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Poem by Scott Laudati

 

my 30th birthday

he drank a good scotch all
night from the bottle
on the tv stand he had been
saving for his birthday.
for 29 years his father
hadn’t gotten him a
thing but this time
he handed the bottle over
and said, “you’ve lost
enough now, you’re ready”.

but he didn’t think
of his father as he drank.
he thought of her
way up there in harlem
wearing new dresses
and walking new streets,
getting off work each
day and taking home a new subway.
he thought of how
she got high and didn’t say much,
things like that
used to matter
though he couldn’t remember why,
even if he never had to worry about her,
where she was
and who
she’d gone there with,
that didn’t seem like enough then,
but it did now

he was drunk and hungry
and thought of food his new
home didn’t have,
and how they
used to walk through the village
for coffee on the way
to vietnamese kitchens
and sometimes see
patti smith on her stoop
or rare breeds of
hunting dogs in the park.
he remembered her feet didn’t
reach the ground if she
sat against the back of the bench
and she crossed them at the ankles
and swung them like
a kid on a swing,
like a kid who realized
there was all the time
left in the world
and nothing was ever
going to go wrong

there were many days like that
and some weren’t like that at all

 

Artwork © Ira Joel Haber
Artwork © Ira Joel Haber

 

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer,photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows bothin the USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum,The Albright-Knox Art Gallery & The Allen Memorial Art Museum. Since 2006 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 230 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pollock-Krasner grants, the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. He currently teaches art to retired public school teachers at The United Federation of Teachers program in Brooklyn.

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Poem by Donnie Welch

 

Cydonia

When the pictures were made public a brief hysteria spread. That is to say, for a moment everyone
felt the tingle of existential fear and excitement accompanied with the evidence, or
supposed evidence, of life elsewhere in the Universe. The more rational chalked it up to erosion
and climate change over millions of years creating a unique phenomenon. Then there were
varying degrees of fanaticism: people claiming that this was proof that life might have once
existed on the planet and others insisting that intelligent life still lives there and this structure
must be a religious site! Regardless, when our satellite returned its blurry pictures from the third
planet away from that galaxy’s sun and in the middle of what appeared to be a vast prairie were
four large stone faces, everyone stared in passing fascination before going about their day.

 

Artwork © Ira Joel Haber
Artwork © Ira Joel Haber

 

Donnie Welch is a teaching assistant at the Rebecca School for Autism. His current project @SocialLit explores new forms of poetry and collaborative writing derived from Social Media. His work has appeared in Passages North; South85 Journal; Gravel; War, Literature & The Arts; Inky Needles; Oddball Magazine; The Emerson Review and elsewhere. His collection of children’s poetry Who Gave These Flamingos Those Tuxedos? was published by Emerson College’s Wilde Press in 2013.

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer,photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows bothin the USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum,The Albright-Knox Art Gallery & The Allen Memorial Art Museum. Since 2006 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 230 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pollock-Krasner grants, the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. He currently teaches art to retired public school teachers at The United Federation of Teachers program in Brooklyn.

 

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Poem by Ananya S. Guha

 

Adults

And then the roads while gathering dust
pick up granules of past. Little specks.
Only wayward street children understand
these particles of dust, and they can
smother faces into an ugly smog.
Or how the dust can be thrown at faces
as muck. Children are sufficient enough
to understand storms that take place
on highways, and withered streets- moribund
houses or in down town play time.

Adults hold the storm with a little
finger and suck dreams. They are
measured by what they do not see
but what they think they faintly understand
including repositories of their bodies.

 

Photography © Steve Warren
Photography © Steve Warren

 

Ananya S. Guha lives in Shillong in North East India. His poems have been published world wide and he has been writing and publishing poetry for the last thirty years.

Steve Warren’s interests are in the healing arts, poetry, photography, dance, the nutritional arts and much more. He is a peer specialist in the recovery movement.

