Heartbreak: Purple, Yellow

Featured here is a collaboration between poet Kathleen Kirk and musician Joe Robinson. Kathleen is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life. Her poems appear in print and online in a variety of journals, including Blood Lotus, blossombones, Confrontation, Poems & Plays, and Poetry East. She is the author of four poetry chapbooks, most recently Nocturnes (Hyacinth Girl Press). She blogs at Wait! I Have a Blog?! Joe lives in Chicago. He is jealous of your vegetable garden. For this piece, Joe wrote and recorded a song for Kathleen’s poem, “Heartbreak: Purple, Yellow,” which original appeared in Blood Lotus #5.


Heartbreak: Purple, Yellow
by Kathleen Kirk

April again, you stand ready,
lilac, dark spear.
Tomorrow you may burst, bleed.

When I flower, this forsythia,
spent on willow stem
beside you, ragged with my early passion.


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In The End

Featured here is a collaboration between Cynthia Spencer and Joe Robinson. Cynthia lives in Milwaukee and writes poetry. She has a chapbook available from Plumberries Press titled “In What Sequence Will My Parts Exit.” You can look forward to reading more of her work here. Joe is a Chicagoan. He’s a teacher by day. Ham Kicker is his other passion. For this piece, Joe wrote and recorded a song for Cynthia’s poem.

In the End
By Cynthia Spencer

To chase
emphatic exhaustions,
breaking bed-bones with satisfying
smacks, to find
pillow clouded agoraphobic, crawling
low and sweetly
out of blanket loam.

Someday, I will go around
with clasps undone. I will speak
myself an opening. A photograph

will find its way into the hands
of someone who wondered, long ago,
what it was made of. Someone

will be answered, not stop asking.


Download In The End or click below to listen.
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Antheraea Polyphemus

Featured here is a collaboration between Alicia Hilton, Suzy Erin, and Ben Grigg. Alicia is an author, a law professor, and a former FBI Special Agent. For more information about her poetry and other publications, visit www.aliciahilton.com. Ben and Suzy live in Chicago. They comprise the band, Deathsnack. For this piece, Ben and Suzy wrote and recorded a song for Alicia’s poem.

Antheraea Polyphemus
by Alicia Hilton

Muscles flex
Suction cup feet release
Slide forward on the leaf

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The Progress Project

Featured here is a poem by Suzy Erin, which has been put to music by Barber Green.

The Progress Project
by Suzy Erin

Once we were told
when you cross the street
be sure to have a hand to hold
It was medicine we just wouldn’t swallow

We laughed in the face of danger-
Put our cold hands into the fire.
We beleived we were going somewhere-
That Rock’n’Roll held some meaning.

Who will ever know about
the dress I never wore?
What will you do
with a jacket that doesn’t fit anymore,
or blue jeans filled with holes?

Dust gethers in an empty room
where yesterday still writhes on the floor.
A proud display on the cofee table:
photographs sick of their smiles.
It’s been a long time since that was that child.

Smell the seasons changing – Fall to Winter
Already the town is changing its face.
Cut off and cauterized,
We can never go back home.

Now we find ourselves alone
standing in the middle of the street.
Stars we once reached for
are headlights running us down-

Download The Progress Project or click below to listen.
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The Beast

Here featured is a collaboration between Alicia Hilton and Jake Anderson. Alicia is an author, law school professor, attorney, former FBI Special Agent and former fine art consultant. She is taking time off from teaching to write poetry, a collection of essays, and a novel. You can read more about Alicia at www.aliciahilton.com. Jake is a Chicago musician. His new band, Deserters, will release their first EP this fall. For this piece, Jake wrote and recorded a song for Alicia’s poem.

The Beast
by Alicia Hilton

Once you fit in my hand,
Diminutive emerald.
Your leaves, delicate diamonds
Edged with saw teeth.

Joined with the earth,
Fed by the sun,
The rain
And the worms.

Your growing tendrils
Tipped with purple spiky globes
Like a thistle, but soft.

Your icy scent
A magnet.
No longer diminutive.
Luring the weak
And the hungry.

Sharp incisors snip.
Fur-covered lamprey
Scatters seeds.
Tenacious tsavorite replicates
As Easter toy burrows
Into its heart.

Host and parasite
Growing stronger,
Growing larger.
Teenage rabbit emerges.
Stands on hind feet.
Ears twitching,
Look at me.

A symphony of
Gathers nectar
Basking in the sun.

Come winter,
It withers.
But in spring,
A promise fulfilled,
The beast returns.

Download The Beast or click below to listen.
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