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  • Robert L. Giron

Issue 196

This issue features


photograph by Fayethequeen93,

poetry by Yahia Lababidi,

poetry by Andy Oram,

poetry by Landen Raszick,

poetry by Jake Rinloan

art by Edward Supranowicz, and


 

 

 

 

Fayethequeen93


A Child Looks 


 

© by Fayethequeen93.

 

 

Yahia Lababidi

 

Say Something


If you’re uncomfortable saying Genocide,

 

say mass murder,

say boneyard,

say unmarked graves,

say pity the children

say humanity under the rubble…

say Lord, forgive us

the enormity of our sins

 

At least, say not in my name

I’m waiting to hear from you

 

Please, say something.

 

2/15/2024

Copyright © by Yahia Lababidi.

 

 

Edward Supranowicz

 

Fantastic Journey

 


Copyright © 2023 by Edward Supranowicz.

 

 

About the Artist

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 The Harvard Advocate. Edward is also a published poet who has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times.

 

 Yahia Lababidi

  

 Choices

 

It’s difficult, in times like these

not to become radicalized —

the question is: will it be

by all consuming hate or Pity?

 

3/4/2024

Copyright © by Yahia Lababidi.

 

 

The Eclipse

 

Where were you

during the apocalypse

on the other side

of the world?

 

Did you pause

to observe

a moment of silence?

 

Did the extermination

of the other half

interrupt your sleep?

 

Did their absence,

somehow, disturb

your festivities?

 

Did you notice

the eclipse

is here to stay?

 

2/19/2024

Copyright © by Yahia Lababidi.

 

 

Hungering 

 

In the midst of darkness 

and ugliness,

I hungered

for light and beauty

 

I found it 

reading and writing—

poetry, mysticism,

then silence.

 

 

1/17/2024

Copyright © by Yahia Lababidi.

 

  

To view/listen to the Work on YouTube, click on the link below:

 

 

About the Author

Yahia Lababidi (@YahiaLababidi) is the author of twelve books of poetry and prose. Lababidi’s most recent works are Palestine Wail (2024) a love letter to Gaza; Quarantine Notes (2023) a collection of his meditative aphorisms; and Learning to Pray (2021) spiritual reflections. He regularly posts short literary videos on his YouTube channel.

 

About the Videographer

Tim Pieraccini lives on the South Coast of the UK, with 3,500 books and a similar number of DVDs. When not writing, or attempting to reduce his TBR pile, he can be found videoing performing arts students and editing the results. He also made a feature-length film, All Heart, which is on YouTube. His writing has been published by Flame Tree, the Triangulation Anthology, Doctor Who Magazine and Dragon’s Roost Press. The Triangulation story, F Sharp 4, are featured in The Best of British Science Fiction 2018.

 

 Andy Oram


Passacaglia

 

                   I wish you would

     not slow down before the recapitulation

                        but perhaps even accelerate

                                 into the composer’s repetition compulsion

 

I thought the piece was

                   an interlude

     but it turns out to be a rondo

 

          With elements of a passacaglia

                                 La Follia endlessly improvised on

 

Copyright © 2024 by Andy Oram.

 

 

About the Author

Andy Oram is a writer and editor in the computer field. His editorial projects have ranged from a legal guide covering intellectual property to a graphic novel about teenage hackers. Print publications where his writings have appeared include The Economist, the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, and Vanguardia Dossier. He has lived in the Boston, Massachusetts area for 50 years. His poems have been published in more than 50 journals.

 

Julie S. Paschold

  

Hunger is a Naked Ribcage

 

Hunger is a naked ribcage,

Desire a bleeding heart.

The loss of you fuels a rage;

Emptiness only starts

To ease the pain inside

Where your memories reside.

 

Hunger is a naked ribcage;

A harvest of dusty, empty husks;

A book devoid of words on every page.

There’s a chasm in the sky at dusk

Where the sunset, painted, should be.

I close my eyes, I cannot see.

 

Desire, a bleeding heart

That languishes in its yearning

Would rather be ripped apart

Or spent to ashes in its burning

Than be separated from, or learn a flaw

Belongs to their love, a feeling so raw.

 

The loss of you fuels a rage

That shrouds my brain with frustration.

From this world I’d rather disengage

Than experience further enfatuation.

Was it love? Oh, what a death

To steal through grief, my every breath!

 

Emptiness only starts

When thoughts in my head stop spinning.

In order for this despair to depart

I must launch a new beginning.

To heal, to get a chance

To live again…oh, to dance!

 

To ease the pain inside

I float it away like a bubble.

No more will it abide

With me, collecting like rubble.

To let go, such a free feeling.

I am outside; no walls and no ceiling!

 

Where your memories reside

I have the corner locked up tight,

And seeing all what Nature can provide

I step into her magnificent light.

To move on, grateful and peaceful and glad,

Eager to continue the journey I’ve had. 

 

Copyright © 2024 by Julie S. Paschold.

  

 

Bodies

 

The ego drives a fool back

sliding on a moment,

sleeping on a pillow

from last Thursday.

