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"Aliens" by Nicholas Abanavas

We, the aliens of this light


have seen the moon reflected
in the mirror here on earth.

Towering structures press the sky.

We, the aliens of this life


have seen the past reflected
in the present here on earth.

Steel rails run the catacomb.

We, the aliens;


this the future present
here on earth
ignore

the cry of hunger.

Nicholas Abanavas received his M. Ed. in Teaching At-Risk Students in 2008. He recently
retired from a career in public education. He has written two books: Scissors, Cardboard &
Paint-The Art of At-Risk Teaching and Lemnos-An Artist and His Island. He is currently working
on a book about gargoyles and grotesques. Born and raised in New York City and he is an avid
fan of jazz music. His work has recently appeared in The Basil O'Flaherty, Wayne Literary
Review and Lime Hawk magazines. His poetry has appeared as Poet of the Week on the Poetry
Super Highway.

"Dead Weight" by Gale Acuff


Dead Weight

I'm standing over my dog, in the road


where he's been run over, maybe last night
or early this morning, before I woke.
I rise early but this is Saturday
--no school, but I get up early Sundays
for Church, where I've learned all I know about
death. Until now. Now, death hurts. And I'm not
even the one who's died. And so I kneel

to lift my dead friend up--Caesar's his name,


or was; I'm not sure that the dead have names
or need them. Or want them, if they still need
or want wherever they are. I would call
him but he couldn't come anyway. He
could bark but I doubt if I'd hear him. Heaven's
so far away, if dogs go to Heaven.
But I carry him to the wheelbarrow
--he seems heavier now--dead weight, I've heard
it called. Now I know. Now I'm older. I

push him up the long gravel driveway to


the house, and around it, and behind it,
down the path that's well worn, like a gully,
to the garden, and through it, my mother's
flowers on the left and the vegetables
on the right. I pretend that I'm walking
through the Red Sea, but I'm not sure whether
I'm Moses or Pharaoh, the wheelbarrow
Pharaoh's chariot. It's a good story

but he didn't go in, from the west bank


watched his soldiers enter and be swallowed.
By this time we're on the lower terrace
and I have to dig a hole for Caesar,
so I put the wheelbarrow down and go
to get the shovel. I look back over
my shoulder as I walk toward the barn.
And as I return I think to myself,
Suppose Caesar's gone and there's an angel

in his place, asking, Boy, why do you weep?


But he wouldn't say that because my dog's
not in his tomb yet and I haven't rolled
a stone across the entrance. There he is,
safe and sound, so I dig the hole--the ground's
soft here in the shade of the sassafras.
When it's deep enough, I quit--dig too far
and I might poke my shovel through to Hell,
which I don't believe in but you really

never know. I lift Caesar again and


lower him in and take a last look and
shovel all the dirt, or most of it, back
upon him. And to keep the raccoons out
I put big rocks on top until they make
one big stone roof over his final home,
not including Heaven, if there is one.
I put the shovel in the wheelbarrow
and am about to lift the handles and
throw the lighter weight to the fulcrum-wheel

when I start to cry. This was a big job,


finding someone you love dead, rescuing
him and carrying him away, digging
his grave and putting him in, covering
him up and making sure no life gets in,
then walking away as if your business
is finished. It isn't. You can't bury
death deep enough--it always comes back to

life and it's life that seems lifeless but


not like a thing's life--that's just existence,
and I know I really live and Caesar
did, too, and may still. It's Hell not knowing.
I put the shovel and the wheelbarrow up
and wash my hands and then visit him, sit
beside him and say, I'm sorry you're dead
but I'm sorrier that I'm still alive
without you. We should've died together,
we were such good friends. Do you remember
coming home with me? I didn't pick you
but you, out of all your siblings, chose me

and I thought that was a good omen. Was


it? You'd still be alive if not for me.
I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. Thank you.
Then I stand up and brush off the leaves
from my jeans and go back to the house, where
Father sits on the back porch, drinking beer
and smoking. I sit beside him. It's done,

I say. Good job, he says. I'm sorry, Son.


