Now Available: “Sell Me Insanity” by Marcial Delgado

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC is excited to announce the release of “Sell Me Insanity,’ a chapbook of poetry by Marcial Delgado.

“The brujo knows that magic is not a series of complex alchemical spells or mathematical formulas, but comes from the soil, from the people around him, from the roots and connections to the earth he can draw on. This is what Marcial Delgado does with this collection of poetry. He drinks deep from the wellspring of his own history, and the ties that bind him to his community, and his people. These poems breathe with a rare magic that is at once soft spoken and fierce. This is a wonderful collection of poems from one of New Mexico’s most authentic voices.”

-Zachary Kluckman

Join Marcial this Saturday, June 22 at El Chante Casa de Cultura for the “Voices Of The Barrio: Sell Me Insanity Book Release.” This will be an open mic event so please bring a poem to share or just come and listen. There will also be a potluck. This is a free event and all are welcome.

Marcial will have copies for sale at the release, but his book is also currently available through most major distributors. Find it on Amazon.com by clicking here and it can be Primed to you by Saturday for the event.

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Available on Kindle Unlimited: Nail Gun and a Love Letter

Now available on Kindle Unlimited: Nail Gun and a Love Letter by Beau Williams.

Click here to view Kindle Unlimited as well as find buying options for the paperback.

Heralding from Portland, Maine, Beau Williams describes himself as a “fairly optimistic” poet, and what better way to describe his newest collection of poetry from Swimming with Elephants Publications than as “fairly optimistic.” Bittersweet journeys to bar floors and the bottoms of bottles, Nail Gun and a Love Letter is reminiscent of beat poetry days and the pilgrimages we must take to find ourselves.

“This collection of poems alternately pierces the reader with astute and heartbreaking observations (Good Drums is a particularly devastating musing on white, male American-ness) while at the same time using evocative language to spar with and challenge the ideas of belonging and connection and love. These poems invite the reader to contemplate what it means to come from somewhere, and how it feels to long for a place that isn’t home, but could be. They invite us to see the mundane as essential, and to see and celebrate the things that connect us to our identity. The title of this collection is apt; like a nail gun, these poems violently pierce, but do so in service to building something sturdy and sheltering, and every one is a love letter to the dance that makes us who we are.”

– Sherry Frost, Educator

Click here to learn more about this collection by reading the review by Maxine Peseke.

Many of Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC titles are now available on Kindle Unlimited. Explore additional titles on Our Catalog page.

Now Available: disaster in die / an overdose sunrise by bassam

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC is excited to announce the release of “disaster in die / an overdose sunrise,” a chapbook of poetry by bassam.

“bassam’s ‘disaster in die / an overdose sunrise’ is the third and final installment of a trilogy of poetry collections that I have awaited with bated breath. The first two collections in this trilogy are grim expositions of the intersections of being a marginalized being in an oppressive white supremacist world and the ways that marginalized beings find humour and celebration despite the odds. This final book in the trilogy continues this narrative but, supplies hope for the reader and the world. Hope that in spite and despite of the miseries of oppression, joy and oppression can coexist. Reminiscent of Alicia T. Crosby’s poignant poem ‘If I Should Die Before I’m Woke’ , bassam does not leave their sins and transgressions unexamined. Instead, they cringe at their own missteps and keep themselves accountable, while upholding the standard that they deserve no accolades for this. What they do is simply the bare minimum. ‘disaster in die / an overdose sunrise’ is an authentic, raw and vulnerably poignant book that proves that poetry is magic and that poets are not magicians, but simply vessels for the magic to flow through.”

—Mugabi Byenkya, author of Dear Philomena

Order ‘disaster in die/ an overdose sunrise‘ and ‘bliss in die/ unbinging the underglow‘ from all major book distributors today.

bassam is currently on tour throughout Canada and the United States, promoting their publications. Check out their tour schedule to them in a town near you!

Now Available: I’ve Been Cancelling Appointments with My Psychiatrist for Two Years Now

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC is excited to announce the release of I’ve Been Cancelling Appointments with My Psychiatrist for Two Years Now, a chapbook of poetry by Sean William Dever.

