Monday 5 November 2018



[autumn issue 2018]

Cover Photo by Keith Moul

PP (7.2): Editorial Notes

dear PP Patrons,

we hope this finds you all well and happy!

just a couple of things to remind all our poetry submitters:: to minimise our computer time and gain a bit more freedom from the tyrannical rule of the cyber world, we never give links to anyone whose work is featured in PP, since we release each issue exactly on the date as specified in our acceptance emails. also, as a rule, we do never open attachments, nor do we send email requests for bios upon acceptance - please include it in your submission email in the first place unless you prefer not to provide the information.

last week, we happened to read somewhere that poetry reading has in recent years increased from 6.7% to more than 11% while there is an decrease in novel reading. This finding seems to go along with our own statistics: since we changed PP from a quarterly publication to a biannual one exactly two years ago, our yearly pageviews have increased from around 50,000 to 80,000 rather than otherwise as we thought. here are some of the statistic facts that might be intriguing to share (and record)::
1/ as of the cutting time of 4 november, our total pageviews are 361,537.
2/ the top 10 country sources of audience are:
United States
United Kingdom

3/ the top 10 most pageviewed posts are:
Mar 4, 2013, 1 comment
Aug 5, 2014
Nov 5, 2016
Nov 5, 2014, 1 comment
Nov 5, 2016, 4 comments

in this issue, we are honoured to showcase 51 poets and 2 visual artists.

thanks so much for your support as well as understanding,  and enjoy reading/viewing,!

with warmest regards from vancouver, 

- eds. @ PP

PP(7.2): Call for Submissions



By submitting to PP, the submitter warrants that 
s/he alone has created the work s/he is submitting and that 
s/he owns all rights to it. The submitter will indemnify and 
hold PP and its staff harmless from and against any and all loss,
 damage, costs and other expenses arising out of claims, 
whatever their nature, resulting directly or indirectly 
from breach of this warranty. At the same time, 
the submitter/contributor agrees that PP can use 
part or all of his/her accepted material, including responses 
to PP's interview questions, on its Facebook and/or 
other similar social networking vehicles for promotional purposes.

* All poetic and photographic works are carefully read/viewed 
year round on a rolling basis for PP's spring or autumn issue, 
to be released respectively on 5 May/November;

* Multiple and simultaneous submissions, as well as previously published work, 
are all equally welcome insofar as you still hold the copy/publishing rights;

* We wish to pay our poets and buy certain rights from them,
 but there is no money exchange involved, 
except a genuine shared love for art and wisdom;

Please send up to 5 of your best shorter poems each time 
by pasting them all together with a brief 3rd person bio note
within the body of your email
or visual artworks as individually separate attachments. 
Before acceptance, we will NOT open any attachments/files
 for virus/spam-related concerns, but we may ask you 
to send the accepted work as an attachment;

*  Please feel welcome to send us a query if, for instance, 
your accepted work does not appear as scheduled;

* All submitted poems or responses to interviews may be posted on our facebook 
or other networking vehicles for promotional purposes;

* Our response-time is 6-8 weeks at latest, usually shorter than 4 weeks: 
since we never give anyone any 'rejection notice,' please feel free 
to do whatever you want to with your submission
 if you do not get any response/acceptance from PP within two months
 after you send it over to us. In other words: 
only those accepted will get a reply.

Once accepted by PP, please allow at least one year
before submitting new work to us

- Many thanks for your kind support of PP & Gooooodluuuuck!


book/chapbook manuscript submissions 
are closed until further notice

12 Moon Photos from Weixin

headnote:: Western culture is often said to be a solar culture, 
whereas Chinese culture is more of a lunar one. Naturally, there is far more poetry about the moon (as the central image of autumn) in Chinese literature than in any other literature.

4 Poems by G. W. Down


Blue but threatening, the schizoid sky

Tramples its horizon,

As though to merge with earth,

Blend with placid waters

For one monochromatic vista.

Perfect solitude, marauding hopes

Nourish such compulsion;

Time is a healing splint,

Yet slow for some fractures,

And even the sky can be lonely.


