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Special Issue of the Adelaide Literary Magazine. Best poems by the Winner, 6 Shortlist Nominees, and 100 Finalists of the Third Annual Adelaide Literary Award Competition 2019, selected by Stevan V. Nikolic, Editor-in-Chief.

THE WINNER: Andrea Bernal

SHORTLIST WINNER NOMINEES: Pedro Xavier Solis, Cathy Essinger, Martin Golan, Nikolas Macioci, Gabrielle Amarosa, Heide Arbitter

FINALISTS: William Pruitt, George Gad Economou, Abby Ripley, Andrea Cladis, Lael Lopez, Richard Weaver, Peter Scheponik, Holley Hyler, Patrick T. Reardon, Phil Kemp, Martin Willitts, Jr, Helen Hagemann, A. Elizabeth Herting, Fred Pollack, Lazar Sarna, Mary Jane White, Austin C. Morgan, Jan Napier, Edward V. Bonner, Donny Barilla, Monique Gagnon German, Susie Gharib, Carole Langille, Lowell Jaeger, Sandra Kolankiewicz, Marc Frazier, Daniel King, Bikal Paudel, Richard Fein, Korkut Onaran, Kevin Keane, Ann Pedone, David Dephy, Samantha Zimbler, Christine Tabaka, Lauren Bishop, Mickey J. Corrigan, Mark Hurtubise, Rabbi Steven Lebow, Karen Schnurstein, Jesse Domingos, Jonathan Andrew Perez, Greg J Moglia Jr, Kimberly Crocker, Clarke Owens, Stella Prince, Clay Anderson, Tamara Williams, Tim Suermondt, Keith Hoerner, Steven Goff, Frannie Gilbertson, Peter Crowley, Mukund Gnanadesikan, Megha Sood, Sophie Chen, Debbie Richard, Linda Casebeer, Gail Willems, Craig Kennedy, Ernest DeZolt, Susan Cossette, Byron Beynon, Allie Rigby , Jessica Sabo, Jeremy Gadd, Maria Golgaki, Terry Boykie, Martin Altman, Jonathan DeCoteau, John Sweeder, Patrick Hurley, Midori Gleason, Rosangela Batista, Felix Purat, Caleb Dros, Belinda Subraman, John Casey, Idalis Wood, Laura Dunn, Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes, Catherine Cates, Robert René Galván, Whitney Judd, Catherine Rohsner, Shari Jo LeKane, Jack Brown, C.H. Coleman, Philip Wexler, James Christon, Jules Elleo, Jan Little, Chani Zwibel, Sarah Conklin, Katharine Studer, Larry Hamilton, Christopher Di-Filippo, Riley Bounds, Angela Shepherd, Rees Nielsen, Mike Jurkovic, E. P. Tuazon, Nate Tulay, Tony Tracy, Chic Scaparo, Kelsey Berry, Tina Weikert, Tom Laichas, Miller Lawrence-Fitzpatrick, Ryan Kovacs, Jeremy Ford, Elena Petrovska, Peter Freeman

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Published by ADELAIDE BOOKS, 2020-04-07 19:51:43

Adelaide Literary Award Anthology 2019 - POETRY

Special Issue of the Adelaide Literary Magazine. Best poems by the Winner, 6 Shortlist Nominees, and 100 Finalists of the Third Annual Adelaide Literary Award Competition 2019, selected by Stevan V. Nikolic, Editor-in-Chief.

THE WINNER: Andrea Bernal

SHORTLIST WINNER NOMINEES: Pedro Xavier Solis, Cathy Essinger, Martin Golan, Nikolas Macioci, Gabrielle Amarosa, Heide Arbitter

FINALISTS: William Pruitt, George Gad Economou, Abby Ripley, Andrea Cladis, Lael Lopez, Richard Weaver, Peter Scheponik, Holley Hyler, Patrick T. Reardon, Phil Kemp, Martin Willitts, Jr, Helen Hagemann, A. Elizabeth Herting, Fred Pollack, Lazar Sarna, Mary Jane White, Austin C. Morgan, Jan Napier, Edward V. Bonner, Donny Barilla, Monique Gagnon German, Susie Gharib, Carole Langille, Lowell Jaeger, Sandra Kolankiewicz, Marc Frazier, Daniel King, Bikal Paudel, Richard Fein, Korkut Onaran, Kevin Keane, Ann Pedone, David Dephy, Samantha Zimbler, Christine Tabaka, Lauren Bishop, Mickey J. Corrigan, Mark Hurtubise, Rabbi Steven Lebow, Karen Schnurstein, Jesse Domingos, Jonathan Andrew Perez, Greg J Moglia Jr, Kimberly Crocker, Clarke Owens, Stella Prince, Clay Anderson, Tamara Williams, Tim Suermondt, Keith Hoerner, Steven Goff, Frannie Gilbertson, Peter Crowley, Mukund Gnanadesikan, Megha Sood, Sophie Chen, Debbie Richard, Linda Casebeer, Gail Willems, Craig Kennedy, Ernest DeZolt, Susan Cossette, Byron Beynon, Allie Rigby , Jessica Sabo, Jeremy Gadd, Maria Golgaki, Terry Boykie, Martin Altman, Jonathan DeCoteau, John Sweeder, Patrick Hurley, Midori Gleason, Rosangela Batista, Felix Purat, Caleb Dros, Belinda Subraman, John Casey, Idalis Wood, Laura Dunn, Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes, Catherine Cates, Robert René Galván, Whitney Judd, Catherine Rohsner, Shari Jo LeKane, Jack Brown, C.H. Coleman, Philip Wexler, James Christon, Jules Elleo, Jan Little, Chani Zwibel, Sarah Conklin, Katharine Studer, Larry Hamilton, Christopher Di-Filippo, Riley Bounds, Angela Shepherd, Rees Nielsen, Mike Jurkovic, E. P. Tuazon, Nate Tulay, Tony Tracy, Chic Scaparo, Kelsey Berry, Tina Weikert, Tom Laichas, Miller Lawrence-Fitzpatrick, Ryan Kovacs, Jeremy Ford, Elena Petrovska, Peter Freeman

