Abstract Magazine International | Who Authorized You to Be Here? by J.J. Steinfeld
Abstract seeks fine art in all forms that engages with both the crises and joys of our shared human condition. We seek art that engages the edge of now; we seek to explore a future forward zeitgeist with a respect for the gifts of the past. We are looking for both established and emerging artists across a broad range of genres. Our criterion is quality.


Who Authorized You to Be Here? by J.J. Steinfeld

03 Oct 2017, Posted by admin in Poetry

Art: “Reflections” by David Conison, @panopticonison


“Who authorized you to be here?”
a yappy dog on the street
suddenly asks
forsaking yappinesss
for a little clear-voiced
“Who authorized you to be here?”
the rain-dappled umbrella carried
by an affluent shopper
courteously asks
and the shopper
seems unconcerned
but I’m startled,
miffed, and riled
by the repetition.
“Who authorized you to be here?”
an empty parking meter asks
just as an electric car
a happy face of a vehicle
coasts into its space.
and the driver bounces out
ready to put coins
into the gaping parking meter.
“Who authorized you to be here?”
a front-window display
for a lingerie shop
asks most sexily
and I stare a little to long
looking for the mouths
of the talking unmentionables.

Is this madness, I think,
or the script of an Ionesco play
unearthed in a dingy basement
by a Theatre of the Absurd scholar
eager to solidify an academic career.

The yappy dog
the rain-dappled umbrella
the now-stuffed parking meter
the tantalizing window display
all answer in unison
with a stentorian NOT QUITE
—not a Greek chorus,
that’s for sure—
reading my thoughts.
Tomorrow I find another part of the city,
away from the hustle and bustle
where things are quieter,
and only trees
and beautifully-manicured lawns
dare to speak.

About the author: 

Fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published eighteen books, including Anton Chekhov Was Never in Charlottetown (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), An Unauthorized Biography of Being (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), and Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be (Poetry, Guernica Editions). Over fifty of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States, including the full-length plays The Franz Kafka Therapy SessionThe Golden Age of Monsters, and A Television-Watching Artist, and the one-act plays Godot’s Leafless Tree, The Waiting Ends, A Question of Eternity, The Entrance-or-Not Barroom, The Word-Lover, Laugh for Sanity, Back to BackMore Than Money, Imaginative Drinking, In a Washroom of a Prestigious Art Gallery, A Play of Disbelief, and Memory Sounds.

Art: “Reflections” by David Conison@panopticonison

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