Editors’ Choice, July 2-8, “Why I Leave the States,” By Bonnie Jill Emanuel

The mind wanders. The spirit wanders. That is our condition, sometimes our longing, sometimes the heights of our capacity. Enjoy this in-place sojourn from Bonnie Jill Emanuel.

      I go to Caracas.

My god the coastal mountains, plantains, cocoa air.

I go there
having never been to an equator.

Slip down the fire escape & out a window
                  I go searching.

I wait waiting
for some tropical Andean downpour
to never actually occur.

                                               Which is not to say
I never feast on bloodberry or seagrape,
swallow one scant drop of regret
or that this is a tale
of me sprawled across my desk
composing a text
with my hands clenching a package of Sharpies
& my face in a glycolic acid sugarcane
homemade mask,
raw.

Bonnie Jill EmanuelBonnie Jill Emanuel’s poems appear in American Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, SWWIM, Love’s Executive Order, Ruminate, Laurel Review, Chiron Review and elsewhere. She earned a Creative Writing MFA at the City College of New York, where she received the Jerome Lowell DeJur Award in Creative Writing and the Stark Poetry Prize. Born in Detroit, she now lives in New York.

For other Editors’ Choices, please visit:
Silence – Pete Mackey – First-Place Winner
Russian Novel – Gabrielle Langley – Second-Place Winner (tie)
The Juiciest Pear – Issa M. Lewis – Second-Place Winner (tie)
Fat Family – Robert Nisbet

Please Consider a Donation, Thank You

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Hello Readers

We’re channeling our inner NPR/PBS again. You see, Panoply (along with many other pubs) is a volunteer organization, funded only by the editors’ bank accounts, proceeds from our biennial contests, and the magnanimity of our readers. We must defray bandwidth, submissions software, and url registration expenses. Bandwidth ain’t cheap!

So, if you like what you see and are able to help us, please consider doing so! We’d appreciate it! Just connect to the PayPal link on the right-hand margin.

Blessings for good reading and writing!

Andrea, Jeff, and Ryn, Editors

Issue 18, Feast-Themed Contest, Spring-Summer, 2021

© 2021 Ryn Holmes

Hello Panoply World!

In this semi-post-Covid world, we’re pleased to share the results of our second biennial contest! Our theme was “Feast,” with a lovely and energizing variety of facets to that stone. Remarkably, on this comparatively short list of pieces, we have two dealing with Russian culture. We’re also pleased to share a piece of bona fide cowboy poetry from a bona fide cowboy poet! Pardon the disproportionate sidebar, but we encourage you to explore cowboy poetry. You might be surprised by the craft but also by the voice, perspective, and subject matter. Whatever your taste, we hope you enjoy Issue 18! We extend our heartiest thanks to all submitters and contributors and especially shout out to our contest winners, Pete Mackey, Issa M. Lewis, and Gabrielle Langley.

Issue 19 is planned for early September, with our Call for Submissions due out July-ish. Don’t forget about our weekly Editors’ Choice videos, the first of which is planned for May 21.

Stay healthy. Keep reading and writing!

All our love,
Andrea, Jeff, and Ryn, Editors

 

Contest Winners
First Place: Silence – Pete Mackey
Second Place (tie): The Juiciest Pear – Issa M. Lewis and Russian Novel – Gabrielle Langley

Additional Pieces
The Bells of St. Mary’s – Mark Madigan
Beside – Susan Kay Anderson
Bubbe and the Snow Maiden, Vitebsk, 1903 – Mikki Aronoff
A Celtic Spell – Pratibha Castle
Dinner Parties – Rosanne Ehrlich
Eating the Heifer – Sean Sexton
The Eternal Mother – Vanessa Watters
Fat Family – Robert Nisbet
Fire and Ice – Alexis Rhone Fancher
First Holy Communion – Mary Leonard
Georgia O’Keeffe’s Summer Days, 1936 – Karen George
In My Mother’s Kitchen – Marianne Forman
Like Fingers – Britton Pontoux
My Blue Heaven – Katherine Nelson-Born
November Seeds – Karla Linn Merrifield
sacrificed into residue – Perla Kantarjian
Safe House – Ysabel de la Rosa
Silver Links – Annette Sisson
Stalk Talk – Jennifer Maloney
We All Bought Tickets to the Allusion – Jonathan Yungkans
Why I Leave the States – Bonnie Jill Emanuel

 

Congratulations to the Winners of the “Feast-” Themed Contest for Issue 18!

