All posts by editor415

Poetry: “Cars”, Featuring Image: “En El Trafico”

Cars

 

if we could talk for hours

I’d tell you of planned nights

nights that I have mapped and charted

that we might journey through and

visit every part of

no traffic on the roads

just us

exploring slick streams

that keep replenishing at the

toss of a pebble 

gently flown to the waters

if we could touch for hours

you’d know of planned nights

riding in warm cars

the motor idling at the

dips of rivers

idling at quiet, swaying 

forest trees

trees bending silence in our ears

you, a canopy over me

as we dull the motor

and shift into night

 

Written By: Gloria Keeley

About the Author: I’m a graduate of San Francisco State University with a BA and MA in Creative Writing. My work has appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Slipstream, FORUM and other journals. I graduated from CCSF and I taught at CCSF for 34 years and was the editor of FORUM in 1969.

en el trafico_bnw

Visual Art “En El Trafico” By: Erick Orihuela

About the Artist: Erick Orihuela is an Ethnic Studies and Film as Literature high school teacher. He grew up in the Mission District after moving from Mexico City. For him, teaching is a means of showing people his favorite philosophers: Frantz Fanon, Silvia Federici, San Te of the Shaolin Temple, and MF Doom. Takes pictures to better balance work and ludic activities.

Fiction: “The Other Day”, Featuring Image: “Sink on Farm”

The Other Day

The other day– bear in mind that when I say the other day I am referencing any day between the present and my birth, I was at the Powell Muni station coming home with my date. Well, technically speaking, it wasn’t the other day, but the other night. Also while we are getting technical, referring to Koana as my date is a bit of a stretch. Because is it really a date if you slam back a few luke-warm Jameson shots in a seedy dive in the Tenderloin with someone you met on Hinge and decided 45 minutes later you were going to sleep together and probably never
speak again?
For the record, that’s exactly what happened, but that’s not really what this story is about.
Powell was putrid smelling, rancid. You know the scent. Rotting waste, urine, feces, God knows what else. Also, it was hot. Hotter than hell. Satan’s ball sack level hot. Maybe it was because the earth is literally on fire, but it was also September, Indian Summer. During the day the city nearly reached a hundred degrees. The evening was cooler, but still stifling; you felt like you were trying to breathe in a garbage bag. You might be wondering why I am going on and on about the heat, but at that particular moment I remember being quite fixated on it. I was self conscious about how sweaty and possibly smelly I was–wondering if I was too much of those things to get naked with a stranger.
I did a quick sniff check after we sat down while Koana glanced at her iPhone. I
reapplied deodorant before meeting up with her. My pits proved to be holding up. Thank god. I turned to her, and said the first thing that popped into my head. “Is that a Google phone?” I have no idea why. I knew it wasn’t. Maybe I was just trying to draw attention away from the fact that my nose had just been in my armpit.
“No, its an iPhone.”
“Oh, I have a Google phone.”
“Okay,” she snorted and went back to texting.
Literally what the fuck is wrong with you Lilith. I had this affliction, where my brain
completely collapses in on itself like a dying star around pretty girls, or should I say women? I need to break that habit, referring to women as girls. You would think it would be easy, since I know I don’t like it when men do it to me.
I adjusted myself on the seat. The sweat from my thigh had completely stuck itself to the metal, like some sort of industrial grade adhesive glue. It stung when I moved it, like ripping off a bandaid. My leg spazzed a bit. Koana must have mistook this for some sort of signal. She put her hand on my thigh. I wasn’t mad about it. I put my arm around her, and pulled her in closer to me. I couldn’t help but think we were kind of cute.
“The N-Judah is the bane of my existence,” I announced, louder and more boisterous than I intended. I had just finished a three month sobriety streak and my tolerance had plummeted.

Koana cackled and gave my leg a little squeeze above my knee. She might have been tipsy as well. She was fairly petite. “We’ve been waiting like forty-five seconds, Doll.”

