMAN| CATHERINE WALD| |ELIZABETH ARCHER|ROBERT BEVERIDGE| EDWARD NORMAN|JAMES E. SMITH| PRISCILLA LIGNORI | ALAN RAIN| LEE TODD LACKS| | D.A. RAVN | EDWARD NORMAN| GARETH WRITERDAVIES | IAN COLVILLE | |HAL O’LEARY| STEPHEN M. DICKEY| R BREMNER | NICK HUMEZ | 1


QUARTERDAY PRESS First Edition, First Printing First published in 2015 by Quarterday www.quarterday.org Printed and bound in the EU by Lightening Source Ltd, Milton Keynes. All rights reserved. Foreward, afterword, and reviews copyright © Copyright LJ McDowall, 2016. Poems copyright © respective poets. Selection © LJ McDowall and Leslie E. Owen. Cover image: Unholy Vault Designs. The rights of the respective poets to be indentified as the authors of their work has been asserted in accordance with Section 77 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The rights of LJ McDowall and Leslie E. Owen to be indentified as the editors of this work has been sserted in accordance with Section 77 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. ISSN: 2397-8481 (Print) ISSN: 2059 0938 (Electronic) 2


Contents Forward 6 Editorial Rant by LJ McDowall Editor’s Choice 10 Sonnet XVIII by William Shakespeare The Sex Police 11 A Persian Ghazal by R.W. Watkins The Lady 14 Epic in linked sonnets by LiÚsaidh The Tegernsee 18 Rhyming Tetrameter Octets by William Ruleman A Morning of Love 20 Rhyming tetrameter quatrains by Paul Boldt tr. William Ruleman Aubade 22 Sonnet by Catherine Wald Sabbatical 23 Free Verse by Catherine Wald Sonnet for Spring Things 24 Sonnet by Eliza Archer The Dancing-Girl's Sestina 25 Sestina by Robert Beveridge Frozen Ghazal 27 A ghazal by James E. Smith 3


Splendidly Smashed 28 Blank Verse by James E. Smith Two Haiku Poems 29 Haiku Priscilla Lignori In The Beginning 30 Doggerel by Edward Norman Three Roundels for Spring 31 Roundels by D.A. Ravn. Not wet sex 33 Petrarchan Sonnet by Alan Rain The Literary Porn Star 34 A Terza Rima by Alan Rain The Rules of the Game 35 Metered Rhyme in dactylic tetrameter by Liùsaidh Chastened Spring 38 Lyrics in trochaic tetrameter by Lee Todd Lacks Untitled Poem 40 A fib by Hal O’Leary Gwanwyn 42 Free Verse with Welsh diction by Gareth Writer-Davies Four Untitled Poems 43 Sonnets by Stephen M. Dickey Pastoral elegy, after Clare 47 Elegy in sonnet form by Ian Colville

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Lowsin time (or: The farmyard at the ends of days) 48 Sonnet by Ian Colville Hazy, Dazy 49 A Song to the tune of Daisy, Daisy) by R. Bremner Ode to Spring 50 Metered rhyme by Nick Humez Collected Poems (Carol Ann Duffy) 52 Collection Review by LJ McDowall Eastern Structures (Ed. R.W. Watkins) 55 Journal Review by LJ McDowall Searching for Capybaras in the work of Marc Chagall (Simon Williams) 57 Chapbook Review by LJ McDowall Afterward Editorial by LJ McDowall 59 Contributors 63

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Foreword

EDITORIAL by LJ McDOWALL This issue marks an important moment. Beltane 2016 is the fourth we’ve published, marking the first full year of publication. Most fledgling publications fold in their first year: we’ve gone from strength to strength, with our tiny team of volunteer staff readers (whose keen eyes we couldn't do without) ensuring quality is kept as high as possible. The Quarterday Review would not be the publication it is without them, and so special thanks go to our staffers Eliza, Mary, Heather, Sarah, our advisory editor Leslie and Prof. William Ruleman, a regular contributor of remarkable classical poetry and poetry-in-translation, who kindly volunteered to copy edit some of the issues. Thanks also should go to Brian Lewis at Spark, A Creative Anthology, and Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things, for his early help on the technical aspects, warm encouragement, and for mentoring in the early stages. The unfortunate events in February 2016, (outwith his control, and for that matter, my own) sadly impacted our relationship, but they have not dulled my respect or gratitude for his help. Finally, thanks should go to a poet accepted for this issue who offered extensive critique on the entire journal. We’re so close to publication that I cannot adopt all of his suggestions. Nevertheless, his kind 6


critique and superb editorial eye has been an invaluable learning experience for me, and every single thing he’s said will be used in my nefarious master plan to take over the (poetry) world. Quarterday is now one of the few classical poetry journals worldwide and the only (to our knowledge) formal literary journal in Scotland. While we’re still virtually unknown within the UK, we’ve built a small but dedicated worldwide following that grows with each issue. Within less than a year from our debut, we were nominated for the Saboteur Awards. This year we’ve published sapphics, ghazals, villanelles, sonnets, metered rhyme, tercets, haiku, fib, terza rime, and sestinas, to name but a few, with poets hailing from the USA, Canada, the British Isles, Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria and even further afield. We’ve also given space for song lyrics, long neglected as the principle way 'ordinary' people experience prosody in daily life. The absolute nonsense of sneering at, and undervaluing lyrics, to my mind, must end: lyricists deserve their place in the canon of literature. Is the classical poetry scene healthy? Not really. Stephen Fry gave it a jolt with the defibrillator that is The Ode Less Travelled, and fringe journals like ours are currently giving it mouth-to-mouth. In our case we’re the one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind. We’re still a very long way from the thriving, kicking-and-screaming classical poetry scene we need, and a long way from being the sort of publication we need to be to really serve that scene. However, submissions to Quarterday (even the ones we reject) indicate the heart has started beating and that the days of anaemic, flatlining formalism are over. In his foreward to Eastern Structures, a classical journal dedicated to Asian forms, editor and poet R.W. Watkins remarks ‘I do believe it’s time someone drew a line in the sand announced a cultural year zero when it comes to [classical] forms in English’ Quite. I believe 2016 is that year. The breadth of forms and the latent passion for classicism lurking in shadowy corners of the poetry world has given new 7


lurking in shadowy corners of the poetry world has given new hope that after a century of poetry being synonymous with free verse, there is a resurgence of interest in poetic handcuffs, the strictures of form that provide the canvas size for real expression. Emotion is channeled with greater force when language is under a little pressure or restriction. All that said, for Quarterday to survive long-term we have to up the standards in terms adherence to classical form. This journal was started by a dyslexic novice classicist — whose personal circumstances cause her to dwell in that space beyond physical and mental exhaustion — because no one else was doing it. While I’ve been incredibly fortunate that others have put their shoulders to the wheel alongside me, it’s clear there is still much room for improvement in terms of the copy and substance of what we produce here. Our poets — aye, even our editors — need to be mentored, technical feedback offered where we reject, and to do that we need input. Lots of input, in terms of skill and cold hard cash. There’s no money in poetry, no poetry in money, yet sadly the state of any artistic enterprise is usually proportional to the degree of investment. This is what we’ve done with a few hundred pounds and a vision. We’re good. We’re not good enough. We could do more. We could be better.

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The Poems

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William Shakespeare

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Sonnet XVIII Shall I compare thee to a Summers day? Thou art more louely and more temperate: Rough windes do ſhake the darling buds of Maie, And Sommers leaſe hath all too ſhorte a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heauen ſhines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd, And euery faire from faire ſome-time declines, By chance, or natures changing courſe vntrim'd: But thy eternall Sommer ſhall not fade, Nor looſe poſſeſſion of that faire thou ow'ſt, Nor ſhall death brag thou wandr'ſt in his ſhade, When in eternall lines to time thou grow'ſt, So long as men can breathe or eyes can ſee, So long liues this, and this giues life to thee.

