Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “Ode to My 160GB iPod” | John Paul Davis

Ode To My 160GB iPod

By John Paul Davis

Migration Issue, 2015 

Box of magic, little wonder,

same size as a deck of cards, you sci-fi

my everyday, shining pacemaker

of all my parties, concert-hall

of my coat-pocket, dance club

in my palm, metal mouse

who swallowed a jazz history

class & gurgles in my ears like a secret

while I’m surfing the C train,

lamp of right angles I rub

with my thumb to coax

out the jinn who offers me 27000

wishes, pirate radio

next to my heartbeat,

oh how you hopped like a hatching

egg on the end-table the night

I figured out how Dana liked

it, a black tongue

snaking from your always-open

eighth-inch mouth feeding

hip-hop directly to her stereo,

oh trading card of romance,

how I slid Roshni’s headphones

into you as she slid mine into hers

so we could each DJ

the other’s N train SoHo to Queens,

little angel of all my journeys,

tugboat that pulls the yellow wash

of taxicabs north on 6th Avenue,

rock and roll sparkplug on the interstate,

soundtracking my road movies,

San Francisco to Ohio, Ohio to Chicago,

Chicago to Brooklyn, oh tin household god

I make a shrine to you first every

new place I move, let you bless

the empty rooms with their cardboard

skylines, oh second brain, oh the pale

fire of your screen I have used

to find my way in actual darkness,

you who sometimes offers songs

I don’t recognize by bands I don’t remember–

I soon learn to sing along,

because not everything new

is an imperialist trick, oh personal

savior from the eternal torment of radio

roulette, oh how clever we human beasts

can be, my six-ounce library,

how I have danced alone

because you have no eyes,

how I have mouthed the words

to songs I have not the voice to sing,

how I have clutched you through insomnia,

staring up at the roof of night’s closed mouth,

how I have had you instead of patience,

or companionship, or a lover,

how you were safe under the pillows

the next morning, how I dialed

without looking like I was calling

a god I don’t believe in & how you answered

with a song I didn’t expect

but needed, oh prayer wheel,

oh second heart, oh compass

oh slingshot, oh fakebook,

oh Bible to replace the one I put

down years before,

someone bit the apple

tattooed on your back,

oh tree of life,

warm & humming knowledge.


John Paul Davis is a poet, musician, designer and web developer living in Brooklyn. HIs poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies including Word Riot, The Four Way Review, Columbia Poetry Review, The Journal, and MUZZLE. You can find out more about him at http://www.johnpauldavis.org

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “Today’s Sermon is on ‘Happiness’ ” | Penelope Scambly Schott

Today’s Sermon is on Happiness

By Penelope Scambly Schott

Migration Issue, 2015 

Nothing you have done

is worse than anyone else,

or else you meant well

and you just didn’t know any better.

But now you are learning.

You keep gift wrap in your closet

and jumbo shrimp in your freezer

because who knows?

Life is hard,

or what a blessing to be alive on this earth,

or life is a learning experience

but only if you learn.

So today you drive a rough dirt road

where weeds catch in your bumper.

There’s this rock between the ruts

but you get out and move it.

The next rock is too big to move

and might scrape your oil pan.

If you know anything about happy,

you are stopping right here.

Leave your car, keys in the ignition,

and tromp through sage brush.

Unlatch the old cattle gate and keep going.

Country manners: re-latch it.

See where the path disappears,

just around that far cliff?

Go on until you arrive at that one edge

where you can peer all the way down

into the river canyon.  For years

you have wanted to discover

this viewpoint. Way down below you,

the Deschutes whitens over rapids.

You put a small stone in your pocket

and go back to the car. Oh, happy, happy girl,

drive bad roads and always change your oil

twice as often as the manual instructs.

Car Tire Photo

Penelope Scambly Schott’s most recent book is HOW I BECAME AN HISTORIAN.  She lives in Portland and Dufur, Oregon where she teaches a notorious poetry workshop.

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “Flying Through the Clouds” | Alan Semerdjian

Flying Through the Clouds

By Alan Semerdjian

Migration Issue, Fall 2015


Those giant wispy dreamlike

things we move through

during periods of transition –

face, time zones for another –

those immortals’ beards, precise. 

