The Nzuri Journal: Two Poems

Two Poems

The Nzuri Journal is an online literary arts journal based in Orange County, California.

Nzuri (meaning beautiful/fine in Swahili) is purposed to promote artistic, creative and scholarly work consistent with the values and ideals of the Umoja community.

Issue 2, Volume 2 of the Nzuri Journal is out now and features a fresh and invigorating blend of poetry and prose from all parts of this globe, including Afterglow and Apposto, two new poems by J H Martin.

Issue 2, Volume 2 of the Nzuri Journal can be read and shared for free here.

 

Edge of Humanity Magazine: Spring Quartet II

Spring Quartet

II

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an online platform that features writing, photography and artwork that deals with all aspects of the human condition, as well as the pressing social issues of our times.

Constantly updated, Edge of Humanity Magazine showcases new work by artists, writers and photographers from all over the globe, including, Spring Quartet; a quartet of new poems by J H Martin, the second of which you can read for free here.

 

Edge of Humanity Magazine: Record

Record

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an online platform that features writing, photography and artwork that deals with all aspects of the human condition, as well as the pressing social issues of our times.

Constantly updated, Edge of Humanity Magazine showcases new work by artists, writers and photographers from all over the globe, including, Record, a new poem by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

Edge of Humanity Magazine: On the Bench

On the Bench

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an online platform that features writing, photography and artwork that deals with all aspects of the human condition, as well as the pressing social issues of our times.

Constantly updated, Edge of Humanity Magazine showcases new work by artists, writers and photographers from all over the globe, including, On the Bench, a new poem by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

Bare Concrete Blue

 

Come on now son
Let’s beat away time
With the soles of these boots
And sing us a song
To shake off the dust

For how many years
Can these months truly last?

For all of these memories
And all of their longing
To feel what they once felt
Are no more than bare trees
To this cold winter blue

For now
The ancient has gone
And the new quickly fades
No matter how many things
We may like to
Construct from this world

So let us just walk then
You – my shadow – and me
Through these concrete dream streets
And these phantom filled crowds

For any hope is not here
But beyond that clear frosted sky

In those palaces of silver
In that river of gold

 

© J H Martin

Bare Concrete Blue was first published in Rue Scribe; an online journal of small literature. The poem comes from 八詩 ; a short collection of eight poems by J H Martin, which you can read and download for free here

Mad Swirl: Les Papillons Noirs

Les Papillons Noirs

This mad swirlin’ creative outlet is a place to showcase the many diverse artists in this big, blue, beat-utiful world of ours and to get this madness into as many heads as possible.

Mad Swirl – an on-line creative outlet featuring art, poetry and prose from all parts of the globe, including Les Papillons Noirs, a short piece of fiction by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

Edge of Humanity Magazine: Lock-In

Lock-In

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an online platform that features writing, photography and artwork that deals with all aspects of the human condition, as well as the pressing social issues of our times.

Constantly updated, Edge of Humanity Magazine showcases work by artists, writers and photographers from all over the globe. including, Lock-In, a poem by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

Edge of Humanity Magazine: Forward – Rewind

Forward – Rewind

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an online platform that features writing, photography and artwork that deals with all aspects of the human condition, as well as the pressing social issues of our times.

Constantly updated, Edge of Humanity Magazine showcases work by artists, writers and photographers from all over the globe. including Forward – Rewind, a new poem by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

Edge of Humanity Magazine: Hotel Reflection

Hotel Reflection

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an online platform that features writing, photography and artwork that deals with all aspects of the human condition, as well as the pressing social issues of our times.

Constantly updated, Edge of Humanity Magazine showcases work by artists, writers and photographers from all over the globe. including Hotel Reflection, a new poem by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

The Man of Mystery

The Man of Mystery

It was like that because it had to be like that.

As he explained to the assistant in the new department store.

“Sorry Ma’am, but I cannot divulge my name. That would go against orders.”

“Oh yes, of course. Certainly Sir, I understand.”

At the cosmetics counter the young assistant wore upon her face the most plastic of smiles.

He wore a white naval uniform, which was pristine, yet frayed at its well-worn cuffs.

