M. A. Istvan Jr., PhD

Poet

Austin, TX 78745
Phone: 
347813****
Twitter: 

Author's Bio

Dr. M. A. Istvan Jr., a neurodivergent sufferer of chronic Lyme disease whose writing has appeared in over one hundred and fifty magazines (including Quiddity, Hobart, Pleiades, and the African American Review), is the founder of Safe Space Press, a publication house that provides a home for all—especially divergent and disparaged voices (trans, fat, addict, queer, incarcerated, black, senior, unemployable, poly, gambler, homeless, neurodivergent, disfigured, indigenous, and so on)—who are critical of the excesses of cancel culture. All of us, but especially people on various margins, are expected to flout our conscience and surrender to the bloodthirsty saturnalia of censoring, silencing, and shaming that has swept over the well-to-do West. Safe Space Press believes, on the contrary, that radical care and kindness—as opposed to ruining lives without due process (which effectively serves to make a prison yard out of society, polarizing people and even alienating allies)—can be an effective tactic for social change. Aware that we are all in this together as flawed beings (thrown into this wheel-of-fortune life, fashioned by primordial drives and environmental factors only to die in the end), Safe Space Press—holding the banner of our shared humanity higher than that of our anger—is not about shaming perpetrators of cancel culture. Even the most virulent perpetrators of this constitutional-rights-violating juggernaut of anti-diversity, whatever side of the political aisle to which they belong, are to be approached with empathy. Addiction to bitterness, an addiction that has a grip on most of us (scrambling to find security and purpose and identity-glue in a God-is-dead world of for-most-too-much-and-too-soon satellite footage of Earth, and of vital industries that fail to pay a livable wage, and of my-truth estrangement from hunting and frolicking in the trees with others who might challenge our self-identifications) but which so rages in these depression-besieged individuals that they form pitchfork lynch mobs, has made it normal to see our participation-trophied selves as victims (the more victimized the better, just like on the soccer field) and to set the bar on what is worthy of offense so low that we always have a pretense to feel that angst-numbing rush of bully-making bitterness. Join with Safe Space Press to engender a diverse world in which termination is not a necessary consequence of heterodoxy—a world, in effect, that is genuinely diverse (not just diverse on surface-levels or “in the right way”).    

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶  M. A. Istvan Jr., despite a down-to-earth deportment that covers well both his advanced education and artistic output, finds it a struggle not to isolate due to how his Asperger’s syndrome manifests itself: stumbling verbosity, extreme attention to detail, and hypersensitivity, mainly. Such symptoms, coupled with his underclass roots (which cannot help but radiate an unwelcome odor in higher society), have understandably led to discrimination (especially in academic settings where, now, the chief duty of a professor is never to make anyone uncomfortable). The sudden transitions that mark his writing and speech, however, make for interesting poetry. His obsessive focus, moreover, allows him to probe and develop abstract concepts. His sensitivity, which he would never wish away (however much turmoil it red-carpets into his life), opens him to art-worthy phenomena that remain concealed for the neurotypical. And while search committees inevitably cut him from the shortlist after in-person interviews (where from his mannerisms they register a vague sense that he grew up in a creek-bathing place of constant cortisol where having his last name meant being placed in special education by default and being a special target for law enforcement before double digits, where he threw rocks at crack whores at ten), he now gets off—twisted as it is to say, but we all have to make do—on seeing the scarved interviewers, self-identified as “progressive,” squirm as they try to cover themselves from his gaze.  

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶  M. A. Istvan Jr., fat-positive founder and editor of Safe Space Press, is a hunk of jade who has been abraded (but into an arrowhead) by the circumambient assaults on academic and artistic freedom. Istvan is drawn to poetry, especially aphoristic poetry, more than to fiction because he lacks the patience for the respectable craft of baiting readers with illusionist techniques (like opening with a pet in peril or having the narrator say things the reader knows to be false). Instead of using tricks to keep readers hooked, he emphases the content itself at great risk—especially when coupled with his refusal to truckle to an ideology just because it is politically correct—of alienating mass audiences.

