Miracle Issue 6
Miracle Issue 6
THE MUSIC ISSUE
Cover Art By Jay Alders
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
Miracle Issue 6
MIRACLE Short Fiction. Poetry. Non- Fiction. Art. Interviews. Reviews and much more...
June-July 2013 Issue 6
For any queries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant editor: Natasha Pasch Disclaimer: Matter published in Miracle e-zine is the work of individual writers who guarantee it to be entirely their own work. Contributors to Miracle ezine are largely creative. The publishers accept no liability for them. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily represent the policies or positions of the publisher. The publisher intends no factual miscommunication, disrespect to, or incitement of any individual, community or enterprise through this publication.
Editorial Hello Everyone! Can’t believe that it is nearly a year since we started with this magazine! It has been a beautiful journey so far and we I feel elated to say that we have completed 6 BIG ISSUES! We just want to carry on and make many more of these. It’s massive the way the magazine has transformed along the way. We have so many projects and contests going at the moment and of course your turnovers for all these contests keep reminding me of all our achievements so far. Actually, Issue 6 is in itself a great achievement for us! We all have worked really hard on this one to bring you something better. I must mention that all those musical writings that you all sent in for this MUSIC ISSUE were beautiful and gave us great pleasure! Also, I think it’s time now to move one more step and get the magazine into print! It has been my dream to hold this magazine in hardcopy and it could only be possible if you all help us and fund our next issue. Soon, we are going to launch our fundraising project for issue 7 and I really hope that you all will help us make this dream come true and that the next time we work on this magazine, it turns out to be in print!
Website: http://miracleezine.wix.com/miracle-e-zine Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Miracle.ezine Twitter: https://twitter.com/Miracleezine
THE Miracle Music Issue 6 ISSUE
In This Issue: An Author’ Profile J.R.R Tolkein By Christopher Stewart
Author interview Matthew Thorburn
Theme Column: Potential Music Written by: R.G Summers
Miracle Interview Poetry Takes A New Tune
34 The Poetry Place -Nilofer Neubert
. 53 Author interview -Nick Quantrill
Book Reviews By Julie Stanley
Band Interview With Brett MaaxShlagel .
Film Review: Star Trek Reviewed By: Patrick Satters
A Writer’s Refugee -Troy Cabida
47 Writing Workshop By Marie Lightman
Poems By : Neil Fulwood, Harry Wilson, Charles Aidoo, Glenn Moss, Andrew Scott, Steven Fortune, Jayme Karales, Kieran Owl, RD McManes, Michael Young, Jessica Hollet, Parker Tettleton, Hisham M Nazer, Courtney Horne, Chingmang Yuan, Allen Qing Yuan, Paul Tristam, Linda Crate, Xoe Amer, Joel Harris, Patrick Sarsfield, Chris, G. Vaillancourt, Christie Suyanto, Zainabb Hull, Bethany W Pope, Summer Nolaln, Christopher Barnes, Jyothsnaphanjia Bolla, Nilofer Neubert, John W. Sexton, Connor May, Rebecca Gimblett, Alexandera Minter-Hoadley, Alliosn Grayhurst, Elizabeth Gibson, Jack Oughton
Fiction By: Akexander Kerri, Andres Vaamonde, Daisy Butcher, Olga Kolesnikova, Mike Hilbig, Michael Strayer Artworks: David W Moore III and Jareen Kaur
Last Issue’s Writing Task Winner
Miracle Issue 6
Escape route -Neil Fulwood Bolts shear; metal twists itself from protest to pursuit. Dust falls and disappears in the greater grime of the sidewalk. The fire escape, detached from the brownstone, goes racing after the burglar who dared use it as a means of exit.
The giant steps of a stilt-walker, the speed of an athlete. The pugnacity of a New York cop. It strides vehicles, pedestrians, vendors. The chase leads downtown. Helicopters circle at a distance. “Hey asshole,” it yells in a voice of rust, “hey asshole!”
Neil Fulwood has had poetry accepted by Nib, Obsessed With Pipework, The Writers' Hub, The Coffee House and Ink, Sweat & Tears. He was awarded a merit in last year's Third Annual James Kirkup Memorial Competition and featured in the competition anthology. He is the author of media studies book 'The Films of Sam Peckinpah'. Neil is a member of the Alan Sillitoe Committee, an organisation dedicated to raising funds for a permanent memorial to Alan in his home town of Nottingham. Neil co-designed their website www.sillitoe.com.
Miracle Issue 6
Miracle Issue 6
White cliff Country -Harry Wilson In town Your time is tied between childcare and intoxication. It becomes more kids, more coke, more broken bottles on kebab shop steps. Before you vote blue to keep out the real threat to community, in front of the Prince Albert, Crown and Sceptre, slurring your philosophy into ignorance. At the port You swipe on and secure your float, check the load, the morning weather. twos a fag with that one stewardess, watch her smoke wash away the cliffs and castle lights, no longer of attraction your hand a tourist in hers. At least while you’re on the channel. At sea ‘Are you on all day? Yeah me too.’ ‘I can’t wait to get back to Dover.
Harry Wilson has been writing poetry since the age of 14 and is now 19, about to start studying English and creative writing at University. His poetry has been published in e-zines and poetry Magazines such as 'The Cadaverine', 'Cuckoo Quarterly' and 'YM: Poetry'.
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Butterfly Beauty -Charles Aidoo I meet her at half onto eight she sits for a half pollen plate felt good! but hey! What's in a kiss stays in a kiss she spreads her wings across my span she browses like sunshine through crowns if I had stomata they'd grow faster like food fulfillment does stomach arcs she takes photos of my synthesis her colours of kaleidoscope magic keep eyes fixed, memories elastic like her tongue she tells me stories about how she has no fears about how she flirts with the atmosphere leaving her hair strands in the cloud's care her knees sink into the abdomen of earth her time ticks like drizzle in splits her wisdom tooth bites into thin air she tells me her dreams enveloped in blue screams she retorts about days she went deaf when no word of the world she wanted heard stories of how she needs her space and believes in her lonely pace sometimes she stays patient "Dzigbordzi" she waits only seconds few that kind of patient her beauty bloom, inbred like yeast in bread that's how every heart she conquers yields totally a natural thing she
like a baby straddling the mother's back perches. I offer that comfort me "Abotare" tensed but trusting that kind of comfort so she perches her stories too the breeze eavesdrops pretending to tease flee, hop, the sun leaves and returns a yellowish cheese, divided into half by night's dark lips. I meet her at half onto eight she sits for a half pollen plate halved like the moon she flies away as quick as amnesic memory every flower she visits pollinates you can't tell if she'll return again, ever though your flower for a moment will bloom..
Charles Kwame Aidoo appeared in the spoken word scene in 2011 as Kwame Write, but even before that, in 2003, he was nominated as Best Amateur Poet by www.poetry.com. He's a biochemist and works as a risk consultant but his transition in the creative industry has been phenomenal; combining poetry, spoken word, rap, freelance prose writing and performance coaching.
Miracle Issue 6
Off Season -Glenn Moss My footprints remain in the morning, tracking my path on the dune’s edge Above high tide, outline unchanged by the night’s fog, untouched by foraging pipers Driftwood sleeps, resting until the ocean offers new passage A bird sculpted from twigs and wet sand, an offering from a child’s hand I bend to look into the spaces between wood and grain, framing water and wind A moment in a canvass always unfinished Driving to the harbor empty of swaying boats and laughter reflected through chardonnay and chowder I walk past shops and restaurants, boards covering windows, chairs sleeping upside down on tables A gull sits on the jetty, we share a memory of easy summer dinners Walking back to my car, I look at the rows of white lines waiting to serve their purpose Driving home through off season stillness, I think of my calendar’s turning pages
Glenn Moss is a media lawyer by trade and a poet by need. Growing up in Brooklyn with a severe stutter, he began writing poems as a way to discover his voice. Even when he did find a way to speak the words, the need to write continued and Moss tried to make the clauses and exclusions dance. Living in Manhattan with family and pets, Moss works with start-up media companies and start-up poems.
Writing Prompt: Begin a story with the line, “The clock winked”.
Miracle Issue 6
An Author’s Profile -Christopher Stewart
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Inspiring Music Many know the name of this classic author who has made an impact in the fantasy world with titles such as “The Hobbit”, “Lord of The Rings”, & “The Silmarillion”. What most don’t know is that he has inspired countless artists of today that range from rockers Led Zepplin, to heavy metal thrashers Megadeath, and many more. The worlds he has created have been so iconic that many artists famous songs were about said worlds. Such as Stairway to Heaven, This Day We Fight, Night Fall in Middle Earth, &etc. as the list can go on for quite some time. Roland Barrett: "I don't remember thinking of any specific literary work or message at the time I composed this piece. However, I had read all of Tolkien's works by that time, so.....they may have had an indirect influence. It's pretty hard to read his stuff and not conjure up some pretty vivid imagery (even before the movies came along).” Dave Ballou: "In the case of the tune on my CD it refers to my neighbor whose landscaping company is called Treebeard." Jeff Lorber: "'Requiem For Gandalf' was actually the first song that I wrote for the album. I had this wonderful cat for twenty years, and he finally passed away about a year ago, and it was very emotional. You get very attached to your pet. I just sat down and poured my heart into that song and I think you can really hear that in the melody." The influence from J.R.R. Tolkien will never be measured as his books are still circulating in today’s world and are still a favorite by many readers regardless of age. The adaption of his books to film has made box office hits as “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” sits at number 6 of all-time world-wide sales; the film scores/soundtrack produced by Howard Shore has also won three Academy Awards. Tolkien has also left a significant body of work unpublished, which later his son Christopher Tolkien published. This included, “The Silmarillion”, “The History of Middle Earth”,“Unfinished Tales” and the most recent “The Fall of Arthur”. Many things can be said about J.R.R. Tolkien but one thing is for sure. His influence goes beyond the realm of literature and this should come to no surprise for the father of modern fantasy.
Miracle Issue 6
Guiding Fairies -Andrew Scott Do not know why I went this way, shelter from sudden, hard rain, really thought this trail would be shorter, the winds are making this blinding, cannot see but two steps ahead, just that far because of a small, white glowing aura, created, I think, by rain in my eyes.
Body is tensing with every step, the fear being created in my mind, is making more damp sweat on my skin, keeping head down, moving forward, legs are too heavy to just run, focusing on keeping breathing steady, thinking jaw will break from clinching.
Feels like I just walked through a building, the rain was not pounding for a brief second, now my arms are being hit by thorny branches, just step by step, walking forward, not moving my eyes or head, do not want to look, sure my terror is playing tricks on me. See a glimmer of light ahead, muddy trail getting wider, clearer, afraid still to move faster, even as I hear bells off in the clearing. Behind me, I hear mischievous giggles, relief playing tricks on me, as I step into the sunâ€™s mist, letting out the lump in my chest.
Andrew Scott is a Canadian Native. He is a reviewer for literature and music on Swaggakings.com and hosts ReVerse, an international on-line classic poetry radio program. Andrew's eclectic poetry style has been featured in numerous publications worldwide. His chapbook, Snake With A Flower, is available now on Amazon.com.
Miracle Issue 6
PAINT IT PINK -Steven Fortune Jagger had to turn his head until the darkness went leading me to wonder if the muse of music hell was heaven-sent from the lips of angels were the words I pleaded for in ink well I should have turned my head not fritter wondering which one was pink
Steven Fortune has made two previous appearances in the pages of Miracle and cites the experience as a prime means of inspiration towards the goal of having his own collection published in the future. A Bachelor Of Arts in English Literature, Steven is currently in the midst of compiling a formal manuscript.
THE FLASH -Jayme Karales The Flash must feel inadequate, all he does is run fast, Good job, Flash, you saved the day by running fast, Sonic could’ve done it better, The Flash must feel useless, considering Superman has the same exact ability, Good job, Flash, all you have to do is run slow, and you’re out of the job, People criticize Aquaman, but at least he can talk to fish, The Flash wears red, and that’s basically it, Good job, Flash, you suck.
JAYME KARALES is the author of the eBook, Youth, as well as numerous short stories, essays,and poems. His writing has been published by Before Sunrise Press, UnHollyWood, Nostrovia! Poetry, and Flash Fiction 365. His debut novel, Disorderly, is set to be released by Before Sunrise Press in 2013. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Miracle Issue 6
Painting by David W Moore III David W Moore III was born in New Orleans, where the rich cultural history helped to flesh out his style. His first two books, From the Midst of the Maelstrom andMarie Laveau's Hot Pink Hearse are filled with semi-surreal poetry and short stories. His novel, The Shroud, should be released late 2013 or early2014. His writings have also been published in The Cartys Poetry Journal, The Medulla Review, and Canyon Voices. He has recently started to concentrate on his artwork. He attended St. Paul's High School in Covington, Louisiana and graduated from Tulane University.
THE MUSIC Miracle
The Weaving Machine -Kieran Owl Somewhere deep and far away, a grey tower sits, majestic and tall. For atop its spindly head, a Machine weaves the telling of all. Satin and silk, the threads spin long, to the thudding rhythm, of the Machine’s heart’s song. In its simple oak and mahogany, the ivy laces up its sides. Perfection in its golden needles, the Machine simply weaves and glides. The threads wove through gilded holes, and on into places planned. The Machine spun with spider-pride, as it painted out the land. Purple, blue, crimson, and green, the colors of life flash by. For weaving the cloth of truth, the magic threads never lie. The seams fall to fit perfectly, as the puzzles connect at last. The Machine whirs and spins, placing the future, present, and past. The cloth never quits growing, as the hourglass sands fall. For a human life is very short, in something that shows time of all. Connecting and breathing alive, all reality is forcibly revealed. Portraying the innocence of young, to lies and games with lips sealed. The sputtering Machine never fails, showing growth of grass to kings. It rejoices with the honest and happy, but accepts the burden it sings.
It marvels with the outright luck, and it draws clear the pure fate. It leaves the choices and bends clear, which things have yet to make. The Machine whirs and hums, carrying its needles to cross. With the duty of portraying all, there is no time to be lost. After a spare trodden eternity, of clacking out its vows. The Machine’s fatal clacking, became quite a howl. Still the cloth spun on, shaping the patterns and woes of life. But its speed was trembling down, and scales tipped to strife. Slower and utterly doomed, the howl succumbed to a whistle. So high pitched and calm, that it made the cloth bristle. What was once sewn with love, now turned to the night. For as the sun set on the world, the Machine fell from the light. The world of life and the Machine, were evidently one heart. So an end to one so ancient, would also end the other’s start. The machine tried hard to keep itself, and its weakening gears together. But as a destined Weaver of Time, it knew nothing lasts forever. So with a final almighty shove, the tender Machine pushed on. It avoided the possible no tomorrow, and concentrated on its song. But its sudden, crushing blow, only disassembled it faster. The golden needles speed just stopped, as the Machine crumbled like plaster. The threads hung down, low and long, the rainbow of movement, a mirage. The machine crumpled to the floor, now a hopeless cause. Somewhere deep and far away, a grey tower begins to crumble and fall. For the world has plunged to dark, and died has the Weaver of All.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Miracle Issue 6
I’m the author of three books of poems, most recently This Time Tomorrow, published in 2013 by the Waywiser Press. It’s a collection of poems about traveling and experiences (both real and imagined) in Iceland, Japan, and China. I also write book reviews from time to time, and occasionally essays. And in fact I write for a living: I have worked in several different corporate communications roles, mostly in the legal industry. 2. What does being creative mean to you? For me, being creative starts with paying attention to the world around you. The painter Jasper Johns said that sometimes we get so close to the world we don’t notice it anymore. In the busy-ness of working life, it’s easy to fall into that trap. So being creative means slowing down, noticing what’s interesting (or strange or troubling) and then making something (such as a poem) that expresses that deeper meaning in day-to-day life. Being creative by writing poems is a way for me to hold onto experiences, to stop time, but it’s also an act of creation: making a new experience through words. 3. What inspires you the most?
Author Interview. Matthew Thorburn.
When I was writing the poems in This Time Tomorrow, it was new experiences—strange or surprising sights, new places and unfamiliar landscapes—that inspired me the most. In terms of having to pay attention and notice things, there’s probably nothing better than being in a different country, trying to find your way around. I was very aware of the contrast between what I knew from back home in the U.S. and what I was experiencing in Iceland or Japan or China. The friction between those two things generated a lot of poetic heat.
