Friday, May 31, 2013

Two Poems by M.A. Schaffner

Corner Destination

They make their peace with dining at the bar
to live a life without reservations.
One’s place is always certain at the end.

Seen from a car on Sixty-Six the sun
makes a pest on a par with low slung jets
while a hawk closing on median groundhogs
would seem desperate enough for us all.

Let’s say there’s no profit in any of this,
just private score-sheets where talk will remain
a matter of weddings and mortgages,
with each new series distractions from what

has happened to the vanished and the air.
Better it be dark and the menu hold
something old with a difference for the day.

It All Comes Down To Investment Strategy

A little putty, a little paint, and life
just doesn’t get any better, though death
is just as feared.  What’s more, the more you have
the more you burn on sleepless nights tossing

thoughts like flaming candy, weighing prices,
penalties, and cures.  One never gets too old
to never want to give up anything:
dreams of houses with undiscovered rooms,

waking up thirty years younger and just
as wise or rich or not, though it’s OK.
Even the pope’s shoes seem simply tawdry,
even the pyramids a waste of time.

M. A. Schaffner has work recently published or forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Magma, Tulane Review, Gargoyle, and The Delinquent.  Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys.  Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Two Poems by Rick Hartwell

Unmown grass, marble slabs,
markers for the perpetually lost,
and found amongst all of this,
yet one more funeral,
leftover from a war
which just won’t be forgotten;
revisited annually by some,
remembered daily by others.
Observing the old guard,
fresh dirt, drooping flags,
platitudes, and drops of tears:
remains of another day’s internment;
twenty-one guns in staccato fire
and taps played weakly with an
expiring breath of dead flowers
and a fading memory.
One inch of Espresso in a three-dollar cup.
A double jolt for the morning as I try to wake up.
Another day elongated after a plastered evening.
I’m bent over and staring at the dregs of my being.
Is there is a deeper meaning to Plaster of Paris?
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember, the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Poem by Tom Hatch

Stunning, filling blossom, sacred of our moment
embossed zipper on young thigh perhaps too
along with tattoo. I am in love with this.
But who am I just one of a creators
cement mixing machines.
A first encounter from around a corner's hope
I am passionate:
Passion five beautiful toes in her tennis shoe
how do I know her ankle tells me this.
Of colors everything has color.
Everything is bright or dim or dull never nothing.
A sigh between her legs from her knees.
Optimism, pessimism they collide
like wanting angry male lions while
lioness in heat never soft
until the victors dust clears.
A ponytail bright blue, brown or
green eyes upturned lashes staring
“I” beams thru my heart.
Blossoms are not forever that is why
they are special to lie upon and breath in.
Green can be so many things bright new
dull almost brown old.
My passion is my anger my love of all
things and feelings from inside a jar
to a universe beyond the burning stars.
The sound of a piece of steel hitting concrete
the sound of twenty pieces of steel hitting concrete
only to get her attention.
Drop a pin a whisper turning into s kiss.
A hollow log filled after rain water
is a trough from which to drink.
Weeping after reading a poem
I will stop but I could go on forever.
Tom Hatch paid his dues in the NYC soho art scene in late 70's 80's and early 90's. Aids was rampant, gays and those who visited the lower east side shooting galleries died. It was frightening time. He was awarded two National Endowment grants back then for sculpture, showed a lot and the The New Museum a couple of times.  He taught at University of Florida inTallahassee, in new Jersey at Princeton. He got really close to the literary world his office was next to (name drop) Joyce Carol Oats' office and the University of Penn in the city  "Of Brotherly Love".

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Two Poems by Stephen Jarrell Williams


I'm exhaling an old mirage
ghost in the desert heat

a woman I loved
her see-through veils
flying in a gathering dust cloud

stripping in a whirl
teasing just out of my reach

wishing I could sleep
in the soft white sand of her breasts

these last days with her revenge
my bones disappearing with a mere wave of her hand

nibbling at my heart... like I tortured hers.

Last Words

She pours sand over my closed eyes
patting me on my unmoving bare chest

humming her favorite song
not mine on such an occasion

cold night encompassing us
her feverish air over my drying skin

grabbing my genitals she squeezes
a death grip

whispering into my ear
words I've longed to hear

her forgiveness.

