25 June 2023

Four Poems by Mark Young

A line from Charles Darwin


There are cardboard characters

available at Walmart — at least

that's what the ads say. Nothing

adds life to the party like a cutout


standee for guests to pose with. &

on the subject of cardboard, it's

interesting that sellers on eBay

are already attempting to cash in,


auctioning off Silicon Valley Bank-

branded merch, including a card-

board box for $201. Cake decorating

tools & kits are also available; though


they come with a warning that the

increased BN level is an artifact of

grain size. Those are some of the

things we've noted so far, in the early


stages of our literature review. Still,

we're getting a glimpse of what is to

come when a conceptually organized

synthesis starts grinding out conclusions.



A line from Catullus


I'm new to the free weight scene. My

friend, the sculptor Giacometti, be-

lieves that now the sugar-free diet has

exploded into the health & wellness


arena, training with free weights per-

mits the brain to sense what is going

on beneath the skin. I only feel it, but

Alberto tells me Shakespeare had a lot


to say, in a lot of places. I'd be excited

to be able to follow it up; but I'm just too

busy trying to adapt road tubeless tire

& wheel technology to mountain bikes.



A line from Khloe Kardashian


Somebody said this. & then some-

body else. Decided I'd join the club

& say it myself — there's nothing

better than being better than you


used to be. So I talked to my sisters,

did some intense anger management

training, then went out & single-hand-

edly did away with all world hunger.



A line from Baruch Spinoza


The industry standard in hand

pallet jacks is made up of a part-

icular amino acid sequence & can

serve as a discreet, digital inter-


face that augments geothermal

power plants so that they produce

negligible noise, with levels at that

of normal 16kWh lithium batteries.


There are more expensive versions

which can be retrofitted to include

a control panel with display or do-

uble brushes; but too many apps


will significantly increase the noise

level. Leaving them off will not

affect the jack's efficacy, & will still

allow the same capacity to be silent.

13 June 2023

Two Poems by Ben Nardolilli

Sketches in Various Positions

Dreaming of men with hats,
heads that float in all directions,
they spin, they bounce,
they fly, and never lose their hats

Maybe they have lost
everything else that mattered,
their careers, their cars,
their mortgages taken from them

I notice they have no suits,
no ties, no polished shoes for me
to look at and see myself,
and if I am causing offense hatless

But they maintain speed
and distance, adhering to angles,
whatever I am here,
I am between friend and failure

Up ahead, a head from behind,
profile raised, with a fez,
is he here to wander after losing 
a whole empire or caliphate?
Your Friend Opticon

Surveillance is changing, say hello
to the ever present friend,
no longer a foe posing and hiding,
stalking you like a voyeur
from corners and behind mirrors

It will bring you out on your own,
enticing you, instead
of breaking and entering a home,
setting up beer gardens
where you can loaf in sudsy luxury

Your smiles, laughter, and chatter,
are all valuable
to the new system, it wants to see
you enjoying yourself,
not just breaking a couple of laws

And as a special favor and bonus
it will let you see
how the system looks back at you,
its bulbous cameras
glossy on the walls like eyeballs

08 June 2023

Machine Learning by Matt Dube

The summer after freshman year, I worked for the USPS alongside my friend Kent and his younger sister Nora. We were hired to review the performance of the MLOCR-B, a next level mail sorting machine. The evident enthusiasm of the folks who trained us, gray adults with big empty smiles, was suspicious to us, as was the fact that we were never invited to see the machine. Even in the training video tapes we watched which celebrated the service of the humble five digit zip code before hyping the dawn of a new four-digit suffix, nine digits total, that the MLOCR-B could recognize, there wasn’t so much as a single still photograph of the machine itself. 

We learned the machine from its output, the flat single-ply cardstock slips trimmed to the size of a standard business envelope that we compared to the readout that came wrapped around them with a rubber band, each bundle one hundred forty-four slips. For each slip, there was a corresponding address and we marked each as successful or misdirected. The MLOCR-B did an OK job, as good as any ordinary person. Some slips came to us dinged, nicked, folded at the corner, and it was hard to tell if this was to test the machine or if it was a legit accident; it frustrated the sorting capabilities of the MLOCR-B and us, trying to reconcile the laser jet address and barcode. “Anyone would struggle with this,” we said of the marred slips. “It’s not a fair test.” We were promised that future tests would handle actual mail, but we never saw that in our ten-week trial. Driving home after our six-hour shifts, we didn’t so much argue as try to talk through, in the way we were learning to do at college, whether what we were doing was taking away jobs from someone else we’d never meet or if they would be, like our trainers, excited to have this burden lifted from them. We didn’t believe in the future, really, but thought of it as a place alot like here where someday we’d be delivered.

Matt Dube

03 June 2023

Three Poems by Marc Isaac Potter

Whose Open Mouth

Whose open-mouth kiss

Is swallowing

This child's lies.

Danny has taught his nephew Eric …

… For Eric … to lie to his father, William McBain. 

Danny of course

As soft as creamery butter

As brutal as a leather punch.

Danny is rarely without his leather


So perfect for making holes.



The Cold Decision 

Ego is a water slide that promises

Cold decisions


Your books under your arm, you 

Advise, suggest,  and counsel


On the impeccable wisdom 

Of the Greeks

I loosen my tie and poor myself

A cheap Scotch

I turn away from you

Momentarily to scratch my crotch.

Even though you did not

Admonish me in front

… In front of the others …

Your belt is

Itching for another notch.

You watch me as I pendulum around

The room.

As you eat your yogurt 

So creamy 

I offer you my job

And my company car.

Poem. K.

The lather, or rather the thick gummy vomit, lurching from his mouth like spiders.

Yes, he is now newly dead.

John Kennedy went a different way.

Remind me who John Kennedy was.

Oh, he was part of a famous American family, his father it has been suggested was a bootlegger.

His older brother was shot down during a European war, that is when father Joseph told his second in line John that he would run for President. 

Of the United States?

Yes, the United States 


So you are saying that this John- guy was President of the US.


So why haven't I ever heard of him? 

That I could not tell you…