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Cover by Mark Finn – Imagination (visit more "Fish Eye" cartoons by Mark Finn HERE)
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Editor's Notes
by David S. Warren

Some writers depend on a muse to open the gates of imagination, some on drugs, some on research, and some on discipline - like the aspiring novelist Charles Pekar-Stein who keeps his pens lined up beside his note pad and computer on a desk that does not look out a window. He also turns down the lights and closes his eyes to bring on the words, with the result that he can hardly read his hand-writing and if he uses the keyboard and his hands happen to be misplaced in the darkness, he turns out a sort of code which he does not bother to break because, really, the best ideas come to Pekar-Stein when he is AWAY from his station, with plenty of life around him: most generally at the State Diner where he jots story ideas on napkins and paper scraps. If he brings along so much as a blank sheet of note paper folded to the size of a match book, the gates of imagination feel they are being forced, and will usually not open for him. A sales receipt, a paper napkin, or a grocery list with some space on the back are not too threatening The result of his underhanded efforts is a pocket file of opening notes for stories he might or might not ever get to working hard on.



Unfortunately Charles has managed to complete nothing for this issue of the Metaphysical Times, but in order that these inspirations not go to waste, he has given us the ones he plans never to use, so you can write your own middle and end to these beginnings; doing the hard work of imagination yourself.
(go to story)

(go to Charles Pekar-Stein's notes)

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We are Nuts
by David S. Warren


I was sitting on our deck one afternoon this summer contemplating a grocery list, with a pencil behind my ear, when I picked up a nut just to shine it on my pant leg and roll it around in my hand. They get so glossy that you can almost see your face in one; but this time I saw that - on what we would usually call the back of the nut - this one had it’s own very real face; the face had eyes, and the eyes were looking at me.
When I examined it more closely, I got over the shock of illusion, and realized that though the nut had two undeniable eyes and an indentation that could be a mouth, it needed a nose, or at least to have its nostrils cleared. It DID have a nose bridge between the eyes. Of course the nut had no ears but mostly they would be hidden by that cap of glossy, chestnut hair.
So I used my pencil to clear the nose and complete the face. It didn’t require much, and the nut seemed almost grateful - even like it wanted to say something. Clearly it was THINKING something (click to go to beginning and end of article)


visit the whole crowd here
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Furuncle
by Rhian Ellis

The composer Scriabin took excellent care of his mustaches. These mustaches were reddish gold with silver threads and they tapered to elegant points. Sometimes they curled mischievously upward, sometimes they sagged earthward, and at other times they pointed heroically out to the sides. Like the furry and delicate antennae of a luna moth, they twitched and thrilled, receiving messages from the universe. Deep in thought, Scriabin would run his finger along them, first one, then the other. When he went out walking, his mustaches were the first part of him to greet the world. He wouldn’t feel like himself without them.
But one morning in London something was not quite right: a bump had appeared beneath the right-hand branch. He leaned close to the mirror and saw, rising up between the golden hairs, something like a small, purple volcano. It throbbed and pulsed and the touch of his thumb sent bolts of pain shooting across his face. (go to article)




Thanks for the compliment.
I find the mustache gets me a little respect and balances my face, which ... you may not have noticed ... has a considerable cerebral overburden. Also , the stash hides an old abscess scar ... AND, some people say it makes me look like the composer Scriabin.
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David Rollow reviews The Complete Poems of A.R. Ammons

A. R. Ammons, called Archie by all who knew him, had routines. He met friends for conversation in the coffee shop in the basement of Goldwin Smith Hall at Cornell (where he taught from 1964 until his retirement). He wrote poetry in the mornings on his old-fashioned office typewriter, letters after the mail came around noon, and he took a walk in the afternoon along Ithaca’s creeks and waterfalls, “every day a new walk.” (go to review)

Poem for Archie
by David S. Warren

....My first scheduled office meeting with Archie came after I had presented a story about an ex G.I. I had met on the Greek island Hydra, where he made poems writing with syrup and other food products on paper that he then baked in the oven, proposing to make edible poetry, although as it came out the oven, it was not even readable. At the end of the story, morbidly obsessed, the poet-artist is staring at some murky flotsam in the Hydra harbor, and he fails to notice a Butterfly as it passes over him and rises above it all.


(go to beginning of article)
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I Never Imagined This
by Sue-Ryn

When I was young, my family was always close to nature, but I never imagined then just how much closer nature would eventually get to me....People started turning to me for help healing their domestic animals. ...
About fourteen years ago, after a talk by a rehabilitator at our library, I was inspired to get a state license to rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife. It soon became apparent that I needed to get a federal license so I could work with migratory birds, because so many kept arriving for care. The first season I think we took care of a couple of dozen animals, and transported several raptors to a friend in central New York who rehabs mostly birds of prey. It’s grown into pretty much a year round way of life, though currently I only have two pigeons one little red squirrel who earned the name Houdini. I now care for somewhere between one hundred fifty and two hundred creatures each year. (go to article)

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Sinister Ballad of a Middle-Aged Man
Inconvenienced by the Way of the Left Hand
by Peter Wetherbee

The experience of breaking my right wrist has been just as enlightening as it’s been a pain in the butt. It turns out everything I care about doing is with my hands: plural. To add insult to injury, I’m finding that I’m a conservative stiff — which is definitely not how I like to think of myself. (go to story)

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by Peter Fortunato

Nine years since I left Doha, the capital of Qatar, where I lived and worked for four years, the experience in retrospect conflating to become one continuous heated day and night in the desert—only it’s not only a desert, and, also, like the sea, the desert is never the same desert from one day to the next. Didn’t Heraclitus say something like that—he was talking about never stepping into the same river twice, but you take my point. You can’t go back—and I haven’t been back to Doha, and yet, and yet, it also seems as if Doha has never left me.
(go to story)

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One for Miriam

by Dan Lovell

“Listen to me,” Jeff said, pointing. “I’m done trying to make you happy. I’m done stressing myself out, worried that the great Henry won’t be happy with my martinis. Maybe I’m not the problem. Did you ever think of that? Maybe you’re the problem. Maybe nothing will make you happy.”

