• A Walk through the Walk – Maria E. Montano
• Old Memory – Mary Getlein
• Philomene and the Lady – Jim Smith
• To The Guy Who Painted Graffiti On The Freeway Overpass – Sherman Pearl
• Third Populist Manifesto – Mark Lipman
A Walk through the Walk
By Maria E. Montano
A bus roars by, and
A duck quacks,
Again and again.
In the muddy canal waters.
He’s a Venice personality.
He is the duck from the Grand Canal.
A pigeon sits down on the pagoda roof.
It’s a sunny day,
Many people, lots of waste.
He’s a happy pigeon.
He makes his nest under the roof.
He brings food for his young.
I see a crab
Taking in some sun
In the middle of the rocks.
He’s playing dead now,
He thinks no one can see him.
The roar of the waves
Soothes a sleeping mind.
The crash on the wet sand,
Resonates from afar.
It is the ocean,
A door to aquatic life.
The end of a day at the shoreline
A blanket of bright oranges,
Where life flourishes
And creative love survives.
By Mary Getlein
It’s an old memory
Of a child gone out to play
Who never came back.
She went into a stranger’s car
And was found dead,
I didn’t get into the car.
But I watched her get into the car.
I didn’t do anything – I told her not to.
But she got in the car anyway.
Two detectives came to my house to question me.
I told them what I saw! Two old white guys,
Hats on their heads, overcoats on.
We lived in Wisconsin. It was the 80s.
I don’t know what they looked like, really.
I saw them for a minute, only.
Years later: my brother says: the past for us is no good.
It’s not good to go in the past.
We know what is waiting for us.
Monsters wait there to hurt us, again.
Monsters that used to be parents.
But turned into monsters and scared us,
And beat us, and screamed at us. And
Threatened to kill us, and we were little and
We didn’t know what to do, and besides,
They were our parents.
During the lunch his eyes never met mine.
So when they finally did, they were scary.
“Do you remember dad before he turned
into an asshole?” No, not really
I know he did something to me
But I can’t remember.
We took acid and I think we had sex
And he went away
And we never talked about it,
And I went away and stayed away.
And after I became homeless he never helped me.
And I asked my sister: why didn’t anyone ever
Because I was homeless? I stopped being your sister?
And she didn’t really know why.
And I know it probably has to do with the title!
and they see you in the stereotypical way:
drunk, dirty, filthy, screaming on the corner
at the sky!
Cut off from humanity.
Especially the original family you come from.
Crying to the wind!
Where is my mother? When is she coming back?
And she never comes back.
And you’re still cold, dirty, wet, lonely, drunk
And cut off from humanity.
But you’re home, in Venice
And sometimes people come by and feed you
And someone gives you a sweater or a coat
And somehow you make it through.
And you sleep, somehow, on the streets of Venice.
Homeless, but at home