If anyone else addressed me as “Doll” I would have instantly despised them, but for her it totally worked. Some people are just like that, so confident in their quirky idiosyncrasies they can pull off anything.
“It feels longer.” I glanced at the screen, the red-lights suggested the next N would be
here in 8 and 17 minutes, but I had been down this road before, lied to far too often by that sign to find it believable. “Waiting for the N kind of brings out the worst in me.”
“Hmm, well how about we do something more interesting to pass the time?” she
suggested, doing that cheesy double eyebrow raise, coupled with a sly grin.
She leaned in,
“Oh no, not PDA,” I said sarcastically.
We started making out. She was a really good kisser, and someone who knew what they were doing with her hands. I was eager to get her home.
“Excuse me,” someone interrupted. It was a delicate, gentle nudge. Like when you were a kid and your mom would wake you up from a deep slumber to get ready for school, but much like that situation, it didn’t matter how polite the intrusion was, you were going to be, at the very least, irritated at the source of the sudden disturbance.
We turned around and responded with “Yes?” and “Yeah?”
A homeless man was standing before us. He was stumbling, or swaying a little, probably drunk or high, or a little of both. He was coherent though, not slurring or anything.
“Can I ask yous a question?”
“Maybe?” I allowed.
“It’s personal,” he explained.
“Probably not then,” I said, annoyed. I turned to Koana. Her expression was hard to read. I wished I had known her better, so we could communicate nonverbally the way close friends do.
“Which one of you is the more dominant one?” he asked with a shit-eating grin.
“Yeah, you definitely can’t ask that.”
“Well it’s not that straight forward,” Koana answered in a reasonable tone, at the same
time as me.
I kind of loved her for that. Of course the polyamorous UC Berkley Gender&Sexuality
Studies graduate who LARPed on the weekends would answer that question like that.
“Yeah man, don’t be so heteronormative!” I chuckled.
The man looked like he was poised to respond, but then a lot of bizarre occurrences
happened at once.
The J-Church pulled up and a gaggle of older women in their sixties got off the train.
Their style was campy. Bright make-up. Big hair. And even bigger personalities. They were laughing and shrieking so loud, a chorus of those gut-busting belly laughs that go on and on and on until you start to feel almost sick. The only coherent sentence I managed to make out was something along the lines of, “So that’s what I was doing at the police station in 1975 at three in the morning!” Their howling laughter was cut as abrupt and as unnerving as seeing a cyclist flying down a hill, crashing and being flung off and over their handlebars.
The ensuing chaos was caused by a single pigeon.
The pigeon descended from the entrance platform far more graceful than you would think a rat with wings could, like a swan dive. The pigeon flew the length of the platform, alongside where the J had been an instance before, leaving in its wake a steady stream of shit. It looked like white rain, descending upon its victims in a perfect parabolic arch. It was kind of remarkable looking. Not beautiful or anything, but something that would have made an entrancing photo if
you were fortunate enough to capture it.
It took them a few seconds to register what had happened, but you can tell when it did.
The ladies started shrieking and running out of the station, frantically waving their purses in the air, as if to ward off any other unanticipated aerial attacks, fowl or otherwise.
All three of us were looking at one another with jaws dropped and covered mouths,
attempting to stifle our giggles.
“Looks like the pigeon is the dominant one,” the woman seated next to us added, without even looking up from her book. I hadn’t even noticed her before.
Our laughter broke like a dam had exploded. We were doubled over even more
theatrically then the women covered in pigeon shit before– well before they were covered in pigeon shit. I practically couldn’t see from the tears in my eyes when the N arrived. Koana and I got on the train hand-in-hand with a jovial wave goodbye to the man. It took us a few stops to finally calm down.
Koana let out a deep exhale, almost like a sigh.“Sometimes it’s just good to laugh,” she
said, resting her head on my shoulder.
“Definitely,” I agreed. I held her arm in my lap and started running my fingertips up and down her forearm.
“I kind of needed a night like this,” she added, “I got fired recently. I’m hella stressed.”
“Oh no, what happened?”
“Well the other day–”

 

Written By: Francesca Bavaro

Sink On Farm_Visual Arts_Photography

Visual Art “Sink on Farm” By: Gloria Keeley

About the Artist: I’m a graduate of San Francisco State University with a BA and MA in Creative Writing. My work has appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Slipstream, FORUM and other journals. I graduated from CCSF and I taught at CCSF for 34 years and was the editor of FORUM in 1969.

