-Dr Butler by Terry Chipp
-Celebrity by Marcel Herms
Celebrity Dr. Butler
1979: sleazy outcasts
hidden by red shift
suited and booted
:: day of the dead ::
so it was yet no one did anything
drew on experience
for no one
they are dead
as deaf as a dodo
deaf as the man upstairs
dead as the designer now
the virus got them
they came with moustaches
all curly waxed
but it still got them
the day of the dead
Decline of a celebrity president
The unscalable wall should have been a clue
that you felt your celebrity slipping
like the makeup staining your collar orange
or your hair with its dendritic reveal of scalp,
pale as a baby’s cheek.
Barricaded in the mansion you once described
as a dump, you hunker down with letters
from Vlad, reminiscing about better days
when you rolled a tank onto the White
House lawn and lit the sky with war planes,
show of strength from the American strong
man. Far cry from the Covid king who wheezed
up stairs to the balcony to tear off his mask
in defiance of weakness and precarious
Mar a Lago is a distant dream in your self-made
prison. Chants from protesting masses no
longer inspire the desire to clear streets
with military might for a theocratic photo op
Honestly, nothing is fun like it used to be,
the mirrors now draped so you don’t see
your skull emerging from its chrysalis
or the faces of the hundreds of thousands
now dead — ‘Not my fault!’ — you shout
to no one but the Secret Service. ‘Chai-nah’.
Days of power coming to an end,
you console yourself with a call to Erdogan
but he’s busy plundering Syria’s oil.
Perhaps you should have foiled that ugly
business with Khashoggi, but MBS had you
and Jared by the short hairs. Outcast.
Maybe if you’d gotten a dog, suburban women
would love you more.
You reach across your bed to fondle the worn
Copy of Der Führer’s speeches — not that you
read — but it comforts you. Being anointed
by God yourself, you can relate. Make America
great! Fake news! Enemy of the people! Lock
her up! It was a good run. Would have lasted
longer, but OBAMA! Your crowd size was bigger.
A little snort of Adderall; maybe call Ivanka,
soothe yourself with Dr. Butler’s Hatstand
Medicine Band. If Sleepy Joe wins
you can always flog hydroxychloroquine. Yo
Semite, that peace prize should have been yours.
-Gayle J Greenlea
He preens in preparation
For the next adoring patient
That will book and scrape
At his little polished feet
His moustache waxed in exact points
Pudgy flesh over stubby joints
He sees it a necessity
Definitely not a vanity
To have the latest silken cravat
Hiding from the public his newfangled
Words set to confuse the people of the day
As he sticks out his chin indignantly
And waits for you to pay
Morning stirs to the heat of melancholy sunrise
and a night spent in jeans,
the buzz of perdition rose through the static
on a dying TV.
Ghosts just out of view
remind us that
death is a cruel finality
or a sweet sympathy –
we choose the latter
and fit into a fated end.
Yes, well, I never liked your hands,
too soft, too plump,
fingers knotting and unknotting
like some pale creature
down in the deep water
half-seen in the half-light,
glimmering, restless, hungering.
shy spring flower
behind his giant
The little forked
tastes the air.
Pebble glassed eyes
brown infinity pools.
It appears that this time
all is well. Until the
next testing, adieu.
But I have to win
You only the once.
-© Dai Fry 6th November 2020
Mirror mirror in my hand,
said Dalí, pudgy paint-stained hands
unaccustomed to four-in-hand.
But how did he look in his hand
mirror unclothed by skin, out of hand
as he aged with trembling hand?
Persistence of memory, talk to the hand.
When the only thing that gives you pleasure
is to see yourself reflected in adoring eyes
then day and night the ticking of the seconds
are nothing but the punctuated syncopated
over-inflated dance steps of your cat walk life.
You admit of no bones beneath this flesh
no blood to stain and when you hear
the whining of the bombs you smile
and dip inside the portal of your parallel world
and pour yourself another drink.
There are people in this world and there is plastic
and some with glitter in their teeth that blend the two
inextricably mixed, never shaken, never stirred.
“Dr Butler’s Day”
It’s a long day being an expert host conductor surgeon scientist researcher butler actor maestro lawyer defendant life saver deceiver guest performer judge server father groom tattoo owner spectre time traveller waxwork hologram
He considers his mirror image, alone, for a moment
He’s the best, he’s the best, he’s the best
He straightens his tie
With military precision
I was the first official celebrity in US history
You stay here and look what they did to me
I wanted to work I wanted to act
So they killed me in a car crash
So they brought me back to life
So they could make a fortune
So they surely made more than me
I took my own life at fifty-two
Not sure if it all had to do with my job
Maybe I would’ve done it regardless
So someone could make a fortune
From my personal things my very me
You stay here and look. What can you see?
The doctor dismissed all she said.
Ignored the scales crusted on her skin,
the magnetic pull of her blood
and the saltwater that drip,
drip, dripped from her fingertips.
It pooled under her chair
while he talked of medication,
post-traumatic stress and counselling.
His voice became the sea’s fading echo;
the shell in his throat the calm.
Nothing so elegant
as coarse bread, toasted
slathered in butter and guava,
some artifacts reveal themselves
polishing their way out of sediment.
When he was through
a wave and a blown kiss,
a last check in dresser mirror,
mustache and eyebrows snatched
to perfection, one last look and a smile,
shutting the door so gently,
“till next week”
no other bull could sniff flowers
so daintily, three crisp twenties
in the nightstand drawer,
the lingering musk
of his presence.
The donation cup of cutting
is full, a heavier weight than word
or the gauze and tape of binding
all that was necessary to conceal
reveals itself as filigree
and tracery of blood,
once the gingerbread
of despair, now the signifier
of survival, after three
stomach pumps in one year
my oral fixation became uncontrollable,
the only thing better
was poppers and the laying on
of hands, like rising
from the river
made new again.
