Poetry from R.P. Verlaine

Departure's Price 
To feel what isn’t there 
is all I need this far
into a one-night adventure,
daylight now ends. 
Wanting her to tell me nothing,
except lies that would convince 
a clock to move forward 
to no return or a pause 
at the precise or 
rumored false step 
any love demands more 
than once... 
Around which we skirted,
skilled as puppets 
who can do little more 
than entertain 
even when the applause 
is neither obsequious 
or false. 
And now the price of 
departure, a tax 
wanton drinking and lust begets, 
awaits with receipt... 
As we linger in a paid for bed 
without the energy for lies,
I check messages 
that say nothing. 
While she watches,
showing no emotion,
a copy of me,
trying to figure out 
long after the last kiss 
how to get out of this 
with a grace we both lack. 
Knowing this was a mistake 
and the new day only 
a chance to make more.


Driving to the airport, its nearly dawn
turbulent dark skies and dim tiny stars
my lone company- the radio's low.
Trying to make sense why so much has gone
awry or failed to transpire so far.
all faith submerged , lost to the undertow.
where life seizes you and then flings you down
until you’re prostrate on knees or the floor
someone shouting ten and you’re counted out.
I'm driving to a new start and new town.
It wasn't love K, you closed all the doors
I kept knocking still, with all of my doubts.
K, I see your face with its vague sad hope
its goodbye tears, it wasn't love but close


Do not ask me of others, let’s start fresh.
As if we were rare seedlings in the spring
sprouting promises with our sweetest thoughts
rooted deep beyond earthly wants of flesh.
Beyond true love’s lost dark imaginings
pale jealousies , tides of mistrust wrought.
Let ardor beckon, wondrously new
we’ll be its play things, puppets in a dance.
outside the present to postpone regret
by giving love each day its place, yet true
to ourselves, mocking fate’s uneven chance
diving to we know not, and come out blessed.
So let’s begin, without a sin or stain
after I ask you this-what is your name.

Her Blank Canvases 

Home dining alone or with one who cares 
she claims she’s happier since the divorce 
won’t marry again even in a dream. 
When asked if she still paints, I’m made aware 
passing fancies and hobbies run their course 
as does a lover lost in the midstream. 
Where I drowned in drink after she left me 
to go to Paris with a man she thought 
loved her and did till the money ran out. 
While I stayed servant to the tapestries 
of color and wild imaginings caught in a canvas awash in reckless doubt. 
When I say I still paint, there’s dead silence 
ah there’s much that dies without violence. 

Truncated Affair 

You can kiss 
each of 
my tattoos,
she said,
if you buy me one. 
I asked about
the scar on her cheek.
She was silent,
not wanting me 
near wounds,
healing or unhealed. 
We made love,
our confidence 
misplaced in 
a bed where  
excitement’s rush 
& its dichotomy 
to both discover and hide 
were the wrong guides 
to entwine us 
past the 
She was precious,
much as she denied it 
when sober, which
was rare. 
Each morning, 
pouring me coffee,
she'd do two lines,
check mgs,
leaves me 2 poems
someone else wrote  
a disquieting challenge 
I never clearly won 
or lost. 
When we traded kisses,
I'd win every time
it didn’t count. 
Real or imagined,
her smile is always enough 
to earn her tattoos. 
Trouble came 
in a script for a movie 
she began to think 
was us...
In real time 
arguments, complications,
violence, plot twists 
to an ending. 
even with all the  
Her goodbye, 
open ended evil,
made truth out of the lies 
in the disconnected 
thoughts of her
I can't disconnect  
from now,
unable to sleep 
i'm no longer awake 
without some cost. 
Imagining only 
her ink stained body again 
leaving mine unmarked  
with its sweat 
almost clean enough 
for purgatory.

Short story from Mike Zone

Snow Crash

By Mike Zone

Months ago before all this began during the harsh winter storm that brought down frozen tears in well maintained suburban houses and somber smiles of a fierce yet humbled resilience which crumbled into a just as fierce breaking and an anxiety of a crippling nature behind the closed doors of the homestead. Barry Klatt sat by the window of in his reading chair dressed especially dashing in tweed green slacks with a brown sweater over a cream dress shirt, hoping a car would crash into a tree, that maybe there would be a lone survivor, preferably a pretty woman with an unblemished face with no recollection of who she was before the accident.


