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Cover, Paris by R. Saminora
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(You may view the complete print version HERE)



Memoiretorial
by David S. Warren

This is the memory issue of the Metaphysical Times; and we all have memory issues. In his poem, “Before I Knocked and Flesh Let Enter”, (in the opposite column) Dylan Thomas claims to remember life in the womb, when he was kin to Mnetha, the goddess of memory, or so he says; but you have to know he was mostly making that stuff up.

Luckily for my job here, I am an expert on memory and forgetting. I even named my daughter Mnetha after the goddess of memory in the Thomas poem. At the time of naming, the child had not yet been born and I was thinking ….what name do you give a child still in the womb? So …Mnetha.

I remember lines from several other Dylan Thomas poems because I heard them before I read them: heard them over and over again recited in windy Welch tones by my chum John when we were windy boys walking around Vienna.

We remember what we hear, see or smell, far better than what we read or think privately. Books save the data, but they murder memory. Who needed memory once we had books? And now that we have computers, thumb drives, data banks, and global positioning systems, we don’t even need to remember where we live or where we came from.

When I was so young I hardly remember that time and have had to make up a lot of it, I lived in the house my great grandfather built in the small northern New York village of Natural Bridge.

One of the first things I actually do remember from back then (or remember remembering) is the shock when I was around five years old and my mother told me that we were going to move from Natural Bridge to some place called Ithaca.

I thought reasonably enough that moving would necessarily mean moving the house itself: I knew about shacks and camps and chicken houses … that they were built by dads with hammers and nails, but our lacily trimmed house with it’s stairway whose banister rail snaked down to the newel post that had a cat-sized brass statuette of one of the muses on it. She was probably not the muse of Memory, and my mother did tell me a few years before she died which muse it was, but I don’t remember, and the muse herself may be gone by now. To me then, our home was not a man-built thing, but more like a kind of natural, She-Shell Mother thing. Shocked, I asked Mom how we could possibly move our home, and I would later insist that she TOLD me: a big truck, or two big trucks, would come around, I mean REALLY big trucks; and then the truck with a blower thing like a backwards vacuum cleaner on it, would BLOW our house up onto the back of the other truck … and there we’d go.

I was disappointed when it didn’t happen that way. We just left home, like ghosts exiting their

We hope that this issue of the Metaphysical Times is pointedly memorable,and that you never forget where you live, where you came from, or how you got here.

We have as usual asked our writers to keep the theme in mind, though not necessarily using that theme word in their writing, and I particularly discouraged the writers from offering definitions, theories, and so on, but to leave the boring stuff to the editors.


In addition to our regular writers, Steve Katz and Michael Chappell are new to the magazine, plus, this issue has a scattered population of talking nut-heads provided by Oren Pierce. Oren is also the author of the Nowella and Threadbear stories, designs oracle cards, and is an instructor of what he calls “Zen Badminton”. He has been living not far from here in a converted silo since first appearing at the Dogs Plot door about two years ago, claiming to be the brother of William Bonaparte Warren who, as I have made perfectly clear from the beginning, is my IMAGINARY brother.

I pointed this out to Oren when he himself first appeared here, but the existential argument made no impression on Pierce, who continues to show up here asking after and fully expecting to find William. William has NOT shown up at Dog’s Plot again, despite my invitation to come back from California or wherever for a while, at least until the smoke clears there. He can stay in the trailer and look after the chickens, the cats, and the goats while Georgia and I go off to see the ocean, or travel to promote another book, or the next edition of the Metaphysical Times, which will be the WEIRD issue, containing stories of the Strange, the Uncanny, the Erie and... probably more Nut Heads from Oren Pierce who lately is often to be seen walking the roadsides around Pumpkin Hill, picking up chestnuts, and staring earnestly at their little faces. He has told me that he will not be offering any Badminton Yoga Zen instructions until Spring when the Inns of Aurora tourist come around.

My co-editor Georgia Warren has forgone her usual editorial ramble in this space, and has instead put months of reminiscence, re-reminiscence, writing, deep diving and re-writing of the story you are going to read about the woman who wore her hat.