Matthew Thorburn is the author of three books of poems, This Time Tomorrow, Every Possible Blue and Subject to Change. He is the recipient of a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the U.S. Library of Congress, and his poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Ploughshares and many other journals. He lives and works in New York City. For more info, visit: www.matthewthorburn.net.
I’ve been writing poems since high school—so, for more than 20 years now. I first started writing more seriously at that time because of a program called the International Poetry Guild (IPG), run by the University of Michigan, which enables high school students from around the world to connect online to share their poems, receive feedback and
4. How did you initially start writing poetry?
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encouragement from mentors (university students), and edit and publish a poetry anthology at the end of the semester. I had written some poems before that, but participating in IPG was when I first realized that there were so many other poets my age out there, and it was my first experience of seeing how my poems could mean something to other people, and what that in turn would mean to me. 5. What advice would you like to give our writers? (this where you will give the tips) Believe in yourself. Be persistent. Keep going. You should write poems because that’s what you love doing, what you feel deep down you need to do. And if it isn’t, you should try to find something else to do that gives you that feeling. Also I think it’s important for writing your poems to be an act of discovery: you shouldn’t necessarily know where the poem is going when you start writing it. You should surprise yourself. I heard Seamus Heaney say this in an interview once: when you recognize what you’re doing in a poem, it’s time to stop – and try something else. Or as Charles Simic says in one of his essays, it took me years to realize the poem is smarter than I am. Now I follow it wherever it wants to go. 6. How was your journey towards getting your first book published? Like many (most?) poets in the United States, when I had a book manuscript ready that I was happy with I started entering it in publishers’ contests, many of which are specifically for first books. I sent Subject to Change to probably two dozen contests over the course of a year, and eventually heard from Herb Scott, the founding editor of New Issues Poetry & Prose, that mine was one of the manuscripts Brenda Hillman had selected for the New Issues Poetry Prize. That was a thrilling call to receive! Subject to Change grew out of my graduate thesis. I wrote about half of the poems during grad school, and I had the title then. But it took another year or so to get the shape of the collection and the order of the poems right, and then a year of entering contests, and then about a year between receiving that phone call and holding the actual published book in my hands. That might sound like a long time, but it was relatively quick. I know some very talented poets whose first books took much longer to find a good home. 7. Is there a message you want your readers to grasp? Not really a message, but an experience. So much of a poem is built from metaphor— basically taking two seemingly un-alike things and finding the connection between them. It’s a way of making familiar things feel strange and new again, so that we really notice and look at them. The result is surprise and delight: something we never would have expected, but that seems inevitable once we read it. That’s a tall order, but as a reader that’s exactly what I want from other people’s poems—and it’s what I hope my own poems offer people too.
Miracle Issue 6
between the ears music blooms” -RD McManes
been listening been thinking about the music in my mind the curve bendsand never breaks beyond the rhythm past the beat never to vanish a paradox for mother goose and all her old rhymes sometimes it’s loud a big brass band other times soft like the whisper between rains occasionally it fades and I think it’s going away but it never does and I think it never will this is my music not any real band perfection only I can hear
R.D. McManes is the author of seven poetry books. Mr. McManes has had over 200 poems featured in 60 worldwide publications , including Saucyvox, Prairie Poetry, Writer’s Hood, Scrivener’s Pen, Mipo Magazine, Swooping Hawk Quarterly, The Heron’s Nest, Poems Niederngasse, SP Quill Quarterly Magazine, Newtopia, Lochraven Review, Muddy River Review, Commonline Journal, and Barefooot Review. He has been a featured speaker and conducted poetry workshops and copyright presentations for the Kansas Author’s Club. He currently resides near Scranton, Kansas.
Miracle Issue 6
Children Of Waves -Michael Young Rain has come to the dry boneyard, Deep in it's vanity it comes, To cleanse and wet, This bone-meal dust, In humane drops of life. Angelic and light, Land the clear pearls, Who are quickly strangled by the heat & whose life giving properties waste Their miracles in wide intervals.
Their motivation is vast and beyond our ken, They hold fast to faith, As they cast themselves Onto faithless grounds, These delicate drops know no fear, They perform flawless acts of grace Upon graceless stages. & before ungrateful throngs.
Their only gift to this damned plot, Is the scent of earth as it should be, Fertile and living, To tearfully remind us, Of the promise of paradise, While we tarry, So far away from it. And a fleeting coolness, So to leave, A clue for us who still believe, In a time of freshness and purity, Where love still holds sway, Over human failures Of expression & sanctity.
Michael Young is a willing victim of streams of consciousness, and can only write when the muse slaps the crap out him in order to jar some form of literary contribution onto a page. He resides in California.
I worship this sacrifice, This effort given, In low defeat came this gift, Only to disappear as the millionth tear, Ten years ago. Absorbed into a soldier's sleeping bag, High on a mountain plateau, Or doused into the sleeve Of a mother's robe, In a hospital, where a child left With one shoe less Than when he entered, The children of waves never surrender.
Miracle Issue 6
The Toy Room -Alexander Kerri
ime after time, the door that I once knew, now remains to me as a crazed room, no more of tranquil music boxes of Victorian craft instead the wallpaper ceasing to hold upon its elder wall. All the toys now remain in an ancient tomb, a splintery wooden crate where not even the most agrarian being could stumble through, perhaps even the ferret I once owned who soon died along the road of the motor-devils. On that day, its blood stained over the bright clothes I hath been wearing only to match of the sky's presence; a pale white. In this village evermore the skies remain of the similar tone, the similar pale white I had once worn on that emotional day or period of youthful timing. Those years when my hair condemned of a bedraggled black and my hair were to subside of looseness like the man Poe. Ever so the toy room wilt remain alone for that room is no great use for toys, perhaps the blood of my loved one's will remain there-- alive, and well. If only they were. As I walk along the houses borders, I continuously stare throughout the windows, those windows where the memorable faces meet me. My only friends, the faces I once knew and enjoyed of dominating over whence my childish years were to be conveying, the many marionettes which toppled over the
roof of the room, the roof's architectural white or lilac, now beginning to vanish of its color entering a stage of nostalgia and now that sensation has cynically increased of more abhorrent visions than positive one's at the best. Yet as I continue to view of that room my senses call upon me, speaking of greatly agitating subjects, more of death than anything other than what would apprehend as positive. Would the various toys be of animation or of approachable sentiment? Perhaps not, for the thought remains either anonymous or greatly eccentric according to my aptitude. Yet, madness could associate over the topic, perhaps even the slightest cognizance of supernatural fondness? Personally, it would be best to rather ignore the subject rather than speak of it mentally for my mind hath already gone made over certain subjects at superstitious periods of time. Either reason, the room contains much nostalgic remedy and too much of a subject could drive one of viral sane of negativity also known as categorical madness. As to when sitting on a chair my knowledge lingers of much more idealistic comprehension. Writing of fears are what mostly diverse myself into thinking. As my typewriter lay in front of me on the Gothic desk of pure black my mind correlates over many things such as death, insects, or of claustrophobic remedy as what to many humans cease to carry-on. The topics chosen as to what frighten the reader and the book fears itself for perhaps the book may not be of quiescent cast. My morbidity always topples over my knowledge over the time of written prosperity and tranquility. My thoughts yet settle over the strangeness encompassing of the room of pure hellish atmosphere. The objects or toys in that room do not remain as others who are silent, instead they squeak or resemble any other strange sound of unknown antecedent.
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Dress like An Innocent -Jessica Hollet Before you go to war, dress like an innocent, You’ll be stronger than you’ve ever been, my dear. The ruthlessness of man will fall before you, If you greet it with a single smile and tear. If you stand before a crowd, dress like an innocent, You can fool the smartest men with silken bows. Murmur an apology for every snide remark, And prepare for every comment they might throw. Is it enough to just dress like an innocent, When so many perfect lives are lost each day? I can guarantee your heart will break, my dear, All you’ve ever loved... crumble away. I know I cannot dare dress like an innocent, I must wear my armour more than any man. If you’re strong enough to stay an innocent, I beg you; run as far and fast as you can.
Jessica is an aspiring poet from England. She is thirteen years old and has been writing from an early age. She often uses her poems as inspirations for her songs, but rarely shows anyone. Her family, friends and teachers are very supportive of her work and she is currently re-drafting her first book, containing poems and short stories. She has a slightly dark, and sometimes sinister, view on most things, but is not completely against writing about pleasant topics.
to generate writing ideas:
Create a prompts board: fill it with images that spark your creativity and make you want to write; this one is ideal for poets and fiction writers alike!
Miracle Issue 6
Film Review Star Trek: Into Darkness Reviewed by: Patrick Sattters
Finally begins the season of summer blockbusters. J. J. Abrams Version of Star Trek was a massive Hit, grossing more than any previous movie in the iteration. an incredible achievement from a man, who never watched Star Trek before getting into the production of the movie. What followed was a fresh look on an old series and lots of lens flares. No one knew at that time that this man would also become the director of the Star Wars movie, being the leading head for the two biggest Sci-Fi Franchises ever. A role that comes with great responsibility, but is he capable for that? Find out in this review about the future of at least one of the two:
tar Trek starts right off the bat with an action scene and a few heroic shots. Great oneliners one after another. Yes, you are right into the story the moment it starts and never lets you go. There isn’t one moment of boredom. Each highlight gets followed by an even bigger one. Some of them are expected twists, at least for someone who watches many movies and even some other were totally unexpected, but fitted perfectly. The story may not win a prize for originality, (Hint: Dark Knight, James Bond: Skyfall, Marvel Avengers) but never disappoints. There are some parts with lots of dialogue but even those serve every time a great purpose. Either containing jokes, metaphors or simply progressing the plot. I only found a few plot holes, which doesn’t harm the story too much. Hardcore Star Trek Fans will find a lot of references to old stories, but a few new changes could disappoint them. One is the origin of the villain, but I’m not too into the Star Trek canon to measure the flaws within the continuation. This and the few plot holes are actually the only bad thing about the movie… not that much, isn’t it? A lot of movies have great actors or good camera perspectives. This one tops them all. The actors are not only great but perfect. Each one has an important role that doesn’t feel forced. Also their performance is flawless, creating rich and nostalgic characters. The chemistry and relationship were engaging, hilarious, simply exciting. Even with this perfectly cast is a man who outperformed all of them. Benedict Cumberbach plays the villain/hero (decide which for yourself) magnificent, like he did previously with Sherlock and the dragon Smaug. One of my favorite actors who is truly a
Miracle Issue 6 genius. I can’t tell more about his role and his importance but let me say one thing, he will surprise you.
Star Trek: into Darkness is also available in 3D, but was converted. This fact at least doesn’t amount to much. Only the characters and a few gadgets are real. Most of the things come straight out of the computer and can easily used for 3D, which makes the 3D effects great, but don’t expect things flying at you. The effects in the whole movies are stunning, both in impact and art design. Each place can be easily distinguished by its color grade. We got a dark London, bright San Francisco and several places in outer space, like the red one. What else is there left to say? The music fits the scenes and does what great music should do. You won’t recognize any track of it, but just because it supports the picture instead of let you focus solely on the music itself. The length with 2hrs felt short, but that’s alright. I want it fast over instead to be bored. Besides the length is typical for films, recently seen by Iron Man 3. In conclusion: The film is one of the kind that won’t change the movie genre itself, but I will be damned if it doesn’t do its job perfectly. It’s the kind of movie that appears at most every 3 years. The last movie that did so well was Inception and even this one is now 5 years old. Just saying that Superman and The Hobbit 2 will have a hard time to outdo J.J. Abrams most terrific movie till now. His new Star Wars movie can come.
I Ask Silence -Parker Tettleton
he first sentence ends none of the following. There’s a period before & after blinks. Pre-anniversary dark is heterochromatic sleep near loafers. We’re three screens & four eyes alight. I’m a sound, my mouth close.
Parker Tettleton's work is featured in &/or forthcoming from 1/25, Word Riot,UP, Used Furniture Review, & Camroc Press Review, among others. His grocery shopping collection, GREENS, is available at lulu.com.
Miracle Issue 6
To the Abyss of Melody -Hisham M Nazer In this silent wintry night With the fog gone with the light Inside these closed doors and windows Whispering with their dump presence The ballad of the road A music, from nowhere around Floats to me with a maddening sound But from infinite miles away And in such an atmosphere Eternally finite and almost rare Frightening and gay I hear the sitar of a dead man Still playing like the chill left Of the fog that has disappeared with the light The man whose music inspired my breaths To give breath to my flute And amuse my soul to see With eyes closed and the heart open The musical eternity
You are gone but Ravi you cannot die For music is perpetual like your name And thatâ€™s the curse of your gift When it remains alive though you are dead And when you are known By what you died knowing Still played in stereos Or sometimes, as now is the moment Inside my mind. This moment is awkward, I am no Lord Shankara Yet I feel like dancing Not in mirth but in mourning As some thousand sitars Are rising inside me rioting, Revolting against a loss With moans and not words Revolting to lose their clanging spirits To bring their creator back From the city of silence! The dead is heard and the living sing no more What beauty, what curse you gave me that day When I captured you in the hollow of my flute That I cannot be dumb anymore, be deaf To the ghostly presence of your melody Can hear only the dead Not the living, And nothing but the sitar!
Born in 1987, Hisham M Nazer is a trilingual poet, who writes in English, Bangla and Hindi as well. Currently working on a M.A. dissertation on T. S. Eliot and Dante, supervised by the department of English, University of Rajshahi. A prolific writer, published in several national magazines and international anthologies (http://hishamianism.wordpre ss.com/category/publications / ). Apart from writing fiction and poetry, he is an essayist too, a spiritual speaker and a teacher of philosophy. Worked as a sub-editor for two literary magazinesShasshwatiki (Bengali) and The Browsing Corner (Multilingual e-zine).
Miracle THE Issue MUSIC 6
Based on 'cats' by T.S Elliot. -Courtney Horne You ought to know purrina, The affectionate cat, Full of life and she's playful no doubt about that, She's the imaginative jellicle, Very excitable and keen, Abdominal, Phenomenal, Purrina the kitten queen. She is mostly white, With patches of black, And a really furry mane, She will never ever let you down, Purrina is her name. She's depicted as the nice one, Who would never hurt a fly, Abdominal, Phenomenal,
Who would never leave your side. Unlike 'Mr Mistofeelies,' Who performs suprising illusions, Purrina is laid back, And not good at eccentric confusions. Unlike 'Macavity,' The 'Napolean of crime,' Purrina is innocent, And helps out all the time. Although she's a little rascal, When she wants something her way, You have got to remember, She's a kitten at the end of the day. Unlike 'Cassandra, Bombalurina, and Demeter' to, She is not flirty, Dignified, Or aloof. The greatest magicians have something to learn, They need to give Purrina a turn, OH! WELL I NEVER! Have you ever seen a cat so clever! Although she's no magical queen, She has her own trick, It's abdominal, Phenomenal, Incontestable, Well itâ€™s a secret!
Courtney has never had any experience with writing. She has her best grades in English at school and loves inspiration from reading and she is in top set English. She often writes her own stories and poems and then illustrates them using her own knowledge with Art and Design. She enjoys to wonder into her own world and write random stories or poems. Courtney finds writing a way of relaxing and calming down. A way of expressing her thoughts and sometimes concerns. She loves the challenge, and will have a go at writing anything that is asked of her.
