The Word is Yours – Part 2

a collection of poems by: Chris Campanioni

The second installment of “The Word is Yours” pledges allegiance to movement, to rhythm, to words interacting with words….

In Conversation

“What is it                                           “I had
you wanted so badly                           enough
to tell me?                                           with words. Famished. I figured I love
You seemed strange, especially         delivery, quick and cheap, but all I ever wanted
last night.                                            was to make
“Love to know.”                                   something real.”

“No offense but                                  ”A good defense:
I think you are                                    a word that’s already
missing                                               in my mind and
my sole                                               always
point to                                               being mindful of
the meeting, for your                          skimming
information. I bear a cross.”               the line.”

“What I mean to say is                     “Speech is nothing
I will miss you.                                   more than your lips
Just                                                   parting
saying.”                                             farewell.”

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The Word is Yours – Part 1

a collection of poems by: Chris Campanioni

The emphasis on empowerment via word/wordplay is welcome for this poetry collection and its tagline “The Word Is Yours” is truly, so fitting

Cold Open

Take a seat and get comfortable
Roll up your sleeves
Cross your legs
If you’re naked
In any sense
Of the word
……….A little more
Impossible to draw to scale
Conversions of conversations,
Overhead musings, overheard
Talk from the countertop
Of a cafe you’ve never been to
Before. Or any place with people
Gyrating and the volume on high.
Any place worth seeking.
Any place worth writing down
And re-reading. Please.
Stay awhile.

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The Young Usurper

Consumed by delusions of grandeur to the very end, King Joffrey Baratheon departs Westeros in the only way that he knows how, by spreading chaos and uncertainty all around…

Editors note: This piece contains spoilers for “The Lion and the Rose,” the second episode of the fourth season of HBO’S “Game of Thrones.”

For years now we have waited in eager anticipation for the loathsome King Joffrey’s death. And in that time, we have fantasized over the thought of it. Who would be given the honor? How gruesome would it be? And, most importantly, how good would it feel? Admittedly, we here at Across the Margin are not up to speed on the Game of Thrones novels, but we were well aware of the fact that King Joffrey would meet his demise at his wedding. And with the passing of each season the fantasizing around his demise bloated, becoming the sort of eager talk that bound fans of the show together. Every snark or sadistic comment from the entitled pre-pubescent king strengthening the case for his undoing. Each cruelty heaped upon his faithful followers becoming another reason why his death should be as viciously repugnant and nauseating as that which he doled out during his reign upon the Iron Throne. Well, this past week we finally got what many of us have been waiting for. And although his demise was gruesome, and exceedingly humiliating, it was curious how watching him take his final choking breath made us feel.

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Nirvana, Then and Now

by: Michael Shields

Nirvana brazenly enters the annals of rock and roll history, pushing boundaries while staying true to their ethos….

A week ago this Thursday, Nirvana, along with Kiss, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt were inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. The ceremony, which took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, marked the first time that the remaining members of Nirvana would play Cobain’s songs together since his death, just over twenty years ago. While the fact that one of the most influential bands in modern rock history was being canonized amongst the rock gods is surely significant, the way in which they chose to do so was exceedingly inspiring.

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Twenty Years Later: The Blue Album

by Michael Shields

Twenty years after its release Weezer’s self-titled debut still persists as the crowning achievement in geek-rock…..

Roughly one score ago this day (c’mon – how often do you get to appropriately use the word score!), an album was released that instantaneously changed the face of indie rock. An album whose identifiable and honest anthems, paired with the eccentric nature of the artists behind them, convinced an entire generation of rock fans that they too had hope. An album, christened by the band’s fans as simply ‘The Blue Album’, served as an introductory course for many into the genres of indie and emo rock. That album, Weezer’s self-titled debut, remains one of the most influential and important albums of the past two decades.

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Toxic Shades

by: Lola Dune

An offering of poetry that cuts straight to the core….

watercolor tattoo.jpg

If I was stripped bare.

Each mosaic veined layer peeled away,

I’m terrified by what would remain.

My past haunts me every day,

a looming shadow following me from the time I wake.

Would the self-induced scars

and battle wounds of my youth

leave me a prisoner?



A broken body too young to justify the wear.

They say it’s not impossible for rebirth

but I am nobody’s fool.

The damage seeps through faded bandages

holding back something too toxic

to spawn anything pure.

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Game of Thrones: An Epic Fan Experience

by: Chris Thompson

An advanced screening of “Two Swords,” Game of Thrones first episode of the fourth season, provides a glimpse into what is shaping up to be a truly epic season…

“If you have a cell phone, laptop, tablet or camera you must surrender them to security before entering the venue!” A husky security guard clad in black and a woolen cap emblazoned with the letters GoT across its front, shouts loudly to the crowd. “There are no exceptions! Barclay’s will not tolerate unauthorized photography or recording of tonight’s event.” Immediately after this exclamation a wave of chatter breaks out amongst the crowd surrounding me. “No cellphones, wow!” a youth exclaims to my left. “Gonna be an analog experience tonight babe. Can you handle it?” a tattooed hipster says to his equally tattooed girlfriend to my right. As I scan the eager faces of the multitudes queuing about me, I try and tap into that vein of childhood excitement reserved for the birthdays and Christmases of my youth. I close my eyes and try to feel the buzz. To merge with the collective exhilaration pervading the participants of tonights event. To my excitement, I find it envelops me with ease. This is going to be a great night I think.

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The Devil Inside

by Christopher Rockwell

Why the media coverage of Malaysian Flight 370 has me feeling exasperated with the the 24 hour news cycle, and with myself…..

Initially, my head was in the right place. When news came down of the loss of an airliner with over two hundred people aboard I immediately thought of their families. I thought of their pain, and confusion, and their futile endeavor to grasp onto hope, even in the face of certain tragedy. I then thought of the passengers themselves. I shivered with uneasiness imagining the unfathomable terror engulfing their final moments. I hoped it was quick, and that it was easier than my anxieties presume it to be. And I took a moment in silence to bid them farewell, reminding myself how lucky I am for every breath I am granted.

And then suddenly, everything changed.

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by: Michael Shields

A new book whisks us behind the curtain of a fascinating era in basketball, a period simply known as Showtime…..

I remember it like yesterday. I was late. Well as I saw it, Mom was late, I had been ready for hours. This was Game Day after all. I had my jacket on, hat, scarf even, and was waiting patiently by the front door as my mother fished around for her keys, sniffed out her purse and otherwise just carried on without a care in the world. The only way to express my objections over our tardiness, and my mother’s lack of concern, was by flaunting a steady wave of fidgetiness. I squirmed and slithered, and certainly complained, on the way to the car, in the passenger seat, and en route to our destination. We were on our way to a family’s home whose three sons I was very close with. An Indonesian family where all three boys had those race car style beds, a source of devastating jealousy for me for years and years to come. I was set up for a sleepover, but all I had on my mind was The Game!

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Snow Days

by: Alice Kaltman

Worlds collide, as the heavens unleash their fury upon the unsuspecting…..


The kids were already getting on Kristin’s nerves and they’d only been in the car for five minutes.

“Mommeeee,” whined Larissa, “Dash is kicking me.”

“Am not.”

“Am too.”

“Am not, you stupid.”

“MOMMEEE! Dash called me stupid.”

A rustling in the backseat. An audible inhale. An ear piercing wail.

“She bit me,” cried Dash. “Mom, look,” a scrawny arm speared forward obstructing Kristin’s view out the snow-speckled windshield.

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