Poem for Demetrius M. Salada, Admiral (RA) of the Golden Arc Spaceship Admiral Salada, I don’t know if it’s really true— if the Golden Arc that you built got you to space. By chance, I found myself in a small apartment in Braddock Hills sifting through what remained of your library—books rescued, I was told, from a house fire. Some of the better titles I noticed… Experiences of Space in Contemporary Physics. The Harmonics of Sound, Color, and Vibration. Extraterrestrial Contact and Human Responses. Effects of Nuclear War on the Pittsburgh Area.
The man who was selling the books handed me your old business card, which is how I know of The Golden Arc. That and his story about how you just vanished one day after years and years of telling people that you were building yourself a way to leave this cracked earth, busted world, this unsustainable planet we’re breaking to shards.
I hope that your spaceship held up and got you to wherever it was that you were heading for. I now keep your business card in my wallet as a conversation piece, as a souvenir from my job to show off to people I meet. And I guess as a small piece of your life, which I know little of— just a small fragment from someone who had hope of another world that was obtainable, if very distant. Someone who didn’t care if people thought he was stupid, crazy, or a dreamer of otherworldly dreams.
About the Author: Scott Silsbe was born in Detroit. He now lives in Pittsburgh. His poems have been collected in three books—Unattended Fire, The River Underneath the City, and Muskrat Friday Dinner. He is also an assistant editor at Low Ghost Press.
Image Credit: “Le voyage dans la lune, en plein dans l’œil!!”, a drawing by Georges Méliès of the vessel landing in the moon’s eye in the film Le voyage dans la lune Public Domain
There ought to be
a sort of war memorial
for workers killed
on construction sites,
in industrial accidents,
for those chewed up
and spit out
by the cruel machinery.
For migrant workers,
crippled by cut corners,
from this promised land
of stone faced natives,
not so far removed.
For those whose true genius
was stamped out in childhood,
and their lives burned up,
firewood reduced to ash
by the slow flame
of factory drudgery,
by the booze and pills
that made enduring it possible.
fighting daily battles
every bit as important
to our way of life
as men in uniform.
But such a monument
would cover half the country
in a black granite slab,
a giant tombstone
where fields of grain stand tall.
So there will never be one,
of that I am certain,
just as I am certain
will hate me
for writing this.
About the Author: Brian Rihlmann was born in NJ, and currently lives in Reno, NV. He writes mostly semi autobiographical, confessional free verse. Folk poetry…for folks. He has been published in Constellate Magazine, Poppy Road Review, The Rye Whiskey Review, Cajun Mutt Press and has an upcoming piece in The American Journal Of Poetry.
Image Credit: Lewis W. Hine “Doffer Boys, Macon, Georgia” (1909) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program
A Christmas mourning / I mourn God’s slain child and Jesus Christ, a wall that’s hard to yield to while crows eat / kids starve / ovaled stomachs
feed on human flesh / hosts as repurposed puppets or proponents purporting laws and slips on behalf of Freudian slips
the President called the United States a company / and there’s truth / I too sing
company / throwing precious repastures away / enough to feed refugees they say there’s no food for. I mourn a Jesús
and Jesus / you might not / so how can I show you mercy?—replace Jesus with green
wood-plants / white people / you / must keep Jesús because death is owned by a company that must throw away precious repastures.
About the Author: Prince Bush is a poet attending Fisk University. His work has appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, SOFTBLOW, Cotton Xenomorph, Protean, and Mobius, among others. More work and biographical information can be found at pbush.com
Image Credit: D.R. Payne “Border monuments 223, 224, and 225, along the California-Mexico border” (1892) The Library of Congress
The class was over three men remained chewing words and rummaging through syntax I sat youngest of the three as they spoke of gratitude flooding faces
I’ve made it to seventy everything else is a bonus I digested these words chopped sausage and tomato sauce ate them his feather lite words soaking heavy like lead rain vision blurry
Like glasses broken left arm tight and sluggish as if sodden on one side wet chill with tingles of death I write because I have to not to get published drenched by his first words everything else
Is a bonus the slow drip into a half filled tank that patter wouldn’t fill my years my land was cracked and broken thirty five years he’s drenched by a day and I’m a puddle in sun
About the Author: Z. D. Dicks is the author of Malcontent (Black Eye Publishing) described as ‘Uncompromising, sometimes controversial, but always entertaining’ by Clive Oseman and ‘Evocative, atmospheric, breathing new life into the everyday’ by Nicola Harrison. Z. Dicks is the CEO of Gloucestershire Poetry Society and Gloucester Poetry Festival. His work has been accepted by Ink, Sweat and Tears, Three Drops from a Cauldron and Fresh Air Poetry. He frequently reads at poetry events throughout the UK.
About the Author: Dameion Wagner lives and works in Columbus, Ohio. His work has appeared in Crab Creek Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and The Gordian Review among a few others. He has also written reviews for Heavy Feather Review and The Rumpus. He won Miami University’s 2017 Jordan-Goodman poetry Prize judged by Janice Lowe, and most recently was the 2018 recipient of the Academy of American Poets University Prize. He received his MFA from Miami University’s Low Residency program.
Image Credit: William Henry Fox Talbot “The Bust of Patroclus” (1843) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program
“And Why Am I a Free Man?” —Paulo Coelho, The Zahir
time is the most valuable element on any periodic table
spend it give or lose it wear it around one’s neck like gold
or clamped on wrists like iron shackles
breathing it in takes a moment but the exhale lasts a lifetime
less with good behavior
I mined years for their raw hours spent & spent
another dinner in some sad café
About the Author: Ace Boggess is author of four books of poetry, most recently I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018). His writing appears in Notre Dame Review, Rhino, North Dakota Quarterly, Rattle, and many other journals. He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West Virginia prison. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.