He was a pretty good dog, was Caesar.
Yes, I say. We sit until the sun sets
and Venus and the stars come out. Venus,
I say, pointing. It's like Heaven. Nothing
dies there. Nothing lives there, either, he says,
as far as we know. In Church tomorrow
they'll be kind to me, as if I'm dying,
or I'm much younger, or I'm much older.

Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, Ohio Journal, Descant,
Poem, Adirondack Review, Coe Review, Worcester Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Arkansas
Review, Florida Review, South Carolina Review, Carolina Quarterly, South
Dakota Review, Sequential Art Narrative in Education, and many other journals. He has
authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse Press, 2004), The Weight of the
World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives (BrickHouse, 2008).

Two Poems by Gareth Culshaw


Frost

There is something pulling out


pulling out our breath.

Blades of grass snap like


icing on a cake
as we walk this

fallen sheet.

Spilt blood from the stars


clings to fence posts
wooden panels
guttering,

glistening in its echoes,

the dying night light.

We stare into the warning


until one day we will all be in

darkness, darkness, darkness.

Skylarks

From afar they are a cloud


of gnats. Bouncing off the land.

The telephone wire holds them


like beads of rain on a washing line.

Syllables race between their claws


surges into their wings,
a shoal, a gathering, a mosaic
of shattered pieces

before they rest on the floor,


becoming just another flock

of beaks, wings.

Gareth lives in Wales. He is an aspiring writer who has his first collection by Futurecycle in
2018.

Three Poems by Tom Evans


American Pastoral

Strangely,
the seemingly
disparate photographs
coalesce,
calling to mind
a childhood occurrence.

The photo of the


Abbey at Rievaulx
Im looking at
looks very much
like the town
I grew up in.
I imagine the Cistercians
pacing the wooded grounds
in solemn solitude,
and suddenly recall
my neighbors
searching the woods
at the end of our street-
frantic-
like black ants
combing the ground for food,
trying to find the boy
lured there
by a monster.

I was there
when they found him
in his death cramp
in the snow.
It called to mind
the picture entitled
Big Foot in death
from the battlefield
at Wounded Knee.

Poem on a Flower

My flower was laden with dew,


So pink, so moist, and open;
Like lips that are parted in two,
Her center, her tongue, was golden.

And crossed by green blades of grass,


Formed in a triumphal arch;
Through which some great man could pass,
Or some great army march.

Grasshopper Karma

I saw a grasshopper today for the first time


since I was a kid;
I was surprised as I hadnt
ever given them another
thought in all that time;
I gave it its space, wary as I am
today of all insects.
We took them for granted back then,
seeing who could catch the most,
some bothered more than others by
the uncomfortable feeling their thrashing legs
and the bump their heads made in the palms of our hands,
though none would ever admit it.
Still jumping, trying to make their escape
as we cradled their taut bodies carefully
to finally put them in mason jars
(along with some grass, of course),
poking holes in the top of the jar lid
to let them breathe.
We watched them jump for a time
and joked about eating chocolate covered ones,
the coolness and smell of the grass,
the act of capturing them,
part of the woven fabric
of our summers.
I dont remember if we left them to die
when we grew bored,
Id like to think I didnt but
I see so few today
I cant help but think I did,
as I went on to become a man.

Tom Evans is a librarian by trade, a writer by choice. He has written a YA novel (at a publisher
awaiting a decision), short stories (several of which have been published in reputable ezines),
and this selection of poems. He currently lives in Croton-on-Hudson, just down the road from
Sing Sing.

Two Poems by John Grey


Your. Fortune

There's really two fortune tellers.


One plies you with as much
future good news as you can afford.
The other pulls hack at what
the palm lines, the tea-leaves,
the crystal ball, are really saying>
bites her bad news tongue.

