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Adelaide Literary Magazine is an independent international monthly publication, based in New York and Lisbon. Founded by Stevan V. Nikolic and Adelaide Franco Nikolic in 2015, the magazine’s aim is to
publish quality poetry, fiction, nonfiction, artwork, and photography, as well as interviews, articles, and book reviews, written in English and Portuguese. We seek to publish outstanding literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and to promote the writers we publish, helping both new, emerging, and
established authors reach a wider literary audience.

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Published by ADELAIDE BOOKS, 2018-12-16 19:11:32

Adelaide Literary Magazine No.19, December 2018

Adelaide Literary Magazine is an independent international monthly publication, based in New York and Lisbon. Founded by Stevan V. Nikolic and Adelaide Franco Nikolic in 2015, the magazine’s aim is to
publish quality poetry, fiction, nonfiction, artwork, and photography, as well as interviews, articles, and book reviews, written in English and Portuguese. We seek to publish outstanding literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and to promote the writers we publish, helping both new, emerging, and
established authors reach a wider literary audience.

Keywords: fiction,nonfiction,poetry,literary collection

Yes, I stand. I’m not buckled at the knees as before or dead as expected. The lifeline you threw me
caught ’round my neck, but it worked. It was the one time when looking in the end of a bottle, I
actually saw a ship, and with it the possibility of steerage to a new land… dry land. Its pasted, minia-
ture masts and cotton-twill sails still able to bear my living freight and move me to a healthy desti-
nation. You equipped me to survive the flood in the face of self-harm. How can I repay you? By
letting you go? By not even thinking to follow you?

I stand in water.
The small ship, pulled out for embarkation, is now crushed to bits beneath my feet. Peer close, and
I might even pass for the Giant Polybotes, bane of the God Poseidon, standing on a shipwreck from
the battle of Nisyros. A broken bow floats out to the Aegean Sea. An anchor pulls the splintered
spine of this ark into the pit of a dark swell. I was supposed to find Terra Firma by Noah’s mandate
as one of a pair. I beg you. But I’ll force myself to understand, if I am to go at it alone.

I stand in water.
If it is what you need, I will unabashedly say it aloud, “I no longer drown myself in bottles, thanks to
you.” So I will stay clear of the companion way and wish your sails full billows to get you to your
place of secret solace. I will not follow you. But I will always think of you. And if you will allow, I’ll
tightly scroll this missive and slip it into this bottle here, then toss it far in the direction I hope will
one day reach you.

About the Author:

Keith Hoerner lives, teaches, and pushes words
around in Southern Illinois.

PENETRATING SECRETS

by Cynthia Pitman

With all your science can you tell how it is — & No more need to wonder
whence it is, that light comes into the soul?-- why the stars gaze down upon us
Thoreau while they are trapped
in the frozen pose of gravity,
The science is settled. lighting our darkness,
We know it all now. but never enough.
No more need to wonder Science has that covered.
why the sweltering heat of the wind The science is settled.
blows across the burning blacktop, No more need to wonder.
melting the thick tar pitch into a sticky cohe- So many secrets,
sion. and all of them – covered.
Science has that covered.
No more need to wonder
why the tornadoes
gyre across the vast heartland
with unleashed terror,
attacking and flattening the homes, the trees,
the animals
and the people.
Science has that covered.
No more need to wonder
why the ocean’s cryptic creatures
dwell deep in darkness,
adorned with rich jewel tones
that will never be seen.
Science has that covered.
No more need to wonder
why the flowers bleed blood-red
or drip butter-yellow,
their heavy scent
saturating the air
with aromatic jubilation.
Science has that covered.

Ascension Inclination

I will need a shield. I turn my face from the world
I could choose a Roman shield -- toward the timberline.
wide wings of eagles diving for their prey, Resting there for me is a wait --
fierce thunderbolts spearing down from Jupiter a slow, timeless wait.
on high -- I cross the wide, wet field
to honor mighty Caesar’s erection that separates me from the woods,
of Corinthian columns and colossal coliseums, drawn by their deep-shadowed darkness.
a blinding array of his brutal strength,
his decimating power made manifest, The leaves sharpen.
a power I could hold close to my chest. The trees take shape.
The creatures of these woods
Or I could choose a Greek shield -- dismiss me with their indifference.
a reverse lambda, their ‘V’ of victory, They know me here.
a charging bullhorn burnt on wood, The hidden path inclines
or a deep-sea lantern fish carved on rawhide -- just enough to make me breathless.
to marvel at their sea-faring glory, I follow the path,
to pay homage to Poseidon, unseen.
to lay siege to Troy, It is revealed as if in a dream.
slay her heroes,
retrieve the Janus-faced Helen I hear footsteps, but I don’t feel them.
and clutch her to my heart. Are they mine?
Or I could create my own shield. Trembling, I come to the end of the path
But where should I begin? where the branches of the trees
I have a fealty to fire. hang low.
I could paint a burst of red-flower flame Vines laden with overgrowth
from the poison oleander. curtain the mystery.
My hand reaches out
Then, as I lie burning on the funeral pyre, to pull back the curtain:
clutching my flaming shield,
the thick toxic smoke of the oleander would Always it is the same.
ascend.
The shield would not protect me from my ene-
my,
nor my enemy from me.
Rather, it would gather us up, together,
and carry us to the Sun.

