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Miracle

Issue 7 Vaaho vaaho

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Issue 7

MIRACLE. AUTUMN 2013 ISSUE 7 Website: http://miracleezine.wix.com/miracle-e-zine E-mail: miracle.ezine@yahoo.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Miracle.ezine Twitter: https://twitter.com/Miracleezine

Editor Poetry Editor Assistant Editors Marketing Director Cover Art Designer

Guntaj Arora Kieran Rundle Natasha Pasch Genny Rushton Givens Julie Stanley Maghfirah Rifaad Guntaj Arora

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“Poets Are Always Taking The Weather So Personally” -J.D Salinger

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EDITORIAL &

A bunch of White lilies......

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C

an I get my bunch of white lilies please? Oh, sorry, Welcome to the Garden Of Miracles!

I think I’ll just first shout and announce- “We are in print!” Isn’t it exciting? I have always loved reading in print because I think when words are in print, I can play with them, see them dancing off the page and sniff their presence which is more real than ever! Bringing Miracle in print has been quite an idea from the time we started the magazine and starting with this anniversary issue, was just the moment. It is amazing to see how the magazine has transformed with each issue. Kudos to all those who have been a part of this magazine and supported it along the way. As for the theme of this issue, we wanted it be something playful, something of a celebration and thus came FLOWERS. We were astounded to see how flowers could be interpreted! It has always been a pleasure including some theme based works and you will come across some exciting pieces throughout the magazine. I would have invited you in for a cup of tea but for now, I’ll just let you sense the magic of the Garden of Miracles. I hope you enjoy it and yes, please mind my WHITE LILIES there. Thank You.

Guntaj Arora

guntajarora@ymail.com twitter: @guntajarora

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Table of Miracles An Author’s Profile

Westward Wayward The Journey Special Feature

12 A Writer’s Refugee – Troy Cabida

40 Movie Night With Patrick Satters

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32 24 Interview with a Workshop Leader

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The new era of creative writing with Josie Arnold

Books in Brief By Julie Stanley

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The Poetry Place by Nilofer Neubert

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Summer Poem Contest with Ollie Lambert

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Writing Workshop with Marie Lightman

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Poetry By:

Jerrold Yam, Neil Ellman, Cheryl A. Van Beek, Kenneth Womack, Shari Jo Lekane-Yentumi, Brendan Ellsworth, Patrick Walsh, Sasha Kasoff, Celia Watson, Agalia Tan, Cindy Glenn, Elizabeth Gibson, Bertille Sobiesk, Corey Mesler, Jeff Bell, Bruno Cooke, Sariel Friedman, Jake Reynolds, Alexander Kerri, David Kowalczyk, Bobby Aldridge, Mark Lamourueux, Scott Hastie, Robert Ueda, Lauren Ebanks, Charles Darnell, Len Kuntz, J.J Campbell, David Marshall, Olga Kolesnikova, John Horvath Jr., Laura Rojas, Ram Krishna Singh, Sam Silva, Steven Fortune, Rowland Bagnall, Noel Williams, Rehan Qayoom, Serkan Engin, Victor Matak, Maire Morrissey-Cummins, Phillip Larrea, Christian Andre Allen, Ria Abbott, Felino A. Soriano, J.V Stanley, Kriti Bajaj, Alan Britt, Huzaifa Pandit, Paul Tristam, D Mason, Jeremiah Walton, Connor May, Denis Joe, Ian Morrison, Ross Vassilev, Antora Rahman and Rafael Ayala Paez

Artworks by Cecelia Chapman

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Short Fiction by: Loretta Victoria Ramirez, Clive Gresswell, Paul Hodge, David Swykert, Daniel Bowman, Celia Watson, Trevor Maynard and Orpheus Nery

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PENDULUM

Miracle

Poetry

Jerrold Yam Being a freshman in London is a carnival of beer and influenza, my liver accelerating its own rituals, dutifully sponging up remnants like an overworked housewife. Each morning I would drown aspirin with filtered water, its coughs of nonchalance waking me up, delaying the solitude that is mistaken for independence. After dinner the cycle relapses, hair and clothes amok on the dance floor, and when kissing becomes too much of a drug I would feel like I’m back home, light collecting at the sill, the day’s entirety laid bare to convince me that this is not how to end.

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Euphoria Dada Neil Ellman

What so never ever was Illusions reveal euphoric in a Dada world a flight of butterflies on buffalo wings imagining something and other things not as the darkness on the edge of the sun where antelopes graze in flambiguous fields and children play with their waking dreams as if they were real what joy in transcendence whenever not ever the moon’s red face turns away embarrassed as it it were not amused by they who stand at the top of the universe shout “it is mine” even if ever it never will..

(after the painting by Marcel Janco)

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DRAGONFLY POET Cheryl A. Van Beek Dragonfly lands on bud spire crammed with ruffles, folded pink. Winged ballerina pirouettes on pointed peak to vibrations of words too young to speak dances on petals packed tight with pictures feet unfurl ideas bursting to peel green curtains feel sun. Bud swells, puckers, curls its tongue pink tip before the unwatched rip. Petals tiptoe open in flower time when no one sees. Poems unfold in reverse origami.

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The Great Traveling Medicine Show Kenneth Womack

There are, as I have become dolefully aware, certain limitations on what we can and cannot say— Even in the politest of company, amongst the finest friends and relations in whose estimation we invest everything that we are, and everything that we hope to become, on some sunny day. There are no rousing elixirs, I have since discovered, that can assist us in living out loud—no miracle cures, no magic bullets, no homespun remedies, no herbal concoctions for nudging us into the fray. We linger in dank back alleys, nooks and crannies, haunted garrets—and, oh my yes, haunted garrets really do exist—secret places where we gird ourselves from peering into the maelström that is ourselves. There is no map, and a compass wouldn’t help at all.

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Column Miracle

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Westward Wayward -R.G Summers

Journey Special Feature

Last April I decided to runaway. I hit the road with a backpack full of books, costumes, and witty pseudo-intellectual t-shirts. Admittedly, I was a little old to be running away‌but details like that only deter the sort of people who don’t embark on journeys. I was born in the high Nevadan desert, but in twenty years I had never returned to that brief, early home of mine. I had no memories of my hometown, only a misremembered sense of nostalgia. With the carefree spirit of spring, I shrugged off the weight of my interpersonal relationships to chase that undefined past. I was convinced it was the only way to dislodge myself from the present and launch myself into future. It was everything that I had imagined, nothing that I had expected. The white sand of dried lakes and giant, sage-speckled hills seemed desolate at first. Tiny, unpainted towns with names like Wagon Wheel and Shanko were blips along the highway. The minimalism of the desert grew on me though, and soon I found it to be a fantastic inspiration. Carson City was a flat city, living in the shadow of Reno. Highways ploughed through the city connecting grocery stores and hotels all over the county. The Sierra Mountains locked it in and funneled an aggressive wind into the city. Lake Tahoe, elevated by the mountains, was a crystal blue retreat from the stark nature of Carson. They balanced each other well. While I was in Carson City, I stayed with two dogs, a cat, and the woman who owned them. Renee was a collector of chingadera, a cooker of ramen, and a nurse-in-themaking. I slept soundly on her couch, but was driven to leave by a sense of westward adventure. It was easy to catch a bus out of Carson to Reno and from Reno to Sacramento. Staring past my reflection in the Greyhound window, I watched as Nevada faded into California. I was happy to hurry from one state capital to another, and immediately fell in love with Sacramento despite what everyone else had told me about it. The entire city smelled of honeysuckle and autobody

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Issue 7 shops. It was subtly metropolitan, strangely homey. While I was there, I had the pleasure of staying with Melanie who collected sporks and had painted portraits on her kitchen cabinets. On my last night in the city, I stayed with an Egyptian man named Mohammed who was eager to discuss the political situation of his home country and the lexical curiosities of English. We drove all over town listening to Bosnian music, and burned frankincense from Yeman late into the night. When morning came, he kindly took me to the train station. I took the money in my pocket and bought the largest ticket I could afford—which landed me in Suisun City just in time for their Earth Day festival. It was devilishly hot along the black highway outside of town. Knowing how far it was to the bay area, I stuck a thumb out and hoped for the best. My hitchhiking landed me in Vallejo, and from there I was able to catch a ferry into San Francisco, the finest and strangest of Californian cities. There was no better place for me to be introduced to tofu dogs and acupuncture. With my backpack full of books and costumes and pseudo-intellectual t-shirts, I set to work. Despite my gallivanting, I was still enrolled in spring term classes with my university. Learning entirely online, I managed to keep up with my studies largely due to the Starbucks free wi-fi policy. I read from the enlightened age Voltaire to the period of existentialism that bred Kafka. I took my first programming class and learned the fitful joy of debugging java programs. Academics aside, I had real work to do on the streets. Dressing up in a clownish costume and masking my face with a heavy coating of colored makeup, I stood on a street corner by the Embarcadero station. Perfectly still for hours on end, I silently interrupted everyone’s days by objectifying myself into a living statue. I meditatively studied the motion of the city from a state of total stillness, moving only to hand my patrons poetry. In this manner, I continued to educate and employ myself while I traveled farther and farther south. I lingered in Palo Alto in the interest of cherishing old friends and making new ones. However, my journey took me hundreds of miles in one quick stride just as soon as I had made my way to San Jose. It was in that massive city that I rendezvoused with a man who thought he loved me. We had met during my brief weekend in Vallejo, and decided with delicious impulsiveness that I should go home with him to Huntington Beach. All friendly and fickle, we parted ways within a matter of days. I never heard from him again, and he joined the engineering crew of a boat headed to the Philippines, I believe.

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Issue 7 Happily stranded in Orange County, I indulged the luxury of dollar tamales at street fairs, swam in the warm waters of the Pacific, and—having everything I wanted—wondered what I needed. Through Long Beach and Seal Beach and Every-Possible Beach, I made my way up the sandy coast to the city limits of surreal Los Angeles. The most contained and wild city of California, I found myself in the metropolis of dreams. Hollywood and Paramount Studios and Sunset Boulevard all overwhelmed me with an ambitious sense of hope; I was seized by a grand and cinematic permutation of the American Dream. For a brief moment, the slabs of Walk of Fame were under feet and their stars were in my eyes. I attended my first baseball game and watched with awe as the players rounded square bases and knocked balls far out into the manicured, green field of Dodger Stadium. I stayed in Koreatown several nights with several others from France, Singapore, China, and Canada. Eight of us slept on the floor of one small apartment that didn’t so much as have a functioning stove. It was magical, and I spent my first evening with them at a Korean café, drinking warm lavender milk tea. L.A. was a hard city to escape. The luxury of Beverly Hills seeped into my dreams and held captive. It enticed me with a siren song of hopes so outlandish I wouldn’t have entertained them anywhere else. I found myself drafting a new book and helping shoot cover art for an album some rap artists were producing. After a whirlwind of metro rides and sky-scraper sunsets, I marooned myself in the residential Woodland Hills for a few nights. I explored Santa Monica briefly, getting only a superficial feeling of the city during my night there. It was a beautiful town though, and easily the most vivacious of those that I visited. In the evening, light and color were one, just as the ocean and its darkness were one. Street performers flooded the boulevard and young, beautiful people salsa danced in the street. I bolted from L.A. to San Jose, escaping the dreamy insanity and settling into a more familiar sort of urban world. I had not had the chance to linger in San Jose before running away to Huntington Beach, so I relished the opportunity to explore the city now. I found someone to philosophize with in Santa Clara, and a gregarious wave of hospitality pulled me into Campbell like an undertow. I was never so at home as I was in the Gleason House, with the odd collection of boys that had drifted into residence there. They were all nerdy in one sense or another, and each had a distinct charm about him. Graham came and went with a sociable grace, whereas Haven seemed ever-present and conversational. Nate was a much more curious character, an odd

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Issue 7 amalgamation of dark and quirky, geeky and somber. I rode with him on the back of his motorcycle into San Jose one morning, and found peace in the terrifying adrenaline rush that provided me with. Finally, there was bohemian Aaron, who had landed on their couch some months back, and had elected to start paying rent rather than leave. I was introduced to Bioshock and Rockband, and taught how to count to thirty-one on one hand using binary. An unquantifiable amount of alcohol and dice also ushered me into my first game of Dungeons and Dragons. Shortly before I left, I was given Graham’s fedora as a parting gift to remember them by. I have duly cherished that hat. I returned to Palo Alto to see the new friends that had quickly come to feel like old friends, and to revisit those old comrades whose friendship seemed brand new after such an adventure. I trekked up to San Francisco from there. In a van full of dismantled drums, I hitched a ride with a two rock musicians all the way to Portland. Once I was back in my native pacific northwest, my journey became a string of falling action. I tried eel and salmon’s gill at sushi restaurants, attended the grand floral parade, and saw hundreds of breeds of rose during the rose festival. With idle longing for my own bed, I made my way back to Seattle with an amalgamation of melancholy and mellow joy. After two months away from everything familiar, I arrived home‌quickly falling into all the old routines I had abandoned. My grades were solid in all of my classes though, and I still had some money in my pocket from the strangers on street corners who had wanted to buy poetry from my living a statue. I had not aimed to break apart my life, only remove myself from it for a time. In that, I succeeded. I returned full of a new energy. If there is any moral to such a story, any lesson to be gleaned, it has escaped me. There was no guiding principle through any of it, only a raw desire to see and do what I had not done before. Perhaps that is the nature of journeys though. No matter what their purpose or stated mission, they spring forth from a human desire for adventure.

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Issue 7

Hang

Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi Your limbs, they sag, like broken hangers, frosted with icing and powdery snow. And near your base, decomp is suspended, a hangover from last summer's vernal growth. Now fledgling flocks all fluffed and frolicky hang on, waiting for the promise of spring. Yet stranger fruit have borne your branches in hang man days of mobster lynching. With roots so deep and a reach growing higher, you are always hanging in a delicate balance. Though you hang out now in a restful winter sleep, you always and freely share your many talents.

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Treadmilling Loretta Victoria Ramirez

N

o heartbeat.

No heartbeat. Once again, the treadmill’s heart monitor is broken. Once again... Or else, Gwendolyn Gear is dead. No heartbeat. Is she dead? Damn the gym. The equipment is always failing, always falling apart. And with all the complaints she’s filed, at the very least, they could give her a discount on membership. She’d be happy with a free t-shirt, in fact, just about any little token of regret. But no. As far as the gym’s concerned, she might as well be dead. No heartbeat. Damn! If only she had money to buy her own treadmill... But life always cheats her, always burns her. Head lifted she tries to ignore it all, all the frustration, all the disappointment. Face forward, she focuses on her image in the mirror, which spans the entire wall before her. Forever. Forever, it seems. Forever she runs into that mirror. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Gear,” the nurse kneels, studiously so. She knows that her big, brown doe eyes must catch the overhead fluorescence just right. She knows that just that perfect angle will make her eyes a little more shimmery, a little more compassionate, a little more appropriate as she delivers her lines. “I’m sorry, but your daughter was pronounced dead upon arrival, and—” the nurse yields the obligatory pause. The mother’s face creases, collapses deeply inward, hiding from the words. Yet the nurse persists. After all, she must. She has no choice but to ruin this woman’s day. No, her life. No, her soul. No. “—there was nothing we could do...” the nurse persists, even though she realizes that, once again, she’s failed, failed again. She’s failed to deliver all the news. She’s failed to inform and console because the mother has fallen far, far away to an untouchable place. It’s always this way—a page of a story we all thought we knew, ripped out, crumpled, and tossed into the wastebasket—

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Issue 7 “I’m sorry, Mrs. Gear,” the nurse’s voice trails off, like a music box running out of wind. —and then the story must take a new direction, a startling direction. Life after love. The nurse waits, patiently, studiously so, desperately hoping to catch that fluorescence to maybe, maybe this one time, help her do the a job a little bit better. “Dear Lord!” the mother finally shrieks. And now the new page has begun—life after love. Ten more minutes. Just ten more minutes to reach her daily goal—eight miles. But, her cheeks just can’t sweat fast enough. The heat rises; the heat swells. She dizzies. Damn heart monitor, it won’t tell her whether today she might be pushing a little too hard. If only she had a training partner, then she’d be better at keeping pace. In front of Gwen, the mirror reflects the entire room. And all the room behind Gwen is void of life—gym zombies advancing no where on their treadmills though they try and try, plodding to the secret beat in their selfish, selfish headphones, sharing nothing but a blank stare with the blank sterile air, bearing baggy sweatpants and saggy t-shirts of dingy white or faded black. We are all the same, alone and blank, no heartbeat. Except... There he is! “Yes,” he coughs over the telephone-line. “My sister just passed away. She would... I know she would want me to call you. Immediately. She hated, hated the thought of students showing to class with no teacher waiting. Hated the idea.” “Yes,” the secretary whispers. “Of course. Thank you for calling.” She withdraws slowly from the phone, then quickly pulls it back. “And sorry for your loss,” she says, too late. He already hung up. On her computer monitor, a prairie scene spreads before her, white daisies sway beneath a gentle breeze. Poor girl. The secretary had never spoken to Professor Gear. She had always intended to, but there was something about Professor Gear, something alien, ethereal, something that made you want to look but never disturb. She was such a young and beautiful woman—new at teaching, only had one night class this semester. The secretary double-clicks the word processing file. She has to prepare the Cancelled Class notice before lunch break. And then there will be a substitute professor to arrange for the remainder of the semester. And then there will be questions about grades already granted by Professor Gear. She’s going to have to contact the Gear family for the

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Issue 7 professor’s records. When, exactly, would be an appropriate time to disturb a grieving family? She doesn’t know. This is a new situation, entirely new. But... The secretary massages the back of her skull. But, why had she never said hello to Professor Gear? Mmm-mmm! Gwen’s heart throbs harder, faster. Damn heart monitor. But— Mmm-mmm! He always wears lemon jerseys, sometimes cherry, too. He’s so vivid, so colorful, like a superhero. And, as beefy as a superhero. And, as unreal as a superhero. If only she had the courage to make him real—to talk to him. But no one ever speaks to her, and she never speaks to anyone, except for her students. But they never listen to what she says. And when she asks questions, they never offer answers. No, never. And so she stands there, an awkward limbo infesting the classroom, depleting her courage. And there she seems to forever dwell, lost in the humiliating silence of an answer denied. But, you can’t take that personally. No. Besides, it’s not as though her students really know her. She doesn’t know them either. In fact, she always has the hardest time remembering their names, even their faces. Why bother since they leave in a couple months, anyway? As soon as they become people, as soon as they impose themselves into her reality, they all pass on, onto the next classroom, onto the next degree, into the future. They progress while Gwen stays, stuck in the same classroom with the same awkward limbo—answers denied—forever. Forever, it seems. Forever she runs into that mirror which spans the wall before her. And no one ever speaks to her, and she speaks to no one. Ah! But there’s the lemon! And he’s mounting the treadmill behind her, exactly behind her! Gwen’s heart throbs harder, faster. Can her veins handle the outpour? She doesn’t know, and she’s suddenly a little frightened. The heart monitor is, after all, broken. Still, she hits the UP button to quicken her pace. He floods in with the rain. He trickles a nervous puddle onto the freshly mopped floor. The cleaning lady suppresses a scowl, barely suppresses it. But she must fight off the anger since she quickly realizes that the man has come for the crying woman. The man gathers the woman—his wife?—into his arms. And he is a strong, large man. Yet, the crying woman still thrashes, thrashes like a

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Issue 7 loosed fire hose, spurting tears everywhere in a desperate attempt to douse an intangible inferno. Truly, there is no consoling the woman. The nurses have tried, even the doctors. All that resulted was spilt coffee, toppled chairs, torn magazines, scattered visitors, discarded forms... Security had finally been summoned. Yet, the cleaning lady hopes that the man will succeed in calming the woman before security arrives. There’s no need to add humiliation to the day. The cleaning lady stoops. She collects the scattered forms, the forms that had detonated all the hysterics. Heartless system. Couldn’t they hold off the forms for a day or two? Nah, guess not. The body needs burial; the hospital needs the room back. She straightens the files in her hands. The top form lists the daughter’s age—twenty-seven. Poor kid. Nice, old Celtic name. Gwendolyn. Sometimes, Gwen wonders if she is a ghost. The lemon man runs on the treadmill behind her. And though she’s immediately in front of him, his head looms far above hers. She can see his beautiful face, so perfect, superhero chiseled. But he looks straight ahead, at his own image—not hers, never hers. Is she a ghost? Sometimes Gwen wonders if she is, in fact, a ghost. She often discovers herself at her destination without remembering having traveled there. So, could it be that she maybe might have crashed? Could she only be an awareness, having reached a destination without actually progressing there? And wouldn’t that mean that everything is fake? Her location? Her state of being? Might she be little more than a dream? Because, how can you reach anything without having first traveled to it? Now. She tries now to remember the trip to the gym. But, honestly, she can’t. All she can remember is the intersection: Wilshire and Westwood. There’s always a hub of activity there because people are anxious to either enter or exit the 405 Freeway. There, people rush to their tall-building office jobs or to their classes or to their shopping sprees. Ants, busy over nothing. Gwen always has trouble zigzagging through that intersection. Maybe that’s where it happened: her crash. And unaware of her death, she can now only wonder how she has gotten here. Is she here now, physically on the treadmill? Or, is it her ghost? That would explain why the lemon man can’t see her. Because, she simply can’t remember how she got here! Is she a ghost? The pen is hard. The pen is too thin. It is too hard. It hurts her hand. And when she tries to sign the release form, well, the pen’s just too

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Issue 7 thin to get a good grip on. And her hand is sweaty, shaky, achy. The pen slips. It falls. She just can’t do it. How do you sign away your daughter? How do you consent to such a thing?

