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Did You Drink the Paint, John? by Ryan P. Kennedy

 You think the grocery is a fact of life, but it’s not. You know they use paint instead of milk in cereal commercials? To make it look delicious, to give it maximum appeal. They know, these commercial guys fucking know. I know, too. Me and the commercial guys know the truth. Knowing is only a chemical reaction in the brain, it’s like its own secret language.
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“Philosophy” by M. Krockmalnik Grabois

I was mopping floors in a deli
when I should have been
completing my philosophy degree

I used to argue philosophical points
with a teaching assistant named Witherspoon
in a large high ceilinged room
on the top floor of the Humanities building
He had a beard and long hair
chain-smoked unfiltered Camels
held them between thumb and forefinger
til he nearly burned himself
He was from Kentucky and had a strong accent
I liked everything about him

He told me I had a real knack for Philosophy but
as my depression deepened
I lost the ability to keep the arguments straight
and began to avoid him

One day he caught me in the hall
and asked if he had inadvertently offended me
I mumbled, “No, of course not”
then hurried away
like a grimy Dostoyevsky character

“Man in the Gutter” by Jonas Kyle-Sidell

I crawl
and up

            God, that sunlight