CONTENTS

January-February 2019 | Volume 15 Number 1

 

Editor’s Note

 

Time is change …

 

W

e’re getting off on the right foot with Volume 15 Number 1, the first issue of the New Year 2019, and we think you’re going to like it. Poetry, Fiction, Commentary, Humor, Reviews, Photography and Art, to name just a few of the topics in features we’ve been honored to share with you by our many contributors. Our gratitude for their work, and that of the editorial staff who continue to read and select from our many submissions, as well as to independently solicit and procure new work we trust you’ll find of interest, if not challenging.

On a personal note, I feel especially fortunate to have been involved directly or peripherally in journalism and publishing since the ‘70s. Journalism opens both windows and doors to worlds beyond one’s expectations, allowing one to meet people, go places, do things and enjoy opportunities available in few other occupations. Ragazine.cc provided avenues to discoveries in contemporary art, music, literature, law, philosophy, politics and more, continually pushing back on “what’s acceptable” in a world where more and different human behaviors are finding their ways to the surface, and where their practitioners demand to be seen and heard.

This thought machine we drive is a living thing – like any other publication. As with all living things, it’s subject to change. With this in mind, I’m pleased to announce that Greg Stewart will be taking over as Managing Editor of Ragazine.cc. Greg worked with Ragazine as an intern while he was attending The New School for Social Research in New York City, and has extensive experience in social networking and on-line publishing. I’ll be working with Greg in transition, while assuming the task of executive editor. We have a number of goals to reach in 2019, not the least of which is to see an increase in sponsorships, but also to improve on or establish the structural elements that will provide a strong foundation for future growth.

Please let us know your thoughts on what we’re doing — or what we’re not — that will make a positive difference in your life, and the lives of others.

Thanks for reading, and for spreading the word.

Mike Foldes

Founder/Executive Editor




Anne Whitehouse/Poetry

MOTHER AND DAUGHTER   Growing up in the South, she never felt she fit in, being way too serious and none too popular. She came north to be educated, and, leaning to the law, clerked for a federal judge and joined the Justice Department. Reared among D.C....

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Fred Skolnik/Fiction

BASIC FORMS: A PROLOGUE   Each thing, insofar as it is in itself, endeavors to persevere in its own being. ─ Spinoza Now we know the language, and we're fluent in it. ─ Philip Glass   The following is Chapter 1 of "Basic Forms," the latest novel by Fred...

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Jim Palombo/Politics

  Holiday Contrasts by Jim Palombo Politics Editor here are two dumps located in this area of Mexico, one in the vicinity of San Miguel Allende, and the other, about 30 miles away, is near the city of...

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Richard Kostelanetz/APHORISMS

•••   About the poet: Citing Britannica.com, Richard Kostelanetz is an "American writer, artist, critic, and editor of the avant-garde who is productive in many fields."  Kostelanetz attended Brown University (B.A., 1962), Columbia University (M.A., 1966), and...

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January Jukebox

  Colorado Musicians and Bands   Selected by Fred Roberts Music Editor Category: Rocky Mountain weather Song Title: Cyclone Artist: Fabulous Cyclones Year: 1960 Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h71bsITpnU   Category: Colors of Colorado Song Title:...

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Then and Now/Steve Poleskie

The word “boy” stings. I realize he has purposely chosen the word to convey the feeling of how it must have sounded to generations of black men. “Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything, really. I was visiting a friend in the Peace Corps and now I’m going home.”  I have said the wrong thing again. After two weeks in the country I am aware that most people here are not too fond of Peace Corps Volunteers. Most Sierra Leonese think of them as American spies.

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Fabia Wong/In Search Of …

Photo by Randy Colas on Unsplash/Champs-Élysées, Paris, France *** The Serious Man and the rise of the mob: A contemporary contemplation of the works of Simone de Beauvoir and Hannah Arendt   by Fabia Chenivesse-Wong Columnist [dropcap style="font-size: 46px;...

