2.5: four variations of the same mood, and an afterthought | Miguel Escobar (poetry) and Sinaida Wolf (visual art)

Sinaida Wolf Tenderly 960 x 720 pixels watercolor, ink, photo, digital art ©2015

diaphanous micro

2.5: four variations of the same mood, and an afterthought | Miguel Escobar (poetry) and Sinaida Wolf (visual art)

Sinaida Wolf
Sunbathing in the studio
1536 x 860 pixels
photos, digital art

** 1

a promise to bring something home
something new,
something fitting

space exists
called patience
— the middle of the ocean is
not where anything

the pleasant swell —
a consummate aphrodisiac
lapping on

tattered map remnants with
points of departure many —
somewhere interior

what is loved is not hemmed in
nor subject to aging
nor quiet, nor still

what’s loved
is blossoming beyond belief
or beliefs —
vine-like and hurried

the least likely answer
— the furthest premonitions

shadows of a lone figure
promise to care —
gaining significance
from well-placed light

& dripping
voluptuous drops

to hold on

drained of most meaning

Sinaida Wolf
Sepia no1
960 x 960 pixels
Pencil drawing, photo, digital art

** 2

an unclassified style of cloud

you may not have known to
look for
the truth — little more than mist,
it doesn’t run or even hide

it waits
to be asked
the right question

of grey, complicated

be sure
— there is nothing new
under the sun, meaning ever

a genealogy,
but not that far back

a history
somewhat watered down

a waterfall future —
one of
recovering dreams
clouded by passion

ones now on trial

the first year it could be said
we go back

meaning iron thread
peeking out a clearing
in the clouds

mistaken for sunlight


Sinaida Wolf
Thoughts about structures
1532 x 1149 pixels
fine liner, photo, digital art

** 3

behind color, objects

underneath those, reasons

beyond explanations,
something like dreams

the shadow that grew
while no one watched

the thing laid bare
after so many chapters
— such comfort in numbers

the medium
sees certain senses dip in & out

when it’s all dry, the one remains

eternal —
one, next life fills a vacuum

with the rhythm of train tracks
and endless scenery
by and by

brush stroke
buys the next conversation

one for keeps

Sinaida Wolf
Broken layers
960 x 960 pixels
ball pen, ink, digital art

** 4

within his head
she said the thing an intuition exists for

sound of a large coin hitting the floor

whirly birds in the sky
with no earthly use —

they’re tied to the single upward gaze
of each of a million

the dream exists
to say
wake up

she is
comfortable talking to herself
on paper

— go ahead

the voice a tool
the ear an antenna
the mind a sieve

life is a lark

but seriously..

Sinaida Wolf
960 x 720 pixels
watercolor, ink, photo, digital art


the gun hanging on a wall

a living skyline —

repeating — just often enough
to hypnotize

how both blow smoke

— both
stand in for
the stark and bleak of
culture’s evasion

society’s big time

biding time

& hallowed
the measure of fruit ripening —
with stopwatch

spin passage,
bid the good times something, anything

tilting the cut faces of a diamond
to catch light

all that we let stand in

the gun’s weight

having the nail cave
to gravity
a situation

Sinaida Wolf
1536 x 872 pixels
mixed media, silk, ink, photo, digital art

poetry, Miguel Escobar ©2018

Statement of Poetics – Miguel Escobar, June 2018
Mysterious as I might like these mysterious things to remain. . .
Robert M. Pirsig’s grand “metaphysics of quality,” as uncovered in his 1974 book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, together with the ghost of T.S. Eliot’s thought on the objective correlative in literature, how emotion is experienced in Art–both come to mind, and I believe work together, to explain my current writing process — a process of trying to discriminate and detect in, or craft into a verse object an artful taste. . . . Apply or merge that with the idea of experimentation in attempting to mimic styles of abstraction, impressionism, expressionism, surrealism — how those things might manifest in language and emanate outwards; this inside a stream of consciousness smattered with subconscious allusion or reference, even if it is only in the later discovery. . . . Is this how you come close to being able to objectify something as inherently subjective as this? Some kind of mist, smoke or invisible hand. . .

Artist Statement – Sinaida Wolf, July 2018
A rough sketch of the artist’s thoughts on her process, as described to the poet, from a very recent conversation.

