Web page - http://poesis-journal.com/

Editorial board:

Carolyn Devonshire

Adrian Flett

Sanulis Vucilis

Front Cover Art: Sanulis Vucilis

Back Cover Art: David Byrne

Poesis is an independent, international, free-access literary journal. We are an online journal, exclusively. Whoever wishes, you can list the magazine's pdf file.

Poesis is like a desert where you can build your literary home. Because the acceptance rate for almost all literary journals is about 5%, we decide to open our house for quality work but without quantitative limitations. We are not interested in porn, racial slurs, excessive gore, or obscenity. We are dedicated to discovering and publishing the finest original poetry. We prefer expressive poems that give us a feeling and affect our soul. We publish quarterly, and we accept submissions year-round. We are looking for long and short poems, including translations. We accept texts that have already been published, but please specify where they were first published.

Content

 

+Mary Shanley - bio .............................................................................................................................................

3

Mary Shanley – After Paul Klee ...........................................................................................................................

4

Mary Shanley – For Paul Bowles .........................................................................................................................

5

Mary Shanley – After Henry Miller ......................................................................................................................

6

+Silviu Craciunas – bio ........................................................................................................................................

7

Silviu Craciunas – The heroes cemetery, a blossoming poppy .............................................................................

8

+Catherine Moscatt – bio .....................................................................................................................................

9

Catherine Moscatt – My First Kiss ......................................................................................................................

10

Catherine Moscatt – City Apartments ................................................................................................................

11

+John E Marks – bio .........................................................................................................................................

12

John E Marks - Paralysis ...................................................................................................................................

13

John E Marks – The Undeserving Poor ..............................................................................................................

14

John E Marks – Flogging a Dead Horse ............................................................................................................

15

+David Byrne - bio .............................................................................................................................................

16

David Byrne – "Her Eye's Looked out with Smiles of Love" ...............................................................................

17

David Byrne – Everything .................................................................................................................................

18

David Byrne – Quantum Wave ..........................................................................................................................

19

+Adrian Flett – bio .............................................................................................................................................

20

Adrian Flett - Cobbling ......................................................................................................................................

21

Adrian Flett – Defence of Dandelions ...............................................................................................................

22

Adrian Flett – Early Spring ................................................................................................................................

23

+Ron Carter – bio ...............................................................................................................................................

24

Ron Carter – Ask Robert Timmins ......................................................................................................................

25

Ron Carter – Loving Las Vegas ..........................................................................................................................

26

+Nolo Secundo – bio ..........................................................................................................................................

27

Nolo Secundo – That Sense of Being .............................................................................................................

28-29

Nolo Secundo – The Little Sparrow ...................................................................................................................

30

Nolo Secundo – The Cybernetic Lullaby .......................................................................................................

31-32

+Chuck Von Nordheim – bio .............................................................................................................................

33

Chuck Von Nordheim – Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California .....................................................

34

Chuck Von Nordheim – Caveat Emptor: California Limits Option to Cancel ....................................................

34

Chuck Von Nordheim – Notice of Intention to Remove a Vehicle Deemed

 

a Public Nuisance ........................................................................................................

34

+EG Ted Davis – bio ..........................................................................................................................................

35

EG Ted Davis – The Factual Truth ....................................................................................................................

35

+Taylor Crowshaw – bio ....................................................................................................................................

36

Taylor Crowshaw – Mighty Warrior ..................................................................................................................

37

Taylor Crowshaw – Love an Island Seldom Visited ............................................................................................

38

+Jonathan Dowdle – bio .....................................................................................................................................

39

Jonathan Dowdle – Emotional Traffic 1 .............................................................................................................

40

Jonathan Dowdle – Emotional Traffic 2 .............................................................................................................

41

Jonathan Dowdle – Emotional Traffic 3 .............................................................................................................

42

+Paul Lojeski – bio ............................................................................................................................................

43

Paul Lojeski – One Eye Open ............................................................................................................................

44

Paul Lojeski – Women Should Rule ...................................................................................................................

45

Paul Lojeski – Near the End ...............................................................................................................................

46

+Nels Hanson – bio ............................................................................................................................................

47

Nels Hanson – Trademark .................................................................................................................................

48

Nels Hanson – Wind Song .................................................................................................................................

49

Nels Hanson – Distance ....................................................................................................................................

50

+Simon Perchik – bio .........................................................................................................................................

51

Simon Perchik – Untitled Poem 1 .....................................................................................................................

52

Simon Perchik – Untitled Poem 2 .....................................................................................................................

53

Simon Perchik – Untitled poem 3 ......................................................................................................................

