Photography © Jennifer Matthews


Talents of Self-Exile

Imaginary numbers name
the quizzled souls we’ve left to spit
until our tumbling dies collide with griefs.

Our attitudes of longitude
plunge fangs into our fundaments
as latitudes snap shut with snarling glee.

The squared roots of negated ones
conjure us again in unseen airs
and promulgate our exiles from all pasts:

we scrape and scald and scratch our eyes—
we say we see each lie’s surprise
then dare complain our irises turn red.

Our squared roots of negated ones
condemn us for unruly airs
and extirpate our smiles and loose our grasps.


Edward Burke, under the anonym edo strannikov, has written flash fiction (absurdism, science satire, noir humor) since 2007 and verse since 2016. An admirer of Antonio Vivaldi, he styles himself “a freelance entrepreneur.” An admirer of James Joyce, he styles himself “a post-novelist.”

Poet/Photographer Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.