The main artistic process I follow is one of layering. With digital work, as compared with painting alone, there seems to develop and manifest more of an element of surprise during the process of creation. Layers themselves are each highly individual expressions, and a relationship develops with each, between it and the artist. The surprise is felt as a sense of wonder at something new emerging from the process of layering. Patience can be said to be very much at work, as meaning is something that must be awaited, before then being able to follow or further develop that meaning, once it becomes clear enough. Concrete expression of the overall meaning is often revealed in the creation of a title or the inclusion of poetry.

Osmosis: Regarding the Influence of Sinaida Wolf’s Art on Mine – Miguel Escobar
I feel very happy and honored to share this space with Sinaida Wolf, my very close artist friend from Germany, whose works have been an influence on my art life for something over two years now. I want to share a few thoughts about that influence, since the context may be of interest when the reader is taking in and experiencing our works here.

The art of writing, like all art, stems and flows from mysterious places inside us, and staying true to that mystery, by trying to retain and reflect it in one’s art, is natural to some of us, even if it has taken a lifetime of work, or some part of it, to uncover some knowledge of that as a kind of truth, about the muse, and its process.

There has been only one work of Sinaida’s art that by itself ever moved me to write something specific, and it was, I think, because I imagined or discerned the piece of art as containing a gift. I felt moved to reflect on the piece directly, by creating a little story, as a poem, about an unusual gift being given directly to me. Interestingly, that poem has never been finished, and something about it has remained elusive to me, which I suspect is wrapped up in my own perfectionism. That particular work of hers that I associate thematically with a gift is one of the pieces I selected to include here, though my unfinished poem is not.

I mention this rather isolated artistic incident to underline the fact that the main influence her art has had on me, or mine, seems to be more of an osmosis — one of learning to work, give voice to, and trust the workings and expressions of the subconscious.

At some level, knowledge of Sinaida’s other life as a professor of art therapy, and the connection that has with psychology, made me seriously consider whether there was true, personal meaning to be searched for inside her works. Then, extrapolating that to my own writing, considering whether the same could be done with words — the creation of meaning, but by consciously trying to create and retain an abstract and impressionistic aura that might exude enigma, or mystery, and both invite and defy the discovery of meaning.

More recently I’ve begun to think, or realize, that if parts of one’s life, or psyche, needs to remain hidden, and yet there is a tension that develops because there is a natural desire to want to be open and share, then subconscious expression is a solution, and one’s art then acts as a bridge.

These particular rivers and the bridges over them operate at one level, but there is also the level of the work that is towards the perfecting of the artistic object, and operating at that level is more conscious, and in the thick of things. Both levels work in tandem as the process of creation, and may be a parallel to the kind of layering Sinaida describes as being the main feature of her artistic process.

Miguel Escobar
photo by Life, formerly Annie Escobar

Biographical Notes – Miguel Escobar
Miguel Escobar’s writing has appeared on-line at Luciole Press, Diaphanous Press Fall 2017 Issue, on Facebook since late 2015, in the WordPress blog community, and on MySpace circa 2007-2008. He resides in the northern California city of Sacramento, at the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers.

Miguel Escobar on facebook
email: mjescobar@msn.com

Sinaida Wolf
photo by the artist’s brother

Biographical notes – Sinaida Wolf
Sinaida Wolf (her artist name), German artist, studied art at the University Of Arts, Ottersberg, Germany. She has participated in various exhibitions in Germany and abroad, the last being a group exhibition: the Seoul, Korea International Photo Festival 2018, which ran 5/31 through 6/6/2018. In her other profession, she works as a professor of art therapy in Germany, teaching digital art and art therapy. She also teaches abroad in Malaysia, China and the Philippines.

Sinaida Wolf on facebook
Sinaida Wolf on Instagram
Email: sinaidawolf@googlemail.com

2.4: freeing the inner concert | Kim Papa (Howlett) — paintings

Midwife water soluble graphite 18 x 24 inches ©2017

diaphanous micro

2.4: freeing the inner concert | Kim Papa (Howlett) — paintings

Introduction by Krysia Jopek

In the summer of 2017, I had the privilege of seeing Kim (Howlett) Papa’s paintings for the first time. It was love at first sight, and I chose three of her paintings to be featured in the Fall 2017 issue of Diaphanous.

I’m drawn to her work because she paints poetry—combines sculpture with music and air; calligraphy, visual syntax, and aesthetic vocabulary; architectural space, emotional and psychological reality, and the unit of brushstroke.

I continue to be impressed by her paintings that embody her creative process. She is first-rate. Her paintings are a gift to viewers. Please enjoy eighteen of her works of art followed by her Artist Statement and bio.

