Page 1

Issue Nr. 1 // April 2018

THE PARADOX LITERARY MAGAZINE

"FEAR"

featuring artwork by Amaan Ahmad & poetry by David Ishaya Osu


"NEUROSIS IS THE INABILITY TO TOLERATE AMBIGUITY" S I G M U N D Â F R E U D


STAFF Literary & Art Editor Aneka B. Creative Design Aneka B. Advisors Matthew Wagner

http://theparadoxlitmag.weebly.com

artwork on cover page: The Doll of Insanity, Amaan AhmadÂ


poetry Editor's Notes

08

Stephen Gatling

13

David Ishaya Osu

21

Mick Corrigan

24

Clifford K. Watkins

26

John Lambremont, Sr.

30

Gene Barry

35

John Patrick Robbins

36

Gordon Peters

38

Bear Putnam

42

Rus Khomutoff

46

Ganesh Krishna

art & photography 49

Amaan Ahmad

55

Roque Falcon

60

Joseph Whiting

fiction 64

Matthew Wagner

72

Roque Falcon

77

Amaan Ahmad

84

Editor'S Last Words

STNETNOC FO ELBAT

04


ETON S'ROTIDE

A Forgotten Memory, Amaan Ahmad

FEARÂ The unknown is a concept which is often faced with panic and terror. However, here at The Paradox Literary Magazine, we believe that the unknown represents a kind of freedom which is illuminated by creative expression. This is what this literary journal is all about. Exploring the unknown within our body, mind and soul and sharing it with anyone interested in seeing the world in a new light. The unknown does not have to be frightening. Let's open our minds to let it liberate us.

ANEKA B. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


“MAN MUST NOT ATTEMPT TO DISPEL THE AMBIGUITY OF HIS BEING BUT, ON THE CONTRARY, ACCEPT THE TASK OF REALIZING IT.” S I M O N E

D E

B E A U V O I R ,

T H E

E T H I C S

O F

A M B I G U I T Y


poetry


A Dream undone, Amaan Ahmad


Stephen Gatling

everything at once Everything's a hustle, a negotiation In jail and on the street Reality is malleable in the hands Of the Empire’s Machiavellian sorcerers In spite of authority’s monotony Magick rituals can break their monopoly Psycho cycles incessantly run The High Priestess spins into being From a moonlight drenched sea Isis to Ishtar, she spawns a fertile gnosis In the beginning, a stateless state Chaos with no maintenance required I ching throws a hexagram’s weight The dusk looms as Venus rises over Black and white pillars, duality of man The river flows betwixt the Danube’s shores Right here, right now...humans just being A joyous note of rapture’s warmth That which can’t be given or taken Who writes the tune...the Grand Composer The elusive man behind the curtain

8


Shakespeare's signifying monkeys are still furtively typing A tale told by an onion, full of sand and f#*/, sanctifying muffins A sled pulled by a team of Abe’s rabid salukis passes by As pop culture swallows its own insipid head In a nation addicted to clichés A come-on overheard at a real estate seminar “ Hey baby, what’s your brand? ” On Wall Street occupiers moon the corporate vampires In protest of a malevolent hegemony As the Tao Jones levels karmic balances And human commodities earn hefty profits A corpus delicti points to the culprit Then suddenly rises in spontaneous glossolalia “ Sure locks at home, wot’s in a name. Wie geht es, mein schwartzenmenschen ” Osiris rising into mapped territory Man’s trinity takes the stage Unbroken lines of the inflexible state The lion’s fiery mane, the sun’s thorny halo Obsequious serfs pay tribute to their rulers Fear operates as the currency of control As the balance goes askew

9


City, Amaan Ahmad


Hodge-podge moves off the surging grid A tale told three times Becomes part of our lore Magick, marketing, conditioning What’s the difference? Brace for vitriolic ruptures of seismic impact As Sufis scatter words upon the soil Chaos grows between ordered rows Weeds insidiously creep into unsuspecting minds Step lightly from one path to the next Shim and Sham run askance In a burst of Joycean revelry “ Riverrun river flow ” The Tao speaks of a process unspoken Knowledge unlearned, methods untaught Primal screams adorn Egyptian tombs An echo of man’s inauspicious dawn Quadrupeds fight for pack dominance And now we stand erect … In a political ritual handed down

11


Our memories play as reruns Fantasies restaged in cerebral Technicolor Nostalgia junkies stuck in time We forget about now As we dream of the future What about right here, right now? Life comprised of small details Colorless atoms dance a cosmic jig We impose meaning as we see fit A composite artwork emerges Lines of verse spilled in jest A parody of a parody In the beginning was an idea Something from nothing One phallic spark of life Fertilized that zero A binary genetic code  From duality to multiplicity The divine could be in anything... Or everything at once

12


Interview with David Ishaya Osu

Š private

David Ishaya Osu is a Nigerian poet. His works have appeared in publications including: The New Black Magazine, Saturday Sun, African Writer, Gobbet Magazine, Elohi Gadugi Journal, The Kalahari Review, Ann Arbor Review, Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology (SALA 2012), Poetic Diversity, and forthcoming elsewhere. He is included in the recently published anthology, A Thousand Voices Rising: An Anthology of Contemporary African Poetry. David is currently exploring Japanese poetry forms, as well as polishing his debut poetry book. He is also a street photography enthusiast. 13


Tell us about your relationship with your poems? The relationship I have with my poems and the poems of other people is in the same way I kiss my lover, in the same way I feel respect or honor is due to every being or creation. Poems turn me on, poems turn me off; poems disable me; poems open my buds, poems switch me from heaven to liquids, like that like that. There is a line by Adura Ojo that is now a solid truth to my life and living, it says: “water is how I know the world cannot stop me”. You’d notice that my relationship with poetry is sort of polygamous, or say multidimensional. Oh, well, because I think poetry is multidimensional, just like life or death or love. How do you get to that space, the one where the words guide you? I am everywhere in space and space is everywhere in me. I think I am in a stage right now where I have given up possession of everything. Somewhere at the back of my mind is this, a mantra if you like: I can’t legislate over anybody or poems, I would that the universe rather gives and takes and shares all she embodies. So you’d see me on a regular day go about with no anxiety to write; I simply trust the word to come, to fill me, to feel me, to lead me, and even to ruin me; I am of the perception that this is simply because my body’s only need in life is to be enthralled (and by body, I mean my entire being: flesh and bone, brain and blood, everything). Sometimes the word comes from a riverbank, from a touch, blue or bright, from two people talking to themselves, from a mango leaf falling freely to the ground, from anger, from grief, from the full moon, from broken glasses, from curves, from buildings, from artistic ideas, from a craving to create, from birds, from a cord resting in the air, from reinforced squares or heads, from fermented kunu, from shirts to skirts to sunglasses, from sleep, from here and there. Poetry is polygenetic; think of architecture, swimming, mathematics, photography, faith, machines, food, think of those (and this isn’t a romanticization of poetry, it is just the nature of things, the fact that we all are interdependent organisms). Like the typical forest scenario, I am just a member with a gift for seeing beauty and getting along with it. How do I say it? I am just grateful for life and death, just totally contented with the universe. 14


Does it ever frighten you where your work takes you? Frighten is not actually the word; the word is overwhelm. Yes, in the beginning my work frightened me, especially as the poems came from very raw, visibly vulnerable aspects of my being, especially as the poems came from an absolutely fluid position of my life; I would go about concerned over misunderstandings, over ill-judgment, you know that innate wish to be taken as purely as I am with poems. But this was then. Right now, I don’t give a fuck about acceptance or recognition or the lack thereof; there is something I always say and take to heart, water na water, water is water, and like FELA sang, water no get enemy.

