Kimberly Brown reviews Linda Baron-Katz’ Peter and Lisa

Peter & Lisa

A Mental Illness Children’s story

By Charles Katz & Linda Baron Katz


To every problem in life there is always a great resolution.

In this small read about two people battling two different mental illnesses, we can see that it’s not a death sentence and nothing to be ashamed of but it is a most common thing that occurs in many humans: men, women, boys and girls. I think that anyone who is suffering from a sick mind, unwanted feelings or thoughts but who is able to recognize these abnormal feelings and thoughts is already on the road to recovery.

Mental illness is something that many people are ashamed of. For many people mental illness can be apart of their genetic makeup, or developed during traumatic life events and occurrences, or through one’s environment and life experiences. This book shows us how two brave individuals had the courage to seek help after struggling with mood swings and sadness for long periods of time. After proper medical treatment these two characters in the book, Peter and Lisa, were able to live healthy and normal lives.

Through self-awareness and education, the battles that many humans face with mental illness can be won. People can go on to live healthy lifestyles with the support of medicine, family and supportive friends. People with mental illness or who have suffered from them in the past can go on to live productive and healthy lives.

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Essay from Tony Glamortramp LeTigre

Puddletown Clown
and the Secret
of Starry Ridge 

by Tony “glamortramp” LeTigre
Drawing from Tony Glamortramp LeTigre

Drawing from Tony Glamortramp LeTigre

One day in summer of 2015, in a characteristic mood of wanderlust, I decided to go exploring in the southwest hills of Portland, Oregon, my past, present, and probably future abode. Although I’m something of an inveterate “puddletown clown”—first moved here in 1995, frequented the city as far back as the late ’80s—it’s only recently that I discovered the joy of urban exploring, during a six-year stint in San Francisco during which I became homeless for the first time, and simultaneously discovered the Situationist concept of psychogeography. Hence in all my previous PDXperience I had never more than dabbled on the fringes of exploring the hallowed hillsides, held back I suppose by the psychological barrier of believing that the hills are the rich peoples’ territory. Though often when meandering through downtown in the vicinity of Portland State University, I found my eyes drawn magnetically heavenward, transfixed by the wonder of the fabulous mansions on stilts and architectural oddities adorning the lush green slopes, perched smugly, supervisorially, above our plebeian existences.

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Essay from Dami Lare

OF BELIEF and what we have made of IT

I mounted the rostrum in Geneva, Switzerland, to address the League of Nations and to appeal for relief from the destruction which had been unleashed against my defenceless nation, by the fascist invader. I spoke then both to and for the conscience of the world. My words went unheeded, but history testifies to the accuracy of the waning that I gave in 1936. Today, I stand before the world organization which has succeeded to the mantle discarded by its discredited predecessor. In this body is enshrined the principle of collective security which I unsuccessfully invoked at Geneva. Here, in this Assembly, reposes the best-perhaps the last- hope for the peace of mankind. Ras Tafari (Haile Selassie)

If to be “imprisoned” were solely the concerns of social and judicial institutes, as some sort of inimitable consequence of justice and its process, then one should think the world would be better off. But the world as a giant essence finds ways to imprison itself beyond the familiar confines of fetters, chains and regimented penitentiaries. Possibly because its bounds is of a kind different from that which has been mentioned. Be it through eccentric ethos, ideological oddities, religious extremism or misguided popular sensibilities, we as thinking beings, defined by decades of urbane scholarship, constantly imprison ourselves—by constantly deceiving ourselves (and one another) with misguided faiths in bodies of deceits, falsehood and falsities. We seal our fate as a race of peoples, and as individuals, with that which is the enemy: the enemy which is the world; the world which regrettably is us.

History has revealed man and faith/belief as two constancies (one an entity, the other a concept) in steady relationship with each other, as both cannot in extant independently be. Sadly this is the founding basis for two prospects: of which one is the indispensible actuality of belief. And the other, the configuration of such belief and how it (the mechanics of it) aligns with our varying degrees of Innatism (if we are to momentarily suggests the tenets of Subjective Impressions are non-existent), presenting itself nonetheless as a sine qua non for successful epistemological, ontological, material and metaphysical pursuits. This faith could present itself as of a diversified reality to man: faith in intellectual and physical exertions, faith in some higher understanding, faith in a ‘seemingly crude definition’ of true purpose, faith in material determinism, faith in a thought system or faith in a noumenon. Regardless of which ever reality this amorphous totem chooses to commend itself to us, it is widely accepted that the set of man’s actions are to an extent ordered by how he chooses to work this unsubstantial, and as certain non-believers would tag ‘unsubstantiated aspect of human reality’ (bearing in mind the common noun ‘non-believer’ is of a nomenclature encompassing in the light of the material and metaphysical). Continue reading

Poetry from Christopher Bernard

Paris: Les attaques, et après

Le 13 novembre

La ville des lumières

cette nuit etait

une ville de douleur.

Sois calme, mon coeur.

Le sang de Paris

ne se fait pas

de pleurs.

Le 14 novembre

La Ville Lumière

cette nuit devenait

une ville de noirceur,

à l’aube,

une ville de desolation et douleur.

Sois calme, mon coeur.

Le sang de Paris

ne se fait pas de pleurs.

Le 15 novembre

La nuit tombait

sur la Ville Lumière,

le soleil levait

sur une ville de noirceur.

Sois brave, mon esprit. Sois calme, mon coeur.

Sous le drapeau de la desolation,

sous le rage de la douleur,

sous l’orage des oiseaux

dans le ciel de ce jour,

l’esprit monte au ciel

d’esperance and d’amour,

et le courage dit au terreur:

La France va te ruiner,

elle va te détruire, elle va t’ecraser,

elle va te laisser sur la terre désolée.