Congratulations, Kim, on this amazing virtual show!

June 29, 2018

water soluble graphite
18 x 24 inches

water soluble graphite
18 x 24 inches

All That I am
water soluble graphite
10 x 14 inches

water soluble graphite
18 x 24 inches

water soluble graphite
18 x 24 inches

Eclipsed Intensions
water soluble graphite
10 x 10 inches

water soluble graphite
18 x 18 inches

water soluble graphite
18 x 24 inches

Divergent Boundaries
water soluble graphite
18 x 24 inches

My Girl is Retro
water soluble graphite
18 x 24 inches

Internal Silence
water soluble graphite
6 x 12 inches

Song of the Katydid
water soluble graphite
18 x 24 inches

Echo Location
water soluble graphite
16 x 20 inches

Separating Major Elements
water soluble graphite
18 x 24 inches

Diatonic Melody
water soluble graphite
18 x 24 inches

Scent of a Woman
water soluble graphite
11 x 14 inches

water soluble graphite
12 x 18 inches

water soluble graphite
18 x 24 inches

Kim’s philosophy of composition is to abstract a concept to the lowest denominator and reintroduce key images or strokes whose repetition expand upon the image. Much of her work is black and white, which she attributes to her Korean heritage—not as a conscious choice, but rather a genetic outcome. Hangul, the Korean alphabet is comprised of lines and circles; an either or; a yes or no. Kim’s art takes that and allows for variation; insists that lines are organic and circles are not static. Color is added sparingly more as punctuation.

Her art is conceptual. She began painting two years ago when it became clear to her that it was necessary to take that which she had secreted away so carefully would crumble and disappear – that she would disappear if not expressed.

Kim’s favorite artists are Henry Moore, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Franz Kline, Cy Twombly, Jackson Pollock, Joan Mitchell, William De Kooning, David Mankin, Struan Teague, Arshile Gorky, Gerhard Richter, Bernd Harke, Rothko, Kokichi Umezaki, Kitty Sabtier, Somluk Pantiboon, and Northwest Coast Indian art.
Kim is currently working on creating a collection of symbolic scars, which will generate into masks. It is her hope that the series will speak to a larger group of people that have survived major trauma.

Kim Papa was born in Long Beach, CA, lived in southern California for most of her life and moved to the northern part of the state 35 years ago. She lives with her husband Joe and two cats. She is the mother of two children, has four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

She has held various jobs ranging from work in a bakery, a bank, a computer company and was a graphic designer for two different state agencies. She now works for a state agency that manages diverse fish, wildlife and plant resources as well as the habitats they are dependent upon.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Anthropology. She has an insatiable curiosity for language, writing systems, symbolism and masks that she used as the basis of a class she designed and taught at a northern California university.

photo by Kai Yan Lok

Kim’s paintings are available for sale. If interested, email her at: kimlotusgirl@aol.com

2.2:  Francine Witte | poetry, photography, and flash fiction

unner da bridge 1080 x 1349 pixels ©2017

diaphanous micro

2.2: Francine Witte | poetry, photography, and flash fiction

At the end of us

we drop our manners,
don’t even stop for a proper
goodbye. Instead, we wander off
to all the places we would rather
be. We scale down to skeletons,
bare-boned, unhearted. The bodies
we were to each other lie rumpled
in a corner. We no longer need
them. Don’t know them.
They look like the yesterday
that is just about start.


from Café Crazy

Charley explains baseball to me

and how it’s about history,
game six and Gehrig and so many

stats. I tell Charley that history
hasn’t been kind to him and me,

and I remind him about the night
he hooked up with the ice cream girl,

and how I forgave him because booze
was already the other woman. Of course,

I say this only in my head. Charley stopped
listening long ago. And I think about leaving again,

and again, I think how easy life could be, how
just like the clean smack of the bat or a baseball

birding through the sky. And that’s when Charley
tells me how he could’ve gone pro. Star catcher

in the pee-wee league, and later scouted
in high school, but the damn drink hooked him

early, easy fish. He takes a deep breath
and says he’ll tell me more later, and

I settle back in for the evening, looking
at the boy that lives in Charley’s face.


from Café Crazy


Charley buys me three and even
names them – Agnes, Brunhilde, and Pearl.

I tell him flowers don’t live long enough
for names, and he just winks and says,

like love. Maybe he’s thinking our love
went nameless long ago, and these flowers

are marking its grave. No matter.
I like the aroma, the red, red fullness.