Step by step, Gwen should be coming closer to the mirror. And with every step she must pay that much more attention, because every step, every quickly paced step must be placed so that she doesn’t fall, fall flat on her face. But dizzy, so dizzy, she can’t help but wearily look back; she tries to see how far she’s now gone. But, she sees no difference. After all, she’s on a treadmill—stupid, silly Gwen. Nothing changes here. And, her superhero’s still behind her and still looking beyond her. The harder she pushes, though, the more determined she feels. And in a way, well, isn’t that progress? She gathers her thoughts, focuses them into her journey. She faces forward again. With some luck, she just might keep running. Because, it’s so much better to run than to stop. And suddenly she feels so very, very close to reaching that mirror. She thinks—yeah, she’s certain– that she’s getting even closer. Tradition dictates that the father give away the daughter. Enough. Enough now. He retrieves the pen, and as with everything painful in his life, he ends it all as quickly as possible. He signs as his wife sobs. And now someone else will care for their daughter’s body, prepare it, escort her into her next life. Oh gosh. Is the lemon man really smiling at her? Sweat saturates her beltline. Blood pools into her forehead. Her head in the mirror takes on a different tone than the rest of her body; a big blueberry on a tiny vanilla Popsicle. Lightning ricochets deep in her chest. And suddenly Gwen is so giddy. Oh, gosh. Did he finally notice her? Oh, my— Gwen drops her head. Because... Well... She won’t betray the crush, won’t look at him again. How embarrassing! What if he realizes that she’s been checking him out all this time? How embarrassing! Forever, it seems. Forever she runs into that mirror which spans the wall before her. Forever she runs nowhere. And that’s why there is no heartbeat. No heartbeat. All her life, she’s been arriving, too afraid to finally arrive. Because, then what?

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Issue 7

Aurora Delirium

Brendan Ellsworth At dawn the angels reproach my madness When he appears in billowing black Bones crack and howl in his presence The wraith, abhorrent antonym of serenity Yet, a perfect rose I was admiring then Drenched in the morning light A fertile rose of blameless shape thriving divinity But, sunlight dares not touch him His feral eyes that leer maniacally With bony claws outstretched he stoops and turns Gloats the flower pressed to spiteful teeth Devouring the rose he grins drooling its velvet ribbons On his lips now the remnant dripping the morning dew The hearts potential entombed among a thousand wars The gluttonous revenant reminds me There will be no deliverance here For the moment content he returns to me And the angels again reproach my madness

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Pulse of the Past Patrick Walsh

Within dream-squint of your dark past, Without love-sniff of your perfume, Within shout of city's centre, In the greyed back-alley, They guard the walls Above scattered bottles And colonizing nettles. These fading art attempts Of the local graffiti boys, Take no prisoners for Elvis,Bush,God or man, But seek their redemption like us In borderline resurrection Of slime and coloured erasure.

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interview Issue 7

Interview with Miriam Nash

Author of poetry book “Small Change” by Flipped Eye

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Issue 7 1. What made you start writing? I grew up without a TV, but I used to listen to stories on cassette tape (it was those days). I had one tape of Roger McGough and Brian Patten reading their work for kids - it was called Jelly Pie. That was my first introduction to poetry. I think it's interesting that I was introduced to poetry as a spoken form, not as something on the page. Growing up, I loved writing and reading, and it was very important to me when my parents separated and during my teenage years as a way to express my feelings. But I never thought it was something I could 'do' with my life. When I was at university (I went to Goldsmiths in London), I started to meet poets who were performing their work and taking poetry into schools. This opened up a whole new world to me, and as I got more involved, I realised it was something I could do too. 2. Can you tell us a little about yourself? When I was very young I lived on a tiny island off the West coast of Scotland. As an adult I've lived mostly in cities (London, Geneva, Singapore and now New York). Somehow this contrast in experience is important to who I am and the poetry I write. I also write a lot about family - I have a big, spread out family - one that proves (I think) that modern families can look different to the traditional family model, but can be just as strong (more so sometimes). Of course, this isn't easy and can take a long time, but again, that experience is important to me as a writer. I've lived in a lot of different places, and it's mostly poetry that has taken me there. At the moment I'm studying for a masters in poetry at Sarah Lawrence College in New York - something I never thought would happen. You don't need to 'go to school' to be a writer, but you do need real time to spend working on your craft and I've been given that opportunity, which is incredible. 3. Can you tell us something about the creative writing workshops that you conduct?

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Issue 7 I mostly run poetry and performance workshops in secondary schools. They are about removing the fears students sometimes have around poetry and about showing them it's a tool they can use to express themselves, regardless of whether they like or are 'good at' English. Mostly they are about playing with imagination and expression and challenging students to put the things that are important to them down on paper, and then to craft those words into something they are proud of and can communicate to others. I learnt how to teach this way by shadowing Jacob Sam-La Rose and other poets early on. 4. How was your journey towards becoming a spoken word artist? I don't really call myself a spoken word artist, because I think that title belongs to poets who write specifically for performance. I just consider myself a poet, but performance is very important to me. Poetry is an oral form as well as something that lives on the page. When you read a poem, you are hearing and feeling the sounds of it in your body. I want to write poems that work well in performance and are tight on the page. When I first started writing as a young adult, I was inspired by the poetry I saw performed (especially by the group Malika's Kitchen). I started going to open mics and was gradually invited to perform at other poetry events. For me this went hand in hand with becoming a writer. 5. Do you think more and more budding poets should indulge in Spoken word open mic events? I think one of the best things about open mics is that they can start to give poets a sense of community. We all know writing can be solitary and it really helps to meet other poets, hear their work and be challenged to share your own. At my first open mic I was terrified. I forgot my poem halfway through and had to get back on track. The audience was so supportive, and that's the thing - audiences usually are - they want you to do well too. If I hadn't had that (and similar) experiences, I would never have had the courage to perform

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Issue 7 in schools and on big stages, though I still get nervous (I think that's part of what makes a good performance). So yes, it's a great thing to do. The other side of performance poetry is that sometimes, new poets can get caught up in the need to be recognised and self-promote. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as you remember that the writing and the quality of the work is the most important thing. When I first started, I wanted to rush ahead and prove myself. Now I'm calmer and just want to push my craft as far as I can. 6. You produced England’s biggest youth poetry slam, Shake in Dust in 2012, how was your experience? It was the biggest project I've ever worked on, so it was exciting and challenging. The best thing was meeting poets from up and down the country, seeing the work they do with young people and the brilliance of the young people themselves, who came from all different backgrounds and levels of experience. We are blessed with incredible artists and youth poetry organisations in the UK and seeing so many of them come together was inspiring. The 'poet coaches' worked in 45 schools and youth groups across nine regions of England, with slams in each region and a national slam finalist the Southbank Centre, featuring Saul Williams and Kate Tempest. We worked hard to make the experience about much more than the competitive aspect of slam. Poetry has the power to change people's lives and inspire confidence, motivation and pride, and we saw so many examples of this. It was a privilege to be part of it. My hope it that youth slam in the UK will continue to grow and focus on these things.

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Issue 7

Snowetry

Sasha Kasoff Every poem is different Like snow Flitting one word at a time Blanketing my mind Over the years My sight has grown I see each tiny crystal Spiraling down They shift and twirl A wedding lace A freckled face, eyelashes laden with white Like a dream, in words it can always be winter Poetry is fickle, mischievous, wise Like my dog, only speaking a language of lovely amusement I am always only on the cusp of understanding Poised in a moment as small as a snowflake

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Issue 7

Colours

Celia Watson So here I am Boxed in and out Country's colours run Down jumbled halls Of baggage claims I mix time zones with Fahrenheit Aubergines and Eggplant A fraction in letters makes The ocean my home Pulled by ropes I belong but am Tossed by the salad of Red, white, and blue. The colours run But do not mix I am flecked out, Discarded from The bowl

So here I am Fighting the sea Wrestling the clouds for my True ancestry. The ocean stills, The colours pool, Left with dripping identity Boxed in and out Not freight or flight But learning To tame the sea. Ease the reins of the current And listen: Flight 126 Calling for me.

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Issue 7

The Circus of Dreams Agalia Tan

The gates creak open. Hypnotizing black and white stripes envelop her In a world of mystery ready to be explored. Lost in the nascent fantasy, she wanders. Swirling ribbons colour the starry skies With prismatic colors like fireworks; only better. Pleasant concoctions of cinnamon and butter permeates the air, golden popcorns drizzled with caramel left on the ground gets trampled by children frolicking around. Heightened senses, heart thumping. Alike a doe, she climbs through wisps of peculiar white fluffs only attainable in her vagary. Out of the world acts; illusionists, contortionists and never-moving statues, not a bat of an eyelid nor a flinch of the arm when the cool wind blows. The clock chimes twelve, as she bade a reluctant goodbye. The gates close before her, bounding the circus but not her dreams.

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Issue 7

Cage A-16924 Cindy Glenn

Once upon a time in a heat wave of despair a three pound transient suddenly appeared a vagabond clutching a tattered, bag of fleas with an ear the chewed corner of worn, burlap sack. A sigh, a gasp, a sharp intake of breath the pic in my sternum a transfusion occurred without piercing the skin He became honey that flowed in my blood It was as if with turned back, a high tide crept up, conquering my citadel fortification coarse grains of sand placed by winds urgent hand, a bereft sand dune laid bare, and the white foam retreat left a mountain of vibrant, sea life behind Long gone is the weary, homeless shuffle, now he dons his coat with a wolfish prance yet hidden between Oak and Iris, under leaves and mud in a hollow grave, lay boots from a recent soldiered, march Canine compatriot with full moon eyes caught the hint and glint of shimmering scales as snake twined and curled, with intent to smother, he disentangled, then liberated In the absence of light, the slightest of spark innocently emitted by a discarded life, wick to wick rendered flame and kind luminosity to a torch who’s soft, glow had drifted away.

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Issue 7

An Author’s Profile -Christopher Stewart

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any paths authors take as writers are very different from one another and at the same time similar. There are a very special few that we could call unique; the rest fall into the same categories as modern authors. So I am going to highlight the journey of two individuals whose paths are so unique, it’ll probably never occur again. As Hunter S. Thompson and Ernest Hemingway both lead different lives yet they lived it to their fullest. Hunter S. Thompson started his journey as a sophomore in high school as he wrote for the school paper and the yearbook called “The Spectator”. Often Thompson helped edit and write articles for “The Spectator” before they ejected him from the group citing legal issues; as he was charged with being an accessory to a robbery. During Thompson’s years in the military he wrote under a different alias for a sports article in the local newspaper; the Air Force didn’t allow their current airmen to hold other jobs while working for them. After which he was given an honorable discharge, to which he relocated and worked as a sports editor for Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania. Later he traveled to Puerto, Rico for a job that faltered and another job within Puerto, Rico that faltered as well but introduced him to future novelist William J. Kennedy. Thompson did odd jobs over the next couple of years but during his time working as a caretaker for Big Sur Hot Springs he had published his first magazine feature in the Rogue. The unexpected publicity from the article got him fired but during his time there he had also written two novels. Prince Jellyfish and The Rum Diary, both would be later published further down in his life. After he got fired from his job, Thompson moved to South America and started working as a correspondent for “The National Observer” in Brazil. During his months working there he met his future wife Sandra Dawn Conklin. In the sixties they relocated to Glen Ellen, California and Thompson continued to write for “The National

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Issue 7 Observer”. One of which was a story about the reasons for Ernest Hemingway’s suicide. In the mid-sixties Thompson was hired by Carey Mcwilliams who was an editor of a magazine called “The Nation” to write a story about the Hells Angels motorcycle club. He spent the next year living with the Hells Angels and produced a book that was critically acclaimed and launched Thompson into mainstream media as he was now writing for New York Times, Esquire, Pageant, & Harper’s. The years that followed, Thompson created a new form of journalism called “Gonzo Journalism”. This is a style that is written without claims of objectivity, often including the reporter as part of the story via a first-person narrative. He had also written his most famous book, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. This was herald by the New York Times as “by far the best book yet written on the decade of dope”.More success followed as he was writing for the Rolling Stones, covering the election campaigns of Richard Nixon. Then Thompson was sent to Vietnam which was strained after certain events in Vietnam. With Thompson strained relationship with Rolling Stone, and the failure of his marriage, Thompson became more reclusive in the eighties. He would often retreat to his compound in Woody Creek and reject assignments or refuse to complete them. Thompson left journalism in the same way it had begun; writing about sports. Thompson had a weekly column called "Hey, Rube" for Espn sports internet column. The column ran until his death/suicide in early 2000’s. Ernest Hemingway started his journey as a junior in high school writing for the school paper called “The Trapeze”. His first published piece was about the local Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He would go on to continue help edit and contribute to his schools paper and yearbook. After leaving high school he went to work for “The Kansas City Star”as a Cub reporter. He would only work there for six months but used the Star style guide as a foundation to his writing. During War World One, Hemingway was sent to the scene of a factory explosion where rescuers retrieved the shredded remains of female workers. He would later describe the incident in his non-fiction book “Death in the Afternoon”. Sometime later in the war Hemingway was seriously wounded by mortar fire but despite his wounds,

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Issue 7 Hemingway carried an Italian soldier to safety; for which he received the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery at the age of eighteen. When Hemingway returned home he had in him a maturity from war that put him at odds with living at home without a job and with the need for recuperation. He would later go on fishing and camping trip with high school friends, which would inspire his short story “Big Two-Hearted River”. A family friend offered Hemingway a job in Toronto to which he accepted. He began working as a freelancer, staff writer, and foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star Weekly. He would return to Michigan the following Juneand then moved to Chicago in September to live with friends, while still filing stories for the Toronto Star. Hemingway would later go on to Paris and during his first twenty months there, he had filed eighty-eight stories for the Toronto Star. During his absence in 1923, Hemingway had his first book “Three Stories and Ten Poems” published.Within months a second volume, “In Our Time”was published. This volume included six vignettes and a dozen stories Hemingway had written previous during his first visit to Spain, where he discovered the thrill of the Corrida. Missing Paris Hemingway moved back in January 1924. Later on Hemingway published Indian Camp and In Our Time, Indian Campreceived considerable praise and Hemingway’s friend, Ford saw it as an important early story by a young writer. Thecritics in the United States praised Hemingway for reinvigorating the short story genre. In June 1925 Hemingway brought a group of American and British expatriates to Pamplona, Spain to enjoy a fiesta that was being held there. After the fiesta Hemingway began to write the draft of what would become The Sun Also Rises, finishing eight weeks later.This received good reviews and at the time was recognized as Hemingway’s greatest work. During the late 1920’s, Hemingway wrote a fictionalized book about his difficult delivery. The book was called A Farewell to Arms, which also established Hemingway's stature as a major American writer. Over the years we would see Hemingway produce many more books such as Death in the Afternoon, Green Hills of Africa, The Snows of Kilimanjaro,The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, and To Have and Have Not. Now during the Spanish Civil War Hemingway would go on to write The Fifth Column (which was being written while the city he was staying in was being bombarded), & For Whom the Bell Tolls (His most

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Issue 7 famous novel). During WWII Hemingway was present during D-Day, the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, & The Battle of the Bulge; for which he was award a bronze star for bravery. The post-war years Hemingway would start work on The Garden of Eden and also work on a trilogy called The Land, The Sea, & The Air. Though his trilogy stalled and was never finished. Many said it was because of “symptoms of his troubles” during those years. In 1948 Hemingway had an affair that inspired Across the River and Into the Trees, which received negative reviews during that time. After the bad reception of Across the River and Into the Trees, Hemingway wrote The Old Man and the Sea. Saying “it was the best he could write ever in his life” and also went on to be the book-of-the-month. From the book he became an international celebrity and made him when the Pulitzer Prize in 1952, he would also when a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954; in which Hemingway was modest in saying that, that Carl Sandburg, Isak Dinesen and Bernard Berenson deserved the prize but he would gladly take the money. During Ernest Hemingway’s last years he created his memoir from old journals he had stored in the Ritz hotel, which was called A Moveable Feast. He was also commissioned by Life magazine to write about the bullfights that took place in Spain. Which he had a friend help trim down as it was more than what they needed and he used the rest for full-length book called The Dangerous Summer. Hemingway was later suggested to a clinic in Minnesota as he began becoming more paranoid about his finance’s and government. It is during this time that people cite ‘the combination of medication (electro convulsion therapy) may have created a depressive state, for which he was “treated”.’ In April he was seen “holding a shotgun” and was admitted back to the clinic for more electro convulsion treatment. He was released in late June, during which after spending two days out he committed suicide. Both of these author’s I have covered showed a journey unlike any author I have seen and probably will never see such a fate again. They lived more of a life than most people and lived by their own rules. Unique yet similar, we can all say that they wouldn’t fall into the same categories as other authors.

