Sunday, January 1, 2023

JANUARY 2023 V-8 No-10













email us to:





NilavroNill Shoovro

Talking With Poet



NILAVRONILL: Why do literature and poetry in particular interest you so much? Please give us some idea about your own perception of literature or poetry in general.


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN:  Literature, and poetry in particular, have always interested me because of the ability to express range through language and truly create almost anything or go off in any direction you wish.  The act of writing possesses a freedom in it that is hard to find almost anywhere else in daily life.  All art for that matter provides this lifeline and I am forever thankful for that. 


NILAVRONILL: How do you relate your own self existence with your literary life in one hand, and the time around you, in the other.


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN:  The time around me stays pretty consistent in an everyday sense, even if the world around me appears to be going off the deep end as it does now.  I keep things as simple as I can in my personal life to combat the crazy stresses of an off-kilter larger world. In terms of my own self existence within writing, I do many of the same rituals: listen to much of the same music and drink the same things when I write.  I find such consistency in the process allows me to explore more freely in the unpredictability of the work.  Therefore, by limiting mundane everyday concerns, it opens much up to a more creative headspace of ideas and flow where I can just get lost in the words and the mechanism without thinking about it too much.  It is a fluid artistic existence, grounded by a regimented surety outside the artistic spectrum.


NILAVRONILL: Do you believe creative souls flourish more in turmoil than in peace?


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN:  Related to the last question, I believe it most helpful to have a little cocoon or personal space of not so much peace, but a familiarity from with which to create.  Your own little space and time without intrusion is very important for me.  That said, the root of the writing or emotive bent underlining it most often comes from tapping back into that original formative turmoil that often propels one to create.  I know I’ve had my share and tapping back into all that, revisiting the wounds is vital.  Without that base, I’d imagine writing or other artistic mediums may come a little harder to someone.  I guess what I am saying is that you need to suffer in life to help later colour your art, but that I find it most helpful to create from a much different and solitary headspace when it comes time to put things down on the page.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think in this age of information and technology the dimensions of literature have been largely extended beyond our preconceived ideas about literature in general?


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN:  It is true to a degree that expanded information and technology have certainly extended our notions and ideas.  Being able to reach out and connect with or read/see the art of people from all over the world is the good side of technology.  But I feel the artist should also try to stay within their own headspace at times and not become inundated with a plethora of unhelpful information that can often come at you from all sides.  Technology and information have their place, but they are never the entire house.  They aren’t even foundational bricks, but more akin to windows or doors that provide access and opportunity more than anything else.


NILAVRONILL: Now, in this changing scenario we would like to know from your own life experiences as a poet, writer and a creative soul: How do you respond to this present time?


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN:  Personal life experiences are central for me, but I do try to keep a reasonable distance from the present time.  I taste the soup and capture the flavour, but I never jump face first into the boiling cauldron.  That’s not to say you can lose balance when sitting down and zoning out, I certainly have many times, but some limited grounding is always good to keep you from becoming unmoored and sailing away from your core Self for good.


NILAVRONILL: Do you believe that all writers are by and large the product of their nationality? And is this an incentive for or an obstacle against becoming a truly international writer?


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN:  Nationality certainly plays a part.  Your upbringing, society, larger culture all that.  I think it is pretty much impossible to escape such things, they will find a way to creep in even if you believe yourself fully conscious of them and trying to avoid such tropes.  I don’t try to avoid them and embrace that part of me.  But I do veer off in all sorts of ways in my writing and having that ability to travel and experiment through your work is of great importance.  I never think of it in terms of “international writing,” but just pushing both myself and things off into strange directions at times if I can, often without thinking of it.  I find that once something is forced, it falters or becomes formulaic.  I like more of the Dylan Freewheeling’ approach; don’t just let it come at you, but let it lead the dance for a few hours.  There is a little bit of surrender involved and I like that.


NILAVRONILL: Now, if we try to understand the tradition and modernism, do you think literature can play a pivotal role in it? If so, how? Again, how can an individual writer relate himself or herself to the tradition and to modernism?


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN: I never really liked the word “modernism,” because so much is rooted in the past and past experiences even if such attachments are not so readily noticeable.  Modernism for me simply means to push things along; being at once aware of the literary tradition and the personal need to expand yourself and by extension, the larger literary cannon over time if you can.  Again, a healthy mix of tradition and modern, but yes, those rather open-ended terms sit uneasily with me.  To be both of a rooted past and a striving future is an ultimate awareness of one’s own creative present.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think literary criticism has much to do with the development of a poet and the true understanding of his or her poetry?