White.  Angelic. Volcano. 

How they stamp the letters

of our lives.  How they pop

hint at sadness yet navigate

the in between with collected

neutrality, sweet tufts of space

for the sun and our besties

to surf through, wishes and secrets,

ambitions and alive.  Even

the long frown of ego, who

occasionally makes it up

this high, thinks twice about

shouting up here, raising its voice

in an emptiness surely designed

to quiet all things once proud,

once weighted, all things without

fear or awe.  Love, this is how

we are meant to love, in and out

of knots of air gentler than

the finger and touch, one minute

on top, the next through and inside

of dimension and depth, seeing

everything and nothing, every time

the first time.  Love, these layers

of miles unaccountable and without

distance, how they mirror the inside

of our cells, how alive, our bodies,

the universe, thought without condition,

hope without a prize. 

                                                Oh, but the pull

of gravity.  Oh, but the swallow

of light back into history, the must end

of endlessness gridding the walkways

of our collective belows.

Angel | Gail Taylor 2015

Writer, musician, and educator Alan Semerdjian’s poems and essays have appeared in over fifty print and online publications and anthologies including Adbusters, Diagram, Ararat, and Brooklyn Rail.  He released a chapbook of poems called An Improvised Device (Lock n Load Press) in 2005 and his first full-length book In the Architecture of Bone(GenPop Books) in 2009.  His songs have appeared in television and film and charted on CMJ.  He earned his MFA at Goddard College in 2002 and currently teaches English at Herricks High School in New Hyde Park, NY.  Alan resides in New York City’s East Village.

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “At The Bird Sanctuary” | Amy Barone

At the Bird Sanctuary

By Amy Barone

Migration Issue, Fall 2015

A comforting stillness,

tropical-like greens form an oasis of shade.

Spurts of daffodils blanket the floor of this secret room

where reveries of another time haunt.

When in the throes of panic fourteen years ago,

I discovered the mini park

and from a bench sought solace.

Prayed for nature to take its course;

I couldn’t imagine life with an aimless musician,

preferred the path of travel and youth that few strings prolongs.

I now return to pray that nature reverse its course,

for a vitality to return to my mother that the stroke robbed,

that she relearn to speak, read, write, drive.

Half hurriedly I pass the verdant haven longing to stay.

Priorities sit on a constantly revolving lazy susan.

I didn’t realize I had the perfect life.

Roles reordered, I rush off to an aging parent,

to cook, clean, and shop in an overly-bright suburban supermarket.

I long for conversation that will never come.

I watch her watch tv.

She shuffles to the kitchen for the highlight of her day:

Three hearty meals, always dessert.

I thought I’d never be able to make up for all the dinners she cooked.


Photo Credit | Gail Taylor (2015)

Amy Barone’s new chapbook Kamikaze Dance was released in February, 2015 by Finishing Line Press.

She was recognized as a finalist in the publisher’s annual New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition. Her poetry has appeared in First Literary Review-East, Gradiva, Impolite Conversation (UK), Italian Americana, Paterson Literary Review, Philadelphia Poets, and Wild Violet, among others. Her first chapbook, Views from the Driveway, was published by Foothills Publishing in 2008.

Barone spent five years as Italian correspondent in Milan for Women’s Wear Daily and Advertising Age. She is a former board member of the Italian American Writers Association where she co-organized and promoted their monthly readings in New York City.

She participates in spoken-word events in New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia. She is a professional member of PEN America Center and belongs to the brevitas online poetry community that celebrates the short poem. A native of Bryn Mawr, PA, Barone lives in New York City.

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “Crusade Resulting in Spain” | Philip Kobylarz

Crusade Resulting in Spain

By Philip Kobylarz

Migration Issue, Fall 2015

Marvels in clouds. An angel, bare breasted, wings

lowered, wears a bracelet and dreams of perching

on granite that is good like a life had, then passed.

