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Breath & Shadow

Fall 2012 - Vol. 9, Issue 4

"Can’t Win"

Written By

David Frazier

Rollerball is a movie about a game

Jonathan E. forced into retirement

Killed his will to play

Killed his best friend


Written By

William L. Alton

Music makes my soul. I’m a hero

when I dance with you in the living room...


Written By

Erik Tate

or disabled

disabled makes me think of

shutting off a machine -

it's powerless,

dead in the water…

"Light vs. Shadow: A Recursive Poem"

Written By

Changming Yuan

Was it the shadow?

Was it the shadow beyond?

Was it the shadow beyond the shadow?

Still fell the thick night,

When the heart blocked the light...

"Redemption and Sacrifice"

Written By

Todd Hanks

By the doorway of the free kitchen, I passed old people in their twilight, huddled in torn coats they probably got free from the Salvation Army. There was energy in the air, the electric announcement of an oncoming storm. Black clouds were like phantoms rattling chains of thunder. As if the sky above were sewn together with the thread of the everyday nightmare of the inner city below, it split at the seams. The falling sheets of rain wrapped around rusted sculptures on the square. Holding a newspaper above my head to ward off the falling water, I slipped down the stairs to the basement of the run-down apartment building I stayed in. My home was dark. The very filth on the walls seemed to produce another layer of shadow.

"Saying Goodbye"

Written By

Lisa Freundlich

Losing my father was an abstraction until now. I’ve sent my share of heartfelt sympathy cards to friends whose parents passed away, but only now is it possible to prepare for my own inevitable grief. I am confronted with a nightmarish scenario: My dad is in a nursing home, bedbound, blind, dying a slow lonely death due to congestive heart failure and complications of diabetes, but I can’t be there with him. I can’t hold his hand to comfort him or play CD’s of his favorite Beethoven symphonies. I can’t listen to him recount the stories I’ve heard him tell a million times or laugh at his corny jokes as I had always planned. Why not? Because I am too ill to travel cross-country due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Even a brief phone call with him exhausts me.

"Silver Elvis"

Written By

Raud Kennedy

“I like raw sugar sprinkled on my nipples,” Heather said, smiling, her lips glistening with maple syrup from her pancakes.


Her voice matched her name, subtle flowers covering a hillside. Her last name was Honeysuckle and her perfume scented the air around her like the flowers in spring. She took another bite of pancakes and chewed.

"The Persistent Demons of War: A Personal Story of Prolonged PTSD"

Written By

Arthur W. Schade

Forty years have passed since my deployment as a combat Marine to Vietnam, but only several years since I acknowledged my inability to continue suppressing the demons alone. Like many veterans, the demons have haunted me through nightmares, altered personas, and hidden fears. While many veterans are able to manage the demons’ successfully, millions barely survive in destitution, solitude and social disconnection. Scores believe that conceding to the demons’ hold would make them a coward. Countless live in denial and loneliness on order to protect their warrior’s pride. The most vulnerable— tormented by guilt and feeling alone — too often choose to end their lives.

"We Don’t Speak"

Written By

Jason Teeple

Verbal overshadowing of visual memories:

  Somethings are better left unsaid.

Sitting on the edge, peering into and across


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