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Steven Masterson/Fiction

Lucy pulled her arms down his thighs until her hands reached his knees and pushed herself to her feet. Picking up her bag, she walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind her. She didn’t worry about Jonnie stealing anything—he was a nice guy, better than most—but she went nowhere without the bag. She pulled out her needle and spoon, panicked until she found the smack. Sitting on the edge of the old cast-iron tub, she cooked and shot. She let herself lean on the drug; no more panic, no more craving. Lucy didn’t get high—she got normal. As normal as she could…

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In Memoriam: Camilla Sohar

    Only if... A Poetry of Loss and Remembrance Poems by Paul Sohar   When Camilla passed away last spring at the age of 50 due to a medical accident, her family and many friends were shocked,...

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Young Poets of Oneonta

Prompts and New Voices n the autumn semester of 2018, in my creative writing course at SUNY Oneonta, my students endeavored to write “thematically linked” poems. We read Adele Kenny’s “A Lightness, A Thirst,...

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Evan Mantyk/Interview

The Society of Classical Poets is dedicated to the proliferation of classical poetry. What does that mean? It means poetry usually with rhyme and/or meter. It also means poetry of good character that puts the reader first, not the poet. The government’s “Survey on National Participation in the Arts,” found, over the last twenty years or so, a sharp decline in the number of people who had read or listened to a poem within the last 12 months while other literary forms stayed static…

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Real Life/Poetry Review

Taking the Temperature of the 21st Century Climate 6x9 Paperback 232 Pages Published by Omnidawn, 2018 ISBN-10: 1632430576 ISBN-13: 978-1632430571 Price: $14.62 on Amazon   Review by Emily Vogel Poetry Editor [dropcap style="font-size: 46px;...

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Evan Balkan/Travel

How do you make sense of a place? Perhaps years from now, I’ll remember little about Quito’s noise. I’ll probably forget that I didn’t sleep much. I’ll not be able to recall the perpetual tickle in my throat or the burn in my eyes. All that will fade away.

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PREVIOUS “CONTENTS”

The following lists include Contents from issues beginning with Volume 14, Number 5, September-October 2018. To find specific articles in older issues, use the search box. For issues older than 2010, go to http://old.ragazine.cc and use the search box. Lineup:...

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Michael T. Young/Poetry

     Dredging Gulls tow my gaze out beyond the breakwaters and jetties, to coast there among the glass towers. Wind whips the water in me into waves and spindrift. Along all my shores are hardnesses broken down into sand, fragments supposed to equal the history of me....

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Mark Walker/Creative Nonfiction

  My Life in the Land of the Eternal Spring: The Coffee Plantation   By Mark D. Walker Contributor hough I had lived and worked in Guatemala for seven years, it was a brief encounter with my young...

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Stéphane Vereecken \ Photographer Interview

Q: When did you first realize you had creative talents as a artist?

A: I started at a very young age to no longer take Fine Arts courses and I digested all those artists who are part of the history of the Fine Arts. When I realized that one medium was not enough for me and that I needed to experience them all, I realized that I needed to say things with my art…

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Ohio Jazz Shorts/Candice Watkins

  Melvin James “Sy” Oliver: Creator of the Lunceford Sound (1910–1988), & Zach Whyte   by Candice Watkins Contributing Writer ach Whyte attended Wilberforce College in the early 1920s, where he...

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William Crawford/Flash Fiction

  “It’s like a heat wave…”    A Kool, Kool Fool From The Rock ‘N Roll School Shares A Frigidaire Nightmare.   pulled into El Paso along about half past dead. The weathered wall thermometer hit...

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Sue Atkinson/Old Schools, Part 2

Populism nowadays is equated in popular media with bigotry and intolerance, but in the late 19th century, the populist movement represented rural residents’ desire to shape national policy that attended to the interests of producers as well as commercial interests. After losing the battle over monetary policy, the movement dwindled, the Democratic Party turned to corporate liberalism, and farmers’ interests were abandoned.

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Steve Dalachinsky/Poetry

the stone age   i’m lost - they’ve knocked me back to the stone age - this sick skin in a dream populated by science fiction literates - this terribly lonely dream populated by people into their own heads - gin drinkers & young girls sitting around 4 legged...

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Adele Kenny/Poetry

2 Poems by Adele Kenny   Past the Waterline (After Lake with Dead Trees by Thomas Cole) This could be any day, anywhere—either one of us could be the other, momentary deer where the water ends and the forest begins. Whatever hard things we’ve seen—what we’ve...