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN: Constructive criticism from trusted people is very helpful.  Writing in particular is a very solitary process which can easily become myopic without fresh outside perspectives at certain times.  People come at things differently and the variety of perspective can definitely be advantageous.  Literary criticism is a far different beast.  I personally do not put much stock in literary criticism as a thing and think it can be quite harmful to personal artistic tendencies and willingness if followed or adhered to too closely.  Remember, critics couldn’t stand Led Zeppelin; that should tell you all you ever need to know about critics.  This is not to say I or anyone else is Led Zeppelin or not, but simply to note that a critic will always be a critic, often becoming myopic in their own stead.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think society as a whole is the key factor in shaping you up as a poet, or your poetry altogether?


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN:  Society does shape a lot of my writing.  I watch/listen/smell/touch/experience what is around me and try to capture much of that in the best way I can.  Sometimes, it is in a much more literal approach to the subject, but often I use it as a diving board to touch on and then leap off of and relate to something else in a strange artful way.  There is something at my core that loves to jump around and experiment, so where I start off is often not where I end up in the slightest and that may be what I enjoy most about the process.  Not knowing where anything ends up, the multitude of things you can do with the language to make things dance, even if it is an ugly dance.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think people in general actually bother about literature? Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature?


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN:  Most people out in the everyday world could not care less about literature or art more generally.  In America, less than 1% ever pick up a book after high school; that is a depressing fact.  And hardcore bikers thought they were the only 1%ers.  Seems there are a lot of them.  I try to avoid notions of “serious literature,” I know what you mean roughly though and I think there is a great disconnect for most people with not only writing, but art more generally.  Music seems to bridge that gap best of all the arts, but you can see the ills of mass consumer culture on that medium.


NILAVRONILL: We would like to know the factors and the peoples who have influenced you immensely in the growing phase of your literary life.


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN:  Mrs. Ballard, my grade five teacher was a big one for me.  When I switched schools, we stayed in touch and she spurred me on.  My uncle Larry ran away from home when he was nineteen and lived on the street his whole life.  People in town called him “The Reader” because he spent most his time reading the books in the public library.  He is dead now, but they have a commemorative bench dedicated to him out front the library and some of his ashes are scattered there.  His stubbornness and love of art and willingness to sacrifice have always meant a lot to me.  My grade ten English teacher, Mr. Scanlon, helped peak my interest in writing and poetry more specifically by introducing me to the work of Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Auden, William Golding, Northrop Frye etc.  And then stumbling upon many writers themselves: Kafka, Fante, Frank O’Hara, Philip Larkin, E.E. Cummings, Frost, Carver, Al Purdy and so many more.  I remember exactly where I was sitting and how it smelled when I first found Bukowski.  Joyce as well.  These moments are fundamental to me as an artist a human being.  That is what great art does! Music and fine art also play a huge role.


NILAVRONILL: How would you evaluate your contemporaries and what are your aspirations for or expectation from the younger generation?


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN:  At present, the small press seems in a good place.  There are plenty of really talented people out there doing their thing.  And so many wonderful visual artists as well, many that I have had the pleasure of working with.  And also many dedicated publishers helping push everything along, so the small press seems to be in a good place right now.  This has not always been so. It will be interesting to see how the younger generation comes out.  There is a menacing small-mindedness and prevalent censorship (and self-censorship) that is beginning to filter into all elements of individual and greater societal life.  Everything politicised and persecuted which is never a good thing for either the creation of art or for human beings themselves.  This mob mentality is truly antithetical to everything I want as an individual: to strive and question and create and thrive.  There is a lot out there now that appears to have the natural impulse to strangle and constrict.  I would not want to be a young person coming up now.  The pressures and indoctrination seem much further along than when I was coming up. 


NILAVRONILL: Humanity has suffered immensely in the past, and is still suffering around the world. We all know it well. But are you hopeful about our future?


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN:  I am not hopeful for our immediate future certainly.  And even beyond that, the whole world seems to have gone completely off the rails which will simply add to untold suffering and the deaths of those often most vulnerable.  Humanity is stubborn and has a tendency to find a way in the end, but at present, I see very little hope (or even the impulse in people towards wanting hope or understanding).  All I see is horrible suffering, corruption, chaos and lies.


