Gulf Stream Literary Magazine

The autumn issue of Gulf Stream is here!! Big thank you to all the talented writers who entrusted us with words, to James Kock for the beautiful cover photo and to fellow editors who worked hard to read stacks of submissions. This makes it all worthwhile. I’m very proud of this issue for many reasons. This was the hardest semester, we endured the loss of a dear friend and fellow poet, Chris Cannella to whom this issue is dedicated. We suffered the American tragedy of Trump, we mourned and drank too much, but we haven’t stopped writing. Now more than ever, we keep our faith in words.

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How to find poetry

drop letters down wishing

wells that could be sewer drains

or take them home

send them back to sea

or return them to rain.

each word an empty carriage

or street sign to some highland emotion

or basement sentiment.

hold them with empty palms

weave them into psalms.

a poem is a city pigeon secretly having singing lessons

that don’t amount to much

or debuts Opera seria at Carnegie Hall.

or remains camouflaged in winter clouds

or counter-clockwise flight.

poetry comes easy

when it decides to make it on time

or it know nothing of time

or it is timeless.

why should poems come easy?

it’s not like they make you

coffee each morning.

they are coffee-

they are each

morning.


After-Play

We have drained the metaphors of magic-

Angels playing peek-a-boo in nimbo-

Cumulus, fighting over forks of fire,

Mermaids lacing their hair in seaweed crowns.

Drifted from algae-drenched Atlantis towns;

The gnomes, lugging their dark gold, are buried,

Jack Frost melted, the sandman put to sleep.

Still, you sit with me, watching for game,

Those who float around the room have assumed

Accustomed roles: the hard nose, the comic,

The hysterical wife, the cool addict:

We have seen through their metamorphosis,

The japanese butterfly intrigues us

More than they-fine shimmering purple silk.

I’m not certain you want any answers:

They would not be formulae for planting

Mushrooms, nor how to baste a better gown

For walking late along the river banks

Many are the ways for catching rodents,

Seducing lovers, soliciting friends

They do not concern us: all are written.

The sperm does not stand upon his tail and laugh,

The egg does not whirl primly not proudly

Inviting bouquets in pre-urterine

Gardens cool with moon-dew, warm with pink suns;

A tired climb up a DNA stair,

Precise and circular, has supervened:

The bee builds his hive, sucks it dry, and dies.

At midnight, professors star at the starlight,

Lens upon lens simplifies the pattern:

There is no Hercules, no snake to kill,

The seven dancing sisters atoms

Beating time against the dull drum of chance

The universe revolves about a star

Itself wandering aimlessly and dark

Yet here you sit alive upon the lounge

Not quite tipsy, the hostess with the glass,

Acting as if someone sat between us

The way you careless the sofa’s fine fur,

That’s no game – you do not know you do it,

Some myth you never knew, keeps teaching you

To step out of the play-shine by your own light.

Ben McKulik, August 25th 1978


Head/Heart Philosophy

The face to the world does not always want to Face the world.

Mourning mornings for the world.

Whole blocks of soul blocks

Stacked up like sandbags

Held within endocardium.


Egg timer in the walls

I love

our mice infested studio,

and our overfilled ashtrays,

and the smell of roasting pumpkin.

I love

your musk on the sheets

and your big flat feet.

I love

our love

and backgammon games at 5am, midnight feasts, love in the dark, body warm sheets that we make dirty, premature mornings and our cardboard curtain.

I miss everything although,          I  am  in  it.

The egg timer echoes through these walls.

I must go and risk or

stay and regret or

go and regret or

stay and risk regret.

I love you

and our broken doorbell

but I hear the sea horn and must set sail.

but you make it tricky, tender my love.


Alan Watts – Become what you are

I have found Alan Watts to be more optimistic on his views of consciousness and reality, more so than David Icke. A little something to make you feel less hopeless…


Point of Journey

Journey to the end of the street, down Main Highway

Back down Main Highway

To work on Art

To work at the Art Gallery

To work on writing

To work on printing

To work on that one piece that is almost done

Journey to the end of town

Home.

Work on Love

Work on dinner

Work on Zen

Journey to the strip mall

Work behind the bar

Serve food, pour beer & humor the needy

Work on multi tasking

Realize more needs

Journey to bed

Contemplate breath

Work to be in the gap

Work to leave work behind

Work to not scratch 20 mosquito bites

Work to be a calm

To be in stillness

To expand stillness

To not smoke a joint to attain stillness

To not smoke a joint?

Why?

The headline question is, Why?

If mind makes matter, replace why with is?

Look at what you have created, at work on your journey to be!

Talk to self through paper to converse with one’s own mystery, which is

The mind and birth of thought as we

Work through the days

Stampede to the next birthday just so you can exhale

Remember the exhale as you accelerate

The sweet release you give to self when palms open

And when palms open to extend fingers

This is the stuff magic is made of –

Watch it disappear when you are not looking.

As matter turns to frequency

The revelation?

None of that shit matters.