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Fiction/Leslie Brown

  WALKABOUT   by Leslie Brown In the summer of 1969 I told my mother II was going to sublet an apartment in the Cass Corridor. I’d always wanted to live near campus, and this was my last chance, my final quarter of graduate school at Wayne State University....

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Nancy Barno Reynolds/Education

ROSS FINDON PHOTO/ Unsplash   Those Who Can, Teach: Transitioning Through Education   by Nancy Barno Reynolds Education Editor tell people I’ve been teaching for 30 years and deep down, I feel that’s my...

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Teen Pregnancy: A Nurse’s Perspective

School officials are aware of, and knowledgeable about, requirements such as those delineated by Title IX.  These requirements promote inclusiveness and help prevent discrimination – and are intended to make it less likely that a pregnant teen will drop out of school.  Why then does the trend of drop-out teen mothers persist? Why, when we know that success in life is heavily predicated on educational attainment, do I continue to have conversations like the one above?

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Playlist for Donald Trump

  TAKE TEN Category: Cheerful world invasion videos Song Title: Гуманоид (Humanioid) Artist: ГрУпА СиТрО (Group Sitro) Year: 2007 Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMkILFgEfVM Category: Songs to tango with Melania Song Title: Комарик (Mosquito) Artist: Пётр...

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Jim Palombo/Politics

Every so often the crap hits the fan. I mean it’s in the scope of my work to pay attention to and analyze a lot of what’s on our public discussion table. But with all that’s happening, with so many battle lines being drawn, there seems too much to contend with…

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Mark Levy/Casual Observer

How about this one? You can risk sudden or severe changes in mood or behavior, like feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, hyperactive, overly excited, or even suicidal, in an effort to treat what ailment? Ironically, it’s depression, and Paxil and Wellbutrin are the medications. So if you are depressed, these medications can solve your problems by provoking suicide. Logical, I think, but extreme.

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Fred’s February Playlist

Frank Nagel photo Mary Ocher, with Felix Kubin, one of Fred's February picks....   TAKE TEN     Category: Forgotten Brazilian Guitarists Song Title: Amor de Argentina Artist: Américo Jacomino Year: 1928 Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4weR4B4heQ...

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On Location/France

Andelu painter in Vallauris: When reality flies   by Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret Contributing Editor ith Andelu the space of the  the picture is decomposed as blown by a contagious  sphere of influence. The...

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Education/Nancy Barno Reynolds

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash   Critical Literacy, Economic Growth, and the Standards Movement: Are We Speaking the Same Language?   by Nancy Barno Reynolds Education Editor he introduction of...

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Julie McCarthy/Education

Photo by Bill Wegener on Unsplash *** Uncertain Times for Diverse Learners   by Julie McCarthy couple of years ago at a New York State conference for teachers of speakers of other languages, we were...

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Monique Gagnon German/Poetry

  Yoga: Just Follow Instructions Yoga is the blocking of mental modifications so that the seer re-identifies with the Self.  – Sage Patanjali Inhale chest arms up, Don’t think about the phone call arms down exhale, bend forward into ragdoll, the tin plane you have to...

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Sue Atkinson: Old Schools, Part 1

Former Mt. Upton High School   Old Schools – Part 1 The Downsides of Consolidation  n a sunny late fall afternoon, I took a drive up New York State Route 8. Highway 8 originates in the Village of...

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Meredith Cottle/Poetry

Arrhythmic Morality perhaps I was the devil all along a crumbling and shameless little fool pleading to malicious cards of chance among the dying and their reverence that you should go, my benediction stands, as you have ceased to love or ever thrive, and I have...

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Belfast Snaps by Allen Forrest

***     About Allen Forrest: Cartoonist/Illustrator. Born in Canada and bred in the U.S., Allen Forrest has worked in many mediums: computer graphics, theater, digital music, film, video, drawing and painting. You can read more about him in About Us....

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Scott Thomas Outlar/Poetry

  Center of Your Silken Den Your couch was made of velvet. Supple to the touch. I didn’t notice as my defenses went soft. Waking up, I felt the marks left by your claws. Your teeth were sharp as needles. Subtle with their sting. I should have known the invitation...