NILAVRONILL: What role can literature in general play to bring a better day for every human being?


RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN: I don’t think literature can play much of a role globally in bringing about better times for humanity.  Most the world has no interest in such things.  Many people are struggling each day just to survive and not to find the right word.  That said, literature and art more generally can play a huge role on a personal level to improve your life.  I know my life is personally enriched by great paintings and foundational music and writing.  Without these things in my life, I would feel less of a human being.  Art connects the soul through Time.  This is how you live among the shadows and the light and never once succumb to either.  How you kick and wail and scream and laugh and become realized.

RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN is a Canadian-born author who lives in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work has been published both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, Our Poetry Archive, Setu, The New York Quarterly, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Dumpster Fire Press, Red Fez and the Oklahoma Review.  He enjoys listening to the blues and cruising down the TransCanada in his big blacked out truck.




God’s Work


My wife and I are driving up Hillside Ave.

Past the St. Peter The Apostle Anglican Church.


It is a warm sun-drenched afternoon over

Canada Day long weekend.


And I notice a green wheelbarrow

with many lawn care implements set out

on the church grounds to clear away some brush.


God’s work,

I mutter under my breath.


If my wife hears me,

she doesn’t say a word.


Listening to Martika sing about Toy Soldiers

on the SiriusXM Radio 80s station.


A six-month free trial.

Which is hardly a miracle, but we’ll take it.

I Know Why Fools Pray


It could not be with more regret.

That mumbling unsure voice is mine now.


Tumbled walls of old munitions,

your place still warm right here.


The unreligious brought to knee.

I know why fools pray.


A love so great, 

only an equal pain for me.


Dead man walking –

I hear the rodded golden fields say. 


It could not be with more Hope.

Nothing ever helped.


A tiny simple urn I have never seen.


All this pain and guilt 


The Icing Takes The Cake


Here I am 

out on maneuvers

by the sweaty brown Solomons,

practicing land assaults

working back from aging lifeline pinky

and there's Bazooka Joe up in the gum trees

with salty night vision goggles for eyes,

looking to kick a sudden cramp out of 

of the latest rules of engagement 

so that the icing takes the cake,

"like a sewing needle up a donkey's ass"

which is less than plain speak for a successful mission

which is what we all want to be on

when that eraser on the end of every 

grade school pencil knows better.

Any Man Born Before Me

Is A Tombstone


I wonder

what Lucasfilm

will come up with.



your future

if you let it.


Any man born before me

is a tombstone.


That is what we mean

by that long lost treasure

we always find

in ourselves.



She kept trying

to talk to me.


She didn’t know

I was talking

to God.




RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Our Poetry Archive, Setu, Literary Yard, and The Oklahoma Review.





God Is The Name Of Love


God is the name of love

And the name of love is God

What resonates in people's subconscious

Who are climbing the stairs

From earth to heaven

Redeeming their souls

From the good angels

What admirable songs they sing

Awakening even the dead nations

In the womb of modern man

Turned into heavy demonic thoughts

Who create karma from ashes

Flying on the wings of the phoenix

From heaven to earth

Through all the holes in dreams

In which guardians are born

Some in hell, others in heaven


Every Man With His God


Every man with his God

It falls as an inspirational thought

Flying with the wings of a dove

Through the trials of life

Carrying the burden of the ancestors

Writing the Metamorphosis of Descendants

And in the moment when God is gone

And in its place, there is a rainbow

He knows that the colors have been given to him

To draw the most beautiful world

Using the rain as a tear of joy

And the sun as a hidden smile

To a newly resurrected saint


The God Of Gods Is All Seeing


The God of Gods is all seeing

But his word is voiceless

Trapped in the framework of everyday life

And immersed in the song of the sea

Engraved in the minds of lovers

What they long for the copy of heaven

Left to wait at the end of the world

Like a masterpiece - a work of the second order

Which does not open with Solomon's key

Who resembles a spirit that blows prayers

For the salvation of the entire Universe

And as soon as he leaves a sign in the sky

Love and death are equal before man...




ANETA VELKOSKA:  MACEDONIA. Aneta Velkoska was born in 1978. She lives and works in Macedonia. Work experience: professor, TV journalist, librarian, writer. Winner of awards for poetry, prose, drama: poetry book of the year, state award for essay, best drama script of a festival, first award in the world for Esperanto culture, special award for the traveling theater "Savages", with students, awards from the area of education and science. Acts: What Annoys Eternity (2001), Are All Gods Romantic (2004), First Macedonian lexicon (2004), The second love of the stone (2009), The Giantest Dwarf and the Dwarfest Giant (2010), Bad Yin and Good Yang (2018), Endless Frame (2019). She writes drama and film scripts. She makes creations from natural materials. Likes mountaineering, photography, occult sciences. She is the author of several multicultural projects.