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶  M. A. Istvan Jr., whose creative writing has appeared in over 150 magazines and journals (including Quiddity, Pleiades, Hobart, and the African American Review), serves as a sensitivity reader for narratives that feature marginalized characters (in particular: black, queer, religious, autistic, addicted). On a red-pen mission to flag all texts that offend or stereotype or in any way reinforce oppression, Istvan is equipped to spot even the most figurative and oblique cases of, say, transphobia and black-body rape. Consider, for instance, the following problematic passage (which allusively contains both): “Heads and tails are discrete outcomes of coin flips even though it is possible that a coin will land on its edge or that it will be obliterated in the heinous dark of vacuum death.” Istvan, an editor eager to roll up his sleeves, is also equipped to strip texts of their most insidious threats—unwhiten them, so to say. Consider, for instance, how he rewrites—de[pr]i[v]i[leges]—the coin-flip passage: “As cases of intersex individuals show, sex—not just gender—is a spectrum, which is why the ovary-testicle standard is bogus. And speaking of things ‘inter,’ an interracial child must understand that the fundamental bond between his white mother and his black father is exploitation: the mothershe is the heinous vacuum, leeching the father’s energy to fulfill her supremacist agenda.”

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶  Poppa, provocateur, poet, philosopher, professor, producer of music and comedy, patriarch of Safe Space Press, peddler of preworn panties, product of Beacon, NY—M. A. Istvan Jr. has long held high Bukowski’s torch to curb our nation’s Mickey-Mouse infestation. In recent years, however, Istvan has been pushing back against one of the most virulent and insidious expressions of the Disneyfication tide: cancel culture, that iron-maiden kangaroo-court ethos of censoring, silencing, and shaming any entities, even artists and professors, accused—merely accused—of being sources of discomfort or perpetrators of “wrong think” and unsanctioned attitudes.

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶  M. A. Istvan Jr., whose artworks have recently resulted in his due-process-less and unappealable termination from Austin Community College, does not write academic articles or poetry or satirical textbooks or comic routines or so on in ignorance of the burgeoning threat to artistic freedom. Dr. Istvan is aware that, worldwide (and especially in the US), artists are censored and intimidated—and more and more under the feel-good banners of “protecting the youth from corruption” and “nurturing diverse spaces.” In fact, one of the larger motivations behind his iconoclastic and provocative art is to keep the circumference of what can be expressed wide enough that we do not need to fear losing our livelihoods for exhibiting our humanity. Far from corrupting the youth or shutting down diversity, Dr. Istvan works, in effect, to ensure that the youth grow in a world of voices that are not merely diverse on surface-levels or in the “right way.” He vows, here and now, never to stop sallying against the anti-diversity groundswell of cancellation, however much bloodthirsty retribution it provokes! Join with him to engender a world in which sudden termination is not a necessary consequence of heterodoxy. https://linktr.ee/maistvanjr

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶  M. A. ISTVAN JR.—poet, philosopher, provocateur—is an instructor of philosophy at Austin Community College and the current editor of Safe Space Press. His interests and publication history are wide-ranging, but a unifying focus of both his creative and scholarly work has been to describe and defend what he calls “the hive Being”: a neo-Spinozistic conception of reality according to which absolutely everything is a necessary expression of a self-necessary wellspring (a wellspring perhaps best described as “God”). Visit michaelistvan.com or pw.org/directory/writers/m_a_istvan_jr_phd 