One is doing her best


lovable Gypsy imitation,
swirling puffy floral sleeves,
hands dancing with invisible partners,
promising wealth and happiness
and a long, long life.

The other knows how it is with people.


Her face is drab, her movements slow.
Prom her, there's no future felicity,
just the plain, boring truth.

The two fortune tellers


speak at once.
There'll be good days
but there'll be bad days.
There'll be money to burn
and there'll be money too little.
You'll meet a tall and dark handsome stranger
who's short and pale and ordinary.

You'll hear it from the gypsy.


You'll know it from yourself.

Anna and the Oak

The oak tree fluttered in sympathy,


and the skirt wasn't merely worn,
it flared about her fine bare legs
on orders from the swan-neck gesticulations
of her hands.

And she never just arrived,


but materialized,
here, at a front door knocking gently,
there, at a table in a fine French restaurant,
a breath ahead of the wine waiter.

There were songs I played


that my thoughts of her
could never leave alone.
They became her theme,
Sometimes, I put my guitar down,
picked her up in its stead,
even if she wasn't there,
even if my instrument was nothing
but the air I filled with images.

The oak grew in parallel,


budded as the relationship progressed,
bloomed when appropriate,
changed into pastel at the insistence of the chill,
even stripped bare, skeletal,
but still a monument to beauty.
Sometimes, she went away
and the oak was all she was.

In fact, more and more,


the guitar was her, the sip of wine also.
And that tree, its trunk carved tenderly
with heart, initials,
those knife scratchings prepared to stay.
to remind, to remonstrate even -
if a man lacked ardor,
if a woman failed to dazzle
the dress-fluttering fluency
of all her memory's art.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Homestead Review, Cape
Rock and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Poem and Spoon River
Poetry Review.

Two Poems by Darrell Herbert


Yamaha Piano/From the Corner

Lust and loneliness


The piano needs to be played
Her fingers do not gravitate towards mine
No notes, a silent conversation
The blackness of the piano are her heart
The whiteness on the keys are weakness
Your flawless face, ugly attitude
Impatience, rude, selfish, just to name a few
Yet, I am aroused when in your presence
Staring into your eyes
Blinded by an obsession for reciprocation
What are we?
Your words confuse me

I watch my crush stare intensely at the chalk board


Breaking gaze, leaving shards

Her light blue coat


Black hair
Blue jeans
A face only I could adore from afar

Mean mugging unintentional


Her cold demeanor warms the depths of my very existence
December and March
Her light pale skin
Her soft voice speaks volumes

She is sitting across the room from me


A hand is raised, I listen intensely to the response
When she is speaking, my heart becomes speechless
I want to make the first move
I really do, but I am scared
Frozen, completely frozen in an embarrassing fashion

I send her a message


Anxiously waiting on a response
I wait like a child does for Santas arrival
I wait as a patient awaits their name to be called upon to see the doctor
I wait like a teenager does in their room, anxiously awaiting a beating from their father

Ten

When you were ten you didn't want to be seen or heard from again
Why?
Is it because you were shy, or simply because you had no reply?
I understand, now I understand why
Look me in the eyes, please
It's okay, I know you didn't mean to get down on your knees
That was never your intention
I forgot to mention
Every erased portion of your life is a new sentence

You are beautiful


You are kind
You rewind time
You are new
You are you

Darrell Herbert has been featured in the likes of the Black Artists Connected Blog, Yellow Chair
Review, Poetic Treasures Magazine, Section 8 Magazine, Blacktopia: Black Utopia Society
Blog, Works in Progress, Woman of P.O.W.E.R. blog, Media Blast Press, as well as
in HangTime Magazine and The Lemonade Stand Magazine.

Two Poems by Michael Lee Johnson


Reincarnation

Next life I will be a little higher on the pecking order.