How do you face that place? I surrender my life; I surrender myself to poetry; I mean, I have completely surrendered my life to poetry. (I should add here that my usage of poetry is not limited to the writing and reading of poems, no; when I use or say poetry, I come from the mind that sees things as embodiments of beauty or grace, be they physical or imagined or unknown; and so a warm hug soothes, you’d hear me say, I love poetry, or even a beautiful three-year-old boy in his mother’s cradle.) This is my eye. When did you start writing? Though I wrote my first poem in 2009, 2010 was the year I let my pen freely walk on paper. 2010 was the year poetry started consuming me and me poetry. And then 2016 was the year I made a firm decision to write (and live) poetry full-time. No regrets.

15


What does poetry mean to you, personally? I have come to appreciate beauty more than ever. Like I’ve severally mentioned, it isn’t because of ‘poetry’, I mean if I were an engineer or a ceramist I would still get to appreciate beauty. So the dynamic is essentially human or the earth as a whole. There is nothing special about poetry, if you get what I mean.What buildings and ideas mean to an architect, is what poetry means to me, the way water is to fish, the way flight is to an eagle—everything, whether living or inanimate, is present in their individual realms. The theme of the journal is ‘The Unknown’. Does poetry represent ways of exploring the unknown for you? Yes, very so much. But more, the unknown is not unknown, if that makes sense. When I observe and take in what the universe is making, it is both knowledge of the known and knowledge of the unknown. Let me cite an example: a week before the passing of my dad in 2014, I wrote poems about death, made posts on Facebook about death; in fact, I remember writing a string of poem and instantly being attacked by cold, it was intense and strange to the extent I had to get myself inside a blanket from where I instantly started praying, ‘cause I literally felt my body shrinking, as if a force right in front of me was pressing or taking me to another realm—frankly, the impression on me was death, I was like, Lord I don’t want to die. I was cold and sweating, interestingly. The weird thing was that, even though this all happened within ten minutes, it felt like eternity. Days afterwards went normal; and then I got the news of dad’s death. It is weird. And like I mentioned, this prophetic side isn’t just about weaving words in English or Portuguese; my grandma in the village doesn’t read English literature yet she is spiritually aware, she is tuned. So I’d say that whether it’s poetry or lovemaking or architecture or basketball or fishing or fashion, everything represents ways of exploring both the known and the unknown. The versatility in life, simply.

16


What is your greatest fear? I don’t think I have some fear greater than another and otherwise. I feel every fear in the same intensity I feel love. I feared a lot of things: I feared the dark when I was a child, growing up I feared verbal assaults (it was worse than a whipping stick), after my accident in 1996 I developed a phobia about roads and vehicles. Later, the thoughts of sex began to frighten me. I would struggle with deep cravings, I would pleasure myself. Once I made love in April last year, my fear of sex soon dispelled. I should add here now that, within my psychical dispositions and voluntary bodily reactions, I no longer fear anything. Not death, not life. On the other hand, though, I still cringe at the sight of syringes when I am to take injections or any bitter medication. I love sweet things very much; better put, I am addicted to pleasure, addicted to joy [laughs]. It’s all tricky, I must say. Because with my loved one, somewhere deep down, I don’t want to lose them and so I get to quietly pray for the universe to make everything pure and good for us. Like the scriptures have it, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Does poetry help you with that? I don’t even know [laughs]. Right now, what I am most intimately aware of is beauty—beauty in people, places, beauty in everything.

17


David Ishaya Osu

Eighteen years in love prologue: gather the eggshells return—salt & silence, we taste the skin / not the wine —half-sky, full time, two big black birds scratch out [the] sugar & make a nest anyway we kiss lay

18


David Ishaya Osu

Triangle the center: i see the rhythm goes in a triangle you cannot hold —blackberry & closed eyes, it is coming to fire & what is on my mind is a swan, many lines on water have flesh, too

19


Reflection - 'A', Amaan Ahmad


Mick Corrigan

The importance of communications managers and their role in the proper functioning of any modern democracy. (Dedicated to communications advisors and media strategists everywhere).

Our leaders give great tongue, firm tongue, warm tongue, impressive tongue, long tongue, strong tongue, leadership tongue, the kind of tongue that makes you proud to be tongued in front of the kids, the kind of tongue that makes you feel included in the great tonguing tonguefest. Our leader’s give great tongue, warm tongue, witty tongue, wise tongue, warning tongue, big business small-town tongue, you’re not from around here tongue, boss tongue, master tongue, the kind of tongue that knows what’s what. Our leader’s give great tongue, clever tongue, educated tongue, celebrated tongue, sophisticated tongue, educational tongue, inspirational tongue, the kind of tongue you’d be happy to find in either ear or any other orifice for that matter. The kind of tongue you find down the back of your trousers and never wonder how it got there.

21


Friendly tongue, supportive tongue, strong tongue, loving tongue, lashing tongue, licking tongue, loathing tongue, leathery tongue, the kind of tongue that gets stuck in your throat and stays until you join or leave. Arse licking, skin lashing, baton and boot, guaranteed-to-keep-you-firmly-in-your -place-while-licking-out-your-cavities, austerity tongue. Never ending, irresistible, all pervasive, all consuming, dazzling, dizzying in well-made suit and novelty socks tongue, always there to fill your mouth whether you want it or not.

22


Melting Moments, Amaan Ahmad


Clifford K. Watkins

Chameleon Paint Each glimpse is a nuance And each shade is a world’s demise Her face is a myriad of novel reflections Nightly vanishing into the cerebral abyss Stemming from the depression of an infinite soul Always compelled upward into the sun Displaying her ephemeral colors

24


Clifford K. Watkins

Crazy-quilt Sunrise Heedless to a medley of covetous tongues I find that time is incidental And all the rapid-fire dreams merely vanish into actuality Yet the sound of your melodic voice still resonates fiercely Even as I loiter in the solitude of a crazy-quilt sunrise For one of those not-so-distant tomorrows We’ll interlock our souls with paint-stained hands

25


John Lambremont, Sr.

A Boy and his Risk A boy sits in the back of his mother’s car. He finds what looks to be a peach pit or some kind of nut. He is wary, as he has heard or been told that the inner parts of peach pits are poisonous, deadly so. He starts to fiddle with the orb’s wrinkled husk; its skin crumbles beneath his fingers, but the shell resists. He worries at the gnarled surface with his tips and nails. The work is slow, and done out of eye. After a long while, a little hole is made, and the shell pried apart.

26


A small brown oval kernel is revealed. He takes it, eyes it, sniffs it. He considers briefly his consequences, then puts the seed into his mouth and crunches it. The taste that results is so delicious that he doesn’t care if his folly does him in.

