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Photo by Yassin Doukhane from Pexels

POETRY

I know a thing
or two
too big to be swept
under the rug

I know what happened
to the wreckage of the last
spring, long in its
death spasms

I know what they
have done in the name
of banality
of sorts

I know what gives
you the sense of
purpose
in me long gone

I know that we are
the quaint reminders
of our feelings that
cancelled each other out

I know that you pose
as a pallbearer of
truth, though your
moral trajectory is too

uncouth, and your peace
offerings come too late,
and are too little, to take
them…


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Photo by Piotr Makowski on Unsplash

POETRY

the end of an epoch
that has started as

a seismic shift
ends drowned in the sea

of irrelevance and
passes unnoticed;

a pawn fallen
on the battlefield

of a chequered game;
a tree toppled

at the forest’s doorstep
again; as its bards and its acolytes

now busy donning
their new plumage

set out on a long
pilgrimage as if

following the migratory
timetables of birds

to be absolved of their sins
of their blunders bold

for to err
is easy

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2020 by F. R. Foksal

F. R. Foksal is a Polish writer, poet, and critic writing in English. He is the author of a short story collection, Hour Between Late Night and Early Morning. He believes that writing about literature doesn’t have to be boring and that books still stand a chance in today’s high-definition reality. …


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Photo by Sides Imagery from Pexels

POETRY

the silent scream
of the masses

the avalanche
of exclamation marks

the only forms
of communication left

when the last bastion
of dialogue falls

when its towers
are trampled on

when there’s a breach
glaring

in its weighty walls
when its front gate

gapes open
a void

torn in its face
now aghast

a mortal wound
only then do we reach

the critical mass
the point

of no return ripe
with protest signs

answering prayers
unanswered

resolving issues
unresolved

only then are we led
to the no man’s land

of civil
disobedience

that no explorer nor I
has set a prying foot…


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Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

CULTURE / WRITING

As an aspiring writer setting off on your artistic journey, you may get the impression that becoming a person of letters has something to do with singing. Or music. Or both. Or, at least, with a bit of chanting. This tentative suspicion of yours will doubtless be reinforced by various writing handbooks, book blogs, and writing courses of more or less respectable provenance — with the online ones leading the charge — urging you over and over again to search for your voice, to cultivate your voice, to refine your voice, and, above all, to find your voice. …


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Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

CULTURE

Each generation in recent history had its share of traumatic moments that shaped and redefined the worldviews prevalent at the time and played an active role in defining the zeitgeist of the given epoch.

The Lost Generation suffered the horrors of the First World War and the debacle of the pandemic of the Spanish Flu that quickly followed, leaving hundreds of millions homeless, crippled, and, much more, dead and in mourning. …


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Image by Henryk Niestrój from Pixabay

CULTURE / WRITING

We’ve all seen this opening scene, some of us more than once and with delight; others, with horror, against their will: A unit of well-trained troops lands on the beach of some exotic island, preferably under cover of equally exotic night. They’re cocky; they’re smug; they’re dripping and bursting with undiluted testosterone to the point of ripping the seams of their far too tight dappled uniforms; and they can’t help laying down suppressive fire of ribald jokes and bad puns, as if it were a mere walk in the geriatric ward to visit their grannies. …


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www.imagebank.sweden.se, Gösta Florman / The Royal Library

CULTURE

If you think the phenomenon of trolls — and of trolling in general — largely originated with the advent of the current political turmoil and has since then become the strictly Russian preserve, that trolls mostly operate in Cyrillic, that it’s a relative novelty and a byproduct of the burgeoning popularity of smartphones and too easy access to the internet by people devoid of access to their brain cells, you’d better think twice. Or thrice even.

After all, none other than the Swedish Academy responsible for giving the world the next Nobel Laureate in Literature has been a precursor and a daring pioneer of this dubious pastime, and has proudly been trolling legions of readers, critics, scholars, and, above all, writers, across the globe for more than a hundred years now. Its learned members have been doing it with a masterful touch and enviable finesse long before trolling became a thing — if not THE thing — and before the now-ubiquitous word “meme” was coined in the uncharted depths of the web. …


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Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

CULTURE / WRITING

Have you ever wondered what kind of culture is the most toxic, insidious, and irreparably damaging to literature as we know it? Is it the evident lack of culture of people sneering at you when they see you read a book on a bus or a subway train? Is it the lack of culture of those relishing the proliferation of various digital distractions and other blipping and buzzing devices which supposedly presage the twilight of the printed word? Is it the lack of culture of those telling you to put your dreams of becoming an esteemed writer to well-deserved rest and get a real job? …


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Photo by Akshar Dave from Pexels

FICTION

At first, I noticed people wince near me. I noticed people wince in my presence, always somewhere close to me, as if because of me, as if they were lifelike automatons being triggered by an invisible mechanism that I kept setting off accidentally. I caught them doing that — just wincing — either in the crowd on the street or on a subway train or on a bus or in a queue winding in front of a cinema or a theater. …


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Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

CULTURE

Society, almost by definition, loves simplicity. We’re fond of commodities tailored exactly to our needs and innermost desires. We adore the clear-cut and unambiguously delineated demarcation lines between the agendas of political parties. We have a weak spot, if not two of those, for succinct and, above all, lucid advertising slogans that leave no doubt as to the purpose of a given product or its intended target audience. …

About

F. R. Foksal

Editor of The Nonconformist; writing about books, without compromise: www.nonconformist-mag.com

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