During war, history tells us, those in control of the language outlets employ language as a first offensive to either sell or defend or obscure the procedural aspects of war. Words are stripped of their meanings, their etymologies, and redefined and repeated until we forget. Thankfully, we have George Szirtes, whose impressive clutch of new poems are concerned with transformation of language of a sibling kind, or, as he writes, [how] the ordinary becomes 'magical' once the faintly exotic gets a precise name - signs of proper names (eg the 'magical' real butterflies) start to have the effect of alchemical symbols. Here are poems of an expansive language-world where relentless obfuscation will never overwhelm the magical and the real strength of the human imagination, but will be included, along with the histories, remembered.

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The TPR Stream
What’s in a Name? By Rudy Ravindra

My father named me Rabindranath Tagore. The thought did not seem to cross my father’s mind that the literary giant of India might turn in his grave at this blasphemy. 
Gaza, England By Adam Blanden

It was not a need for anonymity that led marchers in London this Saturday to draw their keffiyehs to their faces: the intense heat was enough to get even this seasoned crowd a little damp at the brow. Thus was this most hallowed of revolutionary commodities assigned to more prosaic needs as hundreds of hot protesters daubed their foreheads and dried their faces. 
Tuesday Throwback: Billie and Abel's Strange Fruit By The Editors

There are few things we at TPR enjoy more than Sundays, sun beams and Billie Holiday. Preferably, we like to combine all three with a mimosa and a tightly wrapped “cigarette” of our particular choosing. Sunday remains so far away. Billie Holiday’s rendition of Abel Meeropol’s Strange Fruit, however, might just be strong enough to compel us to spend a Sunday morning on a Tuesday afternoon.
Notes On the Seasonal Disappearances By Victoria Anderson

Aristotle was the first to look into the mystery of seasonal disappearance in birds. He left it to Pliny the Elder in the 10th book of Natural History to offer avian hibernation as an explanation of the problem. Those were the days of pre-scientific observation of birds. Later it was understood that birds migrate.
Happy Birthday Papa: Hemingway on Why He Loves Cuba By The Editors

"My mojito in the Bodeguita del Medio and my daiquiri in the Floridita"
-Ernest Hemingway on his favorite bars in Cuba

Fresh off of a Nobel Prize win, we see a triumphant Hemingway at Villa Vigia explain why he always finds his way back to the beautiful shores of Cuba. 
Huckleberries at Prom and Reunion By Mitchell Krochmalnik Grabois

This couple I know: they were high school sweethearts. They were the Bonnie and Clyde of the northwest San Fernando Valley, but were as yet undetected.
Marvel's Forgotten King By Teri Cross Chetwood

We all know Stan Lee, but do you know Jack Kirby? He might just be the man most responsible for the modern Marvel you see today. That's right. Come and meet Marvel's forgotten King. 
The Truly Superhuman By Daniel Perry

Tired of the numerous superhero tropes? In need of some solid creativity beyond superhumans in spandex? You're not alone. Daniel Perry is sick of it too. He thinks the real heroes just might be the ones without powers. 
Plumbing By Cris Mazza

At night, before falling asleep in high school and college, through my pillow I heard the constant drone of a small motor and the rolling rattle of stones in my father’s rock tumbler in the basement below my bedroom. Pieces of rose quartz, speckled granite, obsidian and brown agate tumbled together in water for days, maybe weeks, and came out as rounded and smooth as if they’d been polished by a Sierra creek for centuries.
Why We Need Space By The Editors

We see a lot of normally smart people bemoan public expenditure on space travel. "Space?" they say. "We have so many problems here. Why waste money on literal nothingness?" The irony is these are the same people that bemoan a society too often governed by a lack of reason and scientific fidelity. If time is a flat circle, so are societies. Still don't see it? Let Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, and Carl Sagan explain why further space exploration is not only integral but necessary to a peaceful human future. 
The Street of Crocodiles, The Cinnamon Shops By Scott Archer Jones

There was a man by the name of Bruno Schulz who was shot down by the Gestapo. He was an artist. He was a writer. He was damn esoteric. Scott Archer Jones takes a look inside the incomprehensible work of a magical creator.  
Rez By R.G. Vasicek

I was born in a country that no longer exists. I am a defector. I left. I fled. I disappeared. It was the most interesting thing I could do.
In Event of Moon Disaster: Nixon's Undelivered Apollo Speech By The Editors

"Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace."
-Nixon's 1969 speech

As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the lunar landing, TPR looks back at the undelivered speech written in case of the worst possible tragedy. 
Bruce Lee’s Grave and the Death of Heroes By Jeff Suwak

I arrived at Bruce Lee’s grave to find a spray-tanned man wearing a gold chain on the outside of his shirt flexing his unimpressive biceps. His eyes flicked over to acknowledge my approach as he struck bodybuilder poses while an Asian couple snapped pictures and tittered with laughter. The spray-tanned man did not laugh in return. He didn’t even crack a smile. Another man, this one thin and devoid of any conspicuous bling, stood off to the side studying a travel brochure with grave seriousness.
Sister Mary Cannibal By David Michael Joseph

It was a classic day: a warm sunny, spring afternoon, well that was outside of the window. On the inside was a dark, crowded Kindergarten classroom. Three tables were set up: one near the door, another in the center, and one by the windows. I sat at the center.
Weird Al's Got Your Word Crimes Right Here Buddy By The Editors

The parody king returns with his second video in as many days. The crosshairs of the long-haired funnyman have firmly settled on the ubiquitous and somewhat infamous hit of the the past summer season "Blurred Lines". But it's not lines, shapes, or curves that this video concerns itself with. It is the word crime. 
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