Unfortunately, the store itself had that sad and lifeless air of a newly-built hotel. This manifested itself in the strong smell of bleach and the disinterest on the faces of the figures passing through it. The only purchases in their hands being small and inexpensive ones, as if they had only bought them to justify the time they’d wasted inside its off-white walls…’

Lunch was taken at a cafe inside an old rusted bus out on the ring road. Dressed in a set of blue oil-stained overalls and a pair of black steel toe-capped boots, he sat and stared out of the window as he ate his plate of sausage, egg and chips.

The view was the sole reason why it was a regular part of R16 Route B.

There was something about its mildewed concrete islets, its graffiti-strewn flyovers, its mess of motorway intersections and the industrial parks on the horizon, with their chimneys belching thick plumes of brown smoke up into the city sky that he found ‘almost alien yet so very intriguing‘. Perhaps it was its ‘grotesque geometry’, or, perhaps it was the ‘asphalt-like absurdity of its enforced and unnatural poetry’.

“I don’t know. I’m not sure.”

He took off his horn-rimmed spectacles, put them back into the top pocket of his shabby tweed jacket and returned the leather-bound book to the grey-haired owner of the antique bookshop.

“Not a problem Sir, not a problem at all. Perhaps though, you might like to take a look at these?”

The service there was excellent and the owner very well informed. The four erotic Japanese woodblock prints on display were especially good, with the last one in the set worth mentioning in detail.

In the print, a balding man has just withdrawn and ejaculated over the plump stomach of a prone and naked geisha. He is looking down at his swollen flaccid penis, while she is smiling and looking up into his eyes.

It is not the beautiful simplicity of line that entices and reflects the instinctive yet base nature of the act depicted, nor is it the juxtaposition of clear, warm reds of the clothes with the pale pinks of the bodies that makes this particular print so enthralling.

No, what makes it so intensely gripping, are the detailed and grotesque expressions on the faces of the two figures. The horror in the man’s down-turned eyes as he realises that he cannot control this primal urge and the grimace spread across his face as he watches all of his imaginary mastery and virility wither away into nothing more than a flaccid piece of flesh. All of which is contrasted most painfully, yet beautifully, with the mockery that dances upon the geisha’s upturned lips and the coldness in her piercing stare, as she reveals to him with the fullest savagery and severity: the impotence of his desires and the treachery hidden behind a woman’s painted smile.’

He nodded and took off his long-haired wig and beard.

It had been a good day and much had been done.

Having placed them where they belonged, he took off his dirty puffa jacket and jeans and hung them up next to the tweed jacket, blue overalls, white naval uniform and the hundreds of other ‘identities’ which spread around the dark subterranean room on aluminium clothes rails.

Taking his notes, he then sat down behind his desk to write up his daily report. It had been a while since the powers-that-be had been in touch but he paid that fact no mind at all. It was like that because it had to be like that.

However, before he began, he afforded himself the luxury of gazing round the room at the routes, maps, plans and charts which covered every inch of wall. All of them meticulously planned out, drawn and coded.

Yes, there lies the true beauty behind this mortal boredom. That is where it can be found. The true meaning deep within the senseless void of man’s repeated thought and action. There, far, far beyond the inane mystery of his modern world laid out for all its primate slaves to understand in a most primitive and devolving tongue of multi-storey car parks, light bulbs, shaved pudenda and ever bigger screens displaying nothing more than the inattentive limitations of their moaning star-struck cerebellums…

He shook his head. He was getting carried away.

He began to write.

He had a lot of work to do.

 

© J H Martin

The Man of Mystery first appeared in Black Heart Magazine

Edge of Humanity Magazine: Nowhere Bound

Nowhere Bound

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an online platform that features writing, photography and artwork that deals with all aspects of the human condition, as well as the pressing social issues of our times.

Constantly updated, Edge of Humanity Magazine showcases work by artists, writers and photographers from all over the globe. including Nowhere Bound, a new poem by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

Bebop (The Bird Sutra)

Bebop (The Bird Sutra)

A new version of a long poem by J H Martin, inspired by Charlie Parker, which in its previous incarnation received an Honorable Mention in the 2010 Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize competition, judged by Michael McClure, and part of the 4th Annual Jazz and Beat Festival: Beyond the Beat Generation, Davis, California.

Remastered using the very latest in first-thought technology, the new 2020 incarnation of Bebop (The Bird Sutra) is available to read/download for free here.