Amalgamated Memories The Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
. . .dedicated to Julian Jaynes
Imagine yourself seated on the ground,
surrounded by baskets, Old Amos heard God speak to him.
each basket cradling a jumble of disparate He didn’t know what the linguists know.
items These new prophets say
(a feather, a knife, a memory), it was not the voice of God he heard;
items confined yet uncollected. The voice was but a breach,
Within each basket is one red marble, a missing bridge between
bright and biting in its insistent redness, the two matched sides
this one red marble, of his bicameral mind.
rising above the disparate jumble The presence of this breach,
(a feather?), the absence of this bridge, they say,
ascending, then suspended, Forged the covenant between Amos and God.
a presence to hold you and you alone When this missing bridge finally appeared,
mesmerized. It was too late.
String the marbles together. Old Amos had already heard
String them with your own sweet string. God speak to him.
Weave your web. But his ways were passing.
Surround yourself, for there is no escape. This bridge, in all its glory,
(A knife?) Revealed that -- all along, all along --,
Kneel. He had only been talking to himself.
Bow your head.
Let go. Which is the genome of insanity?
Whose hands are these that ascend, Hearing the voice of God
lifted by your own sticky-sweet web? Thundering in your brain?
Whose hands are these that open their palms Or crossing the bridge
in silent supplication? Back and forth,
Whose hands are these that cup and caress Again and again,
the red red redness of the mesmerizing mar- Only to hear the echo of your own voice?
bles? Each says, “You are not alone.”
Whose marionette are you? But every time you cross the bridge,
You are the only god you hear.

COSMOS

by Dorsía J. Smith

Cosmos Paradise Lost

My son asks me what happened to his baby This is not going to hurt. I lie
brother. when I press the alcohol swab
against your scraped knee.
What baby brother? I want to say, “This is just
the first wound of many.”
The one in your belly, Mama. But I hesitate to have you
see the disfigured world so correctly.
Why he’s gone to the air, I say, Why should you be a witness to this?
like a ball of cells radiating by motion. It should be a secret, at least until your
It’s that simple. adolescence. By then, you will realize
we remain figures of denial.
Why can’t I see him?
And my hand momentarily scoops up the
He’s circling the orbit and gliding cotton patch and taps a bandage into place.
past the moon’s bright light, It changes nothing: you cry,
smiling. a small child terrified.
And then it didn’t matter what words I said:
Like a child, you wonder, “Why doesn’t he ask the pain had already been proven.
for me?”

How eager you are to know him,
watch him become born in another galaxy.

Oh, you see, he’s waiting for us in the field of
stars:
to show us the beauty clearly seem against a
dark sky.

It’s 1 AM When Heartbreak Calls An Impromptu

You go straight to the shower, I.
trying to scrub her from you skin.
Yet, the citrus perfume and lemongrass lotion This is not a love poem.
remain, To be a love poem
the trail of cigarette smoke too. you must scorch letters,
This lie you wear so perfectly like razor away the photo smile,
a second layer of skin, toss away the frame.
I wonder: does it ever cry out for rest
or fear something when I ask you where have II.
you been and Chopin made no public appearances between
where are you going? February 1842 and February 16, 1848, when he
Can’t you take me here and there? gave his land concert in Paris. By this time, the
This is what I dream of when you hurry out the passion between him and Madame Sand had
door again. cooled.
I turn to my side, make-believe there are far
worse things III.
than being lonely.
Cremate that rug,
For My Grandfather, Much Later She has touched that.
Her typewriter?
You died when I was sixteen. Yes, that has to go too.
At your funeral,
I was quiet, brave, strong IV.
unlike a girl of sixteen.
But I had wanted to ask, The strains in their relationship lead to a final
who was that man in the box break in July 1842.
with the heavy makeup?
Was that my grandfather? V.
Why were your cheeks so red?
Why were your hands like wax, Laser my hands.
tightly folded into fabric?
VI.
Questions like a child of sixteen
with no one to answer. Chopin’s health deteriorated rapidly after the
break. He composed only two more works.
My father is comforting my aunt.
My brother and I are listening to “Taps” VII.
and watching the folding square of flag
become a triangle. Remove the ashes.
I throw the white rose of goodbye Tell him that it happened to Casimir and Mus-
onto your casket— set also.
desert dirt staining my dress
unnoticed VIII.
like grief at sixteen.
If this is a love poem,
the words would cinder into scars,
not the chords of a sonata.




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