Will of the City Project
Featuring Exchange by Poet Anya Banerjee
Saint Flashlight has been featured on our page before and we deeply love and admire their commitment to releasing poetry into public spaces from theater marquees to slips of paper with mysterious phone numbers where those in the know can score a poem. This time they're sending poetry into the wild with a little help from the world’s most famous playwright! The new project is called Will of the City and you can check it out by clicking on the link.
Saint Flashlight is partnering with Theatre for a New Audience to present poems inspired by William Shakespeare all during the fall. This partnership spotlights the work of over a dozen writers on the outdoor screens at Polonsky Shakespeare Center – Theatre for a New Audience’s home in Fort Greene - into an anthology of poems inspired by Shakespeare’s plays.
Sacred Chickens is happy to announce that we are able to share one of these poems – from a brilliant new writer, Anya Banerjee – with our readers
Author, Renwick Berchild
bob, the trees press, expand; press, expand as lungs.
speaker, who spake the first murmurings—whistler at the window.
that? Faces stack, knotholes of wisps in the darkness,
and wakeful just as I, truculent foreheads, lined lips, I’ve a wife
died, is she there? Another unholy moaner outside, watchful.
at the window: See
the spinning? Hear the hive? Let a demon
its language to you for a while. Let us in - let us in! I’ve a potion
my eye, an incantation beneath my fingernail. He lies - he lies!
are burning in the cold - let us in, let us in, let us in in in!
bake bread when you can steal it? Give us a bed to rest our lives.
winding round the globe, grey cloud a turret on the night’s mount
across the mirror black, little woman set, six arms weaving
the loom with superb finesse—but the hisser? Just a tail
as glass, sliding in its yowls, rabbit whining all through the twigs;
nimbus jugular ripe for tearing, a spilling
of rain; whistler sends regards.
by Paul Ilechko
Beaufort Measures Lost Love
Day zero Beaufort sees himself within the mirror his face as tight as skin his eyes as blue as
death as blue as smoke that spirals tight towards oblivion he grieves within his lonely silence
Day one he arches his spine amidst the drifting smoke failing once again to control the ripples
of anguish that penetrate his immobility
Day two his glassy stare absolves the trees of all their mystery as a metal arc is quietly traced
across the circus of the sky
Day three a branching motion corrupts the shape of flags he speaks in sign language to the
potential of a beloved waiting for the appearance of a silver stallion
Day four the horse-drawn present scrapes its flanks in greasy rivulets as time dissolves into a tincture of dust and oil
Day five a fluttering in his chest as swaying dancers grip the waist of future days and escalate the pace of change but wasted chances pronounce the death of fate
Day six wires are crossed with string machines of melody that fight to be included in the
symphony of motion that fight the chance of weather as clouds release their dreams
Day seven trees are marching down the avenues into the teeth of dentistry horses have abandoned even the smallest motion ceding the width of plain to an inconvenient memory of the loved one
Day eight structure abandons form as Beaufort sees revealed a distant shape that resolves itself into the “once upon a promise” of his cherished fantasy
Day nine a drumroll pounding of iron cavity as yet again he rolls between the spraying tides of anger fighting to overcome the inflammation that threatens his redemption
Day ten a patchwork quilt of unforgiving absorbs the shockwaves as Beaufort realizes that his journey has reached an end beneath the overhanging coils a hollow forms and there he huddles lost and empty inside the wave.
(Derived in part from the Beaufort wind force scale)
The Apology Box
Author, Naomi Ulsted
by Julie Carpenter
If you’ve ever worked with troubled teens, you will recognize Tessa, the protagonist of this story. A decision made in a flash has repercussions that disrupt and destroy the lives of many in her community, a small mountain town in the American Northwest. The young woman at the center of the maelstrom, already the victim of a struggling mother and remote father, must decide whether she has any chance at redemption. Her fragile trajectory as she stumbles towards atonement and maturity feels very real.
/5 concepts to dwell upon for the rest of the year/
New 'Old' Deal
'Revolutionary Bourgeoisie Somnambulism' (RBS) Syndrome
Tears in the Soil
The gardener has left
his tears in the soil. He
cannot make love grow.
He left his tool, a hoe,
in the soil with his sorrow,
by the slow moving snails.
It is too late for him. He
cannot feed his soul with
his pain and deep concern.
It hurts too much to work
or to breathe, when love
is a phantom dream. He
feels too low to go on. I
hear him weep until
the sun sets over yonder.
The gaping wound in his
soul makes death smile
as his life is up for grabs.
by Charlie Robert
The Reluctant Corpse, By Roy Peak
by Roy Peak
A re-run of the first - and maybe only - TGWiW fan fiction!
(By the way, Uncle Morty agreed to the use of his photo but wants to make it clear that he is not the protagonist of this story.)
Rennie turned the big oven up a couple of notches, opened the door, and pulled the toe tag off the corpse so he could file it for today’s work list. This was the third corpse being cremated today and he still had to clean out the oven afterwards before going home. It had been a busy week for the funeral business in Whistlestop, what with the annual Pruning of the Vicars Festival and all of those accidents at the corner of Poe and Bierce—seriously, when were they going to get around to replacing those missing stop signs?
Rennie filed the tag with the others then turned back to the cart with the corpse on it only to find that the cart was bare. Alarmed—and who wouldn’t be?—he took a step back and glanced around the room. There he spied it, hunkered down between the wall and one of the prep tables, naked with a y-incision on his chest, wide eyed and looking a bit scared.
Joyful, Sorrowful, and Ordinary Mysteries
Author Raymond Fortunato
Review by Julie Carpenter
This book of short stories spins some entertaining yarns that often defy expectations, especially when you consider that the stories focus largely – though not completely – on what society expects of men and what they expect of themselves. Though these stories sometimes look backward into the twentieth century – the start of the computer age, even back to pre-revolutionary Russia – they wrestle with a problem that has become more and more clearly delineated in the twenty-first century. What exactly is masculinity and how can individual men define it for themselves?
The Malediction of Llewyn Glass
Author Frank Reteguiz
Review by Roy Peak
The Malediction of Llewyn Glass is the story of a man tricked into selling his soul to the devil and his journey to salvage his humanity. Mostly, this is a story about stories. And of stories within stories; stories intertwined amongst each other like a nest of snakes.