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By Sam Magavern


The Montréal Review, June 2021


Ezekiel’s Wheels Within Wheels With William (2013) by Peter Aitkens



Greek Physics Primer


The fifth element is woe.

The gods don’t understand it;

see only four –

but we know the score – in

our bones – down below.


Electrons get sad, negative –

so tiny compared to protons,

it seems hard just to live.


I’m a particle and a wave.

I wave goodbye, goodbye.

Like a firefly I flit and glow.



Simple Simon’s Pie


Simple Simon is a stupid boy

with blackberry pie smeared

all over his shining face

and nothing at all in his belly


he never gets what he wants

so why


do his dark eyes blaze with joy    



Ezekiel’s Lament 


Ezekiel told so many people

about the wheel within a


it started to sound – in his

own ears – inauthentic, like

a salesman’s spiel.

            The words that he

meant to reveal the gospel

now seemed to paper it over.


He could still see it in his mind’s

eye; he just couldn’t feel.



The Delphic Oracle


The fountain pen is mine

the black ink is all mine

the white paper is mine

kitchen table is also mine


but the poems belong to


I am the shadow cast on

the page when he shines  



Sam Magavern is a writer and public interest lawyer, currently teaching at the University at Buffalo Law School.  He is the author of Primo Levi's Universe. He has written in a wide variety of genres – poetry, fiction, film, scholarly essays, and comic books – and published in many of America's leading literary magazines, including Poetry, The Antioch Review, and The Paris Review.


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