Stephen Jarrell Williams loves to write in the middle of the night with a grin and grimace and flame in his heart.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Two Poems by Nels Hanson

Black Elk Speaks

After Little Big Horn, the last wild buffalo
slaughtered and Crazy Horse murdered in jail
with a bayonet still Black Elk remains loyal
to his boyhood vision of a dying tree blooming
in the hoop at the center of the world. To save
the sick tree, to lead his people from the selfish
black road back to the red he joins Bill Cody’s
Wild West Show, sure the conquering whites
have wisdom for mending the tribe’s broken
circle before he learns they don’t care for
each other or animals. In a storm the sea-sick
Indians dressed for dying sing their death songs,
waiting to drop off the end of the water while
the crew throw dead buffalo and horses from
the ocean liner. At her Jubilee, Queen Victoria
tells Black Elk his people are the most beautiful
in the world. She wouldn’t make them perform
in the show if they were hers. In Paris in Western
clothes, his long hair only marking him an Indian,
he collapses at breakfast. Three days his French
girlfriend and her parents hardly hear his heart
as he rides a cloud across the Atlantic and sees
Lakota Sioux gathered in one camp, his parents
outside their teepee, fire and his mother cooking
but the cloud is too high and he’s afraid to jump.
Over a town a turning house rises and touches
the cloud and takes him down, spinning, until
he hears the French girl talking and in black
a doctor stands by his bed. Buffalo Bill who
killed ten thousand buffalo buys Black Elk a
ticket to America and he returns to Pine Ridge.
All the Lakota are there because they’ve sold
more land to the whites. His parents’ teepee is
in the place he saw it in his vision: His mother
says one night she dreamed he came to visit
on a cloud but couldn’t stay. Three years he’d
been away trying to learn to fix the fractured
ring but more sadness came. After Wovoka’s
Ghost Dance and the buffalo and dead didn’t
rise in the spring when the new grass was tall
and the hopeless fighting at Wounded Knee
Black Elk knew he had failed. On the closed
book’s cover a Medicine Man wore a red wool
blanket, white-tipped eagle feathers and wide
elk horns. Maybe his story he told the professor
was the dream’s finished work, Black Elk never
knew Black Elk Speaks made the mending hoop
whose torn braid was still weaving back together
in a leather web that held the Earth from falling
apart. I watched the silver Columbia’s Clark Fork
pass my window, Buck Owens on the radio—You
don’t know me but you don’t like me—as the wide
river flowed away under the white half-moon
across Montana to Idaho and Oregon and Hawaii’s
dark Pacific beyond the hard streets of Bakersfield.

When I Lost My Hearing

It was before the War. I was foreman
of a sheep ranch up by Sleeping Child
Lake. We were riding from one camp
to the other, out in the open. It started
to storm. We could see strikes off to
the north by the lake. The owner’s boy
was there. He was 17, a nice kid named
Jerry, not uppity or spoiled. He turned
and said, “Ralph, you think we should
hurry?’ “I think so,” I said. “Let’s get
to camp.” I’d no more said it than there
was a flash and boom. Before we touched
spurs to the horses the bolt hit between
us. It killed Jerry dead. Just like that.
Seventeen years old. And both horses.
It turned his hair white. He looked like
an old man with a child’s face. At first
I wasn’t sure it was Jerry. I didn’t know
what had happened. Everything smelled
of sulfur and burnt hair. I was blinded.
For ten minutes I couldn’t see or hear.
My ears roared like a train was coming
and I couldn’t move off the tracks. I dug
with my knife to get my right leg from
under the horse. I limped seven miles
to a house with a cottonwood. A boy
about six was playing in the yard with
a black and white pup. I said, “Is your
daddy home?” “No, he isn’t home.”
“Well is your momma home?” He said
she was out back washing clothes. I
could barely hear him. “Run and get her.
Tell her something awful’s happened.”
I didn’t hear anything for a year, just
a steady hum like wind across fence
wire, saying things. It nearly drove me
nuts. Mornings my wife would come
find me and touch my shoulder for
breakfast. It was pretty hard on her.
A Monday in March she forgot and
called my name. It was loud as reveille
in the army. I ran to the kitchen and she
screamed for joy so both my ears hurt.
After that my hearing was fairly good.