Keywords: poetry,literary collection,essays,short stories

Stolen Innocence

by Ernest DeZolt

Innocence is a childhood birthright
Asylum to the shadows of circumstance.
Bodyguard to the want of a mother’s protection.

Bullying is a prime motive among children
Always with shattering consequence.
Often regarding cultural beliefs.

Like most children, I was spellbound to
the ambassadors of cultural legend
Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.
Choosing belief in their enchantment over reason.

One day, a skirmish arose with a few middle-school bullies
Ending in torn trousers and disbelief.
Santa is my dad stuck fast in red velvet.

My mom punished me for fighting
In defense of my beliefs.
The very ones she schooled me on as a younger child.

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My mom’s displeasure eventually ended
But not before the death of my belief in
the ambassadors of cultural legend.
Though out of love, my mom bullied her way
into the stolen possession of my innocence.

Ernest DeZolt is an “Associate Professor Emeritus” of So-
ciology and Criminology with thirty-eight years of university
teaching experience. Over this time, he has had the privilege of
teaching in diverse educational settings across regional, com-
munity, state and Jesuit universities. His scholastic interests,
though varied, converge around a better understanding of how
life opportunities and experiences forge an identity that be-
comes the prism through which we see ourselves and the world.

Over the past two years, his writing interest has embraced
literary non-fiction. His first manuscript is a memoir entitled,
“An Inheritance of Promise.” In this work, he takes the reader
on an experience of the pain, disappointment, ambiguity, and
ultimate joy of a childhood imposed-upon by depression. His
upcoming work, “Love Letters to Promise,” is a book of letters
that he has written to people and situations dating back to
childhood.

Ernest DeZolt has called Northeastern Ohio home for
most of his life except for a brief hiatus in Kentucky to com-
plete graduate work. He currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio.

200

A Gothic Poem

by Susan Cossette

Your blue leather-bound complete Shakespeare
Sits on the top shelf
Of the cherry wood bookcase in my new living room,
In the Midwest, far away from your ashes—
Far away from everyone.
You always wrote your name on the
inside left cover of every book,
That distinct signature—
It was obliterated with black marker long ago
By an insecure now ex-husband.
I still know it is your book.
If I look closely, and turn it just so to the light,
I still see your imprint in the cardboard,
Just not your writing, or your name.
He made me cut your image from every photo in my albums,
Goaded and dared me—
You have not forgotten him.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

If you love me, you will do this.
As if slicing you from the sorority formal picture
Would dim my 18-year old smile
Or make my 54-year old mind forget.
It didn’t.
I still smile, just with a hole to the left of my head,
Your arm still curled round the
shoulder of my pale blue dress.
A hundred of your tiny heads were thrown in
With the dirty cat litter,
And tossed down the trash chute of my first apartment.
What he didn’t know is this:
You and I were studying for exams in the library—
1983, I think.
You got a paper cut.
I’d like to think it was from the
Shakespeare, but I don’t recall.
You dabbed the blood on a sheet in
my spiral-bound notebook,
Then wrote, “My heart bleeds for you.”
I guess I saved it,
Because I just found you buried in my
steamer trunk, yes after all these years.
You are dead now,
But I still have a piece of you—
Your DNA.

202

Renoir at Les Collettes

by Byron Beynon

The cicadas already
conduct the sound of the day.
Early conversation in a garden
with olive trees and a view
towards the Mediterranean.

The optimism you had -
being an old man
with crippling arthritis -
for life, health,
the beauty and vigour it could afford.

Inside the house your studio
with armchair, easel,
brushes and frames,
the quiet edges of the room.

The hushed strokes of passing
time, the depth of eye

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

as figures walk by
flooded in red-golden light,
the sensuality touching
a disclosure of heat.

Byron Beynon lives in Wales. His work has appeared in several
publications including Adelaide Literary Magazine, San Pedro
River Review, North of Oxford, The London Magazine and
Poetry Ireland Review. Collections include Cuffs (Rack Press)
and The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions). His selected
poems appeared in 2018 (Bilingual: English/Romanian - pub-
lished by Bibliotecha Universalis/Collectiile/ Revistei “Orizont
Literar Contemporan”, translations by Dr Monica Manolachi,
University of Bucharest).

204

Snap Once If You Can
Hear Me

by Allie Rigby

No birds this black morning.
No mockingbird cries starling
alarms to provoke me. I need
a good feather fight in the
Eucalyptian to crack my coffee-
stained teeth awake. I miss
mouse peeling eyelids open,
strips wallpaper lifting cold
eyelash. I hear rain and only rain.
She taps junipers, taps steel roofs,
taps black ants: delivery.