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R. W. Watkins A PERSIAN GHAZAL

The Sex Police Abstract beliefs are judging your behaviour: “We know what’s right,” intone the Sex Police. “When taboos we blindly love are being broken, insert a coin and phone the Sex Police.” The Sex Police are into all your business that breaks their code yet sparks their jealous streaks. Their hypocrisy is matched by their persistence no culture’s overthrown the Sex Police. The Sex Police are stationed at the border to screen your books and movies out of reach. The Court Supreme heard pleas for Little Sisters, but judges can’t dethrone the Sex Police. The Sex Police are searching Jodie Foster and William Burroughs’ overnight valise. They cannot find a vibe or trace of semen, but cocaine and smack atone the Sex Police. The Sex Police are searching through your laundry in search of stains that reek of hymen breach. They’ll incarcerate your love-starved high-school classmate if his parents don’t condone the Sex Police. The Sex Police are right-wing politicians who call for tougher laws to shield young teens At night they’re heard inside their daughters’ bedrooms: “Don’t stop, I’m cumming,” moan the Sex Police.

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The Sex Police abduct teenage ‘delinquents’ ― those victims of abuse who hit the streets. When Randy White is asked of his involvement, again he does disown the Sex Police. The Sex Police are like a gleaming razor that children can’t address except in screams. When fact and reason dull its shiny keenness, religious dogmas hone the Sex Police. The Sex Police exposed a TV pastor who had undermined the very shit he’d preached. He’s now crying for compassion and forgiveness, but Jesus hasn’t known the Sex Police. The Sex Police have long been Roman agents ― they turn a blinded eye to wayward priests. So if you don a crucifix and collar, you’ll as good as own the Sex Police. The Sex Police will infiltrate your school board and transform instructors into spying sneaks. Soon you’ll be expelled for “vulgar verses” ― your teacher will have shown the Sex Police. The Sex Police dismissed a Grade-Two swinger for kissing girls upon their virgin cheeks. Drunk tonight, they’re lost in their self-pity: “I wish he’d kissed me,” groan the Sex Police. The Sex Police attend your college lectures; with pink-dyed hair, they censor your ‘free’ speech. They’re wearing specks like those of Ms. Mouskouri ― Yes, the left wing also clone the Sex Police.

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The Sex Police won’t recognise such changes that women’s groups evoke in state decrees. They’ll shoot and maim or kill abortion doctors ― no students of Simone, the Sex Police. The Sex Police have probed your sphincter ani to ascertain your previous sexual feats. Your days as army corporal might be numbered. Maybe if you’d blown the Sex Police.... The Sex Police now jeer at people’s funerals when cause of death is linked to STDs. If left unchecked such hate may prove contagious, so rise up in arms and stone the Sex Police.

__________ Copyright © 2015 R.W. Watkins, reproduced with permission. The Sex Police first appeared in Contemporary Ghazals 4 (2014) (Ed. R.W. Watkins) NL: Nocturnal Iris Publishing. 13


Liùsaidh

EPIC POETRY IN LINKED SONNETS

The Lady The Queen of Heaven’s Feast, my vigil kept, I lit the candles, pulled the lace about, Before the Lady, knelt, so full of doubt, With penitential prayers, this harlot wept. Though once a virgin, now I am a whore, My passion swept, my songs have laid me bare, The cassocked men gave me their baleful stare, My recompense for sin, and even more. Yet footsteps stalk the flagstones, fires lit, The echoes of his steps, as old as time Behind me comes, his hunter’s hands on mine He draws me from the chapel to the crypt Down darker paths that I had walked of yore: A thousand kisses, then a thousand more. A thousand kisses, then a thousand more, Each one a spark, desire's flick of flame, That stings the skin. My love, he calls my name, Glance to glance, hand to back, and back to floor. For he, by lighted candles, casts his cloak, Russet and green, the colour of the trees, With all his whispers, something in me frees, My fingers curl in his, like candle smoke. I’m lowered down in darkness, wicked smiles That sweeten sin, eyes dancing in the flame The sparkle in his eyes, a candle's train Pale skin, lace laid upon the ancient tiles. Vaulted passion, for me, this faulted sin: Breath catches, as his hands caress my skin.

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Breathing catches, his hands caressing skin, “You’re made for this, my love, fierce Nature’s craft.” And over breast and thigh he tracks his paths, "Why guilt, my lovely one? This is no sin. I found you kneeling here above this vault, The mourning lace, to shroud your sunset hair. The passions in your heart, banked fire's flare, Tell true, my love, how can you be at fault? Ah see, those little tears that glance your eyes, Run conflicts—let me stop them with a kiss, To silence every thought that flies amiss. Be true, not that cold doll of holy lies. You have a poet's heart, a singer's soul, A shiver holds you, thrall to passion’s flow.” I shiver then in thrall, as passions flow, For as in water stirred each little kiss Sends ripples, flares of languid circling bliss. In darkness, not concealed, but rather shows That strength of hunter’s hands that catch my wrists, His searching strength, my fingers now entwined, He lowers lips, and in the half-light finds This fallen angel, her white wings torn, a-twist. That twisted mantle’s lace is dragged askance, Skin blazing, as the candle flares to bright, So slick to touch, those petals folded tight, Mouth to breast, teeth and tongue in ancient dance. Misgivings yield beneath his languid sweep. Dark gods are called, as holy angels weep. Dark gods now called by dancing rings of stones Our souls migrated, melded once before, Before Madonna, Virgin, or the Whore, I was the Mother, Maiden, and the Crone. No shame by fen, or forest, or the field, I danced with hawthorn twined within my hair, And brought that winter hunter to my lair, 15


To watch his feral eyes at point of yield. I loved him then, sweet hunter with his spear The moon and stars and bonfires in the night We watched the spheres flow in their patterned flight We jumped the Beltane fires without fear. Before the shaven druids sailed the seas: When wild winds were tossed in Alba's trees. I danced, the wild wind in Alba's trees, No angel I, but devil painted blue, (Woad etched my skin, in circled violet hues,) Reciting sagas, poems fierce and free. They called me Priestess, Warrior and Queen: For fear of me, the Romans built the Wall! I had my lovers, many in my thrall, Yet loved the most my hunter, garbed in green. When Alba's forests flowed from coast to coast, We ran the trees, made love in branches high, I loved, as Earth shall always love the Sky, My hunter horned, the one I wanted most. And from those heights we first espied the masts: The shaven druids sailed with bindings fast. Those Christian clerics came with bindings fast, My world slipped to uncertain memory. Now I, no longer wild, nor am I free, But bound in stone as certain cants were cast. My hunter fled, my trees hacked to the ground, My crannogs cold, by yon abandoned henge. None left for this dark goddess to avenge, I mourned as all his hunting grounds were burned. He disappeared, my lover—I became That frigid doll, so cold in holy lies, Imprisoned by the altar, in my guise: The pious Virgin that Rome’s might had tamed. They stripped me of my hawthorn, yet they chose In alabaster hands, to leave the rose. 16


My alabaster fingers grasp the rose I stand, the chapeled Lady, in her niche. The maiden comes, her tear-filled prayers beseech, Her petals plucked by passioned hands, the throes Of love and longing on this Beltane night: At Vespers comes her hunter, clad in green He pulls her to the darkened place unseen With whispers of the Wild, wrongs to right. For as the Compline bell is tolled, they run, And out he drags her from the deepened crypt. Handfasted, through Cathedral doors they slip Out to the Beltane fires, where, still, they burn. The priests gave me new robes and songs to sing. Yet always, I remained that wild thing.