Miracle Issue 6
Potential Muisc -R.G Summers
t parties he stood next to speakers, feeling the music rather than listening to it. I joined him once, and felt the ground tremble under my feet and my skin shake on my skeleton. I didn’t see the attraction, but I was never made of music the
way he was. The first thing he ever said to me was a lie, the first look he ever gave me was a smile, and the first time he showed me a poem, it was a love poem. There are many things to say about a man like that, but I will say only the musical things. He had fingers that traced shapes on my skin like a folk song too familiar to name. Holding his hand was like touching a melody. He spoke calmly, but there was a mellow artistry to his inflection. Every statement was a prelude, his words only instruments to convey his thoughts. When he kissed my forehead, his kisses echoed. We were not lovers. I always had the feeling that if I attempted to love him, he would dissolve into a flurry of crisp chords and pitizcato notes. Underneath his smile, he couldn’t have been a real person. If the staff paper on which he was printed dissolved into scribbles and dots, he would have vanished into thick air. How could I love a man like that? How? Tunelessly. The way I hum when my mind is elsewhere. The way I play scales on a piano, touching every key and filling the air with every note. I could not love him like a brother, a friend, or a lover. Songs must be played in a single key, but he was meant to be loved in every key. There was no other way. He had records. LPs. Vinyl. He would listen to them and burn incense, rest on the couch and let himself be swallowed up by the sound. Like a good pair of headphones, listening with him amplified the quality of sound. He was a token of good aural fortune, and his presence helped guide me through music. I lost him once. We had draped ourselves over an old couch in front of his speakers while listening to Days of Future Passed. The orchestration was so rich, I lost myself a little, too. Technically, he was a musician. He played the cello, but that is an inconsequential detail. In his bedroom, the walls were papered with printed lyrics and psychedelic band posters. The walls bled music silently, constantly. Sleeping in his bed promised vivid, imageless dreams. Across from his bed though, a quote was pinned to the wall. And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. —Nietzsche
Miracle Issue 6 He told me that there were only two types of music: potential music and kinetic music. In his mind, there was only the animated reality of music being played, or the invisible music that he had yet to bring into the world. Most people only hear kinetic music, even as they move through life full of potential music. I never thought silence was strange until I met him. He drew me into a world without silence. Even when everything was perfectly aurally silent, kinetic music spilled over into the visual, the olfactory, and the tactile. Once, he wrote me a song. He had invented a key to compose it in. One day when he sat down at my piano he announced it. He had written me a song, but he had forgotten it. I never heard my song, but it was enough to know that I had one. If nothing else, it was very fitting that a song he wrote about me should be confined to potential music. Together, he and I have made countless hours of kinetic music. We have composed barefooted evening walks across sun-warmed pavement. We have improvised stargazing and played conversations over coffee. Our discography ranges from watching circus performances to playing with each other’s hair. There is so much kinetic music between us, it’s no wonder we are so noisy with our affections. Despite all that, it is our potential music that I find myself musing over. When I think of all the notes, the infinite amalgamations of tones, the unconstrained combinations of chords…I can’t help but marvel at the limitlessness of music. The limitlessness of us. We could be a sonata, a nocturne, or a duet for piano and cello. We could be siblings, we could be friends, or we could be kindred spirits. Music is not for everyone. It takes energy to create, but for some of us it takes more energy to not create. It is harder to sit still, or to walk through life with no outlet for all of our potential music. When all it takes is a single sound, a tiny sound, to start a song, some of us feel the need to be constantly creating. It is a beautiful thing to transform potential music into kinetic music, and more so when you have someone to do it with. If you are aware of both types of music, the world is never again silent. I have long since forgotten what silence sounds like. I cannot remember if it was smooth and jazzy, or if it had a puckish bite to it. For all I know, it might have had all the elegant intricacies of a symphonic suite. There was a time when I believed in silence, but how can I be expected to believe in something I can’t even see? I have been taught how to see music though, and that has made all the difference. I think about that quote pinned up to his wall, and I believe there is a good deal of truth curled up inside of it. Since I met him, I have spent most of my time dancing to the music. Nietzsche was wrong though; the problem is not with the people who cannot hear the music. Those of us who dance are thought to be insane only by those who cannot see the music. Deafness cannot be helped, but everyone has a choice to see the music. It is a decision, whether or not you feel the force of potential music and witness the action of kinetic music. There are many lessons to take away from such a man and such teachings. He has given me an impossible education; he has proved that every aspect of life is a song, and every motion of the universe a sound. Above all else, he has proved one great truth to me: A song that begins in a sound inevitably ends in love.
Miracle Issue 6
The Scene -Chingmang Yuan
What a wonder drama, where The actors and actresses are both Audiences, when the audiences are Either actors or actresses, except perhaps me And me alone, who is Neither an actor Nor an audience
Like Father, like Sun
Changming Yuan, 4-time Pushcart nominee and author of Allen Qing Yuan, holds a PhD in English, teaches independently, and edits Poetry Pacific in Vancouver (Poetry submissions welcome at email@example.com). Yuan's poetry appears in 689 literary publications across 25 countries, including Asian Literary Review, Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry (2009, 2012), BestNewPoemsOnline, LiNQ, London Magazine and Threepenny Review.
Crow Up Call -Allen Qing Yuan “Caw!” beckoned the crow “Aw!” shrieked the baby boy the courier of omens flashed warnings, like a shrouded light house, but did the beacon burn brightly enough? Before the boy slipped through the grasps of the call, the crow informed him “Childhood is but the infancy of life” “Aw!” replied the infant the crow silently soared away, the boy not yet ready to “caw
Allen Qing Yuan, born in Canada and aged 17, currently attends high school and edits Poetry Pacific in Vancouver. Since grade 10, Allen's poetry has appeared in more than 50 literary publications across 13 countries, including Blue Fifth Review, Contemporary American Voices, Cordite Poetry Review, In Other Words, Istanbul Literary Review, Literary Review of Canada, Mobius, Paris/Atlantic, Poetry Scotland, Spillway, Taj Mahal Review, Toronto Quarterly and Two Thirds North. Poetry submissions welcome firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miracle Issue 6
Dance Dangerously -Paul Tristam Out on the town out of my head. Forgetting the words that I almost said. The violence is breeding the night is alive. The freaks leave the shadows like bees from a hive.
The bars are full of crazies there’s a riot in my head. The hooker’s look on quite amused as virginities blood is shed. Drugs, drink and fornication are headlining the show. Innocence takes another step back as deprivation strikes another blow. Ostracized by junkies spat on by the poor. Life is for the shaking there is no class no more. Lust fuelled emotions addiction will always find a way. So caress hate like a pet it’ll race you to your final day. Pickpocket’s out of work Cupid’s on the dole. There’s no competition anymore getting wasted is the only goal. Organise your insanity put your life line on the line. I’ll catch you in the next world but until then this night is mine.
Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories and sketches published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.
As we all dance dangerously one more time. Blind to reality each to his own self abuse crime. Dancing dangerously close to the end of it all. Trying to get our last kicks before life crumbles and falls.
Miracle Issue 6
THERE ARE NO MIRRORS IN THIS STORY -Andrés Vaamonde
efore he begins, it is important for the author to note that there are no mirrors in this story. Trust the author. He is strong in his conviction. Also, and let us be honest here, if there were mirrors in the following story it really wouldn’t be a story at all. It would be a lie. He also desperately wants you to know, and here I agree with him completely: THE AUTHOR AND I ARE NOT THE SAME. He winks and grins. That is all, he mutters. So, now, he may begin. On some days, the rainy ones, Orson woke up happy. A typical, morning: First, the chuckling of small raindrops falling on a tin roof opens his morning-crusted eyes. Next, smile wrinkles spread across his normally unlined face. He turns to see a blurry window and tries to watch one of the running raindrops as it slid down the frame. He never could, though. Think about this, objectively for a moment, the author suggests. Each drop is nearly identical and they all follow the same trajectory. Therefore, Orson’s difficulty is understandable, if not expected. Despite his failed attempts, Orson remains happy. The reason for his resultant glee on a morning like this is uncomplicated. Rain meant that there would be no outdoor recess for Anderson Middle School. Ms. Duck (the author would like to apologize for such lazy wordplay) would not let her students go outside for recess when it rained. She thought the slide or the swings could be too dangerous. So, the children stayed indoors. What Ms. Duck may have not known, though, is that even in good whether the unsupervised yard was already too dangerous. That is, for Orson at least. Now, the author maintains steadfastly, Orson was not a loser. In fact, he was
pretty interesting, thoughtful, whimsical, and wonderful. Orson was an excellent musician. He visited his ailing grandfather in the nursing home even though it smelt of Jim Beam, mothballs, and regret. He was a plain and honest good kid. The author really wants you to know this. But, as always is the case, children often have a hard time seeing past a face and body. Orson was unusual. Very unusual. The kind of strange that inspires wonder as to whether said unusual person or unusual thing is brilliant beyond comprehension -or just stupid. Like minimalism. The author chuckles, but then nods, yes, one could say Orson was a minimalist. Or, rather, not a minimalist but an example of minimalism. This is because, even as a toddler, he never felt as though he were in control of the direction of his life. Things would happen to him and not the other way around. He felt out of touch with nearly every person he ever met. Instead of feeling like Frank Stella, Orson often felt more like the canvas upon which things happened but of which he had little control. But even thinking about not fitting in contributed to Orson’s not fitting in. Orson’s deep thought and intricate sense of self and purpose scared the living shit out of people. ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** One day, at school, everything happened. Voices were raised, tantrums were thrown, punches were landed, and tears were shed. Though this cycle was something Orson had become accustomed to, his vast experience never did dull the pain. But this particular incident ended a bit differently than the others had. As he was retreating from the depths of the principal’s office after again being scolded for something he did not understand, one of Orson’s classmates passed him in the hall. The author cannot recall the boy’s name, but he definitely looked like a John or a Christian, so either of those will suffice. As Orson passed John or Christian in the hall, the boy, clearly still angry about the earlier incident, flipped his sand-strewn hair, sneered, and said, ‘Orson, you are a dweeb. No, you are worse than a dweeb, you’re a nobody. You are not even human. Nobody gets
Miracle Issue 6 you, man. I don’t get your whole thing. If it’s some sort of existential, philosophical trick your pulling, I’m not buying it. You’re not some deep, confused nihilist. And even if you were, sure, I’ve read Nietzsche, but that dude was full of himself. Why don’t you just go away so everyone’s life can be better?’ And leave is exactly what Orson did. Here is where the author begins to run into trouble. Orson is still a boy and a young one at that. He must run away. That is how the story must go. But the author is sweating. In order for his story to maintain any possible shred of plausibility and not lose all sense of reality, Orson’s escape has to make sense. The circus. The circus is the truth, as it is always, the author thinks. The author does have to admit he has always had a soft spot in his heart for the circus. When he was eight, he recalls, he saw the Big Apple Circus. He was utterly astonished. On the author’s arrival home, he would, he says, proceed to destroy his room in the process of attempting to tame his tiger (stuffed animal) Leo. Plus, he scoffs, one of the only inescapable and undeniable truths in the world is the whimsical and unpredictable circus. And kids often get picked up by carnies. Because, along with mirrors, child labor laws and/or abduction do not exist in this story. Phew, he emanates. Orson originally held a lot of optimism in his running-away-to-the-circus plan. Though he had yet to make any human connection to anyone before, he figured that the same must be true of carnies and that they would therefore accept him as one of their own. He was woefully mistaken. After a few years of touring, most in the troupe had already begun to despise the young child. At first, the carnies thought his strange look and quirks would gain favorable traction amongst the most avid of circus-goers. And they were right. Orson was a hit. His bit, which for the life of him the author cannot remember, was sandwiched in between the bearded lady and the Cyclops. Soon, however, Orson’s life’s story caught up to him. Things began being questioned; the rumors, the whispers that must have seemed to him at this point background music played loudly in his ear.
Despite garnering good business for the circus, Orson was eventually asked to leave. Even the most outcast of all creatures on this earth could not accept him. The ringmaster, a bald-headed, chicken-legged fellow by the name of Augustus of Rhome (Texas, in case you were wondering), simply could not have Orson amongst the troupe. ‘I’m sorry boy, I really am. You’ve done good work, but it is just too weird, just too good. I’ve gone beyond the limits of my capabilities. Here’s a train ticket.’ Hurt though he was, Orson was not unused to banishment. So off again he went. But, as he was cleaning out his adorably and hilariously small locker, Orson spotted his replacement. She had what appeared to be a green, scaly skin, like that of a fish, plastered onto her own original skin. Though he could see flashes of white flesh from beneath the paint, Orson wished those gaps had been covered. She wore the same, strange, acrylic clothing Augustus of Rhome made him wear, but it seemed to fit her better. She looked right in them, as if they were meant to be worn on her and could not exist otherwise; and vice versa. She looked the type of gorgeous that transcends words or even wordlessness; she surely was beyond even not saying anything, Orson thought. Now, the author needs to reiterate, Orson had not yet hit puberty so his feelings were surely platonic, but it might as well have been love. Who really cares, everyone loves a love story. But Orson could not stay to chat or suggest how crazy the weather was recently. He had to be on his way. Though he was only a year or two older than when he had left home, Orson felt he had aged millennially. Daily decisions no longer scourged him like his biological counterparts. He was independent. He lived in some small apartment right off some exit of some highway running through some armpit state. And this is where Orson would stay for a while. Then, proper routine would set in, and his landlord would eventually cringe enough to kick him out. And the cycle would refresh itself. It was no way to live, but it was the way Orson knew. Another pastel
Miracle Issue 6 brush stroke of a goddamn stop sign or some stupid minimalist thing like that. Now, the author sighs, he has come to a frustrating fork in the road. There must be happiness somewhere in the world for Orson, otherwise this story is pointless and really has gone nowhere. He suspects that what previously stated is the unfortunate result. Maybe he won’t ever write a story again, he ponders. But for now an ending is in order. Well, he doesn’t know about an ending, he says, but surely a plot twist; one that shocks and maims and reshuffles the readers (that’s you) perceptions of life, love, breathing, air, rain, ECT. But in such a ridiculous, outlandishly bland story about such a ridiculous and outlandishly bland character, how else does he expect the reader to expect the twist to be presented but with minimalism. Ah, but this is so hard, he cries. How can he finish something that has stolen so much of his time, reflects so much of his life, and just end it with a slap in the face, he begs. He goes further, now accessing the further regions of his psyche, suggesting that he, being very much Orson and very much not Orson very well may disappear with the disappearance of the character himself. This, he pouts, troubles him. Did Edgar Allen Poe have this much trouble finishing The Raven? The author scoffs. No, Edgar Allen Poe was a well-documented crazy person. And, furthermore, he complains, this story sounds nothing like the Ugly Duckling. Hans Christian Anderson would certainly not recognize his work in whatever the hell the author just came up with, he says. He suddenly is realizing that he has gone on a pretty significant tangent. And that his sock has a hole in it. And that stream of consciousness may not be the best method of storytelling. And that he cannot believe he has given his doppelganger such a strange name; Orson. And that the title is awful. And that he just can’t, he says, he just can’t -- fuck it, fuck it, fuck it, fuck it, fuck it: If you will remember, as has been stated again and again above, Orson was unusual. Very unusual. The kind of strange which inspires wondering whether said unusual person or unusual thing is brilliant beyond comprehension -- or just stupid. Like minimalism. But Orson was not even
really that. Orson was more than abnormal, he was beyond any semblance of the word. And this is why he was unusual and why he never felt connected to any living, breathing thing with the possible exception of his carnie replacement. Sound the trumpets. Orson, unbeknownst to himself, was an alien. An actual alien. Like from outer space. The author now sits back and grins. He awaits your goofy, disenchanted glare. He awaits your erudite grunt of the possible nuances of the previous statement. He awaits your connection between himself and Orson. He awaits your disgust. He awaits all of this. But, mostly and firstly, the author will wait for you to say something, say anything. Because your words are what he craves to hear. He wants you to tell him he did a good job and that this was surely his finest, most depraved, most ludicrous, and otherworldly work yet. In the meantime, he will counter your confusion with a smile. I, on the other hand, will probably just continue shaking my head, rolling my eyes, and waiting for a resolution -- or the author’s retirement. Because, and I’ll be honest, sometimes I find what he does frustratingly pseudointellectual. He really is the type who would finger a scraggly, peach fuzz goatee and think of all the ways he could confuse a reader. Or come up with this story. He is really always up in space. But I have learned to live with him, learned to tolerate him albeit while critiquing him till my voice breaks. In fact, after having gotten through this, you deserve a better explanation. So, come be with us, sit with us. The three of us. Orson, the author and I. You just may find you cannot decipher any difference. You just may find we all exist together, in one body, in one brain, one being. You just may find the lines blur, the visages splattered like Pollock on a canvas. You just may find we are not minimalism; that would be far too conspicuous. You know, this has all been very tiring. We agree that the dreadfully airy and annoying tangent that you just read was unbelievably off topic. In fact, we would not be surprised if the reader completely forgot about Orson’s life. The last time you
Miracle Issue 6 saw him he was struggling. He felt misunderstood. He had yet to find his own colony of creatures with whom he could mix homogeneously. But we know this is unlikely. Endings like that only happen in fairy tales. We, on the other hand, are not ugly ducklings. Orson is an Alien. The author is selfindulgent. I am pessimistic. So, maybe, just maybe, the three of us, existing as one, will retreat to our books, curl up, and get lost in a dimension from which we hope to never return.