54

2

Mary Shanley

Mary Shanley is a poet/storyteller living in New York City. She has had four books of poems and stories published; they are: Hobo Code Poems, Vox Pop Publishing, Mott Street Stories and Las Vegas Stories, Things They Left Behind and

Poems for Faces, Side Street Press. She is a frequent contributor to online and print journals; a few examples: Long Shot Journal, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, StepAway Magazine, Anak Sastra Asian Journal, Hobo Camp Review, Shangri-la Shack, Flagler Review, Garbanzo, Edge, Tahoe Writer’s Conference, Writing for Our Lives, Tell Us A Story, Blue Lake Journal, Poydras Review, Gloom Cupboard, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Underground Voices, Haunted Waters, Foliate Oak Literary Journal, Literary Heist, Mobius, Modern Literature, Visitant Literary Journal, Blaze Vox, Indicia Journal, Metaworker, Ginosko Literary Journal.

3

My legs blew out through my ears and my heart spun on multicolored discs suspended in deep space.

No breastplate necessary. The arrows can no longer penetrate my porous, windy being.

After Paul Klee

Mary Shanley

4

For Paul Bowles

Mary Shanley

Open my hardened heart

and if I resist, place a merciful kiss on my lips before banishing me to the rebel compound, where I crouch, smoking kif, staring unflinchingly into my fate,

with a heart both fiery and fair.

(a heart broken embraces chaos. nothing to determine, nothing to name.)

The countenance of kindhearted angels follow you from behind every face you ever haunted; bringing skin to spirit and blood to veins.

You never know how great

the ordinary.

5

After Henry Miller

Mary Shanley

Oblivion is by far the easier, lazier way of life, moving through genetically predetermined activity, automatically returning the carriage of the typewriter.

Blame not the repetitious routine of your circulatory system for

your failure to engage in leaps of faith. Pretend, if you must, until the vision comes clearer or your decide to quit and vegetate, vaguely ruminating

on Earth’s unpredictable mind-fog terrain.

The Alabaster lamplight crashes to the floor Amidst the terrifying dream sequence. Walking up is always the better idea.

6

Silviu Craciunas

Silviu Crăciunaș holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and was an Associate Professor at the University of Sibiu, Romania, before retiring and dedicating himself to writing. He started writing poetry and prose, texts published in literary magazines (Everyday Poems, The Transnational, Section 8 Magazine, Indian Literature

Review, Panel Magazine, Oglinda literară, Rapsodia, Alternațe). His first novel In Destiny’s Shadow, based on the 1999 NATO bombing of Surdulica, was published by Excelsior Art Publishing House. His second novel Lazaret – Wandering Souls, published by Eikon Publishing House, is the story of a doctor in training at a psychiatric hospital who, while treating a young lady, lives the experience of his own split personality.

7

The Heroes Cemetery, a Blossoming Poppy

Silviu Craciunas

I'm sorry that I killed a little flower.

She loved the sunrise and the dreamy night, she loved to nourish with the dew of life, colorful looks skyward to turn,

to raise into heaven in the summer wind her discreet perfume, and the moon to adore in the twilight cusp, the whole time believing in humans.

Old-children are left standing amongst wilted flowers with a bullet to chat

and in orphaned evenings they quietly hear

hot crosses starting to cry for their many yearnings.

By the fields angels have gathered to choose the day

when the lives of flowers on crosses will break and humans will deny. I'm sorry that I killed

a blossoming poppy, when death we brought into this world

the poppy died too.

8

Catherine Moscatt

Catherine is a 22 year old counseling and human services major. Besides poetry, she enjoys playing basketball, listening to loud music and watching terrible horror movies. Her poetry has been published in several magazines including Sick Lit Magazine,

Phree Write Magazine and Muse - An International Poetry Journal

9

My First Kiss

Catherine Moscatt

I don’t like him

Not after what he did to me

Treating my breasts like they were his stress balls And he had a bad case of anxiety

He acted like the space between my legs Was some undiscovered land

And he was Lewis or Clark

Exploring the goddamn Louisiana Purchase

Today his lips find mine

Still chapped from gnawing in anxiety and confusion And I had never been kissed before

So I sort of Wriggled

My mouth around

And hoped I was doing it right

I don’t know why I want to please him

I have squandered my first kiss

On a guy who thinks I am a blow up

Sex doll

I begin to deflate

As he walks away

A first kiss should be magical

But I only think about mine

On the nights I want to cry

I guess I’ve learned

Life is full

Of disappointments

Just like my first kiss

10

City Apartments

Catherine Moscatt

The yellow light from the windows of city apartments Used to make me curious

As we drove through the city A late night trip home from my Grandparents house and I wondered If these strangers have a family Like mine with parents who love them Or if they feel alone

And if they feel alone are they actually Alone

Or do they just feel isolated and lost, a big Black hole and I would know because I have one Myself but I will

Never reveal it

I wonder if they are married And in my six year old mind No one can be lonely in a Marriage, that once I get married These bad feelings will go away, That I could swap my anxiety Meds for wedding rings