POETRY: “A LITTLE LIFE SAVED TODAY”, VISUAL ART: “foggy tree”

A Little Life Saved Today

 

On the might-have-been pristine

sand of Ocean Beach,

clear, with the late-afternoon sun balming

me

runners

childers

mothers & fathers (the guardians of the inheritors)

picnickers

smokers

surfers

fishers

 

I saw the hulking black crows chowing down on slick sellophane

and thought of the footage I’d seen of the bodies

split

open,

the feathers, the bones, the skin laid

waste

to make plain the carnage,

to show the mis-guided hunger and our (see list above) appetite

for plastic.

 

I walked slowly toward the birds and they retreated dropping the

torn, chewed-over strips of candy wrappers.

I gathered they still had fear of my kind, and I gathered

up their would-have-been meal in my hand.

 

Sorry, I said, for taking your food, but it ain’t. Nipping this in the beak, right now.

I might be saving your life, you see. You can’t digest:

 

sellophane strips (7)

cigarette butts (8)

bottle tops (4)

take-out containers (1)

foil wrappers (6)

plastic cups (2)

fishing line (2)

 

I filled a (plastic) bag with my haul and walked along the water’s edge,

the ocean giving me all I wanted

on this afternoon, free of work and the circular chatter of my thoughts.

 

A little life saved today.

Written By: Bette McDonnell

Contact: Kharmanci@gmail.com

Visual Art By: Kerim Harmanci

About the Artist: Kerim Harmanci – raised in PA and NY – is a San Francisco photographer and student at City College, currently taking darkroom and lighting classes as well as peer mentoring and doing aerial drone photography on his days off.

POETRY: “IRREVOCABLE”, FEATURING IMAGE “BeKind”

Irrevocable

you look like a ghost

you look haunted

you look hunted

 

barely alive, clinging to a bottle

bruises on your fists

a cut under your eye

 

like a caged animal

lost and confused

lashing out in every direction

 

all you know is that bottle

and that anger

I can smell your anger

 

rising off you like steam

flickering down unspeakable paths

into pitch blackness

 

did you ever find it

whatever you were searching for in the bottom of that pit

or did it eat you alive

 

I don’t remember anymore

those doors are locked

I can still hear one of us screaming

 

Written By: Chris Lukens

Be Kind_Mixed Media Photography_Kseniia Ha.jpg

Visual Art By: Kseniia Ha

About the Artist: In the past, I have learned how to draw religious icons, following all the scholastic rules. I have studied perfection in the craft, technique and formula of how to draw the divine face, until I finally came to feel an intangible truth: that all people on Earth already are ideal. We already are what we are searching for. I truly believe that we are the iconic images.

Fiction: “The Clipboard”, Featuring Image: “Macrobiotic”

The Clipboard

 

Scott is naked. He is stretched out in the hospital bed on the 5th Floor of San Francisco General Hospital. A small blanket covers his body from the waist down. He can’t get comfortable. Every time he attempts to lie on his side, the muscle bound and very serious young man in the navy-blue scrubs quickly repositions him on this back. This wasn’t how he had planned this day.

He had arrived via ambulance just after midnight. Once the stretcher passed the threshold of the ER, Scott was under-the-microscope, he besieged with attention. His shoulder was aching. There were contusions on his right shin and just above his left eye. A peripheral IV line was fashioned on his left hand and a PICC line was inserted in his right arm. 

What had they found? He was in the dark. Everyone he attempted to speak to seemed to cock their heads left to right, like an old-time coo-coo clock with a half-smile. They’d pat his hand and disappear like a mirage. On rinse and repeat, he kept hearing, “try and get some sleep” and “the doctor will be in soon.” He was a mime but in reverse. Pity took hold. His body was tight and constricted. Everyone kept picking up a clipboard fastened to the side of his bed and jotting down a few sentences. He really wanted to be home in his plush queen-sized bed but his requests to be released were shrugged off. Scott began to feel tired and began to doze.

