Monday, October 16, 2017

Sabbatical







Bluepepper is taking a much-needed and long-overdue sabbatical. We will return on 23/10/17 laden with snaps and a lungful of sea air. Until then, keep your writing breeches on.






Sunday, October 15, 2017

New Poetry by John Robbins










Rejection Slips

The young always assume the burden of ignorance .
Believing there words are the first to know rejection .

They feel the emotion, yet do not grasp the truths only time teaches .

Madness takes time my sweet .
It has been a long road to become so perfectly demented .

And I can cover my walls in rejection .

Always take something from the emptiness it leaves behind .

If a no is all it takes to break you.

Then this is the wrong line of work for you.

Anyone can blow smoke up your ass.

It's the bitter truths that sharpen the steel .

One day nothing will make you bleed but your own hands.


- John Robbins 2017



John Patrick Robbins is a barroom poet who's work has appeared in Inbetween Hangovers, Your One Phone Call , Red Fez , Ramingos Porch , Spill The Words and the Outlaw Poetry Network . His work is always a hundred percent unfiltered .

Monday, October 09, 2017

New Poetry by Jon Bennett










Here and Away

I was here all day
I stood, I sat
I took a shit
I ate
but not too much
not too little

I felt bad though
being here all day
How do you do it?
Was I ever a child
amused by
a cricket crawling
from under
a fallen leaf?


- Jon Bennett 2017



Jon Bennett writes and plays music in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood.  Most recently his work has appeared in Zombie Logic Review and In Between Hangovers, and is forthcoming in The Indiana Voice, The Bees are Dead, and Degenerate Literature. You can find more of his work on Pandora, iTunes and other music websites.




Wednesday, October 04, 2017

New Poetry by Jake Sheff










A Girl on the Tire Swing

As if the pendulum and wheel are time
I push and eagerly await my child’s 
return. As if her face is capable
of starting wars, this mother of my timid
and secret prayers and doubts, I push this vine
that never snaps. (Of dogbane, with their saps
of milky irritants and poisons.) Dips
and doubles back; as if our changing minds
and past events are like the winds, I wed
my daughter to such specious whims. The killdeer
was putting on a show at Jerry’s pond
the other day, as if an injured wing
prevented her from flying off. It thrilled her,
like I once was; alas, there’s no such thing. 


- Jake Sheff 2017


Jake Sheff is a major and pediatrician in the US Air Force, married with a daughter and three pets. Currently home is the Mojave Desert. Poems of Jake’s are in Marathon Literary Review, Jet Fuel Review, The Cossack Review and elsewhere. His chapbook is “Looting Versailles” (Alabaster Leaves Publishing). He considers life an impossible sit-up, but plausible. 



Friday, September 29, 2017

New Poetry by James Diaz










My Love For All Things Broken

say      this road        here
but you mean    really   something else
already autumn    is beyond     what you can give
pulses cross       beats      stilled
day     breaks     bones
to be here       means        missing
someplace else      fir       trees
star   dust    how the hand folds
in on itself      say wind but you      really mean
sails stripped bare         subtle disappearances 
don't know        what went missing     or when
the next turn       off the highway     will creep up
and you will bend       that way
forever.


- James Diaz 2017



James Diaz is founding editor of the literary arts & music journal Anti-Heroin Chic. His work has appeared most recently in Psaltery & Lyre, The Ekphrastic Review, Quail Bell Magazine and Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, (for which his poem, The Balance Between Us, was nominated for the Best of the Net.) He is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (Indolent Books, 2018.)  He currently resides in upstate New York.  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

New Poetry by Abigail George










The packed suitcase

(for Ambronese)

Rapture is the son of Johannesburg.

    The same way that Prague is
    now the adopted hometown
    of my sister. He did not love
    me. In return, I did not love him.
    He took my mother and father’s
    love wherever he went in the
world and everywhere I went I lived

    in a self-imposed exile. People
    could be kind but I only learned
    that later on. In my mid-thirties.
    In other words, when I was grown.
    He dropped me off at the mental
    institution (Tara) on a Monday morning.
    Never even looked at me as if
    I was a real, live person. I was
    a walking experiment-in-the-making.
    ‘Not to be touched or spoken to
if anyone could help it’. I was fresh
    from a weekend spent cooking
    over steaming pots, gossip with a diabetic aunt. Her youngest daughter

    tucked away safely behind a

    mountain and green-lit valleys
    of Swaziland. The other in America.
   They could make the life choice
    of being wives and mothers, (if
    they wanted to). Like a river’s
sublime
    movements, my cousin watches
me
    out of the corner of his eye. For
any

sudden movements, I guess. I learned the hard way.
Heat rising up his neck. I learned the harsh way that

    family could not be kind.
    You can’t sing, so you
    can’t fit and a family that
    can’t sing together can’t
    live together. This tiger
    is not welcome, the other
tigers seem to sing in unison. I’m standing at the door of the church
hall. Waiting.
    Pretending that I’ve been invited to the party.
That I fit in. That I can sing.


