“It is a vestibule introducing one into the presence of the Good. Vestibule? Yes, and vestige, too, the trace in the multiple of the Good which itself remains in absolute unity.” Plotinus, The Intelligence, The Ideas, And Being


Not whole, but wholly striving, this Somali sambusa


my taste buds. The way its lentil skates

toward higher stakes with kombucha


dominates the echoes and mirrors

of the Radiohead

cover band’s striving. Running for cover, we head

into the nearest tent; whatever echoes and mirrors


the rain is handmade

or not for sale in here. The scent of a baker’s

cake comes in and offers me its handsaw when my Baker’s

cyst elicits memory’s handmaid.


Fliers for performances of The Comedy

of Errors litter

the eye with glitter

redivivus, cupbearers and community.


For the essence of spiritual CBD

oil – if the expression is permissible –

Corri’s turquoise Hamsa charm fits the bill

to a t.


They call this pinot

“Moonlight in a Nightie.”

Running for cover with impunity,

blue jays point –


by the grace of God – to hardy fuchsias.

A sobering and drunken wind’s companion


break this Saturday into a million cluster fucks.


But for all that, the Elf King’s roastery

clouds the thousand eyes of death, whose motley crew

of semi-arbitrary forces in J. Crew

will have a pretty good story


after today. Sitting tight, last year’s regatta

queen considers last year’s gold rush,

crying in her lap with thrush,

and sips a microbrew until last year’s forgotten.


“Beauty must forget itself to be itself”; a misbegotten

thought, which thinking, thinks, “Your rage agrees

with you, and rages.” By the grace

of this harissa’s miniature toccata


on my tongue,

gap-toothed memory gets around,

brings out the best bratwurst in the lost and found.

Angry it isn’t ideal, a scaredy-cat’s got my tongue.


Jake Sheff

Jake Sheff is a pediatrician in Oregon. He’s married with a daughter and six pets. Poems of Jake’s are in Radius, The Ekphrastic Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Cossack Review and elsewhere. He won 1st place in the 2017 SFPA speculative poetry contest and a Laureate’s Choice prize in the 2019 Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest. Past poems have been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and the Pushcart Prize. His chapbook is “Looting Versailles” (Alabaster Leaves Publishing).

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