Poetry Drawer: Granite by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

I had a friend who was a chunk of granite
from the Granite State
She was grey and speckled
and very heavy
She was deceptively strong

I loaded her into my trunk
with some of her brothers and sisters
and cousins
I was going to plant them in my garden
I thought it would make my garden unique
I lived many states away from the
Granite State
I didn’t know if and when I would ever get back there
so I loaded my trunk up

As I was leaving the quarry
my rear axle broke
I was wondering if something like that
might happen
I’d put my trust in God
but God was not worthy of my trust

It was an old car
It was an old God
This God had a lot of staying power
He was the foundation stone
for a world of stupidity
Obviously, my car didn’t have staying power
It was what used to be called a “jalopy”
It didn’t have any value
The Kelly Blue Book said it was worth 99 cents
the same value as the
autobiography I’d placed on Amazon.com

I abandoned my car at the quarry
Luckily I hadn’t filled the tank for my return trip
It maybe had 99 cents worth of gas in it

I abandoned my life at the quarry too
Altogether I was out three dollars
not enough to worry about

I took a worn sweater out of the back seat
and headed down the dirt road
which led away from
the quarry

Inky Interview: Author Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois from Denver, Colorado

Flash In The Pantry: Serotonin Reuptake by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Mandela Warp: A Moment in History by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Cooking Shows by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Still Wet by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Loch by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Photogenic by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Microwave by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

National Poetry Day Special: Bleak Row, The Nightwatchmen, Photographs, Me and Mrs Fisher by Laura Potts

Laura Potts is twenty-two years old and lives in West Yorkshire. Twice-recipient of the Foyle Young Poets Award and Lieder Poet at The University of Leeds, her work has appeared in Agenda, Prole and Poetry Salzburg Review. Having worked at The Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Swansea, Laura was last year listed in The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Prize and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She also became one of The Poetry Business’ New Poets and a BBC New Voice for 2017. Laura’s first BBC radio drama aired at Christmas, and she received a commendation from The Poetry Society in 2018.

Bleak Row

After the first, my star still north and rising,
they patched his purse of blood-burst skin,
my sleeping bud and starless. I remember him:
in all that dusk and darkness, my bygone boy
would never begin with spring-eternal grin
and years. In infant rain I brought him here.

Near to the starshook brooks, to the water’s call,
to the hill worn warm by the greening flocks
and the fox which chases night from the hills.
Remember, still, how I holy held and fell
like a last-prayer priest to my knees? These
in the sleeping snow, these in the damply death-

throe glow of Madonna’s weeping eye: these
are the lives in the seeds which cry to the gaping
mouth of night. Yes. These are all mine. I
and my yesterday’s children who never came by
and stamped their sparks on the pavement bright.
Theirs was the sleep when my eye-fire died,

when horizons never would rise in their stride
and my homehope lost in the land and gone.
Through gasping fog and winter on, I do not let
the sterile beds that hold their heads begin
to bow and hunchback-bend when village boys
and friends and all the wheeling, laughing ends

of summer spring that sleeping wall. Tonight,
cruciform, I lay another quiet life I never knew at all.

The Nightwatchmen

Forever as the shepherd’s hook pulled up the dusk and ever-dark,
when far-off foxes coughed the frost and laughed that more must be,
beneath the dropping eyes of stars that fought that winter to the last
was always you and me. The storm departed from the sea; the war from we

whenever through the cold-bone blue of mist came you, chin uplifted on
the winds in wedding lanes we never knew. Until in this the airfield age,
with planes that screamed the world awake, we felt again the fist of truth:
sleeping in that infant rain stood one more crooked tooth. These the graves

that ever grew to guard the isle at night, the bones beneath them ballroom-bright
that fight the thunder and the tide, and bend and beg surrender to decline
their ebbing heads. And with the herrings overhead, remember this instead:
that somewhere as the embers fled, a minister took to his bed and only ever dreamt

the dead. Oh never will the waiting world forget the winters, blue-of-birth, that
never wake the sleepers here: ever in their slumbers at the first snow of the year.

Photographs

Their eyes I remember globes glass
in a camera, their past like an estuary light
in the dark. Sparks from the stars
are chiming here, chandeliers
from streetlamps in the park
mapping their own boulevard,
the night hours long and in love,
their life in their arms. Nightjars
on the lid of the pool, still bright:
the ghosts of a past
where there is always a light.