AndrĂŠs Vaamonde is a young adult writer from New York City. He is a former Foyle Young Poet, Gold Key winner in the Scholastic Writing Awards, and published in both poetry and short fiction. He eats, drinks, and sleeps, to fill the time between when he writes.
let's kiss the stars -Linda Crate Let's kiss the stars together summon jacob's ladder and let us drink the wings of the sun dance upon the clouds, and befriend all the gems of the night; let's listen to the psalms of the angels, and pirouette in the silver moonbeams that breathe life into the bones of darkest pitch crawling toward oblivion no longer carries meaning or perhaps it never did; let's dance in the red dust of mars then bathe in the misty fog that has yet to fall upon earth forget everything we know and crack the bones of eternity so that time won't swallow us; let's sleep on a rainbow, and kiss away all our sorrows into joy doing it all over again tomorrow so we never forget the topography of a smile.
Linda Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh, but she was raised in the rural town of Conneautville. She attended and graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English-Literature in 2009. Her poetry, articles, reviews, and short stories have appeared in several journals online and in print.
Miracle Issue 6
“Poetry Takes A New Tune” Cliff Fielding talks about his writing life to Catherine Schythe
C THE MUSIC
liff Fielding is the author of ‘After
the Rain’ (Responses to Darkness), which is a collection of verses that charts his spiritual journey throughout his life. “The works are not in any particular order although some are identified by the year they were written. There is (hopefully) an impression given that the author has changed considerably in attitude and faith.” Cliff grew up Catholic and then left the faith when he was 17. He then explored Eastern religions for a period of time before finding himself in some challenging conversations with a colleague who was a Christian. As a result, his Spiritual journey took a new road towards God.
Cliff first published his book in 2012, when he felt he was ready to share what he had deep inside his soul with the world. “I’ve always felt that I wanted to communicate my perspective on life with people, which is why I became a minister. I became aware that I had a huge amount of written work that people didn’t get to see and I decided it was time that I became bolder and
present my creativity to a larger audience.” The idea of ‘After the Rain ‘ (Responses to Darkness) came when Cliff initially wrote it for an Easter church service. The topic reflected the dark period before Christ’s death, but also the joy that came after his resurrection. “There is that feeling of elation when a storm finishes and then the sun shines again.” This was then the stepping stone to further pursue the idea to publish his work.
Miracle Issue 6 After the rain
And then there was darkness… Burning souls with broken hearts have learnt their lines and played their parts as Pilate flies through darkened skies his broken dreams show satan’s lies. This rain must fall. Shotgun tears the side apart betrayal hangs in the evening mist, crimson earth, a bleeding heart. A mother’s tears do they gain us much as we are fading out of touch. What’s been foretold’s forgotten fast and entire nation rejects its past. Blood runs cold the pain is there This man dies as the curtain tears. The crimson flood cleans this harsh land Satan’s lies broken under foot a crippled past will walk again after the rain.
During the 1990’s Cliff managed a band in New-Zealand called ‘The Edmunds’ where they recorded the title poem of their first album called ‘August Falls.’ He also collaborated in writing the lyrics on some of the other songs with the other band members that were included in the album. “I really see poetry and music as very much the same thing. Both are about rhythm, both are about transporting people somewhere. Although it is traditional to present poetry in book form, my preference is to perform the poem as that is when the ability to communicate meaning really comes alive.” Some poems that appeal to Cliff are; An Irish Airman Forsees his Death by WB Yeats, There Are Some Men by Leonard Cohen, A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, Jerusalem Sonnets by James K
Baxter, Let Me Die A Young Man's Death by Roger McGough.
Cliff has been writing poetry for a number of years now. He first started his poetic journey at the age of 15 after discovering Leonard Cohen, seeing Sam Hunt live and reading a collection of verses called C’mon Everybody: The Poetry of dance. This experience sparked an interest in poetry and opened up his gifts of creativity to want to write poetry and explore it through music. “That introduced me to the idea of poetry as a rhythmic and musical force. A favourite New Zealand poet, Sam Hunt recites in a very melodic way and has been known to perform with a band. His words have also been interpreted by a local musician. Two other strong influences for me were Leonard Cohen, for whom music and poetry cohabit-ate; and a group of English poets from the late 1960s, collectively known as the Liverpool Scene. They also often performed and recorded with musicians.” At present, Cliff is working on a book about reflections on life and faith. He also has an unpublished novel and some incomplete material that he may consider publishing in the future. Most of his work is heavily inspired by his own personal experiences; however he also draws inspiration from everywhere around him and from his faith. His main style of writing is poetry. “I think I write more poetry than anything else. Generally my work is quite personal. It normally is about my life or my circumstances. In recent years there has been an increasing reference to God is some way or other in my work. For many years I did not write much, mainly because I perceived my best work to be produced when things were not going well. I found that when I attempted to write a "happy" poem it
Miracle Issue 6
seemed trite and derivative. In the last couple of years however, the Spirit has inspired a bold new style that has made celebratory poetry work better for me. During his recent visit to the U.K, Cliff was walking in the streets of London when he began to reminisce on a time when he lived there. His memories transported him back and in that moment he began to write some verses.
"Your grey paved streets invade my memory, reasons for leaving, forgetting, forgiving, the past, the present, the future revealing.”
"The coffee stain on the table, tell me more than you are able, you may be my executioner, but you can never be my judge." This particular one has eluded me, I've never been able to breathe more life into it, and it’s never become complete. Sometimes, for some reason, it just doesn't work”. Poetry is the music of life and music is poetry in motion. It is a universal language that speaks in the most profound ways. “For me poetry is to apply a rhythm to the memory or to the truth you wish to speak.” - Cliff Fielding
“Often these lines or phrases occur and eventually they become something. Years ago, in a cafe, the ring caused by an overflowing cup caught my attention and I wrote the lines:
Writing Idea: Stay at Your Computer Okay, so you want to switch things up, but you just can’t pry yourself away from your beloved computer. You can still get creative. Try writing in white text on a black background. Or try lime green on a dark purple background. Mix up your colors, make them bold, or put them in italics, and get busy writing.
Miracle Issue 6
The 10:41 Bus, at a Brief Intersect with a Freeway Station.
-Xoe Amer The bus station greets all comers the same “Congratulations on your passing through. “I am a catapult through the tunnel and red and yellow comets, “I am the fence between which the dusty cattle breach the impasse, “I am the unremarkable suburban cousin of Grand Central and “The fluorescent catalyst for your continued existence. “Your fluids, organs, and container are not shattering, they travel at the same speed as a bullet passing through the brain. This is a diaspora every six minutes. “Briefly become my children and disperse like cotton seeds. You are becoming one with the circulating of blood, the revolution of planets, and avian migration. My hands are exhausted, and I am so proud. “The earth here was dug up many times, sown with beans, corn, and pumpkin seeds. The dark life of the soil depleted. “Then they cast a blanket of cement over it all and laid my foundations like two rigid cupped hands. “Now I cast you away like birdseed, may you find your place on the land.” The station retreats. Some turn their heads in sleep and her yellow light winks in the blackness behind us.
Xoe Amer grew up in Seattle. She currently attends community college and works a couple of coffee jobs. She has just finished reading "Ender's Game" by Scott Orson Card and "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin and highly recommends both. She hopes to write and perform more music and spoken-word poetry in the near future.
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Ten Thousand Black Birds -Joel Harris 10,000 black birds are screaming. They chatter and jibe; they line the poles and fences and high wires all about. Arcing and wheeling, diving and jaunting, they are so many Rorschach ink blots against the sky... so much black on a slightly lesser black, ground; in the creeping 6am light, they almost seem blue or the sky beneath them does, odd that. And as I watch them, I know this is something that will not last.
This is a poem made of light and dark, of majesty and feathers, so black as to seem blue; that sky, these birds, all co joined yet singular the same, each a divine entity and yet the whole of them (there must be 10,000!), spreads as some lovely and beautiful and cohesive thing. They are screaming, these birds, they are chatting, they jibe on the wind.. and, it is beautiful.
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A LONE VIKING -Daisy Butcher
mighty warrior, a hardy people, a lone Viking. I walk up the mountain side, decorated in white crystals that entrap the sun. My breathing grows heavy and my chest is tight, heaving in deep, the icy air shocking my lungs. Hot fog which steamed in front of my face, akin to the dragon my people slew not yesterday. It was the first of the creatures we had ever managed to kill. It was but a mere infant. The mother came upon our village in the early hours of this morning and it took my beloved Sigrid from me. My Sigrid… I alone survived. Scaling the fierce terrain, I was headed to Freyja’s shrine. I sought forgiveness for the slaughter of the poor dragon babe. When she had me in her grasp, pinned to the ground like a cat may have a mouse, her claws either side of me, she craned down to inspect me. Her large yellow eyes staring into mine, filled with a mother’s rage, seeking revenge. I saw something in her gaze, pain. Mistaken for beastly anger. She snapped her jaws around me and flung my body into wreckage before she retreated. Why would she choose to let me live, when it was I who struck her babe in the heart with my spear. I stumbled onto my knee, fatigued and weary. The fang in my side was poisoning me, making my blood boil. I wiped the sweat from my brow, the snow was soothing to my fever. I forced my aching, broken and dying body onward. My goal was in sight. My redemption. My mind was beginning to fog, the memory of Sigrid fading,was she a lover of mine? The image of that beast’s eyes burned into my mind. Her beautiful gaze, her grief. Never have I felt such empathy. I used to be a heartless killer, humans, animals it made no difference. I am changed… if I live. I reached the shrine, a stone decorated in rams skulls, heather and offerings. I fell before it, my body too weak to get back up this time and unable to voice my prayers. In the blizzard, my spun gold hair flickered over my hazy sight before I shut my eyes. The Viking’s soul lifted from his body in glittering silver. Freyja caught the silvery light before it rose up to the heavens in her hands, she stared down at it lovingly, listening to its wishes and soothing its guilt. “You will have your wish, Viking.” Releasing the soul, a crash of thunder and a string of lightning came down around it. Once it calmed, the electricity still in the air, there stood a mighty dragon. He flew with purpose, over the village that he had chosen to forget. When he landed he saw the mother dragon curled up in her nest. He lay there with her, a connection deeper than could ever be forged with words, forever her loving companion
Daisy Butcher loves fantasy, fairytales and mythology and tries to convey passion and the magic of these in everything she writes. She enjoys writing romance and fantasy themes in epic novels, short stories but mostly in poetry. Considering herself a romantic poet who likes rhyming couplets and beautiful imagery to be conveyed in her poetry and elements of the fantastic throughout her short stories as well.
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Of East and West -Patrick Sarsfield In two straight lines stand masts, booms and gaffs, With fluttering awnings of purple and yellow and blue; From them the salesmen tout their wares, Yelling of flowers and offal and fruit, Eggs and incense, ox tongue and boot laces. Between these Aladdin’s caves flit barterers, Wearing saris, kaftans, kofias, and kanzus, Taqiyahs and boubous, and t-shirts and jeans. Children laugh while motorbikes throb, Greetings extended and proposals agreed. There is no vernacular – a buyer asks in Setswana, A trader replies in Amharic and broken English. Another may try Urdu or Bengali, Malayalam or Konkani. When languages align, and barriers fall away, They fall into deep conversation about nothing: Nothing to discuss besides the weather and the words. The smell is overpowering: sweet and spicy meat, Herbs, fish, the unmistakable scent of the colour green, Grease, soap, candles, coffee and cardamom; This eclectic perfume fills the air. Rainbows of stock line the streets, delight the retina. Pomegranate tempts with its ruby seeds, Sticky-sweet mango, aromatic cinnamon, Ripening plantains and star fruit, Long lady’s-fingers and rubricated guava, Glistening sides of marlin alongside blueberry crates, Deep-purple plums, tubers and gourds. Cloth is scrutinized for quality, sold by the yard, Black and wine-red for funerals, White, blue and royal lilac for weddings, There are stalls which contain items unknown; A lemon-yellow fruit, the size of a marrow, With thick waxy skin and short blunted spines. Its flesh is green emeralds, studded with seeds.
Patrick Sarsfield is a young, award-winning writer, living in the Midlands having grown up in London. He is currently studying for a BA in English Literature with Creative writing at the University of Birmingham.
Twenty four hours later and all this is gone; The stalls disassembled, the foods packed away. Dashikis replaced by cheap nylon ties, Commuters returning, reclaiming their street, Double-deckers and tube trains will be back in the fore, But next weekend will come with the market’s delights, And the East End will again be transformed.
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A Writer’s Guide To
Reading “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne
eading is an activity that everyone is taught at a young age. Not only is it essential in our lives, it’s also powerful and comforting. It offers concrete knowledge and solemn advice. It gives many a chance to gain more than when they have flipped that page. Maybe that’s why many writers love the concept of writing. It may be a daunting task, but to be able to transcend a message to anyone who lays their eyes on their work, is a big enough reward. It’s one thing to write, but to write well, how is that done? That’s simple. Reading. The very thing that got you writing your first poem or novel is the very thing that can help you get better at your craft. But I hear you. You don’t want other writers to influence your own personal writing style and hinder your chance to become an original type of writer. I get it. But you see, that thought is a bit of a false friend and you have to ignore that little demon. Imagine a basketball player, if you will. If you wish to become a great basketball player, you would have to constantly watch the best players and study how they swerve and dodge and dribble that ball around the court. This way, you’ll understand how to become a better player. The concept is pretty much the same for writers. To be able to write well you have to understand the concept of language and the little tricks and moves writers of before had done that helped them along the way. Invention is copying gone wrong: I’m not telling you to get your favorite book and copy each and every word down and call it your own creation. That’s plagiarism and you don’t want me to get started on that topic. Let’s say you’re planning to write a horror novel. So, then go read some Stephen King and see how he makes the hairs behind your neck stand out. If you’re aiming to write a script for a play, study some Oscar Wilde or even Shakespeare. It’s important to understand how older writers have manipulated language and managed to send their message out to their audience. Critical reading: Don’t be scared to analyze. When reading anything, may it be a novel, a newspaper article or even a menu, try to understand how it caught your attention. Look at the wording, the sentencing, the way the font itself looks. What do you like about it? Library knows best: Read everything. The good, the bad, the middle, everything. If you only read what the critics say are the best, then there’s a higher chance of you committing suicide due to thinking how terrible your own writing is. Try out your not-so-favorite book is also good, too. Admit it, a small voice at the back of your head whispered you to pick up that vampire book and see what makes people so crazy
Miracle Issue 6 about it. I know I have. Maybe by reading these kinds of novels you can guide yourself into writing something that will make people even crazier? Knowledge and experience is power, dear reader. And to get that in the writing world, you have to sink your teeth into everything you can get. Here are some of the books I’ve read that had helped my own writing. 1.Disturbing the Peace – Richard Yates Although not as critically acclaimed as Yates’ debut novel Revolutionary Road, Disturbing the Peace goes into extreme but enough detail about its protagonist’s alcoholism, decreasing mental stability and need for a life outside social conventions. 2.Learn to Find Inner Peace – Mike George Not really a fictional piece of writing, this self-help book aided me during a rough time in my life, with its simple but informative writing, its tangibility in its interpretations and the complex artwork provided. Since that rough time in my life, people who have borrowed this book also have felt lighter and healed. 3.Love in a Blue Time – Hanif Kureishi A nice collection of short stories set in many areas of London and other places. I’ve only read a few, but the realness and the irony combined in the characters make its rhetoric subtle but powerful, once realized. Reading is not only a step writers take to begin working, but also a step they take into creating a piece of art that is worth all the praise.
Article by : Troy Cabida THE MUSIC
Fiction Writing idea: Give your characters more than a goal.The characters’ goals are the core of almost every story. They are looking for love, trying to return home, or attempting to save the world. In addition to a goal, give your characters secrets, regrets, ulterior motives, bad memories, or any other issues that will shape their decisions as they move toward the goal.
