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The Burlington Beat began in June of 2017 and aims to be a small concentrated sample of the creativity that exists in every corner of our beautiful city, Burlington, VT. There are those who have made their art their living, others who treat it as a hobby--some who have been honing their skills for years and others just starting out. You'll find all of that here.


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Life of Mayflys

October 31, 2017

i read a story about mayflys

born on the banks

of the mississippi. they

swarmed and housed

in wisconsinite gas stations,

on the edges of bridges,

and only days later,

passed. just a memory.


i paid thirteen dollars

for my hair to be this thick.

we met at the liquor store.

i bought him cider and took him to my house.

i unpacked the bottles. he packed his pipe

and let me smoke.


we talked of nothing for two hours.


my head was a fishbowl.


he said, “i think i have to cut this meeting



i’m tired.”


i asked if we would hang out again.

he gave no straight answer. “text me

what you’re doing

tomorrow.” “i’ll see what i’m up to.”


i showed him the

way away

from me.

he only shook my hand.


the next morning i worked.

a little girl came into the store

with her mother and older brother.

she and him strayed away to the sale wallets.

she played with the ones she could reach

and pulled a black one from the basket and

examined her finding like petrified wood.


“ooh!” she exclaimed. “there’s an eyeball.”

her brother took it and tried to find

what she saw.

“no, no,” she said when he took too long.


she pointed to the flap: an eyeball-shaped pendant,

green pupil, orange whites,

kept the wallet closed.


every time you look at it,

the eye can say, in no words at all,

just by existing,

keep me closed.


do you really need to spend money on this?

he’ll last as long as mayflys.

Murray Dunsmore writes art. 

ig @synthetic_rooms

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