14:1: “Cyber Saloon”, by Steve Klepetar

14:1: “Cyber Saloon”, by Steve Klepetar
At the Cyber Saloon I was asked my name
and given a map to a house
in the woods that might have been mine.

All my keys were taken and replaced
with colored chalk. The windows
were made of steel, my table of antler

and bone. I could see the road wind through
thick and tangled brush toward the door
for miles. Then I was asked to draw a boat,

with attention to mast, sail, keel and hull,
but all I could make was a submarine,
bullet-shaped, which they nailed to the wall

above my head. No ice, no soda, only house-
brewed beer and a liquor distilled from the veins
of trees. Horses danced on tables as we spoke

of origins, how galaxies formed from hot, fusing
gas and rushed apart like lovers too scarred
to face their mirrors or the rising floods as winter ends.

Steve Klepetar’s work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, including three in 2014.  Three collections appeared in 2013: Speaking to the Field Mice (Sweatshoppe Publications), Blue Season (with Joseph Lisowski, mgv2>publishing), and My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press).  An e-chapbook, Return of the Bride of Frankenstein, came out in 2014 as part of the Barometric Pressures series of e-chapbooks by Kind of a Hurricane Press. He says:

In the mid 70’s, I taught at a small college in Wisconsin and one of the places my friends and I frequented was a bar called The Old Siber Saloon. I got to know the owner, who was quite a character, and when I thought about the place recently the named resonated with the oral pun on “cyber.” I imagined a cyber saloon in which realities could fuse and transform as quickly as web sites on the Internet, especially if fuelled by that home-brewed beer.  Hence the poem.

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