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by Eileen Neary My medication quits me instead of the reverse but she, Missus Ph. D. doesn't miss much, draws my blood to check— results are full of cannabinoids, normal platelets, and nope, no fuckin' meds. Pill-to-mouth combat to try and pin on the grin like the tail on the donkey. But I'm not only an ass, I'm also stubborn: a mule. So they put me where I belong, my ghastly vacation home, the place where my chalk-white arrows go. Then, they threaten me with Lithium, its hidden lechery and luscious name, and if I'm not too certain? Well, ECT will keep me sane! Just twelve stimulating weeks of ravishing my brain my brain my brain. They want to teach me how to grasp light, to braid the sunshine in my hair, with a thousand milligrams of Depakote ambivalence sepia-toning everything, demanding I stall-out so they can teach me how to drive my standard all over again. Fifteen-minute checks while I try to sleep, Aurora Borealis of flashlights. Yep, still here, Night Nurse, I got nowhere else to be, so I'll stay right where you per diems want me. The doctor boasts floral print shirts even in this deflowered winter, defending his missionary's creed of lubricating craziness with a touristy smile. And me, what do I boast? Well, I'm in great shape to make it big— three hospitalizations, just nineteen? I am a bell jar's wet dream, O captain my captain, a deluge of poetry. I cage it, tame it, pat it: I ride my polarities bareback so if I can't remove the top of your head I'll gladly accept a tip of the hat.

Eileen Neary is a 21-year-old student currently pursuing her BFA at Emerson College. She resides in Plaistow, NH.

PETITE SUITE CLASSIQUE 1. La Fidélité de Pénélope, Minuette Antique pour Flûte à Double et Cor’ d’Harmonie Penelope sits by the fire unraveling her father-inlaw’s shroud. The suitors moved in long ago; by now they have grown fat and patient at her expense. Telemachus, seething with deadly frustration, is a perpetual worry; yet who would deny that, through his unexpressed murderousness, Odysseus’ son is achieving a hard, uncompromising manhood? He has grown up indeed, and by no means fatherless. Penelope has cleverly given him all the suitors to hate and just one faraway father to love. And so, through all the years, Penelope’s faithfulness keeps her faithful, mounting day by day as a column rises round by round. Then one day Odysseus returns, only he does so deceptively; it’s typical of the man. After two decades, he still means to test Penelope. Only the old dog is certain. For Argus the twenty years are annihilated in a moment, and his heart bursts from joy. With a different sort of joy, Telemachus makes cause not so much with Odysseus as with a glamorous stranger, with his real-imagined father against the swarm of false-actual ones. The great bowstring sings once more, spears are hurled, the suitors massacred. But what of Penelope? She has been faithful so long as her husband was not at hand. Indeed, if she had failed to be constant, how would Odysseus then have appeared? Her high column of faithfulness was likewise the foundation for his adventures. Without the fidelity of Penelope, Odysseus would appear ridiculous and, instead of being the irresistible man who could sail away from Calypso, Circe, and Nausikaa, would be known as the man who was betrayed by Penelope. According to some, so great was her faithfulness that Penelope would not risk trusting that—despite the dog, the nurse, and the bow—the man who has come home was truly Odysseus. More likely, though, she knew very well it was her husband who stood over the dead suitors, his chest heaving. But, if he was going to test her, then she would test him as well. Even if it exasperates him she will show him the constancy of her faithfulness; and so she gives the sly order, “Let him sleep alone tonight. Move the marriage bed.” He knows it is immovable, like her, and will always keep its place. He complains of her hard heart. Certainly, Penelope has been constant. But what can her faithfulness do for Odysseus now? Only assume that she loves him still, loves not only the clever young family man who sailed away but also the scarred, middle-aged warrior who has returned. No doubt her faithfulness marks the conclusion of Odysseus’ journey; but, by the same token, Penelope’s faithfulness is the end of his adventures and settling down must inevitably diminish his hero’s dignity, the sort that comes not from looking well behind a desk but from adventures. Now Odysseus, caught up in Penelope’s shroud of hearth and home, at peace with gods, men, and women, will turn peaceful himself, inert. Yet on that glorious night he could scarcely yet have been aware that he must become simply Mr. Odysseus, the balding, tale-telling mayor of Ithaca whose virtuous wife smiles dully at his side. But Penelope foresees it all. This must be why, the day after Odysseus reveals himself and slays the pestering suitors, why after Telemachus tentatively embraces him and calls him “Father,” why after the unforgettable release on the olivetree bed during which Penelope’s meaningless weaving comes doubly undone, why after all the tales have been summarized but not yet recounted in the kind of detail that could so easily fill up half a lifetime—this must be why Penelope, that woman of incomparable reflection and self-sacrifice, ran off with a poor shepherd who came, according to the rumor, from somewhere in the vicinity of Amphissa.

