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Bruce Parker writer

Beaufort 4

by Bruce Parker

Like the sea my body pulses
choppy in wind against its current,
an open sea concealing squid eyes,
phosphorescence and fish that briefly fly.
It is the pulse of sex along my spine
still seeking surcease, sometimes
finding it and love, the sea otter, floats
on its surface, cuddles its young until
they are gone and my sea is empty again,
open sea with choppy waves.

Belle Hélène

The room was small and dingy
in a small and dingy hotel,
nothing to remember about it,
perhaps an unremarkable print hung on
a probably brown wall, I don’t remember.
Down at the end of the narrow hall
on each of the two floors was a decrepit
shared bathroom.  The hotel would have been
forgettable anywhere but there in Greece,
standing alone in bright sunshine
a little down the road from Mycenae,
where Schliemann believed he had found
the mask of Agamemnon, where he stayed
during his excavations, had signed
the guest register that I, too, signed, signed
also by Heinrich Himmler, Charlton Heston,
and others* who must have each enjoyed
the same shared bathroom at the end of the dingy hall.

*The others include:
  Claude Debussy
  Jean-Paul Sartre
  Hermann Goering Joseph Goebbels
  Pedro II of Brazil
  JK Rowling
  Gustav Adolf VI of Sweden
  Albert II of Belgium
  Agatha Christie
  Allen Ginsberg
  The Duke of Windsor and the Duchess of Kent
  Henry Miller
  Virginia and Leonard Woolf
  William Faulkner
  Irving Stone
  Jack Kerouac
  Andre Malraux
  Lawrence Durrell


The question of god begins with definition
name an attribute and there remains an exception
yes for every one of the ninety-nine names
suffering persists
we are allowed to destroy our home like children in
the name of free what
can you expect I am the deity you know
he is said to have said and even he
is suspect gender need not apply
is everywhere not a person in the way
of peculiar substance and accident combined
my empty hands will be fulfilled does supernatural
mean anything any more
any more than anything
more than anything else
any god imaginary friend invisible
all outside time and space


Bruce Parker holds a BA in History from the University of Maryland Far East Division, Okinawa, Japan; and an MA in Secondary Education from the University of New Mexico.  He has worked as an ESL teacher, technical editor, and translator.  His work has appeared in The Inflectionist Review, Pif, Blue Unicorn, The Hamilton Stone Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Portland, Oregon, and has a chapbook, Ramadan in Summer, forthcoming January 14, 2022, from Finishing Line Press.