Friday, June 25, 2021

Praise-Chants published in The Banyan Review & Cholla Needles


Five chthonic praise-chants

from the manuscript

Tidal Flats

have been recently published in

Issue 6 (Modern Bestiary Issue) of

The Banyan Review


Cover art: Sailing the Salton Sea by Vanessa Compton

You can read them



There is also a video.


More on the praise-chants

(how they came about)

can be found on a previous blog


when several of the chants were published

by Mudlark back in January.




Meanwhile, several more praise-chants were recently published by

Cholla Needles

(in early June, 2021, Issue 54)

with amazing cover art for the issue

by Yvonne Ontiveros


You can purchase a copy here:


Here’s one previous published in Cholla Needles 48:

Red-Black Hollyhock Chthonic Praise-Chant


This is the red in black black in red

Where earth meets underworld inside the eye

Bridge between left and right hemispheres

Between the magpie’s left eye and the wasp birthed out

            of the bleached deer skull

Between tantalizing bat wings and the sweet-rot smell

            of datura


This is the red in black black in red

Shaking when too many bodies crowd close or figures

            appear in the dark

Shadows of walking apple trees

Apple cores give birth to predators with phosphorescent

            organ-balls dangling in front of a black mouth

            whispering the name of the river that cries beneath

            the earth


This is the red in black black in red

Feeble fingers that barely made it to the surface during

            the summer sink back

Retreat is the color beneath the color of pain

Blind sockets stare deep into the crows woven out of nettle

            leaves and stems that line the wall right before dawn


This is the flower that remembers the sea of stones near the

            asphodel field

Keeps repeating what the under-wind culled from those stones

Flower that murdered the unmarked grave

Opened a black-red mouth channel to the underworld where

            the dead gather around a radio listening to random

            words that pass over the flower


This is the black in red red in the black

The body that steps from the apple trunk from the stone pile

            from the blue streetlight from a book tossed in the

            compost heap

The body that watches the drifting cigarette smoke of a woman

            grieving her dead child

Of her partner watching her mute unable to speak


This is the black in red red in black

Announcement of winter in mid-summer

Rain-stick shower of long-dead gourd-purple ants across

            the back of my neck across the upper shoulders

What else did I expect when leaning too close to the door

            where after begins

The eye the finger the lips that are no longer lips

Mirror of my death




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