No longer a dishwasher at the House of Pancakes,
or Ricky's All Day Grill, or Sunday night small dog thief.
I will evolve into the Prince of Bullfrogs, crickets don't bother,
swamp flies don't bother me-I eat them. Alligators I avoid.
I urinate on lily pads mate across borders, continents at will.
Someone else from India can wash my dishes locally for me.
Forward all complaints to that religious office of Indian affairs.

Children in the Sky

There is a full moon,


distant in this sky tonight,

Gray planets planted


on an aging white, face.

Children, living and dead,


love the moon with small hearts.

Those in heaven already take gold thread,


drop the moon down for us all to see.

Those alive with us, look out their


bedroom windows tonight,
we smile, then prayers, then sleep.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a Canadian and
USA citizen. Today he is a poet, editor, publisher, freelance writer, amateur photographer, small
business owner in Itasca, Illinois. He has been published in more than 930 small press
magazines in 33 different countries or republics, and he edits 10 poetry sites. Author's
website http://poetryman.mysite.com/. Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile
to Freedom (136 page book) ISBN: 978-0-595-46091-5, several chapbooks of poetry,
including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago
Poems. He also has over 133 poetry videos on YouTube as of
2015: https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL
nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015 & Best of the Net 2016. Visit his
Facebook Poetry Group and join https://www.facebook.com/groups/807679459328998/ He is
also the editor/publisher of anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow
Haze: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762 A second poetry anthology, Dandelion in a
Vase of Roses, Editor Michael Lee Johnson, is now available
here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089

Four Poems by Steve Klepetar


Veins of the Sea

Bitterness rises, and still waves crash


against rock, here in the harbor
where we thought we could be safe.
Every day dark sea rises when
clouds hide the sun, or in sunlight
blue sea. or green sea in sickening

shadows of storm. Then rivers pour


over their banks and magpies screech
above the tide. Houses get swept away,
dogs carried off and drowned.
Sharks knife through streets, shops
filled with water to the second floor.

Crows peck at debris, gulls swoop down


for fish. Broken roofs and trees crisscross
the high ground. Boats everywhere, motors

chugging and paddles and oars. What is sky


but a torrent of rain, and the world spun upside
down? Bitter waters, veins of the sea ripped

open, bleeding, sweeping away sullen dreams.

What the Roses Know

What can I do if each gesture


brought my hand nearer and nearer the rose?

Neruda

What can I do if every night these dreams


grow into shadows of trees,

loom above me as I stand trembling


beneath swaying globes of fruit?

Every night some creature skitters


down a tree trunk, flits by my calves,

barely brushing my skin,


leaving me terrified and alone

beneath a sky without moon or stars.


The ground opens beneath my feet,

and I slide in the dirt among roots


and stones. I would write this in my

dream book, but that has disappeared


with my pens. And now my hands

are made of fog, my tongue has become


a block of salt. Every day I am less real,

with cardboard ears and glasses twisted


into spirals on my eyes. My car

sits up on blocks, and seems to spit


and moan, my dog burrows in the yard.

Together we sing songs the dying roses know,


leaving answers to rot in the garden on spindly stalks.

Returning from Crete

Ill walk the length of the island of Crete


gazing at the mountain
where dead Zeus lies, hoping to hear

the hooves of the Minotaur somewhere


among purple shadows
where ghosts hover near the shore

but of course Ill hear nothing


only motorbikes
and a stew of tourist voices

and the clinking of glasses as roditis


flows in the tavernas.
Ariadne is stringing me along again;

even she doesnt know where her mad


brother waits. My sails are black,
but I wont change them now, not with

those wild melodies still thrilling


my ears, dolphin-spray
leading me home to where my father

waits to hurl himself into the sea,


to take immortal form as his
iron crown presses my bleeding brow.

Between Two Paths


There is a way to turn, and a way to keep
from turning as two paths

join and become one in a wood so green


that winter has frozen itself to death

and now acorns litter the ground.