2. Perses, Le Frère de Hesiod, Adagio pour Clarinette Juive et Tambour Lourd The lean man with the slit of a mouth sat on his bench distilling his bitterness, savoring the certainty that everything happens for the worst. He ran through his usual inventory: busted wagon, leaky roof, tares instead of barley, asphodel instead of olives, plowshare eaten by worms, a fifteen-year-old ox, about as useful as a trireme on Helikon. Then there were the women, a pair of Pandoras: first that slut of a slave-girl who, with her lover, robbed him of twelve jars of grain then the wife who'd first sashayed, then nagged, finally died screaming in stillbirth. His father had actually been on the sea; he could have gone anywhere washed by waves. Why did he choose this contemptible, landlocked fold of a tedious island in which to settle—nothing but dust and bumpkins, nasty in winter, god-awful in summer, never nice? Why flee eastern poverty for the same thing in the west? It wearied him to think of all the work that had gone into this boulder-pocked stead, so much blood spilt on sand. He'd always hated work, of that kind at least. All his life he'd longed for another sort, dreamed of singing, winning prizes for it. Looking at the mountain he liked to imagine some glade up there, grass pressed

down by the petal-like feet of the lovely muses. Perses was greedy for their gifts, especially those believable lies he thought in his line. The only thing he'd ever succeeded at was cheating his brother out of this place which he despised. What a condescending, good-goody pompous prig Hesiod was. Who wouldn't have been provoked to bribe the judges just to spite him? All he’d done was to swipe his own prison and set his brother free, but that didn't work out either. His brother took to the sea, drowned on his first voyage, came in a dream to upbraid him, and had been haunting him ever since. Do this, don't do that; get up at dawn, you bloody cheat. Plow then, sow now, harvest on this day. Work, always work, always advice. Buy a nine-year-old ox and a slave not less than forty, blah, blah. Hesiod was even more insufferable in the after-life than he'd been as the perfect little shepherd, bragging to their father that he'd never lost a lamb, out in all weathers, while Perses dreamed away the winter afternoons on the smithy's bench and then got chewed out every night. Strife is everywhere, he thought, between fathers and sons, husbands and wives, above all, between brothers. The lean man's bitterness, salted with guilt, at last resolved itself into a task and, squinting into the sunset, he began to turn into hexameters the harangues and genealogies with which, night after night, he was tormented by his defunct brother.

3. Le Fameux et L’Oublié, Fantasie pour Piano à Trois Mains et Front Scientifique Diokles, a well-off merchant, invited to a banquet a young man recently arrived from Miletus whose conversation he had heard much praised. He also asked a pair of old friends, the former general Tryphon and the archon Philotheus. The young man, Eutropios by name, was said to have studied with the newfangled philosophers of Ionia. According to Neocles and Lysimachus, the fellow could do astounding things with numbers and figures, had all sorts of novel ideas about engineering and the stars, and was, besides, a scintillating wit. Diokles ordered up a fine meal, had the serving girls bathe, and hired three musicians. Eutropios did prove to be charming. He expressed his appreciation of the food and the music, also his delight in the city among whose citizens it was his ambition to be counted. After dinner, the older men reclined on couches while Eutropios held forth, at first standing then sprawling on cushions. He needed the cushions. The wine Diokles served, a new variety from Etruria, was so delicious that Eutropios did not stop, as was his rule, after his second bowl, and this was the source of all the subsequent trouble. As his spirit soared, his inhibition declined. “I believe, gentlemen, that to understand the cosmos is easy enough. Those who believe the childish tales of gods and demi-gods, those who mouth the myths they picked up in the nursery, understand the world. Yet they know nothing of it. The crucial question is not what we think we know, but how we know it. In my opinion, we can know the world only if we discard these old stories.” “Do away with the gods?” exclaimed Philotheos. “How’s that?” mumbled Diokles, who was a little hard of hearing. “Infamous impiety,” roared the former general Tryphon. Eutropios was thrown in prison that very night to await trial. Because of the slippery nature of the charge of impiety and the kindness of Lysimachus and Neocles, the next day Eutropios was placed in his own cell, provided with decent food, and, at his request, writing materials. At first, Eutropios thought of writing more of the satirical verses which had won him some attention in Miletus—not all of it beneficial, since his elegant barks came with pointed bites. But the imprudence of venting his spleen on men like Philotheus and Tryphon, on judges who had yet to hear his case, was obvious. Then he had an extraordinary notion. He decided to compose an imaginary biography of an Ionian sage of whom little was known except that he was said to have predicted a solar eclipse. He could, with some safety, ascribe any ideas he wished to this legendary Thales, whom he would depict as the first Greek to put aside the myths and look at the world as it is. So engaged was Eutropios with this task that the month he waited for his trial passed quickly. He had to admit that imprisonment had its virtues; his mind was never so fecund, so alert. To Thales he ascribed not only his own astronomical discoveries but several geometric ones as well, including the concept of a diameter and the calculation of regular angles. He explained how Thales demonstrated that shadows could be used to measure the height of temples. He bestowed on Thales his cherished idea that everything is a great unity and that all life was born from water. On the spot he thought of the idea that the earth floated on Ocean, from time to time rocking like a boat, thus accounting for earthquakes without recourse to the displeasure of Poseidon.

