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  Table of contents Issue Twenty-seven MY PHANTASMA


The clock reaches 2:22 and
I am raised from sleep by the
vexing numerical alliteration the
digital readout is the red of
the fire starter of infection and sirens.
Coyotes’ rebel yell is strangulated and hoarse tonight
a baying of curses that carries on
the blackened and moonless dark.

Bad timing in my return to sleep
I land in a grieving chamber clots
of widows’ weeds cluster like blackbirds
before a storm and I cover my ears
against their rising supplications.

At last first light wakens me
like a prince’s kissing lips
and the walls of my room whiten
the white of a clean bandage or bridal veil
and I feel the thrumming bass
of the living day.




James Robert Rudolph is retired after a busy career in health care and education in Minneapolis, having returned to old haunts in northern New Mexico. He believes in old-style magical realism, inspired by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the high desert, and the deep, broad sky of the American mountain west. Creatively he aspires to the crafting of work that expresses honest experience in beautiful language, complex or simple, as serves the work’s purpose. His poems have appeared in The Artistic Muse, Mad Swirl, Black Heart Magazine, Poetry Pacific, and Poetry Super Highway, among others.

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