Scott was a success. He had plenty of money in the bank. Not a fat-cat but enough to cuddle-up like a calico in the afternoon sun. He never fretted about the future with a retirement and deferred comp package on steroids. Without a moment’s notice, he could pick up the phone and with wheels up, he’d be wheels down in Hawaii or Brazil hours later. Walking into a room, he was treated magna cum laude by friends, family and neighbors. He was Julie the Cruise Director, planning the most elaborate galas or a quiet weekend soiree in Big Sur. Physically, he was forced to duck underneath most doorways. His olive skin was brushed with a light mocha finish having striations in every direction. Lovingly, Scott was Michael Jackson to everyone’s Paul McCartney. Men vied for his attention as if he was a celebrity walking a press line. Scott was loved with an occasional frenemy but always greeted with a daisy, not a bayonet. 

Yet, Scott dabbled in deception. His brush strokes were short. Either beige, grey or black. No white to be found. He muted his colors with omission. His expansive canvas was draped in missed opportunities. He never told anyone what was really going on. He regularly stated, “Oh I’m fine,” when asked “How are You?”.  Or “Everything is just great.” And sometimes with a chuckle, “No complaints here, no one ever listens anyways.” Scott’s responses were like a cop clearing a crime scene–nothing to see here. It was obvious, Scott most feared judgement or the perception he was weak. Scott didn’t want to discuss his condition. He didn’t want to share about his year long struggle. He had long since abandoned his mantra “Honest in All of Your Affairs” and the cracks in his aging infrastructure were beginning to show.

Not surprisingly, he had found himself being loaded into a set of double-doors below a Code 3 siren. Flashing red and squelching in every direction. And as it sped away through the tree-lined streets, he was speechless. Through the back of the speeding ambulance, the images became apparitions. Appearing. Disappearing. Like dew on a windshield exposed to defrost. First Morning Due Café. Gone. Then Delores Street Law Offices. Gone. Next Tartine Bakery. Gone. His feelings were a fallen boulder upon his chest. Scott was physically exhausted, mentally fatigued and spirituality bankrupt. And then the paramedics with their questions. “When was the last time you had anything to eat? Are you on any medications? Do you remember how you hurt yourself?” Each one damning him to the next. He opened his mouth but only a few words would dribble out. His thoughts trailing off into the abys. His neurotransmitters were on life-support and his circuit board was fried.

As Scott opened his eyes, he focused on the starkness of his room. As he glances around, he’s taken back by the off-white polyvinyl wallpaper showering all four walls. He looks up. There’s a silver-grey colored serpentine pattern which his bed curtain follows. He spots a dry eraser board across the room. In large black letters, he sees Room 504. Below it says “Saturday, September 15, 2013”. That couldn’t be right. Somebody made a mistake. It was only Thursday. He shrugged it off. He eyed two lithographs on each side of the 24” flat-screen TV. The left one read 100th Annual Nantucket Art and Wine Festival. He makes out a muted lawn chair and a beach blanket flanking it. He thinks, very David Hockey. 

As he attempts to focus and read the other piece, a small woman in a white coat enters. “Hello Scott, I am Dr. Waybill,” she says. She has pixie length red hair. She’s boyish and elf-like. Scott thinks, oh my God, my doctor is Frodo. He laughs out loud. She has a Cheshire grin. Her pen is adorned with simulated red, green, pink and gold rhinestones. There’s a small lavender and pink ribbon jutting out from the top of it. It’s cheap but pretty.

She picks up the clipboard and stiffens slightly. She begins asking questions. First, “how are you”. Easy. “I’m fine.” Silence except for the short movements of her bejeweled ballpoint pen. Next, “do you know how you arrived here at the hospital.” Another easy one. “Ambulance.” More writing. “Do you know how long you’ve been here.” He thinks for a moment. “Hmmm, 6 hours. No wait, 8 hours tops?” Scott is pleased with his answer. She pauses. Her pen then advances but there’s a procession of sentences. Scott attempts to sit-up. “What, what?” Dr. Waybill looks directly into his eyes. He’s uncomfortable. He can feel a burning sensation between his butt crack. For the first time, he smells his own shit. She tells Scott he’s been here for the last 2 days and they need to run more tests, possibly an MRI. He would need to stay at least another 24 hours. Dr. Waybill returned the clipboard and exited the room. That damn clipboard. What had they discovered?

