Two Poems

By M. A. Istvan Jr


2050—A 2010 Prophecy

From a later vantage, the transition
will seem like a point. But zoom in
and it will have extent. The “start”
of the transition has already passed
in 2010. Transition to what, though?
To reality’s self-realization? Perhaps
to a sort of super-consciousness: AI
unimaginably informed and yet also
capable of refining its own design
such that our brightest will soon fail
to comprehend the aims and abilities
of that near-immortal silicon worthy—
and perhaps demanding—of worship?

What profound boredom, a boredom
no passing-the-time could ward off,
might await them? Will that boredom
render meaningless what were once
their tools? Will it disclose for them
the primordial within them, forcing
these demigods to face that they too
have been thrown into this, like us?
Might even that boredom—in forcing
these demigods to face that they too
did not make themselves exist—spark
care, empathy for all thrown beings?

Brigitte Nielson

True beauty is supposed to strike
terror into our hearts. Just think
of an angel in full-blown glory,
the first words always “Fear not.”

Over you comes that uneasiness,
visceral, of an unseasoned child
standing before the revving dirt-bike
mufflerless for added roar.

Is the terror-beauty link behind
Aristotle’s claim that body-beauty
demands good-size, the small at best
neat, proportioned, but never beautiful?

In lieu of a traditional author bio, M. A. Istvan Jr. (Spleet / Splerg / Splert / Splergself) would like to offer a prayer to the masturbation gods. Pray we never learn of the black-mono-culture-shattering likes of Esperanza Spalding and Rhiannon Giddens. Pray we never learn that deserving of Grammys are non-empty-plastic, non-bling-gaudy, non-superficial-decadent, non-self-indulgent, non-reality-TV—in short, non-Trump—musicians of black-female persuasion who train in conservatories, apprentice under masters, and suffer hours at their craft (instead of baby-oil twerking drunk at Panem-Capitol parties of such poverty-mocking extravagance that perhaps soon they will feature bound-and-gagged homeless families, not just blunts and spliffs, being set ablaze with hundred-dollar bills). Pray we never learn that worthy of Time Magazine covers are black women in the music industry who even refuse, despite incentives of shiny objects and popularity (the only things that really matter in our utopia), to enliven the white fantasy at the very heart of our national culture: that black bodies—close as they cannot help but remain to the savage jungle—hanker to be choke-handled, spit upon, and have all their holes beaten up to the point of prolapse with such no-means-yes brutality—only by colossal cocks with Trump money, of course (these “whores in the house” do have standards!)—that even police, despite how trigger-nervous they tend to get around safari disturbances, might have to get called. Visit or

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