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶  In lieu of a traditional author bio, M. A. ISTVAN JR. (spleet / splerg / splert / splergself—seriously, not transphobically) would like to offer a prayer to the masturbation gods. Pray we never learn of the black-mono-culture-shattering likes of Esperanza Spalding and Rhiannon Giddens. Pray we never learn that deserving of Grammys are non-empty-plastic, non-bling-gaudy, non-superficial-decadent, non-self-indulgent, non-reality-TV, non-Mammon-worshipping—in short, non-Trump—musicians of black-female persuasion who train in conservatories, apprentice under masters, and suffer hours at their craft (instead of baby-oil twerking drunk at Panem-Capitol parties of such poverty-mocking extravagance that perhaps soon they will feature bound-and-gagged homeless families, not just blunts and spliffs, being set ablaze with hundred-dollar bills). Pray we never learn that worthy of Time Magazine covers are black women in the music industry who even refuse, despite incentives of shiny objects and popularity (the only things that really matter in our utopia), to enliven the white fantasy at the very heart of our national culture: that black bodies—close as they cannot help but remain to the savage jungle—hanker to be choke-handled, spit upon, and have all their holes beaten up to the point of prolapse with such no-means-yes brutality—only by colossal cocks with Trump money, of course (these “whores in the house” do have standards!)—that even police, despite how trigger-nervous they tend to get around safari disturbances, might have to get called. Visit michaelistvan.com or pw.org/directory/writers/m_a_istvan_jr_phd 

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., a staunch believer in the idea that fragility—even if only feigned for the sake of power—is grounds for entitlement, has helped over 200 students crush the livelihoods of professors who—protected far too long under the abuse-enabling banners of “free speech” and “intellectual diversity”—have failed to strip classrooms of unsettling topics and language. For free access to a database of private information about abusers who have yet to be silenced, as well as for more on how YOU can make academia a safe space, visit michaelistvan.com. 

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR. has no daughter but is nevertheless a proud member of DADD, Dads Against Daughters Dating. He attends monthly purity balls in his capacity as budding photographer, snapping memories of tweens pledging chastity while in the arms of both their earthly owners and, of course, their heavenly owner—the owner of us all. Istvan finds these young girls, riled by the very taboo imposed upon their urges, quite eager to welcome middle-way solutions between honoring their pledge and honoring their own desire: nipple-teasing, heavy-petting, cunnilingus, anilingus, breast-banging, non-penetrative coital alignment—all of which typically culminate in a good anal pounding (despite, and in some cases fueled by, good-girl protestations at the onset as well as increased risk of tears (as in rips), tears (as in eye-liquid), infections, STDs, and early-onset hemorrhoids). Even the youngest of these pledges, Istvan has noticed, are much quicker at least to go the tug-job route, which given their baby hands at least cannot hurt the growing epidemic of male insecurity. Visit michaelistvan.com or pw.org/directory/writers/m_a_istvan_jr_phd

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, born and raised in a functioning ghost town (now turned hipster haven), has a gift for sensing the vibrational frequencies—the earth spirits, if you will—of even the densest flesh: tree, stone, mineral. A certified (but failed) forest-bathing therapist, Istvan writes best—bestial—faded into the backgrounds of brothels, tended to by the ladies for whom his focused presence proves that men can want—can be—something more. Eyes teary with afflatus, most people stay out of Istvan’s vicinity. His hurried step, fierce expression, and wild hand gestures while speaking (speaking in what is perhaps best described as auditory cursive) set off the insanity-detectors ingrained in us by deep history. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, a former seller of the rights to sell the rights to sell the autobiographies of sports players, is currently a Texas citrus fruit thief. He pinches not just a few grapefruits or navel oranges here and there. He has coordinated large crews—yes yes, of Mexicans—to help him plunder entire acres in the secret of night. Despite the nice physique resulting from his ninja labors, Istvan is upon scrutiny just a nice house built upon shitty framework: asymmetries and muscle imbalances galore. For this reason, he stays away from people, living a life relatively unviolated by the messages with which his society floods itself. Indeed, in light of his burgeoning struggle to cope even with daily stress (a struggle in essence to hold his psychosis at bay now that his obsessive-compulsive and intellectualization practices no longer seem to do the job), Istvan will soon most likely disappear into the inaccessible parts of his mind.

