An artist, poet, and freelance writer, J.I. Kleinberg lives in Bellingham, Washington, USA, and on Instagram @jikleinberg.
Traffic near stalled.
The car in front of me
continued to occupy
the place I wanted to be
more than any other.
But, as the vehicle inched forward,
so did that place.
I could see the back of the head
of the woman driving.
It didn’t matter who she was,
what she looked like
or whether her personality
was frothy beer or iced tea.
I couldn’t tell if it
was her selfishness,
or just plain luck,
that saw her edge by
Greg’s liquor store
moments ahead of me.
or stop for some guy
in the crosswalk
when that was a role
I could only see myself in.
I finally pressed my finger
on the horn
because I wanted her to know
that, though she was already
crossing Elm street
and it looked like
I wouldn’t make the light,
that tomorrow could well
be a different story.
That was the sound you all heard.
Not my impatience.
My ultimate vindication.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Lana Turner and International Poetry Review.
A sparse, cathartic set of visuals, ruminates on the old corners of youth and growth. Began, simply, our inner stream of consciousness; the hushed reflections, the ambient hums, the drifted murmurs — but also, at times, a harsh, roaring buzz.
night dot surrender
A loose set of photographs.
Simply, shapes and colours.
Exercising through various mediums, Henry Hu’s (born 1995 Hong Kong) emerging practice commits to an infusion. An exchange. An immediacy. A link between the interior and the exterior — of a self, a being, an identity, a consciousness. Each individual series offers an overarching narrative, steps away from the present for a spell: tasked with casting new perspectives, fresh air to breathe, a spiritual relief. Often juxtaposing the past with the future, differing forms of surrealistic fantasies unfold across his works; along with a recurring structure, the heart of all series rests in harmony.
its glow stares
into my mind
in to my eyes
as I rise from
the flickering debris
from the shadows
from the crevices
filled with tears
and broken dreams
from the compression cracks
in the concrete sidewalks
and the screams of sirens
from the overdoses
of heroin and sadness
from the madness of bad choices
from the filth
and the flashes of
red and blue, from
the ashes of forgotten
faces hidden in those spaces where
only lies are to become true.
And then, as always
there is you, so many miles away
yet emanating a faith
so strong in the light while
chasing out the blackness so
much further into this night
pushing the last
of dust and darkness
so far away/from the gutter—Moon.
James is drawn to art and the complexities of life the way smoke draws to a sudden draft.
Edward Michael Supranowicz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on a small farm in Appalachia. He has a grad background in painting and printmaking. Some of his artwork has recently or will soon appear in Fish Food, Streetlight, Another Chicago Magazine, The Door Is a Jar, The Phoenix, and other journals. Edward is also a published poet.
Every time he checks the blueprints, something’s different. When he questions the builder, he sneers, as if to demand “What are ya talkin’ about bub; you were on board with the designs – just yesterday.” But upon today’s examination, the roofline has taken on a monstrous fortress-like appearance. Worse yet, each day, it continues to grow in strangeness. Now, as the house is complete, he does not question its organic shapeshifting. He lies in bed aware—as walls fold and floors slide around him. The house lives, takes on new forms, and against his will, locks its doors and windows.
Keith Hoerner (BS, MFA) lives, teaches, and pushes words around in Southern Illinois. His work can be found in the likes of decomP, Fiction Kitchen Berlin, and Litro—to name just a few.
Preword: I knew I had to try something drastic. My hope is that by publishing my experience in this learned journal, Bear Therapy will become more accepted as a mainstream technique.
Note: No responsibility is assumed by the author or publisher for any injury and/or damage to persons or property.
In my 23 years as a licensed marriage counselor, I had never encountered a couple as intransigent as the Spanglers. Neither of them would accept any blame for their issues or make a serious effort to save their marriage. Yet neither was willing to call it quits. It was as if Mr. Spangler preferred to live in hell as long as his wife were there, too. And vice versa.
Mr. and Mrs. Spangler appeared to have no inclination to discontinue our fruitless relationship. I believe they considered our sessions to be a kind of entertainment. I was tempted more than once to terminate my services, but professional pride and concern with getting a reputation as a quitter stopped me. So every Tuesday at six in the evening, the three of us went through the motions.
After nearly a year, I knew it was time to try something radical.
When I introduced the topic of a new therapy that was “a bit extreme, but interesting,” Mr. and Mrs. Spangler looked at each other and shrugged. It was as much commitment as I’d seen from either of them in months. I gave them papers to sign and excused myself.
The Spanglers sat up in their chairs when I returned leading the huge brown bear into the session room. I had their attention. At least Benjamin did. Even more so when he rose up on his hind legs and sniffed the air.
I explained to the Spanglers how bears can pick up the scent of a caribou 10 miles away. Mr. Spangler disagreed, saying 15 miles. Not to be outdone, Mrs. Spangler insisted it was 20.
I informed the querulous couple that Benjamin had been trained to smell the change in a person’s adrenal secretions when they lie or say something disingenuous or hurtful.
Mr. Spangler asked what would happen when his wife was dishonest again. Benjamin growled.
Mrs. Spangler remarked that perhaps this special therapy wasn’t such a good idea after all. Benjamin didn’t react.
I reminded the Spanglers that they had already signed the consent forms and made my exit, locking them in the session room with Benjamin.
From my office next door, I heard the couple bickering, shouting and sobbing. Benjamin growled most of the time. Then his roar rattled the framed diplomas on my office wall. After that … dead silence.
I waited a few minutes then returned to the session room. I opened the door and peeked inside, knowing that, one way or another, I would have the pleasure of working with a new couple next Tuesday at six.
Did Benjamin eat Mr. and Mrs. Spangler? Did the bear fix their marriage?
Neither, of course. To expect those outcomes would be unrealistic, even absurd. But I knew the Spanglers, like any couple, would never want to return to a counselor who had locked them in a room with a grizzly. The desired result had been achieved.
This new approach isn’t for all psychologists. It requires special training, equipment and facilities. But the technique can be useful in the right circumstances, particularly when dealing with intractable patients.
Afterword: I believe the approach can be efficacious in counseling disciplines in addition to marriage therapy, and, in fact, beyond the field of psychology. Think lawyers, financial advisers, extended car warranty sales personnel.
I even can envision a future where variations of Ursidae-based techniques could prove invaluable in dealing with politicians who refuse to bow out gracefully.
The sky is the limit for Bear Therapy.
Dr. Wedloe Morey — LP, LCSW, LMFT
David Henson and his wife have lived in Belgium and Hong Kong over the years and now are retired and reside in Illinois. His work has been nominated for a Best of the Net and has appeared in various journals including Moonpark Review, Literally Stories, Bewildering Stories, Flash Fiction Magazine, Fiction on the Web, The Fiction Pool, The Eunoia Review, and Fictive Dream. His website is http://writings217.wordpress.com. His Twitter is @annalou8.