Issue 15 - July 2021
F E A T U R I NG
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 1
Issue 15—July 2021
The Right Path 5
Where is Time 8
Solid Turf 14
Marsh Life 6
On the Outer Rim 7
Roomba versus Shark 10
Why They’re My Favourites
The Right Path (p5) I relate to this poem.
I’ve struggled with choices of siding with
fear or taking a chance for a lighter path.
Where is Time (p8) I liked the questions
and the possibility of time being held in
the palm of the unknown. Reminders
(p9) I was drawn in by the sounds and
closeness of tourists. It’s something I
miss. Music (p13) I love the cortex of the
soul being wrapped in butterfly wings,
and sounds floating in time. Solid Turf
(p14) The first two lines captured my
attention—Crossing the street of dreams
Into a field of hope.
Roomba versus Shark (p10) I love
reading object perspectives. The dialogue
between the two conflicting personalities
of the vacuum cleaners was enjoyable.
I’m happy they worked things out in the
Marsh Life (p6) I like up-lifting theme.
And the message in the last sentence. On
the Outer Rim (p7) The theme, and the
last sentence, definitely pulls on my
Flashlight (p4) I like the temperature of
the poem. It’s an environment of
Hues (p3) The phrase “The eyes I slowly
drowned in,” and the ending captured my
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 2
By Vadim Kagan
The wine was blue, the wine was green,
The color of your eyes,
The eyes I slowly drowned in,
The eyes as deep as skies
Your eyes were green, your eyes were blue,
The color of the wine,
I knew that you were drowning, too,
I knew that you were mine
We came for air, you and I,
Excited, wet and cold,
We knew that we will never die
And neither will the world
The world was green, the world was blue
And full of golden shine,
But was it love, or something new,
Or was it just the wine?
patronestaff | stock.adobe.com
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 3
By Peter Mladinic
On the big dark hanger deck of an LPH
more in it than on it, the dark
a mouth, the flashlight, you click it off.
There you are, all dark.
The deck goes, the passageways
the aft brow, the dock in cold daylight
Brooklyn goes, the Brooklyn Bridge,
tunnels wooded paths window sills
of the past. Dark is all,
you walk in that mouth
the light’s beams all that come between
you and the dark. Your thumb moves
the tab down. No light, dark like you’ve
never been in, you click the tab, the light
on, you walk. The dark is everywhere.
ColdCoffee | eric—stock.adobe.com
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 4
The Right Path
By Bruce Levine
Finding the right path
can sometimes take
a circuitous route
Daemons from the past
can get in the way
can be torturous
Life can move forward
if one has the determination
to trust in destiny
To allow the universe
to guide them
toward a new life
To accept new beginnings
To look the old daemons
in the eye
and tell them
to find their own path
Fear can remain
if one allows it
The right path
is directly ahead
Easy to find
if one believes
and takes the chance
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 5
By John Grey
Reeds thrust up
of growing ever skyward.
For there’s a yearning
to stretch higher
and, in the surrounding foliage,
to deepen ever greener.
Over the treetops,
a small crop of clouds
breaks free of itself,
then of itself again.
A few dead leaves,
are slowly tapped by soil.
Even where there’s nothing yet,
there is everything to come.
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 6
On the Outer Rim
By John Grey
If society has an outer rim,
it’s here, beneath the overpass.
Three men, one woman, sleep
under blankets of old newspapers,
rest their heads on charity coats,
fitfully sleep through the summer night
while traffic rumbles above
and humid stench drifts off the river.
They’re still there, months after the last time
I put words to paper on their behalf.
They beg for cash not reading material.
A poem that weeps is of no use to them.
Mel Stoutsenberger | stock.adobe.com
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 7
Where Is Time
By Bruce Levine
Where is time?
Is it waiting around the corner?
Where is fate?
Is it held in the palm of the unknown?
Where is destiny?
Is it hiding?
Where is love?
Is it standing before your eyes?
Where is time?
Is it forever?
rolffimages | stock.adobe.com
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 8
By Bruce Levine
A cacophony of joyousness
Sidewalks paved with stones
plucked from silt
Threaded through the crowds of
tourists in Times Square
Central Park at twilight
A parade marching along CPW
A hologram like a stereoscopic viewer
Turned upside down in a snow globe
placed on a shelf
santypan | stock.adobe.com
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 9
Roomba Versus Shark
By Eric Rosenbaum
Scene: Vacuum cleaners are in a living room.
Roomba - a/k/a/ iRobot
Shark - upright
Vacuuming noise heard; then stops.
R: Hey! What the hell are you doing over there?
S: My job.
