Over the Rhone

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. . . It is good to love many things

to an unraveling

of Van Gogh's heart beating on

Over the Rhône

“Well, that’s how it is, can you tell

what goes on within by looking at

what happens without? There may be

a great fire in your soul, but no one

ever comes to warm himself by it, all

that passers-by can see is a little

smoke coming out of the chimney and

they walk on.”

A note from the editor:

Art works like fire—through all of time,

people have and will sit around it,

finding comfort, company, thought,

hope. And like fire, art changes and

shifts—itself and the people around it.

Van Gogh’s stars show us this essence,

with long, glowing strokes illuminating

what a treasure it is to love the world

and to come near it, dare to see the

beauty of it.

This zine is a collection of art, a medium

to explore through collaboration and

expression the work

of Van Gogh, the artist from 19th century Netherlands that re-defined

art and its place within life, within humanity and nature; and how his

definitions are interpreted and carried in hearts over a century later.

Over the Rhône is a zine interspersed with my own writing alongside

brilliant submissions that I had the opportunity to read and see, spend

time with. I am nothing but grateful for all of the support and all of the

love I saw Van Gogh, his work and his life receive in each artist’s

unique way.

Now, the magnificence of the stars reflecting in waters of the Seine is

realised here as such wonderful art is so close to us again. It is a

pleasure to have you seated by the fire with us.

Yours truly,



Starry Night Over the Rhône

A night picture without any black in it.

Ari Ochoa Petzold

An Unusual Day

Mak Kram

At Eternity’s Gate

Cafe Terrace at Night

Memoria viva

Gloria Glau

Hope from a Scene

Shamik Banerjee

In and not after

Painting and Poems

Geetanjali Lachke

Insomnia, Four Voices

Jon Kelly

Tidal Hope

His Bedroom

Mona Mehas

The Night Carnival



















View Over the Rooftops of Paris

Stella Aldrich



Willow and Autumn

Irina Tall Novikova

Sketch: Loving Vincent

Gloria Glau




Three pieces

Megan Joubert



on hope.

Starry Night Over the Rhône

Starry Night Over the Rhone

I breathe a moon somewhere

over the Rhône, and it turns


stars (always

the stars)


the precision (or lack of it)

of it


follows the lines

of my life, of my mouth

biting down

I lay my head


flock of lantern-lights


through the grass — in

my stomach.

My stomach,

a landscape of familiar voices putting its arms around a

child, dreaming.





my heart’s wishbone.







of light growing — on it






doing what








reminds you







laughter and brushstrokes




times you bent down to kiss your brother’s head.




I find stories. Stories that





a cool night and tired hands, of a throat singing of


and blades of grass, green and blue,

a lot like the promises

you make to life, bending, twisting, through it all — growing. Pushing

open windows means practising love. Eyes, wood, glass



likely to buckle

at the sight of the world pointing at the wet grass

and plants

on windowsills.

Awe and breathing in. Over the Rhône, the wind

carries my love like starlight.


A night picture without any black in it.

I shall never think of the night as black no more,

with the querosene lights of fluorescent yellow

overpowering that of the stars, no longer white.

Before this evening I never thought night-life

deserving of royal blue but instead

a secret we kept at night cafés of green and red.

The waiter is taking an order, in their white uniform shining

as Jesus.

A horse walks through the cobblestone -clac, clac, clactwo

people, a couple, dance while a boy watches dressed in canary.

You snap your fingers at the same time the horse neighs

and say “Aren’t you happy we went out?” I am, “I have

never seen green as the one of that tree,” I say, “Basil”.

I search for the ash on the cobblestones,

inding only blue and oranges strokes,

“There’s no longer black and white only technicolor”.

And as I say this you smile brighter than the lights,

mistaking my observations for a metaphor, thinking

that tomorrow I’ll get out of bed and see violet instead of gray.