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Issue 7

The Flowers Elizabeth Gibson Miracle poetry

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he flowers are red and white And I could see playing cards In a bed of green Or blood and bone And stretching limb Or rubies and moonstone And strings of jade But when I gaze upon them They’re just‌ flowers. No metaphor could make them more beautiful than they already are.

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Issue 7

For God’s Sake

Bertille Sobiesk you glow with excitement looking at the hefty heaps on ceramic plates they smile with an eggy grin chortling with all of their weight and breathing mouth to mouth with you why do you need love when love is so obviously sautĂŠed and baked when love is doused in butter and the end only involves a quick wash and then you can start over again so you eat and eat and eat glancing up only at the burning tv you set up a tarp in the kitchen and lie down your bruised face snuggling with muffins and cooing the popcorn to sleep waves of flesh eventually form like the jello you ate yesterday they jiggle and slowly you puff into your own biscuit belly the tears you cry are diet sierra mist and you tortuously bleed hot sauce you watch the nail polish girls with their flat curves and full breasts and you look at yourself your thighs touch your stomach bulges your cheeks swell your arms deflate they tell you to try this new thing this wonderful thing this fabulous thing oh you just have to put your fingers back push push push

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Issue 7 and whoosh it’s all gone go back in time it doesn’t matter if you cry your mom cries your brother cries your snot drips your nose bleeds no at least you don’t have to feel the side effects of your beautiful sparkling medicine so for god’s sake girl you have to keep going even if you feel like an old woman even if you can’t drink any soda or eat anything warm without a caustic pain in your chest and please please please never admit to yourself that you’re hurting because that would mean that it is bad and since you still can’t look yourself in the mirror you can’t stop now

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Issue 7

Grave Digging

Corey Mesler

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y wife and I built a grave. Into it we placed our beloved border collie, Fly. Fly had a 4:30 appointment with death. The building of the grave commenced hours earlier, just as the day’s motor began to purr, the light weak as curbside lemonade. We did not stop for death. He kindly, punctually stopped Fly. Smile now, sky as blue as us. And earth, the color of Fly’s rich eyes, hold her gently now.

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Miracle

Issue 7 Column

A Writer’s refugee -Troy Cabida

Thanks,Teacher Learning the art of poetry through others

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’ve been so fortunate to have had the chance to study in a sixth form where artistry and being creative are encouraged, at least around the very small corners of our English Literature department. Prior to my A-Level studies, I have never received any help with my writing. Well, other than from my cousin, who had the same amount of knowledge in writing as me. That all changed when my English teacher arranged a small writer’s group last summer, something that have given me so much to take home. From new techniques and viewpoints on how I should write and look at my poetry, I also got to make connections to some people and contests to enter. Find the best workshop out there: I have mentioned this in my previous columns and I will repeat this again. If you have a writer’s group in your institution or around your community, go check it out and see if you like it. Search online and look for some writer’s groups that have both cosy and constructive surroundings where writers support each other. Not only is it important to understand yourself and how you write, but it is also beneficial to hear out others and see how they do their own thing. You could learn a thing or two, and vice versa.

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Issue 7 Another good way of looking for ways to learn about poetry is to visit the website of the Poetry Society where you can find other writers, writing activities and contests to better your craft. Through here you can also learn the importance of critique and how to handle them. A constant type of critique that would always haunt your poetry would eventually annoy you enough to erupt, and other tics that people say about your work, but you should eventually learn to absorb information from it or at least learn to let them be. However for some people, workshops with a lot of people aren’t the ideal place for their writing to grow. If you’re one of those people, then having a close friend or family member to be a constant presence to critique and guide you around your work is also equally good. One and the same: It is understandable to say that artists have delicate egos when it comes to how people respond to their work. However, it is still important to remember that not everyone will have the same opinions as you do. Sometimes that’s actually the beautiful thing. Yes, you’ve worked hard. You’ve poured out your heart and soul and bared everything you can, but chances are only a small percentage will connect to your poetry the way you want them to and acknowledge the emotional attachment that you have for this. A good example of this happened to me just last week. I wrote quite a deep poem (in my standards) which I thought should be commended or at least be able to transcend the same message to others. I showed it to some of my friends the day after and the response I got was quite odd. They all looked lost and giggled at the fact that, in their opinion, it was too dark to comprehend. But that’s okay. They didn’t mean to offend me, they did say it was well-written, but they just didn’t connect to it as I would have hoped. If this happens to you both inside and outside your writers’ circle, don’t take any of it personally.

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Issue 7 Listen, listen and adapt: Two of my fondest memories in my sixth form happened with two of London’s own poets, Jay Bernard and Anthony Anaxogorou, both of which visited us in two different times. I’ve first got in contact with Jay Bernard through my teacher who personally knows her. In preparation for a poetry contest, I’ve sent some of my chosen few to her via email for some feedback. She was in Singapore during that time and I loved telling my friends that my poetry had reached Singapore before I did. Anyway, she then replied and told me that I lacked the figurative language that makes poetry, well, poetry. At first I took this quite personally but once I looked at my work again, I saw what she was talking about and instantly started working on them since I realised I needed A LOT of help. Anthony Anaxogorou, another really good writer in London, came to our college the following year to give weekly poetry workshops. I only came once but was I glad I did. He gave us some exercises on how to read poetry verbally, which was a different experience as to reading in your head, where it can be more private and comfortable for the reader. So here are my two cents on the topic about writer’s groups and what they have in store for you writers out there. Remember: search, understand, listen, absorb, keywords for becoming a better artist through the help of other artists.

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Issue 7

Ulterior Motive Jeff Bell

So subtle the ulterior motive, not at all, but thought to have been exercised. Peasant shoes, peasant clothes, with all their honesty, give away this child's obvious hiding place. But with times help always at hand, its removal of surface beauty reveals decays initial bloom. Then the spell is broken, like the lifting of the Big Top from a clowns performance, to expose nothing more than a tragically poor comedian standing alone in a field. So just be patient, be patient, and maybe the truth in some cases, is only a few years away. And the audacity of the pain and woe, showed by bombers one way mirrored mind, while scorched earth, deformed insect, nature does best to repair. But always the wailing of shrapnel met child, will expose easily the sanitised actors world, because it's well known, popcorn still has to be sold when watching 2D battle zone

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Issue 7

Faster than a Perigee Moon Bruno Cooke

Faster than a perigee moon you hit me

waiting for our keynote sphere—

you hit me faster blue and grey

now the moon’s in apogee, bound in resin and glinting burling

sweetened like a bail-out.

in throats bound in bound out faster blue and grey you hit me sweetened like typewritten like stars in throats all blue and pillowed like grey dark blue dust feather-white and

Stripped down and smelling of skin, lined with skin, blue and blue-bottled. Typewritten hand-curls burling in prosody, vulcanised— swirled out in a timber wasteland plumbing roots through flotsam soil: we are congregated here, pews south-facing,

here comes an angel, blue and grey, to catalyse the drift-away.

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Issue 7

DEATH SUN

Sariel Friedman The sun sounds like death Slicing water into two. The Santa Ana winds carry The wings of lost angels To Los Angeles. My father says he Took the drug of the West For the weather, and Hollywood was just a side effect. My mother drove alone for weeks Yearning for a pregnant sunset Rode after another love, On the wrong side of the road. And somewhere, They met in the middle.

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Issue 7

Actions Speak Louder Clive Gresswell

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he genre police stopped him in the middle of…… Now we will never know what it was – a walk, a bath or a sentence. Behind the scenes the lead character completed his limbering up ready to walk out center stage. Let’s call him Action and let us suppose he is fishing. It is a cold, brisk, day and Action is reeling in plenty of red herrings. There will be a girl. She will be called DistrAction and she will try to lure him from the page into her bed. Action is 30 and happens to live in Acton in West London. DistrAction is blonde-haired and blue-eyed and as beautiful as Helen of Troy. She is 25 and works as a lifeguard at Acton Lido. This is where they meet. You might think this is also where the plot proper begins its arc from conflict into final resolution. You would be wrong. This is not a romance. The romance is a red herring. Oh, to be sure there’s a relationship, with all the elements of love and oodles of drooling sex for good measure... Action and DistrAction meet in different parts of London to carry on a passionate affair and a lot of the story is about fucking. They

have to be discreet because both are married to Other People. Other People are involved and could get hurt. Their stories are red herrings too which Action fished out of the water that Sunday in February 2012. He was casting for words so that the plot proper could start. DistrAction was watching from the shore of the lido, dressed in a skimpy bathing suit. Alright, I know it’s unlikely a lifeguard would wear a sexy swimsuit and goodness knows her bosses had warned her about if often enough. But DistrAction was not only a lifeguard. She also had a part-time job as an extra in a skit on Bond movies which was being filmed at the lido the morning that Action had gone fishing in February 2012. He noticed all the fuss and decided to investigate. After all investigation was his middle name, him being a private detective and all….when he was not fishing for words at a lido in Acton on a February Sunday.

2 Action heard the director calling his name several times when he ambled onto the film set of Golden Fleece. He waited until there was a break and then introduced himself to director Cubby Powers. Cubby

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Issue 7 in turn introduced Action to DistrAction. “You’re a red herring,” Action told her. “That’s a fine way to introduce yourself to someone I’m sure,” replied DistrAction. Her body was wet and shimmering as she had just completed a scene where she walked out of the water out onto the lido. Action was searching for some other words to say when he suddenly blurted out: “I wish I had met you when I was younger.” “Really,” she scoffed, “I cannot imagine what you can mean.” “WWWhat I mean,” Stuttered Action, “is that the plot has been set now and, although we are the romantic interlude, nothing permanent can happen between us. There are Other People to be considered. DistrAction retorted: “Show some balls man and ask me out, you know you want to. How long is this inaction going to go on for?” Action was taken aback by her boldness but it was an attractive side to her and his nether regions were finding this, coupled with her physical attractiveness, difficult to cope with. DistrAction went even further and said: “If I’m a red herring are you going to tell me what the story is all about?” Action felt helpless to resist and said: “Can I tell you over dinner tomorrow night?” He was still fishing for exactly the right words but could not find them. She readily agreed and they decided to meet at a hotel in Ealing for the meal.

Action was hoping he would see some real action there too. He was tired of not being a proper hero.

3 Of course Action is only his character name in the story and not his real name. In the same way DistrAction is only a nickname. There is a lido in Acton though and the film Golden Fleece was made there. So when they were eating they introduced each other properly. He was Bob and she was Julie. We do not need to know their last names – that is personal and could be embarrassing and incriminating both over the affair, which was about to bud, and for Bob’s work. Julie had a tossed salad and Bob the crab – just the one for anyone who is wondering. This is an obtuse comment and they will leave you to think about it while they get on with their meal. After some beating about the bush, during which somehow, their hands became intertwined at the table and Julie started breathing heavily – her beautifully formed breasts heaving, Julie cut to the chase. This was going to be the pattern of their short-story relationship. “So, what’s the tale, buster?” she asked. “Just what am I getting myself into? Better spill the beans now.” She reached out for her wine and gulped it down in a most unladylike fashion as Bob explained: “I am being hunted by the Baker Brothers for underground work which led to

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Issue 7 their exposure in the News of The World last year over drug-running. I am, Julie, a man at my wit’s end. I have not been able to share this with anyone else, including my wife, because I do not want to scare her. It scares me – those boys don’t mess around.” Julie was listening intently to his tale and put her hand on his knee in a gesture of solace. He blanched slightly. Both agreed, during pudding, that there was a mutual attraction between them that needed sating. But they also agreed not to do anything to hurt Other People. It meant not getting involved while getting very involved in the plot. Did Julie have the courage to face up to being tracked by the Baker Brothers if they started on her? Of course she did. For such a damn fine looking woman she had a lot of balls. Bob went to reception to book a room for two. There was little on his mind but making mad, passionate, love to the beautiful Julie. 4 This, of course, led to the first sex scene in the bedroom of the hotel in Ealing. Bob’s hand felt Julie’s pert nipples and she rasped with pleasure. Most of this you can fill in for yourself while we get on with the plot. He – and then he – she moaned as she – reaching for his – He felt her readiness and slipped – etc. 5 The Baker Brothers, who were not to be messed with, lived in nearby Kilburn. In their time were known to

have done quite a bit of killing and burning. One reason they had grown up so mean and nasty was that they were conjoined twins. After the exposure of their operation in the now defunct News of The World they started asking a lot of questions because, as they so often said, They Were Not Stupid. Who had been responsible for collecting all the information and the photographs on them? It wasn’t the reporter by-lined at the paper. They knew that because they rang up to threaten him and were told no-one of that name worked there. After further haranguing and generally threatening the news editor they were told it had employed a private detective to shadow them. The brothers were almost untouchable and the law had not arrested them despite the Screws’ story. But they had to take more care with their operation, which was very inconvenient. Inconveniencing the Baker Brothers was not something you wanted to do. “Who is this private detective then?” said one half of the Baker Brothers to the other. “Let’s find him and rip his head off,” the other half retorted. You, dear reader, will not be surprised to hear that they had their ways of finding things like this out. All they had to do was ask around for a while. Well, now they were asking and Bob was crapping himself. After a post-coital cigarette Bob said to Julie “I don’t like the way this plot is going at all. They’re getting too close and Acton isn’t

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Issue 7 that far from Kilburn. I think I might have to go away somewhere and lie low.” Julie sat up with a start: “Typical man, you have your wicked way with me and then tell me you’re buggering off to hide. And, what about your wife and family?” Bob just did not know what to do. He knew he was falling in love with Julie who, by the way, did not look like at all like Helen of Troy, but was in fact a rather frumpy middleaged woman. That is to say she did look like Helen of Troy at the start of the story, but that was only another red herring. Bob was only hoping he could catch some more red herrings to confound the Baker Brothers in their paper hunt for him.

6 One of the Other People involved was Bob’s wife, Ursula, whose nickname was DissatisfAction. This was because she was generally fed up with cooking and cleaning house at their home in Acton. So fed up that, in fact, without Bob’s knowledge, she was carrying on an affair with Pete the Post. They would regularly meet at various hotels outside of Acton for passionate nights of deep romance and fucking. Although Bob did not know about her affair it was obvious to both there were cracks in their marriage. They were starting to go away without each other on regular weekend trips. Bob to his ‘business’ conferences and Ursula to her ‘tennis weekends.’. Each started becoming suspicious but could prove nothing. Another

thing which neither of them knew was that Pete the Post was good friends with the Baker Brothers and, of course, he knew their full name and address. Ursula did not know about Bob’s involvement with the Baker Brothers plot or she would have been scared witless. Almost everyone was scared witless by the Baker Brothers. But Pete the Post was an exception to this rule. He was a mate and he knew that the Baker Brothers were looking for Bob as they Had Put The Word Out. This presented him with a dilemma. But for Pete the Post it wasn’t much of one. Dames were ten a penny to men like him and mates were mates. But he wasn’t daft. He wasn’t going to tell the Baker Brothers where Bob lived for free. He decided to let them stew a little while still screwing Ursula, whose nickname was DissatisfAction for more than one reason. But that’s his and her business. 7 The Baker Brothers were getting impatient with the plot, rummaging through the pages of the story trying to find where this detective who had exposed them was living. “I hate waiting when we’re going to severe someone’s head from his legs,” said the right half of the Baker Brothers. “Just calm down. There’s more than one way to skin a cat and a stitch in time saves nine,” counseled the left half. “But someone in this plot must know who and where he is!” They both nodded gravely.

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Issue 7 “Sounds like a job for a dame if you ask me,” said the left half, who will be known as Leftie from now on.” Let’s go visit sexy Sue the Slut.” Rightie agreed and so they were ready to set off. But, first they had to go to the loo together which was very uncomfortable and embarrassing for two such high level crime bosses. No-one ever dared ask them about it. 8 The other of the Other People was Julie’s husband Walter, a wellknown homosexual in the Clapham Common area of London. Almost everyone knew of his habit apart from Julie. He was there every early evening slaking his desires before coming home to his tea and watching Coronation Street with Julie. Walter was a big banker in the city and the two lived very comfortably indeed, in the posh part of Acton. Much to her disappointment, he had never looked at her as though she was as beautiful as Helen of Troy. Not that she was, but it would have been nice for one to be looked at in that way. Julie did not have to work at Acton Lido for financial reasons, but wanted to get out of the house and have a certain amount of independence. Tomorrow they would be filming some more of Golden Fleece and she was practicing her lines waiting for Walter to get in. She was also imagining meeting Bob again at a hotel in Fulham the next evening. She was also thinking about the Baker Brothers and wondering what could be done.

