Thursday, March 30, 2023

GAS Featured Poet: Bobbi Sinha-Morey


Bobbi Sinha-Morey's poetry has appeared in a wide
variety of places such as Plainsongs, Pirene's Fountain,
The Wayfarer, Helix Magazine, Miller's Pond, The Tau,
Vita Brevis, Cascadia Rising Review, Old Red Kimono,
and Woods Reader. Her books of poetry are available 
at and her work has been nominated for
Best of the Net Anthology in 2015, 2018, 2020, and 2021
as well as having been nominated for The Pushcart Prize
in 2020.

Tears of the Piano Player

As if emptiness were spilling through
of the life she never had -- no tie to
the future to offer her a drop of any
hope, you could hear the loss of her
dreams in the keys and chords she
played; a stunted life at the age of
twenty one because no one would
let her grow, and all the time she
grew as a child in her ears she'd
only hear the word "no." To this
day if you see her under the open
sky you could pierce the veil of
her saddened nature; never a sign
of the slightest smile on her pretty
face, only shadows in her eyes
concealing memories past -- a tongue
so selectively mute that no secrets
could ever spill through. An introverted
girl with little personality; yet on rare
days an expressive face would shine
through. If she ever dared whisper
a prayer to heaven it would've been
snuffed out by a rush of wind,
making it only halfway there.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

GAS Featured Poet: Suzanne S. Rancourt

Suzanne S. Rancourt, Abenaki/Huron, Quebecois, Scottish descent, has authored Billboard in the Clouds, NU Press, (Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award,) murmurs at the gate, Unsolicited Press, 2019, Old Stones, New Roads, MSR Publishing, 2021. Songs of Archilochus, Unsolicited Press, forthcoming October 2023. Suzanne was a participating fellow in Nature Culture’s Writing the Land Project, guest artist at UMI’s New England Literature Program; the Sundog Poetry Center; Solstice MFA. A USMC and Army Veteran, Suzanne is a multi-modal Expressive Arts Therapist with degrees in psychology, writing, Credentialed Drug and Alcohol Counselor, Aikido and Iaido.  


october leaves rain – pelt their brethren & sister foliage
brittle beetle rustle in landing – a signal brilliant
early morning breeze brushes them aside
piles them against cairn walls leaves bare patches
still green grass glows nearing season’s end
october leaves reign supreme colorized attitude
tell a story – remember? it happens this way
without force
living can be like this

tumbled stars

straight arrow, spear, javelin, atlatl - released with snap whiz
searing projection
penetration – alignment
selling sites, selling goals, minutes of angle
tears way from dreams – passions
hope combusts into new hope
with each failed marriage
when did the wind shift
air moistened arcs
so long ago the children i bore those months
we lived in one curved body
the power to carry more than one heart beat
where now
hiking old mountains
vision’s fuselage explodes


Thursday, March 16, 2023

GAS Featured Poet: Emily Bilman


Emily Bilman, PhD is a poet-scholar who lives and writes Geneva, Switzerland. Her dissertation, The Psychodynamics of Poetry: Poetic Virtuality and Oedipal Sublimation in the Poetry of T.S. Eliot and Paul Valéry, with her poetry translations, was published by Lambert Academic in 2010 and Modern Ekphrasis in 2013 by Peter Lang, CH. Her poetry books, A Woman By A Well (2015), Resilience (2015), The Threshold of Broken Waters (2018), and Apperception (2020) were published by Troubador, UK. “The Tear-Catcher” won the first prize in depth poetry by The New York Literary Magazine. Poems were published in Deronda Review, The London Magazine, San Antonio Review, The Wisconsin Review, Expanded Field, Poetics Research, The Blue Nib, Tipton Poetry Journal, North of Oxford Journal, Otherwise Engaged Magazine, Literary Heist, The High Window, Wild Court, Remington Review, Book of Matches, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Poets Live Anthology 4, OxMag, San Diego Poetry Anthology, Contemporary Poetry 2022, Ballast Journal, Soren Lit, Southern Arizona Press Anthologies, Poetry Salzburg Review. 

She blogs on her website.

My Feline Shadow

My cat’s tail twitches against my legs in content

As he follows my moods with his feline body.

My cat sprawls on the sculpted carpet 

Nonchalantly as if he were an ethereal ghost.

When I write I try to keep the ghosts out but ghosts, 

Like shadows, wander around without speech. 

Sometimes, I find my cat beneath my desk, 

Playing with the computer wires as if to connect

Me with all my friends. He has a big golden heart

Full of kindness reflected on his black button-nose 

As he jounces with surprise or wiggles his tail 

When he follows his own shadow or offers me

Silken scarves for play. Then, we regain our poise

Now as our shadows blend in sheer sunlight.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

GAS Featured Poet: Carlene M. Gadapee

Carlene M. Gadapee teaches high school English and is the Associate Creative Director for The Frost Place Studio Sessions. Her poems have been published by Waterwheel Review, Smoky Quartz, Margate Bookie, English Journal, bloodroot, Wild Words, and elsewhere. Carlene resides with her husband in northern New Hampshire.

