August 3-9, 2015: Sy Roth and Robert C. Knox

Sy Roth and Robert C. Knox

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Sy Roth

Bio (auto)

Found a second to escape the master—away from my Smartphone and into the woods, and thought, what if… My writing has been a series of what ifs… What if I write something terrifically stupid for my bio? Perhaps I did. I did it in Mount Sinai, New York.y.

The following work is Copyright © 2015, and owned by Sy Roth and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Perambulation in the Park

Outside the thermometer reads, a balmy 38 degrees Fahrenheit
First day of spring, I think.
Inside a balmier 68, tethered to the aluminum box,
Empty-minded mathematical wizard of electrical pulses.

Fluttering lights sweep across my brow
Tattooing its lifeless marks there beneath the derma.
The millionth swipe of my index finger,
A pal-less clap on the back reflects back.

Left dreamless.
The sun wrestles with consciousness
Its sweet warm smell dragging at my neck.
The bare branches of the elm outside
Wave a halooo like a vixen
Amid a bevy of red lights.

I drift from the scream of the screen
And in an augenblink
Bid it a farewell,
Drape myself in a light winter jacket.
Aluminum box left alone on the table.

A last look before closing the door,
Cool air outside greets me.

The slight wind whispered from the tops of the trees.
To me a virtual reality,
Image nestled behind rods and cones.
I tuck my hands roughly into the jacket pockets
Thumbs a jingo of movement in both.
A breeze wraps around my face in a loving embrace.

And I see the people walk sadly in their death march
Awash in their own realities
Eyes flitting this way and that
Heads wrecking balls in thoughtless calumny
With the air, spiritless.

The next block, twilit zone,
A squeaky presence enters–
Klaxon drill on my submarine
My heart a voluble call
Squeaky floorboards pounding in Poe rhythms.
Thought roils in the foggy mist of my neurons.

It’s a Siren’s song,
Dance of the ones and zeroes.
My missing appendage
Screams ghostly.

The wind has turned itself around,
Cold mystery singing in the high branches.
Trees sway their alluring hips,
Point their gnarly fingers toward my windows.
My hands clench and unclench
Buried deeper in my pockets.
I run.
Perambulation ended
Back to my forest.


Robert C. Knox

Bio (auto)

I am a husband, father, freelance writer for the Boston Globe, rabid backyard gardener, and blogger on nature, books, films and other subjects based on the premise that there’s a garden metaphor for everything. My short stories, poems and creative nonfiction have appeared in numerous literary publications. I was named a Finalist in the Massachusetts Artist Grant Program in fiction, and a story about my father (“Lost”) was excerpted on the Massachusetts Cultural Council website. I live in Quincy, Massachusetts. My poems have recently been published by Verse-Vitual, The Screech Owl, Bombay Review, Earl of Plaid and Rain, Party, & Disaster Society.


The following work is Copyright © 2015, and owned by Robert C. Knox and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Leaf Washers

("The plants eat light" — Michael Pollan in
"How Smart are Plants?" in the New Yorker)

Yesterday we washed the leaves
Today they salute us
Reaching out, waving their storybook lives
Like the pages of a book
Fluttering long fingers
Beckoning, or speaking the gesture language
Heavier creatures invent upon their fingers
They pulse their high wire stories through the air waves
The leaves live in the air, the air is home, shelter, food for them
The current of breath that fills my senses
Orders time for the dance of hours
The leaves make time for us, filtering the world
The minutes emerge from pores and make sense for us,
Slow as the waves of the world
They save the voices of the children
They lie still before the whine of engines
To still them is to deafen the magic
They droop like ears silenced by the humdrum of machines
They turn the salutes of the hours into triumphs of air
They sluice and filter the music of the world
They are the companionate senses of the wild green earth,
A bowering neighbor,
A grotto of tuned and tasted pleasure, pre-digested by fertility,
A porous protection, a second self
They guide the sun to my temple
I am — we are — within the village of the world,
Inside temples among the jungled cities
The leaves salute our fellow travelers in their journeys through the sky
As friends, superiors in life, elders, survivors of earlier days
They know where they situate is all the world
They mediate the base of things, the fundamentals,
Molecules, waves, atoms, energy-matter – the rain in Piccadilly,
The fountains of Beirut, the voices of the stars


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