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William Ruleman

RHYMING TETRAMETER OCTETS

The Tegernsee The heat, the steel-blue sky, the lake With all its piercing stabs of light Tease and tempt us on to take Our longing to a higher height And grander world than that we know In this languid vale down low On this warm and dreamy day Along the Tegernsee in May. Though panting hard, I keep my pace Up dizzying paths above the shore, Bewitched by the water’s beaming face Inviting me to yearn for more Clear air and heat and gleaming blue Here on this perfect day with you As we make our wearying way Along the Tegernsee in May, My lover, wife, and dearest friend, With whom I long to be alone And joined until our journey’s end— The end for which we wander on With all the yearning you and I May feel until the day we die Someday likely far away From the timeless Tegernsee in May. I halt a moment, faint with fear. Our destination only death Will show to us, no doubt, my dear. 18


And after my last earthly breath, Will you still be there with me— In a clearer realityThan this daze we dream today Along the Tegernsee in May? If nothing here seems truly real— The sky, the air, the seething heat— And too elusive, all I feel And see this day to be complete, I nonetheless will roam, content To hope it a presentiment Of our lasting love, this fleeting day Along the Tegernsee in May.

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Paul Boldt

Tr. William Ruleman RHYMING TETRAMETER QUATRAINS

Liebesmorgen Aus dem roten, roten Pfühl Kriecht die Sonne auf die Dielen, Und wir blinzeln nur und schielen Nach uns, voller Lichtgefühl. Wie die Rosa-Pelikane, Einen hellen Fisch umkrallend, Rissen unsere Lippen lallend Kuß um Kuß vom weißen Zahne. Und nun, eingerauscht ins weiche Nachgefühl der starken Küsse, Liegen wir wie junge Flüsse Eng umsonnt in einem Teiche. Und wir lächeln gleich Verzückten; Lachen gibt der Garten wieder, Wo die jungen Mädchen Flieder, Volle Fäuste Flieder pflückten.

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Paul Boldt

Tr. William Ruleman RHYMING TETRAMETER QUATRAINS

A Morning of Love Out of the red featherbed of night, The sun creeps onto the floorboards now, And we just blink and squint and bow Our heads, filled fresh with feelings of light. Like the pink pelican, whose sheathSure beak takes a bright fish in its grip, Lolling, babbling, lip on lip, We tear ripe kisses from bright teeth. And now, euphoric in the fond Afterglow of passion’s shivers, We lie here like two youthful rivers Impressed by sunlight on a pond And smile like creatures rapture-kissed. The garden gives back laughter: there Young girls pluck lilacs for their hair, And each holds lilacs in her fist.

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Catherine Wald A SONNET

Aubade Tonight I rest in your firm fragrant arms and once again we’re tender as new blooms. Drenched in soft warmth, as in the rounded womb, we hold each other close and bless our stars. Protected from the morning’s dawning gloom and day’s insistent breast-beating demands, we think, not with our brains, but with our hands the way a shuttle moves across a loom. Compact, condensed and unconstrained by shame, beyond the realm of keyboard, pad or pen, we let ourselves be animals again – fox kits luxuriating in a den. The dreamer’s unsurpassed and lavish feast regale us till a star lights up the east.

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Catherine Wald FREE VERSE

Sabbatical Pause for plants. Commune with chlorophyll. Sip fragrance, melody of subtler species, spritzes of light, texture, shadow gifts. How to name unimaginable. How Greek, Latin, English aim for accuracy, morph into myth. How wonder flows, how sap, nectar. How pistils inflame, stamens erect, copulate cartwheel. How earth smells, how breath is reinvented, how awe.

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Elizabeth Archer

A SONNET

Sonnet for Spring Things Long have I slumbered in my dark soil bed Pillows of earth beneath, above my head Dreaming sweet dreams of sun and sky and air Waiting to leave my quiet pied-a-terre. Cradled in dirt, my infancy is spent Warm in the ground while winter tempests vent Swaddled within my covering I grow Oblivious to cold and sleet and snow Until one day I waken from my spell To pick the pieces off my childhood shell, Wiggle my long toes down into the earth And stretch green fingers high, claiming my birth. Up, up I reach: my next life has begun — At last I feel the blessing of the sun

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Robert Beveridge A SESTINA

The Dancing-Girl's Sestina Before I try to fall asleep tonight Encircling visions run inside my mind Visions of our conversation last Evening. My private thoughts of you Reeling in my brain around the fire. Light, your form sways willing, just for me. Your body dances, throwing fire for me. Passing through the flames again tonight, Running beautiful through tongues of fire Again, your form is dancing through my mind. Dancing-girl, you make me think of you. Every night, before I sleep, these last Light thoughts are tolling through my mind—these last! Between these times, in sleep, you come to me. Each night, my mind revolves with thoughts of you. Vision-woman, come to me tonight. Enter the dark expanse I call my mind Rub your skin with oil and stoke that fire! Live to dance for me and stoke that fire! Yes, my dancing-girl, your form's the last Passing fantasy within my mind, Revolving here, before sleep rests with me At night. And again, I know you'll come tonight. Dancing-girl, my love, I wait for you. Everlasting love, I wait for you. Live in my fantasies. Dance through my fire. 25


Be in my fantasies, my love, tonight. Enter that dark chasm, be my last Vision before I sleep. Tonight, tempt me, Encase me in your lust, embalm my mind, Reveal your darkest secrets. Tempt my mind, Let me wander now with thoughts of you. You, dancing in my mind, dancing for me. Press your body close to mine. This fire Returns our hearts, until their last Assent, and we will come together tonight. Desire, tonight my body calls for you. Elate my mind, stroke me and stoke our fire.

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James E. Smith

A GHAZAL

Frozen Ghazal Natasha in the spring said she’s leaving; for no reason I keep on believing. I’m headed out to drown in vodka when I know I should be bereaving. Her heart’s as cold as Stalingrad; it’s futile to continue besieging. This lamb is meek, my mood is mild; this little heart is bleating. I used to take her breath away (she pretended she wasn’t breathing). Red is the color of revolution. Scarlet my hopes are bleeding. She said it wasn’t the mud or crud just her new wings a-beating. Natasha was constant as Lenin’s Tomb; I still can’t believe she’s leaving.

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James E. Smith

BLANK VERSE

Splendidly Smashed Past closing time at the Pink Pachyderm, Mr. Lindsay Anderson of East Belfast set out to smash the Guinness world record for crawling a mile, possessed like Livingston seeking the source of the Nile. After downing one final Guinness Stout, to his mates’ wild shouts, he wobbled down the cobblestone street on hands and knees, a toddler who had just learned to crawl obsessed with catching up to a glittering ball. Onward he pressed, he would not rest, until Success! In a record 23 minutes and 44 seconds, he reached his home address where Mrs. Anderson, in hair curlers and pink night dress, said she was not impressed.

