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We the Jury; Fiction by Barbara Stanley
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When You're Dead, You're Done!: Fiction by Pamela Ebel
Family Business: Fiction by Donald Glass
Colors: Flash Fiction by Bernice Holtzman
Gladiators: Flash Fiction by John C. Mannone
Pigeons in the Park: Flash Fiction by Roy Dorman
Kitsy: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
the look of legs: Poem by Meg Baird
Mike's 80th Birthday: Poem by Elizabeth Zelvin
The Art of Flying: Poem by John C. Mannone
Magazine Sestina: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Been Down So Low, It Now Sounds Great: Poem by Bradford Middleton
the burnt globe and the pregnancy: Poem by Partha Sarkar
Evening Alone: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Larry, Moe, and Me: Poem by Craig Kirchner
I Live the Life I Chose: Poem by Richelle Slota
Death House: Poem by Richelle Slota
he died of cancer: Poem by Wayne F. Burke
Night: Poem by Wayne F. Burke
and they are prancing: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
full of thoughts and hopes: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
threading a needle: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Atlas Yearns for Retirement: Poem by Richard Allen Taylor
Frown: Poem by Richard Allen Taylor
Why is the Sky Cerulean?: Poem by Richard Allen Taylor
Awakening: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Swirling in the Chaos: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
The Moira: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Midnight Molt: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Moments Before Awakening: Poem by Michael Keshigian
The Messenger: Poem by Michael Keshigian
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Richard Allen Taylor: Atlas Yearns for Retirement

103_ym_atlasyearsforretirement_bernie.jpg
Art by Bernice Holtzman 2024

Atlas Yearns for Retirement

 

by Richard Allen Taylor

                  

Zeus sentenced me to hold up the sky, penance for my rebellion.

Not satisfied, mortals added the world to my burden.

 

A god who willingly accepts responsibility, I bear the globe

without rancor. I have a reputation, not merely a planet, to uphold.

 

Men named an ocean after me, sculpted my image with a sphere

on my shoulders. So there it stays. In many places, crowds marvel

 

at my likeness: in Naples, Melbourne, Rockefeller Center. I appear

on the covers of map books in all major libraries and bookstores.

 

Online vendors offer a splendid variety of figurines and other

artistic renderings of me.

 

I hoped my load would lighten, as war and cruelty abated.

It grew heavier. After rotator cuff surgery, I shifted all the weight

 

to one shoulder. I keep turning the world to keep the hot spots—

Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, Ukraine, Somalia—from burning

 

my neck. Finding a suitable volunteer to replace me has gone

nowhere. Many crave the glory, but no one wants the work.  



Richard Allen Taylor is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Letters to Karen Carpenter and Other Poems (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2023). His poems, articles and reviews have appeared in Rattle, Comstock Review, and Aeolian Harp, among others. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Taylor formerly served as review editor for The Main Street Rag and co-editor of Kakalak. After retiring from his business career, he earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and now resides in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Bernice Holtzman’s paintings and collages have appeared in shows at various venues in Manhattan, including the Back Fence in Greenwich Village, the Producer’s Club, the Black Door Gallery on W. 26th St., and one other place she can’t remember, but it was in a basement, and she was well received. She is the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2024