Observations of a Mirror… by Terence Kuch


Observations of a Mirror

It hangs against the bedroom wall and turns
left-right the lifeless things it sees: a faintly
flowered chair with curving legs and freckled

arms, headless robe a-sprawl the bed.

And through the closet door the silent suits
step out toward it one each day and dress
parade salute about face march away
to rout the plaidies from their glen, un-nest
the wing-tips from the upper floors, then home

to hang again.

                           Turn your back, the mirror
has your head and arms and swings them in
a mocking silent dance until you suddenly
turn and it solemnly puts you on


Terence Kuch is a consultant, avid hiker, and world traveler. His poetry credits include Blinking Cursor, Commonweal, Copperfield Review, Diagram, Hobble Creek Review, New York magazine, Poetry Motel, Slant, Thema, Timber Creek Review, Yellow Mama, and others. He has read at the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, the International Monetary Fund Visitors’ Center, the MAC (McKinney Avenue Contemporary) Theatre in Dallas, and elsewhere.

Observations of a Mirror was previously published in Thema, 1994

Copyright © 1994 by Terence Kuch


DXing to Green, Green Grass… by Nathaniel S Rounds


DXing to Green, Green Grass

A one act dramedy in pantomime
Written on the back of a falling star
That was crushed and cut into a
Livery collar for Christ’s homeless and forgotten.
(Approximate time: 1/125 sec)

Exposition: John Bristling had no business driving a car, or filling a
Jerry can with gasoline at the corner gas on Commercial Street,
Or placing it in the passenger seat before pulling out from the self serve,
Only to turn his ’68 Plymouth Fury III
Into a burning inferno.

His phizog transformed from cornflower blue eye shadow, tweaked and
Darkened moustache and audible breath like a drip coffee machine sighing
Water vapour and air, to moth balls in jacket pockets, and vague smell of poop
On index finger, then converted to conformist malaise,
Finally settling upon a cheap, chicken hot dog split and burnt with bubbling
Ick and way too much mustard, smoke, and ash.

His body remained motionless when the burning vehicle hit a power pole.
He was alert for a moment,
But curiously did not feel pain. He felt peace, a happy end note.
He had desisted from sin and left behind
All sleepless nights,
Inexplicable dreams,
Untreated symptoms of a psychoneurotic
Mind and its myriad obsessive
And hysterical symptoms.

What was the principle cause of his demise?
Insomnia induced through shift work?
Or the three burning fondue pots that shared company with the jerry can?
The explosion had been marked by his biting into a bright, red apple, the crunch
Replaced by a BOOM.

The remains were interred in harmony with Bristling’s written instructions:
His body, sans heart, was wrapped in a buffalo plaid blanket, and left in a tree
In the Arthur E. Bezanson Centennial Park.
His heart was placed in a jar of bread and butter
Pickles and left behind Berwick Building Supplies.

The knave took flight in a coach-of-four
We shan’t hear of him anymore.

Bristling’s friend, Palti son of Ralph,
Expressed extreme displeasure over the tree chosen for the body.
He removed the body by moonlight and moved it to a grade primary classroom,
“To further the education of young, impressionable minds.”
He left the body with a
Turkey carving instruction manual and twenty pairs of safety scissors.

His actions coming to the attention of the RCMP,
Palti was arrested and held on a five hundred dollar bond,
But not before he recovered the jar and ate the rest of the pickles.

We may take comfort in the grand felicitation that awaits him
Upon his return to a world made anew.

In Recover’d Paradise,
Cats shall not scratch him and rub flees into his ankles.
Recycling will not be such torment.
Every sock shall have a twin.
The entire iceberg of his unsettled affairs
Will rise from the arctic waters of contemporary society and
Manifest itself, leaving only the imagination to the imagination, and only
In the most pleasant sense, like the smell of laundry drying on the line in earliest
Autumn, imparting pleasant counterpoint to the smell of burning wood fire.


Nathaniel S Rounds A reformed photographer born in Wichita Falls, Texas, Nathaniel S. Rounds writes from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has been contributing work to Scrivener, Cynical Review, and Arsenic Lobster for the past twenty-six years.

Copyright © 2012 by Nathaniel S Rounds


Pills… by Michael Neal Morris



More pills.
This one makes you care less
about the small stuff you keep sweating.
And speaking of sweating,
you really need to lose that weight
that chin
that negative attitude

…and here’s how.

Everyone is a fucking doctor
with a prescription for your life.
Your response: Baa baa…quack!


Michael Neal Morris has published online and in print in such venues as Borderlands, The Concho River Review, Illya’s Honey, The Distillery, The GW Review, Chronogram, Mouth Full of Bullets, and Sniplits. A number of his books are listed at Smashwords. He lives with his family just outside the Dallas area, and teaches Eastfield College.

If you wish to read more of Michael Neal Morris’ work, he can be found on the web At Times Wrestling and on his blogger page: Monk Notes.