This happens rarely, and only when you

are looking away, maybe at a woman


on a staircase descending in a halo of light.

Maybe then the music begins, an old song


about finding a house in the dark

and a body that binds you with endless


desire. The path doubles back on itself,

becomes all paths, and every road


you have taken after whispering has ceased.

The quiet of the wood becomes a song,


like footsteps coming down the stairs

to disturb you at your desk as a bird flits


past, skimming the paths you have left behind.

Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. His work has appeared worldwide in such
journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Chiron, Deep Water, Expound, Phenomenal Literature,
Red River Review, Snakeskin, Voices Israel, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems
have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize (including four in 2016). New
collections include A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press), Family Reunion (Big Table Publishing),
and How Fascism Comes to America (Locofo Chaps).

Two Poems by Wilda Morris


Eve Explains

What was it that God said? Adam didnt quite


remember or didnt want to. His explanations
changed with his mood. He told me first
we were a team created to help each other.
Later he decided he was the smarter, stronger one,
Gods favorite, and I was meant to be his helper,
servant, sometimes even slave. Hed quote
the creator differently, curl ambiguous words
to his own favor. I half believed the serpent
whose tongue twisted Gods commands as Adam had.
What divine directives governed that tree?
How could I know? Why not eat the fruit?
Maybe it was really Adam kept me from it.
I figured out that if I always obeyed Adam,
Id be servant, not his wife, a thought
that knifed through me. I sampled the fruit
and it was sweet and succulent.

I dont regret the pain of giving birth--


even Adam admits my worth
when I give him another son.
It is better that my man has workplanting,
watering seeds, pulling weedswhile I fetch
more water from the stream, pick berries
from the bush and almonds from the tree.
In this newer, harder life there are important
roles for me. Ive no remorse.

Eve Reflects on Her Life

I
In that last hour before dusk,
Adam sits with remote control
watching crime shows.
I pull weeds, harvest cauliflower
and beans. A garter snake
slithers by. Robin and cardinal sing
as they settle in for the night.
My garden is as close to Eden
as I get. Adam says God
no longer walks in the cool
of the evening, I know hes wrong.

II
The mirror discloses weight
Ive put on, nibbling on chocolate,
self-medicating for February depression.
Shame wells up inside me.
At the grocers, I push my cart past cookies
to the produce, ponder whether to purchase
apples or apricots, blueberries or pomegranates. Fruit is no longer
the forbidden food.

III
Summer sun seduces me.
I am beguiled by the loon
calling from the lake,
by sand stretched across the beach.
I must have a new swimsuit and sandals
but the checking account is overdrawn.
Adam bought a new plasma TV,
but he blames me. You know
how women are, he tells the banker.
My wife just had to have prescription sunglasses.

IV
A sharp stab surprises me.
I cry out. Adam squeezes my hand,
reminds me to breathe deeply.
When the nurse lays Kane, mewling,
in my arms, I know menses,
the stretched skin and labor pains
are privilege, not punishment.

Wilda Morris, Workshop Chair for Poets & Patrons of Chicago, and a past president of the
Illinois State Poetry Society, is widely published in print and on the Internet and has won
numerous awards for her poetry, including two Pushcart nominations. Her book, Szechwan
Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant, was published by RWG Press.
Wilda Morris's Poetry Challenge at http://wildamorris.blogspot.com/ provides a poetry contest
for other poets each month. For several years, she wrote an occasional nature blog for
the Bolingbrook Patch, an on-line newspaper.

Three Poems by Sergio A. Ortiz


Ambiguous

We agreed to move to the rhythm


of this ambiguity, to speak
without mentioning names.

At the risk of being wrong


we arranged to play this perfidious game
of rubbing garments and furtive glances.
We engaged in suspicious correspondence.
Someone should have warned us
that this game was unhealthy
but how, if it was ours alone?

