HERE THERE BE DRAGONS

My eyes have turned to glass, beautiful things that can never see a full moon eclipsed by cloud like a pirate’s patch that censors blindness.

A parrot squawks at me, muttering the same phrase repeatedly, a reverie about poetry, words comprising a vast sea where sail the golden gods on glistening ships—Plunders, pillages, and rapes, songs sung to cinch the irony as bull whips crack with time across backs or boards, creaking with sea-sickness, decks slippery with vomited rum.

Elsewhere silence locks like a peg leg, stuck in nocturnal quicksand—Jungle muddle livid as God with snakes.

vine-covered cave
on a stone tablet
curious cuneiform

 

Anna Cates

HERE THERE BE DRAGONS

So What

Newport Jazz Festival 1958. The year that accelerated jazz into a new era. The white race was catching sight at black music, and Anita O’Day, white as snow, swinging “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Tea for Two”. Fashion was cool, simple and stylish. It was high-level art and completely irresistible. The world would find itself and the music exploded.

She was 10 years old and explosive. She had just saved her father from committing suicide. Or maybe he used her, realizing he would not die by drinking a whole bottle of snaps in one go. However, the gas? Turned up to minimum strength, she barely noticed, when she opened the window and shouted for help, while her father lay in a bloodstream with a hole in the head. Her nose and the smell of alcohol and blood mixed with gas saved them. She had had some experiments with her father’s “circus performance”, making sure he did not jump out in front of a train at North Harbor Station. The repeating pattern: dad on a bender/mom wants a divorce/dad threatens suicide. “Oh, my dear, poor daddy!” Subsequently she drove her mother to madness with psychological questions. Was she malicious? Did she try to save herself by releasing her pain in this helpless manner; did she really resemble her father that much? She had to find out if her mother could withstand her pain and sorrow without giving up, like her father, because she felt empty, selfless and abandoned.

Now her world should change too, so she could find herself for real. What a process, what a chance. In addition, life, so damn slow, lying right there like a big bleeding sparkling love ball, calling for help.

The fool
loses face
So What

Mona Larsen

So What

Two Pieces

cocaine

when we’re done having sex, he asks me to blow his cousin in the adjoining room…

greyhound racing life of a side piece

.

ice cube tray

two bottles of vodka
four bottles of beer
a few eggs
a bottle of mustard

filling up on emptiness someone’s leftovers

Robin Smith

Two Pieces

From the Office of Professional Responsibility

Dear Citizen in Violation (CIV),

You have received this OPR notice as a result of a complaint filed by the Minister of Perpetual Admiration (MPA). He has provided us with screen captures that indicate you are in clear violation of CODE #336-/1. Namely, you have posted online material in defiance of the recent decree regarding The Czar of Everything (CZAR).

Additionally, we have in our possession multiple YouTube videos in which you impersonate The Czar of Everything. All those who impersonate The Czar of Everything, who continually repeat his name mockingly, are subject to severe reprimand, so The Czar of Everything has decreed.

You will be visited by two Officers of Redaction (OR). They will assist or complete your Departure.

The loyal staff of The Czar of Everything thanks you for your past patriotism.

Sincerely,
The Minister of Professional Responsibility (MPR)

 

island retreat
native birds outnumbered
by egg-eaters

Peter Newton

From the Office of Professional Responsibility

3 Pieces by Nicholas Klacsanzky

Subway Window

The best time I had was when I forgot myself. I don’t know why I ever came back.

the subway car window
shows only darkness . . .
and my reflection

.

Dervish

I can’t figure out if mysticism is ecstatic or a sham. I go between Sufi dancing and wanting fame. Not everyone can sleep in the sand.

emptier
than emptiness:
our first name

.

Idealism

I have never been on hard drugs, but it seems like I am. The cacophony of conversations in the cafe melds into my thought process and my mental silence. I thought I was high on meditation this morning, but I guess coffee can cut through inner calm, despite our idealism.

rain or snow?
I remove myself
from myself

 

Nicholas Klacsanzky

 

 

3 Pieces by Nicholas Klacsanzky

Not So Wunderbar

I read somewhere that an as-yet-undisclosed brand of artificial sweetener is manufactured by Oompa-Loompas, captured and enslaved by the U.S. Government in the heart of an as-yet-undisclosed location (but I’ll bet my Monopoly salary it’s Area 51). They say everyone is paid in packets, with a few cacao beans here and there as incentive for overtime. Even the little ones labor 18 hour days. They say the Oompa-Loompas are overworked, sleep-deprived, and so strung out from snorting their crystalline rations they can’t even wiggle free from their infant-sized shackles.

And all to compete with the coconut sugar industry. Those poor little Loompa babies. For shame. Won’t someone please think of the children?

intelligent design –
does my wallet look fat
in these jeans

 

Elizabeth Alford

Not So Wunderbar