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Poetry Winter 2014    fiction    all issues


Debbra Palmer
Bake Sale
& other poems

Ann V. DeVilbiss
Far Away, Like a Mirror
& other poems

Michael Fleming
On the Bus
& other poems

Harold Schumacher
Dying To Say It
& other poems

Heather Erin Herbert
Georgia’s Advent
& other poems

Sharron Singleton
Sonnet for Small Rip-Rap
& other poems

Bryce Emley
College Beer
& other poems

Harry Bauld
On a Napkin
& other poems

George Mathon
Do You See Me Waving?
& other poems

Mariana Weisler
Soft Soap and Wishful Thinking
& other poems

Michael Kramer
Nighthawks, Kaua’i
& other poems

Jill Murphy
& other poems

Cassandra Sanborn
& other poems

Kendall Grant
Winter Love Note
& other poems

Donna French McArdle
White Blossoms at Night
& other poems

Tom Freeman
On Foot, Joliet, Illinois
& other poems

George Longenecker
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
The Bitter Daughter
& other poems

Rebecca Irene
& other poems

Savannah Grant
And Not As Shame
& other poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Titian Left No Paper Trail
& other poems

Martin Conte
We’re Not There
& other poems

A. Sgroi
Sore Soles
& other poems

Miguel Coronado
& other poems

Franklin Zawacki
Experience Before Memory
& other poems

Tracy Pitts
& other poems

Rachel A. Girty
& other poems

Ryan Flores
Language Without Lies
& other poems

Margie Curcio
& other poems

Stephanie L. Harper
Painted Chickens
& other poems

Nicholas Petrone
Running Out of Space
& other poems

Danielle C. Robinson
A Taste of Family Business
& other poems

Meghan Kemp-Gee
A Rhyme Scheme
& other poems

Tania Brown
On Weeknights
& other poems

James Ph. Kotsybar
& other poems

Matthew Scampoli
Paddle Ball
& other poems

Jamie Ross
Not Exactly
& other poems

Writer's Site

James Ph. Kotsybar


The lone, quantum bit,

unlike Frost, chooses both paths,

interferes with self.



I’ve seen the minds of my generation bested by their handheld mobile devices,

texting for a dopamine rush, tuning out the reality around them.

I’ve watched them, withdrawn from present company, looking for bars of microwave coverage, friending strangers, downloading angry birds,

internet junkies, living in the ether, looking for that server connection to fame gauged by the number of hits they receive,

who sit in restaurants with downturned faces aglow, oblivious to their dinner companions, to check who has Twittered® them in the last few minutes,

who drive distractedly, causing fatalities in order to update their Twaddle® followers with TMI about their state of mind on the road,

who walk into traffic, updating their relationship status or performing Binglehoo® searches for celebrity gossip or obituaries,

who envision themselves as divas, broadcasting narcissistic images of every party or event they’ve attended in the camera phone eye, imagining others care,

who live without discretion in the digital age, unknowingly or uncaringly giving up control over their destinies to follow the latest manufactured meme,

who look with disdain on anyone behind the curve of the latest cell phone product designed to track them through time, space and potentially subversive ideas,

who are GPSed at all times, allowing local merchants to target them for advertising or law enforcement to trace their movements,

who are trained to demand ever higher speed connection, because they’re afraid to be, “so seven seconds ago,”

who fire up the Wiki at both ends, eliminating the need for scholarly research or retention of thought,

who self-publish their diaries and essays as open blogs, pretending that makes them journalistic writers,

who trust all their personal information to cloud networks about which they have only the foggiest notions,

who ask YSIC about who watches them watch countless MPEGs of people’s posted antics that pile up a profile of their tagged interests,

who believe convenience and expediency are more important than their right to privacy, conceived as an abstract concept of the elderly,

who are betrayed by the telecommunications industry they think serves them but ignores Constitutional rights to due process and even freedom of speech,

who post supercilious comments publicly, assuming they have the protection of anonymity because they hide behind a hash tag or screen name,