American Still Life with Milk


In my imagination, a milkman jingles to a stop,

tossing slack reins across an aging draw-horse’s

ample back. With practiced hands, he deftly

rattles the empties into faded wooden crates

to fill again. Cooled bottles glisten and wink,

and condensation beads at the rim. Tiny rivers

run and spot and dry on the dusty wagon bed.


“Git on Bessie,” echoes in my ears, recalling

times I never lived, and bottles I never held.


Coming Storms


Sheet lightning stretches

and winks. The metallic

smell of ozone is in the air.

No snug little house cradled

by beach roses, no fence

to stop sand from sifting

over the threshold. No old

woman lives here, only

horseshoe crabs. Tiny plovers

scuttle across broken steps,

etching letters into dust.

Greying and splintered

shutters creak on rusted

hinges, unable to block wind

and rain. No one visits,

not even to straighten

a broken chair or to sweep

one careful hand along

a silted sill. There’s no story.

Just shadows and ghosts.

Friday, March 3, 2023

GAS Featured Painter, Composer, Poet and Pianist: David Thomas Roberts

Be:  Where were you raised and where do you live now?  I see a lot of “ragtime” videos and you post a lot of pictures of barns and country settings.  I was wondering how much your location might have colored your music and art?  How much do you feel your family has influenced your style of playing?

David:  I grew up in Jackson County, Mississippi, in the southeastern corner of the state, very near the Alabama state line. I count the village of Kreole as my hometown, though it was annexed by Moss Point in my teens, which I’ve always regretted. It was a world of savanna remnants and piney clusters, of our cousins’ little stores, of the Finn church and the forest just beyond, of the rude dreaminess of Bayou Cumbest, and the ongoing clamor of the paper mill, that destination of log trains clacking through the night. I was deeply affected by landscape and the nuances of place from very early in my memory. In addition to the pine thickets and buttercup savanna flourished much river swamp sporting the usual sensuous hardwoods, such as sweet bay magnolia, red bay and black gum. The Escatawpa River was nearby, and the mighty Pascagoula itself only a bit further. The mystery inherent in this heavy, ultra-green world became a central theme in my consciousness, and would remain a leering force in my work. I’ve carried the intrigue of structures pressed upon by the darkness of timber throughout my locale-obsessed life, reveling in its irreplaceable thrills from the Piney Woods of the Gulf South, to the Missouri Ozarks, to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, just to mention the regions exerting the most intense hold upon me. 

I now live with my wife, Teresa, in Walnut Creek, California, in the east Bay Area, and have for some years.  We’ve known each other since our late teens, when we were attending the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Having been in and out of California for much of my adult life, I’ve developed a poetic relationship with much of this territory, too, especially far northern California and the subtly magical California Delta just east of here.  To say that I continue to prioritize a highly reflective, intimate relationship with place barely suggests how deeply influential this factor in my thought continues to be. It drives my longings and the lyricism of my sanity, and I daily dwell upon it as I endeavor to decide where an archive/museum devoted to my work should be created. 

Be:  Even with your unlimited and eclectic compositions such as “The Window” I hear a ragtime influence.  Are your compositions played exactly the same every time or do you add bits as you play, according to your mood or what you have in mind to express?  

Can others buy sheet music of your compositions or are you completely unique each time you play? 

David: Ragtime came into my life in early childhood, thanks to the late years of the first ragtime revival, which roughly lasted from 1949 to the early ‘60s. I lost contact with it, in effect, for some years, especially as I focused upon painting more than composing from age 9 to 14, after writing my first piece at age 8 (a waltz which I still play in concert!). It reentered my life as I was returning to composition much more intently, thanks to my discovery of the extraordinary music of Charles Ives, who utilized ragtime in his uniquely prescient, visionary, collage-like works. This was also the time when Joshua Rifkin’s first recording of Scott Joplin’s rags appeared on Nonesuch, a project that yanked me onto the path of becoming a ragtime composer and, in the view of many, the most significant one of the second half of the 20th century and beyond. Ragtime-based composing is but one face of my NeoRomantic language, though perhaps the most revealing, and thoroughly explored one. For me, the piano rag became an affectionate vehicle of lyrical, confessional utterance, a precious vessel for my most vulnerable and trusting expression.  One can’t miss my roots in Romantic piano music in general, or my love of hymns, much popular music and various ethnic expression when hearing such ragtime-based works as “Camille,” “Waterloo Girls,” “Pinelands Memoir,” “Through the Bottomlands,” “Roberto Clemente,” “Nahyr” and dozens of others. The sheer melodic appeal of these pieces as well as their unabridged, yearning expressivity, has much to do with my being disproportionately associated with ragtime to this day, despite the increasing availability of other branches of my musical output. It was as the composer of *Roberto Clemente* in particular that I found at least a cultish, niche recognition while still in my twenties. 

