The Wire's Dream Magazine 8th Collection

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8th Collection

©2020 The Wire’s Dream Magazine & Christina Lydia. All rights reserved. The Wire’s Dream Magazine 8th Collection is designed and edited by Christina Lydia. To submit work for future Collections, visit The Black Lion Journal’s Submittable page.

8th Collection



There is no doubt that 2020 is a year of change.

Change that we’ve experienced first hand due to the global pandemic; change that some of us may have experienced for the first time through the Black Lives Matter Movement. Change, progress, discomfort are all part of our journey together with history. I’m proud to be here, in this moment, of lived history. I hope you are as well.

As always, I like to start with a sincere thank you to all of those who submitted work for consideration. For those whose work is featured, The Wire’s Dream Magazine wouldn’t be possible without you.

The 8th Collection touches on themes of belonging and parenthood. We see fathers and mothers challenging the modes of love and belonging; we examine the wishfulness and disappointment felt when expectations and realities collide forcefully.

I hope you enjoy the 8th Collection; thank you for reading.

Christina Lydia Chief Editor

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Contributors The Wire’s Dream Magazine


In Search Of Hard Evidence or A List Of Places We Might Find Life On Other Planets or If We Could Run Away To Another Surface Robin Gow Poetry


Chance Encounter Fabrice Poussin Photography


My Father’s Hands Miriam Edelson Creative Nonfiction


In Case My Mother Tries To Pull You Away From Me Dena Igusti Poetry


Truth Behind Lies Cynthia Gray Creative Nonfiction


Couldn’t Survive on His Own D. M. Kerr Fiction


Bashful Jerome Berglund Photography

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Body Collage Edward Michael Supranowicz Art


The Son Hayley-Jenifer Brennan Fiction


Restoration Julie Martin Art


Contributor Bios


Special Thank You


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In Search Of Hard Evidence or A List Of Places We Might Find Life On Other Planets or If We Could Run Away To Another Surface Robin Gow Poetry

Scientists have to know we are alone in the universe just like I know writing a poem in which I am one speaker

will not make me one speaker.

In 2005 on Saturn’s cold bright moon NASA photographed what appears to be geysers of frozen water.

Scientists convince themselves

there are great reservoirs of water underneath the surface.

I drove my car with the windows down through the corn fields in Olley Pennsylvania.

I decided I would start breaking my OCD rituals—

one by one by by by one

I would become wholly human or holy human.

We will skip Mars because we know it is red and dead like a match stick head

but let’s consider another of Saturn’s moons:

Titan who has lakes of ethane and methane.

I left the gas stove on for hours—

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opened all the windows and doors to release it.

Mistakes are often intentional.

Venus is home to what we think

might be microbes floating in the air.

I could breathe them in like dust— their lives spiraling through my lungs.

My friends joke about the climate apocalypse—

how we will all have to leave to Mars.

This disturbs me most because of how often

white people assume their salvation

in the face of catastrophe.

I hold Callisto close to my heart. Its oceans are under layers of rock (not ice).

I will have to bring a pick axe and a shovel.

I will dig alone on the surface.

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Chance Encounter Fabrice Poussin Photography

Artist Statement

The role of the artist is not to reproduce reality, it is to expand upon the perception of it so the viewer may be intrigued; and in turn, take a second or third look when the opportunity occurs. I am always reminded of the words of Roland Barthes (1915-1980) in his book Camera Lucida (1981). Two of his key concepts seem to be what he calls the “punctum,” which points to the viewer and the idea that a specific photograph may be connected to its viewer through an “umbilical cord.” This is what leads me to conclude that, as a creator, I must come to that “eureka moment,” when I know the photograph is what I had been looking for. It points to me as a living organism, captures me, makes me somewhat dependent on it through the source of life, which is the umbilical cord, as it is dependent on me as its originator. There is, therefore, an exchange which must be sought after by the creator, and so strong that it will perpetuate itself as it is observed by the audience.

That is the question I ask myself when I create a photograph:

will it speak back to me when finished, will it point to me, will it then seek out its audience and make a connection with it on its own? As a result, it may take quite some time before I can arrive at the “eureka moment,” and it is what this photograph is about. As I worked to reach my end result, the image had to point back at me and come alive. If it can do this with its creator, it will accomplish the same with the viewer, make a connection, nourish a feeling,

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move him or her.

