A prose poem by Clyde Liffey

A lattice – what lattice? – of light dappled my dusty windshield, it should have been a poem, it wasn’t a poem, how could it, what could? Drive, she said, but she didn’t care where I went, I went away, alone, towards work. I was of course overstimulated. First there was the coffee, morning’s dehydration. Water flowing south, knots forming in my forehead, mouth already dry I listened to the radio, two stations on the dial, one news, one music, the news station playing its theme, the music DJ recounting
what was played or about to be played, maybe it was vice-versa, hard to tell, I had to squint to keep my eyes on the road, I am the subject (all senses) of all I survey, my right, there are no rights, I digress eyes still half-closed, tearing, not tearing. Squint-eyed she called me, I can’t help it, it’s not so much the lack of sleep, it’s the lack of focus, the need not so much to multitask as to abandon tasks, there’s a living to be made, I’m out here living it, not making it, I was thus distracted when I first saw the black grill of the advancing jeep, felt the familiar urge to collide. Mostly I stay between the lines, viz. the yellow line of the road and the edge of the asphalt bordered too close in spots by trees: they create the false grids. Still I stay within them excepting sidesteps for small animals, mice and the like, the safest way to advance. The Jeep hove more completely into view – these winding, hilly, leafy roads, the true highlight of my day! – its close end hovered over my side of the yellow line, my focus shifted, I turned the wheel toward it, recovered just in time to hear its horn blaring over the muted trumpets on the radio, I’m well past it now, a momentary lapse, an evasion of temptation, I’m on my way, someday I may have a true destination, a final goal, round and beautiful, ripe for decay.

Clyde Liffey lives near the water.

I Wondered

A poem by John D. Robinson

How a poem could be written
about a beautiful
11 years old boy
who was hit by a car as he
stood in a safe-zone, waiting
for a break in the traffic to
cross safely;
he was air-lifted to a city
hospital and into emergency
it wasn’t good, wired up
to a machine to breathe,
damage to his young
brain overwhelmingly
he would never see again,
never again look into the
eyes of his parents, he
would not be able to walk
or talk ever again; he’d
live in a world of numbness,
darkness and emptiness,
cruelly robbed of the
beauty of life and love
and wonder of feeling,
of sensation;
he was just 11 years old
just starting out;
for nearly 2 weeks, an
eternity for the family,
the ventilator and the
medicines kept his little
body alive and no more
could be done and the
medics decided to stop
the medicines and then 3
days later, the ventilator
was switched-off;
for a few brief moments
the young kid struggled
and then he passed
and I wondered
how a poem could be
written about
something like that.

John D. Robinson is a poet from the U.K. He has published two chapbooks of poetry: When You Hear The Bell, There’s Nowhere To Hide (Holy & Intoxicated Publications, 2016) and Cowboy Hats & Railways (Scars Publications, 2016). His work has appeared, and continues to appear, frequently in small press and online literary journals.

Quasars Make the Best Lovers

A poem by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Escaping the visual cortex
you need help, like a prospective prison break
in search of sympathetic guards
shimmying your way through a matrix of lights out duct work
to a waiting car
leaving your few meager belongings behind,
and that is what I love about chance, the aging breakfast goer
beside you shoving buttered toast into his mouth could
be so much more than crumbs;
Quasars make the best lovers because they are new
and exciting and you know nothing about them,
like trying on a new pair of shoes and walking uneasily
around the store for some moments
while the commission worker with obscenely good teeth
holds the box; and when a woman has searched the stars
and come back to you, it is only for a time,
but you shave and sit up in bed and read to her
so the long nights of this city seem a little
less monstrous.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his other half and mounds of snow. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Word Riot, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.