Away from then they are thirty years,
motherwit a candle in her eyes. Here
for the sleeper with his old wise light
the sun kicks spangles, coins bright
as the yesterday full in his smile.
The past, meanwhile,
a lukewarm light on their lips
at the edge of their sleep, something lit
by a childhood ballroom. I remember the moon,
a candlesworth of film hung on its spool,
when we sat in that park, the garden asleep,

the stars that fizzed in the deep hot dark
still holding their breath for you.

Me and Mrs Fisher

The world lit its lights
and hung pearls in our eyes
like trembling moons
under darkling stars.

The night
saw the city asleep
and aslope
as the land fell away to the left and the right,
the sight of the globes in your eyes
nightjars in pale pools of light.

I remember you
walking the walls
the moon in your stride
the dizzy tomorrows
full in your smile,

a starlight for two,
the glowing darkness
and you,
all the days of my life.

After that,
the hills candled bright.

Fifty years away
and we are still in this place,
where a distant future, beautiful,
chimes.

The Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network

Poetry Drawer: Merrie City by Laura Potts

Poetry Drawer: Love in the Time of Cold by Laura Potts

Poetry Drawer: Microwave by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

I once had a friend who was a microwave oven
She heated up quickly but had a cold heart
Nothing lasted with her. She never felt anything

I went to high school with her
We kept in touch over the years
She made bad decisions at critical moments
She sabotaged herself
It had something to do with being the child of alcoholics

She married a man
because she believed that as he aged
he would grow more and more to resemble his father
whom she greatly admired

But, as he aged, he became the antithesis of his father
It made her bitter
Her glass door became greasy
You couldn’t see what was in her

Whatever seeds of goodness her husband might have had
dried up
He didn’t water them
He watered his badness
He grew cruel
He verbally abused their children
I wanted to punch him
He always called me’Sir’-as if he were still in the Military

My friend was a microwave
As she aged, the hinges on her door weakened
and she began to release dangerous radiation
It dribbled out on the sides
like gravy dribbling out the sides of a sandwich

Her children-their children-grew to hate their father
They warped, similar to the way their father was warped
but there was still hope for them

I talked to her on the phone
I was thinking about all the appliances that I’ve owned
and that have broken down
and I’ve thrown away

I once had a friend who was a microwave oven
At night, I would imagine myself spinning on her carousel
and would get excited
and couldn’t sleep
I would get up and take a shot of Irish whiskey
but that only aggravated my insomnia

I had a friend who was a vacuum cleaner
I had a friend who was a dishwasher
I had a friend who was a ceiling fan

My wife tells me that all my friends are marginal
which is the way she tells me
how marginal I am

I would be even more marginal if I didn’t live with her
I would be a jumble of broken parts
that don’t add up
to make any one machine

Inky Interview: Author Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois from Denver, Colorado

Flash In The Pantry: Serotonin Reuptake by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Mandela Warp: A Moment in History by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Cooking Shows by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Still Wet by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Loch by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Photogenic by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: An Idea Of Summer by Kevin Casey

The naked light bulb
hanging in the chicken coop
just beyond the reach

of their beaks–their sole
source of winter heat,
and a strained, brittle light

the small flock will ponder
throughout these bitter months,
like an idea of summer.

Inky Interview Special: Kevin Casey

Poetry Drawer: Quotidian by Kevin Casey

Poetry Drawer: Dinner at the Kitchen Island by Kevin Casey

Poetry Drawer: Allowance by Kevin Casey

Poetry Drawer: Merrie City by Laura Potts

Here in the home of smoke and smog, my hometown grey,
heirloom of mines, the steam and the fog, where evening plays
on the moorland spine to colliers’ paces
and the northern wind that weathered their faces

still gnarls in the teeth of the two a.m. frost;
here where tomorrow is always lost
in the death of the streetlamps hung in their hats,
their spluttering, fizzling, last-rite laughs

like the dark psalms stammered in the vestry’s dusk;
here where communion no longer tolls, where cathedral musk
is a godless ghost beneath ten dead bells,
and the cold throat belfry is an old-shack-shell

for the alleyway hobo in his passing breath,
and his cat which brims on the edge of death;
here where the fieldlamp’s first candled flame
is its last, and the quarry’s trace, a stain

over skin, casts the shadow of a grieving face,
(the memento mori of this town), this dead grey place
where the factory black is the cradle we sing to,
the sack where we sleep is the home that we cling to,

only here come here to the city’s dark heart,
only here come here to the tubes in its arms,
the industrial crack, these towers of ash,
where we think of the poverty coffins we’ll have.

