Monday, November 18, 2019

Sunday, November 17, 2019

New Prose Poem by Yash Seyedbagheri

Evening Walk

Pale pink and purple wash the sky, day fading. I walk, feet lightened, shadows darting like ballerinas, in and out. I walk among pine trees, down country roads I’ve never traversed. I traverse every road that doesn’t lead homeward, to beer bottles and sorrow, to words hurled, verbal, shapely grenades. To small rooms, disordered, smelling of onions and armpits.  I walk on and on. Up on hillsides, lights come on from houses with open spaces and no constrained rooms, their butter-colored warmth blending with the pink and purple, welcoming night. Welcoming strangers. 

Welcome, they whisper, even as they cling to their space, space so neat and ordered astride a hillside. All are loved here. How I wish I could just go in one of those homes, absorb the warmth of things. The warmth of spaghetti sauce or chicken sizzling on a stove, grease splattering with cheer. Have a conversation, feel personal communion, the exchange of love, a smile, a joke, love disguised as sarcasm. But I imagine myself, an object out of place among the order and connections, someone who doesn’t know the shape of love. How to don love. I walk the hillsides, the pink and purple turning to velvet. Velvet turning black. Only when stars start to stab me, expanding, do I turn and walk home, trying to stride as slowly as possible. But the journey back is always the fastest one.

- Yash Seyedbagheri 2019

Yash is a graduate of Colorado State University's MFA program in fiction. A self-proclaimed Romantic and Big Lebowski devotee, Yash is the recipient of two Honorable Mentions from Glimmer Train. His story, "Strangers," was nominated for The Best Small Fictions. His work is forthcoming or has been published in journals such as Unstamatic, Maudlin House, Door Is A Jar Magazine, and Ariel Chart

Thursday, November 14, 2019

New Poetry by R.A. Allen

Looking Back on Love

It was the greatest of loves,
a nonpareil of loves,
you and her
way back then
in that foreign city,
with its too many lemon trees, 
where the locals sneered at you,
and you forgave them their envy.

You saw yourselves in each other's
gaze and loved your reflected selves—
entranced, enraptured, enthralled.
Yes, loving yourselves so long ago.
A love now buried behind your
more recent, empty-seeming loves,
which were not quite as empty
as that love of yourselves back then.

- R. A. Allen 2019

R. A. Allen's poetry has appeared in the New York Quarterly, RHINO Poetry, Glassworks, The Penn Review, The Hollins Critic, Rendez-Vous , and elsewhere. He has a Pushcart nomination for poetry and one Dzanc Books Best of the Web nomination for fiction. He lives in Memphis and was born on the same day the Donner Party resorted to cannibalism: December 26th. More at 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Still Open for Business

Despite the current fire emergency down the eastern seaboard of this parched island, Bluepepper would like to announce that we remain open for business, although the situation could change at any moment.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

New Poetry by Jonathan Beale

Thales and the stars

The latest Thales in his modus operandi
He stood beneath the stars.       
The Demonstratively, seeing the ‘state of things’.
Kant (not yet a twinkle in his fathers eye,
or indeed his mothers).
Knew then that singularity
Is meaningless – the marriage of
Empiricism and rationalism
“what use is your thought?”
“…your philosophy?” cried the masses.
With a glint in his eye, having seen
In the nights rich charm – a portent.
Those dusty old olive presses
Never forget who pays the piper
As in the vast shadow of the night
talks to those who listen
as it slips ever quietly on.

- Jonathan Beale 2019

Jonathan Beale has had his work published in over sixty journals including Danse Macabre, Bluepepper, Mad Swirl, Ygdrasil, Red Wolf Editions, Sheepshead Review, Poetry 24, Penwood Review, et al.  He is also published in two anthologies ‘Drowning’ and ‘The Poet as Sociopath’ (Scar publications). And one to be published ‘Do not be afraid’ a small anthology dedicated to Seamus Heaney. His first book of poetry The Destinations of Raxiera (Hammer and Anvil) in November 2015. He lives in Surrey U.K.

For a copy of Jonathan's book just click on the link below.

Monday, November 04, 2019

New Poetry by James Croal Jackson

Always having a crush 
makes life fun. The pining, 

as Vonnegut preached, even 
if only for a glass of water. 

It was in the parking lot, dark 
after shutting the trunk where 

we stored your viola. You 
hugged me, whispered music.

Your warmth pressed against 
mine– epiphany. A concerto 

we don’t know the notes to. How 
do you shut the trunk to a partner 

you’ve stored your notes in for 
a decade? I see the complacency. 

The spare tire in reach. Our palms 
touched each time we switched 

our beers. It’s true: one of us will 
move soon, and I want to whisper 

give me a reason not to. 

- James Croal Jackson 2019

James Croal Jackson (he/him) has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and poems in Pacifica, Reservoir, and Rattle. He edits The Mantle ( Currently, he works in the film industry in Pittsburgh, PA. (