Nels Hanson graduated from UC Santa Cruz and the U of Montana and his fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan  Award. His stories have appeared in Antioch Review, Texas Review,  Black Warrior Review, Southeast Review, Montreal Review, and other  journals. "Now the River's in You," in Ruminate Magazine, was  nominated for a 2010 Pushcart Prize, and "No One Can Find Us," in  Ray's Road Review, has been nominated for the 2012 Pushcart Prizes.  Poems have appeared in Poetry Porch, Atticus Review, Red Booth  Review, Meadowlands Review, Emerge Literary Review, Shot Glass,  Language and Culture, Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine, Writer's  Ink, Jellyfish Whispers, and other magazines.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Poem by Ivan Jenson

Seductive Abduction

that you have me
blindfolded and blind-sided
by your kinky kindness
and all tied up with future plans
while shackled to the
ball and chain of your
free floating flattery
are you going to brainwash me
into being a loving accomplice
like Patty Hearst
or will you send me to
your booty camp
where you will break me
down till I worship
the bed you lie on?
if so, you should know
you can always
undrape the willing
and anyway
you already had me
barbed and wired
captive and captured
at hello

Ivan Jenson’s Absolut Jenson painting was featured in Art News, Art in America, and Interview magazine. His art has sold at Christie’s, New York. His poems have appeared in Word Riot, Zygote in my Coffee, Camroc Press Review, Haggard and Halo, Poetry Super Highway, Mad Swirl, Underground Voices Magazine, Blazevox, and many other magazines, online and in print. Jenson is also a Contributing Editor for Commonline magazine. Ivan Jenson's debut novel Dead Artist is available as a paperback and on Amazon Kindle and Nook. His new novel, a psychological thriller entitled Seeing Soriah is now available as an eBook or in Paperback on Amazon. A collection of Ivan Jenson's drawing and poetry will soon by published by Hen House Press, New York.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Poem by Barbara Sutton and Lance Sheridan

metallic thread

her soul's fabric is weaving itself with mine,
frayed ends unravel,
the strength is at its taught, solid center;

i love the metallic thread.
once, i dropped my past life
in holy water

once, i hoped it would absorb the years of loneliness.

once, she hid her love away in a drawer like a paperclip                     
that no longer held torn paper

once, she wrote poetic words
she fled to the margins,
her emotions had no choice.

she touches me now like liquid water drops
filling oak wood barrel empty,
thirsty for the breath of moisture.

her voice is in my vocal chords like polished silver, i hear the future.

once, i borrowed a pencil and she a cupcake wrapper so that we could write our first poem; it was like a magnificent lullaby,

sent us into a cleansing sleep.

we breathe the stream of poetic feelings, dancing to the rhythm of our souls; goes far deeper than words; whispers the metallic thread.

Lance Sheridan is an author and published poet. His work has been called "stunning"; "such depth, an amazing imagination." He has been interviewed by a Salisbury University Journalism major. His writing partner Barbara Sutton is a published poet. What others have said about their writing, "you send the reader on a journey through his own soul"; "symbolically thought provoking" and, "the imagery is amazing."