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Priscilla Lignori HAIKU

Blooming crabapples attract so many new birds, as word gets around. No longer confined to the old cemeteries— cypress spurge weed spreads

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Edward Norman DOGGEREL

In The Beginning Biddle Me and Bunnell Me existed side by side in an endless sea. Biddle Me was unaware of Bunnell Me and Bunnell Me was unaware of Biddle Me. Because there was no light and they could not see. All the more Biddle Me was unaware of Biddle Me and Bunnell Me was unaware of Bunnell Me. Because without another not to be, no sense of self could ever be. Alone, alike as they could be, as such they would have stayed eternally. But no two things are just the same. They were as different as their names. Bunnell Me, or Biddle Me, swelled in size as if to sneeze. It doesn't matter which it was. One touched the other and because A point in time was born just then, they both could say Remember when. ______

Editorial Note: Doggerel is often misused as a pejorative to described sub-par poetry. However, it is a legitimate form of comic or light verse that has been in use in English since early modernity. The irregular rhythm and rhyme produce a chaotic, burlesque effect — the poetic equivalent of a Three Stooges sketch, perhaps. The only man who ever wrote doggerel by accident was Scots poet William McGonagall (1825-1902), whose famous doggerel The Tay Bridge Disaster (1880) passed into the canon of Scots literature. He was a man had absolutely no sense of humour whatsoever, one of literature’s greatest ironies. 30


D.A. Ravn

POETRY IN ROUNDELS

Three Roundels for Spring I What was once, is again in the turn of a year Slowly seasons transform in this world that we ken Overhead the stars ride the celestial sphere What was once, is again. Snows are melting, the sun calls the beast from its den. Buds are swelling, a promise of what reappears, (little hints of the rose or the flight of a wren). Spring approaches, we pray she brings laughter and cheer Spring is fickle, she cares not for women or men (little lives we revere, but she doesn’t I fear). What was once, is again. II Fickle Spring with her showers and all that they bring. Winter’s daughter bestowing her myriad boons. Round the bones of the snow-killed, vines twist up and cling. Fickle Spring. Naught that lives may resist when her breath importunes. In the forests and meadows birds gather and sing, Line their nests from the pelts of the fallen bestrewn. She’s the changeable girl with the world on a string who awakens us all that dwell under the moon stirs the hawk and his hunger, the wasp and her sting. Fickle Spring. 31


III Longer days, final frosts: delve the earth, tally costs. Scrape the mud from your boots on the edge of a spade. Sol is waxing in strength and a threshold is crossed. Longer days, final frosts. Compost ripens in heaps by the beds that you’ve laid. Worms are glistening knots in each clod that you toss. Spring is spinning the dance with her rhythms arrayed. Longer days, final frosts: now reclaim what was lost. Time to slaughter a lamb with the sacrifice blade, (ancient magic you pray that you’ll never exhaust). Delve the earth, tally costs.

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Alan Rain

A PETRARCHAN SONNET

Not Wet Sex “It’s peeing down. Delay awhile for wine,” this roguish rake cajoles, his coals aglow. Her tail is spun; my chaconne makes her flow like swirling silk. “I’m not your concubine,” the damson cutely rails. Assuredly rash, I steer my captured Miss to my chaise-longue, strutting my six-pack while she’s pink blancmange – boldly stating: “You’ll bow to Mistress Splash!” Abort this seduction with cunning smile, cut squalls in shanties, sprays of amber lotion; I won’t be waking in a salty sweat. Her guile turns vicious, deceitfully vile. Out comes her cleaver. “Give me your devotion.” Emasculated now, I dance the minuet.

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Alan Rain

A TERZA RIMA

The Literary Porn Star Osculate, moll, imbibe my satyr cock; consecrate it with sap – make sopping wet. Let’s copulate, coalesce, interlock. Of course I’ll screw your juicy cunt, you bet. Hush, Aphrodite, while I stem your rivers, Lolita, genicon, my faire-coquette. I know – your name is Debbie-lee Delivers, and need me throbbing in that ready ass. Eros bestows on Psyche sighing quivers. Yes, Debs, I’m spouting English, proper class. Methinks you like a simpler dude (or dumber,) preparing to ambush your freckle pass? So straddle this trysting seat, we’ll be pipe and plumber. Circumnavigating your globe in Golden Hind, we’ll bask in monsoon sauce and Indian low summer, then sail to Sodom with your stern foremost aligned.

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Liùsaidh

METERED RHYME

The Rules of The Game The Rules is a book by a woman on how to manipulate men. The Game is a book by a man on how to manipulate women. — Cutie.

I

Nobody’s told you, nobody’s said, Never revealed that you’re crap in bed; She’s massaged your ego, and other things too, Read all the books that say what to do. She’s followed The Rules, while you played The Game, Shaving and waxing despite all the pain, Calling you once, and not calling you back (Get him and keep him, and all of that tack). But tell me my lad — what makes you so cool? Or worthy of her, and not a damn fool? So I’ll be your guide, I’ll set the parameters (My hot little grin and my sexy tetrameters). Are you up for it, darling, up for a lark? Are you up for a sweet little fuck in the dark? II

A feral wee smile, the glint of a glance: I’ve looked you and hooked you — you think you've a chance. Like a fly to the trap, you flit to my table, Ready and willing, but babe, are you able? I know I look feisty and sexy and cute; You tell me my lipstick just doesn’t suit. I hope that my smile is sweet, not sadistic. (You bugger about with the neurolinguistic).

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You’re negging me? Please! Just please! What a bore! Oh tell me the play that I’ve not heard before. You’re used to those lassies with no self-esteem, And you want me to be the crop to your cream? Can’t programme me! I’ve got my internal snark, Are you up for a sweet little fuck in the dark? III

You wanted to walk on the wilder side; You think my expression is charming, not snide. You’re whispering as you abandon sobriety, “I’ve singular tastes for a little variety.” A little variety? Give it a whirr! Get your kicks, do you, when she calls you ‘Sir’? Yes I’ll be your corporal, and you’ll be my Sarge, For a lesson I teach on who’s really in charge. Have one more beer, for I just can’t wait To reel in a bastard and then set him straight. I sit here and search for original sins, You’ve plenty of ego, I’ve plenty of pins. The cut of your jib to the cut of my sark, Are you up for a sweet little fuck in the dark? IV

He stops at the bar, and orders some wine, The only man here who can keep me in line. He’s crossing the floor, and my heart’s beating faster, Stalks up to the table — my lord and my master.

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He hands me a glass. “Sweetie, what have I said, When you wait for me try not to screw with his head,” His kiss is seductive and savage and sweet. Then he turns to you, grins, and says “You’re in my seat.” Love lights my eyes, as he takes your place Slides into the chair with his animal grace “So glad that you’re here, my darling,” I say “I was bored out my skull. How was your day?” “Great,” purrs my lover, all knowledge and spark. “So. You’re down for that sweet little fuck in the dark?”

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Lee Todd Lacks

LYRICS IN TETRAMETER

Chastened Spring Lady Spring arrived home late, She’d dallied into March. Herla met her at the gate, beneath the vernal arch. "Where have you been?” her husband fumed, “For I’ve been sick with worry! Savage boars lurk all about! Pray, why did you not hurry? "Just look at you, you naughty imp — Your hair's a tangled mess! Did you permit that Winter cur To blow beneath your dress?" "Husband, please don't be upset! I know I'm very late, but March, he made me shiver, I forgot about the date." "Dear lady," Herla King reproached, "I think I've heard enough! Now, go fetch me a proper switch!" Spring stormed off in a huff. (A huff, or little saucy smile At sweet anticipation? She hurried to the grove of birch To aid the situation.)

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"Oh, gentle tree," implored the queen, (so fraught with mock despair,) "My husband seeks a supple branch, for he has none to spare." "Have mine, dear niece," replied the tree, "though it be rather odd — Your Highness always seems to need a proper birching rod! “Oh autumn goddess, I can’t say,” Replied the vernal girl, “But when my Herla’s vexed with me It gives me such a thrill.” Brazen Spring, she left that grove She tended with Aunt Autumn, For she had found the sprig with which The king would tend her bottom. The rueful queen returned to where King Herla stood a-waiting. (His roaring wrath could be severe, That point needs no debating). At his command Spring lifted up her gown, to saucy highs She let her snowy blossoms fall, laid bare her lovely thighs. Across a mossy stump, she bent. Her knees began to shake, and soon, she felt the pleasure-sting, that unrelenting ache. Like a flight of mourning doves, so fervent were her cries, 39


her tears fell down in sheets of rain cascading from the skies. Spring, weeping all through April (till the Earth was soaking wet), Begged Herla-king to end his reign — he wasn't finished yet! Herla birched her bottom till It blazed, bright from the heat. At last, he cast the branch aside and drew Spring to her feet. Herla knelt behind his wife, and kissed her chastened cheeks, Dawn broke before their Majesties could find the will to speak. "Fair Spring," her husband said at last, "I grieve to cause you pain, but I shall birch you twice as long, should you cross me again.� "Yes, my love," Spring whispered low, not knowing what to say. Blushing at either end, she sighed, "'Twill be the warmest May!�

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Hal O’Leary A FIB

My love will be a silk scarf cast lightly about the shoulders lest it stifle thee.