Kangaroo rats scatter to reddened
caves, wet heads. I am awake
but I am the oak leaf curled,
a dried turtle shell waving two
infant arms at sky. Morse code

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

could not crack this lightning I am.
I am a stranger in these mountains.

Last month a jaguar lichen-laced
stepped into Arizona from Mexico.
She ripped strips of Wall to get in.
Trusted her tired bleeding paws
and soft, pink tongue—swept desert
corridor clean. She needs no feather

FIGHT
TO STAY
AWAKE.

We want the same: strip fatty rib
meat. The Keep Out is not Jaguar,
is not American. I do as she does.
I strip each letter to its core. What
cost is a gentle open door? Come in
I pray. A dark morning. Come in,
come in, come in. As if the desert
taught me this one thing: come in.

Allie Rigby is a Bay Area poet with roots in the oak woodlands
of southern California. Her poems have also been published in
the 2019 anthology of The Kerf Seeks and the desert literary
magazine Cholla Needles. She is most intrigued by urbanite
living and the universal need for wildness and intimacy. You
can find more of her work and ideology at www.allierigby.com.

206

Origin

by Jessica Sabo

In layers of tulle and ribbon
I treasured with every bone –
was
a frosting-capped finger wrapped
around a sunlit braid,
a wet mouth packed with sugar,
free of guilt,
all bouncing curl and pointed toes
rocking towards the moon on a back porch swing
while clinging to its chains
with hands still smooth from bathwater –
was
a pair of juice-soaked lips
mouthing HIGHER! HIGHER!

This was before my skin became a consolation prize.
Now, I offer myself in parts –
give just enough away
to make them feel like a winner.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

I play games with my reflection to see how
many pieces I can break into -
one piece, a pointed elbow
another, a broken rib.
This body
is seeking freedom,
is a hollow throat unable to scream -
a pair of hands still reaching
for the sun.

Jessica Sabo is a freelance writer and artist currently living in
Orlando with her wife and two rescue pups. She is an LGBTQ+
advocate, an ardent supporter of the performing arts, and as-
pires to publish poems on topics related to eating disorders and
other mental illnesses in order to promote awareness within
the community. Her work can be found in the annual literary
magazine, ChannelMarker.

208

Inanna and the Gate Keeper

by Jeremy Gadd

Finally responding to her sister’s
anguish and anger, the goddess
decided to descend but - at the entrance
to the underworld - a Gate Keeper
appeared and blocked her path.
‘I have come to see my older sister’,
the goddess, Inanna, informed him.
Sometimes known as Neti, the Gate
Keeper’s features were Neanderthal.
He appraised the enduring goddess of
the morning star and, nodding, insisted:
‘Those who descend must disrobe’.

Inanna initially hesitated but then
removed her hat, shaped like an
eight-pointed star, and offered it to
the Gate Keeper. He looked at the hat
in disdain before taking and crushing
it in one huge hand. The Gate keeper

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

remained motionless and said nothing,
as if expecting more, so Inanna took
off her celestial blue lapis lazuli earrings
and also gave them to the Gate Keeper.
‘You may pass’, he said, and Inanna
walked down an inclining corridor
until she came to a second gate.
Although she thought him behind her,
the same Gate Keeper emerged to challenge her.
‘Those who descend must disrobe’, he repeated.

Inanna removed the threaded pearls
she wore around her neck and which rose
and rested upon her pale breasts as she breathed.
The Gate Keeper accepted the pearls and,
admiring their lustre, rolled them between
his fingers as if fondling her nipples.
Inanna’s complexion flushed but he
eventually said ‘Pass’, and she walked
until she arrived at a similar gate.
The same Gate Keeper appeared before her.
‘Those who descend must disrobe’

Inanna stared at him but obeyed.
She removed her cloak woven with
dove feathers and edged with priceless
fine filigree and undid her gold breastplate
and passed both to the Gate Keeper.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

He felt the feathered cloak with his hands
and stared at the metal work before
grinning and grunting: ‘Pass’. But
Inanna was soon confronted by another gate
and the Gate Keeper, who again said:
‘Those who descend must disrobe.’

Inanna removed the girdle that clung to her hips,
reputedly made by worms from the east,
her gown of identity, and tossed it at his feet.
It fell lightly like gossamer on still dawn air.
The Gate Keeper collected the garment and ran
the expensive fabric between his dirty fingers
before, smiling sardonically, ushering her
to a fifth gate - where he emerged yet again.
‘Those who descend must disrobe.’

This time Inanna undid the clasps that
secured her robe to her shoulders. She
let it fall to the ground and stepped forward.
Standing in her under-dress, like a poor person
in a single garment, she left the dress on the
ground for the Gate Keeper to pick up
before advancing to yet one more gate.
Came the now familiar instruction:
‘Those who descend must disrobe,’

Inanna raised her arms and,
lifting the under-dress over her head,
stood before the Gate Keeper in her

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

bosom bandage and a breech-cloth
that hid her thighs and sex.
Inanna untied the bosom bandage and
stood proudly before the Gate Keeper.
The Gate Keeper said: ‘Pass’ and licked
his lips lasciviously as she passed in a
perfumed mist and advanced to the seventh gate.
‘Those who descend must disrobe,’

Inanna only had one piece of wardrobe to
remove, and she stood nude before the
Gate Keeper, resplendent in her beauty.
The Gate Keeper’s gaze roamed and slid
over her like slime but, instead of being
ashamed or timid, the Goddess seemed
to grow in stature, radiance and confidence.
Like a cat stretching, she extended her arms
and, almost flaunting, elegantly posed
with grace and allure, allowing the Gate
Keeper to luxuriate in her womanhood.

