Artwork © Judson Evans


Good night, Mr. Obsession,

I will see you tomorrow in
television screens and broken mirrors

You like to hide inside puppies and kittens
Pop out of their spines and
pull out an organ or two

I am exhausted by it,


looking between the mattresses forThat smile that never stops
You love to make me argue with you
You do not even care to win, you just want me to spiral and twine
until I am just nothing but a cat’s disregarded toy.

You make trains not act the same anymore,
They sometimes like to talk about me
Mouths appear out from passenger’s knees
and unblinking eyes that can’t stop focusing on me catch fire

I am guilty of a death that never happened,
a metaphorical one,
In fact

I imagine the cells of my brain exploding,
I mean,
That’s how it feels often


Yours sincerely,

20 March 2022
Illinois, the Burbs


Cesar Toscano is a Chicago based writer; he is currently a rising junior majoring in creative writing at Columbia College Chicago where he works as an assistant poetry editor for Allium magazine. He also reads for the multi-genre magazine, Uncharted. His work delves into mental health and identity through a speculative and horror lens. When he is not writing, he enjoys watching movies and playing video games.

Judson Evans is a full-time Instructor in the Liberal Arts department at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee where he has taught a range of courses, from a Poetry Workshop on haiku, prose poetry and haibun, to a course on theories of cave art and the role of the cave in ritual and philosophy. In 2007 he was chosen by John Yau as an Emerging Poet for The Academy of American Poets. He was one of the founding members of Off the Park Press, and published work in each of its three anthologies responding to provocative contemporary painters. His most recent work has been published in (print journals) Laurel Review, Folio, Volt; 1913: a journal of forms; and Green Mountains Review, and (online journals) White Whale Review and Amethyst Arsenic. He won The Phillip Booth Poetry Award from Salt Hill Review in 2013. He has collaborated with composers, such Mohammed Fairouz, Mart Epstein, and Rudolf Rojhan, who set several of his poems to music, as well as with choreographers, dancers, musicians and other poets, including Gale Batchelder, and videographers Nate Tucker and Ray Klimek. His poetry collection with Gale Batchelder and Susan Berger-Jones, Chalk Song, was released lasts year.