This month we offer fault lines and the tides of time.
Next month we move into the:
Submission guidelines can be found here.
Amidst Banal Remarks, 2022
I have walked places named after the angel of death.
& even though I breathe on, I lost a part of me each time
to the tides of time. My body mass index now reads 35.9
& I conclude I gain weight each time grief hits anywhere.
You think there’s no point working out, jogging around
the street of sad news where grief is an easy pick.
There’s a lesson about survival to grab everywhere,
at the riverbank, on the road that leads to the grave yard,
at home, in the webbing of the ceiling to the wall
at an angle the spider calls home, & sometimes a workshop
where preys hang faithless, in meek surrender to fate.
At the bus stop in Kubwa, you point to the cars parked,
& suggest that I ought to be one. I breeze into silence
for a moment, wondering how the vehicles got there.
Wallahi, every halt was at the initials, a movement.
Like these cars, some hearts have stopped beating before
this poem flowed into being. Again, a part of me has gone
with this year, yet I’m eager to budge into another,
hoping the grace of God is armed enough to save me.
Blessing Omeiza Ojo is black bard married to an Enchantress. He is the Chairman of Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation, Abuja. He is a contributor to literary journals with poetry surfacing in Cọ́n-scìò, The Deadlands, Konya Shamshrumi, Split Lip, RoughCut Press, Olney, Arts Lounge, Lumiere, and elsewhere. His works have been translated into several languages including Yoruba, French and Italian. His poetry has received nominations for Best of the Net, Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize, Creators of Justice Awards, Castello di Duino International Poetry and Theatre Competition, Jack Grapes Poetry Prize, Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest and the Korea-Nigeria Poetry Prize. His literary awards include the Korea-Nigeria Poetry Prize (Ambassador Special Prize 2019), the 2020 Artslounge Literature Teacher of the Year Award, the 2021 Words Rhymes & Rhythm Nigerian Teacher’s Award, and the 2022 Maryam Aliyu Award for Best Teacher (Male). He is presently a creative writing teacher at Jewel Model Secondary School, Abuja, Nigeria.
An aptly named blind thrust
thumps us from our slumber
up and over jerky floorboards
and out into the chill of 4AM.
Two West Coast newbies,
wobbly and dazed from the rumble
of hard-hitting choreography
beneath our feet. O tectonic plates,
please tell me geologic time has shifted,
that you struck from the record
last night’s message: Dad’s fighting for breath,
had to be intubated. Better come home soon⸺
Kate Hutton from Cal Tech on Eyewitness News
soothes us with her magnitude 6.6 measure of reason.
In the morning we break curfew, dodge buckled roadways
and drive to LAX.
Amid ice-crusted marsh and leafless maples,
a spindly tree becomes the epicenter,
beeping and blinking his fading vitals.
And I remember when he said: it’ll be okay.
Timothy Nolan (he/him/his) is a writer and visual artist living in Palm Springs, California with his husband and their rescue dog, Scout. He has exhibited extensively for three decades and his work is in the collections of the DeYoung Museum of Art in San Francisco, and the Portland Art Museum in Oregon. He’s been a fellow at Yaddo, Ucross, and Djerassi. Throughout the 1990s he wrote art reviews for New Art Examiner and Artweek, but turned to poetry as an artist-in-residence at Willapa Bay AiR in 2017. His poems appear in The Museum of Americana, Rise Up Review, the Fifth Wheel Press anthology Flux, and volume 2 of Troublemaker Firestarter.