Copyright © 2012 by Michael Neal Morris


Milano… by Duane Locke



In Milano, the tranquility of our quill-calligraphed loneliness together
Was reinscribed by tumult’s bad hand writing, the commencing
Of a conversation.
She remarked on the poster in the La Scala lobby–
The wild tossed vermilion hair of a pale-faced girl
Whose lean and awkward placement of arms at acute angles suggested
She was running away from something outside her enframing by others.
I gave the advertisement of the opera “A Streetcar Named Desire”
One of those customary glances
That does not see what is it looking at.
But with her, it became an event that cause a desperation.
She said, “You have enframed me from being a being a subject
Into being an object. You are too entrenched in the subject-object dichotomy”
Secularized from body-soul, by the evil philosopher, Descartes.
No one who has assimilated the subject-object dichotomy
Can ever be lover. This is why no religious person can ever love,
Because the supposed loved one is reduced to an object. This is why
Religion that made the supreme love come from an other-worldly
Imagined force. Since the Cartesian figuration and the belief
In the separation of subject and object has been accepted

And assimilated by everyone, love was exiled from the world.”

I was puzzled. I told her that she was wrong about me.
I did not believe that subject-object separation was a reality,
But just another human lie that so many believed to be a truth.
I told her I was a follower of Martin Heidegger, who
Had completely abolished the existence of a subject and object separation.
I wanted to explain to her that both words were pernicious

And should be removed from out vocabularies.

She would not listen. She sneered, “That she never wanted
To hear any thing I had to say. She went upstairs
To the La Scala museum. I first met her there. She
Was gazing at a replica of Chopin’s hands. Since Chopin
Was my favorite composer, I imagined that we were
Kindred spirits. We were kindred spirits, for both of

Us did not believe in the separation of a subject and an object.

I knew she was upstairs in the museum gazing at Chopin’s hands.
So I went across the street and stood in the Cathedral.
I stood in the same place Shelley stood when he was there.


Duane Locke lives hermetically alone by an oak, the home of a squirrel, with a daily Visitation from a cardinal, a bird, not a cleric, not a baseball player, in Tampa, Florida. Sometimes the visitor is a raccoon, and even a pleated woodpecker.

He has (as of December, 2011) published 6,627 different poems in print magazines like the American Poetry Review, The Nation, etcetera, in e-zines Counter Example Poetics, Pen Himalaya (Nepal) and 21 books of poems. His four latest books, 2009, are Yang Chu’s Poems (376 pp.) Crossing Chaos, Canada (order from publisher or Amazon); Voices from a Grave (40 pp.) erbacce, England (order from erbacce), and Soliloquies from a High Wall Hidden Cemetery (37 pp.) Differentia Press, California (Free download, http://www.differentiapress.com), and 53 paged A Marble Nude Pauline Borghese with a Marble Apple in her Marble Hand, Scars press, (used in college classes as a textbook).

Forthcoming in 2012, Bitter Oleander Press will republish his first 11 books of Poems (1968-1978) in one volume, over 300 pages, to be titled: Duane Locke: The First Decade, (1968-1978).

Has interviews in Counter Example Poetics, Eviscerator Heaven, Pen Himalaya, Ann Arbor Review, Bitter Oleander, many other places. For more information click “Duane Locke” “Duane Locke, books” or ”Duane Locke, Arts,“ on Google Search, over a million entries. Is in Who’s Who in America (Marquis).

He is also a painter and photographer. An account of his painting is in Gary Monroe’s Extraordinary Interpretations (U of FL press). His sur-photos are scattered throughout the internet, and he has done many book covers.

He has a Ph. D, specializing in English Metaphysical Poetry (Donne to Marvel). His doctoral dissertation, “Images and Image Symbolism in Metaphysical Poetry.” is on UF internet.

His paintings, over 300, are on sale at 290 Parrulli Drive, Olmond Beach, Fl, 32174–
See: lisastonearts.com.

His interest are philosophy (Post Modern, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Martin Heidegger), Insects, butterflies, birds, Opera, Mahler, and Viennese music.

Copyright © 2012 by Duane Locke


Ocean Floor… by Randi Carlton


Ocean Floor

And they told us…
that his footsteps went straight into the water
and no one followed after

except a ghost called lust

And we wanted to follow
we wanted to know his name
why was he ashamed?

What didn’t he want us to know

They saw his body floating belly-up
and we could tell by his eyes

that he had seen the ocean floor

And then we knew
he lusted after what he didn’t know
and what he didn’t know was that lust followed him

into the water

And it pushed him under
and it made his eyes bulge
and it made him go further
even though his insides did explode
his arms still propelled him
to see the beast beneath
the great amorphous behemoth
that encompassed the underneath
of every drop of water
every counted sin
his eyes saw the droplets

evaporate beneath its fins

As it moved the world with each breath

beneath its body lied the place of death

The fires eating the flesh

We wanted to go into the water
and see the breathing floor
see how it pushed and pulled

the waves across the shore

See how it coaxed and taunted
the dreams of all man
see how it deeply wanted
to crawl upon the land.


Copyright © 2012 by Randi Carlton