Fabrice Poussin Debuts

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University, Rome, Georgia. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River magazine and more than fifty of other publications.

Trio

Against the backdrop of oranges, and purples,
three silhouettes hug in the bond
of life from a time neither of them really knew;
their heads touch barely, their hearts are one.

On the edge they sit, to the vanishing point,
running to a brave future, souls united,
their dreams, little sisters, little ladies;
so warm, they glow with the passion of a sun.

In their tummies butterflies flutter in electric sparks,
pulling them closer through their complete beings;
heads resting on one another as one;
yet three, and inseparable in loud silence.

One teaches love, the others smile in a sigh,
from the one they once were so much the same,
attached by distance, they will always overcome;
the murmurs of their selves speak the word.

Love floats nearby, living shroud against the end;
a fortress of centuries, of rivers, clouds and rainbows;
little models in the image of their father, flowery;
their scent of a spring eternal, travels unconquered.

Will one shift her gaze? Will she move a curl
of ebony silk to better capture the subtle disturbance?
will she detect the other presence in the mist?
or will it be the end of the possible dream?

Three, only sparkles of a lonely sky, so safe,
trembling in unison under the newborn dew;
their song, their story, their poem, their life,
unperturbed though aware of another gate.

Under the armor of lace and rose petals,
and the protecting eye of an all seeing lord,
in a castle of imaginary towers, motes, secret passages,
they sit in the coming mist of fairy dust.

No mirror to reveal the features of their angelic faces,
they remain facing the immensity calling their names;
the morrows for which they stand at ready,
forward they will march hand in hand, confident.

For, now that dawn has not yet come to be,
they must savor one last long embrace;
private, intimate, which to call their own,
only their own, where no stranger is welcome.

Love little girls, hold on firm;
your lives are one, not to ever let go,
love little darlings, simply love.

Sadness and wisdom

The wise sit quiet atop dear Mount Everest;
alone, they traveled against cold and death,
open folio in their laps frozen in reading.

Space is white beneath, powdery and pale
above, thin, icy, solid as the mountain below.

Squatting like the scribes of eternal scripture,
they have no need of social comforts, true to all,
enveloped in the aura of inquiries all resolved.

In the deep of the ocean, their brothers ape,
certain that they too found the ideal locale.

Theirs is the whole of all things, unknown to the rest,
slow beats of a relentless life machine inside,
guilty as charged of willed and complete isolation.

Be there one, be there many, the wise need no sleep;
their luxury lies in a misunderstood ability to be lonesome.

They have the unfathomed power of all that is,
the giants of the forest, the dwarves of creation,
sad, for abandoned by armies of jealous others.

Power of the tear

She walked in the middle of my life
with a suitcase full of hers;

I barely noticed
when she moved my things around;

and a drip in the bathroom,
drop in the kitchen,
flood into our lives.

So she walked out in the middle of my night
with her suitcase and one of mine.

 

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John D. Robinson Debuts

TELLING THE TRUTH

A friday night and
I can remember it was
summer and a group
of 7 or 8 of us 16
and 17 year olds
were going into town
to get drunk and leer
at the girls;
as Bernard stepped
outside to join us
his mother appeared
in the doorway and
said
“Where are you going
boy?”
“Into town to get
smashed with my
friends” her son
answered;
“Don’t you lie to me
now, tell me, where
are you going?” she
asked again;
“Into town to get drunk”
Bernard repeated “with
my friends”
“Now boy” she said
sternly “don’t fool me
around, tell me where
you’re going or I’ll
call for your father!”
“Okay ma” Bernard said,
“I’m going to the park
to sniff some glue and
then I’m going to
hang around outside
the women’s toilets”
“Well, why didn’t you
Tell me that in the first
place and make sure
you’re
quiet when you get
back” she said
slamming the door
closed.

John D Robinson was born in 63 in the UK; his poems have appeared widely in the small press and online literary journals; Bareback Lit; Red Fez; Dead Snakes; Chicago Record; The Kitchen Poet; Yellow Mama; Zombie Logic Review; Mad Swirl; Your One Phone Call; He is married with 1 daughter, 2 grandchildren, 3 cats, 1 dog and likes to drink wine whilst listening to classical music.

