February 25, 2020

“Broken Hearts & Dead Flowers,” by Michael Summerleigh

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“Broken Hearts & Dead Flowers,” by Michael Summerleigh

BROKEN HEARTS & DEAD FLOWERS (February 1970 – upstate New York)  Josh stepped out into the beginning of the day, heard the steel door slam behind him as he pitched the black garbage bag into the dumpster.  He checked the door once to make sure it had locked, buttoned his denim jacket up around the paper sack of unsold apple crisps and burgers, jammed his hands down into the pockets of his jeans.  It had been a slow shift, some heavy wind and a couple of inches of snow discouraging the stoners from boarding the Midnight Munchie train that usually kept the Jack-in-the-Box busy through the night. He’d sent Kyle and Donnie home at two, started shutting everything down around three-thirty. . .picking up wax paper burger wraps and empty Zig Zag sleeves in the small…

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February 23, 2020

“Ethereal Tryst,” Poems by Horacio Chavez

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“Ethereal Tryst,” Poems by Horacio Chavez

Ethereal Tryst    Meet me where the pink hued clouds entwine with infinity  So, will we conjoin in our appointed waltz  Upon that coral floor together in unity  To enjoy what is and bemoan that which remains  Our fate to hunger…  Our union asunder    Our feet skillful  We dance the dance fate has called out  Without malice though willful  We are without doubt  For all but our destiny…  We step carefully    Accepting that which is within our grasp  In lieu of that wish that eludes  Satisfied with the fortuitous clasp  Of mind and spirit to conclude   The interlude…  Of our love subdued    Perhaps fate will grant our desire  Beyond the tryst that both plagues  And blesses the fire  Kindled by the wave  That we may forever crave…  Our ethereal tryst  ** In Love With a Poet    So you’re in love with a poet you say …

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February 20, 2020

“Dimples of Haiti,” Poetry by Mbizo Chirasha

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“Dimples of Haiti,” Poetry by Mbizo Chirasha

DIMPLES OF HAITI  Haiti,  stink of sweat smelling millet slavery and the scent of blood revolutions.  Slapped in the face with sanctions mud by hands under the influence  of imperialistic alcohol. A super-concoction of propaganda maize porridge and  Media yeast.  Waterfalls of anger washing away your freedom dimples  Handmaidens and mental epileptic waiters serving political syphilis in ideological cafes  Children smelling stale ideological urine and dirt diplomatic cocaine  Identities condomised with donor culture and sexual myopia  Baboons eating colors of your flag, munching apples of your freedom  Tongues kissing bottom streams of the state under the veil of democracy gospel  Haiti, my pen is a weapon of mass instruction, I see the spreading yellow York of the sun, gently falling over the darkness of your skin, yawning off the old skin of dust, Regaining the lost richness of your dimples.  ** DAWN OF…

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February 18, 2020

“The Escape to Candyland,” A Review

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“The Escape to Candyland,” A Review

In Yong Takahashi’s debut collection of stories, The Escape to Candyland, the main character is dilemma.  That’s the featured role in this series of recursive, interwoven stories: the human heart in conflict with itself.  Takahashi’s protagonists labor under myth-like predestination and curse; they are often tortured by the knowledge of what ails them, compounded by the inability or unwillingness to overcome it.  Hence dilemma.  Very few suffer in ignorance – most of the men and women in these stories know they are beset by a personal menace (an abusive husband, guilt over a brother’s death, an obsessive-compulsive mother), and many understand that their deliverance lies in plain sight, but who among them can seize it and afford to lose a pillar of their identity – past trauma.  Perhaps, then, the apt word to describe each member of…

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February 16, 2020

“After Thucydides,” Poems by Bruce Robinson

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“After Thucydides,” Poems by Bruce Robinson

After Thucydides   Read to you my silent poem,  how does it go? Goes  without saying, va    sans dire.  And then someone spoke  and there was the largest crowd    in history, and a luminous  array of tariffs  made us rich again    which after all was our  pre-existential condition  before the construction    of our glorious, seguro-  will-cover-it wall,  and we learned that    however true it may…be..  that truth is something   intermittent, which is how     some histories are written.  ** It’s Your Past Catching Up with You  and then your past   catches up with you, or tries to,  and then your past  tries to oscillate your future,   or makes a very good effort  to be closer than it appears  and then you’re past  all caring, all over-canvassed  tenses meet each other mid-stream,  toll…

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