The Futility of Fortresses

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Contributor: Desmond Xander Norbo

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Too many bridges built
Too many chasms
I couldn't fill
too many towers only charred
and never lit again

There's a cold and jagged rip
that divides the lives
I lived
the loves
I lost
when whole armies turned
torched all our golden fields
so suddenly
and left only ash
to stir
in sour winds
while other wars
are waged.

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Hoping to be read, we write.


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Contributor: Ben Osborn

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you ask me of the moon

with your right eye nearly closed, you see a sliver of light
a sliver of silver night


a silver of slithering light
your left eye hints at opening, you see a sliver of night

you ask the moon of me

of the silverlit night
and your right eye is almost open, to let in the light


and the night has left your eyes, slithering
into the silver light

you ask me of the moon

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Ben Osborn is a writer, composer and librettist based in Berlin.

All These

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Contributor: JD DeHart

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Well, my goodness,
the elder says, I've collected
all these things in my attic
and basement for years

Too many

All these boxes products
arrived in, shelled out like
hulls, restuffed with other
items, plus love notes,
train sets (now what am I
going to do with those?),
other peoples' trophies,
outdated college textbooks,
household machines that
died decades ago, a life time
of names I can't remember
anymore. Some I don't want to.

So I'll sell it all, sort it out
even throw some away.
Can't take it with you.
Surely not.

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Contributor: Stacy Maddox

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I feel your tender lips upon my soft skin
Retracing the trail where you fingers caressed
The flames lick higher, bearing your name
And I hear your voice whispered in my soul

I close my eyes and the darkness surrounds me
But you are there, seeking every one of my senses
Tempting my desires and holding me prisoner
To the passion ignited in our lonely bodies

I taste the pleasures lingering on your lips
Salty and sweet, capturing my breath inside
And as I find the warmth of your waiting arms
I pray for this moment to never end.

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Stacy Maddox lives, dreams, tends her gardens and writes in the fast-paced city of Lawrence, KS, USA. Indulging her time in the outdoors, connecting with nature, walking the Kansas River trails and discovering new photo opportunities, is one of her greatest pleasures in life. Stacy has been published in over 25 books, print and online magazines and websites.

Prism To My Soul

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Contributor: Rishikesh Ingale

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My soul is a die with an unknown number of sides:
a conundrum that number theory or combinatorics can’t solve.

My face is the puzzle which conceals it,
a colorful Rubik’s cube waiting to divulge the answer.

My mouth is like a changing landscape:
sometimes it is sweet, sometimes it is spicy, mostly it is bland.

My nose is a guide;
it finds and recognizes--the acute sense.

One ear hears music,
the other hears screaming.

My eyes are biological cameras that give me power
to command computers and talk to Newton and Einstein.

Uniformity is an anomaly,
for this is an ever-changing world.

A gray area is given with great measure,
and my brain is the Supreme Court.

Discrepancies, difference, and disparities define me in some odd way
for the sake of purpose, plan, or principle.

Maybe my soul is actually a source of bright white light,
my face being a prism showing separate colors of the spectrum.

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Rishikesh Ingale resides in Southern California. He loves to code, play tennis, and read novels. He tries to find an explanation for everything and is also a realist.

For Andrea Gibson

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Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

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I want to turn my scars to poetry
I want to stitch together shards of pain
until they take on tragic life
I want to rip into the raw
I want to tear away all that isn't
until only the bones of our brutal beauty
are left to shine
wet and vivisected
but honest
so honest

I want to touch the wounds
we've all been left with
I want to bring hope to the hurting
in the same way that you do

I want to burn with a voice
as bright as the knife
you cut your words with

I want to face all that is inky
excise it
and be

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I am a student in Miami, Florida. Painting is my other love. My first book, Sketches of Someone, is available through Thunderune Publishing.


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Contributor: Jared Wun

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That funny smell from his room
is not a skunk.
Don’t ask about it.

When he swings
Dad’s golf clubs in the backyard,
don’t stand behind him.

If he lets you play
video games on the XBox,
don’t play on his save files.

If there’s a soda in the fridge
that belongs to him,
don’t drink it.

When Mom begs you both
to stop fighting,
don’t egg him on.

no matter how much he picks on you,
no matter how hard he socks you,
no matter how much he upsets you,
don’t forget,
he’s your brother.

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Jared is an aspiring rapper and Hip-Hop artist who enjoys writing the occasional poem. When he is not spending time writing or producing music, he reads comic books and doodles on Post-It notes. He dreams of one day receiving a Grammy nomination/award for Best Rap Album.


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Contributor: Jenna De La Paz

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Brown paint masks the red,
but can do ultimately little about the bumps and craters.

From pores to my eye mole
To nostrils and pie hole

From the freckles framing
To the bites beginning to become scars

My face is a canvas on which
Seurat and Signac’s thorough work lives through the design.

The mole married to the bit under my brow mocks me.
My fault, for trying to rip it out when I was twelve.

Please notice my dot covered nose no longer!
Unlike Joseph’s coat my multicolored dots are not to be envied
Rather they should be covered with another layer of paint.

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Jenna De La Paz has been known to take action on impulse. She once bought a ukulele because she was stressed. She thinks in cartoon logic and therefore sees every mistake as an opportunity to shine creatively.

For The Sake of the Scorching

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Contributor: Birta C. Long

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In dreams, I chase you
run through wet-slapping
just to glimpse you
just to hear your breath
your heart
with the need
of me

Every inch of me
needs you
every inch of me
comes alive
when I think of you
when I imagine
myself close to you
feeling you
breathing the scent
of mutual need
of fire
and flying sweat
as we meet
solely for the sake
of the scorching
the horny

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