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  Sep 2023 Mark Upright
Nat Lipstadt
“the unbound unbinding: an admixture of words and swords…
that will cut a newborn cord of reciprocity of thee and me,
thereby, an unbound binding that ties and frees us from
and connects us nonetheless by our shared senses…”

these words, recalled well,
for they but a newborn issue of a few days, and the notion of binding that
frees us into reciprocity yet buzz~hums
in my brain

the contradictory nature of a cutting
which ties us together,
that an unbinding binds us even more tightly,
I struggle, to better understand the nature how an unraveling
of our connection somehow ties us closer

but re-envisioning
Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel in my mind’s eye,
that sparking space tween God’s finger outstretched
to bring the enlivening of his spirit to His first enervate, Adam,
the original of we humans,
somehow sates my confusion

to touch each other
at the most primitive basis,
we require a space
between us, in order to fulfill,
a contract contact
of completion and binding

and this bestills and bestirs
my puzzlement,
a space electric necessary
to permit us to
close the human circuitry

!and I am contented,
the contradiction
no more, I sense the
need to close gaps
tween us certify our human resources
for it is the permanent invisible grasping
of our loving minds that transcends
overpowers gaps,
bringing tears of joy to my eyelids,
even as I write these words,
and greet this morning
that every space
brings a richer
  Jun 2023 Mark Upright
Nat Lipstadt
Fog Happens

Yup. Not profound, even Jung, Kant and Freud,
wouldn’t deny their eyes, would no doubt disagree
with symbolic, philosophical implications, and the
head banging ramifications for the immediacy of
the spiritual impact while driving in this grey ****.

Fog differs every time, and on an island, that’s for
**** sure. Today’s incarnation, the fog comes over
the water, but respects the man-made, timbered,
bulkhead, so the yard, with its circus of ravens, crows,
and other invisible birds, insects, rabbits, is visible,
but absent the inhabitants who are smarter-than-humans,
they remain aboded thinking, only stupid humans believe
they can navigate and forage, in a fog penetrating  in air
that is 97% humidity and 100% peas soup thick skinned.

The time? Of course.

It’s 7:36 AM on the East Coast, and beyond the lawn lies a brackish bay that will lead you to the Atlantic and north to the Titanic, direction Newfoundland. Not enough info to geo tag me, but those who know me, knowledgeable in my early mornings  scribblings, know my whereabouts, my telephone number. Do you?

Fog Happens to everyone and at random intervals, Nope. Not thinking of the brain clouds of ordinary Lethologica  and Lethonomia. (Sunday lazy so just look it up and say out loud, gotta remember them words and laugh out loud cause you ain’t gotta a prayer.)

Fog Happens

in the heart, spreading north to the consciousness, and the lethargy of movement impeded by the lighthouse bells tolling “danger is about,” our light stolen, but you need to know, you’re perilously close to danger. Any action taken when heart-fogged can have awful consequences so stick close to bed, yank out your tablet, write a poem, listen to sad love  songs on that Pandora Station, or send GIPHYs and emojis to your six year old granddaughter who is 108 miles to the west of where you both hide beneath coverlets, and laugh out loud with her like the bells chiming outside, and that helps move that heart~fog hanging low, out to sea.

Fog Happens
Fog Passes
Sun Jun 25
7:58 AM
  Jun 2023 Mark Upright
Nat Lipstadt
Leave if You Can II

I live in the house of poetry.
I ascend her stairs slowly
and leap back down.
I sit in the chair of poetry,
sleep in her bed, eat from her plate.
Poetry has windows
through which mornings and afternoons
fall, and how well she suspends a teardrop
how well she blows until I tumble / With this
I mean to say that
one basket brings
both wounds and bandages.  
I love poetry so much that sometimes I think
I don’t love her / She looks at me,
inclines her head and keeps knitting
As always, I’ll be the bigger person.
But how to say it / How to tell her
I want to leave / honestly I want to
fry my asparagus…
I see her coming near
with her bottle of oil
and crazed skillet.
I see her,
her little bundle of asparagus
slipping out her sleeve.
Ah her freshness / her chaotic glint
and the way she approaches with relentless meter.  
I surrender / I surrender always because I live
in the house of poetry / because I ascend
the stairs of poetry
and also because
I come back down.

