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Karma at the Charlie Hotel: Fiction by Louella Lester
Acceptable Margin of Inventory Loss: Fiction by Charlie Kondek
The Racing Rocks: Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
The Preacher Woman of Reverie, Oklahoma: Fiction by Ann Marie Potter
Justice Served: Fiction by Glen Bush
A Broken String of Love Beads: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Revenge and Redemption: Fiction by Walt Trizna
Thirst: Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
The Solar Punks: Fiction by James Blakey
Rito Was a High Number: Fiction by Fred Andersen
The Parcel: Fiction by Robb White
Red Wine and Cyanide: Fiction by Adrian Fahy
The Crowd: Fiction by Jack Garrett
The Offal Truth: Fiction by Scott MacLeod
Madam Maree Sees Your Future: Flash Fiction by Jon Park
Wereworm: Flash Fiction by Daniel G Snethen
Promises: Flash fiction by Richard Brown
No Need to Cry: Flash Fiction by Zvi A. Sesling
The Classy Woman: Flash Fiction by William Kitcher
oh how i wish: Poem by Rob Plath
Bird in Flight, Nullarbor Plain, 1967: Poem by John Doyle
Pools: Poem by Bernice Holtzman
I Exist Inside an Invisible Poem Everlasting & Overflowing: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Let me drop the last chapter: Poem by Partha Sarkar
Excursion: The Cruise Ship Chronicles: Poem by Jake Sheff
We'll Always Have Two Things to Hold: Poem by Chandu Govind
why nothing else matters: Poem by John Sweet
the pale grey light of forgotten afternoons: Poem by John Sweet
Orchestra Class: Poem by Elizabeth Zelvin
The Old Lady Shows Her Mettle: Poem by Elizabeth Zelvin
Eggs Over Easy: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Pretty Face: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Another Saturday Night: Poem by Richard LeDue
My Death Knells: Poem by Richard LeDue
Poems as Cheap as Christmas Lights: Poem by Richard LeDue
Dead Work: Poem by John Grey
How He Died: Poem by John Grey
The Man in Their Midst: Poem by John Grey
First at Pimlico: Poem by Craig Kirchner
4 AM: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Leap Year: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Strange Gardens
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

John Sweet: why nothing else matters

104_ym_whynothingelsematters_bernice.jpg
Art by Bernice Holtzman 2024

why nothing else matters

 

by John Sweet

 

 

 

in the slow truth of broken afternoons,

waiting for warmth,

waiting for sunlight or at least for the names of

my children to be returned to me

 

and are you a believer?

 

have you learned to embrace

the politics of ignorance?

 

picture this

 

a sunday afternoon somewhere in the

first few weeks of autumn

 

a dying factory town

further upstate

 

and no one here

speaks of de chirico, but his

ghost is everywhere

 

no one speaks of cobain, but we all wear

the $5 t-shirts we bought at walmart

 

we turn 30 then 40 then 50 and

some of us fade but

none of us ever quite disappear

 

some of us stand down by the river

waiting for the bones of

slaughtered indians to wash ashore, and

do you understand why all pain is funny?

 

look

 

it’s okay to hate your government

 

it’s okay to hate your parents

 

odds are, they were never that crazy

about you, either, and no, you’ve got this

house you can’t afford and this

job you can’t stand

 

you had friends at some point,

but those days are gone, and by noon the

whole landscape has been painted

over in shades of grey

 

powerlines and cell phone towers and

all those potholed roads that do

nothing but turn back on

themselves

 

you arrive again

even as you leave

 

you are more or less human

 

it’s normal to feel a                                                   

little bit sick when you learn this

 

 

 

John Sweet sends greetings from the rural wastelands of upstate NY. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in compassionate nihilism which, as luck would have it, has all the best bands. His published collections include NO ONE STARVES IN A NATION OF CORPSES (2020 Analog Submission Press) and THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY THIS IS GOING TO END (Cyberwit, 2023).

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