They would fall in love or at the most dismal grow to a romantic carnal affection.

There would be mutual moist kisses and permissive penetration of any God given orifice but first he had to dress to impress and make sure to take photographs to document what a gentlemen he was never to lay hand upon her until a sweet declaration of love.

What if the survivor, were a child?

If it was a female nearing puberty he could care for her like a daughter, raise her into womanhood and a share natural matrimony as she grew to age.

What if it were a male of any age?

Let them burn.

He’d even pour gasoline onto the car and produce a match if needed.

He preferred blondes.

Gentlemen preferred blondes. Ergo, he was a gentlemen.

He selected a book from his secondhand cornflower blue bookcase. A paperback of Japanese death poems though he considered by Charlotte Bronte, he didn’t want to hammer away at a completely implausible simulation. He was the scholarly type who just happened to be a man’s man of the heart with the soul of a poet but didn’t want to venture into type of terrain where he would start questioning himself again.


A meteor shower was forecasted on the weather channel. He wished upon multiple falling stars. There was a minor tremor and crunching thud, heard moments ago.

Barry Klatt sat in his chair, reading the same poem after half a dozen times or so waiting for his bruised and bloody celestial angel.

Freshly shaved, pink completely shaved bullet shaped head and horn-rimmed glasses with a barely self-contained smile across his lips, slightly tasting the hair from his sandy goatee. Barry’s mind wandered into a sensation of uneasy serenity dwelling in a cave with a monk finding enlightenment envisioning cherry blossoms falling to the ground but only for a moment when a sudden knock at the door broke his trance.

He casually put his book down and cleared his throat as his hand clasped the knob of the door. He had to brace himself for what would follow, whoever it may be…

And just like that a Hollywood wet dream came true, like Hitchcock’s Vertigo or a Harryhausen spectacular like Earth vs. Flying Saucers…you know one of the good ones?

SHE stood at the door, trembling with a dazed incredulous look on her face. Eyes as wide as flying saucers, seemingly dizzy with a heavy case of vertigo, she gasped and fell into his arms.


Klatt could barely contain his raging boner as the heaving bosom beneath the open ski jacket pressed against his belly and golden locks with red droplets, smoke and scorched metal scented flooded his nostrils and invaded his optic nerves causing a nervous organic jolt throughout his body.

Was it electrical or was it something more otherworldly like ghostly tentacles not quite intangible stroking his atoms trying to rip him apart like amputee haunted by phantom limbs?

He desperately prayed, she did not remember who she was or where she had had after the great awakening. Should he just her place on the couch outstretched, prepare a meal and wait or was it capable of manifesting itself into a dire panic-stricken situation which would require duct tape over the mouth and the emergency shackles placed near the bed with silky pajamas down in basement?

Klatt didn’t think of himself as a monster, but some monsters had good ideas and he was acting with most noble intentions, so how could he even be considered a monster when he was merely following the path of a preordained divine love?


If she woke up screaming?

How could she? He was about to make a big heaping bowl of mashed potatoes with chives. It would rest near her steaming and if screams were to be uttered and stuff so full of buttery carbs, she’d fall asleep full content and satisfied…after initial terror and despair from the unknown.

He removed the jacket and her trendy boots, setting her on the side with her facing him. Let her find something plain, soft and calming if she were to arise from her disoriented state, it may settle her mind allowing the brain to percolate a bit before going off the rails in an alarming fashion.

Also hanging above the couch was a gold print by Georgia O’Keefe, who could lose all rational composure when taking in the stunning visual of an all-encompassing desert flower?

            When things used to go awry with your grandfather Barry, I’d just close my eyes, tip my head back and picture flowers blooming… his mother would often say, staring off into a place where she seemed to believe space existed but all there was, was a wall painted cornflower blue.