His rational mind had run a marathon. He was on running on empty. His stomach began to ping. He craved familiarity. Some ramen please! He wanted answers and received none. He clinched his fist. His forearms began to cramp. He relaxed and they slowly receded. He couldn’t even be angry. His body initiated a prolonged yawn and he turned his head away from the window.

Scott drifted again but awoke and he wasn’t alone. A language unfamiliar to him was being spoken. Their inflections were foreign. There were a few hands upon his body. At first two but last count, four. Small beads of water trickled down the back of his legs. He was on his side. Elation to be off of his back. Scott is being held up on his side with two hands and the other set is applying soft, repetitive motions with a warm wash cloth around his ass. Please, oh please, keep scrubbing. The pungent smell of lavender and tee tree filled his nostrils. Scott catches his attributors eyes. He’s short. He’s light brown with jet black hair. His name badge reads Note. Like music to his ears. He’s smiling as he dips the washcloth into the pink-colored wash basin. He slowly wrings it out. Scott can hear the run-off trickle back into the basin. He’s beautiful. He’s an angel. Note applies pressure and moisture to Scott’s crotch. The water droplets move gently through his pubic hair. It tickles only briefly. With small dabbing motions, Note is meticulous. He surprisingly begins washing the shaft of Scott’s endowment. Scott’s nipples harden. Scott tenses up at the sensation. Note continues. Scott’s testicles constrict. His penis is engorged. His brain begins to hum. Note pays no attention to Scott’s recent developments.

Note finishes and as Scott is slowly lowered onto his back, he sees Note standing clipboard in-hand. He’s scribbling down a few lines. Scott didn’t mean to get hard. Why would he write that down? Scott is distracted as Note’s accomplice repositions Scott’s cock and covers him with a new unsoiled blanket. Note returns the clipboard and smiles briefly. Selfishly, Scott wants a hug or a little peck. He dismisses the thought. Not good for the clipboard. As Note turns to leave, Scott attempts to throw him a kiss but he is unable to touch his fingers to his mouth. Maybe next time.

After a few minutes, Scott realized he had more questions than answers. He began to ponder when they scheduled his MRI. Clipboard. When was he going to eat? Clipboard. Was his family notified? What about his emergency contact? What about work, had HR been notified? Clipboard, clipboard, clipboard. His world had shrunk. His life had been reduced to the opinions of people who really didn’t know or understand him. And those opinions randomly scribbled on a sixty-nine-cent clipboard.

Scott’s train-of-thought was interrupted with the familiar cadence of Tagalog. San Francisco and Tagalog were like a burger and fries. He was reassured with a tinge of warmth. A Filipina woman dressed in pastel-flowered scrubs enters. She has a round-face with a small smile. She is mildly jovial. She’s unearthly. A cherub. She attempts small talk while briefly checking his vitals and repositioning his IV lines. She reaches underneath the blanket and with a light touch checks his pulse. She reaches for the clipboard. A quick notation. She reaches behind him and he hears Velcro separating. She states she’ll need the bigger cuff. She sets the clipboard on top of the bed. It begins to slip off the bed. As Scott reaches for it, he manages to displace half of his blanket as he catches it with a few fingers. He’s elated. He grabs it just in time. The afternoon sun pierces the room and for the first time he can see the soft white Velcro bands around his wrists and ankles fastened to the sides of his hospital bed. He can no longer hear any sounds. He is still and silent. His breathing feels shallow. He glances around and his gaze focuses upon the clipboard. It’s slightly askew. He can make out the hospital logo. He begins to read. But his eyes fail him. He shuts his eyes tightly. It’s worked before. He must focus before it’s removed. His eyes open wide and for the first time, he can see. It is clear as the rays of light through the 5th floor window. There it is. It was there all along. EXTREME NARCOTIC INTOXICATION. Scott might be sick but his condition was no longer a secret. They all knew him well. Therefore, the clipboard knew him well. The epiphany exploded in his head.  The torment of the benzodiazepines was defined. The amber bottle’s hold on him had been determined. He had been rescued. His days were no longer numbered. They had been replaced with fifty-one fifty. He began to wail. It was over.