27


Takashi Matsu, Amaan Ahmad


John Lambremont, Sr.Â

Certainty Vel Non At the edge of the precipice to the canyon of eternity, the heart beats poignantly in measures of existence, its slight ache a reminder to the mind of time. The nervous feet shuffle in place, step gingerly, hoping to dodge the detritus of man, trying to avoid for as long as possible the inevitable loose rock.

29


Gene Barry

Fishing They cycle the farmyard the ready to fly crows above hollowing out bunkers of the dead  while he recycles cows vegetables sheep fruits digs holes for traffic lights becomes a life detective from over the barrier their memories get speeding fines his broken head inking out dead bodies decorating and she barricaded 

30


inside the curtained window her harvested thoughts gowned in his misery the music of useless half moons holed buckets the unadopted dead animals harmonising

31


Gene Barry

One Ordinary Day an affronted stalker flirted with possibilities like a blown bulb he will be replaced on an ordinary evening on our new flat screen TV a female psychologist introduced the others to Acquired Uselessness I revisit notebook days while a trail of school children with beards and breasts stroll by all unpromoted and unprotected

32


-mad meek mean men and womenall of them humming of uncared-for brainwashed pressure ulcers -the smell of acquired uselessnessand I am like a cardboard wedge at their feet, balancing

33


Tracing A Memory, Amaan Ahmad


John Patrick Robbins

You Are Here Nobody seeks out the page. It's simply there with the madness. And how can you know if you have that same sickness we all share? You're writing aren't you? We are the seekers of the asylum. Twisted in our misery. Lost only amongst others, and far more suited for that empty highways journey. Hello you motherfuckers! We are not lost, for we found our miserable asses all on our own.

35


Gordon Peters

Reach reach into your pocket, and pull out your gun reach into your pocket, and pull out your wallet reach into your pocket, and pull out your hand

36


Surge of Emotions, Amaan Ahmad


Bear PutnamÂ

Let me beGodless I am repainting the temple in my image Like CassandraHonest and blindin technicolor truth Naked I can not hide my hard-beaten heart but wear it proud stitched in a crooked hand upon my bloody arm one stitch each (Black thread and blue) for all my indiscriminate loves

38


Joyous I stand tear stained and quaking in awe of the terrible world such beauty! only this would make me fear death Wondering I am a child unabashedly fluent in why wide eyed and giddy Sugar high I seek answers like candy my soul has a sweet-tooth

39


Singular I journey alone friends and lovers like current caught leaves swirl briefly near then away and sometimes back again I seek the whirlpools Grateful I glory in atoms my chemical me what happy coincidence! a trillion right times and places it is right I am

40


Memento Mori, Amaan Ahmad


Rus KhomutoffÂ

Processed World Behind the beautiful forevers iconic dodges of the midnight salvage celestial bodies of spectral attitudes the scarlet obelsance on the floors of beauty quarrying layers of identity levity in the crux of melancholy

42


Fading Beauty, Amaan Ahmad


Rus KhomutoffÂ

Dazzled for Takuya Ogawa I hold the harmless tumult the double wound of consciousness every disappearance that leads to another appearance as if divulging a secret surrendering to the forces within a lurching waltz of iniquity

44


City at Night, Amaan Ahmad


Ganesh Krishna

The She's of You Blue streaks of a lemon cruise, rhythms within the soft red barricades of cotton pillows immersive in the agony of romantic dissatisfaction to burst away with that observatory joy of emotions A parallel theft force collided with antagonize to sink deep down with love, and to rise with heartless thrive This cruise streaks and pain alarms inject down in middle This lovely vigorous deeds finds a soul in her She triumphs against the lovelaugh of binaries and will end in fire , so that nothing makes her painful even the womb, even in the air, in the soil, in the heart fire finds a home, as she and as expected orgasms.

46


Ganesh Krishna

Repetitions Is there anything new, or anything old? My little sister asked. Questions, they tear inside out, till then plays the survivor I would explore now, answers. they are extremists, mirrors. Reflections are strange, they create experience and relate. My little sister awaits here, my conscience Strangled and executed. Her eyes were wide, ears were sharp, and she started smelling fault She cried, then screamed, I too. Everything around us turned mirrors. An antique smile, then she turned wax, me fire, a cold fire. It was time again, she repeated, we cried, screamed, she melted. I become water. We laughed. She repeated. old me turned new, and everything.

Â

47


art & photography


Interview with Amaan Ahmad © private

Aside from his paintings (which are presented in this journal) Amaan has two published books. The Dark Verses: Collection of poems was published in Europe. Amaan’s second book titled The Absurdity is a psychological novelette published recently in two versions: Paperback and Ebook. Amaan has won several awards in International Poetry Competitions. His writing revolves around strong subjects such as surrealism and absurdism. He is a metaphysical writer who often stresses the dark side of life along with the abstract and psychological factors. Besides carrying an extreme passion of art and writing, Amaan also encourages amateur poets, writers, artists throughout the world through various mediums. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Unknown Pen, an online media platform. Amaan holds different views and disregards many theories of science, religions and philosophy. 49


Tell us about your relationship with your paintings. My paintings are a part of my life, just as my writing and I think I extend myself in my art. I strongly believe that we leave part of ourselves in our artwork and then we live on in our paintings once we die.

How do you get to that space, the one where the paintbrush guides you? Most of the times I don’t remember when I’m actually in the act of painting. I do have memory issues and it is difficult for me to explain how this all happens. My wife tells me that I am not me when I paint or write. Well, it’s not that I completely forget everything but it’s all hazy and dreamy. Sometimes it’s like I don’t even know if I exist and if I’m real. I feel like I’m a part of my own paintings or some painful character of my own stories that I need to finish and I know that I won’t.

Does it ever frighten you where it wants to take you? I was frightened to such limits where I have destroyed my work. I used to paint and set my work on fire then sit in the corner and weep for hours. I remember all that because pain is unforgettable and unforgiving. I don’t even know why I did any of that but it felt beautiful to see something like that on fire and the pain I got was immense. Maybe I wanted to feel more than what I was already feeling.

50


A Distorted Memory, Amaan Ahmad


How do you face that place? I started to embrace everything as it comes to me. I had to struggle at first but then, I’ve accepted everything. We all have our dark sides and just like a painting, even dark side has many shades and they come with different perceptions and perspectives.

When did you start painting? The first recorded paintings that my parents had kept are from the 1980s. I was three at that time— July 1986 to be very precise. I still have those papers with me.

Š private 52


What does art mean to you, personally? And I actually see the colors and faces or features. My paintings are the exact copy of the colors or things I see on my walls or roof or in my dream or visions. Sometimes I add colors to the black ones and sometimes I extend my interpretation but always, when you see any painting, it’s exactly how I see “them”.and I hear the colors and they come and talk to me. I sit with them and converse about things that I don’t even know. That’s all I remember — and it happens most of the times that I see my own work and I’m like — “did I paint/write this? When and how?”