Meanwhile, Walter was in a cubicle in a toilet on Clapham Common making mad, passionate, love to a young man he had met there. First of all he – then they – before – and then ahhhhh. Of course it would be much more sensible in this plot if all these people had known they were cheating on each other and just Gone Their Separate Ways. But you must remember that in this story the two marriage plots are merely red herrings to the main plot of the Baker Brothers looking for Bob and what they would do when they found him. He had come to the conclusion that he had no choice but to tell Ursula about their hunt for him through the pages of the story and that, for the best, he would have to go away and lie low. He figured that he and Julie could go away together, maybe to Gretna Green in Scotland, or somewhere else romantic like that. He needed a break from the hustle and bustle of the capital anyway. It was all getting on his already frayed nerves. Julie had agreed to go away with him for a couple of months when they had their last tryst at a hotel in Wembley. At the time he had just finished – and she his – and they had both exploded in a bright moment of orgasmic joy. For her part Julie would tell Walter that the film crew were going to Gretna Green to film scenes for Golden Fleece. In case any readers are wondering what she is doing in a Bond Mickey--take, if she does not actually look like Helen of Troy, remember that it is a

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Issue 7 skit and the makers specifically wanted someone who was not all that attractive, for the part of the Bond girl. Julie of course did not realize. 9 Story was giving Plot a total blocking in his study. “Come on, come on,” he said, “We’re more than halfway through and despite the fact your lead character has the nickname Action there has been precious little of it. “And what about all the sex I was promised? I know there have been one or two sections of titillation but that hardly fulfills the pledge of oodles of fucking. I was looking forward to that.” Plot just shrugged its shoulders. “Don’t blame me,” it said. “If you’ve got any grounds for complaint take it up with the writer.” Story grumbled: “It hasn’t always been this way. I was quite a decent meta-fiction in my time until I had to retire due to overuse by the writers. Literature is just not the same as it was anymore. The hours are longer and the writers expect more for their pound of flesh. There was a time when words just came to me, Plot, but not now…..not now.” Plot shrugged its shoulders again. “It’s a shame, but you’re stuck with this hack until the bitter end so you better get used to it.” Story knew it was hopeless to go on complaining. Without the writer where would it and Plot be? I can tell you they would be blank pages, just blank pages that’s all. Like this one:

10 Now, where were we? Ah yes. The Baker Brothers had gone to see brothel-owning sexy Sue the Slut. They figured if anyone could trace Bob she could. She had hundreds of women at her command throughout the city and it was like one huge spying fraternity of sisters. Pillow talk and selling it on was a natural part of their game and if there was a bob or two to be made out of it why not? The Baker Brothers themselves, in their condition, were not very interested in sex. Leftie did have a girlfriend, once, but she objected to Rightie always being with them. “What do you expect me to do, we’re conjoined twins for fuck’s sake,” Leftie pleaded with her, but to no avail. Rightie, on the other hand, never had a girlfriend and wasn’t interested in girls anyway. But all these asides are not getting us to Gretna Green, which is where we want to be because it’s where the action is. What has happened in the meantime is that Bob and Julie have gone there leaving Ursula behind. She has told Pete the Post where they have gone because it means they can carry on their affair with less hassle. Pete the Post realizes this is his moment and goes to see the Baker Brothers to tell them all about Bob and where he is. In his view he is maximizing his opportunity to make a few bob out of Bob. The Baker Brothers were, meanwhile, at the brothel

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Issue 7 questioning as many of the girls as they could. Sexy Sue told them: “We have been asking around but no-one seems to have heard of this Bob guy! It’s like he’s almost invisible. We must know about threequarters of the men in this part of London from down-and-outs to police bosses. But it’s a little vague at the moment. We’d do better if you could give us more details such as a last name and an idea of where he lives!” The Baker Brothers nodded in unison and left without any form of expression on their poker faces. When the Baker Brothers had their poker faces on you knew there was going to be big trouble. Normally, Leftie would smile in a sadistic killer kind of a way, and Rightie would look all glum. This Bob fella was proving to be one big pain up their conjoined asses. 11 Bob had booked a holiday cottage just outside of Gretna Green for himself and Julie. It was called Love Cottage – although the locals laughingly referred to it as something else entirely. It was nightfall when they arrived and they had gone straight to bed. As usual he slipped his – into her waiting – just before they both – in a-. Bob was shocked when he awoke the next morning to find Julie gone and next to him, replacing her in the bed, was a giant fish. “Oh fuck,” he thought, “I forgot she was just a red herring before bringing her all the way up here.” He realized it meant that he was on his own in fleeing the Baker Brothers

and he caught a glimpse in his mind’s eye of their two faces leering up at him. There was good fishing nearby and he hoped that he would be able to catch some new red herrings to keep them at bay. Almost as if he was in a trance Bob walked to a nearby fishing tackle shop and bought a line and some gear. He was cheered when store owner, Charlton Mckingley, said: “Good fishing today, plenty of red herrings.” At least that was what he thought he heard him say. Meanwhile, the furious Baker Brothers were on their way up to Scotland by train. Pete the Post had told them all about Bob and they had thanked him profusely before cutting his ears off. Oh, they were nasty, naughty boys! They sat in the first class compartment playing the card game Patience and every time anybody else went into the carriage, they left again pretty damn quickly. It was something to do with the look of thunder on both the Baker Brother’s faces. They had with them guns and knives, and all manner of devices for hurting people, such as bicycle chains and knuckledusters. Whatever McKingley had said, he was wrong. Bob caught absolutely no fish that morning let alone red herring. He was done for and he knew it was only a matter of time Things were coming to a climax now as the Baker Brothers got off the train just outside of Gretna Green and went to a local taxi office. Finding Bob in this tiny place would be a lot easier than finding him in big old London, particularly

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Issue 7 as They Were Not Stupid. They had already worked out what they were going to do when they caught up with him. First, they were going to shoot him in the legs, but leave him alive. Then they would use their knives to cut off his fingers one by one and then his toes. After, they would slit his jaw open and cut his tongue out – a favourite among the criminal fraternity. Not satisfied with having done all that they would slit his body open from neck to anus. He would just be one huge bloody mess on the floor by the time they were done. Then they would simply jump on the next train back to London as if butter wouldn’t melt in their conjoined mouths. When they got back to Kilburn they would be all smiles, and they would go out to The Falcon Pub to celebrate a good day’s work. Bob would never be heard of again and no-one would really give a damn. The police, many of whom also drank at The Falcon, would swear blind in any investigation that the Baker Brothers were in the pub all the time. “We really fooled all those red herrings,” said Leftie to Rightie. “Ssssssh, someone will hear you,” Rightie said back. The bloody story of Bob’s murder and the condition his body was found in was plastered all over the national press. Of course, everyone knew who had done it, but nobody wanted to challenge the Baker Brothers or their power. The stories in the nationals only enhanced their reputations. They made sure, too, that everyone could see they were around - spotted with various

celebrities and charity organizers in top London clubs. This was how they kept up their PR within the community But really although they appeared to be everybody’s friends the only people they could trust were each other – and they were two-faced. “You stick with me Leftie and I’ll see you right,” “You stick with me Rightie and I’ll see you right.” Theme, who sat unnoticed at a bar, muttered into his beer: ‘It’s all there, love, betrayal, violence, sex and death,’ before crumpling into a drunken heap on the floor.

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Issue 7

Wedding Day

Jake Reynolds A loop of thread by the button gravy stains on the – right cuff – your fingernails razor pods dominating the sea bed A theme of great importance stilettos like sabre-teeth hacking away at the marble floor shrapnel everywhere. Enamel? I do, I do, I do not wish to hold your ashes to ashes to that funny middle name. I do. Please, please, speak slowly Whiskers… pines on the sheer drop

of your jaw my pretty face on balloons stretched skin, close to cracking The ocean of your eye and the potions of your love leaving a bitter aftertaste that or the salmon – You may not not kiss my bridal face before the spectators – speech! Speech! I mumble some meaning I beg your pardon? This car is not mine – you’ll find no honey on the moon – your ring on my finger reminds me daily of what the details forget to mention Yes, of course, I’m sure it was the happiest day of my life.

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Issue 7

Interview With A Workshop Leader Jennifer Mills Kerr 1. Hi Jennifer! Can you tell us a little about yourself? Recently, I started JMK Writing Workshops after writing and publishing short stories and memoir for the past fifteen years. I grew up in a family of silenced artists—people who never allowed themselves to be creative and who stifled their feelings and desires to be accepted. So I learned to be silent, but also became very perceptive, watching and wondering what was behind those walled-up expressions. So my imagination, from a very young age, was a huge part of my life—and even my survival. I began writing in college, but because of my upbringing, I didn’t admit to my deep desire to be a writer for another few years, after my own stint of trying to fit in (in the corporate world). Now, I’m doing what I love: writing and teaching writing.

2. Do you take a particular approach when conducting fiction workshops? Are there some aspects you emphasise especially? I prohibit any serious, heavy, cerebral nonsense. I had a writer who recently came to one of my workshops, scared to death, because she’d thought that everyone would have been published and would be wearing a beret. I don’t care whether writers have been published or not. My emphasis is on creating an accessible, creative space. I insist on honest feedback for all students’ work, and I have high standards for them. But my message is always: Yes, you can do this.Very often, it’s not a lack of talent, but self-sabotage that inhibits a writer’s success.

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Issue 7 My workshops—and I also do creative coaching—focus on keeping writers creative, positive, inspired, encouraged. That ensures success.

3. "Creative writing courses are popular and can be a great way to hone your talents and focus on your writing." Want you think about this? I absolutely agree. It helps to have a group of people who are expecting you to write; you’re much more likely to do it. In addition, reading others’ work gives writers the ability to revise their own work. Also, there are fictional techniques that writers learn in creative writing courses that are essential to writing a great story. A good creative writing course provides an enthusiastic group of peers that provide honest feedback in a respectful way. It keeps the inspiration gage on high, and I can see how much my students’ writing improves in only a few weeks. 4. A word of advice for writers? Don’t give up. Find kindred souls. Try not to be hard on yourself. Read, read, read. Have fun with the process and the product will be better than you imagined.

For more information on Jennifer and her creative writing workshops, you can visit her on her website: http://www.jennifermillskerr.com/

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Issue 7

Alphabet Poem: Dark & Grim Alexander Kerri

After light had ceased to die Because the clouds had filtered all skies Causing rain and storm yonder the land Do I ever wonder if the sky might change? Evermore do I not matter the situation. For light I dislike and darkness endured Gathering lunar intelligence and the bitterness sweet.

Auscultation

David Kowalczyk Auscultation n. medical diagnosis through listening to body sounds This word was born with the knowledge that all songs are possible. It has a voice which always lights a candle. And a smile that knows me.

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Samsara

Bobby Aldridge Once we were in the air, the disembodied voice said we were free to move about the cabin. I rose hesitantly at first and extended my hand toward her. As we began to dance slowly in the aisle, softly humming I Only Have Eyes for You, the once pleasant stewardess got quite concerned. Soon turbulent skies were employed as an excuse. “Please return to your seat. Place your seat in the upright position, and fasten your seat belt.” Though I was restrained for the moment, I was not at all impressed by the uprightness of my seat. It seemed to me no more pious than any other, less comfortable than some. It was as if seat and belt, stewardess and voice were one. Confined by circumstance and station I sat in sullen compliance. The only space was in the aisle. The only freedom was in the aisle. The aisle was free, and the aisle was inaccessible. My seat belt was too tight; my seat too upright. I didn’t even want a beverage. As we landed and the seat belt light went off and the doors opened, I was free once more to move about the cabin and the aisle and to pass through the jetway. Moving toward the light, soon I found myself at the terminal. A whole new world with new rules. It seems I was on the plane for such a short time. Spring dandelions try to mimic the bright sun. So soon with seeds, fly

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Issue 7

TWO IN THE MORNING Mark Lamourueux The national anthem melts into snow; at least it did in analog, before they learned to fill empty space with advertisements. It seems no-one would miss that silence, but everyone without a voice: meanwhile, things get out of hand; last call of the wolf hour, the snipped umbilical of those who will go home alone or nod with the ghosts out on the avenue

or in the nave of all-night diners that shine like satellites in the unruly dark, lighthouses on the blacktop calling home the prodigies— the sleepless, the hip, the ones with stories too long to tell to anyone but two in the morning refugees; it’s not so bad— back home the war is still on.

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What are your main inspirations for Miracle your writing?

Issue 7

Camila de la Parra: Interview and Poem Camila de la Parra is a young Mexican poet and founding editor of printed poetry magazine Repentino, issues 1and 2 are available now from ASF. Cover art by Ali Suzaireen.To purchase your copy of Repentino, please contact Harry Brake At: HarryBrake[at]yahoo[dot]com

Interviewed by: Jack

Little

I’m not sure I can point out all of them. The most important one is life itself though. The fact that we have a life, that we’re able to breathe and feel, is truly a miracle that I fail to understand but makes me feel enormously lucky. I wake up to the feeling of air in my lungs, I know there are people out there that love me and that I love back, and that’s pretty much enough for me to get inspired. Also, I think the true beauty of life lies within the little, fragile things: just-baked bread, a lonely cloud, a baby laugh, a 5th grade boy’s amazement at his goldfish, the smell of wet mud, etc. Although sometimes I write when I go through hard times, I think the strong emotions are the ones that make you appreciate the little, everyday ones that you don’t usually notice. Do you have a method to your writing or do you just write what first comes to mind? I have taken some creative writing courses, but they have taught me that there really isn’t a method of writing. What I usually do is grab a pen and paper or my computer and write a lot of nonsense, just raw feelings put into words that I hope nobody every reads because it’s

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Issue 7 horrible writing. Once I feel like I have expressed what I wanted to say in the first place and my insides are purged, I stop. Later on I go back to the writing and try to shape it into something, to organize everything I wrote and eliminate typos and clichés. What was the inspiration for Repentino? I know there are many great artists and writers out there, but not many people in Mexico know this. Art is welcomed in Mexican society, but it is not cherished nor it is given the value it truly has. Repentino is a space for recognition to infuse young artists and writers with confidence. At the American School Foundation we have amazing artists, but they’re scattered, they’re in their own little artistic bubble and nobody knows what they’re capable of. Repentino was made for them to come out of their bubble and challenge themselves, for the world to see how amazing they can be, for the artists at ASF to be exposed and to get exposure, for those artists to feel united and create a strong artistic community. When reading poetry, do you prefer it to be online or in print? Why? I much prefer it is printed because I can annotate, underline, write something next to it, touch it, smell it and my eyes don’t get tired. When it is printed I feel like the words pierce my fingers and travel through my whole body all the way to my head and heart. Reading poetry online, unlike the printed ones, is like a highway to my heart and head, with no stops, no curves, no sightseeing. I truly enjoy the entire experience of reading a printed poem, I feel like it’s a slower process that adds more flavor to it. What does the future hold for Camila de la Parra? Well right now I am taking a year off before going to university and I’m traveling through Europe, so my near future is kind of constantly changing at the moment. My ideal long-term future however would be

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Issue 7 to really boost the arts and writing of my country. I will try to encourage and inspire young artists, through programs, through events and hopefully through example, so that Mexico can slowly learn to really appreciate all forms of art. Also, when I’m a grown woman, when I’m out of energy and my drive to change the world has quieted down, I would love to open a bookshop on a quiet beach where I can be surrounded by the people I love and lie in a hammock next to an infinite stack of books.

Poem by Camila De La Parra Translated by Jack Little Damned temptation Flying and drinking in all the shades of blue That float with us. Damned traveler’s heart That nothing will convince to stay still Not easily contented Blaring louder than my thoughts Rough and rasping: "Go search under rocks, Behind the horizon, the outer limit of your childhood, There you will find your smile That will take you to the ultimate goal of the winds” And to a tunnel, direct and simple I give the complexity of a labyrinth And turn and return, again One second to the next What existed, now no longer. I travel with time to face my loneliness To think, eyes closed,

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Issue 7 The questions of small creatures And the flavour of what dampens stars. I will calculate the distance To the centre of the world from inside this camping tent, A fingerprint measure, The milliseconds between the sand and dreams. Damned traveller’s heart That twisted his neck to see me in different ways That loosens the hair that I have carried, I brush it gently with winds and freedom, With silent promises Round, full moons And other pleasurable languages. And that outweighs this world When you fit life in a rucksack And I tied it upon your back, and your knees knocked. I know, eventually I will trip and fall on my bed clothes, my dreams Slide and roll until a hidden valley of memories. Yet my bed has outlined my figure. The bubble, leather, locks me in - I have no knife Parents filter my air, I fear suffocation under open sky. My skin might hurt on contact with life I could burn the entrails of eating so many truths And I might lose sight of whom I have been so far in daytime. But this decision comes from the bones, I observe a honey bee She murmurs of values, a promise A date of the end. If only this one time Do not turn your words to my heart They will vanish in time And my illusion, dream, would be a border The frustration of dying, though not wanted.

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Issue 7

Life collects

Scott Hastie Life collects, pools around you. It paints its highlights, Nothing there you can destroy Or begin again. Calm in aquamarine beauty, Barely a hint of surf’s snowy trim. Today the sea is out But will come again. For the moment, On the beach, My love and I, Naked and blissful as can be. In the soft, sun baked sand History between my toes. Sense how Even the smooth stones ache With stories of their own In the shuddering light of day.

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Issue 7

Chinatown Robert Ueda

T

here we were In the midst of an oriental expose More like a permanent museum display

Miracle

poetry

The history of our foundation here in the West Build on the backs of the yellow and black Only I prefer to keep clear of the festering beast that is Oakland at high noon No This was someplace stranger Chinatown, San Francisco A soy canker in the greasy mouth of America In some circles this was the closest thing to an escape Or the closest thing to internment It’s all about perception A pompous soccer mom/beast attempting culture meanders through the local chaos Green beans or shallots tonight? A psychedelic mess with an unwarranted response Could she handle the absurdity? I care not, choose the latter sweetheart “Shallots”

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Issue 7

Snowfall Lauren Ebanks White brigades of snow fill the air, like dust in a beam of light, all-encompassing. Gusts of wind shatter the snowfall like a shiver threading its way through the spine. Footprints scar the alabaster ground like shards along a canvas. A single patch of crisp perfection remains. To ruin it would be a sickly-sweet pleasure. Ready. Aim. Fire. Balls of white zoom through the air, ambling towards friendly targets. Cold is forgotten and frivolity warms every fibre. Numb fingers, cold skin, warm fires. Street lights twinkle like fire flies. The scent of tepid cocoa floats softly through the still, merry air.

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Oracle Charles Darnell They come once more To ask the future from Indifferent eyes That do not see. They come, Knowing what I say Is without politic, Or said to seek praise or gratitude. It may comfort or not, It does not enter my calculation. The inexorable events to come Will bring wails or exaltation, It matters not to me. The power to see and say Seems god-like to those who hear. Events borne out by my Un-erring eye Bring fear and awe Yet move me not. I see all and know all, And find this curse of future-seeing, This agony of knowledge, The bane of my all-knowing, Black and omniscient eyes.

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Issue 7

THOSE WHO MARRY GHOSTS Paul Hodge

"And it's a ghost story you want, is it?" asked the railway guard, having spent the past quarter of an hour or so conversing with the gentleman in the waiting room. "Well," he continued when he received an affirmative answer, "did you ever hear of anybody marrying a ghost? I know a young woman who married a ghost and is living with him." The young gentleman moved his shoulders ever so slightly. "Please go ahead with your story," he said, brushing aside a steel-grey curl that had slipped over one eye. "Then I will," said the guard. "Though it is as sad and unfortunate as it is unnatural." The guard walked towards the young man but instead of seating himself on the bench beside him he chose to rest upon a pile of luggage nearby. "The woman in question was young Mary Carpenter," spoke the guard. "Twenty years ago,

she was living in a nearby village - in fact, the very place you are travelling to. The girl was betrothed to Tom Allen, a young man who lived not far from Mary, and their wedding had been planned for the June of that year. Sadly, only a week before the wedding, the young gentleman was killed in a terrible accident whilst working on the London to Brighton line. He had a hard job shunting those engines, and the one that took him nearly split him into two - awful business it was." "Well, as you would imagine, Mary was devastated; but, oddly, only days into her mourning her grief appeared to subside, and was replaced by a strange newfound happiness." "She told her parents that she had met and conversed with John's spirit and they had planned for the wedding to take place on his grave. Her parents attempted to understand their daughter's predicament but soon they were out of their minds with worry and had to call for a

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Issue 7 doctor to assist. To their surprise, however, the physician said that the girl was entirely without fever or delusion and confirmed that her mind was perfectly intact. The doctor was called upon several times but on each visit his diagnosis was consistent and his medical skills were not called into question." "The parents were entirely at odds with the whole affair but with the sanity of their daughter confirmed, and wishing her to be happy, they allowed her to go ahead and make preparations for her wedding to the ghost." "She rented a house and furnished it and went to the minister to engage his services to pronounce the ceremony. The reverend did not take kindly to the wedding of a pretty girl to an apparition and told her it was sinful to do so. She insisted and finally seeing how heartbroken the girl was the minister and her parents agreed to allow the marriage." "She is now married and lives in a cottage for two, and an apparently empty chair sits on the opposite side of the table from her as she eats her meals. She eats and talks to the

imaginary husband on the opposite side of the table and seems to be happy as the bride of a ghost." "Mr. Carpenter, her father, is a well to do man of these parts and as he has the money to afford it he continues to furnish his daughter the means of keeping house with her husband's ghost as long as she finds comfort for her broken heart in such an existence." "I have nothing more to add except to say that I have seen little of the girl since; but each time she has appeared in public those who have seen her say she presents herself in perfect health and is exquisitely neat and dainty." "But, no doubt sir, you consider this to be nonsense." The young man smiled and, on hearing his train arrive, rose and stepped out onto the platform. As the train moved out, however, the young man turned to remove his overcoat, and a shower of rice fell out; the guard stood behind him, a startled look on his face, struggling to recall the chap's name.