Crowds at the market walk through each other

with closed eyes. Peeking at the ground below,

snails are stretching out, after rain, extending

antennae, in steps that are wishes for bone.

Splinters in concrete, flowers sprout, a natural

yellow, griffin feathers caught in the leaves of trees.

The castle fell at mid-sun today and bodies

were thrown about the gateway. Presumed to rot

until only armor remains. Coat of arms, eggshells of tombstones.

CoopersRocki_2015-09-20 17

Photo Credit | Gail Taylor, 2015

Philip Kobylarz is a teacher and writer of fiction, poetry, book reviews, and essays. He has worked as a journalist and film critic for newspapers in Memphis, TN. His work appears in such publications as Paris Review, Poetry, and The Best American Poetry series. The author of a book of poems concerning life in the south of France, he has recently published a short story collection titled Now Leaving Nowheresville.

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “Two Riddles” | Roger Netzer

Two Riddles

By Roger Netzer

Migration Issue, Fall 2015

If the past is a time then why is it geography shows the way?
Ancient paths we mapped through mountain laurel remain clear.
They fork and permit passage but lead to some place that now is nowhere.


Which is the name
of that rare place
where wings kite and hold the walls of air?


Forest B?W Fall 2015 B:WPhoto Credit | Gail Taylor (2015)

Roger Netzer Roger Netzer’s poems have appeared in Mas Tequila, Chiron, The Potomac, The Five-Two, Green Hills Literary Lantern, and elsewhere.  He lives in Roxbury, Connecticut, eight miles from where he grew up.

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “How to Become a Raft,” | Lisken Van Pelt Dus

 How to Become a Raft

By Lisken Van Pelt Dus

Migration Issue, Fall 2015

Don’t panic –

the waves remember only wind,
but you, you’ve seen water lapping onto land,
thinning into nothing.

Channel the deep bass swell.
Let it move you.

When you meet petrels, watch how they rise
from the ocean into the sky
and float there, their horizon land.

Give thanks to the water, its buoyancy.
Climb to the tops of the waves.

You’ll see jellyfish,
all the kinds that ever scared you –
lion’s manes,
blooms of medusas.

Lash yourself to the air with their loose tentacles.
They’ve been detached a long time
and no longer sting.

Remember when you were nine –
a moon-white beach,
dark water glittering.

You wanted to become the ocean,
to gleam like that.

Coat yourself in its phosphorescence,
light your way to shore.


Photo Credit | Gail Taylor (2015)

Lisken Van Pelt Dus is a poet, teacher, and martial artist, raised in England, the US, and Mexico, and now living in Massachusetts.  Her work can be found in such journals as Conduit, The South Carolina Review, qarrtsiluni, and upstreet, and has earned awards and honors from The Comstock Review, The Atlanta Review, and Cider Press Review.  Her chapbook, Everywhere at Once, was published by Pudding House Press in 2009, and her first full-length book, What We’re Made Of, is due out from Word Tech Publications’ Cherry Grove imprint in May 2016.

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “Custodian of the Universe” | Samir Nomani

Custodian of the Universe

By Samir Nomani

Migration Issue, Fall 2015

The Chosen One has a sweet nature,

Akin to a glass of warm milk and almonds.

He gaily arranges and cleans the Mansions of the Elevated,

Asking for nothing but his work’s joy and to be of good service.

He does what he does so that the Elevated have comfort in beauty,

As the gaze of a person caught up with life is comforted by a peacock’s tail.

He cleans so that the Elevated do not live in the ugliness they often make.

The Elevated feast on red-delicious apples that hold oceans,

And they drink from chalices of heavenly nectars that know no depth,

Only to let spoil what they cannot finish. What a shame!

While the Elevated slumber soundly as if they were dead,

The Chosen One gathers bags fit for giants, filling them with plenty.

The Low will not be empty so long as there is a Custodian.

Yellow_CarPhoto Credit | Gail Taylor (2015)

My name is Samir Nomani, and I am a recent philosophy graduate from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. I have been writing poetry and hip-hop since grade school and have remained loyal to these art forms. They elevate my sense of self and help me to think beyond convention and illusion in ways that strict rationality can never do.