Wednesday, January 13, 2021

GA Gardner | Captive

Mixed media collage painting on paper
Artist: GA Gardner
Created: 2019 


Curator Artist GA Gardner

GA Gardner
is the founding artist of His mixed media collage paintings have been exhibited at various museums and galleries in the USA, Asia and the Caribbean, including the James E. Lewis Museum of Art; Paterson Museum, New Jersey; Nanjing College of Art, China; Corridor Gallery, New York; Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts, St Croix, USVI, Bergen Museum, New Jersey. He has been the subject of numerous articles and catalog essays. He has been awarded artist residencies in the Caribbean and Asia. He is represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington DC, USA.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Nancy Kirolos | Fairku/600nm

Orange Wave


Difficult to rhyme
Mix of yellow and red shades
Grapefruit soda yum

Carrot tangerine
Bitter British marmalade
Sweet ginger ice tea

Half circle at dawn
Indian mango lassi
Autumn pumpkin pie

Bright shade on dark skin
Orange color or sweet fruit
And Buddhism too


Nancy Kirolos

Nancy Kirolos is an artist and an award-winning scientist living in the Netherlands. Her preferred media to create art are words, music, watercolors, and photography. She likes to write stories and poems in English and Dutch. Nancy’s goal is to stimulate people emotionally and intellectually through her written work which has been published in several publications in Europe and the US. In 2020, Nancy was longlisted for the Dutch El Hizjra literature prize

Howard Pflanzer | Orange Sky



In the west the sky glows orange

Light scattered by the pollution

Right before the sun goes down beyond the shore

Is this a harbinger of a happier time ahead

Or just a precursor of another black night


Let’s wait for tomorrow

And see how the day progresses

Will the sky at dusk glow a brighter orange

Streaked with crimson

Or will the disappearing light plunge us directly into the darkness


Howard Pflanzer
is a poet, playwright, and fiction writer. Dead Birds or Avian Blues was published by Fly By Night Press in 2011. Recent publications include FIVE Poetry, And Then, Downtown Brooklyn, Home Planet News, Pratik, Poems:LES Festival of the Arts Dedicated to the Lower East Side (TNC 2016, 2017), Of Burgers and Barrooms (Main Street Rag 2017), and WORD:An Anthology by A Gathering of the Tribes (2017). His hybrid performance piece, Walt Whitman Opera, adapted from Whitman’s poetry with music by Constance Cooper, was presented at the undergroundzero festival in New York in July 2014.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Akshaya Pawaskar | Indian Summer

Indian Summer

These days
we wait for the moon
to descend upon
us, to fill us up
with its white coolness.
As our heads spin,
as our kurtas drench
with sweat,
cling to our flesh
and muscles,
and even the bones
of civilization creak
under the weight
of a wish to bare
our papery
parched skins.
We move thirstily to
the solace of noise
from our ceiling fans.
The blades slicing
the Indian summer,
cutting the air
into a salve on
our salty bodies
dressed in austere
cotton whites.
As Tropic of Cancer
simmers to a boil
and the mosquitoes
whine into our ears,
sounding like languorous
sullen lovers,
we recline on
the earthen floors
of this peninsula.
As hysteria of
the orange sun
meets with
our torpor,
an old paramour
afraid of touch,
it welts us red
with love that
needs no touching.


Akshaya Pawasker

Pawaskar is a doctor practicing in India, and poetry is her passion. Her poems have been published in Tipton Poetry Journal, Shards, The Blue Nib, North of Oxford, Indian Rumination, Rock and Sling, among many others. She won the Craven Arts Council ekphrastic poetry competition in 2020, placed third in the Poetry Matters Project contest that same year, and placed second in The Blue Nib chapbook contest in 2018.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Isabelle Lorion | Orange is the Colour of Wisdom

Apes in the Orange Grove
Henry Rousseau, 1910
(Private Collection)

Orange Is the Colour of Wisdom

He was driving on a black road through orange fields in the north of Portugal. He had just escaped from the jail of his mind, where he had been confined for months, years perhaps. He remembers the oranges his lover brought him when they met on Sundays. He had crammed those oranges onto the kitchen table. He was playing with them, rolling them under the paws of his black cat or tossing them in the garden for his orange dog to retrieve for rubs. He would juggle his oranges or hurl them against the glass partition separating him from his lover. And then, let them rot until he could collect the dust of their skin to mix with oil for smudging onto his drawings.