Beyond Orgasm And Belief


Time is God passing through me

with hurricane mirrors

in the weight of sunshine.

Time becomes

photos in misplaced envelopes

with names we’ve mostly forgotten

remnants in a crumbling catalog

turning digital membrane

then glorious air jazz

searing the senses

over flowering cacti and desert daises

where the odd deer walk the wild beyond


where I can feel grateful

a sense of wisdom

moments of peace

where a memory blurred into everything

becomes a light that blinds us into one

where random chime breezes

breathe positively

beyond orgasm and beliefs


like God, you know

passing through me.


Poetic Science


Infinity is connection

to the process of changes.


We are but atoms in a molecule

of a single ply microscopic thread

in the DNA of the Firmament.


Collectively every life

past and present

makes one quasar flash to Pluto.


We are bacteria on a finger

of the Universe.


The Earth from Space

is one breathing organism

poisoning it’s blood and breath.


The moon is our child

and mother.


The Sun revolves

around an Event Horizon

an object so massive

that no matter or radiation

can escape its gravitational pull

eventually disappearing

into a Black Hole…


a math beyond our understanding…

or God.


The End


Morning rainbows last longer

in slanting Fall light,

gives twilight of hope

in all directions

and sensual dimensions.


Your companion in bed

is machinery and love

awash in white noise,

tidal breath bi-pap and

oxygen concentrator.


The heart swells as birds

suddenly rise together,

flutter specifically beyond the sky.


You go joyfully

fading into the sun,

burning into light.


Whether or not

you ever yawned an Om

or mumbled a Baptist hymn,

now you realize



Into The Prayer Wheel



the unaware soul of a child

or a plant that dies in the moonlight

the scene is pumped with mist

and color,

beckon you arise

to the sound of metal


caught between the worlds

eyes open to thought clouds

blending red into night

nearly fearing

only glancing

before the clouds cease

you feel souls meet,

relay a thought in love


give us something

for our fears

not the dark and the needle

give us something

like the mist knows


My Religion


I was raised by paradox

and Southern tunnel vision

where God was a magic word

who mostly brought beatings

when we gave a damn.


There was power in a book

of weird translations

that made no sense

that everyone swore by…

The bigger and fancier the Bible

the holier you were esteemed.


Fancy church ladies had

flowers and lace hugging

unregulated misogyny

and rules few followed

but claimed they’d die for ….


Even as a child in Sunday School

on a missionary track

I could never make sense

of the Trinity

or how God as Jesus

could “die for us”

or how dying could

take away sins we

didn’t know we’d made.

Seeking clarification

itself was a sin…

was the devil whispering.


I remained “a good girl”

until college and Philosophy 101

when my entire belief system

crashed into history.

Stolen myths. Borrowed bullshit

with names changed.

God was a plagiarist

mean and proud 


warring for possessions

under holy pretense

and a hypocrite

breaking the rules

enforced on us.

Of course He was us.

We made him in our image.


Yet I hold reverence

for the mystery of Life:

infinity that boggles the mind…

our webbed connections

and roots of Love.

I call this God.

I believe.




BELINDA SUBRAMAN has been published in 100s of magazines, printed and online, academic and small presses. Her archives are housed at University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Her latest book is Left Hand Dharma from (Unlikely Books) but she has a new manuscript ready for a publisher. In 2020 Belinda began an online show and journal called GAS: Poetry, Art & Music which features interviews, readings, performances and art shows available free at .








beat walls all over the world.


They don’t let happiness

sing about eternity.


We are the void

between heaven and them.


God saves us when we turn,

counting us with even

or odd numbers—

each of the 99th.


Harps singing a samba song,

and monkeys dancing

naked in floats,

announcing a better night.


Our hands move what we love,

and all depart,

and we unify with the sea,

being inedible goldfish for sharks


Rain is not silent anymore,

and the silence,

after, breaks

our eardrums.







all revolve around them.


Tomorrow we will forgive ourselves.





One Verse


I lick my juvenile wounds

with the tongue of life.