What engaged Eutropios even more than these ideas was imagining biographical details about his Thales. What was needed, he felt, were stories that could illustrate both Thales’ wisdom and his personality, which Eutropios conceived of as at once ascetic and humorous, devotedly intellectual but also practical. He invented a story about Thales’ service to King Croesus’s army when it was stymied at the River Halys. He had the philosopher say to the King that, as his army could not ford the high-flowing river, he would get them to the other side without the troops having to move at all. This he accomplished by directing the digging of a channel to divert the Halys in an arc behind the army. He pictured Thales as a bachelor, dedicated to study and thought. So he invented an amusing anecdote about Thales’ mother Kleobulina nagging her son to marry and give her grandchildren. “Oh Mother, I’m far too young to marry.” A month later, when Kleobulina reiterated her pleas, Thales replied, “Oh Mother, can’t you see I’m far too old to marry?” Best of all, in Eutropios’ own estimation, was his tale of Thales and a serving girl he named Thratta. Staring at the night sky, Thales lost his footing and tumbled into a well. Thratta, who had come to fetch water, mocked the philosopher and, indeed, philosophy. “You’re so eager to understand the sky that you ignore what’s under your feet.” Much as he liked the story, Eutropios was anxious that Thratta’s clever chiding might leave the wrong impression. He wrote that the girl repeated her story far and wide so that Thales’ name became a by-word for the impractical dreaming of philosophers. Then he imagined the humiliated Thales resolving to prove to the earth-bound world the value of philosophy in terms it could understand. Using his skill in meteorology, Thales foresaw that there would be a bumper crop of olives the next year. That winter, with a little borrowed capital and no one else bidding, he hired all six olive presses in Miletus and the three in Chios as well. The next summer, when the huge harvest brought a rush of demand for the presses, Thales was able to charge what he wished. He made the same speech to each man he skinned: “I’m not charging you so much out of greed, but to show that any philosopher can be rich, if that is all he wants. Philosophers are poor only because they yearn for something higher than riches.” When it came time to describe the death of Thales, Eutropios didn’t need to invent anything. As a boy he had heard the story of how the old sage had traveled to the Olympiad and how, after the chariot race, everybody got up to depart except Thales, who was found to have died. On the day of his trial, Eutropios left his manuscript in his cell, certain that, whatever the verdict, he would be able to retrieve it. However, things turned out otherwise. After the testimony of Diokles, Philotheos, and Tryphon—who read a lengthy diatribe against philosophers—Eutropios was convicted and sentenced to exile. At once, Diokles spoke up. “Two days ago a ship from Syracuse brought in my cargo of millet. It is leaving today. I say we put this fellow on it.” And this is why Eutropios was unable to retrieve his Life of Thales. He was taken straight from the courts to the harbor. Diokles paid the captain his fare and instructed the man to keep the convict under guard until they had put to sea. Unfortunately, the ship sank in an Aegean storm and that was the end of Eutropios. The Thales manuscript survived, however, and many copies were made of it. Eutropios’ work was known to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, likewise to Diogenes and Plutarch, all of whom took it for a factual history, each finding in Eutropios’ story just what they themselves best liked. Socrates celebrated Thales’ choice of intellectual over worldly goods, while Aristotle retold with approval the story of the olive presses to stress the practical uses of philosophy. The historian Plutarch relished the story of the diversion of the Halys and Diogenes the anecdote of Thales’ witty riposte to Kleobulina. Eutropios’ character Thales has become famous, immortal, and, with him, a disenchanted way of understanding the world, while the poet has been forgotten, immersed in the element he conceived as the source of life and the ageless foundation of our unstable world.

is professor of humanities at Boston University’s College of General Studies. He has published essays, stories, and poems in a wide variety of journals, two story collections, Life in the Temperate Zone and The Decline of Our Neighborhood, a book of essays, Professors at Play; his recent novel, Zublinka Among Women, won the Indie Book Awards First Prize for Fiction and a short novel, Losses, is due out later this year.

“I believe in you and I as free agents of creation, as an artist I feel and see with the inner voice and visions of love and the absolute infinite to model self-love and acceptance to help create more peace among self and evoke what each of us know already...that we are beautiful for exactly who we are. To manifest to the world though my visions and art the love and unlimited possibilities of creation and self-acceptance inward teach, model and share with heart and soul to live your personal truth.. to help raise the hearts and souls of each beautiful person it reaches...that it reflects to them how beautiful they are, and how limitless and inspiring life truly is...a blessing and a gift not just for myself but most importantly for my brothers and sisters who move with grace on mother earth. When each of us lives contently and embraces our individuality...especially with all the abundant diversity of each of us.. loved and turn our humanity and world will become whole." 2012 -

first poetry collection, Magdalene & the Mermaids, was published in 2009 by Paper Kite Press. She has also published a chapbook, The Broken Sanctuary: Nature Poems, with Ypolita Press. Recent poems have appeared in Folio and Hawai’i Pacific Review. She is currently the Assistant Managing Editor of Irish Pages: A Journal of Contemporary Writing, a Contributing Editor to Poets’ Quarterly, and a doctoral candidate at Queen's University Belfast. For more information visit