Orange is the new black.

He had left town for the South of France, Spain, and now, Portugal. The sun grew softer and softer, its amazing flashes playing on the fruits of the orange trees. Plenty of oranges fell on the grass under the trees and rotted. No one seemed to care. No one came to pick them up. The whole area seemed deserted. Silence thick as a flock of black birds permeated the grounds and skies. He picked some oranges, peeled them, squeezed them.

The juice flew through his throat like the juice of life, like the juice of freedom, the juice of traveling far away from all that rot.

Their juice was sweet and bitter like the new dreams that bounced inside his chest and opened their wings, knocking down his pale and cold heart, down on the knees of hope.

He would keep driving south. Forever south. And the road in front of him opened her arms, opened a new space in the sky. And his chest filled with air and strength. His lungs opened wide to a new vivid breath.

His body blew up like an orange balloon, and he thrived.

South, to the end of Africa! To the Cape of Good Hope, to the old legends of sailors and ancient heroes! There he would embark on a boat with orange sails and head further south to the very south, to the very heart of the South Pole. Slowly on a dreamy trip through the mist of the Milky Way, the whiteness of ice and the darkness of night, the softness of the waters and the harshness of the grounds. Wasn’t Earth a blue orange? He would peel it. The sky was blue. The road was straight and black. It was rolling out its strip as a story full of promises.

He tucked his knees underneath himself and rolled down further than far. There he would forget all his wounds. At last! And be joyful as light, like the skin of an orange peeled by a happy monkey. He would cut his body in sections and prepare an orange cake, slices of which he would offer to the orange orangutan to eat, as a gift of himself to another being. At last, he would be rid of himself, free from the old jails. From what had been the ever-present prisons of his mind and ego. 

The orangutans would swallow him, and they would laugh.

They would tell one another that he tasted like an orange, sweet and bitter. Unfortunately, he would be born again, the same, same but different. 

And reborn, he wears the orange dress in Guantanamo. And the story resumes. He manages to escape. The sky is red and orange as the sunset on Sunset Boulevard. Hollywood’s sign glittering over the hills of fame and shame. He turns in Orange County and starts running toward the night of LA, through the night that gets down on the Western World. The obscurity of his lost desires estrange their reasons and blur their visions.

Orange spots, orange dots, and orange flashes sizzle under his eyelids, blurring his vision, and he loses his reason. He gets lost in the deserted alleys of a giant supermarket, all white and steel. He runs on the moving platform of a wide and empty subway station, ripe oranges rolling between his feet. He stumbles upon a moan of a lonely lane while in the distance the groan of the train vanishes. Strange curtains float in the wind, and the dust of minds falls on the mirror of a floor.

His spirit spreads out toward the uncharted territories of space.

If he turns back again to contemplate the gutters, he will be changed to a salt statue.

He won’t come back!

This time he won’t come back. The black mountain of wisdom stands out in the orange sunset; long files of monks swarm on the little paths, heading for the summit, their orange robes floating in the wind like flags. 

He disappears through the cotton of  clouds.

His body splashes as an orange stain in the ocean of the memory of his words. He won’t come back.

This time, he won’t come back.