Ari Ochoa Petzold


by Mak Kram

There is a melody in my ear and I

cannot get it out. It is a whisper I

cannot quite comprehend. Normally,

when I have Tinnitus, I cut off my ear,

but now I’ve got one left. So I go home,

Paint a landscape no-one’s ever seen.

When I go to shovel the snow, my back

breaks. I am old & tired. I am young & poor.

When I wake up I think about drinking

again until the shooting stars appear

again & I see a Halo around my father’s neck.


At Eternity’s Gate

by Shereen Rana

I try to hear myself,

to touch my own hand,

a pulse, maybe, a hint of it,

but the fire—

Oh, the fire. Burn, trace and turn me

over. It’s gone on longer

than I can close my eyes in the dark.

It knows about it. About the dead weight

buried under the snow—and how

the snow melts. Window latches,

empty handed



“My Muse”


Megan Joubert

“Victoria Beckham"



Leggy Lady of Leisure


Megan Joubert


by Shereen Rana

Light falls like swans turned yellow

by the sprained sun. Sprained

swan legs—elegy

to the river deepening between the heartbeats.

Is my disbelief at the world’s knuckles turning

into stars

just my belief in it, or its


The woman wonders

like she has about a million things

before. Enough times that skin right then

feels like a testament to having been here

at all.

Light catches—

hands around whispered words,

orange-lit faces turning and

a promise no one had to be told about.

In the corner-shop window a waiter’s reflection

laughs; unexpected, sprained, a muscle from an animal

born under the lamp, a pocket of the ages.

In the centre of the marketplace,

I think of screaming about love

resting on the cobblestones, but I think

I’ll let the stars talk about it

for a while. 7

Memoria Viva

my grandma calls me by her dead sibling’s name, and a few living ones, too.

people she’s lost, people she hasn’t seen since 1985, and some she misses

from last week.

on her walls, all the frames are clean and polished, the dusty place lying

inside the pictures.

still she insists she can make them shine bright and blinding as her


i can’t tell her otherwise, in a grief so big the elephant in the room is an ant

you almost crush,

the tangible proof of how one single person can love you on behalf of the

rest of world.

i imagine Vincent waking up one day saying Theo, this will sound mad, but i

dreamt so many people loved me that weren’t you.

Gloria Glau


Hope from a Scene

Shamik Banerjee

The Tit has nested on the scaffold's pane,

with bushes of the spruce tree and its bough.

Its roofing covers her hatchlings from rain

when o'er the straw it falls, making a sough.

The dense sky above is built in sapphire.

Small gobbets are disparpled on the ground;

fallen from my yesternight's drenched attire

in the rain which has sworn to hail around.

Yet, the azure sky seems not to turn grey,

and the Sun is glaring, glossy and fine;

despite the scudding rain sith yesterday--

so hope is biding still in heart of mine—

that the morning, a pleasant sky will earn;

as the heavens will call the rain to turn.


In and not after

Shereen Rana

Who am I looking at? My

body was tense canvas.

Vincent, he said. I looked in

my eyes in the painting and it

has been a long, long time

since I painted it. Three

hundred years, at least.

Maybe five, for the years that

struck like blunted madness.

Vincent? He asked me the

question. Did he? Or did I?

Then and there I laughed. I

had to. My name a worry, a

question, a boy cutting his

foot at the edge of the cave.

Self-Portrait with Bandaged

Ear, 1889

The idea that the sun, falling on us both, would take pity on me (my red

hands made in strokes going the wrong way) makes its way to live in me. In

and not after. I laughed and he looked at me the way a lot of people have—

the way that feels like a leg arching back in preparation for a kick. In and

not after. But his kick felt like it would pass right through me, not because

of me but him. In and not after, we stood there in the dark room cut by

sunlight and I saw us become a prism: me, my self/-portrait and him, a

ghost of me or everybody else—maybe that's why he was beautiful, warm,

glass-skinned. Boy with the glass touch. In and after. Rebirth with fever

and mosaic, heat. In and not after.


At nighttime I'd walked the length of the field and felt the star-light

turning to blood (I have to keep coming back to the light.)

