Looking for authors, poets, and visual artists for our Spring publication! Open to all artists and writers in the Bay Area! Deadline: February 27, 2019. Submission guidelines here.
by Dee Allen
As lousy as
Some of my
Early childhood was,
I had never
Feared the dark.
Onset of puberty,
A frightening age,
Like other youngsters,
Some child killer,
On the news,
Or the boogeyman,
Coming straight from
Out of darkness,
Charging at me,
Little skinny me with my
On his agenda—–
He never crawled
Out of closets,
From under beds.
Somebody gotten those
Little details wrong.
Adults & children
In the South
Feared the twilight threat,
From the bad old
Days before I was born,
Real as you and me:
Phantom in white
Brandishing a blazing
Cross in one hand,
A loaded pistol
In the other—–
Dee Allen is an African-Italian performance poet currently based in Oakland, California. Allen is author of 3 books (Boneyard, Unwritten Law and Stormwater) and 14 anthology appearances (Poets 11: 2014, Rise and Your Golden Sun Still Shines, to name a few). Dee Allen is a former Political Science major at CCSF (2004-2010). Allen’s work appeared in Forum (Fall 2007).
by Dee Allen
In the movies
She’d already graced
A Broward County
With her presence,
As swift as
Her two fists,
Landing where they may.
Laying the smackdown
In a tacky
Bright blue dress.
Had no purpose
In this public fight.
Without their use
Or her shoes.
Forget everything you
Think you know
About Wonder Woman.
The facts regarding her
Character are fraudulent:
Doesn’t own her
And her real name
Isn’t Princess Diana
From Paradise Island,
But Colleen Dagg,
Hailing from South Florida.
In real time, too.
Dee Allen is an African-Italian performance poet currently based in Oakland, California. Allen is author of 3 books (Boneyard, Unwritten Law and Stormwater) and 14 anthology appearances (Poets 11: 2014, Rise and Your Golden Sun Still Shines, to name a few). Dee Allen was a former Political Science major at CCSF (2004-2010). Allen’s work appeared in Forum (Fall 2007).
Thou Shalt Not…
“Thou shalt not murder”
Leaving this world should always be on the almighty’s hands
That’s what they teach
That’s what they want us to believe
That’s what they taught me
That’s what they wanted me to believe
I kill people
For it needs to be done
For I have people dear to me
I will keep killing as long as there are enemies
I’ve never murdered, for killing is not murder
“Thou shalt not kill”
The new words differ from those that they taught
What I believe now
I find no pleasure in the kill, for it is not murder
I kill those who wish to harm, but that’s not murder
I kill for the need to protect
Little by little, every kill gets a toll
Little by little, humanity is lost
Little by little, the shackles of death weight us down
Imprison by our own actions
The chains of death grow
Grouping those that died by our hands
Killing or murder
They both take a toll
Clara Davis was born in Redondo Beach, California and moved to San Francisco for college. She is in the process of completing her BA in studio art at CCSF and SFSU. She has been shown in multiple local galleries and currently works in a shop fabricating and installing public art.
by Meg Brittain
Come, O’ come ye faithful
Give praise to who sold you.
When capital is god
And Wall street is law
All gain is lost.
All truth is fraud.
Your name no longer suits you
Sheep Number Three will do.
If ignorance is bliss
Innocence means shit.
You don’t see the blood that spills
Wolves were let in.
They sleep in your den.
Yet, are you awake?
The only pain known has been your own,
But what if the corruption and violence drove you out of home?
All your loved ones are no ones
Left all alone
Tell me now, who will be the savage one?
Meg Brittain works as a hairstylist and is attending college for the first time. “I love the classes and professors at CCSF and feel lucky to be here at this time in my life. My goal is to develop a practice which promotes holistic wellbeing for my community.”
Lydia La Roux is a Detroit transplant to the Bay area. She enjoys daydreaming, vegan cooking, screenplays, and the sun. Find her on Instagram @lyddderbox.
by Christopher Cantrell
Jesus has a liver, you see,
that does its job of filtering impurities;
and two kidneys that function quite well, regular and dutifully.
At last check, Jesus’ teeth were doing fine,
save for the usual amount of plaque here and there.
Apart from a mild sunburn, his skin is healthy and in good shape, unbroken and clean;
his hair, as well, seems all right (though not very cosmetic, with all those split ends).
