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Press 1

Volume 6, Number 1

May - August 2012

Featured Poet:
Leonard Gontarek






Press 1

Electric Eyes

Missed the bus today. Hung out at the stop for a bit, then drifted into thoughts of alien spaceships fighting over the last women on the planet. I wondered if all things were what they seemed to be. Buses for example. They might be highly intelligent metal creatures but we look at them as things, created for a purpose. Or let’s look at something not made by man, like snow. It just seems to fall to earth for no reason in particular, every flake like every other flake. Which is only true as long as you don’t look at them more closely. Then you realise that each snow flake is like an entire world unlike any other. And if you look even more carefully, with microscopes that haven’t been invented yet, you see that these snow flake worlds are populated by millions of tiny men, all frozen. One breath of warm air from you and they’d come alive for a moment as short as they’re small before they melt, disappear and enter a place where you can’t go, at least not on a bus, which finallycame. I sat down on the green bench of this bus. I growled at an elderly lady who wanted to sit next to me. I looked out the window at the winter wonder world, and I spat this whole mental monolog out on the ground like a piece of gum I was done with. Out on the slushy, thawing ground covered with silently screaming snow people. I closed my electric eyes and relaxed into the ride.


I love to read. when I read, I grow a short bushy tail like a badger. Nobody can see it, that’s how short it is. But I can feel it push against my behind. It’s the most extraordinary sensation. It makes me want to stop reading but then the magic disappears so I keep reading and rubbing my tail in my pants. My blonde girlfriend comes in and threatens to take a polaroid of me: she always does that since I gave her the camera. — I said to her: this is one of ten polaroid cameras left in the world. It is loaded with ten cartridges. They don’t make these cameras any longer and you can’t get the film either, so be discerning. Why don’t they make them anymore? she asked. Discerning? She asked. I shrugged. She smiled at me then and stuck her tongue in my ear. – Now she distracts me, I put my book away and my tail disappears: it sort of retracts, I don’t know where to. You think I’m a sort of Gregor Samsa, don’t you, I say. What? she says. The guy who turns into a bug, I say, Kafka. Oh, she says. She’s not well read. She lifts the camera, winks, smiles and says, I’m going to waste one of your polaroids. I shrug. Let her do it. I’m going to turn into a badger, I know it. Some time, in the course of this book, it’s going to happen. The tail is only the beginning. I grab her, put that thing down, I say. She closes her eyes. I close mine. It doesn’t matter that I’m ugly. Nothing matters. We make love. We read each other’s faces like the first morning.


whenever i’m scared of my own imagination, i fly far away; i envision other realms where the zodiac is not an ordered affair, not a circle, but a monstrous thing spiraling out of control. where humming mechanical dolls are used to scare little children and spread fear among traveling ladies. in those places, everything can swallow everything else. nothing and nobody is safe from being gobbled up by a crazy thought. love is a unit of length there, not a feeling. and yet, even in those horrendous places where everyone wears a mask, people have wishes. some plans succeed and other plans fail. even when the world is upside down, there is an up and a down. — i remember when you sat in front of me: i wanted to eat you up like a fruit, but i didn’t, not in this world. instead i smiled and shook your hand weakly, surprised by your strength, thankful for the space between spaces. when the door closed behind you, i returned to myself.