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Bradford Middleton

A CHRISTMAS STOCKING FILLER TO REMEMBER

It was a simple update on a social media site suggesting that, after years of trying, he was, at last, finally, making his escape back to the big bad smoke of London, the newly-announced international city, from whence he had came some ten years earlier.  He was through with this ‘no-good town’ and the torrent of old friends welcoming him back ‘home’ on the other side of the argument came silence.  And that is how it remained on their collective part anyway until finally Jack just gave up on explaining what he’d really intended.  He had planned to tell all of them, well the bar-staff would miss him, that woman who always seemed to serve him in the supermarket and the old grunger girl who worked in the 24 hour place which was always ripe for a late-night booze raid.  Then again none of them were going to cry over his leaving and with the way people had treated him generally in this adopted home it would take some time to acclimatise to the pace of London life.  He always chuckled whenever cars would allow you to cross in front of them in Brighton, in London he imagined them speeding up when they saw some fresh road-kill available but somehow it was this city he dreamed of returning too.

The simple problem came when he began looking at places to live.  He couldn’t afford anywhere it seemed; in his time away it appeared that rents had not only doubled but trebled and in some cases quadrupled and had, as someone on the bottom rung of the housing ladder, priced Jack out of his simple request to go home, just like Judy Garland.
‘There’s no place like home’ his mind played over as he poured through thousands of rooms, studios, flats, garages for a laugh, and he suddenly realised that his only option was to buy a car and buy a parking space.  Then he realised what a ridiculous idea that was and he had to announce that his last comment was not a statement of fact, it was merely a dream he had to one day return to his hometown.  He would have to stay here, dreaming of London, dreading every shift at the only shit job he could get in this town and living like a derelict in a ramshackle rooming house direct on the seafront.   It was a lose-lose situation; he wanted out but couldn’t afford it and all the time he stayed the determination to just get out grew and grew until one day it became clear that he would lose his mind once and for all if he didn’t simply make that escape.  The next day though everything was to change for Jack, everything was suddenly better when a simple email dropped in his inbox.  Susan had left Brighton some eighteen months before and Jack had missed her terribly but now she was writing to say that she was considering coming back.  Could it be real?  Could Jack’s dream of finally finding someone be on the verge of reality, he damn well hoped so.  He hurriedly replied, telling her all the things she wanted to hear.

She had read that he was contemplating leaving and stated that it wouldn’t be the same without him if she did indeed come back and he knew.  He knew this time, she’d got him good, and there was no way he could even think of leaving, not now, not even if there was the slightest possibility of her returning.    She had raved about how much she’d missed him, their nights of crazy drinking and the antics they enjoyed but then came silence.  It was that long stony now familiar silence that often came immediately after Jack had put his heart on the line and the black cloud returned and slowly plans were being hatched about a plan B, a new place to escape too, a place very far away from here.  He poured through a veritable odyssey of websites, getting information and making plans and slowly a plausible plan was in place but was it really a life he could live.  It was something that needed a lot of contemplation, a lot of thought, a mountain of information to ponder.  He slumped on his sofa, set some music up to help him in to a good place in his mind and proceeded to smoke a joint of not inconsiderable strength to help stimulate any unusual insights.  His mind raced; what would happen if he did leave?  Would he be giving up on the idea of ever finding love or was staying here stealing him of a life that could make him happier; it was this duality upon which the argument swung and he knew it was this that needed answering.   He needed to work out what was more realistic; happiness in a new life, far from here and forever alone, or with a woman who could love him without inflicting the usual round of heartbreak, insanity and loneliness that had come after every other woman he’d loved.  It was a tough call and it took some time but the romantic won out and a few weeks later, and just in time for Christmas, his dream came true with her return.  She looked even more beautiful, with her now blonde hair tight in a ball on the top of her head, a flowing dress that showed off her curves in all the right places and, most tempting of all for Jack a pair of fishnet stocking clad legs, that hinted at a night of wild passion.  That first night he held her tight knowing he never wanted to let go, not in this lifetime.

