Author: justifiedrotations@gmail.com

“Remembering Nerval” and “Principal Beauty” by William Doreski

Remembering Nerval In 1855 Gérard de Nerval found himself hanged from the grille of a cabinet-maker’s stall on Rue de la Vielle-Lanterne, the belt of a woman’s apron around his neck. He wore a hat, two shirts, two vests, and sported a tetragrammaton sketched in ink on his chest. No more walking Thibault, his pet lobster, on a leash. No more drinking wine from human skulls. No more pitching tents in his room to better insulate himself from the world. No longer would he honor his carved renaissance bed by sleeping on the floor beside it. From Nerval I’ve learned…

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“Pascal the Parrot Passes” by Jim Zola

Pascal the Parrot Passes The forest molts in sympathy, an enumeration of binary trees, the beak wiped clean although it is already clean. I’ve always hated math because it adds up to nothing. Count the lumps on the widow bark. Weeping. I much prefer the fibonocci sunflowers winking in my corpsy garden. I deadhead the possibilities. Sometimes I dream my legs are roots reaching for the discontinuity. Mostly I sit and count the hours in hope my dour philosophy won’t ruffle god’s feathers. Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher…

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“Bury Me Not” and “Orwellian” by Thomas Piekarski

Bury Me Not Don’t bury me on some dismal plain. I instruct you to cremate me and scatter my ashes on the American River in Coloma, at Sutter’s Mill where I’ll blend with rapids during their unimpeded rampage after a big storm. Along the way to the ocean a contingent of dissident refugees in tug boats will collect, chug beside my ashes and snatch gold that tumbles in the roistering currents. Our vigil down river will not be smooth, the gold filched by privateers that sail waters worldwide. As well as gold the soul of our nation hijacked, taken captive,…

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“Darkless” by Richard King Perkins II

Darkless For the first time it’s darkless we’re unhinged by bits of sun a sudden flood of white blush humming. The powder of day blows across a floor of remnant slippage and linoleum repurposed. The sky bends low, close at hand; we fill it with spirant smoke and muscular bondage— if not for withered willpower and tribal instincts I would have you right now in a full-term afterglow. Unwanted help and sunset would never arrive. Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie…

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“Happy Circuitry” by Robert Okaji

Happy Circuitry               for Margaret Rhee The body’s landscape defines its genealogy: my father was a board, my mother, an integrated circuit, my great-grandmother, an abacus, and her progenitors, tally sticks. In the third century the artificer Yan Shi presented a moving human-shaped figure to his king, and in 1206 Al-Jazari’s automaton band played to astonished audiences. Nearly 300 years later Da Vinci designed a mechanical knight, and four centuries after that Tesla demonstrated radio-control. Twenty-two motors power my left hand; Asimov coined the term “robotics” in 1941. Pneumatic tubes line my right. Linear…

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“An American Landay Winter Lament” by Mare Leonard

An American Landay     Winter Lament A day after winter storm Stella I stroll on a cleared path at the Rondout Creek. Crazed by snow banks higher than my waist, the absence of the usual ducks and seagulls, I pick up speed. Are ducks hiding in the weeds on the hunt for fish eggs, or lined up to hear the mallard, his chestnut breast puffed out, setting rules for spring: males will claim first dives for tourists’ stale crumbs? Are seagulls gathered around a bonfire roasting marshmallows, cawing ha ha ha to the wife pacing the widow’s walk, hands…

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“Somnia”, “Survey Lesson”, and “Gestures in Fall” by Tobias Peterson

Somnia [52 10′ 12″, 0 5′ 44″] The magnet compels a sliver of the iron gate under your thumbnail and eelgrass beneath the river’s skin bends as one inside the current. An asphalt ribbon stitches the hemispheres, hayfields flecked at intervals by sodium flares. As in sleep, little compass, red feathers litter the landscape of our tapestry, its stand of elms, the foxes gone suddenly blue-eyed, prickled by the sheet’s insistent whisper. The weave unravels until we wake, tuned toward departure. The needle’s restless sweeping beckons nightpaths near. Survey Lesson [44° 4′ 57″, -95° 23’ 5″] The creek is digging…

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“Time Tacit” and “Winterer” by Rodney Nelson

TIME TACIT   the March ending without a snow and yet no breakup on the lake or rush of bird in the yellow and tan country around have made time tacit             the to-do of spring would hurry you to revisit that point of land you see up north and worry you to journey on but this quiet will belay you will have you contented with here until a chirring in the reeds come blackbird day may set your feet to the track of divination         WINTERER   whatever lived in chosen…

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for my lover, she is fair: a Sappho tribute

We present to you our first special issue, a tribute to the poetess Sappho. This issue features original work by Nina Sudhakar, Sneha Subramanian Kanta, Emily Blair, Francesca Kritikos, Lydia Eileen, Beate Sigriddaughter, Stephanie L. Harper, Margaryta Golovchenko, R. Bratten Weiss, M.A. Scott, Freya Whiteside, Kayla King, Jayne Fenton Keane, Susanna Lang, Emily Stoddard, DeanJean, C.A. Scheherazade. All photography by Natalia Drepina. Download PDF Purchase Print

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Issue Five July 2017

Table of Contents Connolly Ryan — “The Concerns That Concern You” Patrick Bower — “Tidal Pool” Jalayna Walton — “Sabbatical” Finn Padden — “Seadew” Ron Singer — “An Afternoon in Central Park’s North End” Nicole Marie Mancuso — “Bloom” A.M. Oron — “Happiness for the Hedon”, “Calamity Jane and Mary” John Grey — “At Jeremy’s Wake” Fariel Shafee — “Rooted”, “Contemplation” Sherry Luo — “Chiaroscuro”, “Mel”, “I, Night”, “Glass Tumulus”, “Drifter” Tom Gumbert — “The Filler: A Senectitude Story” Russ Khomutoff — “Materiality and Time”, “The Tarnished Mirror” Yasmeen Tajiddin — “The Forest at Dusk” Bruce McRae — “The Self” Alex Topalis — “Throve” Kelly Neal — “hubris babble” with art by Donna Neal Donna Neal —…

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