©MMXVII Now, for the nonce, and nevermore, Fowl Feathered Review is purportedly the disorderly
quarterly published by Fowlpox Press.
This issue is dedicated to Arseny Mikhailovich Avraamov (Russian: Арсений Михайлович Авраамов),
(born Krasnokutsky [Краснокутский], 1886 died Moscow, 1944) and to John Ware (c. 1845 to 12
September 1905). Front cover: Paris Paté. Back cover: Feeding the Chickens, by Walter Frederick
My coloured brush in olden his now legendary poem The “The funny thing is the more I
days captured the image of published the harder it was to
life.--Autumn Meditations (8) Hilarious Beating appear in its make a living. The reality of
Du Fu trying to support my family
pages. It’s story told in plain got harder with each child and
In Nova Scotia’s Capitol city by the time we had the third, I
language about getting his had to do something. For the
can be found a fine selection first two, I had stayed home,
of Canadian-Chinese food , as butt spanked with a strap by diapers and bottles and all. I
many patrons of Fung Wah am very close to my two
Restaurant have discovered. It his father. It carries an oldest for this reason.
is hard to find parking, as my
guest, the American poet emotional punch and “My wife was a researcher
Philip Boriaski and I find out. I and made good money but
park the car behind a nearby connects us to a her grants had begun to grow
pawnshop, wrap it in scarce. I had used Arts grants,
barricade tape, and leave not-so-distant past of readings, book sales,
written instructions on the freelance, a great program
windshield that it must not be mandatory corporal called Writers-in-the-Schools
removed, in compliance with and every odd job from Santa
an RCMP homicide punishment. Claus at Christmas to
investigation. This, I have landscaping in the spring. One
come to learn, is the best way “I never thought of myself as of the people I wrote
to secure a good parking spot a magical realist,” he begins. freelance for offered me a gig
in Halifax. He black shirt, pants and and I took it for the benefits.”
Nikes are softened by a
We are seated by the door brown belt and vest. “ I have He pokes at his noodles
closest to the kitchen, and so been called that by critics and thoughtfully. I have already
our conversation is it's not a bad label. I have, cleared my plate and asked
compromised by the sounds amusingly, been called a Beat for another.
of rapid fire Cantonese and Poet because one of my ‘big
the din of cooking. The people hits’ was a poem called The “I have also, since childhood
around us who were Hilarious Beating.” held the opinion that adult
fortunate to get better seating ideas are skewed and boring.
are in various levels of I ask for a large cooking spoon, I've seen the oldest tree spout
conversation that in turn has which, when produced by the blossoms and the newest one
grown louder to compensate young waiter, turns out to fail to fruit. It's the ordinary
for the noise from their have been made in Idaho. It wonders we overlook.”
neighbors. seems strange, but I dismiss
the thought and mention the At last even Boriaski notices
This is where blue tooth late editor and co-founder of the music and we talk about
comes in handy. After PR, George Plimpton. Even our favorite records, which in
receiving a mountain of Beef people who didn’t read the PR turn lends to a discussion of
Lo Mein , which stands in knew him through his ad the blues. We both have a
contrast to my guest’s humble spots and as deadpan host of certain affection for Chess
pan-fried noodles, I suggest Mousterpiece Theater on the records.
we converse using our phones. DIsney Channel.
When you are talking to this He launches into a lecture
veteran bard one point of “Plimpton was a lovely man, a about The Czyz brothers,
conversation will always real raconteur ,” responds using his phone to provide
surface, and this is his early Boriaski. “But I never met him.
dalliance with The Paris Michael Benedickt was the
Review. At some point in 1977, editor of the PR at the time
Boriaski--our Wenwusheng of and he was effusive in his
this real life opera-- scored a praise of The Hilarious Beating.
win with the magazine, having He published three of my
poems all told.