Friday, May 24, 2013

Three Poems by Yermiyahu Ahron Taub

Dialectic In Abeyance
With little direction from their teacher,
the children—boys in white shirts and blue shorts,
girls in white blouses and blue plaid jumpers,
both genders united by navy blue knee socks—
file tidily up the stone stairs, presumably into the sanctuary,
out of view of the heretic loitering across the street, in any case.
The children are being schooled in the intricacies of submission.
They will remember these outings: the break from the classroom,
these homilies and sermons, their own links in the chain of tradition.
They will remember the candles in daylight and, with eyes lowered,
the rhythm of call and response: knowing what to say when.
They will remember the palace of certainty shielding the unknowable.
Children of the uncertain or the unbelieving, on the other hand,
will have no such collective memory, reflects the heretic.
They will not have entered edifices constructed long ago to celebrate
a force unseen, to sing hymns to events that may not have happened,
all the while rejoicing in the flutter of the dark
that will soothe away the summer and the dust of doubt.
Even if they arrive here later in life,
children of the uncertain or the unbelieving will never have had
this foundation, the ease of assumed understanding.
They will have to work harder to master these arcana, to submit,
for they have not learned through precepts bequeathed by elders.
Their missteps in the labyrinth, along with their zeal, will be noted.
They may find themselves longing for the ways of their parents, the
mess of uncertainty and unbelieving. They may remember arguments
at the kitchen table, figures gesticulating on a soapbox, reason marshaled
to question authority, action direct with a placard or an editorial or
bodies. Perhaps he will see these children some day outside a lecture or
labor hall or a bathhouse, thought the heretic, turning finally away.
Briefly, they could swap stories from opposite sides of the heretical fence.

A Meditation On the Question Of Agency
How did the heretic land on this rickety footstool,
cowering before the junkies near Sabbath’s end while others
celebrate the movement victories. He gazes at the letters that have
fluttered in from those transfixed by the model of his hereticism,
yet who have chosen a different path,
or rather to remain on the one they all once shared.
He stares blankly at the postmarks and the scrawled invitations
for meetings, with their curiosity and need.
Against the cacophony of coffee machines, these have not gone well.
There are claims made, criticisms leveled.
It is suggested that he compose on other topics: on – or – , for instance.
The heretic is exhorted to “get perspective” and “lighten up”
for this is a free country.
The flames of the auto-da-fe do not lick at his heels.
The hangman’s noose does not hover here,
as it does elsewhere.
And then there are the offerings from those reared in milder environs.
From them the question is posed:
what have you done, what will you now that you are no longer caged?
Rather than dwell, it is felt that he should incorporate all that is best
from his not-quite-former world into his currently evolved self.
He has the power to fashion a confident, yet rooted persona.
Wear what you wish, but avoid labels and fixed identities.
Know that, in fact, you are not a heretic, they contend.
The heretic does not answer or dismiss these criticisms, questions,
and contentions, none of which are, after all, unreasonable.
Not from restraint or stoicism, but in deference to the quiet not yet his.
Having mastered the praxis of flight, liberation remains for him an
abstraction. No longer on the footstool, he now stands in the center of
the circle of stones on the brink of being cast while reaching for
the embrace of the departing Sabbath queen.
A crow peers forth from his quivering, serrated throat.
The People Of the Book . . . Without Books?
The wives whispered at the butcher and in the market
and on departing the bathhouse after ritual immersion;
the husbands in the house of study
and while selecting the citrons and palm branches.
They shook their heads and clicked their tongues,
looking down so as not to see.
It was shocking, as you can imagine, and yet not
in that way that only decrees affecting the People of the Book can be.
Only just released, it was already plastered on bulletin boards
outside prayer halls and on doors and telephone poles.
Seemingly ubiquitous. Yet no one quite knew how they had gotten there
since no one had been seen posting them. Is there a traitor among us?
A meeting in the synagogue was convened on Tuesday evening.
After long prayers composed for occasions such as this,
shouting erupted. The rabbi proved unable to control the frenzy,
which could well have been heightened by the days of fasting.
The burly beadle and his henchmen, whose physical prowess
was feared by all, Jew and gentile alike, had to step in and restore order.
Even if temptations of the flesh could be completely filtered out
to save us and our children from ruin,
the synagogue’s chief benefactor wondered,
and that is far from a given for cunning is the Evil Inclination,
could legal permission actually be granted?
How shall we pray on the Sabbath and holidays
when electronic devices are forbidden?
And how dare we depart from the path of our ancestors,
they who touched and swayed over and died for these holy books
and from the ground below where the fragments are buried,
cried the cantor in intonation normally reserved for the Days of Awe.
And how shall the weekly Torah portion be recited,
the words that unite our people in homeland and diaspora alike,
for surely scrolls will not be spared, wept the Torah reader,
so young and already renowned across several provinces
for a style of cantillation stunning in its
precision of enunciation and mastery of melody.
We shall descend underground. No, we shall study the ways of the martyrs.
Cease! God will reveal the means, the rabbi said, resuming prayer.
Leaves rustling in gratitude, only the trees rejoiced. 
Yermiyahu Ahron Taub is the author of three books of poetry, Uncle Feygele (Plain View Press, 2011), What Stillness Illuminated/Vos shtilkayt hot baloykhtn (Parlor Press, 2008; Free Verse Editions series), and The Insatiable Psalm (Wind River Press, 2005). He was honored by the Museum of Jewish Heritage as one of New York ’s best emerging Jewish artists and has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and twice for a Best of the Net award. Please visit his web site at 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Two Poems by Al Ortolani