The microfilaments lining his large intestine, moreover, function with textbook precision.
Indeed, Christ’s internal organs, one and all, seem normal and complete: nutrients are broken down, energy is stored, and disease is combatted.
I might go so far as to say that, overall, he is a fine biological specimen, young and strong, and in as a good physical condition as can be expected.
Christopher Cantrell is a career educator, credentialed in five different subject areas, with twenty-five years’ teaching experience who grew up lifeguarding, playing tennis, and performing in community theater in Southern California. Cantrell earned a MA from SFSU in 2000. His previously published work includes poetry in Mists of Enchantment (National Library of Poetry: 1995); the short story “City Dance” in Blue Eyes & Other Short Romantic Stories (Phyllis Scott: 2011); and, most recently, the nonfiction essay “The Importance of Physical Education” (TheSportsDigest.com: 2017). He lives in San Francisco with his wife and children.
Thoth by Alex Nizovsky, acrylic on canvas
Alex Nivosky is a designer, and biologist who is focused on the beauty of living organisms. His art expresses his passionate engagement with the beautiful forms of insects and their relatives. His new art project WWW.BUGSUR.COM is devoted to creation of the fantastic worlds of surrealistic creatures which are all based on natural forms.
Day of the Dark Sun
It was late at night
A dark sun illuminated the black sky
Pulsing waves coming from the dark sun
First wave came with a flash, making us see the light of day while the rest remained in dark
Ominous wind came next, damaging our hearing
A blazing beast followed them, set free to burn and crumble as it pleased
It’s growl heard everywhere
We got our hearing back; we wish we didn’t
The blazing beast grew quiet allowing us to hear the screams
The screams that were muted by the air and fire were now clear
Finally, they came
On the fourth and final wave
Their Presence, the ominous wind became docile
The fire looked merciful
The dreadful presence that was engulfing the town
By instinct we embraced each other
They moved as unison no place left untouched
A single mind, many bodies
Wherever they walked, a death miasma was left behind
Whatever was loud in front became silent behind
Those of us that were alive didn’t move, simply looking at the destruction before us
Many ran away, but we didn’t
Frozen within that fire
One approached, silently
Her shadow cooling us off
A young girl stood before us
Blonde hair and yellow eyes
She was young, yet mature
Docile, yet dominant
Beautiful, yet terrifying
She wore a black kimono with a white lotus pattern
She glared us down, with curiosity glimmering on her eyes
Some of them came to stand behind her
With their black robes covering their bodies, and white skulls hiding their faces
She stopped them in their tracks as they approached
Like predators in front of a prey stopped by fear
With a simple wave of her hand, she dismissed them and they vanished into the black sky
She returned to glare at us once more
She smiled and with another wave told us to follow her
We did as such
The miasma of death and destruction parted ways for us
We left the place we called home for so long
We entered a dark forest
Dark embraced us, the light of the dark sun was no more
A different light illuminating our path
The black night parting ways for us
Her presence illuminating our path
We walked through the night, reaching a clear field
She made a wave to the sky
A shadow moved from the dark sky
It fell making a graceful descend
It touched the ground causing a comforting breeze to engulf the field
It was like the night itself stood before us
A creature with big wings, long arms, body covered in feathers and a bird head
She talked to it in a different tongue
It looked at us with those big yellow eyes
They moved toward us
Its body grew small and yet, it towered before us
He wore a black robe that looked to be made out of feathers
It moved the bird skull hiding its face, revealing glaring yellow eyes and a human face
The glaring eyes became merciful and comforting
They spoke to us in our mother tongue like it was natural
That was how we met our parents
Help support the publication of Forum Magazine, City College of San Francisco’s literary journal. Members from the community will be reading poetry, and all donations are appreciated. Food and drinks are free but limited, and available for purchase.
by Robert Castellano
The face of the old
man is a mask
which his eyes are ill-
fitted to see
the holes cut for them
“The Mask,” by Robert Castellano originally published in City Scriptum ([Forum] 1989, City College of San Francisco).
We want to thank all who attended our reading on Tuesday at the Mission Campus with poet Javier Zamora! I think the students really appreciated meeting someone who they could see themselves in—young, down to earth, funny, casual, uncertain, honest—who is also an accomplished writer and educator. Thank you, Javier, for coming and we look forward to the next time!