This photograph is the fruit of an ongoing question: how do

I go further into my search for something new, something that will make the audience stop and dive in, let themselves be absorbed by the peace that the image should bring to them. It was taken under controlled studio strobes. I used diverse objects and obviously flowers. Flowers are not new to art in any way, I thus use a dozen shades of spray paint to enhance their colors, add to the mystery of their depth, and through this invite the viewer to look closer, to try and decipher the different levels of the original object, and find that there is always more to be discovered. The images were not touched up at all once taken.

I hope that anyone looking at this image will be able to

slow down, pause, let go of everything around, and think that this is a world where they would like to live, perhaps be inspired to recompose later.

Miriam Edelson Creative Nonfiction


desperately wanted my hand to be as big as my father’s. Strong. Competent. His commanding grasp holding my little four-year-old hand. We’re on the commuter train from Long Island to Manhattan, to his office. It is a special day. To board the train together, hold his hand and spend the day at his work. All I wanted in the world was for my hands to be that big,

that powerful.

Crack! My father’s hand against my cheek. He awakens me

from sleep. I’m lying on the 1970’s deep gold-coloured carpet in my bedroom, having a sleepover. My two best friends are asleep in the bunkbed. We are about 13 years old and all startle awake to his sharp voice. I don’t remember what he said. Or what I could possibly have done to provoke such violence. But I certainly remember how ashamed I felt. Of him. Of myself. Humiliated and hurt in front of my friends.

He was a complicated man.

I knew, growing up, that he was usually quite proud of me.

For my accomplishments in sports and music, for being successful academically and then politically as a student leader in university. We had good strategic conversations in my early 20’s and his advice to me was steeped in wisdom borne of his own political and union activity as a younger man. He instilled in me a drive to make the world a better place, to “make a contribution”.

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My Father’s Hands

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Living my own life away from the family from the age of 18, I

developed some distance from the bad memories, the scary rages that punctuated my childhood. Like when at age 8 or 9 I would bolt from the dinner table, race up the stairs in leaps and bounds to climb the ladder to my top bunk, diving for the corner of the bed by the wall where he could not reach to swat me.

Today we might say that he had poor impulse control. In

reality, given the family mental health constellation -- my own included -- I think it would be more accurate to say he suffered from what was then called manic depression. Unnamed. Untreated. His moods dominated the family and I grew up believing the dark times were my fault.

My mother once sought professional counsel to ask what

she was doing wrong. But I think she also loved his fire. I have in mind that she found him exciting when courting, maybe even a little dangerous, and thus even more interesting. He was definitely a passionate man. Her own father had been more sedate, a conservative lawyer with solid social standing. My father, artistic and political, represented the promise of a more risky, exhilarating life.

What she did not perhaps expect -- or deal with adequately

-- was the effect of his rages on us children. I can only speak for myself and in my adult life, after a series of relationship (mis) adventures, I seek intimacy with men who are constant, more measured emotionally than my father. I shy away from anger that is expressed toward me and am continually learning how to channel my own productively. I only ever experienced the ‘over the

And yet, some of my greatest strengths derive from this

man. He had a profound appreciation for intellectual pursuits. Something he didn’t have an opportunity to follow because of his decision to leave university and fight fascism in the Second World War. Four of his five children have earned PhD’s or the equivalent. And the fifth is an erudite poet. We all recognize that some of our love of learning and drive are linked to his bearing.

Another linkage, although far more painful, is the weight

“problem” I inherited. This preoccupation still plagues me although I am now slim. My father fought being overweight his entire life. In comments infused with misogyny, he would make fun of large women. Aunt Florence was a “big girl” really meant he thought she was fat. I think I feared, more than anything, being called a “fat pig”, something I recall my teenage brother mimicking, given license to do so by our father’s behaviour.

Moving away from home, separating definitively from the

chaos of the family dinner table, where plates occasionally sailed across the room, allowed me to steer my own body image into a more positive zone. I learned that I did not have to carry his pain. But even now, it’s an effort daily to balance my self-esteem and body weight; it occupies a psychological space way beyond its genuine importance.

My father’s legacy continues.

Notwithstanding the deep scars, he was a loving father.

A romantic, he would regale an imaginary audience with Rogers and Hammerstein tunes while I accompanied him on the piano. He

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top’ variety while growing up.

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passed on his love of music whether classical, blues or jazz.

Once in my late 20’s when I was considering having a

child on my own, it was the cause of some consternation in the household. My father took me to lunch and told me that “any baby of yours will bounce on my knee.” His constancy in that situation gave me peace of mind.

My father’s hands were caring but they were also a weapon

to be feared. For years I walked on eggshells, hoping not to inflame his anger. I believe counselling and medication could have blunted his rages. Maybe seeking treatment would have allowed him to harness his own passion and energy into something more positive than the damaging emotional unpredictability I experienced.