Amaan and his wife Sara © private

My wife, Sara Peluso, is always there to bring me back from the darkness. I’d be in a mental asylum without her or probably dead — I know this for sure. The credit for my sanity and all my calmness goes to her, only her. She’s my savior and she literally has pulled me away from this and has untangled me. Whenever I slip there, she pulls me back. I don’t know what I’d do without her. 53


The theme of the journal is 'Exploring the Unknown'. Does art represent way of doing that for you? Art is the extension of my absurdities and contradictions. It is the fluid, the essence of my physical form trying to mingle with metaphysical elements. Where would we be today if art didn’t exist? You and I are the product of some twisted art— we all are artists and we all are the unfinished artworks , confused trying to find our own colors in the oblivion of our blank canvas.

What is your greatest fear? My greatest fear is myself. And I don’t know if art helps me with my greatest fear or scares me more.

© private 54


Introducing: Roque Falcón

© private

My name is Roque Falcón and I’m from Stockholm, Sweden – my dad was Spanish, from Gran Canaria and my mom is Swedish. In my younger days I read thrillers mostly until I got a writing assignment in Junior High – I was supposed to write about this thick Finish novel and I read a couple of pages and I just couldn’t stand it. So I went to the library and hunted for any ”heavy” novel, it couldn’t possibly be worse than the one I was supposed to write about. So I spotted ”The Idiot” by Dostoyevsky and thought ”hmm that’s pretty heavy, that should impress”. I didn’t look forward to reading it but it was just work I had to do. What happened was that from the instant I started reading it, the opening scene where Prince Mysjkin tells about an execution (Dostoyevsky was himself put in front of an execution squad but was spared at the last moment) I was totally absorbed. So that novel threw me into the world of literature.

55


The first short-story I ever wrote was published by Sweden’s most important newspaper and in an instant I was kinda famous with TV, radio, interviews and stuff. I rapidly published four books – short-stories and a novel. I also wrote plays for stage and radio. But i was never at home within the literary establishment, I found other writers boring and pompous. For some reason some critics plain hated me – maybe because I withdrew from their company. Gradually I faded out of view. I started working as a teacher at Junior High although I didn’t have an education – only ”The School of the Streets” -and to this date I still don’t. I worked in all of the toughest immigrant hoods around Stockholm – teaching was at the end of the day just another outlet of the creativity I used writing. I also was President of a basketball team in a hood with heavy criminality – giving the kids something meaningful to do type of thing.

There are people on earth, Roque Falcón

56


Civilization corrupts, Roque Falcón The last few years I’ve been teaching Swedish to immigrants from all of the world, many of them Syrian refugees from the war and destruction. Teaching is a privilege, especially when you make a difference for unfortunate people, and I feel a strong connection with my students – perhaps partly because they’re outsiders like I experience I am too. I love my job but it drains all my energy and leave little room for writing and other creative project – although, somehow, I’ve written tons of plays in Swedish and English and, recently when I was off work for a couple of months, a novel.

57


Photography, I guess, came to mind when cell-phones got adequate cameras (I take all my photos with my cell). During Summer I take walks in nature and I get this uncanny connection with birds and all kind of animals (as documented in many of my pics). The titles I give my pics are supposed to function as kind of gate-openers, an association that deepens the complexity or create a comic effect. One of my favorite pics is the drunk wasp in my beer-glass: It actually looks drunk and sort of happy while dying in its favorite beverage (by the way I almost swallowed it). And yes I could easily fill the space of an exhibition with my photos and it would be, I believe, an experience few photographers – more skilled I’m sure, I hardly have any skills at all I just push a button – could match. I’m a photographer ’cause I look at things in a certain way. Or I’m just someone with a phone in my pocket. Whatever you prefer.    

Winter in the Hood, Roque Falcón 58


Envy, Roque Falcรณn

59


Interview with Joseph Whiting

Š private

Joseph Whiting is a 28 year old photographer living in Oregon. Photography is one of his many hobbies. He enjoys Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, and Mycology. He also dabbles a bit with musical instruments. He uses his knowledge to make medicinal concentrates from the plant and fungi kingdoms because he believes that we as humans on this planet have a right to explore any aspect of the natural world and expand our consciousness as we see fit. He is currently conducting research on sonoluminescence as an energy source. And reverse engineering the world wide power grid of the ancients. He will be using the same mechanisms and phenomenons to create something beautiful. 60


Tell us about your relationship with your work. Nothing complicated. I let the composition emerge naturally and harvest it. The feeling of returning home with novelty to share is my favorite part. How do you get to that space, the one where the camera guides you? I don’t. That space grabs me. I grab my camera and go. Does it ever frighten you where your mind wants to take you?   Yes it does, and I would gladly follow...But for the time being I must remain functional and coherent with reality. The deep end will always be there waiting for me to swim out too far. What a glorious revelation it will be on that day.  

Joseph's work space, © private 61


How do you face that emotional space? I lay down on the floor and stare at the ceiling until I can see a small point of darkness. I focus on it until my vision is blurred and the point of darkness is very large. I begin to hallucinate things and at some point loose track of time and fall asleep. When I wake up I feel refurbished. What does it mean to you, to be truly afraid of something? Being afraid of something is to not have any understanding of it. True fear is to know that I might never understand it. What does art mean to you, personally? Art is applying meaning creatively. The theme of the journal is 'The Unknown'. Does art represent a way of facing the Unknown for you? Art is the unknown. You can perfect the art of science, but there will never be a science of art. What is your greatest fear? Death without absolution.   62


fiction


Matthew Wagner

Lavatube I tried to quiet the frantic beating in my chest, but talons of fear had me within their grasp. I stopped my desperate crawling and lay there for a time in the abysmal, pressing darkness, trying to recollect where I could have possibly strayed from the path I had used before. By no means normally claustrophobic, I now found the tight press of the millions of tons of rock around me to be unbearable. Yet I recognized that panic would in no way alleviate my situation, and so slowed my quickened breathing and tried to trace my steps from the very beginning, before we had ever entered that accursed lava tube. I was a member of a four-man group of friends, who had decided to spend the first week of summer camping in the forests of Ponderosa pines on the east side of the chain of mountains that extended from north to south to the near east of our hometown. While we picked an ideal spot in the dry forest, with the scent of pine heavy on the air, even in the shade of the trees, the heat of the day was nearly unbearable, leaving us to lethargically lie in our tents for most of the day.  On the third day we decided to rent some kayaks and take to the river, figuring its waters would be cool, fed as they are by the frigid alpine lakes of the nearby mountains that towered majestically over us. In the small shop where we rented the kayaks, we expressed to the elderly, tanned proprietor our desire to escape the heat.  He recommended that the absolute best thing to do for a group of young men from out of town that wanted a taste of excitement and exploration while simultaneously avoiding the blistering heat of the summer sun would be to explore one of the many known lava tubes that had openings amongst the sage brush of the high desert to the south.  These long, straight caves that often ran for miles before becoming too small for a person to traverse were formed millions of years ago by channels of lava that flowed from deep within the earth when the area was a volcanic hotbed. Even today, some of the mountains still rumble and quake with the malice of becoming a volcano. 64


