Artwork © Eric N. Peterson


Philosophy By Popeye The Sailorman or
Because I Lost My Birth Certificate,
Doesn’t Mean I Was Never Born

It’s true.
I’m certifiable.
A fact undeniable.
Since I know myself
better than anyone else,
the source is reliable.
Subversion therapy
for me is not viable.
So say what you wanna say.
I look in the mirror every day.
What I always see is me.
I am what I am what I am.
I was born this way.
A fact I can’t change or rearrange.
There are others like me
on land and swimming the seas.
They aren’t afraid
to be loud about being proud
about whom they were born.
Despite certain scorn,
they walk tall
and never fall
from the words of others
who despite their druthers,
will look in their mirrors each day
only to see someone born that way.


Bryan Franco is a gay, Jewish poet from Brunswick, Maine. He competed with the Portland, Maine Rhythmic Cypher slam team in the 2014 National Poetry Slam in Oakland, California. He has facilitated poetry workshops for Brunswick High School, Tumblewords Project, and Phynnecabulary. He hosts Café Generalissimo Open Mic, is a member of the Beardo Bards of the Bardo poetry troupe, workshop facilitator, painter, sculptor, gardener, and culinary genius. His book Everything I Think Is All in My Mind was published in 2021.

Eric N. Peterson is from Atlanta, Ga. He’s been drawing cartoons all his life. He leans towards the absurd, imaginative, and the surreal, as that’s where all the flavor is.