___________ Editorial Note: Fib is an experimental Western poetry form, bearing similarities to haiku, but based on the mathematical Fibonacci sequence. That is, the typical Fib and one version of the contemporary Western haiku both follow a strict structure. The typical fib is a six line, 20 syllable poem with a syllable count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8 - with as many syllables per line as the line's corresponding place in the Fibonacci sequence... The only restriction on a Fib is that the syllable count follow the Fibonacci numbers. [Source: Wikipedia Commons] 41


Gareth Writer-Davies FREE VERSE (WITH WELSH DICTION)

Gwanwyn the spring tide brought fish on the hook samphire to the sea-shore and by coracle on the long road of the sea the word upon the tongue the sea turbulent with armagedon like a sailor's candle that mourns the bright shining flowers of the Mabinogion

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Stephen M. Dickey A SONNET

Untitled #1 IT’S COMING ON AGAIN: the Gold Camp Road winds back toward me like the rattlesnake I never saw. All our camping gear stowed, our tent taken down neatly, stake by stake. Car camping was the only way to go, beside a stream rushing its gurgling song of cold quartz and fools’ gold past rockslides long still and quiet on mountainsides aglow with granite sunset. But that mine’s now shut, mostly. Maybe it’s better to steer clear of it? Or is there no escape from what you can’t recapture? And all roads lead here: Railway tunnels, rusted spikes, muscovite… Tailings upon tailings, lighter than light.

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Stephen M. Dickey A SONNET

Untitled #2 IN PRAGUE they leave a half an inch of beer in the bottom of a glass. Such a waste — you’d think it’s precious as an only tear. Hard to believe they do it out of haste. Is it a baseless fear of backwash, some obscure superstition, or both? The glass is filmed with fine, dried foam; there’s a bum smell of ferment. Nothing comes not to pass. You tip your glass, and a wave sloshes forth and back, stopping watches, washing you shoreward to ebb you out in some split-second fourth dimension. Picking up and traipsing forward, you come to a gleam in St. Vitus’ apse: Behold the golden yeast of pure collapse.

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Stephen M. Dickey A SONNET

Untitled #3 RAINFALL — you sudden watermark in all the eye can see, cascades of sound the size of language, bursting in a lovelorn squall or rustling in smatters of windswept sighs. These rains fall through stillness as through a sieve — each drop an unlipped kiss, a lashless tear, a word overwhelming your inner ear and washing away, leaving you to live in its wake and echoes, which turn into your silences, your white noise, the sheer strains of your spirit. And these hues, no less true, blaze, later, in iridescent refrains. Other rains, too far off for us to know, move slowly past, blurs of hachure shadow.

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Stephen M. Dickey A SONNET

Untitled #4 HEAR THE DOWNPOUR: crescendos of collapse orient the ear like rhumbs on a windrose. The elements blow in through open windows, and wet, acoustic sparks arc from synapse to synapse, drowning out all but the skipping turntable of the heart. Yet all of it, all those sheets of falling notes, will soon fit between the ever longer rests of dripping downspouts. And so what’s the distance from one blurred raindrop to another? As far as it is from word to word, from a lovespun tongue to a lover’s ear, a modal jazz inside yet wide enough to pass through pain and not know it, and fall in with the rain.

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Ian Colville

ELEGY in SONNET FORM

Pastoral elegy, after Clare Aye laddie, we had no choice. The lamb is born. It lies there limp and wretched. Look, she's innocent of breath and torn like the sac, hanging lifeless on my crook. We'll have no tears for shepherd's duty done. We must preserve the yowe, for if not both would perish. You'd grant that now, eh son? She'll take the Tup next year, nothing loath, and leave us men to mourn her loss. The lamb she'd have licked and weaned forgotten, its successor fatted on the same grass and ram as ready to mount the gimmer. Once begotten in her turn, she'll birth right here, by bales of straw and show what stoical sheep make of nature in the raw.

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Ian Colville

A SONNET

Lowsin time (or: The farmyard at the ends of days) The cows in the byre are settled-in to feed, trough full of hashed-up neeps. Bailie's good deed; his next-to-last act before lowsin time. As he washes his hands to shed the grime, with tow-tied plastic pipe in Butler sink held off the floor on oaken stumps, you think he ponders on the work; the role he'll cast on down to son as was to him years past. How many farmyards and byres and middens? How many young loons there fee'd and bidden? How many a time with besom and graip will he clear the gruip, will he strive and scrape before he's done, when called for down the line to close the door, that last, at lowsin time?

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R. Bremner

A SONG (TUNE: DAISY, DAISY)

Hazy Dazy Hazy, Dazy, Dole me your anisette. I’ve seemed crazy All for the things you wet. Don’t hope for a stylized kaddish; We can’t afford such parish. But we’ll find heat In sundry suites When our synergy melts All debt.

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Nick Humez

METERED RHYME

Ode to Spring Hoopla! Hoopla! See the joyful hottie from Elysium, bent on giving us an eyeful, lift her skirts to show her bum (round and supple, plump and rosy), wiggling it in gesture rude, while each sprouting springtime posy bids us frolic in the nude! Alleluia! Bunnies scamper, ducklings quack and crane their necks: Open up the paschal hamper, sing "Hosanna! Iste rex!" All is pastel-green and vernal — spread the gingham, pass the salt, hail the light that's coeternal! (If it's not, it's not my fault.) Mottled jaundiced midwives chorus (witches stoned in bars, begad!), braying like a brontosaurus munching on a lily pad: sour fodder. (Wienerschnitzel takes the taste of brine away.) Buzz a brick at Johann Tetzel! Down with Rome! Hip, hip, hooray!

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The Reviews 51


Review: Collected Poems by Carol Ann Duffy

ISBN-10: 1447231430 PICADOR £25:00

I found this volume when I went searching for specifically female poets in Waterstones. A similarly weighty tome by Clive James was presented facing out in all its glory, as was Seamus Heaney’s selection of Yeats’ verse. We love James, and we love Yeats (come on, this is Quarterday), and we love Heaney, but why is it so difficult to find the work of a living female poet presented for sale with the front cover facing out? Not a single work by a woman was displayed like this, and even those whose contributions to poetry were presented perfectly-bound, and spine out, those were few and far between. Poets from the black and minority ethnic communities were also noticeably absent. The poetry shelves at Waterstone were white, and male. Even the collected works of the British poet laureate, presented almost as an afterthought. This brings me to Duffy, and her work, and the way in which she’s been received. There we found it — a single copy, spine out — a 580-page tome that is Duffy’s output from 1985-2015. For Americans and other creatures of the Last Days, Duffy has held the position of Britain’s first ever female Poet Laureate since 2009. Collected Poems spans Duffy’s entire professional life. I’ll be honest: the classicist in me doesn’t warm much to her work. Duffy’s poetry seems on the surface homespun, not too intellectually taxing, even pedestrian in places. That is, of course, before you take that all important second look, and realize the weight that lies behind the lightness of her verse. The Jack Sparrow’s Isla de Muerte, you won’t see the complexity and depth of emotion unless you already know that it’s there, or have found one of her phrases lodging itself in your brain, unable to shift. Open the window at the back, says the voice of an establishment teacher damning Duffy with faint praise at a poetry reading at a school. We don’t want the winds 52