Tensor, Joseph Whiting


The shop keeper further elaborated that while some of these lava tubes were well marked and known on tourist maps, there were several tubes which were known only to a few of the locals whose families had resided in the area for generations. Liking our “proper manners and spirit”, the old merchant offered to mark on our maps a few of the spots he personally knew and had visited. We accepted his offer eagerly, and perhaps, I now admitted in hindsight, foolishly. Our kayaking trip went without any notable incident, except for perhaps when Aaron capsized his vessel, spilling the party’s supply of beer.  The next day we drove into the nearby city, Bend, and purchased a durable flashlight of the type used by police officers.  We then set out to the south, leaving the forest for the shrub land and desert just a few miles outside of town. Less than an hour after that, we had turned off the main freeway onto the short dirt road which was to deposit us right at the entrance of our selected lava tube. We had chosen this one because of the simple direction which led to it, and its relative proximity to the city. Finally, we reached that final, damnable hole. Staying true to method, I was sent through, my head and shoulders brushing against rock as I crawled through the dust. But this time, the rock closed in, so that I could proceed no more. I notified the rest of the group that we had reached our journey’s end, and began to back myself out of the squeeze of cold rock. Out of the corner of my eye, to the right, I see something. There, past a tiny passage I had failed to notice when first passing through, I spied a red glow. How I had missed a red light amongst all that darkness when I had first gone through, I will never know, and care not to think about.  But there it was, down the smallest of side passages, and now I felt myself consumed with the desire to see what gave off that light. 

66


I suppose I assumed that here in the bowels of the earth, perhaps a still living flow of lava might still be found. I was further pressed to see that chamber by the thought that I alone, of all of humanity, would likely be the only one to have set foot in this hidden detour deep within the earth under a desert of sagebrush. Yelling to the others that I had found something after all, I contorted and twisted myself with great effort to reach that shining room. When I was again able to stand upright, my breath caught. The small chamber was awash in red light, but this light did not come from any discernable source. There was no pool of lava, no man-made lights, no special quality of the rock, and yet the red glow permeated every inch of space within the chamber.  It was strong enough that I needed no flashlight, and furthermore, it seemed to flicker and shift, so that the shadows in the room danced about. I called for my companions to join me.  There was no response. Figuring they must be pulling a prank on me, no doubt waiting in the shadows to try to leap out and scare me, I looked at the iridescent chamber more carefully, but other than that odd, flickering glow, I found nothing of note. I decided to wait out my friends and their joke, and so waited for several minutes.  After a time, with not a sound from my friends despite my repeated calls for them to join me, I began to notice a sound, which manifested as an exceedingly low, droning hum. As I sat and listened, I perceived that the long, continuous tone was increasing in volume and pitch. I could suddenly stand it no more.  A wave of revulsion and fear washed over me, standing the hairs of the back of my neck on end.  I returned to the entrance of the room, and began crawling back through to the chamber where I had left my companions.  I expected to quickly come to the space where I had turned off, which should have come as an intersection where I was forced to go either left, back towards my friends, or right, to the dead end I had previously explored. Instead, I was in a nightmare.

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Structured Silica I & II, Joseph Whiting


I crawled for several minutes, minutes longer that I had spent in the crawlspace before, and yet came to no intersection.  I encountered nothing but more of that tiny tunnel.  I tried backing up, blindly feeling with my feet.  I went back twice as far as I had gone in, and still that accursed tunnel just kept going. I screamed until my throat could stand it no more. I decided to crawl forward again, and used the flashlight to carefully scan for any possible side passages I had missed. I crawled, feeling increasingly trapped and panicked by the constant feel of rock pressing against me. I crawled for minutes; I crawled for hours, with the panic building up in my throat. Finally, that brought me to my present situation, lying in the grey dust, trying to retrace my steps and to steady my nerves. I decided the best thing to do at this point, having no doubt already lost any hope of an attempt at honest navigation, was to press forward as far as I could. And so I crawled, writhing like a snake through those long gulfs of Tartarus, completely alone, with only the beam of my flashlight being my connection to the outside world. Finally, after crawling for hours, the batteries in the flashlight gave out, and I was plunged into absolute darkness. I could not help but laugh and cry bitterly, all at once, as to my cruel fate. I figured I must be doomed to die there by dehydration or starvation, in those blind, pressing warrens, alone and cut off by some malignant force of Chaos. I cursed my luck at ever glimpsing that hell-chamber. I drifted into sleep. I dreamed of a rocky cavern, bathed in red, humming a single, monotonous tone. As that tone rose in pitch, becoming louder each second, my heart rate seemed to keep pace, increasing in tempo until I thought that I would surely die from the fear and panic. I was alone, red fading to the darkest black, infinitely alone, lost in a labyrinth of ancient, unknown stone. As it all reached an unbearable intensity, I woke up with a scream.

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Somebody was grabbing my foot and shaking it. I heard my name called. It was Aaron. He was asking if I had seriously fallen asleep in the middle of spelunking. I stammered out some response that must have satisfied him.  I was still in a narrow press of rock, but upon backing up a few feet, found myself back in that final chamber with my friends. I never told them of my experience.  After all, I myself cannot tell if it was an experience, a dream, or a disturbing blend of the two. But to this day, my throat clenches when I see red-tinted light, or hear a singularly, long, monotonous tone.  I am convinced that something happened deep in the unexplored and ancient tunnels of that lava tube, but I cannot for the life of me say what it was.

Obsidian Refraction, Joseph Whiting 70


Gossamer Boundaries I & II, Joseph Whiting


Roque Falcón

The Woman by the Sea and the Captain She was sitting by the rocks. She had been busy fishing since early morning. She had gone out to sea with her rowing-boat, throwing out the net. She didn’t catch much fish. Now she is watching the green-white waves. A grim look, from too little sleep. No one really knows anything about her. There was some speculation in the village about a lost love, a ship that went down. People talk, but they don’t really know anything. She is always polite, but in a distant way. She talks very little. When seen in the village her face is always covered by a shawl. But now, by the sea, the shawl is thrown off and her wild hair is flying. She is looking out towards the horizon as if she was waiting for someone. There were rumours that she had a sick child, a boy who never leaves the house. The doctor had been there. When asked he didn’t say anything, he just looked sad. People were saying that the boy had a disease, perhaps it was the plague. He couldn’t be near other people. Perhaps, they were saying, the woman had it too. They didn’t hate her, they just thought she was strange. Also they were frightened by the possibility of a disease striking the village. Everything hade been very calm and quiet until she arrived. It wasn’t that they thought she was evil, they just couldn’t figure her out. They hoped she would leave and never return.

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If there is a child she ought to leave now. But it is as if she couldn’t. Her fixed stare, tired yet eager, towards the sea. Not so much desperate as knowing. Expecting. The shawl flies away, slipping down the rocks and is lost among the waves. She doesn’t seem to care. Her face is exposed: Grim and sensual. The skin of her fingers touching rock. Nature just is, she is laid bare. A child screaming. Or sleeping. Somewhere. She knows it sleeps, she is it. Seagulls screaming, they are part of her. Longing for fish. Mermaids, what are they? Trading legs for a moment. With someone. From another world. Smitten. And then. Something happened. Someone should be blamed so they blamed the captain. Cruel nature should be blamed. But it isn’t really cruel, it just is. The ship that went down. The fatherless child. Reminding her with every breath of him. His likeness. All widows blaming the hand at the helm. Not the brutal storm, the cold water. And suddenly. Him. She touched him as if expecting non-substantial vision. Heartbreaking, disturbing but a ghost. But there was flesh. She stared in horror at his face. Worn, yet not old. Haunted, yet soft. She wanted to escape those eyes, but she couldn’t move. She tried to say something, ask who the stranger was that intruded her solitude. But no words came, no sound from her open lips. Silence. Except the shrieking seagulls and the roaring waves. Her fingers clutching his arm so fiercely that the garment was torn.