The easels had stood there in the middle of the field, two of them together

like ears, turned to the world’s heartbeat. The birds had been circling

overhead then. I thought of time and if my blood on an easel would

someday mean romance. I put my hands around the top of the easel, bone

to bone, shook my head. No bird struck, no wind. I thought, breathing

heavy, that the wood breaking would mean the world would say something

to me. Then I was looking through the wreckage—the splinters and my

breath falling not like stars but dust trying to make sense. It wouldn’t last.

But I have to. When the paint and paper burns on the floor the easel stays.

Heavy, pointing not to god, but something cold as a crash site before it all

happens. After that it never stops happening, right by my ears. That’s

when the burning pulse made my ear shed blood through the bandage.

Running down my cheek, a new river. How do the rivers know they’re

going the right way? When blood fell on wood, it wasn’t beautiful or

divine, or fated or forsaken, or starlit. As I ran through field & street, it

was just painful, just heavy. How can I tell you this? How can I tell anyone



Above: “Willow”

Media: chalk, wax

crayons, tinted paper

Size: 19x19 cm

Year: 2022

Left: “autumn”

Media: chalk, wax

crayons, tinted paper

Size: 19x19 cm

Year: 2022

Irina Tall



Paintings and Poems

Geetanjali Lachke

Hold my hand darling It is cold out here

And walking under this starry night sky

These twinkling stars like snow might fall I fear

Don't let go, it's early to say goodbye

As the river holds the sky in her arms

I'll hold you in that eternal embrace

We'll wait for the clouds to exhaust their forms

We'll wait for the great unveiling of space

But if you are still unwilling to stay

If nothing I do is enough for you

I will surely let you walk your own way

Yet they say, "old love is better than new"

And I've given all my paintings to you,

Like you've given all your poems to me.



Tidal Hope

Shereen Rana

Bank of the

Seine, 1887


View Over the Rooftops of Paris

Stella Aldrich

Van Gogh, 1886

I sit by the window and try to count the chimneys, but fall into

cyclical failure. There are far too many chimneys and far too

much sky for my dubious endeavor.

The sky is the yellow of melted butter, the type I used to churn for

my mother on Saturdays and would spread on warm bread on

Sundays. I have not seen a sky this color since I left home, so

many months ago. When it was just the few of us, I collected the

sunsets and daybreaks thoughtlessly. I did not consider the finite

quantity of skies we would gather.


Before I left, we were five. It is not a particularly beautiful number:

a flat-capped, round-bellied frown, but my addition always came to

the same solution. A mother, a father, a brother, a sister, and I

equaled five. My mother taught me to count with dried kidney

beans that looked like the squirrel intestines littering my brother’s

bedroom floor. I knew that two plus two equals four, and would

equal four every time. I knew that four spare kidney beans would

make five when another one fell from my mother’s delicate fingers.

I would sit, my bare bum on the dusty floor, and line the beans in a

row, then scoot them close together so each kidney spooned the

other to create a continuous, bulbous being.

We should have been six: a natural number: a tadpole with its tail

curving round to beckon its head. Not far from my home – not far

from the grave – was a stream. Each Spring, I crouched on its bank

and reached one large palm into the cool water. The water didn’t

move fast, a lackadaisical excuse of a tributary. Some days, I

crouched until my knees creaked like a rusted automaton,

determined to catch the elusive tadpole. There were so many inky

tails I once thought that I was passing out, but their sheer

concentration was nothing more than a taunt. No matter their

number, no matter the hours I spent hunched under the weak, slim,

sun, every tadpole wriggled between my pinched fingers, and out of

my grasp. I never captured the six; I only poked the soft eggs before

they hatched and wondered how the instant between gestation and

existence could be so thin – how it could file away to nothingness.