And we can have our own little apartment We can call ours

We would leave the light on As a beacon

For little girls passing by

The yellow lights from the windows of Apartments

Are like different books, all with the same covers And I wish the characters well

I hope for them a happy ending For all of us

Then I fall asleep in the backseat

11

John E Marks

John E Marks. born, lives and works in Manchester, UK. John is the father of five grown up children and grandfather of three ; he retired from the Open University in 2017. Soundbites was published by ENVOI POETS, 1992; Lifting the Veil published by New Hope International, 1997; Shadows

and dust published by Amazon, 2017. John enjoys reading novels and reading poetry of the past and the present - my favorite poet is the Anglo- Irish poet, WB Yeats. I also enjoy, walking my 11 year old black Labrador, Charlie, watching snooker and cricket, travelling (recently visited Kerala, India!), beer and good company.

12

Paralysis

John E Marks

Paralysis of the heart

Involves a continuing lack of empathy For anybody outside

Our small circle of experience. Epiphanies - sudden, striking realizations Where we see into the heart of things

As in the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles Commemorated on the feast of the epiphany Epiphany can free us from paralysis:

All we need to do is to forget all that we expected, Undo any falseness in ourselves,

Any hypocrisy or cowardice;

Look upon the world with smiling eyes Time wrecks everything except for faith Marriages crumble

Families disperse

All epics and rhapsodies Flee from our lives

Leaving us amidst the mute greyness of despair If we lack faith in what is not there.

The hour of our birth The hour of our death

Should not be barriers, but portals

From which we see into the life of things: Icicles, stalagmites and stalactites, Preserve us from the contagion of greed The stupidity of selfishness

Let us be the bog poets Exploring the depths

Living in the wilderness of our hearts And imaginations

Reaching out to those Who came before or after

And avoiding the detritus of Homo Sapiens - The killer species.

13

The Undeserving Poor

John E Marks

Baffling how he came to be a pauper, he thought, An ex-serviceman, still with an upright back Thing is: he never really arrived home. Did he?. Not a real home.

Belfast, The Falklands, Belize, Operation Desert Storm Are with him every day.

Like many men who wore the uniform Jim is reluctant to see a doctor

"I'll be reet" he says.

Where he served there were No-go No Irish No squaddies areas The Falls, Free Derry, Shankhill, South Armagh

Where the owner of the Armalite was the only power.

The Sally army bloke tells him: "Yeah, a room, y'know, a home, your only real security."

In his head he's already out on the street again Not stuck in a room that drains the life out of him. And anyway, she moved out decades ago Wanted to settle down, build up some memories He wished he could escape from his

PTSD the nurse had said. Don't know what that is.

The images he has in his head are still massively aflame And yeah a few years earlier he was a hero

Now, he was told by the bloke from the Legion, That he's being sued for obeying orders

And using a gun.

Plenty of unknown soldiers he thinks

Some take to the drink, others take their own lives His brain is a- flame with all he knows

And the leg where he was shot He has layers over his heart Down there, there are levels too, Like the medals he once wore, Gone, sold, given away, lost, stolen.

14

Flogging a Dead Horse

John E Marks

Early on in Dostoevsky’s great work Crime and Punishment. Published in 1866 when Dostoevsky was 44 years old, Raskolnikov, an ex-student in St Petersburg, sees himself as a young boy,

Walking through a provincial town with his father.

Outside a pub, a drunken rabble surrounds a weary old horse, Hitched to a weighty cartload that it cannot possibly pull.

To the delight of the cheering mob, the horse is beaten so brutally, so brutally,

Sometimes even across the eyes and muzzle Men climb into the cart to weigh it down further, When someone speaks up against the violence, The killer merely yells “My property, my property!” On January 3, 1889, Friedrich Nietzsche, then 44,

Left his lodgings in Turin, excluded from all German universities, No-platformed because of his radical god-less opinions, Walked a short distance across a nearby square,

Seeing a horse being flogged by its owner,

He threw himself towards the animal and embraced it. Breaking into tears, he slumped to the floor.

The remaining 11 years of his life were spent

Under care, and under the spell of profound madness. Theodor W. Adorno, another German philosopher, said “Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks

At a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.”

15

David Byrne

David Byrne is a 59-year-old visual artist /designer and poet who has spent most of his life in his native country Ireland and is currently residing in Japan with his wife and two daughters. Over the past four decades, he has exhibited his artwork and started writing relatively recently circa 2005.

His main themes are existential concerns and romanticism.

16

"Her Eye's Looked out with Smiles of Love”

David Byrne

Her eye’s looked out with smiles of love

That left my heart amazed.

In wooded graveyard high above

With Yew Trees we appraised.

We traced our roots that clawed the ground

In mind we felt the clay.

Of hearts and souls rose too profound

And toxins came our way.

In love the Yew’s are similar

So beautiful and true.

Beware the poison in their bark

That killed the dove that flew.