Poetry Drawer: Love in the Time of Cold by Laura Potts

The Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network

Poetry Drawer: Allowance by Kevin Casey

Grow what your garden will allow, my mémère
used to say, but another summer’s gone
and the chartreuse faces of tomatoes,

plump and unripe, line the kitchen windowsill,
frowning outside at the season’s first frost
like sulking children kept in from the cold.

August found the corn grown to half the size
of a chiding finger before the raccoons
came again for their yearly moonlight feast,

threading their way through naked stakes
to leave stalks splayed across the rows like the spokes
of a broken wheel revealed once the sun rose.

Soil sweetened, hoop houses and fences built,
I’ve grow weary of arguing with this plot,
of sowing far more than I’ve harvested.

And as I stand among the weeds grasping
scant handfuls of leeks and bitter greens,
I see her–Grow what your garden will allow–

the bottom corners of her plain-sewn apron
raised to hold more than her portion of what
the long decades were willing to provide.

Inky Interview Special: Kevin Casey

Poetry Drawer: Quotidian by Kevin Casey

Poetry Drawer: Dinner at the Kitchen Island by Kevin Casey

Poetry Drawer: Jagged Little World by Fabrice Poussin

Aloneness explores expanses of red silence
Taking a deep chance with every ventured step
Attacked by the threatening stillness of the rocks.

In the long coat of the forgotten cattle rancher
The apparition seeks an encounter with brethren
Gazing at the crest of a menacing granite sword.

He tastes the wind engulfing the numbed soul
Feet gliding on the sides of decaying mountains
Sole conqueror of land forgotten by adventure.

There is no need to see eyes shut to the common scene
Every atom penetrates through every pore
Giving life anew to the man as he crosses the bright realm.

His pockets are empty of any sustenance for
His entrails smile with the energy of the creation
On the deathly edges as on a tightrope he floats.

Slim upon the infinite abyss, the wanderer screams
With delight as he is captured by the storm of ages
He understands the amazing grace of his past sufferings.

Poetry Drawer: Holding Time In Their Arms by Fabrice Poussin

Poetry Drawer: Photogenic by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

1.
Your face swirls
around the bright blue madness of your eyes

Your bottled-up rage explodes
and we are flung
as in an action movie

and land in the basket of a new rollercoaster
one that doesn’t rely on gravity
or other laws of physics

2.
Neurons fire and misfire
love and hate coexist
Your indifference
rolls in like a tide

and makes me feel like my heart
has been plucked out and
set in a gondola

The gondolier picks it up and
bounces it on the end of his paddle
He yodels like a cowboy

3.
You step off a vaporetto
onto a Venice dock
to meet me

but St. Mark’s Square is flooded again
I cannot leave the opera hall
The singers, feeling antsy
decide to repeat their performance
for free
for everyone trapped with them

They are terrible singers
They mutilate the score

Your blue eyes drift
over the water in St. Mark’s Square
You are as photogenic as the Hell
described by Dante
Your neurons are as striated
as the walls of the Grand Canyon

I feel hopeless
living with you
I feel damaged
without you
I feel deranged
in either case

Inky Interview: Author Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois from Denver, Colorado

Flash In The Pantry: Serotonin Reuptake by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Mandela Warp: A Moment in History by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Cooking Shows by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Still Wet by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Loch by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Gold Heaven by Hongri Yuan: Translated by Yuanbing Zhang

The golden sidestep of the days, ah!
arranged golden ladders years.
A mirror
let me see
countless smiles of time.
The long corridors of gold
leading to countless crystal space-times.
On golden gates
carved with the rounds of
golden sun.
I walked into the rounds of
the mirror of the sun
and saw the palaces of gold.
The big birds of gold feathers, ah!
singing the prehistoric stories to me.
I’m the giant in the sun, ah!
I am the golden sun.
Countless centuries ago
I flew in the crystal universe.
To date the magnificent gold palaces
still waiting for me in the sun
To date the golden sun
Singing in the universe.

I am the king of the sun, ah!
The dragon and phoenix are my mounts.
The wheel of the golden sun
It’s all my hometown.

The countless golden suns
Laughing at me in the universe.
The huge dragons and phoenixes
Flying in the crystal space.

The golden rivers, ah!
Flying down from the sky
and turned into
the new golden seas of time.

I saw the huge castles, ah!
Standing above the ocean.
In the sky with red clouds wafting
sparkled the colourful lights.

The cities of crystal, ah!
like the lofty mountains in the sky.
The aerial gardens, ah!
like the colourful clouds floating in the sky.