The Gate Keeper, suddenly uneasy
and afraid, said: ‘You are meant to
be naked, demure and submissive,
to bow low in obedience to the ancient rites!’
Exposed and undefended, Inanna replied,
‘I have undressed and shown you my identity.
Now where is my older sister?’

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

The Gate Keeper cringed and retreated
to report to her sister’s ancient judges.
The judges interpreted Inanna’s confidence and
her celebration of her femininity as arrogance
and hubris and decided she should be punished.
It was her vindictive sister who pointed her finger,
rendering Inanna powerless, before turning her
into a cadaver to be hung upon a meat hook.

Jeremy Gadd is an Australian poet and author. He has pub-
lished articles, four volumes of poetry, two collections of short
stories, two novels and had plays professionally produced for
live performance and broadcasting.

His writing has won several literary awards, including the
Fellowship of Australian Writers’ Ian Mudie Literary Award,
the Austcare & Refugee Council of Australia’s Short Story
Competition, The John Clemenger Advertising-Billy Blue
Magazine (Australia) Short Story Award and second prize in
the Maplecon 12 (Canada) International Science Fiction and
Fantasy Poetry Competition.

Most recently, he had a poem long listed for the 2019
University of Canberra Vice Chancellor’s International Poetry
Prize and was a finalist for Adelaide Literary Award Poetry
Anthology 2019 (USA).

He lives in an old Federation era house overlooking Botany
Bay, the birthplace of modern Australia, and holds an MA With
Honours and PhD degrees from the University of New England.

213

Immersed

by Maria Golgaki

He lit up another cigarette
Smoldering butts; ashtray filled with ashes
The dim room thick with stale smoke
Injured hands from fragments of glasses

The house stood in disarray
Broken dishes; chairs overturned; curtains torn
Red stains on the carpet
What had happened an hour ago?

How could he blame her?
For she had to flee
Like a wounded animal
Her safety no longer guaranteed

He swears – he wasn’t the perpetrator
It was that nasty habit he was in
After all, he was what he was…
Immersed in his drink

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Now, look at her clothes! Still there; intact
As was her quiet dignity
Though, her soul and body would bear permanent scars
Left there by his tyranny
Maria Golgaki

Lefcothea-Maria Golgaki was born in 30-03-1977 and has
been living in Athens, Greece ever since. She is married and
has a 6-year-old son. Apart from her certificate in translation,
she has been involved in the field of ELT for the past 22 years
working as a teacher at English Language Schools and at the
same time as a freelance writer for English, American and
Greek Publishing Houses writing English language books and
teaching material. Her first collection of poetry, entitled: ‘16
of Me’ was published for the first time by Adelaide Literary
Magazine. Part of her collection also appeared in Mediterra-
nean Poetry-an odyssey in the Mediterranean world, and in
Aphelion webzine.

215

Been to Bisbee

by Terry Boykie

Take me out of here, Buddy,
Take me out far, far away
Out to the deserts where real men play.

I got up every day with a brand new pain.
I rolled out of bed since I’m half dead.
“OK, Google, What’s the time and what is the day?”
Time for strawberries, a banana, a peach
on a bed of Honey-Nut Cheerios
with a whit of cream. All washed
down with a half-liter of gin.

Back east I tunneled coal for a living, drowning
my lungs and downing my mind.
Out west, by the playa at the Chiricahua
edge, I unearth copper in open-pit mines,
where the sun grills my hide and roast
my muscles clear to the bone.

216

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Here, I still consume my oats and fruit;
but, rotgut gin has all gone dry.
Cheap tequila has taken on the job of
killing me sooner, better than later.
Bleary at first light, I strain to watch peregrines
take over the dawn searching
for critters not ready to die.
At dusk, Harris Hawks sail across the
mesquites snaring mammals
and lizards for the proteins they hide.

I’m worn out from shoveling two tons of copper ore.
So, I give cougars, coyotes, badgers, ring-tailed cats
free-reign to ingest whatever, as long as
they don’t take my hovel down.
I let haboobs and derechos take care of that.

Sometimes on the weekend I head to Tombstone to find
a luckless woman who’ll put up a good fight.
When I have the juice, I coax some
lively devil to spend the night
with honeyed oats and tequila ‘blanco’ the overnight prize.
I like it best when I cuddle with a good
lady as the Sonora wind tantalizes
the setting we’re in and cooks up the
sparkle in the stars above.

No use kidding myself, shoveling rocks
has murdered my thrust.
And drinking to my end of days is a waste

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

of flesh if I’m gonna live out here,
rasping and butchering tough-guy words
from a coarse-grained desert song.
Maybe in the next life, I will look, feel, and
listen, then write all about it.