I put them in a vase, and they spread
apart, look like the top of the asterisk

I might someday put next to Charley’s
name. Yeah, it would say, he was

technically my lover, but really that
was me being broken. Later that week,

when the roses droop into the asterisk’s
bottom half, Charley says I depressed

them, especially Agnes, and couldn’t I
please be happy for once? I promise

to try harder, and when the girls finally die,
turn into rosecrumble scattered on the floor.

I sweep it up quick so no one has to see
the mess. Like love, I want to tell Charley,

almost exactly like love.

unner da bridge
1080 x 1349 pixels

lace lights
1080 x 1080 pixels

1080 x 1183

Alarm clock

and how it’s about to ring. About to get this thing started. This thing called the workday. A part of this thing called a marriage.

So it rings, and the wife part of this thing called a marriage plops together a plate of food for the husband part. They chew and swallow in the same order. Eggs, then toast, then coffee gulp.

Then it’s the dress up part. Ties and pantyhose and who are you wearing cologne for?

Then it’s the out the door part. Kisses and mumbles and what will you do when I’m not watching?

Inside, and left behind, the kitchen fills with all their anger. It’s important not to take it out into the world. It’s important to leave it in the coffee maker, in the copper pots. It’s important not to take it to the jobs they hate more than the marriage. Important not to whisper it into the ears of their lovers. Important not to use it to drown out the alarm that will ring at some point, telling them it’s time to go home.


100 degrees, and when you ask Reynaldo what happened to his wife, he starts to zipper shut. You change the subject. “Do you like the Ferris Wheel at the amusement park?” you ask, trying to be light and funny. “They don’t let you on without a partner.”

“I killed her, okay?” Reynaldo says, his face flush behind the five o’clock shadow.

“Well, you must have had a good reason,” you say, determined to salvage the moment.

“No,” he says. “It was a ruthless act. I am almost a little proud.”

You like this about Reynaldo – his lack of melancholy and remorse. So refreshing after the bubble-wrap geeks you are used to.

Later that night, you shimmy over to the amusement park. You intend to keep this thing going and head straight for the Ferris Wheel.”

“Tell me, Reynaldo,” you say, “if I were to fall, would you try to capture me?”

You see the zipper closing again. You may have struck the wrong chord. You move up three spaces in line, and that’s when you see a young woman falling from the top of the Ferris Wheel, her legs in flowered tights forming a victory V.

“That’s how my wife died” Reynaldo says, his hand dancing near the small of your back, the thinnest film of sweat forming there, having nothing to do with July.



This is the story of 6:00 a.m. Not the 6:00 a.m. of clinking milk bottles or sun climbing the sky. This is the 6:00 a.m. of a house on fire, about to go up in smoke. You just wait.

See, this is the story of a 6:00 a.m. where you look over and love is lying next to you a stinky, rotten corpse.

The kind of 6:00 a.m. where you gotta change your address. Again.

That’ll make three times this year. Rudy always finds me. I gotta stop dropping crumbs.

It’s 6:03. I hate digital time. It just numbers your whole life away.

Not like back in Minnesota where mornings are wrapped in blankets of fresh snow. Back then, my clock had a face. I had a face.

These days, Rudy beats up my face. Welts it with big, fisty blows. I got a dime store full of makeup.

I’m grateful for the way booze chloroforms Rudy into a stupor. He’ll stay like this, but not forever. I gotta move. I gotta move slow and unnoticed as time.

I need two things. Katie and my ice skates. Katie’s my three-year-old. It’s cause of her I always leave. Rudy’s been gettin’ at her again. Oh yeah, I know. And he knows I know.

Problem is this. I need my ice skates. Back there in Minnesota, I was training for the Olympics. Spent hours each day at the rink. Trained and trained and along comes Rudy. Good-looking and such. You know. I know you know.

My skates are in the attic. Big old, musty room full of ghosts and all things banished from my pre-Rudy life. My skates were the first thing he got rid of.

Problem is it’s 6:30. Half hour before the digital begins blip-blipping it’s alarm, and Rudy fogs his way back to the surface.

I got Katie dressed and propped in a chair in the living room. She’s an angel. My half of is her winning. Thank God.

Up in the attic, I find my skates by feel. Only dark, morning light and that ain’t much. That’s okay. I’m know them anywhere.

Rudy stands in the doorway with a candle. He’s still blurred over by boozy sleep, but he looms like a monster.