of change about the place. Reading her poetry like this (all in one volume over several consecutive sittings), is an astonishing, and humbling experience. Duffy writes about life. She writes about love. And gender. And politics. She writes about sex. She writes positively about sex. Her poetic landscapes flow from grungy Britain, Africa, India, the voices of everyman, and for that matter, everywoman. While all of this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who knows poets and poetry (sex, politics and religion are, after all, our very meat and drink), it is unusual to see this from a female poet. Because we worry, so much, don’t we, about things that never touch male poets. We’re beset by the Generation X version of Woolf's Angel In The House, female poets wear many hats that conflict with the soul of who she is. A male poet can write a poem called Thank You for Swallowing My Cum, and win accolades for his poetic fearlessness, walk in with nary a blush to his daughter’s Parent-Teacher conference, and remain the poet-in-residence at Arseton Sixth Form College. Should a female poet write, something along the lines of You’re Welcome, Lover, she knows will be smeared, or judged, or dismissed, or lose her low-paid public sector day job when her line manager gets hold of her love poetry. Even Duffy — whose poetry has been widely praised and disseminated — was accused in 2012 by English poetry heavyweight Sir Geoffrey Hill of writing the poetic equivalent of a Mills and Boons (Harlequin) romance. This is an accusation that would never have been levied at a man in a million years, despite a vast amount of white male poetic output from literary London being the equivalent of The Lonely Island’s NSFW song I Just Had Sex, but without the irony. Like women’s literary fiction (all to too often means ‘a book written by someone with a uterus’) poetry which details the female experience from a feminist, and especially sex-positive perspective is dismissed and lightly thought of, even in these interesting times when female literary writers are clamouring 53


to be heard. Much like the shelves in Waterstones, our work as poets is rarely presented facing out. Reading through these verses, most of which are free, we note they’re rendered with tight linguistic framing. Duffy is, I suspect, a poet who knows her closed forms intimately — evidence lies in the sly use of couplets, the snuck-in terza rime, the blank verse masquerading as free. Duffy, of course, is one of the generation of poets who rejected forms as staid and restricted, so most of the poems are like jazz tunes, falling in and out of rhythm, rising and falling with the squandered voices of women. Duffy is (or was, you can’t really get any more ‘establishment’ than the office of British Poet Laureate) a radical poet: Quarterday is a classical journal, and by rights we should be celebrating Hill’s work, not hers. And yet. In many places Duffy’s experimental, anti-establishment style demonstrates what all poets, regardless of leanings, should aspire to — that fearlessness that marks all great artistic endeavour. It is the female voice — the unanimous thread that binds all women in everyday experiences — that links all of her work, and reading the full body of it together ties these experiences together. As Roque Dalton wrote, poetry, like bread, is for everyone, and this volume of her work to date deserves to be in every library where the English language is celebrated.

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Review: Eastern Structures Ed. R.W. Watkins

ISBN: 9781530638406 NOCTURNAL IRIS PUBLICATIONS $6:99 US.

Fair disclosure: this literary journal solicited work from yours truly for its inaugural publication, and so this review is not the ‘neutral’ view we usually try to bring you. Nevertheless, we’re going to praise this new journal because the concept is brilliant. Whether we write in Eastern or Western classical traditions, Eastern Structures, and Quarterday share a common goal of promotion of classical forms. As such, these two publications are almost unique in a world where ‘poetry’ means ‘free verse’ and forms are considered by editors and publishers as analogous to parlor tricks and not ‘proper’ poetry at all. Like its forerunner, Contemporary Ghazals, this irregularly published journal is a literary interest of the maverick, outspoken Canadian poet and critic, R.W. Watkins. We can understand why Watkins’s unexpurgated views on just about everything in the Asian poetry scene has got up establishment noses. We love his rants, though, a rare sign of a healthy, squalling, environment classical poets need to create. He is not diplomatic in his savage critiques, but our view is there is room for this roughhousing: precisely because formalists are restricted, we need to consistently ‘live on the edge’ in our writing lives. So how does this journal differ from Contemporary Ghazals? Eastern Structures places ghazals — now a thriving form thanks largely to the efforts of R.W. Watkins and Bill West at Contemporary Ghazals, and Holly Jensen at The Ghazal Page — in context with other Asian forms, including the little known Korean sijo form. Structures attempts to revive these forms and encourage innovation while adhering to classical structure, providing both a venue for classical verse and a tutorial for those who 55


wish to try new forms of Asian poetry. As Watkins notes in his Foreword to the issue, Structures is an Asian Poetry department store. We might linger over the familiarity of senryu, but those ghazals over there look enticing. For this reason, we believe that this journal will have a long shelf-life, a reference, and a joy to return to again and again, and a musthave for a formalist looking for inspiration and very helpful tutorials and articles. There is a slight issue with the sijo section. Ghazals and Japanese forms are well-covered, but the little known Korean sijo remains a form few have tried — despite structurally being similar to a sonnet. Including this form, however, in a journal dedicated to classical Asian poetry may revive the sijo’s fortunes in the West. Structures is organized by form, starting as you’d expect with ghazals, before moving to sijo, then to haiku and finally to tanka (waka) poetry. What was especially pleasing was the way in which the selected poets shifted between the forms. Bill West, especially, moved through all forms covered, demonstrating his skill with Asian forms. Special mention also goes to the tanka and haiku of Jim Wilson and Priscilla Lignori, respectively. Importantly, Watkins’ editorial essay Dial 5-7-5 for Classicism forcefully and convincingly argues that the unity of form allows for more innovation and variation in theme, a common structural grounding. The poetry selections reflect this philosophy. Classical themes of lost love, mysticism, and erotic longing lie as close bedfellows to grungy cityscapes, dirty sex, political polemic, dark soul, and light wit. A brilliant thought-provoking, and (for some) an infuriating read.

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Review: Searching for Capybaras in the Work of Marc Chagall by Simon Williams

INDIGO DREAMS PUBLISHING £6:00 Poet Simon Williams is hardly a new voice. As editor of The Broadsheet and a Devon poet probably best known for his collection He-She (Itinerant Press, 2012), Williams’ verse has been around for four decades. His latest pamphlet (chapbook to our American readers) produces an absorbing little collection of 'conversations' between a literary artist and a visual one, anchored on a discourse between the poet and a fictionalized Marc Chagall, a Russian Jewish artist famed for such paintings as La Mariée. These pictures make an appearance in ekphrastic poetry on Chagall's art that punctuates William's verse in uniquely funny and insightful ways. The poetry is excellent. Williams eschews the awful postmodernist navel gazing which haunts so much of contemporary free verse at present, and instead focuses on the path of the artist. His poems, while free, are kept within a 14 line limit, the genius of which is that the strict number functions as the boundary of a canvas size a visual artist might use. The poet includes a tongue-in-cheek apology at the start that they are 'not sonnets.' Really? One sees here many of the techniques employed by sonneteers, including situations or conundrum posed in the first four lines, with a volta-like twist. These borrowed classical techniques lend solid structure to the poetry. What is most 'sonnet like' about these verses is the memorable concluding couplets, often with profound punchlines. Williams writes perhaps the most insightful thing ever written about writers in love versus visual artists in love: writers take their time to fall in love over the exchange of words, but 'love is faster with a brush.'

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Searching for Capybaras is an Indigo Dreams pamphlet and therefore has the gentle shades of an undisturbed Middle England about it. Those looking for grit and grime in their poetry need to look elsewhere. However, there is most certainly room in the literary world for the gentle, the humorous, and good clean fun presented here, and the poetry is uplifting without being saccharine, fake, or resorting to pastiche. A joy to read.