Take me out of here, Buddy,
Take me out far, far away

Terry Scott Boykie has served as an administrator, fundraiser,
and program director at international, national, and regional
nonprofits helping them raise $25,000,000. He is the author
of Autumn for a Day-old Toad and The Forthcoming Jilt. Mr.
Boykie can be found on Facebook and Twitter. His website,
https://terrysboykie.wixsite.com/publications/ provides exam-
ples of his poetry and photographs. Mr. Boykie, a native of
New Jersey, has resided in Washington, DC, for the past 28
years. He participates in poetry readings throughout the DC
region. Most important, Boykie has seen Bruce Springsteen in
concert 199 times since 1970.

Out to the Rockies where real men play.

218

Adam: a Meditation

by Martin Altman

1.
Something whispers.
Something cries that doesn’t die.
His breath and beating heart
Seemed not a part of him.

Strange path that leads from closed to open eyes,
And in remorse
Red dust is sprinkled everywhere.
Your face rouge rain,
Melts into shadow.

2.
The face steps forward
Against a heavy weight within the mind.
The animal looms large.

The bark peels off the birch.
We take the heart,

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

And cut it out, beating.
He mixes meat with murder.
He hunts who hungers,
He hungers who hasn’t home.

3.
“Homunculus I am,
A man under the stars.
I sit with them
That stare at night
And wonder at the moon.
The dog that howls
I feel a kinship to.

“Out of the ground I’ve come,
Ore in my heart and arms.
The earth’s furnace melts me
Into unseen visions of myself.
Night touches my fingertips,
And even in daylight,
A shadow hovers around the edges.”

You wear the mask of man,
The face of everyone
Who will or will not be.
The eyes of anyone
Who sees or cannot see.
You don’t know,
But it cries for what it sees.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

4.
An empty sack can be filled with anything.
The bag craves contents.
Even an empty sack within an empty sack.

5.
He walked the road before there was one,
Down red dust vision
To the snow field of hallucinations.
Icicle eyelashes
Freezing water crackling
Encroaching darkness creaking.

Habit, his first habitat, held his hand.
Its soft cheek soothed him
As breast a bed’s a comfort and a joy.
To the harp within his heart,
He rocked himself asleep,
Awakened by the whirling sound of his descent.

Image and metaphor have been my main vehicles in exploring
the self in its different manifestations, and in penetrating our ev-
eryday experience to our deeper realities. ¬A stutterer from child-
hood, the major concerns of my poetry are speaking and hearing,
breathing and cessation, connection and isolation. I was raised in
The Bronx and worked 40 years in the Garment District. Living
in Chicago I have worked for many years at Vienna Beef, and
been featured at The Café, TallGrass Writers Guild, Book Cellar,
as well as Printers Row Lit Fest. Among others, I have been pub-
lished in Outrider Press, Blue Minaret, Adelaide, Aethlon, Red
Ochre and Light, a journal of poetry and photography.

221

Chinese Dragon

by Jonathan DeCoteau

The eyes are oceans of animus:
Red, gold, green orbs wobbling, up and down,
Before the lattice of teeth angulating against the air
Like truculent peaks of mist and wonder.

From beneath the mane of uneasy fire
The body emerges: a lightness of spheres
Ever undulating under the hands of men
Dancing in fury to blight out the stars

Until only the phosphorescent glow of illusion remains:
Complete, the red feet patter, the crescent
hummingbird wings flutter
And for a moment a god ascends
And Earth is one with the molting fire of the heavens

Until the snake’s skin falls, consuming
the hands that are no more
And dead eyes stare at deader waterfalls

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

While children howl in pained glee
at the elusive and the momentary: a victory
over the elephantine weight of a world gone to night.

Jonathan DeCoteau is an English teacher and the author of
The Naked Earth, named a fiction book of the year by The
Online Journal of News and Current Affairs. His work has
been published in Longshot Island Magazine, Literally Sto-
ries, Reader’s Quarterly, Farther Horizons Than These, and
Far Horizons.

223

On Becoming More
Like Mr. Rogers

by John Sweeder

It wasn’t all that long ago that I
worried a lot about how curly my hair
looked, or how gray it was turning, or
how thin it would become as I grew old.

I was concerned about whether my shirt
matched my socks, or how smart or stupid
people thought I was. I knew that those things
should not have mattered much—but they did.

I suffered from extended adolescence
or what comedian Larry David
might call arrested development…
until I learned that Mr. Rogers passed away.

I used to view Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood
peripherally from the corners of my eyes

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

rather than seated directly in front
of my TV with a bag of Cheetos in hand.

I wasn’t what you’d call “a fan” of his
but, like most, I admired Mr. Rogers
for what he stood for: his ethic of care,
his pat optimism and John Doe fashion sense.

Each show, as he entered through his front door,
he’d closet his suit jacket and dress shoes
don one of his trademark Cardigan sweaters
then lace up a pair of comfy sneakers.

He was Everyman, only nerdier.
I suspect when he was young, he probably
played shortstop, got a few Ds on math tests,
and smoked marijuana at Woodstock.

I wondered how Fred Rogers became Mister Rogers?
Did he undergo a crystallizing event that changed
him into Mr. Rogers? Or did his metamorphosis
occur over time, imperceptibly?

