The Open Society and its Enemies… by Frederick Pollack


The Open Society and its Enemies

The heat is solid, like the crowd inside.
At a table under the awning
in front of the place, I go lizard
until the beautiful crazed waitress comes.
Iced tea and a bran muffin.
Dude on NPR said we must learn
to live without air-conditioning
and become more “versatile” creatures.

Yes, please, cream-cheese.

Across the way, at T. J. Maxx
and Filene’s, my wife looks
for a blouse that at least looks like Nieman Marcus,
which if she fails is also here.
I visualize her judiciously pursed
lips, which before the recession
graced Ann Taylor. There is a variable
of seven figures that equals a minimally

urbane life; it is known to the rich.

A disturbance in the restaurant …
Those involved emerge. In the scrum
of shrieking does and bugling stags
and lawyers with drawn phones at ten paces,
I can’t see: is it some
perve, from the johns, off his meds, impatient for service,
or one of those always surprising
eruptions of despair? And will it

delay my iced tea?

Then across the walkway, U.S. marshals
and obvious FBI
remove from one of the stores
someone else I can’t see, who may have a beard
and melanin, or be one
of those corn-fed albinos who volunteer
to boil their brains Eastern-style instead
of in our native modes. He’s praying

and/or shouting; I can’t hear.

The feds are getting good at this.
But is my wife in that store? With
anthrax … ? Wildly I call.
She is trying on something that sounds sublime
and – grimly, triumphantly – cheap.
“Did you see anything?”
“Nothing we need.” “Little excitement out here – “
(Actually it’s over.) But she’s

preoccupied, and asks for more time.

Although it’s the same ten outlets
as anywhere, this mall tries
to make them look distinctive.
With holograms at each crossroad:
vast babies; athletes; the blue gods
from Avatar; approaching figures
that are the shoppers they approach, except
smiling; windows on the foam

of perilous seas in faery lands forlorn.

Only the giant CNN screen
may be a miscalculation –
a pod of whales in the oiled sea,
all dead or dying in agony,
appear a moment, not again.
The heat is stunning. I try to think,
but the only phrase that occurs is Olson’s
“mu-sick” (from Maximus),

which all critics agree is tasteless.

And suddenly my bagel with cream cheese
and iced tea are there,
and are the platonic forms of themselves,
though the bagel has blueberries. From above,
the songs that soothe and inspire the crowd
have turned vocal. Sinatra “telling the story”
as someone said, Neil Young
sounding vulnerable, Janis cheerful,

the martyred Marley acclaiming wan love.


Frederick Pollack has appeared in Hudson Review, Southern Review, Fulcrum, Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, Die Gazette (Munich), The Fish Anthology (Ireland), Representations, Magma (UK), The Hat, Bateau, and Chiron Review. Online, poems have appeared in Big Bridge, Snorkel, Hamilton Stone Review, Diagram, BlazeVox, The New Hampshire Review, Mudlark, etc. Recent Web publications in Gloom Cupboard, Blinking Cursor, Occupoetry, and Seltzer.

Copyright © 2013 by Frederick Pollack


Corner of Cedarwood and Northwest… by Matthew Brouwer


Corner of Cedarwood and Northwest

Almost finished with my daily walk
my head throbs meekly
like the closeted demands

of a passive aggressive in-law

Gray Holstein clouds munch upon the blue sky
excreting an unsatisfying

50 degree weather

Nearby, a group of teenagers
just released from school
patch their insecurities

with indiscriminate utterances of profanity

Somewhere a car alarm honks continuously
every two and a half seconds

putting everyone on edge

To my right a drunken homelessman

sleeps jaggedly in the grass

A mangy black dog eyes me queerly

from the back of a beat-up pickup truck

Suddenly I realize
I have had my shirt on backwards

all day

Before me a steady line of cars
drags like chains upon the roadway
the faces of their occupants look as if

they care nothing for the problems of humanity

The slogan on the credit union reader board irritates me
as I wait for the signal to turn to walk
I tire of wearing these pajamas in public

and wonder when my rash will go away

When I get home I think I’ll call my girlfriend
and tell her, yes, I still love her
even though last night I agreed, yes
it would probably be best for her to leave now
and ride her bicycle back home

in the dark


“Corner of Cedarwood and Northwest” was originally published in The Gospel According to Matthew. Poem by Matthew Brouwer. 2012.