 

Can’t get the etchings

out of my mind;

making my skin crawl

as the temperature rises.

 

Itching each inch all

towards the last of the light,

cat’s cradle purrs in

the dark of the night.

 

Take off my glasses

and the world goes fuzzy

around the edges as

if all is undefined.

 

We bodies are only bones

wrapped in flesh and blood,

between these cells only air.

 

I have read we are composed

of mostly water;

it is no wonder I’m drowning

and everyone else is floating away.

 

 

Copyright © 2024 by Julie S. Paschold.

 

 

About the Author

Julie S. Paschold (Tansy Julie the Soaring Eagle) is a queer disabled poet and artist from Nebraska. They have their BS and MS in agronomy from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Their first book, Horizons (Atmosphere Press) is a collection of poetry honoring soil, one of our nonrenewable resources. Julie has been published in several publications, including Plainsongs, The Awakenings Review, the Nebraska Writer’s Guild, The Raven’s Perch, and The Radical Teacher, and several publications on medium.com. Their poem “Multitudes of Blue Arrows” was a semi-finalist in the first Kate Sommers Memorial Prize in 2023, and two of their chapbooks won honorable mention in contests by Writer's Digest in 2021 and 2022. Julie sells their sketches at Ravenwood Crystals and Art Gallery in Norfolk, NE. For more, read their blog on https://medium.com/@jpaschold or their author website at https://jpaschold.blogspot.com/ .

 

  

Landen Raszick

 

The Lunch Lady

 

for Rosa

  

She’s as you may envision her,

a netted bunch of frizzy hair,

 

big and sometimes boisterous

with an oh yeah, buster?

 

but usually,

beyond acrylic pane and warming tray,

 

she is known

as only one of the aprons.

 

When she brings her son home,

his father’s on the patio

 

smoking, reading books

and drinking bourbon. And she cooks.

 

No wonder

she falls asleep in her La-Z-Boy recliner

 

as her boy plays Roblox and does homework.

The pool is filled with dirt.

 

The green satchel

sits by the kitchen table.

 

The boy is on the phone

when he reaches down.

 

She is asleep.

I want her to sleep

 

because on the other edge of that gulf

is the bullet

 

lodging

into the brain.

 

Sleeping, she survives;

sleeping, he lives.

 

Copyright © 2024 by Landen Raszick.


About the Author

Landen Raszick is a poet and musician from South Florida. He earned his MFA in poetry from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Smartish Pace, New South, Bluestem, The Hopkins Review, and other literary journals.

 

 

Jake Rinloan

 

 High on Astronomy

for Neil deGrasse Tyson and the late Carl Sagan

 

 The torches you carried

Brightened the cosmos within us

Being men of science was not enough

You also served as

Interpreters

Explorers

Educators

And Ambassadors on behalf of the stars

 

You made unimaginable realities

Something we could grasp

Not just in our minds

But with our hearts and souls

You’ve done this with your humanity

As much as your science

All the while being Cosmically Cool

 

You taught us we are made of

The same stuff as the stars

And with childlike wonder you showed us

How to look at the heavens

And gain a deeper view

Of ourselves

 

Copyright © 2024 by Jake Rinloan.

 

 

Art Walk

 

 

I walk across a work of abstract art

A mosaic of yellow, red, orange and purple

Spread below me in all directions

It remains undamaged by my footsteps

A thick, wet mat of autumn leaves

My eyes soak up the shapes, patterns and hues

With each step, I gather the beauty into my being

While hoping to better understand the artist

 

 

Copyright © 2024 by Jake Rinloan.

 

About the Author

Jake Rinloan is a native Californian who has lived much of his life in Washington State, with stints in Finland and Canada. He is a University of Washington graduate who is passionate about reading, writing and outdoor recreation. Most recently, Jake worked as a project director for the California chapter of The Nature Conservancy. He has been published by The Summerset ReviewWales Haiku Journal and Chico News and Review. Visit: https://jakerinloan.com

 

 

Edward Supranowicz

  

Smooch

 



Copyright © 2023 by Edward Supranowicz.

 

 

About the Artist

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 The Harvard Advocate. Edward is also a published poet who has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times.

 

 

Allison Whittenberg

 

Loop

 

in your life,

you will have something that you cherish

and you will nurture it,

tend to it,

love it,

call it beautiful

because you made it beautiful

that’s human nature

 

in that same life,

some people will come along

destroy what you made,

rip it,

tear it,

crush it,

stomp on it,

marr it,

turn it ugly

 

because that’s human nature

 

Copyright © 2024 by Allison Whittenberg.

 

 

About the Author

Allison Whittenberg is an award-winning poet, short story writer, playwright, and novelist and a Teacher for the Indiana Writers Center. Her novels are Sweet Thang, Hollywood and Maine, Life is Fine, Tutored (Random House 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010). Her work has appeared in Flying Island, Feminist Studies, Inconclast, and The Ekphrastic Review. She is the author of the full-length short story collection, Carnival of Reality (Loyola University Press, 2022) and novella Sane Asylum (Loyola University Press, 2023). Whittenberg is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. She currently lives in Philadelphia.

 

 


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