The reactionary mind must have an enemy, or two, or three. It must always believe it is threatened by something dire (and Other), and must rally to fight that threat — whether that threat truly exists or not. Nine times out of ten, the threat as described is pure invention, and the powers that be manipulate reactionaries further down the totem poll, play them like violins, hypnotize them like sheep. Those pulling the strings know full well that the threat they describe does not exist, but they gain greater power when they create bogeymen, as this distracts the masses from their true enemies — those who strip the value of (and from) labor, endlessly redistribute it upward, and concentrate all value at the top. They know full well that if they can turn the masses against each other, keep them fighting about race, ethnicity, gender, religion and national myths and symbols, the … Click to continue . . .
September brings us new poetry by Ali Zaidi, A. J. Huffman and Raymond Farr. Returning champ, Donal Mahoney, writes about the well-springs of art. And Jack Galmitz favors us with photo collage, which may well magically grow in number over the course of the month . . .
* * * * *
How does one’s health impact writing, reading and making art in general? How does it derail or derange one’s sense of priorities and connection with life’s mission? I am certainly not alone in thinking about such things in moments such as these, when faced with certain severe alterations to the norm. Pick up most any biography of most any artist and you’ll find maladies aplenty — some so painful, endless and agonizing, you almost feel embarrassed for ever uttering a complaint about your own scenario. Knowing that can situate you in the stream and lessen — at least for a time — a natural … Click to continue . . .
Ali Znaidi lives in Redeyef, Tunisia. He graduated with a BA in Anglo-American Studies in 2002. He teaches English at Tunisian public secondary schools. He writes poetry and has an interest in literature, languages, and literary translations. His work has appeared in The Bamboo Forest, The Camel Saloon, phantom kangaroo, BoySlut, fortunates.org, Otoliths, Dead Snakes, Speech Therapy Poetry Zine, streetcake magazine, The Rusty Nail, Yes,Poetry, The South Townsville micro poetry journal, Shot Glass Journal, the fib review, Ink Sweat … Click to continue . . .
Anyone who has written fiction or poetry probably has been asked at one time or another, “Why did you write that?” I’ve been asked that question and I have never been able to provide an answer.
Some writers may set out to write a poem that will address an important question about life, such as who we are as human beings and what purpose, if any, we have on Earth. I have never tried to write a poem like that. Nor have I ever written a poem knowing in advance what it might say. I just write down “words” that come to me, provided I like the way they sound and like their “rhythm” when heard together.
I might be sitting in a diner or in my living room and “hear” a few words that sound as though they belong together and so I jot them down, often on a napkin or scrap paper. … Click to continue . . .
The photo of you reading, as a child on the east side of the willow, is not enough anymore—a mint on the tongue in the horrors of evening! But what do we stand for if not correlations? We are being snubbed out. We are glam-ing it down. We are starved for each other. Are you that indifferent to what we’ve become? Our lives are a nightmare always coming to life. Too much “me” in the mirror. & having you in the picture just proves we’re alive. This is the part where death stacks the deck. We are raging on steroids. Our fingers are daggers, stabbing at the first bite of winter breaking. At the first bite of winter breaking, what lurks in vapid stage language appears omnivorous; a species of chronicle written in blood; a variety of Jones-ing. We are trapped in between. & with nothing else to give to each other, we write our ennui. Intending hope … Click to continue . . .
I miss your eyes
in the night.
The silent peace
of their closing.
inside a whisper.
a bare imprint.
I consciously resign
them back into memory.
Soon the image will be soiled.
An ephemeral altar.
A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida. She has previously published four collections of poetry: The Difference Between Shadows and Stars, Carrying Yesterday, Cognitive Distortion, and . . . And Other Such Nonsense. She has also published her work in national and international literary journals such as Avon Literary Intelligencer, Writer’s Gazette, and The Penwood Review. Find more about A.J. Huffman, including additional information and links to her work … Click to continue . . .