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To Vicariously Witness The Other Side Of Mine Own Childhood I & II, Joseph Whiting


She kept on tearing apart, not stopping until her nail reached his skin and his blood poured out. Wetting her fingers with red, warmth. She knew he would disappear, that he didn’t belong to this world. But she wanted this moment, his flesh one last time. So it happened. Broken skin, wounds and begging lips. Shrieking seagulls and roaring waves. Prayers, answered. This moment. She would make a deal with a witch for this, trade her legs. And you’ll be gone. She was alone. A weak smile lingering on her lips. The net was full of fish. The water calm. She went home to her child. Feeding him. Nursing him. Comforting him. She looked with tears into his eyes: the captain’s eyes. He was there, still with her. Carefully she touched his feverish face. He slept now, peacefully in her arms. She begged for a cure. Treasure the moment. Cure the world.

Mortal Diffusion, Joseph Whiting

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Roque Falcón

Two Tribes Two warriors from different tribes met by accident in the forest. They both wore aggessive colors and their eyes were fierce. They stood in each-others way, blocking the narrow path for the other one. They lacked means to communicate. One of them carried a bow, the other a spear. Each of them considered the wide forest their property, the other one was an intruder. They knew the opponent was powerful, that they had to kill in order to move on and keep the forest their property. They had never met anyone or anything so terrifying – to be killed was a possibility. To be forever buried in the deep forest. Someone else could end up with everything: Every tree that gave shadow, every animal – its skin and flesh. Yet they didn’t really hate each-other – they were curious in a strange way and experienced a weird excitement.   Suddenly a lion leapt on them, by instinct they looked away from each-other. They faced the mutual threat. One man’s bow only half-killed the lion, the other man’s spear couldn’t do the job alone. But working together one warrior’s bow and another one’s spear killed the lion. There was stillness, they were resting their feet on the dead animal, and now they faced each-other again in silence. The forest was calm, endless – no man could ever own it, it was just a natural place to be in. To be surrounded, endlessly.   The two warriors, who had both lost their way in the forest, used their combined skills to find a safe path leading to drink, food and shelter. There was nothing to fight about anymore. No more war: Double strength, joint action. Peace. Until, when they went hunting together one day, they began a discussion which was the best weapon: A bow or a spear.   75


Amaan Ahmad

The Existential Crises of a would-be Stillborn Who am I? It is not only the question that haunts me, but what stirs my thoughts is the distorted version of the question’s idea in its own vision, where the sights are lost when we search for a pair of eyes, or is it the other way round? The sounds of a few silences march toward the connotation of displeasures, but without generating the rhythm; lost in the mounds. Blended unnaturally and incompletely, I rub the crimson threads off of my droopy eyes, searching neither any answers nor yearning for any soothing consolation. Despite its futile retribution, I seek a solution for the ever-growing oblivion. The seed has been planted, and the benches have been arranged for the onlookers to grab their seats and stare at the never-moving clock at the ninth level of the sky.   I ask the question not to get an answer, but to pity the idea of its existence in a non-existent void. The womb has been stitched meticulously with the umbilical cord. The violins inside the veins have refused to catch any note of the soul. I wait for my birth, since I had won the race and came forth. For nine months I have been fighting with the idea of mere existence. The confusions have been many; too many, but there are contradictions that give me strength, and a will to endure the blows. Will I succumb within the labyrinths of my infant consciousness or will I grow and develop for unendurable agony? Should I, once and for all, accept my identity as a stillborn? Who should I consult as my limbs, heartbeat, nerves, and everything are developing? What would I be? Why would I be? Where would I be? Should I now choose my color, gender, social status, sexuality, health, religion, destiny, and fate? Can I not, once and for all, stay in this godforsaken stinking womb? Do I really have to come out and pretend to exist, survive, fight, and then die? 77


Oblique Rot I & II, Joseph Whiting


The dogmas would be impregnated by the roots of fascination and contradictions. The thinkers would abuse the dogmas to such extent that the pointless point would become the subject of scientific research (if not religious). The presence of the present would suffice, but spiritualists would dig deeper and would give sacrilegious wordings to everything. Would I then be able to create something out of the void of this womb, or would I be able to keep another form inside my womb, or would I, some day, be responsible for that other in some other womb? I would rather choose to be a stillborn. Out there – they say it is life but I know; my infant consciousness knows what it is like to be out. They spend their money on education so they can earn more money, but then they repay the loans for the rest of their existence. The cycle goes on. They get weekends like fairytales. They indulge themselves, but indulgence is generally restricted to eating, dancing, music, sex, drugs, alcohol, travel, discussions and arguments, or throwing mud on each other’s ways of existence. Therefore, according to them, it is living-a-life and they say, ‘live-in-the-moment.’ They often forget about the existence of the non-existent, the wholeness of the void, and the sparkling boundaries of the emptiness. Fools! I am not sure which month it is. I thought it was the ninth month, but I was wrong. Perceptions can be deceptive and deceptions can be full of perceptions, but again, if I mull over this, then the threads of decadence would surface gradually, and they often offer delusions because they are meant to. It is, indeed, inevitable. What would suffice? Would the precise solution to all the ontological questions be enough? What if the philosophers and the scientists bring forth the truth of life and death? The conclusion would still be the same: of nothingness and emptiness; of oblivion and void. The age-old beliefs of being born and to have lived are extremely shallow and useless. There is no point to have lived or to have died anyway. What would a person do if they had lived? Nothing. They argue that there is a reason and people are born for a reason. Life is a curse.

79


If there is anything bad that can happen to anything or anyone, it is the realization of human consciousness and the awareness of being aware. I am at the beginning of being, which I refuse; with all of my developing heart and soul, I refuse. I protest and detest the life I’d be leading, which I have no idea about, but I don’t need to know. Someday I’d totally forget about what I am thinking right now. I would start to think in a deeper way or forget about it altogether. Why should I, for anything, let them cut the umbilical cord? I refuse to push myself further and become the victim of life where everybody dances, sings, and sheds the tears of happiness at the time of my birth. I would not be able to do what I would want to. I might be a rotting disabled thing, or a boy from some girl, or an unwanted girl in some village in India, or I would be a child of some rich corporate director who rules his country, or I would be the unwanted child; a mistake of a rape, or a would-be fundamentalist or terrorist, or a spiritual leader, or some religious cleric, or anything that thoughts could take. I neither want to experience any of these lifetimes, nor sit at one place and not experience them. A person can never do everything that they want to do. Nobody can experience everything at the same time or in one lifetime. Nobody can read all the books in the world, and nobody can go to the moon whenever they want to. Who doesn’t want to wander through the realms of space and the universe? Would it be possible for anybody to see the other side?  Life is a drag; will be a drag. Everybody will live, die, and be forgotten, no matter what. There is this purposeless void that waits for everybody to jump in.   When the consciousness would develop entirely and leave this current state, it would be exceedingly perilous. Humans don’t need reproduction. Earth doesn’t need more; it can’t take any more. When will humans stop being selfish? They should all cease to reproduce. What would they do by leaving their name in history? What will history do when Earth one day will perish?  