But it was a different time. In the 1960’s and 70’s the topic

of mental health remained shrouded in silence and shame. Lithium didn’t become a part of doctors’ treatment arsenal for manic depression until 1970.

I believe the fact that the illness and emotional abuse was

unnamed contributed to the challenging family portrait. If only someone had said to me, with patience and consistency when my father acted out, “Miriam, it’s not your fault, you’ve done nothing wrong,” the essence of my very being would have developed differently.

In one sense my father was just a guy trying to raise his

family the best way he knew how. Is it fair for me to judge him with my 2020 lens? I have read that the pathway to healing from trauma can involve forgiveness. Am I truly ready to move into that space or is that letting him off the hook too easily?

Maybe I am on the verge. But only just. I carry the duality

with me always: the memory of my deep admiration for him as a young girl and great longing to bask in his approval as it collides with the harmful impact his behaviour had on me as I became a young woman.

Now, with the benefit of time’s passage, I inch toward

forgiveness and just wish some of the backstory had been different. The hands that cradled me were not always gentle and that partially explains some of the fault lines in my own psyche. So be it. Today I choose to live well, managing my own mental health challenges, and trying not to repeat his mistakes. Of course, I am fully capable of making my own.

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In Case My Mother Tries To Pull You Away From Me Dena Igusti Poetry

here’s the plan: i drag my feet against the scuffed floorboards skin and wood splintering into hydras of themselves where she pulls i pull twice as hard, whether that be knee buckled so forward my shins bend like the legs of a crane or arm dislocated just to break away from its creator my mama made me and can take me out but i can take myself out too

is too strong as it always has been i’ll gnaw off her wrist and let her hand squeeze my shoulder if she wants to always be with me i’ll give her this after i break loose from the rest of my mother i’ll shove the essentials in a suitcase: eyeliner to draw your favorite dots under my eyes, ponds moisturizer, a toothbrush, our harness, and a pair of hoop earrings when my mother unfurls her scream like smoke i’ll take a deep breath let her rattle in my ribcage hack my lungs to secondhand tar but still run down the stairs, bag and a part of my mother in tow

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if my mother’s grip

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all you must do is keep the engine warm the passenger door open and arms outstretched so you can hold me as i cry till nothing but air comes out my mouth i hope you still take me with you i hope you still want this me: all fight and bite remnants of my mother both genetic and just taken after nothing to give you but what you’ve known of me up to this to love you is to know my mother won’t stay to love you is to know she won’t let me go but here i am pressed against your skin not asking my mother to leave but telling her that i too, can’t remain


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Truth Behind Lies Cynthia Gray Creative Nonfiction

“If you’ve had a narcissist for a parent, you are probably not afraid of dying and going to hell -- you have lived hell on Earth.” - Joanna Ashmun

PERSONAL MEDICAL PROFILE FORM This form is for the use of documenting the childhood abuse of the patient and has hereby been released for public viewing. Note from Doctor: Included are copied sections of the released psychological evaluation form filled out by patient in regards to her relationship with her father who suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The report included was never made confidential and its inclusion does not violate any laws. All parties involved were made aware of the lack of confidentiality. PERSONAL PROFILE The following information is entered by: patient/the estranged daughter The information is regarding: father Medical Conditions: My father has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), the condition in which a person has an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with him or herself.

There are nine traits to narcissism. Having five of these

traits means you suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. These symptoms are:

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1. Feels grandiose and self-important 2. Obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, and unequaled brilliance 3. Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people/institutions 4. Requires






affirmation - or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious 5. Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favorable priority treatment. 6. Uses others to achieve his or her own ends 7. Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others 8. Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feel the same about him or her and are likely to act similarly 9. Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, “above the law�, and omnipresent. Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy

My father has all nine.

take medicine. According to my father, he has nothing wrong with him; it’s the rest of the world that has problems. Note from Doctor: Patient’s father does indeed have all nine traits, as confirmed by the psychiatric evaluation. Father remains untreated. Patient suffered from Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) and currently suffers from Adjustment Disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood (neurotic disorder 309.28), both caused by her father and the living environment she was exposed to during childhood development. Patient told of psychosomatic illness (vomiting caused by stress during parent’s divorce, lasted one month) and distorted body image. Patient shows problems with selfesteem, insecurity, and under-estimates herself as well as inability to accept compliments given to her, the classic signs of a child of someone with NPD. Patient also has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder from her father. MEDICAL CONDITIONS Dementia: a state of serious emotional and mental deterioration

My father only remembers what he wants to remember.

