Sex and Shadows

 A critical piece on two poetesses who have both been featured in P.F.S. Post.

Also: two pieces on a female painter of note: 1 and 2.

Adam Fieled (editor, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, USA): "Undulant"

I'd made plans to meet you in Bar Noir
on 18th, you were there; we drank. What
happened after that, in the Logan Square
flat, is that in defrocking you knocked over
an antique lamp bequeathed to me by my
aunt in Mahopac. Serendipity, I thought,
stunned then into silence by your bedroom
elan. Outside, a sultry night simmered; this
night of all nights, scattered green glass littered
my bedroom floor, & I finally got taken, past
liquor, to what eternity was only in your mouth—
as though you'd jumped from a forest scene
(ferns, redwoods), a world of pagan magic,
into a scene still undulant with possibilities—

c. Adam Fieled 2017-2023

Undulant first appeared in Monday Journal (Issue #2) in 2021

Vlad Pogorelov (Rocklin, California, USA): "No. 33"

Cockroaches, and
My lovely roommates
and my only true friends
I love you
I love you
I love you
In a sick kind of love
Which will make an executioner happy
And the victim will suffer no more
Only pleasure from the torture
And the pain has no right to exist

And some time my eyes are
Staring at you: big, lonely spider
You are sitting in the darkest corner
Of your dusty net
Waiting for me to get in

And I know for sure
That a giant mosquito
Made his home
Inside my swollen heart
There is plenty of blood
Inside those chambers

And when I can't hear you clearly,
When you are talking to me on the phone
I feel that a cockroach is moving
Inside of my ear

And sometimes I feel
That there is nothing to feel anymore
Ever since my soul was amputated
And smuggled to India
By a gynecologist
Who was seeing my mother
Long time ago, before I was born

and Spiders,
You are my only friends,
Who are sharing my soulless fate,
Abandoned by lovers,
Forgotten by long-time friends,
Forsaken by my motherland and the ancient gods
I am living a sheltered life
As a derelict

And it seems like it's time
To jump into the water of a substance,
Which looks like a residential street
Or a boiling sea
Depends on the point of view
Or the angle of the mind
Or just walk out the door
And swim to the store...
Buy some cheap liquor...
Go back home...
To this slow SINKING ship
And to share my fate
With my only true friends
With my only true love
With mosquitoes,
     and spiders
'Cause I am a derelict
And I am living a sheltered life

c. Vladlen Pogorelov 1997-2023

Symbolists and Hallucinogenics on FM (Fieled's Miscellaneous)

Some interesting damage being done by a travelogue piece covering my years in State College, Pennsylvania, in the 90s. Parts 1 and 2.

Steve Halle (Palatine, Illinois, USA): from blackbirds

not good at much,
at being 
forgotten, though

the Big Ugly Tarp flaps
outside the window,
forgotten, though

cockroaches stagger out,
die on the carpet, their
eggs, however, travel home
with me, jewelry for my wife

many folks
die for voices

that's why Emily
was smart, shut
her voice in drawers
near ghostly knickers
there the larynx
won't lie
too cramped

this enough of shouting

my pre-arthritic hands strangle
Disillusioned and Disruptive Students

as snow melts to re-fall
the Big Ugly Tarp becomes
my blanket, I sleep
on the roof and use books
to kindle my life-saving fire
the smell of stagnant water
dances with my nose hairs

the drone of traffic sounds
my imaginary wolfpack
gets shot not forgotten

the Terrible Angel
slithers into Theology
the true Big Ugly Tarp,
Class while the Rabbi
drowses drunk before
noon, did you hear
the one about

I think so, but I've forgotten

dump out wheelchairs in dumpsters for miracles,
shout "rise and walk," with a grating voice for veterans,
'twas enough to suffer, thrown from the steed

six legs crawl
over a half-dozen
forgotten spoons,
night is coming
again, at last;
so are cockroaches.

