Restless Vanishings by John Michael Flynn

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Restless Vanishings

poems by
John Michael Flynn

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Wheels And Blades


As I wheel her about hoping for trust 
her occasional smile 
becomes conversion enough 
to compassion bolder than religion.
When I greet her parents, 
their faces flexing through the strain 
of compromise and exigency,
I hear no claim from them of anything final,
no answer beyond unconditional care, 
having long ago accepted their daughter’s tantrums,
vastness of loss, memories of her fall,
the bleak poems she scrawls by candle light. 

When alone again she shares a rare confession.
Messengers in the stars 
preach love will not conquer ignorance. 
She admits to not always believing those stars.
Later, we watch on television 
silken limbs of ice skaters spinning.
How she laughs until in tears
when my left shoe sticks to gum on the floor.
I expect her to say that now I know how she feels.
There is no such remark, only long silence.
She asks, at last, if I will roll her to bed.
She wants to dream of cutting a figure eight.



Mister Westall’s Good Knife


In his pocket, in his hand
trust a man
who fears a blade
he adores.
A man who fathers
the neighborhood
when others cannot.
With the largest hands
you’ve ever seen
and a laugh that scares you
more than the basement
stairs at night.
Radiant, sanguine
smiling man who fills
the puny galaxies
of your boyhood ambition.

We returned
from a fishing trip
in Gloucester
with a trash barrel
full of haddock and cod.
I climbed into his truck
tried to pull it out.
His sea-filled eyes gleamed.
He lifted that barrel
as if it was empty.
Let me drag it with him
to a backyard table.
Let me help. Me
of all people
cleaning fish, dodging
flies in the sun

worthy of his good knife.



JOHN MICHAEL FLYNN taught for one year, 2015, as an English Language Fellow for the U.S. State Department at the Far Eastern State University in Khabarovsk, Russia. His poetry collections include Keepers Meet Questing Eyes, and Moments Between Cities. In 1998 he earned the Erika Mumford Prize from the New England Poetry Club. A resident of Virginia, find him on the web at www.basilrosa.com.

Ironclad Beta For The Coming PPV by CEE

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Ironclad Beta For The Coming PPV

poems by
CEE


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American ingenuity, provides a ROYGBIV, the entire bell-space of probability. End result? Utter stasis.  Beating hearts, yearning souls, anxious fight fans, angry citizens, don’t like that at all.

CEE’s latest, Ironclad Beta For The Coming PPV, gives us The Battle Royale of our first Civil War, Monitor vs. Merrimac, iconography from a twain nation, as test run.  Mock-up.  First take and first rehearsal.  What happens when differing equals, unbridled, meet.

The dark and terrible visage of Today’s Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean, portends horrors, but beyond her eyes, 29 representations of vintage postcards—most, The Battle of Hampton Roads, once heralded as “the historical event most often depicted.”  These and others, each set against the punching verse of CEE, provide perspective to the Pay-Per-View of our gathering storm.  Visual antiquity, giving each in turn a thousand words, before the poet, counterpointing, provides his.  Utilizing the most famous stalemate in American history, our object lesson, is “equality”--its elasticity, its puzzle and riddle.  Dealt with, via post-Gilded Age imagery and post-80’s cynicism.  Heraldry, deeply personal, thrown as carnival barker’s opinion…and as future choice.

Unwinnable slaughter, no matter demo, proto, Crash Test Armies, beckons, Three-Card Monte.  Ironclad Beta For The Coming PPV, is a chalk talk of our Past, demonstrating the best-case scenario for the Cold War of Two Americas: an inept, drunken bar fight between 1862 Battlebots.  Colorful, existential, beautiful, snarky, Edwardian and Milleresque.  High drama. A tribute to Fight Night. A cautionary tale.  Jeer and dare.  Poet Knows Best.

In the final throwdown, at the last bell, what stays disaster, is but personal, human restraint. As ever, the poet holds little hope for Man, but presents his analysis, his suggestions, in Ironclad Beta For The Coming PPV, a Special Feature (with Easter eggs!), for our very last Main Event.