I was born in the mid-1950s in the suburbs of Paris.
I ran away. I traveled. And I wrote and played music.
I love walking.
I’ve been working with children.
I go to poetry scenes.
I love horses. And all animals.
I am an anarchist.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

George Held | October’s & Two Haiku

Hunter’s Moon (ISTOCK)


color is orange,
for autumn leaves
and pumpkins

and the Hunter’s Moon
and summer-fattened
deer and elusive fox

with no more ground
cover in which to hide
from hunters

in search of a
game animal’s
hide and soul . . .


adult milkweed leaf beetle
"This adult milkweed leaf beetle is already in costume for Halloween." 
[Photo credit: M. J. Raupp, Bug of the Week (blog), Oct. 13, 2014,]

Butterfly milkweed —
on its orange flowers crawl
black-and-orange beetles

         Butterfly milkweed —
         on its orange flowers crawl
         black-and-orange beetles


Don’t imitate me —
never simulate half an orange
cut in two

          Don’t imitate me —
          never simulate half an orange
          cut in two

(After Bashō)

Bashō at autumn moon festival,  Yoshitoshi
Bashō meets two farmers at autumn moon festival, 
print from Yoshitoshi's Hundred Aspects of the Moon,
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi -, 
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, 


George Held has published four children’s books with Filsinger & Company, Ltd. and over a dozen poetry titles with various small presses. His most recent book, Second Sight: Poems, was released by Poets Wear Prada in 2019. A collection of stories titled Lucky Boy is due out in 2020. Believing that smaller is better in poetry, he writes a lot of haiku. He wears his trousers rolled in Sag Harbor, NY.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Bruce Whitacre | Christmas Oranges

Orange Fruit Christmas Ornament


The children were not to watch

as Father unloaded the snowcapped wagon.

Crates and bushels went straight to the cellar

and under an Indian blanket.

Father pocketed the key with a wink.

Jennie had to sit to keep breathing,

her hands trembling as she cracked the walnuts.


That evening, candles clipped to the fir were lit.

Their dots of light graced the gingham bows, the popcorn

strings, casting deep shadows in the parlor corners.

Atop the white tablecloth brought from Ohio,

turkey with stuffing, yams, and fruit pies crowded

the table, so everyone ate standing or in the parlor.

Mother fanned herself at the fire, exhausted, while

Nora, the hired girl, hovered, hiding homesick tears.

Family and neighbors joined in rolling up the rugs,

then with fiddles and dancing. Jennie missed the beat.

Stepping to the window, she gazed through the frosted panes.

Stars arched over the prairie. Horses stomped under their blankets.


Father called her into the kitchen.

“I want you to see these first, Jennie. Remember?”

His carpenter’s hands, deft and hard, pried a crate open.

Golden spheres burned into view, sweet and strange.

“Oranges!” she cried. Father laughed, “They made the last train.”

She remembered from last year to peel them first

The flesh exploded in her mouth —

Ocean. Green. Warm. Sunshine.

She closed her eyes and swallowed. Not here, in one taste.


She carried a bowlful into the parlor.

The music stopped. The dancers paused.

She beamed as everyone surrounded her, each reaching for

an orange, the only ones any of them would eat that year.

The night froze in her memory like crystals on the panes

melting into a tale from time to time, like now,

for me, then freezing again for the next blue hour.



Merry Christmas from Florida


Bruce E. Whitacre
’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Cagibi, The HIV Here and Now Project of Indolent Books, North of Oxford, and World Literature Today, and was recently nominated for Sundress Publications’ 2020 Best of the Net Anthology. A featured poetry reader at the Forest Hills Public Library, he has read his work at Poets House, the Zen Mountain Monastery Buddhist Poetry Festival, Kew Willow Books, Lunar Walk, and other venues.  He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has completed master workshops with Jericho Brown, Alex Dimitrov, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, and Mark Wunderlich. An activist and advocate for the arts and social justice, Bruce lives in Forest Hills, Queens.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Bob Heman | ORANGE (I) & (II)


We are told that oranges are orange, by definition. No other is defined in this way. We cannot hold a blue or a purple or a red or a brown in our hands. We cannot open anything but an orange to find more of it hiding inside.


The word unfolds itself across the page, allowing the meaning that is revealed to spill over the edges into your life. In this way the difference between “orange” (the color) and “orange” (the fruit) is able to be comprehended, and to become part of the room you will henceforth inhabit.