“I’m happy, Jeff,”

Henry looked puzzled.

“You’re not happy,” Jeff’s voice rose. “You aren’t happy at all. You only think you’re happy when you’re sitting here with your imaginary girlfriend. Haven’t you noticed she never talks to anyone else? That she never drinks her martini?”

Jeff knew he’d crossed a line, but it was too late.

“Get it through your head, man. She’s not fucking coming. She’s never been here, and she never will be.”
Henry smirked. Jeff stormed away, hurling his bar towel onto the bar... continues at MetaphysicalTimes.com
(go to story)



 




Evening Out

by Gabrial Orgrease

The running joke had become that I was being passed off as Billy Gibbons from Zee Zee Top. I wandered the streets of the French Quarter with family and friends of family. Whenever anyone of the group shouted, “Billy Gibbons, everyone, Billy Gibbons!” I was to go “Har har har.” (go to story)
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When I Have Thoughts That I May Cease to Pee

by Franklin Crawford

My brain, which I am very attached to even though we’ve never met, is doomed to liquefy and bubble out of my ears, nose and mouth, shortly after I am as dead as the DNC.
It’s not the most pleasant thought my mind ever conjured, given that I suspect my brain doesn’t like to imagine its post-mortem condition any more than whatever this self – this symbiont with whom I share my weathered hide – wishes to dwell upon. (go to story)

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The Test

by Georgia E. Warren

As soon as I got back to my dorm room I remembered. There was no textbook, we were supposed to research the famous artwork of Milan. The test was to identify and discuss the Italian Renaissance art was located in Milan. It was late. The library was closed. I decided I should go to bed and try to get to the library before class.

But I was exhausted: I sat on my bed ready to take my shoes off and fell asleep in my clothes.

Within a minute a very nice Catholic Nun shook my shoulder and told me I should not sleep in the pews of the sanctuary. I told her the problem about my class. I did not tell her it was thousands of miles away
(go to article)________________________



Reiki: Just The Facts

"Take Me To The River"

by Don Brennan

“Whoa! Where did you come from?’’ I set it down on the picnic table as fragments of memories washed over me. It was an old friend that I had found as a child, on a family vacation, somewhere one summer. Even though it was still covered with bits of soil, it was easy to see that it was loaded with interesting minerals. “I’m going to have to hose you off.”
The next two mornings, I spent more time staring at the stone than reading my book. The words were creating images not from The Celestine Prophecy, but from the day this stone first came into my life.

I had glimpses of it sparkling
in a shallow pool of water at
the bottom of a riverbed.
(go to article)

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POETRY

Chris MacCormack
excerpt from
Packages (visit)
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by David Rollow

The Muse came knocking at the writer’s window on a night of wild weather. Her skin seen through the windowpanes was luminous and pale, except for her flushed cheeks. Her green eyes glistened. Never had she looked more beautiful. Gladdened by this unexpected visit--for the page lay empty on his table and the pen lay untouched by the page--the writer stood and unlocked the window, his heart surging against his ribs as if they, too, somehow, were to be unlocked and his heart set free. (go to story)

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by Mary Gilliland

Myth is longing. I lose myself in myth. When I would re-read the texts, or re-imagine them, myth led me out of family problems I could do nothing about. It contextualized the martyred strivings of Roman Catholic indoctrination. (excerpt, go to full story)

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Margarida, José, and the Queen

by by Nancy Vieira Couto

Margarida saw the Queen in that summer of 1901 when all the days were damp and filled with the smell of salt. She couldn’t see the future through the fog, but she imagined machines, money, and motion, a city crammed with tenement houses and streetcars. She was fourteen years old. She and her mother, Maria Julia, had just arrived in Ponta Delgada, having said good-bye forever to aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, the living and the dead.
(go to story)
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(You may view the complete print version here)
(Click to Purchase as a print magazine
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IN THIS ISSUE–––
EDITORIAL
• David S. Warren -
Editor's Notes

• Georgia E. Warren -
The Test

ARTICLES
• Sue Ryn -
I Never Imagined This

• Mary Gilliland -
Sky Dancer

• David S. Warren -
Poem to Archie

• Don Brennan -
Take Me To the River


• Peter Fortunato -
Surreal Really

• Peter Wetherbee -
Sinister Ballad of a
Middle-Aged Man


FICTION
David S.Warren -
We are Nuts


• Rhian Ellis -
Furuncle

• Garriel Orgrease -
Evening Out

• Daniel Lovell -
One for Miriam

• Nancy Viera Couto -
Margarida, Jose,
and the Queen

• David Rollow -
Your Stuff

• Franklin Crawford -
When I Have Thoughts
That I May Cease to Pee


REVIEW
• David Rollow -
Review: A. R. Ammons
Complete Poems


POETRY
• Chris MacCormack -
Packages (an excerpt)


The focus of our next Metaphysical Times will be "Memory." (see full size) (see full size)

 

 

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