To Hestia: who was forgotten – by Gabriela Marie Milton
it’s quiet now inside the shapes of our burning hearts tortured the endurance of surreal trees a headkerchief full of blood dries on a bench unknown the mark upon the sky to which you point the windows of bookshops read “kill” and “f..k”
Hestia, strangled, your virginity hangs on a rusty wire inside the chimney a creaking creature with bat-eyes streets filled with guns mundane caricaturesque phalloi, demonic blisters rub the hearts there is no home for millions of us
come back you, virgin goddess of the heart, the murder and the sex will stone you in the boulevards premonitions there are back streets where you can walk songs of nightingales and roses will hide you in their arms
you sacred fire, give a home to hungry children with no clothes to those who sleep under the bridges of cursed stars in nights when linden trees in cemeteries bloom flame the ebb and flow of skies that know no tides you, goddess, the very subject matter of which I write.
I am thrilled to be part of Issue III of Free Verse Revolution. You can download the publication for free here.
Update on the poetry contest Woman: Splendor and Sorrow
Thank you to everyone who enter the poetry contest Woman: Splendor and Sorrow. I am honored and touched by your submissions. Your entries are magnificent. Everyone’s writing is so dear to my heart that I will never be able to choose a winner. As a gentle reminder here is how the winners will be selected:
The selection method is similar to that of a double-blind peer review: the reviewer doesn’t know the identity of the author, and vice-versa.
To achieve that I will do the following:
Create a master document with all submissions. Remove the name of the authors and replace them with numbers.
Create a second document with the name of the authors and their assigned numbers.
I will not participate in the process of determining the winners. Winners will be determined by two of your peers.
However, I will disclose a piece of information and deviate a bit from the fully double-blind process: the editor of Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine, Brian Geiger, will be one of the reviewers.
The winners will be announced in late-October. I will update you periodically.
Prizes: First Place: $300 Second Place: $150 Third Place: $75
Funding for the prizes comes from my royalties.
To the future winners: please remember to spread love in our community and buy some books written by your WP favorite authors.
Update on MasticadoresUSA
Please visit MasticadoresUSA. Support our community. There are several new and wonderful poems up. Do not forget to like, follow, and submit.
My piece Who was he? published in Free Verse Revolution Issue II. You can download the entire issuehere.
Who was he? by Gabriela Marie Milton
I met him in the mist of that unusual summer when mama looked more beautiful than ever, and pears grew as big as squashes. Their golden and juicy fragrance hung on my lips even after the touches of the evening wind were gone.
He stood by the fence in his winged hat and his weird sandals, a tricky smile on his face, and a lyre on his hand. I knew whose symbols those were, so I laughed. I figured out he was trying to drag me into some weird play.
When he spoke, his voice pierced my entire body. I felt like a butterfly, pinned, and labeled, and then fixed with a nail on the bottom of an insect box.
“We are getting married tonight.”
Something in his voice denoted an unmistakable hunger to overcome mortality. Who was he? His pale fingers touched the chords of the lyre. The sky started to rain the fragrance of the pears and white petals on us. One of them fell on my left shoulder. When I tried to touch it, it vanished.
He moved toward me and pressed his lips on mine. My eyes closed. I shivered. I felt dragged into a deceptive rootlessness. I could not remember where I was. When I opened my eyes, he was gone.
Under the olive tree on the wooden table there was a basket filled with pears. I touched one of them. It was made of paper. By the basket someone inscribed the words: “That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of one.”
I froze. Those were words attributed to Hermes Trismegistus.
Who was he and where did he go?
Please welcome our first guest from New Zeeland: a marvelous poetess Rachel. Read Rachel’s poem Invitation to inspiration here.
Free Verse Revolution Issue II (hermes) is out. Congratulations to the contributors, and thank you to Kristiana Reed, its wonderful editor, for featuring an interview with me and two pieces of my poetic prose.
Below please find the interview. I will feature my published pieces in future posts.
Free Verse Revolution Issue II Interview with Gabriela Marie Milton
KRISTIANA: We would love for you to introduce yourself and share when you began writing and why you decided to share your work with others?
GABRIELA: I may have scribbled some poetry in high school, but basically, I started writing in the period between my undergraduate studies and my graduate ones. Now, I write poetry and short prose under the name Gabriela Marie Milton. Three or four years ago, I published my first poems under Gabriela M. Today, my standard introduction is: Hello My Dear Readers, I am Gabriela Marie Milton, 2019 Author of the Year at Spillwords Press NYC, author of Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, editor of MasticadoresUSA, and author of the forthcoming collection of poems and poetic prose entitled Woman: Splendor and Sorrow to be published by Vita Brevis Press this summer. My favorite poet is Arthur Rimbaud. My all-time favorite novelist is Lawrence Durrell. My heart trembles at Salvador Dali’s surrealism, and it is stolen by Chopin every other week. To enchant some readers who may find such an introduction boring, here is a little more about me: I love Italian food, narrow cobbled streets, cats, and oceans. My favorite color is mauve. I was born in Europe, and I live in the USA. Honestly, initially it was not my decision to share my work, as intriguing as it may sound. Yet, things happened. I will leave it at that.
KRISTIANA: How would you describe your collection, Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, to those new to your work?
