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Bina Gupta – Poet Extraordinare

I get exhausted using superlatives in describing today’s special edition guest writer. After gracing the NOT’s pages sometime back, I begged Bina Gupta to send me some additional work. Silly me, it fell between the cracks at the NOT and the bagatelles below have been sitting undisturbed in my in-box instead of dancing upon my reader’s eyes as they should have been weeks ago.

Bina is one talented, bi-continental gal sharing her talents in both the USA and her homeland of India. She has recently published over 125 of her poems in a book entitled My Heart On My Sleeve. Enjoy the special “perspectives” shared below.

between the sheets unglossed- new perspective
by Bina Gupta

opened book of life



a grandmother

a mother

a wife

a daughter

a child

a newborn

as life waxes

it wanes

time same!

As I grew

Life span shrank


As I bloomed

I was step

Closer to withering

As the sun rises

It was a step

Closer to setting

Such is life’s conundrum

Maker’s mystery thus spun

Be it grief or joyous fun

Knowing in my heart

This is the ultimate truth

I carry on, it understood

Hold my soul

Like water in hand

Without spilling out of hand


Spreading joy

I am HIS toy

As HE cranks my key

I sing n dance accordingly

Out of steam, I’ll cease to be

Win or lose

It is all a chess of life’s game

At the end King n pawn retire in box, same

Life thus endures, as we endeavor

to endure it with grace…
my voyage of self discovery is still on…

*** **** ***


by Bina Gupta

Between opposing sheets hard
Lie a whole mess of wordy shards
Some pungent, some repugnant
Some cloying, some buoying
Some boisterous, some vociferous
Some malicious, Some sagacious
Some pernicious, some capricious
Some reminisces, some winces
Some piercing, some ferocious
Some precocious, some innocent
Some gentle like mom’s mantle
Some hard like teacher’s stern ogle
Relations that boggle
Some curdle
Some inane
Some insane
Some shallow n vain
Some we dare disdain
Some we have to tolerate
Some help n hurt
Some confide n subvert
Some change over time
Some shifty sands
Some slippery eels
Some greasy wheels
Some weasels

We pick a few here n there
Mix match n ignore
Some reject or get rejected
Some deject some are cruel
Some we still care about n knowingly
Are glutton for their punishment
Masochistic- yet realistic
We are all slaves to our needs
Weaknesses, goals, aspirations
And striving respirators until
Expiration. release from
Self invited bondage
All residing between
Blood ties or not…
between the sheets
of life
in book of
of self

Guest Photo Essay – Kristin Fouquet

Kristin Fouquet is one of the most creative, talented and prolific photographers on the indy press scene today. Her nuanced and finely crafted work can be seen at Full of Crow, 1000th Monkey, Danse Macabre, Hobo Camp Review, Blink/Ink, Disenthralled, Right Hand Pointing and countless other indy journals, zines and mags. A talented fiction writer, Kristin has had her work featured in Literary Fever, Twenty Stories, Full of Crow and others. Today’s photo essay represents a personal journey for Kristen as she takes us to apartments where she has lived in her home town of New Orleans both before and after the devastation of Katrina.

The NOT is delighted to share her work with you today.

The Third Son

The tiny ribbon of blood that trickled from his freshly cut finger eagerly found the drain in the kitchen sink, obediently joining the flow of cool water that enveloped his hand as he cursed his clumsiness. It held the markers that since birth had predestined him to assume the responsibilities of his station as the third son, just like his father before him, his grandfather and his father too. At that moment though, his index finger throbbing, his thoughts turned to his maternal lineage and the greater, yet unspoken burden that to his count had already upended the lives of each of his brothers, his mother, her siblings and each of his cousins on his mother’s side. Perhaps if he bled long enough he could extricate himself of the certain darkness that awaited him, without warning unleashing its fearsome grip. He knew this was absurd, yet he had only recently come to the realization that of the 13 relatives on his mothers side that he personally knew, each of them had been stricken. There was a time when he considered it a character flaw, yet as he became personally acquainted with it, he came to understand the physiology behind it and it frightened him.

The timing sucked. Now was a terrible time. Right, he thought, like there is a good time for this.


He’d never been called a polecat before and wasn’t sure how to react. Was it his southern heritage and animal movement that garnered this curious sobriquet? Or perhaps she’d noticed his obscure reference to the reverence placed upon Siamese mousers by the Egyptians.

Completely unaware polecats were not felines at all but rather members of the weasel family, he noted her demeanor had distinctly shifted. Suddenly feeling inadequate under the presence of her steely glare he simply asked her.

“Whatever do you mean by such a malodorous moniker, my dear?”

“What I mean by it sir, is that only polecats procreate with the siblings of their mates. I’ve always known my sister was of this genus, but I hardly suspected the same of you.”

The Gardener #fridayflash

“You’re right, the garden, while certainly delightful, is a bit overrun and my goodness, you’ve got quite a serpent problem.”

“Precisely my man, and they have always got something to say, honing in on my tree fruit and those other ripe offerings I’m getting used to having at my command. Can you fix the situation?”

“No problem, Mr. Adam, Are you sure it’s all good though with the missus? She looks like she’s getting pretty friendly with the natives and given that huge bite she took outta that Golden Delicious, I sure don’t want to get on her bad side.”

“Evie won’t mind your pruning a few trees, just stay away from her bush. Got it?”


words are seas
where I’ll gladly swim
sinking into depths with
inky ballast
verse by my side
follow commas
like bobbers
glint, then dive
off the streaks
of the sun
they ride breakers
with notions
slowly I catch a
fleeting floater

Harry Connick Jr. Preview

My man Hal is coming to Charlotte in a few weeks. Read my preview at Charlotte ViewPoint here.