In “I”ve been canceling my appointments with my psychiatrist for two years now,” Sean William Dever captures the essence of living with illness on an emotional level. This short collection serves as a testament to many things: the challenges of battling a healthcare system, the challenges of invisible disorders and diseases, and the challenges we face in ourselves as doubt comes in waves. This work is honest and raw, and sure to connect with many readers.

Order your copy of I’ve Been Cancelling Appointments with My Psychiatrist for Two Years Now today from Amazon or other major book distributors.

Weekly Write: “Hypnagogia” by Mireya Vela

Hypnagogia

In 1981, I desperately want a Sea Wee doll. In the commercials, a delicate girl plays in a bubble filled bathtub while her mom kneels alongside her. I want that. I want to be in a bathtub and feel the safety of the water and the tickle of bubbles while my mermaid dolls floats in a sponge lily pad, and my mom lovingly hovers. I’m eight years old. I want my nudity to stop being the dirty thing it has become. I want to be safe.

“What would you do if you got one?” mom asks.

“I’d kiss that person and give them a big hug,” I say. This is unusual for me. I don’t like to be touched.

“Really?” she says. Her voice is creeping.

“Yes.”

“Are you sure?” she says.

Her words are like a sharp grab and I feel unsteady.

“Yes,” I say.

On Christmas Eve, I open a gift with the doll in it. It’s from my father’s youngest brother whose persistent stare terrifies me. I don’t touch him or thank him. Instead, I’m overwhelmed with the feeling that I just bartered something. It feels sickening.

*

My dad’s youngest brother hates me into my twenties.

Standing on the church steps for wedding photos, I see the angry veins on his face. I’m a bridesmaid at my brother’s wedding. I’m wearing a red strapless dress that makes me feel vulnerable and naked. Over the dress, I’m wearing old shame like a threadbare coat.

He’s a pastor and has just married my brother to his new bride.

I hear the photographer tell us to smile. He’s posed us while the pastor watches. The happy couple are at the center while the bridesmaids flank from above and the sides.

“Mireya,” the pastor’s voice booms over the shuffle of dresses.

“You’re up high right now. I bet you really like that,” he says, “But don’t for one second think you are better than anyone here.”

I’ve cried throughout the ceremony. It feels like I’m losing my brother. I turn to the pastor’s voice but I keep my gaze at his shoes. I imagine the robes flapping, his teeth long and perspiring—the froth forming at the corners of his mouth. I look up and he is simply glaring at me. But in my imagination, he’s trying to consume me.

*

He is arrested in 2006. To evade police he drives from his home in Sunland to his mother’s house in El Monte—next door to the house where I grew up. The newspaper headlines read “Pastor and Son Arrested on Charges of Child Molestation”.

After the arrest I realize that in his mind, I somehow twisted his lust. I was a 2 year old or a 6 year old or a 10 year old with the power to move him away from god. He’d molested the girls in his church. He’d molested the girls in our family into their teens.

*

As an adult, when I wake up from nightmares, I take quick stock of my surroundings. My biggest fear at that moment of wakeful confusion is that I will open my eyes and see the beige door to my room at my mother’s house. I look for the windows and sense the tightness of the air. It always takes me a moment to realize I’m safe. I reach for my husband. If I’m able to touch him, my alarm diffuses. If he’s not there, I listen for the sounds of his feet upstairs.

That moment, when I am stuck between awareness and the pull of the dream, I’m terrified. I wouldn’t relive my childhood for anything in the world. My creativity is born in the imagination, a space that is so much like hynagogia, it’s likely the two are married. I am working to accept this space in my mind where ideas both good and bad float like butterflies. I don’t own that space. It’s where all artists go. It’s where girls sit in bathtubs with mermaid dolls imagining safety and a mother who watches over her.

That moment between the creations of the imagination and the awakeness of reality, that’s where I’m stuck for him as well. That’s where I live. I’m not alone there. It’s also a place for pastors.

 

Mireya Vela is a recent graduate from Antioch University’s MFA writing program. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, children and animals. “Hypnagogia” is soon to be published  in “Vestiges of Courage” published by The Nasiona.

 

 

 

 

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Click here check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 available for only $10.95.