The background music can
still be heard beneath the din
of the kitchen and the
various conversations. It can
be best described as a
classical Chinese ensemble
covering Frank Sinatra hits
with sheng and pipa.
pictures illustrating particular around. I offer him some of mentor, Heather McHugh
mine which he gladly eats. who told me I was smart to
milestones. ”They introduced write from solid ground rather
than a window ledge.
me to Muddy and Wolf, after I could go on, especially Philip
Levine and Tom Lux, people I
that I was a blues man. For a “Where, before me, are the actually met and talked with.
ages that have gone?,” I Stephen Dobyns and Ellen
while, the blues was my focus. belch. Voight, both great teachers.
“And where, behind me, are But everyone works through a
I worked in the Francis Utley the coming generations?,” the thousand influences before
homeless man asks. ”Chen discarding them and arriving
Folk Music Collection at Ohio Ziang, On a Gate-tower at at themselves. I got an MFA
Yuzhou.” and thought I could support a
State to help pay my way family but that was naive.”
The waiter stands at the table
through school. I catalogued with a new round of drinks,
solemnly shaking his head.
and played every aluminum
“Naive,” he echoes.
disc Moses Ash ever made. I
“Cock your hat.” ” says Francis.
listened to tapes of He lowers his voice. “Angles
LibbyCotton and Sister Boriaski nods appreciatively.
“I remember being inspired by Boriaski talks about his work
Rosetta Sharp and started a Roethke's My Papa's Waltz. It in film.
is nothing like The Hilarious
blues revival. It helped Beating but it has a certain “I was writing training film
sort of realism, a child's point scripts at the time, freelance
because the Rolling Stones of view when a dance literally copywriting to pay for my
meant being lifted up and son's hospital bill. I kept
were showing up to show how whirled around, the fragility getting flashes of how film has
of a dwarf in a room full of given us a vocabulary that
African-Americans were giants. I was into Whitman for allows an objective record of
a long time, about everything an event but at the same time
innovators and the British he wrote. I love Mark Strand's through tone and framing and
Black Maps, a poem that cutting arrives at much of the
Wave was surfing on their reminds me of Zbigniew story without dialogue. Next
Herbert. thing I know, I am flatly telling
beat. the narrative of one of the
many applications of
“People forget that the “I read a lot of Polish Poets for discipline my father gave me.”
Stones’ first hit was Little Red a while. I've been translated, a
Rooster, a straight knock-off poem of mine featured in a The Chinese orchestra is now
of Howlin' Wolf's version. The Polish Theater Reading of tackling Sinatra’s In Other
difference was, when the PolAm poets in Warsaw. ‘Only Words. Francis is grinning
Stones hit it big, they took if we assume that a poet from ear to ear and snapping
Wolf and Muddy to the Studio, constantly strives to liberate his fingers.
put together a tour with living himself from borrowed styles
blues artists as their opening in search for reality, is he “The idea,” says Boriaski,
acts and rekindled the boogie dangerous.’” “was to keep the punch lines
woogie in the Western The homeless man , who (dialogue) until the end and
World.” offers his first name as Francis, add that twist. It's a real story
I recall a similar experience smiles. and a real twist but I am still
talking to the late Mike Seger. “Milosz!” he murmurs. “Nobel unhappy with the last line,
He had recorded in the field a lecture (8 December 1980).” which I felt at the time
number of remarkable players
in the folk vein.
“I haven't sung the blues since
my babies were born. They
have babies now, that's how
fast it goes.”
We see a wire-thin man with "Why does this written doe
big, blue eyes press his nose bound through these written
to the glass of the front woods? For a drink of written
window, a Tim Hortons cup in water from a spring…” quotes
his hand. He is the local Boriaski.
begger and Ch’ou or amusing
character of this street. We “Wislawa Szymborska!”
gesture for him to join us at
the table. He obviously hasn’t shouts Francis.
had a good meal in a while
and there’s plenty to go “In a more modern
vein,“ continues our American
bard, “I am indebted to a
oversold the ending. Having
children always throws your
own childhood into relief, like
a shadow show you notice
once in a while cast from the
light of your children. I wrote
a whole series of these
with the child as the
We pay for the bill, the
battle-scarred Francis leaving
a tip from his peddling:an
eight inch pile of toonies. We
say goodbye to our new friend,
unwrap the barricade tape
from the car and head for the
PHIL BOIARSKI has published his poems
and stories for thirty years in small
magazines and literary journals. His
work has appeared in The Paris Review,
The California Quarterly, The Rocky
Mountain Review, Aspen Anthology,
Indiana Writes, The Ohio Journal, The
Minnesota Review, Green House,
Handbook, and numerous other
publications. He has written and
produced several plays and published
his poetry, fiction and non-fiction. His
work has been said to be "so personal
that it is universal." He has earned a BA
from The Ohio State University and an
MFA from Goddard College. He can be
The Barber Shop
The shop is where they gather to laugh,
they smoke and roar and joke, all men.