GABRIELA: To me the collective unconscious– as conceptualized by Jung – represents another level of existence that we, as humans, share. In Passions I tried to penetrate that level and bring out perhaps its most important element: memories. Passions is a book of vivid and lush images brought to light using symbolist, surrealist, and romantic techniques. It is a book for everyone. It is a call to immortality. It is a journey through the corridors of our collective unconscious. I wrote Passions – like all my other writings – almost in a trance. Passions is that which I feel, not necessarily that which I know. Some pieces included in Passions are influenced by Gnosticism with which I first became acquainted by reading Umberto Eco, Jorge Luis Borges, Lawrence Durrell, and others. To wrap it up, Passions is what Christina Schwarz, the author of the New York Times Bestseller “Drowning Ruth,” described as “a fantastic world ripe with emotion.” I am deeply grateful to her for that description.
KRISTIANA: Your prose pieces often have dominant themes of love and heartache, what draws you to romantic storytelling?
GABRIELA: Mama used to say that I am a romantic story. I, the subject, am the same with the object (i.e. my story). The object does not exist independent from me. Something similar to the concept of endopathy anticipated by Dante: “he who would paint a figure, if he cannot become that figure, cannot portray it.” Yet, when mama said what she said she was not thinking of Dante. She was thinking of Kant’s transcendental idealism. She made me read Kant when I was in high school. I did it with packs of ice on my head. On every page there were about 10 to15 words that I did not understand. It was an interesting experience to say the least.
KRISTIANA: What are your inspirations? Are they musical, literary, ekphrastic, or all three?
GABRIELA: Something more than all three together: the plan of the unconscious. From there my inspiration flows like a river. In there, I find light and darkness, the whole and its parts, sonorous images with their unmistakable language, memories of the future and of the past, the sound of germinating wheat, the entire world.
KRISTIANA: You recently announced your next collection is coming soon, can you give us a synopsis and explain the impact you hope this collection will have on your readers?
GABRIELA: Woman: Splendor and Sorrow, is a collection of love poems and poetic prose. I hope my readers will be interested in this collection. It will be published by Vita Brevis Press at the end of July. Here is part of what I wrote in the dedication in an attempt to describe my own book:
My Dear Readers, My favorite novelist, Lawrence Durrell, once asked:
“Who invented the human heart, I wonder? Tell me, and then show me the place where he was hanged.” If you read this book, you will find that place. Yet make no mistake. It is not a sad place. In the pages you are about to read, I resurrect the one who invented the human heart. The splendors of candlelight and roses and the taste of gingerbread dwell in this book. Partake in them. The core of this book is love. Yet you will also find in it philosophical thoughts on literature, on winning and losing, on hate, on feminism, and on life in general. My dear reader, from wherever you are in this world, walk with me on the beautiful path of the human heart. I promise you will not regret doing so. On this road you will find love and the symbols that define us as humans.
KRISTIANA: Issue II draws upon Hermes from the Olympic pantheon, why do you think we continue to reinvent and rejuvenate myths and stories of old? Do you have a particular myth/story you remember fondly?
GABRIELA: Oh, myths, none of our civilizations have ever survived without them. We all have a mythical part so to speak. Myths express ontological and moral ideas. Their splendid supernaturality reflects our desire to transcend the materiality of the world, to find our beginnings, and to anticipate the future. Codes, symbols. Their faces may change in time, but they never become old.
I have many stories I remember fondly. However, in myths, as well as in most major religions, there is one thing that fascinates me the most: the fall. Something goes wrong with our world because somebody errs. In most cases that somebody is a woman. Certain Gnostics believe that our material world is not the creation of the real God. The world is the creation of the demiurge (a lesser God) who came into being because of Sophia’s fall. I remember when I first visited Santorini. One early morning, caught between its breathtaking views and the blue of the Mediterranean, I realized that nobody could have ever lived in Greece without concocting myths. The beauty of that place refuses itself to rationality. One needs an entire mythology to absorb it.
KRISTIANA: Would you describe yourself as multifaceted like Hermes? Could you use three words to describe yourself?
GABRIELA: Hermes is a fascinating figure. He is the messenger of Gods. Some see him as the Logos itself. However, Hermes is also the god of thieves and liars. The Greeks did not leave one single human trait without a God. You must hand it to them. To answer your question, I do not think of myself as multifaceted. Three words to describe myself: I am mystery. Why? Because I am like anyone else. We all have a sight that we do not understand. Perhaps we are not supposed to.
KRISTIANA: You are a long time, and very appreciated, supporter of FVR and other online platforms, what do you feel the online community has brought to the traditional world of writing and publishing?
GABRIELA: The online community allows people to express their talents without having to go through more cumbersome conventional processes. It gives voice to the poor, and to the misunderstood. It gives voice to those who are unconventional. It allows us to dwell in a multiplicity of talents. It forces us to rediscover ourselves.
Thank you for reading. Please download the entire issue here.
There are two beautiful poems up at MasticadoresUSA.
The water bucket was brought by a woman. She left. Her child needed to be fed. Sands. The time comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. Between my thirst and this bucket of water, Between the consciousness of man and that of the stars, Matter passes from blue to gold. Sahara Tonight Your love gives way to his.
My book, Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, can be ordered here.