 

Written By: Vincent Calvarese

About the Author: As a writer and visual artist, he found his wings amongst his heroes of Eureka Valley. Using the San Francisco Bay Area as his canvas, he highlights themes of restorative justice in The Final Visit, familial pain in The Flesh of the Father, gun violence in Three Cloves of Garlic, the pharmaceutical crisis in The Clipboard and the gentrifying 7×7 plain in The Slanted Winds Down Guerrero Street. He is a past General and Poetry Editor for Forum Magazine.

Macrobiotic_Visual Arts_Photography

Visual Art “Microbiotic” By: Nikos Kihem

About the Artist: Nikos Kihem is a bicycle, motorcycle, world traveler and music lover. He enjoys reading graphics novels in newly discovered lonely benches. He is an award-winning photographer and writer living in Athens, Greece. His poetry publication is “οι στροφές και ο δρόμος”(the road and it’s turns). You may visit him at kihem.com or send an inquiry to nikos.kihem@gmail.com.

Fiction: “Waning Crescent”, Featuring Image: “Surfer”

Waning Crescent

He leaned against the wall, long legs crossed at the ankles. A cigarette dangled from his hand, smoke leaking from his lips in a slow, swirling haze. His hair, obsidian-black, rose in well-oiled spikes from the crown of his head. The sharp lapels of his jacket folded back across his chest, revealing a tantalizing ‘v’ of flesh. 

She gazed at him from across the corridor. Tightness gripped her stomach. She tried to open her mouth, to say something to him. But her jaw was clenched. Wired shut. She breathed deeply through her nostrils; shoved her trembling, pale hands deep into her pockets. 

He turned towards her. His blue irises seemed to run up and down her body, a smirk playing on his full, red lips. 

She flinched and turned away, as though blinded by a sudden light. Blood rushed to her face, tiny pinpricks of heat stinging her cheeks.

He flicked his cigarette to the ground and pushed himself from the wall, striding up the corridor with long, purposeful steps. 

Heart pounding, she straightened her shoulders, arched her back, pushed her small breasts forward. She lifted her face towards him, pale and smiling, lips bent into a frail crescent.

He swept by her without noticing.

She felt the coldness of his shadow as he passed over her, his footsteps echoing down the empty corridor.

 

Written By: Jennifer Peloso

About the Author: Jennifer is a writer and non-profit administrator from the San Francisco Bay Area. She obtained two degrees in English from UCLA and King’s College London, respectively. She runs a local writing group and spends her non-writing time developing her nerdier interests in LARPing, gaming, cooking, and historical research.

Surfer_Visual Arts_Photography

Visual Art “Surfer” By: Brian Lopez

About the Artist: Brian Lopez is a San Francisco based photographer, specializing in the documentation of bay area music, and local underground music communities and subcultures. More of his work can be found on his instagram @bayexploria.

Poetry: “Epitaph for Frank”, Featuring Image: “Waves”

Epitaph For Frank

 

If you want to remember me

Go to the sea and feel the breeze

Drive with the windows down

I’ll be along for the ride

 

When you can’t feel my touch 

Reach your hand out to a friend,

Smile at a child, call her by her name,

Gaze for a moment into her eyes

 

If you miss my voice

Sing a song of love

Of camaraderie, of strangers

Brought together as one

 

If memories of me are fading

Compose a poem of your own

Do it by hand, let it flow

I’ll be with you then

 

When I’m gone, move on,

Enter the living, breathing day, 

Offer a fresh white rose to 

A stranger, pause and stay

 

Written By: Doug Johnson

About the Author: I was born in St. Louis and moved to San Francisco in 1996. My father was a writer (non-fiction). I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Thomas Jefferson School (St. Louis) and my teachers for introducing me to the world of creativity and poetry.

Waves_Visual Arts_Photography

Visual Art “Waves” By: Theresa Cruz

Poetry: “Earthly Things”, Featuring Image: “Foggy Curve”

“earthly things”

 

In the dip of my suspension bridge heart

lies a letter to my next incarnation.