Copyright © 2012 by Matthew Brouwer


Vampires on the Red Moon… by Louise Findlay




In the year 8693 the best astronaut that trained for years embarked upon the mission of her life.

What NASA didn’t know was that their best astronaut was a vampire.

A trip to Mars, the red moon was the thing most people dreamed of but Lucy Vampire would go there.


Chapter 1


It took Lucy a year in a spaceship to reach Mars. When she arrived on the planet it was very strange.

It was covered in red dust which was like sand. What was even stranger was that there were huge deep craters.

She went to have a look at them but they were so deep she couldn’t see a thing even with vampiric enhanced eyesight.

She paused and wrote everything in her journal.

Then she made a decision she would investigate the strange craters. Without further ado she jumped in.


Chapter 2


She fell all the way down to the moon’s core.

Lucy saw a mysterious flower and she felt drawn to it. The flower emitted a strange dark red coloured substance.

She added up all the details and had a theory maybe its blood. She documented this idea into her journal.

She decided to call it a blood flower and made a note maybe there are space vampires here.


Chapter 3


SUDDENLY!!!!! A fast shadowy figure came out and recognized Lucy Vampire as one of his Earth kin.

He said “I am Khon and I am a space vampire.” “There are other space vampires but they live on other planets” Khon said.

Khon told Lucy the process of the blood flowers emitting blood. The blood had enough nourishment so he could live there.


Chapter 4


Khon showed her his apprentice Buzz Aldrin.

“I know you; you went on the first exploration of the moon!” Lucy exclaimed.

“Yes and I never came back, the lost astronaut I bet they call me” Buzz said bitterly.

“How, How did you becom…..?” Lucy tried to say but Buzz beat her to it.

“Become a vampire?” Buzz said his face turning red.

“Yes” Lucy sighed knowing no other way out of this.

“He” pointing to Khon “tried to kill me and Neil but I gave myself up to save him.” “He, he…” Buzz said faltering.

“For that act of bravery he turned you into a vamp didn’t he” said Lucy guessing.

“At first I was overjoyed at this newfound power but now, this existence living in a dusty old planet, drinking out of plants will you take me with you?” Buzz replied grasping at this new idea.

“Of course. Is that okay Khon?” Lucy said, uncertain of Khon would let her. “Certainly, Buzz has been getting frustrated living here.”


Chapter 5


Lucy said her goodbyes to Khon and set off in the spaceship with Buzz.

When she got back to Earth she took Buzz under her wing and taught him how to thrive and survive as a vampire on Earth.

If you want to find Lucy Vampire, you will find her teaching vampires about their space kin.


The End


Louise Findlay writes fantasy short stories and inspirational poetry. She is most active on Twitter but you can find her on Facebook, LinkedIn and Goodreads.Currently she is focused on writing a longer vampire novel.

Copyright © 2013 by Louise Findlay





Song of the Ice… by Colin W. Campbell


Song of the Ice

It’s a good old song,
it’s the song of the ice.
We can all sing along,

you can sing along too.

But the melt has come
in the heat of the night

in the land of the midnight sun.

Just the same old seas,
in the land of the ice.
For a few more degrees

you can sing along too.

Warm seas have come
like a thief in the night

in the land of the midnight sun.

It’s the same old song
of the days of the ice.
That soon will be gone,

you can sing along too.

Twilight has come
to the days of the ice
in the land of the midnight sun.



Originally from Scotland, Colin is now ever-so-lucky to be able to divide his year between homes in Sarawak on the lovely green island of Borneo and faraway in Yunnan in southwest China where he writes poetry and short fiction and spends way too much time on

Colin’s poetry credits include: ABCtales, Adult Creative Writing Club, Blinking Cursor Literary Magazine, Firstwriter Magazine, Sarawak Tribune, Secret Attic, Sol Magazine, The Straitjackets Magazine, Twisted Tongue Magazine, Voices Net Anthology, and Wanderings Magazine.

Copyright © 2013 by Colin W. Campbell