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Afterword

BY LJ McDOWALL

This issue isn’t quite the jolly roll in the hay, the celebration of love, marriage, sex and sexuality, pastoral farming, the traditional themes of Beltane, that I wanted it to be. One question leaps out. Where, oh where, are all the women? I wouldn’t mind so much if this were August, the issue set aside for poetry themed on masculinity, but this is May. The male and female voice should be celebrated in equal measure with playful force. As it stands, four women have crashed a boy’s night out. This time around, I’ve had to include two of my own pieces, The Lady and The Rules of The Game, something I never do unless reprinting previously published work. Without including my poetry, the work of Priscilla Lignori, Elizabeth Archer, Catherine Wald would be lost in the chorus of men’s voices, and I couldn’t bear it. This brings me to the thorny subject of submissions and gender. Quarterday is a gender-positive journal. There are some who bemoan that they cannot get published, citing the fact they are not an Asian lesbian trans woman as the reason. This is something I’ve heard quite a bit in the forums where I’ve promoted this journal when I say ‘women, people of color, and LGBTQ writers are particularly encouraged to submit’. I have a few things to say to those people, mostly along the lines of you 59


ools, you bigoted fools. Please, for the love of all that’s holy, grow up and stop whining. This is an online journal, primarily. If we get a great poem, we will simply make an extra page. There is no set page length. We started with 25 pages; the last issue was around 40, and this issue is perhaps the longest at circa 60. We don’t have a print subscription list because the price of the print volume varies quarter to quarter, to allow for those extra pages. There is no possible way that we will not take a great poem by a white, cisgender, straight man because an Asian trans lesbian woman has taken their ‘slot’. The reason why we say ‘women et al are encouraged to submit’ is because we are desperately short of female submitters. We still have to keep the quality high. There’s no question of ‘women getting published just because they’re women’ (another nasty, sexist slur floating around the cesspools of the internet at present), and so invariably we do reject female submitters. It's a simple question of numbers. The fewer women who submit, the fewer women we publish. We simply do not have a large enough pool of female submitters. Women are writing: they are not submitting, and they are not re-submitting when editors ask them to. The result is depressing: we have outstanding poetry, but the male voice dominates the issue. So please, for the love of the Saints and Angels, if we say ‘send us more of your work’ or ‘please revise and resubmit,' do it, and do it quickly. You will not impose on us. You will not annoy us. I’ve had one male poet re-submit a poem five times in a three month period, for the love of God. If that weren't welcome, I would have told him. The other matter is, of course, the sharp difference between what men submit and the poetry presented by women. Men demonstrate that sort of fearlessness that comes from not being terrified of judgement, the need to be seen as ‘nice’ or a ‘good.’ As I remark in my review of Carol Ann Duffy’s Collected Poems: 60


[W]e worry, so much, don’t we, about things that never touch male

poets. We’re beset by the Generation X version of Wolfe’s Angel In The House, female poets wear many hats, many which conflict with the soul of who she is. A male poet can write a poem called Thank You for Swallowing My Cum, and win accolades for his poetic fearlessness, walk in with nary a blush to his daughter’s parentteacher conference, and remain the poet-in-residence at Arseton Sixth Form College. Should a female poet write something along the lines of You’re Welcome, Lover, she knows she runs the risk of being smeared, or judged, or dismissed, or runs the risk losing her low-paid public sector day job when her line manager gets hold of her love poetry.

Unfortunately, the business of poetry is the business of pornography. If it doesn’t involve prostituting your emotions, poetry involves the prostitution of someone else’s. All poetry is porn, or it isn’t proper poetry, and women, who wear those many hats in their lives, suffer especially because of the the path of the artist rarely intersects the path of working and raising a family. We still cannot get that room of our own that Woolf said was so necessary for women writers. It’s shocking to say, as someone who self-defines as a feminist, that it took me so long to send my work out. I wouldn’t have done it but for the badgering of a male writer, who urged me, over and over, that my poems needed to be seen. Essentially I owe all my dubious publication success to a wild man who lives up a mountain somewhere in Appalachia. I went to him in a moment of panic when an erotic poem was accepted for a journal of doubtful literature, fearing just the sorts of things that women worry about. What if my daughter’s teachers read it? What if I applied for that third sector job, and my saucy verse is all over the internet? What if, like Carol Ann Duffy (but before I reached her level of success) I was dismissed by the Establishment as writing ‘Harlequin Romance’ poetry? What if? What if? His response was correct, and merciless. He gave me who told me the truth of it:

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Forget about hiding. Do you think we can’t see you? It’s impossible for an insightful man not to read your work and not to know you. Some of us wonder what it would be like to be more closely acquainted, even if we’d never admit it aloud. That’s the burden of the poet; you cannot hide the way others can, behind walls of pen names, agents, and publishers. A poet is almost a public figure. Your analogy to the courtesan poets of ancient Korea and Japan is correct. Poetry isn’t work for respectable people.

In other words, ‘congratulations, woman, you’re ruined.’ There can be no great art without risk. No poetry without truth. No prosody without the authenticity-lived life. No literary art without getting naked. This may be something of a rallying cry, but you can’t write a proper poem if you’re afraid of what others might think. Writing, submitting, and promoting our work like men do is of course much easier said than done, even for the ruined among us. But we must. We must be fearless; as fearless as the men. A woman must write as if she were not subjected to the gender-based censure and judgement that exists. She must write as if the Sex Police were not ‘stationed at the border,’ pulling over the women drivers but not the men (a reason why we’ve led with Watkins’ ghazal). We must pretend that our social and moral critics don’t exist, even as they’re breathing down our necks. We must fight, we must write, we must submit as men do. Here endeth all my darling rants of May.

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Contributors R.W. Watkins is a poet, essayist, editor and social critic. He is the author of two volumes of haiku and related poetry, October Twilight and New England Country Farmhouse, and the co-author (with Robin Tilley) of a third, In The Grip of Sirens. He has also edited and published issues of Contemporary Ghazals and the one-off Contemporary Sijo. His poetry has appeared in several journals throughout Canada and the US, and he was the only Canadian included in Agha Shahid Ali's Ravishing DisUnities, the world's first anthology of English-language ghazals. He currently edits Eastern Structures, an irregularly published journal dedicated to classical Asian poetry. Liùsaidh is a Forward Prize-nominated poet, lyricist, and critic from the west of Scotland. Prior to sliding to the bottom of society, she worked the law. She lived for extended periods in Asia and Latin America sojourns that had a lasting influence on her classical poetry. Her work has recently appeared in Poets & War, The Ghazal Page, Eastern Structures, Thank You For Swallowing and The Rat’s Ass Review. As LJ McDowall she edits The Quarterday Review, and is poetry advisor for Trigger Warnings (Ed. Raven Black). Her sick social experiment masquerading as lyrics and light verse is forthcoming from Quarterday Poetry, entitled Filthy Dirty Hymns. William Ruleman’s poems have appeared, most recently, in The Belle Rȇve Literary Journal, The Galway Review, The New English Review, The New Verse News, The Pennsylvania Review, The Quarterday Review, and The Sonnet Scroll. His books include two collections of his own poems (A Palpable Presence and Sacred and Profane Loves, both from Feather Books), as well as the following volumes of translation: Poems from Rilke’s Neue Gedichte (WillHall Books, 2003), Vienna Spring: Early Novellas and Stories of Stefan Zweig (Ariadne Press, 2010), and, from Cedar Springs Books, Verse for the Journey: Poems on the Wandering Life by the German Romantics, A Girl and the Weather (poems and prose of Stefan Zweig), and Selected Poems of Maria Luise Weissmann. He is Professor of English at Tennessee Wesleyan College. Paul Boldt (1885-1921) one of the German Expressionist poets, was given to frolicsome and sometimes bawdy depictions of life, love, and sex in Berlin during the years preceding the First World War. Though drafted into the army, he was discharged in 1916, being declared psychologically unfit to serve. He died at the age of 35 from complications resulting from hernia surgery. 63


