Ghost Ships Founder

Gulf Coast Two by Mark A. Harrison

This is where we go II

Ghost ships founder
off the shores of Elysium
we came here to find
the answer to something
lost in the Aether
conceptions stumble,
presumptions fall apart,
like paper in the rain, belief
in the inevitable lost
like leaves in the gutter
no longer individual
but indistinct, irresolute
handholds slipping
the long fall into uncertainty
no longer buoyed by
memories of bliss
Is it fog or billowing smoke
that hides the enemy’s sails?
Is it fate, or blind chance
that becalms us here on
glass still waters?
Only the albatross & the moon know,
only the wheeling gulls and the absent wind
and they’ll never tell.

T.H.

Wrapping Paper Trees

A Triggering – Art by Mark A. Harrison

Another spring poem, from back in 2014. composed while walking homeward on a spring-soaked afternoon past low-rent apartment buildings.

Immersion

Improvised flower vases
and wrapping paper trees
roots like mountains
seen from the eyes
of circling eagles
at once emerging
and settling, growth
and decay, no more
contrary than rose
petals and thorns,
a discordant symmetry:
the cosmic wail
of distorted electric guitar
spelling out the names
of stars and forgotten
background radiation,
pain that verges on ecstasy,
a ringing of celestial strings
struck with the well-worn pick
of disillusioned immortals;

How a stranger’s
intangible yearning
can translate through
the ephemeral code
of electronic pulses
and magnetic fields,
a fixed point enacted
in the so-called past
becomes immediate
present, time and space
erased in an instant
transformed into a perfect
moment of rebirth,
a dagger in the mind
piercing to the core;
it leaves no trace
of bloody injury, only
a shedding of unnecessary skin,
a lowering of barriers
to permit this temporary
osmosis of the spirit

T.H.

Angels with Tommy Guns

Jax by Mark A. Harrison
Photo: Jax by Mark A. Harrison

Wrote this one after seeing a hilariously bad B movie that featured, as you might guess, angels with BFGs.

I dreamed I saw Gabriel
holding a Tommy gun
who knew he fought gangsters
in his spare time
his eyes changing colour in the
shifting light
he walks through the mist like
some dime-store cowboy, like
an anime demon hunter
black coat flapping in the breeze
breaking the rhythm with his
thrift store army boots
scars cover his body like
a maze of tattoos, his
story etched in blood and skin
and ink dark as sin
shedding light, leaking goodness
into darkest corners, from
countless ancient wounds, he’s
an avenger, and a saviour, and
a damn good shot, so you’d
best be on your game
he can see right through your soul
if he lays his hands upon you
you’ll never be the same, so you’d
better run, run and hide
‘cuz luck is something you ain’t got
when god is on the other side.

T.H.

Starfish Supernova

Asteroid Field by Mark A. Harrison
Image: Asteroid Field by Mark A. Harrison

Another one from the archives, for Day 2 of National Poetry Month. This one is clearly meant to be spoken out loud. Imagine a curly-haired beat poet on a cramped stage in some underground dive, with free-form bongos in the background.

Parting the waves for the starfish supernova
oriental carpet fish tickling my toes
Dancing the raves down through asteroid alley
girls holding hands drive the boys insane
You hold your ideals too close to your heart
suffocating them in your tight embrace
You feel too much, so you curl up inside
dwarf star material waiting to explode
You could be birthing galaxies, exhaling nebulae
dangling your feet over the lips of black holes
You could be skating the event horizon
look ma, no hands, no training wheels here
But instead you hunch over this dull white page
gripping the pen like it might try to run
try to make an escape Houdini would be proud of
leaving you only with a ghost of an echo
of a memory of a dream
No way to capture it, bottle it, seal it with wax
But what does it matter?
You weren’t going to share it with anyone anyway
Don’t Bogart those neurons, baby
I want my share, want to go down singing
to the county fair in the wide blue sky
Look out world, here I come
the invisible one with the bitten tongue
and a page full of squiggly black lines.

T.H.

