And it was at that age... Mr. Taxman arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
he came from, but he threatened he'll find me
come hell or high water.
I don't know how or when,
no his were not invoices, they weren't easy
words, nor silence,
but from my workplace I was summoned,
from my substandard worksite
owned by millionaire
tax evaders
who can afford,
there I worked below minimum wage
and he taxed me.

My pocket didn't know what to say, its mouth
agape and without
a dime,
my wallet bound,
yet hope stirred in my soul,
unfolding forgotten wings,
and I resigned and walked away,
my passport,
and signed the dotted line
for employment overseas.
Makes sense,
sheer wisdom
of one who knows something,
and soon airborne I saw
the heavens

opportunity opened,
cash windfall,
blinding beach zones,
for an ESL teacher
in Middle
East, with untaxed Riyals and Dollars.

Then I, small but oh-so-hopeful being,
high on grandiose
got a call; it was
Mr. Taxman telling me the part
on "taxation
of worldwide income,"
and my heart broke, lost in the wind.

by Karlo Sevilla

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With poems featured in stateside publications, Karlo Sevilla concludes that literary magazines in the USA are more welcoming than the USCIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services). From his residence in Quezon City, Philippines, he badgers magazine editors for a US visa recommendation letter and airplane tickets to be mailed along with his free contributor copies.


A more pronounced degree of bravery, which comes with exhilaration, is the ability not to give a damn for possible consequences; not only to ignore them but to despise them.
- Ernest Hemingway 
In eating a burrito,
I aspire
To ride the edge of Death.
Full habanero searing,
Eyes tearing,
Engulfed in a triumphant fire,
Never happier. That flavor
Obliterates the drab world like a savior:
Exhilarating, perfect,
The burrito is worth it,
Though I get night terrors later.

by Elizabeth Sanker

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Elizabeth Sanker is a wilderness explorer, surly drunk, and general lunatic. She lives and writes in Salem, MA.


Somewhere Between Angel and Gargoyle

i just love that image
of all those old timers
just sitting at the wishing
well in the middle of the mall
with all those glistening coins
thrown in the fountain by romantics
and delinquents sincerely hoping
and wishing for a better existence
and they got that look on their face
with eyes glazed over like please
just leave me the fuck alone and
seen it all and just grateful that
their wives are just giving them
a couple moments shopping
with no crises or psycho
dramas and whether
someone picks them
up or not all good
and like that feeling
of feeling stranded
and no one to be
responsible for
and irrelevant
and doesn't matter
and all the better
a certain kind
of postmodern
wasted and wired
version of buddha

by Joseph Reich

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Joseph Reich is a social worker who lives with his wife and twelve year old son in the high-up mountains of Vermont. He has been published in a wide variety of eclectic literary journals both here and abroad, been nominated six times for The Pushcart Prize, and has many books in poetry and cultural studies.


The dinner lottery

Most people don't cook any longer.
They don't know how or fear
time in the kitchen will turn them
into sad housewives in chains.

Then there are those who imagine
they can. Some despise recipes
invent gooey stew the texture
and taste of Gorilla Glue, chops

fried to shingles good for water-
proofing a roof, salads only some
man hoping to get laid would eat.
Nobody ever threw together

an edible cake. Some at the other
extreme think It's high living
to cook only recipes that require
40 ingredients, some so obscure

you don't know if they're animal
vegetable or beetle grub. Perhaps
scrapings of some moon rock.
I used to visit friends who'd begin

cooking hours before we ever got
a taste. We'd all hover in their
kitchen salivating, fantasizing
take-out, and still the host

would have yet another glass
and chatter and forget an item
or two or three. At ten-thirty
we'd sit down to something grey

we'd fall upon, willing to eat
raw worms, cat food or even
the tablecloth. Dining with friends
can remind why restaurants exist.

by Marge Piercy

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In spite of being told by the head of the English Department of her high school in Detroit that she should give up poetry as she had no talent, and in spite of being informed by her first English Department professor at the University of Michigan that what she wrote about were not "proper poetic subjects," being all wet and smelly, Marge Piercy has insisted on publishing 19 books of poetry, 17 novels, a book of short stories, a memoir, and four nonfiction books. She lives with Ira Wood and four cats in the woods of Wellfleet where they grows lots of vegetables and annoy Republicans.