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶  M. A. ISTVAN JR.'s writing has appeared in over a hundred magazines (such as Quiddity, Hobart, and Pleiades). Translender (one might say), Istvan identifies as skinny and is going through surgical and hormonal steps to realize that! The transition, he finds, is a piece of cake—or, better: is as easy for him to go through as a piece of cake. No, he does not want to trivialize the process. It is just that he had gone through a much deeper transformation in 2019. One morning, and despite his identity being rooted for a solid twenty years in being a black magician, an archangel appeared in a blanket balled on the bed and whispered: “But the light wins in the end.” ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ Fortunate to have been banjoed to several times by Pete Seeger in elementary school, M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD was born and raised in what is arguably the psychic hub of North America (New York’s Hudson Valley), where it is not uncommon for a baby’s first words to be “futhark” or “astral.” As it turns out, however, Istvan is a complete disgrace to his people when it comes to tapping into lunar energies, bending keys, communing with archangels, employing healing crystals to cure cancers, sensing cold spots in the most haunted of cemeteries, wilting garden weeds with a mere dogged stare in their direction, understanding the chiromantic significance of a triple-line girdle of Venus, and distinguishing a blank ceramic tile to be cast off with the cigarette butts in an ashtray from what is the very rune of Odin to be cast for divination! The last time he visited home he mistook the celebration marking the earth’s evolutionary shift from 3rd to 4th chakra existence for nothing more than New Year’s enthusiasm that just happened to be a bit more intense than usual. That was at the end of 2012 and he has been too ashamed to show his face there since. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. Istvan Jr. is a creative writer who has apprenticed under various masters: Janet McCann, Paul Christensen, Larry Heinemann, Eduardo Espina, and Charles Taylor Jr. (as well as the various masters he never got to meet in person). Visit michaelistvan.com or pw.org/directory/writers/m_a_istvan_jr_phd 

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. Istvan Jr., ever on the lookout for what he might strip-mine for his own art rather than for what might help him speak well at dinner parties, has forfeited becoming a “cultivated person,” which is hard on his vanity especially now that he has entered into cultivated environments where the chief measure of status is being able to speak well on all topics (preferably with a Mid-Atlantic accent). The big roadblock to Istvan’s goal to becoming less moved by others is that he is deeply offended by mediocrity—indeed, even while understanding that each human cannot fail to be mediocre to some extent. Visit michaelistvan.com or pw.org/directory/writers/m_a_istvan_jr_phd 

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. Istvan Jr. squandered the precious energy of youth writing papers to get degrees in narrowness—all to become a craven specialist complete with hunched back, a mere reactor trained so severely that the ability to think for himself (without, say, the spur of a book) has been lost. If only he did not know that he was doing so at the time, he would be much less depressed about having squandered a decade on projects for which no appreciation is forthcoming. Unfortunately, he did know at the time. Even more unfortunately, merely complaining about it at the time proved an empty response to such knowledge. Visit michaelistvan.com or pw.org/directory/writers/m_a_istvan_jr_phd

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. Istvan Jr., PhD, is a complete failure at integrating his theoretical life with his practical life, that is, at combining correct understanding with correct action. He thinks about abstract and refined matters along with the greats, but is not above punching a persistent proselytizer. Indeed, his hatred for the endless proselytizing of Christianity runs so deep he occasionally finds himself Googling how to join Boko Haram. His proficiency in humor and prankish sarcasm would provide such an easy fix to the integration problem, but his addiction to rage is too strong to thwart. Visit michaelistvan.com or pw.org/directory/writers/m_a_istvan_jr_phd

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶  M. A. ISTVAN JR. is a nonbinary poet and danseuse who has been struggling to raise funds for bottom surgery since 2016. Survival sex work, especially in an LGBTQQIP2SAA+-phobic society of COVID social distancing, barely pays the rent and definitely does not come with insurance. Lizzo says it best: “I don’t even wanna hoe no mo’.” Any contribution helps. Istvan is just trying to feel more at home in his own body. Cashapp: $Cutstello. GoFundMe: gofundme.com/istvan-bottom-surgery

¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, whose life is to his poetry what Caravaggio’s life is to his painting, has been a university instructor for a decade. His susceptibility to complete abandon in the classroom, which enables him to confess even deep secrets to his students, will not be good when he starts carrying a handgun to class now that Texas students can come in strapped. His ecstatic invulnerability on stage, disindividuation so intense that he could easily pull the trigger on himself just to make a point about the material of the day, makes us wonder what horror might one day befall his classroom. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, a Neo-Ashcan poet of the visceral, suffers from Intermittent Explosive Disorder. In addition to Newport loosies, he and his father sold “Free the Juice” shirts and caps during the OJ trial. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD worked as a janitor at his high school during high school. Interventions from scarved liberal whites with gluten allergies sent him on a trajectory that, despite failed attempts to snuff out his pimp-drag step and his New York Ebonics, culminated in his earning a PhD. But with the bleak academic job-market, together with a family too ravaged by illiteracy and homelessness to provide any sort of safety net, it looks like he might come full circle. There are signs that he is well on his way. While he has not yet gone back to McDonald’s dumpsters, he steals whatever he can from supermarkets and more and more of his daily calories are coming from sugar packets and those mini jelly trays. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, an animal dealer based out of Austin TX, has spearheaded a campaign to display zoo creatures in “unnatural” settings. According to Istvan, displaying animals in unnatural settings brings the animal itself into stark relief. “We go to zoos to see animals,” Istvan says. “The problem is that, when placed in replicas of their natural habitat, animals have a tendency to fade into the background—sometimes in the most literal sense. But the days of kids wondering where the lion is are numbered.” Istvan thinks that his new approach will help stimulate a zoo industry whose dwindling over the last decade has meant dwindling resources for animal conservation. “I do not call for a return of the bear back to the cramped cage of the Victorian menagerie,” Istvan insists against detractors. “I envision walruses, for example, in replicas of office mailrooms. Minimal adornment on the animal itself. Perhaps only a bowtie in the case of the walrus.” ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD. is a zodiac surgeon and respected board member of the National Council for Geocosmic Research. Whereas most other zodiac surgeons are equipped to shift your sign only one position forward, Istvan can shift your sign either one position forward or—barring the unlikely circumstance that you are a menopausal Pisces with a quadruped gait—even one position back. Istvan hopes that increased awareness about zodiac surgery will help bring in the funding required for researching zodiac sign transplantation, which ideally will allow a shift to any of the twelve signs in a matter of hours (as opposed to the years it takes currently to shift just one spot). As Istvan recently revealed in an interview with Shadow Transits, he envisions a future where there will be a zodiac donor box on driver’s licenses. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, still into extreme shoulder pads, spends most of his time lobbying for the rerelease of BoKu, an adult juice box from the 90s. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD is an advocacy attorney who moonlights as a hotel pianist. Most of his breakthrough ideas come while forgotten by the crowd in the heat of his play. One evening last October, to give what has proven to be the most life-changing example, an idea came that has reignited his passion for supporting the most overlooked voices in our society: children. Why not empower children to sue their mothers, not just for things like abusing crack while pregnant with them, but even for bringing them into the world in the first place? ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, although a university professor, actually makes most of his money now as a method translator of AAVE. In light of his extreme efforts to ensure sincere and emotionally expressive translation, Jet Magazine has in fact dubbed him the Daniel-Day-Lewis of his craft. For instance, he might sip Tempranillo from a Burgundy glass when translating to Standard English and swig Boone’s Farms from a brown-bagged bottle when translating the other way. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, a recently collapsed star sucking everyone around him into his darkness, has resorted to selling his used underwear online. New hope has arisen in his life, though. Last Spring, a waitress in Manhattan failed to address him by his preferred pronoun. Istvan prefers “ze” as opposed to “he” or “she.” Istvan had in fact told her so right when he sat down, and yet she told the bus-boy, “He would like his water refilled.” Not only has the waitress been fired for violating the NYCHRL (the New York City Human Rights Law), but Istvan's lawyer says that he has a good case to make up to six figures from such an egregious offense (especially since Istvan records these NYC interactions—in hopes to get paid in such bleak times). ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ A private thinker, M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD treats his day job as a professor more like insurance and lens-grinding (and two or three steps removed from con artistry). Freeway flying keeps him afloat by means responsibilities minimal enough to allow him to pursue his arts. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ Although not an addict, and despite legs having been melted as a kid in a meth lab fire, M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD smurfs Sudafed to make ends meet. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, who frissons each time he hears the voice of Coko from SWV, lives as shut-in with his hand, away from family and friends, for a variety of reasons: lyme, contemplation, private arts, grief, and a crookedness in body and thought ever exasperated by being a shut-in. But one major contribution, which has dawned on him only now, is that he wants nothing to do with the endless gossip. The things people say behind each other’s backs makes him feel sick, hopeless for the humanity to which he belongs—the same sort of feeling he used get eating at I-Hop among all the after-church-diabetic gorgers. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR. PhD, a sex-positive feminist, used to walk around with that yellow Sony Sports boombox bumping Digable Planets and Black Moon. He would perhaps still today wear Timbs with the tongue drooping, but Wallabees better fit with his professor gig. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ Frequently still slipping into baby-talk despite his son being in elementary school, M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD is out and proud as an age-queer. Even in Austin, a city chock full of queers, Istvan finds it sad to see all the nasty looks in response to his whimsical rhymes and sing-song motherese, the sort of babble speak you find in Sam Pollit or Tom Bombadil. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, who can be seen in the pool scene in the 1980 Charles Kaufman film Mother’s Day, writes each of his poems while watching Sanford and Son. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR. PhD, a high-strung poet of veering moods, has resolved in 2017 to devote energy to being less of a recluse. He has already set up a profile at Soul Swipe (Tinder had just too many white women—all with dogs, excessive makeup, repulsive pure white chicklet teeth, and blocky drawn-in eyebrows). He also plans to start engaging in Twitter and Facebook. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, one of nature’s bachelors, is always watching for ways to get money without having to rely on welfare (like so many PhDs have to in this country). He is definitely open to a green card marriage, if there happen to be any takers reading this. $60,000 is, he feels, a reasonable price for the hassle. After all, both of you will have to live with each other for two years, take family photos, know where each other keeps their toothbrushes if there is ever an INS investigation, and so on. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, good-looking despite the crookedness and skull protuberances of a criminal, is prone to fly into lyme rages when confronted with arrogant ignorance from people close to him. One cannot say, generally, that he fails to suffer fools wisely. For he is patient with those who fail to meet even simply one the following three conditions: arrogance, ignorance, closeness. It is just that when all three are met in one person, he cannot help but see red. To avoid getting into trouble, he stays away from them just as pedophiles stay away from parks. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, full of dissimulation and never looking people in the eye, is a professional philosopher by day. His crooked nose—a hereditary feature stronger than the jutting ribs, the unhinged jaw, and the alcoholism—is the most conspicuous of what is really a full-bodied crookedness common to the male and female members of the Istvan clan. Perhaps his zaniest project in the works is an introductory textbook concerning the philosophy of the Five-Percent Nation, the Nation of Gods and Earths. The textbook aims to lay out the Five-Percenter take on the key topics of metaphysics: modality, freedom, mind-body relationship, time, personal identity, properties, and Allah. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD, an addict of the TV sitcom Night Court, will always be surrounded with people and substances of ill repute. He does have a steady day job, however. A soap and lotion peddler on Jamaica Avenue in Queens, he is the man calling out “Shea Butter Butter, Blaaaack Soap.” His work has been criticized for its almost single-minded focus on equestrian themes, its lack of allegorical quality, and its overreaching fidelity to artistic and intellectual precedents. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ Rejected by his academic peers for incidents that have resulted from his brazen narcolepsy and two-spiritedness, M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD Istvan survives by poaching burl and—there is no help for it—by government assistance. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD—a hopeless fan of Sade Adu and Skin Diamond—is working on controlling the rage he feels when people do not believe him. Decent length, plus intense martial arts study from the age of 4, used to allow him to perform autofellatio in his early teens. One of the measures he uses for determining whether new acquaintances have a chance at being included among his inner circle of friends is if they believe him about the autofellatio thing. His most cherished literary device is simply the list and his writing, particularly his poetry, has this strange sense of being both right-there-flesh-and-blood with commonplace words and yet somehow quite mysterious. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD. is the father of one child from his marriage of ten years to a person—his hero—who turned out to be a full-blown lesbian. Istvan’s fatal flaw as an academic is that instead of just pushing down a bulge in a carpet, where the “bulge” here is the position that he is trying to shoot down, he will staple gun the rest of the carpet in an attempt to ensure that there will be no more bulges. His effort, of course, is always in vain since he is a finite being with an underclass education and the carpet is more extensive than he can imagine. Such maniacal desire for totality is, by the way, what attracts him to the great systematic philosopher Spinoza and makes his skin crawl when Bill Murray can never kill the gopher in Caddyshack. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ Before he got a bit of distance from drugs and before he became schooled in how to reason correctly, M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD was accepted as the young wiseman of his underclass town. Those eager to be his followers back in the day, entranced by his half-baked obfuscations of illogicality, now will have nothing to do with him. “Like—man. Istvan—you know, his spirit—. His spirit has changed, man.” This is all for the best. Who wants to be a leader of sheepish flakes, even if that means endless sex with those willing to pay top dollar for a magic healing potion of what is really nothing more than cum in a vial? ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ M. A. ISTVAN JR., PhD—father, professor, poet, turntablist, fit nerd, and straight up dork—wears different skins (of gender, race, region, class, profession, language, personality, religion, and so on) in order to appease the atman at his core. Giving himself over to different skins, shapeshifting, loosens the skin supposed to be natural to him, creates distance between atman and that skin, which (to atman’s satisfaction) will make each dying process in his life—especially that of the big dying—proceed more smoothly. By fashioning self-images that few—if any—will like, Istvan is at war with the current culture of fashioning self-images that we think other people will like. By fashioning multifarious—often incongruous—self-images, Istvan is at war with the current culture of boxing each person into one narrow changeless identity. ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶

