local_library For Paul Bowles

by Mary Shanley

Published in Issue No. 262 ~ March, 2019

Open my hardened heart

and if I resist, place a merciful kiss

on my lips before banishing me

to the rebel compound, where I

crouch, smoking kif, staring

unflinchingly into my fate,

with a heart both fiery and fair.


(a heartbroken

embraces chaos.

nothing to determine,

nothing to name.)


The countenance of kindhearted

angels follow you from behind

every face you ever haunted;

bringing skin to spirit and blood

to veins.


You never know

how great

the ordinary.





















After Henry Miller




Oblivion is by far the easier,

lazier way of life, moving through

genetically predetermined activity,

automatically returning the carriage

of the typewriter.


Blame not the repetitious routine

of your circulatory system for

your failure to engage in leaps of faith.

Pretend, if you must, until the vision

comes clearer or your decide to quit

and vegetate, vaguely ruminating

on Earth’s unpredictable mind-fog terrain.


The Alabaster lamplight crashes to the floor

Amidst the terrifying dream sequence.

Walking up is always the better idea.





















After Brice Marden





Brice Marden’s lines,

like the uncomplicated flow

of the invisible Tao,

moves in and out of space,

with paint and a steady hand.


He found release from the relentless

drive to force form and now

he simply paints distilled quietude,

fluid lines, graceful composition.





























After Paul Klee





My legs blew out

through my ears

and my heart spun

on multicolored discs

suspended in deep space.


No breastplate necessary.

The arrows can no longer

penetrate my porous,

windy being.




























account_box More About

Mary Shanley is a poet/storyteller living in New York City. She has had four books of poetry published and is a frequent contributor to online and print journals.