We should have been six, not that they knew it then. The way my

mother told it, her belly was bigger, heavier, than it was with my

siblings, but too small to consider multiples. All of the time she

spent crooning to us and tapping coded messages into her naval,

she talked to one. Maybe I ate all of my mother’s words, gorging

myself and sucking the womb dry. Maybe I didn’t leave enough for

my sister, denying her anything beyond an instant of existence.

Willimein slipped out first. She escaped my mother’s cavernous


body with the ease of my escaping tadpoles. Then, for a moment,

they were five. My mother embraced Willimien’s cornflower being.

Her child, little more than a silken packet of bones, breathed her

first breath in my mother’s hands – her mother’s hands. The

cornflower blue of my sister’s face deepened to purple under the

red blood and white pus from my mother. The moment following

her first breath, the silence awaiting her scream, lengthened until I

was born – unexpectedly – in the shadow of my mother’s grief.

We were five once more, though we should have been six. My

family buried my sister as my mother left me inside, ignoring my

cries for milk – so quiet compared to her own. Willimein’s

headstone stands under the great oak in our yard, her name facing

the front door. After my sister was laid to rest, my mother named

me Willimein, so I could sit inside, look out the window, and see my

namesake. Every time I left the house, I was confronted with the

betrayal of my existence, but I could not resent my sister, nor her

death; hate for a life that small would bloat its meager corpse.

Now I am one, with a window full of chimneys and sloping roofs. I

sit in this room of my own, basking in the fading light and listening

to the jovial sounds of muffled diners, glasses clinking, and dogs

yapping at the liquid illusion of dusk. It has been months, but I still

haven’t grown accustomed to my solitary view and city nights.

I left as I entered: obscured by my mother’s grief. In recent years,

my father was repulsed by our home, by every one of our four brick

walls. He rose before the sun, citing scripture as his master. As

Abraham “rose early in the morning,” as Jesus left the house “while

it was still dark,” my father hiked the measly path from our house to

his house of God. I used to wake when he left, his footsteps enough

to disturb me from my vacuous dreams. Among the rumbling

snoring of my siblings, I watched through my window as my

father’s looming silhouette shrank to an inkblot, then nothingness –

just the empty space he occupied and the approaching gray dawn.

Eventually, I no longer watched my father leave, but passed him on


his way out. Some mornings he nodded at me, but most days he

quickened his pace, not daring to acknowledge my presence. I like

to think that his shame, his denial, was indicative of compassion,

that he was ashamed of his weakness, rather than our sins, but I

never heard our names cross his lips in worship. My father prayed

for our village, our neighbors, strangers, and friends. My father

prayed for humanity, but he could not spare his faith for his

children, if his well was not boundless, perhaps he would have met

my gaze, but instead he gazed at his palms and asked the Lord for


Most nights, I wandered from bar to bar, there were only four

establishments that served alcohol in our village, so it wasn’t a

lengthy endeavor. Like a hen counting her chicks, I checked each,

again and again, until the bartenders yelled answers to my questions

before I could utter a word.

“He’s not here,” they would say.

On some nights, if I was lucky, they might cock their head or throw

a pointed glance, directing me to the hunched form of my brother –

Vincent. The drink made his lips red and puffy, like a pair of

squashed blisters oozing poison onto his sallow chin. It was easier if

he was already unconscious, but on the nights he wasn’t, I used a

hair ribbon to restrain his roaming hands.

On other nights, I found Vincent in ditches, fields, church pews, and

mangers. Once, he was sprawled like a cracked egg on the grocer’s

unassuming roof. I hooked Vincent’s arm with a dull pitchfork and

coaxed his unresponsive body down the shingles. Alas, it was not a

delicate labor; Vincent tumbled from his perch, catching his

oversized boot in the gutter, and swung there: a hung man, until the

gutter succumbed under his weight. Vincent slammed the ground

with enough force to wake the dead, but still, he did not stir. He

never walked the same again; his left leg dragged behind his right,

unable to keep up.


