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  April 2014
volume 11 number 1
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  contributing poets
  Scott Alexander
  Shawn Aveningo
  Jonathan Beale
  Jack G. Bowman
  Betsy Burke
  Matt Burns
  Shibani Chattopadhyay
  Rachel Coventry
  Tyler Dupuis
  Allison Grayhurst
  John Grochalski
  Hedy Habra
  Samantha Henderson
  Augustus Invictus
  Natalie Itzhaki
  Scott Jacobson
  Alex Johnson
  Mikel K
  Craig Kurtz
  Phillip Larrea
  N.M. Leepsa
  Anthony Magistrale
  Brendan McCormack
  Christopher Mulrooney
  Philip ONeil
  Ebi Robert
  Walter Ruhlmann
  April Salzano
  Jake Sheff
  Rishan Singh
  Julia Stein
  Allen Taylor
  Paul Tristram
  Wanda Vanhoy Smith
  Claire Walker
  Viola Weinberg
  Claire Williams
  mailing list
Jake Sheff
April 2014



photo by mauricio alejandro ramos

    Jake Sheff is a captain in the USAF currently training as a pediatrics resident physician. He's married with a baby daughter and several rescue pets. His poems have been published widely online and in print, including at Danse Macabre and Futures Trading. His first chapbook, Looting Versailles, was recently released by Alabaster Leaves Publishing, and can be purchased on the publisher's website or



A Man Who Never Painted

This self-portrait is dated from yesterday, but yesterday I was dead. Today I’m alive because my death and the ensuing time after were dropped in a puddle, the ink smeared and the pages turned back into trees.

The scrivener was called in emergently. “I’m sorry to wake you, but there’s been an accident,” the operator said like a muted car crash. “It’s fine, I’m leaving right now,” the scrivener replied like an amplified soy bean.

The scrivener was high on marijuana and chiefly concerned with finishing before his boss arrived. There was also the matter of a prostitute still at his apartment. When he left ze was sitting on the couch staring at the urn on the mantel with his grandmother’s ashes. “You go ahead, baby,” ze said in a guttural voice, “I’ll stay right here.”

So here I am now, staring at my self-portrait from yesterday with no recollection of yesterday, waiting for someone to catch the scrivener’s error and delete me, again, from history.

(The self-portrait begins to speak…)

“Well, let’s have it. What do you think? You’ve been given a chance to view an artistic rendering of yourself done by your hand while it’s controlled by another man’s mind. So tell me: how true to life am I; how transformative? And least important, do you like me?”

To be honest, I am ready to die again. At first I was scared, but life is so -

copyright 2014 Jake Sheff