“Hey, CEE…are you part of the solution, or part of the problem?”

“I’m part of the problem…but, at least I’ll tell you what The Solution, is.”
—CEE, from “The Language of Imagination”, 2011, Luver.com





Civil war window (Godzilla, 3/8/1862)

The Merrimac blew the mightiest men o’ war
To tatters, at Hampton Roads
A few hours later,
The Cabinet Room is in flip-out mode
It’s Armageddon, End of Day, End of the World
It’s War of the Worlds, and the Confederates
Own a Martian fighting machine
That could make the Union disappear
In a lot of lights
Richard Burton narrating
As “Forever Autumn” blats sadly,
The Merrimac rearing up all Toho,
“REEEE-eeAHHII-EeeaaAAH…!!”
Top American sober politicos, all ready go peepee
Disgusting, annoying
Me no get
But, then again,
When I got up on 9/11 and played my messages,
I snorted, erased them, and went back to sleep





‘1’, is the most violent number that you ever are

When comparison gives way to contrast,
Screw what you’ve been fed
That’s when the grapeshot
That’s when Norman Vincent Peale, takes a piss break
And Star Wars and Star Trek fans
Are WWE, faces
“Tastes great!, Less filling!”, an elbow joke to teach
Potatoes or stuffing, an area where a person’s
Very existence is threatened
That’s the Unfriend, nonfriend, in social tickle of faces,
“Who ARE You?!” Other asks Other as anOther
“Asks” being PC for “throwing down, Harley dude”
Diversity, has an Emotional Seating Capacity of  
One (1)
Two (2) 
gods, is intolerable
anOther, from motherboards, is an “opponent”
If It isn’t,
Why isn’t It You?



CEE is an unstable element, which cannot exist outside the laboratory. CEE is human memoir, in the form of manifestos. CEE is a sociopath, who wishes you could love.  CEE is a figment of what you don't know you don't know. He used to be a dream of the dolphin, but the dolphin decided it didn’t like him.

The Lost Religion of Men by CEE

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The Lost Religion of Men

poems by
CEE


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The Lost Religion of Men was initially published as an eBook with a now defunct publisher. Due to rights conflicts, LGP cannot release any eBook editions and there are no free or name your price options available. Sorry.



Y2K, didn’t, to our knowledge, destroy the world. But for the demise of the VHS format, neither did the 21st Century shepherd in a New Age, on cue. Media, the merchants and power brokers told us so, but if one paid attention, 2000 was 1999 misspelled.

Likewise, the blitz of a “changed”, “renewed”, “happenin’” America of Peter Max, was never born free, New Year’s morn, 1970. Midwifed, but never birthed. Commercial television screaming even its colors, merely said so. LOUD. REPEATED. B.F. Skinner, for a divided nation. Media, power, persuasion, ‘said’. And, Cold War Americans eased down a road chosen for, not by We The People.

CEE, enigmatic street poet, in The Lost Religion of Men (All Bob is Clemente), gives us exposition of rude, personal experience: an 8-year old, falling asleep in the land of alpha and home of the nuclear family, awakened bagpipe, into “change” as a Jedi mind trick. “Things Are Different.” The strength testers and arms of might, have gone. No protest. No debate. It’s already happened, Joe Pyne. You fell asleep, and these former things passed away.

The Lost Religion of Men, sports dreamy and dividing ca. 1969 period pieces, shot through perspectives on a vintage Golden Arm arcade machine. Unwilling to view culture shaped as anything but conceded mores, CEE gives us The Ways and Manner of Old as a forced hand, mighty men outside the Self Help section, brutal dispassion. Soviet terror, as daily accepted. Joe Frazier as one-man buzzsaw, nodded at with pride. Vengeful woman as machine-girl released. At turns, angry fists beat as enemy a world of no choice as child-sensitive imagery speaks four-color, of Valhalla denied. In The Lost Religion of Men, Guardsmen sight students along the barrel as Unitas fades back, slomo, to trumpets unheard. From his hermitage, the poet tells us for the millionth time, to think for ourselves. To reject human mechanization, even as suggested. That “individual”, the known, pioneer ideal, is up to each. No other.