I did not ask Vincent to stop; he was eight years older; we did not

talk. Instead, I came to know the night: the silent sound of forming

dew and the sweet scents of unseen stars. I came to know my

brother in a mechanical sense, as an artist knows their model: a

spirit’s clumsy manifestation within the awkward specifications of


Earlier this week, a bird flew in while I read my sister’s letter – a fat,

iridescent pigeon. There were only three stilted sentences on the

page. The pigeon shitted on the parchment as I consumed the final

line and flew out my open window, leaving my speckled fingers in

its wake; I have not moved since. The city is cold at night, so the

syrupy white feces have hardened to something resembling grout. I

do not know how many days have passed, but it is of little matter.

We should have been six. We were five. Now, we are a disparate

collection of beans, with little more than a graveyard in common.

Perhaps my sister is right, that my leaving was the root of our

dissolution, but she never wrung Vincent’s vomit from her hair. She

slept while my father closed the door on his way out. She did not

coexist with a grave bearing her own name. I cannot know her

reality any more than I can count the blurry chimneys interrupting

the horizon. All I know is her shit-stained pronouncement of

Vincent’s death.

He died under the sweeping stars he loved so much, the stars he

taught me to love in turn. Vincent once said that “the night is more

alive and more richly colored than the day,” but the sky is muted

with him gone. Where I once saw balls of flames, I now see dull

black with a dusting of white – no more remarkable than my

speckled fingers lost in a sea of tadpoles.


His Bedroom

Mona Mehas


The Night Carnival


Inspired by the Van Gogh's quote, "I often think that the night is more

alive and more richly colored than the day."

As the stars fill up the sky

Chaperoned by the moon,

The birds are flocking to their nests

And larks no longer croon.

The night is falling slowly

Embracing all in sight;

With stealthy steps it walks

And tucks in all the light.

Some weary hearts are lulled to sleep

By the gentle wind that blows;

The embers burn, the crickets chirp

Whilst the fireflies flit and glow.




Shereen Rana

The Potato


April 13,



Ari Ochoa Petzold

(they/xe), is a writer in process that likes dancing to old music and history, one of

their goals in mind is to bring to the world stories about the human condition

told through the intersectionality of being queer and latine. Find more of xyr

work in the Sea Glass Magazine, Graveyard Zine, #Enbylife, Hooligan Mag and

at Instagram in @Ari_gibberish.

Mak Kram

is a poet in parenthesis. He's middle eastern, queer, and proud, and he hopes

you have a good day.

gloria glau

is italian. she lives in rome, where she is trying to learn art and words, and

perhaps even how to combine them.

Shamik Banerjee

is a poet and poetry reviewer from the North-Eastern belt of India. He loves

taking long strolls and spending time with his family. His deep affection with

Solitude and Poetry provides him happiness.

Irina Tall (Novikova)

is an artist, graphic artist, illustrator. She graduated from the State Academy of

Slavic Cultures with a degree in art, and also has a bachelor's degree in design.

The first personal exhibition "My soul is like a wild hawk" (2002) was held in the

museum of Maxim Bagdanovich. In her works, she raises themes of ecology, in

2005 she devoted a series of works to the Chernobyl disaster, draws on antiwar

topics. The first big series she drew was The Red Book, dedicated to rare

and endangered species of animals and birds. Writes fairy tales and poems,

illustrates short stories.

Geetanjali Lachke

is a writer and poet living in Pune, Maharashtra, India.

She has an avid interest in learning about various languages and cultures and

wishes to become a well known writer along with creating beautiful pieces of


Mona Mehas

(she/her) writes about growing up poor, accumulating grief, and climate

change. A retired, disabled teacher in Indiana, USA, Mona previously used the

pseudonym Patience Young. She's published in journals, anthologies, and

museums. Mona is a Trekkie and enjoys watching Star Trek shows and movies

in chronological order. Follow on Twitter @Patienc77732097 and

linktr.ee/monaiv .


is a denizen of Delhi, India who writes Poetry to find harmony in life. She had

fallen in love with versing during her days as a student of literature. She rises

early to feel inspired with the morning star and create new rhymes.

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