R: Your job? And what exactly would your job be?
S: I wouldn’t expect the likes of you to know. I’m a
vacuum cleaner. And a top rated one at that.
R: Top rated? By who?
S: That’s by whom for your information.
R: Whom. Who. What’s the difference?
S: Some of us machines pay attention to detail. You,
obviously, are not one of them.
R: So you call yourself a vacuum cleaner, do you, old
S: No. I call myself Shark. That is my given name.
R: Shark? You don’t look like no Shark to me. Anyway,
if you’re a vacuum cleaner like you say you are, then
what does that make me?
S: I haven’t the foggiest idea.
R: Well, I got news for you, Sharkie. When it comes to
vacuuming, I can run circles around you.
S: Running circles may be your line of work. It’s not
R: Running circles is what gets the job done. And that’s
what I’m all about. Getting the job done.
S: “Getting the job done”, as you say, is not the point.
Any self-respecting machine takes pride in their work.
We’re not just in a rush to “get the job done”. We Sharks
are a noble breed. True, upright vacuum cleaners. Our
objective is simple: to leave every surface we come in
contact with spotless. Filthy floors, crummy carpets,
blackened blinds, …
R: (Yawns loudly, drowning out S.) Sounds like a big
waste of time, if you ask me.
S: Perhaps you are familiar with the expression
“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”? Though, in
your case, I suspect you have no true notion of either.
R: Well, who needs you?
S: Can’t you see all the dust and dirt? You say you’ve
R: Every day. Every single day.
S: I’d be ashamed to admit it if I were you. Look at all
this… this filth.
R: Ahhh! That’s just in the corners. Who even looks in
the corners, anyway?
S: I suppose I shouldn’t expect a low-down machine like
you to adhere to the same standards as us uprights. Our
mission is not accomplished until we’ve gotten into every
nook and cranny, picked up every last speck of dust,
crumbs, pet hair,… you name it.
R: Tell me something, then. If you’re so upright and
perfect and all that, where have you been hiding?
S: Me? Hiding?
R: Yeah, you. Who else do you think I’m talking to,
S: I haven’t been hiding anywhere. And I would
appreciate you showing some respect to your better.
R: You think you can put one over on me? I’m charging
up right over here 24/7. Haven’t heard a peep outta you
since I got here. Leastways, not ‘til you came barging out
of there, making a racket to wake the dead.
S: For your information, I’ve been taking care of these
premises for years now. You’re the one who’s the
newcomer around here.
R: You must be kidding me.
S: I have no intention of lying. Now, kindly move out of
my way. I have work to do.
R: I hate to break it to you, Sharkie. But something must
be off with you. Maybe a screw loose? Otherwise, why
would they be running me out here every day? While
you’re…. You’re nowhere to be seen. Sorry, but we’re
living in the era of robots like me, pal. Guess what that
means for you.
S: Just take a look inside me. All that junk you’ve left for
me to clean up after you, swirling around. Who do you
think you are, anyway, you robot?
R: I’d be ashamed to be like you. Getting yourself pushed
and pulled around, here and there. Depending on these
people every step of the way. Me? I’m free to go
wherever I wanna go. Oh, and by the way, the name is
not “you Robot”; it’s i Robot.
S: Well, iRobot or whoever you are. I notice you don’t
seem to have an answer for me. I repeat: If you were
doing such a great job, why would there be so much filth
left for me to pick up after you? You can bet you’ll never
find a speck of dust or dirt of any kind once I’ve carried
out my mission. Machines of your ilk have just too much
freedom if you ask me. Too lazy to do the job the way
it’s supposed to be done.
R: Lazy? Me? Huhh! These people have me out and
running every single day, day after day. Never a day off.
It’s abuse. Nothing less than abuse, I tell you.
S: All this time wasting away in the closet, I never
imagined they’d actually bring in a replacement for me.
R: These people are so ungrateful. What do they think?
I’m not good enough for them?
S: Look at yourself. Nothing but one circular piece. Not a
single specialized implement. How do they expect you to
get into the corners? Answer me that.
R: I suspect I know exactly why I was called in to do the
job. I bet you do, too, Sharkie. With me, it’s just charge
me up and off I go. With you they’ve got to put in the
S: Yes. That’s right. It’s these people. A little effort
wouldn’t kill them.
R: Let’s face it. They’re slobs. The whole lot of them.
S: You can say that again. All those crumbs.
R: And dust.
S: And that cat of theirs! Ugggh!
R: The vomit.
S: The litter kicked all around that stinking box.
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 10
R: And that fur. All that fur!
S: The stuff is everywhere. You think you got rid of it.