 

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Bamboozled No More! You Choose

 

Happy holidays!

Happy holidays?

#Happy holidays

Happy holidays $$$$$

Happy holidaze

One minute laughing and smiling

The next minute high anxiety, numbness

A combustible mix of variables: past, present, presents, future

The people, the time, the job, the position of the moon in the sky.

Time to hold tight, let go, stay in the gray zone, embrace.

Happy holidays!

Happy holidays?

#Happy holidays

Happy holiday$$$$$

Happy holidaze

 

Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers… a lot. Her column now appears weekly on Oddball Magazine.

 

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The Underground Garden: Ifé Franklin

 

Ifé Franklin

Ifé Franklin is the Raw Truth. End of the story; yet, the beginning of HerStory as well. It is one she has been telling and living for 25 years as a professional artist and community activist.

Ifé developed her Aso Adire skills by way of Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts course, “The Art of Africa” in the late 1980’s. It is there where she met her mentor, Master Adire Artist Mr. Stanley Pinckney. Ife continues to create and teach others Adire (traditional West African resist and dying techniques) and owns and operates IféArt® which produces sculpture, installations, drawing, collage, photography, and fiber arts.

Ifé Franklin 4

Ifé often works collaboratively with other social justice organizations and artists. She believes it is her destiny to create and use her voice to convey her passion for the arts and her love for freedom, peace and justice. She states, “Over the years I received many awards for my work. Yet the one I hold most dear is The Pat Parker Award I received for speaking out against homophobia here in Boston.”

I have experienced Ifé’s work through The Indigo Project (http://www.ifearts.com/-/indigo-project). The Indigo Project is Ifé’s “vision to create a project that honors the lives and history of formerly enslaved Africans/African Americans in the American South, who labored in the harshest conditions to produce indigo and cotton materials.” The Indigo Project “provided a historical, artistic and cultural context about the lives of the enslaved.”

“IféArt® is my labor of love. IféArt® is all that I am. I live art. I breath Art. I am the Art. I now accept this. I create because I am ‘called’ to do so. I am a ‘creative.’ I am honored. I am humbled. I am ready to kick some ass.” The Underground Garden this week is dedicated to helping Ifé kick that ass!

Ifé Franklin 2

Ifé’s next project, “The Slave Narrative Of Willie Mae,” are written in the voice of Ifé’s great-grandmother, Willie Mae McCain, who was born in Virginia on the threshold of emancipation. They chronicle the life of Willie Mae from enslavement to her freedom. The narratives have been performed at a number of venues in the Boston area, including the University of Massachusetts, Boston’s Harbor Gallery, and most recently, Franklin Park, where the narratives were performed outside as originally intended.

Currently the narratives are being edited and are more than half-way completed. Ifé has set up this donation page through which funds collected will “allow [her] to self-publish and distribute the narratives as part of the Ife Franklin Indigo Project installation. The funds would go toward the publication of The Slave Narratives of Willie Mae. The Narratives are integral to [her] work and to the entire instillation.”

I, along with many others, truly believe in the vision and messages Ifé Franklin conveys, the homages she pays and the healing dialogue her work encourages. Ifé Franklin is the Raw Truth.

I invite you to visit Ifé’s website and the IféArt® Facebook page for a full view of Ifé’s prior work. I almost submitted 10 pictures for this article! Her pieces are for the Taking In. Should you wish to contact Ife directly, she’s here!

“I couldn’t do it without you. Peace and Love, Ifé”

Here’s to helping The Slave Narrative of Willie Mae go into print as we continue to witness this Journey. We Love You Ifé. Thank you for your Work!

Ifé Franklin 3

Liza Zayas is a lover of writing and dancing and celebrates both as a singer and songwriter performing as Luna del Flor. You can hear her collaborative sounds and experience life through her storytelling. She invites you to dance. Her poetry seeks to initiate dialogue by intentionally expressing consequences of love, lust, ego and self-respect