We’re so excited to share the good news. Though we could not break a tie for second and third place, we’re just overflowing to announce the winners.

Pete_Mackey First Place – “Silence,” Pete Mackey

Issa Lewis

GabrielleLangley 

Second/Third Place (tie) – “The Juiciest Pear,” Issa Lewis and “Russian Novel,” Gabrielle Langley

Thanks to all of our submitters. As usual, it’s an honor and a joy to share such lovely and inspirational work with our readers. You truly uplift us!

Look for Issue 18 on or about May 7.

Stay healthy.

Andrea, Jeff, and Ryn, Editors

Review of “Mr. Rogers Kills Fruit Flies,” by Scott Ferry

156317865_3044405892462488_6755839660944539326_n-2Scott Ferry

Mr. Rogers Kills Fruit Flies by Scott Ferry
ISBN 978-1-59948-825-7
Main Street Rag Publishing Company
53 pages
$13.00

Review written by Andrea Walker, February 2021

A surprising journey awaits the reader in Scott Ferry’s latest chapbook Mr. Rogers Kills Fruit Flies. This thirty-seven poem collection is chock full of surprises. From the beginning, even the titles evoke curiosity.

The first of three sections is a dramatis personae of ten famous people, with most of whom the reader will be familiar. In addition to Mr. Rogers, this cast of characters, each with his or her own poem, includes Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jane Goodall, Jacques Cousteau, and John Muir. The titles cast each character in a role that appears, like Mr. Rogers, outside that character’s purview. The speaker of each poem tries to make sense of what is happening, for example, when in “John Muir sprains his ankle,” the speaker is thankful he did not injure himself when he fell just down the path from his cabin. Muir/the speaker goes on to muse about understanding

agony, seeing many thousands slaughtered by this
country tearing at itself, not civil at all.

This poem is rich in the imagery, like “elderberry, wild cherry,” and listening to “the ferns reach to the light,” a reader will associate with the man who is also known as “Father of National Parks” Ferry makes keen comparisons of sorrow and joy with frequent use of juxtaposition of unlikely circumstances.

The second section entitled “How to cross eyelid bridge” and containing a poem of the same name is subtitled “Titles of children’s books that will never be written.” Having little to do with children’s books, hence they will never be written, but plenty to do with children with some poems with children as speakers, for example, “The game of erasing yelling.” This poem meaningfully narrates how young siblings negotiate overhearing their parents argue downstairs:

And M said, un-speaking that we should make Jello
and rejoice for pineapple! And I un-replied
that the merpeople nap backwards. She agreed!

In “Talking to the gray woman behind the steeple,” the young speaker is skipping Sunday school and digging for coins left by children who buried them decades ago “behind the ivy bricks” when the ghost of a woman appears and speaks to him in Spanish.

And I can see her Sunday dress to her ankles,
can smell gardenias, can hold the sadness in my teeth.
I don’t know what she has lost, just that she is waiting. . .

The poet portrays a moving image of the child listening to the woman with compassion.

Other characters in this section are plants and insects, animals and organs, and even organisms. The poet reveals himself as a member of the medical profession with some of his language, for example, in “Holden’s cowheart boat” and “How to cross eyelid bridge” and an astute observer of nature, particularly in “Clockwise the sleeping octopus.”

The third and slightly longer section is called “Divination.” The poet defines the various types of prophecy with insightful examples. Arranged alphabetically, like a dictionary, the first is “Aichmomancy: by sharp objects” in which he addresses a fear of and fascination with

. . . the pin, the spear, the record needle
before it slices through dermis into adipose, into viscera?
(Or do I just remember it sinking deeper as a child)

In this poem the speaker looks back on childhood and appears to have reached a level of acceptance of things past. “Cleidomancy: by keys” begins with a somber tone by recalling locked items of the past like the locked safety deposit box of the speaker’s mother and his father’s storage locker with his army helmet. He then moves into the “stretching present,” a more lighthearted time of

daughter refusing all breakfast except Nutella, wife
slipping into sleep by the fire, surprise carne asada
for lunch. . .

