I’m a marketing professional –
I am not a follower but a leader,
an influencer who tells you what to buy
and when to buy it.
Are you buying this?
I have no idea how my career came to this,
I was going to be a rockstar or a Great Writer
but if I’m honest,
it’s easier to get a job than a book deal.
Please remain calm,
we are all of us anxiety-ridden
and we deal with disorders in our own special ways,
only I can’t remember where my lighter is.
Anxiety is neither a disorder nor a state of mind,
it is a natural response to the world around us –
if you ain’t scared sometimes
then there’s reason to be worried;
your secondary school education was a scam,
purely controlled exposure to stress and prejudice
‘cause the school of hard knocks is a real place baby
inside our heads, inside our hearts,
inside our minds.
Millions of years of deterministic natural selection
coupled with the sexual behaviours of the human female
and the one bad gene passed down through generations
have all come to this, this world, this life,
these living legends trapped on the dole
trying to monetise art through nice online communities
but let me tell you this my friend,
you can’t crowdsource a cure for cancer
and your country’s budget is wasted on the arms race,
why don’tcha blow a few heads off before the banks collapse?
These anxious words are a unique celebration
never before seen in the annals of human existence,
just words that any man could write
and so why shouldn’t I?
Every soul on earth is complicit
and this indictment brings shame on us all –
we are killing the planet through our sheer stupidity,
we are destroying our most precious resources
just to watch them burn;
when the world reaches its eventual destruction,
who, then, will lead the applause?
Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK) is an independent poet, musician and storyteller with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not in front of a screen writing stories and poetry, he can be found working on his book review blog or developing his website, www.danecobain.com
The Seasonal Change of the Schedule at the Y
Cleaning the House Before Company
The Doctor’s Office
Danny P. Barbare resides in the Upstate of the Carolinas. His poetry has recently appeared in The Santa Clara Review and Huizache and DoveTales. He studied creative writing at Greenville Technical College, where his poetry won The Jim Gitting’s Award.
A fistful of sunshine
loiters over my window
flickering raw images on my blinds.
Slithers inside gay and gaudy
along the flannel hems of blinds
and beckons the Sun inside, incensed already.
With envy ignited soul, it
sulks over my floor
falling down alongside infinite flares slowly.
Then crawls towards a lonely nook
before brooding up the paneled wall
till our acquaintance mellows a scarlet twilight.
In my sea of loneliness, we three
With oaks of Sunshine, I, sail the Sun
Seeking a shore.
Where the Sun starts to sink, evanescence
followed by Sunshine o’er the offing
drowning me till dawn.
Rajandeep Garg is a young Civil Engineer of 26,from Thapar University and is now more of a poet. He is a member of United Haiku and Tanka Society. His Tanka poems have been appreciated at few international journals. His poetry had appeared in an Indian e-journal The Literary Yard. He spends his nights writing poetry and exploring the night sky.
And the miners came down from the hills
only once a month, to eat, drink, fight,
if they were lucky,
spend the night with a woman,
instead of in jail.
For sheriff Bennett met them at the edge of town
and gave them the same warning each time:
‘Have a good time, boys, but don’t wreck the town.’
And the miners nodded sincerely,
chorused, ‘Sure, sheriff. You bet. We promise.’
But the sheriff was used to their rough ways
and knew they were there to escape the pressures
that gripped them in the bowels of the earth.
And they weren’t bad men, just childlike,
toiling like slaves of eld, then seeking release.
They meant their promises and meant no harm.
Nevertheless, the sheriff hired extra deputies
on the day the miners came to town
for their monthly binge.
Now the miners respected the sheriff,
who understood their need to blow off steam,
but the deputies were another kind of cop.
Mostly young, scared, acting tough to impress the hard men
who only feared Mother Earth’s crushing embrace
waiting to hold them close, far beneath the surface.
And they mocked the posing deputies
who wore one-way sun glasses to hide the uncertainty
that made the miners mistrust them.
There was one deputy the miners really hated.
Reardon, a big-bellied bully, meaner than the rattlesnakes
that sometimes tumbled down the mineshaft
and couldn’t find their way to the surface again
and shared the dark confines with their fellow prisoners
and sometimes got lucky and bit someone,
before the miners could stomp them to death.
The only thing the miners hated more than rattlers
were the bosses, whose venom flowed from far away.
Reardon always greeted them the same way,
slapping his club in his bulbous paw, scaring no one,
but alert for the chance to hurt the miners.
They despised him, staring through him,
another dangerous clod of earth to be avoided ,
but never feared, because he only trapped the unwary,
and if you labored deep below the ravaged earth
you learned to be wary, or didn’t survive
the hungry pits that always beckoned.
So the miners rushed to their favorite bars,
where bored trailer girls served the drinks
and didn’t really care that a lot of hands
did a lot of exploring of their veined bodies.
And they listened to the usual comments:
“That’s a number one shaft. Deep hole. Dig that strata.”
And the girls snapped their gum in boredom,
for they took worse abuse than words
from the harsh hands of their redneck boyfriends.
The retired professor of something or other
met them at ‘Purple Nell’s’ and bought them drinks,
preached to them that they should spare the earth.
They laughed kindly at him and explained it was their job,
if they didn’t do it, the company would hire others
eager to take their place in the mines, because
someone was always waiting to steal a man’s job.
But they never insulted the professor
while drinking his liquor.
The miners never went to ivy covered schools,
had no book learning, just blue collar skill,
acquired the hard way, in the pits of shattered dreams,
where the mines sapped the souls of men
who never got used to the pressing rock above
and the dank, devouring dark below,
always waiting, implacable as time,
to catch a careless miner in a moment’s lapse,
the last summons to the final ascent.
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways (Winter Goose Publishing). Perceptions, Displays, Fault Lines and Tremors will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response will be published by Nazar Look. His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press) Acts of Defiance (Artema Press). Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing). His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City. A Miner’s Quest appears in Civillised Ways. Editor’s Note.