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And I Drift -Chris G. Vaillancourt I have scratched the loneliness that never knows its path Bright as black I flowed into its waters and let the waves sift me through the tunnels of despair I have danced with abandon in the poverty of desire I have entered and left the serenity of glass chills echoing in my heart I rode the battlements of eternity in a second's glance at lost Falling, yearning, grasping for something that was glowing but out of my sight. I have dropped the zeal of a rebel into the ice cream of a mind, and I drift, and I drift, and I drift...
Over 200 of Chrisâ€™s poems have appeared in more than one hundred journals in the U.S. and Canada, in Japan and Australia, and the U.K.He had a series of chapbooks published in the 1980's by 4 Winds Press, such titles as "Doors and Windows","Dancing in the Eighties" and "Slow Burn". Also, he had five poetry books published, "Teardrop of Coloured Soul" "I Walk Naked into a Cloud", "the Rushing Stream of Desires", and "A Yellow Sunshine Night", and recently, "The Sleeping Clouds Dangle Like Rocks In The Skies"
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Portrait of Beauty as A Stray Dog -Christie Suyanto I paint beauty with QWERTY keys, some others with joysticks, canned spray, ketchup, charcoal. Still, typed, memorized, embalmed, embodied, portrayed, it strays. That is why, everyday, I wonder if I am living, in peace, in between lines or perhaps evolving into a stingray stuck in a colossal body struck by madness, in between times.
Christie Suyanto is eighteen. She writes and wants to see the world.
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Submissions for Issue 7 are currently open! Theme: Flower Your artworks and literary pieces can be any topic while we would love to read theme based works.
This is the issue where we go into print. Our fundraiser project for this pribt issue will be up soon. It is only with your help that we can get this magazine into print. Check our website later for more details. Thank you!
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The Poetry Place -Nilofer Neubert On Poetry and Music Intertwining
want to be considered a jazz poet blowing a long blues in an afternoon jam session on Sunday.” – Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac was part of the poetry collective famously known as Beat Generation. The Beats’ words not only touched poets but also musicians – Bob Dylan and The Beatles were just two artists out of many who were influenced by The Beats. This to me is not surprising. After all, song lyrics are a subsection of poetry. Most lyrics have the traditional aspects of what a poem is, rhyming, stanzas, line breaks, imagery and metaphors. Music and lyrics also influence the way poets write. For me, a melody might inspire a stanza in a poem that I am writing. If there was no background music playing at that particular time when I was writing, the poem I wrote would probably be totally different. Playing music in the background while writing, has the ability to cox the shy words that are trapped in my mind to make an appearance on the page. Lyrics can also be used as poetry prompts. One of the projects that I am currently embarking on my writing blog, blackvspurple.tumblr.com, is inspired by Snow Patrol’s lyrics. First, I listen to the songs on an album of theirs. I then research a type of poem I want to explore writing. For their first album, I explored writing Tanka poems. For each Snow Patrol song, I take a phrase that spoke to me and made it the title of my poem. After that, I write a poem that fits the phrase. The result is a combination of themes and words that I never would have put together without this exercise. I have performed my poems only once with a jazz band. We met and discussed the melody to accompany my poems just one hour before the set. There was something that felt different when I performed that night. My words inspired the musicians and their melody inspired the pacing of my performance. It was a two way process. I have never performed those poems after that night. Without music, I cannot breathe life to them on stage anymore. PoojaNansi is an educator and poet who has performed with music more than once. She published her first poetry collection, “Stiletto Scars” in 2007. She is an amazing page as well as stage poet. She is also part of a music and spoken word duo called the Mango Dollies with her best friend AnjanaSrinivasan who is a blues singer. Together they have performed at various locations around Singapore. Here are some of her thoughts on poetry and music intertwining.
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Nilofer: How has music influenced your poetry? Pooja:I listen to music all the time. It's always in the background and my taste in music is pretty diverse ranging from gangster rap to Indian classical but the music that has claimed a relationship with my writing process is really of two types. The first are folk singers and songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Bob Dylan who really write like poets and put their lyrics to music. Sometimes I hear a line and it stays with me for days or a week and I feel a need to write something in response. The other kind of music that really propels my writing is music from old Hindi films because it reminds of my grandparents and my family history and there's something so poetic about the lyrics that translation never seems to capture which makes me want to keep trying to bridge that gap into a time I didn't live but nevertheless influences who I continue to be. I'm also part of a music and spoken word duo called the Mango Dollies with my best friend AnjanaSrinivasan who is an amazing blues singer. I think it helps that I am inspired by her as a singer songwriter. We are so in tune with each other on a personal level that it translates much more easily into the creative process of pairing songs and poems. Nilofer: In your opinion, whatâ€™s the difference between a singer and a poet who performs with music? Pooja: A singer, to me, is basically a musician whose voice is his or her instrument. I sing sometimes to accompany my poetry but I wouldn't consider myself a singer because I've never been trained. I don't have any formal knowledge of music. I don't think I would dare to go out there and just sing with a band. However, as a poet, which is something I'm much more confident and comfortable with, I see music as an additional tool to my performance. I think about how the words and the chords enhance the poem which is my primary concern. It always astounds me how certain songs and poems that seem worlds apart speak to each other if you find the right entry point. For example, one of the pairings I worked on with Anjana is Feste's song from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and a poem by Pablo Neruda, a 20th Century Chilean poet. One would think it would be hard to find common ground here, but we realised Shakespeare's song written in verse about death, remembrance and love was really bitter sweet as was Neruda's poem and somehow they just worked. I think a poet who performs with music, doesn't have to be a musician in the most technical sense, but you do need to understand the intent behind the pieces you choose to merge or respond to. Nilofer: What advice would you give to aspiring poets wanting to include music in their performance? Pooja: Firstly, ask yourself why you want to include music in your piece. Does it add anything to the piece? Can it be more interesting that just accompanying background noise (as in some of the worst spoken word pieces I've seen that claim to use music) or as sound effects? Secondly, try to really understand the pieces you are pairing. What is their point of conversation? How do they speak to or against each other? How do they add layers to the existing individual pieces? Last but certainly not least, does it speak to you as a writer and a performer? Remember you have a unique voice. You need to be absolutely true to yourself, your writing and the message you want to deliver.
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ISSUE I am sure that Pooja’s experience and advice would be able to help all those Spoken Word Poets who are thinking about using music as an enhancement to their performance. In May, The Poetry Place, held a competition on Tumblr for poems that had music weaved into them in any way. The poem below, Listening to Pop Music in Vienna, danced its way to the first place. The poem was submitted by literarylocker.tumblr.com.
Listening to Pop Music in Vienna “It takes me about twenty minutes to write a poem,” I told him as we sat at the bar. I was relieved to find another person who spoke English in the haze of beer and loud music. My German was not very good, and there were many “false friends” between the standard language I had been taught and the local varieties of Vienna. My teachers did not prepare me for this. “I listen to the piece first, and then I listen to it again and I freewrite, and then I listen to it a third time and I incorporate the rhythm of the piece into my poem.” He nodded. “All that in twenty minutes, huh?” “Yes. The Viennese School inspires me so much. I love the form of it. The structure is so full and strong.” “Okay.” “I write a lot of poems about soldiers at war,” I said. His eyes turned down into his lager. “I once wrote about lovers in the Moonlight Sonata. Beautiful quartets.” And then with a sigh he took out his cell phone to check the time. The world wide symbol of wishing to be somewhere else. He stood up. “Listen—“ “Do you want to dance?” He looked surprised, but he smiled and finished his beer. “All right, why not.” He led me to the floor as the songs changed. An American pop tune I knew and hated. “Ugh. I left the country to get away from this stuff.” “They play it in every bar. It’s everywhere. No avoiding it.” We stayed there dancing though my whole body wanted to slink out of the bar. He draped his arms over my shoulders like a foxfur, and his eyes were level with mine. They were deep, endless pits of black. I felt
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I would fall in if I lingered too long. I broke up to the ceiling and stared at the twinkle lights the owner put up in the rafters for Christmas. “I mean, their music’s all too simple, too much the same,” I stammered. “All C Major, all four-four. Pedestrian rhymes.” “What’s the matter?” he asked. “It’s everywhere. You can’t wish it away. Make your own art if you want, but don’t fight what’s around you. Just listen.” I listened. I saw his eyes again. Two dark, even whole notes. One was the melody, the other harmony. We listened to each other like a fermata. Unbreakable. Lagers became stouts as the night grew darker and colder. Adele set fire to the rain as we wove patterns on the dance floor. We became closer in time by quarters, eighths, sixteenths. Rest. “You should write a poem about this,” he said. Our beards tangled. A bass clef and treble. Lines curling around each other like arms. You should write a poem. Just listen.
Visit our blog, thepoetryplace.tumblr.com for the second and third place winners. If you would like to read all the submissions for the competition, check out the #musicpoetry tag on Tumblr. We will also be featuring other interviews from poets to hear more about their views on music and poetry. Follow thepoetryplace on Tumblr and Twitter for more news on how you can participate in The Poetry Place’s competitions and discussions.
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Journeys -Zainabb Hull Golden shafts of light Illuminate the onwards The way to the new
A dirt-stricken scar Its path is age-worn history The road stands waiting
Faces yet unseen Motes of dust on a sea of sun
Zainabb Hull lives in London, England and writes in a futile attempt to retain her sanity. She has previously been published by SYWzine.
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To Whom It May Concern -Mike Hilbig
all me crazy if that’s what works best for you. It will make it all a little easier to digest I’m sure. Call me deranged, call me a psychopath, call me a lunatic, call me an animal. Or a monster, yes that’s it, a monster! That’s what you’ll call me I’m sure, a monster. A monster, yes, yes, put me in that monster box. I should fit quite nicely there with the rest of them, don’t you think? Maybe you could even turn the lever every once in a while and hear that Ice Cream Truck music playing—Pop Goes the Weasel! I could spring out at anytime and scare the ever-loving shit out of you. Yes, I could do that quite easily except I’m no more than a fool, a clown, and I couldn’t possibly scare you any more than you already scare yourselves. And it will only last a second anyways, and then you’ll be back to your day, and your meetings and your appointments and your child’s school functions, and the sitcom following the evening news, and every other droll moment where you can feel it but forget to think about it, and I’ll stay there, springloaded for eternity waiting to pop. So call me crazy if that’s what makes it all okay, but that thing you feel, that fear that pops up every once in a while is that thing that lets you know I’m no crazier than anyone else. That much is plain to see. The fact is that we’re all a part of some bigger unexplainable thing, and any craziness one of us suffers from is surely a craziness we all suffer from. And this isn’t some
bullshit existential excuse either. It’s the truth. We are quite literally, each and every one of us, simply a component part of what scientists refer to as the whole of the universe and what the religious or the spiritual refer to as the Omni-presence of God (or the Way, or the Light, or some other encompassing term that no one really understands). Surely, we can admit to that much, the little parts coming together to make a whole, but you see, the problem is that this whole isn’t really the universe or God at all. Words fall short of explaining just what it is, but it’s there, and it’s true, and we are a part of it. The head told me so. I should probably start with the head. It’s all a bit murky now as to when he exactly first appeared to me, but I’ll have you know that I did actually question my own sanity on the first visit, that I did actually pinch myself—now, whether this was my own conscious instinct, or a common human instinct, or simply due to the operant conditioning of clichéd television and motion picture cinema, I do not know. I do, however, remember the fear being almost overwhelmed by the disappointment as I came home from an arduous day of performing the mental gymnastics required to file parallel forms at a law firm for ten straight hours, and only wanted to watch the game to escape from the thought circles of said gymnastics that always end in stumbling dismounts of why, and instead of my high-definition
Miracle Issue 6 television being there behind the doors of the central cabinet in my cherry-oak entertainment center, there was instead a glowing neon green head with flamingo pink irises and spiked out glittery purple hair. Additionally, I remember quite well that for such a strange sight, his introduction was a rather also disappointingly friendly, “Hello Peter, my name is Rex, how are you today?” I could not, however, describe to you the particulars of our first conversation on that visit, or any other visit for that matter, or when he started appearing, or how much time had elapsed in between visits or even how much time elapsed from the first visit until right now as I sit here and write my last communication in this diffracted human form, but I do now understand that this belief in myself as a diffracted form of some greater whole came to me as a result of these many probably frequent conversations I had with the head over some undisclosed period of time about life, and towards the end here, death. Now, I know what you’re thinking but it’s not true. The head never told me to kill, or at least not that I can remember because our conversations were always of the deep and long and winding and illuminating variety so that trying to produce some imagined transcript of our exact dialogues or trying to communicate through aphorized summaries of his particular teachings to me that led me to my newfound philosophy of existence would be rather futile and simplified, and would not serve me well in trying to get out my message, or you well in trying to understand why I did it so again, I cannot say with any accuracy that I can remember anything for sure about what was said. Even if I could, memory is a rather tricky devil himself and will convince you of all sorts of things that didn’t actually happen while at the same time not bothering to store some of perhaps the most profound segments of one’s human experience. What I can say with certainty
is that these conversations did produce a deep metanoic change in my outlook, and I can at least venture to reproduce what I began to believe as I continued to talk to Rex. You see, after that initial period of selfinduced arm pinching and face-slapping, and stutters of uh, uh, uh in our first few meetings, and after the deep inward searching and questioning as to whether to see someone (i.e. a shrink or priest or family member) to see whether or not I was experiencing some variety of hallucinations, and after I decided that this talking would be rather paradoxical as in I didn’t feel crazy, but if I attempted to tell someone that sometimes at night I talk to a glowing green head where my television usually sits, they would surely try to convince me I was crazy, and if I was convinced I was crazy, then it would be like some self-fulfilling prophecy and so after I would inevitably undergo extreme treatments of drugs and intensive therapy, if I were not to see the head anymore, would it be the result of these therapies or would he simply have disappeared over time as all things disappear. I don’t think I would have been able to know either way, and since I had seen the head with my own eyes, spoke to him with my own mouth, and heard him with my own ears, and since I had once even felt the skin on his left cheek and noted how cold it was and realized that this was probably due to the absence of a body and thus the absence of a heart to pump warm blood through, I had to assume that he was indeed real if only by a deep instinctual knowledge that I knew he was. Of course, what other kind of knowledge can one have? We are all collectors of our own information while at the same time our own proverbial “bullshit detectors,” and thus all of our truths are only really true if we at a guttural level feel that feeling like we might vomit but know
Miracle Issue 6 we somehow won’t. And this is perhaps a prime example of one of those lessons I learned from Rex. You see, I came to understand Rex to be a projection of that unexplainable phenomenon of not quite universe or God, which I will now merely refer to as the all, but of course this word is also lacking in clarity as to just what Rex was. And again, I don’t know if Rex referred to himself as the all, or whether I merely gained this knowledge from the contextual clues in our increasingly candid and cavernous conversations. And still struggling with myself as to whether Rex was real as in actually in my living room and actually a representative of the all or merely my own projection of the all existing inside my own head, I determined at the very least he was real in the sense that I could really see him, and his effect on me was quite pleasurable and eyeopening. And you see, it was when his eyes were open that I came to realize why the all was projected as a head. You know how you can always tell if someone is lying in the way a person’s eyes might shift slightly upwards or sideways, or they might blink a time or two too many, and how this realization is not perhaps noticed immediately as a shift in the eyes, but you can certainly discern from this action on a subliminal level that a person is probably lying, and you know this discernment always produced that same guttural stomach punch of truth even if that truth was that the person was lying. This is why poker players and secret agents always wear sunglasses. But Rex, in our conversations, always maintained this stoic-like concentration of eye-contact never breaking from my gaze except when to direct me to objects around the room, which might strengthen his instructions in example form, and this concentration gave me after the stomach punch, the calm peptic knowledge instead that he was actually being onehundred percent a parrhresiastes, and he was giving me the real deal ontological
knowledge about life that I’d spent so many hours in my office wondering about as I alphabetized legal briefs. And his instructions were never to kill, but merely to find a way to connect back to the all. You see, another realization I had in talking to Rex was that life was merely a separation from the all. Essentially, we become humans because we are one of the all’s ways of having an experiential existence. The all, you see, sometimes gets tired of being so allular so he created us from himself, or herself, or itself, or whatever it actually is when not projected, so that he or she or it or whatever could become particular. This is necessary for experience since if something could experience everything at the same time, it would also experience nothing in that it would have no opposition to create a definition for such same experience—this of course might be why we don’t tend to remember all those boring monotonous moments of a day like waiting in line or checking our watches a million times over. And you see, since we most certainly are these experiential illusory beings, we are experiencing those things that the all cannot. I know this is somewhat confusing, and some of the more philosophically minded of you will point out some logical paradoxes such as if the all can become particular, than he or she or it or whatever will cease to be allular, or that if the all were to create himself or herself or itself or whatever as particular, he or she or it or whatever would make the particular allular and thus not particular at all. Of course, I can assure you that if you talked to Rex, you would understand that these paradoxes are simply gaps in our language construction as human language also has the distinct characteristic of needing an opposition to create definition, and therefore a quite limited way to even begin to talk about the all. But anyways, the product of these experiences is that we are left feeling at whole completely lonely since each
Miracle Issue 6 individual illusory experiential being is quite limited to language or art or some other futile form of communicating these experiential moments back to each other. And so experience, maybe not so intended by the all, but certainly this is what we have, is by whole not so pleasant even if there are certainly some pleasant moments because of this very difficulty of communicating our experiences. And so in order to truly connect, it must be back to the all in a sort of permanently transfixed sort of way. I know you are probably still struggling to understand just what I’m saying, but still I must point out again the deficiencies in our language system in explaining my purpose here. Of course, since there is no better alternative than this letter, I simply have no better way to do this than to discuss a bunch of abstruse slightly logically connected statements with the hope that you might perhaps grasp the particular essence of my explanation. And to this end, I will try my best. Rex, you see, helped me to remember my time at the Orthodox middle school where I attended classes as a young man, and for the first time felt the crippling loneliness of experience. And Rex helped me to remember how the administration and the teachers deeply misconstrued the message of the all, and handed it to us to play with like toxic silly putty. And Rex helped me to understand just how dangerous all these molds were that we were making with said silly putty because the problems with improper projections like these is that when a person returned to a transfixed position in the all after death, his
or her ideas and beliefs would then become a part of the all itself, and misconceptions like the ones at the Orthodox Academy over time were making the all more and more a thing not so mysterious and alular but simple and particular and this was threatening the all’s very nature and must be dealt with in ways that were perhaps considered extreme to the particulars of the all, but were only aimed with the preservation of the all itself. But Rex certainly did not influence my decision to form a small collection of assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols and pressure cooker bombs and orange juice concentrate liquid napalm. And Rex, again, never told me to return to my alma matter with the purpose of returning its current students to this transfixed position in the all before their indoctrination is complete. But Rex did help me know—after I made the decision on my own to walk into said Orthodox Academy with said collection of weapons—that my only aim while there should be at granting these poor children a release from the pain of experience so that they may become the gentle neutral light hum of being only a memory, and he informed me that the why’s these actions produce in you are only your own projections of the all asking you to come back home. So please don’t blame Rex or the all. Know that this was my particular solution to the confounding problem of how to possibly connect to such a confusing entity.