I can’t say for sure, but his passing made
me reflect upon my own life’s glidepath—
from focusing inward to focusing outward,
landing my plane safely for others, not just myself.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

A poet and memoirist, John Sweeder has had his work pub-
lished in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Burningword Literary
Journal, Shantih, Haiku Journal, River Poets Journal, Ancient
Paths Online, and The Opening Line Literary ‘Zine, among
other venues. A Finalist of the Adelaide Literary Award for Po-
etry 2018 and 2019, and Semi-finalist in in the 2019 Willow
Run Poetry Book Award, John is listed in Poets & Writers
Directory of Poets & Writers.

226

Violet Planet

by Patrick Hurley

conflict in balance
thus it would begin
lost in polycarbonate crenellations
a different rhythm governs
motion on a surfaceless planet
familiar symbols
no longer hold sway
a certain shade of
violet-lilac-heliotrope
verges discouragingly
on the brown
who would legislate
against tall fences?
marks painted
on air particles
show the reverse
of the map––
like Chinese North

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

these the floating swamps
these the very quagmires

strange smells and
bodies swelling and
glowing like
radiated potatoes

certain hanging gardens
are tended soundlessly

high chimes and
the sounds of
small white flowers

barking a kind of dog Latin
the rotund man is drowned
out by reinvented tropical sounds

immaculate frenzy undulates

Patrick Hurley was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1969. He
studied economics and political science at the University of
Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He holds a Ph.D. in English
from Saint Louis University. He taught writing and literature
courses as an adjunct at Saint Louis University, Washington
University and other area schools for nearly two decades.

Having published a book on Thomas Pynchon and having
written about cocktails for the Riverfront Times for a year, he
now focuses on his poetry.

You can find some of his recent work at
http://www.patrickhurleypoet.com

228

First As Last

by Midori Gleason

We were two men left out on the sea,
two dark shadows in a snow-flecked night.
By day the golden waves would speak of dreams
of freezing on the sea so far from sight.
Strangers stealing through a liquid land
must dip the oar without making a sound.
Salt air eats flesh as brine will crust cold hands—
We’d row until we stood on solid ground.
With my hands as oars I would still be able to row—
Not a man, just the sea I’d coast being unseen.
I curved my hands around the oar, until they froze,
welcomed every wave, kissed every breeze…

I have always been sorry that I showed him the hand
for he sighed, “what is the use…might as well go first as last.”

Along the coast at night yet still alone
Until I was found dripping and dropped afresh,
the little finger snapping from the bone

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

finger and thumbnails still hung to the flesh.
Alive, though and ready to mark my own
I took the money they offered to build a tavern
Who could tell me that it couldn’t be done?
Yet I was drawn to the boats and the water,
I wondered what else I could not do or be
Till’ gathered thoughts swirled a current below
And buoyed me alongside back to sea;
the sea called to me and I rowed out for home.

Whenever anything had to be done, I felt
it best to give orders…and do it myself.

Laskow, Sarah. “The Man Who Sailed Across the Atlantic…
Without the Benefit of Fingers.” Atlas Obscura, www.atlasob-
scura.com/articles/howard-blackburn-wasnt-the-first-to-sail-
across-the-atlantic-solo-but-he-was-the-first-to-do-it-finger-
less. Accessed 1 January, 2019.

Midori Gleason is an artist and writer living in Gloucester,
Massachusetts. She has previously been published in UMass
Boston’s The Watermark and the Dorchester publication,
Write on the Dot.

230

As Cinzas Do Sol / Sun Ashes

by Rosangela Batista

As Cinzas do Sol

Cegam o céu;
Secam o sal de Pernem.
Dão bocadinhos à lua
De açafrão e cal.
Cai, cai pó-ente,
Põe cinzas d’ouro
Nos tetracantos da mente.

Cinzas da Índia
Serpenteiam em minhas águas:
Brindes de taças aos santos,
Bétulas, crávulos, vélulas tantas,
Taças de vinhos.
Ó sol da casa da Índia!
Quando cais ao acaso
Nos promontórios de Goa,
Calmo, enferrujado,

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

ah! laranja dó,
Imperturbável te deitas
Untado a pira do ocaso.
Exangue, dás adeus
Aos domos d’acácia,
Seus espinhos
Que te arranham violáceos.
O sol de Goa se esconde em meu diário
Num pompom amar-hélio
d’acácia perfumado de amorOm.

SUN ASHES

Blind the sky;
Dry up Pernem salt-pans.
Hand feed the moon
With mites of saffron and white lime.

Fall, fall sun-set,
Golden ashes to the tetra corners
Of minds.
India’s ashes meander in my own waters:
Cup of toasts to saints,
Betel, marigolds, and candle lights.
The sun of India’s house
Hides in Goa promontories,

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Calm, rusted-orange.
Imperturbable, it lies down,
Smeared at the decline.
It says farewell—
Scratched, bloodless—
To the acacia domes,
Violaceous amongst the prickles.
The Goan sun hides himself
In my diary
As an acacia yellowelium
Scented pom-pom,
Sublime lovelyom.

Roseangelina Baptista is an American-Brazilian, aspiring lit-
erary voice of multicultural heritage. Currently based in Cen-
tral Florida, she is also a bilingual freelance writer with inter-
ests in promoting poetry and mindfulness for society and in
reviving Indo-Portuguese literature. Her essay Bojja Tharakam:
A Brazilian Perspective was published by Bojja Tharakam Trust,
Hyderabad, 2018. Her poetry first appeared in the Joao Roque
Literary Journal’s June 2019 issue, Adelaide Literary Maga-
zine’s November 2019 issue, Change: A Space Coast Writer’s
Guild Anthology December, 2019.