Forgive me, now, alone


with the kaleidoscope of your words
decoding each of the figures before my eyes,
all hidden denotation they entailed, revealed,
I do not want to be near this skin message,
your hot and throbbing body.

Let me ask for your forgiveness.


If I did not respond, if I kept dancing,
pouring soft lust as you turned,
if I did not dare to acknowledge your call,
it was out of fear and pride.

Tonight, I stop the dance,


lower my exhausted arms, advance
towards you, despite this suffocating fear,
the doubts oppressing my waist,
to give you a gift,
raise my eyes
to you.

Hammocks for Hobos

Build the sunrise,


go from one side to the other
like eternal oscillating strangers
wandering from bed to bed.
Airports, exceptional tickets
to the scenery.
Adventures expire every third day.
The guy in room 1411
consumes dreams.
No matter how much
a dragonfly flies
it never becomes a bird.
Tourist are just nostalgia.

When the dead talk about sex

trees resurrect from their flesh.


They're storytellers of clandestine love,
barbs of rivers that penetrate,
and those delivered to the sea.
They meander desires,
pantheons smell of sperm.
They evaporate kisses in the
humidity of coffee plantations,
in canyons, and banana fields.
The dead talk about sex
and invent new caresses
on the altars of the dead,
offer flower collars in memoriam
of the pleasures of the phallus.
The dead refuse to die abandoned.

Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016
Best of the Net nominee. 2nd place in the 2016 Ramn Ataz annual poetry competition,
sponsored by Alaire Publishing House. He is currently working on his first full-length collection
of poems, Elephant Graveyard.

Five Poems by Barry Yeoman


March Snowstorm in Ohio

There is a black blade


stuck all the way to the handle
in the solid ice of my chest.

Luckily, the handle opens,


contains a small first aid kit
and a pair of sterile latex

gloves. There is a loop


of thoughts in my ruminations.
A snake swallowing itself.

I've spent countless hours


staring at my reflection
in t.v. and computer screens;

in the windows of appliances


and storefronts, in mirrors.
Once I dreamed of a portal

through which I could view


the demolished remains of cities;
concrete rubble, twisted rebar.

It made me feel black as burnt


flowers covered in fungus.
Self-awareness is the curse

of neurotics. I continue to fail


at my prayers for ignorance.
This March snowstorm is bitter.

Every year at this time we think,


mistakenly, that winter is over.
Lunch meat, cheese, bread and

tobacco are pushing me closer


to the inevitable conclusion
of my demise. Though anything

is possible, I have my doubts


about reincarnation. Summer
seems unattainable, the forecast

calls for more frigid temperatures.


Thorns, Razor Wire, Metal Shavings
would be a fine title for a piece of

art. The Rocky Mountains are


watched over by John Denver
flying an invisible glider plane.

Alcoholics, stigmatized by self-


righteous zealots are more
inclined to lay off the sauce.

It's Not Me

I feel my body
carry itself
from room to room.

A dog barking,
car doors slamming
outside my patio screen.
Some evidence
that the day
is insisting to unfold.

A ceiling fan whirls.

There are those


who talk about
thinking outside
of the box.

My box is hollow
and infinite
and has no walls
that I need to exit.

My box
sits in a recliner
watching baseball
on the television.

The old neighbor


saunters over,
a dark silhouette
against the screen.

He recites an ethnic joke.

I hear laughter
come from somewhere
inside of me.

In the country I am meadow


in the city, glass and steel.

The August weather


is picture perfect.

If I exist at all
I am simple dust
wrapped tight as cellophane
inside my skin.

When night falls


I play no part
in the world's
silent turning of gears.
Alarms

Each breached branch


where the birds warble
is a tripwire for waking.

Yesterday's dilemmas sting


first thing, before coffee,
before we can crawl out

of bed. The daily bleed


of quandaries doctored-
up with rationale. It is not

enough to grapple all day


on the gray mat of the sky.
Coltrane sometimes sounds

like a constipated mule


before a rifting hemorrhage
of kaleidoscopic meanderings.