Klatt couldn’t help but admire her classic hourglass shape and almost aged out classic movie star unintentionally seductively cascading hair as he looked over the island of his cramp checkerboard floored kitchen.

            “Is this love?” he wondered aloud, imagining a sense of tranquility in a blank slate mind alongside the impact of Cupid’s arrow as he grabbed the whisk along with his bone white mixing bowl transfixed by a sky seemingly littered with falling stars among the reign of thousands of snowflakes.


As soon as Klatt jubilantly slammed a sack of red skin potatoes on the counter, flaming white heat crashed into blinding white snow and mesmerized by the sound of silence and what should have been blind light, Barry soon found himself out in his backyard, snow half way to his knees, not thinking about wet socks and the warped leather of loafers, trudging almost instinctively toward steaming snow melted crater, finding a shimmery silver sparkling albino octopi , weakening tentacles flailing about searching for even the dimmest hope of survival.

Klatt immediately took the creature and cradled it carefully in his arms, not dismayed but confused as to why he was taking such an action with self-inquiry. Did love really have the ability to bestow such courage?

Sometimes sentinels are sent to die… His heart seemed to sing the statement in mind through the rhythm of life sustaining thumping.

He washed the extraterrestrial cephalopod in the sink with tepid water. It was limp. He waited a few moments.

Would chunks of intergalactic octopi of a standard nature be welcome in these spuds he would mash for his lady love?

The stable butcher knife in his trembling hand didn’t answer his question as he drove the blade into the creature’s head and swiftly split it down the middle, as a milky liquid spewed forth running down his hand being absorbed into his pores as he drove his free hand into the octopi’s head crushing some sort of pulsating organ into its palm.

On the other hand, sentinels resting between the borders between entropy and infinity have a much better grasp on how the universe works and if there just happens to be a tear in the fabric of being in time and new worlds open, isn’t it time for a bit of trans-dimensional perusal and genetic acclimation for exploration? Moaned Klatt’s veins being cleaned out by piano wire.

Something starting breaking and snapping inside Klatt as his knees shattered and organs slide up his chest, a cold thrust rushing up an out of his mouth immediately being caught in a deluge of black celestial charged ink projected from the octopus in the sink, as it lay dying, yellow eyes wide open locking onto Klatt’s own ocular orbs.

The duo’s pupils dilating, filling the eyes eclipsing blues and yellows, liquifying and emulating the alien ink being spurted about the room, each one seeing and experiencing what the other had in each his respective world…

Klatt could taste the color of music emanating from stars long burnt out, a kaleidoscopic spectrum of swirls and rays containing white heat hazes normally perceived by three dimensional receiving creatures as universal dark void but nothing as it seems as the void is a reflection of infinite potential the source of universal chaos and genesis entropy. Tentacles suctioned to the energy of time and space, tearing it asunder to explore new worlds outside their own realms causing ever more variances subverting the nature of time and reality itself…could universes branch out and eventually stretch to a breaking point where all of us and everything could exist at once never really being full living beings but a mass entity of existence growing on a tree being devoured by these beauty sleek, silver lined creatures with yellow star shining eyes who could pick a random body, form it to its needs akin to terraforming and implant its consciousness within, so it live through an eternity?

Klatt saws worlds die and be born in intergalactic fire and rain, wondering if this is how he was meant to die without feeling self-satisfied individualized romantic love…


The octopi was essentially what would be considered a point for his people. He slung himself into Barry Klatt’s mouth, gradually shoving himself inside.

 Words entered Klatt’s mind, at first booms as they faded away with what he felt was his existence.

            You yourself will never know how you were meant to live and die, Barry Klatt except for what befalls your Terran mind and body in these moments. Part of your mind shall survive as will your body but you as an entity shall not. I shall retain how little you’ve lived along with certain characteristics which gradually erode along with the memories your mind has recorded. I wish you well in a place you shall never journey to for the existence of a world outside life has alluded us for tens of thousands of epochs. Probability is an objective god of a neutral source and you shall find no mercy as trillions of creatures born to die in various natures have not.

 There was an explosion of ink, blood and human male organs splattered on the wall.