Lorca Deep Fries a Turkey
Whoever dreamed
peanut oil could change a life?
The first rule: never use
a frozen turkey.
Google it…a family moves
into the street in their stocking feet,
November rain like bullets, children
stricken, parents wide-eyed.
Through the dining room
window, as if orchestrated
by a surrealist, they watch
the table, crystal gleaming,
flatware polished, the antique tablecloth
catching fire at the corners.
The cook should have been reading
directions rather than Lorca.
He was back in Spain, fascinated
with flowers, challenging the heat,
his body a banquet
of fresh bread, mashed potatoes,
oyster dressing.


piano music
too cold to step outside
period…spring break, no
lesson plans, no desire except
to roll over, wake after 10,
warm coffee, read email,
tweak resignation, eat
leftover noodles & 3 stale
oreo cookies, let the cat
out, check obituaries…
return to the bedroom
thickened, dull stomach, head
fogged...chew tobacco,
spit in a plastic coke
bottle, daydream
about a great poem...
feel guilt about
sins of omission...would
Adderall help,
too lethargic to add
capital letters or correct
punctuation, comma
splices connect
without metaphor, ellipsis
follows ellipsis…
a birdsong
in a cage…a piano
pushed north
across wooden
floors…applause from
crickets, iced-in,
Al Ortolani 's poetry and reviews have appeared in journals such as Prairie Schooner, Camroc Press Review, New Letters, The Quarterly, The Boston Literary Magazine, Poetry Bay and the New York Quarterly. He has three books of poetry, The Last Hippie of Camp 50 and Finding the Edge, published by Woodley Press at Washburn University and Wren's House, published by Coal City Press in Lawrence, Kansas. His newest collection, Cooking Chili on the Day of the Dead, will be published by Aldrich Press in 2013. He is an editor for The Little Balkans Review and works closely with the Kansas City Writer's Place.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Two Poems by Agholor Leonard Obiaderi


It was the irony that
slayed him, cutting
deep to the bone-marrow
with thin blades of air

from a windmill,
silent like the
teeth of recession at redundant
factory gates.

In his youth, he
ate the heart of toil
like bees
pads depressing the colourful
landing platforms of petals
ruffled by the breeze

enthusiastically wrangling pot-fuls
of nectar,
as they bargained swift
contingencies of arrival.
Faces and hands blacked by
the Viking sun of
strenuous labour.

In his old age, prey in a
widening web strangled by
windmills in a paradox of
buzzing to and fro
for less reward.


Red takes scalps. A dying
slowly evaporating, acquires
violent colour.The wounded
soldier’s white
uniform vest
stained dark with blood.

His baby son visits
in his mother’s arms.The doctor
barks at her,
fear leaping out of the infant’s

The soldier is screaming. The baby’s
red T-shirt is dragging him to a red-fire
hell in convulsive visions.

Red reminds him of the danger
In the battle-field;
of flame-like bullets flying through
the dark-faced night;
of men with bloodshot eyes
dying of red-lipped wounds
deadlier than vampires’ kisses.

A sunset-coloured flag suffuses
a bull’s eye with madness,
the red T-shirt drags the soldier
to the scene of his own death.

Nurses wear white teeth, to
camouflage Doctor’s uniforms of
stainless snow.