233

On the Day Of Master Jan
Hus’ Immolation

by Felix Purat

Far from Bohemia, as the wine-drinker once felt in Konstanz,
I am socially alone

Nico’s melancholic rhythms connect me to the Hölderlin past
Not excluding flesh and bone

My friend from California wants to call me but
Won’t email me

My family wants to connect like Hussite with chalice
But I don’t feel free

Master Hus went to heaven knowing faith and social
Ties would endure

I remain on chilly Midgard, inverted in a time when social
Ties become impure

234

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Only organs make music into which mighty time
Cannot stick its foul fingers

Was Bachs music composed for me when angelus bells now
Beep from electronic ringers?

Catholics hold barbecues to utilize the era of humidity
And let their fires blaze

Post-voyageur, the Protestants stick meat onto their stakes
And to leisure sing praise

The Czechs take a break from IT work
to contemplate the medieval
Heralding a new Dark Age

The Poles and Slovaks follow destinies
untouched by Hus and wonder
Why the West can’t turn their page

I want to think like a contrarian, with
chalice in hand in my private Argyll
But I don’t want to burn

I want the global citizens to think beyond dimensions
And to not instinctively spurn

Master Hus, a Catholic man, knew not
the Levočan cage of sex should
The Katoličkas scream “fie!”

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

But I’ve been to Levoča in ancient Spiš: the cage lies
empty, waiting for somebody to love/somebody to die

Grace Slick commanded me to find
somebody to love; but now all I want
Is somebody to agree

The gender war reduced our wants to
beggary on the social battlefield
Until affection became a luxury and

We are not allowed luxuries anymore: the
dictatorship of the proletariat
Nears the stupid horizon

The flames lick the heels of solemn Jan
Hus, crackling with pleasure
As sanitary minds refuse to wisen

Exceptional Hus undoubtedly flooded
the white halls of heaven
With sacramental wine

Now all souls embrace their other
sacred half, for a man cannot
Otherwise exclaim “wine and dine”

The war against exceptions ended long ago: people are people,
The slaves of psychology

236

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

The survivors try to clear away Warsaw’s
ruins, now imprisoned
Along the periphery

Anti-border activists patrol the periphery
and employ Roky’s demons,
Free since the asylums went dark

They remember grasping for Hus’ legs,
inventing the concept of
Straw grasping among the sparks

Their selfishness is their weakness: for
once the embers die and
It’s too cold for alligators

Somewhere in the permafrost of Konstanz,
beyond scientific surveillance,
Lies an underground crater

People like grass because it shelters all the scars we etch
Upon our front lawns

Everyone can see them and no one can: Hus was burned
As many chose to yawn

Spinning a travelogue through the
topographic past has no worth,
Or so the naysayers snap

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

There are too many secrets, contrarian wells with unfiltered
Water we are eager to tap
Donovans Candy Man cannot guard the
truth about Sugar Mountain
Forever with saccharine swords
The lava of fate, of flaming Jan Hus, melts
all in its path; none now
Can withstand the intellectual hordes.

Felix Hails from Berkeley, CA but lives in the Czech Republic
and travels frequently. In addition to four micro-chapbooks
(all published by the Origami Poems Project), Felix has been
published in numerous outlets and magazines (including Ade-
laide Literary Magazine) and has been nominated for the Push-
cart Prize. His poems have also been translated into Slovak.
His webpage is: beyondnorcal.wordpress.com

238

The Tree From Jumbie Beach

by Caleb Dros

And those who know Ruby Ellis know she’s a hard
woman to come by. But yellow bile splattered the grains
of white sand, and soaked deep into the shore with her
violent sadness. The sun had turned her skin into dark,
old leather. The baking salt on her face made boils on
her lips and eyes—she was no longer human. So much
love was poured into him, she had none for herself.

Skin peeling at the nails, with sand filling the potted holes
between her nailbed. Her eyes starburst with red veins.
So much love. She had none for herself. To bathe in the
black juices that—I’m sorry—once her son began to leak
after rotting on shore for so long, is the love only a true
mother could have. To kiss his blackened lips, whose gasses
rumbled from his bowels and gargled in the quiet night.

*
I hear still, her eyes were the kites in the air. To lead the
youths them astray come Easter Sunday. To the edge of

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

the shore where your aunties’ eyes cant see. I still hear
that her hair was the black hand on the seabed. Whipping
seaweed tanglewebs, yknow. And I do still hear her sucking
mouth, the riptide. Panting cries, they become, like
tears of oceans, hiccupping into her deep navy soul.

Madame Yvonne would sit there every day. On her
rusted rocker, which creaked with blood-scent and
groaned the washed-out plywood on her porch. The
taste of wet, mossy earth behind the nose to hurt
the eyes. She’d chew and wait. She’d mouth words
and wait and remember through and through.

His barefeet gliding the screen door open.
The sound of his waxy soles swaying the
house from the kitchen floor.
The way his feet brought in sand from the sea shore.
The pale in his face when she came to the stove.
And the boiling water on her face

*

Mama’s love becomes yellow bile in the face of
death. And so much love. So much love she poured
that He could not move on. And his fingers, they
really say, grows roots into shifting sands.
And he became the Tree to scare away the hands in the sea
And the branches wrap Yvonne’s kite up
where your Aunties’ eyes could see
And roots to tie up the black hands waiting in
the sea—the devil’s tail on Jumbie Beach.