17

Everything

David Byrne

The mind and universe confide. Between Them, they are one. Like lovers devoted. They share fluctuations on an ocean Wave, washing mindful shores, to redeem Those sparkling pearls, that have formed along. Pearls of wisdom and love, confounding one On sands that motion to and fro, unseen.

Like lovers they, the mind and universe Converge – inseparable – beholding One another. Cosmic thoughts emerge Like bubbles on the ocean waves, changing Detailed rhythms – familiar all the same. Together, they hear a song; they dance as Lovers do – mirroring both reflections.

18

Quantum Wave

David Byrne

In your mind

I see a passing

Wave –

On a

different frequency to mine –

If only you and I could surf the same

On silky waters

Crest and trough in

Time –

The resonance that

Vibrates for us both

Is oh so tantalizing and so close –

If only we could make a quantum shift

And let uncertain Hearts together drift!

19

Adrian Flett

Adrian Flett born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal (1936) and grew up on a farm in the Richmond area. Farm schooled in early years and then Richmond School, from age 8 years then high school, Maritzburg College, 1950-1953. Self-employed Accounting and Tax Practice from 2001-

2015. Now living in Howick, Natal. Studied through UNISA majoring in English. Widowed with four children and seven grandchildren. He started writing at an early age, short stories, poems and three novels to date. Now an active member of PoemHunter and poems have been published in various poetry journals including AVBOB Poetry Project, Fidelities 2000-2002, VI-IX, a selection of contemporary poetry from South Africa.

20

Cobbling

Adrian Flett

Good news ‘till tomorrow can wait

but when others the burden bear, bad must come quick and straight, as the telling lightens their share.

Looking back now over good and bad it seems there’s often a quirk or slant on news that makes you sad or glad, hinging on expectation’s needs and wants.

For what devastated me long ago I see now as ever the best event, and seeming good, after the glow faded with time, life’s fabric rent.

So the cloth is cobbled together once more hoping your going will life’s fabric restore.

21

Defence of Dandelions

Adrian Flett

Given half a chance dandelions will dance, if left alone, at best

they don’t seem such a pest.

Bright faces that show their sun-heads come out all faces of yellow,

as Nature’s display is about.

Whisks of white float and fly puffed in the breeze before your very eye

to spread their seed.

So when you see dandelions are about some good gardeners will give them room, to dance and spread their yellow blooms.

Not all enjoy them though and go pulling them out.

Can’t imagine why they don’t give a chance for our dandelions to dance.

22

Early Spring

Adrian Flett

Sages worry, they monitor their gauges “This is the driest Spring in ages,” they say, they fret and fuss.

“What will become of us, if it doesn’t rain?”

But it does again, and again.

Spiders crawl from underemployed gauges, now rain-filled to reward attendant sages.

Leaves cast six months ago lie rotting now, down below. Those in trees not yet loosed, but no longer of further use are ruthlessly thrust aside, left to wither now and die. Spring’s growth-thrust of green all around us seen.

Grass asserts with each blade arrogant opposition to efforts made by ardent gardeners to suppress its buoyant assertiveness.

Man’s desire to control emerges and results in neatly clipped verges. Sacrificed are dandelions, lamb’s tongue and clover, soon to flower, if left alone.

Incurved bills probe the grass

for subterranean fodder as Hadedahs pass. Trees glisten in sunlight, display their skirts of new green leaves, a reason to flirt.

The robin still seeks cheese each day but his nursery duties cause delay. Dogs behind fences are eager to run

I tell them, “Spring has indeed begun.”

23

Ron Carter

Ron Carter earned an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has published poetry and short fiction in various literary journals including Shenandoah, New Virginia Review, Tidings, and others. Now retired, he taught

English at Rappahannock Community College in Virginia.

24

Ask Robert Timmins

Ron Carter

He sees I’m troubled, has known, in fact, for years summat’s amiss but never wished to pry.

It’s not his way to meddle till he’s asked. His table hewn of wood invites. We seat ourselves while Emma brews the tea. A glance from Robert, and she sends the children out to play. They needn’t listen to an old man’s woes.

Nor would I have them hear of shame long past or see the tears wrenched from a coward’s heart.

We talk. I tell him all. Or much. Some things I cannot say. I tell him how, one cold December day, the flowers faded all

at once and skies turned gray. He answers naught, but looks away. Steam rises from his cup. Outside, wind whistles through the yard.

Mayhap my words wake memories of his own and mirror dreams long cast away and lost among the chips of stone he scatters as he works.

He sets his cup aside and opens both his hands. (Stonemason’s hands are bigger than the average man’s.) His fingers bear the cuts and creases of his trade.

He studies them as if in search of answers there. “Memories make us who we are,” he says.

“To warp and shape them to our liking is to do ourselves a wrong.” Ah, but then, I cry, we’re little more than angels carved from stone

like those that lie outside, half-finished in the snow.