Le sang de Paris ne se fait pas de pleurs.

(English translation follows)

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Poetry from Michael Robinson

Spirit in the Moon’s Light

My body washed ashore in the Moon’s light,

My flesh dripping with blood from floating in the sea of human misery,

My human vessel now is torn from stem to stern.

In this the midnight of my life,

I search for my mother,

Searching for a connection before the sun raises and my flesh begins to burn.

Lying on the breach alone attempting to cast away all my fears,

I seek to be united with my mother.

Crying into the sand as my tears mixes with the ocean waves.

I do not pity myself,

I will not reach out for forgiveness,

I will cry for my lost soul.

Remorse set within me for I shall not find her,

I have little faith now that I shall ever met her before my death,

And now as the sun raise the pain is to great to continue to live.

In this moon’s light,

I fade into the sand,

My body washes out with the morning tide having never seen my mother.

Shelby Stephenson reviews Roald Hoffman’s play Something that Belongs to Me



Roald Hoffmann: Something That Belongs to You: A Play (Dos Madres Press: 2015) settles into two memories, one in 1943, Gribniv, Ukraine, another, 1992, in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. The horrific beauty of the dialogue you can imagine:

HEATHER: She never wants to talk about it. I have a project at school, about the Holocaust …

EMILE: Who can blame her, Heather? She lost her father, her husband, her young sister. Let her be.”

I have a friend whose father and family came over from Kiev when the father was sixteen. I said, Manny, you must have family there, do you visit them?

He said, No, Hitler took care of that.

And that was the end of the conversation.

In Hoffmann’s play, the memories blur and shape like children going fast around a flagpole.

As a boy I remember seeing the KKK. Here’s a scene from Something That Belongs To You:

FRIEDA: (Maybe a little insulted.) A shtetl? Is Philadelphia a shtetl? It was a town, 12,000 people –Ukrainians, Jews, Poles. It was a good Polish town. (She is quiet for a moment.) The Poles didn’t like us much either. When Daniel … your grandfather… went to school at the Polytechnic, the Polish students beat him with razor blades on sticks.


FRIEDA: Because he was Jewish; they made the Jewish boys sit in ghetto benches.

HEATHER: I don’t understand.

FRIEDA: Like blacks in the back of the bus? You’ve heard about that?

HEATHER: Yes, a long time ago, in the South.

FRIEDA: At the same time, in Poland, The Jewish students had to sit on special benches. (Bitterly.) It was the nice Polish students who made them do it. They made a law.”

Tamar, a psychologist, says: “Memories have a way of coming back.”

Something That Belongs To You is an autobiographical drama of survival. Good and evil live in the hearts of the characters and work to instruct instinct to live and forgive and to try something as impractical as Love.

Roald Hoffmann was born in 1937 in Zloczow, then Poland. I met him some years ago when he accompanied the poet A. R. Ammons to Wake Forest University. Hoffmann is a poet and a Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry. He is Frank H.T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters, Emeritus, Cornell University.

Shelby Stephenson

Poet Laureate of North Carolina

Poetry from Rick Hartwell


He seemed to enjoy not answering greetings. Although you couldn’t really tell that from any facial expression. He seemed to enjoy leaving them in quandary as to whether he had ignored them or merely not heard them due to the noise of the street scene. Or the subway. Or the suburban cacophony of sprinklers and familial spats; of skateboarders and cyclists; of minor celebrities as they arrived home.


Most considered him reclusive. Most, if they thought of him at all, thought him rude and abrasive. Yet, he had never responded to their inquiries as to his health or state of mind, or remarked in agreement or dissent as to the quality of the weather. Still others believed him to be hard of hearing, or even fully deaf, and quite unqualified to participate in the meaningless verbal badinage of everyday discourse.


Regardless of the basis of their disdain, they all considered him to be a nonentity, not even a cipher of daily life. And the left him alone and compounded this lack of consideration by forgetting immediately each encounter. And he disappeared entirely from view.


Even after the explosion, the few survivors on the subway platform couldn’t recall seeing him. They tried for weeks, but no one could conjure a plausible reason for his explosion. He wasn’t unknown, just unremarked.


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Essay from Christopher Bernard

For the Paris Conference on Climate Change:

I Am What Is Wrong With the World”

By Christopher Bernard

Yes, I admit it! All my previous girlfriends were right. It was, in fact, all my fault.

I reach this conclusion with the deepest reluctance, even embarrassment. It’s a horrible responsibility to have to confess to. It came as a surprise, even a shock. But one day I stumbled on it, staring me in the face. And ever since, it has never left me in peace.

I had always believed my sins were, at the worst, venial—I mean, I’ve never stolen, or robbed, or knowingly cheated anybody. I don’t do drugs, I drink in moderation, I stopped smoking ages ago.

I’ve never killed anything bigger than a mouse, and even that I mourned as, unable to save it, I watched it die miserably in a roach trap.

My lies are the innocent kind (“Doing great. How about you?” “No, it does not make you look fat”).

It’s true I have an occasional fit of uncharitableness, but as a rule I bend over backward to be fair-minded and I don’t discriminate against people based on race, sex, gender identity, mental health, financial status (well, I have problems with the super-rich, but I don’t think I’m alone in that), nationality, religion—whatever.

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Poetry from Joan Beebe

A Night of Love

A star appears in the sky

And shepherds look in wonder

Again, 3 Wise Men look

And decide to follow that star.

It led them to a stable

Where they found a baby in a manger of straw

Somehow they knew they were

Looking at the Savior of the world

And they fell on their knees

To present Him with the gifts they had brought.

There was gold, frankincense and myrrh

Love for the world was born that night

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