Mad Swirl: Standing Here

Standing Here

This mad swirlin’ creative outlet is a place to showcase the many diverse artists in this big, blue, beat-utiful world of ours and to get this madness into as many heads as possible.

Mad Swirl is an on-line creative outlet featuring a constantly swirled and updated collection of art, poetry and prose from all parts of the globe, including Standing Here; a new short piece of fiction by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

Edge of Humanity Magazine: Until the Spring

Until the Spring

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an online platform that features writing, photography and artwork that deals with all aspects of the human condition, as well as the pressing social issues of our times.

Constantly updated, Edge of Humanity Magazine showcases work by artists, writers and photographers from all over the globe. including Until the Spring, a new poem by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

Edge of Humanity Magazine: An Ancient Song

An Ancient Song

Edge of Humanity Magazine is an online platform that features writing, photography and artwork that deals with all aspects of the human condition, as well as the pressing social issues of our times.

Constantly updated, Edge of Humanity Magazine showcases work by artists, writers and photographers from all over the globe. including An Ancient Song, a new poem by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

八詩 (8 Poems)

八詩  (8 Poems)

八詩 (8 poems) is a digital pamphlet of eight new poems by J H Martin.

Inspired by tales of the Eight Immortals (八仙), this short collection is in itself a journey of the spirit. Dream-like in essence but grounded by nature, the eight poems in this digital collection vibrate with an energy that is both universal and personal, as they weave their interconnected paths through this world and others. 

Available now for free, you can read/download a PDF copy of the collection here.

Mad Swirl: Sans Frontières

 

Sans Frontières 

This mad swirlin’ creative outlet is a place to showcase the many diverse artists in this big, blue, beat-utiful world of ours and to get this madness into as many heads as possible.

Mad Swirl is an on-line creative outlet featuring a constantly swirled and updated collection of art, poetry and prose from all parts of the globe, including Sans Frontières; a new poem by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

Underwood : Bricks & Stoves & Barred Windows

Bricks & Stoves & Barred Windows

Underwood is a place for writers to showcase their work and a place for readers to enjoy their creations.

Their third issue is out now and showcases poetry and fiction by Jeff Fleischer, Joseph Crisafulli, Matt A. Hanson, Spencer K. M. Brown, Annette Sisson, Matt Dodge, Randy Lee White, Brody Smithwick, Byron Lafayette, Katelyn Andell, Kevin Baggett, Karen Frederick, Chris Espenshade, Cheryl Sim, Rebecca Bihn-Wallace, Austere Rex Gamao, David Elliott, Deni Dickler, Fabrice Poussin and David Davies, as well as Bricks & Stoves & Barred Windows, a new short story by J H Martin.

Free to read and free to share, make sure to check out Issue 3 of Underwood here.

Mad Swirl: Scratched

Scratched

This mad swirlin’ creative outlet is a place to showcase the many diverse artists in this big, blue, beat-utiful world of ours and to get this madness into as many heads as possible.

Mad Swirl is an on-line creative outlet featuring a constantly swirled and updated collection of art, poetry and prose from all parts of the globe, including Scratched; a new short piece of fiction by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

Nzuri: 過海

過海

Nzuri is a new online literary arts journal based in Orange County, California.

Nzuri (meaning beautiful/ fine in Swahili) is purposed to promote artistic, creative and scholarly work consistent with the values and ideals of the Umoja community.

Featuring a fresh blend of poetry and prose from all parts of the globe, the first edition of Nzuri is now online, including, 過海; a new poem by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

Nzuri: 老婆

老婆

Nzuri is a new online literary arts journal based in Orange County, California.

Nzuri (meaning beautiful/ fine in Swahili) is purposed to promote artistic, creative and scholarly work consistent with the values and ideals of the Umoja community.

Featuring a fresh blend of poetry and prose from all parts of the globe, the first edition of Nzuri is now online, including, 老婆; a new poem by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.

Mad Swirl: Drink Tea

Drink Tea

This mad swirlin’ creative outlet is a place to showcase the many diverse artists in this big, blue, beat-utiful world of ours and to get this madness into as many heads as possible.

Mad Swirl is an on-line creative outlet featuring a constantly swirled and updated collection of art, poetry and prose from all parts of the globe, including Drink Tea; a new poem by J H Martin, which you can read for free here.