The angels hang from heaven

with broken string harps


It disturbs me the white as infinity,

between love and destiny.


Unforgiving time climbs on a scale of values,

which holds in hands

good deed’s map.


I take you by the hand,

extending another hand to the sky.

I cannot ask for anything…


Unforgiving God looking at me;

he argues with all.


Love is not so simple, says He.

It is like the life—

only one verse,

depends how you recite it.

(c) danielavoicu


Dirty Queen


How lovely the morning is,

pervaded by the silence of loneliness,

as sleepy green and red dragons fly in circles

around lost feelings.

Next to me on an old couch,

God watches a movie with clowns.

I play chess, and it is naked

all around the queen, that




who reads the lines in my palm,

speaking lies about my dearest stars.

Beside me,

my cup of Romanian coffee is still hot,

while I wait

for the green and red dragons

to dissipate.

(c) danielavoicu




DANIELA VOICU is a Romanian poet, editor and painter. In 2018, she was awarded the prestigious honor of Romania Beat Poet Laureate (Lifetime) by the National Beat Poetry Foundation, Inc. based in Connecticut, USA.  Her poems have been published in international magazines, journals and various anthologies



You Are My Peace


when everyone fights

when they have no tolerance

much less empathy

feel the time to connect

with the circle of spirituality.


Moments where I need you

to heal the wounds of the soul

that disturb my mind and my heart

they do not allow me to be well

I connect with you to be at peace.


When the screams don't stop

when the blows are strong

I will not be part of the thick of the fight

I will be calm, I will be strong, I will be love and peace

to join the brawl

when it can be solved by talking.


God extend your love and your mercy!

this world needs your love

to give them peace in aggressive moments

when anger dominates them, sing them of peace

when pain eats them up, heal them and give them peace.


You are my peace, to overcome the bad times

you can overflow your blessings in the world

to purify the rivers, germinate the tree

cease fire, save the innocent animals

above all, guide humanity for the good.




ANDREYNA HERRERA: Paola Andreyna Herrera Herrera. She was born in Potosí - Bolivia. Teacher and Graduate of Communication and Languages: Productive Community Secondary Education”, Executive Secretary and Accounting Assistant. Writer, poet, literary and cultural manager, editor and artist. Published works: Stories "Whisper of the wind in the middle of the storm", 2020, Literary Miscellaneous "Universo de Palabras", 2020. Narrative "Alondra Luna", 2020. Poems "Secrets that kill", 2016. Stories "Dissonant Dreams", 2016. Poems “She and He”, 2015. Poems “Prison of Letters on Butterfly Wings”, 2014. Poems “Confessions of a Poetess”, 2014. Story “The Poet Prince”, 2012. She obtained several prizes and recognitions in international competitions and events, in the area of literature and arts.



Culturally Coloured


Shall I compare Thee

To an Autumn Day

With fire tongues licking

a snow kissed field


streams of light

that dance and curl

a crown of hair

a day laid bare?


If I clothe the Word

the One

the Three

the sound

is a cultural colour.


Easter Gift


The Dance Maker danced with words

like none had ever heard


How poor are our translations!

He plucked ears of corn

and the corns of years

were plucked

and ears were opened at His touch.

Each seed He sowed

produced "100 fold"

like water rippling on and on

His life and work continue strong.

Nothing shall destroy it.

Though death pursued Him all the time

this life-line ladder - "Fresh new wine"

quenched the fires of hell

licking at His feet

and made a bridge

so God and man could meet.


One Of A Kind


There’s no-one like me.

I’m one of a kind

So be kind to me.


There’s no-one like you

You’re one of a kind

So be kind

To yourself.

There’s no-one like God.

He’s one of a kind.

He is kind.


Living Art


The seed of heaven


The unmoving dark

With an infinity of colours

Creating living art


Little art pieces

everyone different

jig sawed apart

or “Placed” together

giving the world a glimpse

of the great work of art


The Art maker

sculptured flesh

from mud

revealed life in blood

and exhibited






JENNIFER PHILLIPS is a Christian author and has been a member of a number of organisations including the Gold Coast Writers Association and the Australian Federation of Graduate Women, where she served as the ACT president for a term and the vice president. She is a registered teacher and has developed courses, including a successful early reading program. She has taught all ages and authored nine books covering a range of subjects including poetry. She is internationally known for her unique forms of poetry. She was awarded the university title of Massey Scholar, and has won awards in other fields as well as poetry and academic writing.