Once, when I was younger and much shorter, I went to fetch a bowl from the high cupboard above the counter. He had just left to go run errands, so I knew I could hoist myself onto the counter and get the bowl before jumping down without getting in trouble. When the door closes and the car starts to show he is leaving I jump up onto the counter to get the bowl for my cereal, only he doesn’t leave. He forgot his wallet. In he walks, spotting me sitting on the counter, bowl in hand, and that is when I knew I was in big trouble. He starts

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Current Medication(s): According to my father only sick people

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yelling at me, saying I could have fallen off and cracked my head open on the tile, died from trying to sit on a counter, while I begin to cry as is customary in these fits of rage. I call to him, apologizing again and again while he screams at me, but all he says in return is “You’re sorry, you’re sorry, you don’t even mean it. Don’t apologize, I don’t ever want to hear you apologize to me again; it means nothing to me.”

The next time he yells at me, for something equally as

undeserving, I follow his orders and don’t apologize. His response: “You see? You’re not even sorry! You’re not even apologizing!” When I tried to explain to him that I was merely following his orders, he said that he never said such a thing.

Is it possible to control your own dementia?

Note from Doctor: Patient’s father has not been diagnosed with dementia. Blindness/Deafness: the inability to see/hear

My father sees and hears only what he wants. When my

mom took longer than he deemed necessary to visit the grocery store he began accusing her of having an affair. He began to search for signs of another man, upsetting her to the point where she poured out the contents of her purse to ask what exactly he was hoping to find inside. The lipstick bothered him, because why would a married woman keep lipstick in her purse unless she wanted to get all gussied up for other men. They yelled about it until he stormed out of the kitchen, leaving my mother in tears because she felt the need to defend herself, even though I was in the room. I sat there and continued to eat at the table as if none of this was happening.

Note from Doctor: Patient refers to a psychological blindness/ deafness, not literal. OTHER MEDICAL CONDITIONS: Paranoia: excessive suspicion of the motives of others

When trying to plan a surprise for my father, in order to

hopefully prevent another inevitable screaming session, I placed a sticky note of possible plans on my desk. The note was harmless, titled ‘Surprise for Dad’ at the top and listing suggestions such as a picnic. One day, however, my father saw the note and interrogated me about it. I told him I just wished to do something nice for him.

Later on I was told to take it down. Apparently my father had

begun to be frightened at what I might have planned, as if I was out to get him. Note from Doctor: Paranoia is a symptom of Narcissistic Personality Disorder; father possesses this trait. Mnemokinesis: ability to alter one’s own memories

My father often spoke of his time working at Club Med. He

always ends his story with saying how sad he was to have to leave, but how it was the right thing to do for his family.

After badgering my mother countless times over the years,

she finally told me what really happened.

A man, a fellow employee, made a joke about him, a simple

and innocent joke, but my father didn’t like it. So, naturally, he headbutted the guy’s front teeth out.

My father was so sad to have to quit his job.

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I was used to it. We all were.

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Note from Doctor: Mother showed resistance in revealing information and still retains secrets about the father. Mother does not wish to alienate patient. OPERATIONS Surgery: Therapy counts, right? It is letting someone pick apart your mind like how a surgeon picks apart your body.

During the divorce, my mother wanted my father to talk to

the therapist. They went together a few times, and from the first meeting the therapist knew exactly what my father was, how he worked, and that everything out of his mouth is a lie he could tell so convincingly that he could take a polygraph and pass. My father of course thought that the therapist loved him and that he had won her over with his words, that she would now make sure he won my custody. My custody, the thing he was fighting for so desperately in order to convince the neighborhood that he is a good dad. In the whole battle I don’t believe he ever thought about keeping me for something as unheard of as love. I was just the trophy, made to be shown off, made to show him off. Note from Doctor: Patient shows humor in connecting therapy to surgery. Side-Note: She may be right. DRUG ALLERGIES Drug Name: Reality. Side Effect(s): Inability to accept it/regurgitated out of his mind and instantly forgotten.

When I told the court that I wished to live with my mom

instead of him, I was disowned. Their custody agreement says that

week and I was to stay with him every other weekend in addition to spending two weeks with him in summer in order to keep a relation. If you were to have asked him, he would have said that I refused to speak to him and he was not allowed to contact me.

If you were to ask him today, he would say he has never

heard of me. Note from Doctor: No contact has been made between the two except for patient demanding her belongings back. He refuses to give back certain items, claiming they are not hers. She is currently planning the court date to sue for the rest of her belongings. Patient has also become snarky in filling out this information form, shows improvement in talking about her past. LIFESTYLE Family Relations: My father is remarried, having fooled another woman into believing he is a good person, and now has a two-yearold daughter whom I’ve never met and may grow up to hate me through twisted stories spun from him if he even admits that he has another daughter.

