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  Table of contents Issue Twenty-six LAST TRAINS AT THE END OF AN ECHO


The Conestoga wagons littered the wasteland with their spiny bones
in search of the comfort of others
clattering, grinding wheels singing an unmelodic song
laments the guile of the others
who screamed a gale of voluminous disregard for them and their emotions
sucked the breath from their mouths
unfriended them.

So sudden their demise, an unwinding of beliefs and closely held credos
that peep like golden hinds from behind a lea of blustery grass
and suddenly there is no more.

On either side of the mending wall
a phubbing, vacuous ending subsists
as a contemporary shout-out
an electronic melding,
a landscape of nothingness,
of swollen egos and prideful, self-congratulatory accolades
notwithstanding, they gather in the sheaves of like-minded souls
to their bosom
avowed them friends
and just as carelessly discard them without warning
no cautionary tales
lose themselves in their overblown egos
set them adrift in a steady stream of electrons.

Wave after wave of waves awaken them to their loneliness
a never-ending unfriending
for the somnambulists to find sleep--

And it goes on,
an unbending gusher of brackish water slicing through canyons
building up to a continual gathering of its waters
building to crescendo of effusive outpourings of love and adoration
where they ultimately meet at some shadowy terminus
where the last trains wait
at the end of an echo.

They slavishly adhere to
amassing their own kingdom
like the king in his counting house
fill his coffers with beating hearts
and an unlimited slew of adoration from uncolored naïfs
hidden behind a curtain of bits and byte
until ennui overcomes them.

And they unfriend like flushed toilet tissue
wearing unchanged undergarments in a quotidian dream
of newly-donned silken mantels
that stop briefly at the end of the cycle
back to the watering holes of their non-communicative, non-essence
and bid them a hollow adieu
until the last one standing
a last friend blows lazily in the breach
and the wagons' wheels can be heard in the distance
rolling toward the community of men
who touch and sing and play at life.




Sy Roth comes riding in and then canters out. Oftentimes, the head is bowed by reality; other times, he is proud to have said something noteworthy. Retired after forty-two years as teacher/school administrator, he now resides in Mount Sinai, far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace. He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications such as in Leaves of Ink, Ithaca Lit, Fat City Review, Haggard and Halloo, RAP, Crisis Chronicles, Parentheses, Poet and Geek Magazine, Gloom Cupboard, Pif Magazine, The Circle Review, Poetry Super Highway, Millers Pond Review, Earthborne, Nostrovia, Cyclamens and Swords, The Germ, Rockhurst Review, Wilderness Interface Zone, Red Ochre, Bong is Bard, Danse Macabre, Mel BraKe Press, Larks Fiction Magazine, Exercise Bowler, Otoliths, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, brief, The Weekenders, The Squawk Back, Bareback Magazine, Dead Snakes, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Peripheral Surveys, Scapegoat Review, The Artistic Muse, Inclement, Napalm and Novocain, Euphemism, Humanimalz Literary Journal, Ascent Aspirations, Fowl Feathered Review, Vayavya, Wilderness House Journal, Aberration Labyrinth, Mindless(Muse), Em Dash, Subliminal Interiors, South Townsville Micropoetry Journal, The Penwood Review, The Rampallian, Vox Poetica, Clutching at Straws, Downer Magazine, Full of Crow, Abisinth Literary Review, Every Day Poems, Avalon Literary Review, Napalm and Novocaine, Wilderness House Literary Review, St. Somewhere Journal, Carcinogenic Poetry, The Neglected Ratio, Windmills Magazine and Kerouac’s Dog. One of his poems, Forsaken Man, was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle. Twice selected Poet of the Month in Poetry Super Highway. His work was also read at Palimpsest Poetry Festival in December 2012. He was named Poet of the Month for the month of February in BlogNostics. Included in Poised in Flight and Point Mass anthology published by Kind of Hurricane Press. A Murder of Crows named Poem of the Week in Toucan. Best of Poem selected for the inaugural edition of The Second Hump, volume IV.

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