- Abigail George 2017


Abigail George is a South African blogger, poet, short story writer, aspirant young adult novelist and playwright. She is the recipient of grants from the National Arts Council, the Centre for the Book and ECPACC. She briefly studied film at the Newtown Film and Television School in Johannesburg. Her poems have been published in various anthologies, numerous times in print in South Africa and online in zines based in Ireland, Turkey, Finland, Australia, India and elsewhere.



Friday, September 22, 2017

New words by Robert Verdon










circle

… in some cases the birds fly upside-down and you can see their eyes shimmering like oil lenses on water. At other times, the goldfish cluster beneath the lily-pads and laugh at you. I have got used to it, unlike the others. I am drawn to magnets but only during sunshowers. It is like being a dowser. We have a Major-General here and an Archbishop. Breath hangs over us, grey, lazy breath. Poinsettias hunt for game. There is a baby under the strawberry bush, telling riddles.

She is sitting on a canvas swing that hangs from a grapegreen bough. The magpies are coloured here too, quince and persimmon. The baby tinkles like birdbath ice. A cat falls on its four feet. There are faces in the windows. A pendulum from a grandfather clock. A hair-spring. A cloud like an old straw hat. And restraints.

From the sun a chandelier dangles. We live in a surfeit of metaphors. Gravy. There is gravy today. We haven’t had gravy since …

She is on a swing, whistling. Vera. Vera. I know that tune … She is holding up the moon, a wet globe of moon that comes apart. Drawers full of washers and twisted pipe-cleaners are spread about her. It is like a picnic. Licorice bootlaces writhe like serpents all round the tree. I am waking up to my dreams. Salt sprinkled into a flame glows green. Soft, fat visitors. Wheelchairs in a distorted circle.

Do we die, here?

The stars in the evening are mauve and helical. A helix is not a spiral. A patch is not a square. A bit is not a jot. A couple is more countable than a few.

The doctors are not nurses.

Time to go, always time to go. Always back to the ward, the weird, wide ward, where they put you to sleep. I know that tune. Last time we had gravy when when when

The birds are stolen. I’m not going in yet. The birds are stolen! They must be returned to their cages! Hands grip my shoulders. I relax. The sun has gone too. They assure me it will return. Tomorrow is another day.

I sleep smiling. I have done it again.

It is the only way you can get them to touch you.


- Robert Verdon 2017


Robert Verdon is a Canberra writer who has published poetry and prose for many years. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

New Poetry by Martin Christmas










Primal Darkness

Skyping Melbourne,
ninety minutes.
Scotty,
‘5,4,3,2, . . .’
he cuts the link.
Then –
blackout.
Then –
lights.
Then –
blackout.

Silence.

The whole suburb –
blackout

Stars blazing.

Silence.

Dark menace.

Someone coughs.

Stars blazing. 

We wait –
for the lights to return.
Each
in their own small
suburban
cave.

Is this what it was like when . . .?


- Martin Christmas 2017


Martin Christmas lives in South Australia; has a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies; and is a poet, photographer, and theatre director. He has been published in several Australian anthologies as well as Red River Review (USA) and VerseWrights (USA). He teaches presentation elements to young poets. His chapbook poetry collection Immediate Reflections was published at the end of 2016.


Friday, September 08, 2017

New Poetry by John Rock










Morning Wind


Vibrating with these brushstrokes of dawn

       in these winged Chicadee voices I’ve courted

            by tying deerfat to the corner of my tent

                  in this savanna of snow

                       the gods walk and fly in great caravans

                                    mask merchants

                         above and below the ground

                                       antler sages

                                       Bluejay measuring space with cacophony

       and fox mothers wrapping their tales and musk

                around children taught to play with the moment

                                         year after year



In their prosperous down

        the Chicadees dive

             and take turns eating as I talk to them

                  wearing sheep hair knitted around my head and body

                           like a house of smoke



Morning wind

        can you blow these selves to earth?

              like leaf after leaf

                   the sky has grown from a silver branch

                           in this snow-rising chant


- John Rock 2017



In love with waterfalls, crows, and ecstatic dance, John Rock lives in New Mexico.  More writings at johnrockpoetry.com

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

New Poetry by Felix Purat










Worn Herzlicher Coaster

One more beer mark
Upon its cardboard
Body, and

It will begin
Dissipation, the
Room spiraling

Into the maelstrom
From where all thought
First transpired.


- Felix Purat 2017


Felix Purat is a hinternationalist hailing from Berkeley, CA but living in Prague. He has been previously published in Two Thirds North, the Paris/Atlantic, Poetry Salzburg Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, Pulsar, Vox Poetica, Allegro Poetry Magazine and Orbis Int’l, among other places. His first collection of poetry, A Drinking Horn of Accumulated Expiries, will soon be released as part of the Poetry Will Be Made For All project, and he has recently completed a second collection, Mews For the Tarpans of the World.