“Maybe this will help.” he smirks.

I have no breath left to hold.

“Where’s Katie?” my first furious words.

“Bitch,” he says, “You bitch. You’ll never see her again.”

The candle is a missile flying out of Ruby’s hand. It misses me and starts a crown of fire. Tongues of white heat licking up the past.

From the soul of the living room, I hear Katie. She is waiting, just waiting. I work a chair against the attic door, run downstairs, and scoop Katie into my arms. I look back once, only once. My non-digital watch says 7:00 a.m. I have made it out alive.

I start up the Honda and aim myself towards the rest of my life. Meanwhile, in the upstairs window, Rudy goes out like a flame.

INTERVIEW WITH FRANCINE WITTE [most questions were conceived by the poet, what she wanted to talk about in the context of her work]

1. Do you have a particular subject you like to write about?

I like to write about love relationships, family memories, and the natural world.

2. What is the role of truth in your poems?

I try to make everything sound like the truth even though most of it never happened that way. I attempt this through throwing in enough real or detail, but the overall story is probably made up. In my book, Café Crazy, I have a running story about a person named Charley. People always ask me who he is. I tell them he’s no one in particular, but lots of pieces of people I’ve known. I don’t think people believe me.

3. Since you write both poetry and flash fiction, how do you know which form to use?

I usually decide which genre I’m going to write in. I’ll sit down and say, okay, I’m going to write a flash. I use a lot of poetic language in my flashes, but the main thing is that there is a story. A poem might or might not have a story, but a flash has to.

My process in writing flash is not that different from writing poetry. The way I approach language is always the same. I want to avoid clichés and tired phrases. I want to say something in a way that’s never been said before. That’s when I know it’s working. But there are a few differences. In poetry, you have to decide on form. Is it going to be written in long lines, short lines, couplets? The form is an important element of a poem. Couplets can undercut the seriousness of a poem, allowing too much air in. Similarly, a poem might need the air of couplets or the breeziness of very short lines. And you have to think about line breaks. A line break or a stanza break is another important moment. You don’t worry about this in prose.

Prose has its own concerns. What point of view do you use? Dialogue or no? If dialogue, do you use italics or quotation marks? How much description of a character do you need? Of course, flash is so compact that you just need a word or two to describe a character. I love compression in writing. That’s why I can’t write a novel.

4. How do other poets influence your writing?

I am very aware of voice in other people’s writing. I like to see what forms poets use. If I’m in a couplet-y mood, I might read a lot of couplet poems, just to see how they move. Also, I’m very impressed by how a poet uses language. Those things really make me think about my own voice and use of language.

5. Do you have particular journals you like to read? Why?

I like Rattle, the poems are fun and profound. I like the Southeast Review, Cloudbank, Barbaric Yawp, and South Florida Poetry Journal, among others. I like journals that publish the kinds of poems I like to write.

6. When did you start writing poetry?

I started writing when I was thirteen. Rhymes just came to me, and I liked writing them. My parents were so encouraging. I took a really long break from writing until my late twenties when I went back to college and took creative writing classes. My very first teacher was Julia Alvarez, who was great and taught me all about craft. I just kept writing and started getting published. I soon discovered poetry workshops, writing groups, and poetry readings. Now, this is a big part of my life.

7. What makes a poem good?

A good poem is both easy to understand but uses language to take the reader to another level beyond the words on the page. A good poem says what you can’t say in any other words but the words that are there, and yet your gut knows what’s being said; your inner ear hears the unspoken words.

8. How do you know when a poem is “working”

A poem that is working creates magic. This applies to poems I’m reading and writing. If a poem doesn’t go beyond the words on the page, if it doesn’t create another level of experience–it hasn’t created magic. A poem may succeed on a basic craft level. It might use metaphor or imagery correctly. That’s a good start.

9. What is the importance of going to poetry readings?

There are two types of readings. One you attend to hear a poet whom you admire. You might want to hear how their poems are presented, to see how a more accomplished poet reads and to hear their work, or simply to enjoy it. But in terms of the advantage to you as a poet, it’s the same as tennis; you only get better if you play with someone at a higher level. The other type of reading is the open mic. Open mic readings are important, so that you get reaction to your own work and develop your reading style–and to see what your peers are doing. I think it’s an important component to your life as a writer.

