A Country Made of Face Masks (New Poems by D. Alper)

face masks / phillipe martin chatelain / in parentheses literary magazine / volume 5

face masks / phillipe martin chatelain / in parentheses literary magazine / volume 5
face masks / phillipe martin chatelain / in parentheses literary magazine / volume 5

David M. Alper is a high school AP English teacher in New York City, residing in Manhattan. His work has appeared in Thirty West Publishing House, In Parentheses, and elsewhere.

David Alper’s poem “Coping With The Headlines” was featured in Volume 5, Issue 4.

A Country Made of Face Masks

The pundits state
we’ve at long last started to move

from philosophical doctrine
to worthlessness.

It’s valid that stopping
is debilitating.

Like a ringer, or rather its sound opening,
a quiet that having tolled talks once more

suspended between conditions of deficiency:
a point navigating a numbered scene.

This nation of little boundless qualities is our main thing
with what remains: bits of window sheets,

refracted light, what assembles in the torn leaves
from the darkening edge of the red fields

developed dull. State what you will, the body is no more
than the moon, a white pant button in a pool

of gas, a radiance of debris and fire
rising on the stepping stone of night.


Trying not to state anything a few seconds ago,
Be that as it may, celestial attendants are around us,
In the flatware, the lines of glasses
On the rack.

I wouldn’t address them presently,
They are not prepared for us. Immaculateness has formed their sight,
What’s more, we are stunning to their eyes, best case scenario.
Told to stretch out their touch to fallen ones, they are hesitant.

Who can accuse them? They cut themselves
On the sharpness of our brains,
Also, run back dying, directly to heaven,
Who gets together their kids, ties their injuries,

Also, tunes in to their tears.
Who possesses the narratives now? Our weapons are words,
Paradise trembles at seeing our offenses.
Have we no disgrace, that we send the sparkling ones

Back to the spot they originated from,
Loaded up with detestations? There will be
A retribution, for everything is seen.

Preserved Words

When she died on 9/11, her computer was destroyed.
Work servers captured only snippets of emails,

but he went back to preserve her words,
transferred them to attachments and printed them.

Emails from when they were first dating:
corny, considerate, private communiqués

between them, setting plans for dinner
with friends or a date. He did the same

when her brother died unexpectedly too:
mini tomes of correspondence,

love letters, and he read them on occasion,
forever leaving him with a memory

he’d forgotten, a grin on his face feeling
closer, knowing she could climb any time

back into his long, unshared shadow.

From the Editor:

We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.

Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?

The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.

To view the types of work we typically publish, preview or purchase our past issues.

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In Parentheses Magazine (Volume 7, Issue 3) Winter 2022

By In Parentheses in IP Volume 7

32 pages, published 1/15/2022

The Winter 2022 issue of In Parentheses Literary Magazine. Published by In Parentheses (Volume 7, Issue32)

In Parentheses Magazine (Spring 2020-Crowds Edition)

IP Volume 5: In Parentheses Magazine (Spring 2020-Crowds Edition)

The SPRING 2020 issue of In Parentheses Literary Magazine. Published by In Parentheses (Volume 5, Issue 3)

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