Something crawled toward the couch where a beautiful slightly bruised woman rustled around in her sleep. The creature that was not yet fully Kromm yet incompletely Barry Klatt gazed down at her as it stroked its newly sprouting sixth tentacle, eagerly awaiting the other two, secreting something between ink and saliva as it reached a tentacle to stroke majestically golden hair.

Would it eat her?

Love her?

Poetry from J.J. Campbell

Poet J.J. Campbell
scare yourself back into existence
angels laugh at the
ache in your heart
they taste the blood
in your fear
they help you tie the
rope around your neck
and find the sturdiest
tree in the town
it is your unwillingness
to step beyond these
mortal thoughts that
confuses everyone
why be tied to just what
they want you to know
expand your brain
into the darkest hole
you can find and scare
yourself back into
give the world all
your secrets
break these chains
and never be afraid
of falling down
but never think anyone
will ever help you back
a frantic phone call to my mother
i remember taking my mother's
diaphragm into show and tell
one day and said i used it in
the sandbox in the backyard
to sift the sand
there was a frantic phone call to
my mother from a horrified teacher
my mother had no clue what
i had done
i figured i was getting an early
start at being a standup comedian
of course, it was the 80's and
we had no clue how to actually
encourage an active imagination
in a child back in those days
they were too busy trying to get
me to understand conformity
and division
i was already reading at a college
level and no one understood what
made my mind tick
none of them ever did until i got
to high school and found an english
teacher who knew immediately i
was way beyond anything he had
planned in his class
so, he told me to go write a book
of poems and show him what i was
working on

best teacher i ever had
abandoned buildings
i sometimes find
myself drifting off
these days
i'll hear an old
massive attack beat
in my head and start
thinking about doing
drugs in my youth
abandoned buildings
the cemeteries and
open fields where we
would count the stars
and give them better
and it's not that those
days were better or
more open or free
they just held a sense
of a better possibility
than these days
stuck in a digital world
of faceless souls and

juvenile criminals
the dotted line
engulfed in flames
trembling hands
and a dotted line
a little scotch used
to calm these nerves
now it takes more
than anyone should
comfortably drink
in public
it's not every day
you're signing away
the right to live
but you understand
this is the best for

everyone involved
the horizon looks bleak
i used to mark
the days on a
calendar with
a marker
now i do it
with blood
the horizon looks
bleak and then i
see a mirror
haven't shaved
in years
no reason to ever
love me screams
like a woman in
i have prepared
for my death since
i was a child
the life goals i was
allowed to pursue
have all been
checked off
now i just need
a sunset
a trusty shotgun
and a little music

to send me home

J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) is old enough to know where the bodies are buried. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at The Rye Whiskey Review, The Beatnik Cowboy, Dumpster Fire Press, Misfit Magazine and Horror Sleaze Trash. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (https://evildelights.blogspot.com)

Essay from Ike Boat

Life In Greater Accra.

LIGA Series1 By Ike Boat

Photo of the city of Accra, Ghana, from Ike Boat

The LIGA Series describes real-life story of a creative artiste ‘Ike Boat’ and what have been his battles, challenges and struggles in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, West Africa. He conceived the idea to write this ‘Arti-Blog’ based on what he narrates as being a bane of joblessness, homelessness and sleeplessness in this part of Ghana, as he’s been a stranger to natives of the communities where he finds himself – Author : Dennis Mann

In this Series 1 of LIGA he writes about his decision to be in Accra and how life is treating him on daily basis and how he’s coping else facing such harsh conditions as realities, beside the issues of making a living.


LIGA – Quite such an interesting similarity of the abbreviation or acronym, thus LIGA with regard to the Spanish football premier league dubbed La Liga or the German premier League Bundes-Liga. Well this real-life story as article-blog is not in any-way or means associated or connected with the Spanish soccer i.e.(sport) association, institution or organization in Spain. But on the contrary, it’s exact reflection of acronym used as title of this real-life personal story with regard to happenings to me in Greater Accra region as I made both bold and faith oriented move here a couple of months ago. Whether it’s step in a right direction or not, this really unfolds some aspects of daily life as a bitter-pill to swallow, beside pukes or problems and challenges in this capital city of Accra, Ghana. (West Africa).