Catherine Wald's chapbook, Distant, Burned-out Stars, was published in June 2011 (Finishing Line Press). She has published poems in American Journal of Nursing, Chronogram, Exit 13, Friends Journal, J Journal, The Lyric and Westchester Review among others, and she is author of The Resilient Writer (Persea 2004). Elizabeth Archer publishes poetry, short stories and flash fiction. She is working on a novel, and lives in the Texas Hill Country. Priscilla Lignori is the winner of numerous international awards for haiku poetry, including the 2013 Basho Award. The founder and teacher of Hudson Valley Haiku-kai, a haiku group that meets once a month, she has published one book of haiku poetry, Beak Open, Feat Relaxed: 108 Haiku. She is a psychotherapist in private practice in New York State. Robert Beveridge makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Chiron Review, Riverrun, and Third Wednesday, among others. James E. Smith graduated from Villanova University in 1968 and was promptly drafted into the US Army and sent to Vietnam. Wounded in action, he came home to spend a rather dull 40 years with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. He now spends his time in the Washington DC area attending poetry workshops and taking his dog Baa for long thoughtful walks. Alain Rain is British writer who turned to poetry some twelve months ago, and finds it to be a natural medium for literary expression. He believes a poem should have teeth and leave an indelible mark on the reader. No subject is taboo. Alan is working on a novel. D.A. Ravn was born on the windswept plains of northern Iowa at the height of the Cold War. He has been described as cantankerous, contrary, confused, eclectic, alliterative, and annoying. Possessing degrees in the visual arts and physical sciences, he turned to writing later in life as a means of escape, but still hasn’t found the exit. Edward Norman is a poet, not by choice, but through the attention of a fickle muse that strikes without warning. A father of three, likewise he’s am his my third career. He keeps picking ones that technology makes obsolete.

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Lee Todd Lacks is a mixed-media artist and music therapist, who seeks to blur the distinctions between rants, chants, anecdotes, and anthems. experience of living with significant vision and hearing deficits often informs his writing, which has appeared or is forthcoming in Bop Dead City, Tincture Journal, Liquid Imagination, The Literary Hatchet, YELLOW MAMA, Crack The Spine, and elsewhere. In July 2015, his poem, Durgin-Park, won the Bop Dead City Beginnings Contest. Lee Todd and his family currently reside in South Portland, Maine, U.S.A. Gareth Writer-Davies was Commended in the Prole Laureate Competition in 2015, Specially Commended in the Welsh Poetry Competition and Highly Commended in the Sherborne Open Poetry Competition. He was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the Erbacce Prize in 2014. His chapbook Bodies (Indigo Dreams) was published in 2015. Stephen M. Dickey has published poetry in journals such as Lake Effect, Hubbub, Indefinite Space, and Asses of Parnassus. A short story recently appeared in Word Riot. Pieces are to appear in Indefinite Space and Skidrow Penthouse. He has published a great deal of Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian poetry and prose, such as Meša Selimović’s Death and the Dervish (NWUP, 1996) and Miljenko Jergović’s The Walnut Mansion (YUP, 2015). Hal O’Leary, now in his nineties, has been published in nineteen different countries. He lives by a quote from his son’s play Wine To Blood, “I don’t know if there is a Utopia, but I am certain that we must act as though there can be.” Hal, a Pushcart nominee, is a recent recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from West Liberty University, the same institution from which he became a college dropout some sixty years earlier. He currently resides in Wheeling, WV. Ian Colville was born in Scotland, but is presently exiled in England. He’s had over forty poems published online and in print, recently appearing in Downright Fiction, Reflections, Tuck Magazine, Poetry Scotland Open Mouse, the Paragram Anthologies (Slants of Light and Remember), The Poetic Bond II & III, ken*again, The Screech Owl, Prole, Poetry and Prose, The Elphinstone Kist, Jotters United, Federation of Writers (Scotland) website, the Gold Dust Calendars (2014 & 2015), Etherbooks, Houseboat, and in Orbis Quarterly Literary magazine. Ian writes long poetry in classical forms despite these being out of fashion. You can find out more about his work, and his poetry, by visiting http:// iainthepoet.blogspot.co.uk.

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R. Bremner, a former cab driver, truck unloader, computer programmer, and vice-president at Citibank, lives in Glen Ridge, NJ, USA, with his beautiful sociologist wife, their brilliant son, and their excitable puppy Ariel. A regular contributor to poetsonline.org and the Poetry Super Highway live radio show, he has appeared in International Poetry Review, the Journal of Formal Poetry, the Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Anthology, Paterson Literary Review, Turbulence (UK), Southlit (South Asia), Sanitarium (UK), etc. etc. He reads at many venues regularly, and is often mistaken for the mythical Jersey Devil. He has traveled extensively, especially to Sri Lanka, the birthplace of his wife. He likes you to visit him at http://www.pw.org/content/r_bremner Nick Humez was born in 1948 and lived in New England for his first fifty years. For seven of them he was the principal music reviewer for Maine's then-largest-circulation newspaper; and spent another seven years after that teaching mythology at a state college in New Jersey. He is co-author of eight books, most of them on language and the cultural baggage that words bring with them when we import them. He now lives in semi-retirement with his sculptor wife in northern Ohio.

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About Quarterday The Quarterday Review is an international literary journal dedicated to classical poetry forms from around the world; published from Scotland. We publish work with a very strong narrative voice and story arc, and have a preference for earth conscious, mythic, spiritual or indigenous themes. We’re looking for beautiful, bold, witty work which has literary merit, deep feeling, humour, creative treatment of themes, and fantastic storytelling. We’re looking for comedy, tragedy and memorable voices. We also publish reviews of poetry chapbooks and anthologies every quarter.

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About the Editors LJ McDowall, Executive Editor.

LJ (Lucy) is currently reading Humanities with the Open University in Scotland, her third degree. Formerly a first reader for Spark, A Creative Anthology, Lucy’s literary interests span speculative, historical and literary fiction. Lucy has been writing poetry since the age of seven. Her work has been published under several pseudonyms online and in print, and she’s an associate member of the Society of Authors. She lives in the West of Scotland.

Leslie E. Owen, Consulting Editor

Leslie began her publishing career in New York as an editorial assistant with Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1981, after graduating with degrees in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Arizona in 1980. Leslie has held positions as Literary Agent, Director of Foreign Rights, International Publishing Representative, and Acquisitions Editor in New York and Vancouver, British Columbia. Leslie’s extensive and varied career also includes freelance reading for Four Winds Press and working as a Movie Scout for Nevelco. She has written articles and reviewed for Publishers Weekly, The Horn Book, the SCBWI Newsletter, and the Greensboro (NC) News & Record. Leslie’s recent works have been published in Zoetrope and Jewish Monthly, and her children’s science book, Pacific Tree Frogs, was published in 2003 by Tradewind Books in Vancouver, London, and Sydney. The book earned a top-ten-pick rating in Canada. In 2004, Pacific Tree Frogs was published in the U.S. by Crocodile Books.

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Thank you for reading.

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R.W. WATKINS LIÙSAIDH WILLIAM RULEMAN CATHERINE WALD ELIZABETH ARCHER ROBERT BEVERIDGE EDWARD NORMAN JAMES E. SMITH PRISCILLA LIGNORI ALAN RAIN LEE TODD LACKS D.A. RAVN EDWARD NORMAN GARETH WRITER-DAVIES IAN COLVILLE HAL O’LEARY STEPHEN M. DICKEY R BREMNER NICK HUMEZ


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