10. How did you feel having your book Café Crazy published?

It’s nothing less than a dream come true. I had had several chapbooks (both in poetry and flash fiction) published and was thrilled with that, but having the whole collection published was really another level of happiness. I am now trying to have the same thing happen with my flash fiction.

11. What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working a bit more on flash fiction, but I’m still writing poetry. I really enjoy both. I’m looking to get my full-length collection of flash stories published.

12. How does reviewing influence your own writing? (You are a reviewer for South Florida Poetry Review and others on occasion)

Writing reviews allows me to analyze very closely how a collection is put together. What is the main message this collection is trying to communicate? What is the through line? Very often, when I read a book of poetry or flash, for that matter, I jump around, reading whatever appeals to me in no particular order. When I write a review, I read it front to back. I try to find what holds the poems together. Why are they in this order?, etc. I reviewed one book in which the poet kept returning to a theme, rather than grouping the poems together. I tried this technique in Café Crazy with the Charley poems, and it seemed to work better.

13. Is Facebook a good thing or a bad thing for writers?

I love Facebook. It’s given me opportunities I never would have otherwise had. I have connected with writers all over the country this way. I post my poems and people read them and comment on them. When I have a poem in a print journal, it’s very exciting, of course, but a lot of people don’t see it. If I take a photo of the poem and post it, now people see it. It also makes others aware of the journal.

14. Who are your favorite poets?

My favorite poets are George Wallace and Dorianne Laux.

15. Can you talk a little bit about your process of writing poetry and flash fiction? Is the process different for each genre or the same?

My process for writing both forms is pretty much the same. I write a half hour a day. No more. With short forms you can do this. I try to produce one new thing a day. Now, this is not to say that I come up with a good, publishable thing every day. But it’s a goal. If I work on something for more than three days, I know it isn’t working, and I might either abandon it or come back to it later. This is why I don’t write longer work. I like to keep moving. When I revise, I like to just cut a line or change a word. I don’t want to go back and look at Chapter 1 to see what I’ve missed.

I’m very receptive to prompts. I like to look at a photo or take a few random words and see what happens. I have developed a pretty good internal editor that tells me when something isn’t working. Whenever I try to slip something by, it keeps bumping around in the poem. It just look right.

16. What is the subject of your photography and why?

I walk around with my i-phone and take pictures of what I see that I want the world to see. I take photos mostly when I’m walking around Manhattan, but have gotten very interesting shots in Brooklyn and on Long Island. I am very attracted to the textures of things, the roughness of brick, the way light eats up a street. I love how trees and branches overlap and squiggle. I love the combination of trees and buildings. And I love the colors of things.

17. 14. How did you hear about Diaphanous?

I believe I saw it listed on Facebook, probably a call for submissions. I submitted, and I’m certainly glad that I did!

purchase Cafe Crazy

review of Cafe Crazy

Francine Witte – Poets & Writers

Francine Witte is the author of the poetry chapbooks Only, Not Only (Finishing Line Press, 2012) and First Rain (Pecan Grove Press, 2009), winner of the Pecan Grove Press competition, and the flash fiction chapbooks Cold June (Ropewalk Press), selected by Robert Olen Butler as the winner of the 2010 Thomas A. Wilhelmus Award, and The Wind Twirls Everything (MuscleHead Press). Her latest poetry chapbook, Not All Fires Burn the Same, won the 2016 Slipstream chapbook contest. Her poem “”My Dead Florida Mother Meets Gandhi” is the first prize winner of the 2015 Slippery Elm poetry award. Her full-length poetry collection, Cafe Crazy was published earlier this year by Kelsay Books. She has been nominated seven times for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry and once for Fiction. Her photographs have been published in South Florida Poetry Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, Sourland Mountain Review, and other journals. She is an associate editor and staff poetry reviewer for South Florida Poetry Journal. She edits the weekly flash fiction column FLASH BOULEVARD on the Facebook blog, Poetrybay. https://www.facebook.com/poetrybay.1152611418123138/ A former English teacher, Francine lives in New York.

Francine Witte Author Photo

2.1:  the sign of dreaming pilots | J Karl Bogartte — experimental poetry and visual art

And Still the Navigators archival pigment print 38 inches x 38 inches ©2016

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2.1: the sign of dreaming pilots | J Karl Bogartte — experimental poetry and visual art

the sign of dreaming pilots

The Lilith-feasting lamps bleed, to gather her colors for the gravity gates and the window of projectiles, the ancient wiles, raising light. A blueness among the ashes of a burnt-out illusion unravels the ape of identity, throwing black gloves and a still-warm conundrum riddled with golden spigots and invisible alarms. Nothing too serious for the weary calligrapher. A riddle for obsessive basalt and the fluorite of meaningful delights. A fable for crafting witches.


