Reading Is . . .

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Contributor: Richard Hartwell

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Reading is shared interaction
between a writer of text and a
literate interpreter of that text.

A writer creates meaning through
selection of specific textual code.
A reader extracts meaning from that code
by creation of assumed mental images.

A writer provides transmission of meaning,
based on concepts central to one perspective.
A reader provides interpretation of meaning,
based on prior subject knowledge and a personal
world view possibly central to another perspective.

Both methods are imperfect, insofar as a writer
can never account for missing information nor an
altered perception on the part of any specific reader;
and a reader can never presume to be able to recreate
with exactitude the meaning a writer sought to convey.

Reading is an ongoing process of active,
never passive, compromise of meaning.

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Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school teacher (remember the hormonally-challenged?) living in Southern California. Like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, he believes that the instant contains eternity

Something New Every Day: Found Poetry

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Contributor: M. Stone

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"It was a very pretty home wedding
with only the home folks and a few friends
as witnesses."

NOTICE - I will not be responsible
for any debts or bills contracted by my wife,
she having departed from my bed and board
without any cause whatsoever.

FOR SALE - Child's mechanical cradle
in good condition, in use one year.

WANTED - A puppy of some small breed,
as playfellow for a little boy. Will pay
reasonable price.

LOST - Heavy winter overcoat, on Monday,
between Warden Bridge and a point
about one mile beyond Prosperity.

"Do you know how pretty
these garments are? We would like
to have you come and try some on."

NOTICE TO TAXPAYERS - Pay your taxes
and save interest. All taxes must be paid
on or before June 1st.

NOTICE - Our daughter, Ruby, left our home
on Sunday, without good cause or reason.

TAKEN UP - I have a stray cow
in my possession; she is brindle
with white face and had on bell and halter.
She is getting good feed and being milked
and cared for.

WANTED - Experienced salesladies
at good wages. Apply by letter.
Inexperienced need not apply at all.

"My aim is to please, I can fit you out
no matter what you want, try me."

NOTICE - The person who took a camera
from a Moon car in Beckley recently
is requested to return the exposed roll of film
that it contained. The thief is welcome
to the camera, but we would like to have
the film.

FOR SALE - Combination residence
and business building and two lots in Sophia.
Owner wants to return to old country
and is anxious to sell at once.

TAX NOTICE - Your 1919 taxes
are long past due. Pay now
and save further interest.

Source: Raleigh Register. 24 Apr. 1919; 25 Sept. 1919; 16 Oct. 1919; 30 Oct. 1919; 20 Nov. 1919; 11 Dec. 1919; 4 Mar. 1920; 25 Mar. 1920; 6 May 1920. Vol. 39, No. 46; Vol. 40, No. 16, 19, 20, 22, 25, 36, 39, 45. Ancestry Web, 6 Jul. 2017.

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M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

8 Haiku

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Contributor: Jennifer Montgomery

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the husk of a home
papery layers like ash
wings are hushed, stone-still

after the rains
slip of mud on stone

the memory lodged
like a bullet or a thorn
needing extraction

pain as sleeping limbs
a slight buzz then engulfing
as blood rushes back

a faint song
dust dances in light
walks old rooms

the mist rich, woolly
a stillness swallowing sounds
drinking bird call, time

her conduct pristine
on toe-tip, flitting, dancing
a brief smile, cordial

flushed cheeks
under the street lamp
a new play

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"'There are no such things as synonyms! he practically shouted. Deluge is not the same as flood.'"

Born to Blush Unseen?

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Contributor: Jun Lit

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“Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear . . .”
- from Thomas Gray’s Elegy

In the midst of growing weeds
I see the gold in your green beads
Fruits of the years your young hands swayed
The sword of life, survivor made

The brush of air on android canvas
Acrylic primaries touched by Midas
Sad as it may that your pen’s healing verses
Hide folded in the moldy corners of empty purses

As mute guest in dark streets of your youth’s animé
A privilege indeed for a hermit of hair grey
Tell me the stories of platoons of Jesuses
Battling seductive come-ons of a thousand muses

Heaven is the warmth of your worn mattress
Hell is the smoke, a neighbor burns the West
Prayers for the dead Chow-chow to bless
Prophets in denial that they were impressed

Amidst your season, your eighty-eighth typhoon
Witnessed by no one but your nth rented room
Imagine one Superhero ushering your Spring soon
Catch up, the ylang-ylang trees, tonight will bloom!

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Jun Lit (or Ireneo L. Lit, Jr.) teaches biology at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, conducts scientific research on insects and the environment, and writes poems about nature, people and society.