One of the most touching is “Nephomancy: by clouds.” Memories of childhood dreams climbing to the clouds where the five-year-old could find quiet or solitude “or the best parts of the people I loved.” This one is divination at its finest.

In addition to celebrities and nonhuman characters, the book is peopled with children. A theme of time runs throughout with references to clocks and units of time from seconds to decades. Along with some serious issues, we discover a poet with a great sense of humor although often expressed in absurd situations. Mr. Rogers kills fruit flies will take the reader off the beaten path into a wonderful and mysterious world of insight and imagery.

For reviews of other chapbooks, please visit: Previous Chapbook Reviews

Editors’ Choice, Feb 12-18, “First Artists,” By Kelly DuMar

What happens when Man chooses to represent or portray the natural world? The same thing throughout the ages, all over the world. Enjoy Kelly DuMar’s answer.

The greatest innovation in the history of humankind was neither the stone tool nor the steel sword, but the invention of symbolic expression by the first artists.

~ Chip Walter

Veronique packed a picnic. Patrice drove us all to the cave above Pont-d’Arc to see the ancient panel of horses. Not the real cave, a replica faked to enchant us into witnessing: Chauvet.

Inside the dank chamber––Grotte Chauvet 2––torch-light illumines thirty-thousand-year-old horses a first artist charred a torch to draw, galloping over that shadowy wall. While the cave’s bears were out hunting food!

We exited, I sobbed.

Bears and bison, the snow leopard and lions––long gone, but the ancient stone arch over Ardèche River stands and I swam in the cold and we ate our cheese.

Ages earlier, in the first universe––childhood––I drew visions with crayons––created magnificence. In school, Mrs. Dole passed out mimeographs of blank fish, to color by the rules of the Color Wheel. I mixed mine wrong.

Your fish are the color of mud, she said.

I rose that night of Chauvet, from my guest bed, surrounded by walls of stone, one ancient window, no moon, in the commune of Fortunat-sur-Eyrieux.

In the wobbling, dark as an unlit cave, my floor heaved, waving the walls, my low ceiling tried to topple me. Help, I hissed––my husband lit our lamp, balanced me back into our bed––it bucked

on my waves of vertigo. In the tilting, unlit chamber, horses, hand drawn by a fistful of charcoal, galloped over my walls. Dawn, a taxi took us to the Paris train, another taxi to our plane––still, so giddy I could not stand up straight. I flew home over a fish filled sea–

–playing, rewinding, re-playing:

firelit fingers, a torch, a gallop, a smear.

Kelly DuMar is a poet, playwright and workshop facilitator from Boston. She’s author of three poetry chapbooks, ‘girl in tree bark’ (Nixes Mate, 2019), ‘Tree of the Apple,’ (Two of Cups Press), and ‘All These Cures,’ (Lit House Press). Her poems, prose and photos are published in many literary journals. Kelly serves on the Board of the International Women’s Writing Guild (IWWG) and produces the Bi-Monthly Open Mic Writer Series attended by women worldwide.

To view previous Editors’ Choices from Issue 17, please visit:
1997 – Tony Gloeggler
The Rabbit Looks Away – Issa M. Lewis
The Child Born – Virginia Laurie
but i am only fiercely dreaming – Perla Kantarjian

Issue 17 – Winter 2021

Issue 17 Masthead Photo

Artwork © Ryn Holmes, 2020

Wait, what? 2021?

Congratulations, you made it. But let’s not fool ourselves that a page-turning is alchemy …

No matter the date or circumstances, we love to bring you “a wide array of fine writing.” We do notice incidental motifs in our submissions. This time, it’s insects and long, winding sentences. Of course, there are plenty of other fine works of all types included!

As always, we thank our contributors for favoring us with their talents. (You’ll notice more than one debut writer this time!) And of course, we thank you, readers, for spending a little time here. We hope you continue to find this publication uplifting and enriching.

All our best for a fine year!