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Issue 7

The Museum of Flight Len Kuntz

Where did summer go, smell of mown lawns, saltwater taffy and bicycle grease, kryptonite nowhere to be found? Where did summer go, granddad on the porch whittling, spitting tobacco juice in flower beds of daisies? Where did summer go, those naked nights at Haystack Rock and breathless trips to The Museum of Flight? Where did summer go, when your brother met me at the door, worried, and said, “Watch out, she’s a black widow?” Where did summer go, when I still had unstained shirts, a real roof, and something warm like love? Where did summer go, leaving without mercy a trail or note?

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Issue 7

Pour The Blues J.J Campbell

F

rank liked to play the sax outside of an old bar on fifth

no one could pour the blues into your soul like that old black man

until he disappeared some say it was cancer while others say it was a gambling debt all i know is this street hasn't sounded alive in over a decade now

i doubt many remember frank or the old saxophone or those magical friday nights just like anything that's real in this town hosed down a storm sewer and never thought of again

and while many sensitive artists have tried to fill the void

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Issue 7

Movie Night “The World’s End” Reviewed by- Pattrick Satters The World's End is a 2013 British science fiction comedy film directed by Edgar Wright, written by him and the critical acclaimed actor Simon Pegg, seen in epic blockbuster like Star Trek: Into Darkness and Mission Impossible IV. It is the third movie in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, following Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. The film is about a group of old friends who try to reach the last pub in their unfinished pub crawl while discovering that their hometown turned into a an alien invasion gateway. Sounds ridiculous, right? That’s the fun part about the movie. It may doesn’t reach the amount of jokes like Hangover 3 did, but the jokes are better

better constructed that takes a moment to fully understand them, because many of them have an underlying meaning. Simon Pegg plays the character Gary King, who was the greatest Kid in school, followed by four great friends till the end of the world. What seems important and funny while being a pupil is mostly embarrassing and unimportant the moment people became adults. Their goals change to more meaningful stuff like a career and family, but not for Gary King. He stayed the same even though he is now around 40 years old, which is on one hand quite sad and on the other even72 sadder. Seeing an old grown man act like a teenager shows us all how 72 embarrassing and dumb we were, even more that he should be wiser after this many years.


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Issue 7 This mind problem of his and the delusion of being cool even now leads to many conflicts with his grown up friends who try to be normal and helping him out for the sake of old memories. The story follows the group of friends through 12 pubs ending in the bar “The World’s End”. In each of them the group discovers more stuff about the alien invasion and reminds them of their past. There are parts that feels stretched, especially the ending, but the overall pace is great. The same goes for the music which fits the scenes good enough to multiply the feelings of the movie without overshadowing it with grandiloquence. The cast of the movie is set together by many well known actors like Nick Frost and the most popular British actor right now after Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman. He is not only known as the character Watson in Sherlock and Bilbo Beutlin in The Hobbit, but also for several other movies and theater plays. We also got Ex-Bond Pierce Brosnan and David Bradley, known for his role as the Janitor in the Harry Potter Series. The other actors are mostly unknown at least for non-British watchers, but all of them plays their role perfectly. None of them feels out of place or meaningless. It's like the comedy version of the Expendables. So the humorous part does a great job and is surprisingly the worse part of the movie. Edgar Wright created a comedy movie that has such a great fighting choreography and picture composition that it feels more like a high spec action blockbuster like “Man of Steel”. Most of the fights are done in one shot without a shaky cam and still feel dynamic. There are so many unique ideas put in there to make the numerous fights exciting. Also the special effects are great accomplished for a low budget movie that they don’t feel cheap or lacking. In conclusion: The Worlds End may not be the best movies and has tiresome parts but it is one of the best comedy and directed movies in recent years. It's bad that the movie didn’t get the attention it deserved, but maybe the blue-ray sells will give it another chance to open up for a bigger audience.

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Issue 7

igh David

Marshall

Long day teaching kids, feeding cat, groceries. Yeah I sit down in my chair. The man chair The man of the house chair. 'Darling...can you do something?' Do something? 'Can you get me some cling film?' The cling film's right next to you. 'Yes dear,' I heave myself up. Cling film sorted, I wander back to the chair. Back to my poem. My great poem. 'Can you help me with something?' What thing? 'Can you mix this. It's really stodgy.' Damn. Mixing sorted, I wander back to the chair. 'Babby, can you pass a cushion please?' Mmmm. No. 'Coming dear.' Cushion sorted, I wander back to the chair. In which the cat sits, smugly. The cat chair. The cat of the house chair. Damn.

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Issue 7

An Accidental Creation Olga Kolesnikova

A world where everything is contingent, A world of chance, of endless possibility. Where the sky makes white ships from itself, breaks them on invisible rocks and fixes them again. Where a speck is turned into a silent giant that is naked in winter but gets dressed when it's warm. A grey rock hangs in nothingness and moves oceans hundreds of miles away, glowing with a stolen light. Dead fires are believed to make distant creatures struggle, love or fight. The soil spews green hair and vibrant, living ornaments of azure blue and ruby red that soon rot away, but always return from the dead. A place seemingly benign, a quiet forested hill, sleeps for a thousand years and then erupts in anger and passion the like of which was never seen. All is one mass made from an infinity of individual atoms, things are born out of destruction, and everything returns to what it was.

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WORMING INTO VALHALLA John Horvath Jr.

In red silted waters see what life’s become: It’s “I love you as the moon craves fresh planting” when the tractor comes for my hard-metal casket so a gang of ravens can herd me home from the menagerie of our routines I will sink deep into your loam memory as disk and plow turn crop to dust, dust to crop, in and out in rhythmic harvest ‘til there’s nothing but a space of “once there was soybean or oats; maybe it was tall wheat flowing as a river flows through bottom” Shadows of summers like breezes felt in youth caress your lips. They tremble. But remember this beast as long as God gives you even if logic escapes you when remembering is a morning toil milking the other side of the bed for answers: who once slept here loud as a cow giving difficult birth, or as a wolf howls at secret unseen when the moon is brightest. Morning, noon, embarrassed naked nights This had been a test, a test of love: and, I have passed.

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Now, Dear

Laura Rojas If I sit on the train and the seat goes backwards I’ll watch fields green with rain people lonely or together holding bags, umbrellas, hands a collective of rain jackets stitched together like a colourful plastic quilt and sleeping people sleeping talking on the phone the earth muddy and promising trains driving on parallel tracks but we divide so easily thin hairs or blades of grass and people are fragile soft bodies soft flesh imbalanced things, so tentative with mouths for kissing each other’s mouths and kissing each other’s hands which we hold together in prayer in movie theaters under school house desks under heavy blankets in the daytime rain my seat goes backwards and I go back 8 hours to the blue sky of morning and a city talking on its own

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Issue 7

Beetlemania

David Swykert

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afael attached the electrodes from the computer screen to the beetle’s brain and set him in front of Pauline. Rafael watched as her face downloaded from the beetle’s eyes to the screen in a flowing rainbow of colors and shapes, a separate and distinct reality from his own. “Even to a beetle you are as beautiful as anything in endless space,” he said. “I am only as beautiful as you imagine.” “What about the beetle?” “I am only as beautiful as he imagines.” Rafael shook his head. “You think beauty is not real, only imagined?” “I believe all things are only as we imagine. What is real is as real as we know it, but no more.” “But no less,” Rafael said. “You know what I would like?” “A kiss?” Pauline laughed. “Take the beetle out to the garden and let him go free. Let him explore his own universe as he sees it.” Rafael released the beetle. A million years into the future it developed language, art, and a concept of beauty beyond all previous life forms.

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Haiku Ram Krishna Singh Miracle on the wall the window grill's shadow midnight pain

poetry

arab spring-tending death and roses a short bloom

midnight darkness wrapped in loneliness dreamy escape

a frog bullied into the hedge: snake's breakfast

half-eaten fallen under the tree the last mango

lonely sunrise-a butterfly flutters round a dead marigold

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Miracle Interview

Issue 7

“The New Era Of Creative Writing” Josie Arnold talks about her teaching methods to Catherine Schythe

Josie

Arnold is a Professor and Lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology and the founder of the online Master of Arts in Writing course at the Lilydale campus. “After I went to Lilydale I was requested to build a new postgraduate MA (Writing). I conceived of the modules and wrote most of the 192 lectures. As Lilydale was rather remote, I decided to make the course entirely online.” Professor Josie is also in charge of supervising six PhD candidate students. The students are required to produce a large piece of work at approximately at eighty thousand words including a “Thesis” to accompany the submission. “In 2004 I set up the PhD in writing by developing an artefact and exegesis. This has proved to be very successful.” Josie not only uses her gifts to teach and encourage student writers, but she is also a successful author who has written numerous books and research papers. Her genres include; novels, poetry, education, research, drama, memoirs and film. “I have written all my life but was first published in the 1970’s, since then I have had over 45 books published.” As a child, Josie had quite a vivid imagination and enjoyed telling stories to herself. She also enjoyed observing stories of different people. Inspired by life, Josie used her innate creativity and her experiences to write and become the outstanding author and lecturer she is. Her teaching journey began when she was at a Catholic Girls School. Since she came from a very disadvantaged background; she was encouraged by the Nuns to continue in what she wanted to pursue. “The Nuns were inspirational as I record in my memoirs ‘Mother Superior Woman Inferior. Teaching was one of the few socially mobile jobs

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Issue 7 available to poor girls in the 1960s, and you received a salary from the Education Department whilst at Uni and this allowed many poorer students to study.” Professor Josie has been teaching at Swinburne University since 1992. Initially she began teaching Liberal Studies in the old Faculty of Arts. “I began teaching at Swinburne in Liberal Studies-an engineering subject.” Prior to this, Josie was a Secondary school teacher who taught English and English Literature in various schools around Melbourne. She also taught teacher trainees at Monash University. As an expert lecturer, Professor Josie has her methods for teaching. Her teaching approach is based upon a few of her important tools and these include; building a positive learning environment, professional engagement, up to date information and most importantly, her strong belief that learning is both an intellectual and a transformative process. “I believe in the transformative nature of education when students are enabled to construct their learning alongside a teacher who is expert in the field.” Her teaching methods stem from her own personal teaching philosophy which is the foundation of where her research and methods are put into practice. “My teaching philosophy arises from my practical and research interest in the students’ journey, my teaching strategies and methods are student-centred and facilitate deep learning as well as a lifelong-learning culture expressed in graduate attributes”.

Another important part of her teaching process is “reflective practices.” This is used in teaching as a means of helping the students reflect on their practices and by doing this, they are able to evaluate and identify their areas of improvement. “The reflective journal enables writing practitioners to identify issues and bring them from their own practice into the scholarly field - particularly with PhD and MA (Writing) students.” Online study is a popular way to study these days, with many people opting to use this system to gain skills. Swinburne University like some others, offer this flexibility to people giving them more options to succeed in the career of their dreams. “Online teaching and learning

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Issue 7 brings the university to the student wherever they are and a large number work to survive so are time poor. This mode can work when and where they please.” Virtual education is a positive way of meeting people’s needs to be able to study, however for a lecturer it can have its challenges. “Online teaching is challenging and also very time consuming. Students are very keen to write long weekly responses and major submissions. Very little time is allocated to PhD supervision and this means that supervisors work closely with students above the hours allocated. Hence time is the great challenge”. In order for the lectures to take place, collaborative work is done with other expert lecturers to create the modules and videos. “The pedagogy that was developed meant that each subject had a dedicated website where weekly lectures, questions, web links and discussion pages were available.” Professor Josie along with her colleagues collaborate together to create the lectures for the students. Her main goal is to see students grow and develop through this course. “In developing ‘Global Dreaming’, a multimedia event for student learning, the team respected one another and brought creativity to the project. The main element after that was very hard work”. To wrap up this informative and inspirational interview, Professor Josie shares her words of advice to those undertaking writing as career. “Writing as a career is very problematic. I suppose I would follow my own model and that is to write all of the time but to have a day job too.” “Education is a transformative moment in students and teachers lives. Together they enrich themselves and the culture intellectually and creatively.” ~Josie Arnold For more information on Professor Josie Arnold you can visit the Swinburne website at http://www.swinburne.edu.au/lss/staff/view.php?who=jarnold

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A PLACE WHERE MEMORIES GLOW Sam Silva

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distant storm approaches this old soldier town and swamp ...shake house and lonely pine stand here and the ghosts skirt with the roaches past a stale can of beer and into their own oblivion of likewise drunk and awful dust. But the art hangs on the walls all deep and dark and clean or opulent with color and lifts my moods toward paradise much like a bloody summer waiting Christmas, child and ice.

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Discreet Entries Selected Images By Cecelia Chapman

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After the Funeral Daniel Bowman

laine Morton caught a glimpse of herself in the dining room mirror as she carefully carried the teas towards the living room, two in each hand. She did not immediately recognise herself with short hair; she had not worn it this short since she was twelve years old. For a moment it was like looking at some grotesque distortion, like a child who has suddenly aged fifty years overnight. She looked tired. She felt tired. The funeral had finished some hours ago. George, Elaine’s exhusband, had taken the younger children for the night so that she could look after her elderly father in peace. It had been a long, difficult day. Robert, her eldest, was also there. He had only come home for the funeral and would be catching a train back to University early tomorrow morning. He stood up and attempted to remove two of the teas from around his mother’s spindly fingers.

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“You should have given me a shout.” “It’s alright I managed fine.” Robert placed the piping mugs on the plastic table. “Who’s that other one for?” Elaine looked puzzled at the two remaining teas she carried. She remembered consciously choosing four mugs from the cupboard. She managed a weak laugh. “Do you know I’m not sure, spare one.” They sipped their teas in silence. Norman, her father, sat back in the armchair, oblivious to the conversation. It really was a horrible armchair. The theme of the living room had always been ‘childproof’:Paintings on tatty paper blu-tacked to the walls, patches of damp spreading from the corners of the ceiling, turning the cream paint a teastained yellow; the little blue picnic table where the kids used to eat their lunches, shapeless brown sofas to camouflage the Ribena stains, and a scattering of neglected

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Issue 7 toys and board game pieces. The chair had been a spur-ofthe-moment purchase after her husband had taken the matching brown one, a sort of burgundy with creeping black floral patterns winding up the arms. It had looked very striking outside the secondhand-shop, amongst the tatty leather recliners and ominously discoloured futons. But here, surrounded by childish plastic furniture and facing an oversized television, it looked ridiculous, desperate almost. “Grandad?” Robert leant forwards, holding his grandfather’s traditional Manx mug at arm’s length. “Do you want your tea Grandad?” Norman didn’t reply. Hisfrail eyelids quivered a little, folded down over frightened eyes. He’s not asleep, Elaine thought, he just doesn’t want to be here. But he is, nonetheless. She gently nudged her father on the shoulder until he opened his eyes. “Dad, Robert’s got your tea.” Norman squinted; even this action seemed to require a great effort. “Robert’s got your tea.” Slowly, slowly her father returned to the room. “Who?” “Robert.”

“Robert?” “Yes, Dad. You know Robert.” She smiled apologetically at her son, but it didn’t offend him anymore. It had been easier for him, only seeing his grandfather during the holidays. He hadn’t had to watch him suffer and struggle and graduallyforget how to live independently. Norman stared at Robert through cloudy blue eyes. They weren’t vacant, they hadn’t given up. That was what kept Elaine going. There was a desire to remember, still a desire to understand. But there was no recognition. “Thanks, lad” he said quietly, accepting the tea with two shaking hands. He took a minute sip before holding it out before him. Like a baby, thought Elaine, but scolded herself, helping her father replace the mug on the plastic table. A baby was easier to look after. It had sometimes been unpleasant, but she had really loved every second of raising her four children. Being woken up at all hours, changing nappies, nursing colds and the overall frustration at their incapacity to understand had all felt so right, so perfectly natural and easy. She hoped her children never had to look after her in such a

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Issue 7 way; there was no pleasure in that task. They sat in silence, the three of them. All at such different points of life. Was it any wonder they didn’t have anything to talk about? thought Elaine, glancing over at her son. Nineteen years old, she couldn’t believe it. When had they become so - distant? Being fifteen when his youngest brother was born, he just seemed to crawl into his attic room one day and quietly grow up. There he was, staring silently at the worn curtains, hanging limply from the few remaining hooks. Who has the time to replace curtain hooks? Was he happy? He never seemed unhappy. She’d heard him talk fondly about his friends, although he’d never brought them over for dinner. Was that still something people did at nineteen? She couldn’t remember. There was no reason to come to this house anyway, it was designed for children. But where were her children now? Every alternate weekend they would leave, leaving heralone in this playhouse. It fell into a state of suspended animation as soon as the kids left. Robert would be gone tomorrow as well. “Are you happy Robert?”

She hadn’t really meant to ask. It wasn’t the kind of question to throw at your son on the day of his grandmother’s funeral, but there it hung. Robert thought for a moment, evidently trying to assess where this was going. “Do you mean right this second, or just generally?” “Just generally, with your own life.” Elaine thought he looked a little frightened. It was true she’d never spoken to her son like this before - plainly. When was the last time the two of them had had a meaningful conversation? It wasn’t as if they didn’t get on as mother and son, but it occurred to Elaine that their conversations could all be put down to a sense of duty. Her duty as mother to ask about his day, but not to pry, and his duty to respond pleasantly, and pretend he was interested in hearing about her boss. She doubted she could name any of his current friends, and he probably didn’t know what her job was. “Yes. I’d say I was happy. Every year seems to be a bit better than the one before.” There was a far-off quality in his expression as he spoke these words. “What about you, Mum? How are you doing?”