Every day I worry about my half-sister, wondering if he has

yelled at her yet. It’s only a matter of time.

My mother tells me not to worry, that he might treat her

better. I don’t believe it; I think he will be worse to her than he was to me, or to my brother, because now he thinks he knows where he went wrong in raising us and now he will be even stricter. His new wife might not stand up to him when it comes to hitting like how my mom did.

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my father has standard visitation rights; we were to meet every

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I was almost three when he first struck me.

My sister is almost two.

Every day I wonder if he has hit her yet.

Note from Doctor: Patient talked about the first time she spoke up during these three-hour-long screaming sessions, the patient having timed these sessions because it seemed incredible even to her the duration of these events. She was 14 when she yelled back at him and he was stunned. He told her that next she would hit him. This is transference, an indication that next he would hit her. At the time, she was warned of this and was prepared, silently encouraging it so she could have him arrested for physical abuse, though it never came about. AUTHORIZATION

During my last year of seeing him, my father and I attended

a school play in which I was cast but he had forbidden me from participating. My mother is an actor, and I was not allowed to do anything that may form a bond between us. Upon arriving at the theatre he told me to sit with my friends so that other parents would think he was a normal father encouraging friendship to the high school teen. He had gotten in trouble with the court too many times for impeding my social development, that being the only reason I was released from sitting by him. The only problem with this new arrangement was that there was only one seat open amongst my group of friends and it was next to one of their parents, a parent he disliked immensely. When intermission arrived he called me over, asking if I wanted to get a drink. He was too happy-looking with his smile. I knew he was about to yell at me.

We headed towards the make-shift concession stand, but

stopped short to turn down an unlit hallway of the school, away from wandering ears. Once we were out of hearing rage he began to talk, quietly so as to not draw any attention. He told me that his orders were to sit with my friends, not their parents. I pointed out to him that I was with my friends, I just happened to also be sitting by a parent. He wouldn’t listen to me, as expected, so by the time intermission was drawing to a close he told me to, “Shut the fuck up. No, don’t talk. Shut the fuck up. Now go back in there and pretend that this never happened. Got it? This never happened. Now shut up.”

Years later, I am here to say, no, I will not shut the fuck up.

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Couldn’t Survive on His Own D. M. Kerr

“D Fiction

amn,” Nathan said. He leaned out of the SUV and planted his feet on the pavement of the superstore’s parking lot. He leaned over to tighten the laces on his sneakers.

“What is it?” Junie asked. Her

father’s crouch exposed the black band of his underwear. She took to examining the black Kevlar of her seatbelt. Strands from her ivory sweater had become stuck to its weave.

In spite of its tendency to shed, the sweater, with its swathe

of pink pastel over her heart, had been the right choice. The pink gave a nice tone to her chin, seeing as her parents wouldn’t let her wear make-up. But the white cotton blouse beneath it--that had been a mistake. In the ten minutes from home to the superstore, it had crumpled terribly. Junie flipped down the sun visor in front of her, the one with the mirror her mom usually used to check her lipstick, and scowled at herself.

If her stupid little sister Sandie hadn’t skipped her turn to

do laundry, she’d have her best stone-washed denim shirt, instead of having to leave it tumbling at home in the dryer. She thought of asking her father to let her stay in the car and listen to his iPhone instead of

“I left my wallet back at the house.”

Junie shook her hair in a quick back-and-forth motion, a

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mannerism she didn’t know she had inherited from her mother. Unlike her mother’s short, gray-tinged crop, Junie’s was russetbrown and grazed her shoulders, the right shade and length for shaking. “That’s okay,” she said. “I brought enough.”

“Thanks,” her father said. He levered himself on the door

arm, back up to an upright position. “Sorry, can’t even go to the bank machine without my cards. Mommy will pay you when she gets- anyway, I’ll pay you.”

“I’m okay,” Junie said. She slipped out her door onto the

damp, chill pavement. The cold seeped right through her patchwork canvas running shoes. As she started to swing her door she heard the snap of the car’s automatic lock. She called out, quickly: “Got the keys? Daddy?”

Nathan jingled the fob in his hand. A cute, boyish smile lit

his face. Junie could see black spots of stubble on his cheek: he had forgotten to shave that morning. From afar they looked like baby pimples.