 Wrapped in the spandex throttle of motion,

Driven by the drab motive of self-shape,

Heedless of the grandeur that surrounds them,

Puffing a broken-steam-engine track-scrape,

The joggers erupt in arrhythmic ash

Jerking along the measured Saturday matin,

Tumbling toward the destined cigarette

Or brewed palliative or caffeine mash.

Pedestrians in their path take more care,

Twirling the facets of jewelled nature’s vision

Through all their senses, carat by carat

To catch memories from the lustrous air.

They drink the majesty of pearl mountain

Rinsing its health in shade marine blue-grey,

Climb the reflection of look-out station,

And glide the aqua expansive walkway.


The pain is at once chronic and acute,

The biceps rebel at emptiness when

Embracing the vestiges of a man,

Holding shoulders that have shrunk to fibrils.

But in the mind's reach those shoulders are broad

As when they tossed a trembling four-year-old

To the sky, and those knees are still as strong

As when they bounced a joyful six-year-old.

That abdominal oedema invades

The eyes and swells all four lacrimal ducts;

Like its failing heart, that concave chest droops

After more than six months of suffering.

Those hands grasp the aching fingers tightly,

With assurance, shaking solid welcome;

Comes that voice, robust in recognition –

And pain dissolves like dew in the morning.


She wore the suit of vaunted nothingness,

With blank face and hypodermic-pocked arm.

Ringed by thrall and bloused in self-absorption

She glazed through halls she thought she danced, 'til a

Door slammed and terror crept through the keyhole

To jacket her world with shapeless colour.

Nameless tones collided with her hearing;

She swirled in the skirt of brimming floodlight,

Drummed by a distant moaning, emptily

Indiscernible from her surroundings,

Cast among the spirit fragments, senses

Fugitive and screaming for the return.


G. W. Down is a poet, lyricist, editor and business consultant who lives in Hamilton, Ontario. Since 2012 he has been Editor-in-chief of Tower Poetry, the biannual periodical published by the Tower Poetry Society. He is also a partner in The Book Band, a company which does marketing, distribution and promotion for Canadian publishers.

5 Poems by Rebecca Bratten Weiss

Queen of Spades

All language is a game, Wittgenstein says, but he never says how to win.

I’m doing my best, though, got my poker face on, a Venetian mask of pearls

(that were his eyes), dressed in the body of the Queen of Spades.

And no one ever tells me what we win. Maybe a new spade. A new mask

when the old one wears out, new pearls from new eyes, the better to see you with,

my dear, the better to see the card you hold, the thing you hide in your pocket.

And it’s true, with these new eyes, drops of cream on satin, I see things I’d missed before.

A tulip the size of an ambulance, yellow, with its tongue out. And a man in a black

coat, facing the sea where the pearls were made. Holding a spade.

The tulip stepped in from someone else’s game, but the spade at least is mine.

It’s got a nick in it, like a chipped tooth. A toothsome spade, I think as I dig with care

Around the tulip, to send it back to where it came. Some other game, some other story.

In Pushkin’s story, the Queen of Spades, the Count of St Germaine knows the secret for

winning the game, but it’s no good, it never is. Better to keep on digging.

The spade, someone told me, can also be a sword. If you press it flat enough.

If you press me flat enough I might fit on a card, in the pocket of the man in the black

coat who might be Wittgenstein,  Or he might be the Count of St. Germaine, or the Stranger.

He’s playing to win, all right, plucking the tulips from all the other stories, and the pearls

 from the oysters’ shells, and in his pocket all our teeth rattle like swords.

Spring Rain

Whatever it is we’re making, it takes a lot of breaking, first.

It’s not only happiness that hangs by a silver thread.

Even bland contentment, the everyday, is eggshell thin,

and eggshell thin the bars that hold the old

hungry god, crouched like a monkey in his iron cage.

Still falls the rain, we read, in class this evening, and stepping

out into the night we found a late snow swirling, rushing up

sideways to lodge within our bones. In the poem the rain was bombs,

but also peace, and also the blood of Jesus, and also

the hopeless neverending rain on a London street, where once

fifty years ago I rushed into a church, caught cold, and died.

