The Country Club Set by John Delaney

Apologies to L. P. Hartley The past is a private country club.We knew someone who knew someoneand secured a family membership.The dues are pretty stiff, but we can choosewith whom to fraternize: the exclusiveand privileged and/or better born.Often, we’d rather hobnob there than here—to sit out on the greenside patioin the early evening summer lightand watch the last group’s approaching shots.To toast our handicaps with … Continue reading The Country Club Set by John Delaney

Poets Out of Service by Michael Lee Johnson

Like a full-service gas stationor postal service workersdisplaced, racing to Staples retailfor employment against the rules of labor,poets are out of business nowadays, you know.Who carries loose change in their pockets?Who tosses loose coins in their car ashtray anymore?iPhones, smartphones, life is a video cameraready to shoot, destroy and expose.No one reads poets anymore. No one thumbs through the yellow pages anymore.Who has sex in the … Continue reading Poets Out of Service by Michael Lee Johnson

Grace Under Pressure by Susie Gharib

The first time I became familiar with such a conceptI was teaching For Whom the Bell Tolls to undergrads.The idea appealed to my sense of decorum,so I decided to adopt such a challenging stance,yet it came to me naturallyas I was attuned to the stoical way of lifeand one manifestation was during the never-ending Syrian war. Four rockets fell not far where I stood,lecturing on … Continue reading Grace Under Pressure by Susie Gharib

My Struggle by Ron Kolm

In 1992 Jerry Brown,The liberal ex-governor of California,Ran against Bill ClintonIn the race to becomeThe Democratic nominee for PresidentOf the United States of America.He entered the New York primaryAnd came to New York City to campaign.While he was here he shoppedIn Coliseum Bookstore on 57th Street Surrounded by a phalanxOf Secret Service agents.When he approached the cash registerWith a pile of booksI leaned over from … Continue reading My Struggle by Ron Kolm

Writing Is Like A Bloodletting by Elise Swanson Ochoa

The blood-red velvet curtainshang heavy and limparound the silken bed.Braided knots, damp sheetsbear my sweating, searing brain.A delirium, another fit, God, please, rid me of my sins. The cool drip of the towel pulled from the basinrings in my ears like the screeches of the damned.The hot licks of the fireplacewhip my veiled eyes.Tossing my cheeks,but I can’t turn away.My blood is dirty.Immediate purification, Almighty.Bring the leeches! … Continue reading Writing Is Like A Bloodletting by Elise Swanson Ochoa

Underside of Being by Victor Marrero

1 Exertion itself must be the thing. Surely the tension is there. Pained devotion to exhaustion and gritstiffens will near the finish line: a native instinct of muscle and nerve, a twitch to flight, an ache wound-sprung deep inside each cell. Each recalls the captive’s limit of self-restraint. The reflex to be, the impulse to become what being begs to be, the primal need itself, blend as one. Outcasts seized within … Continue reading Underside of Being by Victor Marrero

The Needle in the Haystack by John Jack Jackie (Edward) Cooper

You love the small streets,the quiet precincts; the lighted windowup on the corner where a tree this past–Christmas still sparkles, all the world madeheavenly by a cup of lemon tea,simplicity and nourishmentof mere life, the bed at dawn, the waiting home —even one alone, bare minimum, sometime,maximum can be. Continue reading The Needle in the Haystack by John Jack Jackie (Edward) Cooper

2022 by Susie Gharib

In twenty twenty-two,there is no need for Big Brother, telescreens or torture tools.You are under your own surveillance and extremely scared of what people might think of you.Self-censored, there is no need for the Thought Police,since you have been transformed into a puppet whose conduct is condoned by all.This becomes your self-proof. In twenty twenty-two,the wars that George Orwell exposed becomes a reality more tangible than before.Everything is … Continue reading 2022 by Susie Gharib