January 20-26, 2020: Poetry from Michael Estabrook and Yash Seyedbagheri

Michael Estabrook and Yash Seyedbagheri

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Michael Estabrook

Bio (auto)

Michael Estabrook has been publishing his poetry in the small press since the 1980s. Hopefully with each passing decade the poems have become more clear and concise, succinct and precise, more appealing and “universal.” He has published over 20 collections, a recent one being The Poet’s Curse, A Miscellany (The Poetry Box, 2019).

The following work is Copyright © 2020, and owned by Michael Estabrook and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

From Nothing

Physicists, astrophysicists, geophysicists, astrobiologists,
astronomers, cosmologists . . . all of them
state it like it’s clear, obvious,
irrefutable – in the beginning
of the universe there was nothing, nothing at all,
no space, no time, no matter, no energy, only emptiness.
Then suddenly out of the darkness
out of nowhere for no reason
like someone flipping a switch
an infinitesimally small speck of something-or-other
appeared then immediately exploded
into the Big Bang BOOM!!!
And the universe – everything there is
or was or ever shall be –
spiral galaxies, dwarf stars, planets, comets, asteroids,
black holes, quasars, quarks, dark matter, neutrinos,
gravitons, photons, mesons, and the Higgs Boson –
was formed just like that, from nothing,
absolutely nothing.


His kidney transplant is six months old
doing great but he stays home afraid
to move fearing it’ll be rejected
and he’ll die. Understandable.
But Rick are you exercising?
Doing some walking.
No, I mean exercising. Can you lift weights?
You need progressive resistance training
to strengthen your core, your back, chest, legs
and arms. It’ll make a new man
out of you. Start with light bench presses,
curls, deadlifts . . . and he’s staring wide-eyed
at me like I’m trying to claw
the new kidney out of his body.




Yash Seyedbagheri

Bio (auto)

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His work is forthcoming or has been published in journals such as 50 Word Stories, Silent Auctions, City. River. Tree. and Ariel Chart.

The following work is Copyright © 2020, and owned by Yash Seyedbagheri and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Night The Internet Died

the night the Internet goes out,
people wear anguish, czarist Russian peasants
in electronic famine, with no crop. What will we do
they whisper, hands pressed to exposed bosoms without Facebook
and likes. and random YouTube clips
of getting drunk and puking
lungs and shitting the 1812 Overture pissing on old ladies
they refresh, refresh
yellow triangles assaulting eyes
no connection. no connection. no connection.

tempers rise
mothers and fathers, grandpa, grandma, brothers and sisters beside them
likewise. no surrender to intimacy
no surrender to hugs or simple greetings
no messing hair tender sisterly investigation
of little brother’s nascent adulthood sorrow
or jokes about his backwards baseball caps, which she finds
so secretly adorable. a brother’s quips about sister’s boyfriend’s ears
a mother, a father asking children, how are you?
what do you want from life, old sport?

they just want to vanquish the electronic famine,
why God? why? they beg God for mercy
brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers inches apart
staring at screen altars
promise to reform, even the atheists
why have you forsaken our Internet?
how can we live without the latest news of
actor X fucking actor Y
which is the most relevant thing in the world

while people starve, hatred contracts
while seasons change
and trees turn to skeletons, macabre but beautiful
we care about that. we just need
to know how actor X is fucking actor Y first
after all everyone likes X and therefore
I like X, even if I hate his accent, his movies
give me back my Internet
refresh, refresh, fuck, fuck, fuck on a corndog
they cry, refresh

night deepens, deep purple turning to velvet bloom
and they keep watch screens, refresh, refresh
with the look of Russian peasants, anguish
unfurled across bourgeois
refreshing screens, while their minds
drown in electronic famine
above, a moon takes flight
and the stars are brighter than before
but they keep staring into the electronic famine
collapsing, the triangle eating them like maggots

they die for the heavenly cause. the impossible dream,
trying to vanquish the yellow triangle,
refresh, refresh, their requiem
the unreachable electronic crops
consuming corpses, no videos of
pooping and drunkenness come to save them
night unable to save them from electronic hypnosis
moon whispering her luminous tears

refresh, refresh, the yellow triangle whispers
at their burial.