80


Oubliette Dismal I & II, Joseph Whiting


The entire lifecycle is meaningless. You wouldn’t even know if you’d be out as a human or an insect or an animal or a tree. I have no idea what I’d be. I thought I would be human since I can think, but who really knows that other organisms can’t think? Who are the humans to decide, and what is science to prove, and what are philosophies to mull over? Nothing at all. I float freely, connected to the umbilical cord like a tadpole, but soon I would be introduced to suffering, misery, happiness, expectations, love, money, greed, and everything. I wish to spare myself from all these pleasures and pains of life. All the ontological questions would haunt me all my life and by the time I’d try to understand the meaninglessness, I’d be termed as a fool or an atheist or infidel and they would cut my throat or torture me to death. I don’t know which era this is, otherwise I’d be termed as a witch and burned at the stake. Every birth is a proof that the curse lingers. It is not the multiplication of life, since life is purposeless, but the extension of sadism; of suffering. Humans multiply like insects and die like insects, yet they talk of honor; of ethics and morals. Life is an extension of suffering, from one couple to another. Every human suffers at some point of their lives, and they subconsciously continue the legacy by reproducing like filthy insects. Some would feel the need of being mothers, and some would want to prove that they are men and can produce children, and some want a child for status or because they’re getting old, or for security, or as investment. There are innumerable reasons, including the unwanted bastards who fill the wombs and then the gutters of the entire planet.   There would be groups, and people would divide the classes according to their financial status and brains, which they would show to the crowd of filthy judges who would sit and judge their every breath.   I feel a jerk somewhere in my chest. Maybe my heart skipped a few beats. I can sense that in the hospital ward, they are trying to pump up the chest of someone that I am inside. They are trying hard to save our lives. I wonder, ‘what for?’ Since there is just this oblivion that we all go to: complete darkness. The thought of nothingness excites me. I feel another jerk. People are weeping everywhere as they have to save one life. Oh, spare me the horrors of your worldly life; keep the one who bores me. 82


My ears ring with many chemicals and the pungent smell of blood oozes from everywhere. There has been a puncture-like state somewhere. My heart stops beating. I feel more jerks, but I will now succumb to everything. They rip open the womb, cut the cord, and carry me in a tray with sticky substances everywhere. I still look like a tadpole, but bigger. Ah, I am being taken away; the stillborn. They are throwing me in a garbage bin. I am introduced to many parasites and flies. They are feeding on me. I am still clueless about the death though. Am I dead?

Well Used Sill, Joseph Whiting

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editor's last words

fear & ambiguity


Fear is likely the most basic of all reactions. But more than that, fear is a necessary part of existence as well as a logical opposite to whatever should be called non-fear. In any circumstance, however, fear is a reaction to pain. Whether it be to ward off something which is about to inflict pain on oneself, or to keep oneself from inflicting pain on others, the connection is obvious. To understand the root cause of fear means to understand its binary opposite. So, what is non-fear? If fear is “an […] emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger” , then non-fear is an emotion caused by the ignorance or disregard of danger. What is interesting about those two emotions is that they must logically stem from the same place, a place of danger. That place of danger holds within it the expression of all reactions. What would be the state of such a place? I would like to call this place ambiguity, a place of non-definition, which holds infinite potential, leaving room for any outcome. In its literal definition, ambiguity means “a word or expression which can be understood in two or more possible ways.” While this definition is simplistic, it serves my point. Take, for example, a moment of panic, as narrated by Mooji in his speech at a Silent Retreat in Tiruvannamalai in 2012:

“[This is a story] about one girl and she is just about to get married […]. And she has been planning everything for this wedding. […] Today, she must make the final arrangements. And this girl lives in the forest. […] She has a few appointments. First, she must go to the cakemaker. And after the cakemaker [she must] see the dressmaker. And after the dressmaker she must go and see the priest. […] And she is full of the joys of spring. And she is walking out into the forest to see the cakemaker. First appointment on the list. And after a few steps, right in front of her steps a lion. Face to face […], hungry lion, also. And she can feel its breath. […] And in that instant, […] the cakemaker’s appointment is gone. Then the dressmaker… is not there. Then the priest, not there. […] The beloved, also…not there. In this moment…absolutely alone. No time, no future, no intention, no past, no identity.”

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In Mooji’s tale, the protagonist experiences a moment, in which that state, the one in which an outcome is left uncertain and thereby perceived as threatening, is forced upon her. She has no choice but to engage with it. Sigmund Freud expresses how fear and ambiguity are clearly interrelated, in the following quote: “Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity.”  Having previously defined neurosis as a state of chronic distress , the quote logically relates that state to the state of ambiguity. One which people, who are paralyzed in a state of fear are unwilling to accept. However, were that neurotic individual to be thrown into the position of Mooji’s protagonist, he or she would have only two choices. To react or to be killed. To defeat the lion, as in inflict pain upon it, or to let the lion kill him or her, as in to let pain be inflicted upon self. So, what is the origin of this fear? And why are people unreasonably terrified of that place of ambiguity? The logical conclusion is a desire to keep from experiencing pain, as the place of ambiguity holds the potential for pain. On an individual level, this potential for pain, and its place of origin cannot be legitimately warded off, unless a person chooses to live in a state of constant distress, i.e. neurosis. And even then, there is no guarantee that a person will be safe from experiencing pain. That is the definition I would like to give to ambiguity: a place which exists in a state of the unknown, where there are no guarantees for any outcome. And it is because every human being knows that there are no guarantees for a positive outcome that we obsess over shaping our environment, controlling it. As people feel individually oppressed by ambiguity, because they cannot foresee the outcome of any given situation, it becomes a source of control. And, as Michel Foucault says: “Where there is power, there is resistance”  However, this resistance is self-defeating, as, in this case, it battles a power which is not physically apparent and also a logical part of individual existence. 