 

It contains secrets once held in my cavities now

paused, hanging in the negative space,

lodged between beginnings like foodstuff

in one’s teeth. As non-memories

 

become, only earthly things matter now. 

First words, chopsticks, rosaries, goosebumps—

life’s details encrypted into non-consciousness 

and awaiting translation. We seek divinity,

 

not knowing it’s here in our lungs 

and dirty laundry; we need only unravel 

our harrowed orbits and lay flat to dry. 

Written By: Aiya Madarang

About the Author: Aiya is a creative writing student at CCSF and a member of the SF art collective Syzygy. She holds a bachelor’s in linguistics from UC Santa Cruz. She is a lover of words, the layers beneath them, and the spaces between them.

Contact: Kharmanci@gmail.com
Contact: Kharmanci@gmail.com

 

Visual Art By: Kerim Harmanci

About the Artist: Kerim Harmanci – raised in PA and NY – is a San Francisco photographer and student at City College, currently taking darkroom and lighting classes as well as peer mentoring and doing aerial drone photography on his days off.

Poetry: “Lamentation”, Featuring Image: “Ruth Bader Ginsburg”

Lamentation

 

‘Tis known age comes to each and all who’ve been

But what, I ponder is such change about?

No more, soft babe-in-arms, oh how I miss that skin, 

Like alligator, now, and that fact makes me pout.

A mind, in school days, fast, at last enjoys

Slow cogitation in this elder manifestation

But thick’ning waist, chipping nails; each loss so annoys;

Though very small price to pay for continuation.

In age, youth’s lustrous sheen shuns hair and eyes,

The glow of rose no longer cheers the cheek.

Yet, the twilight owl within this aged breast soon flies

With taloned understanding when deemed time to speak.

          Growing old may be but lamentation;

          And yet, each indignity invites some revelation.

Written By: Claire Heinzelman

About the Author: Claire Heinzelman is enjoying retirement from serial careers of (reverse order) music education, advocacy training for families of children with special needs and corporate finance. To the untrained eye, this progression may not make sense; nonetheless, each chapter has provided a different lens through which to observe life and attempt to capture it on the page.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg_Visual Arts_Acrylic

Visual Art Image Titled “Ruth Bader Ginsberg” By: Ana Lazaro

About the Artist: Ana Lazaro is a San Francisco based artist. She considers herself a world citizen and has, since childhood, had a passion for capturing moods and emotions through her portraiture. Ana’s current work is inspired by her desire to celebrate empowered women making a difference across the globe.

Poetry: “Ten Days”, Featuring Image: “Married to Art”

Ten Days

 

My friend, I write to reach you:

It’s the loneliest thing in the world—

waiting to be found.

 

Days annotate themselves before us,

before we have time to arrive

before we have memorized the

proud trot of

a passing morning.

 

You are behind my eyes, where I lead my life most of the time—

I watch us walk,

bellies hollow, arms

raised In identical obedience,

the last wash of light bleeding from the sky.

 

We are animal-bent on this plane

our angst—

a footnote to the dissertation

the entropy

of hours

winking on our lips but

 

at least we enjoy the moonlight,

the way it trickles down our throats like laughter

We open our mouths for luck and

the sharp crease between us blurs for a little while

 

We are masters at knocking things over

 

Written By: Eva Langman

About the Author: Eva has lived and worked in San Francisco since 2002, when she moved from her hometown of New York City for the promise of gold. She learned to love music and poetry through her grandfather, who wrote and composed original songs that they sang together on Russian radio when Eva was little. For the last 12 years, she has been teaching drama and creative writing to young people, who sometimes ask her if she is a “real” adult.

Married to Art Grace Jones_Visual Arts_Photography

Visual Art Piece Titled “Married to Art” By: Vincent Calvarese 

About the Artist: As a writer and visual artist, he found his wings amongst his heroes of Eureka Valley. Using the San Francisco Bay Area as his canvas, he highlights themes of restorative justice in The Final Visit, familial pain in The Flesh of the Father, gun violence in Three Cloves of Garlic, the pharmaceutical crisis in The Clipboard and the gentrifying 7×7 plain in The Slanted Winds Down Guerrero Street. He is a past General and Poetry Editor for Forum Magazine.