I was riding on a golden dragon, ah!
flew to the golden space,
turned into the golden lights, ah!
and flew into the wheels of the sun.

The golden flames of the sun
like a huge and beautiful wreath.
The sacred temples
Smilling and opening to me.

I saw the giants, ah!
Lived happily in the sun.
Their sweet smiles, ah!
like a beautiful garden.

Their great art, ah!
sparkled the divine joy.
The magnificent palaces of gold, ah!
Were exactly their masterpiece.

The flowers of the jewels and gold, ah!
Were in full bloom in the gardens of the sun.
The pavilions and towers of crystal, ah!
Sparkled the strange light.

The lines of words of jewels
enchased in the walls of gold.
The huge statues
smiling to you gladly.

The massive painting that engraved by gold
hung in the centre of the main hall.
Inlaid with gems
like the cities of gold.

The huge dragon and phoenix
singing joyfully in the sky,
like the pieces of mysterious movement
made me forget the time suddenly.

Every giant sun
was the kingdoms of gold.
The countless holy giants
lived their miraculous lives.

They had neither night
nor years of the world.
Ten million years of mankind
seemed to be their one day.

They had no worry
sparkling the light all over their bodies,
like the rounds of sun
smiled gladly all the time.

Their divine wisdom
could change the universe
Let every star in the sky
to turn into the beautiful home.

Countless hundreds of millions of years ago
they created humans.
Even the little earth
was also their works.

With their own spirits
they created the universes.
The countless shining stars
like their words.

In that distant space
they were engaged in creation.
The whole change of mankind
has already existed in their eyes.

They were the ancestors of mankind
And were filled with affections to mankind,
and all the wisdom of mankind
had come from their transmission.

Many centuries ago
they have come to the world,
created the sacred civilizations
and the cities of gold.

Their offspring from generation to generation
lived and reproduced on the earth,
experienced numerous changes
To have humans today.

Those ancient civilizations
are still shining in space.
All the past time
are all in another space.

The prehistoric civilization of mankind
will come fortunately again to the world,
As if the underground seeds
sprout and bloom on the ground.

The countless great arts
will be brilliant youth!
That miraculous science and civilizations
will illuminate the new history.

The old earth, ah!
And will be young again.
The flames of his heart, ah!
Will make himself transparent.

The countless sleeping time, ah!
Will wake up from the stone.
The bright and holy lights
will turn into the springs.

Those holy giants, ah!
Will go out of the sun,
with the wisdom of those lights
Illuminating the time-space of mankind.

The golden halls will appear
in the transparent oceans,
like the giant ships
towards the coast of mankind.

In the silent mountains
will ring out the joyful songs,
the fragrant rivers
will flow into the paradises of mankind.

I opened the doors, ah!
And saw the space-times,
the great civilizations, ah!
laughing before my eyes.

The countless eras of light
are coming up to us.
The cities of crystal
blooming in the new time-spaces.

The great flowers of civilization
blossoming in the seas of time-space.
The rounds of the golden sun
are also laughing and singing in space.

The countless cities of gold
blinking towards me in the sun,
spilt the gay singings
like the colourful flowers.

I saw that heaven and earth
filled with laughters everywhere,
that giant planets
also turned into human homes.

I opened one door after another
And flew into one sun after another.
The sacred golden civilization, ah!
like an endless long corridor of time.

Those giants of the sun, ah!
working on the sacred creation.
Let the gold of time
Turn into the countless paradises

Their holy spirits, ah!
Illuminated the space-times,
and created the magic sciences
and that holy arts.

I heard the rounds of the sun, ah!
Singing to me in space,
as if there were countless suns
sending out the golden lights.

I entered the universes
and opened the time-spaces
Every crystal space, ah!
There were also the rounds of the sun.

The stars of time, ah!
Shining in the space of crystal
turned into the bright lights
and agglomerated into the sea of the universe.

All the wisdom of the world
came from the deep space.
The seas of time, ah!
were pregnant with the countless suns.

All the future of mankind
were enshrined in the sun.
The future pictures of the mankind
Will shine the joyful lights.

Every wanderer of the world
are all the descendants of the sun,
The countless centuries ago, ah!
were all the golden giants.

Opening the picture books of the time, ah!
The mankind had been incomparable tall.
The Himalayas, ah!
Was just a little giant.

Before the birth of the earth
mankind have already existed.
The countless stars of the universe
had all been the human homes.

The changes of mankind, ah!
Created the different civilizations.
The another great space, ah!
determined the course of the world.