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Issue 7 She hadn’t expected him to return the question. Thinking about it, it would have seemed quite heartless of him not to, she just couldn’t see how her life could be of any interest to someone who could give an answer like the one Robert had just given her. It probably couldn’t be. “I don’t know” Elaine sighed, unsure how much she was about to burden her son with. “I just find myself wondering sometimes…” Was this fair? Robert was perched uncomfortably on the arm of the sofa, studying the scum inside his tea cup. Elaine looked at the little white clock on the mantelpiece, chipped

from where a bouncy ball had knocked it off years ago. It was after midnight, in seven hours he’d be up and heading to the station. He probably couldn’t wait to get out of this house, back to real life. “What Mum?” Elaine stared at the little clock, then at her tired father. “What happens now?” Her tone must have betrayed something, because now Robert moved to her side and put his arm around her narrow shoulders. “I guess we just get on with it.”

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Issue 7

BLUE ROSE TRIPTYCH even experiments in uncertainty with Schroedinger and cat

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Noel Williams 1: Cat in box. Particle in box. Schroedinger outside box. Let d= dead. Let a= alive. As he would have it, we can’t know if cat=d or cat=a. 2: Leave the box a few weeks, a year, a hundred years we can be reasonably certain. Knowledge has a half-life, too. 3: Use a transparent box. 4: Put everything in the world that is not Schroedinger in the box. Leave Schroedinger out of it. (He can keep a cat if he’s lonely.) We can be certain he’ll want to get into the box. 5: If the cat is not a real cat, fond of tuna and crippled pigeons but only a thought-experimental cat then let it do what cats made of thought may do: fall in love with the particle, breed particulate-kittens,

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Issue 7 develop immunity, grow wise, scratch messages with HiggsBosons, be alive in a different sense, or, according to Heisenberg, not be in the box at all. 6: Put budgerigar (b) and mouse (m) in box with cat (c). Now, particle may kill mouse (m) or particle may kill budgie (b) or cat (c) may kill mouse (m) or budgie (b). And in any of these cases cat (c) survives. A little longer. But if particle kills cat (c) then budgie (b) and mouse (m) survive until one develops a taste for the other. Whether b>m or m>b or c>(m+b) we’ll find as much uncertainty inside the box as outside it. 7: If the cat isn’t real and the box isn’t real can we be really certain of uncertainty? Isn’t uncertainty the result of not thinking outside the box? Doesn’t Schroedinger need CBT? QED

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Blue Rose Triptych Steven Fortune I. The balance sheet of my internal work bottoms out in blood assessments shading every measurement of record with its iron evocation tinge One day's spectral serenade held a note of cherry blossom pink hueing my accrued debt lacerations in a burnishing of dissolution No crimson-dipped verdure had a chance against the angular azure rose crown and the prism court it hovered over II. One single person on one single day sent me flowers: a blue rose roof erected for "the star gazer and the color lover" No u to be found in the plasticine

Forked note shooting out of the prismatic mini-glade...a New England wink

to ignite a withered Northern Light Wry shelter for a fellow poet's sense of metaphor refusing to be flatlined by the gestures of the simplest kind III. I recall a solitary day's sentiment of scents and the humid hiss of life's toxic breath on its origin of stems My balance sheet of annual internal work wheezes in a patina of dried blood now freezing the informing of your untimely wilt in a single photograph taken to remind me of the one bouquet that coloured that solitary day

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Catcher in the Rosso Rowland Bagnall ‘what a lovely day it isn’t, isn’t it?’ more and more Rosso felt like going home. he hated New York, New Yorkers and the Mets. he liked the Bulls: now there’s an animal! (always end a poem on a statement)

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The Path of Memory Rehan Qayoom If the path of memory on which you’ve been walking For an age at the same pace comes to an end Walk on a few steps further till you reach The crossroads of the wastes of negligence Beyond which there is neither an I nor you And the field of vision holds its breath for who knows when You might retreat, transcend, or turn around to look Though the eyes know this is all a lie If ever again we do see eye to eye Some other path will branch out from that point on And hand in hand we will begin the journey In the shadows of your tresses to the movement of your arms The other thing is also sorcery for the heart knows There is no turning no desert no spell Veiled in which my months can pass If the path of life runs with your thoughts - All is well If you do not turn round to look it doesn’t matter * No it is not that the allure of the sun’s stilettos That bedazzle the eyes Or that the wiles of the dawn-breeze-route-beguiling gait That roast the heart when in it reflected Can no longer emerge in the elegance of another Nor is it that beauty and love and desire The rituals of Courtly Romance, the tradition of Chivalry Have no role to play at the midnight masquerades

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Issue 7 But that we live in this perpetual city you and I Uninvited to the carousels Nor hearing the horn-blow portending doomsday What sempiternal taverns do this Muse and I haunt In which none can hear the tumult of the revelers Let alone catch the glass-heart shatter

Samurai With Butterfly Epaulet Serkan Engin

I am a samurai with butterfly epaulet A sword from words is in my hand My shield is from hero sparrows

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Issue 7

books in brief By Julie Stanley

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ard Constantine’s ‘The Troubleshooter: New Haven Blues’(Non Omnis Moriar, Ltd., June 23, 2012) is the type of book that once you start, you do not want to put it down. Constantine’s delightfully fantastic prose eerily describes with impeccable realism a dystopian futuristic world. Mick Trubble is a troubleshooter, more commonly known outside of the havens as a private investigator. He is then thrust within the most peculiar circumstances that cause him to face his past and come to terms with who he is after his memory is lost. His character is cool, collected, and most importantly, adept at what he does. Constantine guides us through his journey with guns blazing through smoky jazz bars, encounters with shifty fedora and trench coat wearing mobsters, and androids whose shadow of humanity are revealed within their eyes. With unique linguistic use in this world, the story itself has the feel of ice cold steel on velvet that you can’t help but want to run your fingers across as you are engrossed within the pages. I am patiently waiting a sequel to this very addictive series.

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n a similar line of a dystopian future, Brave New World (Everyman's Library; Reprint edition, September 24, 2013) by Aldous Huxley is one of the most inspiring reads of the 1930’s. Written as a satire, it bravely and sullenly depicts a world that is partitioned. The society that Huxley portrays is one that is disfigured as it alludes to the idea that it could be a potential future and oddly enough, I think he was right on par. Free love and emotional commitment to significant others were something frowned upon.

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Issue 7 Pleasure and hedonistic values are embraced from psychological conditioning and genetic engineering. The world is controlled and thus ‘enlightened’ whereas the unpredictability of traditional values is considered barbaric and savage. Reading through the perspective of Bernard, I traveled with him through his own personal journey of enlightenment. Through his eyes I saw the blasphemy of what was considered the new world. I was in awe of the flawed society known as the Savage Reservation. I found myself clinging more toward the savagery than Huxley’s idea of progression. Much insight can be gleaned from a personal and societal standpoint regarding the flexibility of morals within the work that can not only be seen today, but has a possibility within the future. This book is brilliant and has been, and shall remain, one of my favorites.

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nce I had read David W. Moore III’s ‘From the Midst of the Maelstrom’(Amazon Digital Services, Inc., October 2010)I was thrust within the poetical muses ofa man rich in eloquent form and speech. His poetry, spanning the course of years, clearly demonstrates the growth, insight, inspiration, and wisdom brought about through years of evolving with his own perspective of the written word. Eerily haunting and uplifting, Moore’s debut collection is a portrait that ages slowly. It does not fade, rather, becomes ingrained within memory as its form of verse settles within the mind a sense of beauty. This collection pulses with heartfelt prose and poetry and is one that will leave the reader struck as its rhythm and message courses through their spirit.

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aren R. Williams “I’m A Christian On My Way To Hell” (Karen R .Williams; 1st edition, June 30, 2013)was at first, not quite what I had expected. Using an omniscient perspective, the ‘Voice of God’ leads the reader into a world of abject debauchery in its most vivid and gruesome form. Through the love of God, the powers of unconditional love, and friendship four women are tied together with a fifth- their devout Christian anchor. The four women fell into the bottomless abyss of devastation. They regained control through the power of prayer to find redemption. This book focused mainly upon the tenuous relationship individuals actually have with God as opposed

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Issue 7 to the strong relationship Christians should have. The story itself was phenomenal although the editing and formatting could use someextra attention.

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tory Starters’ by Clifford Fryman(Tin Palace Press, April 29, 2011)is a writer’s best friend and handy tool for those who lack that inspirational kick to get the creative juices flowing. This book is jam-packed with various writing prompts that rage from the intriguing to the comical. Through the varied genre–based examples given, it provides an excellent tool to use in broadening a writer’s artistic horizons when it comes to cultivating a story. This book is an excellent choice for workshops, novice writers, seasoned authors, and those who simply want to write, but are unsure as to what to write about or when the waters of muse have run dry. If you are in a rut and want to write, I’d advise to pick up this book and peruse the prompts available. Of all the books pertaining to this subject matter, this one is by far the optimal choice.

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Issue 7

The Shape of Priority Victor Matak

h

e strips his backpack downward, slamming onto my red painted table cheap: Ikea, affordable he pretends to ponder with his finger rubbing up his nose he says to me: south America is the size of our wheat reserves Africa is the equivalent land mass of the animals needed to feed our not hungry mouths he once debated a stranger for a piece of cake: Kafka unlike the dull reading of contemporary poets Disagree: bland, runny nosed prose with the exception of: ‘then, without his consent, his head sank down to the floor, and from his is nostrils streamed his last breath.’

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Issue 7 (whose translation?)

the best part, I say while I fiddle with my tarnished blue shorts and scratch my superfluous strands of hair which are unnecessarily hairy come on, he motions his brown impatient eyes to speak his speech let’s head down to seven eleven and get some candy no I want burgers

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Cider Fresh Morning MAire Morrissey-Cummins Miracle A gentle sea breeze shifts through the Maple beneath a freckled sun where clouds comb a powder blue sky on a cider sweet morning.

poetry

The cat circles lukewarm shadows stretches into the light. The day is young in her kneading paws pink pads on a fleece blanket. She wipes her sun soaked eyes soothes her soft fur coat, yawns in the harvest glow. Butterflies doze on yellow centers, daisy dreams of Indian Summers. A posy of roses lean long against the fence beneath an bower of jasmine. A lustrous September day tingling with Autumn

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Lake Tahoe, 2004 Phillip Larrea Violin Old vine twist Reminisce Piano Naughty pine Wine sins then Saxophone Flight willow Antique bind

(previously published in We the People, Cold River Press)

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Becky

Celia Watson gritted my teeth as the sun split between the clouds and flushed into my eyes. A cool interlude was precious in such ridiculous summer heat. The skin of my arm fried in the light, humidity clinging to me like a wet wash cloth. "Just one more mile to go!" My mother yelled from the driver's

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seat. Her screeching was often swallowed by the voluminous chewing of the mouth we call Highway 61. Well, they call it Highway 61. I call it a death trap. I say so because even though we've had this quadracycle my entire life, I've never felt safe whilst pedalling next to the wide, twolane-sized trucks that churned past us. And don't get me started on the roads without cycle lanes. Today we were doing the usual route home from the store, about a three-mile trek. Twenty-five minutes by car, an hour by us. And that's when there's no backseat drivers. "Mom, Jenny's not pedalling!" my little brother whined. "I am, too!" She gave me a shove. "Put some effort into it, Jenny! This thing isn't going to move by itself!" Clink-clank. Shuffle, creak. The shopping bags in the front basket rattled with every turn of the cogs. School had been out for a few weeks, but it felt like months. Every rattle of Becky whittled me down to bitterness. I hadn't been specifically laid off at the bicycle repair shop, the site of my usual summer job, just "upgraded" to help out a new employee. Same salary, but less patience. I met the hopeful earlier today. Barely had a chance to even look at him, let alone learn of his experience. I sighed and sat back further into my squeaky plastic chair. Four seats, eight pedals, and one tattered roof. All because my mother insisted on being sustainable and healthy and fit. "Like a car, but without the gas," she would say. "We are the gas, and there is our destination. Now pedal." An incentive for exercise? Not so much. More like a explicit sign of our crumbling situation. I thought of Becky, our

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Issue 7 nickname for the contraption, as a stage on which we presented our plight. The safety curtain was drawn and our performance was demanded. Every day on Highway 61. "Moooom, make Jenny go faster!" Whine, whine, whine. "I am pedalling!" I defended. "Pedal faster!" "Would you two just shut up! We can't all be going at different speeds, you know that." My mother's command was sharp and stiff. She kept her hazel eyes on the road and sighed through her exhausted cheeks. "Faster or I'll push you overboard!" He nudged. "No!" I retaliated with my pointy elbow. Even though Sam was weaker than me, I was not going to slip and let myself be blended up by the raging river of traffic. Lucky brat was facing the bridge. He pushed me again. Nope, not this time. I shoved back. My mother's leathery lips were tightening by the second. She turned around to stare at us in the face. "You two! Quit it or I'll--" Tyres screeched. I shot a glance to the left. I heard a few yells then another bike and biker slammed against my body, squishing me and the fragile frame of Becky. A flurry of tyre scrapes and metal clanks resounded as we suddenly ground to a halt. My limbs intertwined with Becky in unknown, uncomfortable places. I pried my eyelids open, lashes batting the concrete. My shoulder blades scraped as I tried to shift my body. I craned my neck upwards. "Sam? Mom?" I croaked. "We're over--" "Are you alright?" "Jenny?" The succession of voices blurred into one incomprehensible mess as I felt myself be pulled up and turned over. My muscles ached and I knew Becky's did too. Her creaking was not normal. As I was placed onto my side, slashes of sun-ray blurred my vision. I lifted my palm over my eyebrows to block out the light. "Jenny?" The figure asked as it swayed side to side. The towering black silhouette contrasted against the piercing sky. I squinted to make out the appearance. It leaned closer, to where I could hear his voice linger over the grating buzz of the highway. I heard two groans. Instantly, my attention and neck shifted to the left.

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Issue 7 "Jenny, why don't you call--" my mother mumbled. I heard her try to pull herself out from the jumble of metal beams. "What happened? What happened?" Sam shrieked. I closed my eyes and strained to hear the murmurings nearby. The heat from the pavement was distracting. I just wanted the world and the highway to slow down. The voice had moved over to my mother. Fabric, gears, and beads rustled loudly. "Here, let me help you up. I'm so sorry about this, ma'am." "Well, I'd tell ya you sure better be sorry, but I can't say so 'til we know who caused what here," she snapped. "Let me just make sure you're all ok first." His voice started to sound slightly familiar. More rustling and dusting off. "Oww," my brother winced. Finally, the footsteps came back towards me. "Can't forget about you, Jenny." His sweaty fingers latched onto mine as he hoisted me up. How did he know me? As my feet became horizontal, I blinked to refocus my vision. I let go of his hand. The pieces had been put together. "Aaron?" I mumbled. A mop of curly hair, a lanky frame. The same hopeful at the cycle shop. He shifted his feet. I brushed off my jeans. As I bent down I snapped out of my daze. I whipped around to find Mom and Sam. "Jenny, are you alright?" Mom stumbled over to me. I grabbed her as she came close. "Yeah, are you?" "I'll be ok." Metal jingled as my mother turned her head. "Where did you come from, anyway?" "I was riding behind you in the bike lane, when some idiot on the road came way too close. So I tried to squeeze between you and the bridge barrier, but obviously that didn't work." Aaron guilty kicked around a few pebbles. "So you caused this mess? I lowered her arms. "Mom, I'm sure it wasn't intentional--" "Honest, ma'am. I can help pay for repairs or whatever you--" "I'm sure the insurance will help cover for it," I proclaimed over the roar of the motors. Mom twisted her face. "Insurance? Who said anything about--" "Come on, we need to get off the road," I urged.

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Issue 7 "Moooom, it hurts." Sam pointed to his knee, cueing Mom to rush over. "And get home," I continued. I shot a look at Aaron. Neither he nor I knew what to think. "So are you gonna stand here all day?" Mom snapped. Aaron fidgeted awkwardly. "Uh, no, ma'am. But I can help take you home." "How are you--" "I can steer. You and Sam can sit in the back. I'll attach my bike to the rear." "And Jenny?" He shyly glanced at me. "Well, she can help bike. Now, let's get this thing upright." "The 'thing' is called Becky. Have some respect," my brother retorted. For once he cared about the scrap of metal which had caused endless arguments years before. And so we heaved Becky up. Clanging pedals, obnoxious bells and all. I did start to wonder if we were distracting the truck drivers on Highway 61. With such a getup we looked like the travelling circus. Startled mother and brother in the back, I climbed into the driver's seat. "Oh, it's ok. I can steer," Aaron offered. "No!" I barked, gripping the seams of the leathered wheel. Suddenly I felt possessive over this piece of junk, the clunky material that never seemed to disappear from my life. Acknowledging my curtness, I cleared my throat. "I mean, I'll steer. I know the way home." I could barely look at him. Why was he going out of our way to do something for us? I waited for a gap in the traffic and then we started to chug. With every push I felt the ache of my brother's knee, the hurt of my mother's pride. This was our first accident. And hopefully our last. I didn't even look at Aaron as we climbed up the arch of the bridge. My chocolate eyes stayed focused on the road, just like my mother's. Yet from time to time I glanced at the metropolis billowing in the distance. Asphalt arteries pumped the blood of commuters in and out of the Hell hole every day. Tiny veins spread from the network, directing the overspill of gasoline back into the residences. I noticed my own sweaty beat, pushing me to pedal faster, forcing me to stay calm in the face of change.

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Issue 7 By the time we reached home the cusp of the moon was peeking through the azure sky, just waiting for the last lick of yellow to fall. My ears could breathe with the stillness of suburbia, a refuge from the shouts of the motorway. In late August the crickets still thrived in the evening, soaking up every last drop of the sticky summer. It was eight o'clock, disastrously late for Midwestern dinnertime, but after today we were numb to surprises. We pulled up in our driveway and lurched to a halt. My brother awoke from my mother's lap, rubbing his eyes and smacking his lips. He rolled up and let my mother breathe. I turned to Aaron for the first time during our journey. "Well, we're here. I'm not sure how far away..." His eyes were latched on the emerging stars. "Um, Aaron?" He jumped. "Oh, what? Sorry. Oh, yeah, I can make my way home. I don't live too far from here." I helped everyone out and unloaded the groceries. I forgot we had bought ice cream. May that's why we were in such a rush, but none of that matters now. Aaron swung his leg round and hopped on his bike. I pulled my mom away from inspecting every minor scrape made to Becky. It could wait. The crickets sang louder. I flashed an awkward half-smile to Aaron and muttered, "Thanks." His messy curls flopped as he nodded sheepishly. I turned to our house and heard his thin tyres peel against the concrete. Inside, my family tried to brush off the shame and revert back to the comfortable crevice of routine. We spoke softly, kindly. Our bruises would take some weeks to heal but our vitality preceded over any causalities, even the melted ice cream. I gazed at the stars briefly before I closed my blinds. A million bad things could have happened to us. But a million good things were possible too.

