Sharpshooter

Protocol dictated a button be pushed.

An impressive male, he was to father generations

of Silverbacks until the small boy

dropped himself like a hand grenade.

The great ape flung him giddily about

like a plaything oblivious to the countdown.

Like a ticket home.

Shakespearean
the play within the play
death by cop

Peter Newton

Sharpshooter

inpatient

Another six hours have passed. The nurse comes back with a new bag to hang up on the IV stand. She reconnects the cannula and a cold liquid invades unsuspecting veins. An alien invasion of personal space. A metallic taste. It doesn’t feel the same as last time.

fear of needles
finding a new bravado
in daydreams

Twenty minutes later. A different nurse. The bag is empty, and things are not what they were the last time, or the time before. That cold liquid felt mercury-like. It’s triggered a transformation, like Neo had, after swallowing the red pill. A perfusion of internal organs has caused irrevocable change. Flesh is now mimetic polyalloy. Will it affect consciousness? Maybe an updated imagination could create any personality it wants. Such power, such possibilities, yet still an overwhelming urge to sleep.

dry veins drifter
looking to hitch a ride
on a new nightmare

David J. Kelly

inpatient

cul de sac

Winter’s cloak is tattered rags. The white counterpane wore away so quickly. All that’s left are isolated patches of moraine-encrusted glacier. Walking home, late at night, there’s a sense of suspended animation. Somehow this freezing space is freezing time. Still, incontestable imperatives propel the body onwards, comet-like, through cold emptiness, to describe another eccentric orbit.

castaway
watching Noah’s ark
crest the horizon

David J. Kelly

cul de sac

MULBERRY MAN

Lying discarded beneath some urban undergrowth, near a mulberry tree, a man is discovered bisecting a dream or an insect — it’s not clear which because the evidence suggests he may have hijacked his own unconscious mind.

rolling stone gathering no moss garden

Tim Murphy

MULBERRY MAN

Clarity

The easel is a cello, why can this simple fact not be made clearer? And also, why is there ambiguity and doubt about the nature of spatulas? It’s still possible to come across people who deny that spatulas are used by painters in the same way and for the same reason that murderers sometimes use knives.

train journey
Sisyphus
on speed

Tim Murphy

Clarity

Hopefulness

A page is a map for when you are lost, which is always. Pre-existing maps can be of enormous assistance, but the ones you draw yourself are invariably of superior quality. The art of re-drawing either a pre-existing map or one of your own maps should be undertaken, if at all possible, using green ink.

cloudless
not running
on empty

Tim Murphy

Hopefulness