Found Poem (Radio Ad) by EKS

blood & guts shirt slaughter in it wash it and wear it to church my wife loves it

Angel for One Night by EKS

smelling you between the buttons of your shirt clean so no one else w(oul)d notice m(us)k or (no) scent soap I forget to notice ocean filth and end up swimming between styrofoam & rot -ten wood planks, not drift innocent we're both and you've seen my breasts how dark my eyes get w/o sleep that beautiful darkness is reserved for when I want to be awake when beside your arms I forget to save the world, I mean to fail and all I want is to stretch your hunch into wings then I smell the mildew in my feathers imagine how your arms wrap those you love and wish I didn't know how to fly wish I c(oul)d have met you when you c(oul)d have kept me on the ground the sky is cold and brilliant breaks my eyes and people shoot when they think they see a bird but since it's all that I can do I rise

Full Immersion by EKS

he lifted her not because he was strong -er than her but because he could stand on mussels & clams and breathe her legs were exhausted she couldn't struggle & stay among the weeds to be her hair corals to have been her eyes & jellyfish jellyfish just sting like her thighs where she ran through blackberry brush nobody knew under her long skirt when she shared the sweet dark fruit he lifted her and told her it's OK it's OK to wear your body out to throw your face beneath the waves watch the shimmering or dull fish watch the stinging tentacles drift from loose less-visible bodies: red, blue, yellow, nothing or close your eyes if it hurts too much to see stay under until you're desperate for air until you've spit out everything exhaling only desperate bubbles with the names you've been called how many years ago? it's OK to remember them when you're hurt it's OK to stay submerged as long as you need but when you need to breathe breathe breathe BREATHE and because her ear was against his chest and she could hear him breathe she did too and it wasn't love and neither could tell seawater from tears on his face

Visit the

writes fiction and poetry. She is also the editor The Sim Review and recently launched the Simone Press. and

After the Bath by Elle Pryor

The curtains across the road twitched as tap water seized the color of the last blue of the navy ink. The sun was on and shone through the bamboo blinds twisting the water into the spin of a pretzel prop. Draining with the barest blue it had stolen, to the sewers below via an old copper pipe. Hirsute microbes and fatal germs attacked the faintest azure from within. Antibodies attached themselves to each H20 atom transforming the liquid into a poisonous mud mass, clinging to their free rides like a pack of viscous dogs biting trespassers. Rats jumped into the currents, long tailed steering easing the pressure on their fragile front arms. The flow propelled them forward, direction chosen by their motor board rear. Nothing or no one was certain where this led to. Life had changed almost beyond recognition since the heady days of white rope bathroom soap and yellow rubber duck. Ahead an opening like the entrance to a cave perfectly circular, emitting light like a torch took the murky water to a large treatment pool covered with a crust of rusty grating. The parasites disappeared quietly and the beige began to retreat so that the water became the start of blue again, the lightest stonewashed denim jeans. And in the night time, the full moon, a huge tuppence in the sky, infected around the edges with a navy swirling blackness beamed white silver and neon onto the treatment lake and the rectangular grid cast shadows of piano keys over a surface which moved with wind ripples, fluid dived as if fingers were pressing. There was the faintest sound of trickling and a deep down sighing, moving over waterboarding, stone shingled grit and low dark, inside tiny fish swam bubble wide, around shaggy plants covered with the clinging sucking of microscopic aqua green, meeting together in groups to discuss whispering lies tripping from distended mouths, its right and now laugh, for we have taken you here and left you there forever in the treatment pool under a canopy of molten lava surrounded by language you will never understand unless you are buried deep under explosions of the sky and blood red rivers dyed by sharpened knives and the color of neon acidic in their anger

treating infected waters without compassion. Everything was doomed from beginning to end then back again as the world turned slowly mad and the pressure of the dawn caused cuttings, murder and mock trials. Until the globe turned backwards and the words of yesterday became the crimes of today bathed in neon light. Four days later the water was released into a large cavernous lake which had once been a quarry and was now a reservoir, pretty round the edges patterned with trees, bushes and smooth sand stones. The faintest ink was quiet, shocked into an almost catatonic state as movement became almost impossible under the heavy weight of cleanliness and left chaos, there was nothing to do so the waters turned to stupor. The films of yesteryear played deep down, Pictures of sweet smelling shampoos and splashing naked bodies shattered by the screams of lake plants, and hyena laughs of spying flies punctuated the arduous journey to the other side where they would be sucked up again, winding and bending through roller coaster pipes. A strange Frankenstein water made up of many parts, sewn together by chemical, death and disease to be drunk and digested, spreading neon everywhere, inside stomachs and down throats, the color of veins seen through the skin, captured for now in a drowned valley.