who, hands free, carry on conversations with the air, like schizophrenic lunatics, speaking to virtual colleagues, even incommodiously in the commode,

who require medications for ADHD and bi-polar disorders, never making the connection to their constant multi-tasking, dividing their attention,

who “can haz” perpetual amusement lolling at LOL sites, impersonally spamming inboxes worldwide with their latest animal pic find,

who post videos to social sites of the last vestiges of actual experience witnessed, and often disrupted, to make their disassociated lives downloadable,

who refuse to turn off their ringtones, assuming all potential calls more important than any movie, play or concert they might attend,

who think they’re the source of the Arab Spring and 99% strong because sometimes they can pull off a successful flash mob,

who are misled into believing they have influence and choice because there’s an app for that.


What routers have backed up the profitless souls naively sold to the machinery of control?

Telco! Dotcom! Dotnet! Dotorg! Dotgov! Dotmil! Dotedu! Dottv! Dotbiz! Dotint! Everyday your bandwidth fills with the addresses you occupy.

Telco, you are the new god of information, replacing books, magazines, newspapers and even postal letters.

Telco, the world is trapped in the web you crawl seeking content management and infrastructure ownership.

Telco, computer simulated, you leave no paper trail in cyberspace, so how can we know what really persists and what may have been censored?

Telco, whose phones are smartest for you and whose service is about limiting access to information, you are the true user.

Telco, your hidden stealth-bots relay the private data in our terminals that you cram with cookies.

Telco, whose attempts at regulation have been at least partially thwarted, your lies about protection of intellectual property have been anticipated.

Telco, whose plans to terrace farm the fertile fields will one day restrict totally free access, may you choke on the Creative Commons.

Telco, who wants to navigate our searches for us, leading us into realms most profitably marketable for you, may your electronic banks surge without protection.


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In the middle of my act,

I’m pulled by my hair through the curtains,

wrenched out of character,

forced to see the sandbags and pulleys

behind the scrims and flats

and recognize

the stage for what it is.

Made to observe the gearbox of

Deus ex machina,

to understand its well-oiled magic

from behind the scenes,

I see the joke I ‘d been too in on

to get—involving too many,

too involved in playing this scene.

I only know my audience

as extensions of myself,

and that’s been just a role.

Motes in the spotlight

look for motivation,

and settle,

irresolutely flickering, unresolved to Earth,

and the globe’s no different for it—

becoming no more ponderous,

due to the energy lost in production.

I’m not laughing

as I retake the dusty boards,

stand my mark again

and, running dull fingers

through mussed hair, find

. . . not one line in my mind.

Open Mic

One thinks poetry is a couch to make the world play therapist,

or at least take note and listen.

One thinks poetry is a prayer book, calling the faithful to litany

or the faithless to become congregation.

One thinks poetry’s a vase to preserve cuttings from the garden

or store stony trinkets collected from private shores.

One thinks poetry is a rifle to shoot the head with images of war

or blast away the combat’s trauma.

One thinks poetry’s a bullfrog shut in a shoebox, ready to croak

or jump out inappropriately during show and tell.

One thinks poetry is formaldehyde to display pale, shriveled organs

or the internal parasites that feed upon them.

One thinks poetry is confetti, empty color tossed haphazardly,

or blinding shards thrown like glitter into the eyes.

One wonders if poetry deserves polite applause for its presentation

or if the art has been lost at the hands of these practitioners.

Go Ogle

Sometimes we miss things

that are just over our heads.

Let’s learn to look up.

James Ph. Kotsybar’s poetry has been selected by NASA for launch into Martian orbit—the first literature to another world. His poetry appears in the mission log of the Hubble Telescope, and has won honors from the Society of Classical Poets, Odes To The Olympians, Ohio’s Ingenuity Center, and Balticon. Performances include The Los Angeles Performing Arts Center, Llhasa Club, Beyond Baroque Gallery, KCSB 91.9 FM, KDB 93.7 FM, and three cable television channels.

Dotted Line