Philosopher by Robert Joe Stout

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Philosopher by Michael Lee Johnson
Illustration by Sue Babcock

Life merely an experiment… he tells
himself, spooning soup he made
without a recipe …a cell spun off

from other cells devising from environment
a sense of isolated self
that imitates… he scowls, diverted

by a crow hopping past the window
imitates what other cells devise
to keep from bumping, getting bruised,

forming pods around themselves…
blinks away remembrances of his ex-wife
…fearing to invent themselves

as something separate… reaches
for his coffee cup, spits out a bone
but like a snowflake caught amid a storm

of melting flakes… and laughs, remembering
his boyhood home, his wooden sword,
a unicorn that only he could ride.


BIO:  Robert Joe Stout’s latest books are Monkey Screams: 2015 and A Perfect Throw: 2013. He is active as a freelance journalist in Oaxaca, Mexico. He has served on emergency human rights delegations there and in care for the aged facilities in La Paz, Mexico. His novels include Where Gringos Don’t Belong; Running Out the Hurt and Miss Sally.