Bios and Links
grew up in Thurnscoe and is now living in Doncaster via Wath Grammar school, Doncaster Art College, Bede College in Durham and 30 years teaching.
He sold his first painting at the Goldthorpe Welfare Hall annual exhibition at the age of 17 and he haven’t stopped painting since.
He escaped the classroom 20 years ago to devote more time to his artwork. Since then he has set up his own studio in Doncaster, exhibited across the north of England as a member of the Leeds Fine Artists group and had his painting demonstrations featured on the SAA’s Painting and drawing TV channel. Further afield he has accepted invitations to work with international artists’ groups in Spain, Macedonia, Montenegro and USA where his paintings are held in public and private collections. In 2018 he had a solo exhibition in Warsaw, Poland and a joint exhibition in Germany.
His pictures cover a wide range of styles and subjects from abstract to photo-realism though he frequently returns to his main loves of landscape and people.
Visitors are welcome at his studio in the old Art College on Church View, Doncaster.
Facebook: Terry Chipp Fine Art Painting
is a Dutch visual artist. He is also one of the two men behind the publishing house Petrichor. Freedom is very important in the visual work of Marcel Herms. In his paintings he can express who he really is in complete freedom. Without the social barriers of everyday life.
There is a strong relationship with music. Like music, Herms’ art is about autonomy, freedom, passion, color and rhythm. You can hear the rhythm of the colors, the rhythm of the brushstrokes, the raging cry of the pencil, the subtle melody of a collage. The figures in his paintings rotate around you in shock, they are heavily abstracted, making it unclear what they are doing. Sometimes they look like people, monsters, children or animals, or something in between. Sometimes they disappear to be replaced immediately or to take on a different guise. The paintings invite the viewer to join this journey. Free-spirited.
He collaborates with many different authors, poets, visual artists and audio artists from around the world and his work is published by many different publishers.
writes novels, short stories and lots of poems. Among her publications is her first chapbook of poetry, thicker than water. She is also a regular contributor to Visual Verse and the Ekphrastic Review. You can find her on twitter @MJDougherty33 and on her blog https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/
is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast. Former cook. Has had poems in Cypress Press, Feral Poetry, IceFloe Press, Petrichor. Can be found on Twitter@Peach Delphine
is a poet living on the south coast of England. Originally from Swansea. Wales was and still is a huge influence on everything. My pen is my brush. Twitter:
Susan Darlington’s poetry regularly explores the female experience through nature-based symbolism and stories of transformation. It has been published in Fragmented Voices, Algebra Of Owls, Dreams Walking, and Anti-Heroin Chic among others. Her debut collection, ‘Under The Devil’s Moon’, was published by Penniless Press Publications (2015). Follow her @S_sanDarlington
lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her two large, frightening lapdogs. A PhD in French language and literature, she has retired from teaching French to university students, as well as from fierce competition in martial arts and distance running. She has produced the chapbooks Backwards Through the Rekroy Wen, Scapes, and Postcard Poetry 2020. When she isn’t hard at work writing poems in English, she might be found reading them in French to her long-suffering grandchildren, who don’t yet speak French.
-Gayle J. Greenlea
is an award-winning poet and counselor for survivors of sexual and gender-related violence. Her poem, “Wonderland”, received the Australian Poetry Prod Award in 2011. She shortlisted and longlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize in 2013, and debuted her first novel Zero Gravity at the KGB Literary Bar in Manhattan in 2016. Her work has been published in St. Julian Press, Rebelle Society, A Time to Speak, Astronomy Magazine, Headline Poetry and Press and The Australian Health Review.
lives in the North East of Scotland. Her first poetry collection ‘ Tree standing small’ was published in 2018 with Clochoderick Press. Her work has appeared in journals and magazines in print and online and she is working towards a second collection.
Like someone who tries out hats or other samples before making a final decision, experimenting with different ideas and techniques is how Lydia spends some of her time. This allows for other portions of time to speak through the lens of fiction, creative nonfiction and art. You can find her work at Cargo Collective , Lydia Wist Creative and on Twitter @Lydiawist.
lives in the wild, wet, south-west of England, surrounded by mud and apple trees. She writes poems to make sense of the world, and would rather weed than wash up.
-sonja benskin mesher
holds a bachelor in English Literature and Creative Writing and is a secondary school teacher of English and Creative Writing. Liam is currently writing his first, professional collection of poetry entitled Borders that explores poetry from all around the world. Liam also Co-Hosts a movie discussion podcast entitled: The Pick and Mix Podcast. Liam writes under the pseudonym ‘Michael The Poet’
Links: WordPress: https://michael-the-poet.com/
Instagram: Michael The Poet
is 54, married and a mother of two, who has been writing and telling stories since childhood. Over the last decade she has utilised writing not just as entertainment, but as a means to improve personal communication skills. That process unexpectedly uncovered increasingly difficult and unpleasant feelings, many forgotten for decades. Diagnosed as a historic trauma survivor in May 2019, Mental health issues had previously hindered the entirety of her adult life: the shift into writing as expression and part of a larger journey into self-awareness began to slowly unwind for her from the past, providing inspiration and focus for a late career change as a multidisciplined artist.
is a Northern Irish poet from Belfast. She has two poetry pamphlets, and a full collection, from Hedgehog Poetry Press, they are Circling the Sun, Memory Forest and Venus in pink marble (2018, 2019 and Summer 2020 respectively). She is co-author, along with Karen Mooney, of Penned In a poetry pamphlet written in response to the pandemic and due for release 30th November 2020. Follow her on Twitter @gaynorkane or read more at www.gaynorkane.com.