© Steve Halle 2008-2023

Andrew Lundwall (Rockford, Illinois, USA): Two Poems


I am writing down numbers
There's a look in your eyes
That screams Moscow, bitches!

You've pinned God to the ottoman
Like a crushed mosquito elsewhere
Munching, the kids play dominoes quietly

Pretend to give a fuck, I dare you
I swear once I published in this literary quarterly...
& start to hold my breath & think virgin again

Dear brethren and sistren infatuated with irony
I swear the depth of this bread goes on forever
While a good portion of the world is starving

The balls of this poem are sagging south
I've stopped making plans expecting her call
I can't sit through movies at all anymore


My mangina is the screw
By which you thread
Your not so secret nights

Don't bother my beer
I'm drinking

© Andrew Lundwall 2008-2023

Chris McCabe (London, UK): Two Poems


Nature: an extinction rate.
Recall she was a girl
Speaking with a bullet in Budavox,

Shells on the sea blasting,
On Frith Street, where, in 1914,
Imagism flicked on. Then,

There (!) the pseudo-Blitz
Of television began, 1929.
I wear the soft black cloth

Of the bathrobe you gave me, swan
On the foam of your rising.
No home for creatures with the sun

Dialing its metronome
Onto the cool ridge's melted dome,
To kiss and caress, honey, by-gone.


Grief's a winter gulag
growing gardenless in rain
cardinals that cannot vote
the air damp infected corduroy
this bone tundra

implanted under the cranial flap
like a loveless rose petal:
slow white slime-worms
risen to bury
dim flesh in you.

© Chris McCabe 2008-2023

Adam Fieled (editor, Philadelphia, USA): from PICC (A Poet in Center City) "#34"

Not all of the Highwire Free School shows were big ones. We would do series of modest shows between the larger shows. The Bats were an all-girl band we wanted to book, so we did. John and I did a bunch of schmooze routines with them, at Tritone and elsewhere, and John and I were both in love with Tobi Simon, an old friend of Trish’s and mine who played keyboards (and also painted). Tobi was tiny, an elf, with exquisite bone-structure in her face, chestnut hair, and bright blue eyes. Of the Bats, she was the most natural as a Free School person. I would later ascertain that by this time, Tobi was living a day-to-day life not unlike Christopher’s. The paintings she was producing, a median blend of French Neo-Classical influence picked up at PAFA and queer girl East Coast-ism, were so powerfully formal and thematically expressive at the same time that I became amazed she could leave her flat at all without barfing. The irony was that the Bats were not unsuccessful— they were in the Philly press semi-constantly, with Tobi prominently featured, cheekbones and all. The scenesters who knew her as a rock star had no idea she even painted. And while she wasn’t just what I would call a bisexual tart, her intense, full-lipped, fine-featured magnetism was registered by all. By this time, we had a new system going at the Highwire, by which the factory room and the main space would be used simultaneously. The night the Bats played, we had poets reading on a raised dais in the factory room. The factory room had high ceilings, but was darker, danker, and more private than the main space— a perfect place to smoke up or hook up. The poets were Temple kids, and one stuck out for us immediately, especially to John; a buxom, olive-skinned Latino named Lena. If I sensed that I would beat John to Tobi, he would certainly beat me to Lena, who liked his looseness over my rigor. Christopher and I were attempting to perfect a new way of combining poetry with visual imagery; he projected images on a screen behind me as I read that night. Frankly, we were both bored with dry poetry readings (no matter how attractive the participants), and this was our way of extending their range. This was, as was admittedly another yawn for both of us, another layaway plan gambit— the idea that eventually other artists would show up, on the East Coast or wherever, and be influenced to try what we’d tried, to experiment in the ways that we were experimenting. Nobody in art can really condone the Layaway Plan patrol we’re all intermittently part of, but it’s a fact of cultural life. Deal with it. Headed towards 2005, John’s characteristic looseness was the keynote mood. Even if it meant that Christopher and I had to up the ante to six drinks per night out.

© Adam Fieled 2012-2023