Like most other classical/art music/serious music composers, I greatly value the specificity and precision of scores, and my ragtime-based and other Americana/PanAmericana compositions are no exception. That said, I’m acceptant of very slight embellishments and hints of variation in many works in restrained keeping with the recorded legacies of 19th and early 20th century virtuosi such as Alfred Cortot, Ignaz Friedman and Vladimir de Pachmann, and what many of us like to think is the appropriate treatment of Midwestern rags as well, at least on the repeats of strains.

A great many of my piano pieces are published, and are generally available via my website,

Be: Have you been to many countries on concert tours? I saw that you played in Japan.  Do you paint when you travel? Do you feel your music and painting are closely connected somehow, like different expressions of the same ideas?  They both strike me as energetic and “jazzy”.)

David: I’ve performed in Canada, Norway and Japan, but would love to concertize in many other countries, including England and Brazil. I’m friendly with a good many people in Brazil, and am an admirer and interpreter of Ernesto Nazareth. These days I would be gratified to appear far more often here in the States, too.

As for links between visual art and composition, yes, they are deeply intertwined in my psyche; indeed, I’ve often referred to them as facets of the same invention. I’ve been engaged in polymathic expression nearly my entire life, and have relished the interplay between poetry, music and visual art from early on. When asked in the fourth grade what I wanted “to be,” I answered in accordance with what I’d been becoming for a while---“A painter, poet and musician.” By my mid-teens, I was fashioning the essentials to be explored in all three media right up to the present. Even then, my sensibility was in keeping with Kandinsky’s maxim that the purpose of art is to present mystery in terms of mystery, as an encounter with my earlier poems and paintings is likely to suggest.

In the Little Belt Mountains

by David Thomas Roberts

In the Little Belt Mountains lacquered and steered like a lunar galleon

Where ice lore yanks its own banquet into trances

And timber guffaws its prissy way to dream-history

Roars a cosmic tide beyond reckoning

Booming autotelic tales unregistered everlasting

As if treatises and haughty manuals were nothing more than

Bruised brickbats powdered in Butte alleyways,

Sweeping the troposphere in sacred arrogance

Oblivious to sing-song patter and horsepussy foundations

Orating wintergreen fortresses into rocket-jangled archives


In the montane bevy of ramrod visions

Lodgepole pine and polestar fed

This jack-o'lantern-hearted glacier-blaster primed for centaur nights

Spikes the prank of oceans in spirit-heat

Rearing to grin from vortex to beer joint like some ascendant pumping station

Thrashing in limitless green-eyed delirium

Tossing Neihart like a frosty infant Jupiter bound

And hugging it back to the spinning wheel of stoves and log spasms

Sure as upland paroxysms grind their stories

And clocks are hummed to testify to green glimmer of night

This the stocking yammer and winter-warmer ongoing

When a continent romances itself to planets

In the cartography of ultimates

In this the book of singing explosions

In the Little Belt Mountains.

Be:  I see a lot of sexual imagery in your poetry and a lot of your paintings.  Is that a conscious or intuitive thing?  (Sometimes it feels there’s something haunting there.)

David: You are so right! It’s surprising that this evident and provocative theme has never been mentioned in earlier interviews with me. It indeed speaks of a haunting that has been with me from earlier than my conscious memory can access, it seems. It was very upsetting to hear about the existence of sex when I was perhaps 9. When I told my mother about this, she uncomfortably confirmed the reality of the reproductive act, and said that she had tried to inform me when I was much younger but had desisted because I became nearly hysterical. Even into early adulthood, I never fully accepted it as a facet of this life that I was certain I could embrace. The tension between being galvanized by eroticism and burdened by disquiet, anguish and rage at its infusion in the world, remains a contorted presence in my consciousness and work.  

Be:  Are you still actively composing, painting and writing.  Have you ever had long periods where you didn’t feel creative? If so, how did you handle that?

David:  Oh, I’m always at work in one medium or another, and prefer to be in the thick of efforts in all media simultaneously. For me, writing, making visual art and composing are not optional actions, but obsessive drives, screamingly visceral needs and purposes.  My sense of rightness, fragile as it is anyway, would be crippled without fidelity to these drives that are the carriers of my very notion of selfhood.  

Be: I suspect you make your living through the arts.  Care to elaborate?

David: What income I’ve ever generated has resulted from my life as an artist. Composition commissions, sales of paintings and drawings, concerts, and sales of recordings and sheet music have provided my income. The only day job I ever had lasted about a week, but fulfilled its purpose---to fund my entering the state chess championship in Natchez in the summer of 1973. As it turned out, this was part of a crucial chain of events, as it led to my meeting a young man whom I would befriend at college three months later and who would soon introduce me to Teresa Jones, the indisputable love of my life. 

These days, the creation of my archive as the world grows increasingly insecure and, for me, inhospitable, is a relentless concern. I continue to hope for a decisive benefactor’s emergence, but accept that I might well be forced to disseminate and promote my work as never before to guarantee the creation of this citadel.  

David Thomas Roberts