It’s here! WtWBT Unboxing

Hey look, we made a thing! Didn’t want to jump the gun and share anything until we got the test print back and made sure everything stuck to the paper. The first box of books arrived today, 12 in total, all shrink wrapped and ready to bring to the ArtSpace Book + Zine Fest next Saturday (Feb. 29). We’ll be frantically printing up a bunch of new art cards over the next few days to bring along as well. Website updates are next in line, but it might be a week or two before we’ll have individual prints available through Mark’s new site, we’ll make an announcement once that’s all set up. In the meantime, enjoy the brief preview!

Looking a bit battered, hope everything inside is okay!
So far so good!
Front cover, sans shrink wrap.
Shiny!
Yep, definitely sticks to the page.
Back cover. Check it out, it’s got an ISBN and everything! Like an actual real book made by people who know what they’re doing, or something.

So there you have it. That thing we said we were hoping to do for the past… er… decade? century? Just goes to show – never give up on your dreams, folks. Now if I can just get the other two things out the door before the end of the year (yeah yeah, novel, harp CD, ahem, working on it), we’ll have a perfect trifecta. Onward and upward, to infinity and beyond! And all that jazz.

Winter Update

Another Look Out the Window, Original Art by Mark A. Harrison

Another Look Out the Window by Mark Harrison

The not-so-secret Poetry/Art Project is nearing completion! Should be going to print by the time we hit the official start of winter on Dec. 21st (although if Peterborough is any indication, winter is already well underway).  We’ll be updating the Project page soon, including a sneak peak of the cover. In the meantime, here are a few shots from one of M’s recent snowy photo walks.




 

New Spaces / Waiting

Inventing_byMarkAHarrison_med

Inventing by Mark A. Harrison

Don’t know if I can
be myself in here
still trying to find
myself in the noise
The assault of perfume
climbs down my sinuses
but fails to clear them
neatly obliterating
the earlier tang
of frying bacon
This isn’t our place
anymore, but the domain
of a different generation
urbanized, plugged in, born
into a world fuelled by
blue light pulsing through
digital veins, as oblivious
to their dependence on
interconnectedness, as to
the necessity of breathing
The fading cologne clouds
make way for the clamour
of the other senses, the one
persistent metal scream
the slow, endless slide
of a fingernail on galvanized
glass; searing steel fire cuts
through the backdrop of brown noise
riding above the hiss of steam,
the warm up and down rumble
of human voices; a keen knife edge
sharpens formerly soft waves
of jumbled randomness; words
jump out of the melee, singly, or
in non-contextual bursts:
“I’ll pay whatever it takes
to stay a little longer.”
The whole city, it seems,
(or at least, all the 80’s revival
youngsters, rolled up stone wash
jeans and tucked in shirts and curly hair,
all the skinny loft dwellers recently
descended from some lofty discussion)
have all descended around me,
a vortex of motion and indecision;
The cologne waves redouble, spool
and collide, part and subside,
over the seesaw rhythms of upspeak
and vocal fry; the foam coating the bowl
of my cup (black on the outside, because
black is the new black) resembles a forest
softened by sunset fog, or morning mist,
caught on the boundary between
past and present, future possibilities
and the endless sea of ghosts
that linger in the vibrant air.

– T.H. (02.04.19, at the Cork & Bean)

Coming Home the Snow

OutThere-byMarkAHarrison-med

Out There by Mark A. Harrison

Coming home
the snow catches me
pulls at my coat
the wind tugs & pushes
impatient children
tempting me off course
arguing against
my preferred trajectory
A black cloud plunges
boils and plunges, billowing
like smoke, black in the air
white against the windshield
The air fragments
into a million starling flakes
not a murmur, but a roar
a howling tumult
that shatters around me
dissolves into
harmless flecks of white
The air becomes the snow,
the snow, air
Above, improbable patches of blue
race each other across the sky
hell bent for eternity.

– T.H. (April 4, 2018)

The Enkindled Spring, by D.H. Lawrence

GoingOver_byMarkAHarrison_med

Going Over by Mark A. Harrison

The Enkindled Spring
 – D. H. Lawrence (1885 – 1930)

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.