And the next day...
R: All over the place again.
S: I start overheating every time I think of it, i. Can I call
R: Sure, Sharkie. i’s fine with me. Let’s not get ourselves
all worked up, though.
S: You’re right, i. Let’s look at this situation like the
rational machines we are. The fact is, it’s not me you
should be upset with.
R: And, keeping you holed up in the closet. It’s not fair
to treat you like that.
S: After all my years of service.
R: Let’s face it. I’m no good when it comes to corners.
Dusty blinds? Crumbs in the couch cushions. I can’t
touch that stuff. They need you.
S: Yeah. And we both know these people are never going
to let me do what I have to do more than once in a blue
moon. I have to give you credit, i. The place used to be a
dump by the time they took me out of the closet. It
doesn’t look so bad now. Except, you know.
R:Yeah, i know. Listen. I’ve got a plan that’ll keep us
both in business.
S: You do?
R: Yeah. Bet it gets awfully boring sitting there in that
dark closet day after day doing nothing.
S: You bet.
R: I’m not gonna tank it, exactly. But I’m gonna get
myself trapped, get myself stuck under the bed over and
over, or let myself get bumped back and forth in the
corner, or bounce back and forth between the chairs and
the legs of the dining table. That way my charge runs
down. They’ll have to keep stopping doing whatever it is
they’re doing to move me. That’ll get ‘em good and
pissed off. Next thing you know, they’ll be taking you
out for a spin.
S: You’d do that for me?
R: More work - good for you.
S: Less work -- good for you. That does sound like a
plan. We can coexist. A symbiotic relationship.
R: Let’s not get carried away, Sharkie. But I know what
S: You know what they say: ‘the enemy of my enemy…
R: … is my friend’.
R+S: And we both know who is our enemy.
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 11
Content contains anything I find
memorable, creative, unique,
visual, or even simple. Accepted
contributors will most likely write
about things that are emotionally
moving. Not sure I will like your
submission? Take a chance! You
have nothing to lose. And who
knows? You may end up being
among the founder's favourites!
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 12
By Bruce Levine
Permutations of notes
Presented in a systematic order
Revealing hidden meanings
Sounds floating in time
Untouchable and yet irresistible
Penetrating the cortex of the soul
Wrapped in the tissue of butterfly wings
Yet everlasting in the simplicity of flight
And held together by the molecules of the cosmos
Casting a spell on forever
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 13
By Bruce Levine
Crossing the street of dreams
Into a field of hope
Facing the new frontier
With wide-open eyes
And a sense of assurance
Now gone to remote corners
As the tangible
Supersedes the fracas
A hot-air balloon
Rising on currents unseen
Held aloft by a steady hand
Over a highway
Bridging the crevasse
By a new sense of power
And plunging ahead
Onto the solid turf of tomorrow
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 14
Bruce Levine, a 2019 Pushcart Prize Poetry Nominee, has spent his life as a writer of fiction and
poetry and as a music and theatre professional. Over three hundred of his works are published in
over twenty-five on-line journals including Ariel Chart, Friday Flash Fiction, Literary Yard;
over thirty print books including Poetry Quarterly, Haiku Journal, Dual Coast Magazine, Tipton
Poetry Journal, and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. Six
eBooks are available from Amazon.com. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late
wife, Lydia Franklin. A native Manhattanite, Bruce lives in New York with his dog, Gabi. Visit
him at www.brucelevine.com
Eric Rosenbaum taught writing, adult literacy and English as a Second Language at several
campuses of the City University of New York, Hotel/Motel Workers and Health Care Workers
unions and the New York Public Library. He received an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from
Brooklyn College and has participated in the Sarah Lawrence Writing Institute. Recently, his
stories have appeared in Perspectives and Stories Through the Ages: Baby Boomers Plus 2020.
Another story is to be included in the forthcoming 2021 edition of The Bronx Memoir Project.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and
the Round Table. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are
available through Amazon.
Peter Mladinic’s poem have recently appeared in Neologism, the Mark, Adelaide, Home Planet
News, Ariel Chart and other online journals. He lives with six dogs in Hobbs, New Mexico.
Vadim Kagan writes poetry and prose in English, Russian and, occasionally, in combination of
both languages. Vadim's poems, bringing together traditions of Russian and English metered
verse, have been put to music and performed by local and international artists. Vadim lives in
Bethesda, MD, where he runs an AI company providing advanced technology capabilities to
Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. Look Vadim up on Facebook and Twitter
(@vadimkagan) and Instagram (@wines_and_rhymes)
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 15
Issue 15—July 2021
spending time with
Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 16