Lil Boy Blue embraces the switch tree

written by S. Shaw

Why does faith and salvation have to be based on pain and suffering?
The switch tree stood outside of its own calling as twig and leaf, was a master at providing suffering.

As a child, I was attracted to brightly lit miracles, my
Mother, berry bush small, filled with joy, not acting out her despair, not
coming towards her kids bringing suffering.

I am sure she learned how to whip from her mama and she hers, sure
The ancient art of the frustrated and hopeless flay
Was just her way of sharing her suffering

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Dear Andrew*- u delectable negro

written by S. Shaw

He is splashed across the screen
Blk body, unclothed, floored
Prone on white cloth
An ad for today’s supermarket discount
Ribeye, beef tenderloin
Fruity Pebbles for the kid’s morning breakfast
With milk. I
Am mildly aroused, hungry
For the delectable
Negro, hungry
For the pound of blk flesh
So often whispered about
In refined white circles.

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things found in Malcolm X Park

written by Jamal Jones

drifting near a misshapen leaf. a right glove which had been worn and lost
to the night’s vigor. a date’s bent loosie, wet with embalming fluid. some stray hairs.
orange rinds torn from meat. orange meat tendons littered about sparingly and glistening
in the eye of the moon. a large granite stump straddled by found teddy bears and tracks
pacing the stump, left from a queen’s vigil. a stiffened prayer rug: amber, green and gold. crumbed with graham crackers.

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A Conversation with Jamal Jones, compiler of Imagoes: A Queer Anthology

After realizing that Jamal and I both went to San Francisco State University, we made some small talk about what the campus and our programs looked like during our times there, but quickly got to business:

ALEESHA LANGE: I know you published a couple people in [Imagoes] who also went to state right?

JAMAL JONES: Yeah. Yes, yes, yes. Dena and Stewart, who went [to State] a while back. And then maybe some other people who I can’t think of right now.

AL: How did you reign them into getting their work into to this anthology?

JJ: Stewart Shaw I knew from just poetry stuff elsewhere. He more or less was like my poetry mentor, even though he doesn’t like that title. He doesn’t want any titles of authority, I guess. And Dena Rod, we’ve known each other since State, but I remember three or four years ago they messaged me online asking me to look at some of their work, which I thought was incredibly flattering. They’ve kind of taken off from there. I remember reading some of their work and giving feedback and a few years later they were working for Argot Magazine and we developed in addition to our friendship kind of this working relationship. And so when I asked them, “Hey, you got some work?” They said, “Of course.” without question.

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Advice for Watching Old Movies

written by Ace Boggess

Forget you have seen this before:
man standing, head bowed, in the rain
because sadness is a metaphor
to him; man smirking at his own wit
as he springs the trap, escapes it;
woman left, loving, slain, controlling; 
child of uncertain race sent into the song & 
dance of a gentleman’s necessary errands. 
Let the black-&-white past awaken
that part of you once ripe with wonder
when a hubcap was a flying saucer &
the creature seemed monstrous 
rather than sympathetic. Revisit 
each Sherlock Holmes of another era.
Plead for his wisdom—meek, moving.
Remember there were dinosaurs
roaming hungrily under the earth.
Believe it as you ease yourself under:
your dreams shall wield more evidence
than unwelcome stories on the news.

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written by Brian Archer

tinsel-tongued traders flummox the shirtless peaks of boxed-up children every angle robbed short for bubonic idols visionless   as eunuchs of industry dismantle the moon, graceless tides bend toward the ghosted and joyless broom (captive in their gainless funk, apathetics crown each hissing doctrine)   poster-eyed jesters in the penny-pinched comfort of corporate recesses smugly bunk before our very breakfasts, damning us the day longer   keep the faith! for it is useless   and be sure to catch the ivy mantras marking your page with stone-blind currencies   empty-speeched and laughing, the faceless rounding upon your picked clean bones

from the flank-less dues of subordinate breezes progress, I salute you

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