What Was He Thinking?

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By John L. Malone

What was that guy thinking? Did I agree to this? I must have. What was I thinking? I should never have posed nude, for starters. That wasn’t necessary. And sitting in public view for all to see. You know what I look like? A guy sitting on a toilet seat, hunched over, muscled legs taut, trying to take a dump instead of having a good think. At least he could have put a cubicle around me. Even a bronze statue deserves some dignity.

            
John Malone is on a roll. His chapbook of poems has just come out.

Smile

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By Twboiteau

During a high school trip to France, I meet Her for the first time in Her climate-controlled chamber. Afterwards, a boy packing some hashish leads me to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, where we smoke, then he lies on top of me while I gaze up at the shivering canopy, thinking about how disappointing seeing the painting had been.

Several millennia later, as a phantom wandering the ashes, an urgency to encounter Her again overcomes me.

I ghost through every underground vault on Earth, searching.

Find Her at last, mouth now drawn into a corpse’s rictus.

Time has robbed Her of ambiguity.

        
Writer Tim Boiteau writes and lives near Detroit with his wife and son.

Of Artistic Temperament

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editors pick

By Sophie Flynn

I liked it when you said I had an ‘artistic temperament’ because it covered it all: tears in the carpark, not eating for days, refusal to choose paint for the walls because I just couldn’t look at the colors anymore; and instead made those days when I couldn’t cope, when I pictured cutting out my tongue and ripping off my skin, seem part of something greater to create something worthwhile, rather than days indulging myself. My artistic temperament was such a lovely phrase for what was really: unpleasant, unnerving, unbearable or, as you finally put it as you left, unlovable.