Mike Hilbig finds writing biographical sketches of himself in the third person particularly deflating. Especially since he has only been published in a couple of small literary journals. But Mike Hilbig is excited to share his poetry, fiction, and non-fiction with the world, and hopes to one day have a much more interesting third-person biopic of himself. In other words, he feels he's up-and-coming, and he hopes you, the readers, feel the same way.
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Painting by Jasreen Kaur Oil Painting Can be
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On The Bookshelf
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Book Reviews By Julie Stanley randishing an eloquently written book of poetry is none other than legendary Leonard Cohen. His ‘Book of Longing’ (Ecco; Reprint edition May 29, 2007), boasts a myriad of different colorful scales of words that balance delicately his reflection upon women, Zen doctrine, his advancing age, and others. Best known for his resonant tones that captures the mind and senses with sultry vocals and lyrics, Cohen’s Longing reads much like the lyrics to his songs. Beyond all honesty, he pours out his heart and soul into this marvelous compilation which expands the span of year. Cohen has delved down to the very core of his integrity with delicate notes of sardonic humor, insight, with elements of richly worded soothing descriptions and metaphor. Deeper than the seas of swooning within his vocals, he partakes in the musings of his characterwith beguiling prose that will keep you reading well into the night, lighting candles, and partaking in the brilliance of his voice as you enjoy the wisdom within his words.
palescent singer/songwriter Jewel’s collection of poetry ‘A Night Without Armor’ (HarperCollins; May 19, 1998) has been an object for debate. Written when she was roughly 23 years old, she can be compared to a raw and unfiltered Bukowski with elements of Joni Mitchell. At times she appears to be fragmented in her words while in others she seemsslightly awkward with language. The overall meat of the poems expound upon the pure unadulterated manifestation of the deepest recesses of her wistful memories and soul baring honesty. Sometimes wistful, sometimes heartbreaking; this collection of poetry shows promise of growth for her personal philosophies, insight, and wisdom. Each poem echoes and overlaps her sentimental lyrics with both grit and velvet showing promise for an ever evolving candidness. The only qualm I have is with the careless editing. The poetry originated from her personal journals that tend to read more like clipped prose rather than poetry. If more time was spent during the editing process these poems would be more compelling. For a first published collection, her verse called to many youth which caused many youth to develop a love of poetry. Poetry is art and regardless of this mixed opinion, her work still soars as exquisitely as her unique voice.
Miracle Issue 6 liver Sacks, the famed British neurologist and author of ‘Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain’ (Knopf; October 16, 2007), sheds an intriguing light upon how music affects the human mind. Music is a major component within our lives. In many instances our identities can be described in song and verse. Such miracles and mysteries develop within particularcase studies and inspirational stories. Some of these stories include that of savants. Then there are other stories such as the man struck by lightning which in turn caused him to become an adept concert pianist as well as Alzheimer’s patients who have shown improvement in their condition due to particular harmonies. Those fascinated by the mysteries of the mind and the effects that music and harmonies have upon the human psyche will find themselves entranced.It also causes readers to reevaluate the impact that music has within their lives. Scientific, musical, and at times charmingly complex, the collocations Sacks uses to reinforce his theories enables the reader to develop theories of their own.
eeping the readers engaged within a story is one of Anne Rice’s famed qualities. Her book, ‘Cry To Heaven’ (Ballantine Books April 30, 1991) follows the life of Marc Antonio Treschilike a trail of breadcrumbs leading back into the eighteenth century Italian society. The castrati were not just singers, they were icons with coveted vocals and revered by exquisite talents generally attributed to women. Tonio’s character wasgifted abeautiful, melodious voice. In order to maintain his elegant vocals he became one of the castrato. Profoundly sensual, riveting, and with passionate sexuality that only Rice can capture, Cry To Heaven is a masterful and by far one of the most charismatic tales that Rice has written. Unlike her vampire and witch series, this book does not entail creatures of the otherworldly variety. She does, however, incorporate her standard flavors of passion. Without fear she unabashedly delves into the struggles of singers who received both condemnation for their misunderstood sexuality and praise for their jaw-dropping, aweinspiring vocal capabilities.
elena. Almost two decades after her death her name still echoes the brilliance of her voice and the tragedy of her murder. To me, she introduced me to an all-new genre of music. Had she been alive today I would see her outshining the artists of mainstream music with class and sophistication. ‘To Selena, with Love’ (Celebra Hardcover; March 6, 2012) written by her husband, Chris Perez who after all these years held onto the memories of their love. Perez proves within this heartfelt book that true love never dies. Through his recollections, he brings her back to life and reveals the truth in their evolving relationship. You can feel the reality of her soul that although she was like no other, she still had wants, desires, ups and downs, much like the average person. Unlike a standard biography, this book has more depth and intimacy within it. Beautifully written that has the feel of a warm embrace.
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Woodcock -Bethany W Pope The first I'd ever seen, and alien to my conception of the citified world. I saw it sprawled in the sidewalk beside the Jury Inn, Swindon's bleak ornament. Its blunt wings were closed, framing the body in the shape of a heart. The dark breast torn from bones that were tooth-scraped and splintered, the vitals plucked from their stems and guy wires by a muzzle red-painted with blood. The fox did not kill it, it died by the road. The meat which remained looked nothing like even the dark meat of chicken. There was a stringy vitality there that brought to my mind a cow’s skinned haunches. Rapid twitch muscles our Sunday dinners could never equal- even if they had not spent their brief lives hormone pumped, locked in high cages. Beside these tatters the fox left, even a duck’s breast looks insubstantial as water. We humans forget the high cost of flight. The strenuous, ungraceful glory of beating down air.
I picked the body up, one-handed, surprised by the weight it had after a third was subtracted by the teeth of a fox and its back skinned bald by car grill. Its small head lolled loose on its short thick neck, the long flesh-toned beak pressed against my arm, a sword that would not fall. I ran my finger over the blood-groove, tracing the length of spear-bone to the delicate, down-soft hollow of the throat, the armored nest of all lost songs and thought, 'I cannot leave you naked by the side of the road.' Books in one hand, I held the corpse in my other, making the trek up the hill that leads to the library, looking for a place green enough to take my burden. I am used to seeming mad in this place where gentleness is madness and nature is something to be mown down by cars. I set it beside the roan tree which roots beside the theater and has not been knocked down yet. I left it there, wingspread, the empty pocket which held a heart once open to the morning air, ready for night to come on soft feet and cover the sight of the fox resuming its meal.
Bethany W Pope received her PhD from Aberystwyth University’s Creative Writing program. Her first poetry collection, A Radiance was published by Cultured Llama Press. Her work has appeared in: Anon, Art Times, Ampersand, Blue Tattoo, The Delinquent, De/Tached (an anthology released by Parthian), The Writer’s Hub, New Welsh Review, Every Day Poems, And Other Poems, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Magma, Words & Music, The Quarterly Conversation, Tears in the Fence, Ink, Sweat and Tears and Planet. Her work will appear in the next issues of Poetry Review Salzburg, Acumen, Pacific Poetry , Music& Literature, Anon, and The Screech Owl.
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Scraping Wallpaper in the Bathroom -Summer Nolaln My father and I work contentedly, jubilantly, Scraping off the layers of paisley and the blood red flowers underneath them. Revealing the creamy white wall which hasnâ€™t been seen in more than 20 years. It is as if we are scraping away the layers of your sickness. As if the walls were filled with tiny pores which are finally able to breathe The room feels lighter It echoes with our laughter. I cannot remember the last time you were gone for an entire day, The last time I didnâ€™t return home, arms laden with laundry, To hear your voice echoing through the dark hallways Like a ghost Quietly putting into place another broken somethingToday you have left for an entire afternoon. My father and I turned on the lights when you left, and inspected the dilapidated nest you had woven. We set to work with sponges, and watched, As the thick old paper began to melt. It was as if it was ready to move on, quietly, putting up very little fight. Some places required grit, but for the most part It was a peaceful ending. I am hopeful, that when you return home to see what we have done You will do the same. Your pores will openAnd a piece of your soul will begin to breath.
Summer Nolan is a twenty two year old college student from Oklahoma studding Theatre Performance. She is also an advocate for victims of human trafficking, hoping to raise awareness with her co-authored play on the subject, VOICED. She enjoys long books and short naps, and also the reverse.
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MaaxShlagel from Maax TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF: WHERE DID YOU GROW UP, AND HOW DID YOU GET INTO MUSIC ? I grew up most of my life in Muncie, Indiana. A small portion of my life was spent in Ft. Pierce, Florida. Music is something that one day you know you are just going to be part of. I remember staying up late at night as a very small child and watching MTV and VH1 (when they played music videos) for the 80â€™s heavy metal vids that they didn't play during the day. One of my earliest memories of realizing what I wanted to be was on one of these nights. They played a string of Ozzy, Poison, and Motley Crue videos. Something about the whole larger-than-life aspect of being on stage playing music for thousands and thousands of people struck me. I wanted to be a part of that more than I could fathom. My father played
the acoustic guitar with some basic chords and he taught me those. From there I taught myself how to read tabs and started practicing every day, working on something harder and harder as I progressed. I started when I was 8 and I got pretty good. It wasn't until I moved to Florida that I started really nailing solos and starting to "shred." I lived in the hood and there wasn't much to do outside in a neighborhood like that so every moment I had went into my guitar. I moved back a year later and started my first band called Antagonists. We played for about 4 years then eventually I found myself in MAAX (pronounced May-axe). I've now been with MAAX for going on 5-6 years. I started as the bass player but have been the lead player for the past 4 years or so.
M USIC WISE, WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION AND WHY ? This question I could answer with a novel, but I'll try to condense it. As a guitar player I'd have to say that ZakkWylde is probably number one on my list. All around that guy just has it. Hell of a musician and
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songwriter. The talent that guy has couldn't be measured. As far as musically, Judas Priest is massive, specifically the albums Defenders of the Faith and Painkiller. The songwriting and just straight up musical dynamic is a huge factor in how I approach music in general. These two albums are probably the most solid albums to date and have withstood the test of time and will continue to do so. As far as my influences go, I'd say it's 60/40. 60 being, old school rockin' 80s metal â€” Poison, Motley Crue, Scorpions, Ratt, Skid Row, Kix, DefLeppard (specifically the High n Dry album), Judas Priest, Ozzy, Tesla, and even a select few tunes from Grim Reaper, are all bands that I pull my influences from. The other 40 is black metal. Immortal is on the top of my list there, but is closely followed by Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, old Mayhem, Watain, Dissection, Satyricon, Bloodbath, King Diamond (specifically Don't Break the Oath album) and a little death metal sneaks in there too with: Destroyer 666, Morbid Angel (Steve Tucker vocals), more recently Hypocrisy. There are many others like Kvlertak and Jungle Rot too. Fuck, if it's good it's just fuckin' good.
H OW DO YOU THINK POETRY AND MUSIC CORRELATE WITH ONE ANOTHER ? What's one of the biggest reasons to start a band? You got to have something to say. Lyric and vocal patterns work together to bring what you have to say to a reality with purpose. Music sets the atmosphere, the mood, the feeling, it constructs the plot and the skeleton of what is being brought forth lyrically. If you listen to a bands discography chronologically and follow that in their biography or autobiography you can understand this. Pay attention to the words and the feel of the music compared to the times in the lives' of the musicians. It's all personal with the majority of musicians. You have a few exceptions to the rules of course. But a discography can be thought of like an autobiography in itself.
H OW DO YOU FORMULATE NEW LYRICS, WHAT IS YOUR MUSIC PROCESS? Personally, I'm not the lyricist of MAAX. For the things I write only for myself at home, typically it comes with music first. That music sets the tone. Then I pull from current events in my life that make sense with what I want to say and what the music wants to say. Sometimes it's cryptic, what the song and lyrics are about isn't just going to come out and say it. Sometimes you just have to take it for what it means to you. What it means when it was written doesn't necessarily mean that is how the next person is going to take it.
IF YOU HAD ANY ADVICE FOR UP AND COMING MUSICIANS WHAT WOULD IT BE? Get that shit in writing. Unfortunately, the music business can be a shady world to be apart of. Never go off of someone's word because 90% of the time they are blowing mega smoke up your ass. This especially goes for getting paid by venues. If they won't sign off on a promise of what they said they will pay, that can't pay you. That's that. You don't want to be 1,800 miles from home and the event coordinator takes off with all the money leaving you and 15 other bands stranded. If a promo company hits you up ask for credentials â€” what have they done? Who have they worked with? Another bit of advice, you gotta make it happen. It's not the fuckin' 80s anymore. People aren't going to find you in the sea of bullshit bands that boomed because of Myspace. Sometimes to get out there you have to "pay to play", that's just part of the gig. Buy your way onto a tour and sell your merch.to make your money back.