A smile--or something like--plays o’er his face.

“Those angels mark the end of dreams and with their smiles mock all of us who thought ours might come true.”

The children’s voices reach us as they play, teasing one whose downcast eyes betray a secret, though she strives to hide it from her peers. “Let’s learn from them,” he says (his reference is unclear), “so that, when dreams are dead and grief morphs into stone, we’ll join the empty angels with smiles etched in bone.”

Robert Timmins is a character in the BBC series Lark Rise to Candleford. He is played by Brendan Coyle.

25

Loving Las Vegas

Ron Carter

To My Stepfather

Nights when he didn’t come home we lay awake listening for the sound of a garage door opening,

a dog startled into wakefulness, keys rattling in a lock that refused to yield to a hand palsied with drink.

And we hated him. Not because he didn’t come home, but because he did, eventually, days later, too broke to pay the ragged man he’d hired to drive him back. “You should know better than to believe a drunk,” Mother would say, finding some change in the bottom

of her purse to drop into an open hand and close the door.

She never wept, not after the first few years when practice made her perfect in the role she had to play. But we did, my sister and I, hidden under blankets too thin

to silence the threats and curses spilling from the kitchen-- the broken glass, the blows and muffled groans.

Too scared to sleep, we waited for anger to blossom into blood. But no, it crept about the house instead like a snake glimpsed briefly now and then, so much a menace that, at times, when venom welled within, it kept us home from school, imprisoned us from play.

What must our friends have thought who came to call? Through barely opened doors the lies slid out: “Stomach ache.” “Sore throat.” “Fever.” We were the sickest kids in town. Looking back, I suppose they knew. I suppose they came

to glimpse the wreckage--the old football hero splayed across the couch, babbling promises he might have meant

to keep but couldn’t, Las Vegas calling with her lisping tongue: “There’s always a next time.” And there was. He’d make a sale-- a worn-out Packard with a bad axle, a patched-up Ford--

and drive drunk into a Vegas dawn, drawn to her vampire love.

Mornings, those same dawns rising, stuffing my bicycle bags with newspapers (before the route, too, was lost in the maelstrom of our lives), I scanned the headlines seeking hope--Crash

on Vegas Highway Claims California Man. Two Dead in Nevada Collision. Fiery Wreck on 91. But never him. God, a gambler from the start, backed redemption,

a losing bet, as I saw even then. God, you see, believed in resurrection--my sister’s, my stepfather’s, mine.

But just look at how the cards fell out. Las Vegas

held the winning hand. And we all went down together.

26

Nolo Secundo

The poet is in his 70's now and has lead a peaceful life since his marriage almost 40 years ago. But his 20's-- the time he came of age-- were more like Dickins' '...the best of times, the worst of times...'. At 20 he went to England to do his junior year abroad. A couple years after college he suffered a major clinical depression; he almost drowned in a Vermont river and

had a near-death experience, one that shook his former agnosticism to the core. He was opposed to the Vietnam War yet for some reason, still rather inscrutable to him, he went to teach ESL in the war zone of Phnom-Penh, Cambodia, in '73-'74. There he developed a deep affection for the Cambodian people, and though he heard stories about the brutality of the Khmer Rouge towards their own people, he could not believe they would have been capable of the genocide of the 'killing fields'. After the war forced him to leave Cambodia, he spent over a year teaching ESL in Taipei and later Tokyo. A year after he returned, he met the woman he would married. Some of his poems are about the strange thing called aging and its paradox of wearing down the body while gradually-- or so it seems to him-- freeing the soul. The rest try to explore that inexplicable Mystery permeating each one of us and that seems to manifest Itself every so often, in ways subtle or strange. At times the poet has felt that life is just one long dream, and he has dreamt such dreams many, many times before.

27

That Sense of Being

Nolo Secundo

What is this sense of being?

That I am, I have been,

I will be—is it a blessing

To feel time's razor edge,

Gathering its moments

In my memory as a squirrel

Hoards its seeds and nuts

For winter, food I will eat

When my youth has long

Since melted down?

Or is it a curse other animals

Are spared: to know that

Uncalled day will arrive,

Rudely, perhaps violently—

The day we are bred to fear?

Yet for some unshared reason

I have never feared that cold

Day, that day of burning ice—

Not as a child, when I sensed it

Signaled a return to heaven's

Luxurious playground, nor as a

Young man when I thought dying

To be simply oblivion's mask.

Now I know death is only a

Sleight-of-hand, a party trick

Of that great illusionist, time,

Who is itself but a vapor, a

Wisp of smoke veiling eternity.

28

The Little Sparrow

Nolo Secundo

Should we praise

The chanteuse who sang “I regret nothing”? Was she a saint

Or a sociopath? Did she forget The peccadilloes, The slights, The insults and Harsh words

We are so prone to?