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Contributor: Victoria Nordlund

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I wish I could move
a transducer over my scalp
to find you forming,
to measure
the thickness of lines
on your skin,
check that your metaphors are sound,
that your structural elements function,
detect septal defects,
examine for obstructions,
for abnormal accumulations:
an abstract edema
I cannot reabsorb.

And if I see you missing vital verses,
I could terminate you early in gestation
and prevent the labor
of pushing out
each of your letters
onto this white sheet,
of cleaning up the afterbirth,
of not hearing you cry.

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I teach creative writing at Rockville High School in Vernon, CT. I am this year’s NEATE New England Poet of the Year and took first place in the CWP’s poetry contest. My work is published in Pank Magazine, Amaryllis, Eunoia Review, and Strange Poetry.

Where have you been again?

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Contributor: Anagology

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Your eyes dig mine tonight.
Palms reunited, conscious of the crazy nerves.
Can't resist you're here again
Breathing with me the same air.

Seeing this place I've never been,
Watching the boundless night sky.
Your warmth supresses the cold breeze,
Your smile conquers the darkness.

Listening to your silent thoughts,
Takes me everywhere in the world.
Tell me all your stories, I want to know.
Everything about you, unfathomable.

I more than wished for this moment,
Not seeing you is so unwanted.
How hard I pray this would not end
let's stay like this everyday.

Then the stars start fading, my hands freezing.
The darkness is as dark again.
The silence is deafening, sight of you vanishing.
I'm getting insane, what's happening?

Oh, it's 5am, my eyes burst into crying.
Some time after five years,
It's still you that I dream.
My love, where have you been again?

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I am a botanist who is usually kind, laughs hard, a 'grandma'. I write based on my own experiences.


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Contributor: Nikhil Nath

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I cannot

a fish
a semi colon

or rise with

from the
Dead Sea

bringing a


on a passport

eyelashes painted
with a

false idiom,

the Hindu Kush
on the

Ballerina of a

- - -
Writing Poetry for the last 18 years
Have been published in several magazines including Leaves of Ink
Virginia Woolf had said "Write rubbish but write"
That is the maxim for my poetry.

Old Drunk's Advice to an Anxious Beau

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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I’m no expert on marriage
but you asked me so
here’s how I see it,
decades removed from
making the same decision.

If the woman is pretty,
has a voice you want to
bathe in forever, she
may be the right one.
But at my age or yours

I would marry only
a woman who made me
grunt at the zenith.
If she did that,
I’d buy the ring.

- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

... ink ...

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Contributor: C. Z. Heyward

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i took off the mask.
pushed it inside out
so the dark might be known.
it was covered with mucus
and blood.
the tenuous sinew that held up
my hollow smiles and hollowed eyes
were now revealed.

the muted eyes of others are now turned on
to my writhing technicolor reality.
i've scalped myself
and hold it as such.
it dangles as a pendulum
from my out stretched arm
marking Paleolithic time.

black tufted hair coats my neck
matching the hue of my flexing flanks.
i am a beast among many.

until I gaze upon you.

but all i do is cower
because i am faceless.



i can only mark this time with
ground stone.
fat and blood.
etched in granite for a thousand millennia.

but there is no you in the crevices.

just a trellis of bones
with no indication of where
my heart was buried.

lunar eclipse
wrangles white tip wake.
i sit moored among the living
though wishing i were not
still searching for you.
Nephelai washes my unknown stench
as i rake the dark warm gore
of octopi for indigo pulp.
his spine my quill.
my skin my parchment.
yet no one reads me.

i whistle a whaler's chanty
"Spanish Ladies"
as a lullaby for Aeon
to end my nightmare.

i wake.
weary in my bones
broken in my spirit
rubbing remnants of Hypnos
from my eyes.
wishing his brother Thanatos had kissed me instead

i reach towards my nightstand.
grabbing my cell.
i read your simple text.

I love you

Fate has me write this
as you have done.
turning myself inside out
through my spine

so nothing is hidden.
though few like this truth

it is me.

embracing peace.

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C. Z. Heyward is a Harlem (NYC) born poet whose work has found platforms in Greece, France and the U.K.

What Weighs a Soul?

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Contributor: Richard Hartwell

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It matters!

For if a soul is damned to hell,
may it pass terminal velocity at
thirty-two feet per second per second,
or is a soul limited, as if it were of
some discrete mass subject to
universals of gravity and momentum?

Again, if bound for some heaven,
is a soul encumbered by attaining
escape velocity in order to rest in
peace among the stars? Then,
if of no mass, a soul is not limited
to traveling below the speed of light,

But may roam galaxies without number
as pure energy, not to be frozen in place by
entropy at a terminal death of this one universe,
or collapse many souls into a singularity!

- - -
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school teacher (remember the hormonally-challenged?) living in Southern California. Like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, he believes that the instant contains eternity


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