Bob Heman (Photo by Lori Rogers)

Bob Heman
’s words have been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Italian and Hungarian. His prose poem “Perfect” is included in A Cast-Iron Aeroplane That Can Actually Fly: Commentaries from 80 Contemporary American Poets on Their Prose Poetry (MadHat Press, 2019). His essay, “Dreaming for Caresse,” is included in Seeing with Eyes Closed: The Prose Poems of Harry Crosby (Quale Press, 2019), which also features one of his collages on the cover.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Diane Stiglich | Elusive Orange

Elusive Orange

It is the orange
that is missing
in the traffic light
at every corner.

It is the orange
in the flame
that artists depict
but you never
really see.

It is the orange
glowing gourds
of Samhain
where spirits abide
and hold my hand.


Diane Stiglich earned her BA from the University of Texas at Dallas and her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Her paintings have been exhibited in numerous shows throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Her debut fiction Have You Seen CindySleigh? was published in 2016 by Poets Wear Prada.  She lives in Hoboken, where she owns the Luna Rosa Home store. Diane negotiates life between the art studio, martial arts classes, the store, the town, and home — and she likes to write about them all. She is currently working on a collection of micro fiction, poems, and other inkings, titled Fragments

Friday, October 30, 2020

Geer Austin | Bird of Paradise & October

Bird of Paradise

With green spears
crested orange flowers
& bird beaks
I’m a showoff
a show stopper
an in-your-face
specimen of a plant.
Some say I’m pushy
like a rooster, a brilliant
tropical thing screaming
my name at sunrise
keeping you from sleep.



My face is a jack-o’-lantern a couple of days
before Halloween. The oak trees in my yard
bear 24-karat acorns; squirrels break their teeth
on them. I smell a cloudless blue sky, but it’s raining.
I’m staring at my laptop. Alan Cumming is trying
to sell me stuff on Instagram, but I’m not buying.
I can taste the money those gold acorns will bring me.
Okay, I can’t really taste money & acorns
aren’t palatable. So I munch a Macoun I bought
at a farmstand the next town over. My neighbor’s kid
tells me to chillax, but if I follow her advice I’ll forget
to vote. Her mother tells me about pif paf pouf. I say to her
this insane bench of stoicism is not a comfortable perch.
I ogle the orange blossoms that attracted hummingbirds
last summer. All of them have flown to Ecuador
where they work a gig entertaining tourists. I remember
their wings whirring next to my face while I read
novels on the deck. I always flew after them
as they rushed toward their next flower. But Chucky’s
saying that’s not true. What does he know?
A honey-drenched butternut squash opens its interior
for me. Cinnamon sweetness splats my taste buds
& I think about dinner at an agriturismo in Sicilia
one year ago. An acorn lands on my head & black squirrels
scramble up tree trunks. Pretty soon it will be November.


Geer Austin’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Poet Lore, Manhattanville Review, Big Bridge, Plenitude, BlazeVOX, Boog City, and others. His short story, “Stuart Livingston Hill,” is a recent episode of the podcast A Story Most Queer. He has served as a judge in the PEN America Prison Writing Awards and the Bisexual Book Awards. He is the author of Cloverleaf, a poetry chapbook (Poets Wear Prada). He lives in New York City.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Amy Barone | Orange Is My New Black

Orange Is My New Black

I’m tossing black from my world —
black clothes, black cars, black moods.
Banishing dread and gloom.

Black was cool at sixteen and slimming at thirty.
Now I’m occupying orange-hued vibes,
loosening the shackles to dark tones.

I’m deporting colorless lingerie and sex.
When I sleep, instead of jumping into black puddles,
I’m going to emerge from tangerine dreams. Glowing.

Reprinted with author's permission from We Became Summer (NYQ Books)


Amy Barone

Amy Barone
’s latest poetry collection, We Became Summer (New York Quarterly Books), was released in 2018. She has also published two chapbooks, Kamikaze Dance (Finishing Line Press) and Views from the Driveway (Foothills Publishing), and is an active member of  both PEN America and the Brevitas forum for short poetry.  Her poetry appears in Paterson Literary Review, Philadelphia Poets, Sensitive Skin, and Standpoint (UK), among other publications. Haling from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, she now hangs her little orange dress in New York City.