Fear of Flying-Melody Lee — September 18, 2018

Fear of Flying-Melody Lee

Fear of Flying


I flew to Philly to meet his parents,

to be with him, to see the city and watch him smile.

I met him in the airport wearing my new dress

and black knee high boots. It was my winter break…

and it was seriously winter in Philly.

Snow every day.

Floridians aren’t accustomed to snow

and no Christmas tree left a weird chill in my bones

and an ache for home.

We ate bagels in the morning and had sex

in the afternoons, when his father was at work. Unlucky

for us, his step mom was always lurking somewhere

in their two-story house.

I missed how he played guitar for me back home, typically

something by Led Zeppelin, The Beatles or Paul Simon.

We took the subway to NYC, my first time for both.

I fell in love…with the lights, the fast pace,

the energy, NYC and Jewish delis.

He took me to Vassar, where he graduated with a degree

in Philosophy. I met his friends, got drunk, puked.

We skied in the Poconos, my first time on skis. I sucked.

Ice did not agree with my feet. My balance wasn’t right,

on the ice or with him. His father was stern. He didn’t like me.

His step mom heard us banging and my non-Jewish

moaning didn’t win her approval. Awkward. I didn’t like her,

but I adored his mom. She gave me “Fear of Flying,” by Erica Jong,

and that has stayed with me all these many years later.


© Melody Lee / September 2018

Indie Blu(e) Welcomes Ashley Jane — July 15, 2018

Indie Blu(e) Welcomes Ashley Jane

Ashley Jane is an indie author from Alabama. She is a former Inmate Substance Abuse Counselor with research published in Crime and Delinquency magazine. She has also been featured on various poetry sites. Currently, she moves between consulting, editing books for others and working with computers. She still enjoys research, and you’ll often find her alternating between reading poetry books and psychological studies. While from the South, her heart still lives in Washington DC (or the Caribbean.) She loves music concerts and true crime dramas. She lives with her husband and their one child, a rescue cat named Shadow Monkey.

Ashley has been writing off and on since childhood, but she only started sharing her words a few years ago. She is the co-founder of FallsPoetry prompt, which runs on both Instagram and Twitter. She also co-hosts DarkLines and DrugVerse prompts on Twitter, and she helps run a writer support group (Poets, Poetry and Publishing) on Facebook.

Published Work

(Available on Amazon)

Cover Image.jpeg

Love, Lies, and Lullabies is a collection of poetry about relationships and the emotions that come with them. It is written for the lovers and the liars, the broken and the mended, the hardened hearts and the soft souls who lie and tell everyone that they are fine. Each chapter is filled with poems that detail the ups and downs of life and love, of pain and joy, of losing and finding yourself again.

Composition of a Woman by Christine E. Ray Coming from Sudden Denouement Publishing July 2018 —
Kristiana Reed Reviews Nicholas Gagnier’s Swear To Me — June 27, 2018

Kristiana Reed Reviews Nicholas Gagnier’s Swear To Me

Swear to Me, an anthology of struggle and survival from Nicholas Gagnier, is a triumphant reveal of lonely hearts which aren’t so lonely after all. It appears a slim book of poetry when in fact it is the friend checking in on you. The friend who makes you a hot beverage or pours you a drink. The friend who listens without questions. The friend who doesn’t shrink from the boxes you’ve labeled ‘MADNESS’ but helps you unpack them. The friend who with just a smile, call or brief squeeze of your hand says: ‘You’re still here and I’m so glad you are.’

There is an undeniable sense of community in Swear to Me. Gagnier himself comments on the contributing writers being ‘the heart of a message this book represents.’ They are the chorus swelling behind Gagnier’s honest, raw solo. The standouts for me were Christine Ray’s ‘Wrecking Ball’ and Nicole Lyons’ ‘The Mmm of Her’. This chorus hits a crescendo with ‘A Room So Still and Quiet’ – a culmination of the powerful, healing voices Gagnier evokes in his poem ‘Survivors’ – they are the ‘light that refuses to die.’

However, this anthology is also crafted in the knowledge we don’t all want battle drums and war paint; sometimes we just want to know we are not alone, we are understood. Gagnier and his words are the close friends we all need and deserve and whilst some poems ignite a fire in your belly, others nod with understanding or wrap you up in shaking, ‘we can do this together’ arms. ‘A Normal Life’ is one of the most touching odes to struggle and survival I’ve ever read:

‘you are my beacon, even brighter

overcompensating madness

in the maddest of ways.’

It’s love. Battle drums, war paint, and love. Love of yourself, others and life itself – embracing the madness as your normal. Letting the walls crumble, the expectations you are something other, pack their bags and realizing the home you want to build is inside you with a ribcage scaffold. ‘Ten Year Story’, ‘Beautiful Human’ and ‘Longhurt’ are other personal favourites which all remind me of the importance of love and acceptance.

