“Night Contemplates Darkness” © Edward Michael Supranowicz



my father (may I one day dance on his grave)
has cancer.

the problem is, I have the same cancer
so if his persists and keeps coming back
despite all efforts
it doesn’t bode so well for me

there’s a lowdown corruption
mutating intentions into sick behaviors
multiplying malignance without moderation
nothing makes you more self-absorbed than illness
maybe nothing makes you anything, just
self-replicating and reiterating
echo creating and copy making

oncologists are baffled so
this tragic “we” that shouldn’t exist (born into this)
We wait, full of poison
in our cages
at the circus
in the ditch
by the side of the road
fingers crawling across dusty bars
shooting shrieking stares at the fog
bouncing reflections horizonward

the doctor said how deep it goes
how fast it grows
but truth be told
Nobody knows
the root cause

it’s hereditary or environmental

my mother (bless her heart)
has cancer too.

it was a kinder sort, it seemed
but it took her more adventurous inclinations
evaporated her into a fine mist
soaking the circuit boards
the volume dialed up on every anxiety
a frequency stuck on signaling retreat

my mother (bless her heart)
seems for now less affected (treatment effective?)
than my father (may I one day dance on his grave)
and may she live a long life (what for?)

the doctor said how deep it goes / how fast it grows
but truth be told / Nobody knows

of our legions of aspects
Fight and Flight loom so large
their shadows stalk our shine
it’s feeding time, table for two, by invitation
the rest? to starvation:
rocket, river, rumble, ride
question, quality, quandary, quiet
dreams, doors, and diving boards
be damned

then we’re lost in the
jammed up navigations of
focus group explanations, processed narrations
lockjaw expectations
still, the seeping
defies the strength of the Seeming
silently streaming meaning

when the house of mirrors glares in spots
we try to hide behind broken locks
when ghosts fly out of grandfather clocks and
lightbulbs flicker on closeup shots
(blood boils down into building blocks)

a nuanced response fails to launch

in an empty room, free
from sophisticated technology
crude offensive is locked and loaded
desperate defensive comfortingly close
terminal, life-saving two
on the side: kaleidoscope binoculars
to focus (blind) and simplify


cut to the quick clip of an IV drip


my father (may I one day dance on his heart)
and my mother (bless her grave)
infused in me a great hope

May I slow down,                          stop
May I examine rage
May I live love
May I fuck it up without shutting it down
May I peel off my eyeskin and see newly
May I hope at vertigo velocity
May my universe expand with my philosophy
May I never always but sometimes never
May I never pass it on.

everybody knows how deep it goes and how fast it grows


Sam Alec is a mostly unknown artist. Some impressive accomplishments include: successfully evading desensitization, a few major demolitions and reconstructions of personal belief systems, a well-cultivated affinity for the ugly and uncomfortable, being a good friend, several lessons learned the hard way, and staying alive this long.

Edward Michael Supranowicz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on a small farm in Appalachia. He has a grad background in painting and printmaking. Some of his artwork has recently or will soon appear in Fish Food, Streetlight, Another Chicago Magazine, The Door Is A Jar, The Phoenix, and The Harvard Advocate. Edward is also a published poet who has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times.