Life In Greater Accra (LIGA) the capital of Ghana has generally not been easy with me at all even as I try to be positively busy every day. Unimaginably, I have been trying harder and harder from actual to virtual mediums or mean to ensure that the talents, skills and abilities become useful to individuals and companies I establish contact with but it like throwing punches in the air. However, there have been no positive results or responses. Countless number of employment applications to media companies and individual employers but all seem Cos-90 move. I presume of the reasons being rich achievements on Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume, so some companies or business owners think it difficult to agree on particular payment satisfaction. More-so, another application view or presumption is such that some human resource personnel or highly positioned staff members feel uncomfortably they’ll lose their role or position when accepted into the establishment based on multi-skills or talents I possess.  Obviously, there have been hectic and realistic times trying harder with heart of hope and faith to in relation to every-day perseverance in ensuring breakthrough success and progress in the Arts industry. To be precise, as far as the God-given talents, gifts and skills coupled with prospects and potentials of daily hustle and bustle are concerned in this cosmopolitan city of Ghana, West Africa. Factually, the struggles and sufferings have nothing to do with being lazy or act of laziness as a chap with positive dreams, realistic ambitions and holistic aspirations to make life bearable before departure from this earth. Of course, being in Accra has been a long time heart-yearn during my teen-aging years back in Takoradi, where I born and grew up.

         On 19th March,2021 I arrived in Accra from Kasoa precisely the perching residence at Estate Top and Blue Top Estate respectively, thus in house owned by the former International footballer in the personality of Mr.Owusu Afriyie currently based in Deutschland (Germany). The first move was primarily as a result of an invitation to feature as guest on Awake TV program dubbed Pillow Talk hosted by Lady Sherry Nyarko. Graciously, I had generous fund support from a noble figure outside of Ghana as a means of sponsorship for the transportation and accommodation. Indeed, it’s aided the fare and lodging at Mavis Hotel as I did several communications with the management and leadership in charge of this hospitality firm within Asylum Down suburb of Accra. Well, on the aftermath I engaged in thought-processing creative writing in terms of Blog and Vlog 233 Concept for online publication purposes.

         Of course, ups and downs of this LIGA also bring to bear realistic characters of some people being ungenerous in heart even if a person is on the verge of death due to certain harsh human conditions. A clear case study, of personally approaching a man who has stayed in Britain for years (expatriate) in times of dire need to eat and him turning me down with sheer ignorance even though everything show he’s able to provide as little as five (5) Cedis to buy food. It’s quite unconvincing and unbelievable his reason for refusing to show sense of generosity as I called on him at his residence in Asylum Down area of Accra. However, on one occasion I received a good surprise of fifty (50) banknote courtesy madam Harriet Quardey, the boss-lady, owner and prime operator of Mum’s Corner pub, where I have been MC a couple of times. Undoubtedly, it was one hunger day like a stranger who’s uninvited to her house and needed food to survive.  Well, one evening whilst walking on the newly tarred road I came across two (2) Cedis wrinkled banknote on the floor and mine oh, mine oh, it’s time of singing praises of hallelujah choruses unto God as I had nothing to eat the next morning.

         Lo, from one lodging place to another I have been dislodged and slept at unusual wrong areas suffering the night bites of wanton mosquitoes with uncomfortable restlessness leading to state of insomnia. For weeks, I have been sleeping at the wooden structure drinking bar of St. Sam Hotel here at Asylum Down in Accra. Factually, borrowing and owing as a promising artistic talent makes curious minds and conscious masses think differently about supposed star fellow in this infotainment age of technological advancement. Come to think of behind the scenes mock by some in secrecy!