Mandragora piping, a dust-blown frame, a sputtering constellation that remembers your bodily presence as if it were only yesterday. A latent thread issuing that treason of uncommon attractions for a hidden communion, living text, a force-fed signing, in waves. The tide, face… She is a fawn-shaped, demon-quenching sister, a surrational schemer, this dawnspark and every dawnspark thereafter… dragged out into the desert to conceive.


To keep desire alive and shuddering, when the spine is bright, a starry debris. Handfuls of pollen gathered for a flash fire, outstretched by night vision of animal nature. She lowered her quails squirting pearls deep into a nameless shadow. A fierce mastery of a delicate nature to align a primal blood-gaze for the enraptured Coat of Melusine, for travel and sudden entrances. To leap. Light is the maze, darkness is an image of it…


Where the chameleon-weaver comes to fiddle with the phases of the moon… Scraping darkness off a mirror, pulling the threads of a dream from your mouth, clothing for a dance forced into déjà vu. It was deep into her eyes that drew the order and continuation of desirable proportions, extracting, polishing… spirit-bone tapping for a spark-rendering pose. The art of lunacy.




The King’s Shining Daughter
archival pigment print
38 inches x 46 inches



And Still the Navigators
archival pigment print
38 inches x 38 inches


Bathing Lilith in Cappadocia
archival pigment print
40 inches x 48 inches



Hold Fast Your Anomaly
archival pigment print
40 inches x 48 inches



artist statement

It all just comes naturally. I have no preconceived ideas when I write anything, or begin an image. Nothing visionary or trance-like, but I am always surprised by what happens in a nonlinear fashion, and transparency seems the normal point of access. Even from an early age, I couldn’t think of anything being correct without a corresponding opposite, which naturally drew me to alchemy and it’s magical resolution of opposites. Surrealism provided the necessary synthesis and the active movement of thought and being.

While I have been schooled in anthropology and photography, I am basically self-taught and have no real influences in what I do. My most favorite artists are, of course, those in and around surrealism: Yves Tanguy, Roberto Matta, Gorky, Carrington, Varo. I also find Da Vinci most curious. Favorite writers, also in and around surrealism, André Breton, early René Char, Carrington, Octavio Paz, Jacques Dupin, Alejandra Pizarnik, among others.


biographical note

J. Karl Bogartte is both an artist and a poet, having been involved in international surrealism for almost 50 years. His writings and visual imagery, for all intents and purposes, is simply a means of exploration and a way of thinking and perceiving in non-traditional ways. He has published eight books of poetic texts and a bilingual novella “Antibodies.” He is co-founder of La Belle Inutile Éditions, a collective virtual press. More recently a book of his visual images, “Mythologies,” was published through Blurb books.

His writing has been included in Paraphilia Magazine, X- Peri, Peculiar Mormyrid, Analogon 65, la vertèbre et le rossignol… His most recent books are Auré, The Spindle’s Arc, And Still The Navigators…

Books by JKarl Bogartte Amazon


Visual Art by J Karl Bogartte on Tumblr

Doug Krimmer, photographer

2.3: Stefan Bohdan | visual art and poetry
diaphanous micro

2.3: Stefan Bohdan | visual art and poetry

My Goddesss
translated into Arabic by Fethi Sassi of Tunisia
©2018 Stefan Bohdan


I thirst for water
in a paradise of fire
I am so parched
I seek the seven seas
in every grain of sand
I am too weak
to shake the date palm
so I eat
the fallen fruit
giving me visions
of kingdoms
and last days
of the world to come
and my own death
weigh heavy upon my soul
the angels astray
revealed to me
is the opposite of
in this dreamland
I can see
I am a pile of bones
buried in a desert’s mirage
counting sheep