Miracle Issue 6 That's the best way to get out there. You hit a big audience at once, and it's worth eating off the dollar menu for 2 weeks straight. PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE. Don't expect people to show up to a gig if you don't promote anything. Don't expect Facebook to do the work for you; it goes beyond that. It's not up to the venue to let everyone know you are coming. Flyer that shit. Go old school. Get street teams. There are always folks you don't even know willing to flyer their downtown area in a city you are a thousand miles away from for a free pass into the show, a tshirt, and a cd. One last note, you aren't better than anyone else. You go into the game with that thought and you will get pushed out real quick. Music is a group effort on all accounts, brothers helping brothers. Check out MAAX on iTunes, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Pandora and all those other internet radio sites. Be sure to throw us some "likes" on our Facebook page facebook.com/maaxmetal . Look us up on Reverb Nation, too. Be sure to show some love, you can pick up merch from our label Abyss Records at OfficialAbyssRecords.com. Merch makes the band world go round. A special shout out to all of our fans for keeping us going. If it weren't for all of you we couldn't do what we do. Another shout out goes to our brothers in The Horde (IL), HOD (TX), and Gravehill (CA). Thanks for the opportunity to speak out in this music community! Look for "Damned If We Do" and "Damned If We Don't" EPs soon and maybe a special vinyl release! Cheers and beers!
Interviewed by : Natasha Pasch
Filming ‘Blood Shot Deleted Scene (32( -Christopher Barnes
trill-chant, rope-hopping children. Unbalanced china. A caged owl cranks his agog head. Camera 7 twitches, dazzles, Overshadows to black. A spotlight relumes. Feverish guggle of Ali Wrey As he rocks the suckling dead in its cot.
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Dusky Music -Jyothsnaphanija Bolla A soft intoxicating tune In the dark quite night As a pal for sleepless eyes, As a mirror for broken thoughts pile, Tries many ways to induce sleep, Singing despair at feverish shiver, Musing over the mosquito quarrel, Dancing at the echoes of sleeping birds wings, Echoing the strange rhythm of nocturnal hiss, The composed tune comforts in lonely night. Is it the tune of the nightâ€™s own? Or is it the tune of powerless sunâ€™s fume?. Who else listens this tune? Can it indite its listener? Can it loom in the day memory? Or will it melt in elapsed dream? It has no language Like the speechless darkness. It has no form Like the torturing gust. It has no expression Like the cold death. It has no name Like the many secret crimes. It has no colour Like the moonless night. This waving tune Is only capable of cuddling two souls in one nest.
Jyothsnaphanija writes poetry and short stories whose poetry was published in Luvah, Fragrance ETC and whose articles were in Subalternspeak, EDhvani, Wizcraft and Barnolipi. Currently she is a doctoral candidate in English Literature at EFL University, Hyderabad, India.
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The Fate of The Great Little Princess -Olga Kolesnikova My heavy eyelids peeled away with difficulty, revealing to the world two olive orbs staring with wonder and uncertainty at the scene before them. Grey sand littered with dry seaweed and driftwood, huge black rocks in places, and further away, rows of bleak trees, ugly in their nakedness; pale grey skeletons reaching their numerous twisted arms to the dark sky as if in desperate prayer. I have heard of this place before, but never cared to, unlike many others, come up to the surface and see it for myself. I was not interested in the surface world: what queen would I be if I did not give my full attention to my own realm? I was passionate about my land, my people. It was this passion that had resulted in my waking up here. I was a warrior queen: known widely as the “Great Little Princess”: for, despite my youth and my small size, I was strong, I was brave, I was proud, and I was fully and completely enveloped in my kingdom’s affairs and the well-being of my people. However, I had lost perhaps the most important battle of my life. I was advised, often advised by my late father’s wise councilors that war with so great a nation was madness: we had neither the numbers nor the skill. But my pride had
blinded me, I regret it now. We had lost, I was captured by the enemy, and my country was left widely unprotected. I had hoped they would kill me, rid me of the shame of this failure, the knowledge that I had betrayed my people’s faith in me, but they were not so merciful. Exile: that was to be my punishment. After swallowing the inky-black mixture that was forced down my throat, I had lost consciousness, and regained it only moments ago. Now, the initial astonishment had subsided and I was aware of the burning sensation in my eyes: I blinked repeatedly and hot water poured down my cheeks. An icy, razor-sharp wind was tearing mercilessly at my bare skin, the air was dry; my lungs seemed filled with needles. Why was this world so full of pain? I lowered my watery eyes, and the blurry image that now floated before me shocked me to the core, shook the foundations of my being, though I had expected it. Two ugly pale sticks were stretched out on the sand, deformed and pathetic. My powerful silver tail was gone; I would never again see its smooth scales sparkle in the rays of light, distorted by their journey through masses of salt water. But I was not one to despair or give up,
Miracle Issue 6 however hopeless my situation seemed. I would find a way to get my revenge. I was determined: I had always been stubborn. After a little struggle, I managed to raise myself off the ground and stand vertically on my two hideous feet. Overcoming my hesitation, I made a few unsure steps on the cold, rough sand, waddling like a child and ashamed of the weakness I was so unused to. I found, after clearing the beach, that I was quickly teaching myself to use these new limbs, and the hope of retribution grew in my proud chest. I would acquaint myself with the land-people, tell them my story, and win their affection. I heard they had great power: if this was so, it would be a mere trifle for them to send an army of their artificial warriors to the bottom of the ocean. With this thought, I saw a figure by the bald trees, clad in strange colourful attire of bright crimson and deep blue. It was one of them! My heart beat faster with excitement and expectation. But, approaching the figure somewhat nervously, I was not received in the way I thought I would be. The man, for man it was, upon noticing me rewarded me with an expression of horror and panic. As I neared him, my hesitation increasing and hopes faltering, he made a few steps back, until he leaned on a thick trunk of one of the trees, and looked at me wide-eyed. I stopped, wondering what it was about me that caused this creature such distress. His lips trembled. “Are – are you ok? H-how can I help you?” – He stammered, attempting to look unaffected, but I saw the fear in his eyes. “You need not be afraid of me.” – I replied in a comforting tone, though this was not very successful as the dry air had had its effect on my throat. – “I wish to speak to your leader. Can you take me to him... or her?” – The man’s expression seemed to
change to something like vague understanding. I was hoping that he had now realised I was a stranger from another region, and not a threat to him. “Uh, sure... Just a moment.” – The man mumbled, producing a small object from the depth of his garments. Glancing at it, and then at me again, he turned away and walked a small distance from me, then stopped and put the object to his ear. He seemed to be speaking, but I could not hear him for the distance and the howling wind which still seemed to cut straight through me. I watched him, puzzled, and after a short time, the man once again hid the object, and turned to me. He walked towards me hesitantly, but did not get as close this time. “Umm, someone will be here to help you soon.” – He said. – “I gotta go... Uh, bye.” “Goodbye, and thank you.” – I replied, somehow doubting that my new acquaintance was telling the truth. As he walked hurriedly away from me, I once again surveyed my surroundings. Behind me was the endless ocean, dark and welcoming, begging for me to return. “Maybe one day.” – I whispered to it, turning my gaze in another direction. The beach and the dull grey sand stretched as far as the eye could see in each direction, contouring the enormous body of water. Opposite the ocean, the dormant bare trees stood in abundance, blocking my view and making me ignorant of what may have been only a small distance from me. I dared not venture into this wood, however, remembering that the man had said someone would soon be here for me. I did not want them to arrive only to find an empty space. I stood like this, all alone and looking very lost, for some time, looking around me again and again, taking in every detail of this scene and trying to ignore the
Miracle Issue 6 discomfort my body suffered. Relatively soon, however, I saw a couple of figures approaching me from the wood, dressed in apparel of a dark hue. I tried to smile and bowed my head as they got closer, and could soon distinguish that one of them was a man and the other a woman. * Anger. Hatred. Blinding fury blazed in my fiery eye, the deepest contempt boiled in my veins and rushed again and again through my heart. A most acidic vehemence poisoned my thoughts, left no sense or reason in my mind, and melted away the last grain of intellect. For months I was an untamed beast, insensible of anything around me, snarling and howling in animalistic tones and unable to form human speech with the lips that curled again and again in aggression. Then my energy was spent. I grew docile, submissive. Quiet. They thought the drug they poured into my veins had worked, but they were wrong. I had simply given up. My own kind had chosen a good sentence: this was the most horrifying fate anyone could be assigned. I had entered hell; a dry place whose inhabitants will listen to you only to laugh and dismiss. I was a joke to them: they called me “The Little Mermaid” and broke out in bellows of hysteric laughter. To be so humbled after all my greatness, after such a rank! To be brought so low, to be an object of hilarity to everyone, to be locked up in a small white room and looked upon as something less than them: this was the most bitter agony, the most acute suffering. I felt I could not bear it long, I felt I should die if I continued to exist like this. I don’t know how, but one day I found I had slipped away from the guard’s observation during the ten minutes I and the other unfortunate souls spent circling
the small outside area surrounded by high, white walls. I don’t know with what strength I tore the ropes off my hands. I don’t know what skill had allowed me to clamber up one of the stone walls and land on the opposite side, but that is what happened. I was soon tripping through the magnificent, fearful human city, which in my haste I hardly noticed. I was aware of shocked glances from the people I passed, but what did I care? I had only one goal. I felt I could not be far. And I was right, for I soon beheld again the sight that soothed my aching heart, healed my soul and calmed my much stirred and troubled mind. Endless blue, heaving with seemingly slow, but tremendous power: the world’s heart, beating sure and steady, constant and unstoppable. I was on a cliff that hung above this liquid heaven, and without as much as a hint of hesitation I ran forward and threw myself into the ocean. It received me with a tender embrace, engulfed me completely and rocked me in its arms, and I forgot all my troubles and all my past pain. But what was this? My eyes stung and my lungs burned as when I was reborn into hell, my weak human limbs did not have the strength to answer my commands. Alas! I remembered now, in the ocean’s grip, that I could never again be what I once was. I relaxed and embraced the soft caress of the water one last time, then took a deep breath, and darkness rushed over me. I swam towards the light. I was stripped of ambition, regret, sadness, fear. It grew and grew, and now it had swallowed me whole and I had ceased to exist, but existed in everything. I am you, I am me, I am the world, I am again with and within; I am God.
Olga Kolesnikova is an aspiring 17 year old writer. She is currently writing a novel as well as short stories and poetry, and hopes to become a successful full-time writer in the future.
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Prompts & ideas By Marie Lightman THE MUSIC
etting into a regular writing habit is sometimes a difficult thing to do. Many writers start their morning with something that is commonly known as morning pages: this involves free form writing, putting down anything that is in your head at that moment, writing until you have nothing left to say. The point of this exercise being that you have written something already and and have started the writing day. You might also find that there is something in what you have written that you can use. The idea for the following prompt came to me on Britain's National Poetry Day where I was leading a session for The Writers' Cafe at The Lit and Phil, a wonderful library in Newcastle dating back to the 18th Century. The theme of the day was "Stars". People dropped in to write and this is one of the prompts that I gave based on the morning pages: Imagine that you are a famous person either dead or alive; it might be someone you admire or despise or are simply just interested in. You are waking up as that famous person and you imagine them sitting down to write their morning pages. What are their surroundings like? What can they hear? Is there anybody else in the house with them? What are they worried about? What are they looking forward to? When you are ready, write the famous person's morning pages. Keep writing until you have nothing else to say. I chose Elizabeth I, on the day of her coronation, and Syd Barrett on the day Pink Floyd were recording Wish You Were Here. When you have finished hopefully you will have an interesting piece of writing that evokes the person. You might then want to make a choice about what to do with it next. Is it a poem, idea for a film, short story or something else? If you wanted to turn it in to a poem this is how we did it on Britain's National Poetry Day: Be brutal with your text. Take out all the connector words out by crossing them out, all the nouns, pronouns, adjectives etc. At the end you should have something that is sharp and punchy. You might want to keep the odd sentence, but taking out as much as you can is the key. Have fun!
Miracle Issue 6
Abandoned Haikus Found In Singapore Long After The Last Strum -Nilofer Neubert THE MUSIC
Deciding to watch Death Cab for Cutie alone freed me from needing. I ran all the way to Fort Canning Park just to hear you play New York. Six hours of wait before the gates open for two hours of dance. Standing in the rain as Muse lifted my body was worth every drop. Of Monsters and Men plus Singapore sun, cocktail cure for love sickness. One venue: Kimbra and Goyte. They make break ups taste like chocolate waffles. Two times in one night 65daysofstatic, voicelessly wooed me. Tonight, I realised: When Coldplay sang Yellow in my room, you were there. Jimmy Eat Worldâ€™s drums hugged me as other lovers kissed the night away. I would always cheer for you, Jason Mraz. Please return here, home, soon.
Nilofer Neubert is an educator, writer and spoken word poet. She conducts creative writing workshops for children and adults. She was the Editor and Co-Founder of Prosaic Magazine, a DIY photocopied + silkscreened alternative art and culture magazine. She has performed her poetry at various locations in Singapore as well as open mics in England. Her poems have been published in The Fat City Review and other literary magazines. She is currently working on putting together her first poetry collection as well as starting to write a novel. Some of her writing can be found on blackvspurple.tumblr.com and http://blackvspurple.com.
Miracle Issue 6
The Moonbeam Road -John W. Sexton wheels of fat adorn his birthday suit ... tusk tusk King Walrus sailed the sea in a bucket of sea saw the deepest ocean a squeal splits the moon … Grandma Wartkins jumps the sky in her pigskin shoes earwigs behold the Lego city ... from Heaven descends a cornflake trod the moonbeam road … comets trapped as paisleys on the gypsy's kerchief from the egg-fried rice a curling dragon of steam ... keep to your course rocking-horse! take me forwards and backwards to here now truly selfless ... she cut herself looking with the shaving mirror an age … the time it takes for time to take
John W. Sexton lives in the Republic of Ireland. His fifth poetry collection, The Offspring of the Moon, has just recently been published by Salmon Poetry. His poem The Green Owl was awarded the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007 for best single poem, and in that same year he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.
Miracle Issue 6
-Connor May He peers over the edge, measures out the line, then lets drop his cloth bundle of bacon and trimmed fat, and pulls them up, horned and furious, two or three at a time, again and again, their claws caught in his clever weave.
He carries them home for tea at seven, twelve dancing crabs in a bucket of water.
Connor, 22, is a third year Literature student at Edgehill University and lives in the Northwest of England. His poetry tends to draw on Anglo-Irish traditions, his father is Irish and his mother has both Welsh and Scottish roots. He came to writing poetry nearly three years ago.
Miracle Issue 6
The Knots in His Back -Rebecca Gimblett The problem is not how to leave my chair and navigate through the masses collected here in the bar, vultures eyeing spaces like prized fillets, but how to leave my chair and not to touch him [too much] as I pass. To stand and softly shift space between us, not press gently an excuse of palms on his shoulders, [not] feel how checkered that shirt really is, how it looks the way cake would feel, would taste in my mouth. Perfectly cut. Bite size. He has a freckle sitting quietly behind his ear [does he know? should I tell him?]. The trick here, ladies and gentlemen, is not to lick it, not to press my little finger to its sweet smoothness, not wipe it to my lips like clotted cream. The skill will be in passing by unnoticed; my hummingbird heartbeat covered up by the cawing buzzards around us, that collar unstiffened between fingers, his hair unwoven and unsmoothed into gold. Tactile creatures, we return to mice after midnight, if we are lucky. Try only to keep the peace And our best laid plans Sneak out the door. And come back. And sit down. Remain calm. Do not feed the animal. We don't want any kind of trouble here.
Rebecca Gimblett is a vagabond poet. She currently resides in Ireland but wants to write herself into at least ten other worlds. She has been previously published in Bare Hands Journal for both her photography and poetry, and was longlisted for The Fish Flash Fiction Prize 2013.
Nick Quantrill Author Interview
Miracle Issue 6
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? I’m a crime writer from Hull, an isolated seaport in the United Kingdom. I turned to writing when I completed my studies with The Open University in 2007. My novels star Joe Geraghty, a small time Private Investigator. My debut novel, “Broken Dreams”, was published in 2010 and saw Geraghty embroiled in a story that stretched back to the days when the city had a thriving fishing industry. “The Late Greats” was published in 2012 and sees Geraghty babysitting a reforming pop band on the eve of their lucrative comeback tour. It goes wrong. I’ve also written a lot of short stories, some of which appear in various volumes of “The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime” alongside writers like Ian Rankin and Lee Child. 2. What does being creative mean to you? I’ve never really thought about it too deeply. I wasn’t brought up in an artsy environment. My father was an engineer and my mother stayed at home to look after me and my sister. I’ve always been a big reader, so writing felt like the logical next step. I simply felt the urge to try it. Being more analytical, being creative is my way of expressing myself and making sense of what I see around me. 3. What inspires you the most? The fear of having to get a day job! I currently combine writing with looking after my young daughter, but there may come I day when I need to have a steadier income. I’m not really one for looking to famous people for inspiration. Inspiration is more a local thing to me. I see writers, playwrights and poets all doing their thing around me and that drives me on. Hull is largely ignored by most of the country, so it’s fun trying to offer a perspective on the place to a wider audience. 4. How did you initially pick up interest in writing crime fiction? I started young with Enid Blyton’s “Famous Five” novels and a love of mysteries was born. As an adult, it was Ian Rankin’s novels that really lit a fire under me. I could see that they were not only entertaining, but that they were also engaging with important social issues and giving the reader a strong sense of place. It was exactly what I wanted to do and gives me something to aim for.