Your guess is as good as mine, oh mine, oh mine – LIGA! There have been countless times of being at food selling joint without money to buy food and quite shamefully begging and pleading to get food and pay-back later. Oh, gosh, hmm – LIGA! The unpredictable times at kenkey and fried-fish with grind pepper selling joint, porridge with sugar and bread selling joint, fried-rice and chicken selling joint, just to mention but a few. Having said this, chef Peter Agombire and assistant Isaac Adobo have consistently contributed to aid my hunger condition as I continue to find lasting solution to such a bane of LIGA. Lest I forget, the one-on-one deep-life conversations with Madam Anna Cole coupled with her rollicking circular designed rice and stew with cooked egg offer at her family residence in Tabora, also remains unforgettable thus in relation to appreciation with grateful heart of gratitude in this LIGA Series.

         Reader, better-still I really don’t take for granted or refuse to express heart of gratitude the supportive manner and care of Mr.Harrison Nii Quaye the professional Real Estate agent (Realtor), who has bought food for me and given to me on several occasion, especially in my critical low moment of being so hard-up and broke, beside hungry in angry times like hum-ani i.e.(human-animal) figure on unfamiliar habitat. At times, escorting him to places such as Achimota, Osu, Labadi, Nima , James Town and other suburbs of Accra onboard a car he drives also has exposed and taught me lots of things about different areas with different arrays of life-style in relation to culture and livelihood as far as this LIGA is concerned. It also needful to mention as appreciable recognition of Mr. Earl Mantey, the Programs Manager of Happy 98.9 FM and Mr. Francis Cann (Dr.Cann) Presenter of Happy 98.9 FM as they have also contributed generously by way of buying food for me and giving token of money at certain point to aid the LIGA hardships. I’m so grateful as well for the media related interactions with them being staff of Global Media Alliance – GMA brand.

         In narrating LIGA, the sob-story of an Italian old-man who passed away at Mavis Hotel also brings about gracious nature of God’s gift of life to us in this part of Africa, Ghana to be precise. Well, one may wonder and ask why didn’t he kick the bucket at his homeland, Italy?  I remember, him dying on same room and bed that I accommodated my first week in Accra and I together with other three men carrying his lifeless body to a police car to the morgue/mortuary. It also reveals how and why as humans we need to thank God on daily basis. Pathetically, this man by first name Andrea in his fifties slept and didn’t wake-up again. And, it’s unknown to none of us at the hotel for days and by the time we realized his body on verge of decay in the room, thus same bed I slept on for days. Of course, together with Mr. Harrison Nii Quaye and Mr. Emmanuel Annan it’s to and fro at the Adabraka Police Station in Accra. Indeed, making realistic report of such death-case in this CoViD-19 times and brought about further investigations. Hmmm, it’s another solemn LIGA moment!

         Indeed, Life In Greater Accra (LIGA) without stating the following VIPs as worthwhile recognition of gratefulness towards their continuous Mo-Mo Support remains incomplete in this Series 1. Thus, notable acknowledgment of appreciation to Mr. Kenneth Anim, Mr. Dennis Agyeman and Mr. Agabus Asmah all have continually given to my state of uncertainties in coping with LIGA coupled with the Accommodation bane. Also, some distinguished International figures that have helped to cope financially with regard to LIGA includes: Mr. Andy Estrada #Dad & Mrs. Julie Estrada #Mom in USA, Madam Aja Pugh in USA, Minstrel Stella Addo in USA,Madam Dagmar Erb in Germany, Madam Lilian Aduka in Nigeria and Madam S.B Jabini in the Netherlands.

To Be Continued In LIGA Series 2 !

Real-Life Art-Blog Written By Ike Boat @ Asylum Down, Accra (Ghana).

