“After The Reception,” 1887, by Douglas Volk (1856-1935)
When she threw the bouquet, she silently cursed. She knew what she was losing— After the stillbirth, she reconstructed herself: bought new clothes, dyed her hair, ran up debts until she was pregnant again. She heard him shredding papers in a dark room. The baby cried. She walked past it. Seven months without a name; or maybe he named it and forgot to tell her. When she was cut open, the doctor left her fertile. He also left tumors. The malignancies imbued her with hyperreal sensitivities. Violets followed her everywhere; and smoke, and wet dirt. She nestled into the laundry hamper and closed the lid.
©2016 Clare L. Martin
In a bed of splendor,
tulips spark the air.
A green day
open your veins.
And just then,
a red-lipped girl
tiptoes to your
with a fistful
of stolen chains.
In her shimmering fever,
tell her to return them,
or be damned.
tears from ice.
a final burst,
a sea of mahogany.
buries the silver in your throat.
©2016 Clare L. Martin
Below is the text of my welcome note to readers of MockingHeart Review. This venture began three months ago. On January 1, the inaugural issue was released. It has been pure pleasure to work with the poets within, and I look forward to a promising future for this poetry magazine. Please spend some time with its pages. I think you will be happy that you did.
Direct link to the magazine is http://mockingheartreview.com Please bookmark it, or follow via the buttons on the site.
The 39 poets on these pages are part of an ever-widening circle of humans who seek meaning and convey their discoveries with the world. Not only do they do that, but they do it in such a way that excites the intellect and aesthetic senses. Above all, they stir the heart, that part of us that is more than muscle pumping blood, but in my ardent belief is the seat of knowledge.
In this issue, we have traversed the globe—we begin with a small drop of Louisiana poets, who welcome me in poetry-communion, and the word-current ripples to Turkey, New Zealand, Italy, and all across the USA. We have poets who are publishing for the very first time alongside poets who have well-established publishing histories. In each case, the poems on these pages touched me in some way that necessitated my inclusion of them in this first, grand issue. Future issues will not be as large (this one is a behemoth), but I trust that there is something for every reader in this Inaugural Issue.
My earnest hope for MockingHeart Review is that it will in some way strengthen relationships between poets and readers across the globe. I hope we, with our beloved readers, will find common humanity in the pages of this humble online magazine.
I feel very honored to have spent time with these poems and have a great feeling about the reception we will have.
Clare L. Martin
January 1, 2016
I took a long nap. I dreamed I had an invisible horse. No one could see the horse, not even me. I *believed* the horse was there. I had a trailer for it and a corral. I was readying my horse to transport it home. I was in a motel parking lot with the horse and the trailer. I had a three-wheeled bicycle that I was going to use to pull the trailer. It was night and I felt very vulnerable. I had everything hooked up and the invisible horse loaded in the trailer. I couldn’t ride the bike and pull the trailer on the highway. I woke up mouthing my deceased mother’s phone number, 981-0411, over and over.
Reflecting on how important it is when you are living and working as an artist to be honorable in your dealings. Really, in any field. Be honorable in your dealings and treat people with respect. I am humbled to be able to do for others what has been done for me.
Business of any kind is about relationships. My parents were in business for over 30 years and they knew that to build anything lasting you had to be honorable and be forthright in your exchanges with the public and in private.
If we are to survive in any community, in effort to build that community, you cannot go behind other people’s backs and perpetrate takeovers and such. Especially in the arts, we have to be on the same side and create healthy relationships. If there are weeds in the garden, they must be uprooted.
I am part of a group of trusted writers and newcomers who meet every other Saturday at various locations to write together. This past Saturday, I led the exercises. We take turns leading, so the responsibility of running the group is shared. I am posting here my writing exercises. I only ask that if you use them in a class, that you credit me. Please feel free to use them to spark your own writing. It would be interesting to see examples of your work generated by these prompts in the comments below.
- LANDThe land has stories. Consider our natural environment, or a particular place that you have ties to, and tell its story. Start by listing the ideas you have associated with this land, and any memories. Use the items on your list as a source of inspiration and write a poem examining why this occupies your mind. As you write, continue to hunt for clarity and more to say. Does the land change you? Do you feel a particular way when you think of it or visit it? Does this place still exist? Is it threatened? Do you feel calm or fear when thinking of it or visiting it?
Weave your impressions and ideas into a poem or short piece of fiction.
- Thirteen ways of looking at a _____________________________
After reading the poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” pick an object and write several stanzas numbered 1-13. Strive not to be literal but to see beyond the thing. Write the most imaginative narrative about the object you chose that you can conjure.
- Word Prompts
Circle 3 or more words that resonate with you from each group. Write sentences with each of those words. Push for clarity and interrogate the sentences to determine a narrative thread. Spend time shaping this into a poem of short piece of fiction.
We will repeat the process with another round using different words, or your own list.
©2015 Clare L. Martin
I have this one life. I am addressing areas that have been neglected and treating myself with love and care, whereas in the past I harmed myself. I have no apologies for reclaiming my energies to prevent myself from living in a wheelchair, suffering from joint disintegration, or dying from a heart attack. Of course, we don’t know how we will go, but I am revolutionizing my mind and body to squeeze every bit of life out of life.
I haven’t felt inclined to write poetry of late. That is okay with me. I feel that I will come to it when I am ready. What inspires me is other writers, other artists of many forms. I have a photo by Annie Pluto on my computer’s desktop that I am allowing to consciously and subconsciously resonate with me. I hope to write an ekphrastic poem inspired by it.
I am being very selective about what I will do in my Writing Life. I have set boundaries; and will respect my own authority to make decisions in regards to how I will proceed. Otherwise, I firmly believe, the work will not be authentic or any good, the goals for which I have always strived.
I have had to let go of things that at one time meant so much to me. My mother’s death changed me in ways that I view as positive, which I believe she would have wanted for me. My hope for the New Year is that I can continue the progress I started in late 2014, to better myself, in a holistic way.
My determination is strong. My hope is rising. My will is palpable; and I have the love and support of those dearest to me, thank God.
Thank you for reading.
Clare L. Martin