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Politics/Jim Palombo

At the core of the situation lies a simple matter of fact. We do not have clarity when it comes to our own ideological frame; in essence, we cannot easily distinguish our capitalist and democratic selves.  In this context we have never seriously engaged our citizenry in developing a critical understanding of who we are in the mix of how capitalism’s inherent elements rub-up against the principles of democracy. After all, how much time have we spent exploring the cultural instincts that have developed in the most advanced capitalist system in the world?  In other words, how have the elements of materialism, aggression, competiveness, consumption/consumerism, individualism, survival of the fittest and the overall profit motive been examined in term of our everyday existence? Furthermore, how do these same elements play out against the ideals of fairness, equality, justice and liberty that we seem to also hold dear?  And can the deep-rooted issues we are facing — war and terrorism, racial and/or gender differences, class inequality, moral/ethical behavior, politically corruption, the ineptness of our institutions, health and welfare, and even our own individual shortcomings — be adequately confronted without a realistic assessment of our capitalist and democratic character?

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Henry A. Giroux/Commentary

    Gangster capitalism and nostalgic authoritarianism in Trump’s America   In one year, the Trump regime has wrought immense damage to democracy, culture and thought. But there’s new hope.   by Henry A. Giroux Contributing Editor Just one year into the...

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Greg Stewart – On Location/New York

Currently the circulation of Esopus is about 30,000, with readers in all 50 states and 23 countries. The very loyal base of subscribers is about 2,000. The consistent success of Esopus has been its ability to provide the readership with an eclectic mix of art, as well as the good publicity that has been following it since its early editions. It has been reviewed in The New York Times, along with many international publications which have spread it around the globe.

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Jim Palombo/Politics

“… we have an education system that seems most focused on verifying its own worth, making it ‘too busy’ to be concerned with developing ongoing, civic dialogue. (Especially in these turbulent political times, this should be a top priority, at least on par with developing technological skills.)”

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Pierre-Jean Amar / Photography Interview

My photography work recently published in L’Oeil de la Photographie is part of an older series, which I once created on the theme of “Sheet” (as in bed linens) and the body. Similar to many of my images, I show only details, not a whole body. In hindsight, I notice today that quite often I focused on the bottoms of my models!!!

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LOCAL HEROES, 2015, Hamburg

Axid Rain was my highlight of the 4th semi-final night. They call their genre flatrock, which I attempted to google but finally gave up. They’re a hard rock band, in the classic vein of MTV or Huey Lewis and the News, with a fantastic live show. Frontman Yannick Mense, in his leather hat and seaman’s jacket was all over the stage. Pure charisma and wild guitar riffs. All in all an electrifying performance.

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Jimmy Zhivago, In Memoriam

Some of my happiest moments of the past five or six years involve recording with Jimi at The Maid’s Room or at Forrest Sound in Long Island City, and we’d sit across from each other, I’d play the outline of a song, I’d fingerpick a pattern, and he’d weave his way around it, teasing the chords, circling them, waiting for a place to land, and then maybe opening up a chord until it gave up all its secrets and rolled over, maybe it was a passing chord from REVOLVER or RUBBER SOUL, or maybe it came out of a vague memory of bossa nova, and it hung in the air like the end of a journey, like a stamp on a letter, ready to mail, a suspended ninth, augmented and straddling the major and the minor, the sun and the sunset, the last rays of light and the first hope of dawn, all in that chord, those notes you expected, those notes you’d never expect, not here, not now, as if a blues had just discovered Stravinsky or Stravinsky had gotten lost on a downtown train and decided to stop for a beer, and I’d have to stop a moment and shake my head, “Man, that’s so beautiful!” “What? You think I’m beautiful?” “That chord. It’s just gorgeous.” “What? You think I’m gorgeous?” And so on. And so on.

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Henry Giroux/Politics

Trump’s Racist Language of Pollution Drives His Neoliberal Fascism   President Trump speaks to the media after a meeting with congressional leaders about ending the partial government shutdown, in the Rose Garden at the White House on January 4, 2019, in...

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The name Ragazine was coined in the mid-’70s in Columbus, Ohio, as the title of an alternative newspaper/magazine put together by a group of friends. It was revived in 2004 as ragazine.cc, the on-line magazine of arts, information and entertainment, a collaboration of artists, writers, poets, photographers, travelers and interested others. And that’s what it still is.