Dad’s brought me here while Mom’s gone.
Hair piles up like straw, wheat and chaff,
gold, silver, jet and copper, thick and thin,
strands of corn silk, threads of snow.
Talk is mostly games and mysterious looks,
winks I know are about what I do not know
and cannot understand about being a man
but this is where men come to speak of bass
and buck and the game that’s in season.
Dad grooms the groom and
the joke of riding the bride,
I blush but dutifully clean up good
and feel a flush of pride.
I know what that means.
The men gather in the light of the TV
or the radio singing its pop song.
The ball is in the air all day long
in a boy’s world of wondrous play.
I’ve learned already how they
pretend that that is all,
but gray the hair grows
and though they hack it off, back
it comes, determined as it shows
itself, its bold, unruly fact.
Black Friday. Acrylic on canvas, 2016. 72” x 48.”
Song: A Perfect Paradise (http://bit.ly/2u3YeBh)
from Coszmos Quartette by Coszmos Quartette of Hamilton, Ontario.
Virgil: Tell me more about this Perfect Paradise and what inspired the song.
Brad Germain: I'm in Prague right now and have barely touched an electronic device this week. I'm
sitting on a beautiful terrace right now, thinking about this song. I wrote this song when I was filled
with conflicting emotions. Why is life on earth such a beautiful experience for some living things, and so
horrible for others? Must positive and negative be distributed in equal parts to maintain balance in the
natural world? The world around me tells me it's true, but my heart and soul tell me it's not. Can
something exist without it's opposite, is it possible to achieve a balance for all things? I feel we often
blind ourselves, or put horse blinders on to see only what pleases us. I was just looking to feel it all
when I wrote this. But if the horse sees the periphery, it will panic and spook itself. Best beware!
Sending love from the other side in hopes it makes its way around.
The City of Stars
(Translated by Manu Mangattu)
White and blue night
Black is a pawn
Eaten by lightning red lips
There came a song in the sky
Sprinkle with golden rain and dew
There is a colossal ship in the sky
Twinkling like the city of stars
Hongri Yuan， born in China in 1962, is a poet and philosopher interested particularly in creation.
Representative works include Platinum City, Gold City, Golden Paradise , Gold Sun and Golden Giant. His
poetry has been published in the UK, USA, India, New Zealand, Canada and Nigeria.
A Niche of Limpid Penumbra.
2010-2012, 20x30 inches/51x76 cm
Oil on Canvas
Equilibrium of stillness.
2008-09, 24x38 inches/61x96.5cm
Oil on Canvas
Full Moon Over Chatham Tides.
2016, 17x23 inches / 43x58 cm
Oil on Canvas
NIGHTLY CUP OF TEA.
2010, 16x24 inches / 40x60 cm
Oil on Canvas
2009-10, 18x34 inches/ 46x86 cm
Oil on Canvas
In the paintings of Russian-born artist Ilya Zomb, images of ballerinas, elephants, and gigantic fruits
appear as if out of a dream, but the artist says it’s the everyday life in New York, where he lives, that
inspires his flights of fancy.
Occupying the shadowy space “between the possible and impossible, the real and unreal,” Ilya Zomb’s
brilliantly conceived, chimerical paintings lie at the elusive intersection of reality and pure fantasy. They
are reminiscent of such diverse masters as Botticelli, Degas, and Magritte ‘ but perhaps one of the most
intriguing aspects of this Russian artist’s work is that, despite myriad tempting comparisons, it remains
Zomb’s images can be incredibly theatrical, recalling the dream sequences often found in productions of
dance, or the nature-defying feats of circus performers. At other times the scenes have a mythical, literary
feel, and we can easily imagine them as sumptuous illustrations for a lost book of parables penned by the
likes of Scheherazade. An intensely perceptive artist, Zomb never fails to account for the contradictory
emotions provoked by the uncertainty of reality. His works are dynamic with an air of celebration, of a
spectacular and opulent grand finale, while other pieces of his are poignant and meditative as a still pool.