Premonitions are real, some


get an early script. The eyes!
A strange sense of burning

in the mouth. A reluctance


to breath too deeply through
the nose. Bhopal, India 1984.

Union Carbide pesticide plant


(for all the macabre historians).
Half a million peasants exposed

to poison gas. Now the icecap


melts. Retreating glaciers break
and splash, an awesome display

of displacement, surging up and


out in a massive wake. Global
warming is not a hoax folks.

Venice will be permanently


flooded in a century or sooner.
Deja vu may be fatal forever.
Could an unnatural dispersion
of genetically altered seeds
inadvertently end humanity?

Excuse me Mr. Mayor, but


can we drink the water? Can
we trust you to drink the water?

Is it safe?

Something I Only Dreamed About

Sunbeams splintered
through clouds when I was young
and full of punk. I thought the whole
world was wide and full of promise.

The hours fell like bowling pins


crashing in the night. I lacked not
in an eagerness for action,
for some zippidy-do-da,

some chase the heat of summer


through the tire-squealing night.
But having never been right
in the noggin, the years crept

like a hermit crab in odd directions


till 30 years were gone.
All the damn torpedoes turned
to shadows, skin began to sag.

Now I waddle the low tide alone


and tired of myself. I hear
horns wailing, cymbals bashing,
find myself on a tattered bar stool

in the dark, no spotlight, jumbled


script, microphone tapped with static.
No poetic stories to tell,
just belt out nonsense

and take me away flailing


as a piano continues to carry
a tune into the dark distance.
Don't know if we'll ever meet again.

My funny valentine was a mirage,


an imagined red kiss
in the chocolate night.
Something I only dreamed about.

Winds and Waves, Ad Infinitum

The sound of my own voice vibrating through my skull


makes things seem unreal, separate from mind and body.

I imagine the sound of waves washing ashore, one after the other,
ad infinitum. What is this world? Why am I confronted

with this odd, disconnected feeling, as if I'm out of place, detached,


alien, yet at the same time cursed with an overly keen

sense of self awareness.. I remember feeling the same way


as a child, exiled to my upstairs bedroom for some misdemeanor

or other, staring out the window at the other kids playing


under a pear tree, nose against the screen, a breeze flapping curtains

all around me. More thoughts and images of crashing waves,


one after the other, continually breaking the silence, this earth

a speck of sand in the cosmic dune, there is no measurement


relative to the big scheme of things, to justify our existence.

And yet, we do exist, we have lives, we procreate.


How small then our cells? The size of a sperm or egg in the universe?

And yet, we do big things, summit Everest, go to the moon,


build the internet, exterminate large numbers of our brothers and sisters.

The human brain is a very powerful mechanism.


And what about the soul? It defies quantification.

What is love? Why is it so difficult? These are not new questions,


just old stupefications. It's good to get inside the meat of things

dredge the sinew, sift the sands of thought, break down building blocks
to their basic elements. But, of course we find nothing.

Do we embrace it, live like the wind? It is November, I watch a flag


flapping briskly outside my window, trees swaying, cars passing,

the sun completing it's short stint across the blue dome, descending
into early evening. Winter approaches. Shadows exit into darkness.

Barry Yeoman was educated at Bowling Green State University, The University of Cincinnati,
and The McGregor School of Antioch University, in creative writing, world classics, and the
humanities. He is originally from Springfield, Ohio and currently lives in London, Ohio. His
work has appeared, or is forthcoming in Vagabonds Anthology, Mission at Tenth, Common
Ground Review, Right Hand Pointing, Harbinger Asylum, Lost Coast Review, Crack the Spine,
Yellow Chair Review, Gravel, and Broad River Review, among other print and online journals.
You can read more of his online published work at www.redfez.net/member/1168/artist

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