Song of the Sleepy Adept

I'm wiser than Masons of the Nth degree.
I've mastered every kind of yoga.
Through past and future I can clearly see—
I'll describe the stains on Caesar's toga.
I'd waltz with Mephisto across the lake,
I would, if I could just stay awake.

I've mastered much more forgotten lore
Than you. I'm miles beyond your magic
(Some have even dared to call me a bore).
At the midnight rite my fate is tragic:
The other wizards conjure ghosts till dawn.
I doze right off from the very first yawn.

I'm the real thing, no carnival fake—
I've sacrificed doves on the sacred lawn.
There isn't any curse that I can't make,
But I won't wait until the circle's drawn.
If only somehow I'd unearth a spell
As strong as coffee—Then I'd raise some hell.

by Mark J. Mitchell

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Mark J. Mitchell was born under the sign of Nun of the Above in the Year of the Bewildered. His checkered past has only allowed him to move diagonally along white squares. This has caused a permanent crick in his neck. The filmmaker and documentarian Joan Juster has had his back through all those years and promises to return it one day. Many of his poems contain secret messages and can be found in the anthologies Line Drives and Good Poems, American Places. The key to the code can be had for a nominal fee. His novel, The Magic War, reveals the meaning of his chapbook, Three Visitors, without even being asked.


The Wasteland

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land.
Lilacs reek like Grandma's pissy knickers.

No! May is the cruelest month.
It's my birthday month.
Enough said.

No! No! June is the cruelest month:
The month of virgin marriages,
Broken cherries, and stage-managed commencements.

No! No! No! July is the cruelest month.
I'm writing this in July.
I rest my case.

No! No! No! No! August is the cruelest month.
A time of hot dogs, French fries, salt and vinegar.
My piles act up in August.

No! No! No! No! No! September is the cruelest month.
The Salmon are spawning and give up the ghost.
I'm beset by allergies and the odors of stale sex.

No! No! No! No! No! No! October is the cruelest month.
Leaves blaze briefly, bleed and fall.
It's so depressing I give up masturbation.

No! No! No! No! No! No! No! November is the cruelest month.
The pilgrims are all dead.
They were a bunch of assholes anyway.

No! No! No! No! Twice! December is the cruelest month.
We're tyrannized by children, the greedy little pigs.
Let's celebrate the slaughter of the children, bless their souls.

No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! January is the cruelest month.
Happy New Year! We can't go on! We must go on!
I'll stay in bed.

No! No! No! No! No! And five more Nos! February is the cruelest month:
Days of shrunken tits, balls like shriveled grapes:
Days and nights of cramps and constipation.

No! Eleven times No! March is the cruelest month.
The resurrection and renewal of drive by shootings
Adolescent gang bangs.

The cruelest month? The cruelest month?
Go peck the bones of unread anthropologists.
Life is awesome and cruel.

Aw fuck it!
Carpe diem!

by David Lewitzky

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David Lewitzky's an overweight old fart/young poet retired Social Worker/Family Therapist living his sedentary life in Buffalo, New York. He wears his hair in a tail and he's got a tattoo he's proud of. He submits lots of poems to lit mags and occasionally gets some accepted. He is a MAGPIE!!!


Pub Fever

I must go round to the pub again, to the comely pub's beckoning eye.
And all I ask is a tall sip in a bar of a beer close by,
And the grog's kick and the binge long and the white ale's shaking,
And a gay mist round a gay face till a gray dawn's breaking

I must go round to the pub again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a winning spray with the white suds foaming,
And the flung spray and the downed spume, and the sea lads buying.

I must go round to the pub again to the vagrant tipsy life,
To the mulled way and the hale way where the binge is the wetted life;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

by Larry Lefkowitz

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The stories, poetry, and humor of Larry Lefkowitz have been widely published in the U.S. and abroad. He has written humorous articles, stories, and poems. His self-published humor books include New Jewish Humor and How to Become an Israeli.


Return to Sender

Dear Sirs: here are your letters I've returned.
All you, to me, appear like parrots trained
For all you squawk are shallow lines you'd learned
And fill the air with second-hand refrains.
Think, please, of something other than the sun
Or summer's day, or rose and coral red
(Or flea, if you have so become undone)
As similes to draw me to your bed.
But take some risk and let honesty fly;
Declare to me those faults I do possess:
My dagger tongue, and my sarcastic sighs,
My too long and steadfast stubbornness.
   Then profess these not faults, but all my charms,
   Then might you find me, loves, within your arms.

by Mary Elzabeth Lee

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Return to Sender is Mary Elzabeth Lee's first published poem and the irony is not lost on her. Mary is a junior at Penn State York and is co-editor of the campus literary magazine Any Other Word. She chose to be a writer after her parents told her it was a more viable career than a Disney princess. Sometimes she suspects her mom and dad may have lied to her.


My Mind and I

My mind slipped through a backdoor
to watch the stars explode,
to watch diamonds shower through the sky,
and pan the mother lode.

My mind ran off to Africa
to help, to bleed, to hide.
My mind walked by the ocean
and sat on a rock and cried.
My mind walked into the woods
hoping to lose the trail.
My mind sealed itself in an envelope
and relied on U.S. mail.
And when it felt it couldn't cope,
my mind considered doing dope.

So I put my mind on the bus to work
and told it not to look
or touch or taste or learn at all,
just to sit and read its book.
But it made balloons of stoplights
and vanished through the trees.
So if my mind you come across,
won't you have it write home, please.

'Cause while I stay and pay my bills
for my rooms and books and bread,
my mind is slipping through back doors
far above my head.

by Tracy Koretsky

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If you printed out even half the stuff Tracy Koretsky has written, dumped it into a big net strung out across the ceiling, stood beneath, then let it drop, you would suffocate. Pile up the stuff that has been published and stand on top of it and you could probably reach the cookie jar on the uppermost shelf. Alas. Still, more than anything, Tracy loves to be read, so help yourself to audio poems and chapters, author interviews, and a download of her memoir in poems: www.TracyKoretsky.com