The Sheer Unabashed Misery of Speculative Fiction

The Sheer Unabashed Misery of Speculative Fiction

It’s a common theme among
Certain kinds of philosophers
That life would have no meaning
If it never ended

Well, it’s not common, really;
It’s rarely ever brought up,
To be frank
Or Celt for that matter

I see things in a different way,
And always have
Due to my double helix
Glasses, tilted raffishly to one side

So I dissent
And dissent again
Which is to say
I pour another whiskey

Getting a drop or two inside
The snifter or me

It’s understandable to consider
An endless life as endlessly meaningless
Though I’d at least like to give it a try
— Not as I am now, of course

I’d have to be young, hale and hearty like a god
Or what’s the blooming pint?

Existential fantasy: it’s what’s for breakfast

The Purpose of Life is Life

The Purpose of Life is Life

Everything is ex
There is no why

We don’t have a clue
We don’t have a rationale

Beyond bad or good or great

This is how we survive
This is where it takes place

My store of knowledge
Is on East Main Street

So the Thought Police usually
Leave me alone


There is strength in numbers
Fewer than twenty

More than that and we have
Problems and they

They always investigate

Big numbers
Big figures

Big loops and swirls
And counterfactuals

Golden means of production . . .

They also tend to
Giggle at Fibonacci

When they see the name
In Nature and beyond

I hide them in the back
So the Thought Police

Never see them
I hate the way they laugh


Spiral Staircases, or It Pays to Reread

Spiral Staircases, or It Pays to Reread

Up in the mountains a man wrote a novel. It was set by the sea, about a woman who wrote plays, mostly about poets. The novel focused on one play in particular, about a fine young poet who, as a side-gig of sorts, cooked dreams down by the harbor and sold them for two bits, or a smile, whichever came first.

It was a catastrophe!! The novel, the play, the dream cooking, the works!!

It was as if the whole sleepy harbor town had conspired against the dream chef. Rather than the usual sunshine and sweet nights indicated by his time-tested recipes, there was rain and rain and more rain. Instead of peaceful vistas and blue skies, there were dark, eerie corners, Gothic creaks and groans, spiral staircases and shadows for the shadows. In short, the sleepy harbor town became the stuff of Victorian Penny Dreadfuls, and locals were gathering their pitch forks.

There was nothing left to do … Click to continue . . .

New Poem by Doreen LeBlanc

New Poem by Doreen LeBlanc

Arriving Home

When I cross the harbor bridge, I’m home.
In awe of intersecting sky, river, ocean,
mountains sloping down to fields,
wild roses, Queen Anne’s lace.
I inhale them with all my senses.

Arriving at the cabin, I catch my breath.
We ran through these hay fields as children.
Here my grandparents worked the land,
sea and woodlands without rest.
Now it is our summer haven.

Afternoon sunlight streams into the kitchen.
I look for the great bald eagle up river.
Instead, a tiny hummingbird
hovers for an instant,
looking in the window at me.

A short walk to the beach,
Two cousins come over the rocks.
As always, we are on and on about
what the weather promises,
ripening blueberries and family news.

Next morning crows and seagulls call.
So familiar and comforting
in the golden pine bedroom.
Outside fairy handkerchiefs
lie in the dewy grass.

Close to my roots.

Copyright© 2019, by Doreen LeBlanc. All Rights Reserved.… Click to continue . . .

Caves of the Thousand Buddhas

Caves of the Thousand Buddhas

Inspiration from Cao Jun’s 

Hymns to Nature Exhibit


Volcanoes are ancient teachers
Rising up from the magma
Core of planet earth
The effluent bringing forth 
All the swirling elements of life
Choking out gaseous 
Fiery energy and chaos
Creating oceans and rivulets
Mountains and savannas 
Landscapes for the tiger 
Spewing lava and ash
For the delicate lotus
To break through 
Reaching to heaven
Painters and poets 
Are modern interpreters 
Of universal truths
Written in calligraphy 
Hidden deep within the 
Caves of The Thousand Buddhas 
All of humanity
Reaching toward the sky 
With brush in hand
Creating their own reality
On blank silk canvas



by Doreen LeBlanc


Copyright© 2019, by Doreen LeBlanc. All Rights Reserved.



Doreen LeBlanc lives in Massachusetts and spends time in summer and fall at her cabin in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where she was born.  Inspiration bubbles up out of the river and sea, streams down the mountain, and comes through family

Click to continue . . .
Enthusiasma Giganta Comedía

Enthusiasma Giganta Comedía

River Kiss

I dove like Gilgamesh
Into the deep
For the youth plant
The one that got away

The snake shed its skin
Thousands of years ago
Thousands of miles
From great-walled Uruk

Would this happen to me?
Would I forget the gift
Lay it on the ground
To be snatched in a flash

Like youth itself?

There is no suspense
To the journey
We know how it ends
But we act as if

This time
Because it’s me
And not that fool Gilgamesh
Everything will be different


New Poems by Clyde Kessler: The Young Child’s Breakfast

New Poems by Clyde Kessler: The Young Child’s Breakfast



A ghost cannot gather itself
inside a tree, or a peregrine,
or a creek, or heaven. It cannot
draw stars through the window
of a building in Beijing, or
on a cabin near Woolwine with
spring peepers chorusing music
to fit the sky. It cannot revive
its mind in a trout lily, as much
as I wish. I can’t tell it my name.
I can’t share one flapjack, smoke,
or a sip of bootleg. I rummage
in a poke of cornmeal, and ask
hungry? The campfire won’t say.




Clouds tease my boat down the Monkey River.
The sun slips past me with a jabiru on a mudflat.
I enjoy every lie I tell. One of them is a boat,
and another is Monkey River, and one more
is this jabiru staring at me, owning the river,
placing the sun in its wings, because my … Click to continue . . .

This is Not a Poem

This is Not a Poem

The Monkey Climbs a Tree


With words come the square, the block
Of sound, time and space

With words, you fill the square
And we bounce you hither and yon

The block of time and space, ex nihilo
Becomes something you see, touch, hear

Smell if you’re advanced
Taste if you leap beyond the possible


An image does more, because it is
The thing in a sense
A copy of the thing at least
But words can never be

The thing itself, the vessel
Or its roiling contents


Words, like music, are embodied dreams
They float until finally seized
By hungry, desperate vagabonds
Cast off from the one true earth

Cast off, ironically, but still alive
Waiting for a dirt-filled muse to lead
Them halfway home

I wish I could make ten
Make ten before I die

Another time




— Douglas Pinson