240

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

And when hurricane come.
He’s there still.
On shifting sands.
With every day a new shoreline.
Never letting go.

241

To Bathe Or Not

by Belinda Subraman

I honor my father’s soap
12 years since he’s used it.
It sits untouched in it’s dish
on the lip of a cast iron basin
remembering perhaps
it was the last object
to touch him intimately.

No one cleans here anymore.
Water comes out yellow
with chunks of rust
to remind us
everything decays.

I’m told I may use it
if I can make the water run clear
and don’t use daddy’s soap
letting the unseen molecules
of my father linger.

242

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

This neglect
is a ritual of love
not cleanliness.
It is a shrine
not a tub.

I pay my respects
by noticing
and find clean water
elsewhere.

Belinda Subraman has been writing poetry since the 6th
grade and publishing since college. Last century, she had a ten
year run editing and publishing Gypsy Literary Magazine. Six
of those ten years were from Germany. She edited books by
Vergin’ Press, among them: Henry Miller and My Big Sur Days
by Judson Crews. Her archives are housed at the University of
New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Art is as important to Belinda as writing. She currently sells
her art at shows, in shops and in an Etsy shop called Mystical
House. She also offers her work for book covers and journals.

Recent work in: Home Planet News, Eclectica, Red Fez,
Unlikely Stories, Tribe Magazine, The Writing Disorder, Poetry
Breakfast, Gargoyle, Nixes Mate, Ristau: A Journal of Being, Fi-
ve2One, Beatnik Cowboy, Slipstream and Chiron Review. Her
latest book is Left Hand Dharma from Unlikely Books, 2018.
Poetry Breakfast nominated her for “Best of the Net” in 2017.

243

The Nihility of Everything

by John Casey

I love to manipulate minds with proofs of string theory,
normalize novel ideas while quoting Madame Curie.
Ruminate the nuance of Nietzsche, the
metaphysics of Foucault.
And for fun, influence a few financial market trends
with some obscure macroeconomic model

I find it simple to divine such things
as the relationship of rates of orbital decay
to the mutational tendencies of mitochondrial DNA.
Then, to gift the layman’s version to my eyeless adherents
in pseudo-liturgical parlance, elaborated
in elitist legalese with ease

Relentless, I amass terabytes of truth,
pausing periodically to polish and admire
my magnificent, monolithic mountain of erudition.
Within, a Niagara of knowledge to be
launched at potential foes;
from a full mind, a roiling river of thought

244

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Or to be aimed with precision and purpose,
a stream of consciousness, crafted carefully
to gain access, impress, influence and control.
To enlist and harness others
in the pursuit of prestige, property and power

Along the way, and on occasion some say
I should use it all to teach and team,
protect and improve, to harmonize and serve.
Foment and sustain symbiosis and responsibility.
To divine instead, relationships

That I should sympathize, empathize.
Pursue in lieu of a full mind, mindfulness.
They say that absent this, the value of all,
of everything, or nearly so is nearly nothing.
Perhaps they are right. But who knows?

John Casey grew up in New Hampshire and earned a Master
of Arts from Florida State University in 1994, then began his
flying career as an airlift and developmental test pilot. Casey
left the cockpit in 2005 to work as an international affairs
strategist and diplomat at the Pentagon, embassies in Germany
and Ethiopia, and at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio,
Texas where he retired in 2015. Since then, he has focused
on his writing. He is passionate about fitness, music, nature
and the human spirit. His writing is inspired by the incredible
spectrum of people, places and cultures he has experienced
throughout his life.

245

Frozen Fervor

by Idalis Wood

Before you enter a stage of hypothermia,
your body stops blood from circulating to more
expendable parts of your body.
Toes are in a constant state of freeze.
My body shivers under the blankets.

No amount of warmth keeps them satisfied.
No matter how hard I try,
my toes are always cold.
Love warms me, but when he leaves
I’m starved for warmth.

I bundle in blankets and await him.
I want to leave, but the world is so cold.
There is love, but I am still starved.
I want more than what is rationed.

To prevent hypothermia, you must stay in
a warm environment until you regain the feeling

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

in your expendable limbs.
I cling to embers of a fire long ignored by
others around me.

I return home. It’s cold without warmth.
Heat comes temporarily, but it is off when
he comes home.
I adhere to his love, his warmth, his promise to
never leave me in the cold.
Every morning he must leave. I leave at times.
I have little time in warmth.
I always want more.

I fear taking all of his warmth.

I am brought back into the cold.
I am brought back into a world of survival.
My toes feel the pangs of frost.
I can’t feel them as I try to find warmth.

My fingers are burning.
No one will touch me.
I can’t reach out to anyone.
Further into the cold world I venture.

I don’t know how much longer I can last.

The further stage of hypothermia includes
confusion and drowsiness.
My heart is weak without my warmth.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Without him. He is my heart.
Every night my heart regains its rhythm.
I am steady and wanted again.
I am warm now.
I must learn how to brace the cold when
he leaves once again.

Idalis Wood is a graduate student at Linfield College with a
degree in Creative Writing. As an aspiring writer, Idalis hopes
her words can inspire and make a difference in the lives of
others. Behind the Lines is her first published book of stories.

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