Mark of the Beast
/ Joseph Osel

Structured according to the mirrored anatomy of John Merrick's deformed skull, the poem "Mark of the Beast" is excerpted from Catastrophe in Miniature: Poetry In Fatal Tense (2016) by Joseph Osel. The image "Frontal view of the skull" was captured from The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity by Ashley Montagu (1971, p. 44).

Joseph Osel is a critical theorist, writer and Editor.

Ashley Montagu was a prolific British-American anthropologist.

When the Incarcerated Incarcerate Eachother
/ Joseph Osel

Double confinement poem "WHEN THE INCARCERATED INCARCERATE EACHOTHER" excerpted from Catastrophe-In-Miniature: Poetry In Fatal Tense (2016) by Joseph Osel --- apropos a photo 📷 of Jack Daws' "Pickled Flag" (2001, U.S. flag, vinegar solution, jar), from his Inconvenient Truths series

Joseph Osel is a critical theorist, writer and Editor.

Jack Daws is an artist from Washington state.

Primitive Program
/ Joseph Osel

one must find
ways of doing
layers linked to lines
called edges
a sequence of 0s and 1s

each enter from above
depending on
an array of gates
a circuit
appropriate according to
predetermined formats

a nightmare
resulting in number
in time
one way of one

Joseph Osel is a critical theorist, writer and Editor. "Primitive Program" is excerpted from his forthcoming poetry collection Catastrophe In Miniature: Poetry In Fatal Tense.

*Diagram captured from chapter 1, p. 13 of "Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction" (2002, Oxford University Press) by Timothy Gowers.

My Land’s Way |
by Farnood Jahangiri

My land is used to the dead
And messages from them received,
But it is not in the habit of seeing
Live Messengers going out.

My land knows well the dead names
Inscribed in cuneiform on stones,
But gets angry at the river that
Takes away its living things.

My land is used to the blood
Covering its arid body;
It finds it the best way to quench
Its hungry sand belly.

But it hates to see the blood
Returning to the veins of its beings
For only one goal and one goal only
To leave the numb curse of its womb.

It is perhaps the reason why
In my land when thousands die,
No-one cries for no-one’s sake
But when from it some-one goes
A thousand hearts silently break.

Farnood Jahangiri is an English student and also a teacher, studying in Baha'i' Institution for Higher Education, has been writing poetry both in Farsi and English, and have published two other poems previously in Commonline Journal.

The Inequality of Affection |
by Donovan James

Feeble folk songs drift
Across exhaust coated streets,
While hollowed out Americans
Slurp fifty cent Saigon beer,
Back dropped by the luscious wavelengths
Of distant mountain ranges marrying clouds,
A tan and specked shore,
But all I perceive,
Are your curves, your words, your smell.

Rare dispatches stumble
Across the pacific,
Making surgeons of love lorn poets,
Who dissect the space between
Precious letters,
The feelings and thoughts
You keep bottled up.

But there's only room
For passive aggressive theories to flourish,
Worries of your indifference,
Of your bed littered
With discarded interest--
Goddamn this immutable distance!
And the enigma of your words:
"I don't really feel alone."


Oh, the inequality of affection,
Where one is left to roast,
And wait,
Words stifled in cement blocks,
For love is suffocated
By force--
And affection won through deceit,
Is such a bitter drink,
And warmth bequeathed through pity
A somber affair,
And lust acquiesced through guilt,
A passionless gift,

Leaving love lorn poets
To ponder upon a shore,
Of when
Or if, at all,
The recipient of unrecited poems
Will return.

The chorus crescendos into silence,
And you disperse into the horizon,
Leaving only foreign mountains
Dotted with forests...
The beer is warm, the bar
I drink, absently,
Look out over the water,
Where listless embers of empire still burn,
The reeking plumes of terror,
Extending through time.

Donovan James tries to express humanistic and idealistic views in poetry, despite a ravaging cynicism. He believes that the money and effort allocated to war and fear should be used to feed, shelter, and educate the poor, no human being excluded. He tries to write poetry that connects with other buoys adrift in this absurd and lonely world.

Silky Sorrow |
by Sujoy Bhattacharya

I was playing with the caterpillar . 
It crawled down the trunk of the sesame tree . 
I was sitting near a red- ant – hill allowing 
them to inject formmic  acid in my body .  
The caterpillar crawled on over my shoes 
waving her body in a peculiar dancing posture . 
I was building logical relation among the three – 
Uncouth caterpillar , supple silk and captivating 
Butterfly – hades , earth and ecclesiastical sky. 
Millions of caterpillars crawling here and there 
The beautiful  earth veiled behind silk cloak . 
Butterflies homeless soaring high up in quest 
of a habitable hearth elsewhere in other planet . 
Outcry of the flowers – musing nymphs nefarious! 

Sujoy Bhattacharya