Breath & Shadow
Fall 2020 - Vol. 17, Issue 4
New on The Bookshelf
Breath and Shadow
By Kenna McKinnon
After a marriage fraught with abuse and infidelity, Scarlett Kane's husband is suddenly killed in a motorcycle accident. Conflicted by feelings of love and hate, she struggles to build a new life, but a paranormal presence prevents her from moving on. Haunted by the past, all she wants is to have a happier future. When Scarlett discovers an incredible secret about her husband, it seems like the inconceivable burden of her past is finally gone. On a path woven with love and deception, can Scarlett find the strength to choose between the living and the dead?
Ascending is available worldwide on Amazon, B&N, Nook, Smashwords, etc.
The Ontological Constant
By Mark A. Murphy
It’s as if some small isthmus of east Europe had filleted its way to the English north. Murphy’s poems read as if they are a fantastic translation by some occlusive Nobel Laureate we should all know. They breathe an air removed from the parochial, slant-written tight slovenliness of taste now current. And there is a risk of the heart cutting a painful arc across everything.
They are often denotative poems too, not delicately-wrought to make strange, but rooted in things, cultures, a vector of reference-points made by Murphy’s lucidity. And there’s a laconic personal rhythm, marrying the conversational with high modernism, almost American in its yawling reach. Yet beautifully inlaid:
If your heart is toiling, as we must imagine it is
in this the bleak mid-January,
eat the libidinous pulp of the plump avocado.
It is that second half of the first line, as well as imagery, that makes a Murphy poem. This from January Ontology evokes a world of love. It is also dedicated to his American partner. You might see here flickers of e e cummings, Stevens and others, but they’re lost in this poetry‘s bleak radiance. Precious and perilous, The Ontological Constant needs to be read.
Part of our mission at Breath and Shadow is to promote the work of writers with disabilities. In this section, we highlight a few titles written by people who have contributed work to our journal.