November 9, 2019

The Contemplations of Kathryn V. Jacopi

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The Contemplations of Kathryn V. Jacopi

One of Us    A sucker-punch thought,  we will end.  The assault turns into a cold sweat  from the contours of my couch.    One day we might fight over  the over-due mortgage,  you promised to pay.  The dent in the new hallway’s paint,   I never denied.  Who keeps the dog   when we sell the house?     We fought the morning  a bus crashed into the glass store.  The highway exit was blocked  and first responders’ lights spun.  I read on my phone that no one’s hurt  and we held hands the drive home.  What if we’d decided   to replace the glass in the tv stand  an hour earlier.    The first time I wrote this  you sat next to me on the couch.   TV commentaries must-know insight,  scores on your phone,  notes for a fantasy,  but you…

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October 24, 2019

“Variations on the Trolly Problem” and Other Poems by JP Mayer

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“Variations on the Trolly Problem” and Other Poems by JP Mayer

de rerum natura and I realized I was the pieces  I was picking up, all scattered  across the floor,     all technicolor  fragments of static jettisons from  far away;  I am a farmer in Kansas. I am a  doctor in Nairobi. I am a prisoner  in Beijing and a pilot in Lahore and  a fisherman off the coast of Jeju  Island;  the saltwater pulls at them with its    ebb tide     but all the same the         lines on my hands   are not ones that can be washed away  ** love in lost time    I shot Proust dead in an alleyway on  my way home from work. It was something  he said it was   love is a reciprocal torture  his body hit the pavement with a thud. It started   raining on my walk home and I…

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September 9, 2019

The Mechanics of Melancholy: Engaging Poetry by Rick Ratliff

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The Mechanics of Melancholy: Engaging Poetry by Rick Ratliff

Dark hallways  Long hallway, doors on either side Like the departure platform at a rail station. No eye contact, everyone looking down, Shuffling along the bland grey floor.  Away from the new arrivals  Lighting is always dimmed like perpetual twilight   And darkness creeps out of some doors like a black fog  We come to say goodbye to those who no longer hear, And who stare blankly at the ceiling: While we are looking at the floor.  Departure time is slowly approaching,  Breathing is mechanical like worn breaks And the smell, the odor that’s hard to describe–  Body odor with musty deodorant  Exhalation is pungent.   No talking now  It goes quiet at departure  As we silently stand in ovation as we exit  FORGOTTEN SONG   FORGET ME NOT  She’s not you — yet, neither are you, (anymore) You would like her; I think. Flaxen hair (like yours)   And I trust all the understanding  A widow has of memories and loss.            That helps, as I am daily learning  To be the reluctant guardian…

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September 5, 2019

Jennifer Judge’s Poetry Tells Us The Way Things Just Are

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Jennifer Judge’s Poetry Tells Us The Way Things Just Are

PEOPLE Always say you know what to do when your child cries, you just know, like some parent gene kicks in, the knowledge springs up in your brain like it’s always been there, a priori knowledge.  But that’s a load of bullshit.  Watch a baby fall backwards and drop a chair on herself. You see the chair going but you can’t get there in time to stop it, and you can’t control the gasp that escapes you. You’re not supposed to gasp, have to remain calm so that the child does. And when there’s nothing, nothing, nothing that calms her after the fall—walking, talking, hugging, singing, kissing—you know your love is not strong enough now for anyone, that you are what you are, failure of a parent, and you know this is your life now….

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August 18, 2019

The Resilience of Life – Captivating Poetry by Marianne Brems

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The Resilience of Life – Captivating Poetry by Marianne Brems

Flower Stems If heaven were a place  to walk without fear before an audience  jaded in judgement,  a place to love without concern  about running alone on earth’s curve, a place to rise in the morning  without tripping on stones by evening, a place to play in dangerous rivers without swallowing water, a place to carry wood to a fire  that never burns out, a place to throw out regrets  with the dust swirls of empty rooms  A place where traffic lights are all green, the sun sets peacefully after dinner,  and sleeves are never too short.  Then resilience would wither, muscles atrophy, bones relinquish their density  without resistance to strengthen them in a field where flowers fill every space and their stems, though succulent, are the sturdiest pillars.   Night Siren  The too near wail of an ambulance  assaults the quiet core of night, its rising then falling crescendo repeating repeating  unsettling all that’s settled as it announces  an unidentified human incident rife with pain or loss or both.  Yet this ambulance,  defying disruption and speed limits,  delivers with singular purpose  a medical team  eager to serve, to make whole, to mend the punctures of sharp protrusions or the malfunction of a dusty heart  and to begin a restitution  that even in darkness has…