 

Publications & Prizes

Journals:
Adelaide Literary Magazine
,
African American Review
,
All Roads Will Lead You Home
, ,
Bindweed Magazine
, ,
Blacktop Passages
, , , , , , , , , , , ,
Creation and Criticism
, , , ,
EXPOUND
,
Fat City Review
, , , ,
FLAPPERHOUSE
, , , , , , , ,
Helen
, , ,
Hobart
,
Horror Sleaze Trash
,
Houseguest
, , ,
Infernal Ink Magazine
, ,
Line Zero
, , ,
Literary Orphans
, ,
Loaded Bicycle
, , , , , , ,
Mayday Magazine
, , , , , , ,
My Favorite Bullet
,
Nefarious Ballerina
,
Nixes Mate Review
, ,
Oklahoma Review
,
One Sentence Poems
, , ,
Penwood Review
,
Philosophy Now
, , , , , , , , , , , ,
Riverbabble
, , , , , , , , ,
THAT Literary Review
,
The Almagre Review
,
The Gambler
,
The Los Angeles Review of Los Angeles
,
The Moose & Pussy
,
The Perch
, , , , ,
TWJ Magazine
, , , ,
Urban Graffiti
, ,
Vitamin ZZZ
, , , ,
World Haiku Review
, ,

More Information

Gives readings: 
Yes
Travels for readings: 
Yes
Prefers to work with: 
Adults, Any, At Risk Youth, Homelessness, Incarcerated individuals, Mental Health
Fluent in: 
English
Born in: 
Poughkeepsie, NY
New York
Raised in: 
Beacon, NY
New York
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Nov 16, 2021