fourth collection of poems, Children¹s Drawings of the Universe, will be published by Salmon Poetry Ltd. in 2013. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, South Jersey Underground, Antigonish Review, Dublin Quarterly, North American Review, Colorado Review, and Blast. Nominated in the last year for Pushcart Prizes, Best of Web and Best of the Net awards, The Rhysling Poetry Award and the Wolfson Poetry Prize, Moore teaches at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where his website is hosted with links to publications:

The Poem Escapes

by George Moore

whenever it can caught up in a western landscape it escapes around a corner into Asia or Europe slips through the door of a khao san road café in Bangkok or sits at a table overlooking the excavated gorge of the Roman Forum or stands watching the living statues on the Ramblas in Barcelona where it too can wait out the rain. The poem will not take its name from the here and now from the dry prairie thunderstorms ratcheting the air with their chains nor from the Copper’s Hawk drifting above the red sandstone bluffs, scrounging for the little living things it needs to survive. Not here but elsewhere in the world, it is a crane, a skua, a shearwater, a mute-swan or whistling-duck. The poem becomes a chorus of flight, a shadow on all the others landscapes that look like anything but home. Peripatetic predator, it loves to feast on the old worlds, descent from the world that sustains it: this one, this place in the open West, where the poem can still lift off a ponderosa and see itself rising from the dust of the moon.

Barcelona After Miro by George Moore

I will break their guitar Joan Miro Perception is a matter of chaos confined to a box, or the abrupt angle of a torso; a red flag hangs without a pole, and who dictates the laws

of gravity anyway? Even a figure can walk out of a frame. After Miro, the tram up the MontjuĂŻc filled with tourists, in their bright extremes, the paint no longer seems sufficient for illusion. Morphs sculpted to reflect the end of an age that continues to plague us. For art, the new becomes a key without a lock, a performance of someone shot live on stage, the Dada act reclaimed from those secure in their sanity. Miro returns to the holes in things, the limits of space, the missing that must remain part of the world. Here at the center of the universe, a bird, a woman, stars, great gapping spaces in the bulk of desire, moving in and out of everything. And the Catalans wake from ignoble sleep.

Past Perfect

by George Moore

It’s happened that beauty no longer rises from the poem to take the mind by surprise to leave me with its abandoned chapels for that moment not of prayer but silence and now instead works out the map of passageways beneath the city I have left to others who would live half lives unseen by the pigeons and hawks where words cannot make meanings The way human beings experience each other like signs on floods waiting for the waters to recede into a land that no longer moves under the noon dark sky before the final word rises up innervated by history its archaic existence scrambles into sum and substance again squiggles that must signify time traces of the past perfect disguised as prose as paragraphs as sheets pinned to a breeze newspapers picked up by the wind things that still lie back down with the word the death of the poem and its resurrection

nil CS Rao is an engineer, artist and writer based in the USA and part of the year in South India. He has lived in the West from the age of 4 prior to obtaining “dual citizenship� in 2010. His mixed media / photoshop artwork has been exhibited in galleries in the States, Europe and in India. He currently resides in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife and family and travels frequently to Europe and India.

is a poet and writer by heart and mind and Co-creator of the Faces of Hope. By profession and passion she is a Patient Navigator at the American Cancer Society. Born in India, poetry is deeply ingrained in her family’s history. Her late grandfather, Kanu Bhai Pandya was a prolific poet and writer in India. Her work has been published in the South Jersey Underground and she has performed her poetry at venues in New York City, New Jersey, London and Puerto Rico. Ankita's poetry is based on the principles of love, compassion, and kindness. She is currently working on her first book of poems and co-edited the Faces of Hope Book.

Rose Poem If we took a rose and got pricked by its thorn would we bleed. Would we bleed red. Like our blood or would we bleed an unknown color because if we bleed red we feel pain. If we feel pain. We cry. If we cry. We are sad. If we are sad. We remember long lost memories of the past. If we remember the past. We never look ahead. But that's the best of being in pain because that means we are still alive. We survived it. We came out of it stronger. We all can be that rose that flourishes in the summer; never dies in the rain and even though we may be pricked by the thorn of a rose. We would still smell the beautiful petals.

Illusion I love the beauty of an Illusion I love just being lost in that moment. I love an illusion that is bigger than reality. I love walking up walls. I love stars on a summer evening in New York City. I love pictures that are not real. I love seeing a zebra that is not there. If I do not see the beauty in an Illusion than I will only see what you want me to. I need to know what this place is between heaven and hell. I need to know the good and bad that this place has. I need to know the right and wrong that this place has. I need to know the morality and immorality that this place has. I need to know the light and dark that this place has. I need to know both sides of the grasses. So when I leave this place I knew all of this place.

