Meditation on Gao Xingjian’s Soul Mountain by Ivan Klein

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Meditation on

Gao Xingjian’s Soul Mountain


by Ivan Klein


Is there a way to this so-called Soul Mountain of his?
And why are we wandering this cluttered earth if not to find it?

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Secondary Living by Adam Kelly Morton

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Secondary Living

by Adam Kelly Morton


"Last Call at RedStar", Copyright © Devin McCawley, 2015

“Last Call at RedStar”, Copyright © Devin McCawley, 2015


The Oyster Shack is closed and Bob is drunk, upstairs doing his cash. With the lights out and the front door locked, the cops won’t be able to see Carole and me having a few nightcaps after hours. Not that they come around on Tuesdays anyhow. Or ever.
We’re on to whiskey with our beers. Bob’s iPod is playing Exile on Main Street. Carole is beside me smoking Next Reds, ashing into a conch as Mick belts out “Loving Cup”. Bob might join us later. It’ll be all right if he does, because there’s no way I’m going to fuck this bitch tonight. Tomorrow morning is another story. I’m hungry for it when I’m hung. It’s the best cure.
“D’où tu viens, exactement?” Carole asks through her brown teeth; when we first met, a few days ago, she told me they’re because of a calcium deficiency from when she was an infant. But I’m pretty sure it’s nicotine too. Dentists nowadays can fix brown teeth. Otherwise, Carole’s not bad. Her hair is greasy, but blonde when she washes it. She’s skinny, but she’s got a fine ass. I’ll tap that shit first thing, with her lying on her side. Just the way I used to with June.
For now, Carole wants to know where I grew up. I light up another Players and take a pull of my pint while staring up at the fisherman’s net. “Doesn’t matter,” I tell her. “Montreal.”
“Ouais, mais d’où?” She wants to know if I’m from the suburbs. Fucking downtown whores are all the same: French or English, they want to get an edge on you, so they can fuck you over. Why can’t they just be sweet?
Fuck it. I’ll tell her. “West Island,” I say.
“I knew it,” she says, in that nasal, whiny, Quebecker drawl — smoke pouring out of her dragon’s maw. “One time, I think about moving out there, for my two boys. But it too far from downtown without a car.”
I don’t say anything, and throw back my whiskey. Carole picks up our Cutty Sark and pours me another thick one, clanking the bottle back down on the blue tiles.

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For Hersch by Steve Dalachinsky

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for hersch

by Steve Dalachinsky


"St.Sebastian, Paris", Copyright © Steve Dalachinsky, 2015

“St.Sebastian, Paris”, Copyright © Steve Dalachinsky, 2015

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The Long March by bart plantenga

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The Long March

by bart plantenga


The meditation of the trail: Walk along looking at the trail at your feet and don’t look about and just fall into a trance as the ground zips by. 

• Jack Kerouac

Don’t fall asleep on the Metro-North Train out of Grand Central late at night or you’ll end up somewhere you never in a million years thought you’d end up with the midnight hour approaching. If you’d been on that train, you could have heard me repeating the late-night mantra STAY AWAKE DON’T FALL ASLEEP … over and over and despite – or precisely BECAUSE of! – this mantra, and despite me imploring myself to stand up, go through your wallet, retie your shoe, make a list … I indeed conked out, clueless to the world and was only startled awake when a valise thudded against my seat, just as the signs flashed Ardsley-on-Hudson. I managed to gather whatever wits I had left and leapt out just as the doors began to squeeze shut in … uh… Tarrytown! Overshooting my destination, Dobbs Ferry, by about 5 or 6 miles to the south.

I’d gone to Manhattan to see the prog-grass band Girls on Grass, 2 Brooklyn women – and bassist friend Dave. Only something special can drag me out these days to the past-sell-by-date East Village to engage in that most consumerist of sidewalk dances: the shuffle-app-selfie-click-ice-cream-lick-dance. So only when: 1. my critical capacities tip below zero; or 2. when a friend is playing in a girl band at HiFi, which inhabits the ghostly space of the formerly renowned Brownie’s …

Girl on Grass in HiFi

And as I am about to tell you the rest of this tale, I again hear my partner’s voice of reason whispering sternly into my ear: Do not advertise your stupidity or drunkenness – not charming and not a career maker. Not her actual voice but the one my mind has filed on a mental mp3 under Disapproval/Admonish/Raised Eyebrows.

But I’m hardwired to tell stories like this because humility forges a crooked and poorly marked trail to nirvana, or some place like that. When I encounter an error of judgement nourished by alcohol [not too much, just the right measure I thought], it usually incites impetuous, flakey reactions on my part. Rather than wait for the next train down the track, I decided to walk home. By walking back I mean like walking 2 hours to atone. It’s like winding a tangle of yarn into a ball, a metaphor, you rightly notice, for my unraveled foibles. Yes, walk: It was 85∘with humidity at 120% – if that’s even possible. Whatever the numbers, it’s like walking the doggy paddle and the air is a swimming pool.

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Runaway Doors by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright

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Runaway Doors

by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright


"Follow Me", Copyright © Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, 2015

“Follow Me”, Copyright © Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, 2015

Door scratched out of homemade sky.
Door made of pink tongues
Forever telling jokes
To a door of white ash.
Door of my skull etched
Into a door of candle wind.
Doors buried under moth dust.
Doors with no business being doors.
Doors without borders.
The war on doors.
A door without a country.
A door that’s in a jam.
Runaway doors
Swaggering through leftover heaven.
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