    — Translated by Lisa Allen Ortiz & Sara Daniele Rivera
Rossella Di Paolo

Rossella Di Paolo was born in Lima, Peru in 1960. She studied literature at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. She made her first publications in the student literary magazine Calandria, and worked as a journalist for several years for the alternative current affairs magazine La Tortuga. Her books include Prueba de Galera (1985 and 2017), Continuidad de Los Cuadros (1988 and 2018), Raised skin (1993 and 2019), Tablets of San Lázaro (2001 and 2020), and The chair in the sea (2016), which received the Lights of the Readers Award for the El Comercio Best Book of Poetry of 2016. In 2020, she won the Casa de la Literatura Peruana Prize and was distinguished as a Personalidad Meritoria de la Cultura (Admirable Cultural Personality) by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.

She is a university professor and directs poetry workshops. Her poems have appeared in anthologies of Peruvian and Latin American poetry. She takes part in exhibitions of poetry, painting, and photography, and edits multidisciplinary editions of poetry.
Mark Upright Jun 2020
my father had a
sense of humor,
and high hopes
for his first born son.

almost named me
Short ‘n Sweet,
cause that is how
most like life.

thot about calling me,
cause that is what
most deserve to be told.

but he didn’t want
no blowback, so he he
stuck me with this name,
Mark Upright.

all I gotta say is this
and it’s short & sweet:

Dad, take note,


my *******,

for you, see it,

marked upright.
Mark Upright Dec 2019
she confounds me with sweet raisins and nuts, accolades oh so
high the caloric content....

”Yours [poetry], is subtle,
that seek to grasp, hide and peek,
It charms like a snake a wake of ideas,
with innuendo, yet it's sublime,
a bell that chimes, a walk in hell,
a credo a charm, two-arms to keep one warm”

**** your praise, cursed encouragement,
leave me well enough to my audience of
the occasional stumbled on, the accidental tourists,
the who few nick my cheek when they randomly seek
a few minutes aside, an at-last-last-chance peek,
giving us both, the reader and criminal, pause,

the pause of
‘who wrote this?’
and it’s innate counter-mate of wonder,
when to my attention brought,
‘did I write this?’

**** praise, poisonous snakes only need apply,
the wake of my ship so quickly dissipates
upon the unmapped, unending Sea of New Poets,
where the 99% just drown the first time round,
and the remaining survivors  glory in fame so fleeting,
‘twere not for the unburied of the internet, their zombies
would too be shipwrecked, ungiving, undead...

a credo? not I.

a credo requires preaching, acolytes according a poet succored reams
of accusative praise, all such leads to ******* up to the egoland
where failures reside alone gleeful pride, and goes to die on bouquets
faded from by over caressing their petals, to floor dropped, in silent admiration, the imagined bells of hell ringing only in the ears
of the delusional deluded

my maturity existential, let it be forgotten, troubling no one,
a new audience of one, owning tickets of broken mirrored pieces,
my layers peeled back, this imagery unrecognized, not I, not I,
for fainted be, the poison of pride denied, for my writings writ
by an accursed one, long since buried in the faint ashes of
lost glorious forgotteness
but humbled nonetheless and it is the finale,
“two arms to keep one warm,”
with an elixir of words ear whispered,
**** you know my weakness, and now
my bravado erased by your single touch prophesied

~for Bill T. Jones~

two poets, laureates both,
on the nature of hunger, they discourse,
in temple, where sacrificing is to living arts

I was there, hungry in every aspect,
seeking wisdom of the hungering nature of human.

examine the word, hunger,
hardly a rolling off the tongue mellifluous.
you growl it from the gut, in gowned resplendent ugliness,
go ahead, try it, it’s coarse and powerful insistent.

awoken empty but for the hunger, hungover from
dancing words and imagery not mine, now mine,
maddeningly demanding my dutiful attentions,
as if hunger was the master, me, obedient pupil.

the clean white slate the IPad re-presents repeatedly,
insulted that I have yet to crayon color it with the coherence
of hunger-exhaled words, dismissive that I am but an also-ran,
my village of lexical too unsophisticated,
the page addressed yet unplanned,
Apple white
is the color of the
starving artist.
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