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Issue 7

Urban-Civility

Christian Andre Allen With a sense of poisoned rationality the human heart throws our world into confusion resulting in moral chaos. The duality between originality and constructs of diversity were essentially the reasons for these faded memories in which we learned in order to move on and cycle through like a round to it's chamber. Even-though we can not bring with us what remains, what was retained became instrumentality. Often a quality to be determined by the ability to deliver our sensible sensitivity while positioning civility over all urban delivery.

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Issue 7

Ink and Consequences Ria Abbott

A tickle niggles into irritation itches into irksome builds to belligerent scratches, the searing sensation bleeds into permanence. Gnashing teeth bitten lips and circling fingers try to distract the senses into less painful pursuits. Total trust in myself and the one with the needle gun Fights for dominance against the whirring buzz of panic. And wins a tentative, cling-film clad victory smiles secretly from under my skin. Relief and the bubble-cheer of novelty Utterly absent as the confident persistent piercing merely brought to light and sight what always lingered cloaked in the tissue of shy self doubt.

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Issue 7

Mirror This Looking Felino A. Soriano

?, stratified— thus / or having a tried dispositional momentum whom in the observation tonalities of touch’s varied isolated theories can or thus/will again impulse causational rhythms interrogate? can the age of a moment isolate the face’s forgetful intuition of last moment’s stagnancy? unknown

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Issue 7

If Only Dandelions Could J.V. Stanley

If only Dandelions could reflect the sunshine as a refuge for my hills and valleys, their color playing a soft song upon my senses. Each undulation from wind bending the necks of long-stemmed glasses. Neither vain nor rattle; nor a setting vein from which to bleed but a muse that feels like a blanket that wraps me within thousands of petals of loves me. Though the sunshine will acknowledge‘loves me not’ is ill acquired. But time does entice the temptress white as bits and pieces bustle their tails and take flight. Like birds, they soar round they go circling in wait with a brief koumiss kiss upon my neck. Will it stop? No one knows, no, not I…

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Issue 7 If only dandelions could aid the passage of time replacing spirits with the tea severed from the green Sweeten the taste of what could be bitter with their honeyed color instead of a billowing transient cloud of conversational quips of ‘If only…’ that will seed themselves wherever they should fall but not here. Not now. If only we had weaved our words into a crown and carried on their golden light with the graciousness that had we the honor, we’d have it if only for a short while.

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Issue 7

The Poetry Place -Nilofer Neubert

Flowers Are Not Cliches When I was first given the theme for the issue – Flowers, I have to admit, poets of the past came up. William Blake, Emily Dickson and so on. It doesn’t help that when you Google ‘Flower Poetry’ many of these things do come up. Of course, there is nothing wrong with reading poetry from those poets, but the danger of seeing flowers in poetry, is that those poems can end up in the category of ‘Roses are red; Violets are blue’, in other words, flower poetry might be assumed as clichés or even assumed that any poem with the word ‘flower’ in it is about love or a woman or about a man who is in love. Well that might be true, that’s not always the case. Flowers are used in poems as symbols for many things. One of my first published poems (by The Fat City Review),Sunflowers Play Your Part Well, does this. In this poem, the flower sunflower was chosen mainly because I love sunflowers. Their yellow petals smile at you and instantly you forget everything that you were sad about. The sunflower is used as a symbol of growth, strength and plays on the fact that sunflowers eventually flop when they are old. Sunflowers Play Your Part Well don’t hide your smile behind yellow petals spread your seeds to dark pillars where laughter never took over nations don’t shy away from the sun – stand tall, provide a backbone to Princesses searching for Kings; not themselves

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Issue 7 don’t only show off your Citine – plant kisses on your kernels to diffuse black hard knocks; the beautiful coxing the ugly lastly, when Time comes, like she always does, don’t fight her – let yourself droop to the ground; return home

Flowers appear in poetry in many different forms. One of the most beautiful works of art I have come across is on the web: http://www.edwardbach.org/Research/docs/haiku/index.html. This page contains 38 Haikus, one for every flower in the Bach Remedies. It is written by Paul Conneally. It’s really captivating how he manages to use these flowers and add an emotional story just within three lines. This is also a lovely example of how science and art can come together and create something new. I am sure that you can also find something unique to do with flowers, write about it and send it to a literary magazine. (A lot of magazines love publishing flower related poems during Spring.) I’ll end this column with a list of prompts from various places around the internet that might inspire you to write a flower related poem. Have fun! If you come up with anything, and have a Tumblr, tag your poems with #thepoetryplace. 1. Writing a poem after analysing Victorian Flower Symbolisms. (http://adelekenny.blogspot.de/2011/05/poetry-prompt-54-flowerlanguage.html) 2. Writing a poem about your favourite flower (http://poetryjaam.blogspot.de/2013/06/its-all-aboutflowers.html) 3. Number 32 talks about looking up rare flowers (http://www.litbridge.com/creative-writing-prompts/creativewriting-prompts-for-poetry/) 4. Photo prompts are always the best! (http://allpoetry.com/contest/2591297-A_Blooms_Soul__Beautiful_Flower_Photo_Prom)

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Issue 7

Montage Trevor Maynard

F

ade in.

Exploding watermelons create quite a sticky mess in any summer, let alone an unseasonably close and very wet one such as this. Some said it was global warming. Some said it was a natural hundred year cycle. The sum of these some seemed to agree it was definitely the prelude to an ice-age. Professor Carter, apparently on a touring lecture of Newcastle, certainly did. “Mankind could do with a good cold snap!” He told a colony of ants that, if it were possible for such creatures to be so, showed a sense of being overjoyed at the sudden shower of free vine fruit. “Glue continental Europe back to Great Britain - Make it possible to toboggan to Normandy in July – Changéons le Monde!” He puffed on his pipe, loaded his grape shot and cocked his rifle, fired. Another watermelon exploded. Deborah Colt and Maggie Winchester looked on, mustering expressions of admiration to mask their boredom; never clock-watch the clients, their Madame had told them. “Of course, back in the day,” Prof’ continued. “I was quite the ladies’ man, quite the cad, quite the… le casanova!” His hand grabbed an ample portion of Deborah’s fleshy backside, slapped it, and then he roared with too much laughter. Another watermelon splattered into the woods. Only Maggie saw the flash of anger in Deborah’s eyes, and only Deborah saw the reassurance in those of Maggie. It was a look that said; at least we know we won’t have to shag him, his kind are all talk, and only talk. “Changéons le Monde!” Jump Cut. Carter swivelled on his wooden leg, his medals and medallions clattered noisily together on his jacket above a plethora of coloured ribbon.

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Issue 7 “Damn and blast! Fresh out of fruit!” The girls mentally placed gloves on their hands and cloaks of forgetfulness over their realities. They slipped off their skirts and blouses. Petticoats and bare breasts had been the client specifications, that, and to perform their paid task on the verbal cue he had just given them. His strangulation of the French language was flagged and they noted it as so passé. His strangulation of them was not. Wipe. Inspector Flanagan inspected the bodies with his usual mixture of meticulousness and disdain, moving a bloodied Victorian undergarment back with his monogrammed pen and checking for the presence of further under-garments; there were none; same as the first girl. “Sir,” Sergeant Molly Allen coughed. “Sir!” “What?” Flanagan was startled, he felt unnecessarily guilty because he knew he was a professional and he had not just copped a peek, as it were, but with Allen looking on, he could only feel, necessarily, guilty. He had told Command there was no need to send a replacement for his old Sergeant, Good Old Pete, just for the six weeks it would take him to recover from his broken metatarsal. “Yes, Allen,” Flanagan smiled innocently. “There’s been annuva – “she said, duckin’ and divin’, cockney and quick, voice of the street, phat lass (as the modern vernacular would have it). “Another girl?” “Man,” Allen told him. “Shot in the boat race, apparently,” she tipped the wink, nodded to no-one in particular. Tight buns, Flanagan observed, before the Met he had been New York Oirish, untouchable. Now he was a Mockney - meaty Aris’, he re-observed. “Blown his nose write off!” Molly laughed loudly and playfully punched her superior officer on the arm; inappropriate, but not nearly as much as the wet daydreaming of her Guv’nor.

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Issue 7 Flanagan was not a man of humour and he did not laugh at the pun, however, he was pleased because now he could admonish Allen in return for her earlier, and indeed current, sneering disapproval. He could also remain safe in the knowledge that he was in charge and there was nothing any woman could do about that. His mind felt soothed, within the confines of his own skull he was able to behave in whatever politically incorrect way he wanted. He banished guilt. “And we found this,” the Sergeant handed him a compact disc entitled Le Marseilles and other French Classics, and Digital Versatile Disc The Day of the Jackal. No-one noticed the recoil of the gun from a nearby grassy knoll or the shadowy figure slipping away beneath the arches of days gone by. Dissolve. Le Foucault appeared from the shadows of the Metropolitan, Pére Le Chaise, with his usual coffee, un sérre. Earlier, Interpol faxed through everything they had on The Jackal ; it was a 1973 film with Edward Fox, remade in 1997 with Bruce Willis. There seemed to be a general feeling of agreement which one was the crime against the art of filmmaking, though imdb made no such judgement so perhaps Inspector Le Foucault being facetious. In any case, this killer was obviously only a passing cinéaste as he did not follow the plot coherently. The nickname was undeserved. However, the reality was four people had died so far, and none of their own free will. Suicide may have been painless, but murder was not. White out. Background sound only (railway) and then fade in. Le Foucault was met at the station by an elfin looking plain clothes officer with a cut glass English accent, the kind that really put the French on edge when their try to speak English. Of course this boy, for he looked no more than fourteen, spoke perfect French, with a Germanic inflection which identified his place of schooling as Alsace, most probably the son of an English civil servant, serving, in Strasbourg.

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Issue 7 “Could he have been, as you say, a rotten apple in the barrel?” Le Foucault asked, looking dispassionately at the prone and bloodied figure in the black and white photograph in his hand. “I would dare say not,” Pollock, the Oxbridge liaison let his lips form a smile that was never quite a smile to anyone, except maybe his reflection. Pollock, the Inspector surmised, had a mirrored ceiling in his bedroom. “And zis?” The Frenchman gestured at the object tucked rather indiscreetly in the corpse’s rectum beneath his unsuitably warm, for the time of year, fur coat. “His pipe,” came the illuminating reply. “Ah, he was a Mason, no?” Le Foucault took his watch from his waistcoat pocket, looked at it, and then idly let it swing, as if a pendulum. “No,” Pollock verified. “You have the photographs of the suspect?” Pollock handed him a series of ten-by-eights which were grainy black and whites. “Ah yes, a master of disguise, yes, certainly a sign of a man who does not know himself.” Le Foucault’s watch stopped swinging as the sun reddened for the sunset, and the Frenchman looked puzzled. “Pollock, why is there an image of you amongst these – “ Superimposition. So it was Pollock, or Kim Philby, as it said on his passport, who sat in the woods holding a pistol in one hand and a bottle of rum in the other, not that the bottle had a label, but this was real Jamaican rum, enthused with Ganja, or so he had been told. Whoever he was, the spy reference was misdirection, let us call him Marcus, languidly gulped from the bottle and casually lifted the weapon, closing one eye and then aiming and firing. A watermelon exploded hundred yards distant; hollow tipped bullets will do that, Marcus had learnt from the movies; everyone learnt everything from the movies nowadays. The trouble was that, there were so many movies and so little time. No time to watch all the movies, no time to sift the dross from the great, the gross

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Issue 7 from the artistic, and the worse from the best. No time to suss out if Quentin Tarintino was an auteur or an acolyte. Then again, the whole thing was just fantasy anyway. Marcus had enacted The Ten Commandments, Pulp Fiction, Star Wars, Alfie, JFK and now Day of the Jackal, and found that the reality was less exciting than the movie. The world did not change. His actions did not change the world. Cheat cut. “You see,” he told a phalanx of ants climbing a water melon splattered tree. “A movie is two hours alone in the darkness and everything is set down, finished, the final cut. Reality is months, years, in the light, and without the ending you would hope for…” he paused to see if the insects were paying him any attention; collectively their antennae seemed to be waving in agreement, or maybe that was just the breeze, or the Ganja. “But, it all turns out the same, because, and this is important bit - ” Marcus, or whoever he really was, staggered to his feet, swayed uncertainly for a moment, then took one erroneous step forward and tripped over a children’s sleigh. He remembered his ankle twisting and thinking in idle confusion that hurt. However, the pain was not as affecting as the gunpowder blast ripping into his chest, or the bewilderment as to why he had forgotten to remove such a wintery object from his field on such a summery day. The ants carried about their business, collecting pieces of melon, unconcerned by the detectives painstakingly picking through their grassy knoll and unconcerned that the important bit had not been revealed. A note left with the body identified him as a her, and her as one Rose B. Kane. Some close to the investigation suggested she another a victim of Le Cinéaste, who had become a cause célèbre among some of the constabulary and some of the film critics; so many some but no more victims since. Iris out.

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Issue 7

Iris milesii

Kriti Bajaj We first saw you as children when we first tasted starry nights and dewy greens on our palms, and drank the shades, so many shades, of purple that had sprung in feathery wisps and flakes and striped petals near nettles and firewood and cow dung cakes. We learned how to make ladders from your leaves as tall as dreams. As I sit here staring at four white walls in a dark city claustrophobic I remember you

and the tingle of the open sky under my skin, the smell of wood shavings; the sound of cattle herders calling the cows home; the fluffy white clouds of smoke from a chimney and a few cigarettes between steady fingers. I do have a few photographs of you purple and green; pale imitations for I smell nothing, hear nothing.

There are only white walls in dark cities.

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Issue 7

TRAIL OF TEARS x E=MC² Alan Britt

Now dead for generations, how many trails of tears were there? Don’t source Wikipedia. Genocide is a bad word, no longer PC. Each death step, each patch of the quilt, oops, there goes another infant strapped to grandmother bequeathing life to her daughter’s newborn son, another five miles, or who knows what, but family members have been falling like flies. So, go forth, go forth, go forth another twenty-five paces..... a hundred frozen paces; you, my darlings, go forth another 700 miles, or so, & then I’ll, I’ll eat this frozen, lifeless aching in my bones, the final answer to what I expected to be a warm, colorful swatch of life I could bequeath one day to granddaughters & grandsons, because, hopefully, like you, they’ll already have fallen head-over-heels in love with our mysterious universe.

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Issue 7

Evenings of Despair Huzaifa Pandit What do you do When the howling steel sky Breaks into a sunless crimson grin To gently tease and prick and pain you? What do you do When the lamenting varnished woodwork That was nailed to the wall By expired adhesives and stainless nails Languishes against your face Alien, cold, hard, unsympathetic To your craving touch? What do you do When the faded red floral patterns On the old yellow cloth sheet Again spew terrible saffron curses And pitch black invectives at you? What do you do When the brown earth Dissolves suddenly into microscopic colors Of the parasitic plastic rainbow Undesired, uncared for? What do you do When the sieved window Strips off its last pretense of modesty To exhibit the green roof Of the colorless dead hospital With its alkaline smell

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Issue 7 And chemical babble? What do you do When each gulp of cold breath Grates against your pneumoniac thirsty lungs As you lie down to a confused sleep And wake into a Molten weeping magenta nightmare? What do you do On hollow brackish evenings when you become a hallucination A lunatic’s psychotic fantasy Embroidered in red silken dreams And some mystic hysteric poetry?

She Was Silly

Paul Tristam She was silly but I liked that. And when she blushed I blushed, looked deeper and smiled at both our embarrassment.

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Issue 7

Summerby Ollie Poem Contest Lambert

T

his summer saw the first summer my blog had seen, and I wanted to celebrate this in some way. The fact that this linked in perfectly with the release of Miracle Magazine’s first printed issue was just too good an opportunity to miss so I decided to set up a competition for my readers which involved them writing a poem based on the theme 'Summer', with the honour of being published in Miracle Magazine’s first printed issue going to the winner. I received some fantastic entries, and it was so difficult to choose I had to delay the release date of the winner because I couldn't decide. It was a fantastic collaboration with Miracle Magazine and I look forward to working closely with them in the future. – Ollie Lambert The competition was won by a 12 year old girl from Ireland, Ciara Murray and here is her winning poem:

Summer Paradise The icy winter lasts an eternity, the blanket of snow stretches to infinity. Beyond the clouds, the sun fails to shine, the flowers don't blossom, and the world isn't mine. Then the light washes the darkness away, The world bursts to life, with the sun's sparkling ray.

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Issue 7 Staining the sky with the pink light of dawn, all the darkness in the world is suddenly gone. I will spread my wings, and take to the sky, I'll fly over the rainbow, and the clouds so high. When night arrives, and saps away the light, I will shine with the stars and dance with the night. The first flower of summer, brings hope to my heart, It's petals so mesmerizing, a work of pure art. The sun falls from the sky, and the light starts to fade, the night has come but I am no longer afraid. The colors of Summer dance before my eyes, the winter's creatures depart with goodbyes. The whole wide world sits in the palm of my hand, as I write my name in the golden sand. The butterfly's wings softly brush my cheek, a creature of beauty, that never does speak. As I sit back and stare at a beautiful sunrise, I know I have found my summer paradise.

For more information Ollie Lambert and his blog, you can visit him at: http://oliverlambert.wordpress.com

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Issue 7

n Ancient Life D Mason

Her body is barren, no fruit does it bear Her arms all twisted, reach up in the air. Her bark is all knotted, her roots do not drink, With eternal time, all to do is to think. To think of her past, in the prime of her life, When she was worshipped, before all her strife. The strife was too great, and in turn destroyed her, Alone is the earth, all creatures avoid her. But yet she lives on, in this rotten dead wood, With memories she would love to forget if she could. First she birthed a magnificent child, The pomegranate, exotic yet mild. So proud of her bounty, cradled in her embrace, Misfortune soon came, bearing a beautiful young face. The fruit of the underworld, her children were brandished, And used by Hades to gain whatever he wished. He had stolen away the beauty Persephone, Trapped against her will no light did she see. Beguiled by Hades, in all his beauty and evil, She had forgotten about all the upheaval. He convinced her to taste six seeds of the fruit, And then she was bound to him, forever his loot. She was granted freedom once every year, But then descended again, out of love, out of fear.

Having birthed a red apple, so perfect and pure, A curious woman succumbed to allure. Hisses of evil had forced her to bite, A temptation a woman was helpless to fight. As she watched her fruit, in loving care created,

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Issue 7 Brought disease and pain and all was ill fated. Alone in her field, life clad in her arms, Birds nesting in branches, safe with no qualms, Blossoming flowers of love, blushed pink and white, The animals slept in her embrace, soundly in night. Awoken by dawn, light glistening on diamonds of dew, Her field sleepy and unawares of what would ensue. The flowers, delicate moist petals of tranquility, There was smoke in the air, reaching up to infinity. A war between nations, claiming ownership of her land, Nature belonged to no man, but they would not understand. Forty whole days the battle raged on, the animals all fled, Lonely bereft, friends all gone or permanently to bed. No more would she keep them all safe from harm’s way, Empty nests and nooks where she would have loved them to stay.