In addition to taking over the Ramble, I myself worked pretty hard with her on her story, getting it all in order until she wrote herself into the light and the realization that something she had for many years believed was a dream of a wonderful and improbable adventure was in fact a memory… a memory which in the last few months has become sharp and clear in a bout of writing. As somebody … maybe Robert Frost … said, we write in order to learn what we think. And having learned what we think we just might want to think again. This can go on forever, and then you die or run out of room. Do I need to rag on a little longer, or is this enough hamburger helper? I’m getting hungry, so I think I will have a glass of wine. I never ever wanted to be an editor and when I was on the Epoch staff it was a huge labor for me just to READ the manuscripts, and I sure didn’t want to edit or print them but,
shit gurl; thisiz FUN.

Did I remember to mention that the theme for our next issue is Weird Stories, Strange Tales, and Erie Episodes; or something to that effect?

___________________________________________________________________________


Remembering Afghanistan
by Michael Chappell

I spent 2008 with the US Army in Kabul, Afghanistan. I was a Lieutenant assigned to the 27th Infantry Brigade, and Platoon Leader to 28 soldiers.

Now that it’s ten years later, I’ve been reflecting quite often on my time overseas. The good, the bad, the funny, and everything in between. We rotated between three different missions every three days. Two of those missions were pretty relaxed while the third, patrols and convoy operations, had the potential to get very intense. During our patrol rotation were attacked several times, [picture 4] but thanks to our training and the bravery of the soldiers that I was serving with, we all made it back home safely.

(go to full story)
_____________________________________

The woman who wore my hat
by Georgia E. Warren

I looked more closely at the picture. My head got dizzy and I was so disoriented I had to sit down. The woman surely looked a lot like me, I even owned a hat the same as the one she was wearing. In this moment, as I looked at this photo my world turned upside down. In a very short time one memory came back to me. One memory with hundreds of little incidents inside of this one memory. I remembered Paris. I remembered four days I spent in Paris with my brother Freddy.

My mind flashed back and forth remembering a trip to Paris and looking over and over again at the photo in my hand. The problem was that hat: it was just like mine even to the hat band that matched my jacket. But I was also sure I HAD NEVER BEEN TO PARIS.

Was that possibly a photo of me in
front of the Eifel Tower?

Or was the memory only from a
vivid dream I had and forgot?

(go to the full story)
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Dear Diary, 10,000 B.C.

somewhere near Lascaux (translated from the original): Standing watch at the mouth of the cave of my ancestors, stone tools, charcoal and finger paint pots at my feet, shivering in this tattered megafauna pelt, the fire long expired and still too dark for me to finish mural outline of these two huge, flightless predator birds that made a crunchy brunch of three blood kin, Roc, Ka n Pupu – my mom.

It was majorly traumatic. Gigormous sobs with beaks like monstrous hinged arrowheads come busting out of the high grasses – the sickening sound of skulls getting cracked open like Dodo eggs.

We all ran, I dunno, I dunno. A long time.

Lucky find, this grotto. After we set fire to a sleeping bear and clubbed some huge rats to death, we pretty much had the place to ourselves and plenty to eat.

I sure do miss Mom and brothers.

by Franlin Crawford

(go to full story)



_________________________________



by David S. Warren

Once After a Time when  I was a boy of  nineteen on a junior year  abroad program
in Vienna walking near the Westbahnhof, I found myself across the street from a rough
pyramid of  rubble.

   Near the top of this ruin, the tail section of a small airplane  protruded … as if nobody had noticed it yet and maybe the pilot was still in the cockpit. This was twenty years or more since World War Two had ended.
I stopped short and stared at the plane.

(go to article)

–––************************
 



by Rhian Ellis

Since my mother was a medium, and held séances and gave readings at home, she found these features handy. Sometimes she let me work as her accomplice. I’d rap out ghostly messages from my place behind paintings, I’d fling objects across the room, I’d whisper through the intercom’s cracked wiring (go to story)

************************



 


Before I Knocked
by Dylan Thomas

Before I knocked and flesh let enter,
With liquid hands tapped on the womb,
I who was as shapeless as the water
That shaped the Jordan near my home
Was brother to Mnetha's daughter
And sister to the fathering worm.