Mickey Mantle as legend, doesn’t roll up like a poster. Hardhat culture doesn’t wither before hair and daisies, because someone clapped hands. Fonts frivolous and social marketing games, are tools. Behaviorism has power, only if human persons permit.

“It’s over; now, we’re Here.”

No, we aren’t. We’re as Establishment as we wanna be.




“Alpha”
(Gamma-alpha-mu-alpha sigma-alpha-sigma)

And, I blow the tight-jawed SOB
Into the street, dead
No, I’m a crazy asshole
Default: COP
And, I brain the humanimal
With a semi-pro bat, keep swinging
No, I’m a psycho
COP
I kick his ass in the parking lot
Of a gangland watering hole
But don’t stop at first blood, bowed head
No mumble-sorry, crummy Eastwood
No, I’m a dangerous thing
COP (at least one, lazy, raising questions)
There isn’t any Defeating The Myth
Of evo-psych lie creature
You can’t rend him from his bestseller
“I read to be a man, I larn it from a booook”
You just have to be silent
Allow fake WBA belt to grace
Fake champ’s whatheis
Figuring, hoping
He’s one of ‘em who goes to a supermax
Rape-rape, rape-itty raperape,
Because he killed his Her, anyway
Or he’s one looking wise and hormone
Her, too, and proud
About all the erections that are really
Dishwashing




Give Me Mantle, Standing One-legged

The Metropolitans
That’s their actual name
20th Century expansionism
Trying to be Abner Doubleday
Nodding, Father Time, at kids’ kids’ kids’ kids
The N.Y. Metropolitans
Very Mudville, that name
“Casey” ‘tache, dark wooden hanger
Gilded Age slang and flat cap
Strong, the way Choynski was strong
Charlie Mitchell and John L., Peter Jackson
Patina’d hard, still frightening through Taft
Respected as strolling greatness, Depression
Deathbed, must wheezes, Korean Conflict
And, it is The Space Age
And clowns have eyes rolling Vegas
Until a miracle no one saw coming,
Like the pipeline of farm system
Giving out, dark miracle, on the Yankees
And tradition, legacy, antiquity
Became just that, and The Pyramids
Rented lesser and aging, harmed might
Stand field, Round Table after Punic Wars
Lancelot’s eye is not dimmed
He sees it
He gets it
New World, fun for horns blaring
As in, OH! New World! Open the wrapper!
Antiquity, though, knows
New worlds are Technicolor whitewash
You can call ‘em Amazin’
You can call ‘em Ray
If Mickey Mantle was immortal
There’d be no argument




CEE (American poet) (b. 29 October, 1961 Peoria, IL; d. 2 November, 2000 Time Travel Institute, Little Rock, AR) [citation needed]

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--bio as provided by the author to Leaf Garden Press,
5/25/2016, the 33rd Anniversary of Return of the Jedi.

Saints in Limbo by Kyle Hemmings

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Saints in Limbo

poems by
Kyle Hemmings

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Saint Amnesia



He discovered the cure for universal cancer but mislaid his formulas. A preposterous poker-faced girlfriend said she wanted to have his baby & he replaced her with a cracked mirror. He predicted the world would end three minutes after it did. His theory of time: We're older than we think. What's called living is really the act of remembering ourselves in slow motion. I'm merely stuck on STOP. At the age of eight, his mother gave him a red rubber ball that bounced once & never came down. She said God works in mysterious ways. The ball returned years later in the form of a meteorite that nearly killed him. He went blank, walked away with an alter-ego, bits of rock lodged between its teeth. The traumas of his early years formed lapses in his lovemaking. He woke up lonely not recognizing himself in reflections. Dogs stole his shoelaces. He saved an archbishop from a dangerous fall by using his body as a canopy of impersonal bones & tissues. After the bishop thanked him, promised him a seat in heaven, they became each other. The world was a globe of interchangeable parts that never quite added up. He tried reassembling his life from 16 track tapes & hit replay. He lost track of the time. The tapes looped endlessly & erased him.



