A Microcompendium by Ron Riekki, Emmanuel Abdalmasih Samsom, W. F. Roby and Sam Spurlock

I’m Going to Have a Shitty Life and I Am OK with That. by Ron Riekki

It’s better than being dead. I think.

Torture. by Emmanuel Abdalmasih Samson
Torture is a mind
anchored in unrequited faithfulness
refusing to move on.

Lines from The Bobbettes. by W. F. Roby
Oh, Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee -
a giant, some bubble-gum pink golem
wrapped up the beltway to a shoelace
loop, to celebrate this forever.
And so your dad
had to drive upside-down
with his mouth full of pink heart,
a copper-hearted hot 95 in the HOV.

November 14: Out of Context by Sam Spurlock
Dare me to try
Look me in the eye
I'll make it fly
And that's no lie
You wanna soar?
Next question.
How high?

Ron Riekki’s books include My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Apprentice House Press), Posttraumatic (Hoot ‘n’ Waddle), and U.P. (Ghost Road Press). Riekki co-edited Undocumented (Michigan State University Press) and The Many Lives of The Evil Dead (McFarland), and edited The Many Lives of It (McFarland), And Here (MSU Press), Here (MSU Press, Independent Publisher Book Award), and The Way North (Wayne State University Press, Michigan Notable Book). Right now, he's listening to Norm Macdonald on Conan.

Emmanuel Abdalmasih Samson (born Emmanuel Samson) is a Ham native from Dak, Kachia Local Government Area, Kaduna State, Nigeria. He studied food technology at Kaduna Polytechnic and now works as a consultant, pastor and coach at School of Romantic Relationship and Marriage, Family of Heaven on Earth and Better Your Life Ambassadors respectively. He is also the creator of the course 5 SIMPLE STEPS FOR COMPOSING A THOUGHTFUL POEM. Samson’s poems have appeared in published anthologies, Sunday Sun Revue, Sentinel Nigeria, and Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel. In 2011 he was featured on a blog post, “Eight Young Nigerian Poets Whose Poems Delight.” He is currently at work on his two poetry collections to be titled You Have No Rival and Creative Crime. He lives in Kaduna, Nigeria with his lovely wife, Alice Abosede and two sons, Fujesu and Nomshu.
Email: askeasforanswer@gmail.com
Social media handles: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @emmanuelsamsonn.

W. F. Roby is a teacher. He lives in Houston.

Sam Spurlock is a recovering academic who Konmarie'd their "American way of life" in 2017, hopped on a one-way flight to Iceland, and has been collecting passport stamps and learning the basics of five new foreign languages along the way. Spurlock spends their days solving problems large and small as a business consultant for clients around the world, as well as teaching English as a Second or Foreign language in formal and informal settings, often over a beer or cup of coffee. Spurlock's inspiration for this piece was based on their own experiences working as an Uber driver late-night and weekends primarily for the life experience, not the money. This piece is dedicated to all of those strangers who willingly shared conversational fragments of their life en route to their destinations during the summer of 2017.