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August 15, 2019

Linnea Skoglöv: Portraits of Love

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Linnea Skoglöv: Portraits of Love

Cigarette  Waking up slowly to a room set in darkness, eyes searching for light but finding nothing buta silhouette.  You on one side of the bed and I on the other, not touching but I still feel you on my skinlike my mouth senses the aftertaste of a cigarette.  A cigarette you smoked even though I begged you not to, I turned and said I won’t kiss youever again but you hugged me from behind and what was I supposed to do.  So I kissed you.  And you tasted worse than when you apologise for your breath in the morning, but the secondyour lips touched mine I had already forgiven you.  Because when you look at me my heart suddenly belongs to a hummingbird, beating right out of my chest. And I need to feel your fingers…

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August 8, 2019

Dayna Lellis: Telling Timeless Truths

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Dayna Lellis: Telling Timeless Truths

Your Value   Instagram followers Twitter retweets Facebook likes Snapchat views Numbers we use To quantify #Popularity #Beauty #Wittiness #Worth These numbers mean #Nothing Compared to the people In your life Yearning for quality time With you They don’t need numbers To see your value    Emotional   We develop strong arms, carrying around emotional baggage for months, even years.  We mistake this for strength.   We weaken our grip on our baggage,  opening it to reveal  its untidy contents to others. We mistake this for weakness.   May Day  Unnecessary clicks, swipes, and likes are taking away  precious seconds,  minutes, hours, days of our lives,  of our budding dreams. “Just a little longer, okay?” “I’ll do it tomorrow,” you say.  Tomorrow is growing impatient. Tomorrow is ready to bloom today.   Two Vows  I’ve walked this path for eternity. Its minutiae are etched into my mind.  One random day, to my surprise, I notice stairs that reach the sky.   As I ascend, I glance below.  I see paths that swerve, with shadows galore.  Others appear straight with a sunlit glow, but on closer inspection  they have bumps as well.   I search for mine.  It takes some time. Its gentle curves are…

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August 5, 2019

“Life” – Burbuqe Raufi’s Epic Novella – Part II

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“Life” – Burbuqe Raufi’s Epic Novella – Part II

“Life” Part II Angela Miller/the one who served justice for women. The storm was coming sooner than anyone expected. Garbage bins, branches, and road signs flew through the air as she drove her rented white Ford Cabriolet. She ducked her head in fear of getting hit by the flying objects. “Why did I come? Damn it. I knew this was coming,” Angela whined to herself while trying to keep the car on the road. She could hear the cyclone coming closer and closer. Her heart beat fast. Fear had conquered her whole body, and she couldn’t focus. She hit a tree, and the car stopped. She looked around. The air was thick with dust. She coughed; her lungs were full of filth. Her right leg was stuck underneath the steering wheel. She tried to free…

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August 3, 2019

“Life,” A Novella by Burbuqe Raufi

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“Life,” A Novella by Burbuqe Raufi

Editor’s Note: “How could you live and have no story to tell?” wrote Dostoevsky in his short story, “White Nights.” Life is about the stories we live and tell, and the three interrelated stories in this intriguing novella by Albanian writer Burbuqe Raufi, are no exception. We present these three stories of “Life” – Sergey Volgov, Angela Miller and Samuel Blanc – beginning tonight and concluding next week. ** “Life” Part I Sergey Volgov—the man who fought poverty. Freckled and ashy pale, Sergey Volgov, a very old man, sat in the wheelchair by the window, watching the mesmerizing motion of the late autumn leaves falling from the trees and landing on the muddy ground, waiting to experience his last breath, but his beaten body resisted freeing his moaning soul. A harsh torture, as was his thin…

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July 31, 2019

Paths of Existence: Poetry by Yong C. Takahashi

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Paths of Existence: Poetry by Yong C. Takahashi

Journey  I emerge from the mud Caked in past indiscretions Mistakes weighing me down I attempt to shake it off And decide I’d never be able to Reduce the heavy load I decide to cry until I’m whole Hoping not to drown in tears Unable to cleanse my past I praise the rain that comes but  It’s cold, dark, and unrelenting Not the salvation I prayed for When I think I may drown The sun comes and warms me I look back at the faded footprints And marvel how far I’ve traveled The old path is almost gone The rotted breadcrumbs I left To find my way back home Are washed away and I must Forge a new path to happiness  The Collector  We can collect treasures Even coveting wounds That aren’t even ours Treasures proudly displayed Spotlight shining on them Repurposed into excuses You can use not to succeed After years, they collect dust Graying, covered with cobwebs Too tired to clean the artifacts  Scrambling to recoup…

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