The Ocean I believe in the strength and power of the Ocean. I believe that the Ocean could protect others. I believe that it has the ability to stay peaceful yet can create such strong waves to create hurricanes. I believe in the simplicity and love that the Ocean has. I believe in the currents of the Ocean. I believe that the Ocean houses life. I believe in all the sounds of the Ocean.


by Ankita T. Pandya

There was a piece of wood and a beautiful pink flower. Both the wood and pink flower burned together. Smoke arose and spread. The smoke was dark; cloudy and filled with blackness. Within the smoke you could still see the beauty of the flower and the strength of the piece of wood. That is how we are. We may burn; die within ourselves; have so much pain and blackness but within us is still that strength; power and beauty.

Smoke means that so much is over but it also gives us the opportunity to cry; let go and move on and see the new light.

A Tiger

by Ankita T. Pandya

Some see a tiger as beautiful. Some see a tiger as dangerous. I will show you how I see a tiger. A tiger can take you through the endangered wild and show you the right place through it is comforting and soft ways. A tiger can also be so forthright to mislead you and capture you. I have seen both of those tigers. When I looked a little deeper I saw that those tigers are me. So comforting and soft with myself that I lead myself through the wild to the right place yet so forthright that I have led myself in a constant circles only to endanger myself. What I did was I combined both of those tigers into one tiger. The result of that combination is me. Comforting and Soft yet strong. As you are also

currently lives in Arlington, Virginia. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, THEMA, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He has a chapbook Common Symptoms of an Enduring Chill Explained, from Folded Word Press. He maintains a blog at and is looking to publish his first novel. Share All the Lost Nothing going down at all, Neither up, just drifting, Everyone waiting for a crisis And then the inevitable Arrival of the hero to save them, They figure it should be good For five years’ worth of dreams.

Live Help Where are the listeners today? It is a rainy day, So are they at the windows? And if I went up to them, Shouted, stomped, and cried, Mingling tears with the rain, Would they then turn To onlookers and observes? I’ll need a plan after that, No idea how to get them From that place to open up The glass and turn into speakers.

Two Below On a cold morning you want someone to make love with and tell the winter it can go to hell or else stay away from the circus tent of your shared bed.

Men to Break Symbols I have learned much across the park, The paths are scraping grounds For children to become Azure in all their inner bodies. Only western winds seem to blow, Sea and sky are a stuck compass, While the white dust blinds, Lead clouds with no need of sound.

Migratory Birds They get wet when nesting in Seattle And foggy blind in London, Call themselves natives of no parts, Drinkers of the whole world, Tourists in permanent mode, Travelers, commercial Vikings, No accents stick to their bodies, Except for what passes on the television, No hint of roots under them And no blossoms either, They spread themselves like grass, Easy, adaptable, pleasing on the eyes, And devoured by us beasts who know one pasture. Off His Living Wits Up from a sleep in the cinema, now He walks surrounded by the mountains, With their company the grass appears Greener in his watercolor panorama eyes. Everything catches in the fresh wind, He has made efficient nets with his look, With hair, hat, and lapels extended out To slow the world, weather, and climate. A fowl left behind a source for inspiration, A means to imagine the phoenix, It gave him a more than just a souvenir, But also a tool, however archaic, a quill pen. His first attempt at order was well rounded, To slope the world into dark curves, Failing that he tries to weave a faint grid Of hexagons to order the land’s fine feature.

is the author of two recent poetry collections, Songs For Oblivion, published by Alternating Current Press, and Peering Into The Sun, published by Poet's Democracy. He works in the mental health field in Los Angeles, CA. His poems have appeared online and in print in journals such Penny Ante Feud, Tryst, and Zygote In My Coffee. His first book of poems, Raw Materials, was published by Pygmy Forest Press.

SKIN ON TOP OF SKIN I have been replaced. I am not the person I used to be. Someone has sewn skin on top of my skin and changed who I was. How do you see me? Is there something wrong with my face? I have strange eyes and I don’t see things like I did before. Could you get me a sharp knife so I could cut this fake skin off?

HAMMER TIME Did you know I had a hammer? I had hammer and a box of nails. The box was green with splashes of red. In this place I was invisible. No one liked me. In my head I heard a voice. The green box was smashed on one side. I needed rest. I slept lightly clutching my hammer. I did not feel safe. I had to use the hammer. The voice told me to use it. I felt compelled to smash a head in for humanity’s sake. Perhaps the voice lied back then. I made a mistake. I saw a vision of life without me.

I was never born. I was not a child. Staring devoutly at the sun my round eyes ached. I saw bird in flames.


Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

I was never too good at diplomacy. I don’t care to mend fences when I’m angry. Over the years age has mellowed me. I throw small rocks to solve my problems. I used to take out a knife and went for the gut. The years in prison have smartened me up. I am still counseled to stop it with the rocks. Still I think I have made a little progress. I don’t stab people. I throw small rocks.