Miracle Issue 6 5.
What are you writing now and what's coming up next? Next up is the third Joe Geraghty novel, “The Crooked Beat”, and it’s published September 2013. It sees Joe’s brother mixed up with cigarette smugglers through Hull Docks. When he loses the consignment he’s looking after for them, he turns to Joe for help, putting them both in serious danger. I’m hard at work on another novel. It doesn’t feature Geraghty in the main role this time, though I doubt it’s the last we’ve seen of him. All I can say for now is that it’s a crime novel set in Hull.
How was your journey towards getting your first book published? It was very smooth and quick once I knew I had a novel I was happy to send out. Like any writer, I was blessed with good fortune, but I’d also done my research. I decided to approach the smaller, independent presses, as I thought it was a better fit for my work. I researched publishers on the Internet and worked out which were suitable. I was very fortunate to find Caffeine Nights, a publisher based in the London area.
7. Is there a message you want your readers to grasp? I very much try to engage with social issues in my work, as crime fiction is such a perfect vehicle for it. It’s also what I studied. You can write about anything, from the upper echelons of society right down to the bottom, but I hope my novels don’t offer easy answers. Obviously, I’m a reader myself and I want to be challenged, but not told how to think. The most important thing is that my readers feel entertained and maybe get a flavour of what an unfashionable British city is like in 2013.
was born and raised in Hull, an isolated industrial city in East Yorkshire. His Joe
Geraghty novels are published by Caffeine Nights. A prolific short story writer, Nick’s work has appeared in various volumes of “The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime”.In 2011, Nick became the first person to hold the role of ‘Writer in Residence’ at Hull Kingston Rovers, contributing exclusive fiction to the match day programme and assisting with the club’s literacy programme. When not writing fiction, Nick contributes reviews and essays to a variety of football and music websites. He lives with his wife, daughter, cat and the constant fear Hull City will let him down.
Miracle Issue 6
Falling Leaves -Alexandra Minter-Hoadley As we do tap our paintbrushes to get rid of any excess colour So do the leaves fall like drops of colour from their branches in Autumn, The wind gently propelling them whirling them down in a dance To fall with a light touch onto the stream From which their reflection turned gold; Now wandering with it, A moving, living, breathing carpet of Autumnâ€™s palette, Winding its way through the peaceful forest. The leaves begin a new life, They have turned from brilliantly coloured stars of day, To the carpet of living, breathing beauty, which will give life to tomorrows trees, and henceforth tomorrows leaves, As in nature there is no end. It is all wondrous life we get to see through all its phases, But whether blanketing the earth in radiance or softly swaying like torches over our heads, Leaves are dancers; pushed, pulled and pirouetted by the wind and rain; Sometimes seeming carved of stone on a still silent night, At others they pull and twist and stretch in a glorious frenzy of life, making the trees seem covered in hundreds of flitting, fabulously coloured butterflies. Always they are a part of nature under her loving care taking cues from wind, weather and silence, dancing their beautiful ballet, forever, Free.
Alexandra Minter-Hoadley is 21 and lives in Suffolk, England. She has been writing poetry and stories all her life, and would like to pursue a career in writing alongside pursuing her other loves of nature and music.
Miracle Issue 6
REMEMBERING A DROWNING -Michael Strayer
he events of that day come to me in fragments. Remembering is like flipping through the pages of some muddled photo album. I can see Mike and Omar, standing at the rock’s edge. They’re looking back, necks craned, and unfolding beyond them is the Pacific Ocean, the waves, the sunlight. Then they’re in the water, splashing and flailing, fighting one another to stay afloat. Each image lives in its own time; replays itself; happens again and again. Like me standing on that godforsaken rock, watching as they drowned. It’s as if I’m frozen in that moment; captured between my fear and the desire to jump—to plunge into the sea and save my friends—like a mosquito trapped in amber. Images. Fragments. Memories. Zach Mansfield, praying in Hebrew. Omar, safe ashore, asking for a sandwich. Mike’s dad, falling to the earth and screaming. Mike, floating in the sea, and he leans back, gazing at the cliffs, the sky. He seems so very tired. Our eyes meet. And then he collapses to the water—to rest, and to sleep, and to die. I often think about that day. I go to the beach and study the waves, as if for clues. It’s odd, but I don’t remember the actual wave that changed everything. I can only recall the moments that came before and after, the images that will stay with me for life. I can only turn the page. *** I’ve learned most everything there is to know about that day. It was January 11th, 2004, and that morning off the coast of Japan there was an earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale. The seismic waves hit America’s west coast at approximately 12:30 p.m. My memories of the timing of Mike’s death are unreliable
at best, but I wonder if it’s this quake to which the blame is due. Perhaps Mike would be alive today if a warning had been issued about the approaching waves, the subsequent violence of the sea. I’ll never know. All I know is that one second Mike and I were standing on a rock, watching the whitecaps, and the next Mike was in the water. I’m in eighth grade, on a field trip. My friend is dying, and I can’t do anything. He’s dying, calling for help, and I’m paralyzed. It’s a guilt I’ve taken with me everywhere I go; will hold onto forever. *** When I remember Mike’s drowning, I think about Omar, the things he must carry, the memories, the burdens of survival. He lives—through no fault of his own—and Mike does not. I wonder how this has affected him. It’s something I can’t imagine. He never talks about the accident. But surely it’s there, lying beneath the surface. Once, after Mike’s funeral, our classmate, Bobby Henning, cornered Omar on the playground during break. Bobby had been gone the day of the accident and he was feeling angry. Perhaps he blamed himself. Perhaps he thought he could have changed things. Perhaps this notion chewed him up inside and he needed to shift the hurt to someone else. So he cornered Omar and proceeded to call him names, to insult his weight—Omar was large; he survived, in part, because of this—calling him TUBBY and FATSO and pointing and laughing, smirking cruelly as Omar began to cry. It was sad to behold. Omar wept, and then, abruptly, Bobby’s smile vanished and his face twisted and he turned and walked away, leaving Omar alone with his misery and tears. Bobby never did figure it out. He developed a drug habit, first using, then dealing, and he died violently resisting arrest in a parking lot in Los Angeles. It’s strange, how things work out. Omar moved, and last I heard he had a girlfriend and was studying to be a chef. Was doing well, he told me. Was truly happy. Happy, he said.
Miracle Issue 6 Happy, Happy, HAPPY. *** Bobby and Omar weren’t the only ones who suffered guilt. We all felt its corrosive bite. I still feel it, from time to time. Recently I was trying to write and struggling. I’d been doodling in the corners of my pages, and soon the doodles had progressed from the corners, overtaking the pages—sweeping, pointless illustrations. And then I remembered. About a month before the accident, I’d given Mike a book of drawings I’d done, for the lowly price of five dollars. In that moment I wondered if he’d kept the drawings—if they yet survived—and I set down my pencil, suddenly not in a creative mood. My whole body tingled. I’d spent the money long ago. *** I don’t remember the wave, not vividly, and trying is like grasping at fog. Nonetheless, I’ll never forget what happened that day. But memory is a fickle animal. I can’t tell anymore which details are real and which I imagined. For example, I remember with certainty standing on the edge of the boulder, looking down at Mike and Omar, telling myself to jump. I remember every iota of this moment, down to the grainy gray texture of the rock. But, in the end, did Mike really gaze up at me? Did we really make eye contact? In remembering, imagination and fact blur; become indistinguishable. I
recall things occurring that didn’t as poignantly as if they had. Like me saving Zach Mansfield. I’ll never truly remember this, but they told me it happened, so now I think about the wave and I remember a body flying past and I remember catching it, gripping tight. But I’m convinced this isn’t real, that it’s illusionary, a figment. Then there’s the memory of me standing on the rock, dripping and petrified. Unlike the saving of Zach Mansfield, there’s no question about it: I chose not to jump. People tell me there’s nothing I could’ve done—that I would have died myself, had I jumped—but the possibilities have been much pondered, mulled over, dissected. I’ve considered every outcome to the point that now I have a memory of leaping in, diving to the rescue. You see, the bulk of me will ever grapple with the knowledge that I watched my classmates drown; that I was immobilized by fear, or cowardice, or whatever... But another piece, a small, near invisible piece, a piece only I know about, remembers jumping. A piece of me remembers the plunge into the ocean, the water rising above my head, the bubbles, the cold, the adrenaline. An infinitesimal piece of me remembers jumping in, seeing Mike and Omar, and grabbing hold. A forearm, cold and stiff, slips between my fingers. I gasp for air. The sky is blue. A wave rolls overhead. There’s a rock, jutting outward. What happens next gets a little fuzzy.
Michael Strayer writes out of Ventura, California. Most recently, his work has appeared inFiction365, eNoir Magazine, eHorror Magazine and the forthcoming anthology, Bloody Knuckles. To learn more, visit his website: www.fightwords.com.
Miracle Issue 6
Ceramic-tile stuck -Allison Grayhurst THE
I cannot say the rim
is soft enough or that there is any place I can be strong, afford myself aggression, brick-throwing, penetrate for the sake of alteration, for the possibility of scattering pieces of my tongue on the train-tracks of thoughts of giving “just enough to get a person through.” Sober after the feast, air-raids and pumpkin smashing, navigating the basement where floods happen and things must be cleaned or thrown out. In the bed, in the well-wishers award book, carving, craving to be told that everything I wished for is owned, not on loan - assimilated into the higher oblivious machine. It is impossible to be noble without newness, to taste liberty, remembering this cold world is the necessary formula to make remarkable heroes. I can go to work collecting and stacking beach stones, each atop of each, just such and such, let them sing to someone’s eye. I can make water from the sun, sipping the moon’s weeping. I can run down the street with a white shirt on. If I had a white shirt, I could wear it, rolled-up sleeves, and run.
Allison Grayhurst has had over 200 poems in more than 145 journals, magazines, and anthologies throughout the United States, Canada, India, Australia, and in the United Kingdom, including Parabola (summer 2012), South Florida Arts Journal, The Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, Wascana Review, Poetry Nottingham International, The Cape Rock, Journal of Contemporary AngloScandinavian Poetry, poetrymagazine.com; Fogged Clarity, Out of Our, Quantum Poetry Magazine, Decanto, and White Wall Review. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published nine other books of poetry and two collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman.
Miracle Issue 6
Funny how -Elizabeth Gibson
unny how a song can be anything. Everything. And, listening, I can be on that bus again, listening, on my way to college. Or on my way home from college, the long way around. It has its own songs, that journey. Doesn’t every journey have its own though? How burning flames in a video for “I’ve Been In Love Before” can merge to green leafy London streets, the video you first saw through your own eyes, and then into fields of France blurring by a coach window, and you being told off for having your music too loud. Sometimes I wish songs didn’t have videos, and all we had was the memories, our own images fit to that same song, over and over through the years, never going away. So we’ll never forget, they’ll never escape us, they’ll be trapped in the song; no, not trapped; waiting, peacefully, for us to press that play button, put those headphones on and feel the fizzing throughout us as we return to that one place in time, that one place in our life, to London, to France, to another seat in another moving machine, while the mind wanders. A memory within a memory within a memory. It’s all there. More than we know. We just need to reach for the switch to turn it on, to let the past drift from the speakers and envelope us, while we sit back and close our eyes and enjoy our own music video, the soundtrack to our life.
Elizabeth Gibson is from Wigan and is currently studying French and Spanish at the University of Manchester. She adores language and writes poetry and prose in her free time, as well as keeping several blogs (her main one being: http://lglyrics.blogspot.co.uk).Her work is inspired by nature, love, personal experiences and a fascination with the night, stars and the numinous. Elizabeth has had journalistic pieces published in Your Cat magazine and on the RSPB website. She has also blogged for Corner house and was a Digital Reporter for the Manchester Literature Festival 2012. Her dream is to have a novel or poetry collection published one day.
Miracle Issue 6
The Devil -Jack Oughton Will do the inevitable And whatever you do Will be done to the music As it happens to you… Listless and lost in the notes Surfing the crest of a sine wave Onto a point that floats 32 bits stack As the world overflows You boot up a library And lay down the glitch In irregular meters of samples and clicks Tempo set to idol worship Polyrhythm punctures the sonic incision Bleeding out drill beats Down the beat schism And sound exceeds expectations There’s no harmonies, no ceremony and no temptations Just an EP’s worth of immaculate creations… Cos you’ll find what you seek. Amongst the kickdrum peaks The wilderness speaks And the Song is risen
Jack Oughton is a freelance writer/copywriter, composer/sound designer and digital artist/photographer from South London who has serious problems writing biographical information about himself in the third person. He has written for the likes of The Guardian, The Independent and FHM, and currently spends all day sculpting alien sounds using wavetable synthesis.
Miracle Issue 6
Jazz -Joan McNerney the kitchen sits in fruit soup... steamed apricot mango shadow down thru spinning smoke into hot light blink beat body ends dangle lead eye skin cement high on tongue night pasted among buildings Styrofoam clouds moon hung beneath billboard
vague as dust an ice cube on wood table in front of crushed velvet melt poured peeled when this sky now boiling with stars is strapped black in pinched air thru sucked mind swimming pass spaced time will be one silent note up.
rolling pass wet rocked streets soul tramp diamond panhandlers watch paper birds slices of the daily news drift in air comes cool ether whispers up door climbing dusty corridor tree windows lapping lisp door slams again noise again then none void nothing syncopates noise again door slams tree bare frozen caught in the image of 7 candles within 7 candles flames of air 7 light bulbs growing out of each other 7 silver circles coined from 7 silver rings
Joan McNerneyâ€™s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Camel Saloon Books on Blog, Blueline, Vine Leaves, Spectrum, three Bright Spring Press Anthologies and several Kind of A Hurricane Publications. She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net. Four of her books have been published by fine literary presses. She has recited her work at the National Arts Club, New York City, State University of New York, Oneonta, McNay Art Institute, San Antonio and other distinguished venues. A recent reading was sponsored by the American Academy of Poetry. Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky, A.P.D. Press, Albany, New York.
clear as blazing sheets of glass yet
Miracle Issue 6
Write a descriptive poetry about any scenery. 2. Use any of Sherlock Homes storiesâ€™ to write a fictional piece.
Send in all your entries of the above mentioned writing tasks to firstname.lastname@example.org . The best ones will be featured in the AugustSeptember issue. Best of luck! Also, you can now send in your submissions for the seventh issue of the magazine now.
Miracle Issue 6
Winner of last Issueâ€™s contest:
Lyrical Poem When You're at Your Limit - Wu Shuin Jian Just a little longer, a hundred metres more. Drag those dual dead-weights, and claim the prize in store. As, once the pain has vanished, you'll start to ask yourself, could I have done much better? Was I just in ill health? Just a little further, jump a metre more. Throw your full weight forward, use your legs to soar. As, once the pain has vanished, you'll start to ask yourself, could I have done much better? Was I just in ill health? Just a little higher, strain your arms some more. Get the bar below your chin, don't you dare let go. As, once the pain has vanished, you'll start to ask yourself, could I have done much better? Was I just in ill health? Life's a journey, they all say, where you crawl to reach, the end of the day. But if you seek the Celestial City, don't stop and wait for pity. I know you're short of breath, and you're far from halfway done, but if you turn away, you'll always ask yourself, could I have gone much further? Was I just in ill health?
Wu Shuin Jian (surname Wu, given name Shuin Jian) is an aspiring writer doing his national service in Singapore. He has had little experience and fewer achievements in writing, but is taking his first step forward.
Miracle Issue 6
THE MUSIC ISSUE