Email Address: ikeboatofficial@gmail.com

Whats-App Number: +233267117700

Direct-Call Number: +233552477676

Poetry from Michael Steffen


 A Concession of Love
 She followed the travel and the antique shows
 on PBS all through the Sunday lull,
 his couch’s better half. With upturned eyes
 let him zap over to the NFL
 taking her book up, asking that the volume
 be kept down. Though she couldn’t hold her interest
 wholly aloof from the barbaric game—
 surprising dad with a gasp, Gaw that dude’s fast!
 She’d look back at her novel with a glance…
 Then marvel at the fans and their face paint.
 She wanted to know just why the referee
 had thrown that flag. And frowned ambiguously
 at the vainglory of a touchdown dance.
 Hoisted her eyebrow at the extra point.  
 Rekindled from an OED, a word
 from long ago “jangala,” a dry, dry
 land, a desert, flourishes to the green wood
 jungle has come to depict in her day—
 lapsed as her gaze off to another book
 so for its cover. She reads silent at
 the PC on her elevated desk
 amid the printed volumes to check out.
 How better embody that little-heard
 fountain Wisdom than surround oneself
 with her spines? Delicate as usage, hard
 as sense to fix, one can only imagine
 her orderly and tidy as these shelves—
 going home, her hair in the wind undone.
 The Super-id
 The sea
 ever wagged by its tail.
 It’s all continuum, seals playing
 out into their horror of an orca’s play
 with little mind for manners, appearance,
 “plasticity,” the business
 of the sails of cloud
 stacked like the coasts’ glass mountains,
 these Aeolian beings, drawing from it
 fertile rain, shimmering nets
 and devastating storms. Great
 unselfconsciousness swims
 between one’s hunger and another’s
 from deep memory
 clear to the shallows of our shellfish.
 And our muck, threatening its copious
 data of marvels. And unmasking me,
 boy wizard on the shore
 of the ponderous metaphor. 
 To My Problem
 “Symptoms, symptoms,”
 said the therapist, halfway into
 another session. “It’s good of you
 to talk about them. Shortness
 of breath and temper. Irritableness.
 Obsessive compulsive. Insomnia.
 Erratic spending.”

 I don’t know
 how professional it was
 of my Doctor Strangelove,
 though it certainly had a psychological effect
 on him at last to come unhinged
 and just lay it all out—
 “Mr. Steffen,” with a deep sigh,
 “underlying all this chaffing,
 there is some little stone somewhere in your shoe.”
 I've written you letters
 with no address for the envelope
 with my thinking it out,
 how to unravel your skein
 of sudden desires and a tilted past.
 I've come away from psychologists,
 from groups and meetings
 with certificates and tokens saying I could
 overstep your molehills—
 only again day after day to find myself
 lulled in the elevations of attitude,
 on the islands of prickly fruit
 grousing about the prices, the wait,
 bearing my teeth at others
 with their deplorable hair and manners.
 Only to have them—What's
 your problem?—invoke you anew
 and remind me
 everybody drinks the same water.
 With your sniff dreaming a rib bone
 from the takeout bag being kicked around
 by the wind, snapping at
 the wind's hand, biting your fingernails,
 drifting again into the blind spot
 of your oncome; with your
 dispersal of asking, flirt, maker
 of No… Huh-uh… Get lost…
 Should I only try again
 author of the shrug, again and again—
 to the break of sunlight
 out of nights and days of rain
 so here and there an afternoon
 I am filled
 and you vanish
 like water
 into the green flag of the grass.

Recipient of a 2021 Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship, Michael Steffen’s poems have appeared in publications, including, The Boston Globe, The Concord Saunterer, The Dark Horse, The Lyric and Poem.