©2018 Stefan Bohdan

counting sheep
digital art
500 x 665 pixels


So stoned
think I’m swallowing my tongue
think I’m having a heart attack
think I’m pissing myself
think I’m dying
think I’m not going to make it
think think think think think
think I’m thinking too much
Picasso’s sucking me off
sucking the marrow from my bone
the hemispheres of my brain
divided by a cocaine razor blade
I kissed God’s closed eyes
now I’m having visions
the sun is fucking with me
shining in my eyes
every direction my head turns
I ate her Persian triangle like a juicy pomegranate
and she loved it
images of you inside my mind
fading into bone white as skull
we have become one
random thoughts
life is an infinite haiku
my mind a mosaic of broken thoughts
my spinal cord is made of macrame
the geometry of my skull reveals
I’m emotionally retarded
yet a genius polymath
my slow stoned movements
an interpretative dance
of the Russian cosmonaut
floating in space
the most beautiful creature
I have ever seen
lives in the desert valley
none of this
is making any sense
to me
brain damage
I dream in haikus
nightmares of yellow butterflies
rust falling from the stars
prayers rising from my head
my tears run like watercolors
my blood circulating like tie-dye
the gay bar piano is tuning me out
music stretching and contracting without origin
moving too slow
thinking I’m moving too fast
my horizon tilting and overturning
my world spinning off axis
spinning the wrong way out of control
spinning spinning spinning spinning spinning
falling falling falling falling falling
time jerky
moving in tiny increments
tripping out

from God’s Breath
©2018 Stefan Bohdan

smoked a joint
digital art
736 x 500 pixels


Strange fish
a colorful mosaic
of metallic scales and fins
reflecting golden hues
across patina-colored flesh
full of open wounds
exposing silver bones
echoing prison bars
drowned out in
a sky-blue ocean
as salty as
a wet dream
spewing syphilitic visions
from anatomically incorrect
coin-covered eyes
like two dead pools
weeping gonorrhea-green lust
through worn-out glory holes
heaven realized
happy tears dripping down
upon you and me
hell realized
sad tears dripping down
upon life and death
the floater floats above us
like a bloated corpse
dripping its incurable disease
into the contagious breeze . . .
O strange fish
the symbol of death
you make this life bittersweet!

©2018 Stefan Bohdan

911 x 500 pixels


Cocoon head
larva mind
chrysalis thoughts squirming
like angry wings
escaping silky dreams
my nightmare born

from God’s Breath
©2018 Stefan Bohdan

yellow butterfly
782 x 500 pixels


I am a self-taught author, poet, artist, draftsman, sculptor and photographer. I have no
inspiration to create, more of an internal urge to create–an urge that must be realized.
The arts I have chosen to pursue are the arts that I am not gifted in. This is the
challenge for me: to achieve success artistically–where there should have been a
failure. My latest poetry collection, God’s Breath (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), along
with all of my other poetry collections, anthologies, novellas and novels, can be found
on my Amazon author page (link below).

Favorite authors: Dostoevsky, Orwell and Rand.
Favorite poets: Hafez and Rumi.
Favorite artists: da Vinci and Picasso.
Favorite architects: Wright and Pei.
Favorite composers: Bach and Handel.

Stefan Bohdan lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife Margaret.


Stefan Bohdan was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lived in Jamaica and Iran, and
has traveled the world. He currently lives in Central Florida with his wife Margaret and
their Giant Schnauzer, Standard Schnauzer, Mini Schnauzer, and Affenpinscher. He is
the father of five adult children: three females and two males. He is also a grandfather.

Stefan has been a construction laborer, a land/road surveyor, an estimator, a manual
draftsman, a CADD technician, a designer for state/national/international architectural
and engineering and construction firms, a licensed building contractor, and has owned
his own business designing custom homes. He has been a community college student
who received his AA degree, and is a university dropout: a former student of computer

Stefan enjoys creating abstract drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photographs. He
also enjoys writing unorthodox poetry, philosophy, screenplays, short stories, and dark
novels. Some of his favorite authors include Dostoevsky, Orwell, and Rand. He loves
collecting and reading Russian literature and dystopian novels: the older the better.

Retired from the architectural/engineering/construction world, Stefan now spends his
days and nights writing novels, off-center stories, and unorthodox poems on his iMac:
while guzzling sugary coffee nonstop and jamming and convulsing wildly to The Cure.
He is currently working on his next masterpiece.

His poems have been published in multiple books, anthologies, journals, e-zines–
and translated into Persian (Farsi), Arabic, Urdu, Nepali, Estonian, French and
old Japanese.

Stefan can be contacted via facebook or email: StefanBohdan@yahoo.com

Stafan Bohdan’s Books on Amazon
Stefan Bohdan’s God’s Breath
Interview with Stefan Bohdan
Another interview with Stefan Bohdan
Stefan Bohdan on Facebook

author photo by
Peggy Bogden