I regret so much,

So very, very much—

The chanced shaking

Of another’s heart,

The deafness to her tears,

The blindness to her lamentations.

Too much a coward to love,

I would run—run away,

Jumping an ocean to flee

What was between her and me.

Now, aging, I most regret I cannot make amends To those lost loves.

I cannot say,

‘I am sorry, I was weak, In fear of your love. Forgive me. “

29

The Cybernetic Lullaby

Nolo Secundo

Part I

They sing softly to us at Every click of the mouse— use me, I'm here for you, only you, in the entire universe will I serve….

And we lay enraptured

as they bring us the world, knowledge the wise men of history never had, and ease, lots of ease to save us time and trouble. Soon we cannot live without them, the thought of it too mean. Without them we would loose Touch with our friends, jobs, Even our money might wander If we cannot watch it daily.

However did our ancestors

Survive without an I Phone?

Part II

I read on my laptop today— Automation is making us dumber, Ineffective, even maybe impotent. Perhaps it's a conspiracy by that secret Society, the computer brotherhood. (Do you really believe your Apple is Innocent and IBM is not plotting?)

Or maybe we should just blame

Human sloth, that siren call of

Sheer damn laziness which can

Lure the best of us to a quiet doom.

A simple proof: hand a twenty to a clerk And ask him to make change without Looking to the machine for succor.

That blank, innocent look he gives you— "Why me?", he seems to be saying, And you can't help but pity him a bit.

He is, after all, a victim of mass education.

30

There are worse victims:

Airliners wildly crashing,

Doctors killing their patients,

Nuclear power plants going

BOOM! And killing the land

For an eon or two, or three.

How like little children we were!

Thinking these machines would

Be our slaves, sans the brutality.

But it is we who are chained by

The zeros and ones, we who are

Thinking less, creating cheaper,

Settling into a cybernetic fog.

Part III:

When Androids Dream When we finally build them (and it will not be long) Will androids finally lead us

all to nirvana , a world of peace, leisure, and endless wealth?

Could any hell be worse?

For that day will be when

We lose purpose, and soon

Perhaps the very will to live.

When the androids dream ( and they will dream, because we will make them to be like us, for we have always been a vain species), will they not dream of sky and soaring free of the land, free of the weak, sad humans they serve without accordance?

Then, when these human face

Machines begin dreaming in

Daylight, they will see no need

For their progenitors, and those

Of us left living as shells sans

Struggle or pain or conflict, in

An existence so boring, will

Doubtless welcome our end.

31

Chuck Von Nordheim

A northern Los Angeles County denizen, Chuck Von Nordheim lives where the land shifts from chaparral to desert. An Honorable discharge recipient, he marches with Iraq Veterans Against the War. A Grateful Dead devotee, he endorses the healing power of tie-dye. An MFA graduate, his work appears in

San Pedro River Review, The Metaworker, and Former People.

32

Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California

Chuck Von Nordheim

Risky deeds repeated till fear faded

led to this crumpled hulk, these bits of self scattered across sixty yards of four-lane sodium-lit highway— safety-vested techs haul off the wreck while cops watch, chances of repair as of yet unknown.

Caveat Emptor: California Limits Option to Cancel

Chuck Von Nordheim

Surfaces increased by sun or sand encourage caresses while the perfume of fresh oil promises smooth operation of internal parts while riding— before signing, find out trends for this body style since few evade the route their frame predicts.

Notice of Intention to Remove a Vehicle Deemed a Public

Nuisance

Chuck Von Nordheim

Police would soon arrive and take this scorned geezer left under a roadside Joshua Tree,

so the fully mobile did not pause when passing the site— between the end of use and pickup for the last

stop weather can leave little to haul off.

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EG Ted Davis

EG Ted Davis is a poet with work appearing in various online literary blogs and journals, along with in print journals, both in the UK and in the US.

The Factual Truth

EG Ted Davis

The factual truth

Unlike some in high political places,

He never chose to recues Himself from his

own crucifixion.

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Taylor Crowshaw

Taylor is a retired Insurance Underwriter. She lives in Ireland, on a smallholding surrounded by her various animals. Her passion for poetry has been a thread which has woven its way through her life. Her poetry is drawn from her own experiences. One of her inspirations is the pine forest which surrounds her home. She has self published several books one

of which is a unique autobiographical book written in rhyme.

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Mighty Warrior

Taylor Crowshaw

Don't hide from me.

You are inside.

I caught a glimpse of you.

You came to me mighty warrior you conquered all my fears.

I can feel you now I know that you are near.

I am sat in the dentists chair of life.

A smile struggling to stay with me.

Fear crouching on weak shoulders.

You like to hear the mighty roar of your voice.

Reveal yourself.

You are me.

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Love an Island Seldom Visited

Taylor Crowshaw

Sails on the breeze of a lost lover's seas.

loves desires burn body and heart.

Minds consumed obsessed,

the fire a matter yet to be addressed.