Vesuvio by Denise Falcone Bella Angelina and her sister Connie Frances, named after the singer, watched from their bedroom window the man with the short beard and white shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows carry the coffee table across the lawn to his car. With their father’s help, he took the end tables too. “We’re moving to Florida,” their parents informed them at the last minute. The men shook hands, and then the pale green Rambler with no front fender drove off to the end of the block. “We could have used those tables Connie, right?” Bella said, still looking out after it had long driven away. Bella’s presence tortured Connie right from the beginning. And when she got too big to sleep in the crib in their parents’ room, Connie was forced to share hers. She was a chatterbox in the dark. “What’s Cubby’s last name?” “I don’t know.” “What’s Annette’s last name? “Funicello.” “Is she Italian like us, Connie?” “Probably.” “Jimmy is Jimmy Dodd, right?” “If you say so.” “I don’t like him. What’s Darlene’s last name? I like Darlene. Mommy says she’s cute.” “I don’t know.” “How come you don’t know Darlene’s last name, Connie?” Bella idolized her older sister who didn’t have to wear shoes with buckle straps or anything. “Banana, OK? Darlene Banana!” Connie yelled. “Now get the hell to sleep!” Now the stars couldn’t have been any brighter outside the third floor bedroom window of Benny and Aggie Penonio’s house. “Jesus, Con! Every night!” “They left us! They just left us! Eeeew! I’m going to kill myself! I’m going to kill myself!” Connie was punching her pillow while her covers lay in a rejected mound on the cold linoleum floor. It was Bella’s turn to be Connie now. “Stop it and go to sleep!" she yelled, then turned her back on her sister to stare at the slanted woodpaneled wall. Mr. Penonio sold second-hand furniture from the last house standing on a street pushed off the map by a loop of newly constructed highway. Bella never forgot the day she first laid eyes on him. “Benny!” her mother called as she held Bella’s small hand and counted each step to the drifts of shrouded accumulations on the wide wrap-around front porch. “One, two...Benny!” Something white, maybe cheese, stuck to his lower lip while he talked to her mother in dialect for too long. Bella thought he was disgusting. “Don’t throw the Tampax down the toilet!” shouted their mother from the bedroom as soon as they dropped their suitcases upon entering the house. Connie poured a glass of water and Bella snuck a spoon out of the kitchen drawer to steal a taste of the tomato sauce bubbling steadily on the stove. “You know Con, on Sundays when Nana used to come over to cook the gravy, I’d peek in the pot and it looked just like the inside of a volcano ready to burst." There were no sidewalks where their parents lived so they took to the street for their escape - past the house of the woman who was alone but had a son out in Los Angeles who wrote for Johnny Carson, past the split-level that always had several pickup trucks in the yard and Christmas lights never taken down.

Then they would cut through the cemetery adjacent to the new modern Presbyterian church, where among the bottle palms and faded plastic flowers, Bella tried to sense the sorrow. “This is the real Florida for me, Con,” she said while running her hands through the tresses of a giant ficus tree’s hanging roots in the vacant lot where their father liked to walk the neighbor’s dog until it died. “It’ll be a shame when they cut this one down.” “We’d better get back before they have a conniption,” Connie said, forcing the last drag of her cigarette into her lungs while gazing out to the strip of white high-rises across the canal. The menus were handed out with the usual reverence. “We thought you were dead! Where the hell you been?” The smartly-dressed older couple approached them from the bar. “These are our friends, Mr. and Mrs. DiCicco,” their mother said. “And these are our daughters,” their father announced with grandeur in his eyes. “Connie Frances and Bella Angelina.” “Oh, like the singer!” said Mrs. DiCicco. She turned to her husband and whispered behind her hand, "Is she still alive?" Mr. DiCicco extended a lion’s paw. “Piacere.” “I’ll call you,” their father said to him as they walked away. Bella was squinting her eyes to make real the mural of a turquoise Bay of Naples with some ruins of Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius looming in the background. “Maybe I’ll go outside,” Connie said. “For a cigarette?” their father asked. “Yeah, for a cigarette,” she shot back at him. Bella quickly joined in, “Dad, people still smoke up in Jersey all the time.” “Well don’t smoke here,” he said. “Don’t smoke here. I’m warning you,” he repeated to make sure she heard. “Leave me alone.” “What, to let you go out to the parking lot to stand around with the valets and the bus boys? You’ll look like your selling something. I won’t have it.” “You want to impress everybody in this place, right? God forbid you have a daughter who smokes! Believe me, they do worse than that!" “I told you not to smoke here!” he banged his fist on the table. Before getting up to leave, as if to fuel up for what was next to come, Connie downed the rest of her wine. Bella thought, that’s my sister! That’s my big sister! But after Connie was gone, she noticed her parents huddled together, shaking. There was the thought of comforting them, but instead she stared down at what remained of her manicotti and regretted not ordering the veal. stories have appeared in Randomly Accessed Poetics, Kerouac's Dog, The Stone Hobo, Antique Children, The Golden Triangle, Kitchen, 6 Tales, and others.

short works have appeared in many literary magazines and journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, New Orleans Review, South Carolina Review, and Witness. A chapbook of his short stories was released in October 2010 by Burning River. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and the Shirley Jackson Award.