Poetry from Mahbub

Poet Mahbub
 Daily Haunting
 Everyday I wake up from bed with a question
 Whether I am fine or not
 This trembling and painful palpitating heart
 Confounded for tension and shock
 The dogs are barking outside
 What's the dream glaring to soothe the earth?
 Damn the model of fashion or civilization
 Every single day rebounds with its flinching face 
 The sound of unexpected scream and murder
 The sound of unexpected howling of the children and the mothers
 Falling in a victim of racial attack
 People are growling for this unbearable torture
 How does this audacity act on?  Why's this plan for murder?
 My heart is breaking down into the cries of Palestine and Syria
 The daily unruly hue and cry all around us
 We know it very well the strong always devour the weak in the jungle
 The blood is oozing on my head at the dead of night I scream out
 Everyday I wake up from bed with a question whether I am fine or not.
 Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh
 It opens the room for resentment
 On the daily happenings from the daily pages 
 Or on the television screen
 Or on the social media
 At the beginning of the day
 At the time of taking our breakfast with hotchpotch
 At a glance it opens the room for resentment
 Reclining on the wall I brood over
 Cry and break the heart silent
 No way to escape
 Beautiful or graceful the word 
 The mutual respect of Love
 In no way we come closer to each other, one another
 Overflowing water clogs the roads
 No way that we can mingle
 Opening the room for resentment. 
 Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh
 My Clytemnestra
 Like Agamemnon I had my Clytemnestra
 She killed him for many reasons
 But why was I sent to the way never thought before?
 Your soft wings turned into an iron rod 
 And tried to play the role on me
 O my Clytemnestra, you knew very well
 How much I had my love for you
 As you had for Aegisthus 
 In other part of the story
 That Helen had for Paris
 At one point of our talking at night
 All on a sudden you choked me off and fled away with him
 A poor and helpless lover, floating on the bed
 Twisting hands on the forehead
 Till the morning sun peeped through window on the face
 And the birds with its sweet note brought me to my sense.
 Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh
 Facing the Destiny
 The plants are growing so fresh mingling the sky with the azure seas
 Welcoming us to this sunny the dewy sparking morning 
 But unseen danger lurks everyday 
 Though we have made fence all around    
 Going on with the fight for you and me
 The ruthless killer spreads the hands over 
 Breathing in the air or touching the things
 Just like the birds' pestilence-stricken
 Silent and drowsy, the body trembling in severe temperature
 Everyday, every moment
 The beds are fixed with the ventilators
 Survival depends on immunity   
 Some cross the Styx, some convalesce
 The persons left behind are also waiting for the same journey
 Who's not destined to this ringing?
 We are all undergoing with the passport
 Of course not the same from where we came into  
 To the last we are bound to ----
 Let peace be upon all of us.
 Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh
 A Plight to Joyonto
 Joyonto, No, I'll not let you go
 Please, stay here some more
 My heart must stop circulating blood
 In this hazy and foggy world
 Yet, would you like to leave me alone?
 Firing and darkness over the head
 What a devastating cyclone uprooting the trees!
 In this desolate condition how can I take my breath?
 Flooded and fired as far as you look 
 Joyonto, please hold my hand 
 Reach me to my home I live across the river
 Let me be your part
 As shaped as the sign of love
 In this large sky the moon is rousing the ocean
 Please hold my hand 
 Keep me tight in your arms in this isolated land
 Let us make the dark night colorfully enlightened
 Oh, what a love, dear!
 Joyonto,  ------- please, come on. 
 Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh

Screenplay by Chimezie Ihekuna

Title: A Taste of His Poison
Adapted from a book by Chimezie Ihekuna (Mr. Ben)
Screenwriter: Robert Sacchi

Chimezie Ihekuna (Mr. Ben) Young Black man in a collared shirt and jeans resting his head on his hand. He's standing outside a building under an overhang.
Chimezie Ihekuna

Genre: Drama

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Ricardo feels short-changed whenever he’s in business with his boss,
Martinez, who does ‘’business’’ at the LaGuardia Airport, with all the five
major staffers, a part of his drug-cartel network. Having worked for his
boss for over a decade, Ricardo sees the need to pay him back in his coin.
Despite his faithfulness through the years, Martinez is fond of denigrating

Ricardo’s efforts his efforts and using the proceeds—that are due Ricardo—

to his chains of girlfriends. Ricardo’s complaints hold no water as Martinez prioritizes
his lovers over intricate business deals he has with Ricardo.

However, Ricardo seeks a way for his boss to someday, have a taste of his
poison—revenge for the wrongs he did to him. He figures out a plan. He
discusses with his doctor to create an clone of himself and contracts with a
willing-to-die for -the -money street thug, Roberto, to do his
bidding—Ricardo’s impostor—delivering fake dollars,
instead of the actual consignment as instructed by his boss. Roberto, or
better known as ‘’Ricardo’’, is aware of the whole plot.

‘’Ricardo’’ is well-paid and is fully prepared for the task ahead. Ricardo,
knowing the ropes of the cartel, explores the loophole and finds an escape
route never to be seen again. Ricardo leaves the cartel with the hugest
fortune, untraced!

The success of the plan is to Ricardo’s advantage but leaves ‘’Ricardo’’ to
an uncertain fate…