Monday, February 15, 2016

Bacopa Literary Review: what is real

by Editor-in-Chief Mary Bast

It is always satisfying to become reacquainted with poets and writers featured in past issues who have continued to flourish. A great example is Mark William Jackson, one of whose poems was featured in Bacopa 2011. This Sydney, Australia-based writer has many recent publications in print and electronic journals. You can also hear Mark reading his poetry on Sound Cloud.  

Here, from Bacopa Literary Review 2011, is Mark's intriguing poem "what is real":
in this binary world
the liminal is lost
         only space between
and   now here

what is real

is it
the pen that slashes
across the page
in thrusts and swoops
like a swashbuckling hero
defending an honour

the dollar
wrestled from the grip of time
         a reward for trading
         hours                  away
calculated rates of
interest and exchange

the needle that digs in
         through skin
to deliver its
chemical images
what if the doors of perception
were cleansed
         and the reality
                 drove us mad

or is it
the flickering visions of the past
captured on the mind's celluloid
or discarded on the cutting room floor
for not being
         of production quality

what is real
         real is the memory of things to come
         real is that love
that did not start
and will not finish
but just is.

(Note: The last 18 lines -- beginning with to deliver its / chemical images -- were to appear on a second page in Bacopa's 2011 issue, but were lost in the production process. We regret that error and share the poet's assessment: "It is a rather important section as it turns the tone of the poem; hopefully it adheres to Robert Frost's theory that a poem 'begins in delight and ends in wisdom.'")

Bacopa's Submissions open until June 30, 2016

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