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Founder’s Favourites

Issue 15 - July 2021


Bruce Levine

Eric Rosenbaum

John Grey

Peter Mladinic

Vadim Kagan

Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 1

Founder’s Favourites

Issue 15—July 2021


Bruce Levine

The Right Path 5

Where is Time 8

Reminders 9

Music 13

Solid Turf 14

John Grey

Marsh Life 6

On the Outer Rim 7

Peter Mladinic

Flashlight 4

Eric Rosenbaum

Roomba versus Shark 10

Vadim Kagan

Hues 3

Why They’re My Favourites

Bruce Levine

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.

Eric Rosenbaum

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


John Grey

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


Peter Mladinic

Flashlight (p4) I like the temperature of

the poem. It’s an environment of


Vadim Kagan

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

Freeing oneself

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

in perpetuity

if one allows it

The right path

is directly ahead

Easy to find

if one believes

and takes the chance

Kevin Carden—stock.adobe.com

Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 5

Marsh Life

By John Grey

Reeds thrust up

in anticipation

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

cannot hold,

breaks free of itself,

then of itself again.

A few dead leaves,

an acorn,

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

been working?

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

you i?

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

you mean.

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

How to

become a



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!

Submit today!


Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 12


By Bruce Levine

Permutations of notes

Presented in a systematic order

Cascading rhythms

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

Atomic vibrations

Casting a spell on forever


Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 13

Solid Turf

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

Haphazard thoughts

Now gone to remote corners

Of yesterday

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

Disdaining fear

And plunging ahead

Onto the solid turf of tomorrow


Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 14

Contributor Bios

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

Founder’s Favourites

Issue 15—July 2021

Thanks for

spending time with

my favourites.

Founder’s Favourites | July 2021—Issue 15 | 16

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