Junie patted her jeans pocket to make sure the cash was

still there and then let her side shut with a satisfying thunk. She followed through with a hip bump to make sure the door was properly shut, and because she liked doing that.

Her father had parked a distance from the front entrance,

so they needed to thread a long way over the cold pavement to get to the massive food store. A wind blew cold and clammy, piercing

above were solid gray.

She stole a glance northward. The gray stretched right to

the horizon. Her mother was up there, somewhere, rock-climbing. She wondered if it were already raining, and whether her mother would come home.

“Um, Junie, you got the shopping list?”

“Daddy! You have it.”

“Oh? Oh yes, I have it.” Nathan dug in his jeans pocket, where

his wallet should have been, and found the folded sheet of paper. “Thanks for reminding me.” He draped his arm lightly over her ivory sweater. Its warmth reached through the layers of wool and cotton.

Three boys, wearing the thin red cloaks of the food chain,

were piling carts beside the entrance. They didn’t seem to mind the cold. Junie slipped out of her father’s embrace, and stuffed her hands in the hip pockets of her jeans. The boys paused their work. Junie let a faint smile light her lips, both satisfied and disdainful. Then she skipped forward to tap on the rubber mat at the entrance.

A blast of dry, hot air greeted her, blowing away any trace of

the chill and fuzzing her hair, which had now become entangled in the fluff of her sweater. Junie turned pink with embarrassment. She stole a glance to her side, but the boys had gone back to shoving the carts into long lines.

“We’ll have to rush,” she said, giving her hair another shake.

She grabbed a cart from the inside rack and rattled it towards the colorful aisles of the produce section. “It’s almost ten thirty. Sandie is already waiting at the club.”

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Junie’s sweater as if she had not been wearing it at all. The skies

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Her father made a sound something like a dog’s growl, but

more clenched. “Well, we have to do the shopping. If Mom hadn’t screwed up Sandie’s tournament dates, we wouldn’t be rushing like this.”

The subterranean anger in her father’s voice Junie found

scary and, in a secret way, thrilling. She had overheard them fighting earlier that week and the crash of something breaking. She had found her mother’s cellphone, cracked right open, when cleaning the wastebaskets. It was like boys, but more terrifying. The night before she had written in her diary: “If they break up, I want to stay with Daddy. He couldn’t survive on his own.”

She wasn’t sure, though, where she’d find money to help

him pay for groceries.

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Bashful Jerome Berglund Photography

Artist Statement

“Bashful” called to my mind a tendency to smile with one’s lips tightly pursed together, carefully concealing teeth discolored by smoking and black coffee, ill-treated by lack of access to dental care and spotty at best instances of routine cleanings.

I have an uncle who since having several dead ones pulled,

which resulted in what choppers remained shifting somewhat mortifyingly about his mouth, shuns nearly any social contact with the outside world, deeply chagrinned by his frightening visage and ridicule he has since received from his rural neighbors, detractors maligning him for having what’s referred to colloquially in those parts as a ‘meth mouth’. Smiling in and of itself can be a coercive and enforced activity, one comes to realize. I think of those poor souls in secretarial positions, serving drinks, cleaning hotel rooms, and the leering cretins who tell them daily they would look prettier if they smiled.

I recall a job I had hosting at an Italian restaurant, being

frequently chastised for failing to have a smile plastered across my visage at all times, even were there no customers present, or anyone else around to witness it. I recall my sister’s horrid boyfriend giving me a hard time because I did not show my teeth during our taking of group photos together. I do then, in fact, smile to myself quite brilliantly now, recalling the bleeding gash I made of his mouth the time he got violent with her and shattered all that glass across the

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floor of their house, wiping his characteristic nasty smirk clean off those fat lips at least momentarily, if not for long enough. I think of Spike Lee movies finally, the minstrel act comprised by kowtowing to the Man, ‘showing dem pearly whites’ as they used to call it. Then I at last conclude there’s nothing wrong with, much right about being bashful, when it comes right down to it.

Edward Michael Supranowicz Art

Artist Statement

I do not believe in formal artist statements. Art should speak for itself, and the artist should maintain a respectful distance and silence. I work intuitively and compulsively, probably believing that there are archetypes that are shared among us all, but amenable to being expressed in one’s own individual style.

I have been doing digital paintings and drawings for the last

10 or so years. It is a good fit to my personality and nature, being able go forward, then back, then back and forward, and not having to worry about wasted canvas. And digital work allows for sharing work with more than one person rather than just one person “owning� a painting.