Andrea, Jeff, and Ryn, Editors

Contents
1997Tony Gloeggler
Aphrodite and MarsJakub Svanda
Argyle ForestC.B. Crenshaw
AwakeningStephanie L. Harper
but i am only fiercely dreamingPerla Kantarjian
Celestial NavigationDiana Dinverno
The Child BornVirginia Laurie
climb, fall, sober-upKelli Allen
Creatures in the Last HourJulia Watson
The Depth of WaterMarsha Lewis
Every Dream Holds a MeaningSophie Aay
FirefliesMoinak Dutta
First ArtistsKelly DuMar
First FlightNathan McMullen
For Me and For Greta GerwigNaomi Hurley
Heisenberg in the SuburbsGeorge Franklin
Her Face Streaked with TearsZvi Sesling
hesperides – Kolbe Riney
HimselfStephen Ground
Homeless  – Sekhar Banerjee
the hour beforeMike Jurkovic
I Am Not Writing About the Rose, I Am Making it Bloom in the PaperJohn Milkereit
In His DreamAnn Howells
InventoryStacie Kiner
KulturaustauschSean Kelbley
‘Merica the InsidiousMike L. Nichols
Pairing MantidsPaul Jones
PaperHugh Anderson
Path of the DragonflyMarc Janssen
A Published Poet’s ListRha Arayal
The Rabbit Looks AwayIssa M. Lewis
Rainbow ConnectionJaelyn Singleton
The ReceptionLeonard Temme
Red DressKatie Mcilroy
RiverMallory Kellum
Ryou-Un MaruJoseph E. Arechavala
The Simian LineJoanne Clarkson
SorrowBruce Meyer
SpiderRobert Okaji
SplitFrancine Witte
Sweet RetreatEmily Jacko
TableCatherine Arra
Tea As Indicator for WeatherLenny DellaRocca
TragedySheree LaPuma
TwilightMakenna Dillon
Where To Find My BodyCleo-Paulo Valentino
White TulipsCarter Vance
The WriterKelsey Hontz
Year of FirstsJoseph Kerschbaum
You Tell Me It’s the Worst Album EverKate LaDew
You Must Share the Secret of Eternal Life With Someone You LoveSandra Cimadori
Zen ShirtJoseph Hardy

Issue 16, Summer – Autumn, 2020

Issue 16 Masthead ArtPhoto courtesy of and copyright ©2020 Ryn Holmes.

Welcome to Issue 16! We hope you have remained hale and healthy through this crazy time of year. Loaded with verbal endorphins, this issue should help you maintain your artistic and spiritual health. 

One thing we continue to learn is how permanent art is in our lives. Sometimes we overlook it; sometimes we misunderstand it; sometimes it moves us profoundly. With all the basic underpinnings of art and the human condition, expressions change, formats change, and so on. But what lies beneath the white spaces, the compositions, the rhythms and contours, is that eternal element of what it means to be alive. 

So whether today finds you up or down, ecstatic or forlorn, attentive or distracted, remember that the world of art, of human expression and interpretation, with all its crazy mutations and side tracks, will be with you always. 

Here’s a tiny utterance among the eternal voice, with thanks to our contributors, whose words breathe life into our days. 

Make it a great day. Stay healthy!

Best wishes,
Andrea, Jeff, and Ryn

 