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If there were no ambiguity, there would be nothing. If the outcome of every situation was fixed, there would be nothing to experience. We don’t play a game of chess, because we know the outcome. We play it because the outcome is open. There is potential for any given set of steps. Experience is not knowing what will happen. And isn’t living all about experiencing? This is a notion clearly supported by existentialist philosophers, such as Jean-Paul Sartre (“You are -- your life, and nothing else.” ), one of which being Simone de Beauvoir, who offers some incredible insight into what it means to live a life of ‘experiencing’, and to accept the ambiguity of existence in her book The Ethics of Ambiguity, which clearly sets a path to understanding and leading a life, not guided by fear, but by the pursuit of experience. She states that, “[m]an must not attempt to dispel the ambiguity of his being but, on the contrary, accept the task of realizing it” , outlining the futility of attempting to counteract the unknown as a concept by attempting to control existence, but rather to accept the fact that the unknown cannot be fought. She continues to explain further that accepting ambiguity is essentially the only way to counteract the fear. Thinking back to Mooji’s story, it becomes clear that accepting ambiguity may well become the source of the protagonist’s possible survival. Since it has been said that human beings are able to surpass their own limits during a moment of survival, one could argue that that ability is fueled not by the fear but by the acceptance of fear. Whereas fear seems to suppress human potential, leading people to lead a life of constant, obsessive avoidance of negative situations instead of accepting the task of realizing the experience even that moment could hold, acceptance seems to open doors for potential. Could ambiguity be the space which logically binds acceptance and fear? Does that mean acceptance and fear are, essentially the same emotion? In order to avoid ending this casual pondering with another question, I will enter that place of ambiguity and leave you with the following poem: 87


The spikes of this frequency. Up. Down. The multiplicity of the Universe has become a metaphor. An illusion.  There is only black and white. My spectacles have lost their                                    focus.  There is only darkness when there is darkness. There is only light when there is light. Time kills slowly but the world wants me gone. Wake up. Sleep. Wake up. Sleep.

I have chosen fear. Tomorrow I will choose love. I am lost in time and space. Lost my ambition to win. Up and down. Eternally imprisoned. Chained to the mother's breast and the father's rolling eyes. God does not scare me.

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Bibliography Sigmund Freud: On Narcissism, 1914. Sigmund Freud. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, 1953–74. Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction, 1976.  Sartre, Jean-Paul: No Exit, 1944.  Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity, 1947.  Mooji: Silent Retreat in Tiruvannamalai, 2012. 


THANK YOU, TO ALL CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS!

David Ishaya Osu is a Nigerian poet. His works have appeared in publications including: The New Black Magazine, Saturday Sun, African Writer, Gobbet Magazine, Elohi Gadugi Journal, The Kalahari Review, Ann Arbor Review, Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology (SALA 2012), Poetic Diversity, and forthcoming elsewhere. He is included in the recently published anthology, A Thousand Voices Rising: An Anthology of Contemporary African Poetry. David is currently exploring Japanese poetry forms, as well as polishing his debut poetry book. He is also a street photography enthusiast. Mick Corrigan has been writing poems since Moses was a boy and has been published in a range of periodicals, anthologies, magazines and on-line journals. He is in his fifties (at least he thinks they’re his fifties, they could be someone else’s). He divides his time equally between Ireland, Crete and the vast open space in the back of his head. His first collection, “Deep Fried Unicorn”, was released in to the wild in 2014 by Rebel Poetry Ireland. Facebook: Michael Corrigan Email: mickjcorrigan@gmail.com Clifford K. Watkins, Jr., is writer of poems, stories, and lyrics. He has performed as a comedian, rapper, and spoken-word artist. He currently resides in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. He spends his free time writing, walking trails, and painting rocks. If you'd like to check out some of his comedic audio recordings, visit: Reverbnation.com/rotun John Lambremont, Sr. is a poet and writer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A. His poems have been published internationally in many reviews and anthologies, including Pacific Review, The Minetta Review, Flint Hills Review, Pattaya Poetry Review, and Taj Mahal Review, and he has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. John’s latest full-length poetry collection is, “The Moment of Capture,” (Lit Fest Press 2017). John’s other poetry volumes include “Dispelling The Indigo Dream” (Local Gems Poetry Press, 2013), and a chapbook, “What It Means To Be A Man (And Other Poems Of Life And Death),” (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Gene Barry is an Irish Poet whose work has been published and translated internationally. Stones in their Shoes published in 2008, Unfinished Business in 2013 Working Days in 2016. Gene has read in Australia, Holland, Kosovo, England, St Lucia, Scotland, France, Belgium and Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Miami, NY, Massachusetts.

STSITRA GNITUBIRTNOC

Stephen Gatling is a High school dropout, former furniture mover and small time hustler. He has always read and written a lot. In his early forties he did two years in jail for violations of the       draconian drug laws of the U.S. He honed his writing skills and found his narrative voice in jail,     where he wrote the poem, "Everything at Once" that inspired his poetic novel, "Everything at Once; A Hyperkinetic Ode to Pantheism" (available as an e-book on Amazon Kindle).


John Patrick Robbins is often referred to as a outlaw poet . Whose work is influenced by the characters and conversations he hears around him in everyday life .His work has appeared in Red Fez , Romingo’s Porch , Spill The Words, Horror Trash Sleaze , Outlaw Poetry, Blognostics, His work is always unfiltered.

Middle aged, and happy to have survived youth, Bear Putnam lives behind the Zion Curtain in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he spends his time looking under rocks for the scraps of poetry left by the comings and goings of the world. Rus Khomutoff (@rusdaboss) is a neo surrealist language poet in Brooklyn,NY. His poetry has been featured in Erbacce, Poethead, Occulum, Former People Journal and Burning House Press. Last year he published an ebook called Immaculate Days. Ganesh Krishna graduated in BA(hons) English Literature from Central University of Karnataka,India and is now pursuing Masters in English from Central University of Punjab, India. gmail: ganekris22@gmail.com Amaan Ahmad, born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on June 14, 1983, is an Indian poet, writer, thinker and artist with two published books. The Dark Verses: Collection of poems was published in Europe. Amaan’s second book titled The Absurdity is a psychological novelette published recently in two versions: Paperback and Ebook. Roque Falcón is a teacher and a writer. He has published five books, novels and short-stories. He teaches Swedish for immigrants that come from troubled parts of a turbulent world. Since he has a cell-phone in his pocket he occasionally take pics. There you are! Joseph Whiting is a 28 year old photographer living in Oregon. Photography is one of his many hobbies. He enjoys Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, and Mycologyas well as dabbling a bit with musical instruments. He uses his knowledge to make medicinal concentrates from the plant and fungi kingdoms because he believes that we as humans on this planet have a right to explore any aspect of the natural world and expand their consciousness as they see fit. He is currently conducting research on sonoluminescence as an energy source. And reverse engineering the world wide power grid of the ancients. He will be using the same mechanisms and phenomenons to create something beautiful. Matthew Wagner lives in Springfield, Oregon. While he is interested in learning anything under any subject, history, music, and philosophy are his passions. He was profoundly affected by reading "The Stranger" by Albert Camus during his senior year of high school, which began his journey into existentialism, philosophy, and deeper thought. He was further influenced by "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass, and the exploration of Buddhist thought, particularly Zen Buddhism.

STSITRA GNITUBIRTNOC

Gordon Peters is a spiritual worker, living outside Boston, Massachusetts (USA).


All rights revert to author upon publication in THE PARADOX LITERARY MAGAZINE

Submissions for the Winter Issue NOW OPEN! Deadline: 31 October 2018

next issue available for purchase in 31 December 2018


The Paradox  

Literary Magazine Issue Nr. 1 // Spring Edition (April 2018) poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art, photography and interviews

The Paradox  

Literary Magazine Issue Nr. 1 // Spring Edition (April 2018) poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art, photography and interviews

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