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Body Collage


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The Son Hayley-Jenifer Brennan Fiction


r. Cheon stood in darkness, surrounded on four sides by the walls of the shelter; barely able to make out the shapes of the tools and fabrics that stood to attention like soldiers, ready to aid in the renovation of the barn as a wedding place. The construction

workers had retired long ago; the decorative white fabrics hanging half mast, their glue guns and nail guns and soldering guns piled into forgotten heaps on the dirty ground. The battle was only half over, of course, but it would be won by spring. The barn would be beautiful.

They had chosen this place on a Monday, and Mr. Cheon felt

an honorary member of the wedding corps when he was selected to be a part of the decision-making; driving his future daughterin-law and his son out to a site he thought was perfect. He had been right. This barn had been chosen. He had marked a red circle around it on his map right away.

Today was Monday again – almost Tuesday, by now.

Mr Cheon had driven here alone – against the doctor’s recommendation – avoiding potholes lest he do any more damage to himself. He rested on a bale of hay, weary from his battle with life, and stared up at the sky through the open doors of the barn. Moonlight streamed through them and there was an extra star in the sky tonight, he noticed. Right up there beside the moon, giving

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orders to the other stars.

Best get this place cleaned up. He stood. No other time for it.

He sucked in a breath, marching towards bits and pieces that had been training for their wedding post, white sheets covering tables and chairs to keep them safe from dust. He’d seen it many times in his previous field of work. It ran in the family.

The navy of the night soon became the pink hue of morning

as Mr. Cheon worked tirelessly to pack up the barn – no need for all these chairs now. Soft rays of sunlight sparkled and glittered through the roof of the barn, dousing everything inside and making them fire-like.

“General Cheon?”

A concerned voice came from behind him, but he didn’t need

to turn to know who it was. “I thought I might find you in here.” She didn’t move into the barn. She didn’t move past the door. He was grateful for that.

“You really don’t need to do this,” she said, her voice like a

whisper. “I’ve already asked the planners to—“

“No time like the present.”

“But your arm…” She said it gently. Meant it gently, of course

he knew that, but he didn’t take it gently. He spun to stare at her. He was not useless – why did everyone treat him as though he were? His friends. His neighbours. His squadron. There was a lot of fight still left in him, despite his age and condition.

The barn was silent for an extended moment, the empty

space between him and her feeling like a no-man’s-land until she crossed it, unspeaking, and started to pick up some of the tools

the sunlight as she dropped them into a green toolbox. He was glad she’d kept it.

Quite right. Mr. Cheon thought as he watched her. No other

time for it.

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that were lying about the floor. Her engagement ring glistened in

Julie Martin Art

Artist Statement

As the pandemic swirls the world in contradiction and change, Julie finds refuge in her sketchbook. Colored pencils, watercolor pencils and craypas, she comes to the page to engage in non linear thought. Concentrating on line and color, she finds that her mind shifts into deep focus. The natural world inspires and nourishes her creativity. What does this body believe in?

A fluttering feathered heart, a pulse; navigating backwards

with eyes closed, through the labyrinth of veins to try to find the source of the ones who have come before.

Thread their names as far back as you can remember

Which, admittedly, isn’t very far, not like biblical lists of who begat who. Breathe in the grand finale of the asters still blooming in early November. The refreshing light scent in contrast to autumnal decay.

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Contributor Bios The Wire’s Dream Magazine

Robin Gow Robin Gow is the author of OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL DEGENERACY (Tolsun Books 2020) and the chapbook HONEYSUCKLE (Finishing Line Press 2019). Their poetry has recently been published in POETRY, Washington Square Review, and New Delta Review. You can find them on Twitter @gow_robin_frank and online at Fabrice Poussin Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications. Miriam Edelson Miriam Edelson is a social activist, writer and mother living in Toronto, Canada. Her literary non-fiction, personal essays and commentaries have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, various literary journals including The Wascana Review, Collective Unrest, Writing Disorder, Wilderness House Literary Review and on CBC Radio. Her first book, “My Journey with Jake: A Memoir of Parenting and Disability” was published in April 2000. “Battle Cries: Justice for Kids with Special Needs” appeared in late 2005. She has completed a doctorate at University of Toronto focused upon Mental Health in the Workplace and is currently at work on a