Finally, like all good friends, you will always have fond memories to reminisce about during your darkest and brightest days. The friend I found in Swear to Me is no exception. Upon finishing this anthology, I’ve returned to two poems in particular time and time again. ‘Homeward Legend’ reminds me the heart on my sleeve isn’t a weakness, and my story is not over. ‘Almost Happiness’ reminds me we do not have to be everything all at once – we don’t have to bottle up the darkness and strike false smiles like matches because:

‘Almost happiness is better

than none.’

This anthology was a long time coming (ten years) and yet I’m glad because in it Gagnier displays his heart for all to see and touch, and in this act of catharsis gives you the courage to do the same. To live unashamedly in the dark and in the light.

Swear To Me is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.com.uk, and Book Depository

Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar & Sudden Denouement, and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.

Indie Blu(e) Welcomes CANDICE LOUISA DAQUIN — May 3, 2018


candice daquin

Daquin’s own life, traveling from her native France, via England, Canada and finally the US, has brought a myriad of experiences that others have often been able to tap into via her writing. A collection of lives really, and with this, she tries to weave greater meaning through poetry and touch those who experience similar questions, doubts, and hopes. Surely this is what writing attempts in its very human form?

Daquin’s themes include feminism in its complex, everyday form, and the experience of being a woman, a gay woman, a bi-racial woman, a bi-cultural woman and finally, a Jewish woman of Egyptian extraction (Mizrahi) and how this sits with the world’s current revolt between the dominant faiths.

“I have been told from readers of my published and non-published works that reading poetry which resonates with your emotions, helps you see things clearer, assists in remembering what really matters and enables you to reflect on forgotten emotions or at least, locate them.  For this and many reasons, poetry has a deep place in my psyche and I come back to it time and again, considering its importance in our increasingly busy world. When you read a poem that stays with you, it’s much the same as a moment, etched in memory. To be able to generate moments of worth, be they uplifting, contemplative or even sad, is the goal of most writers.”

Daquin has written for Rattle, Northern Poetry Review and South Florida Review among others, both as reviewer and poet.


A jar for the jarring (2014)

The bright day has gone child, and you are in for the dark (2015)

Illusions of existing (2016)

Sit in fever (2016)

Pinch the lock (2017)

Jar for the Jarring large

Candice Louisa Daquin’s first book of poetry began her journey into the psyche and transformation of women from girl to adulthood. Her revelations about this process, through pain, healing, insight, love and loss, are both truths and metaphors many can relate to and have been expressed in the beautiful language of a poet, to illustrate our shared experience of life, both humorous, frightening, puzzling and tragic, but ultimately redemptive through the power of love. A jar for the jarring is the first in a series of seven books examining what it is to exist and experience life. This is the Second Edition.

Available on Amazon.com

Book 2 large

Candice Daquin’s second collection of poetry was written after her move to the American Southwest and reflects much of the Southwestern & Hispanic influence she has experienced since. Themes include identity, personhood, being female and passion. Her writing is wide-arcing and challenging, bringing metaphor and symbolism into daily existence through at times, phantasmagorical and dreamlike concepts of existence.

Available on Amazon.com


Book 3 large

In her third collection of poetry; Illusions of Existing, Candice Daquin tackles the ever-present questions of mortality, age, passion, rejection, fear, and transformation. Through our experience of existing we learn what is real, what is fragmentary and how nothing is ever certain, especially through the lens of a creative soul. At once humorous and dark, Daquin’s work provides an insight into the modern woman’s emotional landscape and her perspective of what it means to exist and not exist.

Available on Amazon.com

Sit in Fever Large

The journey of personal growth comes in stages throughout life. In her fourth book of poetry, Daquin examines where she is having tackled earlier stages and found herself to be in a place of increased honesty and reconciliation. Through a blending of narrative, exclamation, humor, and healing, she shines a light on the emotional dynamics of existing in a complex world with the vivid imagery of the American Southwest as her backdrop.

Available on Amazon.com


“Poet Candice Daquin uses carefully culled words to take her readers from the comfort of their couch to the bruised and bleeding psyche of the wounded heart. Her nomadic early years, sheltered by deep-thinking and creative European grandparents, set her on a course of discovery, creativity, and artistry. She has a special understanding of and connection with the disenfranchised, the abused, the castaways of society. Quite possibly her extensive work in Psychotherapy honed her laser focus on what lies beneath the surface of things, the surface of people, the surface of behavior. A background in dance informs the graceful flow, the cadence of her language.” L. Paul

Available on Amazon.com