Contents

#11Ann Pedone
After Crossing the International Date LineK Roberts
As Kids Back Home –  Mark Madigan
Barroom Dust –  Ana M. Fores Tamayo
Bell the CatEmalee Long
BuckboardMary Anna Kruch
Calendar Pages YellowingSteve Gerson
Can You Download Whatsapp So We Can Text While I’m HereJimmy Fay
Cleaning Helga’s GraveKevin Ridgeway
Cream No SugarMichael Estabrook
Cyclic ConvulsionsCasey Roland
DawnlessnessNancy K. Jentsch
DramaEdward Kos
EulogyJoel Fishbane
Fall DinnerMartina Reisz Newberry
Father’s Foreign CarsGabrielle Grilli
FissureSyd Shaw
Grandma’s SongIrene Fick
The High PriestessSherre Vernon
His words are plumpSabina Khan-Ibarra
The History of EmptinessJack Ritter
I love what you did with your eyelinerSambhranta Bashy
I Went WestBen Mast
In the occasional contact with lifeM. Ait Ali
JeromeSally Vogl
JiM “80”Max Heinegg
Let My People GoMark Hammerschick
Letter to My Iranian LoverAlicia Viguer-Espert
Marvelling Upon Your Rouge Halo –  Andrew LaFleche
Melody in Shades of BlueSophie Foster
moonlit eveVictor Pambuccian
My dead father visits me on my birthday every yearScott Ferry
My Window (Champaign, Illinois)Gerald Friedman
Network OpportunityTobi Alfier
No EscapeElya Braden
Old Man Winter on the MarshStephen Scott Whitaker
On Reading “Skeleton Keys” by Brian SwitekRoberta Schultz
One hundred dollarsMichael Griffith
Orpheus Calls Their BluffJulian George
PenitenceBrigidh Duffey
PorcupineDave Gregory
post newtonianAlan Gann
Prowl Me GentlySarah Pobuda
Robot FactoryPatrick T. Reardon
Sack and HammerKristin Fullerton
The Sermon: First Baptist, 1988James Miller
Solanaceae BattlesFrank Babcock
SoundtrackGena Killion
StealingMichele Randall
This Flag Is Not Waving Jack Mackey
Tongues of FireAnn Howells
Unwilling/Vacillating/WaitingScott Wiggerman
We could use poems right nowHari Bhajan Khalsa
What Are You Glittering About? –  Marianne Lyon
What the Breeze Brings –  Steven Deutsch
Writing NightRobert Nisbet
The Winding Road of Sunshine and SnowDaniel Paton

 

 

Issue 15, Spring 2020, “Paper” Theme

issue 15 masthead (11e)

Photo courtesy of Ryn Holmes. © 2020 Ryn Holmes.

Welcome spring! And welcome to Issue 15. Our theme for this issue is “Paper.” We encountered some lovely, expansive interpretations which we hope you’ll enjoy. While the world is abuzz with constraint and restraint, we hope this respite rejuvenates your spirit and lessens any burden you bear.

Once again, we tout the artistry of Editor Ryn Holmes, whose original photography graces our masthead. Pretty inventive and quite original!

It’s been a strange spring. We do hope this finds you healthy and fit, in all senses of the words. Some of us are facing difficult circumstances. We send what we can: our deep love and support. Take your solace, faith, and hope where you can find it and make it. We look forward to seeing you again for Issue 16 and beyond. 

As always, we thank our readers and contributors. Peace to you.

Stay healthy.

Andrea, Jeff, and Ryn, Editors

Contents
Anonymous – Pavle Radonic
Aphasia – Anna Winham
Armchair Tourist – Sandy Deutscher
Body Memory – Karen George
Censoring Letters Home – Jim Ross
Cleaning House for Mother and Me – Karen Mandell
Future Textbooks – Warren Woods
The Grey Heron – Mark Heathcote
A Heads-Up Dream for Peace – Mark Blickley
I am – Mandira Pattnaik
In the Wind – Hugh Anderson
Inheritance – Dorian Kotsiopoulos
A Lesson in Colors – Kimberly Williams
Making Books at Hull House – Cynthia Gallaher
Making Do – Michele Waering
My First Poem, Age 12, For Sharon – Steve Gerson
My Mother Reads the Obituaries Out Loud – Susan Barry-Schulz
Nakamura Lock – Rich Renner
Ode to the Tree – Deonte Osayande
On Reading the Sky Between Essays – Vivian Wagner
On transcience – (Rizla™) – Henry Bladon
Paper Skin – Alan C. Smith
A Poet Reads on Instagram – Aileen Bassis
The Poet’s Writing Shed – Robert Nisbet
Polish Dining Ring – A Msou
Précis – Betsy Mars
Prosthetics – Brian Rihlmann
Sharing My Canoe – William Doreski
Snail Girl – Chuka Susan Chesney
Spaghetti – Samn Stockwell
Thin Sheaf – Susan Tepper
Tit for Tat – Lindsey Heatherly
Uncharted Waters – Christine Rhein
Underneath Your Sleeve Sketches – Roz Weaver
Uproot the Hobbling Magic – Hibah Shabkhez
Venus Did What? – Karla Linn Merrifield
Weeks of Repetition – Sudanshu Chopra
Writing Space – Angela Weiser
Yellow Wallpaper* – Holly Van Hare