War had moved on, cries far in the distance, Two lovers chose to meet in this instance, Separated by conflict, enemies to each other, They would come together in secret beneath the tree mother. The last time they met she craned down to listen, The woman’s eyes bright with tears that did glisten. Her lover had no choice, war had him in its clutches, Away he must go and bring death to all he touches. She never saw the lovers return she grew lonely once again, The hope they had given her, had now been slain. In summer, she bore the most succulent harvest, So ripe and tempting, without doubt the finest. A thief sought retribution and offered a sacrifice, To the gods, his son whom he did boil and slice. Disgusted by this they sought to punish him. Filled with rage, the tree’s goodness grew dim. The thief was placed before her and the pool at her feet, Her fruit was kept out of reach and the water would retreat. For days and days, she tortured him so,

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Issue 7 The goodness inside her now refused to glow. Grown bitter with rage for the misuse of her offspring, Her bark became withered, leaves fell from aging. A shade of the beauty of nature she used to be, Corrupted by man, all twisted and eerie. From then on, she refused to grow any new green, No fruit, no leaves nothing living to be seen. Now whenever a human gazed upon this tree, There’s just a dead block of wood, nothing to see. The tree of legend, of myth, of tale and of old, Wants never for her stories to ever be told. Years later in her withered worn state, She saw a sight which made her elate. Arm in arm, in a loving embrace, Years had passed but she remembered their face. Much had changed, their faces wrinkled and hair white, They were hard of hearing and partial in sight. After seeing their old friend they left again, And her branches drooped, soaked in the rain. Now she stands with two graves by her side, Providing them both with a haven and him with a bride. Her blackened dead body sat still through the snow, Forever with friends and never alone. Springtime came early and there birthed a sprout, Just one bud in the tree, where a flower came out.

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Issue 7

Fickle Funeral

Orpheus Nery

Miracle

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he evening rain showered on Barangay Tres in monotonous static. Houses, posts, and horse-less kalesa were barely visible in it. Street lamps looked like faint orbs. Steam rose from manholesin graceful cloud dances. National elections would be in two weeks. According to a newspaper somebody is reading over a cup of coffee, incumbent mayor Arturo Legazpi is leading a poll survey, earning 38% of the people’s votes. His rival Milton Ocampo is on his trail at 35%. One could say the mayoral election was only for both of them. The street was almost deserted. On a sidewalk, a kitten mewled. The rain was still madness itself, and it made the animal very wet and very cold. It was staying under a cave of garbage bags, which is its only solace. It also served as the thin line between the kitten and Death. The kitten mewled incessantly, as if praying to God. Dear Lord, please don’t kill me yet meow meow I’m still very teensy meow and hain’t tasted food other than my dead ma’s milk meow meow meow. The garbage bag on top of the others slowly slid down. *** The man was running down a sidewalk on Hayes Street, his frockcoat hardly helping him stay dry. Feet invisible due to the low fog of shattered drops, he sporadically stopped from running to see if a particular house reminded him of something. Every raindrop that hit him counted as a disappointment. One block away from the man in the rain, another man sat on his couch. He was waiting. The room of the tale was pitch black save for its heart where a shaded lamp hung low, concentrating on a circular table and two couches (the one currently occupied by a bearded man in a long-sleeved shirt, sipping a cup of coffee) on both its sides. Place some donuts on the table and give the hanging lamp a gentle poke and you’ll find yourself in a police interrogation room.

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Issue 7 The man was all patience as he closed his eyes in pleasure granted by the hot drink. Somewhere in there, a singer hummed a static tune. The first time he noticed it was faulted, the radio frightened the soul out of him. It would only play properly when there were two or more people inside the room. It would always play kshshsh when he was alone, like tonight. After his final sip of coffee, he rejoined his cup with another one and a coffee pot, which sat on the table. He crouched down and poked his head under the table to check if his gun was still there. He wasn’t disappointed. *** Tap tap tap. Come in. *** The songstress on the radio was already singing properly; the resident who had a gun under his table was surprised she had a rather nice voice. But the song was unfamiliar, unlike the face of the man who just stepped in. “Good evening, sir,” said the man who just stepped in. “Please join me,” replied the man on the couch, pointing an open hand to the other couch opposing him. Lightning streaks ran across his religiously combed hair as he moved his head in acknowledgment and invitation. As the visitor thanked him, removed his frockcoat, and sat down, the resident did a quick deduction and learned that his visitor had come unarmed. He scoffed at his bravery, remembering a quote by his favourite fictional character. Bravery is by far the kindest word for stupidity. Resident: Some weather, huh? Visitor: Some weather. R: Coffee. Manang Fe’s here’s delectable. V: I’ve just had mine, thanks. R: How about a shag from Sicily? I could lend you a pipe. It’s always heartening to smoke with a pipe. You know, sometimes the old ways are the best. V: I agree. Well, if it’s from Sicily, I don’t see why not. R: Here. And a match. V: My, this is goodness! R: See? Say, do you mind if I take these cups to the kitchen so we could talk with no hindrance?

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Issue 7 V: No, no. Please go ahead. R: Thanks . . . Oh, and mentioning Sicily, did you know the origin of the Mafia? A lot of people don’t know this story. V: Me included. Pray tell me about this one. R: The pioneers were farmers. They were poor and were forced by a long line of colonizersto work while their profits were being taken from them. Until one day, a group of men rose against them and burned them. See, Mafia was originally a way of life. To quote a scholar, “a way to protect one's family and loved ones from the injustice of the government.” They became powerful, this Mafia that’s new in town, and their fruits of labour remained theirs. But blinded by power, the later batches took advantage of it and fed their dark side, entirely forgetting their ancestors’ endeavours. Thenceforth . . . V: I see. The resident concluded his story as he returned from the kitchen to his seat. He struck a match alight and dipped the flame to the mouth of his pipe. He sucked on it and only stopped when the embers convinced him they weren’t going to leave him just yet. Smoke slivered and danced between the gentlemen for a moment as they enjoyed their relaxing shags from Sicily. On the radio, a man faded in with his throaty bass, replacing the woman. He sang a Christmas song. “So,” said the resident. “How can I be of service this rainy evening?” The visitor lowered the pipe from his mouth and looked as if he heard a threat. Beads of sweat mushroomed on his forehead like the stars at dusk. “I . . . don’t understand, sir. I thought—” The resident cut him off by coughing a chuckle. He had really thick beard; it—his beard—coupled with his religiously combed hair made himlook like the classic Filipino film goon. “I’m just kidding. I know the business, of course. Right. Tell me what exactly you want me to do.” The nervous visitor cleared his throat and sat straight. His sweat glimmered as he moved. He coughed once, and said, “The mayor wants the documents back.” For a long moment, the resident looked at him with an unfathomable expression. Then he said, “Tell the mayor I’ll do what he wants when he does what the people want.” He stood from his chair and took a puff from his pipe.

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Issue 7 The man who was sent by the mayor to retrieve his documents was about to say something, but was caught in a fit of mad cough. “Ugh ugh ugh ugh . . . ugh ughugh!” He tossed his pipe to the table but failed. It hit the floor, puking out the dying embers of the remains of the shag from Sicily. Sicily was not known for making poisons, however. The resident stood frozen. What was he on about? “Ugh!” continued the visitor. “I . . . can’t breathe.” He stood up from his seat and staggered to the only window in the room. He pulled the double-door open. Immediately, mizzle hovered in like lost snowflakes. Cool wind bathed him to gooseflesh. A flash of lightning came after. The resident looked down at the pipe on the floor. He looked back up just in time to see his visitor turn to him, cradling a shotgun. *** “Kuya James! Stop the bike!” There was a faint screech of tires and a splash of water. “My God, Sebastian! What is it this time? Papa’s not going to appreciate children who’re late for dinner!” The boy in raincoat stood beside his older brother on the bicycle. He was pointing at the sidewalk, particularly at a mound of garbage bags. “But it’s a kitten! A living thing! It will die if—” The older brother, James, pushed him away. “Go, whatever! But do it quickly. We’re soaking wet!” Young Sebastian ran to the kitten and grabbed it by the nape. Then he inserted it in his big raincoat pocket and ran back to his kuya. “Come on!” They tore through the street in the rain.The kitten mewled inside Sebastian’s jacket pocket.Thank you, God, meow meow. James noticed vague stars ahead of them, and he strangely felt grateful of their new find. Holly wouldn’t be a bad name for it, he thought. *** Visitor: Surprised? Don’t tell me you fell for that, fool.We finally meet. The man with no identity.The people’s unknown champion. The one enemy of crime syndicates and not-so-good politicians . . . The one they call “the Ghost.” Resident: H—how did you—? V: Oh, don’t underestimate me like that, Ghost.Quick recap: last month you took photographs of the mayor with his mistress. I was sent by him to retrieve them from you, but you let me chase you and eat your dust for so long. So I decided to consult my genius. I received word last night

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Issue 7 that you were staying here, so I told your land lady to fake illness so you would stay and watch over her. Your kind heart and the weather bought me enough time to plant my shot gun at your window to come here tonight as Mr. Peaceful Negotiator. Now, if you don’t cooperate, my friend Single Barrel here would happily blow your head clean off. R: You are the mayor’s left-hand man. His advisor for his illegal deeds.This city’s best gun. V: Call me Ace. I would like to shake your hand right now but we’re still in the middle of something so I’ll just shake your cold hand later. Please, let us be done with this. Where are the mayor’s photographs? R: You are the one responsible for a priest’s disappearance . . . V: Oh please. R: For the deaths of two councillors right inside a house of God! For an entrepreneur’s “accident” . . . V: Yes, yes. R: And other doings of Satan! V: Let’s get down to business. Thunder reverberated from cloud to cloud. Both men were five steps apart, too far for melee action, thought the Ghost. His only chance of survival was sitting under the table. But we all know only Superman is faster than a bullet. He would surely be history if he tried to do it. Ace noticed him taking a glance down at the table and looked irritated. “Did you really think I was that stupid, Ghost?” he said, taking something from his pocket and waving it for him to see. It was the gun’s magazine. “You might have taken too long in the kitchen earlier. But of course I won’t let this night end in an uninteresting way. I expected more from you. Here.” Ace tossed the magazine at the Ghost’s feet. “Assemble that while being aimed at. Come on. Be a challenge.” The Ghost paled. He looked from Ace’s shotgun to the magazine at his feet to the gun under his table to Ace’s anticipating eyes. Somewhere in there, in the shadows not reached by the low-hanging shaded lamp of the room, Death hovered, waiting. The little kitten’s replacement was much more entertaining. The Ghost inhaled, exhaled, and smiled. “Don’t mind if I be,” said the Ghost. Ace giggled like a child offered a North Pole one-way ticket. “Let’s dance, hero.” He strengthened his stance and placed two fingers before the trigger.

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Issue 7 The Ghost ducked with lightning speed. But we all know only Superman is faster than a bullet. *** Bang. Thud. *** The Ghost stood slowly and fixed his shirt. He walked towards the open double-door window, through which howled drizzle-passengered wind. A series of lightning flashes helped him know how bad the damage was. On the floor laid Ace; his neck was badly burnt. Embers still snaked at the sides of small holes on his vest. The lower half of his face was almost pure muscles it was hard to tell which hole the scarlet rivulets running down his neck came from. Ace was convulsing, but he was looking straight into the resident’s eyes. And he was smiling behind all that blood. Nonetheless, the Ghost returned it. “Surprised?” said the man who was the only one that could say anything as of the moment. “I know you, and I respect your methods, so I thought hard on how to defeat you. I knew that however I hid the photographs, you’d still find them. I ran from you, and thought hard all the while . . . until earlier, when I noticed my landlady casually hiding the shotgun at my window. “Chase a rat down a tunnel and by the end of it you’ll be surprised to know you have run into a trap. Because I believed that the robbed will never be searched, I inserted the photographs inside the barrel of your gun, clogging it. All I had to do next was to make sure you’d fire it. Brilliant, don’t you think? “I don’t care about the photographs anymore, because the mayor will think I still have them when he hears of you, his best gun. He must start to be careful with his steps now—since the elections are almost underway—while I, the great Ghost, observe him and the corrupt from the shadows.” The great Ghost stood and prepared his things as he listened to the radio slowly fading back to static. He was again alone.

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Cowardly Poet Jeremiah Walton Being on a microphone doesn't not make you a hero An adrenaline rush is not a call to action. The world opened up a little and I was humbled. I may not act accordingly because cowardice is easier living. I want to write a poem without using the word I I need to write a poem in which I find solace, safety just as I find in anarchy. If you do not dig too deep than you will find comfort in yourself, in your body. I do not know how to do this yet My mouth is a shovel my body is hands sticky with splinters. I am my worst abuser. I admit this so that I may write for others. Writing for self is the first step, but surrendering self is the next.

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Brothers

Connor May Our firstborn? That’s Christopher, And despite his surgeons hands Became a night porter, a door to door canvasser. The middle child, Michael: A head full of artist’s dreams, But not his clothes. Likes boys, not girls. George was our summer baby, (The bough broke, the cradle fell) Born with a hole in his face.

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Bird Watching Denis Joe

I saw a sparrowhawk perched, proud, on a gravestone aware of the fear that his beauty can instill. The threat of murder, that the crows posed, dissolved in night manoeuvres as they called from the shelter of oak tree coverage. Aware that safety of the crowd means nothing in the poise of royalty. And not one of them will contemplate martyrdom. Though not an angel, his wing-spread gave light over the plots of sorrow filled earth.

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pretty girls, rotting meat Ross Vassilev

the shackles of insanity acid in the lungs black wings lacerate the sun the tiresome rot of 30-some years how can I describe it? the past is a dream but the effects are real they live in every moment it's horrific and mundane like cutting off yr hand and dabbing at the blood with a handkerchief the white trash cackle and tiny insects crawl my windowsill there's these 2 idiots who tell me they're my parents but I never believed it for a second I don't believe in karma either there ain't no justice just luck of the draw and chance like a butterfly caught in the spider's web.

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In Thy Child’s Eye Ian Morrison

As I dive into the deep blue watery depths of my child’s eyes, I wonder, what does he comprehend, what does he actually realise,? What if, this is the child that will defend, our great nation to the bloody end? Or, could he be the one to stand, for all that is right, alone carrying the hopes of a nation, When there is no one to stand up for what is right and just, could he be the one to have the burden of carrying this social cross? As I listen to the familiar sounds, that seduce me at all times, meanwhile, My eyes are opened, to the delight, of the child, talking away with a smile, Is he telling me tales of times gone past, perhaps, I wonder, what does he really remember, Could this be akin to, calling upon Adams brethren?, To love each child like his own, before the shipwreck of life, washes up on the beach of strife. As my child entwines his fingers, as if a vine with mine, I see for a moment the sparkle of life deep within. Every new object has to be investigated, causing fond memories to be inserted, This curiosity full of life must remain or in the future personalities will become quite mundane, Man should look at their child, look to see what he sees, before his fragile soul becomes a part of the rank and file, Loving a life, nay raising a life is incredible, at the end of the day though, ascertaining to a life is indescribable.

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Writing Workshop Miracle

Issue 7

Prompts & Ideas

By Marie Lightman

H

ello everyone!

Have you ever thought that you really do not understand how someone could be so....conservative or timid or unorganised? This is the idea behind this issue's prompt. Getting in to the head of someone else who is the opposite of you, then writing from that character's perspective. The prompt: Firstly make a list of your attributes and characteristics, you could ask people to add to this as well. What people think you are like as well as what you think you are like. Secondly write a second list parallel to the first with opposite characteristics such as unorganised/organised. Next choose one of the opposite characteristics and do some automatic writing for that person. Write anything that you can think of about who they are, what you like them and why. After this write the morning pages of this person. Pick a day that is important to them and write what they see, what they are worried about, what they are excited about: anything that is relevant to the piece you are starting to write. You may have the start of a prose piece or a poem. Happy writing!

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Images Rafael Ayala Paez Miracle

poetry

If you saw what solitude represents earth without wind Your face was moon over a sea a plain a dawn Wait wait Time was a fabric The tic-tac of a frozen tide Your face was the light then it was visible the stars the city the forest those recovered images of passion that sound like phonographs like docile air that emerges from memory.

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After School

Antora Rahman Eight hours of being bullied later, it was time for much worse The house door was cracked lifelessly open, calling me over I slipped through it, hoping to keep my shaking breath steady If I showed weakness, I was going to get double the misery He stood in the kitchen with a fake smile on his plastic face Something was very wrong, but I couldn't let on my knowing I averted his cold gaze and asked him politely about his day He didn't bother to give me answer and he didn't ask me either I looked around, hoping to run for my life, but my feet were locked Trying to keep my sanity intact, I counted the seconds that passed Before he grabbed me roughly by the hair and slapped me hard It wasn't long before I passed out after three bruised my cheeks Hours later, I awoke up to find myself in my bed sore and exhausted To my horror, I heard his low, calculating steps come up the stairs Usually, he went to his friends afterwards, but today, he was home I quickly pulled up the wrinkled covers and closed my eyes shut He was above my head, watching my covers vibrate with my breath I chewed on my lips nervously, wondering why he didn't leave yet My heart immediately started pounding fast when he gave a low sigh The edge of my bed creaked softly against his weight as he sat down I prayed to see tomorrow's sunlight, despite everything, in my head He cleared his throat, paused, and told me he loved me very much He told me this terrible lie everyday, but today, his tone was hollow As if something was caught in his throat and he was trying to get it out Suddenly, my blood ran cold when I realized I didn't know what's next Everyday abided by a violent routine, but today, there was a shift Exactly what the shift was, he didn't hint a clue for me to think over But then, he jerked the covers back and caught me wide awake He grabbed me roughly by the hands and dragged me into the attic I didn't have time to think as he pushed me inside and locked the door Bewildered, I pounded on the door, screaming for him to let me out My nails became chipped and bloody, and my voice became hoarse

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Issue 7 But I did not stop pounding and screaming because something told me He wasn't going to let me out ever again; not until I decay here anyway But then, he gave me hope when he cleared his throat behind the door And made me collapse to the floor when he said he loved me very much

Submissions for Issue 8 are currently open! Theme: Joker The theme can be interpreted in any way and we’d like you to give your imagination a wild direction. Your artworks and literary pieces can be any topic while we would love to read theme based works. Check our website later for more details. Thank you.

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M I R A C L E

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Issue 7

M A G A Z I N E

I S S U E 7 A U T U M N 2 0 1 3

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Profile for Guntaj Arora

Issue 7-Preview  

The Flower Edition of the Miracle Magazine with a fabulous collection of poetry and short fiction. Issue 7 is also the first print edition o...

Issue 7-Preview  

The Flower Edition of the Miracle Magazine with a fabulous collection of poetry and short fiction. Issue 7 is also the first print edition o...

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