 

BIOGRAPHY
Bradford Middleton was born in south-east London in the summer of 1971 and this is his second appearance at the Cavalcade of Stars.  When he’s not writing stories about Christmas he writes poetry and fiction on a lot of other subjects.  His debut novel ‘Dive’ was published last year by New Pulp Press and his debut poetry chapbook ‘Drink Drank Drunk’ came though Crisis Chronicles Press and will shortly be followed by a new one entitled ‘A Life Like This Ain’t For The Faint-Hearted’ through Holy & Intoxicated.  If you wish to stalk him on Twitter try @beatnikbraduk

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The Moment

The Moment

By Laura Zucca-Scott

The truce finally came

“Now this is the moment:

Good or Bad, I don’t know”

Watching the sunset

Embraced by a faint rainbow

Not far from our temporary home

We waited in silence for a while

Mom looked in the distance

I remember when

Dad refused to cut the apricot tree

“Give it more time,” he said

“Just give it more time.”

And one summer day

After he was long gone

We marveled at the fruits

So abundant and delicate

Under the new rain

We waited for a long time

It was never good again

Not the way we envisioned

Missing someone so much

Never feeling whole

But in time we learned to love again

And hope for a future

Robbed

By war

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Sayantan Dasgupta Debuts

SUSCEPTIBLE LOVE

Halfway across a sea where the waves desire to touch the intangible sky,

My love awakes with those valiant upsurges.

Early in a winter’s morning when the parched branches buried deep into the snow,

My love awaits with the upcoming spring.

My enshrined love would leap from the soil and vanish into the air of adherence.

It would infiltrate through hollowness till it reaches your consecrated heart.

My love flies on the wings of a butterfly and turns into nectar within a flower.

It would embrace the scarlet sky and free the wind with its aromatic invasion.

Miles into a desert where an incapacitated flower wearied by the impetuous wind,

My love approaches with the faraway clouds.

Deep into a forest where a slender river lost its way through the shrubs,

My love pleads with the roar of an ocean.

My resonating love would impart from the Sun and diminish with a liquescent candle.

It would spread the horizon, until the stupendous sky falls down and submerges into you.

My susceptible love would travel through the ruins of empires and infiniteness of the space.

It would gather all the souvenirs of time and turn the galaxy into your dwelling place.

Bio
Sayantan Dasgupta is a 23 year old boy from Kolkata, West Bengal, India. He holds a Bachelors degree in English Literature from the University of Calcutta. He persuaded his Masters degree in Linguistics from the same university. His poem was previously published in The Commonline Journal. He writes poems, essays and short stories in both his mothertounge Bengali and English.

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Bobbie Troy

Flower Child Again

By Bobbie Troy

the lines
around my eyes
have become furrows
big enough to plant
vegetables or flowers
I choose flowers
so I can peek at them daily
and remember the sixties
when I was a flower child

Discovery (in the Sixties)
By Bobbie Troy

we thought we were
discovering ourselves
in our college years
when we drank red rose tea
and cheap chianti
smoked plenty of pot
provoked our professors
marched against the vietnam war
made love, love, love
‘til we dropped
read ginsberg and plath
levertov and patch
listened to dylan and baez
collins, hendrix, and joplin
and popped pills to keep in the groove

but what we discovered
was really an illusion
that could not be sustained
when we “grew up”
and mommy and daddy
weren’t payin’ the bills any more

If Sex Is on the Menu
By Bobbie Troy

if sex is on the menu
let’s have it for dessert
we’ll have a nice long dinner
and relearn how to flirt

we are not too old
to want
but mature enough
to wait

so if sex is on the menu
let’s have it for dessert

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A.J. Huffman Returns

I Am Crystal

ball.  Clear orb
of glass.  See into me.
See through me.  I am not
what you think.  I am smoke,
mirrored parlor trick, but still
the future you seek.


Treasured Island

Trapped inside lagoon,
green vs. blue,
but the wind wins,
raises the point
of imperfection, until color
becomes suitable
enough to counter current’s flow.
My Mother Covered My Bed

with junk food.  Bags of chips,
nachos, pretzels, candy and cookies—
all leftovers from the Easter baskets.
She said the top of the stove—
their previous home—was getting too hot,
and she didn’t want to continue
to leave them up there.  Despite the fact
there were multiple rooms to choose from,
mine seemed the most logical place.
I watched them lying
against my unmade comforter and shook
my head in frustrated disgust.
Of course it had to be my room, I was
the one currently on a diet.

 

Bio
A.J. Huffman has published twelve solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses.  Her new poetry collections, Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press), A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing), Butchery of the Innocent (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink) and A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press) are now available from their respective publishers and amazon.com.  She is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2400 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.  www.kindofahurricanepress.com.

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