challenges related to bipolar disorder. Dena Igusti Dena Igusti (she/they) is a queer Indonesian Muslim poet, playwright, and journalist based in Queens, New York. She is the co-founder of Asian multidisciplinary arts collective UNCOMMON;YOU and literary press Short Line Review. She is a 2018 NYC Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador and 2017 Urban Word Federal Hall Fellow. She is a 2019 Player’s Theatre Resident Playwright for her cowritten Off-Broadway production SHARUM. She is a 2020 Ars Nova Emerging Leaders Fellow. Her work has been featured in BOAAT Press, Peregrine Journal, and several other publications. She has performed at The Brooklyn Museum, The Apollo Theater, the 2018 Teen Vogue Summit, and several universities across the nation. Her forthcoming collection will be published with Game Over Books in Summer 2020. You can find more of her work at and on social media: Twitter and Instagram @dispatchdena. Cynthia Gray Cynthia Gray is an award-winning actor and writer. Her writing has been published in Burnt Pine Magazine and the Strand Zine, and her films have been screened at festivals across the country. Her short stage play The Postman’s Letter was produced as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival. She has also appeared in various films, TV shows, and plays. You can find her online and on social: Twitter @agirlnamedgray and Instagram @agirlnamedgray.

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collection of essays. She lives with and manages the mental health

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D. M. Kerr D. M. Kerr is the writing name of a Canadian writer currently living and working in Singapore, where he teaches game design and business. His work has been published in over twenty-five journals, including Linden Avenue Literary Review, The Wire’s Dream Magazine (fifthsixth collection) and the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library’s So It Goes journal. He’s forgotten his wallet more times than he can remember. Jerome Berglund Jerome Berglund graduated from the cinema-television production program at the University of Southern California, and has spent much of his career working in television and photography. His work has been featured prominently in many journals, including gracing the cover of the most recent issue of pacificREVIEW. His pictures have further been published and awarded in local papers, and in 2019 he staged an exhibition in the Twin Cities area which included a residency of several months at a local community center. A selection of his black and white fine art photographs was showcased at the Pause Gallery in New York over last Winter’s holiday season, and his fashion photography is currently on display at the BG Gallery in Santa Monica. You can find him online at and on social: Twitter @SpectreJournal, Instagram @lespectrepoliteraryjournal, and IMDB:

Edward Michael Supranowicz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/ Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on a small farm in Appalachia. He has a grad background in painting and printmaking. Some of his artwork has recently or will soon appear in Fish Food, Streetlight, Another Chicago Magazine, The Door Is a Jar, The Phoenix, and other journals. Edward is also a published poet. Hayley-Jenifer Brennan Hayley-Jenifer Brennan is a new writer from Cork, Ireland. Brennan’s social media handle is @hayleyjenifer on Twitter and Instagram. Brennan is very grateful for this opportunity, and is delighted to be featured in The Wire’s Dream Magazine. Julie Martin A poet and a public school teacher, Julie Martin lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her husband, sons and dogs.Her poetry has appeared in several online journals, most recently Mothers Always Write, Thimble Literary Magazine, Gravitas, Pasque Petals, Dreamers Creative Writing, Tiny Seed Journal and Tiger Moth Review. She was the 2018 1st place winner of the South Dakota State Poetry Contest, landscape division. Visit her blog at: sphinxmothrising.

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Edward Michael Supranowicz

A special thank you Miriam Edelson who kindly donated her contributor payment to The Wire’s Dream Magazine. Miriam’s work spans two published books on special needs children. Her first book “My Journey with Jake: A Memoir of Parenting and Disability” is a memoir on parenting her child with special needs while living in Canada.

You can read her creative Nonfiction “My Father’s Hands” on page 18.


Jake is celebrating his tenth birthday. That’s a remarkable feat, because at birth he was given only three years to live. Miriam Edelson is his mother, a dedicated fighter for Jake and families in similar situations.





questions: How do parents cope with a child who has special needs? Are we failing, as a society, to care for children with disabilities? Whatever happened to the federal government’s promise of a “Children’s Agenda”?

My Journey with Jake works on two levels. It’s a poignant memoir by a devoted mother, and a hardhitting, well-researched look at health care for Canada’s children.

Black Live

We’ve seen the strength of the BLM movement touch o murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless

uncomfortable, and sad. Demanding justice can expre

the history of oppression from the basis of skin color, c

Physical action, marches, and rally calls are another. O

as it’s a path of action and not of apathy. Working togeth

after us won’t have to anymore. Vote and alway

es Matter.

our communities across the nation and the world. The Black and African americans should makes us all angry,

ess itself in many actionable ways. Self education on

cultural background, and ancestral heritage is one way.

One thing is clear — choose any actionable path as long

her, we can continue the movement so that generations

ys support your community for positive change.

Robin Gow Fabrice Poussin Miriam Edelson Dena Igusti Cynthia Gray D. M. Kerr Jerome Berglund Edward Michael Supranowicz Hayley-Jenifer Brennan Julie Martin 8th Collection

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