The Caretaker by Jim Meirose

Thank you oh thank you thank you. I am grateful I am well-mannered and civilized. Look at me. I go to the kitchen. I unwrap the bread. I get the milk. You want milk? Yes I know you want milk. I want to serve you. You have done so much for me. As I sit at this table crushing this morphine, to put in your milk, I think of how good you’ve been to me. How many pills will it take? I have thirty MS Contin here, one hundred milligrams each. Or maybe twenty five—oh no no no. God, this is stupid. You’ll never drink this. You’ll know there’s something in it. I got to do this different. There’s the bottle of pills. I need to get them into you. Here I wish I could just press my forehead like this and think them in. Oh well I’ll just keep on crushing them—I got an idea. I’ll mix this in with your bread and butter. If I crush it fine enough, you will never know. But no, no, no—it will crunch. It will crunch and you’ll say what’s this in my bread and butter. God, God. This is a stupid idea. But stupid ideas make the world go round. Look—now here I am with these couple of crushed pills on the table. Maybe I should take them myself like I do—maybe I should take them myself like I do—just be the tiller on the boat and I’ll be the bow— yes I should take them myself like I do; then go home once more and the fun will start—but—I am grateful I am wellmannered and civilized. Look at me. Just look.

“Polar bear goes hunting for dinner and discovers a mysterious box, frozen in ice. Curious about the box, he brings it to his friend Alligator, a connoisseur of strange artifacts.�

began experimenting with art in 2004, after visiting the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and seeing Vasily Kandinsky's, . His education and professional work experience is in electrical & audio engineering. Erik moved from California to Brooklyn, New York in July 2007 to pursue his interests in art. He is actively exhibiting in New York City.

is a poet who has just published his fourth book of poetry entitled Warming the Mirror with The Feral Press. He is currently working on a translation of the Italian poet Annelisa Addolorato with Maria Bennett. Mr. Wolak teaches Creative Writing at William Paterson University in New Jersey. Three Haiku lovemaking flesh polished with kisses where rivers merge on the playground fence suddenly butterfly wings open naked as rooftops moonlight undressing the wild-eyed willow tree with a mirror’s impatient hands

is the author of crime novels Mr. Glamour and Apostle Rising and is a widely published crime and horror writer. Mr. Glamour is his second novel and was published in paperback in April 2012. It is available online at Amazon and at all good retailers. Mr.Glamour is Hannibal Lecter in Gucci. The novel is about a glamorous world obsessed with designer labels with a predator in its midst and has received great reviews. Apostle Rising, in which a serial killer crucifies politicians, is available here You can find out more about him at THE CRACKING OF THE SHELL by Richard Godwin

She brings me leaves from the field beyond my aching indigo window Its veins of oceanic blue etched there In hissing acid sleet that falls Soundlessly on the dripping trees

She lays them by my heart And wraps her tendril hands across my sweating Scars that show no sign Of whitening beneath the deep black deep lack Of the man she imagined me to be I root my hungry hand in the soil of her flesh Her eyes change colour as she whispers Unshackle the chain beloved and find me beneath the gravestone But there the leaves are faded They have no colour and no song in their stark Brittle lacklustre death And her eyes seek hesitation’s moment for some pitch perfect malady

The veil tearing A glimpse Of the broken Soul Bound to a wheel I try to tear the moss from the stone that hides my way back The hard cold surface flaking away like my skin until the bones Jut through the thin wrapping we carry with us Is that all we are And all of them all The ones I knew are standing here at the doorway Where the air feels like ice And I cannot see where the corridor beyond this room ends I am clutching for myself But my hands fall through air It seems to be the shape of broken eggs And I can hear crying and my hand is filled with blood But if it were only blood The spent juice of living breath Like a breaking tide The familiar body and face now a shadow in this red twilight The air assumes some liquid form In its myriad mystery Why so many Yew trees in the cemeteries Why so many nights spent watching The breath hollow and alone I dig for her there beneath the broken stone

work expresses memory, emotion, and identity. Like images from a visual journal, her artworks range from vague and surreal to powerful and clear. Ducharme's identity is her work and her work is identity. The concept of gender roles and social roles—chosen or imposed—appear in her work. Incorporated from and into fairytales and role models, ideas of various identities developed early. Fairytales and role models have shaped Ducharme; they have shaped her memories and emotions; they have shaped her art. Surrealism, expressionism, graffiti, and pop culture have inspired her imagery. Even in its introspective spirit, her self-portraiture grapples with these greater shaping forces. Ducharme has been exhibiting her work since 2001. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in graphic design and letterform from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Currently, she is studying for her Masters in art education. Ducharme is also an artist member of Gallery X, a cooperative art gallery, and she is a contributing member of the The House of Icon podcast.

South Jersey Underground #14  

Art, Poetry, & Fiction

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