KYLE HEMMINGS  lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Elimae, Smokelong Quarterly, Blaze Vox, Matchbook, and elsewhere. He loves 50s Sci-Fi movies, manga comics, and pre-punk garage bands of the 60s. His latest collection of poems and prose is Future Wars published by Another New Calligraphy.

No Ghost Goes Unnoticed by M. Drew Williams

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No Ghost Goes Unnoticed

by
M. Drew Williams

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Conquistador

The only thing left to kick 
on this road, swept clean 
by constant winds, are 
my own bad habits; all
of which lay behind me— 
seen within the towns 
I have pillaged and 
the faces of those 
I left burning within them.


Palabras

In other words, words. 
The few I use, I reuse.

I take most of them 
to work; carrying them 
in a beat-up briefcase.

In most cases they are 
brief and beat-up.
Carrying them takes work.

I reuse the few I use.
Words, in other words.



M. DREW WILLIAMS is a poet from Western New York. His poems have appeared in a variety of publications. He is infatuated with brevity.

Embracing the Flames by Janne Karlsson

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Embracing the Flames

by
Janne Karlsson

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JANNE KARLSSON is an artist from Sweden. His surreal and grotesque comics and illustrations have been published in over 300 magazines around the world, and his many books are available on Amazon.

Sadly Beautiful by Jason Fisk and Abigail Cashman

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Sadly Beautiful

by
Jason Fisk and Abigail Cashman

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Dear Abby,

It took me over three years to get to the point where I could read anything I wrote about you, but I did it. I recently sorted through those writings (some of them are nearly seven years old now). I hope you know that outside of my wife and my children, I would be hard pressed to find another being on this planet who has touched and shaped my life as much as you did in your too short thirty-six years on this Earth. And even after you’ve passed, dealing with your death has greatly impacted who I am and who I want to become.
As I sorted through my files, I was amazed at how much I had actually documented in one way or another. I was amazed at how much I either wrote directly about you in poems and essays, or how your battle with Ulcerative Colitis and the loss that battle entailed affected my fiction.
I was also saddened by how much I missed in my writings. You were such a beautiful soul. In no way do these jottings cover everything you went through, and no way do they even begin to encompass who you were. I’m so sorry for that. I also apologize for not attempting to give you the collection you deserve; I don’t have the emotional energy to attempt that task. It’s daunting.
This is simply a collection of poems, fiction, and essays that I wrote alongside your heartbreaking journey to cope with what was happening to you at that specific moment in time. It was my attempt to wrap my head around what was transpiring.
I’ll be honest with you; I’m not really sure why I’m doing this. I’d like to tell myself that putting all of these writings together will give those who knew you a taste of what you had to go through during the last few, rough years of your life. You would be surprised at how many people have contacted me through Facebook saying something like, I just heard..., or I just found out... Some of these messages are from people whom I never knew, and the gist of most of our conversations or messages were always about how you helped them during a rough spot in their life, or how they really looked up to you, or what a beautiful spirit you had. I’m not sure my reasons for putting this together are that altruistic. I think I just want to hang out with you, and I’ll even take the bad times you went through over not having you here at all. Selfish? Yes. You know that if I could, I would never bring you back alive just to suffer. I just miss you is all.

Forever,
Jason



JASON FISK is a husband to one, a father of two (soon to be three), and a teacher to many. He lives and teaches in the suburbs of Chicago. His long list of employment before he became a teacher includes working as a mental health professional in a psychiatric unit, a driller of holes in a kitchen cabinet making factory, and a grunt for a bricklayer.

He is the author of Hank and Jules, of a collection of short stories published by Kill the Middleman Press; Salt Creek Anthology, a collection of micro-fiction published by Chicago Center for Literature and Photography; the fierce crackle of fragile wings, a collection of poetry published by Six Gallery Press; as well as two poetry chapbooks - The Sagging: Spirits and Skin, and Decay, both published by Propaganda Press.