I who was deaf to spring and summer,
Who knew not sun nor moon by name,
Felt thud beneath my flesh's armour,
As yet was in a molten form
The leaden stars, the rainy hammer
Swung by my father from his dome.

(the entire poem)
______________________


by Nancy Vieira Couto

"Nancy, I want to ask you something," my cousin Lily said. By the look on her face, I could tell it was important. "How would you like to be a flower girl at my wedding?" she continued. I didn't know what a flower girl was. I had heard people talking about sweater girls, and I sort of knew what they looked like, but I didn't think I could look like that. I was only four years old. "You would wear a pretty gown," Lily said, as if she were reading my mind, "and you would carry a bouquet of flowers." I was still worried about the sweater, but I liked Lily. So I said OK.
(go to story)
______________________

 

________________________

Caffein

by Steve Katz

I was fifteen when my father died. He’d been sick for seven years already, was rarely home, usually bed-ridden in some dreary hospital in the Bronx, or upstate at some rest home. That was treatment for a heart condition at the time — stay in bed! Had my father been around, my fate might have been different. Without a father to slap me into the future I felt like upcoming life had been placed on the far side of a high slick wall. I couldn’t bust through it, nor could I scale it, but against its unyielding concrete I constantly slammed the enigmas of my adolescence.
(go to story)
_____________________



by David Rollow

The writer sulked. She wasn’t wrong. In the flush of inspiration he’d typed up a report of her most recent visit, while still at the office (he had a day job to support himself), and he had unthinkingly left by the typewriter a second sheet for all to see. He didn’t use a carbon, so to anyone not overwhelmed by curiosity it would have seemed to be only a blank sheet of rough yellow paper. (go to story)
______________________



CODY
by Annie Campbell


I had gained only five pounds during my pregnancy, but walking in that oven-like heat made me feel like I had gained two hundred. My toes were so hot and swollen they looked like red potatoes and felt like they might explode. I could hardly wait for the heat wave to be over and my mysterious baby top reveal itself.
(go to story)

_____________________



The scandal does not seem to be with
Stormy, but one
that is generated
by a host of people
that think there
should be a
scandal.

Review by Gabreal Orgrease
(go to review)
_______________________

POETRY

DYLAN THOMAS
Before I Knocked (go to)

MARY GILLILAND
Vertical Before Dawn
Strips the East (go to)

FRANKLIN CRAWFORD
Burn the Timeline (go to)

CHRIS MACCORMICK Disremembrances of the
Russian Twilight (go to)

PETER FORTUNATO
1984 (go to)
___________________

by Daniel Lovell

I’d already been in bed four hours before I found out what the mattress pad was for. You don’t ask too many questions about hospital beds, in general, and I didn’t ask any about this one. They let me have a laptop, and the hospital has free wifi. My assumption is those things are supposed to make up for the horror I’m sitting on right now, just barely covered by the ratty mattress pad. (go to story)

(You may view the complete print version here)
(Click to Purchase as a print magazine
_______________________

IN THIS ISSUE–––

• DAVID S. WARREN
Memoiretorial
• MICHAEL CHAPPELL
Remembering Afghanistan.
• GEORGIA E. WARREN
The Woman Who Wore My Hat
• DAVID S. WARREN
The Third Leg
• FRANKLIN CRAWFORD
Dear Diary, 10,000 B.C.
• DANIEL LOVELL
Stain
• DAVID ROLLOW
Glad To Be Unhappy
• RHIAN ELLIS
Intercom
•STEVE KATZ
Caffein
ANNIE CAMPBELL
Cody
•NANCY VIEIRA COUTO
Lily, Mister Bluebird, and the Beginning and End of My Singing Career
• GABRIEL ORGREASE
Stormy Daniels, Full Disclosure

• DYLAN THOMAS Before I Knocked
• MARY GILLILAND Vertical Before Dawn Strips the East
• FRANKLIN CRAWFORD
Burn the Timeline
• CHRIS MACCORMICK Disremembrances of the Russian Twilight
• PETER FORTUNATO
1984

• MEMORY NUTS
OREN PIERCE Memory Nuts

• COVER
R. Saminora, - Paris



The focus of our next Metaphysical Times will be
"Weird Tales" (see full size)

 

 

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