3 Poems by JoyAnne O'Donnell
The Winds Whisper
Songs on flowers Roses in my tea
Blue angels in swimming waters The sun in our smile
The warm trail on walks Of golden meadows Where poems come to be Like coconut milk
color On this poem’s page.
Picking daisies Color my summer With white light Bringing veils on sails
On the ocean breeze
Floats a flower
Swimming to a great day’s treasure.
Mountain climbing Is a mini vacation
A climb of high altitudes
A getaway for fun thrilled magnitudes
To inspire such
On the climb
Rings with bells high towers
Mountains magical green powers
Pour and flow
Love in all directions.
JoyAnne O'Donnell is the author of two chapbooks from The Origami poets project. Her latest poems
were published in The Tower Journal.
The Conversation 1, gelatin silver print, ©Roz Leibowitz.
The Conversation 2, gelatin silver print, ©Roz Leibowitz.
The Conversation 3, gelatin silver print, ©Roz Leibowitz.
Horse and Rider, gelatin silver print, ©Roz Leibowitz.
Hubert, gelatin silver print, ©Roz Leibowitz.
Man Crying, gelatin silver print, ©Roz Leibowitz.
Artist’s and found again over and
over for more years than
Statement there are pictures in this
The best advice I ever
So I shot his story.
got in my life came from a
doll. But not the whole story,
certainly not the beginning
I am not a photographer, nor the end, just a snippet
but I happened to find of the middle, just the part
myself with a camera, that I could really
some dolls, and a hand see. The truth is, I was
that hurt from too much too stupid to know the
drawing. whole story, but smart
enough to know that I
So I shot 1,547 rolls of film probably never will.
and ended up with a long Myron’s story is Myron’s
line of small mistakes. Of story, but once in a while
the 1,547 rolls of film, 328 we meet, and sit and chat
were of Myron, the most as storytellers often do.
patient of all the
dolls. One day, as we And all the other dolls that
were setting up for yet were waiting? I shot their
another photo shoot, I stories too. Little penny
confessed my troubles and tales that I caught for an
asked his advice. Myron, I instant, without beginning
said, I‘m a bungler. I can’t or end, just flashes, just
load film, I can’t attach the the parts that I could really
lens to the body, I can’t see.
press the shutter without
shaking, I can’t figure out Well you would think that
all the dials — Myron, I after all this time, after
cried — I am blind in the 1,543,982 rolls of film
darkroom, and bump into (give or take a few) I
the enlarger, and can’t would be something of an
seem to make it from bath expert, a big-shot of a
to bath, from go to stop to photographer, you should
stay without losing my excuse the pun. But I am
prints on the floor. Worst still a bungler. What was
of all, Myron, your face is wrong before is still wrong
always out of focus. so nothing is ever really
right. I asked Myron
He said to me then: don’t about this recently and he
shoot the face, shoot the said, look around
story. you. Dolls and stories and
pictures are flying all
What story? I asked. You around swooping through
this world and that world,
can tell I was, and still am, up and above and below
and beyond all the worlds
incompetent. Myron that ever existed, all an
ecstatic flock of Wonder!
sighed and told me to
I looked. I squinted. Are
bring the hat, the one I your sure, Myron, because
I am not so sure.
had found at the flea
He sighed and said, well I
market. I did as he am sure. And he looked
me in the eye and
asked. He told me to put said, you may be dumb,
and he smiled, but you’re
it on his head and tie it learning.
under his chin and wrap ©2017 Roz Leibowitz. All
the long ribbons around
his arms and waist so he
could lean back into the
darkness of the hat and
rest his cheek against the
rough wool and learn to
see again in the fabulous
shadow of his Dream
Hat. I did as he
asked. And I knew then
that this was his hat, the
one he had worn and lost