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Shai Ben-Shalom

Lindsay Foran

Jerry Golland

Seymour Mayne

Christal Steck

Doreen Taylor-Claxton

Nicola Vulpe

Betty Warrington-Kearsley

Erwin Wiens

Shai Ben-Shalom

Shai’s first collection of poems, Martians Among Us, was published in 2012 by In/Words Press. His poetry appeared in The Calling, 2011; In Air/Air Out, 2011; Our Hircine, Murine Doppelgangers, Mars, 2013; Ottawa Arts Review, 2013; The Poetry Super Highway, 2018; and is published weekly in Blacklock’s Reporter. The poems included here first appeared in Blacklock’s Reporter, some in slightly different versions.

offers a new service.

Analysing my DNA, they will
uncover my ethnic mix,
discover distant relatives,
find new details about my cultural
Satisfied customers
see themselves
in a whole new way.
This guy is confirmed to be of
Irish, Scandinavian, Western European, and British
He is smiling, proud to know his
I’ll skip this opportunity.
I already know my genetic makeup:
ninety-eight percent

The Key

When I was three,
our neighbour Sarah
asked my friend Amos and me
to help her find the key
she’d lost in the yard.
A quarter was promised to the finder.
Amos went to the rear.
I saw him by the tin garbage cans
where we sword-played
the other day.
I remained in the front,
searching by the fence,
then along the path.
There it was, right in front of me:
shiny brass,
Sarah kept her word,
awarded me a quarter.
But gave two quarters
to Amos.
“Because this is Amos,” she said,
looking me in the eye.
My first encounter
with Management.

Execution Chamber

A bed, adjustable,
equipped with arm rests.
A mattress for softness, clean sheets,
and a pillow for comfort.
Curtains on the windows;
a wall mounted clock;
and an air conditioner.
Ceiling lights reflected
in a sparkling-clean floor.
By the bed,
a set of syringes.
Sterile, to prevent


You envision a world
of perfect harmony.
Show me two individuals
in one room
without a conflict
and I'll show you
two liars.