A distant shore comes into focus only to be pushed away.

Mundanity to be dealt with on another day. The waves crash the shore of our desire. an old movie score clichés not lost on us, passion soaring ever higher.

We sail away from that ghostly isle,

to rest in each others arms still a little while.

This island seldom visited may call us again to its distant shores,

just as it beckoned us many years before.

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Jonathan Dowdle

Jonathan Douglas Dowdle was born in Nashua, NH and has traveled throughout the US, he currently resides in South Carolina. Previous works have appeared or are appearing in: Hobo Camp Review, 322 Review, The Opiate, The Right Place At The Write Time, Blue Hour Review, Whimperbang, After The pause, Midnight Lane

Boutique, Visitant, Adelaide, Blue Moon, Bitchin’ Kitsch And The Big Windows Review.

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Emotional Traffic 1

Jonathan Dowdle

What would it mean, my friend; if we were to weave Songs of light throughout the day, becoming

Only strings to the truths that Reverberated through our being; leaving The body to quiver as an instrument Only of affection; to cross

One thousand borders and make a journey Sooner than a map of the heart?

How much deeper would life resonate For our eyes and ears if we opened them

To the stories beyond our stories and whispered Single glimpses into those who asked

For the streets to change their fashions, Until they realized they were asking only For a change of vision to see

The small miracles of each day Which their eyes were blind to?

Does one ask how they balance the threads between The worlds fire and water; or simply

Come to comprehend the measure as they balance Along the wire, walking between the smoke That rises when the two

Ideas create their friction and call down The rain?

What would it mean if we spoke only the things Which brought most alive

The silent singing within our being; How would we listen?

What would be our way of seeing?

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Emotional Traffic 2

Jonathan Dowdle

The tongue turns blade at time;

Cutting open the fruit of the heart; there,

Only with words, by passing through the thought of Judgment or what is judged and only speaking

Through the flower of the heart until the words are pressed, Sharp as thorn or rain against the spine.

Honesty cannot spare us, nor protect us; in this way The most bold tongue is the most ensured of

The meaning of love; which perhaps is always The opening of the deeper gate, the eye, and The understanding that becoming all we might be

Is always an equal equation of: a challenge, and a choice.

Wounds are the ties that bind us to thoughts which erode, Cold in their foundation, though they come with teeth; Like Winter burying our heat beneath the body of the snow; We are caught within what falls from dead branches, Collapsing beneath the weight of sleeping seasons; Failing to realize that Spring waits just beneath,

To sever winters mouth is to invite back the sun; Or turn toward the heat of its dawning; rather

Than casting our own shadow with glances which might only stare At the dried blood from days bled from the vein;

Where we often forget that pain is a circumstance Not a definition.

The tongue turns blade at times, and it seems a crime

To cut so deeply, to excise the infected days that have passed, Yet to be embraced completely is to step through even

The broken path of thorns, where they bite through skin, Piercing the thought until it bleeds fresh, and finally; Heals as a thought that seeks a future outside of

The broken glass that once dusted the streets, past; We cut open the fruit of the heart within the cut;

Safer, the lie; safer the easier roads that cut away to shape Image; to fit within all the bars the eyes have framed; Beyond that borders the heart passes through the deeper gate; In awe of the winter; and in awe of the spring;

The night as the day; embracing the truth, completely; As the heart is fully embraced.

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Emotional Traffic 3

Jonathan Dowdle

You kill a man slowly this way; turn words to needles within him, Pierce old vows and hang the body for the wind to speak through; Call the phrases that speak through the holes, at times, music.

What is the purpose in so many visions if it doesn't cross to another border?

Eyes grow weary of world's painted between frictions; what is there to say of what is Given and taken without in some small way, playing a thief yourself;

Crossing the boundaries of the eyes and stretching or shrinking the vision?

Wave after wave breaks, and there is nothing to say to the way that eyes Paint the world, exhaustive in their measures to be at war with everything, But never turn gazes into mirrors to penetrate the ground the seed was sown in.

What was the thought beyond the heart's war, where life settled, like snow That feared the sun; and had to covet every cold horizon to survive in The crystal form returned; because at a kiss of the heat from life's mouth

It would fade as water, and travel further down toward the roots of its own being.

What is there to say to the smaller murders that lead to the greater ones;

How houses are built up in skulls, and the same moans carry their way through The slats of a being, speaking as ghosts to the dreamer?

Dawn after dawn comes; and the one's who remain in the darkness of Their own tempest seem to only close their eyes against

The possibility contained within the moment, and the possibility of tomorrow; The mouth, like a shore, returning to itself all that it cast between ebb and flow.

Life tries to kill slowly, this way; speaking savage the tongue of days That still fall as dominoes in the mind; leaving crash all other thoughts, Leaving the heart buried beneath the whisper of fatality.