Agholor Leonard Obiaderi lives in Nigeria. He loves poetry and crime novels though he has no criminal friends. He has been featured as poet of the week in Poetry Super-Highway and Wild Violet Literary Magazine. His poems have been published in Storm Cycle Anthology of Kindofahurricane Press.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Two Poems by Josette Torres

Nothing Changes, Not Ever
after Mark Eitzel's "Mission Rock Resort"

Light rain is my curtain, my barrier
against the crowd. Order another drink

for appearance's sake. I watch grown men hug
and sigh out hope. Two months ago I did

the same damn thing—and a month before that
and six weeks before that—and the circle

never closes. Rocks spin up and down hills
in mundane symphonies. I lay my palms

flat on the table and feel this future
rushing underneath, flashing past me, not

mine to accept. Order another drink
for appearance's sake. I could have said

words to affect change but didn't, and look
what's happening now. End of the season,

story lines wrapping up in neat little
bows. One minute you're in arms reach and then

you're week-old newspaper falling apart
in the street, headlines and trash together

at long last. Light rain is my curtain,
my barrier against the crowd. Order

another drink for appearance's sake.

I Continue to Refuse the Role I am Given
after Low’s “In the Drugs”

I am tasked with telling a story,
hiding a story, breathing a story
for which I am not the intended
recipient. I did not choose—story
sought me out, called me up, whispered
as I went about my business.
Never tell me that I self-selected.
It is a lie. Narratives shifting
to match me are never coincidental.
I stayed alive while all else died.
An angel and a demon sit with me.
The angel forgives with her eyelashes.
The demon never speaks.

Josette Torres received her MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Tech in 2010. She also holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from Purdue University. Her work has appeared in The New Verse News, SLAM: Silhouette Literary and Arts Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, and 16 Blocks and is forthcoming in Ayris. She is the Writer in Residence at The Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Three Poems by Joseph Robert

All Talk

His whine interrupts and won’t stop
Even when politely ignored

Before his sunken eyes, you have no choice
You must listen, or fight

Exploding in his mind are a billion worlds
Strangled into twenty-eight lines

Tall tales of the decapitated mail-order Finnish wife
Stacked up in sections inside a wind-swept silo

Bulgarian and rusty

Worked there too, sure, yes, something for the Army
Through the government, by way of the powers that be

He’s Satan’s Facebook friend
An all-round good man

This is safe C.I.A. stuff
An actor playing the character of a character

Silent for too long, he had to speak
Indulge him

But then he bends low and whispers in your ear
Young girls gnawing flint axes, by his silver sea

Beneath a stump of the Banyan Tree
Your flesh creeps, but you’re nailed to the chair

In the woods, you two apart, he’d skin you alive
Wear your hide for a vest; make your scalp a rag

The Tribe would kill him, afraid of his fear
But The Country understands

Part of that bargain
It remains all talk


Flecks of mineral, white in red dregs
Hard water and dirt in them dregs

But the lees sounds so mucher the betterer, the best dregs
All hints of chocolate and rounded fruits

And, and Dionysius’s fashionable mask
Goldenly E.U. stars on blue smudge

Reassurance of highest quality
National Geographicca typico, besto in all the bloody mess

Vine bile, or grape tar, or agro syrup,
Or portable, potable, pissable heartburn

Unfastens the thinking and lays a body low
Two scoops of, no, Medicine to forget

Yeah, yeah, Medicine to forget
Read, in a mag, root o’ culture, bulwark of civilization

Like getting down on all fours to sip the waters of that, that
Mystical river, the one, you know


Medicine to forget
How it works, forget

But always remember who makes the stuff
Where and why for, and what they charging?

That’s a good Primitive
Title Pending
Copy write libel
Copy white lies
Copyright copy
Copier joyrides
Pimpled arse cheeks pressed
On bare glass plate, funny
Copy test papers
Copy collations
Copy and submit
Copier of copies
An original wears through dog-eared to dust
But never dies, context changing
So, what do we call it?
Joseph Robert was born and raised in the Midwest. However, he has always been partial to Hawaiian beaches. Nevertheless: Go Badgers! After living and working for several years in rural Japan, he now resides in London with his wife, writer and poet Leilanie Stewart. In his spare time, you can find him at the British Museum trying to teach himself how to read Sumerian cuneiform. Don't worry, yes, he has seen Evil Dead, so doesn't read any of it out loud.