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Publisher: James Threadgill
Editor: Barry Hannes
Theme: WWWeb Concepts
Graphics: Wayne James
Founded: 21 August 2012
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Remembering Newtown

Nameless City

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Gulag Americana by Wayne James

We think of the key each in his own prison. . .

Shape without form shade without colour

   Paralysed force gesture without motion. . .

Under skies churning with anvil clouds,
I arrive on the streets of the nameless city.
The sound of my footfalls echoes off walls
of  blood-tempered brick, concrete, and steel,
blends with the voices storming
around me here in death’s other kingdom.

Lightning flashes blue and bright–
thunder rumbles across the dry fields,
dust billows, but the rain never falls.

Like a bitter wind blowing down from the north,
the New Right’s cathedrals rise up from the land–
monuments of chain link and razor wire
like multiform stelae spearing the sky.
Acolytes chant paeans to loss, longing, and pain,
while stalks rustling out in the fields
whisper in sibilant voices the names of the dead.

The Kachina dance to the abyss’ edge,
but the Shalako don’t come on solstice night–
no promise of rain, no end to the blight.

The cruel month’s sun beats down
on the streets of the nameless city
yet coaxes no life from this desolate land
where I’ve wasted too many years
keeping the best part of myself buried inside,
yearning to touch, burning to be touched–
trapped between desire and spasm.

No clouds gather, no breezes blow.
The cricket finds no relief, the man
no shelter–there is no red rock.

Again storm clouds blacken the city’s skies,
lightning flashes, thunder rolls and shakes.
I run through dark streets, search for my escape.
When I see the way out, I find it lies
in facing the void with unflinching eyes.
In giving color shade, a form to shape,
the motion to gesture, I liberate
creative forces deep inside.  They rise
to flow like waters down through the furrows
of my dry fields.  Imagination then
nurtures the new life that, beginning to grow,
lifts fresh shoots from rich earth, both bud and stem.
And making meaning from the chaos, so
I set my lands in order once again.

Editor’s Note: Previously published by Hadrosaur Productions in When Only the Moon Rages, Wayne James’ collection of short fiction and poetry.

Wayne James

Wayne James

James Threadgill was born in Houston, Texas, and has lived near Houston his entire life—except during military service. He attended public schools where he was active in student sports.

James took the GED following the first semester of his senior year and enlisted with the U. S. Army. An expert marksman, he served as a Combat Engineer in the 1st. Cavalry Division. After, James worked for the family business for a few years, then, at the age of 33, entered college. He graduated a Bachelor of Science—Summa Cum Laude—in Human Behavior and later a Master of Arts in Psychology—earning Psi Chi and Phi Kappa Phi honors—at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

A professional web developer and designer, James has been published as himself and as Wayne James in several genres, including: speculative, crime, and literary fiction, as well as poetry, essay, and political opinion and won awards for his writing, research, and photography, including a Texas Intercollegiate Press Award for literary short story.

James' fiction first appeared in Raconteur in 1995, and his poetry in Lucidity in 1996. His collection of poetry and short fiction, When Only the Moon Rages, released byHadrosaur Productions in 2001, is available on Amazon. Most recently his work appeared in Tales of the Talisman Winter 2010 and Spring 2011 issues. The dark poem Voice Mail appeared in Lone Star Legacy, Winter 2014. In addition to writing, James works in many media, including: photography, charcoal, sketch, Flash animation, computer graphics, and makes and paints Native American Drums.

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“And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.” Revelation 13:1-3.

And the beast called itself GOP and written upon its seven heads are: Avarice, Cowardice, Entitlement, Homophobia, Ignorance, Misogyny, and Racism. And the meek shall cry out in agony. And the beast shall be slain by the Lamb, in their name. And the beast's name shall be erased from the minds of men forever.

Amen