no. 105


when the universe was building its frame

knotting its warp, choosing its weft

amongst the threads i imagine

there were two, side by side

it split them apart, chuckling

these ones are too similar for the same path

and so they were placed in different piles


but somehow

while the universe was busy weaving

fate entered with its whimsy

the two threads were so long, variegated

these are compatible,  said fate, and twined them

foiling the universe’s plans to keep them parallel

they twisted and turned, and finally crossed


the universe did not notice

so that silken weave remained uninterrupted

even as the meeting of those errant threads charged an explosion

which rendered the cloth more intricately, infinitely beautiful

the stealthy secret that fate planted came to fruition

when we met on that preordained day and time

and became friends forever

(written 11 june 2018)


Mariah Voutilainen reviews Christine Ray’s Composition of a Woman

if you haven’t already, please take a look at my review of Christine Ray’s Composition of a Woman. her book of poetry is a must-read!


Christine E. Ray’s Composition of a Woman invites readers to see what a woman is truly made of

By: Mariah Voutilainen

“Betrayal is an inside job” writes poet Christine E. Ray in her debut Composition of a Woman, which will be released July 31st by Sudden Denouement Press.   Ray, who unabashedly displays her “inner badass” on her blog Brave & Reckless, is no new-comer to the indie writing scene.  Careful contemplation went into the organization and creation of this volume, and as such, it speaks to Ray’s decades of experience in writing, years spent editing in the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, and curating in the writer collectives she helped to found, Go Dog Go Café and Indie Blu(e).  In poems strung together like delicate bones, Ray has crafted a personal story that sometimes hinges on the idea of betrayal, but also on the inner strength…

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no. 104

i miss you already

it’s cliché, but i miss you already, even though I’ve not yet left

your eyes, blue skies, with their cloudy cataracts of nostalgia

the music of your voice, its alveolar trill and sibilance render me bereft

i have begun, preemptively, to pull away, embrace melancholia


the deep lakes of emotion that reside within your border

they fill my heart with longing though i may still bathe in their waves

i cannot escape this sadness hemming me inside of your wild order

the birches and tar pines of your arms afford me the embrace i crave


please console me, tell me i do not have to go so far away

that i mustn’t strip you from my soul in order to survive the pain of leaving

tell me you’ll always be here, unchanged, so that someday

i can return to your forests, your lakes, your streets, without grieving


but i know this is not possible and that is why my cheeks are wet

you’ll change and grow, you’ll move beyond me as you do

and so i’ll gaze upon your face glad i must not leave just yet

when i return i know my face will be unfamiliar to you too


more than 1000 nights i have slept in your cocoon

does that mean that you’ve become a part of my very essence

a scent that never leaves my skin

or will you slowly drift away, slip like silk from my memory

fade in the sunlight and misty rain of my new abode?

(written 3 june 2018)

it feels like an eon…

…dear readers, since i have posted anything here.

i have been bathed in a solitude among many

the quiet outside became a fertile garden for thoughts to sprout

at first, i was surprised to find the rootlets of positivity

and creativity taking hold, cognition watering them,

the sunshine of the mind warming them

and then i became accustomed to them,

realizing that the algae bloom of negativity

only thrives when outside voices become the

inner mantra of despair.

when does that begin?

left to nothing else but its own devices,

will a babe suckle at the teat of self-hatred

or choose the sweet milk of self-love?

take refuge in the quiet, i say

do not chant “om,” do not paint a garden’s image

let the mind wander at will to its own

ends, and eventually

(for some sooner than others)

the barren and scorched earth of depression

will give way to the oasis of optimism

all that is required is persistence

(written 8 august 2018)

no. 103


have you wondered where i have been

lurking in corners, fallen off the earth

or have i given myself too much importance


the messy center of my own universe

suddenly withdrawn, retracted, only to reappear

when all is quiet

and the weightiness of life has fallen off my shoulders

when things are less messy

and i feel more centered in this universe

that doesn’t really belong to me

unable to string together simile or metaphor

no figurative language to describe

my current state of being

except to say, oh, how i have missed you

will you know i have returned


will you open your arms

accept my non-apology

a silent sliver on the tip of my

once silver tongue

treat me like it never happened


written 24 july 2018



here’s my last post to the mafia for a while…

The literati mafia

there is something

exquisitely and


eviscerating about

exploring one’s own


reaction to the


i am here and not here

i go unnoticed but yet

i am painfully present

i am one among hundreds

i appear as other so

i am (in)visible

i am (im)possible

i stop in the middle and they file around me

water around a boulder

it never notices

just keeps moving


©mariah voutilainen 2018

mariah is present at (re)imagining the mundane.

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…some of us practice daily escapism, and some of us write poetry about it. here’s my latest post to the Literati Mafia collective.

The literati mafia

i knock the last of my iced coffee back

like it’s a whiskey shot

grimace at the bitter taste of the brew

diluted with coconut almond milk

i got a lot to get done today

and so i toss a chaser of water down my gullet

not even bothering to swish my teeth

this is what life has come to

i have a flashback from my youth

listening to jethro tull because it was cool

to like bands from my parents’ childhood

when i was only thirteen

and in the throes of pre-self-discovery

i didn’t really understand the lyrics

like i didn’t understand

what life would come to

i know i have to pull myself together

but ian anderson’s flute is calling me

it was never my favorite music, still isn’t,

but somehow it’s chained me to this reverie

and so i sit here, putting off the inevitable

the cycles…

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