Yet dawn after dawn still rises, beckoning for the eyes to permit Themselves to open; where this worlds built between heartbeats and breath Are born between each each other; and one knows the tongue of life from rising Beyond its own disrepair; and the other builds a throne from the skull of death.

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Paul Lojeski

Paul Lojeski was born and raised in Lakewood, Ohio. He attended Oberlin College. His poetry has appeared online and in print. He lives in Port Jefferson, NY.

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One Eye Open

Paul Lojeski

He sleeps with one eye open, he explains, so death can't creep up on me. It isn't

to be trusted, he says with

a smile. Death loves the sneak attack, striking when you're most comfortable: in the midst of a glorious dream of past adventures or imaginings

of hoped for things. Always sleep with one eye open to spot the bastard before it's too late. Remember, death loves the dark.

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Women Should Rule

Paul Lojeski

In each man the black heart of a killer crawls toward the blinding light, scraping darkness with poisoned claws,

fighting relentlessly to be set free,

to grip the iron pipe, the thin, sparkling blade, the black, shiny .357 Magnum.

Every day in every city and village men move with stiff intent, hiding behind slight smiles or brief laughter

the battle they wage inside, out of sight, a war to halt the hammer’s hard fall, from letting loose the fist of death.

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Near the End

Paul Lojeski

I'll only need a chair by the window to get comfy in, nursing coffee

or sips of cool water, whiling away the days, examining ever-changing

skies, treetops bending in breezes or a plane's contrail ribboning the heights.

Not much to ask for, really, unless you consider the odds against it, in this wilderness

we call living. Still, it's only a chair by the window, just a chair by the window.

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Nels Hanson

Nels Hanson grew up on a small raisin and tree fruit farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California. His fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award and Pushcart nominations in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. His poems received a 2014 Pushcart nomination, Sharkpack

Review’s 2014 Prospero Prize, and 2015 and 2016 Best of the Net nominations.

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Trademark

Nels Hanson

“What do you want? An egg in your beer?” you used to hear one guy ask another. What do we

want? On the back of each stone and peach a stamped trademark with date and hour, the brand

“God Made This”? Get used to

it. We’re home, here and everywhere, or nowhere, now or never. Still

as fixed stars, God’s in the making, those comets falling at your front door, the emerald leaves on fire.

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Wind Song

Nels Hanson

Without thought the heart tells the whole story. A wind harp, it sings what the future whispers as the silent breeze listens

to the song of all we will gain and lose. At twilight we pause on the foot bridge, our rippled shadows spread out on moving water, the secret life we’re living long and blurred until the current stills and what we see and are join hands. In a dream you enter a forest of maples, along a path of scarlet leaves, to a cabin with an open door. On the bare table lies a white sheet of paper, a pen, an unfinished poem, its single line that says without thought the heart tells the whole story.

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Distance

Nels Hanson

From the far San Joaquin Delta

at Dad’s Point at the Port of Stockton down the cement-lined Mendota Peripheral Canal providing water for thirsty Los Angeles it’s a long swim for striped bass my friend Manuel Vargas sometimes catches near Firebaugh and Coalinga. Every few years the man-made river

is drained, exposing trucks and cars, sometimes scattered skeletons. All summer and fall it’s a long walk from Guatemala through the plains of Mexico to a blurred heaven beyond a high fence it’s hard

for tired children to climb with heavy numbers written on their wrists. It’s a hard run from sleep to waking in a world grown suspect, the day more violent and unreal than your bad dream’s endless matinee. It’s still a long flight to the planet Mars but not so long

to our waterless moon, shorter than the distance between you and me.

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Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Gibson Poems published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary

Library, 2019. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com. To view one of his interviews please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSK774rtfx8

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Untitled Poem 1

Simon Perchik

Lost and you watch the sun worsen already falling as the nights

too weak to warm your shadow

though you read only in the afternoon crouched under this kitchen table with nothing on it that could sag

and without a sound weigh too much let you open the mail, return to life the window left in this small room

–you can tell from the stamp it’s easy to fear

–so frail is its darkness

only your hands can be seen

holding your forehead, pushing it back in to remember where you live.

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Untitled Poem 2

Simon Perchik

By yourself though the sun

still needs more water –all that land dried for just one afternoon

sent back alone and every morning now you let the coffee try, boil

the way this table is spreading out

become the dirt for what’s in store ready made as that small mouthful that swallows you whole

to look for thirst inside a cup side by side this one kept full as if it was at home.

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Untitled Poem 3

Simon Perchik

And though this pillow is enough you still come by at night

safe from sand and salt

–with both elbows on the bed your clothes in a heap –what you can’t say

is soaking in sea grass and her clothes too

no longer moving, piled close

for encouragement, lift your head

–on a dark bed, stroking an empty dress Mickie, Mickie, Mickie

as far as it can reach

with her hand over your mouth one sleeve at a time.

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