The future of mankind has been arranged
in the golden palace of the sun,
as if the huge pictures
were enshrined in the rolls of golden book.

The golden books of the sun
shone the words of gold,
the lines of mysterious words, ah!
Gestated the future civilization.

All kinds of issues of human creation, ah!
Came from the revelation of the sun
Only the holy spirit
could understand the words of the sun.

The giants of the sun, ah!
Were the master of the sun.
The rounds of the great suns
were the lights of their hearts.

They were the ancestors of mankind, ah!
They were the earliest human.
In the sun, ah!
Watching their descendants.

I heard their singings
calling me days and nights.
That sweet and moving singing, ah!
were the cups of beautiful wine.

I saw the lines of words, ah!
Shining in the palace of the sun
Their divine wisdom
gave me the limitless comforts.

In the layers of the heavens
they were concomitant with me.
Watching me on the earth
To create the new poems.

Their holy lights
shining in my eyes
Turned into the lines of words
and wrote the new poems.

Their divine wisdom
perpetuated in these poems.
The bright future of mankind
turned into the pictures

I opened the rolls of golden book, ah!
Were full of my name.
It’s above that sun, ah!
Have already had my volumes of poetry

I don’t know if it’s today
Write down these words
Or hundreds of millions of years ago
Had already written them.

I don’t know if I am today, ah!
Or in the distant future.
Maybe those golden books, ah!
were enshrined in the future golden hall.

The time of miraculous change, ah!
You incarnated into everything.
The mysterious and distant prehistory
is maybe the human future.

The leisurely change of the universe, ah!
Is maybe the phantom of the mirror
That bright mirror, ah!
is exactly the divine eternity.

Time and time, ah!
Is maybe just you and me
When we disappear
Everything will be vanished without a trace.

I saw the lines of words
shining in the palace of the sun,
incarnated into the golden lights
and flew into my chest.

I was infinitely joyful in my heart, ah!
And saw the picture scrolls.
The completely new paradises, ah!
Smilling on the ground of the world.

The transparent and flashing earth, ah!
Like a charming girl,
the colourful gardens, ah!
were her gorgeous dress.

The clear rivers, ah!
The green mountains of jadite.
The blue eyes of the sea, ah!
Shining the charming glow.

The sky was glittering and translucent as the gem.
The soft white clouds,
the cities of light
appeared the beautiful smiling face.

I opened the picture books of time
and saw the giants.
They were flying in the air, ah!
rode in a huge spaceship.

The shining planets, ah!
took their greetings to them with smiles.
In the vastness of space
they set up the homes

Their magical eyes, ah!
Twinkled with the surprising wisdom.
Each of them was the mountainous figure and athletic
revealed the extraordinary temperament.

Their quiet eyes
it seemed to have insight into the future.
Everyone was chivalrous, ah!
And filled with holy love.

I looked at the picture scrolls, ah!
As if I had fell asleep
also as if to return to the past
the time of hundreds of millions of years ago.

The golden discs of time, ah!
You spined the wonderful music.
All the future of mankind, ah!
Were stored worshipfully in your chest.

The new giants will appear
in the changing space leisurely.
Let the holy civilization, ah!
To bloom again in the space.

The gates of crystal
leading to different time-space.
Every space of light, ah!
has the rounds of the sun.

The sacred fires of the sun, ah!
Will turn into the gold of the time,
and build the palaces of civilization
in the future centuries.

The flowers of science and art, ah!
Will blossom in the gardens of the world.
The lights of the holy civilization
will be turned into a completely new sun.

The huge flowers of the universe
will be the human homes.
The stars of the time
will be turned into sweet wine

Inky Interview Exclusive: Chinese Poet and Eremite: Hongri Yuan

Poetry Drawer: Golden Giant by Hongri Yuan: Translated by Yuanbing Zhang

Poetry Drawer: Holding Time In Their Arms by Fabrice Poussin

It was but for a brief instant within their embrace
They brought time to a standstill
And created eternity within a twirling sphere.

Statues of remote eras almost forgotten
Precious stones of ancient lands gently sculpted
Blue veins pulsating at the rhythm of the universe.

The artist seeking perfection for the masterpiece
They hold each other flawlessly on a pedestal
In the changing mists atop Olympus.

curves espousing resting hearts upon their chests
they may be asleep within the deep glee of the moment
their souls smiling as the world continues it waltz.

Pressed onto the day of a private encounter
They recall a time when all things were one
Building in a fleeting memory an everlasting lifetime.