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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Cheribun: 135 words
By Peter Jastermsky

Solid, Not Solid


Objects themselves are not solid, as matter consists of nothing more than a mass of moving electrons. A single stray molecule, alone, is worth little.

I cradle a check from my father’s estate, which, although a sizable amount, is only a tiny percentage of the total. I think back to the sheer stuff that Dad hoarded, which, in terms of dumpster loads, would have cluttered a manly portion of a football field.

For a while, my mind plays variations of this sentence: “All stuff reduced to a piece of paper with inherently worthless numbers.” And how solid am I as a human? A skin suit, bulked up on eighty percent water. Clutching paper, now spotted with tears.

in the now 

where to go next 
when the past 
at last 

falls silent 

—One of three unranked Finalists in MacQ’s Cheribun Challenge

Peter Jastermsky
Issue 12, March 2022

is an award-winning cherita poet, a Best of the Net and Dwarf Star nominee, and the author of seven books of haiku-based writing. Titles include Steel Cut Moon (Cholla Needles Press, 2019), and three from Yavanika Press: No Velcro Here (2019), The Silence We Came For (2020), and Fingerbone Sky (2021). His short-form writing has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Failed Haiku, Haibun Today, KYSO Flash, MacQueen’s Quinterly, The Aurorean, and The Cherita among others.

In 2017, Peter invented a new haiku-centered linked form called “split sequence.” His recent book, Just Dust and Stone (Velvet Dusk Publishing, May 2021), is a collection of collaborative split sequences co-written with Bryan Rickert. Peter lives with his family in the high desert of southern California, USA.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

“Love Thing”: The Allure of the Split Sequence, craft essay by Peter Jastermsky in Issue 9 of MacQ (August 2021)

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