And when you’re dead you find you can go everywhere, touch with a

passing finger the painted egg on the Easter bough, so it swings

and they wonder, was it Jesus passing by? Being also

Elijah and Moses and the beggar man and the child

with the shattered eggshell skull in a distant city where someone

touched a spring and now the god ranges wide, his empty cage swaying

like an ornament, but you can’t stuff him back in his cage,

you can’t repair the broken things. You can only wander, and see.

And in the black field below the pines the snow can’t quite manage

to be more than snow, and they give their god the name of justice,

and necessity, and they say the shattered skulls are lovely

as Easter eggs, painted red, but where we live, we can only be

one snapping thread, one drop of blood, one thing at a time.

Strip Tease

I could say: the mask you wear becomes your face,

grows into you like some bedazzling cancer, so you can’t say

where plaster ends and skin begins, but it’s not just that.

It’s also that the tracking device, under the skin, stretches like putty,

becomes the flesh, ticks with the blood, sending messages

to some remote receiver that probably stopped receiving long ago.

And the name you took when you set forth to be a spy,

the name you gave yourself in that book you never wrote

becomes your name, the joke of it deadly serious now,

so you can’t remember what the twist was meant to be -

and the name you carved into the tree bark or wrote in the snow

is covered over, become only wood, or only snow itself,

so if you knock on wood it’s in there somewhere, echoing,

a drum in the night, and if you stick out your tongue to catch the snow

it melts too fast for you to say the name it carries,

and the clothes you wear to hide your truth become your truth,

so you have to hide them with another layer, and another,

and you’d be ready to dance the dance of the seven veils,

shuck them all off, shake it so they’re dizzy with you,

shake it so the empire rocks on its uneasy legs, and statues crumble,

and all that’s left is Ozymandias, King of Kings, deluded in the desert,

except you’re afraid you’d not know when you’d gotten to the seventh veil

and would just keep on tearing, twirling, undulating, throwing off your veils

til there’s nothing left of you, not even the sand.

A huge ongoing feast

Some machine somewhere has been collecting my words and phrases, mindlessly,

the way some people collect porcelain frogs, or dolls with glass eyes.

What would I say?

Our landlord’s hayfield, in the cathedral of summer – the machine says, and I nod.

It’s what I would say. I remember the cathedral of summer, how I spread my feathered arms

and flew singing, left only a feather drifting down among the goldenrod and ironweed.

Remember me, the feather whispered.

A machine knows it better than I,

Like in Umberto Eco’s novel, Foucault’s Pendulum,

they made the computer generate conspiracy theories,

and all the weirdos of the world were convinced they were on to something,

tracked them down, committed green satanic sacrifice in the museum of arts and sciences,

where machines watched placidly, watched as they murdered a man

and swung him from the pendulum.

My machine is watching, with its glass eyes, catching only what I would say, not what I want to say:

I want to say: I’m tired.

I want to say: All this toil, and still I know nothing, which makes me worth nothing.

I want to say: please assure me that I exist. Take this feather. Paint a rune upon your flesh.

But the machine says I would say: silken jade, adorned with eight v-shaped lines like old times,

That’s the tomato hornworm, trying to get a bite to eat,

eating everything in its path, shitting green, but it’s also a metaphor,

and I won’t tell you what it means.

I would say: a huge ongoing feast, which might have to do with life,

or a very hungry caterpillar, or books,

or the kind of love that needs to be able to spread feathered arms,

or the pleasures of nostalgia, a feast like a fox in a trap gnawing off its leg

but the bone is made of iron, and the fox keeps on gnawing, in the tower,

in the cathedral of summer, a huge ongoing feast.


R​. ​Bratten Weiss is a writer, ​lecturer, and organic grower.​ She has published poems in a variety of venues, including Two Hawks Quarterly, Figroot Press​, ​Jesus the Imagination, The Cerurove, Lycan Valley Press Publications, and Convivium. She edits the arts journal Convivium, ​and​ is a member of the literary collective the George Sandinistas​.​