Tuesday, 12 November 2019




POEMS BY MICHAEL TOPA: UNFINISHED BUSINESS



The Street Cleaners



Talking with a friend

Downtown outside late at night

Blur of passersby



You don’t see what is

Happening but someone takes

The moments away





I think I’m one of the street cleaners myself: I sweep the past into my novels, not as it happened, but tidying it up until it fits the story.



The Headhunter of Hands



At night

I go down to the lake

And search for your hands



I find a certain antiquity

In bones tinkling under the moon

Stone flowers amid lacustrine trees



In the blue-baited dawn

The bandicoots return to the shaggy black moss

Growing quietly on the north side of a tree



They stuff what is left

Of your hands

Into their pouches.



Lacustrine trees! blue-baited dawn! I’d like to go there to finish the business and be happy.

Saturday, 5 October 2019


@chandlerisms: Outrageous similes



From Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep:



Decorative trees trimmed as carefully as poodle dogs



Meaty leaves like the newly washed fingers of dead men



He used his strength like a show-girl uses her last good pair of stockings



A smile as wide as Wilshire Boulevard



As empty of life as a scarecrow’s pockets



Blood began to move around in me like a prospective tenant looking over a house

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

BEST HISTORICAL NOVEL: THE INQUISITOR'S NIECE


Good news, friends. I was awarded the Colorado Publishers' annual award for "best historical novel". Above the certificate "suitable for framing"!

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

NATHAN RON'S NEW BOOK IS OUT!  ERASMUS AND THE OTHER

A FULL EXAMINATION OF ERASMUS' ATTITUDE TOWARD NON-CHRISTIANS





FROM THE PREFACE:
"THIS BOOK, I DARE SAY, IS THE FIRST FULL TREATMENT OF ERASMUS' VIEWS OF THE 'OTHER'. THE BOOK EXPORES HOW ERASMUS VIEWED NON-CHRISTIANS AND DIFFERENT RACES, INCLUDING MUSLIMS, JEWS,AMERINDIANS AND BLACK AFRICANS. IT DEALS ALSO WITH RELATED ISSUES SUCH AS WAGING A CRUSADE AGAINST THE TURKS, WAR AND PEACE IN GENERAL, AND THE WISHFUL THINKING OF CONVERTING THE TURKS AND JEWS TO CHRISTIANITY."

Monday, 15 July 2019


@amreading Carolyne Van Der Meer, Journeywoman


Here is a collection of poetry that reads like exquisite prose full of evocative imagery.

Think of the etymology of “journeyman”, which describes a stage in learning one’s craft. It’s derived from journée, a day’s work or travel. And these poems are about becoming a master of womanhood, but also about the journey itself – where does life take us? In Van Der Meer’s poetry we travel the whole distance, from the gritty to the sublime, from food and sex to the dental chair, from cancer to sainthood.

Here are some of her recipes for life:

Tapas in the Plaza Ana

…On the second day,

we visit the Prado

buy handmade Mallorcan tap shoes,

then sink into wicker chairs,

sip rioja and local Naturbier

order tapas-

liver paste,

oiled salmon, blue cheese,

chorizo and jamon

energized

despite sore feet

sweaty brows



I attempt poetry

jagged lines spiked emotions

inspiration from dead Spaniards



Homemade Pasta on New Year’s

The more you put into it, the better it tastes…

later when I roll them around my fork

with porcini mushrooms drenched in cream

I savour the harmony of tastes

remember the hardness

his arms



shudder, satiated, understand

the more you put into it