Marsh Sirens

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Marsh Sirens

The water rambled through rills, gathered in swamps hidden by briars that protected its’ secrets.

Boulders forged by ancient volcanoes and touched by indigenous hands rest quietly beneath the muddy bogs.

He transformed brambles and quagmire to grass and pond, only to reveal latent powers.

Many a man were caught by the Marsh-Siren’s song. Until the stones rose up in threes, silencing her call.

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Forget

Illustration by Pascal Campion

I bumped you with my bike. That was how we met; some introduction, huh?

I don’t remember what you said then… something that made me laugh.

I know you have forgotten.

I promise I will always keep reminding you, telling you tales of the man that I love.

Because, even if you don’t remember, even so much as his name, you are that man.

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A Manhattan Tide

A spectrum ranging from bizarre to absurd

A pinch of perverse excitement

to a legion of greed with violent undertone

A trifle of coerced romance

leads to suspicions of provoked, but nostalgic liaisons

Epidemic insomnia

under a requiem of painted faces

pleased by feverish adventure for the macabre

garnished with widespread harmony and

plagued by ignorance-bliss

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Everything’s a Revolution!

Gonna set myself on fire.
Sparks flyin’, people cryin’, soul takin’ flight.
All’s for the best though. Just doin’ what I believe.
No one’ll see it comin, no precedent for this.
Gonna make a mark in history.
Talk forever ’bout me, the bravery, the soul on fire.
It’s gonna happen. Today, tomorrow, whenever.
Gonna set myself on fire.
Just haven’t found a cause yet.

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Sirius

Sirius shone one evening, and I thought about the girl in the white dress with a little dog tucked under her arm.

Why do you cosset that animal so, my love?

Now she engaged in serious conversation with friends.

A valorous volley of muffled barks woke me, or was it my wife’s sibilant snore? Either way, my happiness was not written in the stars.

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The Bucket List

“Wow.” William’s gaze shifts to the floor. He rubs hard at his brow; his hand noticeably tremors. “So, what does this mean?” William asks.

The doctor crosses his hands and rests them on his desk. “Well, Bill, it means you have a second chance at life. This only happens in a very small percentage of cases.”

“I guess I should feel relieved. It just feels… strange. Not sure what I should do.” A swell of uncertainty rises to the back of William’s mouth.

“It’s been a long road. Take a deep breath, and then let that cross slide off the crutch of your shoulders.

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Awakening

Everything got better when the butterflies took over.
The economy soared, house prices dropped, the national debt floated away on the breeze.
Exterminating the humans was a sad necessity.
There are some left… in protected habitats. They were put to sleep, stored in castles they never dared occupy.
We sometimes wonder what they’re thinking of.
When they wake up, the experiment will be complete.

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Branded

Adolph sat in his leather rocker the morning after his wedding in 1918; his cigar melted a dime sized hole into its arm. Years passed… burns became more frequent. 1921 was the birth and fiery marking of his first-born daughter. 1967 brought the untimely death of his son and a singe of grief. Adolph’s life has branded the rocker indelibly… it’s his favorite chair.

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Less Lefts

“Left, left… then left again,” she pauses, “you know what… just keep left all the way. You can’t go wrong,” inviting with whimsy.

Stepping inside, he stares at her with a quizzical eye… her smile is so pure.

He can hear her laughing, deep in the thicket, the privet, the jungle of turns, all lefts, all wrongs.

Those last few turns looked awfully familiar.

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Coming Out in a Small Town

National Coming Out Day (U.S.) was Sunday, October 11 2015. Created by the Human Rights Campaign in 1988, this day was designed to support LGBTQ people and their allies in becoming more visible, with an optimistic promise of improved acceptance. In honor of this, I sat down with my friend and colleague, George Dukes III. George is one of the principal board members of North Star, the local LGBTQ center in Winston-Salem, NC. George knows what it’s like to come out as a gay man in a small, Southern, largely conservative town. The following interview includes his guidance for other gay people who find themselves in a similar situation.

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Paddock Magic

When I was a little girl, from the moment I stepped out of bed, I would be off and running to the neighborhood park. Paddock Park was my daily trip to the moon. Some of my most cherished memories are of Paddock, and I have often dreamed of the day I would pass the memories down to my children.

I was all but a glimpse to my mother as I scurried past her to my treasured Huffy, pink with sapphire trim. Paddock was a straight shot from my house. My pedaling, impatient and frenzied, reflected my anticipation. Paddock could be heard before it could be seen,

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The Battle

He spent years in a sanatorium battling metaphors. Later he rented a room on the beachfront. He bought an aquarium because he was never able to see fish in the ocean, even though it was reportedly full of them. One day the aquarium clouded up. He was no longer able to see his precious firefish. His life became clouded. He returned to the sanatorium.

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